Something pretty different today, and here’s why I’m talking about it: fitness is a very big and very important part of my life, so much that I can owe it for my regular everyday functioning in the same way someone might say that about coffee, but it’s also a lot more. I’ve shared a lot of snippets of my workouts on Snapchat and got a few questions from some of you about what exactly I do, so that gave me a welcome gentle kick in the butt to share this with you (thank you!)
The rest of this will make more sense if I start by talking about my past relationship with fitness. For most of my existence, I’ve regarded the gym as punishment, as a reminder of my difficulties with losing weight, and generally as something I didn’t like. I played sports in high school, and in college I danced, but once I graduated I didn’t keep up with any kind of physical activity. I went 6 years without regular exercise and a membership to a gym I never went to before I decided I needed to change that.
My biggest excuse for not going to the gym prior (other than that I hate the gym) was that I didn’t have time, which was crap, but as I was about to enter flexible work hours that would make it possible for me to workout in the mornings + wanted to counter the more sedentary lifestyle that working from home would result in + reached the height of my frustration with the weight I gained since college and general lethargy that seemed to be taking over me, I took the encouragement I received from a couple friends to try ClassPass and give good effort towards trying different workout options and figuring out what I like. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and it completely changed my relationship with fitness forever.
I’ve been using ClassPass for 8 months now and I’ve learned the following things:
- Turns out that I like a lot of different workout activities.
- Having a trainer makes a huge, positive difference.
- Working out with a group of people also makes a huge, positive difference.
- A class cancellation fee pretty much shuts up any excuses I might make the morning-of to not go, which is excellent.
- I need variety in order to stay motivated about fitness.
- A good workout is equal parts mental and physical, and I love it for both. That was a longer way of saying the more challenging, the better.
The ClassPass limitation of only being able to visit the same studio 3 times max per month forced me to visit a ton of studios, but the good thing is that I’ve found my favorites and came up with a rough schedule to regularly rotate through.
Monday: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)– My favorite because it makes me feel the most accomplished. One minute I’m doing sprint intervals on the treadmill and the next I’m lifting weights while my heart is still pounding out of my throat and then back and forth and so on. It’s a very rewarding feeling to me.
Tuesday: Pilates Reformer- This is the hardest class I go to. It doesn’t look like much, but the isometric movements, holds, pulses, all the variations create a fire and pain unlike anything else. I have yet to get through a class without collapsing or crumbling, so I regard being able to conquer this as an ultimate mark of strength. I will do it!! I’ve also heard from other seasoned students that this class just doesn’t get easier haha.
Thursday: Boxing– Aside from this being a very good sweat, I go because it’s especially fun. There’s a flow and rhythm that’s necessary for doing the combos, almost like dancing. I’m not terribly great at it, but the few times I’ve felt the flow were so satisfying. I always leave wanting more.
Friday: Circuit Training- I love the fast pace of this type of class, rotating through different stations of calisthenics and weightlifting in 60, 45, or 30 second intervals. Because of the short amount of time spent at each station, I like to lift heavier weights for this class.
I’ll throw in Barre, Cycling, or Yoga on a rest day if I’m not too sore or when I’ve used up all my days at my favorite studios. These classes are not my favorite, though I still like them, but I personally don’t find them as engaging as the ones that I go to regularly. A good thing to note: the trainer/instructor is SO important for anything. I’ve visited studios I didn’t like only to go again for a different instructor’s class and realize it was just the first instructor I wasn’t vibing with.
I didn’t want this to turn into a ClassPass review, but for those of you who were curious and considering it, I think it’s worth every penny of the expensive monthly fee if you’re feeling lost like I was over how to stay motivated about exercising regularly, though totally, it isn’t for everyone and you won’t know until you try. I’ve known for a long time I should try it and always thought agh it’s too expensive, but now having experienced all the benefits, the membership fee is virtually non-existent to me. I thought I’d find a studio I loved the most and just get membership there when I did, but the ClassPass fee is less than any studio I go to (for now!) plus as I mentioned before, it’s the variety that I love so much about how I workout right now.
What started out as hope for optimal weight loss has turned into something I enjoy so much that I can’t live without it, which is ludicrous to have believed could happen to a gym-hating-didn’t-workout-for-6-years girl. I’m hardly the skinniest I’ve been in years, but I’m the strongest I’ve ever been. Continually getting stronger has become my motivation to keep going, which has done very positive things not only for my body image but also for my mental perseverance with everything in life. It gets me out of bed in the morning, it starts my day feeling like I’ve already accomplished so much (extra vital on days when I get nothing done, it happens), and sometimes it’s the only social interaction I’ll get in a day HA. That work at home life…
I feel so strongly about this idea of “finding what you like” for opening the door to the joys of exercising that I want to extend my encouragement to you if you’re feeling anything like how I was 8 months ago or prior. Or, if you’ve already made your strides past that point and are on a regimen you love, I want to say congrats and GO YOU, it’s not easy! Any questions or if you want to share anything about your relationship with fitness, I’d love to hear it!