I recently signed up for a group fitness class at my local gym.
- We meet twice per week for an hour and a half, and the trainer leads us through a series of intense exercises.
We start with a gradual warmup and transition into strength training. The strength training varies between utilizing dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and our one body weight. Although we work the shoulders, biceps, triceps and all the leg muscles, we concentrate mainly on core strength. The trainer always incorporates static holds, such as planks and yoga-style poses that engage the abdominal muscles and also demand balance and concentration. It’s amazing how quickly even a simple pose, sustained for a lengthy period of time, becomes strenuous. Just holding up my leg, parallel to the floor for one minute, is difficult. I have noticed a significant improvement in my balance and strength over the last few weeks. We typically complete the strength training portion with sets of lunges and squats. After the first class, the burn in my legs the following day was excruciating, and I blame the lunges. I could barely make it up and down the stairs to my apartment. Fortunately, I’ve gotten better at these as well. For the aerobic portion of the session, our trainer likes to change things up. Sometimes we jump rope for twenty minutes. Sometimes she has us do sets of jumps. She always gets me sweaty, out of breath and my heart pounding. It’s tiring but feels fantastic. We finish the class with all different types of stretches that work on our flexibility. She continually reminds us to breathe properly and to hold each position for several counts.