IAM Fitness Studio, 5485 Conestoga Court, Suite 110B Boulder, 720-675-8348; iamfitnessstudio.com.
Instructor: After the birth of her second child, Janine Russell left her corporate job and decided take a yoga certification. While teaching yoga at another studio she was encouraged to take up bootcamp classes. She now teaches yoga and strength training at IAM Fitness Studio.
What is the workout? A low stress weight training class for beginners. This class caters to newbies and people looking to gain strength at a steady pace. There are no massive dumbbells or heavy barbells in sight.
"These classes are particularly about weight training and the correct way to left weights," said Russell.
The instructor set up half a dozen stations around the room. We chose from a variety of weights or resistance bands, depending on the exercise and our personal skill level.
She really mixed it up with donkey kicks, step ups with a knee raise, lunges holding a kettlebell, lat pull downs, good mornings and dumbbell bicep curls, to name a few. We completed the circuit three times, then she changed out the exercises to something new and we completed the circuits again. We ended the class with some yoga stretches and a cool down.
What's different? Muscle conditioning is the name of the game. The class focuses on more reps as opposed to heavy weights and fewer reps. Russell changes the format every month. She also adjusts the exercises on the fly to accommodate the students taking the class. She takes into account each student's limitations or existing injuries.
"The camaraderie is a big thing," said Russell. "We are there to support each other as well as working out."
The moves are uncomplicated and meant to focus on one muscle group at a time. The class doesn't attempt to fit in cardio or rush students through exercises. It's not gimmicky nor does it pretend to be anything other than basic weight training.
Cost: A four class punch card runs $79. They have two monthly subscription options. You can take eight classes per month for $119 or unlimited classes for $179.
Level: "Someone who has no clue about weights but is a relatively healthy individual could manage this class, because it's all levels," said Russell.
All of the exercises can be done with light weights or none at all. This is an ideal option for anyone looking to get into weight training and is scared off by CrossFit gyms. The class is very low impact and lacks the steep learning curve prevalent in many weight lifting classes.
When: This class is held from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
What to prepare: Wear workout clothes, athletic shoes and bring some water. They have a water fountain and provide sweat towels.
Muscles worked: I felt this all over but to a lower intensity than other weight training classes I've taken. I was slightly sore the next day, but I was still capable of going for a bike ride and managing the stairs without groaning.
What I loved: Russell takes the time to get to know her students, their limitations and their goals. She adjusts what is essentially a group workout, and therefore usually isn't catered to individuals, and turns it into a more intimate and personal experience. The dedication to each person's needs and working that into the class is unique and refreshing.
What I didn't like: The room was a little small, so we kept almost bumping into each other and we had to maneuver around the space with care.
How I felt after the class: Russell is incredibly warm and welcoming. It felt like I had just taken a workout class with a friend instead of an instructor.
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