UPDATED: September 17, 2017 at 2:47 p.m.
A new fitness group on campus offers Harvard students the ability to work out at luxury fitness studios around Cambridge at a discounted rate.
Harvard Fitness, formed this semester, partners with private gyms like HandleBar to offer discounted classes to its members. Students can pay either a semester fee of $25 or a year-long fee of $45 to join the organization.
A single class at indoor cycling studio SoulCycle normally costs $30, and class at HandleBar costs $16 for those with a student discount. For members of Harvard Fitness, these classes would be offered free of charge during group outings.
The club’s co-founder Raven Richard ’20 said that she did not think the price of joining would discourage potential members.
“I don't think it's that much of a hurdle because if you do want to go to that kind of cycling class, most people know it's kind of expensive,” Richard said. “It's very cost-effective to join us.”
Richard said that she began planning the group over the summer when she and co-founder Amy E. Zhou ’20, an active Crimson editor, received free SoulCycle passes through working at Harvard Student Agencies. After they had used their passes, Richard said she and Zhou realized it would be expensive to continue going at the full price.
“We were like, we could probably figure out some deal where we could get students in—or a group of people in that have some kind of connection—for a much more discounted rate,” Richard said.
In contrast with most private gyms, Harvard Fitness will place a larger emphasis on building friendships within the group, according to Richard. She said she hopes the social aspect of the club will make getting in shape seem less daunting.
“I think a lot of people are lost in a gym setting. Like, if I go to the gym, I'll just run on the treadmill or do the elliptical. It's just very boring overall,” Richard said. “You're just by yourself. At a gym, people have their headphones in. They're just by themselves exercising.”
Although there are several other fitness organizations on campus ranging from the Harvard Outing Club, a group that organizes outdoor trips for members, to the Harvard On the Move campaign, a University-wide initiative that sponsors weekly walks and runs, Richard says that Harvard Fitness is different because it focuses on “fun fitness.”
“By cycling or yoga, we're picking places that have the kind of environment that builds more of a team and is actually enjoyable versus just getting a workout or just having an on-the-move initiative,” Richard said.
Harvard Fitness has already organized an outing to HandleBar and will later schedule trips to Wellbridge Athletic Club, a fitness and aquatics club in Cambridge, later this semester.
—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.
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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: September 17, 2017
A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that Harvard Fitness had partnered with Soul Cycle. In fact, the two organizations have not reached a formal agreement.