October 25, 2016

October Goal Check In: Week 2

Week 2 of my (delayed) October challenge is now in the books, and I did pretty well sticking to my workout a day plan! (And my butt is feeling pretty sore to boot.) Here are the ClassPass studios I tried in the last week:

Brendle at TruFit: I didn’t really know what this class was, which was why I was excited to try it. Basically, a simple bootcamp that was to-the-point but unimpressive. We rotated through six different stations with 60 seconds on each exercise: kettle bell swings, pushups, plank hold, leg lifts, sit ups, and then running up and down the “brendle.” I can’t find pictures online anywhere, but it’s basically a big giant triangle with steps going up one side and a (very steep) ramp going down the other. We were supposed to go up one side and down the other, but I got too scared trying to run on that steep of a downhill pitch, so I just did sprints up and down the stairs instead for that part. Overall, this workout was effective, but it was way too core focused (my abs weren’t getting a break!), and it felt like something I could have found on Pinterest rather than taking a class. On the plus side, the TruFit facility was nice, and I spent some time on the arc trainer before class. 2/5 stars

Pure Barre: I’m not a huge fan of Pure Barre because I generally feel out of place when I go. There are so many women who only go to Pure Barre that I always feel left out of the group, and like I’m dumb for not understanding the proper form of each exercise the first time. (And don’t get me started on the abs work when you sit with your back to the wall – my abs are not capable of those moves at all.) But, I like it for a low sweat class that still works my muscles, even if I don’t have a ton of energy for a workout. 3/5 stars

The tucking, at least, I understand. But I have to admit that parts of this video on men trying Pure Barre rang true with me. (Must-watch if you’ve ever had your male significant other think barre is no big deal).

Core Cardio Circuit at CorePower Yoga: This is my favorite class that I’ve discovered so far in this challenge, and if I don’t find any other gems, this alone was worth it. Even though it’s held at a yoga studio, it’s basically a bootcamp circuit. Four stations, three moves per station, and you go around three times. Each move lasts 45 seconds, and after you get through all three moves at a station, you then have a 45 second cardio burst before moving onto the next station (with no break). The water breaks come only after the entire round of stations is complete, which means it’s a pretty sustained effort for twelve minutes – intense! The moves are a mixed bag of mostly cardio (e.g., donkey kick handstands) to pure strength (e.g., deadlifts), but I loved that it was 45 seconds per move and then you moved on to the next one. Now, in retrospect, this is just as basic as the Brendle class at TruFit, but it felt a lot more structured at CorePower, right down to the tons of different equipment used (rope ladders, dumbbells, yoga blocks, aerobic steps) instead of just basic body weight moves. I want to try to hit this class every week from now on! 5/5 stars

Beat Cycle: I wrote last week about how much I liked this studio, and this class didn’t disappoint. I think they must have toned down the lights and the music from when I first went when they opened; it’s fantastic now! I also still have a pack of classes I bought through Groupon, which means I can go even more than three times a month – yay. 5/5 stars

Motor at The Rebel Workout: This was another one where I wasn’t sure what to expect – and it turned out to be yet another bootcamp. Four stations, four moves at each station for 45 seconds each, and then a one minute rest break before moving onto the next station. The station I liked best was the one that didn’t fit the mold: instead of four moves at 45 seconds each, we jogged on the treadmill set at 20% incline (yes, you read that right: 20%) for 30 seconds, then immediately jumped off to do ten pushups, and whatever was left in the minute was our rest break. I generally only got 5-10 seconds of rest each time, which was not enough – this part kicked my butt! But I didn’t really like a lot of the other stations, which were Muay Thai / boxing focused; my least favorite was one where we practiced kicking and hitting the instructor as he held up pads for us. I love cardio kickboxing, but I hate actually hitting things (both from the pain and because the gloves are always gross). On the upside, the studio was gorgeous and modern, whereas I had been expecting something grungy and Crossfit-y based on the name; I will definitely go back to try another class that’s not boxing focused. 3/5 stars

How I feel in boxing gloves.

Fierce45: This Pilates studio came highly recommended to me by a coworker, and I had read a lot about how high-sweat and challenging it was. However, while I found it to be a great Lagree method workout, my heart rate didn’t get all that high. Totally fine for a pilates class; just not what I was expecting based on reviews. I definitely burned my muscles out though! This studio is kind of hard to get into (not a lot of classes seem to be available on ClassPass), but I will try to go back whenever I can. 4/5 stars

A-Town Jazz Funk at Dance2b: I’ve had terrible insomnia the last few days, so I didn’t feel like I was up to a really intense workout this weekend… but I still dragged my butt out for a jazz dance class downtown. I wasn’t in love with the particular class I took, since the instructor wasn’t counting the steps to the beat and I struggled to figure out when each step was supposed to be. But, the choreography we learned was gorgeous and I loved the dance so much. It made me so happy to be expressing myself through dance, like I did as a kid, especially since the song we danced to hit so close to home. I’m really excited to have discovered this studio, and I want to go back and try more classes/styles ASAP. 4/5 stars

(I’m on the far right side of the video in a blue tank top.)

In all, that means 13 classes of 20 were complete as of Saturday. As a spoiler for this week, I took a class each yesterday and today, so that means I have seven days to get my last five classes in for my challenge. I got this!


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