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Published on August 17, 2021

lena tran with trainer doing side lunges

I Tried an AR-FIT Class - Here’s What Happened

I haven’t been back in the gym since COVID-19, but I knew I needed to return. Home workouts weren’t working out too well when my kitchen was less than 600 feet away from me.

My colleague recommended I try one of the AR-FIT classes at the Avera Human Performance Center on Louise Avenue. I’ve heard great things from friends and coworkers about programs offered at Avera’s fitness centers, but wasn’t sure how I would do, not having stepped foot into a class in over a year. The idea of working out with other people was terrifying, especially since I viewed myself as a beginner. I feared that my first time back in the gym would result in being hauled away on an ambulance stretcher because I couldn’t get back up from doing squats.

However, I still inquired about the class and after the instructor reassured me that I would be fine, I decided to try it out. Bonus: Anyone can try a week’s worth of classes at no cost to them.

My First HIT Class

closeup of lena holding water bottleGrasping my water bottle for courage

I was one of a handful of people attending the high-intensity training (HIT) class at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. Class sizes are intended to be small and are usually limited to 10. It’s a 60-minute workout for adults at any level of fitness.

Each class, called AR-FIT, is a different workout and may focus on one fitness element such as strength, power, endurance, agility/balance or cardio conditioning. Sessions are a circuit-training style with rest intervals intertwined.

I appreciated the small class size, which allowed more one-on-one time with the class trainer. I was able to ask questions and ensure I was in proper positioning to avoid any injuries. 

For the first 10-15 minutes, everyone did a short warm-up on the green turf. After that, depending on your level of experience and fitness goals, you would work on custom exercises developed by one of Avera’s exercise specialists.

Exercises Customized to Your Needs

As a beginner, I really appreciated the amount of expertise and support the class instructor provided me. Some of the exercises I performed were

  • Barbell back squats
  • Single leg presses on the Plyo Press
  • Dumbbell step-ups
  • Dumbbell side lunges
  • Leg extensions
  • Hamstring curls

I never felt intimidated. I probably was the most talkative class participant with a million questions and never felt like a nuisance or dumb. The class instructor made me feel like she was there for me 1000% and wanted me to be successful.

Would I Do it Again?

After class, I felt energized and reinvigorated. I didn’t realize how fast 60 minutes flew by! The workout never felt tedious or too challenging. The class instructor was extremely supportive and provided her expertise for certain exercises with the number of weights or reps I should be doing based on my goals.

Real talk: I was sore after this workout, which isn’t too surprising since I’m coming back from a COVID fitness slump. Sore, as in, my legs were not operating at full dancing capacity later that week at a wedding. But that means I was challenging myself and it would get better over time, right? 

I would consider signing-up for their next nine-week AR-FIT challenge to see and compare results. I know I can use the internet to search for workouts or watch TikTok videos, but to be successful, there is no comparison when it comes to having access to a real-life person. Knowing that I would have a fitness specialist help customize my workouts from beginning to end will ensure I have the support needed in meeting my fitness goals.

AR-FIT sessions are available year-round, and the Avera Human Performance Center also offers four nine-week AR-FIT challenges throughout the year.

Author Lena Tran Schaeffer is a Communications and Patient Education Partner with Avera Marketing

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