Wednesday, 21 January 2015

My class experience...



So you've just signed up for a gym membership, now what? You have two choices: to go and work-out in the gym or attend a class. Personally, I enjoy attending classes much more than working out in the actual gym as the instructors where I go push you hard and that makes me work to the best of my ability. If I'm in the gym and working out then unless I have a strict work-out plan with me, I gradually lose motivation in the session and don't push myself to the maximum.

As you will see below, my class schedule is pretty busy and between that and working full-time, it may appear that I do nothing else with my life (which is very far from the truth!). However, I do have a couple of rules which I stick to: Always have a rest day and never double up on classes at the weekend. 

My current typical weekly class schedule is as follows:

Sunday: Body Attack
Monday: Zumba
Tuesday: Spin followed by Body Pump
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: Body Pump followed by Sh'bam
Friday: Body Combat followed by Ultimate Abs
Saturday: Body Balance

Reviews of my current classes

Body Attack:
More than likely my most spontaneous decision of my life in regards to a gym class. Usually when I make the decision to try a new class, I think about it a lot before signing up. Not with this one: I jumped head first into this one. And you know what? It is probably the best decision that I ever made. Body Attack is a fantastic all over body workout and surprisingly it is actually my favourite class. Yes, it is hard work, but there are options for everyone - even a complete beginner!

Zumba:
Ah, Zumba my trusty old faithful friend! Zumba was the 1st class that I ever tried at my gym and for a while I was doing a few Zumba classes a week...then I got bored! However, once a week right now keeps me interested. Zumba classes do vary in regards to class content and also type of music as I've found some classes I have attended have traditional tracks all the way through. My current class is a mixture of traditional tracks as well as the likes of a bit of Little Mix and I like it this way (just no Anaconda, please! [cover class])

Studio Cycling (Spinning):
Spinning was one of the classes that I put off for a long while and then one day I took the plunge and did a 6.45am class. It is a great class as it works a much larger area than you think. Spin classes, like Zumba, vary depending on what instructor you get but all the ones I have attended have contained a mixture of hill climbs and sprints.

Body Pump:
Oh ...where on earth do I start with this one? Ok...I put Body Pump off for the longest time. Naturally, I am pretty clumsy and so I went with notion that weights + clumsy Amey = accident waiting to happen. What a load of pants! Once I tried the class, I loved it! Body Pump is a class in which you use a mixture of hand weights and a barbell as well as some core strength exercises. Each class aims to work out each of the muscle groups resulting in a full body workout. I love it so much that I have recently switched to 2 classes per week as opposed to one.

Sh'bam:
Sh'bam is like Zumba's crazier,louder cousin. I would say that Sh'bam is a dance class with serious attitude. Every Sh'bam class I have attended has included lots of leaps and turns BUT there are options, however I prefer to go all out for a more intense workout. Also it's fun to have an excuse as a grown adult (?!?) to leap around right? I honestly would do this class more than once a week if my time allowed.

Body Combat:
Inspired by martial arts, Body Combat is the class that brings out the inner fighter in you. Cue lots of kicking and punching resulting in a very sweaty workout (and a good dose of stress relief!).  I really enjoy this class and like Zumba, I used to do it more than once a week. However, once a week is perfect for me right now.

Ultimate Abs:
Ah my least favourite class. A short 30 minute work out focusing on your core (planking is included).I could quit this class as it's by no means my favourite but there are 2 reasons that I continue: the end result will be worth it and the class is only 30 minutes. 30 minutes of my time that more likely, if I wasn't doing the class, would be spent watching some random TV show. However, despite not enjoying this class as much as my others, this class is one I have seen the most improvement in myself. For instance, when I started I couldn't even hold a simple plank but now I can (albeit not as great as I would like).

Body Balance:
My Saturday morning chill-out class. To end the week, I participate in a Body Balance class which is a mixture of Yoga, Tai Chi & Pilates. It's the perfect way to end a busy working week. I always feel so relaxed after it and the kinks in my body feel like that they have been ironed out. Since I have been doing this class, I have definitely noticed an improvement in my downward dog. Considering I had very little yoga experience previously, this is major progress.

So there you have it - a little rundown of the classes I currently do. I really would recommend trying out at least one class in your gym. Start with something which you know you will definitely enjoy (which is why I started with Zumba as I love a good dance class) and go from there. You will soon be trying new ones left, right and centre!

Do you do any gym classes? If so, which ones?
 
Stay tuned for part 3 where I will be discussing working out at home. If you missed part 1, you can read it here