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New ‘Fit Squad’ Launches Free Exercise Sessions

Trainer Eric Bono, center, leads a group of employees in strength and stretch exercises outside of Bren Hall as part of a new UCSB health program called the Fit Squad.

People are turning out for the new Fit Squad exercise sessions in satisfying numbers, according to one of the certified trainers who leads the employee groups through their paces.
Eric Bono, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer who recently graduated from UCSB with a minor in fitness instruction, says that the numbers vary by location. He estimates that between 20 and 30 men and women show up for the Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. sessions in the breezeway of the Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building (SAASB), while about half that figure join him on Tuesday and Thursday mornings outside of Bren Hall.
Other instructors lead groups on the lawn areas of the Student Resource Building, the Student Health Service, the UCen, and the east entrance patio of Davidson Library. All sessions, which last between 15-20 minutes, are free of charge.
The Fit Squad program, says co-director Barb Beainy, is “designed to increase overall health of staff and faculty at UCSB with specific emphasis on muscular fitness.” On Feb. 4, she and co-director Peter Aguilar launched what they hope to be the first in a series of 10-week fitness sessions that will work into employees’ breaks and/or lunch hour.
While there is no need to register ahead of time, Beainy says any questions should be addressed to her at barb.beainy@essr.ucsb.edu. More details will be available online at by month’s end.
To participate, however, the employee is asked to sign what is called a “waiver of liability, assumption of risk, and indemnity agreement.” Essentially, the agreement stipulates that the activities and equipment used present risks of possible injury with varying degrees of severity. Signing the agreement also means giving up the right to sue the University.