Reily trainer Joe Coleman emphasizes safety, relationship with students

Mackenna Barker, Associate Sports Editor

ABT is a well-known term among the female gym rats at Tulane. And no, these aren’t the letters of some fitness fraternity or Le Gourmet’s Avocado, Bacon and Tomato sandwich. ABT, or Abs, Buns and Thighs, is a widely popular group exercise course offered at Reily Fitness Center.

The class, taught by Joe Coleman, is an hour long course that focuses on strengthening the muscle groups in a safe and proper manner. With Coleman at the helm, ABT has generated a religious following among Tulane students, particularly the female population.

The class is offered every Monday and Thursday at 4:30 pm and is consistently packed. 

“The female student population loves it because it hits every muscle group that they are concerned about: quads, thighs, butt,” Coleman said. “Every now and then, you’ll get a guy to come to the class and it’s like, you’re surrounded by attractive, good looking, hard working women, why would you not want to be up here?”

Coleman got the idea for ABT when he took a similar class at Elmwood Fitness Center several years back. A fan of the concept, but believing it lacked that excitement factor, Coleman took the idea and created his own specific brand at Reily.

Coleman’s classes are known for their intensity. An hour of his exercise routines will leave even the well in-shape out of breath and sore the next day.

“The first time you come it seems really intense and aggressive, but then it becomes addicting, that type of motivation,” junior Rachel Becker said. “It really pushes you to test what you can do and pushes you to want to work out harder, longer and better.”

Becker, who attends Coleman’s class every week, has consistently attended since her freshman year.

This kind of dedication from students is not uncommon in Coleman’s class. One of the more unique and inviting aspects of Coleman’s teaching style is his relationship with the students.

Coleman makes a point of developing a personal relationship with his more dedicated attendees. Those that show up consistently are rewarded with front row spots in the class and serve as examples of how to do the exercises properly and to set the pace for the others.

“Joe is a gem, I’ve never had a work out teacher like that before,” Becker said. “He teaches a great class, and at the same time he is teaching you how to take care of your body.”

The other notable feature of Coleman’s classes is his emphasis on safety. Safety is a concern of any good trainer, but Coleman puts safety on a pedestal in his classes.

“The number one rule in my class is that no one gets hurt,” Coleman said. “And rule two is if you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it safely and correctly because I’m going to show you how to do it.”

Coleman also puts emphasis on getting involved with the work outs, rather than just directing it. He believes in the interaction with the students.

“You lead by example,” Coleman said. “I’ve never been the instructor that points, I have to be in there, and I want to be in there, it’s fun. You show people what it takes and that you are willing to work just as hard and they will follow.”

Leave a Comment