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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Physique 57: Advanced

The more demanding my life outside the gym is, the more I crave an intense workout. While I'm sure that four out of five doctors would tell me to get more sleep instead, I need the physical release to keep me sane when life gets nutty.

Even after a brutal Bikram session on Wednesday and an eight mile run in the park Saturday during which I got hit by a bike (not a big deal, but ouch), I was determined to take my first Advanced class at Physique 57 Sunday morning.

Why did I put this off for so long? Part of it is a scheduling thing; they don't offer as many Advanced level classes. Also, I have serious trouble remembering to stretch when I work out. One of the things that's great about Physique is that you stretch between segments as part of the class. The Beginner, Open and Intermediate level classes all have more, shorter segments. In Advanced, things flow together in fewer defined segments and the stretching is not really a focus.

Also, I was never a ballerina. (I dropped ballet at 5.) I'm strong, I'm even graceful, but I am seriously inflexible. I also don't have long blond hair that sits nicely in a perfect bun while I exercise. I'm not saying everyone in the Advanced classes is like that - but you see where I'm going. I hate admitting to being intimidated, but I kinda was.

Class was pretty empty, probably because of the holiday weekend, but the women who were there were pretty intense. They all seemed to know each other. From what I overheard, it seems like they regularly do multiple classes in a day, so I guess that makes sense. Everyone went for the eight pound weights, and, for the most part, the push ups were legit.

I really enjoyed the workout. The open sequence was familiar, but we did squats (mostly the up an inch, down an inch kind) while lifting. The push ups were right over left, then left over right. Side plank was involved. After that, class felt felt like a remixed version of Intermediate or Open. Some of the moves were new, but what was most challenging was the blending of thigh and seat work. I've had tougher classes (anything taught by Chanelle, for example), but this was a great workout and it was nice to try something a little different.

When I took my first Intermediate class, I knew I was done with Beginner. This wasn't like that. For one thing, there just aren't enough Advanced classes that fit with my schedule. More than that, though, I think this will be a nice complement to the Open and Intermediate classes.

I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-

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