I have worked out consistently for years, pretty much since I got out of high school and realized that I had to make a decision – 1) keep going down the road of eating horrible food and sitting on my butt, or 2) take control of my health and wellness by improving my eating habits and making activity and exercise a priority. I am so glad I chose the second option, as being consistently active just makes me feel sooooooooo much better in general! And, the more active I am, the better I tend to eat – WIN! So after years of doing all kinds of different things – kickboxing, running, walking, hiking, skiing, yoga, HIIT, weight-lifting, P90X, and much more, I found a new class that makes me feel better than any of these other things ever have!
I wasn’t sure what to expect, as Eccentrics to me means “resistance training while the muscle tissue is elongating” instead of concentric, which is “resistance training while shortening the muscle tissue.” I always describe this difference with a bicep curl – as you pull the weight up towards your shoulder, the muscle is shortening and this is a concentric contraction, if you slowly lower the weight while the muscle is elongating this is an eccentric contraction. But, I also realized that the class name is spelled with “ess” instead of “ecc,” so that may explain why this class is actually different from the meaning above. Anyways, I digress.
Upon my arrival to the Essentrics with Pam class, I realized that I was definitely the “newbie” and that everyone else knew each other and was experienced with Pam’s classes. This was not an issue what-so-ever – as soon as I walked in, everyone was so friendly and immediately helped me get set up with my mat and my band and just included me right into the conversation. There was definitely none of that awkward time when you’re new to an exercise class and you just stand there by yourself, hoping the class starts as soon as possible so that you can stop feeling like the only one in the room that doesn’t know anyone. I was also a little worried that I would be absolutely horrible at the class and not be able to follow the moves, once again, definitely not the case. This class is AWESOME! It’s completely fluid motion, but Pam gives wonderful cues throughout the class and there is nothing particularly difficult about any of the moves – it was very easy to follow along. Immediately I could start to feel that my body was relaxing and that I was being moved and stretched in ways that I hadn’t moved in a long time. I would describe this class as a mix between Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and gentle aerobics. The constant motion really gets your blood flowing, but also allows you to move fluidly through motions that are not part of most normal workout routines (I love the thoracic rotations, the reaching and the glut strengthening the best). I will tell you one thing – I have never felt so good after an exercise class as I have after this one. My heart rate got up a bit, I definitely warmed up a lot, my balance was challenged and my core was feeling the burn, but I have never left a class feeling so energized, mobilized and just plain great! This class really gets your blood flowing and your nervous system mobilized in a fantastic way and I absolutely LOVE IT!
For all of you that are thinking that it’s not difficult enough, that you might not sweat enough, or that it’s just plain too easy, that might be true. You can do all of those other things with other workouts, but I feel that this class should be an integral part of everyone’s workout program. Too often in physical therapy I see injuries because people are working out intensely, but they are neglecting to stretch, mobilize and create a gentle stimulus to their muscles. If all you ever do is high intensity workouts, you’re constantly breaking down your tissues and often not giving enough recovery time, which leads to inflammation and eventually injury. This class would be a fantastic addition to any workout program at least once, if not twice a week. I guarantee that you will feel better, as long as you are open-minded and realize that this workout is for healing, stretching, and improving your mobility, not for getting a crazy high-intensity workout.
I encourage everyone to try Essentrics with Pam – check out her website and find the location and time that works best for you. The other perk of this class is that Pam and her “followers” are absolutely wonderful people. The energy that you will feel upon entering the class is contagious and I’m sure is a big part of why I always feel so good after this class. Contact me or Pam if you have any questions. Have fun!!