If you had asked me a year ago if I knew what a Body Works Plus Abs class was, I would have told you it sounds like something to avoid at all costs. Now, I’m a moderate gym user who goes a few times a week. But I’ve had a lot of non-starters when it came to regular exercise; canceled gym memberships, workout clothes gathering dust in my dresser, yoga mat stashed in the back of the closet. I had to literally drag myself to the gym and I would go alone, put my headphones in, and chug dully along on the elliptical.

It was a sad sight.

Then, I discovered group workout classes, and I finally found a fun and challenging exercise experience that I actually felt motivated to do.  Whether it’s Yoga, Zumba®, or Pilates, Group Fitness classes are mini-communities that are forces of positivity and personal growth.

That’s what led me to the Body Works Plus Abs class at my local LA Fitness one Tuesday night. I had skipped a few sessions, so I was ready to work hard and push myself. The class opened with some light stretching, followed by digging in with everyone’s favorite – squats. Upbeat tunes blasted through the speakers as we moved up and down, followed by lightly jogging around the room to stretch our legs; our sneakers pounding against the floor to the beat of the music.

Then, our instructor broke us into pairs and had us work out together. My partner and I high-fived our way through a series of exercises: planks, sit-ups, lunges, and everyone’s second favorite – burpees. Fully feeling the effects of the high-energy leg workout, we had just conquered, we sat down on our mats and moved onto the second part of the class, the abs. For this section, our instructor took us through 10 ab exercises in 10 minutes, one minute per exercise.

This section of the class is the true test of how much you push yourself. We grinded through the fifth exercise, working to maintain the same amount of energy we had in the first exercise. It was exhilarating and hard, yet I felt empowered. What makes Group Fitness classes so appealing is that you have the energy of the rest of the room working with you to push yourself towards the finish line.

And by the finish line, I mean a good long stretch as soon as the last crunch is done. We laid on our stomachs and arched our backs into Cobra pose; slower, more relaxing music played above us then.

 

There is truly no greater satisfaction than the feeling after an intense workout; I now understand why cats and dogs love doing it so much.

 

What I love most about group workout classes is the camaraderie that comes with them and the LA Fitness experience is no exception. The instructors are energetic and supportive, you get to meet more of the LA Fitness community, and it’s a solid workout whether you’re looking to relax with some Yoga or shake it out with Zumba®.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the schedule here.


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