Do you suffer from Gymtimidation? You know, that feeling when you’re working out on the Stairmaster, doing your thing, but then you see the entire football team working out behind you and you suddenly have the urge to run back to your car? Or what about when you’re just trying to get some laps in at the pool, but then someone hops in the lane next to you and starts sprinting their butt off when you were just trying to have a leisurely workout?
Well, we might have a solution for you, and it’s called WesBam!
WesBam, which stands for Wesleyan Body and Mind, is the student-run fitness collective on campus. They offer three types of different classes: yoga, Zumba, and High-Intensity Interval (HIIT) Training. The classes are offered multiple times per week in Fayerweather, with many time slots to suit whatever tricky class schedule you may have.
“I think that what I like about it is that a lot of people are intimidated by the gym, which you shouldn’t be, but I completely understand why it’s intimidating,” said WesBam HIIT instructor Elisa Greenberg, ’18. “Especially this type of class, it’s a lot of strength, and it’s a lot of things that you feel uncomfortable doing on machines or on mats in front of people, so that’s why I really like it. It’s a nice place for people who aren’t athletes or don’t feel comfortable in the gym to still come in and get a really great workout.”
WesBam Zumba teacher Mary Johnson ’20 echoed Greenberg’s sentiments.
“Last year I started taking classes, and I liked that it was small, and it was really nice to have a fitness alternative to the gym,” Johnson said.
And the good news is that it’s affordable, too. The drop-in rate is only $5, but students also have the option of buying a package, which gets charged to their student account. There’s plenty of variety throughout the classes, so you’re sure to be getting your money’s worth.
“My class is a lot of short bursts of high-intensity things—the dreaded things like burpees—we’ll be doing those,” Greenberg said. “It’s a lot of thirty seconds on, ten seconds rest. It’s really, really fun.”
Haven’t done a burpee in a while? Don’t worry, the Zumba and yoga classes can offer a different type of workout.
“Zumba is a blend of lots of different Latin dance styles and music,” Johnson said. “I really like using Spanish music, it’s really great, there’s amazing rhythms and it really gets people going… it’s all about having fun and moving. I really want my class to be a stress-relieving experience, so we dance for 50 minutes and I always have a short meditation that I do at the end of my class. I want people to feel good after the exercise and relaxed.”
WesBam also offers a free class once a week; as well as free “promo” weeks at the beginning of each semester, when all classes are free to attend. They do programming with athletic teams and partnered with WesWell in the beginning of the year to lead de-stress workshops. WesBam is more than just the classes: it’s about programming, wellness initiatives, and healthy eating.
“I found out that they’re always looking for instructors [in the] December of my freshman year, and I thought, yeah, maybe this is something I could do,” Johnson said when asked why she decided to become a WesBam instructor. “Spring of 2017 I was like, okay I can really do this! In June of 2017 I got certified to be a Zumba instructor, and it was really fun. I started working out my routines and testing them out a lot with my friends, it’s a really fun way to bring people together.”
Greenberg explained that her reasons stemmed from her love of creating workouts and filling a leadership role.
“I was a coxswain on the crew team for my first three years, and a lot of that involved… responsibilities of leading the workouts and designing the workouts,” Greenberg said. “I really liked that. It was fun, it was something I felt good at, I like motivating people. So, when I realized I wasn’t going to be on crew my senior year, I thought WesBam would be a really good way to keep that up and get better.”
WesBam has a Facebook page where they will post weekly schedules, class updates, and new promos. This semester’s promo week is running until this Saturday, Feb. 10 and all classes take place in Fayerweather. They also have a website: wesbam.weebly.com, where you can give feedback to instructors as well as check the class schedule. As Greenberg said, WesBam is one of the best kept secrets here on campus. Overall, it’s pretty safe to say that your gymtimidation will be solved with WesBam this semester.
Jane Herz can be reached at email@example.com.