I’m a sucker for free stuff. So when my gym was raffling off some training classes toward the end of December, I put my name in the mix.
Naturally, I forgot about this raffle. So when January rolled around, and I got a call from the gym, I wasn’t sure what was going on. They called everyone who entered the raffle to say that they would have a free trial class for everyone interested in winning. We were invited to take the class, then at the end, they’d draw a name from the hat. You had to be present to win.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t even sure what I had entered to win. But I went to the class to see what it was all about.
OHMYGOODNESS it was intense. We did a high-intensity warm up to get our heart rates going. Then we had a circuit of activities including multiple weight lifting motions, push ups, jumping, etc. Everyone was supposed to count how many reps they could do in the time limit. And then we did the circuit AGAIN to see if we could do even more reps the second time around. By the end of the class, I was mildly worried that my heart would give out. Yikes!
Then they went around asking everyone to say one word describing how they felt. My word? ”Shaky”. Then when they pulled names out of the hat, the first name was for someone who wasn’t there. But then the next name? Mine. WHAT.
I had just won a month of the UFX Ripped class for free. The usual cost for the month-long class is $200. The class included 8 sessions of small-group high-intensity cross training led by a personal trainer. (Some consider these classes the sports club’s version of CrossFit). Also included in the class was access to an online “Nutrition Coach” (website with customized meal plans and other food guidance based on your body type, fitness goals, etc.).
So, I took the class. Why not? I wanted to expand my workouts beyond runs on the treadmill and yoga classes.
Guys, these classes were tough. They had high intensity workouts that made me sometimes want to give up. But the trainer pushed us (us= me and just one other person!) and we made it through!
There were four weeks total. There were themes for each week, but I don’t remember what it was for all of them.
I wrote up what I did at each class on my training log at DailyMile. I didn’t always recall exactly what we did (or what they were called) but you can get an idea of each class. Check them out in the links that follow:
Week 1: Day 1 Day 2
Week 2: ”Maximum Effort” Day 1 Day 2
Week 3: Nothing for me. I skipped both classes that week because of my never-ending cold (my decision to take things easy reported in a blog post)
Week 4: ”Teamwork” Day 1 (Second class was cancelled because the trainer was really sick. Did I give her my horrible cold? Let’s assume no.)
Had I actually paid for the class, I probably would have tried to go to the Week 3 sessions. Which would probably have been a horrible idea for everyone involved. I probably would have also wanted a makeup session for the second day of week 2.
This was a really good experience. It was difficult, but I felt like I was getting a full body workout compared to what I usually do. I worked harder than I would have had I been on my own. It was really good to have a trainer there to guide me and help me learn new exercises and make sure I was doing everything right. And she was there to push me when I wanted to give up.
I didn’t really use their “nutrition coach” because I’ve already sort of figured out what to eat over the past year (more fruits and veggies, lean protein, lots of water, etc.) with the help of LoseIt and lots of trial and error.
Because I’m not keen on spending more money than I have to, I probably wouldn’t have signed up if I hadn’t gotten the classes for free. Especially since the gym offers a similar class free for members called UFX Burn, which is like Ripped but there’s more people in the class (less special attention) and you don’t get the nutrition coach. I haven’t gone to any of those yet, but I think I’ll try to fit them into my schedule, since I did like this program.
Now that I’m done with it, I find myself incorporating some of the activities I learned in the class into my own workouts (especially certain weights/kettle bell exercises and lunges). I do think the program got me on a good path, and helped me realize what sorts of activities I’m good at and what I need to improve on.
Have you ever signed up for a small group class? Did you find the benefits outweighed the cost? Or do you find your training inspiration from other sources (larger classes, online sources, friends). What sort of classes or training have you tried?