Over the last few months, I’ve been in a bit of a fitness rut. Well, I guess that’s not technically true since I like my rut and am not planning to get out of it anytime soon, but I have been taking classes at the same few studios over and over (and over) again for the last few months. While it’s keeping me happy for now, I know it’s always good to get out there and try something new, so I was pretty excited when the folks at BLAST emailed me about trying out one of their new bootcamp classes in DC.
BLAST – which I will now refer to as Blast, so it doesn’t look like I’m screaming at you. 😉 – stands for Balanced Level of Aerobic/Anaerobic and Strength Training. Plus their classes are pretty fun (dare I say, a blast?) and I feel like you’re blasting fat when you’re there, so the name just makes sense to me. Blast is a Georgia-based fitness company and they just opened their first studio in DC a few weeks ago (for the locals, it’s located next to the SoulCycle on M Street).
In addition to offering fun, challenging HIIT classes (more on that below!), Blast offers two other services: “profile” and nutrition counseling.
Through the profile service, you work with a personal trainer to discuss your fitness goals and then assess your current physical abilities. They put you through a number of tests to assess your resting metabolic rate, body composition, strength, flexibility, and more, and then help you determine what your ideal heart rate should be to reach your fitness goals when exercising. I think they even give you a heart rate monitor to wear during class, though I could be wrong about that part. Either way, the machines at Blast connect with whatever heart rate monitor you do have, and it’s clear they place a big emphasis on monitoring your heart rate to make sure you’re performing at peak levels. Pretty cool, huh?
Blast also has a package for nutrition counseling, which comes with not only a 60 minute consultation with a Registered Dietician, but also a 90 minute grocery store tour with the RD. How cool would it be to walk around a grocery store with a dietician? While I think I know a decent amount about nutrition, there are certainly many more things I could learn and I think grocery shopping with one is a great way to do it.
Then of course, there are the classes! My friends Anne, Kathleen, and I all took a class last Friday at 6:00 am. When we entered the class, we saw that treadmills lined both sides of the room, and numbered stations on the floor were set up with a medicine ball, resistance band, and weights for each person.
When talking to the instructors, they told us that while the treadmills are almost always used in a workout, the work on the floor changes depending on the instructor and what they feel like teaching that day. I spotted lots of other fun equipment in the back of the room that I’m sure gets put to good use!
As far as the class went, the 60 minutes were broken into circuits both on the treadmill and on the floor.
Photo via Anne!
The treadmills are not your average treadmill either – the incline goes up to 30% (phew – that’s steep!) and the treadmills also decline to mimic going downhill (very cool!). The treadmill circuits included a mix of uphill walking and sprinting at different inclines. Our instructor did a great job of telling us the different cues, and also provided modifications for anyone who needed them.
When it came to floor work, we did a number of exercises with our medicine balls, heavy weights, medium weights, and resistance bands! Our instructor even incorporated a few moves that were new to me, like holding the medicine ball outstretched in one hand for about 30 seconds. This was a tough one!
Photo via Anne!
After spending about four minutes rotating through different exercises, we would complete one minute of something extra challenging like an all-out sprint or medicine ball burpees, before switching back to the other station.
It was a tough workout but very fun, and I liked the pumped-up energy of the class (especially since it was at 6:00 am)!
Unfortunately for me, Blast isn’t on ClassPass (yet?!) but if they wind up getting on board I will most definitely be back. I also really like the idea of the profile building and nutrition counseling, and am going to consider trying it out before my wedding next year. We will see!
Thank you to the kind folks at Blast for having us!
Question of the day: Have you ever tried nutrition counseling? Do you wear a heart rate monitor when working out and if so, do you know what your target heart rate is?
I used to wear my Polar heart rate monitor all the time when working out until the battery died and proved difficult to find in stores. I could have ordered a new battery online, but it’s been a couple years and I haven’t done it yet. 😉