G’day! My name’s Lucinda, and I’m the Travel, Fitness & Lifestyle Editor here at PEDESTRIAN.TV. We’ve partnered up with Fitbit to test out their newest release, the Blaze. It’s a smart fitness watch that tracks all manner of health-related situations going down in your body – your steps, heart rate, calories you’re burning and how many kms you’ve travelled. Fitbit fanged one my way, and of course, I volunteered as tribute. I went out and gave three different workouts a red hot go, and chronicled the results. The Blaze hooks up to your iPhone / Android too, meaning you can read your messages on your wrist (a feature I found to be handy during a particularly boring yoga class… but more on that later).
There are a lot of incentives not to exercise.
The time you carve out every week for it could be used for a ton of other, less painful activities – like getting caught in a YouTube k-hole, wolfing down a family pizza, or sleeping.
That’s why, when you do make the time, you wanna make sure you’re using it wisely to get the results you desire – be that bigger guns, more energy or a perkier posterior.
I tried out three classic (but completely different) fitness classes while wearing the Fitbit Blaze to assess how each of them affects my rig, and which would give me the most bang for my buck.
For a bit of background, here’re my stats: I’m a 21-year-old female, 167cm tall and 57kgs wide. According to the Blaze, my resting heart rate is around 56 BPM. If I had to rate my fitness level, I’d give myself a steady 7. I walk 10,000 steps a day and go to the gym roughly four days a week. But ask me to run a kilometre? I’d keel over and start farting nervously.
1. THE SPIN CLASS
Time: 45 minutes.
Calories scorned: 431.
Beats per minute: 159.
Overall feeling: Rekt but proud of myself.
Spin classes are a very pure form of self-flaggelation. Sitting stationary on a bike, in a room full of panting strangers while an ungodly-peppy instructor reminds me of how I’m not pushing myself hard enough is, in my opinion, a fresh hell.
I really wasn’t looking forward to doing it.
“This class is my favourite,” the instructor starts. “The people that come to the Saturday class come here to be challenged, they really like an intense spin instructor.”
I don’t remember saying I like that, ever
I set up my iPhone so I could capture this moment in time to share with you, embedded above. As you can see, it was a truly testing class. I’m not a hugely sweaty person but I left that morning with wet tights and a beetroot for a head.
Sadly, they didn’t actually play Nollsie‘s underrated and hugely motivating track ‘Lift‘ during the class. They did play some ’90s club tracks though, and when you peddled to the beat of em it made things a little easier.
“431 calories is a huge amount to burn in 45 minutes,” Clay and Holly both agree. “Haaaauge.”
“It’s low impact, which is great, but for someone who sits at a desk all day [me], it can actually make your hip flexers tighter. If you want to burn as many calories with another exercise, a HIIT or Pump class might be more beneficial,” says Clay.
Difficulty rating: 9/10
Enjoyment levels: 5/10.
2. THE (DIDN’T REALISE IT WAS YIN UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE) YOGA CLASS
Time: 60 minutes.
Calories scorned: 61.
Beats per minute: 71.
Overall feeling: Bored, very bloody bored.
I screwed this one up reeeeeal good. I read the gym timetable wrong, and didn’t realise I’d signed up for a Yin Yoga class – which is basically just a good solid lie down for an hour.
You hold poses (asanas) for up to five minutes at a time. Unlike the butt-burning Vinyasa variety of yoga, Yin is very slow-paced, and much of the focus is on deep breathing and calming the mind.
Which was basically impossible. There was a woman just outside the class continuously slamming a medicine ball on the ground. The music during the class was nothing short of bizarre. There was a Sitar rendition of the James Bond theme, followed by a strange, painful melody of a baby crying. That Enya classic from the Van Damme ‘Epic Split‘ Volvo ad also featured.
This replayed over and over in my head for one whole hour
Holding stretches for five minutes at a time is much harder than it sounds. I had pins and needles in places I didn’t know could get pins and needles.
“Although you’re not burning a ton of calories, it still has a lot of benefits. Holding the poses for a few minutes at a time can increase your mobility and release muscle tension. It can be relaxing and meditative, which lowers your cortisol levels. High cortisol correlates to higher belly fat, so lowering this can have midriff slimming benefits,” says Clay.
“Yin can be really great for people who have anxiety or a stressful job,” Holly adds. “When you get the hang of it, it’s one of the best non-medicinal ways to combat anxiety and stress.
“And holding the poses for a few minutes at a time can increase your mobility and release muscle tension.”
Difficulty rating: 2/10
Enjoyment levels: 1/10.
1. THE BOXING CLASS
Time: 40 minutes.
Calories scorned: 252.
Beats per minute: 127.
Overall feeling: Fresh AF.
Progression Fitness in Cremorne is right around the corner from the PEDESTRIAN.TV office, so I roped in my colleague Teagan for a Tuesday arvo session. True to form, I had eaten a late lunch of Mr. Burger that day, which is a 0/10 choice before a high intensity workout.
“Boxing is great for circulation,” says Clay. “You’re moving your extremities, which improves blood circulation. This can keep the body’s PH balance in check, meaning you’re removing toxins efficiently. Your metabolism is always higher when your circulation is better, too.”
Punching the schnit out of a bag and changing exercises every five minutes kept me on my toes, and I’d happily do this class again. The tunes in this class could’ve been better, though. Bitta Rocky theme wouldn’t have hurt.
Difficulty rating: 8/10.
Enjoyment levels: 7/10.
So there you have it. Spin won the calorie burning comp by a mile, but boxing seems be more beneficial for a desk worker with a short attention span. I think the yoga might take a bit more practice.
Photo: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.