All About the CU Fit Pass

Along with the new year, comes the inevitable resolution among many to “get fit!,” myself being one of them. As one may do at Carleton, I took an interest in the CU fit pass although I really didn’t understand how or what it was. After a few of weeks, I think I’ve got it down pat, and I’m here to share with you the tips and tricks of what the CU fit pass can do and why I believe you should invest in it, as well as give you some descriptions of just a few of their great classes! 


  1. 1. Buying the CU Fit Pass

    Buying the pass is a complication of its own, while you may try the day or week pass for $8, I would go full throttle and buy either the month or semester pass. As students, we are able to get the pass for $26 per month, this was the option I was leaning towards because if I didn’t like the classes, I could just quit right? WRONG. When I went to the athletic centre I asked if I would be able to cancel the payments (as it automatically charges your card every month) and they said I would have to cancel it with 60 days. 60 days?! That would mean by the time I payed for the first month I would have to immediately cancel it if I didn’t want it for the next month, or else I’d be charged. So on that note, I decided to bite the bullet and just pay the $100 for the 4-month semester (which will save me $4 — woohoo). In my opinion, I would go in to buy the pass in person in case you have any other questions (as well so they can give you the sticker to put on your campus card) however if you are more comfortable paying online that’s fine, just make sure you know exactly what you want!


  2. 2. What Comes with the Pass

    Once I had gotten the pass I was eager to see which classes I would be able to attend with it, however online it gets even more complicated. If you click on any descriptions of the classes it will show an additional price of $85-$100 for registration. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THIS! I unfortunately had a small panic attack after seeing this, thinking that I would have to pay an additional amount for each class I wanted to attend. This price is simply for those who do not have the CU fit pass and just want to go to one specific class for the year. However, you have to pay attention to the schedule as you are only able to drop-in on the classes with a 'C' next to it. Any with an 'I' next to it means it is an instructional class and you will have to pay that extra registration fee (albeit most of those classes are the dance ones). There will also be some with a 'W' next to it, that just means it is a women’s only class (no additional charge). 


  3. 3. Times of Classes 

    If you have all midday classes and evening classes, the pass probably wouldn’t be worth it, as most of the classes are from 12:05-12:45 or any other time in the evening ranging from 4:00-9:00. There are some early classes beginning at 7:00 am, but who’s really gonna get up for that, especially for those of us living off-campus like myself. That being said, check out the schedule for yourself, even if you can make it to 1-2 classes a week, you’ll have gotten your money out of the pass. Be sure to give yourself lots of time after the class though as in my experience, they tend to go 10-15 minutes later than the actual time-slot. 


  4. 4. Locker Room

    This doesn’t have much to do with the pass, as you could use this if you were simply going to the regular gym centre, however I think it is important to let you know what services you can use before and after the classes! Within the women’s locker room there are change rooms, showers, lockers, and bathrooms. The ‘change rooms’ are simply little areas with curtains and a bench for you to change, these are located beside all the lockers. Speaking of the lockers, you can bring your own lock and use whichever one is open for free! You’re only supposed to use it for 3 hours max.. but let’s just say I’ve tested that time limit and nothing happened. However make sure you unlock it before the athletics centre closes, as they will then cut any locks left on. 

    The showers are also a great addition, as there are two types: one tall enough to wash your body as well as your hair for a full shower, and (my personal favourite) lower ones that you can just rinse off under without wetting your hair, which are highly convenient for those of us who straighten or curl their hair in the morning. The bathrooms are nice and are cleaned daily, and there is also a section with mirrors and blow dryers. Along the back walls there will be change rooms for every sports team at Carleton, but near them at the back of the showers is a secret area at Carleton...the SAUNA. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but if someone had told me about this sauna when I was accepting my offer, there would have been absolutely no hesitation. 


  5. 5. Classes

    I have had the CU Fit pass for three weeks now, and I have tried to do a variety of the classes offered, however some I have yet to try simply because of scheduling conflicts. But not to worry! I have a review for each of the classes I have tried, and for the most part they were all super fun! For the intensity levels, I based it on how much I moved and and sweat, but everyone is different, even the high intensity ones were easy so please give everything a try! 

    FUNdamentals of Kickboxing 

    Date/Time: Mondays @ 2:45-3:45 p.m. 

    Instructor: Samantha H. 

    Review: This interactive class is most definitely a favourite of mine! While you partner up for most of the class, it really gave me a work out and I was continuously moving for the full hour. 

    The first class we learned how to punch and kick, it really was FUN. The instructor really gets you involved and goes through some basic stretching to make sure you don’t pull any muscles, which not every instructor does. If you need to break a sweat, let off some steam, or just have a great time, I would really recommend this class! Plus she plays some GREAT music to get you pumped up- there will definitely be some bops you can punch out to. (All boxing gloves and focus pads are provided).

    Intensity: High 

    Score: 5/5 

    Pilates for All 

    Date/Time: Tuesdays @ 12:05-12:55 p.m. 

    Instructor: Pam F. 

    Review: This class is one of the more quick but basic pilates courses. It really is for anyone, and a great way to be introduced to pilates. I for one am not that flexible so some of the poses we did were a little tough, but the instructor always gives different options in case you are injured or simply tired that day. The only thing to mention is that there are a lot of outside people (non- Carleton students) who have been going to the class for a while, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t keep up with them! While most people prefer to stick to the back, I would recommend beginners of pilates to stay at the front so you can easily see what the poses look like, as some can be complicated, and she moves at a fast-pace. Be aware that there is no music for this course so you have to stay focused while you do your work out! (All mats, blocks, and ropes are provided). 

    Intensity: Medium 

    Score: 3/5 

    Dynamic Self Defence 

    Date/Time: Tuesdays @ 6:15-7:15 p.m. 

    Instructor: Martin F. 

    Review: I absolutely love this course! It was super fun and the instructors are very friendly and patient. You start of the class with some basic warm-ups (push-ups, burpees, jumping jacks, etc.) and then you get into the real stuff. The first class you start with learning how to punch, jab, block, and “tackle” someone to the ground (however it is more of a full body trip). For all those ladies looking to feel a little more safe when out and about this course is for you, not only do you build strength but you also learn how to protect yourself. He also plays upbeat music and keeps you moving the entire class. (All punching pads are provided). 

    Intensity: High 

    Score: 5/5 

    Vinyasa Yoga 

    Date/Time: Wednesdays @ 12:05-12:55 p.m. 

    Instructor: Lisa M. 

    Review: This yoga class is most definitely a work out compared to other yoga classes. While the instructor keeps the flow of the moves quick, I was definitely staring at the clock wondering how much longer we’d be moving through the poses. The instructor likes to push her students and make sure we are making the most of the class. She also goes around adjusting people if they are incorrectly doing the pose or about to hurt themselves. While this was a very interactive yoga course, I would not recommend it for beginners. That being said, if you are fit and flexible, give it a try! (All mats, blocks, ropes, and blankets are provided). 

    Intensity: Medium-High 

    Score: 4/5 

    Ballet Barre Pilates Combo 

    Date/Time: Wednesdays @ 4:45-5:45 p.m. 

    Instructor: Pam F. 

    Review: This is an awesome class for those of you who are trying to fit in different types of exercises in one class. This very fast-paced course starts with some simple stretches and dance movements, flowing to some pilates along with some weights to engage the arms. You then flow to the barre portion where you use the legs to plie and kick. Music keeps you in sink and on time, however I would strongly recommend a spot where you can see the instructor as she moves very fast. (All mats and weights are provided). 

    Intensity: Medium 

    Score: 4/5 


    Date/Time: Fridays @ 12:05-12:55 p.m. 

    Instructor: Xiang S. 

    Review: This low-intensity course is great for those who are trying to meet new friends or just trying to get a small workout in. The class is very much centred on the movement of hips, which I personally wasn’t expecting, but if you love to salsa or cha-cha this class is for you. The instructor picks up-beat music and very much bases it around what the class attendees want to do. If you all really loved a dance, she’ll repeat it. While it was fun, I myself found it a bit awkward, but those of you with confidence and who know how to groove will most likely find it more engaging than I did. 

    Intensity: Very low 

    Score: 3/5 

All in all, I would definitely recommend the CU Fit pass. You really are getting a lot of classes for a small amount of money and my paying for it really entices me to show up to the classes. At first it seems like a lot of money, but if you compare it to some other gyms and classes around Ottawa, you are really saving a lot! If you are determined to get back in the fit cycle, get the CU fit pass, you won’t regret it.