It’s no secret that I’m a fan of home workout programs. Heck, I not only have an entire library of them, I also signed up as a Team Beachbody Coach so I could get a discount & earn a sweet commission when I share my love with friends & family. But I still venture into the group fitness class every now and again as there are just certain routines I can’t do at home (i.e. bikram yoga & TRX). Those of you not in the know, TRX is a program invented by Navy Seals that requires the use of the TRX Suspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight. It’s pretty amazing in that you can develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously- no weights required. Your body weight is your resistance- very much like my beloved Insanity only with cool anchored straps. Alas, we do not (yet!) have a TRX system in our home gym so I get my TRX fix at a nearby gym that offers group classes.
I’ve had the pleasure of learning the ropes (pardon the pun) during classes taught at a nearby gym by a seasoned group fitness exerciser. She knows her stuff, paces the class well, demonstrates each move flawlessly and even throws in advanced options for those who want to step it up, all the while keeping a sharp eye on class participants & correcting them on improper form. I was expecting to see her smiling face during a 12:30 session today, but was more than a bit disappointed to see a different one. I decided to keep an open mind and use the typical advice of my hubs when something is a wee bit off in my world- that is, to “just roll with it honey.”
The mind started creeping shut as soon as I asked this new instructor about how we should position the TRX to start the class and he responded rather hesitantly, “umm, right between the mid-length and the long.” He didn’t seem too certain so neither did I. He then announced we’d be doing a deck of cards workout. Yes, a deck of cards workout in a group fitness class. Apparently, we would be tasked with a set number of repetitions based on number drawn along with a specific type of exercise based on card pulled- squats, chest press, back extensions, rows, jumping jacks, plank, supermans and mat mountain climbers. Don’t get me wrong…I think deck of cards type workouts have their place in one’s fitness repertoire- like with you on the road when you’re trying to squeeze a workout in at your hotel or if you want to get active during commercial breaks or as a game with your family. I don’t think a deck of cards workout works particularly well in a group class setting. It seems rather unstructured and kind of lazy for an instructor to rely on- almost like copying Clifs Notes for a book essay when you were in high school.
I could hear that “open mind” door creep further and further shut as he proceeded to do a very quick demonstration of 4 different TRX moves (the chest press, back extensions, rows and squats) before starting the class until it finally slammed shut during the end of the third “segment” of exercises- the last one where we wound up doing multiple sets of back extensions with a set of 2 measly squat reps in between. Rather than keeping an eye on class during the reps & demonstrating each move when a new segment began, the instructor seemed laser focused on that wretched deck of cards. I could have been getting a better, more challenging and structured workout by walking around our block and dropping for push-ups every time I heard a dog barking. It was so bad I rolled up my mat, snapped off my TRX cord and left a full 20 minutes before the class was to end – far more frustrated than sweaty. It was the first time I’ve ever walked out on a group fitness class in my life.
Ugh, I could go on but I don’t want to mire in negativity. What about you?? Have you ever walked out of a group fitness class? If so, why?