Free training session at Zunic

Yesterday, after work, a few colleagues and I went to Zunic for their free sessions. They were doing free sessions for the whole day in recognition of World Diabetes Day. We joined their 6pm Body Attack / Ab Blitz session. Here’s what I’ve learned:

I’m _really_ bad at coordination, especially hand-eye coordination. I can’t learn by watching, which is why I usually have a hard time following aerobics classes and videos, as well as dance classes. I usually need to concentrate, and I need a lot of repetition, and if you’re talking about a dance class, I need you to go through each and every step with me so that I can see where I’m supposed to go. Put me in a class, and run through the steps, assuming I’ll catch up, and you’ll see me faltering from step one. And by the time I finally get used to what the steps are, you’d have moved on, which means I’d spent most of my time stumbling along instead of giving it my all. And when you go back to the first section, because I’ve not had time to get used to it, even though I finally knew where the steps started and began, I’d not be able to do it. This exact thing happened during the Body Attack aerobics session. There was also a lot of jumping (prancing/bouncing on your feet), which is something I generally can’t do very well. It seems I either have a weak left ankle, or my shoe doesn’t fit right, or I just put too much weight on it, because after my sessions with Kathy Smith’s power walking video, the bouncing made me feel a strain in my left ankle quite a bit, and I was concerned that I might be making it worse with all that bouncing and changing of steps while bouncing. When you’re unsure of what the steps are, you can be sure that you’re probably not really landing very well, because you’d be trying to push into the next step to catch up. I did sweat quite a bit, and if you’re used to the steps in the aerobics class, or if you’re quick to follow, there’s a lot of variety in the session and it’s quite fun. But if you’re like me and you stumble along 3/4 of the session, you might want to go with a slower type of session.

I didn’t like the part where they did some stuff on the floor and I left the room to look for my colleagues who’d ditched the session after a few minutes trying to catch up and not seeing any value in floundering. (Maybe I was just stubborn and tried to stick through it. *laughs* I’m used to being lost when I join aerobics sessions, I guess.) The Body Attack session started on doing some pushups and push-up like moves on the mat, which I was definitely not going to be doing. I didn’t think people still did those kind of moves in gym classes. Don’t ask me why, but I’d do pushups on a stability ball, but not a real pushup. It’s the kind of disdain I’d feel if you told me to do a sit up, and I’d give you a look and do crunches–maybe even crunches on a stability ball. Call it exercise snobbery, and I’ll happily admit it. *laughs* I mean, we can even work our abs while standing up, so why do we still have to get down on our hands and knees to do pushups? I joined the class again after the on-the-floor session. *grin*

I doubt I’ll be joining the Zunic gym anytime soon. Initially I had been quite impressed with the gym and their variety of classes. But I’m sure now that those classes are not suitable for me. While I have no real issue with the session, what I really didn’t like was the loud music. I left the studio with my hearing slightly blocked because of how loud the music had been. It’s an experience I’ve only felt after stepping out of a disco (though a lot worse when it comes to the disco). I can understand that some people might want loud music to pump them up, and so do I. But even when I put on earphones, I’ve never made my eardrums numb despite how loud I prefer my music. Maybe their sound system was too good, and the room too small. Worse of all, the trainer had a mike and he’s talking over the loud music and I can barely distinguish what he’s saying, which doesn’t help when I’m already stumbling along. I can say that I’d rather let loose in a disco and sweat buckets more any day rather than abuse my ears stumbling half-heartedly at a gym studio. Or give me my favourite songs on an mp3 player and let me loose on a treadmill or stepper. The way I stumble along, I’m not really letting my muscles work, and if I did manage to follow, they aren’t working as hard as they should be. For all that, the pounding the speakers do to my ear drums isn’t worth it.

I also didn’t like the cool-down / stretch session. Usually they’re the most enjoyable part as they give me a satisfying feel at the end of a session, but I felt it was a bit too rushed. We did a series of things, but we didn’t hold any pose for more than 5 real seconds. I didn’t even feel myself breathe or had a chance to feel the stretches before the trainer moved on. I’m used to my stretches taking at least 8 counts before moving on the the next stretch. I was like, whoa, give me time to savour the moment here.

Apparently, the loud music is something I should get used to in gyms, but at the old gym I was at (maybe because they didn’t have high tech mikes to speak into, and uber quality sound system to play music with), the music was at a very tolerable volume, and you didn’t need it to pump you up, because the trainer in front of you was enough to keep you moving and keep you moving faster when she wants you to.

I’d give my full enjoyment of the Zunic session a 50%.

I would have liked to join the next session and see whether it was different with a different trainer, but my colleagues were debating going to see a basketball game or have dinner. A basketball game was a no for me because I usually end up laughing at the people on the floor and I didn’t feel like laughing at people in my sweaty gym clothes (no, I didn’t bring a chance of clothes). And personally, since I didn’t really know the people playing, I’d rather watch basketball on tv. So we had dinner, where I ate unhealthy things (french fries and hummus with arabic bread–omg, why all carbs?!) and pretty much wasted the effort I had tried to put into the gym session. *laughs*

This Zunic experience was quite worthwhile though, and it’s also makes me realise why I’ll never be as worked-out as other people when I’m in a class session: I catch up too slow to put my all into it. I guess I’ll be sticking to fitness programs which enable me to go at my own pace, which means Kathy Smith is going to be my favourite trainer for a while. ^_^

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Edit: I went and looked at the Les Mills Body Attack site, and the videos on the “learn the moves” section really opened up my eyes slightly. All the moves were quite simple, so I think maybe the tempo might have been a bit too fast in the beginning. And I wish the trainer had taken a bit of time to tell us what the hell we were doing the moves for. Maybe he needed the loud music cos he isn’t used to saying much. Do only trainers in videos tell you all that extra information about what the moves work on?

I kinda wish I’d looked at that video (the gym itself should have shown sample videos like this) before I joined the class, because I would not have joined at all if I’d realised it involved all that bouncing on your feet and that the intensity level was a higher than I’d prefer.

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