The club empowers women through fitness activities



Fit Like A Girl members attend group fitness classes together at studios on campus and around Los Angeles, incorporating activities like yoga, Pilates, and Jiu Jitsu into their workouts. (Photo courtesy of Audrey Geis)

When Margot May helped found Fit Like A Girl in the spring of 2019, she felt USC lacked an all-female community to engage in fitness and health outside of college sports. Since its inception, May, the social media manager of Fit Like A Girl and other club founders have hoped to empower members to become themselves and bring together a diverse community of college-aged women through activities. planned fitness sessions.

As of Spring 2020, the club has over 100 members and is a perfect group training system for girls looking for a fitness community, said Alya Kalra, Fit Like A Girl event coordinator.

“If you want a place where you can meet a lot of girls, if you want to try a different workout routine… I think this is the perfect club for them,” Kalra said.

Natalie Ospeck, a sophomore global health student, said she and other members of Fit Like A Girl were inspired to lead the club out of a desire to bring girls together and show them what it means have an active lifestyle.

“I always enjoyed working out when I was younger and in high school,” Ospeck said. “Coming to college where I didn’t have this organization around training, it was a little stressful… And so we’re inspired just by bringing girls together and inspiring a healthy lifestyle in college,” because it can be difficult to adapt to the workouts. . “

Members pay a fee of $ 10 each semester to meet at different fitness studios on campus or nearby for a workout once a week. In the past, Fit Like A Girl has partnered with CorePower Yoga, Studio Club Pilates, Clube Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Bespoke Cycling.

The club sends out surveys to members at the end of each semester and evaluates which workouts members enjoyed the most to make sure everyone has a say in future workouts and studios they attend, Ospeck said. .

“We really want to make it affordable for people,” Ospeck said. “So we’re really looking for studios that are willing to volunteer their time and let us try a class or offer us a reduced group rate. “

For Audrey Geis, a second year student majoring in business administration, Fit Like A Girl stands out from other sports clubs because it is not oriented towards rigorous training but towards building a community and a system of support for its members.

“The main goal of our club is not really to get an incredible training,” said Geis. “The goal is to get the girls [together] who are involved in a lot of different things on campus or who may not have found a way to meet.

Kalra joined Fit Like A Girl in January 2019 after a friend recommended the organization as a way to stay active with a group of girls with similar interests.

“I’ve always liked being in a group when working out, which I think motivates people to train and be active more than if you went to the gym alone,” said Kalra, student. in the second year of specialization in public policy.

Kalra is responsible for contacting various studios inside and outside of USC to see if they would be ready to host a class.

“[Last year], we went to a Jiu Jitsu studio run by a USC [alumnus]”Kalra said.” He kind of turned it into a self defense class and it was really fun even though he’s serious enough to learn self defense. ”

Fit Like A Girl was originally part of the CHAARG organization, a national institution that aims to ignite female college students with a passion for health and fitness. Due to a $ 45 membership fee and limited events available on the West Coast, the founders decided to part ways with CHAARG to create their own group.

“[CHAARG] is a great organization, ”said May, a second year major in public policy. “We have so much respect for them. However, their commitment required much more than we thought necessary. ”

Kalra said she benefits from a group that holds its members accountable for leading healthy and active lives.

“One of our first practices last semester was with Orange Theory,” said May. “We had over 60 girls and it was a really hard training… It was quite stimulating to see a group of girls training together and also fun to see people who wouldn’t necessarily be friends or who wouldn’t meet. necessarily. in any other area of ​​USC, become friends.

For members like Geis, the progress is better than ever thanks to all the hard work and commitment members have put into the post since the inception of Fit Like A Girl at USC.

“I’m really proud of all of our work because we’ve built a lot of relationships with different studios in Los Angeles,” Geis said. “It made it a lot easier, especially this semester, to just contact the people we’ve worked with and know. “

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