I Get Fit With a Little (a lot of) Help From My Friends

July 10, 2014

 Olivia Knott

The lone runner, huffing and puffing down University Avenue, yes, I see you. You have a will of steel, are the ultimate self-motivator, probably on mile 13.6, and yes, now the entire Corner knows. Before I throw on my running shoes and attempt to drag myself outside to imitate said runner, I need to remind myself that there is a far more enjoyable way to suffer in front of people… suffering with them. Gone are the days of step aerobics and jazzercise! Get familiar with these cool fitness classes in Charlottesville for all different workout tastes, but tied together by a common thread- working out together.

If you want to get toned, especially with lean muscle, try Pure Barre:

Just down Old Ivy Road, this workout uses micromovements to engage, hold and release your muscles repetitiously with ballet-inspired technique. The only tools you use are a barre, ball, lightweights, resistance band and socks. (Seriously, don’t forget to bring a pair!) The difficult aspect of this workout is that because the movements are so small, it is difficult at first to understand which muscles you are trying to engage. When I took the class for the first time last week, a fellow student told me that consistency is key. She said that once you take this class about seven times, then it gets really hard because that’s when you finally understand completely which muscles you are working. This is also an excellent choice for people who need an intense but low-impact workout- there is no jumping or other movement that is strenuous on joints.

Perk: New student special for a month of unlimited Pure Barre is $100.

Want to know what to expect in class? Watch this video for tips and more information about the workout and class structure:


If you are looking for a dynamic yoga experience, try Opal Yoga:

The Vinyasa style studio on Main Street constantly changes up the routine of each class- I like to think of it as yoga for the attention-challenged. Having taken Bikram yoga before, I find that I often lose interest due to the repetitiveness of each class; this is not the case with Opal!

opalsign Photo by Olivia Knott

One class last week happened to fall on the same day as a USA World Cup game, making it the perfect reason for the teacher to lead a class based in Vinyasa yoga for athletes, focusing especially on the muscles used by soccer players. Vinyasa is a perfect combination of strenuous physical activity and deep stretching, making it my personal favorite. Opal regular (and the friend who always manages to help get my butt off the couch), Kaija Flood, agrees: “Vinyasa is challenging yet relaxing,” and even better, “Opal is an absolutely gorgeous studio to practice in.”

Perk: New student special for an unlimited month of yoga for $50.

opalstudio Photo by Olivia Knott


If you want a high intensity workout, try CrossFit Charlottesville:

According to the CrossFit Journal, a publication dedicated to the CrossFit lifestyle, this workout is centered around “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” In addition, the CrossFit Charlottesville website describes this workout as full body exercises that mimic movements made in the real world such as sitting and standing, lifting and pushing and pulling, but in a gym setting. Still confused? Watch this video:

Scared that this workout looks like an injury waiting to happen? Do not fear! CrossFit Charlottesville will scale their workouts to the level of your ability.

Perk: 15 percent discount for students on all membership packages.




If you want a workout that involves teamwork, try SEAL Team Physical Training:

In order to obtain a workout membership you first have to complete a two-week training course that teaches how to safely and correctly participate in the SEAL Team PT’s exercise regimen. After working out with the same group of people for 10 workouts, bonding through obstacles, strength and endurance workouts... You have completed the training course! Congrats! Now what? When you become a member, you get unlimited access to the hour-long class that meets Monday through Friday. Now, don’t forget this is a military based workout… and that means early mornings. Charlottesville classes are only offered at 6 a.m Two members of the Women’s Center staff, Assistant Director of the Young Women Leaders Program Melissa Levy and Trauma Counselor Margaret Edwards, regularly attend the workouts. Edwards describes it as “inclusive, body-positive […] challenging and outdoors. It feels like the best parts of recess and PE.” Recess at 6 a.m.? Not a terrible way to start the day.

Perk: 50 percent full-time student discount for the $250 two-week training program. After that, a month-long membership is only $90, making it the most wallet friendly option on this list. Right now, Groupon is offering an even better deal for these classes!

What does SEAL Team training look like? Watch as the University of Illinois women’s basketball team undergoes the rigorous program:


Make sure to check out LivingSocial and Groupon for a variety of group class deals:

LivingSocial: One Month of Unlimited Hot Yoga for $39 5 Club Mo Fitness classes for $29 11 for $49 One Month of Unlimited Muay Thai Boxing $39 Groupon: $19 for 3 Trial SEAL Team PT classes/$79 for two-week SEAL PT training program/$149 for two-week SEAL PT training program for 2 people (featured above) $40 for 10 hot yoga classes at Hydra Yoga/$89 for 20 classes

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