A fresh, exciting twist on working out


Courtesy of Ashley Artist

While instructor Paige challenges everyone in her fitness classes, each student pushes to improve themselves in a positive way.

Julia Meehan

With cold weather setting in and the semester coming to an end, it can be hard to roll out of bed and get yourself to the gym.

A solution to this problem is Iowa State’s variety of fitness classes to help motivate yourself. There are classes to fit everyone. If you are working out to have a good time with your friends or if you choose to be more intense and serious, there is a class for you.

“Overall, group fitness classes focus on making yourself better and not comparing yourself to others,” said Kenzie Keil, a graduate student in biomedical sciences. “You come to group fitness to improve yourself and it is good to be in a group to see others improving themselves as well.”

There are a wide range of classes available focusing on the mind and body, upper body strength, core, cardio, balance and much more.

“They are all really fun with a good variety of instructors,” said Muriel Hyndman, a senior in kinesiology and health. “We all teach a little differently, so go in open-minded to see which instructor and class you like best.”

With fitness classes beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 8:30 p.m., there are classes that work with everyone’s busy schedules, so there is no worry about not having time.

“I think it’s more enjoyable to take classes in a group of people from an instructor rather than alone,” said Sophie Mozena, a freshman in pre-graphic design. “Especially being challenged by someone else.”

Sunrise Yoga

Start your day off right with sunrise yoga at 7 a.m.. Sunrise yoga focuses on relaxation, stress relief and positivity to help you start the day with an optimistic mindset. Yoga at Iowa State is for everyone. This class helps improve your flexibility to prevent muscle pulls and tears in the future.

“Group classes, like yoga improves your health and well-being of taking a break,” Keil said. “The atmosphere is very inviting for people who have not done it before and allows people to meet new people.”

Sculpt & Tone

As stated in its name, Sculpt & Tone is a muscle-toning class. In the class you will be working with a choice of dumbbell weight, resistance bands, stability balls and more to work every muscle in the body. It consists of repetitions with heavier weights, unlike the barre classes and is strength-based for intermediates.

“Exercise is really good for you and you might learn a few new workout moves to add if you ever workout on your own,” Hyndman said.

Jump Fitness

Many people’s childhood memories feature trampoline days with their neighborhood friends. Now there is a class just for that called Jump Fitness. The class uses fitness trampolines, dumbbells and other strength equipment to improve the entire body. 

Cycle Fit

If you’ve always wanted to know how it feels to partake in a SoulCycle class, Iowa State has a similar class called Cycle Fit. It is an indoor cycling class that teaches the techniques of spinning flats and hills to build lower body strength and endurance.

During the class, the instructor will push you to spin a little faster and dig a little deeper at times. Everyone has the option to turn it up a notch or give themselves a break. The class is designed for the rider to choose their fitness level. Your legs will definitely feel like jello stepping off the bike, but at the end of the day it is a killer workout.

Dance Party

Dance party is a fitness class far from intense lifting and difficult stretches. The class turns exercise into an enjoyable workout. This class is intended to get everyone grooving to the tunes. No matter your coordination, let loose and take your mind off of studies while also incorporating a workout.


Want to join a new class unlike the rest? Barre is a newly opened class for students to participate in. Barre is a mixture of pilates, dance, yoga and practical training. You will be challenged by a lot of repetition, but with light weights. The objective is to exhaust all of your muscle groups to boost your muscular stamina.

“You can get a really good workout in and be educated on information,” Hyndman said. “If you keep coming back you will feel a sense of community with familiar faces.”

Cardio Kickboxing

Anyone can channel their inner Rocky or Apollo in cardio kickboxing. It is an upbeat class of high intensity to raise your fitness to the next level. The class consists of learning form and techniques such as jabbing, punching and kicking.

Ever wanted to know how it feels to slip on a pair of boxing gloves? Fortunately this class allows you to. The class involves boxing gloves and mitts between you and a partner. As dead week and finals approach, take the stress out with some fierce kicks and jabs.  

Complete Core

If you are pushed for time but dying to get a quick workout in before the day ends, complete core is the class for you. Take 30 minutes out of your day and focus on core strength.

The numerous exercises of abdominal, oblique and lower back work will improve your core. This quick class is perfect to take if you have a hectic student schedule.

You can reserve your spot now on Iowa State’s recreation services website.

“I suggest other students to try out jump fitness or cardio kickboxing because they are amusing classes to get you in shape,” Mozena said.

If you really enjoy fitness classes already and would like to teach your own class, it takes just a few steps to become an instructor. Instructors are paid depending on their trainings and certifications. To teach at Iowa State you have to go through a semester long class with the gym. Once you are finished you have to pass a group fitness exam, which is a national certification.  

“Exercise is really good for you and you might learn a few new workout moves to add if you ever workout on your own,” Hyndman said.