By Audissey Hernández, April 19, 2022

As Cal Poly Pomona students continue to adjust to campus life, they can work their way to a healthier lifestyle by attending group fitness classes at BRIC.

Group fitness classes are available to CPP students at no additional cost and are currently offered every day of the week except Sunday. According to BRIC estimates, there were a total of 467 visits to group fitness classes as of March 24.

One of the classes available to students is the Suspension Pilates class which takes place every Wednesday at 5 p.m. BRIC Fitness Instructor Shelly Webb teaches this class and believes it is a form of exercise that not only focuses on the mind and body, but is flexible enough to be adapted to the individual strength of each person.

“I love using total resistance exercise bands because it’s so easy to adapt to the individual in the classroom,” Webb said. “I don’t have to go and change weight or spring settings like I would on a Pilates machine or reformer. I can just make them adjust their body position a bit, and it will make the exercise a lot more intense or a lot less intense, depending on what they need at the time. So, I like that because as a teacher everyone works at the level that he feels he can do, which is a challenge for him at that time.

The Suspension Pilates class uses the method and principles of Pilates with the combined use of full resistance exercise suspension bands which add another way to focus on core strength, balance and flexibility.

Students can bring their own equipment like yoga mats and resistance bands, but none of the group fitness classes require students to bring their own equipment.

Kayli Brown, a former liberal studies student now in the teaching diploma program at CPP, enjoyed the suspension Pilates class where Webb introduced the use of a fit ball with the exercise bands to total resistance.

“We were using some of the fit balls, and it helps you squeeze and focus on small muscles compared to when you’re weightlifting,” Brown said. “These little movements, squeezing and holding, really target those muscles.”

Group fitness classes are categorized into mind and body, strength training, cardio, dance, and martial arts. Some of the classes in these sections include foam rolling, hatha yoga, self-defense, boxing, and zumba. Each class lasts about 55 minutes, but some classes, like meditation, last about 30 minutes.

Iván Serrano, Fitness Manager at ASI Campus Recreation, has worked at CPP for approximately three and a half years and oversees all fitness programs and services. Serrano believes group fitness classes are a great way for students to try something new with the guidance of a certified instructor.

“It’s something that’s available to them now that may not always be available to them later in life,” Serrano said. “I think people come to Cal Poly Pomona and they have all these resources available, it might be one of those things where they don’t know what they have until it’s gone. If they’ve even had the slightest interest in trying a yoga class or trying a Zumba class or any other form of martial arts, here’s the time and place to do it.

Group fitness classes took place before the BRIC opened in 2014, when the Bronco Fitness Center was located inside the Bronco Student Center. Now, with the BRIC, five studios are available for group fitness classes.

When CPP went virtual due to COVID-19, ASI had to adapt to accommodate online learning. Group fitness classes were offered via Zoom for most of 2020 and 2021. When instruction returned in person, group fitness returned with limited enrollment to respect social distancing.

Now that CPP is back to primarily in-person instruction, students can take full advantage of BRIC and all it has to offer. Associate director of campus recreation programs Kaycee Martin believes it’s important for students to know what these classes have to offer and try them while they still can.

“We also offer lessons for a variety of levels, and so if you’re more advanced, the instructor can also modify to make it difficult for you,” Martin said. “I think the other big part is the group format. For some people, like me, it’s more motivating to exercise when there are other people with you. And that’s what I like in group fitness.

Registrations for group fitness classes are open 24 hours before the day of the class. Students can register through the ASI app, campus website, or at the door. Classes can fill up quickly, so it is recommended that participants register in advance. A selection of group fitness classes will also be offered this summer.

Those who prefer to work out at home can find recordings of previous group fitness classes and pre-recorded fitness videos on the RPC website. For more information on group fitness and their schedule, go to ASI Campus Recreation Website.

Featured Image by Audissey Hernandez