Feb 3, 2009

Kickboxing spices up aerobics

by Mandi Forth

New classes will give students the chance to punch, kick and grapple their way to a healthier lifestyle as Liberty’s LaHaye Student Center is now offering a new kickboxing and aerobics class.

The program started last semester and has already acquired a following of 150 students each week. The classes are offered almost every night of the week, starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Classes are held in the new multipurpose room that just opened up in the LaHaye Student Center.

The new multipurpose room is 1,000 square feet with higher ceilings that prevent the room from becoming too hot during the exercise sessions. The room opened up after the ice cream store that used to be located in that space shut down. The new room is located next to the post office at North Campus.

“The Fitness Department aims to offer everyone who walks through the doors an elite fitness experience, and the new multipurpose room has helped out with that,” Manager of Fitness at the LaHaye Student Center Emilee Elisabeth said.

The new room has also enabled the Student Center to offer more aerobic classes since it can hold more classes during the same time slot with the new expansion.

The instructor of the kickboxing class, Paja Burgess, 21, is a senior at Liberty and majoring in interior design. Burgess has been involved in kickboxing since she was in high school. She decided to take it a step further when an instructor told her it would be a great way to make some extra cash while in college. Burgess has been teaching kickboxing for a year.

Burgess’ main goal for the class is to keep a spiritual emphasis even during a physical workout. Burgess seeks to both encourage and challenge her students both physically and spiritually. She offers a short devotion and prayer at the end of the class.

“Ministering to my clients really blesses me,” Burgess said.

The class offers students a way to have a shorter but more intense workout, which enables them to burn more calories in a shorter period of time. The class is high paced and is set to music with a fast beat. The class also incorporates free weights that Burgess uses from time to time as part of a more grueling exercise.

The class focuses mainly on weight loss, strengthening the heart, toning body muscle, increasing self-confidence, endurance, metabolism as well as integrating some self-defense knowledge into the routines. Some extra benefits that college students can get from taking a class like this are improved sleep, improved flexibility, and more energy, Associate Director of Fitness Benjamin Cook said.

“Studies have also shown that regular physical activity can help reduce the rate or chance of future developing diseases,” Cook said.

Contact Mandi Forth at

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