Last Tuesday I was invited to Sitan Gym Long Island to try out two of their classes: Muay Thai and Kettlebells. This gym is located in East Meadow, right near Nassau University Medical Center, which is about ten minutes from my house. I have been to quite a few of “boxing” gyms and hands down this was the nicest one I have had the opportunity to work out in.
I invited my friend Crystal along to be my “photographer” for the night and to try out the classes with me. When we arrived we had the pleasure of meeting Eddie, one of the owners and our Muay Thai teacher. While I have taken kickboxing in the past, I had never taken a Muay Thai class and was really excited to give it a try.
The class started promptly at 7pm and to say I was a little intimidated by the other classmates was an understatement. The majority of the class was men, with the exception of Bailey, and everyone was dressed in boxer shorts and t-shirts or tank tops. I felt “overdressed” in my bright yellow tank and a little out of place, but as soon as the warm-up started I quickly forgot about everything else except the workout.
This class is no joke. The warm-up alone was enough of a workout for the entire night and although it was only about 20 minutes, it felt like hours. Basically, the warm-up consisted of us running around the mat and stopping to do squats, pushups, crunches and other exercises. Did I mention that they turn the air conditioning off??? My friend Crystal commented that she had never seen me sweat so much, not even after a half-marathon. I was soaked before the warm-up was finished.
After the warm-up I worked with Bailey on learning the basic moves while everyone else shadowboxed. Shadowboxing is basically performing your moves with yourself like you were fighting an opponent, the purpose is to work on your moves and perfect them before facing an opponent. The class continued with us walking around the mat and performing different combinations using dumbbells (I went sans dumbbells)-jab, cross, hook, uppercut; knee strikes; kicks. We ended the workout with more shadow boxing, kicking the bag, and crunches.
I LOVED this class. After I got over my initial intimidation, I felt perfectly comfortable amongst the class. Everyone was friendly and helpful throughout the class, no judgement for the beginner with no coordination. Eddie was a superb teacher and I look forward to working out with him in the future.
I have taken many kickboxing classes and I can tell you that this Muay Thai class was 100 times better than any of them. I liked that Eddie focused on the art and technique of Muay Thai while providing a killer workout. This was an hour long sweatfest that left my feeling accomplished and completely detoxed.
Crystal was not prepared for the class and ended up leaving early, but she plans to come back to try it out another night. I on the other hand somehow thought it would be an awesome idea to take the Kettlebell class too<<—insert sarcasm. Thankfully there was a 15 minute break in between the two classes.
When our teacher Rick walked in I knew I had met him already. A few years back I took a bootcamp over the summer and Rick taught the kettlebell class twice during the bootcamp. That bootcamp was my first experience with kettlebells and every single time I do a kettlebell swing I think of Rick.
Rick took us through an hour long kettlebell routine focusing on our form during the basic movements with the kettlebell. I used a 15lb kettlebell, which was the lightest they had, for the workout. Rick had us sweating in minutes and it did not stop until the very end of the class.
What I loved about this class was that it was small and focused. From the moment I met Rick at Becky’s Bootcamp, I knew he was not only passionate about what he did, but was also truly an expert in his field. Rick made sure we understood each movement and performed them with good form. Kettlebells are an awesome workout, but if you use bad form you can easily be injured.
Rick’s philosophy for training is best described on his Cultivated Strength:
“Foreseeing the future of health and fitness, we have created a specific training protocol that focuses on training the body for optimal fitness, performance and enhancement; while preserving the joints, soft tissues, ligaments and internal health of the body.”
Rick’s training truly encompasses this philosophy and I look forward to taking classes with him in the future.
These are two classes you should definitely check out!!! I will be returning after my vacation!!!!
I want to thank Sitan Gym for inviting me to try out these classes!!!! As always all opinions are 100% my own.
Have you tried Muay Thai or Kettlebells??