Many of you have probably looked at our class schedule and seen classes like yoga, Body Pump, and Zumba, but what about Buns N Belly? Buns N Belly is a strength class that focuses on your core and glute (or ‘buns’!). It is a great way to mix up your gym routine by ditching machines on the floor and stepping into one of these guided classes. But, don’t take it from me! This week, we interviewed Jesus Vega (AKA Chuy). A Buns N Belly Instructor in Tucson who is going to give you the low down on this fun and rewarding class.
1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Jesus! Could you let everyone know what you do at Chuze Fitness, how long you have worked here, and how you ended up on the team?
I have been with Chuze for two and a half years now at the 16th & Ajo location in Tucson. I started as a Supervisor in the Operations department. About four months in, I became Assistant General Manager (AGM). Being an AGM was truly a blessing because it taught me so much about myself. As I saw the coaches train their clients, I knew I needed to do something along those lines. I truly enjoyed being AGM, but I knew that with the people, I belonged. So I became a Personal Trainer.
Months went by, and I got interviewed for the Lead Coach position and was blessed enough to receive it. On one Friday morning, I received a call that changed everything… The General Manager at the time called because the Friday morning Bootcamp class needed an instructor right away. With my eyes still half closed, and hair messed up, I took the challenge. (I had never taught a group exercise class in my life.) I arrived and was given a workout sheet. Before walking in, I took a deep breath not knowing that day would change the rest of my Chuze Fitness journey. I am here typing this with tears in my eyes because dreams do come true.
2 | What exactly is Buns N Belly class?
Buns N Belly is an amazing class that emphasizes core and legs (Booty GAINZ). The workouts involved include squats, lunges, Bulgarian squats, sumo squats, kickbacks, hip thrusts, crunches, planks, figure eights, sit-ups, etc.
3 | Can you take us through a class? What exercises will we do and what should we expect?
Sure! After we do our initial stretch, I love to start the class with isolated squats (EVERYONE LOOOVES THESE!). Three sets, ten reps, and, on the last rep, we hold. The hold gets longer every set. I love this because it pre-activates the glutes. After that, we jump into some lunges (with or without weights) and then we hit some supersets. A superset is a way to strength train in which you move from one exercise to the next without taking a break, and things get a bit intense. Here are some supersets that we do: three rounds of curtsy squats with jump squats, jump lunges with high knees, and quick feet with sumo squats. Once everyone is having the time of their lives, we hit some core. (Classes are never the same. I’m a firm believer in muscle confusion and plateau breaking.) This is where groundwork begins. Starting with standard crunches followed by bicycles, figure eights, and top it off with everyone’s favorite…planks. Also once we are on the ground we take it back old school with some kickbacks, fire hydrants, hip thrusts, etc. (My glutes are getting a pump as I type this!)
4 | How can someone who is used to training their legs on the gym floor benefit from Buns N Belly?
Great question! Lifting weights and taking classes are both unique within themselves. Someone who is used to a leg day routine like squats, leg curl, leg extension, glute machine, and treadmill can benefit from Buns N Belly so much! How? Well, motivation is key! And by taking this class, you are constantly motivated and challenged to exceed your expectations. You go from workout to workout with proper explanation of how to execute, and there might be new exercises you can add to your day to day routines. I feel privileged to be called, “Instructor,” because education is a priority. So if you try a class, you will learn, grow, and become better.
5 | What are your three main tips for someone who is new to Buns N Belly?
1. HAVE FUN!!! At the beginning of every class, I start by acknowledging the new people thanking them. After that, I have everyone walk around and high five and motivate one another. This breaks the ice and makes everyone more at ease being in a room with 25 people.
2. MAKE THIS ABOUT YOU! Sometimes we can get carried away by seeing someone who is doing the workouts so fast when you could barely do half or even a quarter of what they are doing. That’s when intimidation kicks in. But when I teach, I make it a priority that each person focuses on themselves so they can get the proper results.
3. DON’T STAY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE! “Nothing grows in our comfort zone” was a piece of advice given to me a little while back. It rings true for every class. Classes are meant to challenge and change an individual. So by coming out of that zone, they can better themselves whether it be heavier weights or more reps and the result — CHANGE.
6 | How often do you suggest that members take the Buns N Belly class?
As much as possible, since the routines are always changing, members are always evolving. There’s always something to grasp form these types of classes.
7 | When someone is new to group exercise, it can be intimidating to see everyone moving through the moves effortlessly. What advice do you have for someone who is intimidated to try out a class for the first time?
Go at your own pace. These classes are not competitions. They are designed for people who want to have fun and learn new skills. These type of classes are exactly where you belong! It’s a mini-community within a community. Coming back to the comfort zone, if you feel like 20 or 30 minutes was enough, that’s perfect! That’s amazing, and I’m proud of you for that because the next time you may make it to 40 minutes, and then — BOOM! The entire class. Next thing you know you’ll be saying, “WHAT ELSE YOU GOT, CHUY?”
8 | Do you have any advice for those of us who are working hard but seem to hit a plateau? How do we push through?
Great question. Yes, when we hit a plateau, the body is saying I’m ready to go to another level. The way we go about it is by changing reps, sets, workouts, environment (*cough* take Buns N Belly *cough*), eating habits, times we work out, how much we rest, etc. Plateaus are tricky, and many believe they can be broken quick. But, they take time because now you may have to readjust your workout routines, resting patterns, eating habits to confuse the muscle. I see it a lot with my personal training clients. Losing weight and or gaining muscle is not linear; it’s like a roller coaster — a lot of ups and downs. So plateaus are alerts from the body saying a readjustment is now needed.
9 | Do you have any hobbies outside of the gym that keep you happy and healthy?
I really enjoy traveling (I go to California a lot)), playing guitar, hiking, trying new foods, working out, teaching, going to church, and spending time with family. Simple things.
10 | Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Chuze Family?
I’d like to say, “Thank you.” It is an honor and a privilege to serve our members. This is for you guys! I love what I do and will continue to give it my best day in and day out. I have a purpose in this establishment, and I will not stop until I reach the peak of my success. What might that be? I don’t know, but I sure do love the ride.