Confessions of a British Gym Virgin – Fitness Class Lowdown

Hi, I’m Sophie. Nineteen. Gym Virgin.

To many of you sporty W&M collegiettes this is probably an unimaginable scenario; but (embarrassingly) no, I have never been in a gym. I am sportily incompetent, have the stamina of…something without stamina. To top this off I am too intimidated by the huge machines that haunt the gyms and have visions that I will no doubt fall off and cause myself injury. I was the girl who was at the back of Cross-Country every week and the girl who’s only incentive to exercise is to buy a new work-out wardrobe. Tragic I know.   However, in an effort to get shape up as part of my ‘yay I’m in America but nooo I’m eating waaaay to many burgers’ fitness regime, I have decided to try out (slowly I may add) the array of fitness classes that W&M has to offer and give you guys the low down. Hopefully I will encourage other gym-a-phobes (I know you are out there somewhere) to try something new to keep fit that doesn’t involve inevitably falling off a treadmill.
Power Yoga: When I saw the word ‘yoga’ I thought of relaxing stretches and deep breathing – perfect exercise for someone who hates exercise. WRONG. I obviously chose to neglect the “Power” part of the name when I chose to go to this class. This class involves a number of high-intensity stretches, at fast speed, as well as a number of positions my body decided that it just wasn’t going into. Saying that I did feel myself actually benefitting from this work out – my muscles ached for three days afterwards - a testimony to my lack of fitness no doubt! Power Yoga is a class that I will definitely go back to, but just not necessarily to relax! Gym Virgin Rating: 8/10
Cardio Sculpt: As the name suggests Cardio Sculpt was a mixture of cardio…and sculpting. When we arrived at this class we were told to get a selection of weights and a band for later on in the class (equipment = scary!). We worked on our abs, arms and legs in this class, and it mixes up every week so your whole body gets a work out. The mixture of cardio and strength exercise was good because you got time to get your breath back between each cardio set, but you felt like you were never slacking. Again, I surprisingly enjoyed this class (except for the jumping squats…possibly the most unattractive move EVER) and would go again, but I might have to practise my squats first. Gym Virgin Rating: 6.5/10
Zumba: Zumba was so much fun. I haven’t truly enjoyed exercise this much in a long time. Picture this: strutting about and striking poses to your favourite Shakira songs. That doesn’t sound too bad does it? The instructors are all really fun and encouraging and are quite happy to let you express yourselves as much as you like while dancing – one confessed “I’m a screamer” whilst we shook our booties to Pitbull which solicited a number of excited “whoops!” from the crowd. Zumba is just a dance party really, where everyone happens to dance in time…kind of like a sexy High School Musical. What I found really good about Zumba is even people like me with NO rhythm can still keep up with the routines without being hideously embarrassed. Definitely a bonus! Gym Virgin Rating: 9/10
So here is my low down of the classes I have taken at W&M so far. Ok, it’s not a 10K run but it’s a start. Fitness can’t happen overnight after all. Maybe see you all at the Rec soon?