Penn State Fitness is a program housed within the Department of Campus Recreation whose primary focus is to provide recreational group fitness opportunities to a diverse university community of students, faculty, staff, retirees and spouses at the University Park campus.
By offering daily programs with a broad range of coordinated activites which promote health awareness, a sense of community, and a lifelong appreciation for wellness and recreation Penn State Fitness strives to impact the lives of all Penn Staters!
In addition to our focus on program offerings, PSU Fitness recognizes and supports a healthy student learning environment through advanced student instructor training programs, mentorship opportunities, and internships. These engagement opportunities enable students to further develop leadership skills and take on additional responsibilities while learning the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between personal, professional, and academic pursuits.
The mission of Penn State Fitness is to support the Penn State community through dynamic group fitness programming which promotes both mental and physical health via accessible facilities, quality equipment, well-trained employees, and contemporary programs.
PSU Fitness is committed to excellence by serving the entirety of our community through our common values of Professionalism, Quality, Teamwork, and Stewardship.
Our vision is to foster a love of fitness and wellness in our students now and throughout their lives by using the group exercise experience. We pledge to make a positive impact on the delivery of recreational group fitness programs worldwide.
This is possible through the execution of our recognized instructor training program. When a fitness instructor leaves PSU Fitness our goal is for them to continue to promote our positive fitness mission by teaching quality group exercise to others thereby creating a ripple effect, initially created and shaped during their time at Penn State.
Penn State Fitness program was founded in the early 80's when leg warmers and spandex leotards were in fashion. At the time there were approximately 20 weekly classes offered out of two borrowed gymnasiums on campus. Now, nearly 30 years later the program has grown to three large facilities, 95 student employees, and 210 weekly classes. Each week PSU Fitness instructors see nearly 4500 patrons in their classes. This adds up to more than 100,000 visits a year in classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing, Calorie Killer, Indoor Cycling, Dance Fitness, and Washboard Abs.
PSU Fitness believes in supporting the mission of the university not only through servicing our patrons, but also through the educational development of our instructors. Instructors of PSU Fitness classes are predominately students from a variety of majors. PSU Fitness operates much like a teaching hospital, all instructors complete a rigorous training program in our facilities prior to becoming recognized as an instructor.
Instructors first complete a 16-week course to learn how to become a fitness instructor. The course teaches them Kinesiology, Anatomy, leadership, motivation, combination building, musicality, emergency safety, and more. Following the 16-week in-class program (not to mention 75+ hours of practice) and a successful audition, the students can move on to a second course. This second course is the practical application of the first course. Under the guidance of a mentor, these student instructors spend another 16 weeks learning and practicing in order to finally become an official Penn State Fitness Instructor. Through this long, 32 week process the student instructors get to meet and motivate an amazing variety of PSU Fitness patrons. Patrons who are faculty, staff, students, spouses, and retirees take advantage of the classes. These valuable patrons provide our instructors-in-training the "lab" experience they need to grow and develop into professional instructors. Feedback from patrons helps the Junior instructors to shape their style and deliver their best class. For these reasons the university recreation environment is an ideal setting for this type of instructor training.
When you take a class, keep in mind your instructor maybe a future petroleum engineer, a photographer, or a nurse in training. The experience that the student receives by taking Kines 93/96 Instructor Training Program is nearly unmatched in the commercial world. These instructors leave Penn State after graduation and go on to do amazing things in the world. Most of them continue to teach long after they leave Penn State. Penn State-trained Fitness Instructors are some of the most sought after instructors in the United States. They are a highly trained group of approximately 300 young men and women who have decided they would like to share their love of health and fitness with others. It would be impossible to count the number of lives they have touched while at Penn State and beyond.
Once a Penn State Fitness Instructor......Always a Penn State Fitness Instructor.