Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ClassPass Studio Review: Shred415

If you start a conversation with other ClassPassers, Shred415 will inevitably come up as one of the top workouts around Chicago (PS - they're in St. Louis, too). To be honest, I was a little intimidated based on how many people called Shred one of the hardest workouts. But, at long last, I finally signed up for an 11am class last Saturday in the Old Town location, so it was time to find out for myself.

For starters, the workout is 60 minutes long. With the exception of yoga/barre, almost all of the classes I take are 45-50 minutes long, so knowing that you're locked in for a solid hour of pain working out can be a little daunting. Shred415 gets its name from the four 15-minute alternating intervals that make up the class: two on the floor, two on the treadmills. The classes have different body focuses: arms/abs, butt/legs, shredded abs or total body, and there are "express" (45 minute) versions of each. This review is for a 60-minute total body class.

The studio is dark, which I loved, because it helps you quickly get into a focused mindset. The instructor asked anyone new to come over and introduce themselves so he could explain the 4x15 format and answer any questions we had. I had planned on treadmilling first so I could end class on the floor (ha), but the class was pretty full so I ended up starting on the floor. The benches were already set up with a variety of dumbbells from 5-15lbs, which was nice. The instructor cranked the music and it was time to sweat.

Photo via Shred415
Each group (floor/treadmill) did a quick warmup, all expertly cued by the teacher. I'll never know how teachers who teach dual-group classes like this (Trainology is another example) can keep straight the timing for each group, because it's basically like teaching two classes simultaneously. The floor group began with jumping jacks, side planks, plank jacks - not too hard. But the work quickly picked up with cardio bursts like a bunch of different bench jumps, weighted squat jumps, and burpees, followed by more strength work like lunges with shoulder presses, single arm rows, multiple push-up variations, etc. Our instructor also gave easy/hard modifications for almost every exercise, which was great. The set went by really quickly because each separate exercise lasted no longer than 45-seconds, and then it was time to run.

Running was definitely the more intimidating interval to me, especially because I haven't run in... awhile. And 15 minutes of running is a decent amount for a non-runner. What I didn't know is that Shred offers three pace levels for the treadmills: walking, jogging, running. So, every time the teacher gives a speed cue, they actually give three speed cues (for example: 4.0, 6.0, 8.0), so that each pace group knows what the target speed is. The running interval consists of sprints, inclines and longer-duration periods (4-ish minutes at a time) of steady running with incline changes. I elected to follow the jog cues, and actually managed to keep up with them the entire class, only slightly decreasing speed (but still jogging) during the highest inclines. It was tough -- but like the floor, it goes by surprisingly quickly. 

Following the second set, it's back to the floor for another 15-minute floor interval (our second floor interval had a lot more abs), followed by the final 15-minute interval on the treadmill (this one including much faster sprints than our first set). In terms of rigor of workout throughout class, it was absolutely one of the hardest workouts on ClassPass. I probably gave about 90%-95% effort. I was WORKING for sure (and to be totally honest, I had a moment of nausea right after our last treadmill sprint), but I wouldn't say I went all out as hard as I possibly could.

Overall: Can you say burn baby burn? I torched over 750 calories in this 60-minute workout, making it one of the highest calorie-burning classes I've been to, even if you adjust for the length of class. From what I've heard, all of the instructors bring a different personality/style to class, but all are equally professional and really push students to give their all. The class is easily scalable for a variety of levels (I actually even know a few pregnant ladies who do it), but very much a challenging workout across the board. I now totally get the hype around Shred415, and I see how you could definitely get shredded by adding this class into your regular rotation. Which is why I'll be back again very soon :)

What you ever been to  Shred415 class?

What's the hardest workout you've ever done?  

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