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New year, new you: Rec Center classes to get you in shape

New year, new you: Rec Center classes to get you in shape

Courtesy Facebook

New year, new you: Rec Center classes to get you in shape
January 23
20:45 2019

This year, as so happens every year, pledges of, “New year, new me” flooded my social media timelines. From reprimands against procrastination to promises of making the dean’s list, it’s all there, but one seems to stand out above the rest — a more active lifestyle.

It is a classic resolution but one that is often ditched three months in.

Rather than blindly throwing themselves into a sea of alien workout machines, students could try group exercise classes instead. The Pohl Recreational Center offers a $25 pass that gives students unlimited semester access to all of its group exercise classes.

Sure, the thought of having to work out in front of others may seem daunting, but working out in front of others also tends to get the best of individuals’ competitive sides, forcing them to mentally push past their limitations. To save everyone else the trouble, I’ve compiled a two-part series consisting of six classes to help you navigate the exercise classes offered at the rec center. Other classes and times are available at the rec’s front desk and on the Rec Sports website.


When I initially decided to try out the class, I didn’t know what to expect. The only idea of Pilates I had prior to attending is what I thought suburban moms did in between PTA meetings and soccer practice. Yet, upon walking into the room, I was surprised to see a floor full of young women and a few men chatting and waiting patiently on yoga mats. The class was led by an easy-going instructor, whose spirit made the atmosphere light and relaxing.

What to expect: The best way to describe Pilates is to compare it to a post-workout stretch with increased intensity. Most of the exercises the instructor prompted the class to do brought awareness to aspects of our bodies that we don’t usually think about. If you’re worried that you’ll be forced to do a bunch of complicated moves, don’t be. Most of the positions were simple, and even the more challenging ones allowed for easier beginner options.

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 9 p.m.

Workout Type: The class is low-impact and concentrates primarily on flexibility, strength and core training.

Intensity: Low to medium

Cycle Express

Cycle express is one of four cycling classes offered by the Rec. The others are longer and contain aspects of either yoga or weight training while this one is shorter and consists of only cycling. The class is formatted in a series of varying intervals that forces attendees to push themselves and then allows them to catch their breaths. Surprisingly, the breathing methods learned from the Pilates class helped me keep my pace and stay alive throughout the class.

What to expect: A lot of mental focus and endurance. While this may seem obvious as far as workouts are concerned, it is essential to a cycling class. Though you are allowed to pace your cycling based on your physical capabilities, the instructor does urge participants to push themselves and keep up the intensity or speed. During the class, you may feel winded, but after, you will feel energized and accomplished.

Time: Wednesdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

Workout Type: Cycle Express is described as a low-impact cardio class that focuses on changing speed and resistance.

Intensity: High


Anytime that I want to try out a group exercise class, Zumba is usually what I gravitate toward. There’s just something about upbeat music and Latin-inspired dance moves that excite me. While the class can be fun and great to experience with friends, it is not for the faint of heart. You may feel slightly uncomfortable and overwhelmed by the dance moves and the pacing, but the instructor is very encouraging and the overall atmosphere is supportive and fun.

What to expect: A lot of confusion. Since the moves the instructor prompts everyone to follow are not pre-rehearsed, most of the class is spent attempting to figure out what the instructor is doing. Fortunately, the sequence of moves is repeated throughout each song, making it easier to eventually catch up.

Because Zumba seems to be one of the most popular classes offered at the rec, the room tends to fill up quickly and can conceal the instructor from eye view. Therefore, I recommend getting to the class early so you can stand in the front or watch someone who looks like they know what they’re doing.

Time: Mondays from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and 6:45 to 7: 45 p.m., Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

Workout Type: Cardio

Intensity: Medium

Featured Image: Students participate in a group Pilates class at the Pohl Recreation Center. Courtesy Facebook

About Author

Kaitlyn Ingram

Kaitlyn Ingram

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