I mentioned in my Year-End Progress Report that I haven’t been taking as many group fitness classes as I have in the past. But I want to change that, so on the first weekend of 2020, I went and got super sweaty at a fitness class I was trying for the first time.
This picture was taken right after my class at Red Effect, a group fitness experience that was challenging, empowering, and wonderfully tech-heavy. There’s a lot of science when you walk into a Red Effect (there’s locations in a handful of states; check if there’s one near you here). There’s infrared panels installed in the ceilings, because they claim exposure to infrared rays can speed your recovery and is better for your joints. I invite you to look into the science behind claims like this, and while you’re at it, let me know what you find!
I put one of their heart rate monitors on before class. This monitor is linked to their computer system, which displayed stats about me on televisions throughout the classroom. The class I took was an interval-based workout, with the hour-long class split between running on a treadmill, doing bodyweight exercises, and using a rowing machine. It was intense, with the intensity levels based on pushing my heart rate into certain zones, which I could track on the televisions, thanks to my heart rate monitor.
After the class, they emailed me a report with all my data.
I love data, so I loved getting that email. I hope to go back to Red Effect to take more classes – that location, in Troy, has cycling and kickboxing classes too!
Speaking of cycling, I took an excellent spin class a couple months ago at a joint called CycleBar. This, too, was a tech-heavy experience, with all the spin bikes in the classroom hooked up to a system that tracked all sorts of data and created a leaderboard that the instructor could display on big televisions in the spin classroom. I’m sure it will surprise no one when I say that my competitive nature kicked into overdrive, and my desire to be on top of that leadership caused me to push myself hard during the class. I ended in 2nd place, by the way, out of 23 students. Not too shabby for my first spin class in over a year!
I actually won a five-pack of classes at my local Bloomfield Hills CycleBar at a wellness fair, so I need to reach out and make sure I can still use those, because that fair was about four months ago, and for all I know those classes may have expired. I hope not. CycleBar, by the way, has locations coast to coast. Is there one near you? Find out here!
The competitive spark that CycleBar ignited in me is one of the major reasons why I love group fitness classes, no matter how much tech they involve. Heck, I got introduced to group fitness classes by Richard Simmons, and the only technology he used to teach aerobics was a stereo and a disco ball – and he loved both equally. When I’m in a group fitness class, I know I work harder, and push myself more, than when I’m alone. And that’s a great thing.
I took two other group fitness classes in 2019, and they were offered through my gym at work. Unless you work for my company, you can’t take them, so I’m not going to say much about them, except for that they were boot camp classes, and they were tough, and they involved all sorts of kettlebells and free weights and medicine balls. A whole bunch of friends took the classes together, which meant that not only did I push myself, but I also laughed a lot, and that’s always a fun thing to do while working up a sweat.
Oh! I will share one specific thing from that boot camp class that I want everyone to try. Our instructor ended one class by playing the classic song “Roxanne,” by The Police, which I love. We had to run in place the entire time, and every time Sting sung the word ‘Roxanne,’ we had to do a burpee. You’ll end up doing way more burpees than you’re expecting, and the whole experience will kind of ruin that song for a couple weeks. Is it worth it? Sure! There are lots of other songs!
Keep it up, David!
Follow me! I’m @keepitupdavid on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! There’s also a “Sign Me Up” box on this page (at the top of the right-hand column) where you can subscribe to receive new posts via email!