I Thought I Was Fit Until I Did This Workout — Boy, Was I Wrong

POPSUGAR Photography | Diggy Lloyd
POPSUGAR Photography | Diggy Lloyd

Throughout the last year, I have made my health a top priority. I started running, took up (and then got addicted to) SoulCycle, and have tried various workouts in between, from rowing classes to an Orange Theory Fitness session. While some of these workouts stayed with me and others were fun to try but weren't feasible or necessary in the long run, there was one workout along the way that changed my perspective.

One night in an effort to try something new, I signed up to take a boxing conditioning class at UFC Gym. I'm not really sure what sparked the desire to take it, but I figured it would shake up my routine a bit.

I went in thinking that the class would be a piece of cake, honestly. I had been a regular at a heavy bag class a few years ago and did some boxing-style personal training for a bit. I run on a regular basis. I do SoulCyle two to three times a week. I also lift weights on a regular basis for strength training. I truly thought there was no way I wasn't going to get through this hour like it was nothing more than a walk in the park.

You know that meme that's been going around the internet lately that says, "Your workout is my warm up"? Yeah, that's exactly what happened here. The class, taught by a great instructor, was based on training that boxers go through in order to get in shape for their fights. We're talking agility, cardio, and strength. I was already begging for mercy in my head after the warmup, but I'm strangely competitive and wouldn't let myself cop out of this.

We spent the next hour doing a circuit that ranged from sit-ups against the wall, riding a stationary bike, and using our own weight on TRX straps to work our core to the, well, core. I left there sweating more than I do from SoulCycle, and that is saying something. And I was sore for two days after it.

So, you may be wondering about how this workout changed my life since I was already very focused on being active. But here's the truth. This workout taught me that I wasn't pushing my body to the limit. The fact that I was sore for two full days after one hour of class meant that there were certain things my body needed that it wasn't getting from my regular routine.

After this, I started putting more focus on those areas that were sore. I dedicated more time to my ab work instead of just assuming my cardio would take care of it. I also started planking and doing wall sits in an effort to build up muscle. John, the instructor, took good care of me during the class and helped me develop and focus on proper form, and now, I pay closer attention to that when I am doing these things myself.

Sometimes, shaking things up is the best way to figure out what your body needs to move forward. I'm glad I did.