The famous words of German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, are all too fitting for a class at Corus45. Every single class there is a moment where I B R E A K . I have never completed a class without coming out of one of the moves [or several for that matter]. I usually collapse down and mouth a slow and tortured “fuuuuuuuuuucccckkkk” to myself in the mirror. I shake it out and get back to work because there is NO REST in Corus45. I love it, I hate it, yet I’m totally addicted.

It’s really a form of torture but some could argue that all exercise is. The custom designed machine they use is called the “Iron Maiden”: a mythical torture and execution device from the Middle Ages. It’s also a name of a popular heavy metal band from the 80’s. Clever, huh? You’ll begin to notice a theme here. The machine is similar to a pilates reformer with resistance springs and a sliding carriage. The high bars on either side of the machine are able to rotate in any direction providing more variety and scalability in how they are used. The front of the machine is made easier with resistance because the carriage wants to slip away and the resistance creates stability. And on the flip side, resistance makes the back of the machine more challenging as it wants to pull back, making you fight against the spring load.

Corus45 is a one-of-a-kind workout that you really can’t experience anywhere but in Cleveland. They’ve created a total body workout that is high intensity but low impact improving your flexibility, strength, and stamina. With a heavy focus on functional movement and athletic performance that will tax both slow and fast twitch muscles. Similar style classes typically are all slow with at least a 4 count out and 4 count in and holds; Corus45 adds in an intervals [timed repetition], tempo [1 count out, 4 counts in] and explosive [as fast as you can] movements.

The decor, the exercises, the programs and even the terminology they use are all music themed. I swear I’ve been in a low hold and just as the Headliner [instructor] says to get a little lower, a Luda song comes on, “How low can you go?” How’s that for timing? It’s really one of the most detail orientated workouts I have ever experienced. Including the precision on their coaching with a lot of hands-on correction. At first this caught me off guard, but honestly, when directional cues fail to translate to the student, a hands-on adjustment is a really effective way to achieve the correct positioning. The heavy focus on form and injury prevention is one of my top reasons I really love this workout.

A typical class has about 95% of women in it, but it’s not a chick thing. This workout is hard as balls, and coming from a heavy CrossFit background, that speaks volumes. Men will greatly benefit as the exercises challenge a lot of muscle building and flexibility that is overlooked in traditional weightlifting regimes.

My favorite workout.

Michael Jackson: Heavy leg and core focus. It includes holding a plank with your hands on the floor, toes on the carriage and walking yourself forward and backward with a spring load. It’s bananas.

My favorite moves.

Cherry Bomb: Holding yourself upright on the bars with your feet extended in front of you on the carriage. You pull back and sweep up with your hips while keeping your legs straight. You return forward only until your hips are in line with your hands. This forces you to be engaged the entire time. It burns all through your shoulders and the backs of your arms and deep into your core. This move reminds me of something you’d see a gymnast do on the pommel horse.

Moonwalker: Hold a lunge with one foot on the carriage and one foot on the platform. You want your knee stacked over your ankle on the carriage. Your platform leg is stick straight. You begin the move by sliding your carriage foot forward while remaining in your lunge. You slide the foot back and stop when your ankle is directly under your knee. Your butt, quads, and hamstrings will be on fire. This also requires a decent amount of balance, and like every move, it requires you to keep your core engaged the entire time.

While Corus45 is one of the hardest workouts I have ever done, don’t rule it out if you’re just getting into fitness. The coaches can help you scale the moves to your ability and are able to give options to keep the intensity up for all levels. You will sweat, shake and maybe even cry a little bit but it’s over in 45 minutes. You know it’s coming to an end when the Headliner calls out that you’re starting the “finale” meaning there are less than 5 minutes left of class. And quite possibly then the hardest minute of your life, the “encore.”

#JoinTheCorus Crüe over at Corus45! You won’t regret it. Well, you might during class, but you won’t regret the results.