Posted by Nicole
Note: I wrote this post in May, while still in college at USD. This was before the blog was created, but I wanted to remember this class, hence the journaling its greatness!
I talk about Kelly a lot, so here are some photos of me + her while at school our freshman year:
Today I took an Abs & Toning class at my school’s fitness center. They are offering a set of Free “Fit and Active” Classes during finals week as an outlet for student stress. (Kudos to USD for promoting fitness!)
My class was at 5:00 PM, which is typically when I start to get my hunger pangs for dinner. As Lauren always tells me, I eat like a granny… AKA really early… Luckily for me, I had gotten off-campus earlier around 3:30 with Devon to sell back some of our textbooks. We got free frozen yogurt cards from the place that we sold our books back to. The frozen yogurt place, Fiji Yogurt, is conveniently about two doors down from the bookstore. We walked there to take advantage of our free coups… gotta have the coups baby!
After filling our tummies with froyo, Devon wanted to stop by Starbucks and get a half-priced Java Chip Frappuccino. She was super pleased when she got it and immediately got into that crazy sugar rush that I often experience.
As for the Abs & Toning class, I was very impressed! I went with my friend Kelly and managed to make it through the class (even though I was still in the state of recovery from my froyo-sugar-overload). The class began with a couple stretches, and then lots and lots of marching.
I felt silly at first doing marching, wide-marching, and grapevines, but I really did start to get into it! The music was extremely upbeat, and weird techno jams always seem to pump me up into workout mode. One notable thing the instructor kept saying was “imagine your arms are pieces of lumber—they are strong throughout and just have a slight bend at the elbow.” I tried to keep this in mind each time I had to reach my arms up or slice my arms across my body.
We did arm exercises that worked all parts of our arms. I started off with 8 lb weights, but then switched to 5 lb weights. I didn’t want to overwork my muscles and be too sore to workout for the next couple of days. (By the end of class, I was already feeling the strain from the weights—guess I need to focus more on daily strength training rather than cardio ha!)
The class randomly featured aspects of kickboxing, and I loved it! I learned how to “Punch, Jab, Hook, Uppercut”… we did this combination maaaaany times. One thing the instructor did nicely was move us around the fitness room. We did the kickboxing moves facing the mirror, the right, the left, and the back of the room. Moving like this always seems to make things more interesting and keeps me focused on working through each set of exercises.
Some other things included in the class were jumping jacks, double jumping jacks, squats, “football stance” fast running, tons of arm exercises, and some mat work. I expected this class to have us on a mat immediately (hence “Abs”), but the instructor only had us incorporate a mat into the last ten minutes of the class. We did a simple pushup style plank, slow mountain climbers, fast mountain climbers, situps with weights, reverse situps with weights, and slow bicycles with weights. The class concluded with some light stretching and some yoga poses (cat/cow, child’s pose). My favorite part of class was when we were laying with our backs on the mats and she had us stretch our toes forward, arms above our heads, and squeeze our butt muscles. I swear I grew about 2 inches—I was my dream height of 5’8” for about 10 seconds—WOOHOO!
Overall, this class was awesome. I went from feeling kind of silly, to feeling super legit (loser marching –> getting sore after 30 mins!) The instructor was probably in her late 40s, but she was SO strong! She was using 10-lb weights the entire time and somehow maintained perfect form! Halfway through the class I actually turned to Kelly behind me and said “I want to be as strong as her when I’m her age!!!”
Now I am camped out on one of the lounges in my dorm’s lounge. I will probably go to dinner on campus soon because I’m trying to use up the last bits of my meal plan. I hate wasting money—especially when it comes to food!
Q4U: Have you ever gone to a similar abs/toning class? Were you on a mat for the majority of the class- or standing like I was?
Q4U: Do you ever feel silly in exercise classes when you have to do random things, like marching?