Live classes at Richter no longer require instructors

Richter Center
Richter Center

[Image courtesy of]

By Emily Rosman

At the Richter Center, live classes have traditionally been held for workouts such as ab lab, yoga, or Pilates. If you have recently been to the gym, however, you may have noticed that some of these instructor-based classes have not been on the schedule.

The reason for this change has been unveiled this week, just in time for the center’s 10-year anniversary. A new fitness system was introduced, and will be another option for activity in the Richter Center in the future.

Rob DeFazio, director of Campus Activities, Recreation and Leadership (CARL), was scrolling through emails from vendors one day when he learned about this new system. Interested, he looked into the program and decided that it would be a great new option at the gym for St. Bonaventure University students.

Instead of instructors, a touch screen kiosk with a projector screen drops down when a work out class is chosen.

“The system is very user friendly” DeFazio said, “and no attendant will be necessary to assist with instruction because of its easy-to-use features.”

Since this is a new program, CARL is taking a learned approach to developing a schedule for certain fitness activities. For example, certain classes such as yoga usually require a quiet, meditative environment. In cases such as these, DeFazio is in the works of putting together a schedule for when these classes will occur.

Additionally, he would like to put together an online calendar so that way a group of students can schedule certain time slots to use the program and workout together, lessening the time of the wait for its availability. There is also a dividing wall already in the work out center that could be closed to separate those doing fitness activities on their own from those who are using the new program together.

DeFazio said he has “already heard positive feedback.”

Although some students may still want classes led by an instructor, he believes the benefits of the new system will be appreciated. The largest benefit of the program is the option to customize workouts. It is programmed with everything from cardio, dance, strength, flexibility, and core.

The classes also have an easy, standard, and difficult level, which can be chosen based on ability. Additionally, there are classes that are different lengths of time, which means a workout can be anywhere from 8 to 60 minutes.

He also believes that the cost of the program will be beneficial in the long run because it will cut the cost of paying as many instructors and hosting classes that may or may not be full with attendants. However, the most popular classes, Pilates and ab lab, will still be scheduled at the same time and continue to be taught by an instructor.

Since the program is a work in progress, feedback and suggestions for how to operate the schedule are welcome.

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