Finding a new gym, part 3: Hour Blast

As I mentioned previously, I spoke with Karen at Hour Blast on Friday.  Today, I got to take a class with her to try it out.  Located at 7611 Maple St, it’s easy to get to and there is plenty of angle parking (which, for someone who really doesn’t parallel park, is awesome).  Walking into the gym is kind of confusing – it looks like you’re just walking into a parking garage, but then you open a door and you’re in a room with seven treadmills, a mirrored wall, TRX systems hanging in a line down the center, and all sorts of fun equipment like dumbbells, medicine balls, and weighted bars lining the walls.  There is an office room with a desk and a couch where purses are left, and a back room with a water cooler and where medicine balls and bosu balls are kept.

The first thing I noticed is what a tight-knit group the women were.  Everyone knew everyone else, which is how it should be.  You’re there to work hard, and knowing each other gives that little extra push and support that really helps to get the extra reps in.  Secondly, I noticed how incredibly cute everyone was!  Never have I ever seen so much lulu lemon in one group fit class, but then again I’ve been teaching poor college students.  All feet were shod in the bright, awesome running shoes that populate the walls of Varsity Sports, a great running store near my house.  These ladies were decked out!

Half the class started on the treadmills and half on the floor.  Today’s floor/treadmill intervals were 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes, and 8 minutes.  Within that 5 or 8 minute block, there were smaller intervals.  For instance, if you were on the floor for an 8 minute interval, Karen would call out different exercises every 30-45 seconds or so.  On the interval, different speeds and inclines were called out, as well as things like side shuffle, tuck jump, etc.  I had to modify some of the treadmill stuff since my stress fractures still won’t allow me to use a lot of impact.  Instead of sprinting, I would put the incline up really high – these treadmills go all the way up to a 30% grade!

So what’s the verdict?  I loved it!  One of the things that made me nervous when leaving the Rec Center is that not all women who take group fitness classes want to work hard the way that I like to, but everyone in class was sweating hard and pushing for that extra rep.  The class was intense.  I like intense.  I’m coming back!


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