Natalie is a relatively new member who has been killing it in our original BodyBurn class. Despite her inhibitions, she took the plunge and tried out a 2.0 strength class. We interviewed her to hear firsthand about her strength training experience.
Josephine Atluri: Thanks so much for doing this interview, Natalie. So tell me, why were you apprehensive about trying the 2.0 class?
Natalie Prentiss: I’ll be honest with you. I know that “strong is the new sexy,” but I didn’t really want to get bigger because of increased muscle mass from pumping iron. Don’t get me wrong - more power to the women out there who are super buff and can lift ultra heavy weights. For me though, I envision my dream body to be more sculpted and lean.
JA: That’s a fair concern. We hear that all the time from women. There’s a widespread misconception that lifting weight leads to a bulky body. However, if done the right way (as in the way we teach the 2.0 class) you don’t have to worry about looking like the Hulk! So, you decided to bite the bullet and try a class. What were you thinking about before class started?
NP: Well, for those that haven’t tried it yet, let me first talk about the class set up. It’s in the back room of the club. 8 people per class, 8 stations and at each station is a TRX, a movable bench/step, a hex bar, plate weights, and a barbell. Totally intimidating. It’s not like the original class where you break up your strength with some cardio. Nope, this all straight up strength.
I’ve not really focused on weight training in my exercise regimen in the past so this was very foreign to me. When I used to see guys at the gym doing weights, they would lift really heavy things and take these long breaks. The 2.0 keeps that same 48 minute format breaking up blocks of exercises with time on and time off. So, that fast pace structure of the class was also a bit scary for me. Could I keep up? Would I hurt myself? What if I couldn’t add any weights to my bar? Would I get tangled up in that TRX?!? All these thoughts were racing through my head up until the very last second before class started.
JA: Well, when you put it like that, it does sound very intimidating!! I guess I never thought about it that way. Sooo, I’m dying to find out. How did you do?
NP: I survived! As soon as that timer goes off, you don’t really have time to think about your worries. You just go and do it. It does help that you are required to come in ten minutes before class starts to learn how to use the equipment as it is completely different from the equipment used in the 1.0 class. Plus, the instructor took the time to show me how to do each move which also took the edge off. And just like in the original class, there is a video monitor where we follow along to Ray performing the same exact exercises. It’s great to see his form and try to mimic it especially if the teacher is busy working with another classmate.
JA: That sounds great so far!
NP: Definitely! I went into class telling myself I’d take it easy and learn how to do the movements properly. I stuck to that conservative approach but surprisingly I still felt my heart pumping and broke out into a sweat!! Who knew that strength training could feel like a cardio workout?! Certainly not me.
JA: Absolutely, strength training is so great for the body. When it’s structured the right way, you really can turn it into a heart pumping session. Now that we know how it went for you, here’s the million dollar question – are you going to do it again?
NP: (hahaha) Yes! I signed up right after my first class and have been going ever since. I have to say, it’s great to mix it in with my 1.0 classes just to have my body experience something different and give it a break from the motorless cardio. Plus, I feel really accomplished that my body is able to do these challenging strength moves. Another benefit of the 2.0 is that it has helped with my 1.0 strength exercises. The focus on the strength in the 2.0 gives you an overall understanding about perfecting your form which will eventually give you the results that you are looking for. I definitely feel fantastic with my new exercise plan. My body feels stronger and tighter.
JA: And you don’t look like the Hulk! You look fantastic!
NP: (boisterous laughter) No, I certainly do not look like the Hulk after adding this strength class to my routine. I use appropriate weights for what I can handle while still challenging myself. Now, I feel more chiseled. And doing the 2.0 has actually helped me with my form in the 1.0 class
JA: Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Natalie. I’m positive our readers will find it immensely helpful. Before we wrap up, any parting advice for our readers?
NP: I’d tell people to try out the 2.0 even if you’re scared. One of the best parts of taking the 2.0 class is that you are in a small group of no more than 8 people. Everyone in there is in the same boat as you so there’s this vibe, feeling that you get from being in it together with a group of mentally tough and physically strong people. I’m not saying there’s down time to talk, but when you need a helping hand someone is always willing to help out or cheer you on. It’s way better than doing a one-on-one personal training session because of that camaraderie, support, and energy. Not to mention it’s cheaper! (hahaha) Honestly, it’s a win-win. Give it a shot people!