Most of you may know Koret offers a variety of group exercise classes that range from Iyengar yoga to bellydancing. These classes are free to students and are open to beginner and advanced skill levels. Many students enjoy these courses and participate very often.
I take a spin class one or two times a week and I’ve noticed a trend. Like other gyms and exercise facilities, Koret experiences a surge in gym-goers before and after the winter holidays and after the New Year when resolutions and good intentions remain high. At other times, like before midterms or near finals, student participation in group exercise classes dwindles as students favor red bull and all night study sessions over a calming yoga session. One class that does not follow this trend and seems finals-proof is spin.
Spin is a class that involves a stationary bike and a resistance wheel in which you can change the toughness of your workout. I enjoy spin because it is as challenging as you want it to be. The instructor gives you suggestions and instructs you to increase the resistance, but you don’t have to. You choose how hard you work. Also, there is also some cheesy, yet motivating music to help you along the workout. Spin can burn from 300 to 500 calories in a 50 minute class. Another added benefit is the room the class is held in. The instructor usually turns off the lights because if you are challenging yourself at all you are sweating and constantly reaching for your water bottle. The dark room makes it less competitive because you can’t really see other people too well and it’s nice because you focus on yourself, rather than how hard your fellow students are working.
Although 15 spin classes are offered each week at Koret (see Koret Group Exercise Schedule), the classes remain so popular that a Koret employee has to stand outside of the door 30 minutes prior to the scheduled class time and make every person sign up on a list. There are about 20 bikes, 25 at the most, so if you don’t arrive 20-30 minutes ahead of time you will not get in the class or, as my friend put it, you will get “the 1987 bike, which sucks.” I don’t know how busy the 6:30 am spin class is on Tuesday mornings, but the evening classes (5, 7:30) are always crowded and students are literally scrambling to sign up. With such a popular class, wouldn’t it make sense to buy five to ten more bikes to accommodate the popularity of spin? I can’t help notice the feeble attendance and use of the new weight room with the boxing equipment. How many people at USF box versus how many people take spin classes?
Koret should seriously consider buying new spin bikes to accommodate larger classes. The room could hold at least eight more bikes. When a class like spin resonates this well with students, Koret should take note and try to facilitate the healthy choices that students are making.