Students use free exercise classes in SPAC


Daily File Photo by Owen Stidman

SPAC offers around 50 free fitness classes every week.

Rayna Song, Reporter

Some group exercise classes hosted at Henry Crown Sports Pavilion are so popular among students that they are sometimes turned away, SPAC staff said.

NU’s Department of Athletics and Recreation offers around fifty fitness classes every week, ranging from Latin Dance Workout to Aqua Fitness. Julia Catrambone, a Weinberg freshman, said she goes to classes twice a week. SPAC offers around 50 free fitness classes every week.

“I was in the cycling class, there were like twenty people who tried to come in, but the room was too small,” Catrambone said. “(The classes) are so fun, they are so good, and they are free.”

For the classes, no reservations are needed and students can simply walk-in, leading to the overflow of some classes, such as BODYPUMP.

Roman Svintitskyy, a Weinberg freshman, goes to SPAC three times every week, usually for the BODYPUMP Express class. He added that fitness classes with a set time give him the motivation to work out because he is able to schedule his day around each class he takes.

Fitness class is also a place where students learn to work out or to use the equipment correctly, Svintitskyy said, because the trainer can show them the standard usage.

“If I were doing it on my own, I wouldn’t know if I were doing it right,” Svintitskyy said. “If you don’t do it correctly, you could harm yourself.”

Weinberg freshman Isabel Azpiroz, who also takes BODYPUMP Express classes, said the classes help her do exercises she “wouldn’t do” herself.

“It (classes) motivates me to do more, because there is someone yelling at me to go faster,” Azpiroz said.

Even though students are mostly positive about these classes, improvements can be made to offer a better experience.

Svintitskyy said sometimes many are turned away from the BODYPUMP class because there is not enough space.

“We can only accommodate as many people as the room will comfortably hold… we have recommendations to set the room to accommodate as many people safely as possible,” said Amie Simmons, the assistant director of fitness & wellness at SPAC, “that’s about all we can do.”

Because the class size is so large, Svintitskyy said, it might be difficult for the trainer to focus on individual students.

SPAC is working to accommodate more people safely in its fitness classes.

“For BODYPUMP, which is very popular, we try to have the instructors lay out some of the equipment ahead of time, so people are only taking up as much space as they need,” Simmons said.

Simmons added that a few of the trainers are Northwestern students who have teaching certificates, but probably 85 percent or more are professionals.

“All of our fitness instructors as well as personal trainers, they all have nationally accredited fitness certifications,” Simmons said.

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