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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Spinning, kicking and stretching: A WREC group exercise review

Upstairs+of+the+WREC+where+the+classes+are+held.
Kit Beauchamp
Upstairs of the WREC where the classes are held.

Three’s company, four’s a crowd, sweating with strangers will leave you feeling proud. 

The Wildcat Recreation Center offers a variety of group exercise classes — for free — for students with no reservation required. 

Spin 

A wise person once told me a good spin class is made up of three components: the music, the people around you and the instructor. 

Spin class can be intense. It is a serious workout that gets you sweating, your legs burning and tests your stamina. It can also be a uniquely fun workout experience, even verging on euphoric

The room at the WREC was saturated with fast-paced, jubilant dance music that set the tone. The instructor fulfills multiple roles: They are your cycling leader, guiding you along this strenuous workout journey. But they are also your hype man, keeping spirits high and inspiring you to do your best. 

This is an intense class, you will get your money’s worth. My legs were on fire within about ten minutes and I consider myself to be in decent shape. 

The experience is rewarding as well. It is not only a killer workout for your cardiovascular system and lower body, but a fun way to get involved. 

Spin is a group activity, and a good place to meet people and bond; the vibes were immaculate. Not to mention, you’re gonna sleep like a rock. 

Kickboxing 

This class was more serious than I anticipated. You’ll learn some real skills when it comes to kickboxing, but boy is it intense. The class progresses during 90 minutes from warm-ups and technique practice to full-on sparring

First, we switched between intervals of jumping rope and shadowboxing. This part was strenuous; I hadn’t jumped rope since I was about ten years old and half my current weight. Next, we practiced punches and kicks by traveling across the room in a straight line, all the way to the mirror and back to the wall.

We grabbed some gloves and partnered up. With a partner, we practiced throwing blows by hitting a pool noodle, held out by the partner. This progressed to delivering a sequence of hits assigned to numbers; for example, a right uppercut was a six, a left jab was a one.

Finally, we sparred with our partners. This part caught me by surprise, I didn’t expect to spar on my first day. We sparred with our initial partners for a few minutes, then we rotated with others in the room.  

In a sense, I was thrown in the deep end which was probably effective in teaching. However, it seemed questionable that we were expected to fight so early on, with little guidance or protective gear —other than gloves, of course. 

If I were to change one thing, it would be to organize the class into beginner and advanced participants. You can always sit out on any part of the class, but you have to be a squeaky wheel. Nevertheless, it was a good workout, I had fun and learned a lot. 

Yoga 

While most exercise pumps you up, yoga is a kind of wind-down. The pace of the class is gentle and relaxed. There is soothing, lo-fi-style music playing in the background to set the mood. 

The instructor guides participants through several different yoga poses, generally progressing from milder to more challenging poses. But not to fear: There are all levels of skill and ability present in this class. Simply do your best, and participate to a level that feels comfortable. 

My favorite part of this class was the feeling of “turning off’ during the session. During the poses, I found myself in a state of peace and felt very grounded in my own body. Yoga is a meditative practice, and is good for your mental health, as well as mobility and joint health

There are different yoga classes offered through the WREC, including Hatha yoga and restorative yoga. Yoga is also a good option for “rest days,” as it is low impact. 

Studies show that incorporating stretching into your exercise regimen greatly benefits your overall health. The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends stretching two to three times a week, holding stretches for 10 to 30 seconds at a time.  

Any kind of exercise you do regularly is good for you. The best kind of exercise is the kind you enjoy doing. 

To learn more about group exercise and other resources offered by the WREC, go here

 

Kit Beauchamp can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kit Beauchamp, Reporter
Kit Beauchamp is a Communications Major at Chico State University. Originally from Fairfax, CA, he transferred to Chico from Santa Barbara City College following the Covid-19 pandemic. Kit has always been interested in writing and journalism, and this is his first semester writing for The Orion. He hopes to use his platform to give voice to all facets of the student body, shed light on interesting and relevant topics, and present the unbiased truth. In his spare time, Kit enjoys music, fried foods, run-on sentences and looking at colorful birds.    

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