I broke up with my gym last fall. It had changed a lot, the trainers were getting on my nerves and the location wasn't as convenient as it used to be. I thus decided to give my local YMCA a good old college try. I've actually been to this gym before and wasn't too impressed. This gym had definitely seen better days.
But recently, the YMCA received a makeover and while some of their equipment is still a bit rusty and old, the facelift made it much more appealing to me. So I joined. Or well, am about to once my trial runs out.
The location is pretty much perfect as it is on my way home from the office - literally one block off my normal route. The family atmosphere is welcoming and everyone working there seems really nice. The price is a bit steep at $70/month, but this place has a wide variety of classes and an outdoor heated pool on top of it. I've never been into swimming for fitness, so I am excited for the possibility. Basically, I've become a huge fan during my trial and cannot wait to hop back on the workout wagon and stay there this time (famous last words).
I've been following the Couch to 5K Program for a while now (I've skipped a weeks here and there), but haven't been weight training, so a Body Pump class was exactly what I needed. I've taken it only once before and was super nervous at the time, so I didn't enjoy it at all. This time around, I had a much more pleasant experience.
And here it is all summed up in a nice and neat list.
- Works every single muscle group
- Challenging with the right amount of weights
- Class goes by quickly
- Instructors were nice and friendly
- I'm sore today, but not "can't get out of a bed" sore
- A lot of equipment: step with risers, bar bell, at least three sets of weights, set of dumbbells, mat, towel, water...you have to make multiple trips to grab it all
- Not completely sold on the higher reps, lighter weight model
- Music can be kind of lame: its semi-known songs sung by unknown singers.
Tips for Beginners, From a Beginner
- Get to class early to grab all of your equipment and scope out a comfortable spot in the room, preferably with a good view of the instructor(s).
- Introduce yourself to the instructor and say you are new. They will help you pick weights and help with your form.
- Its okay to rest in the sets. I had way too much weight on the chest set and had to take a few breathers. I think it takes time to figure out the best weights for certain exercises.
- Try to position yourself behind or near someone who looks like they know what they are doing. Follow their lead. This helped me a lot since I had to strain my neck to see the instructor.
I'm pretty excited about my next class because I now know what to expect and that gives me a boost of confidence. I've always been a fan of weight lifting, but not a fan of making my own weight lifting plan, which is why the class is appealing. I know the lifting heavy is highly recommended, but lifting light is better than no lifting at all, so that pretty much justifies my only major beef with the class.
Next classes to try on the YMCA program list: cycling. Not touching: Zumba, UJam or Body Attack. I am the definition of un-coordination and no one needs to see me dance. No one.