Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Surfset Fitness: Riptide with Chanelle Lagace

I had so much fun at my first Surfset Fitness class that I came back home and immediately signed up for another one. This time I chose to take class with Chanelle Lagace. Chanelle is one of Physique 57's star instructors. Her classes are one of those where if you don't sign up fast enough you must endure agonizingly long wait-lists. She is always upping the ante in her workouts and so I was curious to see what tricks she had up her sleeve for a class on a surfboard.

Chanelle is the creator of Formula 57, a more advanced version of Physique 57's signature barre class with a dedicated 30-minute abdominal section, and one of my picks for the best of NYC fitness for 2011. This Surfset Fitness class was a medley of the toughest moves from Formula 57 mixed in with some even tougher new exercises.

Chanelle on the RipSurfer X

Before class started Chanelle instructed us to pick up a set of light weights. I chose a set of 3lbs weights, my standard for a Formula 57 class. You don't need anything heavier because once Chanelle is done your arms will feel like lead. We then hopped onto the surfboard and began the sequence. The RipSurfer X board is a mighty unstable beast and I had to summon every ounce of core strength to ensure that I stayed on the board for the entirety of the class. This was difficult considering we were doing pulsing lunges (many, many of these), wide-plie pulses while alternating our heels up and down, and jump squats. Yes, all on the board. There was even a balance series where we balanced on one leg while tracing a half-circle in the air with the opposite leg. We then repeated this while pulsing the standing leg. Talk about sore legs!

Once we were done with legs, I sighed a huge breath of relief. This was premature. As we then did a killer upper body section. Full form push-ups, mountain climbers, a never-ending arm series with the light weights (which really didn't feel so light!), and paddling with the weighted pulleys attached to the surfboard. Can we say sore arms?

Sufficiently spent, we then moved onto the ab section. This was similar to an ab series in Formula 57 with us doing classic Pilates moves like the Full Teaser and the One Hundred, except here we were doing these while balancing on the board on our tailbones. Sore abs. The trifecta was complete!

At the end of it I collapsed into a heap. Despite not being able to move, it had been a wickedly fun experience! The surfboard had ruled me once again. Although it was obvious that Chanelle was the reason this class had been so much fun. The lady obviously knows fitness, and knows how to push the fitness envelope. Surfset Fitness'  pop-up event at Chelsea Market is over but you can still catch Chanelle at Physique 57. In addition she's doing a 90-day Health Challenge. Details of the challenge can be found on her website.