Biking Basics class popular in IC


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The Field House cycling studio plays host to a Biking Basics class.

The class is held in a room crammed with stationary bikes. The session meets for 45 minutes a day, four days a week, and because the classes typically meet during the lunch hour, riders have the chance to squeeze a full-body workout in during an otherwise busy day.

Brooke Blazevich told her exhausted pupils that the cycling should be "slow and painful" during a break for a cool-down. Blazevich is a fitness graduate assistant for the University of Iowa Recreation Services and one of the instructors in the cycling class.

She earned an undergraduate degree in nutrition at Western Illinois, then moved on to Iowa to study health promotion. She plans on using her education to pursue a career in fitness training, but for this class, she has a simple goal.

"I just want it to be a different type of exercise for the participants," she said. "A lot of your fitness classes challenge people in different ways than if they were to work out on their own. You burn more, you build more muscle, it's more exciting. There are a lot of benefits to the indoor cycling class."

The benefits can be experienced by all ages. The class is free for anyone who is a member of the gym, and with the demand for the class to be held all year, it's clear that the public is taking advantage of the opportunity.

One of these participants is Jerry Arganbright, who uses the spinning class during his lunch as a way to make time during his workday for a workout.

"It's a good exercise and a good stress release," he said. "I like biking because I think it gives you a great workout, and the instructors do a great job down here."

Blazevich sat in the front of the room during the class, setting an example for her fellow riders. The mural behind her on the wall was seemingly out of place — a landscape painted to attempt to divert the cyclists' minds to a winding mountain path — but in reality, the course itself turned into a mountain.

Riders worked their way up an imaginary hill, with the brake pads' grip on the tires growing tighter to increase resistance. Listening to Blazevich's guidance during these various stages proved to be the key to ensuring oneself a worthwhile experience.

"I try to be a little strict with them, because I care, and I want them to get a good workout," Blazevich said.

With the way the dials are set up, the more carefully the students follow Blazevich's instructions, the more of an overall workout achieved.

"The good cyclists are always touching the dial because they want to make it harder and easier. The new people usually don't touch the dial at all, and it practically does nothing for them," the instructor said.

Elizabeth Snyder is a fan of being able to adjust her own workout based on her abilities.

"As my fitness level improves, the class is able to meet my expectations for being able to do more and more but still stay in the same class," Snyder said. "And because it's a basic class, it allows you to try out all the different things on a bike you can do, and if something interests you, there's always a class specific for the aspect you're interested in."

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