Thirty Days Of ... KRANK NASHVILLE, Part Two!
Week Three, Krank Nashville
Halfway through my month, and I’m having a blast. I feel stronger, and I notice more endurance on my runs. While I wanted to spend the remainder of my time focusing on the cycle classes, I just can’t stay away from Krank, so on Wednesday I took a Krank class with Sarah-Jane, and I noticed that she had written “60/90/45” on the board with the list of exercises.
What is 60/90/45, you ask? Well, you work your way through 10 different exercises, using the first pass to learn the moves and perfect your form for 60 seconds. For the second time through, you have to do each exercise for 90 seconds. Ninety seconds. That may not sound like much, but believe me, those extra 30 seconds are pure evil. The best thing I can say about this kind of workout is that after the tortuous 90-second intervals, the 45-second cycle feels like a breeze. Cruel, yet effective, although next time I see “60/90/45” written on the board, I may sneak out and hide in Taziki’s.
I decided to take Thursday off and do a restorative yoga session on my own, which is not a bad idea when you are spending your spare time throwing sandbags and propelling yourself off of wooden boxes.
Sarah-Jane said it takes three cycle classes to really “get it,” but my arse was so sore after the first class. But, I trust her, so I knew I had to give it another shot, so on Friday morning I showed up for cycle with Devin. I made the mistake of telling him I was a little tired (i.e., hungover) from the previous evening’s CMA Fest shenanigans. I fully intended to hide in the back and take it easy.
Devin had other plans, placing me front and center, and I felt like the bad kid in class until another girl admitted that she was hungover, too. Devin didn’t cut us any slack — he made us do some major hill climbs. (In cycling, you have control over how much resistance you add by turning a dial located by the handlebars. Turn to the right, and you have a hill. Keep turning to the right, and you have a mountain.) I kind of wanted to throw my water bottle at him, but I really needed that water. (Devin instructs everyone to drain their water bottle by the end of class. I could have drained the entire Cumberland by the end of this particular session.) Also, he’s really cute, and I try not to throw things at cute boys.
After class, I got distracted by these gorgeous Turkish towel scarf thingys at AshBlue, so I rewarded myself and my sore rear end with a new scarf. See, this is a bonus thing about Krank: It’s located in Bandywood, so it’s surrounded by awesome stores and restaurants. We all need rewards, right?
Later that night I decided it would be a great idea dance with a bunch of cute old men at Robert’s until the wee hours, so the only class I could drag myself out of bed for was the 10:30 session, which I thought was a cycle class. Again, I fully intended to hide in the back on this one, since it was day two of some late nights and general tomfoolery.
Blurry proof that the Robert's thing actually happened
I walked in the door a couple minutes late, and to my dismay I realized that it was a Krank class. There was nowhere to hide! I toyed with the idea of making a run for it, but that seemed kind of wussy, so I put on my big girl pants and set my mind to see the hour through. Fortunately, pretty much everyone else in class had a late night, too, so we were all in the same boat. (Have I mentioned how much I enjoy the people I’ve been working out with for the past few weeks? They are all pretty darn awesome, and I love how they all live hard/play hard/exercise hard.)
Anyway, our instructor Kurtis had a late night, too, so I was hopeful that we might get a bit of a break, but that’s not what we signed up for, is it? We did a repeating series of three exercises, 45 seconds each, 15 second rest. The most brutal one involved a set of drills using the Equalizer. See that yellow thing below? That’s the Equalizer (two of them, actually). We jumped off a box and crawled through it repeatedly, army style. Fun the first couple of times, evil for the remainder. We listened to a lot of Backstreet Boys during this particular class (not essential information, but thought I’d share). Kurtis took this class to refine his comedy stand-up routine, prompting his father to announce, “He’s adopted.” Aw.
On Sunday and Monday, I kept my cycle pact and hit Devin’s class each morning. As Sunday marked my magical third class, I realized that Sarah-Jane was right: I “got it” now! Now, let me clarify, I am not suggesting that class has become a cakewalk or that I’d entertain the idea of getting on an actual bike, but I’m definitely in a groove now. (However, my backside still hurts.)
Anyway, after taking so many classes with Devin, let me say this: He is tough. Which is exactly what you want in an instructor or trainer. He is watching everyone in class, and if he sees you slacking off and he knows that you can push harder, he’ll push you. (I think he flicked a towel at me during this class, but it was hard to see through the sweat pouring off my brow.) He also has a set of “rules,” which include “You are stronger than you think” and “Finish hard.” I forgot the other one because I was too busy silently cursing him as I climbed the hill.
After Monday’s class, I took a four-day sabbatical to Napa, where I pretty much ate and drank everything in sight. I did get some exercise, though. We walked through the vineyards and I did plenty of heavy lifting with my wine glass.
"Exercising" in Napa with my pretty AshBlue scarf
I got back late Friday night and hit a Saturday morning cycle class with Rhandee, a fun, motivating instructor. We did lots of sprints (exactly what it sounds like: super fast intervals with recovery periods), which I’ll take over a hill climb any day. In sprints, you have to pedal so fast that you think you’ll fly out of your bike — so that’s why we’re attached to the pedals! — and you get an amazing core workout because you really have to engage your abdominal muscles or your body is swerving all over the place.
(Which reminds me, my mom is an avid cycler and she said that one time a guy in class fell out of his cycle, even though his feet were secured. So it is possible. Since I have a major fear of falling off my bike, as previously noted, I was terrified of this possibility, so I held my abs so tight that they ached for days. Winning!)
I did the Sunday afternoon cycle class with Devin again, and he asked if any of us had eaten anything bad that weekend. Since I had just returned from four days of a gluttonous Bacchanial feast, I ‘fessed up, but he one-upped me by admitting that he ate two hot dogs from a cart on Demonbreun the night before. Not winning. I did feel like two days of serious cycle classes was like setting the reset button after days of Cabernet and cheese.
On Monday morning, Devin noticed that a few of us had been at the previous class, so he graciously let us have a recovery ride. This does not mean “easy,” friends. We didn’t have as many extreme hills; instead, he kept us at a lower heart rate to burn more fat. I’ll take that.
Tuesday morning I hit the new Krank Lite, taught by Kurtis. Sarah-Jane and Kelly wanted to offer this class to newer Krank students and mature exercisers. Basically, it’s just like regular Krank, but a little slower. Like the recovery ride, it definitely wasn’t easier, but it was a little easier to follow. There were more modifications offered for all ages and levels of fitness, and it would be a great place to start if you’re a bit intimidated by a regular Krank class.
On Wednesday I went to Rhandee’s cycle class again, which was great, although I was a little disappointed in myself for not waking up earlier for Sarah-Jane’s Cycle With a Krank class (30 minutes of each, the best of both worlds). Oh well, I’ll just have to come back for one of those.
Thursday morning marked my last day at Krank, so naturally I celebrated by bringing treats from The Cupcake Collection. Most of the cupcakes I chose had fruit or vegetables in them, and I’m fairly certain that The Cupcake Collection’s Sweet Potato Cupcake is practically a health food. I took Dawn’s cycle class with Sarah-Jane and Mindy, and it was a blast. Dawn also teaches yoga at Sanctuary in the Gulch, and she’s a super fun, motivating trainer.
Have I mentioned how much I love all of the trainers at Krank? Seriously, the have assembled a hell of a team there — I was never much of a group class type of exerciser, but I’m actually going to miss seeing these people every day, even though they’re usually kicking my arse.
So, a few things I learned after two weeks of (mostly) Cycle at Krank:
- Do not tell the instructor that you have a hangover, because they will probably make you sit front and center. For shame.
- On that note, try not to go to class with a hangover, because you will lose half your body weight in sweat, and it’s kind of nasty when it smells like whiskey.
- If you try to cheat by turning your resistance down, they will know.
- Your arse is going to hurt. Just push through it.
- Do not forget your water bottle. You. Will. Die.
Krank Nashville is located at 2148 Bandywood Drive in Green Hills.
Photos by Michael W. Bunch
Dana Birdsong didn’t have time for a headache that day. The (then) 35-year-old lobbyist and advocate for the American College of Cardiology in Washington, D.C. had a meeting on Capitol Hill she couldn’t miss.
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