Getting fit in the REC with GroupX classes

Zumba instructor Amber Collins, a junior business management major, leads a group of students in the Pennington Student Activity Center. Zumba is one of the Group Exercise classes offered by the Recreational Sports and Wellness program. Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

The Recreational Sports &Wellness offers a variety of exercises with their GroupX fitness classes.

Assistant Director of Health & Wellness Megan Mast explains what materials should be brought to classes.

“Every class is a little bit different, and we provide all the equipment that you would need,” said Mast. “For cycling, please bring your own towel and water and, if you want to, your own mat for yoga, but we will have a couple additional mats here.”




Mast is working to improve the program by supplying more equipment and changing the schedule of classes.

“We’re getting ready to get some more mats and more dumbbells so people can vary it, can go up on the weights in our body blast class,” said Mast. “Those will be expected soon. Majority of our instructors are Southeastern students, so if you have one in your class, reach out to them, come to the class. A lot of them carry the schedules on them.”

Amber Collins, a junior majoring in business management instructs Zumba. She shares how she began instructing. 

“I attended Zumba classes in Baton Rouge, and my love for Zumba grew so much that I decided to get certified,” said Collins. “My instructor took me under wing, and it just took off from there. I chose to instruct Zumba because it brings light and joy to people while still allowing them to get a full cardio work out. Zumba is so much more than just a dance class, and we incorporate so many different types of music.”

Collins believes Zumba provides a diverse workout.

“I hope my students receive an uplifting experience above all,” said Collins. “With a moment to relieve stress from school, work or any other personal issues and just truly enjoy their work out. Zumba is important because it adds versatility to your workout, no need to limit yourself to just elliptical machines. All of the GroupX classes help offer some type of outlet for students, which is needed.”

Mast says they are always looking for potential instructors to present demonstrations to her.

“I do all the planning for it,” said Mast. “I hire all of the instructors. I see where we need to add classes, take off classes, bring on new classes. We’re always looking for new instructors, so if someone were to be interested in instructing, we prefer for it to be nationally certified instructors, but we’re always looking to improve. We always do evaluations right before midterms, and we see what classes are the popular times, where we need to add classes, take away classes, bring on more classes. It depends on what the classes are that are popular.”

Among the GroupX classes, Mast says yoga, cycling and Zumba are some of their more popular classes.

Mast said, “The majority of the classes are students in the afternoon classes. However, we do have membership open to alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and community members. That’s why we put classes early in the morning for working people that maybe can’t get off at 5:30. Majority of them are Southeastern students because if you’re enrolled, it’s included in your student fee. So, why not use it? That’s what we’re here for.”

Mast hopes to get more students involved in these classes to improve overall wellness as well as to help students to meet new friends. She hopes to eventually move to the workout rooms downstairs.

“It’s one of the perks to get people in here, to get people moving,” said Mast. “Because not everyone wants to work out downstairs, we do offer personal training if you are skittish and don’t know what to do or how to work out. It’s, basically, to get you here and get you healthy. Working out is minimum four times a week that you want to do for an hour. That’s for anyone if you want to gain weight, lose weight or maintain your weight. We offer a variety of exercises.”

For more information about classes offered and times, visit