Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I did something new and exciting yesterday—I taught my first exercise class! The usual instructor had a scheduling conflict, so I agreed to step in for her. And I was completely terrified despite having plenty of time to calm my nerves. I'm not necessarily certified to teach group fitness, though my personal training certification supplies me with enough background to teach safely. But would it really translate? I had no idea. But I certainly was not about to look stupid, so I put on a smile and harnessed all the confidence I could find. Then I gave it my best. Thanks to some detailed help from the usual instructor, I think it went well.

It was a Tabata class—intense interval training that consists of performing eight different exercises in a circuit for 30 seconds each, repeating it three times, which totals 12 minutes of consistent interval training. Sound easy? Oh, HO! Did I forget to mention there are three separate circuits in the class? And that we move right into the next circuit after we complete the previous? Not only did I have to teach this class, I had to participate. Needless to say, I was sweating bullets. And I think everyone else was, too. So that's good.

Now, I'm no expert on the history of Tabata, but a discussion with the usual instructor taught me that the Tabata method of training promotes increased performance benefits. Particularly when it comes to endurance. Tabata increases your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn simply to exist) for an extended period of time after your workout, more than strength training and long-distance running. Translation—it's the workout that keeps on giving, long after you've left the gym.

Does your gym offer Tabata classes? If so, take one and let me know what you think!

In fact, take any class every so often. It'll keep you from getting bored, or perhaps help you bust through a rut. Besides, classes can be really fun. I know I'm looking forward to teaching again soon. Sounds like I might be scheduled to teach a few come Fall. We'll see. And we'll share, too. Keep reading!

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