Since moving to London, my fitness has lapsed and after a summer of drinking, holidaying and over indulging I’m hoping to get into a better fitness routine, get stronger and tone up. Getting to the gym can be hard enough, and if you’re anything like me, after a few weeks you can find yourself getting bored of the workout routine, and counting down the clock until it’s time to leave the gym.
So, I decided to take up a fitness challenge and, over the next couple of months, I’m going to try out fitness classes and see how I get on. You can join me on my journey through all the pain – and, hopefully, the gain.
I decided to sign-up for the challenge at Tribeca Studios in central Ealing. It offers a variety of classes – from the more high intensity such as boxing and circuit training to more low intensity yoga and barre.
I was recommended to start with one of their introductory BodyPump classes which I had been told is a great full body workout. Tribeca has a range of ‘total beginner classes’ which are great way to ease yourself into it, especially if you’re like me and have been less active. These total beginner classes are great because the instructor takes you through at a slightly slower pace, building you up along the way so you can master the moves.
I must admit in the past the idea of taking a BodyPump class had always been a bit daunting. I had always assumed that it was only for heavy lifting, hard-core fitness fanatics. And, while I enjoy cardio exercise, the thought of squats and press-ups does make me quiver. Not to mention doing these with weights and repeatedly!
If you are not familiar with the format, BodyPump is a 45-minute class and involves moderate to high intensity resistance training that works every major muscle group using weights, a bar and steps. The class focuses on endurance weight training, using a good amount of weight (not too heavy not too light) for long periods of time, and all moves are choreographed to music.
During the class each major muscle group is ‘targeted’ during each track. Starting with a warm-up the instructor took us through the techniques for pull, dead lift, curl and squats with weights all of which were done to different tempos during a song, with the tempos changing often, making the class fun, challenging, and a lot of hard work.
As this was a beginner’s class we were encouraged to start with using the smaller set of weights. And although at first this didn’t feel like a lot and the techniques felt easy enough, after each track I could really start to feel the resistance getting harder and by the end I felt as if I was lifting triple the weight I had started with.
The instructor explained the high repetition with low weights means you are able to strengthen and tone your muscles quick. Over the next month I’m hoping to do at least two body pump classes a week, and build up my weight sets along the way.
I left the class feeling energised, still disliking squats but feeling like I could at least do the technique properly. The next day I could definitely feel the burn all over, in fact this continued for the next three days.
Also the best part about finishing a class at Tribeca, I’ve discovered, is that you can have a pre-ordered smoothie waiting for you after class. I recommend the Manhattan.
Strength and resistance: 8/10
Post-class burn: 9/10