Straining muscles, struggling bodies and the sound of steel bars colliding with more steel – it may sound like the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron,” but it’s actually the FITNS 381 Weight Training class, where ARC students get an opportunity during the day to lift weights and get fit. Taking place at PE room 206, the one unit course offers students of all fitness and skills levels a gym environment filled with barbells, dumbbells and other equipment perfect for any kind of exercise. It can seem overwhelming to some students who have never had any experience with weightlifting, but kinesiology professor and former Beavers football coach Don Dillon tries to help these students feel comfortable with a brain-over-brawn style of teaching, which emphasizes the physiological part of exercise.
“What we try to do is give the students a foundation that they can draw upon to maintain fitness throughout their whole life,” said Dillon. “The physiological aspects are important to understand because if you don’t have proper rest, you don’t eat well and you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t ask your body to perform at an optimum level.”
While the running and cardio portion of the class can be a hassle to some, Dillon’s students appreciate getting a good workout with likeminded classmates. With no required textbook, the only things a student needs are arms, legs and the will to work hard.
“One of the things I really get a kick out of is watching the mental change, because I get so many students that have an ‘I can’t’ mindset… It’s so much fun for me to see them break down those mental barriers and realize, ‘I can do that. I can be successful and yes, I can reach goals that previously I thought weren’t there for me.’” – Don Dillon, kinesiology professor.
“A lot of people who come into the class get intimidated by the weights and stuff, but if you come in here and you have a goal or objective, you can utilize the weights the best you can.” – Keith Grimm, business major.