Last week, I got a message from The Flatmate to say that an aqua cycling class at aquAllure had been added to Class Pass. There was one venue in Canary Wharf and another in Victoria. I love swimming pools and back in the day, when I actually used to go to the gym, I was a regular on the bikes. This seemed like a class for me and we booked a beginners class in Victoria.
As we got closer to the day, I started to worry a tad. I was going to Athens the next day and considering the effect these last few exercise ridden weeks have had on my legs (they ache A LOT), I was concerned cycling in water would leave me unable to walk around Athens for 4 days. Still, I didn’t want to admit defeat and cancel. The universe seemed to answer my problem, however, and the class was cancelled!
On the night before, The Flatmate and I were scouring our Class Pass apps, looking for something else to do. Finally we landed on a Power Plates class at the Transition Zone in Parsons Green. The class was only 25 minutes, which I have to admit was a key selling point for me. That is, until I really thought it through. If the class was only 25 minutes then it was going to be one intense 25 minutes.
It took about an hour to get from Streatham Hill to Parsons Green but I did leave a lot of time after the Richmond disaster. That did mean that I spent considerably more time travelling than I did in the actual class! Having said that, the gym itself was really nice. It had a bit of a hipster feel to me, with some exposed brick, motivational quotes on the wall and what looked like a bit of a cafe in front, complete with some very healthy looking juices.
The class taking place when we entered looked pretty intense. I was getting nervous – I had absolutely no idea what our class would involve considering I didn’t have a clue what a power plate was. I imagined a metal disc that we’d have to balance on and do exercises. I would not be good at that. As it was, the power plate actually turned to be a machine, where the bottom vibrated quite a lot and there were handles to hold on to where necessary.
We spent the next 25 minutes taking various positions on the power plate. At some points, we had both feet on it, doing various exercises like squats and running or balancing on one leg while stretching out the other. At other times, we had our legs off the power plate and balancing on our hands or forearms. Our instructor was very good and very energetic and when I looked at my watch I could not believe we’d been there for 7 minutes. I started to get frustrated with myself – I was not going to make it!
My real problem was that after boxing on Monday my legs were in a lot of pain. I’m not sure what I did to make them hurt so much, but that’s the state I was in. Putting pressure on them therefore was not ideal. My legs would start aching very quickly and I struggled to push through it.
There was also the fact that when we were planking with our forearms on the power plate (which I did actually find easier than having them on the floor! Probably because of the additional height) I started to get motion sickness! Plus there was the moment when the instructor couldn’t quite believe how little I am actually able to straighten my legs. Literally, if I am not standing straight, and having to lift them up, they are going to be bent. My ham strings are ridiculously tight, which is definitely something I am going to need to work on. The Flatmate suffers from a similar issue. More yoga for us, I think!
I must admit, as much as I struggled for the first half of the class, the latter half did seem to go quicker and I was actually surprised to find that our 25 minutes were up. As with all the classes that I have done so far which have not gone to plan (i.e. most of them!), I do want to go again and be more successful but, as with aerial hoops, I think I first need to attain a higher level of general fitness to really get the most out of the power plates class. Either that or just less achey legs when I go!
Although Parsons Green is quite out my way, I really liked Transition Zone so perhaps I will look for another class there in the mean time. Not that any of the others looked any easier!