I was thinking the other day why it is that I look forward to Saturday mornings and Monday evenings? I belong to a select cadre of acolytes who not only enjoy the challenges set forth in each class, but I think equally that Nicole, quite aside from her beautiful smile makes, the time vibrant, interesting and of course fun. Each class is new except for our five-minute warm-up. This last class on Saturday had the elements I stated. No doubt that the classes are designed not only to build strength, flexibility and well-being but to challenge us, all and that includes Nicole. I was a scuba instructor for many years and the one thing I heard over and over was that I fully participated in each class. I never stood on the pool deck and directed. Nicole does the same, and I know everyone in her classes appreciates her being a role model.

Saturday we had “Turtle Training” which is opposite the Tabata class. Here we do everything slowly and because the TRX suspension is involved the traditional length of time is abrogated, instead we do five seconds each way. The technical terms are concentric and eccentric workout. I’m not sure which is which but I can tell you it’s very difficult. We took turns doing the count. Nicole first and I was second and around the class we went.

1. Suspended Lunges: this is an advanced class so we don’t do the normal lunges, instead we super shorten our TRX straps by making what we called dog ears, imagine a cocker spaniel floppy long ears. We move ourselves slightly forward of center, extend our legs so we are on our heels only. The core is engaged and we pull ourselves backward over a count of five seconds and release ourselves back over five seconds. This is done 20 times.
2. Atomic Push-ups with a plank and crunch: On my count, five down into a push-up, five up to a flat back tight core plank and then five seconds for the crunch and five seconds back to plank and we start all over again. This set is really long, 20 seconds all told for one complete repetition. Toward the end of the count, I was having trouble barking out the count and breathing.
3. Single leg squats, all I can say thank goodness for the TRX straps otherwise I might have fallen over from being exhausted.
4. Low. row: Our body is angled away from the anchor point at about 45 degrees. By now, the sweat thinks I’m Niagara Falls.

We have. What is laughingly called a lull some Isometric exercises? The first thing we do is a one-legged handstand for 90 seconds. I can’t do it for that long. Some days are longer than others; I think this one was more toward the end than the middle. We then did side planks on each side for one minute. The last of this set I need to clarify with Nicole. This next exercise I know I’m screwing up, nevertheless, I’ll endeavor to make it work. It is called the Chatqranga to Upward facing dog to Pike. You understand to don’t you? The downward portion is this. You go down from a plank position but instead of putting your weight on your hands it goes onto the forearms, from there you lift upper body upward, so your back is severely arched and your head is upright, and chest is thrust forward (like a dog), from that position you transition into a pike. What I don’t understand is the timing; do you hold it for 10 seconds in each position? Alternatively, do you start at 10 for one position then 9 for the next position and 8 for the next position and keep descending. I’ve been turned the wrong way so I’ve been unable to watch Nicole.
Now back to the Turtle training.
Plié dead lift; Nicole was a former dancer, including ballet. I’m sure this is a ballet move Legs. apart and feet splayed outward. A five-second descent to a five-second shift to a parallel position of the upper body, five seconds to plié and five seconds to be vertical
Straight Leg Drops; Lying on your back, feet between the straps over five seconds lower your legs, engaging your core muscles and not arching your back do the five count each way.
The one is quite arduous a hamstring to curl with a twist. One leg is suspended. The other leg is held against the engaged leg, so your core is working already. Now you move your tethered leg forward curling your knee toward your chest. When the leg returns to its original position, the free leg is kept straight and extended upwards. And since we have two legs, we do both sides.
The next two are straight forward. Biceps curls 5 second each way.
Lastly, triceps Press, 5 seconds each way.
The exercises were done in a descending and ascending manner. Twenty reps, fifteen reps and, ten reps and ascending. The hour passed, and we all live for another day building a catalogue of great workouts. One of the young ladies and I have on occasion come in on a Tuesday morning, and we do our own workout. We have much to draw from, and we work hard.