Fitness promotion period raises hopes for new school year

Burhanuddin Calcuttawala

UT RecSports held a “Try Before You Buy” campaign from Aug. 24–28 at Gregory Gym in an attempt to promote the variety of exercise options students have on campus.

Enrolled students and RecSports members were free to take part in TeXercise classes, group cycling, aqua and the climbing wall at Gregory Gym before buying an semester pass, which is required to attend classes during the academic long sessions.

Psychology freshman Phyllis Gong went to five of the classes during “Try Before You Buy.”

“I feel great because I challenged myself, and I know it was the healthy thing to do,” Gong said. “I would definitely go more often [if the classes were free] because those resources would be available to me.” 

Biochemistry senior Caroline Bricker, a TeXercise regular, said she has enjoyed her experience in the TeXercise classes. When asked about free classes for Longhorns, however, she said she had mixed feelings.

“[Free classes would be great for many students], except for the fact that the classes are so full and you have to get there super early,” Bricker said.

For TeXercise instructor Katherine Heineman, a class full of enthusiastic students “keeps [her] going.” Even though this was one of her largest classes at 37 participants — with nearly 15 turned away due to lack of space — she said that the turnout dips after “Try Before You Buy.”

“I would love if [UT] did more free classes, so that I could see more people,” said Heineman, a marketing and advertising junior.

However, Heineman said she accepts that personal trainers and students rely on being paid fairly for their services, a trend that might not continue if classes were offered for free without an increase in funding. Heineman also said that Nike’s partnership with UT RecSports is to the benefit of the students, because “it adds a lot more activities that are free for students to do,” such as the free Nike+ training classes at certain times during the year.

“We try to cater to every fitness level … [from] low impact movement for people with injuries … to higher intensity for anyone who was like, ‘I’ve been here a million times!’” Heineman said. “No one is competing when they come to a TeXercise class … and the atmosphere surrounding the class format is very welcoming.”

This story has been edited since its publication. A previous version incorrectly stated that Nike sponsored Gregory Gym and offers montly free classes in front of the basketball stadium. It also incorrectly stated that students can buy annual passes to TeXercise classes. There are only semester passes available.