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May 14/13

Triple sweat: Three new Little Rock workouts to try Posted by: Melissa Tucker | 0 Comments

How’s that spin class working out for you? Getting tired of the same old Zumba routines?
If you’re fantasizing about one of those shiny new workout regimens in town, we’ve tried them all so you don’t have to. Beginner or beast-moder, decide which one is best for you with this handy-dandy look at three new or relatively new workouts in central Arkansas.

BARRE WORKOUTS:
So, you’ve always wanted to look like a dancer? Barre workouts might get you there, if you’re already tall and slender.
Honestly, any time I hear a workout purveyor say her method will give you “long, lean muscles,” I picture my 5-foot-4-inch frame on one of those medieval torture racks, being stretched out like bubble gum. I really don’t see how that’s a legitimate workout claim. You can’t make my muscles any longer than my bones. Use your heads, Little Rock exercisers, and sprint away for some decent cardio.
You want the rundown on barre workouts, anyway? Well, they typically use your own bodyweight and very small, tedious movements to tire out your muscles. Here’s this workout in a nutshell: Hold your leg out behind you until you’re so bored, the ACT test sounds like a good time.
The pros: It’s over in an hour, and if you’re a total noob, it’ll make you stronger to a point. Well, maybe, I’m being a bit too harsh. It’s a very good beginner’s workout, with plenty of planking, stretching and mild sweating. Give it a shot. It could be your bag. I could be a small-minded, lowest-common-denominator weirdo who needs pyrotechnics and car crashes to be happy. You don’t know me.
Most places — PureBarre and ZenSpin — will give you a week for free to try it out. If you like it, it’ll be about $100 a month.

 

Kettlebells: Small, but deadly.

CROSSFIT:
The old joke goes, “How do you know if someone does Crossfit?”
“They’ll tell you.”
So, it’s not exactly new — Crossfit is nearly a decade old — but it’s gaining strength in Little Rock with a new gym in practically every neighborhood. The addictive program is characterized mostly by a Workout of the Day — or WOD, pronounced “wad” — and high-intensity strength training. In short, if you’ve never made sweat rain from your head, get ready. You’ll soon have a puddle at your feet, and you’ll love/hate every second. It’s cardio combined with strength training and a heavy dose of masochism.
This is what it feels like (for me) to read the Crossfit WOD:
5 ROUNDS FOR TIME
10 grizzly bear tosses. (Girls can use a baby grizzly!)
6 spidermans — where you scale the side of a building like a superhero
4 school bus pulls, 100-meters
1 coffee run, where you sprint around the block carrying a boiling hot pot of coffee and then smash it over your head.
I actually laugh when I read the day’s workout. The way you laugh when you find yourself in a crosswalk with a trash truck speeding toward you. And then you think, “Eh, maybe it won’t hurt too much.”
The pain and pay-off are there, and if you stick with it, you’ll join an elite group of people with “the best asses in Little Rock,” as one local gym owner likes to say. And you’re gonna want to back that thing up.
If you like it, it’ll be about $100 a month.

AERIAL SILKS:
Have you ever wanted to be a performer in Cirque du Soleil? Well, aerial silks is about as close as your gonna get, chubs. It’s two strands of very strong silk suspended from the ceiling. You hang on to them and wrap up like a ballerina or a drunk gorilla, depending on your skill level. Don’t forget to point your toes, monkey. It’s prettier that way.
Remember when you climbed trees and slid down poles during fifth grade recess? You’ll feel like you’re reliving that experience, but with plenty of soreness the next day.
This is a workout that’s challenging enough to increase your balance and overall strength — especially in your hands and forearms from gripping the silks — but it probably won’t raise your heart rate enough to get you sweaty. Take it for a test run at Recreation Studios or Absolute Athlete.
If you like it, expect to pay roughly $10 to $20 per class.

Photos courtesy of arshia khan


Melissa Tucker is the Little Rock editor for Bourbon and Boots. She also recommends roller derby as an exercise program.


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