CX Works is a core class that works my midsection. . . well, to the core. You may be saying “why do I need a class just for my midsection? Why not take Body Pump where every muscle group is covered?” First off- why are people always demanding things of me on my blog? Stop being jerks. And second of all- back off, its my blog. AND a core class is a huge help for life in general.
Your core is the support system for your whole body. It helps support your spine, and everything attached to it . . which is pretty much everything. It isn’t just your abs, but your back as well. Pretty much all the muscles on your torso. And really, I want awesome abs, but a nice back and butt to match those nice abs keeps me in business. . . and by business I just mean living. . . I’m pretty sure my husband would be unhappy with me wearing nothing everywhere I go to show off my “core”.
Now, for the basics of CX works: its a half hour class that will kick your butt- literally and figuratively. Now, a half hour may not seem like a lot. You may be thinking “a half hour, how is THAT a workout?”. WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING ME QUESTIONS? IT’S MY BLOG. But before you judge the short time period- do it. You’ll be shocked at how impossible it is, and how that half hour is all you need to make you throw up a little.
Usually the class starts with a warm up of crunches, toe taps, planks, bicycles, and exercises meant to get you ready for unadulterated torment. Many of the tracks that follow involve the same familiar forms of torture: planks (get on your forearms, and rest on your knees or toes, keep the back flat, shake like crazy, pray you don’t die), crunches, and bicycles (knees above hips, calves parallel to the floor, kick one leg out, twist up and touch elbow to the opposite knee- feel like your abs will burst through your tummy and run for cover). But there are also tools used to tone the back, butt, and chest that are not used in other classes. An exercise band (a giant rubber band with handles on it) is used to work your back and butt. Its used to create resistance when walking, squatting, kicking, and pulling to work the arms. Think of it as something that seems fun, but will make you hate it with every breath because it mostly sucks. . .
CX works does amazing work in 30 minutes. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it doesn’t mean you won’t feel like your entire torso will rattle free. But it will give you an amazing core. . . even if mine is muscular but well insulated so you will never, ever see those abs.
Body Pump is the first exercise class I ever did- a barbell weight lifting class. Why is it that I took so long to write about it if I’ve been doing it so long? First of all- back off, its my blog. Secondly- I worry I may not do it justice. It’s the class that gives me my currently “hot and buff” body (AKA- my fatty fit form). It’s the class that let me meet new people, and build great relationships. AND- its the one class I take that involves no running, kicking, or burpees (as of yet)- so that gets me excited. And it gave me a huge confidence boost (which I didn’t really need because I’m awesome).
I have had some of the best instructors for this class EVER. The first class I took was with Caroline. She was the one who started me off on form and weight. She was able to “ease me in” to a weight lifting way of life. Once I started working full time, I needed to change up my workout schedule (damn you life and bills getting in the way of my workouts!!). I started then taking classes with multiple, amazing instructors: Trina, Brandy, Troy, Mandy, and Opal. And after a full year or doing Pump, I realized it was time to get my butt in gear.
Now, I by no means can bench press 350 pounds. And really, Body Pump deals in lots of repetitions, and less weight. And my flabby, girly arms can only take so much. But it allows me to control the weight I use. And pushing myself is what matters. I add weight as I feel that I can make the jump. Once a track seems less impossible that it was the class before, its time to up the weight to make it once again illogical. And up it I do.
My legs have always been the size of small children. And adding weight on those has been my greatest improvement. In middle school and high school, I did weekly horseback riding lessons. And holding on for dear life with my knees gave me some powerful thigh muscles and calves of steel. Getting those back was a big goal of mine. And now I surpass almost everyone on squat weight- sometimes even the instructors. Don’t ever challenge me to a leg war- I will own you.
Classes cover each muscle group. You start with a quick warm up, move to squats to get those legs, then chest, back (upper and lower), triceps, biceps, lunges (more legs!), shoulders, abs, and then stretches. Yes, you do 2 sets of leg exercises- squats AND lunges. “Why do I need to do 2 sets of legs?!” you may ask. Stop being lazy and just do it you big complaining baby. But, I guess I’ll answer your question because you’re crying about it. I really feel the squats on the front of my legs, where as I feel lunges on the backs of my legs and in my butt. This is what the experts say (AKA Livingstrong.com): “The main muscles that are worked during lunges are the quadriceps, but the calves, glutes and hamstrings are also engaged. Squats engage the same muscle groups in addition to the lower back”. http://www.livestrong.com/article/343944-which-are-better-squats-or-lunges/ So that’s why you do 2 sets of legs. Now quit your kvetching (that’s right, I’m going Yiddish on you) and get to work!
Now, Body Pump also offers some Cardio mixed in. Lunge tracks usually include multiple fun things that make you hate life: jump lunges (go into a lunge, then bring the back leg up and hop on the front leg), lunges on your bench, and jumps off and on your bench (the new, super fun idea that the newest Body Pump has given us). This really elevates your heart rate, and gives you the extra calorie burn needed to eat that ice cream and pasta that makes life worth living.
So as a work out class goes, Body Pump is the one class I would demand if stuck on a deserted island (although it would no longer be deserted if I demanded an entire class of people come entertain me). It started me on the path of exercise class excellence- and gave me the chance to entertain millions with my amazing blog. Well, by entertain I mean annoy, and by millions I mean the whole 10 people I know.
What could be more fun than someone who’s uncoordinated and overweight pretending to fight? Well, besides WATCHING someone who’s uncoordinated and overweight pretending to fight? That’s pretty much my summary of me attempting Body Combat. It combines multiple martial arts, as well as boxing and kickboxing, into a class that makes you feel (well ME feel) uncoordinated and overweight. BUT- it burns calories and tests your strength, so it isn’t all bad. And I keep going back, so I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.
Working on fighting form in this class is what matters. Being more precise with your punches works your muscles, and you can feel that you’re working more areas then you would while attempting wimpy, girly-man punches. And of course punching hard and making contact in the right areas is what matters when fake-fighting with no one.
Legs are also a big part of this class. The trainers who develop Les Mills’ programs feel that balancing on one leg will be entertaining (mostly for them, not for me). So working on multiple side kicks, front kicks, back kicks, roundhouse kicks, and whatever other touch your toe to your nose while doing backflips kicks they can force you to do while balancing on one leg, will be a big part of this class. And the leg you are balancing on will feel like it’s on fire, while the one you are kicking with will feel like it will fall off. And that’s fun.
Now, for the ladies out there, I will warn you: Men almost always develop these classes. Because no woman in her right mind would think “know what would be fun? Jumping! Because nothing is better than jumping up and down multiple times so every pound of fat on me jiggles. And getting hit in the face by my boobs- bonus!!”. Jumping jacks, jump kicks, and multiple other jump torture devices are implemented in this class. BUT- they work.
I enjoy Body Combat a great deal. You may not have guessed that by my review of said class, but I have a great time. 60 minuets of me getting all my aggression out is what I need after a tough work day, or to prepare me for the zombie apocalypse. Picturing someone you dislike in front of you while practicing punches and kicks can cheer a girl right up. I usually burn 700 to 800 calories in a class, and that ain’t bad. And who doesn’t want to fake fight with no one for an hour each week?
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