Since the age of 15, I’ve taken almost every type of group fitness class under the sun. And over the course of the past 13 years of working out, I’ve come to realize that there are instructors who make you do things that make you feel ridiculous for no good reason, and there are instructors who make you do things that make you feel ridiculous for good reason.
I’m talking about the instructor who makes you humiliate yourself by dancing like a moron for 30 seconds in front of the entire class, versus the kind that makes you wake up the next day with a killer new body that’s for the better.
Julian Ho is the latter type of instructor. Last week I shared an intimate look into his free weekly class with Adidas held at Totum Life Science on King West in Toronto, and expressed how impressed I’ve been by his dynamic and challenging workouts. And just when I thought I was getting a hang of what Julian’s classes were all about, he, of course, went ahead and completely turned everything on it’s head to surprise me, and everyone else.
This past Thursday’s class was all about exploring primal movements – something I’ve not explored much since, well, kindergarten – and I was a little hesitant to embrace the idea of crawling around the gym floor like an animal at the age of 28. I’m a grown ass woman now, after all. But, if Julian says we are getting our primal movement workout on, then that’s what we’re gonna do.
So what the heck is a primal moment workout anyway? It’s focusing on movement that brings our bodies back to our basic, natural movements and helps us return to our optimal cave-man/cave-woman physics. To be honest, considering how many times I’ve been on the Paleo diet, I could hardly believe this was the first time I was hearing of, and trying, a primal workout.
Of course Julian had us doing the usual fun stuff like jumping jacks, endless tuck jumps and squats, but the real thrill came when we began our primal routine to explore the movements of a variety of differing creatures from the animal kingdom. To give you an idea of what this looks like, see below:
To start, we began with a bear crawl. For this, we were instructed to “walk” on all fours – in a coordinated manner! – with our knees just an inch above the ground. If it looks easy, try it for 60 seconds.
Then, we moved on to the Duck walk – a walk I found to be incredibly uncomfortable and quickly wmade me realise that I have zero hip flexibility. Clearly, I was not meant to be a duck in this life.
This challenging crawl had two names to choose from: ‘The Lizard‘ or ‘Spiderwoman’ where you essentially crawled around in a plank position while simultaneously moving your hips from side to side, down to the floor. Thankfully we only had to do this one once. It’s crazy hard!
Here is one of my favourites: The Crab! It proved to be quite the tricep workout, and one that I think I will happily revisit in the comfort of my own home when I want to freak out my cat and boyfriend for no good reason.
I also enjoyed that this week Julian pushed the entire group to use 30 lb weights throughout the class – something I’ve never seen before in a women only fitness class before. As you can imagine, the weight-training portion of the class was challenging, but oh so worth it.
If you are interested in participating in these classes, Adidas is offering a free class lead by Julian Ho every Thursday evening at 7pm at Totum Life Science on King West in Toronto. To register, go to www.HereToCreate.ca on Thursday morning’s and register for the following week’s class. but hurry, they fill up fast!