Mackenzie Hurlbert — Staff Writer
Southern students are flooding the gym, focusing on getting in shape for upcoming spring break trips and eventually the summer break. While beaches and bikinis may await us in the near future, the Fitness Center is currently providing some fun classes in order to ease our transition from sweatpants to beach towels. Some classes may leave you sore and rubber-legged; some may de-stress you from your week and others may help you get in touch with your inner salsa-dancing Latina. After talking to some gym-addicted students, I’ve collected various reviews of classes our Fitness Center holds. The consensus is that no matter what your gym experience is, your athletic abilities or flexibility, there is a gym class in the Fitness Center for you.
Zumba has become increasingly popular, and it is my favorite class offered at our Fitness Center. A mix of cardio, dance and aerobics, Zumba keeps the class moving and active for a full-hour workout that passes in the blink of an eye. Not only is the class a good workout, but it is also not that challenging and teaches the basic steps to many Latin dance moves.
The classes are split between two instructors: Melanie teaches on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and Anna teaches on Mondays. Each instructor provides her own unique twist to the class, which makes it easier for students to find and choose their preference. Freshman Julia Evola said, “The only fitness class I have ever taken at SCSU is Zumba, and it’s so much fun. I go weekly and look forward to it every time.” Evola said she usually goes on Mondays with Anna as the instructor, along with her roommate Lauren Ericson.
Ericson said, “I really enjoyed Zumba with Anna. She involves a lot of choreography in the routines and definitely makes you work hard. I found Zumba with Melanie to be a bit more challenging. She involves a lot more squats and rigorous moves.” Sophomore Alex Murray is also a Zumba-addict and a regular at Melanie’s classes on Tuesdays. “I like how she is always so positive and pushes you when you feel like quitting. It doesn’t feel like a workout; it just feels like dancing!”
Pilates is another popular class offered at the Fitness Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A workout centered on stretching, balance and muscle strengthening, it is a class that tones your body while relaxing it. The instructor, Michelle, leads you through many different poses and workout movements ranging from planks to crunches, to the tune of calm background music. Sophomore Jasmin Linares, a regular to the class said, “I love going to Pilates because it helps me relax and unwind when I’m feeling stressed. Pilates is a lot of fun and a great way to challenge your body.”
I had never done Pilates before, and after my first class, I can honestly say that it is challenging at times to do certain moves, but the atmosphere and workout was relaxing and worth the time and effort.
Kick and Sculpt, spinning and kickboxing are two other popular classes on campus. I’ve taken Cardio Kickboxing on Wednesdays with Gabriella many times and loved it. It’s such a good workout, and with all of those kicks and jabs, it also a great way to relieve stress and whatever frustrations you may have suffered during the week. With plenty of breaks for water and to catch your breath, the instructor creates an effective workout and an enjoyable experience. What’s great about her class is that it’s easy to follow and it’s an all-around, full-body workout.
Kick and Sculpt takes place on Sundays at 5 p.m. Lindsay Morales, an avid fan of the class, said, “Kick and Sculpt is my favorite class at the gym. I love the music, and Jess is a great instructor. Kick and Sculpt or spinning are the two classes I go to religiously. They may be challenging to someone new, but after a few weeks I’m sure any new goer would be comfortable and get a great workout.”
Freshman Cyndi Fedorko also participates in Kick and Sculpt and other classes offered at the gym. When asked how she felt about our fitness facilities here at Southern, she said, “The gym is great here. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for all students to stay healthy and provides opportunities for students to teach classes at the gym.”
The Fitness Center on campus is an opportunity I suggest for all students to partake in if they have the chance. Near the end of the semester, the gym usually offers a week of free classes for students to test it out and see what it’s like. Not only are the fitness classes well-run and good workouts, but the staff is always friendly, and the atmosphere is supportive and encouraging. No matter your body type, the classes at the Fitness Center will provide a fun and rewarding experience.