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26 February 2012

Wellness Centers offers unique spin classes

If you find yourself roaming the Wellness Center and can’t seem to escape the thumping sounds of trance or hip-hop music, don’t be alarmed.

There’s no hidden night club in the campus gym, but there is Club Norm, a studio cycling room nicknamed after Norman Parsons, the Wellness Center’s longtime director. It provides avid cyclists with an unusually entertaining workout.

Cyclists can do the spinning experience of their choice, as the classes are taught by a range of spinning certified instructors, each with their own teaching style and accompanying workout feel. There are regular spin classes and “video” classes that feature a large projection screen for the cyclists to watch as they ride.

Junior Danielle Landau has been teaching spin classes at the center since her freshman year.

“Some classes are ‘video’ classes, meaning the instructor plays music videos on the screen. An instructor might also choose to play one of the outdoor ride videos which show roads and paths to make students feel like they’re cycling outdoors,” Landau said.

One simulated ride even shows the Tour de France route, giving the class a feel of what it’s like to be a professional cyclist.

Some people prefer the video classes because it provides a more stimulating workout. Others prefer the classic spin-style class that utilizes simpler visual aids.

Both video and non-video classes utilize music, which can vary widely by instructor,  to greatly influence the productivity of a workout.

“I make the playlists myself,” said Jeff Boulos, a spin class instructor who also coaches  hockey at UM. “First I create the ride.’ giving it a certain feel; some classes have more jumps and climbs than others. The 14-slot music playlist will reflect that.”

For students who regularly attend classes, the music is a deciding factor on how intense their workout becomes. In fact, a study conducted at the University of New Mexico showed 97 percent of people say that music affects their performance during aerobic activity.

“I’ve been to classes where they play rock music – how am I supposed to work out to Amy Lee of Evanescence whining about her emotions?” said Emily Israeli, a junior who attends up to three classes a week.

The classes are cheaper for UM students, with a one-time semester fee of $60 and decreasing rates as the semester passes. Non-student members pay $96. Not to mention the weight management benefits of being a cyclist are significant.

“You can burn from 900 to 1,000 calories in my one hour class,” Boulos said.

For more information about spin classes at the Wellness Center, visit miami.edu/wellness/Programs_and_Schedules/Schedules/STUDIO_CYCLING_Spring_12.pdf.