Around a month ago now I started working full time in an office job (Dolly Parton needs to change her song because 8-6 seems to be the new 9-5!) The early mornings have definitely taken their toll on me but so have the endless amount of desk snacking as I like to call it. I am without a doubt eating more and moving less, which is never really a good combination, and I could just feel myself getting lazier. It wasn’t that I was looking to lose weight but I just wanted to be able to walk up the stairs again without having a mini heart attack. I looked around for gyms that were offering a price that wouldn’t break the bank and also one that was around my office (I knew if I went home first that I would never leave the house again to go to the gym). I finally settled on the local Pure Gym, packed my trainers and before long I was surrounded by weights and sweat.
I soon realised that I was utterly clueless when it came to the gym and working out. Before long it became clear that I would either break myself or the equipment if I didn’t figure out what I was doing fast! I found the thought of a personal trainer too intimidating so I decided to take advantage of the free classes offered by the gym. I figured it would be best to test out a few to see what really worked for me and so far I have ticked 6 off the list! I thought it might be a helpful thing to write a mini series about in case, like me, you want to get a bit fitter but are clueless about what goes on behind the doors of the gym…
The Steps class
Now to be fair to the step class I didn’t go into it in the best state ever. My job finishes at 5 and the class began at 5:30 which I thought gave me plenty of time to get there. I was very, very wrong. I was tying my shoelaces whilst running down the stairs and by the time I finally barged through the doors of the studio I felt like I had already finished my workout for the day. The instructor came bounding in behind me, full of energy, and started shouting “is everyone ready??”, I most definitely was not.
Once I had caught my breathe a bit I actually really enjoyed the class. The clue was pretty much in the title for this one, they gave you a block on the floor on which you then preceded to step up and down on. There was multiple routines set to upbeat music that involved a range of different things from simple steeping to jumps and squats. There was also a press up/burpee section but as a person with absolute no upper body strength I saw that as the perfect opportunity to sit down and tie my shoelaces (don’ judge me okay!) I really liked how the instructor gave variations on each move from easy to difficult so how hard you worked was really up to you.
FEELING AFTER THE CLASS – happy, suitably sweaty and like I had worked out my whole body
FEELING THE NEXT FEW DAYS – A little bit achey when standing up/sitting down but nothing unbearable
OVERALL RATING – 4/5
The Zumba class
In my third year of university I went to Zumba classes so I felt pretty confident and comfortable going into this class as it was essentially the same as what I did back in Norwich just a lot busier. It is basically a load of dance routines set to, in general, latin music and involves a lot of booty shaking. It is a really fun way to get active but if you’re looking for a hardcore, leaves your burning at the end kind of workout then I don’t think this will be the one for you. Each of the routines incorporate some kind of arm and leg movement and then there will usually be one song that just involves lunges or squats in order to work that gluteus maximus (or in other words bum). None of the dance moves were particularly difficult and they were repeated a lot so it was easy to get a hang of.
The only thing I really struggled with in this class was how hard it was to follow the instructor. She didn’t speak at all and could only be a maximum of 5ft 2 tall so spotting her amongst the crowd of other people in the class was really difficult. I’ve learnt that if you are going to a busy Zumba lesson then put your embarrassment to one side and just head to the front couple of rows. That way you will get a good view of the instructor and you won’t have to worry about copying the person in front who seems to be just as confused as you.
FEELING AFTER THE CLASS – A bit out of breathe and red in the face but mostly I just felt in a really good mood!
FEELING THE NEXT FEW DAYS – A bit of pain in my legs from the squats and lunges!
OVERALL RATING – 3/5
The Cycling (spinning) class
Never, ever again. Anyone that can happily complete a spinning class is a superhero who from this day on has my upmost respect and admiration. I had absolutely no idea what to expect and this is the first class I entered feeling really like a newbie. Everyone else strutted in and adjusted every little dial and rod on their bike whilst I just moved them around a bit acting like I knew what I was doing. I was expecting the instructor to give a short explanation but I was very wrong! He sat down and started shouting something about bouncing and upping the resistance (to which everyone reacted by turning even more dials) and I knew from that moment on that this class was a mistake for a rookie like me.
From then on it was just torture. I like cycling so I thought this would be an easy ride (pardon the pun) but it was a lot more complicated than that. It involved jumping up and down, speeding, standing, even squatting all whilst peddling the bike. 10 mins in and my thighs felt like they had been set on fire. I just simply couldn’t keep up but I found the instructor so intimidating that I felt I had to. He started walking round the room and calling out people for going slowly or leaning on the handlebars, both of which I was doing, but luckily I think he saw the pain in my eyes and skipped me from the embarrassment. I was putting in 110% effort but even then that was only about 40% of what everyone else in the class was doing. It was the worst 45 mins of my life.
FEELING AFTER THE CLASS – My legs were numb and I stumbled out that class like I was drunk
FEELING THE NEXT FEW DAYS – A pain I have never felt before stayed in my thighs for about 4 days after the class. At one point I avoided going to the toilet at work because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to stand up and would therefore be stranded on the loo
OVERALL RATING – 1/5 (far too much for me to handle)
Have you ever been to a gym class? What was it like for you?
Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x
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