October 4th, 2011

running, shoes

In which I Zumba

A coworker of mine has been encouraging me to try out the Zumba class at our workplace gym. Yesterday afternoon, I arrived at the gym intending to lift weights, but the weight room was quite crowded, and I happened to arrive just in time for the Zumba class to start. So, I thought that rather than deal with the frustration of having to rejigger my weight workout around whatever equipment happened to be available, I'd just go into the aerobics studio and let someone else tell me what to do for an hour. (Mostly, sharing space and equipment in the weight room is not a problem, but when everybody's hogging the damn benches to do seated bicep curls, it makes me want to stand up and deliver a lecture on why bicep curls are an ineffective use of most people's strength training time. And also, if you must do them, there's no reason to sit down to do them. I'm trying to delay the date of this rant to a point in time at which I have the biceps to back it up.)

So, Zumba. Dance aerobics to Latin-influenced pop. Super-perky instructor. Lots of hip-shaking. It was a bit challenging to follow all the steps (and I certainly did not manage to make most of them look as graceful as the instructor did), but I mostly kept up, and I didn't fall over and I didn't collide with anyone. (Had a couple of close calls during the bits where you spin around.) It was good goofy fun, although I actually found myself wishing that it had been more aerobically challenging. I definitely broke a sweat and got my heart rate up, but I wasn't breathing hard or feeling a burn in my muscles. (In fairness, if I hadn't been trying to learn the steps, I probably could have done the workout in a bit more gung ho way and upped the intensity a bit. I also hear that the other Zumba instructor is more challenging.)

Mostly, I'm becoming more convinced that I'm not really a group fitness class kind of person. It's fun to try out new things, and the cameraderie is kind of nice, but I get frustrated by the fact that by the time I've started to get the hang of any new skill, the class is generally moving on to something else. And I like being able to choose my own workout music, and to just be alone with my own thoughts when I'm in the gym.

I wouldn't mind having a workout buddy to spot me on some of my heavier lifts, though. I need to do a better job selling strength training to my colleagues.