Wednesday, March 21, 2012

UXF at Washington Sports Club: Love or Hate? Or Maybe Both? (with GIVEAWAY!)

A couple of weeks ago, someone from the Washington Sports Club got in touch with me to see if I'd like to try out their new UXF class and also give away an 8-class session. (Alllll the way at the bottom of the post if you just want to skip there.)

I checked around on the internet a little bit because I wasn't sure what UXF meant or exactly what kind of class it was. What I found concerned me. It looked a lot like "UXF" stood for "ultimate fitness experience" or something equally worrisome.

I emailed the lady from WSC to say, "Here's the thing: I poked around and saw that the UXF class seems pretty intense. Is it appropriate for someone whose fitness level (me) is currently pretty low (hangs head in shame)? I'm a little worried that I would pass out and then someone would drop a kettlebell on me, while someone else does jumping jacks on my limp body."

She wrote back to say that the class has different stations and you can work at your own level on each of them, so it can be as hard as you make it. She actually said, "It can be a tough class or not." Even though this is a straight up lie, I forgive her.

Today, I headed out for my demo class with a song in my heart and the knowledge that I could work at my own pace. I checked in at the front desk and walked up the stairs to the class.

"That sure is a lot of steps," I thought to myself. *cue ominous music*

As I am giving away an 8-session UXF class at the end of this post, I thought it might help you to have some visuals to help you decide if you want to participate in such an endeavor.

Here is me before the class, all happy and innocent:
Now, I'm going to be honest with you. While it was fun to draw Fat Jean, it is much easier to draw Skinny Jean. Ergo, just pretend when you see the picture below, that you are looking at the picture above.
Jean if she does eight sessions of UXF.

Aaaand if we're actually being honest, I'll tell you that when you see Skinny Jean, you should actually imagine her like this:
I call this one Heart Attack Jean.

I should have trusted my instincts when I saw the sign in the photo below in the UXF workout area and just turned around and walked out of the gym right there.

I'm not sure how it's The Big 10 if there are ELEVEN exercises.

Frankly, my brain doesn't actually process phrases that indicate things like 100 push-ups or 100 pull-ups. My brain skips right past things like that.

Before you read the rest of this post, I feel it is important to point out in my defense that this was week 3/workout 6 that I so haphazardly wandered into. If you started on Day One like the normal people, you would be eased in a little more than I was. Also, you might be a person who does more exercise than working through the first three days of the couch to 5K running program over and over every third week.

My trainer's name was Curt, and he was lovely. He was encouraging and nice and didn't once make fun of me for moving half as fast as everyone else. "I don't expect everyone to finish the whole workout," he said, pointedly not looking at me.

The only other two folks in the exercise class were a man and a woman. As we did our (100!) squats, I learned that the man works as a trainer at the gym and the woman is in the military.

"I'm a blogger," I offered. I think that pretty much speaks for itself in terms of my performance.

I used to work out all the time. I was sure I could pull off a hundred squats with little problem. Do you want to know something? A hundred squats is a lot of squats—especially when followed by a hundred push-ups. The nice thing about the workout is that it alternated from upper to lower body, so if you aren't completely out of shape, your muscles have some time to recover.

My legs were tired after the squats, but I moved on to the pushups. You go from exercise to exercise at your own pace in UXF, so needless to say, my two classmates finished before me. Wanna know something? Push-ups are hard. I was hoping to get the Blogger Writing a Review Discount on number of push-ups, but evidently Curt doesn't go by those rules. He made me do all one hundred.

He did allow me to move up and down much less than you do in a real push up though. Which is good, otherwise I would probably have spent the whole hour right there.

I say "girlie," even though Curt called them "modified." Frankly, there was
nothing girlie about the way the chick next to me was working through hers.

Running a mile came right after push-ups and I was all cocky and, "Running I can do!" (See: couch to 5K experience above) Running is my favorite exercise, but it's harder after squats and push-ups. Both of my classmates finished well ahead of my semi-pathetic walk/run and I didn't see them again until the end.

Spoiler alert: They both finished the whole workout.

Next there was some 10-rep exercise with a weight bar. Curt jogged over there ahead of me and I shuffled behind him. The other two were doing their pull-ups. I managed the weights all right and then I had to go to the stairs. Remember the stairs? Remember the ominous music?

Once down AND once up counted as one rep. There were probably about 35 to 40 steps (x2!), which isn't all that many, but my chubby little body was in full revolt by this time.

Ten years ago, I used to run stairs for fun. Today I plodded stairs.

After two and a half reps, I started to worry. I have some blood sugar issues and decided that I needed to address them prior to barfing all over everything (like that time at the allergist). Fortunately, I had brought an apple with me just in case of such a situation. Unfortunately, that apple was at the top of the stairs.

Happily, I made it and ate a few bites of the apple before venturing back to the stairs. Because I may be out of shape, but I can persevere. I do not quit. *cue ominous music*

After five reps, I think Curt started to worry. I kept comically checking my watch to see if it had stopped because, dear lord, wasn't this hour over yet? I'm pretty sure Curt thought I was going to keel over on the stairs and then he was going to be fired.

After six and a half reps, I said, "I'm done." But, again, DAMMIT, I was at the bottom of the stairs. We meandered back up the stairs probably five minutes before the end of class. My two classmates were competing with each other to see who could finish their hundred crunches with a giant medicine ball first.

I sat down and ate my apple. I was happy. And no longer felt like I was going to drop dead. As my classmates speed crunched to try to win, I crossed my legs and said, "Dude, I finished like, ten minutes ago." I'm not sure my wit was appreciated.

In reality, they were all really nice. And kinda bad ass.

But! I didn't puke, I didn't faint, I didn't fall down the stairs, and I worked out for almost the entire hour. Victory is mine! Kudos to Curt for not letting me take the easy way out earlier.

The Washington Sports Club is describing their UXF class as "Burn calories. Build strength. Big results fast." I believe them.

I know I've made this whole thing sound kind of horrible, but it really wasn't. I mean, it was, in the way that climbing Kilimanjaro sucks when you're doing it, but you feel really awesome afterward and are happy you did it. You know, I assume.

WSC offered me an 8-workout session and I'm working to see if I can fit it into my schedule, because I think it would be really good for me, and, even though it didn't feel that way at the time, you can absolutely tailor the workout to your skill level. Of course, you should check with your doctor prior to starting any new exercise regimen.

UXF classes are regularly $299 for the 8-workout session, but are currently being offered at an introductory rate of $149 for WSC members and $199 for non-members. Find a schedule of classes on the website.


WSC is offering one of YOU (DC-area folks) an 8-workout session. The next session starts April 2 and lasts for four weeks. You don't have to be a WSC member to win or to attend the class, but you do have to take the class in the DC-area. UXF classes are offered at each of WSC's locations, of which there are many in the DC-area.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment indicating that you want to be entered. (I assume not all commenters will want to enter due to everyone not living near me, although that would be AWESOME.) It's not required, but I would also be delighted if you told me either an embarrassing or inspiring workout story.

The giveaway will close at midnight on March 28. I will use a random number generator to pick a winner and I will post and contact the winner on the 29th. If the winner doesn't get in touch with me in 24 hours, I will then move on to the next person. Make sure I have a way to get in touch with you!

Okay. Now that I have thoroughly exhausted and embarrassed myself, I am going to go relax and prepare for the reality that I will probably not be able to move tomorrow.


  1. If I didn't know better, I would have thought this was a story about me exercising!  LOL  You are a WARRIOR though.  I would have puked, I would have fainted, I definitely would have fallen down the stairs, and I would have collapsed long before the hour was over!

  2. Holy cow!  You rock for making it through the class!  I love this post and all your drawings and by saying that am I entering to win?  Because I just may puke, faint, fall down the stairs, and/or give up after an hour but what the heck...Count me in for entering.  

    If I win, I'll see it as a sign and promise to not give you the evil eye from across the room the next time I see you.  And yes, it will be the evil eye from across the room because I probably won't be able to walk.  Bwa hahaha!

  3. Oh m gosh Jean--- love this. and um, your pictures--to die for! I would say that given your amazing effort (seriously--you did a week 3 workout!), that you are the bad ass! 

  4. I would love to be entered! And the most embarrassing workout story I have is the time I passed out during the Marine Corps Marathon and had to be treated by the Navy doctors. Afterwards my mother asked if the doctors were cute. They probably were, but it is hard to flirt with someone after you've thrown up on them.

  5. This is a great post. The pictures are terrific - especially the red faced one. And I admire you completely for doing this. It would absolutely kill me!

  6. I meant to ask if you can move at all tonight.

  7. I love the illustrations...and I hope you can move tomorrow. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably be crying and writhing on the floor of the gym...still. You kicked some serious butt!

  8. Don't enter me, but hey, whether took an hour or ten, you did it and you should be proud. As for modified push ups, there's nothing wrong with them, but don't start with them. Our adult women in our TKD classes have to do standard push ups by black belt, but they start doing as many standard as they can (even if it's just one), and they steadily increase over time and before you know it, there doing all standard all the time. None of us look like the folks who live at the gym because we don't live at the gym, and it's okay.

  9. Enter me !  I'm feeling curious and badass but very very out of shape lately.  ;-)

  10. Don't even think about entering me in the drawing, but I look like you red faced stick figure anytime I move at a pace faster than a walk! When I lift weights, run, or anything the least bit strenuous I turn beet red and look like I'm going to pass out. As a kiddo that was tough - my first basketball coach almost called my mom to come get me after the first 20 minutes of the practice (8th grade - that was embarrassing) because she thought I was having heart trouble or something. I was so red and she didn't know so she got scared. I survived and then played many more years of basketball. 

  11. I absolutely do not want to enter. : )  I'll pretend it's only because I don't live anywhere near you...when in reality, I was totally impressed you even made it up the 35ish stairs to get to the class, and the thought of actually doing any of the exercises makes me cringe. You did amazing!!!

  12.  It was sheer willpower. I think class two would be a lot easier. The first one is always the hardest.

  13. Around the time I saw your stair climbing drawing I began rapidly scrolling through the rest of the post in terror.

    I'm glad you're still alive. One hundred pushups???? Shut the front door. (This is why I make an excellent lunch buddy.)

  14.  You would rock that class. Although I admit that I am pretty sore right now.

  15.  I don't know if it really applies, but I will totally take that bad ass label. :)

  16.  Okay, that IS a good story. And really makes you fit in with Team Stimey.

  17.  I'm actually a little bit better than I thought I would be. I have hope that I'll be able to walk tomorrow. :)

  18.  I'm not entirely convinced that at this point in my life I could even do one standard push up. Baby steps. :)

  19.  Do you get red when you drink too? I blush all the time, I get red when I drink, and I look like I'm having an aneurysm when I do any kind of exercise. Even if you don't want to be entered, I do appreciate the story!

  20.  I considered taking the elevator back down after the class.

  21.  It's being generous to claim that I did 100 push-ups. I did 100 push-up type motions. I'm also way better at lunch.

  22. Congrats on not vomiting or fainting! You did better than me (I actually did vomit when I overdid it at the gym). Needless to say, DO NOT ENTER ME INTO THIS GIVEAWAY. Because I don't live in the DC area (year, that's the ticket)!

  23. "I assume not all commenters will want to enter due to everyone not living near
    me" ... Oh yeah, *that* is why I don't want to enter. Damn shame.

    You are a rock star, I am totally impressed with your work-out abilities and mad drawing skills. 100 of anything is batshit insane, just FYI. But don't let that stop you!

    And, WHY do they insist on putting stairs at the gym? Mine has them on the way to reception, you can't escape. I'm already here, planning to do exercise, you don't have to sneakily make me do EVEN MORE. (Although so far no-one has tried to make me run them, so yay.)

  24. Ah, your commenting thing confuzzled me. That was me up above, bitching and whinging about the gym.

  25. I don't live near you, so count me out on the giveaway. I started working with a personal trainer about 5 weeks ago. I couldn't move for 4 days after my first session. 4 days! I was like "ouch, ouch, ouch" with every step I took. Ridiculous. But so very glad I stuck with it. Now I only say "ouch" once in a while. But 100 squats? Get out of here!

  26. I'm tired just looking at your stick figure drawings.

  27. Jean, you are my hero!!! And I loved the illustrations (I appreciated every detail, down to the yoga mats, lol) But I really laughed out loud when I got to the part about the apple being at the TOP of the stairs. Hysterical.  Seriously though, give yourself huge credit for doing the workout!

    I think you deserve some ice cream.

  28. I have an awesome idea - cue ominous music - you work out like this every week and then write hilarious stories about it, and I pretend I just worked out! But, also enter me in the contest. My story? I was once in a pilates reformer class and nearly flung myself in the air from the machine. At the exact moment I was poised to take flight, my instructor's supervisor came in and gave my instructor a VERY DISTRESSED look. The instuctor and supervisor both started shouting directions at me, trying to save me from myself. The whole class stopped to stare.

  29. Stimey this is the first time I have ever been glad to not live near you.  This post is awesome and wow - kudos to you for that workout.  The drawings are fabulous!  My workout story....I signed up for a class at the YMCA called BodyPump.  "A non-impact  weights-based exercise class that works every major muscle group in the body using weights, a bar and step".  Could not move without PAIN in every muscle group for 4 days.  Basically it is aerobics with a barbell with weights.  I stayed with it for 6 months and it really got me into shape.....sadly I need to start the process all over again!  My hubby went with me once and told me I was a sadist and he will never go to that class again.

  30. Haha, I love the graphics.  Absolutely hilarious tale. I'd love to see if I could make it through 8 sessions of a does sound like an ultimate fighting session...but I would hope at the end we'd all look like Skinny Jean :) 

  31. I don't think I could do 100 push-ups if I had the rest of my life to finish them .  You rock! (Also, I would have brought a candy bar to the class so hooray for you and your apple!)

  32. This sounds insane, but I would definitely be interested.  Enter me!

  33.  I can't win the lovely giveaway because I am on the other coast, but I thank you for:
    a) inspiring me to get off my duff
    b)being honest that it was really hard and
    c) making me laugh

  34. Love you blog and would love to win!! Please enter me in!!

  35. There is a mere 3500 miles or so between us and you, so I feel relatively safe from any sort of workout situation! Fab post though. Love the drawings and your descriptions are vivid! Once I decided to start running with a friend. Jogged around the block as a warm up and then had to lie down on the floor for 20 mins to recover. First and last run I ever did. Now I exercise vicariously via my husband, who swims and runs and then comes home and tells me about it.  

  36. That looks like it'll hurt. ALOT.... but ENTER me anyway.

  37. I want to be entered. I enjoy pain. Or something. 

  38. Please enter me in the raffle.
    I once did a xfit class. Wow. I was sore for 10 days! Sounds like you were no as whiney as I was. Here's to the "guns" you'll bare this spring!

  39. I can already do 8 push ups (modified) so clearly I would rock this class. Enter me.

  40. I would like one entry, please. My embarrassing story is that I was so proud of my deadlifting prowess that I picked up a friend of mine and promptly strained a tendon in my knee and couldn't walk for several days.

  41. I would love to give the class a try....ok, maybe not love, but at least like to give it a try.


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