Basic is a good descriptor. My location is in a strip mall next to a dollar store. The floor is plywood and there is a raised platform at the far end for the instructor, along with mats and a selection of weights.
There are no mirrors or lockers. Instead, a small wooden ledge runs around the room like a chair rail. This is for water bottles and keys, underneath there are wooden pegs to hang bags or towels if you brought any.
You check yourself in at the front desk (your card has a bar code on it, so it’s a quick scan) put your water bottle on the ledge and pick an open spot of floor.
Class lasts a full hour, and it is rigorous. After a quick warm up, the whole thing is about keeping your heart rate up. The moves come from all over, kickboxing, pilates, aerobics and dance. I look forward to using the weights, because that means we’re entering the cool down phase. The music is current. Over the past 2 weeks we have Jazzercised to: Pitbull, Rhianna, Justin Timberlake, The Buggles (because there is always room for a classic) Katy Perry, Pink and a lot of pop music I’ve heard on the radio but couldn’t name under torture.
And Jazzercise can be torture. It’s hard to master steps when you can feel your heartbeat pounding in your ears. I have tripped over my own feet, gone right instead of left, and been as uncoordinated as it is possible to be. And there is a special kind of thigh muscle burning hell when the instructor says; far too cheerfully “I guarantee you’ll feel this one tomorrow!” Tomorrow? Really? You mean I’m not feeling it now?
That being said, there is wonderful sense of camaraderie. The instructors know everyone by name. The older members of the class make a point of encouraging the newcomers. The classes I’ve seen cover all age ranges, from high school through retirement. It is 99.9% female. There is one man who attends the class before mine, an older gentleman who comes with his wife. He’s terrible. But then again so am I. So are a lot of us. Even the super in-shape women who lead the class are panting and sweaty by the end, which I find comforting because it means that it’s not just me being out of shape, it is actually hard.
Have a good weekend!