These days, I’m all about efficiency in my workouts. I juggle a lot of responsibilities on my schedule and carving out a block for exercise isn’t always easy, so it often comes down to what I can do in an hour or less. My tolerance for tedious routines is also pretty low, so the more variety I can get in that 60 minutes, the better.
The new cross-training classes at Christina Rondeau Kickboxing succeed on both counts. Kickboxing has been Rondeau’s bread and butter since the ‘90s: first as a professional competitor and then as a fitness instructor. While it still forms the core of her business, she recently opened a studio in Johnston and the offerings are more diverse than ever. There are kickboxing classes for men, women and children, personal training programs, weight training sessions, self-defense classes for kids and now, fast-paced, varied cross-training classes that condense a full-body workout into a nice, manageable hour.
These are simple, approachable classes for people of any fitness level. The class size is small, there’s no “bootcamp” mentality and going into “beast mode” is not required to keep up. Rondeau varies the exercises by day, so the classes never get monotonous or repetitive. All of which is to say that you can simply show up, work your butt off for an hour, and move on to the rest of your day with a minimum of fuss.
The class I attended was divided into three segments of 10 minutes each, followed by a fast-paced round of cardio-style kickboxing with the heavy bags. Rondeau outlined everything on a whiteboard, listing the exercises and scribbling motivational notes like “Fuel = you!” and “Push yourself!” She also walked us through each individual exercise at the top of every set.
In keeping with the spirit of the class, they were all fairly straightforward but impactful, and most of them hit multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For instance, our second set consisted of five simple exercises that incorporated a medicine ball: 10 ball smashes (basically a squat that involves slamming the ball to the floor), 10 push-ups (with the ball under one hand for one rep, then rolled over to the other for the next rep), 10 sit-ups, 20 toe taps and 10 overhead presses. Each set is repeated as many times as you can do it in the allotted 10 minutes, allowing each person to work at a level they can handle.
That last part is important, because it makes the classes accessible to anyone, yet challenging for everyone. For example, the third set involved dumbbells, meaning that each person could choose not only a pace that suited them, but a weight as well. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I saw mothers and daughters and couples of different fitness levels working up a sweat side by side.
Rondeau’s cross-training classes hit all the right notes for a mid-week workout: simple, fast, varied, challenging, hitting all parts of the body and, perhaps best of all, done in an hour or less. Now on with the rest of my day.
Christina Rondeau Kickboxing
609 Killingly Street, Johnston • 996-5425