GC Wellness and Recreation has increased the variety and amount of fitness classes offered in 2019. Group training classes provide a structured, accountable and motivational environment for anyone looking to improve their fitness. These classes are completely free of charge for all GC students.
Students can access the Wellness and Recreation page through their Unify accounts where they can see the classes offered as well as their times, instructors and the number of spots available.
Instructor Caroline Hearn, a sophomore mass communication major, teaches Dance Confidence, Advanced Dance, Fit 30 and Cardio Blast classes. Hearn grew up attending her parents’ fitness classes and has since followed in their footsteps by making exercise a focal component in her life.
“I always show modifications during my workout classes, and I am a big believer that the gym is not made for fit people,” Hearn said. “I want everyone that walks in the doors to feel encouraged and comfortable no matter what fitness level.”
She explained that some modifications include lowering the weight or reps in an exercise or changing the speed to focus on proper form.
“I think it’s important to feel yourself, work hard and have fun in an environment where you won’t be judged for it,” Hearn said.
Recently, a regular student of Hearn’s classes told Hearn about how safe, motivated and confident the classes make her feel.
Hearn said the student told her, “A lot of times when I walk into a gym, people look at me funny, or I can tell they’re slightly judging me, but I don’t feel that way in your classes.”
Dance Confidence is the most popular of Hearn’s classes.
“It’s cool to have a group of girls that can all come together and be really supportive of each other and be loving and have fun, and dance in a good environment. I have made my most friends through that class I think a lot of people make friends going to it too because they’ll start dancing with people that they’ve never met before. Dance Confidence is its own little community for sure,” Hearn said.
Christine Lane teaches a class called Absolute Barre, a workout that mixes components of ballet, yoga and strength training.
Before attending GC, Lane was a member of her high school dance team, serving as team captain her senior year. As team captain she had the responsibility of leading and choreographing different workouts and dances.
She gained further leadership experience in dance over the summer while giving ballet classes at her home gym. She took this knowledge and training experience on with her to GC.
As far as class demographics, Lane said her class is primarily women, both under and upperclassmen.
“I do have a consistent group of girls come to Absolute Barre,” Lane said. “I know I can expect to see similar faces every week with a few exceptions.”
Lane said many of her students prefer muscle strengthening exercises to high intensity cardio, so she focuses on promoting endurance and flexibility. Lane also explained how she prepares the exercises for each class to ensure variety and keep participants interested.
“Being with other people creates a sense of community and group motivation overall, and having someone lead and tell you what to do almost makes you feel like the exercise has to be done,” Lane said.
Student Kelley Casanova began attending Lane’s fitness classes as a break from her hectic life in the education cohort and as a bonding activity amongst her and other cohort members. She currently attends Absolute Barre on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a gym commitment she made without realizing it.
“I cannot workout well alone, and having accountability and friends to partner up with makes it that much more enjoyable,” Casanova said.
She also said that the instructors show her exactly how to perform each individual exercise and make any corrections to the students as needed.
“The Barre class is challenging but will leave your lower body and legs sore, in a good way,” Casanova said. I never knew in such a short amount of time, so many exercises could be completed. My goal for the year has been to get more toned and trim and feel better physically and mentally. Attending these classes has aided in progress towards my goal.”
Photo by Alex Bradley | Staff Photographer