During the past five weeks at The Ryersonian I’ve spent my fair share of time at the gym, sweating it out to give students some information on the classes offered here at Ryerson. I’ve tried various classes to include all types of workouts. So, take a look to see my recommendations for every type of gym-goer.
Strength trainer: Kettlebell
Kettlebell was the first class I tried out at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. If your workouts usually centre on classic weight training, I highly recommend you check out the kettlebell classes over the summer.
If you’re mainly concentrating your exercises on strength, then you may not be getting enough of a cardiovascular workout. Instructor Stephanie Yankovich said kettlebells help in both those departments. “It’s highly metabolic … kettlebells are great strength tools,” she said.
For the same reason, this class makes a great introduction into weight training if you usually stick to the treadmills at the gym. You still get to burn calories, but get the muscle workout too. By increasing your muscle mass, your metabolism goes up.
Anxious type: Yoga
Maybe you’re picking up this paper as a new Ryerson student and are experiencing the stresses most of us have gone through when first starting university. Or maybe you’re like me, and can find yourself in your head a little too much. Either way, a yoga class is a great way to release anxiety and release tension through various stretches.
I’ve found that maintaining a semi-regular yoga practice helps me handle the stress of school and work much more easily.
Don’t worry if it’s new to you. Yoga at the gym is a great way to introduce yourself to the exercise in a non-intimidating environment. Even instructor Bryan D’Souza once felt that way.
“When I started doing yoga at school at Laurier, I would have never entered a yoga studio,” he said.
Cardio addict: Cardio pump
I can’t even wrap my head around running for more than half an hour. I have to use as many distractions as possible to keep me on a treadmill for that long. But, I know there are people out there that can run 10 km like it’s a walk in the park. If you’re one of these people, you could be missing out on some basic strength training for your muscles.
It’s for that reason I recommend the cardio pump class. Not only are you able to get your heart rate up, burning calories and keeping your heart healthy, you’re also forced to use your muscles.
“I make sure to combine balance, agility and strength in the workout,” said Yankovich, who also teaches this class.
She makes sure to use different equipment and intervals to get a full-body workout. Step away from the treadmill or your favourite running route and into this class to make sure you work your muscles as much as your heart.
Lazy exerciser: Spinning
You go to the gym, warm up on the elliptical, walk over to the weights, do a couple exercises, take a break, walk over for water. Hey! You know that girl right?
Next thing you know, you’ve been at the gym for an hour and you’ve managed to spend 15 minutes in the change room, 20 minutes talking and 10 minutes dawdling in between exercises — leaving you with 15 minutes of actually doing what you came to do in the first place.
Come on, we all know we do it. If you find yourself doing this regularly, do yourself a favour and head to a spin class.
It’s impossible to phone it in if there’s a room full of 20 people, some of them your parents’ (and even grandparents’) age, working harder than you.
It’s also hard to take it easy when the instructor is shouting, and dance remixes are blasting through the stereo. I’m serious, it’s like you’re in a trance when you’re in that room on that bike. Just beware. If your experience is anything like mine, your behind will feel bruised for, like, three days. I wish I was exaggerating.
Starting from scratch: ViPR
Maybe you’re thinking you should hit the gym before beach season, or maybe you just want to start feeling healthier. Either way, trying to begin an exercise plan can be extremely overwhelming. Just a simple search online will bring up conflicting information and workout plans that often aren’t from properly certified sources.
That’s why I think a class like ViPR is a good place to start.
Not only is it a workout both cardio and strength wise, but each exercise is done at your own pace. It also uses pretty routine movements that anyone can do. Especially if you’ve never done any weight training, a ViPR class is a good introduction to basic exercises like lunges and burpees, ensuring that you’re doing everything safely and with proper form.
It’s been a fun and sweaty few weeks reviewing fitness classes for you. Hope you’re all not (still) as sore as I am.