Core Enrolment: Fitness Classes at the Western Rec Centre

If you have a New Year’s resolution, it likely includes some theme of self-improvement. Many resolutions include new fitness goals starting in January. Personally, I was looking to add variety to my regular exercise routine. When I found out that group fitness classes at the Western Student Recreation Centre were free to try in the first week of the semester, I took advantage of it.

I’ve always preferred fitness classes over just going to the gym to do my own workout. Fitness classes are like having a personal trainer for an hour, at a much lower cost. It’s also fun and motivating to exercise in a group, where everyone is putting in effort and you’ll never be the only person in the room struggling mid-plank—you’re all in it together. Plus, the fact that classes are at the same time every week means I will actually go—if you don’t schedule time to exercise, it’s easy to say, “Oh, I don’t have time today. I’m too busy,” like… every day.

Regularly, it costs 16 dollars to register for a five week session. I didn’t want to pay for a class before trying it, so during the week of free classes, I picked three that interested me and tried them out.

Cardio Kickboxing

The first class I went to was Cardio Kickboxing. I loved this style of exercise because punching and kicking is cathartic and makes you feel powerful. We did several combinations of jabs, uppercuts, etc. with kicking and squatting. There were also some ab exercises throughout. You will definitely be sore the next day, but during the class you’ll be having so much fun that the pain is bearable.

The class is offered on Mondays (12:05 p.m.), Tuesdays (12:05 p.m.) and Thursdays (4:35 p.m.).

Intensity: 3/5

Sculpt and Sweat

This class was a great workout! It was very challenging (I had to take some short breaks) but still doable thanks to the fun music and wide variety of exercises. It was a full body workout including cardio, abs, and arm and lower body exercises using weights. This class is a great way to tone your muscles if you are intimidated by the (testosterone filled) weight room.

This class can be taken on Mondays (1:05 p.m. or 4:35 p.m.), Tuesdays (7:05 a.m. or 8:05 p.m.), Wednesdays (1:05 p.m.), Thursdays (7:05 a.m., 12:05 p.m., or 5:05 p.m.), and Fridays (12:05 p.m. or 3:35 p.m.).

Intensity: 4/5

Cardio Dance

In this class, everyone was laughing or smiling. The instructor was full of energy and created a fun environment. The choreography was fast and sometimes complicated, but there was no pressure to do it perfectly—everyone was just giving it their best attempt and enjoying themselves. It was kind of like dancing in front of your bedroom mirror for an hour, like no one is watching. If you hate cardio and you’re looking for exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise, this is a great class for you. My heart rate was up the entire time, but there were no points of extreme intensity.

This class is offered on Tuesdays (4:35 p.m.—Women’s Only Class) and Fridays (4:35 p.m.).

Intensity: 2/5

All of the classes were fun, well organized and judgement-free. I would recommend choosing a class based on the type of exercise you enjoy—if you love to dance, there are Hip Hop, Zumba and Cardio dance classes every week. If you are looking for something intense, you could take a P90X class, Endurance Cycle or Sculpt and Sweat.

You can register for any group fitness class online. This week (January 14-20) is “Bring A Friend” week, so if you know someone registered in a fitness class, they can bring you along to try it out! Group fitness classes will also be free during exam period from April 10th-30th.

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