What you need: Wrist Bands! Gloves!
Props: Twiggy Bands (velcro around your wrists), Higher Power Bands (blue bands)
Clothing Considerations: Anything goes clothing-wise in this class. If anything, I would consider a tank instead of a t-shirt. There's lots of arm swinging, and you may be more comfortable without sleeves restricting your movement.
Sweat Factor: Cruella de Sweats-ville. You won't be drenched, but you also won't be pretty.
Like all new classes when they first pop on the scene, Lithers have been digitally lining up weeks in advance to take Rah. As a result, I've been patiently chasing it around the schedule since its arrival, waiting for an opening, until last night when I finally got my chance to experience the hype first hand.
I assumed from the name that it would be CCS heavy, but otherwise, I had no clue what awaited. I love this because I find that class goes by so much faster when you don't know what's going to happen next. It's the classes I know well that fill me with dread because I know exactly what awaits me in every series.
Before we began, Tif gave us a pep talk. Telling us that not only were we about to embark on a nonstop cardio ride, but that we should think of the next 60 minutes as our time to release and basically shout shout let it all out like Tears for Fears. She told us that Lauren wanted us to think of the cheers we would be doing as a way to express our inner voices--and let go of our day and our stress. Having had an incredibly challenging couple of months, I was totally on board for this concept.
We began the class by doing a Spirit Circle, which includes 30 reps of the typical moves we do in most high cardio classes--jacks, reach and pulls, scoops--the works. I have to be honest and say I usually hate when we do 30 of anything in a row--especially in cardio. Not only is it incredibly challenging for me, but I find it hard to stay focused because the repetition can feel monotonous. But, something about the energy and sequence of the moves in Rah didn't feel that way, despite doing 30 of each before moving to the next. From there, we launched into an incredibly fun and challenging cheer sequence that had us doing jumps, cheerleading arm moves and Sleeveless 2.0-like beat boxing. I was a bit all over the place, but I really liked it and couldn't help but smile during this part.
From there, we grabbed the blue bands (in addition to the Twiggy bands) and doubled? quadrupled? up on the resistance to do some lunges and sculpting exercises that you'll find familiar, yet uncharted due to the extra effort required by your core to manage all the extra weight. This series also included a move that I'll leave as a mystery. Suffice it to say, it had most of us shaking our heads in disbelief. Something I find happens, at first, when Lauren pushes the envelope with new choreography. A move that inevitably evolves, for me, to become the yard stick by which I measure myself in that class. Something that results in that...Oh Mah Goh I just DID THAT moment--which I live for in Lithe. I'm not sure I'll ever get there with this particular move, but many ladies were killing it around me so I was definitely inspired. I will say that it requires some flexibility and makes you feel like you've been tossed in the air and are striking the pose at the top of a cheer stunt. Which basically rules--if you can get it right.
Then back to the CCS and the great cheer sequence, this time broken down, and adding the words to the cheer. The curse words. Yup. You CUSS, as we say in Texas. Now, I know some people feel some type of way about cursing. I totally get it. It can be considered offensive and crude. For sure. I have even found myself a little jarred when overhearing a barrage of F bombs dropping between two ladies perusing the same rack as me at Marshall's. However, I'm a total hypocrite, because I simultaneously find little in this world more delicious than cussing. Sometimes nothing quite captures what I'm feeling like a good expletive. Sometimes I just don't feel a release until I just drop some profanity. Call me inelegant. I deserve it.
So, when Tiff told us the perhaps controversial? words to our cheer, I felt a combination of mischievous joy and a bit of disbelief. Topped that off with feeling a bit awkward yelling them out (while trying to stay coordinated) in a room full of strangers. But, I went with it, and when I could get it together, I thoroughly enjoyed screaming 'I don't give a SHIT' (my favorite) while I jump-jump plyo'd.
If you are comfortable in your own skin or really want to get there, this may be just the class for you. Not only will you burn a ton of calories with the nonstop cardio, try movements that are new and challenging, you will (if you let yourself) release some pent up emotions and hopefully leave them behind in the studio. Hope you go for it!
See you in class!