I Tried 3 Different UF Workout Classes, & Here’s What Happened

Working out in college is a love/hate relationship for most students, including myself. On one hand, there’s fit, beautiful people everywhere you turn on campus, so of course you want to look your best.

On the other hand, we already have so much going on from classes, to extracurricular activities, to jobs, to social lives, to keeping up with Netflix, and still trying to get some sleep in between, that it can seem almost impossible to fit working out into our schedule most days.

Now that I am a sophomore, however, I have realized that working out really is essential to not only my physical health (the freshman 15 is no joke, people), but also my mental sanity. So, I got back in shape by going to Orangetheory Fitness over summer and at the beginning of the semester, and now I actively try to go to the gym at least three times a week.

Although I have actually started to enjoy this routine, I realized that I haven’t been using all my resources. In addition to the two nice gyms, Southwest Recreation Center and Student Recreation Center, we get free access to as UF students, we also have access to a variety of free workout classes. I only went to one of these last year, so I decided it was time to change that.

I decided to change up my workout routine for a week: instead of going to the gym three times and doing my own workout, I would go to three (very different) workout classes at Southwest Rec or Student Rec that I had never been to before. Here are my experiences:

Day 1: Total Body

For my first day of the experiment, I naturally chose to kill my whole body to make the rest of my workouts that week that much more fun. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect out of this class, but the description read, “A strength training class that targets the major muscle groups using various equipment and body weight. Total body also incorporates bursts of cardio to keep your heart rate up.” I went with a few of my friends for this one. I always like to go by the classic High School Musical catchphrase “We’re all in this together” when trying new things.

The class consisted of some interval training, which is similar to Orangetheory so I really enjoyed that part of the class. There was some partner work, an arm workout song, ab workout song, and leg workout song. Overall, the class had a lot of variety and moving around which made it go by a lot quicker. I was a little sore the next day, but not too bad. I liked this class, but I probably wouldn’t go again because it wasn’t fast paced enough for me.

Day 2: Hip-Hop Fitness

I was excited for this one. I was a dancer all throughout high school and going to practice for hip hop, contemporary, ballet and pointe was where I got the majority of my physical activity, so I have missed dancing. I went with my sister, who is a certified hip-hop fitness fanatic, so it was going to be a good time no matter what. With a description like “Pop, lock, and drop it in a high intensity, high impact choreographed dance class. Wild out with us and throw your worries away for a good sweat!” how could it not be fun?

What I didn’t expect, however, was how good of a workout it would be. I was genuinely tired and had to take several water breaks during the hour-long class. I also thought it would be purely cardio, but I ended up being kind of sore in my arms and legs. I definitely liked Hip-Hop fitness and will go back occasionally, but not regularly.

Day 3: Cycle (45)

For the last day of my experiment, I decided to go to a cycling class. To feel even more productive, I signed up for an 8:15 a.m. When my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m., it took everything in me not to hit snooze and go back to sleep, but I resisted. I was dragging my roommate to this one, so like I said before… all in this together.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the instructor was a friend I haven’t seen in a while, so that upped my motivation too. Although it was challenging, I really enjoyed it. Cycling is more similar to the fast paced, high intensity workouts I’m used to, so I felt like I was in my element. I might even make it a regular thing. Something about starting your day with a workout at 8:15 a.m. really sets the stage for a good day.

While I am glad I completed my goal of going to more workout classes, I am not planning on making this my only type of workout. I am, however, going to try to occasionally incorporate a class into my workout schedule because why not? It’s free and fun to switch things up.