In The Locker Room with Andreea Procopan, YeoFit Trainer


Courtesy of Andreea Procopan

College third-year and YeoFit instructor Andreea Procopan skydives.

College third-year Andreea Procopan began her fitness journey at Oberlin by trying out different YeoFit classes. She’s an international student who grew up in Moldova and only played one sport in high school for a very short period of time. She now teaches multiple classes and has even created her own class called “Pump It.” Her goal is to encourage others to go outside of their comfort zone when it comes to working out, and enjoys teaching others how to build both physical and mental confidence at the gym.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity


What has your fitness journey been like? 

Before Oberlin, I played a lot of sports, including tennis for five years. Back in my home country of Moldova, I also played squash in high school for about three months. But I really picked up fitness when I got to Oberlin because it was nice that I could take all the YeoFit classes for free. I started going pretty much every day or two, and I tried out a variety of classes because I like working out with people. 


How did you get involved with the YeoFit program? 

I went to a lot of the YeoFit classes and began talking to the instructors like Sara Schoenhoft and Donna Boucher. I went to all of Sara’s Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX) classes, and with Donna we would always exchange fitness tips. 


What classes do you teach and what do you enjoy about them? 

This semester, I’m teaching a TRX class and another class called “Pump It,” which I created on my own. “Pump It” is a weight-based class using dumbbells. These classes are just another way to find community at Oberlin. I personally really like working out with others because we share the responsibility of going through the workout together, and we push each other to do our best. I also enjoy seeing people get stronger and stronger. With every TRX class, I can see students becoming stronger, and it always makes me feel proud. I can’t wait for them to one day be my instructor. 


What was your inspiration in creating “Pump It”?

My primary inspiration came from Donna because before I started taking classes with her, I hadn’t done a lot of weight training. I was always reluctant to try because of the norms I was taught growing up about how muscles should look. Donna encouraged us to not be afraid to pick up weights, and emphasized that there’s no such thing as getting “bulky” and that building muscle is not a bad thing. She inspired me to diversify my workout routine. This summer, when I was back home, I went to a bunch of different workout classes at the gym, including weight training ones. I liked the idea of combining weight training and choreography so that rather than doing reps, you go with the flow of the music, like bumping into a squat. Now, when I listen to a song, I think about how many reps I can get into the chorus. 


What advice would you give to someone who wants to become more involved in athletics and going to the gym but isn’t an athlete?

That’s why I started doing this. I want to encourage people to come in and know that they shouldn’t be scared to go to the gym. Even if you’re not an athlete, this space is open to everyone. Consistency is key, which can be difficult. After my first few YeoFit classes, I couldn’t go up the stairs in Dascomb Hall for three days. At first, you may barely be able to get through ten pushups, but by the end you’ll be able to do 20 pushups in a breeze for a warmup. You’ll feel self-empowerment, and you’ll get to experience it and share it with others in your YeoFit classes. The more you keep going, the stronger you become, and that’s what makes it so powerful. 


Did you know that you wanted to be involved with YeoFit coming into Oberlin? 

I read about the group classes, but I felt like a lot of students who first start going to the gym just sit on the treadmill because they’re too intimidated to try out different things. It was the same thing for me, but one evening, when I was just on the treadmill at the gym, I saw the TRX class next door and decided to join. 


Is there anything else you would like to add?

Don’t be scared to branch out or struggle in a physical sense at the gym because you’ll only get better, and it’s fun. Working out shouldn’t feel like a burden, and in my classes I try to make sure that we’re having fun while working hard. If you feel like you need to work out then maybe that’s not the right mindset, and we can work together to approach it differently. Working out should and can be a fun activity.