Thursday, March 8, 2012

Total Body Conditioning at NYSC

Yesterday I took a total body conditioning at my New York Sports Club.  Already a member, so it's free - that's a plus!
This was only my second class at the NYSC, which was a little nervewracking because the last class was a Hatha Yoga class that I was not a huge fan of.  When I got there, everyone else knew what equipment to get and how to setup.  While this can be intimidating because I'm clearly the only newbie, I decided to play it cool (after all, I'm going to have to get used to being the newbie in lots of classes) and follow everyone else's lead.
So the class began simply enough with some stretches.  The instructor gave pretty good directions and demonstrated everything. I'm a very uncoordinated person and I was able to do most of the movements after just watching 1-2 reps.
With the exception of Figure Four and yoga, this is the first exercise class I have taken since Tae-bo when I was in high school.  It was reminiscent of Tae-bo to me - obviously we were not kickboxing or doing any of those movements, but it was a similar pace and exercised similar muscles (theoretically my whole body based on the name)
Most of what we did was challenging, but honestly, I could do it, which surprised me. I am so used to not being able to follow exercise classes either because I'm not coordinated enough to follow that many movements or because I'm not strong enough.
The instructor does one part that she calls "cardio commercials" which are 4 30second intervals of different cardio work outs.  Basically, you don't stop moving as fast as you can for 2 minutes.  That was very difficult!
Overall, I enjoyed the class, but I did not feel as pushed as I expected.  I came to realize that I might get more out of a class if I do it a second time because I will be able to follow the class a little more fluidly.

Some pros:
1) There are some ways to customize the class - by using different size weights and occasionally the instructor gave different tips to make it harder or easier
2) My thighs and triceps are sore today so they clearly got a good work out.
3) It's at my gym, so it's free!!

Some cons:
1) I felt the ab portion of the class was not challenging enough.  I really want to focus on my abdominals and increasing my core strength, so that was a bummer for me.
2) I would have liked more feedback during the class about how I was doing specifically.  I used to hate when people corrected me, but now I've learned that it is very helpful and willingly look for feedback to help make me stronger.
3) I could see myself getting bored in this class very easily.  The instructor told me she does the same routine each week, which to me is very rote and uninteresting.

I would go back again, but probably not very many times or too often.  It's a good fall back if I want to get in a full body workout without the sweaty weightroom or traveling too far.

On another note, the instructor and I talked for a little bit after the class and I told her all about my blog and my goals.  She seemed interested and then gave me her business card and expressed interest in providing me with personal training to help.  While I think personal training can be a very useful tool and people rave about having personal trainers, I'd like to hold off for now because I want to try this my way to see how effective it actually is.  I appreciate the offer and effort, but if I start doing personal training sessions, it changes my little experiment here - of course I'm going to get into shape if I have a 1:1!!  Also, it's not going to be cheap, so that would negate that aspect as well.

Off to Florida to see one of my wonderful bridesmaids and then go to some spring training games (go Yankees!) So I will be taking the weekend off from exercising, and most likely from any sort of healthy diet.  What's a ballgame without a hot dog, some beer and a soft pretzel??


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