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University College

High-Intensity Conditioning Class Teaches Students Invaluable Skills

Taught by Lecturer Renee Harrington, HESF 113, or High-Intensity Conditioning, teaches students how to lead healthier lives through proper exercise and wellness techniques.

Renee Harrington and her students do pushups during class
Renee Harrington and her students do pushups during class

By Natalie Gore, DASA Marketing Intern

Lifetime physical fitness principles are invaluable skills to have. Knowing how to stay in shape as well as how to take care of your body promotes a healthy and happy lifestyle. A new course in the Department of Health and Exercise Studies (HES) is emphasizing these practices and pushing students out of their workout comfort zones. 

HESF 113, or High-Intensity Conditioning, is a class taught by Lecturer Renee Harrington and is meant to promote and reinforce these extremely important foundations. The course centers on addressing the five components of fitness: cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. Additionally, Harrington says, “we also cover a variety of other important health and wellness topics such as nutrition, stress management, cardiovascular health and injury prevention.” 

One of the most important lessons taught to students is the “how” and “why” of proper form and technique in exercise. Jack Pendergrass (communication ‘22), a student currently enrolled in the class, said that he signed up “to push [him]self out of the comfort zone” and because it was not something he would typically do. The course allows students to push themselves athletically, but also requires them to dedicate time and energy into improving their technical workout skills. 

While the class does fulfill a general education requirement, it also prepares students to lead a healthy, thriving lifestyle in the future. Students often find the most interest in learning about nutrition concepts and skills for how to personally apply them to their lives. These lessons are especially important for college students who may be living on their own for the first time and figuring out how to properly take care of themselves.

Pendergrass remarked about using the skills in his own life by saying that “learning how to work out with simple, at-home exercise equipment and seeing how heart rate factors into exercise has helped me expand the possibilities for my future fitness and wellness for in and out of the gym.”

Students do pushups on a wood floor

Harrington also finds enjoyment in teaching students these vital concepts. She particularly enjoys their enthusiasm for the class and says “I love interacting with the students and seeing their excitement. It is very rewarding not only to provide them with the knowledge for lifelong wellness, but also the opportunity to implement practically the lessons learned in class.”

Though physically and mentally challenging, HESF 113 produces students better prepared for taking care of their own wellness. Students are ready to practice their skills and make healthy decisions every day, and High-Intensity Conditioning is there for them to thank.