My First Sh’Bam Class

I’m not really a group exercise person.  I don’t know, I just prefer to be in my own private world when I’m red-faced, sweaty, and huffing and puffing.  But back when I lived in MA, there were a few classes I would go to on a weekly basis, because a friend would go with me.  If she didn’t go, I usually didn’t.  That being said, I actually loved going to the classes because they pushed me harder than I push on my own, and they got me doing moves and exercises I wouldn’t do on my own.

In an effort to have a more comprehensive, whole-body fitness routine, I’m trying to actually go to some of the many group fitness classes that are included in my monthly gym membership fee.  An easy first choice was Les Mills Sh’Bam, because my friend and Legally Blonde cast-mate, Brad, is an instructor.  This decision was made even easier by the fact that my coworker Freda agreed to check it out with me.  So, last Thursday, we hit up a class.

I knew very little about what to expect.  In my mind, it would be sort of like Zumba, but less emphasis on Latin moves and music.  Here’s an official class description:

Featuring simple but seriously hot dance moves, SH’BAM™ is the perfect way to shape up and let out your inner star – even if you’re dance challenged.

Set to a soundtrack of chart-topping popular hits, dance music that is heard in the hottest nightclubs around the world, familiar classics remixed and modernized Latin beats, SH’BAM™ is the ultimate fun and sociable way to exercise. Each 45-minute SH’BAM™ class is vibrant, unique and varied – and like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new SH’BAM™ release is produced every three months with new music and choreography.

At first I was really, really nervous, and Freda was too, so we stopped by Brad’s office before class.  He was very encouraging and reassuring, and we found out that the class was the first class of a “new release,” so EVERYONE would be learning together.  For those who don’t know, Les Mills classes generally have three-week intervals where the class/moves/music are the same, and then they switch it up, which is known as a new release.  This gives you a chance to really learn the routine and rock out.

Guys, all I can say is, this class was FUN!  Everybody was just moving as well as they could, learning the moves as well as they could, and doing their own thing.  I wasn’t worried about what I looked like or if I was doing the dance moves right or anything because it was such a fun atmosphere.  Brad kept yelling things like, “Come on, this is a girl power song, show me your fierce face!” or “Britney’s in there somewhere, I know she is, let her out!”  And since it was a new release, even Brad didn’t know all the moves perfectly, so I didn’t feel awkward if I couldn’t get them.  He gave plenty of modifications if you didn’t feel comfortable doing things like turning or jumping, so everyone could feel safe.

I’m planning to catch the 10:30 am Sunday class each week before rehearsal, since it fits perfectly into my schedule, and is a fun way to do some non-running cardio.  Because honestly, I can only take so much elliptical and recumbent biking.

Have you ever tried a Sh’Bam class?

What’s your favorite form of non-running cardio exercise?