We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Besides being assigned grueling trips, daily links, editing posts, and other responsibilities like a day job , I have been assigned this whole fitness/conditioning research task. Working for Maggie is a tough job and the pay sucks.
Now Maggie has assigned me to try out some of my new gym's 6 am athleticism classes. Despite being in much better shape and stronger than I was 2 years ago, this turned out to be a serious challenge. One hour of mixed calisthenics with NO RESTING. The no resting to catch your breath was the killer. Also, I hit the wall with the number of Burpees with push-ups and jumps. The hour included 50 total mixed sorts of burpees, and at some point I could no longer get my knees up under me. Failure. I was not the only one having a little trouble with that, but almost the only one. I struggled with all of the sit-ups too. Proof that I am not yet as fit as I need to be - it was a good test. My only ego-supporting thought was that lots of middle-aged guys would have a very tough time completing this class at all.
There were about 40 people in the class, a third men - regular guys, not lifters. All except one guy had some grey-hairs and one was a fit 75 year-old who beat me in one of the 300-meter rows. The gals aged about 35-65, all very gung-ho. Not all were svelte but they were strong and agile women who certainly exercised often, probably almost daily. Horrible thumping music but I understand why. The trainer wanted us to exercise to the beat but I could not keep that pace most of the time. All weights were 5-10 lb dumbells - no heavies but it was the reps that got you.
Details below the fold -
The routine was to break up into teams of four and to go through the rotations. What sorts of things? Four sets of 300 meter sprints on the rowers, four sets of hand-weight squats, 4 sets of squats and lift, 4 sets of jumping squats, 3 sets of sit-ups, 3 sets of side dumbell lifts, 3 sets of floor overhead presses, 3 sets of mountain-climbers, i set jumping jacks, 3 sets of hand weight lunges, 4 sets of slapping planks, 4 sets of side planks, 4 sets of planks with dumbell rows, 5 sets of misc. burpees, and other similar things until the hour was up.
Most of the others were regulars so I had to learn the drill, but that was ok. In life, I have gotten comfortable feeling stupid or awkward. I had done most but not all of the exercises before but the routine and the pace were new.
Well, I survived it but not gracefully. Humbling - but humbling is good food for the soul.
My conclusion: Surprisingly intense general conditioning/cardio workout. The only true strength component was for core - this sort of thing is not designed to build strength. Quite a bit more difficult than I expected. The trainer did correct technical errors, which was good. If my bad shoulder can tolerate the rower and the burpee-push ups, two similar classes would be a good addition to my regular weekly cardio and strength routines. Plus they are free with the gym membership so it seems stupid not to do it and try to work towards a level of competence with it. I love/hate a physical challenge.
Two additional comments: If I had not been working on strength for a while I would not have had the strength to complete many of these sets of calisthenics. Thus it all works together. Also, my most excellent weight trainer encourages these sorts of classes as complementary to weight training. With him, I usually do 45 minutes of heavy weight plus about 15 minutes of calis. He says doing these cardio classes twice a week will dramatically ramp up my fitness level and eliminate the now-trivial amount of body fat I have left (which I don't really care about much but being lean and mean is rewarding).
Who actually takes care of the farm on a day-to-day basis? There must be cows to milk, chickens to be fed, various weeds and brush kept down. I hope you guys are not slacking and making Maggie do all the real work.