Health & Wellness

Collegiate wellness event, Frat Row Fitness, comes to USC

The outdoor fitness event aims to be an alternative to indoor gym reservations and programs in the wake of COVID-19 protocols.

Laying side-by-side on the Gamma Phi Beta lawn, more than 60 USC students gathered together on September 10 to participate in the first-ever Frat Row Fitness event.

In the heart of the University of Southern California’s Frat Row, a new event has come to campus. Laying side-by-side on the freshly cut Gamma Phi Beta lawn, over 60 USC students gathered together on Sept. 10 to participate in the first-ever Frat Row Fitness event. Created to get the student body moving and engaged with one another again, this event celebrated the re-emergence of in-person events on campus through a health and wellness enterprise.

When planning Frat Row Fitness’ debut event in a little less than two weeks, event founder and junior studying theater, Maya Jade Frank, wanted to use wellness and exercise to build a sense of community across the university’s campus. After selecting a class fitness instructor, collaborating with event sponsors and choosing a location for Frat Row Fitness to take place, Frank turned to social media to spread the word about the event.

Participants arrived a few minutes prior to the 2 p.m. start time with yoga mats in hand and water bottles filled to the brim, ready to get a good workout in, catch up with friends and meet new people within the USC community. Brett Landin, a junior majoring in psychology and event fitness instructor, positioned herself at the head of the Gamma Phi Beta lawn for all to watch and follow throughout the class.

“I would describe Frat Row Fitness as just getting the community together to move,” said Landin.

After applying layers of sunscreen and sliding their exercise mats towards any area of shade, participants began to settle into their spots for the outdoor workout class in the 80 degree Los Angeles heat.

Attendees were guided through an hour-long pilates class, constantly encouraged by the event leaders, fellow participants, and the Frat Row Fitness power-workout playlist that could be heard throughout USC’s Greek row, along with the echo of participant voices as they counted their exercise reps aloud together.

Frank closed the event, guiding participants through a brief cool down and urging the group to congratulate themselves and their peers for completing the intense strengthening session. In these final moments, attendees turned to one another and exchanged encouraging words and air high-fives.

Afterward, guests were rewarded with complimentary drinks and snacks courtesy of the event’s sponsors, including MUSH oats, Koia Drinks and Bakeology.

Laying side-by-side on the Gamma Phi Beta lawn, more than 60 USC students gathered together on September 10 to participate in the first-ever Frat Row Fitness event.

Students were excited to finally be able to gather together in person and work as a team during this group exercise class after more than a year without in-person events.

“Everybody was getting involved, having a good time and cheering each other on,” said USC senior Richard Tarpey. “It was nice to see that. Especially with quarantine and stuff, we haven’t had the chance to do anything like this in a while.”

While this event takes place on Frat Row, it is open to all USC students, not just members of Greek life. Students of all majors, ethnicities, body types and genders came together with one goal in mind- to move. There was no pressure on any attendees to perform at a certain level or compete with their neighboring classmates.

The event, and sponsored goodies, is free to the public and offers USC students the option to complete a 60-minute long sculpt class, all within a social and welcoming atmosphere. Olivia Hernandez, a senior studying journalism, said the outdoor event was a welcomed change from the USC Village gym — especially with new COVID-19 policies and regulations.

“The gyms right now, it’s super hard to get a reservation. And it’s really frustrating because the only other gyms are downtown,” said Hernandez, “so I would love to see more people come out [to Frat Row Fitness].”

With USC classes being conducted solely on Zoom last academic year, students are returning to in-person learning; reuniting with old friends and meeting new Trojans. Updated COVID-19 guidelines have been implemented on USC’s campus this summer and fall semester. The university has reopened gym spaces, but members are only allowed access to these fitness centers if they sign-up for an allotted time slot, which can be difficult to schedule. Frat Row Fitness offers an alternative option to students who want to get a workout in but can’t seem to snag a time slot.

Frank is hopeful that the creation of this event will regularly provide attendees with a judgment-free environment where participants can motivate one another to better themselves both physically and mentally.

USC students can find information about upcoming Frat Row Fitness events on their Instagram page.