Yay, burpees!

On February 7, 2013

I hadn't been in that much pain in months. My legs were shaking, I could barely raise my arms from my sides and my chest felt like it had a 50-pound weight on it.

I was nearly immobile for a few days, but I also felt a great sense of accomplishment for completing my first conditioning class with UB Fit Club.

 I didn't think it would be too difficult, but I felt nervous with anticipation the day of the class. My coworker, Elva, and I checked out the UB Fit Club's Facebook page to see what was in store for us, and it was terrifying. 

"Everyone's an athlete," the page said. "Whether you know it or not, you are a human Ferrari. Imagine a gold medalist and a Navy Seal had a baby and wrapped him in a suit of body armor. We will turn you into the animal you were meant to be. We don't just want you to be strong. We want you to be able to pick up heavy sh*t, run with it to the nearest forest then climb a tree with it on your back."

We went into the hour-long class, not knowing what to expect - only that it wouldn't be easy. By the time we timidly walked into class and introduced ourselves and saw the veterans of the class, we knew we were in for a hardcore workout.

There were people in the class of all sizes and abilities. We were told before the class started that it didn't matter how in shape you were or weren't. The act of getting your body moving and doing what you can at any ability was the main point of the class. But I was determined to do the best I could for the hour that we were there.

Our warm-up consisted of four flights of stairs, alternating between single stairs and every other stair. Just the warm-up alone made me sweat like I had been at the gym for hours. I felt no pressure to keep up with anyone else in the group. The goal was to do as well as I could.

After the workout started, we did squats, planks and burpees. While there were people of different abilities, each time we started a new exercise, we did it as a group to get the right form. If there was someone struggling, the instructor was right there to help the person perfect his or her form.

While we struggled with how many burpees we could do in two minutes or if we could hold a plank while our partners hopped over us, each drill or exercise felt like an accomplishment once we completed each two-minute interval.

When class was over, I was dripping with sweat and my body was shaking like Jell-O. But I found the class was something that I actually loved. Just finishing the class felt impossible in the beginning, but it went quicker than I thought it would.

There are a few tips I think people should follow if you plan on going to a tougher workout like this one. First, make sure you're drinking water throughout the day. But you don't want to drink massive amounts of water beforehand and get cramps during the class. Also make sure you don't eat anything at least two hours before your workout, so you can properly digest the food so you won't end up vomiting on the stairs during the warm-up.

For college students, the availability of classes is a great way to get an awesome workout in while living on a budget. While the UB Fit Club is an intense class, I found it was a great workout for people of every size and ability.


Email: lisa.epstein@ubspectrum.com

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