Thursday, October 6, 2011

Save the drumming for musicians

I recently shared how I got into running, but what I didn't mention, was that there was a few years where I ran pretty infrequently. Not because I didn't like it, but I just was deeply into (obsessed?) with group fitness classes, specifically the Les Mills classes (Body Attack, Body Pump, etc). I went to the 6am class at my gym every morning before work (Body Pump was twice a week, which is a weight lifting class, which meant my arms were a tad different than what they've become now). I usually went on Saturday or Sunday too.  I had a core group of "gym friends", and, personally, I thought that in the hourlong classes, you got a great workout and they flew by.

When I moved and had to switch gyms, they didn't have 6am classes (apparently no one else who went there had jobs? all the classes were like 9:30am), which is how I went down the running route, but I still miss the aerobics class atmosphere sometimes. 

Months ago, I bought a Livingsocial deal for a fitness studio that had yoga and a class called "Drums Alive". I discussed my interesting experience at yoga before, but I did attend another class. The deal expires today and I still hadn't tried the drumming class, so I figured I better get on that. 

Basically the class is a workout while you drum, and the website describes it as "the most unique fitness program extravaganza to hit the market in years". Naturally, this made me a tad suspicious. In my opinion, these "workout crazes" can go either way - either totally destroy you, or have you barely out of breath.

With that in mind, I did a 5.5 mile run around the neighborhood before going, so even if the class was lame, I still got a decent workout in. I thought I might be slow only two days after the metric marathon, but my average pace was 8:58! Afternoon running is so much faster for me (strange how those 5am runs end up being so slow), but I hate it.

The class turned out to be using drumsticks to hit exercise balls on top of baskets, not actual drums.

 The movements and rhythms were pretty easy to follow, although I did hit/get hit with drumsticks several times, because you hit the drum in front of you, behind you, and to both sides. It was nice to be doing something other than running for a "workout", but I wore my heart rate monitor, and only burned about 200 calories in the hour long class, and my heart rate barely rose above 130, and even getting that high was rare.

I was debating returning today, because I still had one more class to use. At the end of the class, everyone sat on their balls to "cool down" (I didn't exactly feel too hot, but whatever). The instructor told us to "pour a drink". Everyone (but me) poured an imaginary drink, then, in unison, busted out hysterically laughing, while I just stared with a "WTF" expression.

After a few minutes, when it died down, the instructor explained that laughter is good for you (duh) so you should laugh every day, and it doesn't matter if it's real or fake. Then we had to do it again. I basically looked around with a few awkward chuckles thinking "get me the hell out of here". I do laugh every day. At reality. When funny things have, in fact, happened. 

Needless to say, I'll be wasting my last class while I'm catching up on Biggest Loser with Eric.

I do think this class could be fun, and would be perfect for someone just looking to get into shape, it just wasn't for me. You win some, you lose some.

I did a 7 mile run with Lily at 5am today and yesterday. Thank God I have her, because getting up at  4:30 is getting tougher and tougher.

Even though I now have knuckle lights, things can still surprise us. In my neighborhood, on Wednesday, we approached someone walking from behind. We usually call out to warn people, but I guess we were deep into our conversation (what else is new) and she had headphones on, so she didn't hear us. As we got close, she let out a bloodcurdling scream, which led us to also start screaming, and ended with her shaking in the grass and Lily grasping me in fear. We still had our priorities though. The second the screaming ended, while Lily was clutching me in a death grip, she immediately asked "Did you pause your Garmin?!"

In all seriousness, be aware of your surroundings. This lady didn't hear us approaching because of her headphones, luckily we were harmless runners, but who knows who else is out there. Next time, what if she isn't so lucky? I do run with headphones, but always on low, with only one earpiece in. The only time I put both in and totally zone out is on the treadmill.

So that there's pictures other than fake drums in this post, I took a picture to show what happens when you live in a third floor apartment, leave, and realize you forgot something. Going back up three flights is way too much work, so you just call your spouse, and have them throw the item over the balcony.

Today, Eric forgot his instant breakfast shake.

Eric always catches the item. I'm working on it.
Do you believe in trying "fitness program extravaganzas", or do you stick to the tried and true?


  1. I like to spice it up every once in a while. This weekend I'm trying Bikram Yoga....hopefully I survive the insanity.

  2. The description of that class and the pictures of Eric made me laugh, but I'm pretty sure I would have thought everyone was insane for laughing in the class. Weirdos. I'm glad you skipped the last one.

    I used to be nuts about body pump too! But then when we got Bungee and a treadmill, it didn't really make sense for me to have a gym membership when I couldn't even make it to the classes anymore and could run whenever.

  3. Forced laughing in a fitness class? Ugh. I swear the fact that I used to teach fitness classes has ruined me. I always take classes now and think about how I could do it better/harder/better. But not those Body Pump classes. Those are so pre-set it doesn't really matter who teaches.

    You missed a golden opportunity to mess with that woman. GOLDEN.

  4. Hahahahahahahahahahaha this is the best thing I have ever read! I hate going to a fitness class and feeling like I would have got a better workout by watching TV. Though the idea of a drumming class could SO be amazing, it's too bad that it wasn't for you.
    There are FULL CLASSES of just LAUGHTER YOGA!!! People go, you stare at the front, the instructor tries different laughs (I'm not lying) and you laugh. For an hour. Sometimes 90 minutes.
    I'd prefer to watch Modern Family or hang out with my hilarious girlfriends, but to each their own...

  5. That fitness class sounds like a lot of fun! I'd love to say that I'm adventurous and I'll try anything but I tend to do lots of research, get feedback from others, and even then I probably still think about it for awhile!

  6. I want to teach a fitness class....yours sounds hilarious LOL I love it.

  7. I love your Eric pictures! He looks like such a fun guy. :)

    One morning I was out running & this lady was taking her garbage to the curb. As I passed, i said a friendly "good morning" and she gasped in shock. She must have been half asleep because she had no idea I was there. I laughed. The end.

  8. I never got that into fitness classes, maybe I am too much of a loner. I did do to kickboxing class for awhile that I loved.

  9. i had a similar experience running one morning in the pitch black (with my neighbor). we were running on a thin, paved trail and we saw 2 headlights up ahead. i totally freaked out thinking a car was on the trail and they were going to run us over. turned out it was 2 cyclists with headlights riding next to each other. scared me to death....BUT i paused the Garmin before i thought i was going to die. cause that was important.

  10. Fitness classes can be so tough sometimes, but some of them are truly a joke. I know lots of people who enjoy them more for the social aspect though. So I officially feel as cool as you today. We both woke up at the butt crack of dawn to run 7 miles (at almost the exact same pace). Yes!

    P.S.--sorry to offend you with the word "panties". What would you prefer?

  11. Umm, wtf? That's pretty goofy sounding, not gonna lie. You should have started screaming when everyone was laughing. Tell her laughing triggers your PTSD.

  12. Beginning abdominal exercise will find them difficult while advanced exercisers may not find the workout very challenging.

  13. Yeah, that class sounds like it's for people who want to start to get into exercise. Funny that you say you got hit, that was my first thought when I saw the 2nd ball/drum picture with the enthusiastic instructor. I like the pictures of Eric w/his shake.

    I like the tried and true "kickboxing" (at a martial arts place, with gloves and bags). And spin and boot camp. I don't think those are gimmicky. I know I get a good workout doing them!

    Now let's all pour a drink.

  14. I agree- sometimes workout classes are a little too easy and don't seem to exhaust me as much as other things- just like using the elliptical I don't think makes me sweat as much as it used to.
    I truly enjoyed the part about the girl screaming- how come hysterical things like this don't happen to me?! Might need to do an early run in your neighborhood! Lately in races I've been getting annoyed by people who can't hear you say something because of their music- like in Ragnar- not safe if you can't hear!


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