The University of Miami has a lot of really underrated features. We’re talking about The Pit (one of the best spots to study on campus), the gorgeous piece of nature that is the Gifford Arboretum and the grilled cheese special at the Rathskeller. Atop that list sit the fitness classes at the Wellness Center. With various times, rooms, teachers and target areas, the group exercise classes are perfect for anyone.
Whether you’re getting your abs ready for swimsuit season, taking a break from studying or starting a healthy habit, the workout classes are a fun and convenient way to reach your goal.
The group exercise classes are all an hour long, unless otherwise specified, and are taught by nationally certified professionals. They’re free for UM students and all needed equipment is provided. Follow the music to the second floor of the Wellness Center to check out any of the 14 classes offered from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“It’s a way to engage people and reach out to them. We bring a group together and it becomes more of a social activity,” said Michelle Kasparian, Zumba instructor and associate director of Group Exercise and Community Classes. “It’s fun and it’s another way to approach wellness.”
Miami is known for the incredible lower bodies seen all over the beach, so why not get ready for summer in the hottest city in the world? Although there are cardio bursts, weight exercises and ab workouts, the purpose of the Gutts-n-Butts class is to make sure your legs are so sore that climbing stairs is going to hurt for a few days. Expect a ton of squats, along with other booty-toning moves using equipment such as Bosu balls and individual steps. Those who have gone to the class, like junior Kayla Derby, know to expect a difficult workout that will bring about sore muscles.
“It’s a really intense class that gets you sweating,” Derby said. “I’ve never heard anything bad from this class. All the girls that go love it.”
Junior Robert Renfro enjoys the classes more than working out alone because of the routine it creates.
“I feel like it’s a very judgment-free zone and everybody is there for a common goal: to become a healthier individual,” he said. “It allows me to not think about the next exercises I have to do.”
With this city’s musical diversity, it’s difficult not to gravitate toward a workout class that is dedicated dancing to upbeat songs. However, with Zumba, the intensity can vary depending on the instructor. Intensity ranges from simple side-to-side moves, to not being able to keep up with the sweat dripping down your face. Although it has a reputation for being more of a fun dance class than a workout, it’s guaranteed that a water bottle and a towel are needed to keep you pushing throughout the whole hour. Ironically enough, although it is a difficult class, you’ll finish saying, “That was only an hour?”
Zumba regular and junior Jackie Safstrom enjoys going to the classes for its unique experience.
“It’s really engaging and it’s an upbeat activity,” she said. “It’s wonderful for all levels of physical fitness. Zumba is an awesome way to let loose and partake in something stress relieving.”
While walking by Multipurpose Room B, have you ever noticed the weird looking black and yellow bungee cords on the wall? That’s for the TRX class. Although the name sounds intimidating, it’s definitely worth a try. This class works out every part of your body, especially your arms. Not only does the class require the use of weights and other equipment to work out, but it also uses the cords to add an extra component to the routine. Whether you’re using them for mountain climbers or for pull-ups, you’re guaranteed to leave the room feeling like your arms and legs are going to fall off.
Sophomore Rachel Mesa’s first experience with the group exercise classes began with TRX circuit and, since then, she has experimented with other classes, as well.
“I’m not really one to go to the gym, so the class made working out fun,” Mesa said. “I feel like some people have a misconstrued perception that the classes don’t count as working out because you’re not doing any heavy lifting, which isn’t true.”
words. alina zerpa. photo. sidney sherman.