For some, myself included lately, the best time to get in a workout is during the early afternoon — that gap between lunch and later afternoon responsibilities — and the class I reviewed this week fits this timeslot perfectly.
Power PAC’d is described online as an “ultimate, uncompromising athletic-conditioning class,” and after attending one, I couldn’t agree more. From 12:05 to 12:50, the class had me sweating and questioning my own ability to even finish the workout. The class I attended was structured as a circuit and concluded with 10 minutes of core exercises.
The circuit was built around stairs, followed by a variety of body-weight and banded exercises that we repeated various times before we did the core exercises. The instructor took us outside of the Physical Activity Complex to the stairwell behind the Subway in the Kinesiology Building for the circuit portion of the class.
The warm-up consisted of going up and down roughly three flights of stairs three times in a row. The circuit itself was on the stairs and incorporated a series of exercises that included push ups, lunges, squats, banded-rows and curls. The first round of stairs after the warm-up was four laps long, and the number of laps decreased by one with each repetition until the final set of stairs, which was another four laps.
As someone who has almost never done stair climbing as part of their regular workout routine, this was a fuckton of stairs. In all honesty, I did not complete the entire class and had to take frequent breaks in addition to modifying the amount of stairs I was completing.
While I can blame some of my cheating on the fact that I ate too hearty of a meal before attending the class, much of it is due to my own shortcomings. For almost the entire duration of the class, I was out of breath, wincing with each step and just a little bit nauseated.
As we began our return to the PAC to wrap up with core exercises, I was feeling a little discouraged, despite the fact that the other participants were supportive and shared an easy camaraderie from attending the class together often.
Just when I was starting to get really down on myself, one of the class regulars — an older woman — turned to me and inadvertently recreated the season-two ending of BoJack Horseman. She told me that it gets easier and encouraged me to come back.
This interaction really summed up the draw of the class for me. While the class was difficult, the people who attended it supported one another in the short time we were together — which can be incredibly important for some people.
Overall, the class was an amazing workout, but I would caution readers that it is certainly intense — my legs still ache two days later. However, I don’t think the class always follows the same routine, so keep in mind that your experience may differ from mine.
Jack Thompson / Sports & Health Editor
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor