Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fitness Feature: Blast 900

Last Saturday I tried a new class at Blast 900 in Buckhead. Now Blast is not your typical gym. They offer fitness classes incorporating high intensity interval training. I read a lot of great reviews about Blast online, and the first class is complimentary, so I decided to sign up and check them out for myself.

The Atmosphere
It was a really friendly atmosphere. I'm always a little concerned when trying out new fitness classes because I feel like everyone will already know each other and will look at me as an outsider. The people here were really nice and I had a great convo with the instructor and another one of the employees after the class about how it went.

There was inspiration to be gleamed from every corner - quite literally. Each treadmill station had an inspirational message above it. So as you're sprinting your heart out you can look up and see a message like the one I saw.

I also have to comment on the music. It was amazing! A total 90's throwback jam session. I was dancing in my head as I was working out. It kept me pumped up and motivated throughout the entire class.

Class Structure
It's an hour long class where you alternate between the treadmill and floor work. For the people on the treadmill, the instructor called out three speeds - one for walkers, joggers, and runners, and an incline percentage, and you went until she said stop. She did stress that those speeds were only guidelines and to choose a speed that worked best for you. The great thing about the treadmill portion was that she never had you going at a certain speed too long. This made the time go by really quickly. At the same time, the people on the floor were doing exercises that incorporated cardio, balance, strength, and resistance training. For the weighted floor exercises, there were three different sets of weights - 5, 10, and 15 pounds, and you chose whichever weight felt most comfortable for you. At some point the two groups switched and we continued to move back and forth between the treadmill and floor work throughout the entire class. 

The hour flew by. This was the first time I've worked out and didn't think about how much time was left. I'm not sure how they managed to do this, but I was so caught up in each segment and trying to push myself that I didn't think about how much time we had left. It also really helped that the class was fast-paced so things were constantly changing.

The Segments
Quite surprisingly, the treadmill portion of the workout was my favorite part. That's probably because I did things on the treadmill that I had no idea my body was capable of doing. I got up to a speed of 11 mph and an incline of 30 percent! For you runners out there that may be no big deal but for me it was huge. In the past the best I've done is 6 mph and an incline of 8. You hear this all the time (especially if you do any Jillian Michaels workouts') but there are seriously things your body can do that you don't even know about because you've never given it the chance. It made me want to figure out what other super powers my body may have. I left the class feeling so strong and very happy.

I really liked the floor work too. I pushed myself here by grabbing the 15 pound dumbbells instead of the 10's or 5's. I also got a chance to do some stabilizing work on the exercise ball which I've never really done before.

The Extras
I thought it was such a nice touch that each treadmill station had a cold bottle of water and a fresh towel. And if your bottle gets low they have a person who fills it up for you (and you don't even have to ask).

Overall, I love this place. I don't have anything negative to say about my Blast experience. It was a tough class but they managed to make it inviting and fun which is what exercising should be. I'm bummed that I didn't try them out sooner. If you're in the Atlanta area do yourself a favor and check them out.

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