Students Try Group Fitness Classes in a Journey to Activity – Pepperdine Graphic

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Students Try Group Fitness Classes in a Journey to Activity – Pepperdine Graphic


Pushing their limits, students in a 7 a.m. Cycle and Shred class spin their hearts out. The class instructor, first-year Brooke Carter created a cycle circuit for the first 20 minutes of the class and an off-the-bike workout for the rest of the time. Photos by Mary Caulfield

Pepperdine students often exercise at the Firestone Fieldhouse Weight Room, on the track and in the Towers gym and Seaside Fitness Center. What some students aren’t fully aware of are Campus Recreation‘s Group Fitness classes.

Campus Recreation aimed to raise awareness of these group fitness classes by giving 15 to 20 minute classes at Mullin Town Square on Feb. 17. Beyond tabling, instructors and students in classes gave insight into what Group Fitness Classes are.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, get to work out and start your day productively,” first-year instructor Brooke Carter said. “I feel like not enough people take advantage of what we have, especially because they’re free.”

First-year Hailey Emmons said since fall 2021, Campus Recreation has changed its schedule, staff and fee for more student-friendly classes. The $75 cost is now a free-of-charge membership.

“I was hoping more people would come,” Emmons said. “It’s really fun doing it with a lot of people and not just suffering by yourself.”

Now that more instructors and classes are available, Emmons said students can exercise in many different ways to fit however their mind and body are feeling.

“If I’m sore, I want a yoga class, and Summer Xia is good with her yoga class, Yin Yang Yoga,” Emmons said. “[In spin class] Mikayla de la Flore does a dance thing [with] more arms and lifting off. Then, circuit [training is] really fun because you get to do a whole lot of different things and you’re just working against yourself.”

Students stand with hands at heart center in
Students stand with hands at heart center in “Namaste” position in the Cage. At this Rise and Rest Yoga class, students stretch and embrace the grounding techniques of yoga.

When first-year Gabby Johnson’s alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. for her to get to a spin class by 6 a.m., she said her first instinct is to text her roommate. Johnson said having accountability helps her get up in the morning and stay consistent. But, accountability doesn’t stop when arriving at classes.

“I love working out with other people — like a little community that keeps you accountable and makes me want to work harder,” Johnson said.

First-year Daniela Sandoval said she is just starting to explore the different classes and has loved making the time to be active and finding a positive mindset.

“For me, I don’t work out at all, so it’s just making the time to come here,” Sandoval said. “Also, finding a balance and being OK with not being able to weigh as much as other people because you’re just getting started. It’s just motivational and inspiring to take time out of your days and try to be active.”

First-year Melia Wade said exercising for the first time can be an intimidating experience, especially if you’re not a “gym person.” Wade said she has found the classes help her as she begins her exercise journey.

“[The classes] help me stay active, make me manage my time better and keep me accountable,” Wade said. “I’m not really a gym person. I respect and commend those who are, but I’m just not. So, I think a class is more structured, and I need that.”

Students new to the class aren’t the only ones nervous in their first experiences at group classes — Carter said she laughs when looking back at her first time instructing a 5:30 a.m. spin class over Zoom.

“Everything went completely opposite the way I wanted it to go,” Carter said. “I would forget to call out what exercise was next and forget to turn up the music. But now, looking back, I always joke about my first class.”

Emmons, Johnson, Sandoval, Wade and Carter all said their advice for students on the verge of going to a class is: Just try it.

“Just showing up is half the battle, so definitely just try it, and if you don’t like it, at least you can say you tried it, and if it’s just not for you, then find something else,” Wade said.

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Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic

Email Meghan Young: meghan.young@pepperdine.edu





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