I’ve been trying to type this post for the last several minutes but with little success. My shoulders and arms are in severe agony and pain. Excruciating, down-right, kick ass pain! My legs are in no better condition – with muscle spasms every time I reach for my water bottle. Hydrate – they say?!
This is the day I actually wrote the post. I needed 4 days of recovery from DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).
Reason : Another hardcore (self-afflicted) class at my local gym – after a long hiatus.
On the gym schedule this class was highlighted in ‘red’ which essentially means – hopefully you will be able to walk (or crawl) out of the class alive and breathing. When you see a red class, you also inevitably remind yourself of the waiver you signed – giving up your rights to everything after class. The class was called ‘Rip ‘n’ Lift’. I think they purposely come up with these ingenious names that intrigue you to a point where you think if I do one of these classes – I’m definitely looking ripped.
(Reality check : not happening).
It is however, an extremely well choreographed group class which incorporates the use of the barbell along with some free weights and some highly motivating music tracks – pretty similar to Bodypump!
This is how my Sunday transpired.
8:00am : I started this very painful day with a ‘Tabata’ class which is basically a HIIT class (high intensity interval training). The studio is packed. Apparently everyone wants to be a part of this Tabata Revolution. I thought cardio would be a good way to start the day. Bad decision : Jokes on me!
8:45am : The 45 minutes are over!. Every Tabata class I take, the instructor tries to make it more intense and inflict further pain as if that will make us love them more. She made us do every Tabata crazed move in those 8 circuits. Jump lunges, mountain climbers, burpess, push ups and at one point we had to lift the step and do a single arm bent row! But the energy at the end of the class was electrifying. Totally worth it!
8:50am : I leave class and run into my gym buddy. She’s my ‘go-to’ person for all classes. We talk the night before about what to do the next morning. Cardio, strength training, yoga (haha..never that) or grab a coffee and pretend our muscles need recovery. I try to convince her to come to the ‘Rip’n’ Lift’ class with me. She says ‘No’. A flat-out, no further questions, don’t even think about it – – No!
9:00am : I enter the ‘Rip ‘n’ Lift’ studio. I quickly rush to ‘my spot’. But as soon as I get there, someone has plopped their towel on the floor signifying their territory. I find an empty spot and start to set up. I get the barbell, weights, clamps, some free weights, a step. my mat, my gloves (because who wants a callus) and some more weights just in case I didn’t have enough already. This is like grocery shopping. The weights are colorful and vibrant. Seriously – yellow, green, orange and purple. Wait purple?? I never saw that one before. It says 10 kg – never mind – purple isn’t my favorite color anyway.
9:05am: The instructor has started with a warm up track and we are straight into deadrows, deadlifts and clean and press. Aren’t warm up tracks suppose to be just that. Warm up? This is serious stuff – not your average warm-up for sure.
Somewhere between 9:10-9:45
The instructor announces the next track would be targeting the large muscle groups. I knew I had to rack heavier weights, and as I glanced around, the lady next to me was racking the purple ones – in multiples!! She already had the barbell on her shoulders, ready to squat. I checked and double checked that I had the clamps on securely to my barbell -because with my luck I would have lifted without clamping! We did a tough combination of squats, lunges, and squat pulses (killer). Every time you think the set is finished, the instructor says 16 more. She is still smiling. Everyone is still grunting and the quads are on ‘fire’ or ‘jello’ – depending on your strength.
During the class we did do the chest and back sequence. But I was admiring all the new gym attire I spotted in the room, that I lost track of what we actually did. (Note to self: must purchase some funky sports tops with tights – that builds half the confidence right there!).
I remember doing the triceps. I reduced my barbell to the tiniest of weights possible – in hindsight, I should have just done it without the weights! The triceps extension and pullover combo was quite deadly. We had to do it while laying on our backs (on the step) staring at the blank white ceiling above. At one point, I thought my arms would give in and the bar would fall flat on my forehead! There is nothing to get you through that set. Perhaps they should have a picture of Ryan Gosling up there. I for one would be able to do another set with some eye candy!
Probably the best part about the class however is the vibe. It’s positive, uplifting and inspiring, Everyone there is serious about the weights they rack . I think most everyone checks themselves in the mirror at some point during this class. Not so much for their toned muscles, but the strength and confidence that comes from with in. There is some serious girl power going on here! However I can’t tie my own hair the next day because contrary to what I thought, I did end up doing some serious chest and back sequences in class.
Do you lift? Drop me a line and let me know!
A special thanks to Monica for the pictures in this post from the rip’n’lift studio! When I get killer abs like hers, I’ll post mine. Watch this space!!!
But don’t hold your breath!!