Be Fit Pitt program offering shorter classes, longer hours

Renee Rogers at Trees Hall Health Fitness CenterIt’s easy to make excuses to not exercise.

“The gym isn’t open when I have time to go.”

“My supervisor is pretty flexible, but walking to Trees Hall, taking an hour-long class, cleaning up and walking back can take almost two hours.”

“The workouts just aren’t right for me.”

The staff behind Be Fit Pitt, part of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute that was established last year, have heard all those complaints and have adapted their programs accordingly.


  • Trees Hall Health Fitness Center membership: $55 for the semester. A membership is not required to participate in the classes. A class can be added to your membership for $20.
  • Express Cycle, or Rev Up or Restore: $40
  • Achieve It After Work or any of the hour-long classes: $55
  • Details:

Starting this week, Be Fit Pitt began offering three different half-hour-long classes at the Trees Hall Health Fitness Center and expanded hours at the center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Previously the center — which is for faculty, staff and community members, but not students — was only open in the early morning, at lunchtime and after work.

Renee Rogers, program director for the fitness centers at Trees Hall and the University Club, says the Institute is trying to “change how people view exercise. There’s a physical activity for you and we can find it.”

Rogers, who received her Ph.D. in 2012 from Pitt in exercise physiology with a focus on health promotion, has used some of her own research to help tailor the programs at the fitness centers.

The Institute, Rogers says, wants to “translate all this wonderful research we’re doing into practice.”

She has found that an hour-long workout doesn’t work for everyone. Time is often the biggest barrier to getting people to exercise, so they’ve developed half-hour programs that “still give a great workout,” Rogers says.

The new half-hour classes started Sept. 4, but participants can sign up anytime. They are:

  • Rev Up or Restore: 6:45 or 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Participants can pick “what’s right for them that day,” Rogers says, either an energizing workout or a more restorative class. The fitness center has two separate spaces, so you won’t be trying to restore next to someone who’s trying to rev up.
  • Express Cycling: 6:45 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Rogers says she received several requests for a shorter cycling class, in addition to the hour-long version that is still offered at noon and 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and at 6:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Achieve It After Work:  4:45 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Another request the fitness center staff heard was for a program where they could establish a pattern. Offering a shorter version of the Total Body Training program four days in a row allows patrons to “close out the day and finish strong,” Rogers says. “Before they leave for home, they do something for themselves.”

In addition to the 30-minute classes, Be Fit Pitt will continue to offer Indoor Cyling, Kettle + Conditioning, Total Body Training, Yoga and Yoga + Pilates at the Trees Hall facility. There also are hour-long classes available at the Bellefield Hall Dance Studio, including Pilates + Sculpt, Total Body Training, Yoga, Yoga + Pilates and Zumba.

Also returning this year are the Friday fitness classes from noon to 12:45 p.m. at the Trees Hall Fitness Center. Each session includes an option of Total Body Training and one other class. The classes start Sept. 7 and are $5 per class at the door or you can pay $58 for the semester (every Friday except Nov. 23).

The classes are taught by grad students in Health and Physical Activity in the School of Education, along with 15 part-time instructors. The fitness center serves as an educational space for the grad students, who provide personalized fitness plans, at no extra cost, for members.

Rogers hopes to encourage her students to replicate this fitness center model, which utilizes hands-on help, when they leave the University.




Susan Jones,, 412-648-4294