Before forcing myself to get back to the gym this week, I wasn’t exactly what one would call “in shape.” Having just returned from a a hiatus over Christmas that extended until the end of winter, I’d acquired four months of bread/snacks/ couch potato weight and was feeling generally lethargic. I would occasionally go for a walk around our neighbourhood, but “walking” typically meant “walking down to the nearest coffee shop for coffee and the flakiest of croissants.” The only way to really push myself was in gym classes, so I’ve started going back to freestyle classes, bootcamp and adding a spin circut class here and there. I love it. The classes are high-energy, social, engaging, effective. Things are looking up.
Some of MY favourite classes are:
Freestyle: The setting is clean and minimal, and the teacher is outstanding. Usually a mix of strength and cardio in 90 sec bursts over 45-60 mins. If you’re new, just try doing each exercise properly and with good form, it won’t take long to build up the intensity.
Spin Circuit: This HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a fun mix of 90sec of spin and 90sec of varied exercises, with 10sec in-between over one hour and the most energetic trainers around. It hurts so good.
Cardio Core Blast: You work HARD, but the small class size means you get lots of attention. I can’t recommend it enough for a flat strong stomach and toned limbs.
Bootcamp: Probably the most intimidating of the bunch, but it is worth it!The trainers will push you to your absolute limit. Also, when you feel like collapsing at the end, there is a sense of smug satisfaction along with the red face and sore legs . You won’t regret it.
At the end of the day, for me, classes take the hard thinking out of the equation. I have done years of studying nutrition and exercise trends as well as competed in triathlons, biked and run for 1000’s of kms over the years. But I have also yo-yo’d with my weight and been inconsistent with my diet, going from a strict organic vegetarian, no sugar, no alcohol to almost anything goes… Now days mostly I keep it simple, fresh food, low fat, low sugar, minimal processing, but if there is one thing I have learnt, exercise is a major key to health and fitness, there is no getting away from it, so embrace it. But remember “if it dosent challenge you, it won’t change you”.
Ask any health or fitness expert how to get the best results, whether you are overweight, a novice or a seasoned athlete, and they’ll tell you to keep switching your workout routine. No running 100% of the time, no lifting weights from morning till night. To challenge your muscles, you need to confuse them—in the best way possible. Good classes are the best way, not too much thinking involved, that’s what you pay them for and it’s true, It Hurts So Good!