Keep it Simple (But Not Too Simple)
Guest Blogger and Fuse Ambassador Avery Gordon makes a case for Fuse Pilates mat classes - for people who are easily bored and for people who like to hide in the corner in a fitness class (or who find Spinning classes... chafing). A very wise woman once interrupted my frustrated attempt at a difficult project with “don’t make it too complex or it will fall apart.” Well, this woman may have been my mother, and I may have been 9 years old, and what she was referring to may have been my attempt to create a 6 layer popsicle stick jewelry box with velvet inserts… but the words stuck forever. Truthfully, I’ve found that phrase applicable to almost everything I do. If you’re like me, you’ve been sucked in to workouts consisting of complicated exercise method after complicated exercise method, only to leave these classes feeling more frustrated than before, confident that you’re simply “not a good candidate” for the class. It can definitely be disheartening to try something out and finish feeling as if you were the most inexperienced person there, or unwelcomed because you couldn’t do the things everyone else could. At the same time, there are other workouts that are too boring and repetitive, causing you to feel the need to run for half an hour after the class to get that good-and-sweaty feeling. Believe me, in my short time on this earth I’ve crossed many a workout off my list for these reasons. It was slowly dawning on me that I may be stuck in a lifelong relationship with the elliptical (or just pizza). Before I gave up on finding the right thing for me, I tried a couple of things on the fitness spectrum. There was a three-week period when I attended regular Pilates mat classes at my local gym. I felt confidant that I could do it, but by the time that third class rolled around, I was bored. I already knew the entire routine of the 34-move repertoire, and I felt like there wasn’t much variety. I tried different teachers, but I was leaving those classes feeling exactly as I had felt prior to the class. Looking for more of a thrill, I attempted spinning. I enjoyed it, but not being able to walk for 3 days when I forgot to bring my padded pants insert was starting to wear on me (in more ways than one). Plus, as soon as my schedule changed and I couldn’t find any classes to fit in after work, I found myself back at square one. Honestly, I’m not really in the financial position to buy a stationary bike to cram into my ten-foot wide apartment. It just wasn’t sustainable. Then, I happened upon Fuse Pilates mat classes on the recommendation of my new landlord. Fuse mat is the perfect routine for me: a happy medium between too simple and too complicated. You don’t need an entire obstacle course to do it, but you’re never going to leave feeling like you didn’t get a workout. With hundreds of moves to choose from, I never left Fuse feeling bored. Every single class is a completely new experience. You might think you recognize a move, until an oblique twist is added in for the last 12 reps. On top of that, each class begins with the instructor asking for three requests from the class for body parts to work on. Assuming there are something like 15 bodily regions to choose from and 3 parts per class, that’s probably 455 combinations! (I may or may not have used an online calculating tool to figure that out – math was never my strong suit.). The Playground offers over 50 classes a week, lots of enthusiastic teachers, and (seriously) amazing iPod playlists. What makes Fuse mat so great is that even with all of this variety, you are still using your own body to make yourself stronger and you’re still going to get a hardcore workout. To those who get a little bit nervous over the thought of trying something completely foreign, hear me out. I was in the same position the first time I went to a Fuse mat class last year. I walked into the room both anxious and strangely confident that it wouldn’t be my thing. When the class ended, I left so excited that I immediately went home and booked my spot in the following week’s class. Within 3 weeks, I saw a noticeable difference in my body, both strength-wise and aesthetically. Recently, I’ve begun to experiment with other Fuse offerings. I’ve started attending Toys, Chair, and Reformer classes. Last year, I would have been scared to try them. Now, I love all of them. Through the Fuse mat classes, I’ve become increasingly confident in myself to try new things. I realized that I shouldn’t have been scared at all. But knowing myself, I definitely had to muster up some courage to get there. I highly recommend the mat classes to anyone looking for a fun and rewarding workout, and especially those who are easily unsettled by the idea of a new routine. Intimidated or not, it caters to all levels of ability, and still leaves you with an awesome workout. I’m not kidding…those oblique twists are intense.