How Temple’s Group Fitness Classes Changed My Life for the Better

By Holly Huepfel

I always wanted to be a gym rat. Working the gym into my routine definitely seemed like a good idea, but to me it  just seemed unachievable. With a job, five or six classes every semester and a social life that I was trying to keep afloat, where was the time? Temple’s group fitness classes really changed the game for me.

Photo by Temple University Campus Recreation

Photo by Temple University Campus Recreation

What started as Wednesday night Zumba with my roommate soon turned into the need to try every class that was offered, which I still haven’t done because there are so many (14 different classes in the current session alone). With everything from cardio classes like Cycling to strength-building classes like Full Body Toning, three types of yoga, and dance-based classes like Zumba, to name a few, I’ve been able to try out exercises that I never knew existed.

One of the main things that held me back from my fitness endeavors is that I really had no idea where to start. Group fitness totally changed that for me, since the instructors walked me through everything step by step. Being in a room with dozens of guys and gals in the same boat actually became a huge motivator - whenever I want to stop, I can look at the girl next to me and know that if she’s pushing through, I can too.

While all of the classes that I’ve tried shine in their own way, my personal favorite has to be Full Body Toning. The weight room can be super daunting, especially when you have no idea what you’re doing. Full Body Toning is the mother of all strength workouts. It’s literally every circuit your favorite fitness Instagrammer has posted all combined into one 50-minute session. Seriously, it’s amazing. I’m three days out from one and every muscle in my body still hurts (in the best possible way).  

By far the best part of Temple’s group fitness classes is that they actually taught me how to exercise. Yes, they have such a variety of classes that I don’t have to exercise on my own if I don’t want to, but if my schedule changes or I’m really pressed for time, they’ve given me the tools that I need to safely build a workout of my own. I wouldn’t have dared to touch a barbell before taking Full Body Toning, but now I can walk into the weight room like a boss and lift next to the burly guys without feeling self-conscious. I can set up a yoga practice of my own in my living room and leave feeling just as good as if I went to my regular Power Yoga class. They have turned me from a fitness amateur into a fitness aficionado, if I say so myself.

So take it from the girl who spent her freshman year eating hot pockets for dinner and finishing 13 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in three months (that’s over 200 hours - I had a problem), if I can do it, so can you. Get out there and start your group fitness journey. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.