I feel like I have done a lot of things in the last month or so that I could write about here, but the thing is, I have already blogged about much of it in my other 120 or so posts: Hotel based training – Check. Aqua Cycling – Check Check. Outdoor swimming… you get the picture. So I thought today I would focus on a few of my main events from March:
Les Mills Live
Sounds familiar? Yes, I first wrote about this back in November, although at the time the event was called One Live and took place in Manchester (https://chilechallenge.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/one-live-manchester/). The name may have been re-branded and the location different, but this was basically the same thing: A full day of high energy gym classes, run by the Les Mills Group with all their latest tracks. To give you an idea of the key numbers involved for us:
6 Classes, 5 Hours, 4,000 Calories burned!
As we now knew how the day worked, we were able to get in a bit earlier and book onto some of the more popular classes which sold out last time. This turned out to be a bit good, but also a bit bad as they were extremely busy, but I guess the atmosphere made up for it. My own classes & thoughts on the new releases were:
- RPM (Spin) – First class of the day for everyone at the event, and it showed as the room was only about 20% full so a lot of empty bikes. In terms of the music, I have to be honest that I was not too keen on the first half, but the last few tracks were great and made up for it somewhat.
- Body Attack – Normally one of my favourites, but so busy it was difficult to move at times (must have been 1000 people there). The sound system was also terrible in the room used so I could not actually tell what half the tracks were, but it was still fun to have that many people involved, and I am looking forward to trying this out back at my gym soon.
- Body Combat – Pretty much see above, although at least there was a but more room in this one (useful when you are kicking at head height!). The tracks seemed a bit better, and to be fair this is in part all about watching the lead instructors on stage who seemed to defy gravity with their amazing martial arts technique.
- Sprint – My second bike based class of the day. This one is a more intense version, with a 45 minute class squeezed into 30 minutes, meaning you work just as hard but in less time, i.e. it is a killer! The class has only been going 6 months so is still new, and I have not been a huge fan so far, but I liked this a lot more, great music and choreography. An unexpected highlight of the day.
- Sh’Bam – We picked this as a bit of fun after first experiencing it in Manchester. My thoughts are still about the same, in that there are a load of amazing professional dancers on stage with most of the audience dancing around wildly like a drunken wedding crowd. I have no co-ordination to manage this, but who cares when it is so much fun and you are burning calories too!
- Bodyvive 3:1 – By the final class we were flagging a bit, and this last session is a three in one class involving Cardio, Resistance and Core workouts in one. To be honest it was all a bit of a blur by then, but I remember coming out pretty happy – although that could have been as much due to finishing the day as how good the class was…
Overall it was a decent day. There were a few technical issues around music volumes / broken microphones / overcrowding, but nothing I do not see every week in regular classes. The Les Mills lead instructors seem to be pretty superhuman, whether demoing ludicrous tuck jumps at nearly head hight, or showing better moves than Beyonce’s backing singers, they are hugely inspiring. Of course, the best part is the general atmosphere, and mixing with thousands of like-minded exercise nuts – Bring on Manchester later this year!
Is it weird to write about your own medical report? I don’t think so, as there is nothing really too personal there, at least that I will go into here. This testing is a company requirement, which we undertake every couple of years. I first wrote about this early on in the Chile Challenge (https://chilechallenge.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/whats-up-doc/), so thought it would be interesting to see how things had moved on after two years of fairly intense exercise.
The medical involves about 2 hours of various tests and I find it fascinating, having never really spent any time at the doctors before. I did notice there was an enhanced option which included VO2 Max and some other bits which I would have loved to see out of curiosity, but the extra cost was too high for just personal interest.
After the visit they send a huge pack of data, covering everything from your blood pressure to risk of diabetes, and the good news is everything is not only acceptable, but also moving in the right direction. I have copied some of the data below, for BMI (which I still think is a huge con!) and Body Fat, and the trends say it all – the exercise does work! In terms of BMI, I did get asked once how I was planning on getting this down, and I think my response (by doing an Ironman in 2 months) pretty much covered it!
Another of the findings was around Estimated Average Energy Requirement, which is the amount of calories my body requires, based on both body tests and activity levels. Apparently mine is 2724, which is more than the 2,500 I always assumed, so a bit of a bonus there I guess!
A few days later, I noticed a queue of people in the gym around a monitor and could see them checking out some sort of x-rays. It turned out he was a physio with a specialism in spine alignment, and had some sort of fancy portable MRI scanner to check for signs of stress in the upper and lower back. Of course I got mine done, and it came out with the below image.
To be fair, I am not too sure what it meant as it was one where you had to go for a follow up appointment (i.e. pay extra) but in short it meant I have some extra stress in my lower back, possibly as I had just recently had a series of long (4 hour +) drives, and also as I had just done a Body Pump class, where 1000+ reps might have impacted my spine a bit. He did say although it looks red above, it is not the worst it can be, with some people getting a stress score in the thousands which need urgent attention. Still, always interesting to see something like this, and maybe I will test it again in future and it if gets worse I can follow it up further.
Anyway, that is all for today. I am off to do some training in sunny Cuba… although I have already written about that too!