A few weeks ago, I was hunched over my study table, finishing up an essay based on what Arthur Schopenhauer once said:
Health isn’t everything, but without health, everything is nothing.
I thought about how I wasn’t doing enough for my own health. At that point in time, I was cycling a maximum of 40 minutes a day and maybe a short 30 – 40-minute session of HIIT in the later part of the day before dinner.
I felt sluggish as I wasn’t getting as high quality sleep as I used to when I was exercising more frequently and for greater lengths of time. I felt so weak and so easily out of breath because of my heart’s lack of cardio-vascular activity. (Like other muscles, it atrophies with lack of exertion!) My digestion system was failing me more and more frequently, and oh my was I tired in school…
I honestly wasn’t feeling my best.
It was close to sun down when I rode over to FIT STAR Neuhausen to get a Gym Membership (my first one aside from the compulsory one at ACJC’s SuperGym!!). I had a flawless view of the sun as it dipped behind the crest of the Alps, sky awash and ablaze with colours found at the heart of a fire. I watched how living the sky was, how mutable and changing… as I got my belongings out of my bike’s basket and walked into FIT STAR for the first time.
The administrative matters were settled quickly and the lady at the counter said I could begin gymming right the very next day, so I did!
I’ve been going to the Gym every day ever since…
Fitness is not about being better than someone. Fitness is about being better than the person you were yesterday. – Anonymous
The fact that LIDL is located in the same complex as FIT STAR, and that they sell bananas at 1,19 Euros/ kg and sweet potatoes at 2,70 Euros/ kg is SUCH a bonus! *cue the fireworks*
Aside from the usual cardio machines and free weights, they have a set of courses planned for all of their Gym-goers.
Here’s the timetable:
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One simply needs to show up at the stipulated times with a water bottle and a towel to be able to participate in the classes. I was so pumped up about trying everything… I felt like a kid in a candy store!
Let me start off with my latest obsession…
A. BODY PUMP
Body Pump is the original, invigorating barbell workout that exercises all the major muscle groups for a more toned, fitter and healthier body. Body Pump classes use weight-room exercises like squats, lifts and curls to give your legs, arms and upper body a complete, and might I add painful, workout.
“… fastest way in the Universe to get in shape…”
It gets so incredibly torturous at times during the classes that I may ask myself, “Why do I do this to myself?” but the results appear so quickly and… ahhh it’s so so worth it! You know how it is when You see that something is working and You can’t seem to get enough of it?
Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction. – Anonymous
P.s. The weights each person uses depends on how much they’d like to push themselves so if You’re thinking of joining such a class but feeling scared because it may prove too tough, don’t worry!!! All fitness levels are welcomed!
Body Pump classes all over the world follow a different set of music playlist. This is the one my Body Pump classes follow:
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B. Body Combat
It is a fiercely energetic Martial Arts workout where you are totally unleashed, empowered and not to mention inspired. Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Muay Thai ALL IN ONE. Absolutely adrenaline pumping and action-packed, it feels amazing to assume an identity of a fighter in both mind and spirit.
It was tough initially, considering I walked into class with 0% experience in fighting sports, and mastering the footwork/ choreography took a while (2-3 lessons), but I’m so glad that I had been amongst a group of supportive participants who would occasionally smile at me during our short breaks to assure me that I’m doing alright – acts of kindness like these are so so precious.
C. GRIT Cardio
Just as the name suggests, one has got to grit their teeth in determination to get through the cardio sets. Sprints, jumps, static pulses, …
One word: INTENSE.
D. ZUMBA & Dance
If there’s one thing I learned from ZUMBA and DANCE, it’s that I would not be able to dance even if my life depended on it. It doesn’t matter though… because no one else could dance either hahaha! Everyone was focused on the instructor and busy trying to replicate her/ his moves. Everyone was having fun and it didn’t matter so much if they were doing the moves any justice as long as they were sweating it out!
E. BAUCH (Core)
All I can say is that it seemingly started out harmless until the reps went up… and so did the soreness in my tearing muscles.
Whatever flexibility I thought I had was incomparable to some of those taking the class with me. It was inspiring to see how far dedication, belief and faith in one’s body could take these Yogis. They were absolutely graceful and made all the difficult poses look so effortless. As the class progressed, I picked up more and more German Yoga terms! I noticed something very peculiar – what we call the ‘Child’s Pose’ in English is known as the ‘Baby Pose’ in German!
We end every Yoga session with Meditation, during which all of us either cover ourselves with our towels (to double up as a blankie) or put on a jacket to warm ourselves up before easing into the ‘Corpse Pose’ (i.e. lie down on the floor, face the ceiling and finally close our eyes as we enter meditative mode). We would focus on our breathing and our thoughts as we ‘work on’ releasing all tensions in our muscles and bones. Our instructor would move on to a song in her playlist which has a bell being sounded every few seconds. The sounds of the bell ringing would reverberate throughout the room and bounce off every wall. With every hit of the bell, I would feel as though my soul was being ‘hit’ out of my physical body… I felt so light, so free and so… re-newed.
Pilates (pronounced puh-lah-teez and not pie-lates) is similar to yoga but emphasizes the body’s core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, butt, and so on. For this reason, Pilates develops much of what exercisers need – strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture – with a much lower chance of injury than with other forms of exercise. Pilates moves require you to engage virtually your whole body. At times, you may try to strengthen one muscle while stretching another. The moves take lots of concentration; you can’t simply go through the motions like you can on gym equipment!
Matheus from class told me that I wouldn’t like it because it was a little slow/ boring, but then I thought that such a statement coming from one who frequently plays football – a game during which one required quick-changing motions and high-energy sprints – wouldn’t hold much truth. Simply put, anything slower than a jog would considered ‘slow’ to them…
So… it turned out that Matheus was right but I still saw the positives in it! I figured that it would be great for cooling down stretches or for days when my muscles needed a day off. One move I particularly enjoyed was the one called ‘rolling like a ball’. One would balance on their rear end, roll backward, and then roll back up into the balanced position again. This move requires a good balance of abdominal and lower-back strength and is deceptively tough!
You never walk out of the gym and say, ‘I shouldn’t have gone.’ – Taylor Kitsch
I currently exercise an average of 2 – 3 hours a day and boy do I feel good!
Body Pump class at 10am, and Zumba at 11.10am right after!
Byeeeee, have a great Saturday!
P.s. It’s snowing again today!!