Sports

 

Photo illustration by Julia Pankova

Student reviews Everything in One fitness class

AS I SIT down to write this review, I am wincing and grimacing while I try to find the gentlest way to lower my aching body onto the couch. This week I attended the Everything in One workout offered by the University of Ottawa’s Sports Services. The advertising pitch they use to entice students claims, “Using a variety of types of cardio with intense interval bursts and resistance training, this class will challenge all of your energy systems!” Challenge accepted.

Nerves of steel 

I was nervous going into the class, because rumour on campus was that it is not for the weak. A nurse giving me a shot in Grade 7 told me I had the softest muscle she’d ever seen, so I was worried about being in a little over my head.

When I arrived at the classroom, people were getting out mats, stability balls, and giant dumbbells. This did nothing to calm my nerves, since I had no idea what was going on and everyone seemed like experts. Thankfully, the other class participants were friendly and quickly pointed out what I needed to get and where I could find it.

Don’t let the intimidation factor freak you out. Like every other class I’ve attended so far, there was a huge range of abilities in the room.

 

You want me to do what now?

The Everything in One workout goes through sets of exercises that target specific muscles in sequence, while also getting your heart rate pumped right up. I recognized a number of the moves—wall sits and tricep extensions to name a couple—but for the most part I was working muscles I didn’t know I had.

A drawback to the class for beginners is that a number of the moves are very advanced. Without any modified versions of certain moves, I was easily discouraged, and because we progressed fairly quickly from move to move, I’m not sure how I would be able to work on any of the moves by myself at home to improve and get ready for the next class.

The advantages to the class are also important to mention. The instructor pushed each of us to go as far as possible. Her encouragement was enough motivation for me to stay in a squat for much longer than I ever have before. There were way more reps to every move than I expected, but pushing past what you think you can do is really what’s going to get you in the best shape.

The final verdict

While attending this workout class likely won’t become a part of my weekly routine, I’m glad I went, and I definitely recommend you try it out at least once. The instructor knew a lot of her students by name, and after class I overheard her speaking with a couple of girls about how to improve their forms and where to buy Ezekiel bread. I might try another one at some point, if I ever desire a jolt to my system and want to feel an incredible burn. And, you know, if I ever manage to get off this couch.

—Ali Schwabe