This time we are going to do something a little different, Alex and I will review the class as we took it together. Alex regularly takes a strength training class with the Octagon equipment, and I regularly run on a treadmill.
Friday 10:15am Group Strength with Meredith at Nashua YMCA
Johanna’s Comments: I avoid weights, I’m always nervous that I’ll hurt myself if I do it wrong and I’ve studied enough about musculature, to know all the ways I could get hurt. I love running(very slowly), so I knew this class would be a challenge to me. I selected the lightest possible weights with the opinion, I can use heavier ones next time. I made the right call, as we did 100+ reps of some of the exercises. No region of muscles was missed.
When we showed up I asked the instructor what equipment we needed, it was obvious to me, that many of the people there had done the class before. We grabbed a step board, yoga mat, pair of dumb bells(lots of weights available, I chose 3lbs each), bar bell, bar weights(I chose 2.75 & 5.5) and clips. Setting up over by the mirror was great, since I could check out my squat form. Meredith did a great job of calling out the different exercises and since there were so many reps, I was never really behind if I had to figure out what to do. She also gave the right amount of time and warning when we needed to change the weight on our barbell or switch equipment. There is a chance I was the most clueless of everyone n the class and I certainly did the least amount of weight(far less than the seniors in the class). Never did I notice anyone looking at me like I shouldn’t be there and Meredith encouraged us to come back.
This class was a lot of fun, extremely challenging and something I will do any, possibly weekly until it becomes easy. According to a friend the workout style is called Body Pump and I should expect to cry over climbing up stairs tomorrow.
Alex’s Comments: I like lifting weights, I find it to be a fun way to exercise, but I don’t really enjoy doing it alone. It’s more satisfying, to have someone with you, to cheer you on, to spur you into that one last set, but that might be because I’m competitive, stubborn, and sarcastic. I lift once a week (more often than not I’ll get in a session once or twice a week on my own), in a class at the Y around the equipment called “The Octagon”. We’ve been focusing on, form, heavier lifting, in 3 sets of 12 repetitions. Accompanied by some cardio, some stretching, and resistance against our own body weight. This Group Class, was as different to my Octagon class as sprinting is to a marathon. In one hour, we do 9 sets of different exercises designed to improve strength and stamina.
Entering the class, our instructor asked us to grab a bar, and some weights. I almost dropped the bar when I picked it up, because it weighed next to nothing. I was expecting a 45lbs bar, not a bar best measured in ounces. I grabbed my usual weight amounts, assuming that with the lighter bar they would be enough for a simple class. Was I ever wrong. After my first set of reps started, I counted until I hit 12, then we kept going. Easily did 100 repetitions for each exercise grouping. Some of them involved holding a pose with your arms extended for 30 seconds, was I ever glad that the bar didn’t weigh 45lbs. 30 seconds is a long time, even if you’re only at a third of your usual weight amounts. I debated swapping my weights out, to be more in line with the rest of the class. But, I’m stubborn. I enjoyed the class, it was more cardio vascular exercise, with weights attached to your hands, than it was weight lifting. Which made it challenging. I’ll be back, because it was a different form of workout, and I’m too stubborn to quit. Even if I hate planking.
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