20 days into my Dailey Method fitness challenge and my body is still shaking like a leaf during most of the exercises. I still have yet to wake up the day after a class without the good kind of soreness that lets you know you were worked the day before. This morning it even hurt my abs to blow my nose, which I don't know that I've ever experienced.
As I mentioned before, these classes put me totally and completely out of my element. It's just you, a ballet bar, a pair of 2 lbs. free weights, and a heavy duty stretching strap. There are no boxes to bound over, the heaviest weight in the studio is 5 pounds, and I've found myself surrounded by freakishly strong middle aged Mom's decked out in the latest Lululemon gear that could dance circles around me in this class. This isn't the workout environment that I'm used to as it requires deep concentration on the smallest of movements with a bit of grace, of which I tend to lack. Though, I'm loving that this is making me feel like I'm completely out of shape and that these classes are putting me in a new and unfamiliar environment. My body is soaking up every moment of the instructor telling me to deepen and elongate one more inch. I always feel that I learn best when I'm out of my zone of comfort.
That deep burning sensation that fires in your legs when you are at an all out sprint for a 5k as your body is expelling every ounce of energy it has to get to that finish line as quickly as possible and is telling you that your legs are going to give out on you any minute. Then the instructor tells you to hold through that feeling for 10 more seconds; legs convulsing, mind focusing, breath deepening. In nearly every movement this is the exact feeling I'm experiencing throughout the entire 1-hour class where at the end my body feels a sigh of relief and a new wave of self awareness.
When I started this challenge, I didn't weight myself or take any measurements. This wasn't going to be one of those kinds of challenges because let's get real, I don't need to be putting that kind of pressure on myself when I'm already fairly lean and have 15% body fat. Instead my goal with this challenge was to see of my body would find strength in areas that it could use some assistance, like my core and bum. As a runner these are two of the most important areas that can really help speed and strength, and I often over look them. Guilty as charged.
|This pic makes me laugh because I ate lunch right before and I can see it just kinda hanging out in the belly|
|Had one of those boob pads from a different sports top some how stuck in the elastic between my cleavage here.|
Didn't notice for hours afterwards even though it was making it look like I had a third boob.
It's really difficult for me to gain muscle, so I don't think in the past 20 days I've really gained anything substantial that would be picked up with my dinky iPhone camera. But what I can tell you is that this has been my primary source of strength training for these 20 days and I can say that I haven't lost any muscle tone whatsoever and I do feel like my body is beginning to pick up some of the strength I lost during late May to mid June. These classes have actually turned out to be great for me as I'm working to get back on top of my game and don't think that my body is quite ready yet for 3 hardcore strength days per week with lots of jumping, heavy weights, and crazy movements that really get the heart rate going.
If this sounds like an activity you'd be interested in, The Dailey Method has quite a few studios across the country and I would encourage you to check out a studio. If my graceless and awkward runners bod can make it through these classes, then really anyone can.
Disclosure: I was provided a complementary 30-day membership for a 3 part review, however all opinions stated here and experiences are all my own. This is part 2 of 3.
Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regime.