Buckle up babes, because I am halfway through my 30-day challenge with 305 Fitness and right now, even lifting my fingers to type is a chore. But in the words of the lovely Frances McDormand, "If I fall over, pick me up, because I've got some things to say!"
The last time we spoke, I knew very little about what I was getting myself into. I was definitely thinking, "Ok, so I might not be the best dancer, but I can flail my way through 16 classes, right? It will be just like Zumba." Well, 305 Fitness is like Zumba... on steroids. When your instructor says it is a 55-minute nonstop dance party, she means it! A typical class structure starts with a warm-up routine that is approximately seven minutes long. I'm 10 classes in and I feel like I almost have the whole warm-up down. Then, you move into a two-minute interval training sprint section before you begin the meat of class: 30 minutes of choreographed cardio dancing. At the halfway point, you'll grab whatever equipment you need for the day's target muscle group (weights, floor sliders, resistance band etc.) and complete a five-minute toning session, followed by another five-minute sprint session. Lastly, things will get a bit sexy with a hip-hop routine, before you cool down with stretching.
Is Beyonce begging me to be available for her next tour? Not quite. Do I still mess up any dance move that involves a spin and bump into my neighbor? Almost always. But do I find myself counting down the hours until I will be at 305 again? Abso-freaking-lutely!
A Few Things I've Learned So Far....
- It takes several classes before you will feel remotely coordinated, so DON'T GIVE UP! The 305 experts tell you that it takes three-five classes to be an official "305 Junkie" and I would definitely agree. I wasn't sure my ego could handle coming back after how poorly I performed in my first class (ok, fine... my second and third as well), but lucky for me, I had already committed to you guys that I was doing this and I simply kept going back. My biggest piece of advice, is if you attend a 305 class and find it enjoyable in any way, GO BACK! Don't get hung up on whether you nailed every move or hit every beat, because guess what? No one is looking at you, because they are too busy focusing on their own movements.
- Take the "Basics" class (Saturdays at noon) first, if you can. It is a 45-minute version of the regular class, and follows the same formatting (warm up, sprint, choreo, toning, sprint, hop-hop, stretching) at a slightly slower pace, and with an added emphasis on teaching you the basic moves. It's still a learn as you go teaching method, but I found it to be wildly helpful to make Basics my first class.
- 305 Fitness has a Youtube channel where they post a lot of their current choreography. If you're a bit of a perfectionist, or just want extra practice, it's really helpful to watch these videos on repeat at home to familiarize yourself with the moves.I probably owe my downstairs neighbors some cookies for all the noise I've been making lately!
- As intimidating as it can be to put yourself towards the front of the room in a new workout, I can't recommend front and center enough for this one! Being able to see the teacher demonstrate the choreo is vital, and don't forget that you change which direction you are facing about every 30 seconds, so if you start in the front, within a minute you'll probably be in the "back" of the class watching everyone in front of you. Even if you aren't comfortable with the front row, aim for the center of the room where you'll have the best angle on the teacher no matter what direction you're facing.
- I've never been comfortable working out in just a sports bra and leggings (but I'd say the majority of class participants will be dressed like that), but I would recommend wearing as little as you are comfortable with, and wearing breathable fabric -- it gets toasty up in there! My go-to outfit has become cropped leggings with mesh cutouts for ventilation, a supportive sports bra, a sleeveless and light-weight tank top and my lightest sneakers. Again, you don't want to wear your sturdiest running shoes as you want to feel light on your feet and able to move.
- Every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. is "bring a friend" class, and what workout isn't better with friends? I've dragged several friends along to class, and here's what they had to say:
- "I have no background in dance, but have always admired it. Previously, my skills have stopped with Zumba, so 305 was an awakening! I'm still rhythmically-challenged, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying 305's classes. It's definitely a tough workout, but the energy is contagious, the 55 minutes goes by surprisingly fast, and I always feel accomplished afterwards." (She promptly purchased the 10-day unlimited pass after class.)
- "What a workout! My workout usually consists of pilates, yoga and mat exercises, so I was unsure about how prepared I would be. The class is an intense cardio and strength training workout, but it is so much fun, and the instructor and DJ make what could have been an intimidating experience very approachable and surprisingly enjoyable. I was sore for two-three days, and that felt great! Who knew cardio could be entertaining?!"
I've decided I was a little too vague with my goals in my first post, when I said I wanted to "increase my confidence, and perhaps even learn a move or two that can help me in the clubs." The good news is I already feel wayyyy more confident after 10 classes, so I am updating those goals to continue pushing myself. My new goal is to be able to learn the complete choreo to at least one song (I'm leaning towards "Made for Now," "Wavey" or "Work") and execute it in class, as well as to get through one five-minute sprint session without taking a single break.
My last class of the 30-day challenge will be on Thursday, February 28th, and then I'll be back with my final thoughts and results. Stay tuned guys!