A new job means a new weekly schedule, which means finding new corners in which to squeeze a little exercise. Hence I came to be, at 9:30am on a Wednesday, doing a workout I hadn’t done before: Fat Burner class.
The weird thing about Fat Burner class is that nobody in the class is actually fat. They might as well have called it Slim Young Women class, because that was all there were. Plus me.
As per usual I was the oldest and fattest person in the class. Often when this happens the instructors treat me like a decaying butterfly who’s about to keel over. I get extra instructions to bend my knees a lot, lest my aged back should wither under the strain. It always surprises them when I turn out to be strong as fuck, which amuses me greatly.
So Fat Burner is a generic gym class name. It’s not a franchise like BodyCombat, which aims to be the same the world over. The aim of the class is to keep your heart rate elevated using a combination of cardio and resistance/weight lifting work. It’s a challenging class but it won’t kill you (that’s what Spinning is for).
The Fat Burner class I’ve been doing takes the form of a circuit which alternates between cardio and weights work. So you might do jumping or press ups for a minute, then move on and do squats with a kettlebell or sit ups with a weighted bar etc. The good thing about circuit classes is that even if you hate an individual station, you won’t be doing it for long.
The key to making any gym class good is in the instructor. You might have one who’s phoning it in and is clearly only there because their name was on the schedule. Or you might get a really great instructor who cares about everybody in the room getting the most out of the workout without injuring themselves in the process. I like those guys better. They’re more engaged and it means that everybody puts more in and gets more out.
So essentially what I’m saying is – don’t be scared of going to a Fat Burner class. They are all very different, so if you get one that doesn’t suit you, another one might. Keep trying different classes until you find one you like enough to return to. Oh, and there’s no shame in being the oldest and fattest in the class – somebody has to. You can be on my team.
If you are brand new to exercising and not sure what class to pick, just go for the shortest one. It’ll be over before you know it. Most gyms offer half hour classes which will be doable at any level of fitness. Just remember to bend your knees.