As you know we marshalled the Sport Relief Mile 3 weeks ago at Charterhouse Gym in Godalming. As a little gift we got 3 weeks free membership to their facilities. We set out 'Greensand Way' Style to take full advantage of this kind offer and basically do as many classes as possible in 3 weeks.
Circuit Training - Doing a little sick in my mouth
I used to do a lot of regular circuit training at University. I forget that this was 13 years ago and so I was confident that I would excell at this class and show everyone there how an ultra marathon runner can keep up with the best of them.
|Lee and Claire doing circuit training at charterhouse gym|
We arrived a bit late and soon got into the swing of the running followed by repetitive hardcore exercises. Typically this might involve sitting in a stress position for 45 seconds against a wall, then 10 lunges , 10 star jumps then a run to the other end of the astro turf and back.
It took me less than 15 minutes to be utterly destroyed physically and 'do a little sick' in my mouth' during the exercises. We would work as a team of 2 with one of us doing a number of reps whilst the other did another type of exercise. I smiled outwardly, and cried inwardly. I might be an ok endurance runner but my fitness was way off for this.
My body shook like a nervous dog as we had to hold press up positions. I was utterly beaten by the end of the hour session and so was Claire. It was a great way to mix up our training, even if we had to scrounge water off 'teacher'.
We both agreed we would 'definitely' do it again.
By 'Definitely' we meant 'never'.
Swimming - Titanic style
I am a diver and am therefore used to certain things when I'm in water. Being warm by wearing a wetsuit or drysuit, and easy propulsion using fins. The Charterhouse Pool is excellent, and is the right temperature for competitive swimmers to bomb up and down the lanes without overheating.
The pool is just the wrong temperature for a hobbit with no fins on and no wetsuit who is slightly drowning and slightly freezing to death as he inches along the pool at the speed of an iceberg. My ample chesthair creates so much drag its like swimming with a woolly jumper on.
Whilst Claire darted and moved like a graceful mermaid, enjoying underwater swimming and sitting on the bottom of the pool, I stayed on the surface with my eyes squinting so I didnt loose a contact lense.
Everytime I went swimming it gave me a great appetite though!
Zumba - Strictly No Rhythum
I had no delusions here. I cant dance....at all....This was going to be the class from hell. The music started with a groovy latin beat and every lady (yep I was the ONLY guy) moved as one in groovy rhythum to the music...and I er......sort of....shook about a bit.
|Lee and Claire do Zumba|
Claire had done one class allready and was moving like J Lo compared to me. I tried VERY hard to keep up. I could follow what the feet were doing OR what the hands were doing...BUT NOT BOTH. It doesnt help that there are mirrors all round the hall so I could see myself dancing like a drunk dad at a wedding from multiple directions.
|Lee and Claire 'Smubaing' Smiling with your Zumba|
Everytime I nearly had a set of dance moves down it was time to change to the next song and routine. After a while I gave up trying so hard and just kind of ....went with it. I started smiling more and enjoyed it. No one was judging my moves. It was all good.
|Not Lees best performance|
All in all it is a fun class. Over the 3 weeks we did it twice and I was less worse the second time. I reckon I'd only need about 30 years to get good at this. It was a good sweaty workout without being so mental that I wanted to cry......and Claire loved it!
Legs Bums and Tums - Finally ! Something we are good at!
Legs Bums and Tums was exactly that. Aerobic exercises for legs, bum and tummy area. For the first time there were no real surprises. We were fit enough to do it even straight after a Zumba class and I could do almost all of the moves as they were more simple than Zumba. Its only 45 minutes and works those areas hard. This was a class I was good at and enjoyed even more than most of the others.
|Baby got Back|
We even did some 'stack planking' where up to three of us planked on top of each other and best of all I did a hand stand !
We left the class feeling very stretched out ....and went to the pub to celebrate.
|Claire with 'Hasher X'|
This class uses a lot of weights to tone all body areas and I had no idea what weight amounts to choose. I pushed common sense to one side , sized up the fittest (as in tone not whether I fancied him!) bloke in the class and decided to copy his weight amounts.
The fittest guy in the class was fit, and I had nothing on him. The weights I used were too much and I fell behind on the reps as I struggled to do each movement and not dislocate every joint in my body.
By the end of the session I was on weight amounts that were more resonable for me (about the same as the ladies in the class) and managed to not hurt myself for the full hour.
This was a very intense session and my breast muscles still hurt on the Kent Training Weekend 4 days later !
Best thing about Body Pump? It has a Rock Ballad soundtrack! Dave would have LOVED this class. Working out to nickleback is so much better than the ooph chi ooph chi dance tracks. The first track we worked out to was the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
|Lee does Body Pump to a rock music soundtrack|
So how was it overall?
Please put my lighthearted idiocy to one side. The facilities at Charterhouse are excellent and the classes are all very, very good. The monthly fee provides far more value for money in my opinion than a fitness first membership (Ive been a member with Fitness First in the past). All the staff there were very welcoming, very enthusiastic and we genuinely had a great time. Find out more here
I loved the fact that I was exercising in the evening instead of the morning, that everything was different and I learned I'm not very flexible, not as strong as I thought and I shouldnt forget my skills and experience and endurance fitness is in one niche area only. There is a whole world of exercise out there!