Oklahoma Christian University students are gearing up for new fitness opportunities once again with the grand opening of the new CycleBar, located in Classen Curve.
TeamOC, an on-campus fitness organization, partnered with CycleBar, an indoor cycling gym, and organized two, free, 50-minute classes for Oklahoma Christian faculty and students, one last week and one Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Kristin Allen, Oklahoma Christian alumna and owner of CycleBar Classen Curve, said she first learned about spin classes during her time as an Eagle. She said she took classes at the University of Central Oklahoma and enjoyed it.
“Now, 10 years later, it is the only way I would choose to work out,” Allen said. “I fell in love with it in college. It was such a great experience and such a great workout.”
According to Allen, the dream to open her own franchise started about a year and a half ago when she noticed CycleBar’s popularity. She said she quickly realized she wasn’t the only one interested in attending classes, and mentioned the idea to her husband.
“I noticed that classes were packed, there’s a demand for it, people love it and I’m not the only one falling in love with it,” Allen said. “Classes are wait-listed and people are going crazy for it.”
As the date of the grand opening approached, Allen said she contacted Darci Thompson, Oklahoma Christian’s director of wellness, to ask if TeamOC would be interested in participating in some spin classes.
“I talked to her about getting OC involved,” Allen said. “My husband and I are Oklahoma Christian alumni. We want to stay involved with OC ongoing, and I thought it would be something fun we can do.”
Allen said the spin class atmosphere is ideal for college-aged students because it provides a unique and positive fitness experience. She said there is a lot of energy, which keeps the classes exciting and fun.
“It’s great for college students,” Allen said. “We have a theatre-type atmosphere where it’s a concert setting so you’re not just working out, you’re listening to great music — it’s a little bit of a show.”
According to Thompson, TeamOC enjoys working with businesses in the community because it offers more fitness opportunities for students. She also said it helps connect the campus to the community and creates more opportunities.
“I think it’s always good to partner with things in the community so that they know more about what we’re doing and we know about what they’re doing,” Thompson said. “We’re just finding new things for our students to be a part of.”
Thompson said there are students involved in fitness classes which aren’t available at Oklahoma Christian. She said spin classes, like CycleBar offers, are becoming increasingly popular options. According to Thompson, it is not only a fun workout, but it also promotes healthy lifestyles.
“We had two classes that I opened up to faculty, staff and some students first,” Thompson said. “We filled both classes of 50, and one of them has a wait list. I just love to open up more opportunities in the community that we may not be able to offer on campus.”
Sophomore Ashley Holland said she is open to attending a spin class. She said it sounds like a great opportunity to try something new and branch out of her normal fitness routine.
“I think they sound really interesting,” Holland said. “It’s something I’ve never done before, but an exciting, energizing place with a lot of people doing the same thing sounds really cool and definitely different.”
According to Holland, she is glad the spin classes were offered to college students for free. She said she doesn’t always get to try new opportunities because money is limited in college.
“I’m always looking for new ways to exercise or do anything,” Holland said. “I think as a college student and not having much money, but still wanting to do stuff like that, it’s nice to be able to have a way to do it — even if it’s only every once in a while.”
Holland said CycleBar spin classes are appealing because the franchise is run by Oklahoma Christian alumni. She said it’s a great opportunity to see what former students are doing post-graduation.
“I think as a current Oklahoma Christian student, it’s cool to see things that people that were in your place a couple years ago are doing now instead of just hearing about it,” Holland said.
Allen said she encourages everyone to take advantage of the free spin classes being offered, and to attend the ribbon cutting on Feb. 16. She said the 21-day grand opening is running from Feb. 6 to Feb. 26, and there are multiple discounts and promotions available to the community.
“We are encouraging healthy students and people of all ages to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, but also have fun while they’re doing it,” Allen said. “It brings a completely different aspect to fitness.”