Last Saturday, I made my way down to the Ukranian Village to check out Pure Vibes Fitness, located at 834 N. Ashland Ave. I was excited to take my first class, Cardio Kickboxing. A few weeks ago I wrote about a TurboKick experience at Lakeview Athletic Club, which was quite a challenge. Pure Vibes' Cardio Kickboxing is a little different, involving gloves, bags, ropes, TRX and just about anything else that will bring focus to strength and agility.
I arrived a little early and was greeted by my instructor, Eron Easter, a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A school teacher by profession, Eron gave me a quick peak at the studio. Pure Vibes offers over 55 classes a week, and has a staff of personal trainers. The facility has a few different rooms, each dedicated to specific class formats. Pure Vibes is also a Power Plate training center. A Power Plates machine is both a vibration device and exercise equipment. According to Pure Vibes' website, Power Plates "stimulate the body's natural response to vibration, activating muscle contractions 25-50 times per second." The results of repeated use are supposed to be great. This Friday I'm going to check a class out that uses Power Plates called Power 3. Looking forward to that. Until then, here's the recap of Cardio Kickboxing.
Class kicked off with a warm up of jumping rope and walkout planks. Before long, we had our gloves on, ready to punch away. I was the only newbie in class, so Eron gave us a combination of punches and kicks...then quickly came over the explain what I was to do. I really appreciated this and felt that I got some good advice. "Punch through with your first two knuckles, not your last two. That's how you break your hand." Good to know! As it turned out, I was initially punching through using the wrong knuckles. That correction, along with a few other tips gave my workout more purpose.
After ten minutes of roughing up the bag, she broke us up into separate stations for a strength/cardio set. Adjacent to the boxing room is a wall of TRXs, power ropes, weights and space to perform agility drills. In the first cardio set, I started on the strength ropes. If you've never worked with strength ropes before, think of extremely thick and heavy ropes that are anchored somewhere on the ground. Pull them straight, lift them up, start moving them quickly and your heart rate will be high in no time. The work that we did on the ropes worked primarily arms, shoulders and back. The next few circuits in included TRX core work, agility foot work, planks,burpees and more core! Each of these exercises had about 10 seconds of padding before hitting the next set.
As soon as the strength/cardio set was over, we were back at the bags again. This time, Eron added on a few more elements of complexity. The way she explained it, however, made it easy to understand. Once more we were back at the cardio/strength sets, this time with several entirely different challenges. Then one more time we were back at the bag. The 45-minute class moved non-stop with very little time to rest, and absolutely no time to get bored!
I mentioned earlier than Eron has a martial arts background. This was something she got into as a means of getting back into shape. Through her training she's been able to lose over 60 pounds! Over the years, Eron's skills have stuck with her. She recently competed in Rio at The Rio Masters Senior Open with women over 31 in the middle weight class. Happily she tole me that she won her match with much thanks to her coaches Hannette Staack and Andre Terencio.
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