Crunch Gym is known for their unique group exercises classes, and their newest offering Surfset is no exception. The class is described as “the world’s first total body surf trainer designed to mimic real surfing.” And after seeing creator and former pro hockey player Mike Hartwick’s pitch it on the hit Fox show Shark Tank, I knew I had to check it out.
All in all, this class is genius. Half of it takes place on a custom-built indoor surfboard called the RipSurfer X. The other half is spent using sandbags, imitating the common movement patterns used in surfing.
According to the official Surfset website, the RipSurfer X is designed to get participants a surfer body that is “lean without looking weak, and muscular without the bulk” and designed to simulate real life surfing. Think of it as a surfboard balanced on small stability balls. In order to remain standing, you have to find your center of gravity and keep your core muscles (i.e. abs, back, and upper legs) active in order to remain standing. You may not feel it that day, but come tomorrow you will feel sore in muscles you never knew existed!
The sandbags are there to provide added resistance aimed at sculpting a long, lean physique with the time spent off the board. From squats to shoulder raises, you will feel the burn as you start to fatigue and each rep becomes harder than the last. While on the board, core stability is a must in order to go from lying face down to standing up on the board in mere seconds. Another great challenge on the board? Single leg squats! Talk about a killer workout.
I found the class to be innovative and a welcome addition to any workout routine. Most people think they need to do 100 sit ups a day to build up core strength. WRONG! Functional exercises where your core is working in tandem with the rest of your body are much more effective. This class is the perfect example of developing and using core strength. It’s a good calorie burn, too, with a range of 450 – 800 per class.
Another bonus of the class is that it will help participants build proprioception. You can think of this as your body’s ability to know where it is in space. For example, close your eyes and touch your nose. That’s proprioception. It allows us to walk upstairs without staring at every step, or execute a shoulder press without having to look at the dumbbells. It’s something we mostly take for granted.
In real life surfing, you build strength from the resistance of the water, and burn fat and build core strength by balancing on the board and swimming out to the wave. Crunch’s Surfset simulates the sport of surfing surprisingly well. I recommend this class to my clients because it is challenging and has clear, measurable progress. Being able to stand up on that board is no joke. Most important — the class is fun! Fine one at Surfsetfitness.com.
images via surfsetfitness.com