The Best Workout (Ever) in a Series of Gifs

Leandra Medine | October 15, 2015

It’s so good that it’s almost offensive to call it a workout.

Man-Repeller-Taryn-Toomey-The-Class-Workout-How-To---1

If you’ve ever tried “the class,” you know it’s a challenge. A very loud challenge. There is a sequence of like, four straight minutes of burpees. One time I did nine minutes of jumping jacks. And push ups! Who the fuck still knows how to execute a push up? If you leave without feeling like your legs have become strands of spaghetti, you probably missed the final sequence of synchronized running in place, yelling and flailing your arms, and not to sound like the banal platitude that David Foster Wallace outlined in his commencement speech at Kenyon College, but through the challenge always — always — emerges such a distinctly divine sense of self-fulfillment.

Not because you’re changing your body (and trust me, you are), but because your mindset is being reoriented. In 2015, this class is the precise definition of “me” time. No longer are blow outs and manicures — traditional tenets of female relaxation and alone time — sacred. Our phones ruined that. If you want to unwind, unplug, get to know yourself again, you’ve got to take to a fitness class. Let it be to the one that marries meditation to severe muscle burn.

At “the class,” you begin to experience the pain of getting stronger not as something to run away from but as a condition to lean into — to set on fire and relinquish. You’re yelling through the majority of the class. Your eyes are closed, you’re rubbing your palms together and into minute three of pulsing squat mode when you hear Taryn Toomey, the class’s founder, preach such clichés as, “Yes, you can.” Yet somehow they come across so completely authentic and personalized, and you start to realize that the only hurdle to overcome in pursuing a good sweat is you.

Toomey cites the yelling (though it’s more like an extended Aaaaaaahhhhhh) as the only thing that can shut the voices up. “We work one muscle group at a time and don’t leave a single muscle untouched,” she says. “We start with the primary muscle, move to the secondary and finally, the tertiary. We exhaust each one, then add cardio blasts to cleanse the palette, shake up the contraction, flush the system and torch calories. We use sounds, breath and intention to create a cathartic experience.”

Here’s a taste of the workout in gif form broken down by how much time you have.

IF YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES:

Movement #1: Squat into jump squat

Music: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol

Duration: 4:25

jump-squat

Bend knees deeply, moving hips back and keeping knees over ankles. On the chorus, let the body open, let the breath get big, get the blood flowing.

Great for: Toning legs and butt, moving stagnant energy that has been stuck in the mind.

*

Movement #2: Heart opening series

Music: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

Duration: 5:21

butterfly

Come to sit on your knees or shins. Extend the arms out to the side and soften shoulder blades down your back. Move your arms forward and back in the air. Keep your eyes closed, drop your attention into your heart space and breathe deeply while you clean shop.

Great for: Strengthening the shoulders and chest. Emotionally helps to clear feelings of disappointment and fear.

*

Close with a meditation: Come in to a comfortable cross legged seat, sit upright, close your eyes and watch your breath move in and out slowly.

Music: “Where Is My Mind” by Maxence Cyrin

Duration: 2:47

IF YOU HAVE TWENTY MINUTES:

Movement #1: Squat into jump squat

Music: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol

Duration: 4:25

jump-squat

Movement #2: Butt blast with ab lift

Music: “Levitator” by LP (live version)

Duration: 4:31

crunch

Lie on back, lift hips off the floor, draw right knee into chest and lift chest toward knee. Extend leg long parallel with the floor then bring it back in toward the face. As the intensity builds, use deep inhales and loud exhales. Force yourself to feel the clearing of your body and mind from tension, stress, heaviness.

Great for: Lifting the butt.

*

Movement #3: Burpees

Music: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier

Duration: 4:01

burpee

Start in plank position, hop the feet between the hands, jump up toward the ceiling. As feet hit the floor, exhale in a loud “Ha!,” and break the tension that you feel in the body. The heart rate will rise quickly and the voice in the head will become loud. Use that unwell voice as “fuel,” and as we say, “PUT IT ON THE FIRE.” Unblock it. This is great to move frustrations and old patterns that you have stored.

*

Movement #3: Repeat butt blast on opposite leg here

*

Movement #4: Heart opening series

Music: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

Duration: 5:21

butterfly

Come to sit on your knees or shins. Extend the arms out to the side and soften shoulder blades down back. Move your arms forward and back in the air. Keep your eyes closed, drop your attention into your heart space and breathe deeply while you clean shop.

Close with a meditation. Come in to a comfortable cross legged seat, sit upright, close your eyes and watch your breath move in and out slowly.

Music: “Where Is My Mind” by Maxence Cyrin

Duration: 2:47

Man-Repeller-Taryn-Toomey-The-Class-Workout-How-To---395

IF YOU HAVE 65 MINUTES 

Movement #1: Squat into jump squat

Music: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol

Duration: 4:25

jump-squat

Movement #2: Standing butt taps

Music: “Fade Out Lines” by The Avener, Phoebe Killdeer

Duration: 4:36

curtesy-lunge

Stand upright, bend the standing, stabilizing leg, extend arms out to the side. Tap the opposite toe behind the standing leg, lift the knee up toward center and then tap the toe wide on the floor. Keep the hips stable, being mindful not to straighten the standing leg. Breathe up the front of the body. 

Great for: Toning the overall leg, butt, shoulders. Also works the stabilizing muscles for balance.

*

Movement #2: Butt blast with ab lift

Music: “Levitator by LP” (live version)

Duration: 4:31

crunch

Lie on back, lift hips off the floor, draw right knee into chest and lift chest toward knee. Extend leg long parallel with the floor, and back in toward face. As the intensity builds, use deep inhales and loud exhales. Force yourself to feel the clearing of your body and mind from tension, stress, heaviness.

*

Movement #3: Burpees

Music: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier

Duration: 4:01

burpee

Start in plank position, hop the feet between the hands, jump up toward the ceiling. As feet hit the floor, exhale in a loud “Ha!,” and break the tension that you feel in the body. The heart rate will rise quickly and the voice in the head will become loud, use that unwell voice as “fuel” and as we say, “PUT IT ON THE FIRE.” Unblock it. This is great to move frustrations and old patterns that you have stored.

*

Movement #3: Repeat butt blast on opposite leg here

*

Movement #4: Mountain climbers song

Song: “Rollercoaster” by Bleachers

Duration: 3:40

mountain-climber

Come into a plank pose, engage the belly and draw one knee into your chest, switch, and bring in the other. Speed up on the chorus and then draw back into a downward dog when needed. Feel a lightness in the step, let the heart rate rise up and meet it with deep full breaths. Rest in child’s pose when complete.

*

Movement #5: Heart opening series

Music: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

Duration: 5:21

butterfly

Come to sit on your knees or shins. Extend the arms out to the side and soften shoulder blades down back. Move your arms forward and back in the air. Keep your eyes closed, drop your attention into your heart space and breathe deeply while you clean shop.

*

Movement #6: Back body strengthener

Music: “9 Crimes” by Damien Rice

Duration: 3:38

arm-press-2

Kneel on your shins, tip forward from the waist, engage the belly, straighten the arms behind you, draw the shoulders down the back, broaden across the upper chest and make little pulses with the palms facing each other as if you were squeezing a beach ball.

*

Movement #7: Devotional tricep presses

Music: “People Help the People” by Birdy

Duration: 4:17

arm-bends-2

Come to all fours, extend arms long in front of you, bend elbows, allowing them to hover 2 inches off the floor. Begin to pulse the elbows, keep shoulder blades down. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. In this move, feel yourself using kindness and words of softness for yourself, especially if you have been in a place of discomfort. Use this time to reflect and fill yourself back up with words of wisdom and softness.

Great for: Abdominals, triceps and lat-engagement.

*

Movement #8: Abdominal plank pose

Music: “Seven Nation Army” by Zella Day

Duration: 2:53

leg-pulse

Come into a forearm plank, tuck your butt slightly under, draw shoulder blades down your back. Tap left knee on floor, then right knee on floor, continue to alternate at the pace of the song. Rest in dolphin pose, lifting hips up and back, and breathe through the body. Then rock forward and continue. Rest in child’s pose at the end and turn your palms to the ceiling.

Close with a meditation. Come in to a comfortable cross legged seat, sit upright, close your eyes and watch your breath move in and out slowly.

Music: “Where is My Mind” by Maxence Cyrin

Duration: 2:47

Man-Repeller-Taryn-Toomey-The-Class-Workout-How-To---395

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis

hyperlink-gif-taryn-toomey

  • Kate

    This is awesome!! I always wanted to try The Class, having read about it here beforehand and elsewhere, but live in Canada. Doing this tonight!

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  • http://www.emiliedayan.com/ Emilie

    Oh my gosh, this looks so hard! I hurt already.

    • Leandra Medine

      its worth every jump

  • Lou

    This was AMAZING. Thank you so much. I now know why when I do burpees–even if I hate them in the moment–I feel like I’ve released old stuff. Please do more articles like this!!

  • http://insertwth.com/ Denisse

    I am sure as hell going to try these out tonight!!

  • http://rebeldescent.blogspot.com Daria Zems

    So cool!!

    xx, Daria
    http://rebeldescent.blogspot.ru

  • Leah

    I hope the soundtrack is a joke, cause there’s no way I’m listening to Snow Patrol.

  • kelleylynn

    Four minutes of burpees, huh? Huh. What a…what a concept.

  • https://therambleco.wordpress.com/ Amber

    You guys have actually managed to convince me that exercise MIGHT be fun

  • Lindsay

    …but can i get a hair tutorial?

  • https://www.wonkylauren.com Lauren

    Ahh this is so good! I’m not sure I could do burpees for 3+ minutes though lol x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

    • Jamie Leland

      I definitely cannot.

  • Teresa

    Awesome post, I will be making the 20 minute session a priority. On a side note, LP takes me on a spiritual ride every-damn-time I hear Levitator. She’s been on my go to workflow jam mix for the past year, and I often put that song on repeat. Today it made me drop a tear.
    Your Spotify lists are straight magic. I hope you continue to make them.

  • Melanie

    I love that you paired each exercise with a song!!! I have to try this!! =)

    Melanie | Toots & Dill

  • Adardame

    I love the layering effect in this post.

  • Tanya Marie W. Rhule

    I love this! think my lazy but may actually keep this up of a while 🙂

  • soniadelvalle

    I want to die just reading this but like, in a good way.

  • Friska Friskilia

    wow amazing .. cool http://pelangsingkapsul.com

  • brittney

    wow. best at home workout. hands down.

  • Sam

    fitness psych genius?! perfect playlist for this workout!!! Had so much fun and have had three other girls come over to try!

  • Pauline Brandt

    Absolutely inspired post! Has re-kindled fitness routine. Starting with 10 minutes and incorporating Bob Marley for chill out at the end! Thanks – More like this please!

  • Liz

    How could someone possibly do burpees for 4 minutes?