Last night I decided to amp up the pain factor of my workout by hitting up a class at Physique 57. This was my first time at the (um, gorgeous) UWS Physique studio, and only my third Physique class ever. I hadn’t been to a class in a couple of months, and just like the first two times, the Beginner class kicked my ass.
My teacher, Sarah M., was adorable and perky, as Physique instructors are wont to be. She was also wearing those Blake Brody in-studio flats that I’m loath to acknowledge I completely covet even though I think they’re fairly ridiculous and unnecessary. She asked if there were any n00bs to the class, if there were any of us who had taken five or fewer classes, and if there were any injuries– score! She also went around the room and took all of our names.
The class itself proceeded pretty much the way I suppose all P57 Beginner classes do: warmup with arms, followed by thighs, seat work, and abs, with stretches and pushups thrown in the mix. I experienced a minor success when at one point in the warmup Sarah shouted out, “If you feel like you could go for another 30 seconds, you need heavier weights!” I took a quick scan and realized that I did indeed feel like I could keep going…I guess the weakling 4-pounders I picked up weren’t doing it for me anymore. Hooray for getting stronger! Next time I’ll be sure to grab the standard 5-pound dumbbells.
However, moving onto thighs and seat quickly erased any delusions of badassery on my part. My quads achieved the requisite burning effect within 10 seconds of starting the thigh section. I had to take more breaks than I would have liked, and during the “curl” portion of abs the assistant came over a couple of times to encourage me to get lower. Sigh. Still, I definitely need to work on my form, so I appreciated all of the corrections I got during the seat and abs sections.
One gripe I have with P57 is the quickness of the class. I know that that’s kind of a selling point of the class- that it maximizes every second of the 57-minute class and keeps your heart rate up by moving quickly from exercise to exercise– but I’m strangely prone to muscle tweaks/cramps and if I don’t move mindfully I tend to do stupid things and hurt myself. My neck suffered a little from rushing from one position to the next (not sure what exactly I did). And due to either dehydration, a form error, plain old weakness, or some other weird reason, my left triceps muscle spasmed pretty badly during the warmup, and I tweaked it again during the last round of tricep dips. Blerg. I also wish we held stretches for longer; it always feels like we’re only doing each stretch for about 2 seconds before moving on. To be honest, a slower barre class might be better for me (perhaps Core Fusion or Bar Method?), but I’m going to stick with Physique for at least a few more classes and see how it goes.
Despite silently cursing my way through basically the entire workout, I liked the class. I thought Sarah’s verbal descriptions and cueing were strong. She came off as genuinely concerned with our form and performance, so that was far better than the slightly fake-nice instructor I had for my second class back in March. We also had an assistant in the room, and this was a boon for sure as both she and Sarah were able to make their way around the room to watch us like hawks and correct our sad beginner’s form as necessary.
Something unfortunate about tonight, unrelated to the class itself, was that I forgot my damn socks again. This happened for my first class as well. So now I’m the slightly-ashamed owner of two pairs of grippy P57 socks– one black, and one gray. (I have to admit, though, the grip is nice.)
Next week I’m aiming high and going for a double dose of Physique: I’m signed up for another class next Tuesday, and then one that Saturday. With any luck I’ll survive.