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Break a sweat: What should you expect from Barnard's Fitbear classes?

Is stress-eating Hewitt cake starting to (literally) weigh you down? Have you already broken that New Year’s resolution to work on your fitness? (Don’t worry, we here at Spectrum aren’t that sporty, so we won’t judge.) If you answered yes to either of these, chances are that you’re looking to get more physically active, and what kind of service journalists would we be here at Spectrum if we didn’t point you in the right direction?

Barnard currently offers its Fitbear program, which offers a wide array of fitness classes every single day. Passes are $50 and can be purchased on Fitbear’s website. (Also, easy access to this month’s schedule here.) Your pass gives you access to all classes from the time you purchase it to April 20. At this time, classes are restricted to just those in the Barnard community (those with a Barnard ID), which includes students, faculty, staff, and any alumnae with a Sports Facilities Pass.

If you’re like me and are super intimidated by fitness classes in general, choosing and committing to Fitbear can be daunting. We tried out several of its offerings and reviewed them to help you figure out whether or not this program is for you.

Barre Fit

A spin-off of ballet (though, ironically, you never actually use a barre during this class), this class focuses on a light workout while toning your muscles. While performing the traditional relevés and pliés, you’ll also work on mats and on the floor to tone your whole body. I promise, you will never take for granted the skills of ballerinas (and really, all dancers) ever again.

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*These were purely the interpretations of myself and my friends who accompanied me to these classes. Though all of us are active, none of us are ~fitness gurus~. Keep in mind that, while your experience may differ, these ratings exist as a form of insight into each class.

Sculpt

This high-energy class is focused mainly on working out your muscles. Through the use of a customizable amount of light weights, Sculpt focuses on toning and defining your muscles, rather than bulking them up. Muscles you didn’t even know you had will be sore afterward, but after a few weeks, you’ll absolutely notice a difference.
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Zumba

The energy from this class will leave you dancing in the shower afterwards. The dances are super easy to learn and the music is so catchy that you’ll wish this class would never end. In fact, you’ll be having so much fun that you probably won’t realize how much cardio you’re actually doing. Good luck getting the songs out of your head, though.
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Total Body

This class will kick your butt—there’s no getting around that. You’ll spend about 30 minutes doing weights, then 30 minutes doing some intense sprints for cardio. You may even do group exercises (partner lunges, anybody?). However, once this class finally ends, you’ll feel as fit as an Olympian. Take a cue from my roomies and me by making Sunday morning Total Body a weekly tradition (followed by the obligatory Nussbaum brunch).
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Yoga

Fitbear’s yoga class is very low-key and is great for ~yogis~ of all levels (even yogi wannabes). Plus Fitbear’s class schedule usually puts yoga at the end of the day, making it a great way to practice some mindfulness, relax, and stretch out after a long day. Bonus: Unlike many other classes in NYC, Fitbear’s yoga provides mats for you.
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Though I had a tough time recruiting other Spectrumites to join me to exercise, I honestly had a wonderful time at all of these classes. The Fitbear instructors are all either PE instructors or are trained students. They have incredible energy and will make you feel so good about your choice to attend.

What is your favourite FitBear class? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Mariella Evangelista is a Spectrum staff writer and a Barnard first-year. Her roommates almost hated her for dragging them to work out, but then they realized how awesome it is to be a Fitbear and are now addicted. Reach her at mariella.evangelista@columbiaspectator.com.

All illustrations by Alison Li / Staff Illustrator

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