Surf’s Up With Surfset!

Today’s Surfset review is from Jennifer Schlozman, a Weight Watchers Leader Ambassador who’s a runner, triathlete and completed her first half marathon this year. With enthusiasm for group workouts and finding fit friends, she considers herself a loser when it comes to weight and a winner when it comes to happiness. She normally writes about her mommy fitness adventures over on Fit Bottomed Mamas, but today she’s hanging out with FBG!

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I don’t like sand. Not even a little. My problem with sand is that it gets in places it shouldn’t, and you find it even when you swore you rinsed it all off. I am still finding sand three years after our honeymoon in Kauai, I swear. I also have zero interest in sharing space with sharks. They don’t like me and I don’t care for them, so I steer clear of their space — I’m not the first to dive in the ocean. No sand and no ocean means I would never try surfing, which I’ve heard to be an extremely challenging sport.

Or does it?

The owners of City Love Fitness invited Fit Bottomed Girls to surf alongside them, indoors. Surfset Fitness makes surf boards that are propped up on three air-filled balls all sitting in a base that reminds me of the steps you’d find in an aerobics class. I tried a class with both owners, Grace and Karen.

Trying Grace’s Surfset Class

Grace started off the class educating us on the board and letting us get a feel for it. She went over key words with us and board placement so that anytime she would call out a location on the board, we would know where we needed to be. She also told us a little about Surfset, about the founders and exactly where this idea came from. Who knew that an entrepreneur on Shark Tank would soon be shipping their product to a little gym in Kansas?

Before we began the workout, Grace went over the circuits with us. We focused on large muscle groups, one at a time in a circuit style. Don’t worry, water breaks were included! One move that had me very uneasy was jumping on the board and reversing. Let me try to explain this: We were facing one way on the board and would do a 180-degree jump to face the other way. I was not feeling steady, so I shuffled back and forth instead of jumping. I didn’t feel that I missed out at all; I really think being on the board is challenging on its own, and I was forced to keep focused on my core.

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Balancing my weight on my arms and feet in a plank position and doing mountain climbers was also extremely challenging and had me sweating quickly! The board shifted from left to right each time I lifted a leg, so I definitely went slower than I would on a flat surface. Let’s just say that it takes a little bit to get used to being on the board. And that’s a good thing because you’re being challenged in so many new ways, especially with your balance!

Trying Karen’s Surfset Class

When I think of surfing, I think of guys with long hair and tan women screaming “cowabunga, dude!” I envision a sunny day, sparkling water and warmth through my body.

I walked into Karen’s class from -14-degree temperatures … so much for my Kauai sun! We started with a warm-up on and off the board, then immediately kicked it into high gear. We did some weight work on the board, which is difficult — you really spend the entire class focusing on keeping your entire body engaged. It is so important to maintain balance and that comes with engaging the core, especially when those 180-degree jumps get called out! And what do you know: the last jump, I gave it the good ol’ college try, and SUCCEEDED!

Karen focused on doing moves at a faster tempo, although she offered modifications for us newbies. I felt a bit more stable on the board during this class, and I think it was just because I had some experience under my belt. The ladies in this class were regulars and moving around the boards like pros; it was motivating. We did frog jumps (just like it sounds and goofy looking, too — two hands on the board and we hopped our legs on and off of the tail of the board), dolphin kicks (start off in a plank, bring our knees to our chest then up behind us, speeding up as we go along), and dumbbell arm raises with one leg raised (using a weight of our choice, we balanced our weight on one leg and kept the other leg up and bent while we pressed the weight up).

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My sunny day was the halogen lights of the gym beaming down on me, and the sparkling water was my sweat wetting the board underneath me. That warmth I envisioned from Kauai heat was my body temperature trying to level itself out. The music was pumping and so was my heart rate. Overall, I really liked my Surfset experience!

What is your favorite outdoor activity that has been modified for indoor workouts? Would you try a Surfset workout? —Jennifer

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