I've been slacking on one of my favorite challenges of the year... New 2U CrossTrain. Hosted by (Just) Trying is for Little Girls, the challenge is to step outside your comfort zone and try one new cross training activity each month of the year. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it's month four, and this is my second completion. Crap. Maybe I'll do two this month?
I believe in cross training full-heartedly. It keeps your body burning calories, building muscle, and makes you a stronger runner. I believe it also gives you the right to call yourself an athlete versus just a runner. Running is my first love, always will be, but I've learned firsthand that pushing mileage can causes injuries. And this girl does not handle injuries very well... might as well commit me to the crazy ward.
Two years ago, I suffered a stress fracture in my heel that took me out of my running shoes for nearly 8 weeks. During that time, I took up Spinning to keep my legs moving. It is now my favorite cross train. In fact, next month I attend a certification class to become an official Spinning Instructor. It's also a great activity to have a "fitness date" with a pal who may not be "up to speed" on the run.
My New Cross Train - April
My gym buddy Kelli has been trying to get me to her favorite class called Full Body Blitz. Last night I finally went... only because the timing was at the same time as the Kids Zumba class, which my girls have been missing. It's a win-win. Kids get to Zumba while momma squeezes in a little sweat.
My friend Stephanie set up a spot for me - right in front. Oh-geesh, I hope I don't make a fool of myself! Thankfully, Full Body Blitz is not like TurboKick or Zumba, where there are quick routine moves... often making newcomers feel uncoordinated and awkward when they can't follow along. The moves instead are concentrated efforts, where form is more important than speed.
The class is taught by one of my favorite instructors ever. Amy is tough, fun and thorough with instruction. She gives off this "bad-ass" feeling in every class she teaches (which I love!). Not to mention, she's like inspiration staring you in the face... her body is exactly the athletic shape that I strive for! Of course, she's also a runner.
Full Body Blitz was quick circuits, 30 seconds on each activity, for 50 minutes total. True to its name, we worked every part of the body... arms, legs, glutes, shoulders, abs, you name it. My whole body is slightly achey the morning after. Each participant had an assortment of fitness toys at their feet...
I was quickly reminded how much the instructor Amy loves to do squats in her classes... and lots of them! Squats with weights, squat dips, squats with hovers... you name it, she does it, over and over again. My thighs were completely burning - especially since I ran 8 miles of hard intervals earlier in the day.
I'm usually a fan of pushups. I love strong shoulders, but this was my first time doing pushups on the bosu ball. Wow, that was so much harder! Intervals of mountain climbers and butt kicks were also weaved into the circuit to add some cardio. I had sweat dripping from my temples.
At the end of Full Body Blitz, we hit the floor and focused on the abs. I've never used a pilates ring before and really liked that incorporated into an ab workout.
MY FINAL TAKE: Full Body Blitz was a great workout with some much need strength training (my weakness!), but it was hard work. I may go back again simply because it coincides with the kids' class. However, it's not something I would carve time out of my schedule for. Honestly, I'd rather break a sweat on a Spin bike, running or cruising down the trail on my mountain bike. I call those fun exercise and I steer more towards that in my fitness these days. I tend to lose myself in those activities and only stop because I have to. In classes like Full Body Blitz, I get a little bored and find myself watching the clock to see how much torture is left...