Thursday, April 29, 2010

Class #108 Sculpt Wednesday 7:15 p.m. (Melanie)

My third class of the day and twenty-first (and final) Wednesday class is Sculpt by Melanie. This class is a companion to the Monday evening Sculpt class also at 7:15 taught by Beth and since I just took that class last week, I notice a lot of the same folks in attendance tonight.

I am very near the end of the quest (only three more classes remain) but the past several weeks have been a non-stop push to stay on schedule and to be honest, I’m pooped. As I set up for class I’m wondering what I’ve realistically got left in the tank to offer up here. Before we even start, I already feel sculpted, toned, buffed, waxed, whipped, scalloped, pureed and deep-fried.

Every Sculpt teacher has a slightly different version of this class and Melanie’s is a cross between Sculpt and Power Pump. For instance, she has us use the plate-loaded bars that are typical in PP along with hand weights (two sets), an elastic band and a step with risers.

Melanie eases us into a nice warm up where we move through essentially every exercise on tonight’s agenda but with only a sample number of reps. After about five minutes of warming up we’re ready to get down to cases (as Maude on the Big Lebowski might say).

Maude in The Big Lebowski

As expected, the “real” stuff is plenty challenging and on occasion elicits a few audible groans from the class (I always love a good groan). Overall, the class is well balanced and every major muscle group gets its moment in the sun. I particularly like the way Melanie does a brief warm up (or re-warm up) of each muscle group before we launch into the heavy work.

Melanie is a vivacious teacher with a big smile and a constant banter of encouragement (“you guys look great”) mixed with motivation (“c’mon, three more sets, you can do it”). She tells us several times that we’re being “saved by the music” when it ends before a set is quite finished and other times that we need to keep going because “the music hasn’t stopped yet”. At one point I catch her singing along with Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. I was hoping she’d really belt it out but she stops short of going full karaoke even though she’s got the mic.

Melanie with daughter Madeline

Melanie has been teaching group exercise classes since June, 1997 when she started at a Bally’s Fitness Club in Michigan. In 2006, she married an Air Force physician and they moved from Belleville, IL to the LRAFB in July 2009. She started teaching at the LRAC and NLRAC last summer.

Her “real job” she tells me is being a stay-at-home mom to her 15 month old daughter, Madeline. This job will get more challenging, I’m sure as her husband is deploying soon to Afganistan for a six-month tour of duty. My best wishes go out to both of them as they go through this period of separation.

After class, Melanie sticks around to practice her Step class routine for Thursday night at the NLRAC. As for me, I’ve got to run upstairs and help put the cover over the pool because tomorrow, we take down the bubble (the air structure over the 25-yard pool).

Tonight in Melanie’s class there are about twenty….mostly women, naturally but late night regular and blog reader Bryan Davis is there to keep me from being the only guy. The $25 gift certificate goes to Phyllis Colclasure

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