After turning up to the Sports Centre about 20 minutes too early (the class was at 7, it doesn’t open ’till 7 D’OH! That’ll teach me not to read things properly). I quickly got changed and into the gym for my very first class: 360 Rig. Looking at the vast contraption sprawled before me like some cyberpunk torture chamber I must admit to feeling a little bit apprehensive. Turns out I needn’t have worried.

Instructor Karen was brilliant – she warmed us up gently then took us through the four exercises we’d be doing on rotation. As a complete beginner they were all fairly new to me, though I have done something a little similar to one in a Pilates class. Today’s session was aimed at lower body and core strength, with a little bit of flexibility thrown in for good measure.

The beauty of the 360 Rig is that it contains a vast amount of potential exercises to work pretty much whatever you want – a single session barely scratches the surface. I’ve picked up a couple of stretches I’ll definitely be working into my own rotations and I’ll be back to do more classes and learn a bit more about the Rig. Not so sure about the early starts on a Monday though…

Lunchtime was a Spin class. Now, I am (or was) a pretty regular cyclist, so I had an idea about what to expect from a Spin class. I also know that it’s one of those things where you really get out what you put in. It’s easy enough to sit there spinning with low resistance, but what you really need to do is crank it up (when the instructor tells you to) so you’re pretty much breathing out your ears. So I’d like to apologise unreservedly to the people either side of me who were probably drenched in the gallons of sweat that was pouring off me as we sprinted and raced through half an hour.

Ok so it wasn’t all *that* bad, but really the great thing about Spin is that it works no matter your fitness level. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced cyclist struggling to get the miles in or wanting to work on some high intensity intervals (which can be tricky on the road with traffic lights, cars and dogs) or you’ve never even sat on a bike before but want to have a really good cardio workout, a Spin class is a great way to do it. Just remember to keep pedalling…

My first day has gone pretty well (and I can still just about walk, although stairs are tricky). The staff have all been super helpful and friendly with my stupid questions (‘where’s the gym?’) and I’ve not felt like the tubby loser in the room at all, even though I probably am. The classes have been great, forcing me to push myself in ways I probably wouldn’t otherwise and – most importantly – the showers are really good.

Tomorrow won’t have any classes as I have an induction to the gym and PT session at tea time, so hopefully I can put together something that I can do in the gym when I can’t make it to classes. Update tomorrow!

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