I love free stuff and I enjoy trying new things. So when I heard about the Baton Rouge Fitness Crawl, I couldn’t contain my excitement! From July 15th -30th, several local, fitness centers opened their doors and offered free classes to those who registered with the crawl. This opportunity to try unique, specialized classes for free was enough to get me out of my comfort zone. I am an active person, but I am more comfortable running the lakes than walking into a gym or fitness class. Actually I signed up for my first marathon before ever having the nerve to go to a fitness class alone! Crazy, right? The Fit Crawl offered a rare treat to try all these new classes with other people who had never done it before, relieving some of the “new” class anxiety. I immediately signed up for every class I could arrange childcare for & planned out 2 weeks of painful fun.
My first stop on the crawl was GymFit. Apparently, I was a little too eager & misread the start date so four friends & I showed up a day early! Thankfully, they did not kick us out and we were treated to a 90 minute workout. Not going to lie: walking into this class surrounded by 15+ fit, gymnastic type bodies was pretty intimidating. However, the workout is for everyone & there are modifications for every fitness level. My biggest recommendation is to go with a friend & be prepared for sore muscles!
I was most excited to try Aerial Yoga at Open Barre since I missed the Red Stick Mom’s event a few months ago. I knew those spots would go quickly so I signed up for that first. I was pleasantly surprised that they offered THREE classes for free. I chose Aerial, of course, and just picked 2 others without even knowing what I signed up for!
- The first class I did at Open Barre was GLIDE. Glide is an awesome leg workout. You do most of the exercises on this slick mat wearing non grip socks. Sounds fun, right…like skating, only way harder. This ended up being one of my favorites of the entire Fit Crawl. I even bought a 4 pack of classes so I could do it again.
- Up next was POUND. You are given RipStix (bright green drum sticks) and you use them the entire class. I’m terrible at keeping a beat & totally uncoordinated but I made it through without making too big of a fool of myself.
- Finally, I was able to try Aerial Yoga. I was so excited that I never considered the fact that I get motion sickness easily. I was able to make it through the 30 intro class without losing my lunch but felt extremely queasy for some time afterward. I wish my body liked being upside down, swaying in all directions but it just doesn’t like to cooperate. It was a great workout but be careful if you are prone to motion sickness.
DEFINE fitness: Buti Yoga
I’ve done yoga before but had no idea what Buti Yoga was. It is a mix of yoga, tribal dance & plyometrics. This class is done in the dark (which I love), wearing glow bracelets, and with strobe lights (which made me slightly motion sick by the end). It’s fast paced with lots of cardio. The instructor was awesome and you could tell she really enjoyed teaching this class. I plan to try more classes at Define.
Pilates Plus: Lagree Fitness
Next up was Lagree Fitness at Pilates Plus. Once again, why do I sign up for stuff without researching first? I had never heard of Lagree Fitness before & definitely never laid eyes on a Megaformer! It’s probably better that I walked in blind to this class or I might have talked myself out of going. You do the entire class on the Megaformer (ie torture device). You target specific muscles and work them until they shake uncontrollably – ok so maybe that’s not what the official class description states but it’s what happened to me! This was the most intense 45 minute workout and my muscles were still shaking a couple hours later. I think I would have been better prepared if I had done a regular Pilates Reformer class before attempting this class.
Studio 7 Pilates & Fitness
The class I had the most fun in was “Piloxing” at Studio 7. This class was heavy cardio with dancing & boxing moves. You wear weighted gloves and spend most of the time throwing good punches while do a series of moves that even I could keep up with! The hour went by fast and left me feeling very energized. It was the perfect workout for my sore muscles. The only negative about this studio is its close proximity to Trader Joe’s. I had to use major will power not to walk over and get a jar of coca swirl cookie butter after class. I would definitely do this class again!
I had heard lots of things about Crossfit and just assumed it was not for me. However, I was curious and couldn’t turn down a free chance to try it. This is one place I refused to try alone & thankfully had a couple friends join me for the trial classes. You are required to complete an Intro class before attending a regular workout. Walking in to Geaux Crossfit was pretty intimidating and I expected the worse. Thankfully, I had nothing to fear since Crossfit is not actually as scary as I had imagined. The intro class is a way for them to get a good glimpse of your current fitness level. You are timed doing the row machine, squats, pushups, situps & pull ups. The instructor was great and never made us feel out of place. My friends and I also attended a regular workout which consists of warm up/stretching and the WOD (workout of the day). I bench pressed for the first time ever that day and found out that I could do over 100 squats & close to 300 jump ropes in a 10 minute time frame. I really liked how they keep track of all your reps so you can see exactly what you accomplished during each workout. They offered 5 free classes for crawlers but I was only able to squeeze in one. If you are even a little curious about Crossfit, I highly recommend Geaux Crossfit. The instructors were very encouraging and the members were friendly and helpful too!
So if you are intimated to try new fitness classes like I was, here are my final recommendations. Grab a friend with a similar fitness level and try GEAUX CROSSFIT and GYMFIT. Going alone may be too overwhelming and it will help to have someone who is only on their 3rd rep too when the rest of the class is on their 6th. I also recommend any of the classes at Open Barre, Define, and Studio 7 and think those would be just fine to attend on your own. All the instructors are very helpful and the workouts offer modifications doable for first timers!
I’m so glad I took the time to try as many of these classes as possible. I now know what workouts are a fit for me and which ones are not. Running is my passion but it’s so good to know of other ways to stay fit and active. I can’t wait until the next Fitness Crawl, and I hope you take the time to try it out too!
This post is not sponsored. Guest writer, April Matessino, has given her honest opinion on these local fitness programs. April is a Louisiana native and has been living in the Baton Rouge area the last 10 years after marrying Cory, Red Stick born & raised. She currently stays home with Ava, a 4 year old with a wild imagination & extensive vocabulary, and Samuel, a rowdy 2 year old who tries to get at least one head injury a day. She’s always looking for new challenges & races to tackle or any opportunity to run around the LSU Lakes with friends.