MY FIRST TRIP as a Sport Editor saw me visit the Aerobics Club for this edition’s Nouse Tries… I’ve seen Aerobics classes going on at the gym as I’ve wandered past, and always thought it looked pretty easy. Loud music…a chance to practice your dance moves…a bit of clapping here and there…there’s no way this was going to be hard…
The warm-up lasted ten or so minutes, with some gentle marching on the spot and a lovely stretching routine. By the end of this, I was feeling really fresh, and convinced I’d ace the rest of the session. After a quick drinks break, I assumed we’d then move into some star jumps, maybe a few burpies to slightly push ourselves. How utterly wrong I would turn out to be.
We began the main part of the workout with a squatting like exercise which immediately made me realise this was not going to be easy. Besides being the only boy there, my complete inability to do this simple task made me stand out somewhat. As if this wasn’t embarrassing enough, my sheer lack of coordination skills was highlighted to me soon after. Attempting to perform the moves in time with the rest of the group without falling flat on my face made it apparent this would be just as much of a mental challenge as a physical one. Non-stop high knees, endless leg raises, side-to-side moves whilst doing god knows what with my arms, it was a long ten minutes before we had another break.
After a few minutes defending my appalling effort so far and admitting that this was actually a lot more difficult than I envisaged, we were back to it. Most of the exercises we did in the first section would feature again, much to my disappoint. I’d like to think I got gradually better (or less awful) as the session went on, although I’m sure anyone who participated around me would offer a strong opposing argument to that statement. Some new exercises did emerge, like the body rotations and arm thrusts, which I simply couldn’t keep up with. I decided I’d settle for doing half the exercise, whether that be the legs or the arms on their own, as it was beginning to be a bit of an information overload.
After bopping along to the music and doing my very best for 35 or so minutes, the workout was eventually done. We were told to each get a mat out, so I naturally assumed we’d have a relaxing stretch for the remainder of the time to loosen off any tension we’d developed over the session. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and an added floor workout soon began. If there was a part of the Aerobics session where I wasn’t the worst person in the room, this was potentially it. The sit-ups and press-ups I just about managed, but the stretching afterwards I certainly did not. I think it will be a long time before I can drop straight down and do the splits, which is probably a good thing. With that, my one-hour session was over, although most of the class had already done an hours HIIT workout before.
I left the James Hall in pieces, which is more than deserved considering my utter naivety coming into this. Aerobics is definitely not something to be mocked. There are very few times where I’ve finished a sporting activity and ached in pretty much every part of my body. This was one of those times. The class was run by Adam Hexley, a fourth-year French and German student at York. His enthusiasm for aerobics was clear to see, and was clearly contagious in all of the other participants. What was so interesting was that me and Adam were the only men there. In a time where guys are so passionate and keen on fitness, it really does seem odd that none of us choose to attend Aerobics.
Next Friday, the Aerobics Club are hosting a ‘Bring a Boy’ event, to try and encourage more of us to get involved with the sport. On top of this, some of the money raised will be going towards mental health charities, providing an added bonus of a solid evenings workout.
Society President Lucy Waldren was kind enough to allow me to attend the session for free, but attendees certainly get their money’s worth. Annual membership is just £7, and session cost a staggeringly cheap £1! For non-members, the price is £2.50 per session. It’s fantastic to see the drive Lucy and her team have for expanding the Aerobics society. A fantastic work in a room of friendly people, for an incredibly cheap price. Aerobics is definitely somewhere I’d recommend attending…I’ll certainly be going back.
To get involved with Aerobics yourself, email them at [email protected]