Move U.P. offers unique fitness experience

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Maggie Duly/NW LOOSEN THOSE MUSCLES—A Graduate Teaching Assistant leads an active warm-up to begin the first low-intensity Move U.P. class meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Physical Education Instruction Facility.

Maggie Duly

Graduate teaching assistants and graduate students studying toward a masters in exercise science are reaching out to the community through the new program Move U.P. 

With the guidance of Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Health and Fitness Management Derek Marr, graduate students are offering fitness classes of low, moderate and high intensity every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday through the winter semester. 

“It is a program that is aimed at the adult population in the community to provide fitness opportunities and physical activity experiences across a range of intensities,” Marr said. “That’s something that’s really new and kind of the new version of what we’re doing here.”

The School of Health/Human Performance had been offering a similar class to the community called Get Fit for the last couple decades which was a more medically guided fitness class. 

“I took over Get Fit and the graduate assistants said, ‘You know we really enjoy this, but at the same time we’d like it to continue to evolve toward some of our areas of interest, passion and specialty,’ and on top of that we wanted to attract more individuals to the program that had different levels of fitness,” Marr said.

Many students involved in teaching Move U.P. have assistantships in the department and facilitating a few of the classes is a part of their learning experience and their job. Other graduate students sign up to help out for credit hours and experience. 

“Many of them are extremely qualified individuals that have taught group exercise, done personal training, worked in the fitness industry during their time as undergraduate students or maybe during the time in between when they started their master’s programs so they are extremely qualified,” Marr said.

Move U.P. is aimed primarily at adults looking to maintain their physical fitness, so for some students like Graduate Teaching Assistant Bill Affholter, this program shows him how to work with a variety of candidates and learn how to tailor workouts to specific clientele. 

“For myself just honing the softer skills, working with the different population, most of my background is in varsity athletes, so learning how to translate or work with a different population is going to be really useful,” Affholter said. 

Move U.P. gives the students an opportunity to get hands-on experience with fitness instructing if they haven’t already and they get to explore areas of fitness they are especially passionate about when designing the workouts. 

“It would be in between what I call personal training and group fitness,” Marr said. “Our sessions are normally around 5 to 15 participants so you get a lot of hands on experience with the instructor. We also always staff it with two graduate students so you actually have two instructors which allows one to be leading the group and the other to be providing individualized feedback.”

The workouts designed by the students are very dynamic from class to class in order to focus on different goals and to explore different exercises to keep the classes fun. 

“They’ll get some great experience leading and that’s one of the really important parts about the fitness and health industry is gaining that experiential piece that will allow them to be successful in a competitive job market,” Marr said.

Over the course of the semester there are nearly 40 classes in each intensity. The class fee is $150 or $140 for adults with NMU affiliation. Returning customers from Get Fit are offered a discount rate of $100. The fee includes a pre and post fitness assessment and a body composition test. If a participant decides to join later in the season, the fee can be prorated. 

“It’s an awesome opportunity to take some young passionate individuals and pair them up with some community members that have their own goals and just see where they end up going with it,” Marr said.

For more information about registration contact Lorraine Hillock [email protected] or call 227-2130.