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Try This Aerockbics

We pack our air guitar for Leeds' newest fitness craze

Try This: Aerockbics

When I was a member at a gym, there was a chart playlist that I only ever heard there. Shane Ward, The Script and some indistinct dance tunes presumably meant to inspire us to pump it harder, and such like. I hated it. There was even a time I plugged my headphones into the system on the running machine and watched ‘Loose Women’, so bored was I by the vacuous dirge piped into the sweaty room. Needless to say, my gym membership lapsed quicker than Shame Ward’s career.

There are countless different celebrity-endorsed fitness fads that I could try, I suppose – Bikram yoga in a sauna, gravity blast, hula hoop – but I’m not convinced any of these allow for an ‘Eye of the Tiger’ themed soundtrack.

In this respect, Leeds has just come up with the newest fitness craze, and I reckon it’s here to stay. Aerockbics is an aerobics class like any other, but where most rely on Eric Prydz style music and dress sense, this sees the likes of Queen, Survivor and My Bloody Valentine on the stereo and band T-shirts in proliferation. Simply, much more my kind of aerobics class. And a lot of others’ too, since instructor Penny Brazier’s Monday class at the Cardigan Centre all but fills the sports hall when my friend and I go along and has recently precipitated a second class at Hyde Park’s Wrangthorne Hall on a Wednesday, starting 18th May.

We begin with the ‘Eye of the Tiger’, naturally, walking and jogging in a circle around the room while Penny shouts out numbered actions; 1 for jumping in the air, 2 for touching the ground with the left hand, 5 for changing direction, and so on. It’s already fun and has my friend and I giggling as we try to keep focussed. Not once does my mind wander to what the Loose Women might have been talking about today.

The rest of the class is taught in conventional aerobics lines and involves some surprisingly complex moves which the rest of the class are clearly far more au fait with than us newbies. I’ll admit, I wondered if aerockbics would be easier than your average gym class, but band tees or not, these people don’t mind sweating. Penny’s teaching style is refreshing too, incorporating arm-toning moves with ‘combing our hair’ and suggesting we work off our ‘teenage angst’. Further proof that this is a serious fitness class which doesn’t take itself seriously comes during a guitar solo when we’re encouraged to break out the air guitars: my friend and I go for the back-to-back Slash and Izzy Stradlin, if you were wondering.

We finish with some pretty intense stomach curls and cool down with stretches.

The next day we ached in all the right places and, most importantly, didn’t have ‘That’s My Goal’ in our heads.

Aerockbics classes are on Mondays at 6pm at the Cardigan Centre and Wednesdays from 18th May at Wrangthorne Hall. For more information visit the Facebook page http://on.fb.me/jKqzOg or blog www.aerockbics.blogspot.com

Posted on Wednesday 11th May 2011
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Comments on Try This: Aerockbics

Comment by Penny Benjamin

Posted on Wed 11th May 11 5:59 pm

I would definitely recommend this class to anyone wanting to stay (or get) fit. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had an aerobics class, unfortunately not necessarily much of an achievement! But having gone for several weeks I find not that I’m looking for excuses not to exercise, but that I am actually looking forward to my Monday session. Difficult enough to feel like a challenge, friendly enough to not worry if I muck up. Give it a go if you don’t believe me.

Comment by Katie Hall

Posted on Wed 11th May 11 7:34 pm

I went to Aerockbics for the first time this week, and it was ace. It’s the only aerobics class I’ve ever been to…and in fact I’ve never felt remotely inclined to go to one until Aerockbics came along! Great music, great routines, and great people!

Comment by Eleanor Mundy

Posted on Thu 12th May 11 10:25 pm

Aerockbics is completely brilliant.. nothing like your average run of the mill aerobics class.  The music is great and the friendly, informal atmosphere is very encouraging.  Everyone should try it!



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