The class incorporated a step, a barbell, a mat and hand weights. It was set to some thumping music, which I incidental LOVE, and was quick paced and oh so intense.
We started off with a warm up which almost made me throw in the towel. If this is the warm up what in the hell was coming next? Well I'll tell you... sheer torture in the form of a little by mighty man named Paul who was about 5'4 and weighed 120 pounds soaking wet was what was coming next.
We started with squats that incorporated some arm movements with the barbell. By the end of this part my legs were shaking like a new born baby deer. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it. I crawled over to my water bottle as we switched positions to work the next muscle group. I took one look at Marco and knew he was feeling it too.
I wobbled back over to my area to begin the upper body portion which again really pushed me to my limit. I was able to keep up although I swear somebody had snuck in behind me and lit my arms on fire. I mentally located the nearest fire extinguisher just in case, but ends up it wasn't necessary.
With a lot of the exercises that came along I would just about be ready to give up when we would switch to the next thing. Sometimes I wouldn't make it all the way to the end of a set and would have to stop but within a few seconds more that set would be over, so I almost made it.
I was unable to do the dips, which work your triceps. There were other tricep exercises incorporated into the routine so they didn't totally get neglected. It didn't surprise me that I couldn't do them though. We used to have to do them for gym class in junior high and I couldn't do them then either. Maybe that's a good fitness goal for me to shoot for.
I also couldn't do the planks in full form. It was only recently that I had even heard of planks to be honest. Here is how you're supposed to do a plank:
1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. (in class we actually rested our arms on our step, making the plank more difficult... yeah like I needed that!)
2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.
5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
Little Peppy Paul showed me a way to do the planks from my knees that still gave me a good workout and definitely challenged me physically.
The ab workout was totally intense. I was able to do most of the exercises and complete most of the reps. I had a hard time with the ones where you cross your legs up in the air and keep them there while you're lifting your shoulders off the ground crunching your stomach muscles. Actually just typing that made me hurt.Overall it was a super great workout and the time flew by! I couldn't believe we had worked out for an hour already when we started doing our cooldowns. It was like doing my whole weight lifting routine without the breaks inbetween sets and with more intense movements, although it was done with less weight that I usually lift.
Some things I noticed in the class were:
- Even though I was the biggest person in the class I was still able to keep up with the others for the most part.
- When I would be struggling to finish out the set of exercises I would notice some of the "thinner" people would have already quit. I have to learn that thinness doesn't equate fitness or strength.
- I thought I would be more self conscious of my body in the class but I was so concentrated on getting the form right and doing the exercises properly that I didn't have time to notice myself let alone see if anybody was looking at me.
The cool down was great and made me realize how great stretching feels. We don't usually stretch after our workouts (I know, bad Sarah bad!) but I think I'm probably going to start.
After class we came home to shower. I could barely lift my arms up over my head to wash my hair. It was THAT hard of a workout. I was truly exhausted and my muscles were fully fatigued.
Today, the day after, I am hurting. I'm also finding creative ways to get on and off the toilet without straining my already sore muscles. I find that if you lean back almost falling onto the seat you can avoid most of the pain. Getting up is another story though.
We'll definitely be going back for more of this class and now I'm total enthused about trying other classes.