Thursday, January 8, 2009

Group Fitness- Is it for you?

"Jump! For my love! Jump-in!" danced through the studio sound system as 24 women aerobercised to the left and one uncoordinated soul to the right. No, that poor soul was not me, but she was beside me, causing a quick step to avoid her. Bless her, I thought; she had been out of coordination for the entire 40min class but still had the largest smile on her face.

A 40 minute fitness class between 12 and 1 is part of my new fitness schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Group fitness classes are outside of my safety zone, as I'm much more likely to head to the gym with my headphones on and pump out a split alone to music which does not include "Jump! For my Love!". But these are the reasons I joined group fitness classes this time around:
  1. My weight room is too busy in January: with all the New Years resolutions to be worked out on the benches there are sometimes 4 people (usually men) working in on one of them; I work out in the largest fitness facility in the city, so if I experience this, I know you do too. Joining a group class ensures my spot in a fitness function without having to bustle my way in among the often inexperienced new years' gymies
  2. Cardio equipment has line-ps in January: Yes, with 2-3 people standing behind a treadmill, waiting for their turn to punish their fat cells it's hard to see the actual cardio equipment. I'll wait till these gymies taper out in mid Feb to attempt any cardio in the gym. A group fitness class whips me into cardio zones I don't push myself into. Sometimes faster than I am used to, sometimes slower, they are teaching me that variety is exciting, and rest is important as well.
  3. Meeting new people: This has been the scariest part of the group fitness experience. There are women there who have named their firstborns after the fitness instructor and can tell you what studio they teach in on what day. Their choreographed movements mirror the instructor's perfectly- and who the hell am I to bust in on their clique? I'm the newby, who is just as insecure about my appearance and fitness level as they are, and I'm smiling and sweating along with them. Common ground found, and laughing and clapping together at the end of a sweat session is inevitable by the end of the 3rd class.
  4. Challenge yourself: I work myself harder than anyone else, but that only means picking up the 25lb'er instead of the 15lb'er. Going heavier or faster is not always the best training decision to create results. Challenging your body in different ways, through different sports and methods of training can create astounding differences in your body shape and fitness level. The first 40 min Fitness class humbled me greatly as I couldn't move my arms for such sore shoulders, shocking as normally I throw up more lat lifts in the gym, but doing it differently in class was so effective.
So incorporating group classes into my routine makes my schedule read as follows:
Monday: 30 min cardio, 1 hour Pilates advanced group class
Tuesday: Full body workout, 40 minute Fitness group class
Wednesday: Lower body workout, 30 min cardio
Thursday: 40 minute Fitness group class
Friday: Full body workout, 30 min cardio
Saturday: 90 min power yoga
Sunday: 90 min dance class

And for interests sake (mine, not yours probably) my meals since monday have read as follows:
Monday: 6 egg white omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal/ 1/2c yams, 3oz chicken breast/ 3oz tuna, 1 small apple, 1c mixed vegetables/ 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots/ 3 oz chicken breast, 1c mixed greens
Tuesday: 6 egg white omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal/ 1/2c yams, 3oz chicken breast/ 1.5c borscht (lean turkey), 1 small apple/ 1.5c vegetable miso tofu soup/ 1/2c plain non-fat yogurt, 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Whey protein
Wednesday: 6 egg white omlette, 1/4c creamy rice cereal/ 1/2c yams, 3oz chicken/ 1.5c borscht (lean turkey), 1 small apple/ 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots/ 1.5c vegetable miso tofu soup
Thursday (planned): 6 egg white gluten-free oat pancakes with 1/8c plain non-fat yogurt as topping/ 3oz chicken breast, 1/2c yams/ 1.5c borscht, 1 small apple/ 3oz chicken breast, 1c raw carrots/ 3oz sesame baked tofu, roasted tomatoes and spagetti squash

Supplements (daily): 2T ground flax, 2T salba, 1T coconut oil, 2 calcium, 2 muiltivitamins, 2 holy basil, 2 adrenal support, 1 fish oil, 2c mate tea, at least 5L water and up to 3 cups of green tea, sugar free gum.

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