Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Class #81 CardioSculpt Wednesday 5:45 a.m. (Kris)

This class is my penultimate stop on the Kris Mougeot hit parade (5 down, 1 to go). I know that any class with the words Cardio and Sculpt in the title is going to be hard and, any class Kris Mougeot teaches is guaranteed to be challenging so – uh oh.

Sure enough when the clock ticks over to five four five we start doing squats to a pulsating aerobics beat – at six four five we begin our 4-minute cool down. In between, as Kris put it – “if we’re not doing cardio, we’ll be sculpting”. Often we’re doing both.

It takes about ten minutes for my knees and low back to adjust to this early morning work. I completed most of the pre-dawn schedule in the first two weeks of the quest and have been happily sleeping past 6 a.m. since then. Today the body is protesting this change of routine by refusing to loosen up until it’s good and ready. In the meantime – the beat goes on.

After about ten minutes of cardio work to get things started, Kris switches us over to a weighted bar for sculpting the upper arms and back. The trouble is, my rear deltoids are still sore (see pic below) from baby Mougeot’s (Jessica) kickboxing workout on Monday night. In that class, we used hand-weights to punch with for a while and I chose some a bit too heavy – now I’m paying for it. Even with ‘wimp’ level weights this morning I can barely do the shoulder raises.

Rear delts (in blue)

The good news in this class is that if you really hate one part – wait a minute cause we’ll soon move on to something different. Back and forth we go between hard cardio – mostly using a step with four risers (higher than usual for me) and sculpting with hand-weights and a weighted bar. Not to mention the pushups and ab work that Kris loves to heap on toward the end of class.

Kris has this interesting way of counting, I notice, when we’re doing our pushups. “Eight more she’ll say” and like good soldiers we do eight pushups – “four more” she’ll say (mind you, we didn’t rest after completing the first eight). Wait a minute, I’m thinking, that’s twelve – dude! By the time, I’ve had that thought though we’re half way through the next fake set of “eight” and so it goes at Camp Mougeot.

Kris sculpting some (lazy) carrots

The truth is I like these classes that combine cardio and sculpt because of all the variety. It’s sort of a sneaky way to get in the weight workout because of the distraction of changing exercises every few minutes.

There’s another distraction too – that of coordinating the foot and arm movements while using the steps. I have that problem in every step class but this isn’t a step class. We aren’t doing particularly complicated moves – just lots of quick ones. In this class, the arms are an integral part of the overall exercise and need to be done (or at least attempted). As I stumble and bumble around I can only laugh at my klutziness – gee whiz, I think, I’m supposed to be ‘athletic’.

I’m impressed at the size of the crowd that shows up so early in the morning for this kind of punishment. It’s busy enough that twice near the beginning of class, Kris has us scootch closer together to make room for latecomers. At 6:30 about seven class members peal off so they can get to work on time and Kris says “bye six thirty people”. I’m tempted to leave with them but I can’t think of any good excuse that would justify my early departure.

According to my FT 40 Polar heart rate gizmo I burn 426 calories in class this morning. My average heart rate is 107 and my max rate is 130. It also tells me that I’m in the “fat burning” zone for 43 of the 59-minute class…what this means I really couldn’t tell you but it sounds pretty good!

At the beginning of class there are around 22 people in the room – all women except for me and one other guy (Bynum Matthews). The lucky $25 gift certificate winner is Penny Olinghouse.

Okay, I’m off to grab breakfast so I can refuel before Mary Wohlleb’s 9 a.m. water aerobics class.

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