Yay, burpees: Part II

On February 7, 2013

I'm not ashamed of my body, but my past four months have been an uphill battle with fitness. I've learned how to keep a healthy lifestyle, but between my busy schedule and my perpetually empty wallet, it's been hard keeping myself on track.

My personal issues didn't get in the way of my urge to see how far I could push my body, however, so I decided to go to a conditioning class held by UB Fit last Wednesday.

The first alarming thought that rushed to my mind when I arrived was the fact that I was the biggest girl there, but the encouraging instructor, Mike Reinhardt, quickly decreased my worries.

He reminded my friend, Lisa, and me the class wasn't about who was the best or who finished first, but instead that everyone finishes period.

The warm up almost killed me; I had never been forced to run up and down four flights of stairs four times. While I was the second to last person to finish, I finished, and that mindset seemed to be the overwhelming theme of the class.

The UB Fit Conditioning class incorporates elements of CrossFit, the exercises were high-intensity in short periods of time and our breaks were few and far between.

I learned burpees (yay, burpees!) were an exercise when one drops to a squat, out to a plank, back to squat, and then jumps and stands again. If it's hard to understand, imagine how hard it is to do. Mike had initially had us do 10 burpees, which left me gasping for breath, but when he told us we had two minutes to do burpees nonstop, I thought I was going to die.

Once again, however, Reinhardt and his cohorts came through with words of encouragement everybody struggling to finish their last 30 seconds of burpees. My partner, Lisa, did 27 and I managed to somehow complete 20 myself.

The exercises varied from burpees, squats, planks, under-overs, mountain climbers, push-ups and more. While this might not seem like much in words, it's a lot for a girl who considers a hardcore workout an hour of Zumba followed by weight lifting.

It wasn't more than five minutes after I got to the Richmond aerobics room that I found myself slightly regretting my decision, but not once did I feel ostracized for not being as fast or fit as the rest.

By the end of the workout, I was so out of breath that I couldn't speak, but I felt accomplished. I wasn't dizzy, I didn't throw up and I felt no cramping, but my arms and legs were Jell-O.

I was proud of myself. I managed to finish a workout that terrified me when I walked in the door and it didn't kill me enough to stop me from wanting to return.

For those who don't feel fit enough to attend a UB Fit class, don't doubt yourselves. Be sure to eat at least three hours before the class, drink water beforehand to avoid cramping and follow the workout with protein because it'll take a lot out of you.

Also, ladies, bring sweatbands and bobby pins; the workout will have you dripping in sweat and there's enough jumping involved where you don't want your hair interfering with your sight.

There are no excuses for anybody to not attend one of these workouts. One of the UB Fit members told me CrossFit and conditioning led him to lose 35 pounds in six weeks. If that's not enough to motivate you to attend, then I don't know what is.


Email: elva.aguilar@ubspectrum.com

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