Two words: Beach Body. What comes to mind? I picture tight, tan, happy people, bikinis, surf boards, beach balls, sunshine…and maybe a chilled Corona or two?
WRONG! Now picture this: barbells, sweat, burpees, squats, and panting…a whole lot of panting. Connor Miller’s Beach Body class at Southampton Gym is all work, not so much glam, but if you’re looking for that one class to get you into beach body shape from head to toe, Beach Body is your answer. And, with a couple months until Memorial Day, now is the time!
If you want a half-assed workout, Beach Body is not it. If you want to shock your body, challenge your mind, and be sore (and high on endorphins) for days, Beach Body just might be for you. So, what exactly goes on in a typical Beach Body class? The good thing is that it’s always different (Connor keeps us on our toes)…and it’s always the same (as in the panting, soreness, endorphins, and lack of chilled Coronas.)
Class kicks off with the warm-up, which I’ve learned always includes squats. Lots and lots of squats. Weighted, half-way down, half-way up, jump squats, you name it, we squat it. Legs on fire. Everyone wants to quit, but Connor doesn’t allow that.
But then, the intervals start and oh, how badly we want to return to those delightful squats. Not kidding. Can’t forget those abs, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back, obliques, chest, or anything else, can we?!
After the warm-up, the class is comprised of high-intensity tabata intervals (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off) separated by abdominal circuits and strength-training with weights. Plyometric drills are all timed, so the goal is to bang out as many as reps as possible. Each interval is four minutes long. Four long minutes, really. The first round is doable. And then, just when your heart rate hits the roof, you have three more rounds to go. This is where the panting comes in. That 10 second break are just enough to avoid a heart attack, but definitely not enough for recover. Recovery must wait until about five minutes after class is over and sanity is regained.
Why must we do such nonsense? For the Beach Body, remember. Eye on the prize: Memorial Day. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more fat in less time and increases metabolism long after the workout is done. Plyometrics combine both speed and power, meaning that each exercise demands both cardio and strength for a double whammy. Now you understand why this class is always full. It’s EFFECTIVE. Each muscle group is effectively exhausted, including, for sure, the cardiovascular system.
On a good day, I consider myself somewhat in-shape. Never do I feel ‘in-shape’ during this class, but what I feel after Beach Body, is without a doubt, totally worthwhile. A combination of absolute exhaustion, a flood of endorphins, topped off with anticipation for that ‘hurts so good’ pain that is to come. Since Beach Body hits every muscle group, it’s always a guessing game as to which muscles will be most sore in the coming days. Don’t be too intimidated, the class is tough, but it’s doable at any age and fitness level. It’s about starting somewhere, challenging oneself, progressing, and, don’t forget the panting. Regardless of your age, fitness level, or perfect beach body, there will always be panting.
You can catch Connor’s Beach Body class weekly at Southampton Gym.
One Healthy Breakdown: Maybe I’ll see you in Beach Body class. I’m the one gasping for air.