Well, I did it! I made it through Les Mills’ CX30 training weekend and lived to tell the tale. Phew, that is one intense core training program!
I’m feeling very tired today, and very, very sore – especially in my legs and gluts! My abs actually held up well (I credit BodyFlow, and getting CX30 early in the mail!) My shoulders fatigued most quickly on plank hovers. (Mental note: Don’t teach BodyPump the day before CX30 training, even with “light weights.” It does not help!)
I’m also experiencing an extreme emotional crash. I’m used to that, though. It surprised me after BodyFlow training. I remember having a whole week of just feeling off-kilter. Now I know to expect it after trainings. There’s just a lot of build-up leading up to the event, then a huge amount of energy put out over the weekend (8-6 Saturday, 8-5 Sunday, though we did finish up a titsch early)… then it’s over.
So, there’s a lot to process at the end of it all. Fortunately, today is a pretty low-demand day for my schedule, and I have already had a warm-bath and a nap (yes, it’s only just 12:30 p.m…..), and an afternoon with plenty of time for knitting. So I’ll write up a quick post about my weekend and answer some questions from people considering going through training. Blog readers want to know!
How hard is training?
Okay, guys. I know when I was doing searches for CX30 pre-training, I was really curious if there was going to be a challenge, and what it would be like. Our team had all kinds of rumors going around. A few of them turned out to be fairly close to the reality…. but I don’t want to spoil anything. I think a lot of the magic of a training is not knowing what’s going to be thrown at you. Then (after you mumble, “Are you kidding me?”) you have to dig deep and rise to the occasion.
(Or not. My plank hovers were about the least impressively long-held in the room. But I did always get back in the game, at whatever level I could manage… and I am proud of that.)
But I’ll tell you this: It is a tough training. It is extremely physically demanding. I am glad I had a chance to do CX30 before the weekend because I don’t know if I could have made it through those two days without some good core conditioning ahead of time. My biggest regret is that I didn’t practice plank hovers more. (Okay, and that I taught BodyPump Friday… but I’m letting it go, letting it go….)
Plank hovers are my biggest recommendation for anyone considering going through training. Be in excellent physical condition, yes, and practice CX30 a few times a week, yes…. but above all, spend a lot of time every day seeing how long you can hold a hover. It’s tough stuff!
How hard is the choreography?
Tricky question! I’ll address this one in two parts: 1) Learning the choreography and 2) Doing the choreography.
Learning the choreography
My first impression was that it was very easy to learn. I knew the basic chorey within a week of getting my kit, and felt it was repetitive and simple. (Not including the chorey notes, which are clunky compared to what I’m used to… .but it’s early days.) Once I had that much down, I realized the repetition was actually a challenge. You have to have a really solid ear for hearing subtle transition cues and musical markers, or be willing to listen to the song a million times to find them.
Also, there are a few songs where you will be utterly and completely lost if you don’t listen for the 8-count. I’m a counter, so that gave me a head start on those songs. That said, it also completely threw me in one song where the notes say “1/3” and it is nothing like any 1/3 I’ve ever known. It’s a “listen to the music” count, and everyone kept saying that to me. “Just feel the music,” and I’m like, “NO I WANT TO COUNT.” Finally I was able to overcome it and get with the music.
I’m not sure I would have gotten it on my own. In training, we drilled it in technique and timing drills and it finally clicked… That does worry me a little, moving forward with future releases. Can I do it on my own? I hope CX30 develops more straight-forward timing over the coming months.
Anyway, we have a really strong CX30 team, so I guess I can always turn to them for help along the way.
An aside on track 3
My assigned track was track 3, standing strength 1. We haven’t launched it yet, so I don’t want to give the music away. I’ll just say, it was my favorite before training, and had the overwhelming popular vote of the group. Now I kind of never want to hear it again!
No, no. It is a great fun track, super athletic. It tired me out quickly, though. I thought track 2 would be the hardest track to make it through. (And 2 is tough….) Even with my experience with strength work in BodyPump and BodyFlow, and taking cardio classes like BodyStep and BodyAttack, my legs were seriously challenged by the strength and power demands of this track. So to do it over and over and over again, trying to get the technique, trying to nail the timing…. it sucked it right out of me. On one of my presentations I was so exhausted just from practicing beforehand that I could barely keep moving, much less get my cues and timing down.
(Fortunately that wasn’t the last presentation of the weekend, so I had a chance at redemption!)
That leads me to …
How hard is it to do the choreography?
It’s hard. There are some people for whom it will be slightly less challenging, but it’s going to present a challenge for all levels of fitness. Instructors who’ve taught other Les Mills programs will have a little bit of a leg up, but nobody I know (and I know some extremely fit people) can cruise through CX30.
It’s going to take anyone who wants to teach it – especially me! – a lot of outside-of-class training.
So, yeah, it’s going to be hard…. but I will also send a word of encouragement that you can do it! I had a lot of doubt about whether I’d be able to teach this program. It was barely doable for me at Quarterly. In four weeks, I’ve gone from that state to feeling like I am ready to teach, and with some extra hard work, I’ll be able to rock at teaching it. So it’s like anything else. You have to set your goal, and work toward it, little by little.
I feel a huge difference in my body already, and I am really excited to share this experience with Richmond!