Back in September my coworker Josh busted his hamstring working out at the gym, and was gone from work until December. Please don’t judge me too harshly, but I MAY have made fun of him about it just a little bit. The thing is, he was always updating his facebook with ridiculous,girl-baiting gym status’s like: “Middle finger up to my competition”, “Change is Opportunity, don’t be afraid to create your own opportunity” And, “I want to go train at the Mecca one day.” So after he busted his hamstring working too hard at the gym I MAY have said something like, “HA. He won’t be posting those inspirational, girl-baiting quotes now.”
Well, that was definitely not good for my karma. During this step class at the gym I kept thinking, “Tara, if you fall off this step and break your ankle, the guys at work will never let you forget it.” This week I tried BODYSTEP, and I kept stumbling off of the step. Like you know those moments where you land on your leg in such a way that you know that you came THIS CLOSE to twisting your ankle? That probably happened 10 times during the class.
Why did I do this you may ask? Well, at the beginning of this year I decided that one of my projects for this blog would be to try out all of the available group classes at my gym
That BODYATTACK has me a little nervous…
The first class on my list was something called Les Mills BODYSTEP. Les Mills is a company that exports gym class routines to gyms around the world, and apparently my gym LOVES them. There is BODYPUMP, BODYSTEP, CX WORK, and BODYATTACK. They all appear in the gym schedule like that, with intense, CAPS LOCK font. So whenever I look at the schedule I imagine a buff gym instructor shouting the titles at me. There are even more programs that my gym doesn’t feature including BODYVIVE, BODYJAM, and Sha’Bam!…whatever the heck that is.
I decided to go to BODYSTEP first. The description said that the work out would make me feel, “liberated and alive!”
Pictured above, “liberated and alive”.
Basically what BODYSTEP entails is a raised step on the floor that one dances around, jumps on and off of, and of course, steps on. Picking this class as my first class might have been a mistake. I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret, I am not very coordinated. Or graceful. Or athletic.
Shockingly, this child did not grow up to be an athelete.
First of all, this class involved a lot of step movements that are meant to be performed while looking at the instructor, and NOT looking down. I stumble frequently, even when I’m just walking normally. I know, pretty much EVERY woman claims that she’s clumsy, but I have actual reasons. It’s just harder for taller people to have good balance. That’s why you never see 6’3 gymnasts.
Believe me, if he was 6’3 I would have found him by now and proposed.
Once during a gym class in 8th grade there was a day where we were going to do “tumbling activities.” When I stepped up to the mat my gym teacher took one look at me and said, “You can just sit this out if you want.” So it should go without saying that complicated foot work doesn’t come naturally to me. During BODYSTEP I kept having to do balance checks. Including when I was just standing motionless at the end of the workout doing stretches. Every time we would do a complicated step I noticed that after watching me struggle in vain the instructors would go, “OR, a second option is to just do this…”
I’m just too tall, there’s no getting around it. The instructor would tell us to walk across the length of the step and it would take me like, one step. Also, the people behind me in the studio were probably annoyed because they were trying to watch the instructor, and there’s this giant woman, panting and waving arms wildly in front of them.
And Jeez, I sweat so much. We had “step partners” during this class, and we had to switch steps a couple of times. I kept hoping she wouldn’t notice the drops of sweat all over my step.
Also, I feel so bad, I forgot my partners name! She remembered mine immediately. In the middle of the workout the instructors told us, “Switch, and say hi to your partner!” So she’s like, “Hi Tara!” and I’m like, “Hi….” Then later after the workout I held the locker room door open for her and she was like, “See you later Tara!” And I was like, “See you later….you” Then later I realized that I was accidentally following her in the parking lot, and I had to be stealthy so she wouldn’t turn around and give me another greeting and make me feel guilty for not remembering her name a THIRD time. I wanna say it was Bethany. But it’s one of those situations where I’m afraid to say it in case it’s like, “Hey Bethany!” and she’s like, “My name is Veronica.”
The work out was pretty challenging, even some of the cool down stretches were hard for me. And in the middle of the stretch the instructor would say, “OR, if you need a challenge, do it like this.” And I was like, “A CHALLENGE! Me not collapsing on the floor and gasping like a fish is a challenge!”
Actual serious thoughts about the class:
There really were times where I was worried I might break my foot or something, but that’s not the class’s fault, I’m just not graceful. Also, the step isn’t really narrow, but all of the other women in the class probably had size 8 feet. I have size 13 feet, there’s not as much room for them on one narrow step! The class itself was enjoyable and challenging when I wasn’t frustrated from stumbling, or almost falling over. This is a great workout if you want to work on toning your legs. Obviously the cardio is great, but the leg toning is what you come to this class for.
What was sore afterwards: My calves and my abs were sore. So you get an ab work out too, which is nice.
Will I go again: I think I might. I still have a lot of classes to try out, but once I’ve done them all I think I might try to work this one into some kind of rotation. The leg toning aspect of it really appeals to me. Also, when I left the class the instructor was really encouraging, she told me I did a good time for my first time, and that it gets easier as you go. Also, she gave me a tote bag!
My triumph. Please, for the love of God, ignore all the sweat in this photo.
One last final thought: I got blisters on my palms during a STEP workout. Yeah, figure that one out.