Words By Jenn Tisdale, Photos By Clarissa Villondo
I have got to stop feeling cocky every time I sign up for a special exercise class just because I work out at a regular ol’ gym. It all started when I lived in Los Angeles 10 years ago (yes, I’m old enough to have lived in a whole other place a decade ago) where I signed up for a hip-hop exercise class. What I didn’t realize, and what I should have assumed, is everyone in LA is talented. Every barista, every server, every nail technician, every person handing out any sort of flyer on the street…everyone. Therefore everyone signing up for a lowly hip-hop exercise class was actually a professional dancer, except me.
You sure can erase a lot of humiliation in ten years (but not all of it, looking at you middle school) which is why I walked into SweatBox with the kind of confidence that only a professional dancer in a hip-hop class should possess. What’s the definition of insanity? Repeating the same mistake and expecting a different result. I didn’t fail at this class the same way I failed at the hip-hop exercise class but I was not prepared for the kind of kicking of my ass that was about to occur.
I signed up for their Full Throttle class so I could make all the Charlie’s Angels jokes I wanted. Funnily enough I nearly died, and became an angel! There are 3 components to this class: the bike, the weights and the XT trainers. You have the option of monitoring your heart rate which is displayed on a screen with the heart rates of your fellow exercise masochists. I think in this game you don’t want the highest score, you want the ideal score. SweatBox is designed to strengthen your muscles and what is your heart if not your body’s most important muscle.
After you adjust the bike, entering in all your stats, you warm up and then SPEND THE NEXT 50 MINUTES HATING YOUR TRAINERS. You alternate between the bike, the XT trainers and the weights. You scream (okay I did), you sweat (me again!), and you cry (damn it, still me). And of course your body gets an incredibly intense workout. As I type this my arms are still sore, which is the mark of a good workout and an indication that I still don’t know what I’m doing, ten years later.