Students might find it difficult to get a seat in one of Allison Woodward's spin classes. That's because the longtime instructor at Coppermine Racquet and Fitness Club off Falls Road adds a secret ingredient to her classes—trivia.
During every song Allison played, someone has to call out the song title and artist, and each correct answer got a point. The person with the most points wins. Yelling out guesses while breaking a sweat made the spin class much more lively and entertaining, and the minutes on the clock seemed to fly by.
After a class of guessing and sweating, we got the chance to ask Woodward about her fitness history, favorite songs, and why her mom is her inspiration.
How long have you been a fitness instructor?
Allison Woodward: I first started teaching classes in 1987 and I fell in love with it. I’ve been teaching overall for 30 years. I’ve been working at Coppermine since 2012, so I’m going on my fifth year there.
Can you tell me a little about Coppermine?
AW: We are a racquet and fitness facility, and our two racquet sports are squash and tennis. We also have a full fitness gym as far as treadmills, bikes, and weights. And we have about 65 classes a week including spin, insanity, a large variety of yoga classes, Pilates, group strength, barre, and step class. I teach spin, barre, yoga, step, strength, and a running class.
What is your favorite class to teach?
AW: Spin and yoga because I think there is more of a connection with people in those two classes. That’s the part of my job that I love—meeting people, building connections, and learning a little bit about everyone.
What are your favorite songs to workout to?
AW: I love fast beats. My favorite songs are “Sweet Surrender” by Sarah McLachlan, “5 Hours” by Deorro, and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. I like songs that have meanings in the lyrics to motivate everyone to be stronger.
Where is your favorite place to shop for fitness gear?
AW: Definitely Lululemon. They have the best fits for the multiple classes and sports that I compete in. I am a competitive triathlete, and I just completed the world championship in Hawaii, where I trained in all of their apparel. I love the cut of their tops, shorts, and running pants. They are athletic but still feminine.
What is your personal favorite way to workout? Least favorite?
AW: My favorite workout is running. My least favorite is any kind of dance class.
If I wasn’t a fitness instructor, I would be a . . .
AW: Social worker. I love knowing all kinds of people. I love the diversity of those I am blessed to be surrounded by and if I could help more people learn how amazing they were and make a difference to them, I would be so happy.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
AW: My mom. She lost our dad, her best friend and husband, when I was 6 and raised four kids on her own without ever complaining or giving up. She is the most positive person I know. She is now 88 and still that amazing lady with so much class and kindness.
What do you hope to accomplish with each class that you teach?
AW: To make people feel better than they did when they walked through my door.