This morning I went to my first obstacle class at Unleashed. One of my coworkers that is doing the Tough Mudder with me wanted to come along to check it out for ourselves before we all come as a team. I was terrified to go on my own, so I was glad to have her along, especially since most everyone there already seemed to know each other.
I have to say, right off the bat, the owners (Kevin and Janine) are incredibly welcoming. When I first walked in and told them it was my first class, Janine immediately helped me get my paperwork in order (waiver and sign-in sheet) and then filled me in a little on what to expect. The 3 trainers that were there (Kevin, Janine and, I believe, Suzanne?) all came right over and introduced themselves before getting set up.
After a few more people came in, we got started with a warm-up. I think there were maybe 6 of us in the class, which made me feel good that it was smaller and part of the reason I opted to get up for a 6:30am class on a Saturday! For a warm-up, we ran laps around the perimeter of the gym about 8 times, then proceeded to grab a weight plate (either 25 or 35 lb) and walk 2 laps around with our arms straight up over our heads holding the plates. I made it almost the whole time with the plate over my head. I opted for the 25 lb since I didn’t know what to expect. After that, we did 3 minutes of burpees, as many as possible. That was a killer because when I do burpees, I don’t do a push-up or touch my chest to the ground. I typically will go into almost an upright plank position once I kick my feet back so that was a tough one for me to get used to and I honestly have no idea how many I did because I never even counted.
Once we were sufficiently warmed up (aka I can’t breathe!!), he had each of us go to one of the 11 stations that were set up for the class. I don’t know what each one was specifically called, but here is what we were dealing with: overhead sled pull, box jumps, sled push, wall climb, rope wall climb, tire flip, kettlebell hoist, cargo climb, rope ladder climb, regular rope climb and upside down like a monkey rope climb. Did you get all that? Ropes. And climbing. My hands are very, very angry.
Kevin had me start off with the overhead sled pull. Basically I laid down on a yoga mat and pulled a sled towards me with a rope over my head. Holy tricep workout! I don’t know how much was loaded on that sled, but that was a killer way to start! After that was my nemesis: the wooden wall.
I faced this once before in my Foam Fest 5K last summer, but couldn’t do it. I was helped over the first wall by some other racers and then just skipped the second wall. I’m determined to be able to do this some day, but today was not that day. Kevin could see I obviously was having trouble so he gave me some pointers to start out with. He had me just use my grip to hold the top and try to walk up a couple of steps, then down a couple of steps. When we had about a minute or so left he came back over and told me try it now with a running start and try to boost myself up and swing my leg over. Ummm…no. As many tips and tricks as he gave me, my body just isn’t ready to be doing that yet. In due time…
From there, I then went to the “ginormo wall” as I like to call it. I think the first two walls are 8 and 12 footers. The third wall had to have been at least 15 ft? All I know is it was damn high. This one had a rope thrown over it that we were to use to pull ourselves up the wall. This was even worse then the other wall, which I didn’t think was possible. Kevin recommended I start with just putting both feet up and leaning back to fatigue my gripping muscles, step down, shake it off and then switch hands and do it again. Well…I couldn’t even put both feet up for some reason. I felt like such a reject. All you could hear was my shoes squeaking as I repeatedly slipped back down the wall for 3 minutes or however long I kept attempting it until we switched. Pathetic.
From there, I went to the tire flip. Finally! Something I could do with my legs! This felt like a cake walk. Squat, lift, drop, repeat. Boom. Done. Could have done it all day – felt good. Moving on, I did the kettlebell hoist next. This was basically a rope slung over the main climbing apparatus with a kettlebell (of 3 varying weights) tied to the other end. I think I used the 40 lb bell, which was the smallest. Basically you squat down and pull the bell up until you reach the top, let it back down, rinse repeat. This one was OK for me too because it wasn’t solely based on my grip.
Moving on was more grip disappointment. Cargo net climb – couldn’t get more than 3 steps up because of how unsteady it was – it made me nervous at that height. Same with the rope ladder climb. I didn’t go more than 1 step up on that one. Until my grip is better, I’m just not confident to go up higher than that. After that should have been the rope climb, but I think by then Kevin figured it just wasn’t happening (thank you for that!!) and didn’t even have me try it on the main rope. He showed me another rope under the apparatus and had me lean back and walk myself down the rope, then pull myself back upright. I also just did some walking along the upside down rope thing because once I got both my feet up and was hanging there, I couldn’t take one hand off to start moving. Definitely felt it in my forearms after all that stuff!
Next was the box jumps. By far my favorite of the day! They had 3 equidistant plyoboxes set up at around my waist height or so. The object was just get up and over them however you could. There was one guy (plus Kevin) that made it look easy and just jumped up it like it was nothing, but I had to kind of run at it and then jump up and throw my knee up on there, crawl across it and jump down. It was really fun though and I had no trouble doing it the entire round.
After that, my final challenge was the push sled which was loaded up with 225 lb worth of plates (plus whatever the sled weighs). We pushed it down low in one direction, then up high in the other direction. Holy leg and shoulder workout! I loved every minute of that one! When we were done, we did 1 more minute of burpees and then a little bit of light stretching.
Great workout, super friendly staff, awesome new facility! I love this place and definitely see myself going back often. If you’re in my area (it’s located near the Warwick Mall in Warwick, RI), let me know if you ever want to check it out.
Unleashed doesn’t charge a membership fee, so you just pay a “drop in” fee of $15 per class/workout. They also have a list of personal trainers available and tons of different types of classes (not just obstacles). They also have deals from time to time, like the one I got. I paid $100 for 10 classes, coming out to only $10/class instead of $15. You can also regularly get discounted rates by buying packages of classes which I think is a good idea if you find that you like it. Check this place out – you won’t regret it!