Transitioning from doing two high school varsity sports for four years to working out with no structure or accountability in college was both liberating and difficult. I enjoyed the lack of commitment and creating my own schedule, but the flip side to this was I was a lot less motivated to work out. Ohio State offers multiple workout facilities, and there are also clubs and intermural sports if that interests you, but what I found to be the most beneficial were the RPAC group fitness classes. These range from relaxation candle-lit yoga to barre none, cycling to Zumba. While I went to about one or two classes a week and the first semester, this semester I completed the RPAC fitness challenge, which rewarded one who went to 15 classes in a certain number of weeks with an OSU shaker bottle, RPAC t-shirt or tank top, and fanny pack. This challenge forced me to go out of my comfort zone and try other classes I've had no experience in, a process which was rewarding and introduced me to more fun classes, and whipped me into shape! Here are the pros and cons of each class that I've observed in my experience.
Multiple kinds of yoga classes are offered: power yoga, relaxation yoga, candle-lit yoga, and yoga for de-stressing. The instructors are helpful and informative, but due to the size of the class it is not as personal an experience as you would get in a smaller studio (however OSU does offer special classes a couple of times a semester that are smaller and more personal). I had gone to a yoga studio in my hometown for a year prior to coming to Ohio State and still learned something new every class here, whether it was mastering a new pose (Bird of Paradise anyone?) or learning new breathing techniques. Candle-lit yoga was relaxing with electric candles spread around the dim room, and power yoga is a good class to break a sweat in.
The Zumba classes are fun with friends to break a sweat and de-stress with dance. Each class has slightly different music, but the classes that are at the same time each week often repeat songs so you get better with the dance each time you go. I am super uncoordinated but was still able to manage and have a blast while doing so. The instructors are helpful and supportive, and the only bad thing is sometimes you are just not vibing with the music set. Some classes focus on Latin music, pop music, or hip-hop.
3. Hip Hop
In this specific dance class, throwbacks such as “Down" by Jay Sean and “Wop" by J. Dash are combined with new hip hop songs such as “Twerk" by City Girls and Cardi B for a fun set. I went to late night hip hop on Wednesdays, and the instructor was amazing and supportive. By the first couple of songs, I broke a sweat and developed a cramp, so it's definitely a good work out. It makes you feel good about yourself as you shake your hips (and even twerk a little lol).
4. Barre None
I only went to a couple of these classes because after each I was sore for days. I hadn't known what Barre was before (a combination of strength training, yoga, ballet-moves, and Pilates). The instructors, as usual, were helpful and supportive. The class focuses on training a specific area of the body for an extended period of time, such as hips, arms, or glutes. I enjoy classes where the focus on body parts is interchanged more, but the class is still a good workout and I can see its appeal.
I only went to this class once, but it was an awesome workout (I was sweating before the warm-up was even done). It’s only a 45 minute workout which is shorter than the others, but that meant it was higher in intensity. I was POURING sweat and my legs were shaking by the time it was done. The instructor was motivational and personable. I’d do the class again, but only when I’m feeling super motivated.