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I thought I was in shape until I found "Total Conditioning" at Lifetime Fitness in Cary

dtg's picture

Some of you that know me have heard me rave on and on about this new health club I've been going to, Lifetime Fitness. If you're in the Cary area, and you have not seen this place, it is worth going to - over in Regency Park in Cary. It has everything, sauna, whirlpools, swimming pools, water slides, a climbing wall, basketball, racquetball, extensive group fitness classes, excellent child care, a nice Cafe, and most of all, a _great_ vibe! (And no, I don't work for the club or get anything for saying this)

Anyway, about "total conditioning". So the first time few times I started going there, I felt like a kid in a candy store. The place was just totally awesome, or so I thought. So I started trying just about everything, including a lot of the classes. They have pilates, yoga, spinning, and the whole gambit of "group fitness" classes. I did most of the classes just fine - well, ok, some of the more "choreographed" ones I had a hard time with. But then I got to "total conditioning". It sounded like a pretty great workout, and I managed to keep myself in fairly good shape over the winter, so I went for it.

I get into the class, we start warming up, I think, "No problem". As we progress through the warmup, the instructor begins explaining that this is a one hour, total body workout. The class beings with a warmup, then gets your heart rate up into zone 3 (aerobic) by some cardio work. Then you proceed to work each body part - the chest is first with pushups. For each body part, there are 3 progressions. First is a "normal" strength move, next is a "unstable" strength move, and third is a plyometric or explosive move. On the third progression, you should strive to get into zone 4 (anaerobic). The goal of the class is to keep your heartrate in zone 3 or above the whole time, while doing strength training on each body part. At this point, I'm thinking, ok, this is going to be challenging, but I know I can do it. So we hit the end of the warmup, and my heartrate is like 90%, then the instructor says, "Ok, give me 20 pushups". I proceed to do my best with this, and before I knew it she says, "Ok, second progression, pushups off the side of the step, one hand on the ground, one on the step". At this point, I'm thinking, ok, I must have missed something, "Where's the recovery time?" Oh yeah, that must be the point, THERE IS NONE! Somehow I make it through the second progression and then we hit the 3rd one - "dumpster dives" or something like that. At this point my chest is just crying and I'm praying the class will just be over! I look at my watch and it's only been 10 minutes since we started! No time to think, we do actually begin a brief recovery (maybe 15 seconds of easy stepping) when the instructor says, "ok, REPEAT". That's right, you do 3 progressions of each body part, no rest in between the progressions, and 2 sets of each body part.

Somehow I survived that class, and I continue to go back, 2x/wk, which is about all my body can take of such an intense workout. I must say I have seen absolutely fantastic results as a result of that class. It is probably _the best_ 1 hour workout I have ever done in my life. There are a few caveats though:

  1. I would not really term it "fun" a lot of the time. It's a lot of work. Having said that, there are a couple instructors that I go to which really do make the workout more than bearable - I really do look forward to seeing them and working with them. Two of my favorite instructors are Roz and Stacy (they teach Mon and Wed evenings).
  2. The workout is very hard on your body and you can easily get injured. To mitigate this, you just have to pace yourself (something I'm not always good at doing), and only do it 1-2x's per week max. There are modifications to every part of the class, so you can avoid injury if you're smart.

So there it is, Total Conditioning at Lifetime Fitness in Cary. If you're ever in the area, or want to check out the club, they often have open houses on the weekends. If not, I still have a couple extra guest passes and I'd be happy to show you around!


Life Time Fitness
1700 Regency Parkway
Cary, North Carolina
United States
Phone: 617-452-5663
35° 44' 5.8704" N, 78° 47' 19.788" W


MikeB's picture

dtg in peak shape

All I can say is WOW. The facility/staff/support all sound incredible, and is absolutely worth checking out. Thank you so much for sharing that....truly. Getting in better shape is a common goal for sure. Those workouts sound very intense and as I sit in my lowly office chair pondering such a workout I can feel my heartrate increase just from reading your experience. Thank goodness you're working out hard enough for the both of us. ;-)
skatey-mark's picture

I toured Lifetime Fitness

I toured Lifetime Fitness with Dave a couple months ago, and it truly is an amazing facility. If it didn't take me 40 minutes to drive across town to get there, I probably would have joined it instead of O2 Fitness, which is right near my house. For those not in the RTP, NC area, Lifetime Fitness *is* a national chain, and they're opening up new locations all the time, so there may be one near you too. http://www.lifetimefitness.com/ - SM -

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