fitness classes

Stronger Than I Think I Am

gymnight

What I love most about Suzanne’s weight programs she’s designed for me is the self confidence it gives me. I always always always leave the gym feeling stronger than I did when I walked in. It’s expected now. It makes me feel powerful and happy.

One of my favorite new moves that Suzanne sent me is the Weighted Plank Pulls. This move is HARD. Seriously. Not only are you doing a plank with only one hand, but you’re trying to stay in the same position while you pull the weight back and then forward again. This is a killer ab workout. My body is usually shaking by the last few reps!

Another new one for me is the Eccentric Incline Pushup. She has me doing this to “failure,” meaning you do the exercise as many times as you can before your muscles just give out. So far my “failure” for pushups is 10. I’m hoping as the weeks go on that number goes up a lot more.

She also suggested I start doing this triceps stretch during my cool down session. This isn’t a new move for me, but it’s definitely one I neglect. I am pretty good about stretching after my workouts now (too many injuries woke me up to that!) but for some reason I always forget to stretch the upper body too!

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The other night I went to Body Pump. I’ve been trying to go again once a week. In the last two months I’ve been half a dozen times or so. I’m not currently doing a program from Suzanne and just needed a change up in my workout routine and schedule. While it’s sometimes difficult for me to make it to class, I’m always glad I go. Even when I’m hobbling around for days afterwards!

So last night at Body Pump there was a new teacher and he was much harder than the others. I don’t know why, it’s basically the same routine every time, but for some reason it was more challenging. There were several moments in the class when my muscles were shaking and sweat was dripping down my forehead that I wanted to quit. He said “You came here for a reason, WORK IT!” And I reminded myself, of COURSE this is going to be hard, that’s why I’m here! The challenge is good for me mentally and physically. The difficult workout gets me out of my rut, pushes my body to the limits and it MAKES ME STRONGER.

The next night I went to Spin class. I went back a few weeks ago for the first time in over a year. The first time I had some knee discomfort–difficult to say if it was pain because I am so hyper sensitive now! I took a few weeks off from spin and went back again. I told the teacher before class that I might leave half way through and told her it was due to an injury. I hate leaving a class mid-way through because I feel like it’s rude and disruptive. She said that was okay.

The class was challenging but unlike last month, I took it easy and didn’t try to burn out right at the beginning of the class! The session was all hill climbs. I went easy on the resistance (I still added resistance, just not as much as I’d normally do) and there were a lot of standing climbs, which also helped. This time I made it through 45 minutes of class.

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As I left early the instructor said at least I made it longer than half way and she was right! I did what I could at the time and listened to my body when it was time to go. My knees were feeling okay during class, after class and the next day. I’m hoping that next time I go I can stay for the full hour!

Every day I get stronger and stronger. I can feel the weight lifting sculpting and shaping my body and as I walk around I can feel the difference it makes in my knees. Dare I say, my knees are getting happier?

Cxworks

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/LisaEirene/status/326508680029814785″]

That’s how I felt taking the “CxWorks” class at my gym. I’d never heard of the class before but I wanted to take a class for one of my workout days this week and decided to give it a try.

“CXWORX™ is a 30-minute revolution in core training, transforming the muscles that power your body every day. Our tried-and-true formula of great choreography and chart-topping music, presented by inspirational instructors and backed by cutting-edge scientific research, will help you run faster… play harder… stand stronger.”

Core strength is definitely something I try and work on when I’m at the gym. I’ve made progress but I have a long way to go. At first I thought, it’s only 30 minutes? That seems like a waste. But boy, once you’re in the class doing constant ab work for 30 minutes it feels like an eternity!

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Sorry the picture is so blurry, I was trying to be stealthy. I got there a little early but the class was filling up fast. I set up my little spot and then spent about 15 minutes warming up and doing some of my PT exercises.

I had no idea what I was doing so I just copied everyone else around me. My tip for taking new classes: if you can’t have a quick one-on-one with the instructor, find that person in the class that seems to know all the moves before the teacher even tells the class. Work out next to them and do what they do! That’s what I did and it was really helpful. Otherwise I would have been pretty lost.

For the class you needed a weight plate (I grabbed a 5 and a 10 pound because I didn’t know what it was for yet), a mat, and stretchy tube (looks like a jump rope).

The exercises probably had names for them but I didn’t know. We did a lot of planks and what I know as the “spiderman.” There was a lot of variations of crunches and side crunches. The stretchy tube was for standing work when we did side-step type exercises for our glutes. Then there were sitting exercises with the tubes. I wish I could describe them more accurately but being a newbie I was just trying to catch up to the class!

My abs were on FIRE. It’s been a long time since I was doing an exercise and felt my muscles burning so much I thought I’d pass out. This class did that. There were a few times I couldn’t do all of the moves the instructor said and had to take a breathe for a moment or two. You definitely feel the burn when you’re in a class being pushed and not on your own where you can stop anytime you want!

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The class was fast-paced and he tried to fit in a ton of stuff into 30 minutes. I’m glad I went and tried it. I’ll probably go again to try and get the hang of the exercises but I doubt this will become something I do every single week. The more likely scenario is that I steal the moves for my own workouts.

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I was surprised at how many calories I burned in such a short class! It was worth it. I left the gym feeling accomplished. When I got home Michael was grilling up burgers! Thank goodness. I was famished.

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Michael’s burger was on a gluten-free bun and I went without a bun. I just don’t feel like I need it anymore. His burger had some of the cave-aged blue cheese I got for my book club and I had some of the English Cheddar with caramelized onions on my burger. SO GOOD. On the side: pickles, green olives, a green salad topped with leftover fajita mix (peppers and onions) and a beer:

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It was such a nice, sunny day that we ate dinner on the porch outside listening to the neighboring baseball game. It was a nice evening. The next day I was slightly sore but not much. I was expecting to be crippled and for my abs to hurt with every move I made. Maybe they aren’t as badly out of shape as I thought they were?

QUESTION: Have you tried this class or something similar? What did you think?