Each week, our own fitness fanatics Leah Polakoff and Caitlyn Kronket will explore the latest workout crazes, diet fads and dish out tips for healthy living. Managing your schoolwork is tough enough- let us take care of your health.
Fitology, located on Westerly Parkway, provides gym-goers with a personalized workout plan based on their needs and schedules. But here’s the kicker: it’s all based on science.
The gym offers members health assessments, which tests the member’s fitness level and overall health through different machines and blood tests. Dr. Jinger Gottschall, co-owner and assistant professor of kinesiology, says that Fitology then uses these assessments to determine a specialized plan for each member.
“They build their own schedule. We give them the outline and they fit it in when it’s convenient for them,” Gottschall says. “I think the tests provide the initial motivation to get you into the gym and be consistent.”
A health assessment provides members with their body fat and muscle mass percentage, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, back and leg strength and the efficiency of their heart and lungs.
The body fat and muscle mass percentage is measured through a machine called the bod pod, which uses air displacement. According to Gottschall, the bod pod is the most effective way to assess body fat and muscle mass. Fitology will also take a blood sample to test cholesterol and triglycerides as well as taking blood pressure. The strength and cardiovascular tests are done by lifting weights and performing cardio.
“We want to help people understand their own numbers. Once you know what your blood, cholesterol and fat levels are, it gives you that extra drive,” Gottschall says. “Once you educate somebody on the why, it doesn’t because as much of a chore to do it, because you understand the background.”
Fitology also helps members stay motivated through group fitness classes, which unlike other gyms, are the only workouts provided. With the exception of bikes for cycling, there is no equipment.
All of the group fitness classes are through a group fitness company called Les Mills, which Gottschall says are designed with science in mind.
“They are extremely aware of different abilities, different age groups and how to get people motivated. They put a lot of time and energy into a rewarding experience,” Gottshall says.
Les Mills offers a wide variety of group fitness classes, from indoor cycling to BodyCombat (a mix of kickboxing and martial arts). The certified instructors receive new class plans every three months and base all of the moves around music. Gottschall says mixing it up keeps members from getting bored.
Gottschall is a huge supporter of group fitness and says that it’s especially great for college students.
“You go in for a 45 minutes to an hour and you get a head to toe workout. It appeals to all types of people. The results have been significantly higher than independent exercise. People are more consistent, they work harder and they don’t dread it,” Gottschall says.
Free passes to Fitology are available at the front desk, and everybody is encouraged to come try a class. Student membership is only $30 a month and online reservations for health assessments will be available in April. Class schedules are available online at www.fitology542.com.
So what are you waiting for? Go try a class and get fit today!
Photo by Istvan Albert.