Instructor Ashley Patchen, front, leads her class in a dance routine during a Zumba workout on Thursday at the CU Recreation Center. Jeremy Papasso/ Colorado Daily

T he University of Colorado Recreation Center’s fitness and wellness program is buffing up their group classes and personal training options in the spring to keep up with student demand.

The department is not waiting for the facility’s expansion project to be completed before increasing the number of popular sessions like Zumba and Barre classes, and adding more personal trainers.

Nicole LaRocque, assistant director of the fitness and wellness program, said they’re starting to hire more instructors and varying the days and times of classes to accommodate students and prepare for more studio space as part of the facility remodel.

Included in the Rec Center’s $63.5 million “Buff Up the Rec” construction plans are three new studios. (Right now, there are two studios for group classes and two shared spaces, LaRocque said. The renovation will also include a new mind/body studio that will create a soothing environment for hot yoga, Pilates and other similar classes. The rec center staff expects the new spaces to be finished in January of 2014.

“We’re not waiting for the new studios to start some new and exciting things,” LaRocque said.

About 700 to 900 students buy the $85 fitness pass each semester, LaRocque said, which gains students unlimited access to group classes at the Rec Center.

The program improvements also include hiring new personal trainers and expanding group training sessions, which are smaller and more personalized than group fitness classes but cheaper than individual sessions.

Another 300 to 400 students per semester purchase personal training and private instruction sessions, LaRocque said.

CU junior Jessie Green said it would be nice to have some extra space in the group cardio kickboxing and body sculpting classes she attends at the Rec Center.

“There’s always limited space but it’s not too bad,” Green said. “It would still be nice to have a bigger area to work out in.”

Green said she buys the fitness pass and relies on group classes a lot during the semester to help keep her motivated and on track.

“I like having someone to tell me what to do,” Green said. “I like the group setting and having someone who really knows what they’re doing.”

CU freshman Natalie Woolley said she visits the Rec Center about five days per week and attends spinning and kickboxing classes regularly.

While her classes haven’t been very crowded, Woolley said it would be nice to have more options for weekend classes, which are currently limited.

“There’s only like two or three classes available on the weekends right now,” Woolley said. “I’d like to see some more options then.”

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