Britta Schiemann | Fulcrum Contributor
If you are blessed with a student gym membership, it’s unlikely that you would ever consider going to a gym off campus, but sometimes they can be exactly what you need to mix up your fitness routine. If you’ve never heard of Greco, I should clarify that it isn’t a fancy Italian restaurant like its name might suggest. Greco is a circuit training facility where you take part in 45-minute classes aimed to burn loads of calories, make you sweat like no tomorrow, and get you into the best shape of your life.
I tried out a Greco Lean and Fit class this week, simply because I like feeling the burn now and again. What a burn it was—these classes are not meant for the weak of heart or mind. I worked hard and sweated even harder, but it was all worth it in the end.
Here is a rundown on circuit training. Essentially, you complete three rotations of eight different training stations in a span of 45 minutes. Two trainers stand by to provide tips and pointers, but they also provide motivation by intimidation, in the form of yelling.
The word intimidation definitely sums up what I was feeling when I first stepped through Greco’s front doors. Most of the participants were muscular men who were obviously regulars and knew what they were doing. I tried to look confident, but I felt like a preschooler who was scared of the big kids.
The good thing is that the trainers treat everyone like equals, and explain everything as if everyone is there for the first time. They take you through all the different stations—including kettlebell swings, pushups, crunches, and goblet squats, to name a few. You are told what you need to do, how often you need to do it, and what the proper form is before everyone begins. At first the stations didn’t seem too hard. I recognized all of the exercises from past workouts, so I started off thinking, “I got this.”
I didn’t have it.
My eager mentality stuck around for a whole 15 minutes until I completed my first rotation. Everything—and I mean everything—in my body was burning. My arms felt like Jell-O, my legs were shaking, and I was sweating through my shirt.
Regardless of how I felt, though, I knew that I had to keep going—partially because I was having fun, but mostly because there was a trainer yelling at me and I was, quite frankly, scared of him.
As we were all completing the final rotation, the trainers pushed us even further to do a combination of high-knees to burpies. I was beat—and one of the trainers knew that. Instead of letting me take a break or call it quits, he decided to stand directly beside me and yell at me to go faster and higher. This marked the beginning of our love-hate relationship. Half of me loved him for motivating me to keep going, and the other half of me—the angry, mortified half—wanted to punch him. Endorphins must have gotten the best of me when the class ended, because I forgot about his drill-sergeant ways and gave him a high five—the only way I could thank him for not letting me quit, as I was very out of breath at this point.
After the workout, some stretches, and a smoothie, I felt awesome. It was one of the toughest classes I have ever done, but it felt like I had really accomplished something. So, Greco, I’ll be seeing you and your drill sergeants again soon.