One of my biggest goals in 2020 is to try new things outside of my comfort zone and interest zone (is that a thing? It is now). I realize it’s quite a vague, simple goal to have, but the payoff has been amazing. While it’s great to have routine in our day-to-day lives, I think it’s important to open ourselves to places, experiences and communities we typically wouldn’t face on our own. In trying new things, we grow in confidence and perspective—whether or not we liked the thing(s) we tried.
As you may or may not have noticed, my blog has been light on the “fit” and heavy on the “fork” lately, and I really want to fix that.
Ah, how convenient to have a solution that aligns with my 2020 goal… and how convenient to pay $0 to try a $36 group fitness class… and how convenient to take that class with a friend and her friend? And so, I took my first BIA Force 45 class at 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning!
According to their website, BIA Force is a boutique fitness and recovery studio in NoHo, Manhattan. Here, you accomplish a full-body, high-intensity workout in three components: cycling, TRX bands and boxing. For this specific “Force 45” class, we did two circuits of 6-minute intervals on each activity.
Minor yet important detail: I was able to take this class for free by using the code “sweats” at checkout on the BIA Force website (and you must create an account)!
As soon as my friend Ariana, her friend Vanessa and I walked in the door, one of the male employees at the front desk greeted us with a bright, energetic and positive voice.
“Hey guys, good morning! How’s it going?”
For me, his greeting alone set the stage for my experience. Especially in a space as vulnerable as a fitness studio, I think it’s crucial to make a client/customer feel welcome, happy and not judged. We filled out some contact info on a clipboard before descending a maze of stairs and hallways to get to the locker room. And… the picture sums up how bougie it was.
My thoughts before class
I had done spinning classes before, so I wasn’t too worried about the bike. The only low-key struggle was figuring out how to adjust the seat and resistance; I totally had that “um I’m just gonna act cool, like I know exactly how to do this, even though I’m clueless AF” awkward moment. Thankfully, the instructor Nikki was super friendly and came around to help everyone adjust accordingly (and she introduced herself to each of us, which made me feel much more at ease)!
As a total rookie at boxing, I was skeptical and intimidated. Could it really be that grueling of a workout? I had never faced a punching bag in my life. Oh God, I was about to suck at this.
I was no stranger to regular resistance bands, so I figured the TRX bands wouldn’t be all that hard to use.
My thoughts during class
After a quick, basic overview, Nikki turned up the playlist and took us through each section, starting with the bike. She was encouraging and motivational in a warm way, never drill sergeant-y, which I liked. I also liked how we were able to somewhat customize the intensity throughout the class without going too easy or too hard on ourselves (like, we weren’t married to a certain resistance level number). Every so often, Nikki would throw in some of her own calisthenics, such as squats and low jumping jacks, to mix it up.
Surprisingly, the whole class was very easy to follow! The biggest challenge might have been remembering the boxing terminology, especially when strung together in a sequence of moves. Jab-hook-cross-hook-upper cut-jab-jab. Hook-hook-upper cut. But in my opinion, as long as I was punching that bag and giving it 110% effort, my accuracy didn’t matter as much!
My thoughts after class
I’ll be honest—I felt like a badass by the end. If BIA Force weren’t so far away (or $$$), I would be there at least twice a week. To me, waking up sore the day after a solid workout is one of the best feelings in the world. Sure, it might indicate that I’m out of shape in a few areas, but it also serves as rewarding reassurance that 1) I gave it my all, and 2) I’m capable of more than I thought possible!
SIDE NOTE: If you’re looking for a less conventional full-body workout, I highly recommend giving indoor rock climbing a whirl! The guy I’m seeing took me to The Cliffs in Long Island City last month for date night and we had a blast! Well, I actually kind of sucked at it, but ~all in the spirit of trying new things~ right? To see a list of all The Cliffs’ locations, click here!