Wednesday 7-8 p.m.
This class started with a few benign downward-facing dogs, but before I could even stretch out my perpetually tight hammies, we were busting out lunges and single-legged vinyasas at an alarming speed. We quickly abandoned the comfort of our yoga mats for across-the-floor exercises. Some of the exercises were truly excruciating – I could feel the backwards army crawls for at least a week and a half after.
The instructor was encouraging and made the moves diverse and exciting. However, she was also one of those gorgeous, impressive people who is both strong and flexible, which meant that her demonstrations gave me an unrealistic expectation of what I would look like when I did the move. I recommend avoiding the mirrors at all costs.
Monday & Friday 12- 12:30 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday 11-11:30 a.m.
True to its name, the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class packs tons of intense, sweat-inducing cardio and strengthening moves into 30 excruciating minutes. It’s the ideal fix for someone with a “get in and get out” mentality who wants to minimize their time at SPAC while maximizing their heart rate.
Although most of the class attendees were marginally chiseled and could do consistent kick-ass jump squats, even a novice like myself could generally keep up with the moves. When I couldn’t, the fast pace of HIIT saved me – I only had to hold on for about a minute.
Even though it was short, this no-nonsense class made me feel extra-accomplished. Plus, after every HIIT class, there is a 30-minute core conditioning or BodyPump class to round out your workout if squats and push-ups didn’t quite do you right.
5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 8:15-9:15 a.m. Saturday
If you have an hour to kill and want to maximize your sweat, hit up NU’s very own version of SoulCycle.
This class is fairly popular, so you may have to venture close to the front to find a non-rusty bike that you’re sure will hold your weight. (Pro tip: snag a bike that has a red lever and displays your gear setting. It is much easier to follow along when you’re not blindly setting your resistance several gears too high.) As the name suggests, this class can be tough if you bump up your resistance and stay with the instructor.
As a single spinning machine, we battled through numerous seated and standing climbs, fueled by the instructor’s mid- 2000s pop playlist and the delusion that if we spun faster we might actually summit some non-metaphorical mountain. However, despite the burning in my quads and butt, the class became pretty repetitive. Regardless, the constant pumping of my legs in this class exhausted me far more than any of the others.
5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, 12-1 p.m. Saturday
I fully expected the class to be littered with the traditional middle-aged-woman-sporting-neon-leggings stereotype, complete with cheesy smiles and Fitbits. But though there were a few older women, most attendees were students who kept their neon clothing in check.
The instructor was cute and energetic. She frequently made a chirping sound when she wanted us to repeat a move. Other than this occasional noise, there was no verbal instruction, so I found myself desperately trying to watch and mirror her motions while fumbling my way through the routines. You might not consider foot stomping and hip twisting to be too difficult, but when you throw in some opposing arm movements and the expectation that you learn the dance as you go, Zumba really gives Orgo a run for its money.
The music, an upbeat mix of reggaeton, Bollywood and Pitbull kept the mood light even as I frustratingly muddled my way through the routines.