Expanding my (Fitness) Horizons

So, one of the bonuses I’ve found into getting in “shape” is that I have found friends who also like to exercise — and like to try new and different things.

In the past few weeks, I’ve tried several new things, all of which I enjoyed. Who am I?

Flywheel

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What is Flywheel? An experience that lasts 45 or 60 minutes and includes climbs and descents, while working arms with weighted bars.

Okay, so that description from the Web site didn’t really tell you anything. Flywheel is a spin class with awesome music, weight work, and no overheading lighting — 2 out of 3 are some of my favorite things. The room itself is awesome — mirrors, speakers everywhere, stadium seating (which I like a lot more in spin classes). The amenities are also great — shoes with every class, showers, cold water fountains, and staff members to help you set up the bikes (and who clean up afterwards). The classes go really quickly — about 10 songs, and everything is different. The only things that are consistent are the one song warmup and the one song of weights (2 and 4 pound bars to do some arm/chest/shoulder work). I have found that I’m better at hills than speed, and consequently, I enjoy climbing more than sprinting. Both make my thighs burn.

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I’m a pretty competitive person, but most of all, I’m competitive with myself. One of the great things about Flywheel is the torq score, which uses RPMs/resistance to give you a “score” of how you’ve performed in class; the baseline is about 200/45 min class (or 20/song). I really enjoy that I can compare my performances to both the other members of the class and to past-Elizabeths. It is always fun to try and set a new score PR (currently, my highest is 249 for a 45 minute class, and 336 for a 60 minute class). They also have theme nights — I’ve been to Madonna vs. Britney, and tonight, I’m going to EDM (which comes with glowsticks). I’ve already incorporated this into my weekly routine — I normally go to the 6 AM Friday morning class, and I don’t see myself stopping that anytime soon. Its always good to cross train, and I know its improving my core strength. Plus, its awesome, and I am a sucker for boutique fitness classes, apparently.

Flybarre

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What is Flybarre? FlyBarre is a full body workout based on high repetitions at low weights, designed to lengthen, tone, and sculpt. Expect a highly energetic, fast-paced, and challenging class!

A group of ladies from the JLA leadership have started a group we jokingly call #JLAglitters (I need an I Sweat Glitter tank stat) that does a different “fancy” workout a month. My friend Cara (aka Taffy’s BFF) kicked it all off with a Flybarre class last month. It is in the same studio as Flywheel, so I was familiar with the space, and I’ve done 100+ Pure Barre classes, so I thought I’d be familiar with the moves. That was wrong.

While both focus on small concentrated movements and high reps, I found that Flybarre was much more cardio-intensive than Pure Barre — and it required a lot more coordination! There were a few cardio dance breaks, which I was comically awful at, and much more movement on the mat. I liked that there was weight work sprinkled throughout the class, not just at the beginning, and I liked the resistance bands we used off the bar. I felt like my arms got a better workout than anything else. All in all, I really enjoyed Flybarre, and I can see myself going every once in a while, but for now, I’m sticking with Pure Barre, which provides a very similar workout but isn’t as cardio heavy, which is better for me.

Blast900
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What is Blast?  In a couple of words BLAST is an interval training cardio class. Basically what that means is it’s an hour long class where you will be switched back and forth between cardio on a treadmill and resistance training on the floor–anything and everything from bands, weights, dynamax balls–we have a large variety of equipment. It is one of the most efficient and effective workout you can do in one hour.

I went to Blast900 with my #JLAGlitters group last week (after a day where I had already walked 20,000 steps. Whoops), and I can safely say that it kicked my ass. I think I’m in okay shape, but not for Blast. You spend half the class on the treadmills and half doing weight-work, but it was split into intervals — 12 TM/12 floor, 5/5, 5/5, 4/4, 4/4. I like that you are encouraged to scale it to your speed level, and I liked that not everything on the treadmill was an all-out sprint (just some of it). The weight work was challenging, but it wasn’t too bad, likely because I scaled down weights so that I’d be able to move Friday morning. I can definitely see that Blast would work, but unfortunately, it doesn’t fit into my workout schedule right now. I’m working on building distance, not speed, and I get my weight work in in other places. Besides that, I’m not in ATL that much, and I don’t know how I could currently fit it into my schedule. Hopefully, once Princess Half is over in February, I’ll be able to work this in, because I think it would  make me a better athlete (am I allowed to call myself that?).

More is to come. Friend Cara and I have purchased a ScoutMob to Urban Body Studios here in Atlanta, which offers more things I’ve never done, including TRX and Pilates. I’m also working on finding some things to do when I’m in DC for part of the work week, so expect a DC-centric post soon!

 

 

 

 

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