As a result of my shoulder injury, I spent a better part of the fourth quarter trying different Charlotte area workouts before ultimately determining that as I go forward with my athletic endeavors I need to be very deliberate with my exercises. What exactly does that mean? Well, I need to know what’s going to happen. I need to know that at any workout “class” I attend there is an instructor willing to listen to my background prior to class starting (so necessary adjustments can be made in little to no time). I need to stop doing too much because it’s “fun”. I need to prioritize mobility and stretching.
SmartCore Fitness did a promotion with OrangeTheoryFitness during the month of December. Some of the trainers and members from the Charlotte OrangeTheory locations tried a workout at SmartCore and vice versa. I was not able to attend the SmartCore group session at OrangeTheory, so I picked a random morning to go when it fit my schedule. Lucky for me, fellow Flywheel instructor, Meghan Lee, just happened to be there as well.
I attended a workout at the Quail Corners location. Based on the way the studio is set up, I was able to see what the class before me was doing prior to my workout starting. Rower. Upper body. Running. I immediately felt a pit in my stomach due to anxiety that my shoulder would not hold up well on the rower. That said, as soon as the earlier class let out, I made my way into the workout area to approach the instructor about my injury. My biggest problem with the studio happened in that moment. He offered me a few suggestions, but his ultimate answer was that we would figure it out should the need arise. I guess that answer is okay. However, for a person that wants to keep up with the rest of class, this was not the answer that I wanted to hear. Heart rate is key, if my shoulder wasn’t going to perform, I was worried that I would have to spend several minutes (watching my heart rate drop), while I tried to figure out what to do.
Lucky for me, my shoulder outperformed my expectations. After a rough start, the instructor for this class, made up for my concern. Over the 60 minute class, he regularly asked me how my shoulder was holding up, checked my form, and ultimately played some of the best damn music I have heard outside of Flywheel. I truly felt like dancing on the treadmill. He was a great motivator and the atmosphere was positive. Here’s the thing. I attended a day when the focus was endurance. We spent a better part of forty minutes rowing and running. We did not do a lot of strength at all. I get so much cardio through teaching at Flywheel and running on my own, that I was a little disappointed. My takeaway? Study the schedule and make sure you go on a day that you will maximize your benefit.
I expect you may see me here on a bi-weekly basis as I work to build speed and get pushed through the winter weather. The staff at the studio was so welcoming. The setup was clean. The price isn’t cheap, but nothing good is. If you are looking for something different. A push – in a good way – you will get your money’s worth here.
STAX Women’s Only Total Body
I gained ALOT of confidence in the workload that my shoulder could sustain after my workout at OrangeTheory. I was afraid to press strength at home. It took a competitive atmosphere to realize that I could get back to where I had been. That said, in an effort to take on a new form of strength workouts, I decided to try Emily Breeze Ross’s women’s only total body workout at STAX.
I have never jumped on the Crossfit bandwagon. I don’t know that I ever will. Overhead lifting was a big part of my training in college, and it really just makes me feel uncomfortable. When I saw Breeze’s post about a new option that was self described as “This isn’t a crossfit class”, I was intrigued. Upon reaching out to her directly, I found out that childcare would be offered for free. Excuse me? I was willing to give it a try.
The STAX facility itself is not your typical Crossfit “box”. For one, it’s incredibly clean. It also offers plenty of space for exercises other than those utilizing rigs. In one hour a few things happen – I truly respect this.
- Proper warm up – SO many of the workouts that we do these days are full throttle from the start. Breeze is certified in Thai Yoga and mobility. The first 10-15 minutes is geared towards warming up/stretching the primary muscle groups that will be exercised during the workout. LOVE this piece.
- Skill practice – Specific walkthrough on the basics and advanced pieces of a prescribed exercise. Each individual is monitored for form and given a chance to try several modifications.
- “MetCon” – metabolic conditioning. The heart of the workout. Intense, sometimes timed, workout that represents the meat of the workout. SERIOUS calorie burn. I wear a heart rate monitor. In one of the most recent “MetCons”, I burned upwards of 400 calories in less than 30 minutes. I also got solid strength work in.
I am more and more impressed with Breeze every day. I grew up with her. I lived with her in Charlotte. I have seen what she has done with herself, and I am SO proud. She knows how to train. She knows how to motivate. She makes being pregnant look easy. Aside from her, the women that I have met through the workouts are incredible – encouraging, sometimes moms, strong, confident, and just plain nice. Staff is taking pictures as we train. So many different fitness levels, yet all getting a workout done at the same time.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Let’s see. I’m still regularly doing SmartCore exercises at my house. I am still doing my physical therapy at home. I am running two days a week, and I am now teaching five regularly scheduled classes at Flywheel per week. I used to joke about how I probably needed to stretch and work on mobility, but I didn’t have time to. The time is now. I used to take exercises classes or go for runs with people for “fun”. Really, fear of missing out. My body can no longer sustain that lifestyle to be functional. To be a fun mom. I’m being picky, because I have to be. Don’t take offense. I still love to fit things like OrangeTheory, a run in the park with friends, FiA and a random barre class in when I know it won’t affect whatever else I am doing that day.