Yeah, she may look sweet and innocent in the picture, but she's not. At least she's not innocent!
This fine young woman is Jody, one my first spin instructors. Her reputation as a workout queen is well deserved (a nickname she received at another club is "the bilelator"). Jody is a teacher on sabbatical, trying her hand at being a physical trainer and Pilates instructor (along with spinning). She also teaches a class called "Total Conditioning,", which is what has prompted me to write today. Two days ago, she gave me a 40 minute private lesson on total conditioning. I had asked her to give me a profile of sorts so I could have more power when cycling. I suck at hills and would like to improve that aspect of my sport of choice. We met Saturday afternoon at Lifetime in Fridley. We go into a studio and Jody puts down a couple step boards, a pad, and a medicine ball. "Pushups!" she tells me. I'm kinda like, what??
I have gasoline hose arms, haven't done pushups in 30+ years, and what the hell are they going to do to help my legs? I struggled through 15 pushups. I could have done the pushups with my knees on the mat, but, geez-louise, that would not be macho. Then she had me doing lunges to the top of the step, from the top of the step, jumping on one side of the step to the other and then she had me do them with the medicine ball! All this in about 15 minutes. My mouth is dry, my arms no longer work normally, and I'm wondering WTF am I doing here? We take little breaks as she explains each new routine, always reminding me that there aren't breaks in-between the sets (in her class) and that it is constant motion. Hell, if I didn't have those breaks I would be on the floor face down. Then we start doing all sorts of other routines, with dumbells and stretch cords. The 5 lb. dumbells were more than I could handle after a minute or so. I was completely gassed 30 minutes into it, and this was with all the little breaks! Then she showed me several Pilates core exercises, lying on the mat and using a big ball, doing different versions of sit-ups. Finally, after 40 minutes had gone by, Jody asked if I wanted to go have a beer. Sure, I managed to say. I checked my heart monitor, and I burned nearly 500 calories in that short amount of time. When I got into the car, I could hardly lift my arms up to the steering wheel. Lifting a bottle of Newcastle was difficult, but, I managed. The next day, I could barely lift my arms over my chest, my chest hurt like hell, quads and the side of my legs were sore, my shoulders, arms, and elbows were not happy.
Jody has this total conditioning class on Monday mornings at 9:30. I'm usually off on Mondays, so I decided that I will attend this morning. The idea of this class is power. If all the muscle groups are in shape, including the lungs, that will help my overall fitness and climbing on the bike. Class starts in 2 hours. I think I'll be kneeling on the pad during the push-ups.