Saturday, February 27, 2010

Class #21 Sculpt Sat. 10:30 a.m. (Lisa D.)

For complicated or perhaps simply poor scheduling reasons I just went to my third Sculpt class this week. Fortunately, I’ve had a day’s rest between each class giving my poor aching muscles time to recover. Barely.

It seems that everyone likes to get their exercising in early on Saturdays so the Club offers nine morning classes. To make that happen we need to use all of our various venues. The choices are: group exercise studio, bike studio, gym floor or swimming pool. The class I attend is on the gym floor.

This makes my second class on the gym floor and already I feel more comfortable than the first time out. It’s helpful too that in this class I’m surrounded by members I know well. These sculpt classes are hard work and it’s nice to have a friendly face or two nearby to commiserate with. After a particularly difficult set, I ask Lori who’s behind me if members ever revolt during these classes. She says outright insurrection is rare but audible groaning is common.

I think back to the days of “dry land” training in college. That’s what we called the grueling calisthenic workouts the swim team did during pre-season before we started swimming 10,000 yards a day. In a big group of guys such as that, groaning was the mildest form of protest. The workout leader, usually a big strapping senior, could count on being called every name in the book. Of course, that only emboldened him to ratchet up the pain while questioning our manhood and calling us things that I dare not print.

The proceedings in the gym this morning, by contrast, are completely civilized. Women are polite (and in my experience, generally tougher than guys). Still, the workout is strenuous.

Armed with only two sets of hand weights, one light, one heavy, Lisa leads us through a series of lunges, pliés (I love it when I can throw some French in here) and squats, while simultaneously pumping weights with our arms. We do a seriously challenging series of plank and side plank exercises along with push ups, curls, flys, chest presses, tricep extensions, bent rows, dead lifts and a boatload of abdominal ouchers and plenty more. The class is an hour long and we’re actively doing something for at least 58 minutes. Mabye 59.

Having taken three Sculpt classes this week, I have an observation about the music. It all sounds the same. It has a frantic rhythmic beat not normally found in nature or in music one would listen to, say, for pleasure. This is, I believe, what’s known as “aerobics” music; where somewhat familiar songs are taken, rearranged and pumped full of amphetamines. I guess I’ve been hearing this stuff forever but never stopped to think about why it’s that way. I’m sure there’s a great reason for it. Maybe the idea is to get one's heart rate up to the rapid beat of the music?

This morning’s instructor is Lisa Duke. On Saturdays Lisa teaches Sculpt immediately following her cycling class, talk about a tough double.

Lisa is certified by the AFAA and has been teaching for six years at both the LRAC and NLRAC. She’s learned her craft well. Throughout class she keeps us all working hard but continually cues modifications for multiple fitness levels. She reminds us that technique should not be sacrificed - if the weight gets too heavy switch to a lesser weight or no weight at all. These are helpful reminders to keep everyone safe and exercising efficiently.

Outside of teaching, Lisa is employed full time as a Pharmaceutical Rep, something she’s done for 11 years. She grew up in Fort Worth, TX and attended Texas Tech University. Outside of work, she enjoys horseback riding, running and spending time with her husband Brad and three year-old daughter, Blakeleigh. Along with Sculpt, she also teaches two cycling classes so I’ll see her again down the road.

There were around 25 in class this morning and once again, I was the lone cowboy. That makes about 75% of the classes so far where I’ve been the only guy. Again, I’m not complaining, just reporting the facts.

The $25 gift certificate goes to Carrie Carr.

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