The Body Combat Affair
While women start their problems by involving their hearts, men start theirs by involving their ego.
I have been a gym member for more than 3 years now, and all those time I always rely on Personal Trainers. Most of my workout regime falls under weight training, although my PT will throw Muay Thai exercise for variations. But it’s always the Smith machine, the dumbells, or the TRX suspension.
Now, I am never interested in “group exercises”. Well, I joined hot yoga a couple of times, and that’s it, no interest to keep doing it. Partly perhaps because I am naturally a ‘loner’ workout person (I enjoy working out alone, with a PT’s company at most), but partly also because I think group exercises are for….women. I had this impression that only women and pansy-asses do aerobic or yoga. “Real men” lifts weights – with the images of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger flexing their muscles with barbells.
So when my girlfriend challenged me to join her in Body Combat class, I cringed. Isn’t that a class for chicks? No, she said, there are guys in it also. Fine. And she also said that she wanted to see whether I have the ability to endure it.
Like I said, nothing makes men do stupid things faster than their tickled ego.
“Fine, I’ll do it!”
So yesterday, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I dragged my ass to the Studio for a Body Combat session. For those who don’t know, Body Combat is really an aerobic session, but inspired by martial-arts movements. So you will expect to see punches and kicks in it. This is also the reason why I am still willing to join. If I have to be among women, at least I am doing a ‘masculine’ kind of workout. And yup, there are probably about 3 other guys in the room. Not bad.
Enter the instructor. A 20-something guy who looks very fit, but not overtly muscular. So I got myself a spot in the studio, paid attention to the instructor, and waited. The guy plugged in his iPod, and played an upbeat music to begin. Now BRING IT ON mister!!
So here’s my account of the session, minute by minute.
01:00 First minute passed, we were just doing some easy jabs in the air. Ha, this is easy. No wonder only women do this stuff….
01:40 (panting) Surely there is gonna be a BREAK right sometime later right?
03:12 (panting) WAIT (panting) NOT (panting) SO (panting) FAST (panting) PLEASE!! WHAT’S THE BLOODY RUSH?@#!!
04:00 – 52:00 PleaseGodMakeItEndAfterThisPleaseGodMakeItEndAfterThisPleaseGodMakeItEndAfterThisPleaseGodMakeItEndAfterThisPleaseGodMakeItEndAfterThisMove….
58:00 (End of session) What’s my name? Where am I? Why am I on the floor….?
At the end of the session, I had to admit that Body Combat is NOT for pansy-asses. And I got my own personal butt whupped there. So what’s my lesson here?
Well, all those years doing weight lifting have probably done some good in improving my strength, but not my cardiovascular ability. Which is basically my heart and lungs’ ability to keep up with high intensity physical activities. So although I can carry around “Aqua gallon” easily for 5-10 meters, I suck in running and jumping for continuous 30 minutes.
So what’s better: cardiovascular ability or muscle strength? The answer, based on whatever readings I got, is: both. It is very naive to say that one is more important than the other. Cardiovascular workout helps improve your heart’s blood pumping performance, and your lungs’ efficiency (it is said that the legendary Tour De France champion Lance Armstrong has a resting heartbeat SLOWER than average humans’, because his cardiovascular system is so efficient!) Good cardiovascular system means you have better endurance, do not run out of breath easily, and most likely stay conscious longer during sex before fainting.
However, muscles need to be trained as well. The obvious benefit is to carry our daily lives (like men’s destiny to carry their girlfriends’/wives’ shopping bags), not to mention emergency situations (in case you are trapped in a building held by terrorists, you need to be able to climb your way through the elevator shaft! Or maybe I just watched too many Die-Hards…) And muscles burn calories faster at rest, which is good news if you like to eat. And also, muscle training helps you fight ageing process as well. Last but not least, you will look good! (and this applies to women as well – women need muscles too, although at different level from men. She-Hulks may be a turn-off…)
So I guess I am gonna stick with this Body Combat class for a while. It is a good balancing act to my regular strength training. Besides, there is no way I am gonna quit and admit defeat.
The male ego can be a good motivation to health too 😀
Categories: Random Insight