Butts and Guts is apparently one of the most popular workout classes offered through PSU fitness. The first time I tried to go, I actually couldn’t get into the class because it was operating at full capacity! This week I went to the class offered Tuesday night at 7:45 pm; if you are planning on attending the class at 3:45 pm, I would recommend getting there 5-10 minutes early because there is a bit of a line to get in.
I think this class may be so appealing because the beauty ideals many of us constantly see and hear in the media focus on having a flat, toned stomach and a round, firm butt. Thus, the goal of getting rid of “unsightly” stomach rolls and building a “beach ready butt” might be one that resounds with a lot of people, especially women. There were around 30 people in the class I attended, all of them female. I don’t agree with the idea of exercising with the singular goal of getting a butt like the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj, or J.Lo, but doing any exercise at all, no matter the goal, helps make you stronger and healthier which is awesome!
Now to get into the workout. This class is 45 minutes filled with multiple variations of squats, lunges, planks, crunches, leg-lifts, and other pilates-style strengthening moves intended to tone your glutes and abs. After a warm-up, the exercises focus on overloading the muscles with extreme repetition. For example, the first part of the main workout was a 15 minute series of different kinds of squats and lunges with no breaks in between (I was doing regular squats, then transitioned into plie squats, then started pulsing, all with no breaks in between). The class was nicely organized so that once I felt like I truly couldn’t do a single more butt exercise because the slow burn in my glutes was too intense, we’d switch over to ab exercises for a couple minutes in order to give the butt a break.
I really enjoyed this class because I have quite a bit of experience with pilates (from doing Blogilates), and enjoy this style of workout. If you are looking for a class that will target your “butts and guts” for some serious muscle toning, this is the class for you. I think beginners will also find this class beneficial because you can modify the rate at which you do the repetitions, going slower for an easier workout or taking breaks in between exercises whenever you need. One thing you guys should keep in mind when choosing a workout class is that this class does not focus on cardio; I did break a sweat from the workout, but I wasn’t breathing hard enough to call this a cardio workout. I will also say that the effectiveness of the class is fairly dependent on doing the exercises with correct form, which might be a bit difficult if you’ve never done this kind of workout before. For example, when doing different kinds of leg lifts, it’s really important not to roll your bodyweight forward or backward because it will change which muscles are working and could also lead to a hip flexor injury. If you want a sense of what exercises I did in the class and what this workout is like, I’d recommend checking out this Blogilates Youtube video which does a really excellent job of explaining the correct forms for similar exercises (it’s also just an awesome workout video you can do anytime in your home!).
Overall, I had an awesome experience in Butts and Guts (and was really sore the next day…). I would encourage any of you interested in the class to try it out, or feel free to ask any questions you might still have in the comments below. One last thing, be sure to bring a water bottle! My throat felt as parched as the Sahara during the workout, so I’ll definitely be remembering to bring one the next time I go.
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