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Adventures in Fitness: What the Website Doesn’t Tell You About Plex Classes

img_0966Siqi: I don’t sport. I am not coordinated or fit of any kind. Running is my worst enemy. My roommate described my dinner after workout as “a plate of heart attack”. Before the new semester began, my mom got me a scale and told me, “You need this”. That was the only thing that pushed me to do this review. So if you are like me, who will not go to the gym unless being forced to, this is the right guide for you.

Lucy: I have literally never been to the Plex before. Aside from the very infrequent run around the Res, the extent of my exercise is usually walking from Walsh to Lower to get mozz sticks. However, I have always wanted to try out some of the free Plex classes, and when Siqi came to me with this idea, I decided it was now or never. Embarking on this challenge is basically the equivalent of Jonah Hill embarking on his police training in 21 Jump Street.

Wednesday: Zumba with Meg + Thursday: Zumba with Lexie

Siqi: To be honest I did not exactly know what Zumba was until my friend dragged me to this class, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked dancing while doing squats and such. For a fairly clumsy person, the moves were easy to follow and the class was not too intense. I was standing in the front row and didn’t even get booed! There was a lot of twerking involved, which makes me think I should probably practice my moves on the weekends more often. I felt really accomplished after the class and genuinely had a lot of fun.

Tip: There are 6 instructors in total for Zumba. I only had two of them and they taught completely different routines. If you did not follow the class on the first try, give it a second chance by going to a different session. It might surprise you.

Difficulty level: 5/10

Thursday: Spin 45

Lucy: I decided to start with a spin class because they are pretty popular on campus, and I presumed that meant they’re easy. After about 2 minutes of “hills”, I discovered that that was not the case and considered packing up and doing a walk of shame away from the highly uncomfortable bike seat. Thankfully, after getting into the swing of things it wasn’t so bad and I *almost* had fun. By the end of the class I was super sweaty, slightly jaded, and felt like Bambi learning to walk, but in reality I probably could have handled the Spin 60 class.

Tip: For any guys (with fragile masculinities) feeling hesitant about to going to fitness classes in fear of them being female dominated, the male to female ratio in this class was very even.

Difficulty level: 7.5/10

Tuesday: BC-X

Siqi: I got there late and everyone at the class already had their mats and weights next to them. There were a lot of people, so I just stayed in the corner closest to the exit just in case things started to go bad. The instructor with a microphone on would teach the class what the next moves are and the one without mic basically just yelled at us. Personally, I just don’t find yelling, “Let’s go BC-X” that motivating. She scared me a little. I have to admit by the end of the course I was slacking. Push-ups and jumping jacks are just not my thing.

Takeaways: I would go again if I wanted to push myself and be sore all day, but otherwise, it’s just too much for me. It is not a rumor that anything that happens on Court 10 is hard. It is hard.

Tip: The mats and weights are in the closets on your left. I had to ask someone about that and it was kind of embarrassing.

Difficulty level: 8.5/10

Friday: Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Chris C.

Lucy: This class was a little more my speed. I feel like this was a pretty standard yoga class and I could generally keep up (with a couple modifications). I’m a big fan of the Mountain pose and the one where you lie flat on your back. But seriously, this was a very nice way to begin the weekend. If you’re used to cardio-intensive workouts, taking a yoga class is an excellent way to break up your routine. We even said “Namaste” at the end. I thought that was just something they did in the movies.

Siqi: Chris’s class was featured in HerCampus and he made sure the class knew that. This class is a good fit for beginners or just anyone who needs to relax a bit after a long day in classes. It was not too challenging with crazy yoga poses and Chris gave the class a good amount of time to just lie on their backs and relax. It was just a nice environment to let out the stress. Good choice when you are not feeling like sweating a bunch, but still want to say you went to the Plex.

Difficulty level: 3/10

Tuesday: TBC step with Hilary

Siqi: All the classes that use equipment scare me a little bit. I scratched myself while setting up the steps. That could have been a sign. The instructor started the class with some easy steps and I told myself this is easy – I got this. At first, the cardio was not friendly at all. I was almost about to give up until the instructor mentioned she is 20 weeks pregnant! That motivated me so much and helped me pull through the last of the cardio, and honestly it was not too bad in the end. We also did weight stuff and core workouts. Overall it was a good course, which covered all kinds of exercises.

Tip: There were no guys in the class, so it might be a no for some. And she has a really cool remix of One Dance if you want to check that out.

Difficulty level: 6.5/10

Thursday: Total Body Circuits with Tori B.

img_0960Lucy: I went into this class expecting to be challenged, and I was not disappointed. When the instructor told us that we were adding another circuit, the girl next to me literally picked up her mat and left. I was actually surprised, however, at how good I felt in this class – I started out a little shaky, but my endurance helped me finish strong. Expect a lot of squats and plyo-type drills. My biggest challenge was actually the bicep curls – a summer of scooping ice cream did nothing to help my pathetic arm strength. And if my high school track coach is reading this, I still hate Burpees.

Tip: If you can, plant your mat in front of the equipment door so you don’t have to watch your sweaty self awkwardly working out for an hour in the mirror. Major key. Also the instructor was great and totally ripped – she gives you an inspirational quote at the end, so don’t be that jerk that leaves early.

Takeaway: Don’t let little mistakes break your confidence. The girl behind me spilt water on the floor and I literally slipped and fell mid work-out. Just get back up; you’re doing this for you.

Difficulty level: 7/10

Friday: Sunrise Yoga with Maisey H.

Lucy: I am not a “sunrise person” to say the least, but I stumbled down to the 8:30AM class (the latest it’s offered, and a lenient definition of the word). I was sore from TBC the day before, and am probably more sore now. This class was a little more balance focused than the flow yoga class, but again, nothing crazy.

Takeaway: This class was fine, but I never broke a sweat. Maybe I’m not a sunrise person or a yoga person.

Tip: The instructor did not demonstrate any of the moves, rather talked the class through them. As a visual learner, I was not a huge fan of this style, so it is something to keep in mind.

Difficulty level: 4/10

Monday: Fitlates with Olivia P.

Lucy: I’m just going to give it to you straight: this is basically a 45 minute ab workout with some yoga thrown in. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to obtain a 6-pack for about 6 years now, and this class could just be the key, but I’m not all that sure it’s worth it.

Tip:  Because it’s always crop-top season on the Heights, class is well-attended; get there early before they run out of equipment. Also, if you have a history of hip-flexor problems, be wary of this class – mine was killing me.

Difficulty level: 5/10

Parting thoughts:

Lucy: This was an awesome (and exhausting) experience. I may have completely embarrassed myself at some points, but at least it’s less embarrassing than admitting I’ve never stepped foot in the Plex. I definitely want to keep going to classes, and you should too!

Siqi: I totally agree with Lucy. This adventure turned out to be way better than I expected. Despite the fact that I would go get cookies after the classes, at least now I feel a little less guilty about that. Personally I like these classes way better than working out by myself, because they are more organized and fun than just me being confused of what to do on my own. Everyone should hit me up if you need company to Zumba in the future.

Note: We did not get to some classes due to scheduling conflicts and pure wimpiness. Check the rest out here!

All Photos Courtesy of Author.

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