Crash Course: The TRX/Kettlebell class at Reformation Fitness is 50 minutes of intense cardio, weights, plyometrics, and agility training sure to kick your keister into crazy shape. Warning: this is not a class for the faint of heart or for those who don’t like to sweat when working out. This is a class full of traditional, good old fashioned hard work that makes every minute and every move count. Prepare to be tested mentally and physically. Suspension trainers are tricky, and swinging kettlebells is harder than it looks. If you want a total-body workout to work you over and leave you with nothing left in the tank, this is the class for you. Click here for a schedule of classes.
perks: small class size, towels
sweat score: 8 out of 10[/left][right]wear: whatever you like to sweat in
instructor: Ivan Black
cost: $22 drop-in[/right] [line]
I feel the need to provide full disclosure regarding the photos in the post. They were taken after my class at Reformation Fitness because I was too busy getting my tush handed to me during the session itself to stop and snap a few. So that serene, calm expression on my face in the photo above? Fake. Staged. Aspirational at best. Consider this your friendly warning. Now on to the good stuff.
I know two things to be true. TRX suspension training is incredibly challenging. Kettlebells are also incredibly challenging. Put the two together, and wham bam holy sweat factory, you’re in for one heck of a ride. When Reformation Fitness reached out to me about crashing this class – one of the newer listings on their schedule – I knew I was signing up for a full-body beat down. And I was excited about it.
I crashed a pilates reformer class around this time last year just after the studio first opened and hadn’t been back since. Imagine my surprise when I arrived to discover that the place more than doubled in size during that time period. The new area sits adjacent to the original studio and includes a downstairs room full of fun fitness gadgets (where the TRX class takes place) and an upstairs room used for yoga and other classes.
There was another class going on when I arrived, so I ducked into a bathroom in the waiting area to change into my workout clothes. I grabbed a towel off of a rack by the cubbies, filed up my water bottle, and waited for the next session to begin.
The first thing I noticed when we all filed into the room is that we were working out in tight quarters. I never felt overly cramped, but just know that you won’t have a ton of space to spread out in while lunging or doing burpees. After a short dynamic warm up, we started into the first set of the day: an ungodly number of pushups, lunges, TRX mountain climbers, dolphin plank dips, and other adventures.
As Ivan was going over each part of the set, I almost thought it was a joke. Were the moves challenging and sure to work up a sweat? Absolutely. But after 80 lunges and 80 pushups I’m bored. I want out. I would honestly rather be doing anything else. There’s something to be said for switching things up and keeping the pace of class quick and interesting. Obviously, this experience was unique to that day’s designated workout, but I bring it up because it’s one of the things that stick out most prominently in my mind.
Things really picked up during the second half of class, when we did a ladder of exercises involving the TRX and steelbells (which are basically neoprene disks filled with heavy sand). We didn’t actually use any kettlebells during this particular class, but I wasn’t disappointed because throwing the steelbells around was just as challenging.
The ladder included all sorts of fun and unique exercises, including dynamic lunges with resistance bands around the ankles, steelbell overhead slams, TRX rows, and lateral ski jumps. I was impressed with how Ivan weaved together strength, cardio, and agility moves, making sure the second half of class was well-rounded into a total body conditioning experience. While I was frustrated with him for making us do seemingly insurmountable repetitions of (in my opinion) boring exercises, I began eating my words during the second half of class and left with nothing but the best impression of his training. The man knows his fitness, and I would absolutely love to come back and workout with him again just to see what he comes up with.
So, what’d I think of the class? I‘d say it’s a no-nonsense, effective, creative full body experience built around the principle of good old-fashioned hard work. This class will make you sweat and will push your body beyond your comfort zone. Ivan is upbeat, fun, plays good music, and encourages you every step of the way. It’s a great addition to any current conditioning program, or an excellent place to build a foundation for new fitness goals.
If you go or if you’ve been, please leave a comment and share your experience!
Note: While Reformation Fitness invited me to try a free class, my review is based entirely on my honest-to-goodness personal experience. Thanks for reading!