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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, for THE GIVEAWAY!
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.