T Nation

Reviewing Different Types of Activities


I've decided to try out a bunch of different activities I can find and then eventually I'll pick one to stick to. I'm going to attempt to offer a detail review here since it might prove useful to others considering different options.

First a bit about me so you know where the information is coming from:
Train as a I guess intermediate powerlifter. I started at 145 lbs and now weigh 200 lbs. Best lifts are 230x2x6 on bench, 355x3x3 on squat, 475x1 on deadlift. Before I got into this I was a martial artist. My endurance from putting on weight and training in 1-5 rep range has really gone down.

What I'm looking for:
Stay in the 180-200 range just want to be a little lower bodyfat percentage and get my endurance back up to a respectable level. I am also interested in meeting new people or I would just do some circuit training, sled drags or swimming.

At this point the classes I've identified to try out:
-Power / Ashtanga Yoga
-Bikram Yoga
-Cardio Kickboxing
-Northern Style Preying Mantis
-Bachata Dance Class
-Spinning (if I can find a class that doesn't involve paying for a membership at some shit gym)

If anyone thinks up something else to try let me know and I'll see if there's anything near me. I'm avoiding Crossfit because of the high impact and high cost. There's a Kettlebell program but they run it almost like a seminar so you have to start at a certain date and it goes for 8 weeks, not sure if I'll give it a shot or not since I dont think you can just try a single class out.


Cardio Kickboxing -
- Membership cost is $58/mo unlimited so that was a huge plus and why I tried it out first. That gives you access to the gym's TRX classes, Cardio Boxing, Cardio Kickboxing, Kickboxing and fight nights.
- ~10 minutes of plyometrics as 'warmup', ~45 minute class, ~5 minutes of ab work
- Not too bad on joints but definitely had a bit of jumping in the warmup and shoulders took more of a beating than I expected between the bag work and all the pushups we did
- About 50/50 girls to guys and I saw the class before was about the same. Everyone was pretty fit and friendly
- Was very high intensity, perhaps even too much for my needs but we'll see. If I had really gone overboard on the bulk I would be more inclined to do this as it will definitely shed the fat off.
- Definitely pushed all members of the class to keep going but if you did fall behind would make the entire class do extra time or pushups. Its nice in theory but when you have different skill levels all it did was make it progressively more difficult for those already falling behind.

Overall I enjoyed it and won't rule it out yet but still have a lot more options to try out.


Just did my accessory bench day which is CGBP, DB Incline, Lateral Raises and Ab Work (Rickey Dale Crain Bench) and discovered I was much more sore than I realized and the CGBP and DB Incline was brutal. This could be an important factor. I was also going to hit up one of the two types of yoga classes tomorrow morning but I think after tonights performance Ill wait and try one of the yoga classes out next week.


Dan John speaks very highly of this, and it's something I've been meaning to try out.

A friend of mine, a Bikini competitor, teaches these classes and often talks about burning 800-1000 calories per hour-long class (as per a heart rate monitor). So plan accordingly.

This whole thing kinda sounds like something Shugart did a few years back, though that was a bit more tongue-in-cheek:
Power Abs:


Body Pump:



Definitely interested in reading up on Power / Ashtanga Yoga and Bikram Yoga when you post your review. My fiancee and I going to try Power Yoga first, but I was really interested in trying Bikram. So be nice to read a review on the differences.


Well did the Ashtanga Yoga / Power Yoga beginner's class.

  • Very no pressure atmosphere
  • Even though this IS NOT the hot 'bikram' yoga. The room was warm by my standards I think it was around 82 with little circulation. I started sweating almost instantly as a result.
  • The pace was fine, seemed to be a whole lot downward dog which wooped me, maybe its because I did arms/shoulders yesterday but it really beat me up.
  • By the end all of my calluses and blisters had rubbed off onto the mat
  • Speaking of mats, using the studio's mats sucked. It was too small and my calves and feet were completely off the mat. So was one of my shoulders. I'm not that big.
  • Perhaps it was because of the location I went to and maybe also the time but the class was skewed towards an older crowd. There were I believe 3 men and maybe 20 women in it. One daughter and one son both looked around the age of 15. The rest were all over the age of 30 most looked over 40. I was the only one in the 20s. I dont know if its because I went to a studio in a wealthier part of town or because I went on a Saturday morning when most people in their 20s seem to be passed out from drinking the night before.
  • To be fair some of the 30 and 40 year olds were pretty nice on the eyes and everyone was social with each other though I stayed to myself.
  • Alright so positive is I do feel a bit more relaxed... thats really about it.

Overall I was pretty disappointed, I don't feel that much more relaxed, I didn't really enjoy it, and I don't feel like I got good mobility work in. I feel better after foam rolling than I do right now.

I'm a little worried about trying the Bikram after how today went but I'll give it a go in the next couple of weeks and report back.


Do you have access to a climbing wall with a beginner/intro programmme. If you get into it it can be very functional and superb for all round mobility. Quite social too on some walls.


Zumba? Cereal?



Ya I've been rock climbing and bouldering at the local place. Its not bad but it kills my elbows. They do offer classes but to really take advantage of them and not spend a fortune I'd have to buy my own helmet and shoes. I wouldn't mind if there were places to go rock climbing near me but living in Florida doesn't have any outdoor rock climbing.

Something to consider though, I could certainly drop the money to do the class and see how it is. All the time I go its usually a ton of little kids up through high schoolers and then maybe one group 4-6 people in their 20s all of whom seem to be highly experienced and do it frequently. I'm thinking the class would be me with a bunch of a small children.