After weeks of not exercising (while on vacation I caught the dreaded flu bug), I was looking for a workout routine that would whip me back into shape.
Enter Louis Coraggio’s Cardio Mission class at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Coraggio, celebrity fitness trainer and founder of bodyarch.com, says he wanted to design a class that would help non-runners run and runners improve.
"A class that was challenging but also had a restorative effect,” he says.
So what makes this unique? Cardio Mission is an intervals-based class that concentrates on four areas: Balance, abs, focus (weight transfer), and power. This circuit is repeated four times, with each circuit broken up with a five-minute travel circuit that focuses on cardio.
Best of all, because no equipment is needed (just your body weight and a mat), you can easily do these exercises at home (classes will be available online soon). And while there are some exercises that are repeated every class, expect new exercises and modifications each time.
“Each portion of the class is equally important and strengthens the body in specific ways,” says Coraggio. “Focus exercises begin the connection, power (plyometric) maximizes explosive energy, abdominals isolate the core, balance targets foot/ankle stabilization, and traveling circuits unite the class, focusing on continuous movement, speed, quickness, and agility,” he says.
Needless to say, if you like variety, this class is definitely for you. During my hour at Cardio Mission I did jumping jacks, high kicks, and mountain climbers, and even crawled, skipped, and hop-scotched my way across the studio floor.
Quickly moving through the circuit, it was easy to see how a person could burn 500 to 900 calories a class. (Generally, heavier people tend to burn more calories with exercise than those who weigh less.)
"This truly depends on the size and gender of a person taking the class and how much effort they put into it," says Coraggio. "I've personally burned 900 calories in the classes I develop before teaching."
I'm not sure how many calories I burned, but by the end of class I was tired and proud I was able to power through.