Class Overview – Clubbercise

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Class Type:  Aerobics

Duration:  45-60 mins

Average Calorie Burn:  400

Complexity/Difficulty: 5/6 out of 10

Class Size:  15-30 (varies depending location)

Areas Worked:  Whole Body

Equipment: None. Glow sticks are provided.

Music:  Mix of dance and R&B tracks

The concept of Clubbersise is to “bring a night out to your workout” so you should expect a darkened room with disco lights, glow sticks and dance music – just don’t expect a bar 😉

The class starts with a warm up of dynamic stretches and classic aerobic moves like grapevines, step touch etc. Before it moves onto a number of other tracks that get you moving and dancing along to popular dance, pop and R&B from the 90’s to the current day.

Admittedly I was the only guy in the class – but everyone was friendly and it was nice to see a wide age range of “clubber” (mainly 16-40). To really get the night-out feel it would have been great if the class was in a studio rather than a large sports hall, however it didn’t detract too much from the overall feel.

The routines are easy to follow and quite basic so you don’t need to worry about not being a professional dancer. It’s nothing like a dance class. It’s an aerobics class that throws in some street dance, salsa and “rave” moves.

The darkened room means that you can let yourself go and it doesn’t matter if you get it wrong as no-one can see you very well really.

The downside is that with it being quite dark is depending on the lighting, you may have more difficulty seeing the instructor so it’s just as well it is easy to follow and the instructions are clear.

The glow-sticks are an unusual addition. When you look around the room and see them all waving in rhythm is looks brilliant.  I should note they are not your usual glow sticks with luminous liquid, but battery operated ones that change colours (a bit  like the ones you see at funfairs). They are really light so they’re not difficult to use for the whole class.

Musically, it suggests club anthems but in reality it’s a variety of dance and pop music eg. Snap, David Guetta, Jessie J, Lady Gaga, Pink, Black Eyed Peas…. All the music that I like dancing to, but I wouldn’t class them as clubbing “anthems”. However, the variety of tracks mean that there’s a variety of tempos, so you will have some high intensity tracks followed by a slightly slower track so you have a bit of a breather.

The class ends with an R&B track cool-down, with moves similar to the warm up and including some stretches.

If you are experienced in aerobics classes then this may not be intense enough to make you feel exhausted by the end (you could always consider ankle/wrist weights ;p ) but overall I enjoyed the class and really liked the mix of music.

If you are new to exercise or just want to put some fun into your work-out routine then Clubbercise may be what you’re looking for.

More info/class locations can be found on the Clubbercise site:

http://www.clubbercise.com/

Or for a taster – head over to YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhXFX7Isw30

 

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New Year – New You ? What are you waiting for?

New Year's Resolutions

There is an apparently non-stop supply of cakes and chocolates in our office at the moment and I always laugh when I catch some one leaving with their 3rd or 4th hand-full of the day/morning and they sheepishly grin “but it’s Christmas – the diet’s starting in the new year”.

I’m not being a grinch – it just amuses me. It’s also not just December. It can happen on birthdays, holidays and so on, but Christmas seems to be THE time of year when most people just accept that they will over indulge in spending, drinking and especially eating.  The gym is definitely a lot quieter and health & fitness seems to go the back of people’s mind…..

But once Christmas is over – and we’re sat in front of the TV, our belly aching – we can start to feel a little remorseful and vow that the diet/exercise regime will start in the new year……. along with a whole list of other things that we want to improve.

I understand the logic behind it. It’s a new year so new calendars and dairies are required. Psychologically this provides a nice clear break from bad feelings and habits of the past as the old calendars and diaries are stored away or binned, the decorations are returned to the loft and the house cleaned up.

We have also been given Christmas gifts or bought in the sales – new toiletries, clothes, gadgets and so on – ready to be put to use to help and present to the world, our new and improved selves.

New Year really does make sense in terms of making resolutions and starting something new – but you can ask people how they are doing a month or two later and it’s not surprising to find that 80% have already been broken.

So how can we help the odds, make our resolutions stick and achieve our goals?  After doing some digging around (together with learning from experience) I’ve come up with hint and tips that may help:

Why are you waiting?  

Try asking yourself why are you putting it off? Are you delaying because your scared? Do you need advice or help? Are there obstacles such as money/time/other people? If so, is there a way around them or an alternative? On the other hand it may be that you’re delaying because it’s not something that you really want…..

Why do you want to do it?

Ask yourself, is this something that you actually want to, or are you doing it because others want you to do it or that you think others want you to do?  If it is for someone else, whether that is your partner, family, public image it can add a lot more pressure on yourself, and then if you stumble or fail, it can cause a huge amount of guilt. Whatever challenges or changes you want to make – make sure you’re making them for the right reasons and you will be more likely to succeed.

What do you want to achieve? Set some goals.

It might sound simple but be realistic! If it’s something new then get advice/help e.g. if it’s health related then see a fitness instructor/personal trainer/online forums/professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask. – just make sure it’s your goals!

Set short, medium and long term goals/plans and make them SMART (Specific/Measurable/Achievable/Realistic/TimeBound – Locke & Latham, 1990). Studies have shown that setting these types of goals helps to improve both motivation and adherence to a plan as they can help show progress.

Change ONE thing at a time.

Setting too many goals can be overwhelming for the brain and body, and so one or both may fight-back making you give up completely.

There have been years of research that shows if you want to change something, change one thing at a time gradually adding in other/additional goals.

By easing them in, the body and mind are better able to cope with the additional demands of extra/more intensive goals, and from a motivational view, seeing the positive effects of one change will help encourage you to progress onto another.  Even if the first change is not successful on the first attempt, as it is only one – it is easier to try again.

Know your motivations & distractions.

What gets you going? What motivates you?

Are you someone that needs to be pushed? A negative image such as an unattractive photo of you on the fridge, a diseased lung, the threat of illness etc. can help motivate some people take action.

Alternatively – you may prefer the “pull” and attraction of a reward? Positive images of yourself, financial/material rewards,  or even the feel-good factor can help with motivation.

Also try to understand what distracts you – gaming, the internet, social media, tv…… can you incorporate these into your plans or can you avoid them?

On a similar note, knowing who your supporters are, that will help you when it gets tough and knowing who your “enemies” are that may try and pull-you down,  is also useful to understand. So that you know who you can turn to for support and who to ignore/avoid.

Have a back-up plan

Life is full of surprises that can throw up obstacles and barriers to us achieving our goals so it’s a good idea to think about what might happen. Injury/illness, an expensive bill and even holidays and parties can all cause disruptions. By thinking about them in advance, if and when they do occur – it is easier to pick yourself back up and get back on track.

 

Hope that it helps – it’s definitely worked/working for me – so I hope others might find some of it useful too and may start making those changes today rather than waiting.   I’m certainly not eating any mince pies this year!  One thing at a time…….   😉

 

 

fit(2)

Class Overview – Les Mills BODY PUMP

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Class Type:  Weight training

Duration:  60 mins

Average Calorie Burn:  590

Complexity/Difficulty: 8-9 out of 10

Class Size:  15-30 (varies depending location)

Areas Worked:  Whole Body

Equipment: All provided but a mat, towel and water are essential

Music:  Mix of dance and R&B tracks

If you’re looking for a class to get you toned and build lean muscle then this is it!

The main concept behind Body Pump is resistance training using a barbell, dumbbells and body weight, using low-moderate weights but HIGH repetitions.

Before the class starts – you need to set yourself up with all the equipment you will need. This will include a step, barbell, dumbbells and extra weights.

It is YOU that decides what weights you want to lift for each muscle group and the biggest piece of advice to anyone new would be to START LOW!!  There are a number of people when they first start, choose the same weights they would be lifting in a gym session and then end up struggling halfway through the track – they key to Body Pump is the sheer number of reps – for example 120 squats is not unusual! New releases are issued every 3 months but most instructors will vary the routine every 6-8 weeks to keep it fresh.

The first track is a warm up starting with low weights using both the bar and dumbbells to run through the main lifts that will be completed.

There are 8-9 tracks during the class, with each of the tracks focusing on different muscle groups/pairs such as legs, arms, chest, back, using combinations of various lifts at varying speeds.

Before each track the instructor will advise of the equipment to be used and suggested weight alterations e.g. doubling/trebling your “warm-up” weight for the leg track etc. They will also advise on the correct form/technique throughout to make sure that you are performing the lifts effectively and safely.

The step is used as a “bench” for chest press/flyes or tricep dips – so a mat is handy to make it more comfortable.

If you have any concerns or injuries, you should also make sure to inform the instructor before you start. That way they will suggest alterations/alternatives when required.

The final tracks will focus on abs and then cool down stretches.

The music is great, the instructors really motivating and anyone who thinks that lifting weights in the gym is monotonous and boring should give it a try.  While the calorie burn may not be as high as some cardio classes – if you want something that is going to change your body shape then this is a great way.

More info/class locations can be found on the Les Mills site:

http://www.lesmills.com/workouts/fitness-classes/bodypump/

Or ask at your local gym.

Again – there’s a number of videos on You Tube if you want to see a class example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWKt6C8VDFU