If you're keeping track of my progress during this workout trek, then you'll know that my last diary entry was about Zumba. This week my class was a cross between Zumba and....I don't know...skiing? Either way, yet again my uncoordinated self received a rude awakening: I have zero rhythm while working out.
If you haven't heard about Kangoo don't worry, you're in a huge group. Not one person I've told of my escapade knew what I was talking about.
You've probably seen women at trade shows standing in a booth repping the new workout wearing boots that resemble ski shoes with oval springs attached to the bottom. If you haven't, go to more trade shows! Free swag! Anyway those ladies sell Kangoo Jumps boots to be used while you run, walk or generally work out.
To do this class, I could really only go to one place, Kangoo Club Toronto, where classes are taught by the only licensed Kangoo Jumps instructor trainer in Canada: Dorina, a fiery redhead with more energy than I've ever expelled in my entire life. Made especially for people with old injuries or bad joints, Kangoo boots are a form of rebound exercise and minimize the impact working out on hard surfaces has on your joints, neck and back. As big and bulky as ski boots, they're just as heavy and hard to stand in.
The trick to Kangoo boots is to keep moving! Once you get to hopping, you'll never want to stop. Gaining momentum and actually getting a good lift off the ground is an amazing feeling. Dance music and a few choreographed movements later and you'll be begging for a break. This class is tough!
What you'll need: A sports bra (lots of bouncing), comfy pants, socks and water.
As usual, it wasn't until I got to my class that I realized I forgot water and socks. The water wasn't the biggest of deals since the gym is equipped with a fountain but the socks are imperative. Think about it. Not only are you begging for a chaffed leg by letting bare skin rub against the boot but (and this is the bigger evil) those boots are worn by who-knows-who and are sweated in. Gag.
Luckily for me, Dorina the instructor had an extra pair of socks. So I couldn't beg off the class and just watch. Yay. I guess.
Here's a snippet of my inner thoughts:
8:30 p.m. -- Would it be weird to try to get a group bet going on who will eat floor first? Equally weird: betting on myself?
8:35 -- Hey, these bad boys are heavy! This feels like walking for the first time, it's so awkward.
8:36 -- OK so both walking AND standing still are no-gos. Three cheers for sitting?
8:45 -- That's quite an aggressive burn in my lungs there.
8:50 -- Water break! It'd probably be faster if I crawled to the water. It would also be exponentially better if there weren't dudes on treadmills watching me wobble-walk.
8:59 -- Have my movements in life always been this uncoordinated? It's actually painful to watch. Why did anyone think mirrors were a good idea in gyms?
9:10 -- One spring is springy-er than the other. Aaaaaaaaaand now that's the only sensation I feel. Oh and the lung burn, naturally.
9:17 -- Is that bile at the back of my throat or those four brownies I scarfed on the way over?
9:20 -- Great, more butt pops. Those went SO well in my last class.
9:25 -- I wish I could be as happy about anything as Dorina seems to be about these side kicks. Oh, also, I loathe side kicks.
9:30 -- LEG LIFTS? Yup, this is where I "meditate" a.k.a. sit and pretend I'm not dying.
End Result: I have to say, my lungs took the worst beating but I'm pretty confident that ache in my legs will overcome that soon. I'm sweating more than I'm comfortable with admitting and would pay to be doused with cold water. The next morning my legs are a little tight but manageable.
Effort: Tons. Not only is the class fast paced and moving at top speed but those boots are HEAVY. Four pounds each to be exact. I've mentioned before that I'm a pretty solid walker (hold your applause) so I'm confident that if I did zero cardio ever, lifting these boots completely off the floor repetitively would be torture. I mean, it still totally is, but probably not AS bad as it could have been. Maybe.
Return Trip?: Don't get me wrong, I would totally come back to this class. I'd just have to do it AFTER a few stints of cardio to ensure I could keep up. I understand that the more you do it the better you get but the moves and music in this class are just so fun and exhilarating that I don't want to lag behind even for those first few classes. Let me get back to you after a few laps on this treadmill...
Read other entries in the series
First up on my fitness calendar was hot yoga. Regular yoga was out of the question since the prospect of searing heat makes my heart flutter. (No seriously...tropical temperatures are a dream). Setting out to find a yoga studio that offers the sweaty class was easy and I settled on Hot Yoga Toronto in the Annex. You have the option of taking either a verbally taught or silently lead class. Personally, I opted for the class with words...it was going to be hard enough to follow. Read the full story
This week I decided to sign up for a spin class at Quad on King Street West. While I had no illusions about being a yoga newbie, I always like to think that I'm an excellent cyclist. Every summer on schedule, I decide to use a bicycle as my mode of transportation and pout until my dad unhooks his from the garage ceiling and cleans it up for me. Newly pumped and shiny, it will sit in my hallway unused because cycling around the city is dangerous and it's so much more fun to walk. But somehow I still like to think I could cycle if I really wanted to. Read the full story
When I first heard about the Aerial Strength class offered by Brass Vixens on Queen West, I have to admit, I pictured something totally different. Read the full story
When I decided to start writing this column, pole dancing was the first and foremost workout that I wanted to try. I enjoy a good night out at a club and might have even won a dance-off or two. So, yea I like to think that I can dance. I always figured that placed in front of a pole, I'd do better than alright. Read the full story
I should point out that two years ago, I decided hula hooping was the best way to achieve abs so I bought one, set myself up outside, began to hoop and as soon as it dropped to the floor (which was almost immediately) I said "Nope, this sucks" and left the hoop outside. Luckily for me, Toronto has classes to turn me into my pretend alter-ego of a hippie hula girl. Read the full story.
I signed up for a Barreworks mixed level class and am told it's a good choice for a newbie like me. The instructor promises an hour of fun, serious core work and ballet-inspired barre stretches. Only opened since June of this year, the studio is the first of its kind in Canada. Developed from the super popular trend in the US, Barreworks promises a lean dancer's body through muscle sculpting, cardio training, core conditioning and deep stretching. Read the full story.
A few weeks into my quest for the best workout, a workout buddy mentioned a machine called The Reformer. While describing its uses, I could not get the picture of an 18th-century torture device out of my mind. This week I was excited to try out MisFit Studio after being recommended by a friend. The studio can be found in an alleyway in a stunning converted old coach house. I initially signed up for a "Kick Ass Mat" class with no expectations whatsoever. When I arrived I was taken for a tour of the studio (did I mention it's gorgeous?) and came face-to-face with The Reformer. Read the full story.
Zumba. Everyone is always talking about Zumba. Whenever I mention my workout quest to friends and family they practically unite in saying "Zumba! Have you tried Zumba yet? Why haven't you Zumba'd?!" Well, listen up you guys, I finally went out and tested Zumba. Read the full story.
If you haven't heard about Kangoo don't worry, you're in a huge group. Not one person I've told of my escapade knew what I was talking about. You've probably seen women at trade shows standing in a booth repping the new workout wearing boots that resemble ski shoes with oval springs attached to the bottom. If you haven't, go to more trade shows! Free swag! Anyway those ladies sell Kangoo Jumps boots to be used while you run, walk or generally work out. Read the full story.
Months and months ago, I attended a show in Toronto where Billy Blanks was appearing for a motivational speech as well as autograph signing. For those of you who don't follow the lifestyles of the fit and fabulous (of which I am not, nor do I follow) Billy Blanks invented the workout known as Tae Bo. A fusion of tae kwon do and boxing, the workout is done to a hip hop soundtrack for extra energetic movements. There's punching, kicking, stepping, crunching and a lot more. Since 1975, Blanks has touted the workout as the "future of fitness" and comes complete with an incredible backstory that made me tear up during his speech. So I bought the DVD. And got it autographed. Sometimes I hate me. Read the full story.
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