It is almost two months into the year and, like us, you may be looking at your New Year’s resolutions feeling a little defeated. The Perdeby Sport team recently pulled themselves together after far too many Valentine’s Day chocolates and headed to the Tuks Student Gym (TSG) in order to provide you with a first-hand experience of exactly what it is like.
Fake it until you make it: The first visit may be tough if you are not completely sure where TSG actually is. It is of utmost importance to avoid feeling hopelessly lost among the attractive athletes that roam the LC de Villiers Sport campus. Our advice is to calmly approach any of the knowledgeable (and very helpful) security guards with your slick gym outfit and new Nike tekkies. They will be more than willing to assist you find your way.
Yes, TSG is “legit”: We had no idea what to expect walking into the building, and soon discovered that although the TSG is by no means a Virgin Active or Planet Fitness in terms of size or calibre, it provides the same service for a “student-on-a-budget” looking to achieve their fitness goals. There is a large section for lifting weights, so those looking to “make gains” have ample opportunity to do so. There is also a smaller section for cardio training. This worked perfectly for those “get-in and get-out” kind of days, burning calories and building up a sweat in no time at all.
Beat the queues: We seldom had to wait for a machine, but we discovered a small section upstairs with lockers and stretching mats that we used as a back-up workout section when the gym was a little crowded, or when we just needed some privacy on our “fat-days”. When our white gym pants were slightly off-colour after kneeling on the mats for too long, we moved on to the real hidden gem of the gym – the classes. For those who struggle to motivate themselves, these classes are a great way to keep on track. TSG offers two different bootcamp classes, pilates, and aerobics. As two people with different fitness levels, we decided to give these classes a try and were pleasantly surprised by the way that they catered for both us.
First we tried aerobics. The instructor was both motivating and fun. Although the house music was not particularly to our taste, our spirits were held high during a full body workout that was tough for both the women and men in the class. An intense full body workout mixed with some cardio is what we found at the bootcamp. The times were very convenient, being early in the day. Think “Crossfit meets cardio meets bodyweight training”, and then throw in some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). We worked up a sweat and felt pumped for the rest of the day, and all by 07:00. We were surprised at how tough the pilates class was. It left our arms and abs in a severe state of stiffness the next day. Expecting a nice stretch down after our hard work, we were not prepared for the intense ab crunches we were met with. While it is a lower intensity workout than the other classes, it gave us the chance to focus on specific muscle groups.
“I’m from Groenkloof” is not an excuse: If Groenkloof is where you reside, then you are in luck. Groenkloof has its very own TSG right above the Gymnasium. This gym is also fully equipped and offers its own set of classes, which also includes a spinning class. Since there is not a separate venue for the spinning classes, we will admit that it was a bit awkward to have everyone watch us drench ourselves in sweat. Being in the corner of the gym, we missed the experience of the typical spinning class with pumping music that blocks your ears afterwards, but the music inside the gym was turned up enough to give us that little push we needed. There are not many bikes, so getting there early is advisable. Like all classes, the workout is as tough as you make it.
Image: Ciske van den Heever