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Came. Chiseled. Conquered.

January 14, 2010

I came. [to the gym] I chiseled. [every muscle in my body] I conquered.
[my fear of classes. (ish.)]

Tuesday morning my alarm went off at 5:00 AM.
And I pressed snooze.
I turned over to go back to sleep.  I tossed. I turned. I couldn’t stop
thinking about my class.
I told myself I had to go.
I told myself I could reschedule for another day.
I told myself that I should stick to my plan.
I told myself that I should stick to my bed.
I told myself that I need to stop saying one thing and doing another.
I decided I’d try again next week.

And then I got a text from Julie.
5:15:48 AM – "Good morning! Get thy butt to the gym!"

And it was settled.

I was now running 15 minutes late, but I was determined and rushed
through my apartment getting ready.  Thankfully, I thought to pack all
my bags the night before.  Gym bag. Food bag (breakfast, lunch, and
snacks!). Computer bag. Other bag of random crap which some people may call a purse.

In the car, I munched on a peanut butter chocolate chip Harvest Powerbar
(surprisingly yummy. Not at all what I expected) and sipped on my tea,
as I drove the 3.8 miles to the gym.  I headed into the locker room with
just enough time to slip into my gym shoes, grab my water bottle and
lock my locker.

When I first walked into the class, I was a BUNDLE of nerves.  People that come to the gym at 5:45 AM are definitely pretty dedicated and I could just picture a bunch of "hard core" fitness all-stars glaring at
me in the mirror as I struggled to keep up with the class.  The only
thing keeping me in the class room was a remix of "Please Don’t Stop the
Music" which happens to be my FAVORITE dancing song of all times.

Taking some of your suggestions, I made sure to approach the instructor,
Tia, when I first walked into the class. Tia looks tough and I knew the
second I walked up to her that I was in for a series workout.
  I told her it was my first time, and she told me what I needed, which in this
case was a step to which ever height I wanted, two sets of weight- one
heavy, one light, a stability ball and a mat.  I started collecting my
gear and set up on the left side of the room and in true first timers
form, at the back of the class.

As I expected, the class was HARD.  But not too hard that I wasn’t able
to keep up or confused or felt like crying "Mommy!" when I finally
caught my breath. It was the right kind of hard.

From what I could tell, it was a lot like Body Pump.  [ok- I’ve never
been to a BP class, but my best friend did teach me some BP workout
moves one time (aka- tried to kill me) and afterwards I did watch some
BP videos online.]  It was a lot of moving, lifting, pumping, holding,
and just trying to survive.

A lot of the class was repeating motions in different time-frames.  For
example, we did hammer curls.  We did normal hammer curls, one count up and one count down.  Then we did 4 counts up, 4 counts down.  Followed by 3 counts up, 1 count down and 1 count up, 3 counts down.  Each movement we made we seemed to do in 2 sets of 12 reps total.

The class covered full body work, and my heart was beating cardio range
the entire class besides the cool down.  We did curls, chest press,
shrugs, push ups, crunches, leg lifts, and a million lunges and squats.
For a girl who LOATHES lunges and squats this worked out perfectly for
me, because I knew they wouldn’t last forever. Tia was great about
encouraging us along the way and counting down to get us through the
end.  Even when I thought I was going to fall over from one too many
4-count squats, I pushed through.

45 minutes of sweating my self silly, I found myself headed to the
locker room to start getting ready for work.  While there, I evaluated.
Here is what I have to say over all.

* I understand why they call the class Chisel.  I was sore before I even left the gym.

* I was not in perfect form, or even decent form, for a lot of my
exercises.  I really need to work on some of this stuff! (read: anything that had to do with that ball.)

* I NEVER would have done that many lunges or squats if I wasn’t in a class. If nothing else, the class definitely got me the lower body workout that I always seem to avoid.

* I really like that there are 5 different sizes of weights available
(5lbs, 8lbs, 10lbs, 12lbs, 15lbs)  I was able to pick the correct
weights for myself, and if I did attend the class more often, as the movements started to get easier I could move up when I needed to.

* Also, apparently each class is different. Some classes they use the body bar, or resistance bands.  And in our particular class we didn’t actually use the steps at all in our movements.  I like the idea of changing things up with each class- I think it would help to keep work outs from getting boring.

* Well, that would help as well as the music.  The music is not boring. The music is pumpin’.  I like feeling like I’m in a gay club with the music choices.  Seriously.

* The woman in this class kind of know each other a little bit.  They conversed as they got ready after class. They didn’t make me feel like a stranger.  I REALLY enjoyed the "community" of the class.

* Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Walking hurts. Ouch. So does sitting.


Overall, I would say that Chisel was a success.  I got a good workout,
but was never overwhelmed with what was going on.  Tia was a great
instructor with a positive and encouraging energy.   Tuesday/Thursday
Chisel with Tia is a class I would consider attending regularly.
However, having it as the first class I have reviewed, I don’t want to
just jump in and decide it’s the best class ever.  I have two other
Chisel classes with different instructors to review this month, and one
Chisel Plus, as well.

Tonight I will be facing Class #2 in the Classes Challenge-
Willpower&Grace. You ca check out the Class Challenge tab for a
description of this class, and see an overview of my class schedule.
I’m pretty pumped for Willpower&Grace – am hoping that jazz hands a la
Jack McFarland make it into the mix.  😉 [don’t think I didn’t realize
that they offer Willpower&Grace on Thursday evenings.  If that’s not
pop-culture-adorable, I don’t know what is!]



What is the best fitness class you’ve ever taken?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 2:17 pm

    “And then I got a text from Julie.”
    That is awesome! The focus is always on how a workout buddy is great for accountability because you’re letting someone else down if you don’t follow through. But I know that if I got a text like that I would for sure be out of bed in seconds – knowing that someone else knew I meant to do something and might not be doing it… and that they reminded me. It’s like a pleasant push forward (or a gentle kick in the behind). Awesome 🙂 I think I’m definitely going to steal that idea… but I think enlisting the help of east coast friends is a must because I don’t know any west coasters who would be awake to send me such a message! hehe

  2. January 14, 2010 2:42 pm

    Yay for making it to class! I swear I’ve had like a thousand of those conversations in my about working out in the morning… most of the time the workout wins… most of the time 😉

  3. abbynormally permalink
    January 14, 2010 2:46 pm

    Good for you!!! And I have to say that you have a good friend in Miss Julie 🙂

  4. fromatopink permalink
    January 14, 2010 3:34 pm

    Congrats! Just convincing yourself to get out of bed is a HUGE step. And the pain at least let’s you know it worked 😉 But I’m the same way – the exact same dialogue goes on in my head when my alarm goes off that early in the morning. Especially when what’s waiting for me is the gym. But YOU DID IT! And doesn’t that feel amazing?! (It does sound a lot like Body Pump, which I take Wed. mornings and have a love/hate relationship with.) So congrats, job well done!

  5. Danielle permalink
    January 14, 2010 4:02 pm

    I want to note that I did not try to kill you. And that I’m excited to join a gym with classes again when baby girl gets here. I also found that going to the class made me get much more of a lower body workout than when I exercise alone. I’d rather lift arms than legs any day.

    • January 14, 2010 4:07 pm

      I love how you totally gave away that it was you who, indeed, tried to cause physical harm to my body. I was keeping it all secretive by omitting your name. 😉

      Also- it now makes sense why I love lifting arms and loathe legs. Clearly this is another characteristic I have attained from you 🙂 xoxo

  6. January 14, 2010 4:15 pm

    LOL girl you CRACK me up. Only you could write THIS much have it be totally interesting and hilarious about attending classes!!
    I like Les Mills – does your gym have them?? I teach BodyJam and RPM, but I really like Body Combat! It’s intense kickboxing. 🙂

    Also really love spinning!

    • January 14, 2010 4:29 pm

      Sadly, my gym does not have les mills- but everything I’ve heard about it is fabulous.

      As for spinning, I’m TERRIFIED. My first class is a few weeks away. May need to have a series mirror pep talk that day.

  7. January 14, 2010 8:09 pm

    Yay, for your first Chisel class! We have that at my gym too. I can’t wait to hear what you think about Will Power & Grace. It was quite the buzz in NYC a few years ago and I still haven’t had the opportunity to take a class. Tomorrow night (for work) I will be taking Boogie Box Fitness. Its suppose to be Zumba meets Kickboxing. Let’s just say this girl does not “zumba.” I totally can’t dance, but you’re boldness in taking these classes makes me realize that its not a big deal at all.

  8. January 14, 2010 8:19 pm

    I am sooo happy you wenttt! Music totally makes the class! I used to go to Taebo- AMAZING everyone knew everyone and we were all bffs!

  9. January 14, 2010 8:26 pm

    I’m glad you went!!

    My favorite class is definitely studio yoga… I love it so much, and I never knew it until now. 😀

  10. January 14, 2010 10:26 pm

    OK you have officially inspired me to look into other gyms that offer classes. Then we can ROCK OUT that run in March!!!!

  11. January 16, 2010 3:21 pm

    I’m taking a belly yoga class right now at Belly Bliss in Denver. Its amazing. I’ve been sore all week, and a bit crabby from the soreness. ha. i’m so proud of you, Heath!

  12. January 16, 2010 6:23 pm

    “Tuesday morning my alarm went off at 5:00 AM.
    And I pressed snooze.
    I turned over to go back to sleep. I tossed. I turned. I couldn’t stop
    thinking about my class.
    I told myself I had to go.
    I told myself I could reschedule for another day.
    I told myself that I should stick to my plan.
    I told myself that I should stick to my bed.
    I told myself that I need to stop saying one thing and doing another.
    I decided I’d try again next week”

    I’ve had this same series of conversation with myself a million mornings over the last few years!!! 🙂 It’s so nice to know that other people really do battle some of the same demons (our minds) and are able to overcome with dedication and that little kick in the ass we all need now and then!! Good for you!

    I would say that my very first spinning class was and is the hardest class I have ever taken…hands down!


  1. Willpower & Grace « Then Heather Said

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