You may not be aware that the person sitting next to you in class leads high-intensity workouts to the UP community on the side. Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center offers a variety of workout courses including Pilot Fit, yoga, HIIT, Zumba and Pilot Spin. Each one is designed and taught by a student who also juggles their courses and extracurriculars.
Students, faculty and staff can sign up for classes online through rec services, which lists the specific class, time, studio and instructor. Classes take place in either the weight room or upstairs studios.
The Beacon sat down with five student instructors to chat about what they do, and why they love it.
Lauren Carlos, Pilot Fit Instructor
Carlos has been teaching Pilot Fit at Beauchamp since second semester of her freshman year. Carlos first became interested in crossfit type workouts because both her parents do crossfit. Back at home Mukilteo, Washington, Carlos is a CrossFit level one trainer.
Pilot Fit incorporates a wide variety of elements including cardio, weightlifting, calisthenics (body weight) and gymnastics movements. Pilot Fit workouts range from running to rowing, dumbbells to deadlifts, push-ups to planks and kettlebells to squats. Instructors design the regimes depending on the fitness levels of those taking the class.
One of the main reasons Carlos started teaching at UP is that she saw that Beauchmap offered free fitness classes but thought it missed some key elements. At the time, Beauchamp did not have any weightlifting or strength and conditioning programs. Carlos wanted to bring everything she had learned about Crossfit to University of Portland, so she spoke with the Recreational Operations Program Manager, Kaitlin Bourne and Pilot Fit was created.
Carlos uses Pilot Fit to destigmatize the weight room and empower women that “strong is beautiful.” She uses Pilot Fit to encourage students to be comfortable in the gym atmosphere by teaching them how to use gym equipment and their bodies properly. She said she’s passionate about fitness because it can inspire others.
Carlos also said she enjoys Pilot Fit because it's something different every time. When Carlos teaches her students, they workout differently every day, involving many different kinds of movements.
“One day we’re in the weight room, one day we’re on track, we’re up and down doing everything,” Carlos said. “It’s logistically a challenge, but I think that it's something that's really valuable because we’re constantly changing it up and people get to experience different precision.”
Carlos said she believes working out and fitness is fundamental to your health.
“I consider it as a basic need,” Carlos said. “I'm not a happy or pleasant person if I haven't worked out. So, it's definitely a stress relief. And it's empowering to be able to go into a weight room and throw down in some way.”
Carlos teaches Pilot Fit on Fridays 8–9 a.m.
Sarah Maxine, Yoga Instructor
Maxine’s passion for yoga started in the living room of her home in Sacramento, California. Maxine’s family all enjoy doing yoga together. Her mom began teaching her the study when she was five and by the time she was ten she started going to a studio. Now, she uses her skills to teach a class focused on Eclectic yoga.
“I named my class eclectic flow because it's a vinyasa classes - power, vinyasa,” Maxine said. “It incorporates a lot of elements of a modern sense where I play music that you could hear anywhere. I play reggae and alternative, sometimes a little bit of rap, or I also play sitar. So, it's a mix of things that come together and it takes it outside of traditional waterfall music.”
Power Vinyasa Yoga is an invigorating, powerful, energetic form of yoga where participants move or “flow” from pose to pose while connecting their breath to movement. This class includes a balance between exhilarating movement and serene stretching. Incorporation of conscious breathing amidst movement and stillness is emphasized to calm the mind.
From personal experience alone, Maxine was able to walk on as Beauchamp instructor first semester of her freshman year. The following summer she became certified.
“After doing my certification, I really feel like I’ve honed in on teaching in my correlation to the roots of yoga,'' Maxine said.
Maxine said she started teaching at UP because she believes that yoga is really powerful in the sense that it can ground the body to the mind.
“I believe that everyone needs a little bit of yoga in their life,'' Maxine said. “And I love to share with other people.This is why I became a teacher because I love my own personal practice.”
Maxine is passionate about yoga because she said she likes how many variations there are to the practice. It’s applicable to everyone and she finds the traditions and lineage of yoga to be fascinating.
Maxine said that some of her goals within yoga are maintaining a strong “inner sense,” feeling good within your own body and being able to confidently express yourself.
“I always want a strong core. That's our center. But I also want to be powerful in my arms and legs. I like to go on excursions, I like to hike and I like to dance. But yoga is always what I come back to. I always feel my best and feel strong and confident,” Maxine said.
Maxine teaches Eclectic Yoga on Thursdays 7–8 p.m. and Sundays 8–9 p.m.
Brie Curran, HIIT Instructor
Curran teaches HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). She first started watching HIIT workouts on YouTube because they were quick and easy to do inside, away from the summer heat of Sacramento.
HIIT is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training increases and keeps heart rate up to make for an intense, sweaty workout.
At UP, Curran was naturally glued to the gym and took many classes such as Pilot Cycle and yoga. By the second semester of her freshman year, Curran had started a HIIT class, and it quickly became a passion for her.
“I like the idea of being able to go at your own pace, the workouts are always different, and my favorite part is that it's for everyone,” Curran said. “It can be as tough or as easy as you want and then I always feel really good after them.”
When Curran first started teaching as a freshman she said was nervous because she had never instructed a class before. Teaching was the first step into putting herself out there and trying new things.
“I feel like I’ve definitely grown,” Curran said. “I love everyone who comes to my class, they are fantastic. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be doing workouts on my own. I feel I need them as much as they need me.”
For Curran, fitness is important because she likes the way working out can make her feel.
“If I feel like I’m kind of down it will get me back up again. And it's also a bonding thing. I feel I’m close with a lot of my running buddies because we push each other. Suffered is not the right word, but it’s hard, and you go through something together and you finish and it feels good,” Curran said.
Curran teaches HIIT on Mondays 9–9:45 a.m., as well as Tuesday and Thursday 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Brady Corcoran, Zumba Instructor
Corcoran started as a Zumba instructor in the spring of his sophomore year. The first time he was exposed to Zumba was during the Service Plunge at the beginning of freshman year, and he was inspired when the University brought in a past instructor.
“I then became friends with another girl who would go to Zumba pretty much every week,” Corcoran said, “She eventually graduated and I decided to carry on the tradition and it’s been good so far.”
Zumba traditionally combines Latin and international music with dance moves. Routines incorporate interval training — alternating fast and slow rhythms — and resistance training. Zumba provides a total body workout including cardio, conditioning, balance and flexibility.
Corcoran said that he enjoys taking Zumba more than teaching it because instructing requires a lot more effort. When teaching, Corcoran experiences a more intense workout than the people who take his class because he has to know all the moves and execute them perfectly.
Although teaching Zumba is intense, Corcoran said he stills enjoys it because it's nice to see different people spend time enjoying his class and music. One of the benefits of being a gym instructor is that you meet an array of people and give yourself an opportunity to work out as well.
“It's a great alternative for folks who like dancing or finding a different way to exercise,” Corcoran said. “It's a great opportunity to connect with other people who need inspiration and like music and making routines.”
Corcoran said he considers fitness to be important because it's vital to take care of yourself.
“Healthy mind, healthy heart. Working out is a good way to release stress. If I'm worried about something, I go to the gym for an hour and take my mind off it. It really helps me relax and to also get motivated,” Corcoran said.
Corcoran teaches Zumba Sundays 7–8 p.m.
Samantha Hull, Pilot Cycle Instructor
Hull has been teaching Pilot Cycle — also known as spin — for three semesters. Hull first started her passion for cycling at the end of highschool. She said with the end of sports and organized exercise, she needed something else to keep her in shape and engaged. Her friend’s mom offered her a job working front desk at a spin studio back home in Oakland, California in exchange for free spin classes.
Pilot Cycle is a choreographed, intense indoor cycling that focuses on endurance, strength, intervals and high intensity elements. In these classes, training includes warm-up riding, speed building, hill climbing, sprints and recovery. Every drill is RPM-based and executed to the beat of uplifting music. Cycle classes build cardio fitness, leg and glute strength.
To Hull, cycling offers a challenge and encourages her to mix things up and try new things.
“I just love it, it makes me feel great and I get a good endorphin rush,” Hull said. “And I like being able to share that with other people.”
Hull started teaching at UP because she heard that they needed cycling instructors at Beauchamp. She had never taught before but was interested in giving it a shot. She often participated in programs offered by the gym and thought it was time she move into a leadership role. With her experience working at different studios, she was able to bring a little twist to it.
Hull is passionate about cycling because it is a unique class that lets you be in charge of your own resistance.
“We decide how much we want to push against, how much we want to challenge ourselves,” Hull said. “And it's really nice being able to feel like ‘Oh!’ I can do more today. You can really feel the growth and accomplishment.”
Hull didn't realize she had a knack for teaching, but now loves it. It’s something she has a lot of fun with.
“My friends come and support me and then I meet a bunch of other people,” Hull said. “And I love when people come up to me all happy afterward. It's really nice seeing everyone happy in the end. That makes me feel good.”
Hull said she considers fitness to be important for her because she appreciates the boost of energy she experiences each time she works out.
“I come from beautiful sunny California and now it's dark and gray and rainy (in Portland) so fitness has really helped me keep my endorphins up, keep myself on a happy and healthy track. And when im teaching in front of a class and sharing with other people, I walk out feeling so great and empowered and happy. And I carry that on with me,” Hull said.
Hull teaches Pilot Cycle Mondays and Wednesdays 8–9 p.m.
Beauchamp also offers UPLift, 30min Abs, Intro to Kickboxing, Kickboxing, Conditioning and Flexibility, Dance/HipHop, Hatha Yoga and Yoga Sculpt.
Tessa Rodgers is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.