Finally! A High-Intensity Group Fitness Class I Love

After previously cancelling three times, I reluctantly signed up for the Summit class at Exceed Physical Culture. Summit (strength and ultra-metabolic interval training) is the ideal workout plan for someone who wants major results in the least amount of time. But for me, a woman who prides herself on "baby stepping" my way back into shape, the thought of doing full-body, high-intensity cardio movements is dizzying enough to send me straight to the snack drawer and then the couch. Fear and lethargy aside, I was determined to give it a try.

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When the instructor ran through the program (45-second intervals of jumping rope, kettlebells, medicine-ball drills, TRX, and rowing), I was in pre-game silent despair. But then he added the magic element: teamwork. I immediately tightened up my laces and put on my game face!

The instructor split the class in half. While one team worked through the stations, he totaled the other team’s distance on the rowing machine. It was a huge motivator! I've failed enough times in my life to be extremely comfortable as the slow poke, the back row betty, and sometimes even the class dropout. Losing alone I can do, but as a team? That's a different story. As the new person in class, I wouldn’t let my team down.

There we were: six perfect strangers at varying fitness levels, sweating it out and cheering each other on. I was determined to keep up with my team, making the suggested modifications for any moves I couldn’t handle.

My teacher and teammates just kept driving forward and in the blink of an eye and a bucket of sweat, we powered through an exhilarating class. Alas, my team didn’t win, but after blasting our bodies to the Summit, no one even cared about the rowing score. All 12 of us had just rocked it! So much so, that I've already been tweet-motivated by a classmate on the opposing team. He's challenged me to a re-match, and of course I accepted.

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I’ve taken many different high-intensity classes before, but until now, I’ve never made it back after the first class. Over time I started to believe I was just a low-intensity lady, meant for Pilates and yoga pants, but among many other things I've learned during my maternity leave, I realize now that we all just want to be part of team.

There's no "i" in team, but thanks to the Exceed girls’ incredible bodies, I'm starting to think the "t" stands for “totally hot.”

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