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One of Fitrec’s Best Kept Secrets

By Kirsten Glavin
BU News Servie

Early morning workouts combined with exhausted, caffeine-dependent college student isn’t necessarily an ideal match made in heaven. But what if a workout was presented in class form, where all students have to do is show up? And better yet, what if the class was entirely free? This is exactly what the Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center, “Fitrec,” offers students every week. However, a majority of students have no idea the opportunity exists.

According to Kristina Covarrubias, a marketing staff member at Fitrec, free gym classes were first offered in the fall of 2012 with the main objective of providing workouts to faculty, staff, alumni, and other non-student personnel on campus. After receiving positive feedback from attendees, the classes were then opened up to students.

“It is really an extension of the awesome recreation class program,” Covarrubias said. “The classes are taught by the same fitness instructors that run other classes for credit.”

General workout classes are part of the PDP program at Fitrec, allowing undergraduates to participate in gym classes for university credit. Other students wishing to enroll are required to pay a fee for the semester class. Although undergraduates do frequent the free drop-in classes, an overwhelming number are unaware they are offered.

“I don’t believe many students know about the free classes and most people find out through ‘word of mouth’ or friends,” said Kelly Colden, a Fitrec employee and free class participant. “In a typical class, there are about 30 students, which is the maximum capacity. However, some classes fill up faster than others depending on their popularity.”

Colden finds that the “Happy Hour Workouts,” offered every Friday for students, are better advertised and receive much more attention. However, “Happy Hour” was offered in past semesters and were posted on the Fitrec website’s home page. “Other free classes during the week are new this semester and just aren’t as well known,” Colden said.

Shann Chan (SMG ’15) is another student who agrees the classes are the hidden gems of Fitrec. Chan learned of their existence through her roommate, and has since taken up yoga on Thursday mornings.

“I don’t think they market the classes enough,” Chan said. “There are no signs or anything, just a brochure on the table. You really just hear through word of mouth, they don’t go out of their way to tell students.”

Although many students are unaware that the free workouts are an option, Fitrec does advertise them through their Twitter handle @FitRec, posters at the lobby entrance, and on their website (www.bu.edu/fitrec). The classes run September 16 to December 13, and include Fat Burn, Cycling, Zumba, Total Body Conditioning, and Yoga.

The class times vary by day, so there is truly a time and a workout for everyone. Colden believes that most people enjoy the workouts because of this, and that morning and lunch hours are convenient for the majority of students.

“The instructors are also very qualified and fun,” she added. “My favorite free class to take is the Total Body Conditioning on Wednesday mornings. The class is high energy and the instructor does a great job of motivating us and keeping the workout fun. Also, it’s at a perfect time on Wednesdays morning so I can get a workout in before my classes at 9 a.m.”

Interested in experiencing one of Fitrec’s best-kept secrets? Because class space is limited, Fitrec asks that those interested arrive 10-15 minutes before the class to claim a spot. The Front Desk administers class passes, which are then collected by the instructors at the beginning of the workout.