Turbokick(ed) my butt

Caroline Tufts

“Jab, jab, jab, jab, now wheel and crunch.” This was the mantra for what felt like hours during Monday night’s Turbokick® class in Studio B at the Rec Center. In truth, it was mere minutes, interspersed among other exercises that incorporated the art of choreographed kickboxing with a cardio and muscle workout, but my body was feeling it more than I like to admit.

I pride myself on being a relatively active and enthusiastic person, but instructor Amanda Elliott put me to shame as she bounced around with her high neon socks and unwavering encouragement. Elliott is a first-year graduate student, who got her start in Turbokick three years ago when she graduated college and found herself missing the physicality of organized sports.

“I knew how important it was for me to have someone like an instructor pushing me, and I love getting to do that for other people,” Elliott said, who was certified as an instructor in Los Angeles, Calif.

The instructions provided were clear, and emphasized that everyone in attendance should focus on their own athletic level which included modifications for an exercise that exceeded personal ability. Though the class consisted only of myself and two other students, the constant movement and the beat of the music through the speakers kept us constantly engaged.

Nakaiah Carattini, a freshman in the physical therapy program, kept up with the hour-long class, but by the end was breathing heavily (though I think I had her beat by the amount I was sweating). Carattini talked about her surprise at the intensity of the class.

“I’m really tired from such an energetic workout,” Carattini said.

The course itself was fast-paced, combining kicks, punches, lunges, burpees and other moves to achieve what Elliott described as an hour of burning calories and working every major muscle group in the body. I figured that because I did Taekwondo I would be able to handle this just fine, but I quickly realized that when martial arts and rhythm are mixed I am doomed to an hour of tripping over my own feet. However, despite my own clumsiness, I never felt discouraged, rather I was continually pushed to do my own personal best.

“The instructor was really energetic, and she made me feel comfortable doing something that I’ve never done before,” freshman Gianna Corso said. “Now I feel really pumped up.”

That energy held throughout the class, and made the pain and exhaustion feel more than worth it. After a hard day of classes, it was great to get some exercise in an environment that was friendly and upbeat.

“The energy that people have when they are having fun is infectious, which makes it easier for everyone to get a good workout,” Elliott said.

And she does mean everyone. This class is for anyone in the Quinnipiac community, regardless of their skill or experience level, and for me, attending as a newcomer was far from intimidating. After one class, Carattini was hooked.

“It was such a fun workout,” Carattini said. “I would definitely do it again.”

Turbokick is held in Studio B on Mondays from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 5:15-6:15 p.m. All are welcome to attend for good company, enthusiastic instruction and a workout that is sure to kick your butt!