Last week was Colorado Springs Fitness Week; 15 local gyms participated this year and you can go to each gym one time for a $5 class. It was a great opportunity for me to do some fitness exploration in my new hometown! Apparently some people go to 10, 11, all 15 gyms in the one week. Sigh. Coloradoans are so extreme. Because I enjoy the ability to walk, I went to 3. (4 if you want to count CorePower yoga in the park).
Monday I signed up for a megaformer at Flylife Fitness. This is a Pilates class with equipment which I had never tried before. It was kind of complicated with sliding back and forth on the carriage, adding weights, grabbing handles and bars, etc. I was constantly side-eyeing the experienced woman on the machine next to me, although the cueing from the instructor Amy was also good. I got that teary overwhelmed feeling that I probably haven’t had since I first went to Zumba and had zero understanding of the choreography. This is a good thing even though it feels awful in the moment – mastery is boring and I was trying something totally different and out of my comfort zone. I was surprised how much I liked this class. It’s very focused, very detailed, not cardio but toning. My quads and hips were definitely feeling it the next day.
Wednesday I went to my first barre class at Iron Barre. It was technically a “cardio barre” class but I think the owner/instructor Chantell read the room and realized she had a bunch of newbies so she made it a little less intense. So she says and that’s a scary sentiment because it still felt really hard! Barre is all about finding “the shake”, e.g. working a muscle to exhaustion. But, just like with the pilates, it’s not in a high-impact way at all, and I barely broke a sweat even while my muscles were burning like fire. I liked that barre feels more feminine than, say, a Crossfit box, (although there was a man in my class!); it’s not truly dance but inspired by it so there were lots of plies and movements at the ballet barre. There was a core section at the end, as well as some time on arms with hand weights, so I felt like I got a really good full body workout. The next day, only my quads were sore, which is fantastic! I could still function. Barre was my favorite new discovery. According to the Internet Virgos love Pilates and Barre and I can see why. It’s all about perfecting the details 🙂
As I mentioned, Saturday I went to CorePower yoga in the park. This was not part of fitness week but something they are offering every Saturday in July. I have been loving it and feel such a boost of happiness, peace and energy from exercising outdoors! I don’t even use my mat and just roll around in the grass instead. This past Saturday was overcast with a cool breeze so it felt particularly nice.
Finally, Sunday morning I went to a cycling class at Joule. To be fair, my body was sore and tired and it was the end of the end, so maybe I would have felt differently and attacked it more if I had started my week here. But this was the one class I didn’t love. Even though the instructor laughed when I said I did a spinning class at the gym years ago and acted like the industry had come SO far since then, there’s really only so much innovation possible on a bike. Yes, the studio has a high “cool” factor with its light effects, and yes the electronic readings on the bike telling you what gauge you are on and the like is helpful, but ultimately….we did sprints. We got “out of the saddle”. Etc. Everything I remembered from spinning 10 years ago. It was high cardio, with blaring music and a screaming room, and it just wan’t my scene. Also, I may just not like biking.
That was MY fitness week. There are other places I didn’t make it to but want to try, like Burn Boot Camp which offers strength training and HIIT in a women-only environment. But, ultimately, I have discovered that I really like barre and definitely want to make that part of my routine moving forward. I’m really glad I tried some new things this past week – it taught me more about my community and my personal likes and dislikes at this time.
If you have a workout you love, or if you don’t, I encourage you to try something new soon. It pushes you physically and mentally and you have the opportunity to discover another thing to love!