My big news for this class is that I have invited our Day Care Team Leader, Christine Harris to take the class with me. Christine has worked at the Club for more than 30 years (that's about five years longer than I’ve been here). Other than tennis pro Phil Mehlin, Christine has the longest tenure of any staff member. In all that time, she’s never stepped foot in the Group Exercise class until today.
Christine and I set up in the back corner of the room and follow along. I had told Beverly that Chris would be coming to class today and that it’s new to her so Beverly stays attentive to her and checks on her throughout class.
Sure enough, Beverly’s class is plenty challenging. This is basically a Sculpt class where we use hand weights, a squishy ball, a Pilates ring and a Swiss ball to do the exercises. Beverly counts out sets of twenty for most exercises and on several of them my muscles are screaming at about seventeen.
In these Sculpt classes, the degree of difficulty is regulated by the size of hand weight you get. If you choose one that’s too heavy for a particular exercise it’s going to be painful. That’s the case for me on a tricep extension where I’m worn out long before we get to the finish line. At the end of the set, I loudly say “ouch” and everyone laughs that I would be the one having trouble.
At one point Beverly has us put our Swiss ball against the wall and do standing push ups. It’s the first time I’ve seen this variation but it’s an effective way to do a push up, especially for this age group. It’s easier to do because there’s less body weight but the instability of the ball also makes it an effective core exercise – two for the price of one.
Slowly but surely we make it through all the major muscle groups of the body. For instance, she has us do hamstring curls by putting our legs on the Swiss ball, doing a ‘bridge’ and while moving the ball to and fro staying in bridge (see pic). This exercise is a favorite Sculpt technique to isolate the hamstrings and boy does it.
Hamstring curls on a Swiss ball
As we move through class I keep one eye on Chris to see how she’s doing. I figure she’s plenty strong, after all she’s been lifting babies for all these years plus she stays on the move in the Day Care room. Still, she hasn’t done formal exercise like this so I’m curious how it is for her. From what I can tell she’s able to do most everything without trouble but she’s pretty stoic so it’s hard to know what’s going on inside. No matter what, I’m glad she’s gotten this member's eye look at the Club. Who knows she may love it and come back every week – we’ll see.
After class Beverly tells me how much she loves working with these women and how strong they are. She says this is perhaps her favorite class to teach and she’s glad that I got to experience it and also for bringing Christine.
Beverly Lindberg practicing what she preaches
There are about 12 in class today. The $25 gift certificate goes to Sr. Weight's regular Janice Elkins.