Student shows it pays to work out

Campus fitness instructor shares experience of helping students get healthy

By olivia Valkner, Staff Writer

As you finish your trek up to the Health United Building (HUB) and climb the stairs to the recreation center, you are greeted by the friendly faces of student workers, who help to keep the gym running like a well-oiled machine. Valerie Workman, a junior marketing major, offered some insight on being a student employee at the HUB.

Workman began working in the HUB about a year ago as a group fitness instructor for TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) classes, a type of suspension training designed to increase core stability and total body strength.

“Since the HUB opened in the spring semester of 2020, I have enjoyed attending group fitness classes… I attended a lot of the classes offered like cycling, women’s weightlifting and TRX. I loved TRX and the Group Fitness program so much that when the position became available, I couldn’t help but apply,” Workman explained.

She currently teaches TRX on Mondays and Tuesdays, Booty Bootcamp on Fridays and Total Body Bootcamp on Saturdays.

“I plan for the class(es) in advance and tailor the workout to each person’s skill level. In the class itself, I do the workout with my students but am able to offer demonstrations of proper form and technique, answer their fitness questions and be a support system when they need it. I truly love my job as a group fitness instructor. This job is so cool because I get paid to have fun!” Workman said.

“I love teaching group fitness classes because I am able to see the progressive growth of my returning students,” she added.

Since the start of her involvement at the HUB, Workman has also worked as one of the HUB’s personal trainers. 

“I enjoy the one-on-one setting of working with a client so we can collaborate on meaningful, positive goals. I love how enthusiastic my clients are to focus on their health,” Workman said.

 “A few days ago, I actually was offered the position as Personal Trainer Lead. Each week I meet with other staff leads and administration of Rec Sports to discuss event planning, scheduling and overall commentary we receive from members of the HUB,” she said.

Workman reflected on how the HUB is a step up from the O’Connor Sports Center and how Xavier’s recreational sports has grown since it was re-homed in Spring 2020.

“We are offering new classes like Booty Bootcamp, STAGES Cycling and Total Body Beat. Since the transition into the HUB, there are so many more clubs, events and opportunities that were impossible to hold (before).”

Additionally, Workman shared some other opportunities that Rec Sports presents for students. 

“Rec Sports now holds monthly challenges for students to participate in for awesome prizes like massage guns, gift cards to outfitters like Lululemon and other gym equipment. It is awesome to see how many people love the community we have built in the past couple years and I look forward to seeing what the administration will do next.”

Workman is also grateful for the opportunity that being a student worker has given her.

“My favorite part about working at the HUB is getting to meet so many incredible people. I have made some of my best friends through my time working at the front desk, teaching group fitness classes and personal training. I am blessed to have awesome coworkers,” she said.

Student workers are employed through the Student Office of Employment and managed by the pro staff (university faculty) and student leaders. 

For those interested in learning more about the HUB, or attending a group fitness class or looking for more information regarding Xavier Recreational Sports or the Recreation Center, students are encouraged to visit the Recreational Sports  website.