Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meet the trainer

Group fitness instructor Kimberly Graves inspires students

With the new year officially underway, students are working diligently to maintain resolutions of making good grades, getting organized or, in this case, getting healthy.

Leading change — Graves teaches a variety of exercise classes, training fellow students at the LaHaye Student Union, reminding them that training can be fun. Photo credit: Victoria Pearce

LaHaye group fitness instructor Kimberly Graves teaches a variety of different exercise classes available to students. Graves reminds students that making a New Year’s resolution to get healthy is only the first step.

“You have to keep going. Don’t give up. Exercise is more than reaching a goal and stopping,” Graves said.

After starting to play field hockey in the eighth grade for her middle school in Delaware, Graves began to develop an active lifestyle that she would continue to be passionate about even into her adult life. Graves considers her own health journey as she reflects that being healthier became easier after taking advantage of all the different kinds of fitness activities that are available.

“I realized that exercise was more than running on a treadmill. It could actually be fun,” Graves said.

Graves, who maintains a regular fitness regimen and healthy eating outside of her workout classes, explains that to achieve a successful lifestyle it is essential to keep going and to maintain healthy habits. This requires not only dedication, but immense motivation.

“Exercising is my channel. I have seen benefits, and I know I’m doing something good for myself,” Graves said.

Some of Graves’ favorite forms of exercise are the things that seem to challenge her the most. While she tends to see the quickest results in fast-paced cardio vascular activity that raises her heart rate, Graves also enjoys endurance building workouts such as weight training and yoga.

“I love being able to feel the change I’ve achieved,” Graves said.

Graves also stresses the importance of continuing to set goals throughout the fitness journey. Some of her own personal goals for 2012 include achieving flexibility through mastering new yoga poses and implementing more weight training into her daily workouts.

“Kimberly stands out as a person,” Fitness and Aerobics Coordinator of LaHaye Gina Pray said.

Pray recalls that the first time she met Graves, she was immediately struck by her willingness to learn more about her trade to be the best teacher that she could be. Pray also notes what a sweet, upbeat and personable employee Graves continues to be as an instructor and as a person.

Jackie Halyard, a sophomore at Liberty, enjoys taking Graves’ cycling classes. Halyard considers Graves’ classes to be just as intense and effective as the classes offered at her local YMCA and feels that it is Graves’ encouraging spirit that continues to draw people to her class.

“She prays for us at the end and makes us feel so good about ourselves,” Halyard said.

While Graves advocates daily exercise and healthy eating, she wholeheartedly encourages students to embrace their own unique shape and physique.

“Don’t be discouraged with the body God gave you,” Graves said.

Graves teaches group fitness classes in the LaHaye center aerobics room located to the right of the front desk. Students can attend Body Revival on Monday and Friday at 4:15 p.m. to receive a muscle building and weight training workout. For those interested in a faster paced cardio workout, Graves also teaches cycling on Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:45 p.m.

LaHaye group fitness classes

Body and Soul

This class includes cardio, kickboxing, strength training, core work, Pilates and stretching — all to Christ-centered music. 30 minutes

Body Revival

A blend of yoga and Pilates, this class is designed to create a stronger, more streamlined body by creating subtle movements, precise positioning and muscle control to improve balance, flexibility and strength throughout the body. 30 to 45 minutes

Cycling

A simulated class of hills, climbs, sprints, attacks and false flats. 1 hour

Cycle Express

This cycling class has dual purpose: the beginner can learn about cycling and get accustomed to the bike, and the experienced cyclist can focus on a high intensity cardio workout in a shorter amount of time. 30 minutes

Fight Club

A non-contact fitness class that fuses martial arts and boxing into a high-intensive, calorie-burning, body conditioning workout. 1 hour

Fit-X

A class that consists of non-stop cardio. 30 minutes

GrX Fusion

A fusion of fast paced cardio drills and strength training movements. This class concentrates on circuit training. 1 hour

HardCore

A class designed to strengthen the abs, back and glutes to improve torso appearance and function. 30 minutes

Max Power

High intensity interval training for total body results. Includes upper and lower body plyometrics, agility, strength and speed drills, as well as strength and conditioning circuits.
1 hour

Power Pump

Designed to improve strength and endurance by challenging all your muscle groups, this non-cardio, calorie-burning class incorporates the barbell to perform the best weight-room exercises. 1 hour

ReNew

A Christian alternative to yoga. Hold challenging poses that strengthen your body while increasing flexibility and balance. 1 hour

Spin 360

A cycling class with challenging strength training – it’s a full body workout in an hour. Begin with a fast-paced strength and endurance ride for 35 minutes and finish with 25 minutes of strength and stretching. 1 hour

ZUMBA

A fusion of Latin and International dance with music and dance themes. This class utilizes the principles of interval and resistance training for total body toning and sculpting. No dance experience required.1 hour

More information about the LaHaye Student Union’s fitness classes are available at liberty.edu/campusrec/studentcenters.

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