Unless you are an athlete or a die-hard exercise fanatic, I think it's safe to say that we all took some “cheat days” over the holiday break. Now I know that getting ready to workout is a taxing process: you have to get up (no matter how comfy your bed is), choose what kind of workout you want to do, pick out the appropriate (or cutest) exercise clothes, and then actually DO the exercise. I have always found that the hardest part is choosing the routine. Once you have the clothes on, you're a lot less likely to take them off and get back in bed.
But let’s get down to the meat of this: the exercise. For some, they may not feel they’re working out enough, or go too hard on their bodies for a good workout. Others may not enjoy their exercises causing them to lose motivation. Exercise should always feel rewarding and fun! If it’s not, something needs to change. So, if the exercise you’re doing now isn’t leaving you feeling refreshed afterwards, CLU offers five amazing group classes at the Forrest Fitness Center: Bootcamp, Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, and Kickboxing. The Forrest Fitness center classes are free to students and staff of CLU, and yearly FCC members. Heads up - I’m going to give you the REAL rundown of what the classes are like.
BootcampBootcamp in one word: INTENSE. Bootcamp is truly a great workout that's aimed towards cardio. Though at the end you may feel a little unmovable, you'll have discovered weaknesses and strengths in your body you never even knew you had. And what’s really amazing is that when you continue to go and try your best, you see the results! Your weaknesses can become strengths. Mark Glesne is the instructor, and in all honesty he’s part of the reason I am ever able to keep going. He really knows how to push you and motivate you, all at the same time, while never making you feel inferior when you are a little slow.
As for what actually happens in bootcamp: it is an outdoor class, and there WILL be running, so bring the appropriate clothes. But it’s not just running; it’s jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, crunches, and variations on all. Every class changes - you never will do the same exercise. However, if you want to boost any bodily weakness and train your body to its peak, this is a great workout class. Especially because other people are struggling along with you! I do warn you, the class will push you, but with time it will get easier.
PilatesPilates: a challenge. Pilates is all about your core, and using your body against yourself. You are on your back a lot, so maybe invest in a thick mat if you want to do this class long-term. The instructor is Kristen Routh, and her focus on breathing through a workout really is the secret to being able to finish strong. But don’t worry, if anything ever feels wrong or you're at your breaking point it is always okay to stop (not only in this class, but in any workout - every instructor emphasizes this point). I would suggest wearing leggings for this class because it would get a little awkward if you wear shorts. But don’t let that stop you either! No one is going to focus on you during this class because they’ll be struggling so much with their own moves.
The class is basically comprised of you half-sitting (almost like a suspended crunch), working against gravity by moving your legs in the air with your back on the ground, tricep push-ups, and swimmers. There have been classes where Kristen moves us to the bar, and that really is a tough workout on the glutes! I would suggest this class to anyone who does not have any upper body strength, or wants a low-cardio exercise that still packs a punch!
YogaYoga is definitely for strengthening both your mind and body. Lisa Wildermuth is the instructor of this class, and she is one of the calmest people I have ever met. Granted, I met her while she was instructing a yoga class, which is meant to be calming. She is really lenient with the moves in that she gives variations (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) on certain difficult ones, such as the tree pose. This yoga class was a bit challenging for me because my mind is not happy when I am struggling with a move, but by the end, I still felt proud and stretched out. Surprisingly to me, some of the moves were quite challenging. Through this class, I found a new respect for all yogis. If you want a low-impact exercise that will stretch you out and bring a calm center to your day, Lisa’s yoga class is right for you.
ZumbaZumba is a party! And Stacy Gross knows how to host! Stacy really is able to create a super fun and party-like atmosphere in Zumba. Zumba is a Latin inspired dance exercise. But wait, don’t run away when you hear about dancing in front of people - if you’re going to dance anywhere like you do in your room, this is the place to do it. The music is always super loud, so if you have sensitive ears I would suggest standing more in the middle than near the wall speakers. Just so you know, even if you do end up standing in the back, Stacy switches the lines around so everyone has the chance to see the moves clearly from the front row. She won’t ever force you of course, but it gives you the chance to see the moves clearly and more room to move around.
Zumba is dancing, so you will salsa, shake your tush, wave your arms, and swing your hips to all types of music. In all seriousness, if you’re scared of dancing in front of others, this class will not make you feel that way. Everyone is there to dance along with you, and everyone gets the moves wrong at some point, so don’t be embarrassed! Come, and put a smile on your face! If you don’t get any fun in any other exercise, but like to dance crazily in your room, dance the night away in Zumba!
KickboxingKickboxing, to be lame but extremely accurate: really has a kick to it. The class, unfortunately for those that were hoping, does not have any punching bags; instead, Derick Welsh goes around the room and lets you punch his hand pads instead just so you can have something to actually punch. Derick is a very engaging instructor, and goes through a full workout with you. This class has a warm-up, the main workout, and a cool-down, as well as a “victory run” around the gym. That victory run was really great, because after a super challenging workout, a run full of yelling and fun is just what you would hope for after all that adrenaline kicks in.
This class is what you make it, and it’s super easy to make it fun by doing your best. This class consists of a lot of punching, squatting, and kicking, and Derick really focuses on form and technique, and will always come around and help out to make sure you don’t hurt yourself and learn the moves correctly. If you want to try something new, fun, and a full, impactful workout, kickboxing is at 5 pm on Fridays!
I think it would be fair to give you the disclaimer the CLU website does: the classes are located in the Dance and Fitness studio on the second floor (first classroom door on the left in the middle hall), and please wear appropriate shoes and clothing, as well as wiping off any dirt from your shoes.
Here is the schedule:
*My personal motivation chant for getting going is: “you have never regretted exercising” - because it’s true! By the end of the day if I can say that I exercised well enough to break a sweat, I would say that was a job well done. But if I get to the end of the day and netflix binged, I know where my headache came from. If I was sore the next day, I know it’s because I had gave my body the best workout yesterday.
Now, get down to it and try out these classes! And most importantly, have fun!