RRC Offers Students a Variety of Free Fitness Classes, Both New and Old

By Nik Kowalski

Holt’s workouts revolves around this hand-crafted cedar wooden block, which contains rounded edges that loosen the body’s tissues for a calming experience. SUPPLIED JMH WELLNESS.

With a new semester underway, Red River College (RRC) is offering students various fitness programs to maintain a healthy and stress-free lifestyle while pursuing their education.

The college’s programs, both old and new, are free of cost for all current RRC students.

Among those is Block Therapy, a calming self-care workout that’s done with a hand-crafted cedar wood block.

Personal trainer Joanne Holt is back to run the four-week Block Therapy course at the Notre Dame Campus (NDC).

“A lot of people know what yoga is, but this is much more,” said Holt, 51. “It’s a meditation, an exercise and a form a self-therapy all in one class.”

The whole class takes place lying down, so if you’re able to get down to your floor mat, you’re able to participate. Holt also hauls the blocks in a suitcase to each of her classes, making the program completely free for students.

Holt said the round-edged, six-inch block is what separates the exercise from others.

“Athletes can also benefit through recovery after exercise,” said Holt. “I’m also a bodybuilder and a personal trainer, and I know I couldn’t do all of it without participating in Block Therapy.”

After suffering chronic headaches, Holt stumbled upon Block Therapy on Facebook. It took some time, but Holt attributes the program to eliminating her head pains.

“At RRC I’ve seen a lot of my turnout having lower-back pains. I work with those people by putting the block at the front or side of their body, which heats up the body’s tissue and can eventually realign the body’s ribcage,” said Holt.

Holt’s class starts October 1, taking place on Tuesdays at 4:15 p.m. in the Selkirk Lounge at the NDC. 

Mario de Negri starts his Personal Fitness Assesments program on January 15, 2019. BRIANNE FIEBELKORN

One of the new programs at the college is the Personal Fitness Assessments program at the NDC, beginning in 2020.

RRC Fitness Coordinator, Mario de Negri is in charge of grading each participant’s performance.

“They do five basic workout stations and I evaluate their movements,” said de Negri, 40. “From there I give them back a graded card, outlining where improvements can be made.”

The first assessment is January 15 in the North Gym at the NDC.

“It’s all about teaching people how they can get better during specific exercises,” said de Negri.

When it comes to understanding fitness equipment, the college will be offering Woman and Weights, a new tutorial program.

Personal trainer Erica Wilken is teaching the four-week course designed to teach women how to apply weights to their workouts.

During the sessions, Wilken will also answer any training-related questions. 

Wilken’s class is full, but there are still spots open for Block Therapy and other new and returning fitness classes at RRC.

Students can register for any of the classes by going to RRC’s Fitness Classes page here.