01/29/2013 05:45 EST | Updated 03/31/2013 05:12 EDT

The Workout Diaries: Fad #12, Balance Ball


I had hoped to start going to fitness classes on the regular (twice a week is good enough, thank you very much) but after the kickboxing class I could barely get up a flight of stairs without crying much less get into another class.

So, in an effort to pretend like the idea of regularly going to a work out class doesn't make me want to barf, I signed up for a few at an all ladies gym. Because YAY PINK WORKOUT STUFF!

I really wanted to only attend the fun, dance-specific classes (remember how great I was at Zumba?) but of course those happen to fall on days of the week that make me want to go home and lie face down on a couch for six hours. Instead, I registered for the balance ball hour and maybe only because I once saw a picture of Carrie Bradshaw doing it in heels. I mean, if she can wear heels and workout, I could be barefoot and kill it right?

As usual, I appear to be the least prepared woman in the class. I'm in leggings (and not even work-out leggings, get your life together, Bianca!) and am barefoot. Everyone else is in a pair of super cute and colourful running shoes. Does it look like I'm a loser newbie or a total rule-breaking badass? Your call.

Balance Ball classes get you working out to fast-paced music and with an assortment of differently sized and weighted balls. Tiny, cute (and inherently evil) pink three pounders, volleyball-sized squishy ones and my personal favourite the huge bouncy ones that you can sit on and giggle at how many times people said balls in the class. (Oh by the way, I'm super juvenile about words that are even the tiniest bit sexual. I'm not proud.)

What you'll need: Workout clothes, water and apparently running shoes. I must have missed that part of the pamphlet.

We lift, we squish, we sit, we bounce and we lift some more. We use actual barbell weights and I wish death upon them and their ilk. We lie on top of the big balls and lean over to do plank pushups. A pox on the ball. We even tuck the tiny weighted balls behind our knees and lift our legs back into the air. I want to slap everyone near me.

Here's a snippet of my inner thoughts:

5:30 pm -- Lotta balls in this class. Teehee.

5:35 -- Jumping jacks I can do...jumping jacks while holding weights balls I cannot do without mentally cursing everyone in my vicinity.

5:36 -- Wow that's an overwhelming burning sensation. Six minutes in. Spectacular.

5:45 -- Squishy ball! I will call you Squishy and you will be mine. You will be my Squishy.

5:50 -- Why am I always in classes with preggos? Why are they still so good at working out? What if she goes into labour? Do we have water to boil and sheets to rip?

5:51 -- Why DO people always ask for ripped sheets? Are regular, sewn together sheets too mainstream? Oh crap...yup 7, 8, 9, 10. Whew that was tough.

6:00 -- WAIT WAIT WAIT. This is a LIVE class? As in people can log in and watch it online? Sweet, merciful Jesus.

6:05 -- Weight should be level with my nipples? Why are my nipples the topic of conversation?

6:15 -- Maybe if I tell her I have hip issues I won't have to lift my leg as high...WHAT?! Did you just say that means I should lift it higher?! Son of a...

6:20 -- All I want to do is sit on the huge ball and bounce happily. Why can't anyone just let me do that?

End Result: Maybe it's because I've done a few killer work outs by now (Oh these guns? Don't even worry about them.) that this class didn't feel as kill-myself-crazy. My heart rate is normal and I'm not grotesquely sweaty but my arms are sore after all that lifting. God I hate those balls! Teehee.

Effort: The instructor let us know that we could slow down, drop the weights or take a water break at any time. As hard as I tried to make it through without doing any of those, I did have to drop the weights at some point or else risk losing my arm mobility. How would I type this?! The effort you put in is entirely up to you which is true of any workout. Except this one specifically did not have someone smacking you if you underperformed.

Return Trip?: While I'll definitely be back to the gym, I don't know that I'll sign up for this specific class. The music wasn't my particular taste and I depend on music to continuously keep me motivated. Also not keeping me motivated: burning in the arms and legs. That made me stabby.

Workout Diaries