Five exercise classes I have tried

Whilst I enjoy my job, I am also aware that being sat at a desk is detrimental to my overall health. Thus, I have made a conscious effort to be more active since starting my job. I have always had a gym membership, but I decided to try new things to ensure I was pushing myself as much as I could. I find taking group classes are more beneficial for me than just using the gym because I have someone telling me what to do as opposed to me deciding when I have done enough. Thus, here is a review of the exercise classes I have taken part in:

1) Pilates

Pilates was the first exercise class I began attending. Pilates became quite trendy a couple of years ago, and when I was researching it online I was under the impression that it was full of toned girls in tight clothes. This may be true if you are attending a Pilates class in central London, but if you are attending a class in Loughborough then it is not the case. The thing that struck me when I walked into my first Pilates class is that I was one of two people in the class who was under 30. The rest were older men and women and then I remembered that Pilates is also an effective low impact  way to ease back pain. Regardless, I have been doing Pilates since November and I can’t imagine ever giving it up. It’s a fantastic way to improve your posture and strengthen the muscles which weaken over time when you are slumped over desk.

2) Body Pump

I tried Body Pump because I felt like I needed an exercise class which made me sweat. For those of you who don’t know, Body Pump involves lifting weights to EDM whilst a fitness instructor shouts things at you. The aim of Body Pump is to aid you in creating lean muscles by completing lots of reps with light weights, by the end of a class it is estimated you will have done around 800 reps. When I went to Body Pump I was greeted by a beefy instructor carrying a protein shake who seemed nice enough. Then once everyone had set up their weights, I don’t know whether his protein shake had infected his brain or something, but he just starting shouting at us and laughing at how much we were lifting and telling us add more weights to our bar. The duration of Body Pump is 60 minutes and 15 minutes in I didn’t know whether I wanted to cry, go home or both. We worked legs, biceps, triceps, chest, back and everything else in between and it got to the point where I wasn’t sure whether my heart rate just elevated or whether I was actually having a heart attack. The class ended with some core work and when the instructor was shouting at us to do push ups, I couldn’t do one to save my life – my arms were like jelly.During the core work, I just did what a lot of other people in the class were doing which was lay face down on the floor in a pool of my own sweat and tears. The pros of Body Pump is that you feel a sense of achievement when you complete it, but the cons are that my entire body was aching for days afterwards. Also, whilst Body Pump is a good introduction to weight lifting, long term I don’t think it is beneficial as lifting light weights quickly is the perfect recipe for poor form and an injury.

3) Yoga

Anyone who thinks Yoga is an easy workout has clearly never tried it. No, it isn’t high impact and it doesn’t make you sweat buckets, but it is great to do alongside other forms of exercise. If you have a desk job then that can play havoc on your posture by tightening your hips, and weakening your lower back. Yoga is great at counteracting those effects by helping you stretch and strengthen those muscles. One of the reasons I also enjoy Yoga is because I can go quite deep into some of the poses which makes me look really flexible, but in actual fact in relation to my height my legs are quite short which means it is easier for me to do them.

4) Spinnning

The type of Spin class I want to try

So far I have only attended one spin class, but I actually really enjoyed it. I have walked past the spin classes at my gym numerous times and it always cracked me up because it is a room of people in the dark cycling really fast to terrible dance music whilst an instructor shouts at them. One Spin class I walked past I could see this man at the front with sweat pouring off him whilst he was grimacing like he was going to die. However, I had been considering going for a while since people always rave about it and the classes always look full, so last week I booked onto a class. I then went home and googled reviews of Spin classes and someone wrote this as their experience of Spinning. ”My lower body was screaming. I vowed to remember this pain and never eat candy again.”. Understandably, after reading that I was terrified when walking into my first Spin class, but everyone was incredibly nice and whilst it was hard it wasn’t the Body Pump ”Is this what heart failure feels like!?” hard. 10/10

5) Insanity

I debated trying an Insanity class, but then I discussed it with my friends and it just sounds like hell on earth. I was told stories of a girl bursting into tears in the middle of a class, another girl throwing up which is impressive seeing as the classes are only 30 minutes long. After hearing these stories of Insanity I just thought ”I’m not about that life”. I enjoy it when I have completed a hard workout and I’m dripping with sweat, but I am not going to risk throwing up in the middle of a class and pay for the privilege. I understand Insanity gets results but there are plenty of other classes I can enjoy without risking leaving the class in a back of an ambulance after collapsing. es


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