It can be a little scary to walk into a group exercise class for the first time. People don't know what to expect or if they are going to enjoy it.

To help ease those concerns, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff hosted their annual Fitness Round Robin on Jan. 5. The event let people try out condensed versions of some of the group classes offered at Whitside Fitness Center.

Participants could choose up to three classes, Mixxed Fit, Muscle Max, Body by Rissa, Cycling, Pound or Zumba. Instructors volunteered their time to give 30-minute samples of what someone attending their class could expect.

Serena Podish, wife of Staff Sgt. Chad Podish, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and who works at the Office of Staff Judge Advocate, tried the Pound class with Marci Whiteside for the first time. She had attended Whiteside's Muscle Max class before and liked the way she teaches.

"Marci is completely fit and is an awesome instructor," Podish said. "Pound was a good workout -- challenging -- but a good workout."

Immediately following the Pound class, Podish headed upstairs to give the cycling class a try while the gym converted to a Zumba class.

Fitness Specialist Bailey Rodarte popped her head into the classes and said she was pleased with what she saw.

"The Round Robin's purpose is to get the people of Fort Riley to understand what classes we offer and to have them be comfortable at the gym and not be intimidated," she said. "Exercise is something they can have fun with and still get fit."

She said she was glad to see some new faces in the gym.

One of those new faces belonged to Renee Erickson, an archeologist at Department of Public Works.
A relative newcomer to the installation, Erickson said she attended the Round Robin so she could see several of the offerings on Fort Riley all in one spot at one time. She's also contemplating getting back into an exercise routine.

"I have done different workouts all my life, but I am consistently inconsistent," she said. "I would like to get back into shape."

She was pleased the classes she took were set up in a way that allows her to modify as needed. In Pound, she didn't go into deep squats and in Muscle Max she knew she would be better off using just the bar, rather than adding weight to it.

"I know my limitations, so I am careful about what I do," she said. "I know when to slow down and take breaks. And I don't feel like I have to do every single thing to keep up with the class. This is for me, so I will do what is best for my body."

After a morning of working out and enjoying it, she said it would be difficult to choose which classes she would sign up for.

"Everyone is really nice," she said. "I don't know how to decide. I am hoping I can get some kind of variety pack."

She will be in luck when she goes to decide because the fitness center does offer a monthly pass to allow her to go to any classes she wants.