Wellness department offers free group fitness classes

Members of a yoga class hold a pose their instructor shows them. The class is held every Tuesday in the SLC. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Vivian Kwok | Reporter

Stay strong in achieving your New Year’s health resolutions with free fitness classes. Baylor’s Department of Wellness offers students, faculty and staff without a FitWell membership a week of complimentary classes from Jan. 16 to 22.

“FitWell classes are the best way to get active and stay active,” Charlotte, N.C., senior Annalise Franchina, a Bear Cycle instructor, said.

The FitWell Program includes various group exercises through its F45 and Group X classes to maintain physical, mental and emotional well being.

F45 classes are 45-minute sessions with high-intensity circuit training, according to the FitWell class description. Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes focus primarily on cardio but also include exercises using light weights, said Danville, Calif. sophomore Madi Jeha, a Bear Cycle instructor. Tuesday and Thursday sessions target resistance by using heavier weights and less reps, she said.

Master Trainer for the Department of Wellness Bill Siddiq said he thinks many people would enjoy an F45 group workout setting.

“You don’t have to be in great shape to go. It’s set at your own pace,” Siddiq said. “You can stop. You can breathe. F45 is a workout for everybody.”

The FitWell Program’s Group X sessions include spin, step and yoga classes among others. They are also open to people from all fitness levels and people with various intensity preferences.

Bear Cycle instructors prepare music and the spin routine while making sure riders use the correct form and are being safe, Jeha said. The instructors will provide a range of gears for each exercise to allow their students to tailor the workout to fit their personal needs.

“It’s your workout,” Jeha said. “If you ride in a pack outside, you have to keep up with the pack. In spin it all matters on your own workout. It’s about what you want to do and what you feel comfortable doing.”

Instructor Susu Taylor leads another type of Group X workout, “Step it up with Susu.” She said her classes are like a combination of boot camp and dance fitness. About 30 to 45 minutes of the class will be cardio done with a step, and she ends with circuit training.

Taylor said she wants her step classes to be fun for her students. She wanted a leadership role where she would have a chance to give positive energy.

“I love to empower people,” Taylor said.

Group X also offers gentle yoga and regular yoga classes. The wellness department’s graduate student and yoga instructor Leah Gagnon said she believes stress relief is a big need especially in an academic setting.

Gentle yoga during the Monday 12:15 p.m. sessions allow you to disconnect with your schedule and connect with yourself, she said.

No matter the type of yoga class, Gagnon said that she keeps her approach friendly to all levels.

Nerves about exercising with a group may still discourage you from attending your first F45 or Group X class.

Many of the instructors also said that the social aspect of group exercises motivates and encourages the class. Creating a community for everyone is one of the instructors’ and the department’s chief goals for the FitWell Program.

F45 and Group X membership are $50 each or $75 together for the semester. Students, faculty and staff may register online. The FitWell program also offers personal training, nutritional education and a program exclusive for Baylor faculty and staff at discounted rates.

“It’s a steal,” Siddiq said. “It’s a phenomenal deal. You can’t beat that.”

Find yourself in one of the free FitWell sessions this week.

“All you have to do is bring yourself and a water,” Jeha said.

View the class schedule and locations here.