Gym adventures: Best fitness classes to take at Radford University

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Alexis Gardner

Everyone has a “new year, new me” resolution, and usually one of the goals has to do with losing weight by eating healthier and going to the gym. Luckily, Radford makes goals like these possible to achieve! We have a new gym that was built last January in 2015. Not only does the gym have cardio machines, weights, and now personal trainers, they also offer a lot of Group X classes. These are fun, free classes that focus on things like cardio, abs, legs, and more.

I have been taking Group X classes since my freshmen year, and I have tried almost all of them. There are more than 20 classes! The benefit to having such a variety is that there should be something for everyone.

I am into high-intensity cardio classes with some fun mixed in, so I thought that Big Bounce Fitness would be a good class.  I imagined the class having us on these big bouncy balls bouncing around the room and incorporating some ab work. Boy was I wrong. Big Bounce Fitness is a 60 minute “twerk” class. Yes, you read that right. It is a class where you twerk, which can be defined as: popping, shaking, and rolling the booty to the latest music.

When the class began, the instructor names Lora Wilson had us do ab work. It is safe to say that by the end of the song, my abs were burning. After that, the twerking started. Soon, and I mean very soon, I was drenched in sweat from all of the work my butt was doing. It was fun though. All of us girls in the class just shaking what our mamas gave us! The last half hour was spent learning a dance. I highly recommend this class to anyone. Go have fun and bring a friend!

I really want a flatter stomach.  Who does not? I have not been able to try the 30 Minute Core class that is offered because of scheduling conflicts, but I was able to try Pilates for the first time, instructed by Jordan McCann. Afterwards, I would definitely say I felt my lower abs muscles being worked and my legs too. This class was only be 45 minutes but you definitely get a good workout.

As I stated before, I first started taking these classes my freshman year, before the new gym. During the middle of my freshman year, I started taking Zumba with Kelly Soloe. I was super excited because I took Zumba classes back at home and I really missed it. The first class was super crowded, which to me was a good sign that Kelly is a good teacher. Kelly did three songs per set and then a water break. The room got so hot, our body heat fogged up the mirrors! The class was good, and I was even a little sore the next day.

Then the new gym was built and I was told about the Kaliente Dance Fitness class.  That class changed my life. I have never been so sweaty in my whole entire life until I took a Kaliente class. Kaliente was just everything I could have ever wanted. And the teacher, Lila Mastriano, had more than 200 songs! That made every class different and fun.

Kaliente literally became a part of my schedule. On the rare occasion when class was cancelled, I would get extremely sad because I then had to go back to the elliptical just to get my workout in. The other Group X classes just could not compete. If the class was available over the weekend, we just did the dances wherever we could find space since I knew a lot of the songs.

Over the summer I went on withdrawal from Kaliente and it was bad.  I had to go back to the elliptical and Zumba, but even Zumba was not good enough. It just could not match the kick-butt intensity of Kaliente.  Finally, I was back at school with my beloved Kaliente. But there was a catch.  Lila was a senior and she was graduating at the end of the semester. I feared this would be the end of Kaliente and the end of my workout life as I knew it. I would be forced to elliptical my way through life forever. Ok, so maybe that was a little bit dramatic, but luckily for me Lila’s sister, Mariana took over, so the Kaliente Dance Fitness class still lives!

Kaliente was reduced to only two times a week.  I wanted to try new classes again. For variety, I always try Kelly’s Zumba class or Big Bounce Fitness. Bottom line is that I am super biased towards Kaliente. It is definitely not for everybody but I love it!

If dancing is not your thing but you like cardio, give TRX Suspension or Functional Fitness a try. Radford also offers Body Pump, Cardio Combat and still more! Go out and get healthy with your friends. You never know what you could experience if you do not try!