Part of my kick-off-the-year-right plan was that I scheduled as many classes that I was excited about as possible around New Year’s Day. This might have been a slightly over-ambitious plan since it included 3 spin classes with my favorites at Flywheel (Jesse, Alison, and of course, Holly), a new barre class and THEN rounding it out at As 1 on Tuesday night with a session taught by George Vafiades. I LOVE As 1 – I think it is one of the best workouts in the city but, admittedly, after all of those classes, I was a little nervous walking in on Tuesday night. I know how tough a class can be and I was just getting over the sore from the Flybarre and Flywheeling adventures that I rang in the New Year with.
This class was packed for the small As 1 space, although, everyone got sorted into their own corner of the mat quickly. While George got all of the stragglers situated into their spots (myself included – damn MTA), Lisa, another trainer there, led the warm up. She also teaches a yoga class at As 1 on Saturdays, and it was interesting that some of the standard warm up moves actually did feel more yoga-like when she was teaching them. Then, George took over, telling us with a mischievous glint in his eye, that I now know means trouble, that we were going to be doing a “Tabata” workout. Turns out that Tabata is basically a workout where you go full-out for 20 seconds and then rest for 10, for a total of 4 minutes per round. It is high intensity training at its most extreme – which I love.
There were 4 minute rounds of weighted squats, burpees, back rows and dead lifts. The ‘easiest’ round was one that alternated between push-ups and sit-ups – since it was the only round that by the end didn’t make me feel like just falling over. It is truly amazing how LONG four minutes can seem! The worst was easily the 8 minute alternating split squat section (4 minutes per side, apparently) – which left me really shaky by the end! The 4-minute rounds didn’t end at that point but we moved onto the props section – box jumps, jump ropes, wind bikes, stair running and my favorite thing of all time, the ropes! I LOVE whacking those ropes on the ground…I know I’ve said this before…but it really is just the best sound and was the only round I wished was longer! We ended the Tabata with another 4 minutes of burpees and by the end, mine were vaguely pathetic but I did them and didn’t fall over – a win in my book! Class always ends with some foam rollering, which I think makes all the difference. My legs are sore but not ‘whimpering-sitting-down’ sore, like they should have been with that many split squats!
The class flew by. I am always amazed at As 1, how a class so challenging can seem to go by in the blink of an eye. I love being pushed like that and challenged to do more. George is so good at assessing everyone and keeping an impressive eye on everyone’s form. You know you are in really good hands while you are being challenged to do more and work harder then you ever thought you could.
(Top image: Internet goodness, Bottom image: George at the rope station from As 1’s Facebook page)