Group exercise instructor prioritizes fitness

Amy Reinhardt

If someone were to ask Kolin Klozenbucher what his top three priorities are his answer would rank health and fitness third while reserving first and second for family, friends and school.

Klozenbucher, senior biology major, has been thoroughly active discovering his athleticism the summer following his freshman year of college. During these few months he worked diligently to prep his best friend Nate for the army. The majority of the routine was spent occupying the gym for three hours every day doing a mix of cardio and weight training.

“I built him up from barely being able to finish a mile to being able to run ten consecutive miles at once,” Klozenbucher said.

This was the game-changing experience that led Klozenbucher to utilizing the gym to a much more serious degree. Up to that point, physical activity had still played a part.

Klozenbucher grew up in La Crosse, a small town in western Kansas, where he dabbled in a variety of sports ranging from golf to football. He said his favorite has always been baseball because he was able to utilize his love for running in his outfield positions.

After his degree of seriousness toward the gym was established, he decided to apply for a position at the SRWC in summer 2015.

Klozenbucher said working at the rec provided him the chance to meet new people while his flexible hours allowed him to balance his course load.

“I have basically come to know all the regulars’ schedules,” Klozenbucher said. “I know if someone will be needing a lock or what may be going on in their lives.”

Being what he considers the ‘funny guy’ at work, Klozenbucher has managed to form strong friendships with his co-workers, management and the regular visitors.

“I would encourage all students, if they’re looking for another job, to apply at the SRWC,” Klozenbucher said. “You gain a lot more than just a paycheck. You gain social skills.”

After a few months of maintaining consistent day shifts, Klozenbucher became one of the group exercise instructors in fall 2015, which was his overall goal when he applied to work at the SRWC.

“I would always get asked questions about general fitness from friends needing advice on weight training, so I thought why not do it at the job level,” Klozenbucher said.

Due to his extensive background in fitness he didn’t receive much training. He was already familiar with basic concepts like heart rate, stretching techniques and proper form.

Klozenbucher currently teaches the high intensity interval training class at noon on Fridays. The HIIT class typically consists of five to seven people, but Klozenbucher says it can get up to 10-12. The purpose of the class is using the most energy possible in the shortest amount of time.

“The basic premise of the class is to kick your butt for 40 minutes,” Klozenbucher said. “My goal as the instructor is to leave everyone’s legs burning after every set.”  

Klozenbucher strategically creates each of his classes’ workouts using his own knowledge along with credible sources from his research process. This semester, he has one workout that he modifies and adds his own twist to when needed.

“The thing about group exercise is it’s a fun experience because you’re able to push people past their limits, which is how you make personal gains,” Klozenbucher said.

Klozenbucher said being a group exercise instructor has given him the opportunity to broaden his personal fitness routine. His week long regime includes six days of weight training with cardio every other day. He focuses on his entire body, and sections different muscles into different days: chest and triceps, back and biceps, and shoulders and leg day.

“You never get used to leg day. You ask any lifter out there, but it’s a good pain that you expect,” Klozenbucher said. “It’s also really important to never hit two upper body days in a row. Make sure to dice it up.”

In relation to his love of running and the need to fulfill a class, Klozenbucher enrolled in the marathon training class in the spring 2016 semester. He was training in hopes of running his first marathon in May, however due to an Achilles tendon injury, he was downgraded to a half marathon.

“The great thing about running is it’s a lifelong sport. It’s just about moving your body weight forward,” Klozenbucher said. “However, it can be the cause a lot of lower leg injuries.”

Klozenbucher is averaging approximately 10 hours in the gym per week, and said those hours have positively influenced his mental happiness and physical wellbeing.

“I found that my school work suffers when I don’t work out, so I tell everyone to never stop being active once you’ve start because then everything else will suffer in response,” Klozenbucher said.

In addition to mental effects, his commitment to health and wellness has made a physical transformation on his own body.

“I used to be a really small guy who weighed in at 135 pounds and now I’m 185,” Klozenbucher said. “I had a huge change in body type that led to an increase in self-confidence.”

Klozenbucher recommends to those who are not active or are wanting to get back to the gym to do their research and pinpoint the driving force that is pushing them to do this. People also need to be conscious of tweaking workout routines when needed, and listen to their bodies.  

“Once you catch the bug of fitness it becomes a major part of your life, and once you make the decision you never go back,” Klozenbucher said.