Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Class #58 CardioSculpt Wednesday 8:45 a.m. (Betsy)

I’ve purposely held off taking this class until I was further along in the quest and in better shape. Along with TBC, which is a variation of this class, CardioSculpt is probably the toughest workout on our group ex schedule. For one thing it’s 75 minutes long and those extra 15 minutes make a difference. A second challenging aspect for me is that some of the class is “high impact”, that is, it involves jumping and I’m curious about how my back will hold up.

As I write, having finished the class, I’m sitting with an ice pack on my low back – more as a precaution than because of any actual pain. As advertised, it’s a tough class and I expect at least a little soreness by tomorrow. The ice pack, I hope, will diminish the damage.

The taut little pixie putting us through the paces this morning is Betsy Kortebein. This is my third class from her (the first two were cycling classes) so I already know that she’s tough but also encouraging and motivating. One thing she always says that I really like – is a reminder of how lucky we are to physically be able to even do a workout like this. Her message is, we shouldn’t take this capacity for granted and we owe it to ourselves to make the most of this time and work hard. Then, when we are finished we’ll be proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Betsy strikes a pose (we're supposed to do it too).

I set up camp on the back row and I notice how this row fills up first. Apparently, I’m not alone in my desire to be as far from the teacher as possible. It’s nothing personal of course; I just don’t want it to be too obvious if it turns out I can’t keep up.

The back row does Ab work (that's me - next to last - wondering 'how many more'?)

As the name implies, the class is a combination of Sculpt like exercises such as; lunges, squats, upper body resistance training (using hand weights and a heavy bar), balance poses and ab work, AND, cardio work like jumping jacks, bench fly-overs and other heart pounding work. Betsy alternates between the two modes of work so that when one set of muscles wears out – she’s immediately off to the next set. It’s a high energy and challenging workout but I manage to get through it all, although I do have to grit my teeth on more than one occasion.

Cardio work using the bench (I'm nearest the camera, slightly off the beat)

Betsy does the entire class with us, giving us cues about what’s coming next and encouraging us along the way. I notice that she manages to smile at us the whole time as if to say – “come on you can do this”. I can’t see all the faces looking back but I imagine them to be somewhat grim I suspect mine is. I can only guess that it’s hard to be a smiling teacher when the audience is rarely able to smile back.

Deep Squats

There are about 15 in class this morning including one other guy, Gregg Paddie, who tells me he does this class three times a week. Yikes. The lucky winner of the $25 gift certificate is Nicole Kaemmerling.

Note: Thanks to Kelly Parker for snapping some shots of today's class!

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