Danielle Mulein For the Camera
Posted: 05/15/2012 08:21:30 AM MDT
Updated: 05/15/2012 08:26:29 AM MDT
Define Defense, 1805 11th St., Suite B, Boulder, 720-340-6254, definedefense.com
Instructor: Belgium born Sander Vanacker, co-owner and head instructor of Define Defenses, a martial arts and personal training gym, has a passion for fitness. Vanacker has been a martial arts devotee since childhood with extensive training in Wado Ryu Karate and Japanese Ju Jutsu.
Vanacker dabbled in semi-professional cycling in Belgium, triathlons, weight lifting and general fitness training, while getting a bachelor's degree in physical education, personal training and sports management.
Matt Iwaskow (right) and Hawk Vanek (left) workout at Define Defense in Boulder. ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )
Two months ago, Vanacker got TRX suspension band certified. The weight-free exercises allow for more control over workout intensity, he says. He began incorporating TRX into a cross training fitness class.
What is the workout?
The class is a combination of cross training and TRX exercises designed for a full body workout. Utilizing the entire space, Vanaker designs a circuit workout that keeps the entire class energized and alert while working on core, endurance, strength and cardio.
The workout started with running and then made its way through kettle bell lifts, undulation ropes, squats, crunches, TRX suspension bands, and a vibration plate -- just to name few. With music pumping in the background and calls of encouragement or instruction from Vanaker, the class was upbeat and extremely dynamic.
The class is a mix of cross training and TRX band exercises enabling a very well-rounded workout. Although the class is challenging, it allows for individual pacing and modification.
"Sander is exceptionally good at being able to modify for injury or specific need," said Aaron Hamilton, a loyal client who has struggled with a shoulder injury for years.
Vanacker's combination of traditional weights and medicine balls with undulation ropes and a vibration plate is key in keeping the class exciting. I had never used a vibration plate, TRX bands or undulation ropes, but Vanacker was a supportive and knowledgeable teacher who focused on explaining proper technique.
The first class is free. Define Defense also has month-based memberships ranging from $85 to $110 for unlimited classes or punch cards, 10 classes for $200 and 20 classes for $350.
Although this class is not for the weak and weary, you work at your own level. A typical active person could step into the class, never having even seen or heard of circuit training or TRX bands, and be able to keep up.
What to prepare:
Workout clothes you can easily move in are a must, along with some water, although there is a drinking fountain. The class is taken barefoot on the martial arts mats, so workout shoes are unnecessary.
It truly is an all-encompassing workout targeting core and oblique muscles, shoulder and arm conditioning, glutes, inner thigh, calf and quad strengthening. It is a highly cardiovascular class that focuses not only on strength improvement but overall health and wellness.
What I loved:
I actually loved the whole class. I have never done anything remotely like cross training or TRX and I was pleasantly surprised. The TRX, though, probably was my favorite, because it's all based on your own strength and bodyweight. Oh and they validate parking, always a plus in downtown Boulder.
What I didn't like:
I didn't care for the shoe-free workout. We were on mats, which was fine, but sweat made my feet slippery and caused difficulty gripping the mat, which caused my balance to be off during some exercises.
How I felt after the class:
Sore, I am not going to sugar coat it. I left the class pumped up on endorphins and loving life, but woke up the next morning with a nice variety of soreness, including my shoulders, arms and upper back, as well as well as my oblique and calf muscles.
-- Reported by Danielle Mulein