If the mere thought of doing 29 workout classes in 29 days makes you cringe, you’re exactly where I was before taking up this self-imposed Classpass fitness challenge.
But the challenge wasn't about losing weight, gaining muscles or toning up. It was all about adding the fun back into fitness and embracing a wide variety of workouts. Admit it, you've found yourself stuck in a fitness rut before; same gym, same classes, same same same. It gets old really fast. This time I was going to attend all the classes I previously avoided due to admin costs or the fear of failing. Enter Classpass to save all my fitness woes!
Classpass is a fitness membership that gives you access to thousands of classes Australia-wide. Instead of paying a membership to one gym, you pay a membership to attend a variety of gyms and classes to ensure you mix it up. When I heard it was launching in Brisbane, I jumped at the opportunity to try it. This was my chance to experiment with an interesting, challenging and perhaps a little out-there fitness journey.
Most importantly, I wanted something FUN. I’ve never been a treadmill or gym membership girl, so the Classpass app excited me with the amount of class options for all different types of fitness goals.
But before I started, I knew I needed to do a few things:
1. Stock up on enough activewear to last me through the month. CHECK!
2. Find a fitness buddy willing to be as crazy and daring as me. CHECK (thanks, Sarah!)
3. Clear my diary and make a commitment to really give this a go. CHECK!
Because Sarah and I are clearly insane, we ended up doing more than one class on some days. And sometimes we visited the same class more than once. And let me tell you, we pushed ourselves and uncovered some real gems.
1. Beginner’s Hip Hop at Mad Dance House, Brisbane CBD
Because this challenge is all about loving fitness again, we thought we’d jump in with a dance class. I'd NEVER done a dance class before, and after plenty of nervous giggles and looking totally lost, I was pretty proud of how my little Rhianna Work routine turned out.
2. BounceFit trampoline class at Bounce Inc., Tingalpa
How hard could jumping on a trampoline be? Ummm, very hard, it turns out! We were out of breath after the warm-up... just the warm up! By the middle of the session, we were bouncing off the walls and reliving our childhood.
3. Raw Power Yoga at Raw Power Yoga, Red Hill
There are a lot of yoga studios on the Classpass app. To be honest, we reckon it’s probably to encourage you to get a proper stretch down between all your other workouts! Boy, did we need this class after our Bouncefit class.
4. Raw Focus at Raw Power Yoga, Red Hill
I enjoyed my last class so much that I booked in again, but due to a fault on my app I accidentally joined an intermediate class and didn’t realise until everybody started doing headstands. Oops.
5. Hip Hop Flow at Stretch Yoga, Holland Park
Did you know hip-hop yoga was a thing?! When we saw it on the app we saw it as a fun way to start a Friday. It’s more relaxed than regular yoga, with Ne-Yo and the Biebs playing while you flow through the yoga poses.
6. Group Active at VIDA Yoga Fitness Dance, Annerley
I was drawn to this class as it was advertised as having great music and simple exercises, mixing dance, yoga and strength training using body weight. Sounds fun, right? It certainly gave my Saturday morning a peppy start!
7. Group Fitness at IMPACT Your Life Health & Fitness, New Farm
I’m a HUGE fan of outdoor fitness and when I saw this New Farm Park class listed as “not a hardcore boot camp, but very challenging” I couldn’t have clicked the booking link any quicker. We did short bursts of exercise and it was great to be out in the fresh air. And as a bonus, every time I felt like I couldn't manage something, there were lots of distracting things to look at while I tried to forget the pain.
8. Cardio Express at All4Fitness, Cannon Hill
This class was intense! It squeezed so many things into the 30-minute session, with only very minimal breaks between exercises. I left with a face resembling a tomato, but I felt accomplished.
9. Small Group Resistance Training at K2 Transformation, Coopers Plains
With the class capped at five, I was really guided with my form and technique through each strength exercise with the dumbbells, resistance bands and my own body weight.
10. Boot Camp at Red Frog Fitness, Milton
It was time for another outdoor boot camp and this one was conveniently located near my house, at Suncorp Stadium. I walked up the stadium stairs to the session and my first thought was “Oh no! I hope we don’t have to run those.” Luckily, I had missed the stair session earlier in the week, but it was probably equally as challenging!
11. Circuit Training at All4Fitness, Cannon Hill
The short classes at All4Fitness really appealed to me. It may have been only 30 minutes but I left feeling as though I’d had an hour-long session – so intense!
12. Barre Attack at Dance Pointe, Salisbury
I was definitely not prepared for all the badass ballerina exercises in this class! I have never had my legs shake so much. The class had a really diverse mix of ladies and was very welcoming.
13. BounceFit trampoline class at Bounce Inc., Tingalpa
I was NOT going to let this class defeat me. Heck, if kids can do it so can I. The BounceFit classes work your core and all-over muscles and lift your heart rate way up. While it’s very challenging, it’s also very fun and you can even have some free time to practise your flips into the airbags after the class.
14. Beginner’s Hip Hop at Mad Dance House, Brisbane CBD
These classes are so addictive. And that’s coming from someone who usually feels as though they could have two left feet. It feels so amazing to leave a class with a routine down-pat. Dancing really does work up a sweat, while working your brain and allowing you to meet some really fascinating people. I still won’t be busting it out on the dance floor time anytime soon; I’ll leave that to the classroom.
15. Tabata at All4Fitness, Cannon Hill
I felt like such a fitness newbie when I had to Google what Tabata actually was. For those playing at home, it’s a combination of exercises with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds rest. “But 20 seconds isn’t very long”, you might say. WRONG. SO WRONG. It feels like forever and really gets you in the zone.
16. Restorative Yoga at Brisbane Yoga Space, Paddington
We headed to this class straight after our intense Tabata class and were greeted with a candlelit yoga room with plenty of room to spread out. This very gentle Hatha class had a strong focus on deep supportive holds and relaxation. I’m almost certain I nodded off and was awoken by the bell charm used by the instructor. It was so relaxing!
17. Hip Hop Flow at Stretch Yoga, Holland Park
This class was still fairly new at Stretch Yoga and so this time we got a class all to ourselves! The instructor even came over to each of us during the class to give us temple massages using some kind of oil that was lavender-y and amazing. Heaven.
18. Spin at Healthworks Fitness Centre, Teneriffe
I’ve done a spin class once before and REALLY didn’t think it was me, but that was more than five years ago so I’d thought it was time to reassess. While it was a great class, being on a stationary bike was still just not for me. Give me the wide open roads!
19. Boxing Boot Camp at Positive Existence Personal Training, Mitchelton
My hand-eye co-ordination is not the best; I was constantly worried I’d slip and punch someone instead of the pads! Thankfully, I successfully finished the workout without injuring anyone. Well, I felt really sore, but I suppose that’s expected. Even writing this is making me have sweaty flashbacks.
20. Raw Power Yoga at Raw Power Yoga, Red Hill
This class soothed my aching body after BounceFit, so it was a no-brainer to book back in after my boxing boot camp. The studio is so luxe and fully air-conditioned. I could live there. Seriously.
21. Pilates Mat Class at The Body Refinery, New Farm
I love Pilates and a mat class like this one is great for building core strength. I would have liked to try this studio’s reformer Pilates classes, but they never seemed to be a time I was free to try it. Sad face.
22. MetCon at Personal Best, Toowong
How could I not book in a class that says your heart rate will be displayed on the TV screen during your session by using a H7 heart rate sensor?! This totally spurred me on to work harder. How high can a heart rate go before you pass out?
23. Group Fitness at IMPACT Your Life Health & Fitness, New Farm
Another morning out in the sunshine… doing burpees. OK, so the burpees don’t sound too appealing but exercising outdoors in New Farm Park makes it almost painless… almost.
24. Barre Tone at Barre Body, Brisbane CBD
I was prepared for the shakes this time, but this class had different toning exercises than the last class. I can certainly see why barre is beginning to become so popular in Brisbane: it’s so simple to follow, while still packing a serious workout.
25. Restorative Yoga at Brisbane Yoga Space, Paddington
After another big week of classes, I thought I’d treat myself to another relaxing, nap-inducing yoga class! My muscles felt so relaxed and I had one of the best night’s sleeps I’ve had in a long time.
26. Boot Camp at Red Frog Fitness, Milton
Being in a group setting really motivates me to work harder, and by the end of this session of jump squats, lunges, running bursts, planks, pull-ups and L-sits I was ready to crawl back into bed and start the day again. At the end of each session, you’re offered a red frog lolly for your efforts, which may be counterproductive, but sweets are my weak spot so I totally took one.
27. Rip in like Rambo at Hammer Athletic, East Brisbane
OK, so I missed this class because I forgot I booked it. But seriously, that name! The class probably would have defeated me though, as it’s a high intensity interval class with a focus on 90 per cent max effort for each exercise. Maybe I subconsciously missed this one on purpose.
28. Beginner’s Hip Hop at Mad Dance House, Brisbane CBD
Third time’s a charm, right? Every time we go to this class there’s a different instructor, and for me the difference in their teaching methods, favourite moves and song choice really changes the experience. At the end of every class when we get split up into groups and perform the routine for each other, I have a massive grin on my face. The dance community at MAD is so strong and welcoming.
AND LASTLY (phew!)
29. Bouncefit trampoline class at Bounce Inc., Tingalpa
We’re really getting the hang of this class now! Even if the kids continue to outdo us on the trampolines. THEY HAVE NO FEAR. The more you do this class the more confidence you get to bounce higher, faster and with less fear of hurting yourself. It was the perfect class to end this challenge on, as it sums up how fun and fitness can work together if you’re willing to try something new.
As you can see, we trialled a lot of different activities, including dance classes, boot camps, boxing, barre, Pilates, cardio, resistance and a whole lot of yoga. My favourites were definitely the hip-hop dance classes and BounceFit, with the most surprisingly challenging being the barre classes!
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