This spring, Birmingham J-Soc launched a brand new fitness class.  Student Chloe Rose reflects on her initiation into the world of J-Soc fitness!

As the Birmingham J-Soc Sports Rep James Palman tells us “I have old men who can stretch better than this!” all I can think of is, ‘the things I do for J-Soc!’

Birmingham J-Soc girls were put through their paces at their first BLT class

Birmingham J-Soc girls were put through their paces at their first BLT class

But by the end of James’ one-hour workout class, I feel more exercised than any session at the gym has ever done for me.

Birmingham J-Soc is lucky to have James offering this class. He is a qualified personal trainer and staff member at the Munrow Sports Centre on University Campus, meaning for one hour a week we have access to their dance studio and all the gym equipment that comes with it.

Aptly named ‘BLT’ (Bums, Legs and Tums), James’ class involves cardio, stretches, use of weights and pain like I’ve never felt before – but it’s a good pain, I assure you. He targets the key areas, aiming to tone and shape without causing too many tears from a group of JPs.

Despite James’ admission that his other clients have a better aptitude for stretching, he is a fair trainer who assists his students in whatever way he can, pushing us to stretch further, run faster and lift heavier weights. And besides, he has to be tough with us because we are not the most forgiving of students.

“Relax!” He tells me, pushing me into the stretch and telling me to breathe in and out. “I am relaxing!” I snap back, to which he replies with a wry smirk in his voice, “I wasn’t asking for a reply – I just want you to do it.”

Though I might have been annoyed then, now that I am feeling the way my body has tested itself in ways I’ve never known before, I am grateful and appreciative of James’ persuasion during the class.

He has assured me that the class will vary from week to week with its exercises and sessions, though targeting the areas we most want to work on – namely to fit into our J-Soc Ball dresses.

James is open to suggestions of ways to improve the class, but my only request is more Beyoncé on the soundtrack.

Promising that next week will include some empowering tracks from our favourite bootylicious singer, James bids us goodbye. I will definitely be returning to the class next Wednesday at 1pm in the Munrow Centre and look forward to climbing the next run on James’ ladder to fitness.

Apparently according to him, I’m supposed to be in shape because I’m a dancer. Well now, thanks to BLT, I might just get there.