New kickboxing club kicks students’ butts into shape

As the end of the school year approaches and summer is on its way, many college students are dreading bathing suit season. The effects of midnight pizza runs and the dining hall’s endless array of desserts are starting to become apparent.

But with a gym that is less than desirable and limited finances to go elsewhere, how does one get in shape for those warmer months? Junior Laura Stafford has a solution.

Eastern’s kickboxing club met for the first time on March 12 in Gough Great Room, where nearly 20 girls kicked and punched their way to a toned body under Stafford’s instruction.

“I wanted to give people the opportunity to have fun and make new friends while getting an incredible workout,” Stafford said in an email.

Stafford understands the benefits of exercise and wants to give her peers, especially girls, the chance to participate in a fun workout that they will get excited about.

Stafford first gained interest in the activity when she took an L.A. Fitness club boxing class. She said it “kicked her butt,” but she loved it anyway.

After participating in the class for about three years as a student, she learned the teaching techniques at a workshop sponsored by L.A. Fitness and taught some classes at the gym last semester.

Kickboxing is a cardio workout that uses punches and kicks to tone the body and burn many calories in the process. Stafford’s class focuses on legs, arms and abs, but the entire body benefits from the routine.

Having an instructor with so much experience and the challenging nature of the activity might intimidate some people. However, the kickboxing club is for people of all fitness levels, Stafford said.

Sophomores Kristen Briggs, Meridith Stephenson and Jennifer Zych all took the class and were interviewed through email.

Of the three, one works out four times a week, one worked out regularly last semester but has trouble finding time right now and the third does not normally exercise and claimed she is in bad shape.

However, all three said that the class was beneficial and that they felt the effects the following day. Also, they all plan to go again and would recommend the class to a friend.

Briggs said the class was fun and was not too difficult for the beginners. She also enjoyed the fact that the class consisted solely of girls unlike in a gym facility.

Stephenson said she enjoyed being around new people and was glad the class was so intense.

Zych said that fitness classes are more motivating than going to the gym by herself, which is one reason she enjoyed attending.

With such a big turnout for the first class, Stafford is expecting more people to come to upcoming classes, since members are spreading the word.

The group does not yet have official club status because Stafford said she wanted to give it a “test run before I went through the hassle.”

However, since the interest level seems to be high, Stafford said she is considering going for official club status.

If so, she hopes to incorporate different kinds of classes and to get more instructors involved.

Exercising can be somewhat of a challenge. Fortunately, there is a new solution.

Stafford said that anyone coming to her class should make sure to bring some water, a towel or a mat to lie on and a towel for sweat, because they will definitely will sweat!

The kickboxing club meets every Monday from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. in the Gough Great Room.

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