Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thoughts on: Group Exercise Classes

I have always been pretty opposed to group exercise classes. Me and a bunch of other people in a room, all sweating and gasping for air? Let's not even discuss that there is always a farter in the room. I know, I know, they can't help it.

I've since changed my perspective on group classes. I think I had never taken one I really loved. Ok, I had only taken Zumba, and a core class - where I accidentally took someones set-up and was forever traumatized. I just had no clue...  At my former (co-ed) gym, I was always too intimidated to take any group classes. I never wanted to use any form of weights in front of the opposite sex. Embarrassed? Awkward? Self-conscious? Clueless? All of the above.

Now that I am at an all-female gym, I have been hitting the weights with no fear. I used to use weights, but in my apartment. I never pushed myself as hard, or cared all that much when I was in my apartment and working out with weights. The gym provides me with a non-threatening environment, and never once have I felt intimidated.

But back to the classes. I really love love love the classes that my gym has to offer. Because I feel so comfortable there, I feel comfortable taking the classes. I've never once been embarrassed or self-conscious. Awkward and clueless? Totally. Hence the reason I stopped taking Zumba. Just call me Miss Coordinated.

I pretty faithfully take two group classes at my gym. Group Core and Group Centergy, from the Body Training Systems series. Awesome, awesome classes. They get new music/routines every 3 months, to shake up what your body is used to. I really should try more classes... but between these classes, boot camp workouts, and walking the dog - I am pretty set in my routine! Let's talk more about the classes I do take...

Group Core is a 30 minute "quick hit" class. It is a good combo of ab work as well as other strength training. All of the exercises are core-focused, but you definitely work your arms with a weighted plate, and there are plenty of squats and lunges. And planks. So many planks. I usually do this class once a week.

Group Centergy is my favorite. I was really hesitant at first, because I had only done yoga and Pilates via DVD at home. I hated yoga, mostly because i am not flexible. But Jill, who took me on the initial gym tour, convinced me! And now I am hooked. Centergy is a blend of tai chi, Pilates and yoga. I LOVE THIS CLASS. It is an hour class, where you are doing higher intensity moves for about 30 mins, including ab work (back and 'traditional' abs) as well as about 30 minutes of stretching work - opening up the hips, rotating the spine, and stretching out the legs. I always feel so great after taking this class, and I usually take it at least twice a week.

This week I worked out in the morning (before work) for the first time IN MY LIFE. There was a 5:45 AM Centergy class, and I went for it. This one is an express class (45 mins), meaning they take out two of the songs that are usually in the regular class. It was such a great way to start the day, and it was awesome not having to work out after work! Besides, I had more important matters to attend to, like happy hour.

What group classes do you take? Which ones should I try?? 

*Note: no one from BTS asked me to write this post nor am I being compensated in any way. I just love these classes. 


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