group fitness classes are truly okay

by claurefagan

This semester I have been taking a one-credit course in which I am required to attend 25 group fitness classes over the course of the semester at the Patrick Gym. In years past I have taken a few here and there, relished in the free weeks, but never really regularly attended group fitness classes. Now that has all changed! I am here to let you know my two cents on each of the classes I have attended. 


I have been to many yoga classes in my life thus far. I enter each yoga class with the intention to try and chill the fuck out, focus on breathing, focus on the ground underneath me. I now know myself well enough to understand that my mind does not have the discipline to meditate. It says, Claire, why meditate when you could think about things? Things must be thought about! The truth is, mind, no. You don’t have to think about things. I spend most of the yoga class in this internal argument. The instructor says, allow thoughts to flow through your mind like a river! Then my silly little brain builds a dam! So I much prefer something more active and physically demanding rather than mentally demanding. My freshman year I took a Yoga & Mindfulness elective with John McConnell, great guy, and I thought that class was nice. I’m signed up to take Intro to Meditation one-credit course next semester so we’ll see if I can dip my toes into the meditation water.


Love saying that I’m going to barre class. I’m learning how to drink! Sometimes I even say I’m going to “Barre” as in Barre Vermont, which has the dumbest pronunciation. I make great jokes. And everybody laughs at them. Barre class is quite physically demanding, especially for someone like myself who has no core strength and little other strength. In those classes I like to pretend that I didn’t quit ballet when I was six years old. 


I bike around quite a bit so I feel like this is one group fitness class where I don’t have to do a bunch of modifications. Instructors for cycling/spin classes will definitely HYPE YOU UP. In this class, like many of the group fitness classes, the attendees must listen to the music through the speakers which is often some of the w*rst sh*t I have ever heard, no offense to whoever chooses it. Just not my cup of tea.


These classes are tough to get into, there are 20 spots and it often fills up like a week before the class is. I’ve been to two or three this semester. They’re definitely fun. The class requires you to throw punches and kicks and remember the sequence of these punches and kicks. Jab, uppercut, etc., etc., Being extremely sensitive, I try not to take it personally when my partner throws punches at the pads I’m holding, I mean that’s what the whole class is. But sometimes it still hurts 🙁 

Body Pump

I don’t know who comes up with the names of these classes, though I think it may be someone by the name of Les Mills? Or maybe the company is Les Mills? The logo is on all the equipment. I don’t like the name of this class, body pump. I guess my problem is with the word “pump”. I don’t like it; I don’t think it’s a good word. Regardless, body pump is tough as hell! I am not and have never been able to do a pushup but I feel like if I managed to attend this class with regularity I could maybe do one on my knees.

One-credit courses are amazing. Throughout my three and a half year college career I have taken 10 one-credit courses, and I’m finishing it out with three more next semester! Why take 15 credits of classes a semester when you could take 12 credits of 3-credit classes and three 1-credit classes? If you’re a student who feels absolutely bonkers when taking a full course load, I highly recommend this option if it is feasible. Also, UVM campus rec, if you see this I give you my express permission to put this review on your website. If the person in charge of the one-credit group fitness class sees this, I’m wondering if this article can count as one out of my twenty-five required fitness classes. My fingers are tired.

Categories: around town, claire fagan, nov 23, vol 25

%d bloggers like this: