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About Jill


Jill Garrigan, Fitness Coordinator at Penn State University, knows how to do it. Her knowledge and expertise in health and fitness are part of what helps her motivate the 80+ employees of Penn State Recreational fitness to "just do it". Penn State fitness offers over 145 fitness classes weekly and sees more than 3500 patrons in these weekly classes. Jill balances the task of training and supervising instructors for these classes with the administrative duties that go along with running one of the largest Big Ten fitness programs.

Jill is a fitness instructor herself. She has been teaching group exercise and aerobics classes since 1982. A veteran from the spandex and leg-warmer era, Jill began teaching high impact aerobics to small groups of women at a local gym. Now 25+ years later, she has expanded into a number of different fitness areas and specialties including:

  • Step Aerobics
  • Kickboxing Aerobics
  • Indoor Cycling
  • Muscle Conditioning
  • Core Training
  • Weighted-bar Classes
  • Circuit Class
  • Yoga/Mind-Body
  • Stability Ball Classes
  • Posture, Balance and Flexible Strength
  • Aqua Aerobics
  • "Coached" Cycling
  • Pre-post Natal Fitness

Jill is ACE certified and holds a number of specialty certifications. Her clever teaching style and friendly approach to fitness has made her a favorite locally and regionally. According to Garrigan, "You have to teach everyone who comes to your class, from ‘Suzy Aerobics’ to the new comer. If you don’t make everyone feel comfortable eventually you won’t have anyone to teach to." This easy going approach to fitness is one reason her classes are consistently "sold out." You can catch one of her classes at Penn State Recreational Fitness at one of the Clubs she teaches at in State College.

Additionally, Jill has created an Instructor Training Program, which teaches participants how to become a fitness instructor. Through this program, re-designed in 1996, Jill has successfully mentored over 280 fitness instructors. Many of these instructors are currently teaching at premier clubs around the United States and internationally. For information on the instructor training program click here.