Group classes gain popularity at UCF gyms
The UCF Recreation and Wellness Center offers a plethora of classes to benefit the student body — literally.
From spinning and hip-hop cardio to washboard-abs and boot-camp classes, the RWC has a variety of fitness classes for beginners to experts.
"The group environment motivates me and the great instructors inspire me to better my health," said Julie Deslauriers, a junior biology major and a dedicated fitness-class participant.
And while some students attend the classes to get in shape, others attend because they are training for races or fitness competitions.
Whichever is your style, having instructors show you how to safely and effectively exercise is a great thing to take advantage of, said Courteney Jacobazzi, a sophomore radio/television major, RWC Member Services employee and recently certified spin-class instructor.
Deslauriers also said that attending group-exercise classes has changed her mindset on fitness.
"I understand now that it's very important to weight train and not just do cardio, which I think a lot of girls have a problem [with]," Deslauriers said. "It caused me to challenge the common misconception that I would bulk up if I lift weights."
Meghan Flanagan, a senior psychology major, has been teaching a hip-hop cardio class at the RWC for four years — along with cardio kickboxing, hardbodies, flexibility and barre-experience classes for two years — and just started instructing the Step and Tone class.
In regard to the fitness level needed to take the hip-hop cardio class, "it should be everyone," Flanagan said. "I want everyone to walk out of this room feeling like they just got out of an amazing hip-hop music video."
Flanagan said that having fun and keeping your body moving is the key to success in the fitness classes.
"The keyword is 'gimme what you got,'" Flanagan said. "Every instructor at the RWC is amazing at creating modifications."
These modifications are used so that each class can still be done by any fitness level.
Whether you have never stepped foot into a gym or you go 11 times per day, fitness classes are for everyone, said Ryan Wolf, a sophomore business major and RWC Member Services employee.
"Any class can be completed by beginners if they take it slow," Wolf said.
Returning to certain fitness classes each week and becoming a regular attendee increases the results you'll get from the class and also builds relationships, Flanagan said.
"You definitely get a relationship with the regulars, which I think is one of my favorite parts of the job," Flanagan said. "I call them my front-row divas."