Jun 8, 2012

Fitness Follow-Up

I am currently aware of nearly every muscle in my body; they're all angry that I haven't used them in a long time.

I went to my very first class last night at Studio 5 here in Ladera Ranch and I'm completely sold. I walked in and was promptly greeted by the instructor, Jenn. "Are you Samantha?" I was. Am. Still am. Sam. Anyway, she handed me a couple forms to fill out, asked if I had ever spun before (spinned? spun. spun? It's "spun" right?) and if I had used a Pilates reformer. No and no. She assured me she'd help me out and offer modifications as needed.

We began with 30 minutes of spinning. Misty introduced me to the bike and helped me figure it out and gave me some tips. A few ladies around me chimed in as well as I figured it all out. When I say "a few of the ladies", it really also means "most of the ladies". The maximum class size for most classes at this studio is 6 people. I was weary that this would make me stick out like a sore thumb and feel really awkward not knowing 100% what I was doing. At 24 Hour Fitness, I hid in the back of the class at TKB and yoga until I felt more confident. At Studio 5, it was just me and 5 other women; there's no where to hide! I was quickly put at ease, however, and I spun.

Aside from my sore rear-end today, I really liked spinning! I never thought I would. I always felt really strange on stationary bikes and generally preferred other methods of cardio, but I never knew how muscle-tastic spinning was. While I did have to skip a couple requests to add tension and a couple rounds of standing, I think I did fairly well for my first time. I'm going back for a full hour of Spin on Monday with Misty!

We moved on to Pilates on the reformer. For those who might not know what a reformer is, I'll tell you. It's scary. That's what it is. Well, only at first. It's a Medieval-looking contraption with pulleys, springs, straps, bars and cushions... and it was so cool. Basically, you use the straps to pull your body weight on the sliding platform with extra resistance added by springs.

Image: studio5ladera.com

The first thing we were to do was to kneel on the platform and use the straps to do arm curls (which would pull yourself forward and back with each rep). I, however, was getting an intense toe cramp when I tried to kneel. My instructor, Jenn, didn't hesitate to offer a modification for me. She put the box (that you see at the foot of the reformer in the photo) on the platform and had me sit on it and do my arm exercises that way.

After approximately one hundred million arm exercises (or so it felt to my weakened body), we moved on to planks. I love planks for what they do to my body, but I am so not strong enough for all of the planking we did. See how she's planking in that photo up there? That's what we did. Except! We did them with movements like sliding the platform so we'd be in a pike position, or sliding the platform and bending our knees, et cetera, et cetera. We did maybe 5 or 6 different ones, 15 reps each. Well, I did 15 reps of the first one, where all we had to do was hold the plank and move our elbows forward and back. The rest I did less and less reps with my max being, maybe 5? Wowza were those hard, but I kind of loved them.

While I wasn't able to do as many reps as the other ladies, Jenn was very encouraging and helpful. And in the same way that I didn't feel like a fitness poser while spinning, I was very comfortable in the room with the  other ladies, even when I was only able to do one pike plank before resting.

We finished with some really great leg stretches on the reformer. They felt so great. Instead of explaining them, you can see them below. (Gentlemen, you're welcome.)

So, it's fairly needless to say that I stopped in this morning and signed up for their first month unlimited classes special. I'll use this weekend to recover and focus on making better food choices. I've signed up for three classes next week. First up will be a full hour of Spin with Misty on Monday!

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