Monday, April 5, 2010

#65 CardioSculpt Monday 8:45 a.m (Michelle)

There are a few classes on the schedule that can only be described as hard core and CardioSculpt with Michelle is one of them. She teaches this same class on Monday and Saturday – so, lucky me, I’ll get to do it one more time before I “graduate”. This past Saturday, while David Prince was working me over in the bike studio I could, for fun, look out on the gym floor where Michelle was teaching CardioSculpt to see what I had in store this morning. Like the scariest parts of a horror movie it was hard to watch and hard not to watch.

The reality of doing hard classes isn’t actually as bad as watching others do it for some reason. I’m not sure why. That said, this class was extremely taxing and I was watching the clock (a bad sign) from about 9:20 a.m. on trying to gauge if I could make it through or not.

Michelle uses lots of accoutrements in her class including: a jump rope, bosu ball, step with risers, hand weights and some round pot-holder doodads used for sliding on the wood floor. The key thing to know about this class is that it’s nonstop action for 70 minutes with a five minute stretch and cool down on the end. It is also “high impact” meaning that a significant part of class involves running or jumping.

I can’t remember the last time I jumped rope for any meaningful length of time so that portion of class took a little getting used to. Once I got the hang of it though, it was kind of fun – the novelty offsetting the hard work to some extent.

Michelle had us constantly changing equipment, flowing from one exercise to another with no downtime (did I already mention that?). We would work our arms with the hand weights while holding a deep squat on top of the bosu ball. We used the steps to do hopping lunges from side to side or a high stepping double time run/jump where we alternated feet on the floor and step. We would get in plank holding an upside down bosu ball (see below) while ‘running’ in place (horizontal mind you) by putting each foot on a sliding pot holder. When all else failed we would run around the perimeter of the gym – please note that I didn’t say ‘jog’.

Bosu Ball Plank

Yesterday while channel surfing I happened upon an infomercial on a fitness regimen called “insanity” or something equally subtle. Typically I would immediately change the channel but something about it caught my eye. The footage showed a “class” of about 20 hard body models (male and female) being put through an “insane” workout on a basketball gymnasium floor. The announcer was hyperventilating about how several weeks of this workout would transform anyone from whatever their present state might be into a ripped and shredded fitness monster. However, he cautioned, there are no short cuts – you have to do the work. What caught my eye about all this was how similar it looked to the CardioSculpt class I saw on Saturday and did today. And, as I looked around our basketball gymnasium, I indeed saw some impressively fit people eschewing any shortcuts and working to their potential.

This is my second Michelle Wilkerson class (see blog #18/19) and I've learned that she attracts a crowd. Today in class there are about 25 participants with 5 guys and the rest women. It’s an accomplishment to be able to make it through this workout. Frankly, I doubt I could have done the whole class at the beginning of the quest. Even today, I had to modify some exercises because I’m still a little leery of high jumps or anything that feels like it’s going to jar my spine too much. Many members, I know, do this class or one like it (e.g. TBC) three or four times a week and my hat’s off to those folks. For most of us, these are classes to build up to and celebrate our good fortune for having a body that can even contemplate doing such a thing.

Michelle Wilkerson and friends

The $25 gift certificate winner today is Terri Westfall.

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