Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Operation Flat Belly - Kamikaze!

Economom Amie's musings on shedding her post-baby weight, also known as Operation Flat Belly.

The word 'kamikaze' originated in World War II, when Japanese fighter pilots were trained to make suicidal crash attacks, especially on ships. Over the past 70 years, the word has evolved into everyday slang, referring to an extremely reckless person who seems to court death.

So when Todd and I signed up for the Kamikaze Class at Interactive Fitness in Timonium, we were just a tad worried about what it might entail. OK, maybe more than a tad ...

Interactive Fitness' web site describes Kamikaze like this: "An advanced group training experience. Utilizing multiple drills and a variety of equipment, your cardiovascular and strength capacity will be tested to the limit." UH-OH!

Before class we met with Cristhian Ruiz, the Co-Founder of and Fitness Director at Interactive Fitness. He's putting on the Mud Chasers race Todd and I are participating in and suggested the Kamikaze class as good way for us to burn off our post-baby weight at warp speed. (By the way, here's $10 off Mud Chasers registration and how you can RSVP to be on our team.)

I kid you not, before class Cristhian goes--"There's a trash can in the corner if you guys need to throw up during class."

What the bleep did we get ourselves into!?!?

Well, let's just say mack truck tires, sledge hammers, and flights of steps (lots and lots of flights of steps!) were involved. And it was one of the most challenging yet rewarding fitness experiences I've ever had.

Did I throw up? No. But Todd was close!

There was more to Cristhian's pre-class advice than just the throw-up statement. He told us to do the best we could and go at our own pace. He assured us that most drills would last only a minute, so if we absolutely hated one, we'd be on to another in just 60 seconds. Finally, he said he wouldn't be screaming in our faces like a sargeant; it was up to us to get what we wanted out of the class.

That philosophy really appealed to both me and Todd. Each exercise was completed individually in circuit training format, which meant everyone was focused only on themselves. I didn't feel like anyone was watching me or judging me as I "flubbered" around trying to get the tasks done.

There were quite a few exercises that were torturous, but as Cristhian advised us, they were over in a flash. And Cristhian, who does the class with us, was even having trouble completing some of the exercises. However, it felt extremely satisfying to push through something so hard to then be rewarded with a drill that was more my speed. For me, jogging on the treadmill for 30 minutes is uber-boring, so I really liked the variety offered.

Cristhian Ruiz
The best comparison I have for the Kamize Class is the training depicted on The Biggest Loser. Throughout the class, I often thought to myself -- if those folks can push themselves to do it, I know I can too.

Here are just a few of the exercises we completed during the hour long session:
  • Sprinting 60 seconds on the treadmill alternated with squatting for 60 seconds (That was the warm up! Holy cow!)
  • Running up and down four flights of stairs five times (Todd and I only were able to do it four times, and we were definitely "lapped!")
  • Flipping a mack truck tire over for about a 50 foot stretch (This was my favorite!)
  • Dragging that same tire back and forth on the 50 foot stretch
  • Kneeling in front of a tire and hitting it with the swing of a sledge hammer
  • Jumping side to side over a weight bench for 60 seconds (I was way too short to do this, so I sort of stepped over it instead. You'd be surprised at how much of a workout this is!)
The best part is that each class is unique, changing based on the many drills Cristhian can pull out of his arsenal. One veteran of the class informed me that if Cristhian eats Chinese for lunch, we're screwed for that evening so he can burn off the calories! One thing is for sure -- Kamikaze will always be challenging yet rewarding. I can't express enough how great I felt after class!

If you think the Kamikaze Class is something that could boost your fitness goals, come join us! Interactive Fitness offers a FREE class pass so you can try it out without any investment. Classes are offered on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

What do you have to lose? Hey, I know!! WEIGHT!


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