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April 27, 2016

Going Above and Beyond

Take a run on a human hamster wheel in BEYOND500’s classes.

It’s a humbling exercise experience—watching a woman who’s 6 months pregnant complete a workout when you can barely do 5 reps of the same thing. That’s what happened to me yesterday at BEYOND500‘s Reform and Run class—or as I’ll refer to it from now on, class using medieval torture devices transformed into workout gear.

The Run and Reform class mixes cardio on the Woodway Curve and with pilates on the gym’s custom reformer machine. A typical class features 9 minute intervals at each station—giving you just enough time for your body to recover before you exhaust it using the same workout again.

For the uninitiated, let me introduce you to the Woodway Curve treadmill, more affectionately known as the human hamster wheel. Instead of spending your cardio intervals running on an electric treadmill that propels you forward, you’re the one in charge of setting the pace, suing your own strength to move the belt of the machine. Seems like something out of “The Princess Bride” torture scene.

While on the Curve, we split our time between sprints and endurance runs. The thought of running half a mile didn’t seem daunting—until I had to take a break at halfway to my goal. As I gasped for breath, I tried to remind myself that not only was I burning 30% more calories than I would on a normal treadmill, I was also being good to the environment.

Off the Curve, you’ll do strength training exercises using the BEYOND500 custom pilates reformer. Kettle bells pulls, single arm pushups, and the “Dancing Bear” (aka doing an aerial pike with the help of the weighted bar) are just a few of the moves that will get your muscles shaking.

At the end of the class I was praying for mercy. But a quick look at my heart rate monitor had me excited—in the 50-minute torture session I had torched 450 calories. Not too shabby for a lunch break sweat session.

The Details: BEYOND500 is located at 2003 Henderson Avenue. Learn more and check out their class schedule here