I worked out with Vanessa Hudgens for a day and it showed me the importance of switching your fitness routine up

Julia GuerraWorking out with Vanessa Hudgens was a fun challenge.

I’m the type of person who’d rather be awkwardly early than fashionably late, so when I walked into my workout class almost 20 minutes ahead of schedule, I expected to turn into an empty studio. Instead, I turned the corner and came face to face with a cluster of cameras snapping photos of none other than “Polar” actress, Vanessa Hudgens.

No, this isn’t exactly an average day for me. I was attending The Sculpt Society workout event sponsored by Propel Vitamin Boost.Hudgens, Propel, and Megan Roup, the creator of The Sculpt Society, hosted a dance-cardio workout that I was invited to attend to celebrate the launch of the Vitamin Boost fitness water.

Before the rest of the group arrived, I had a few moments to speak with Hudgens one-on-one. After introducing ourselves, it almost felt like she and I were just two punctual people, waiting for class to begin. Knowing her background in musical theatre, I asked the Disney Channel alum if the dance cardio adventure we were about to embark on was the kind of workout she enjoyed on a regular basis.

“I’ve never taken this class before,” she admitted.

“Oh, OK, at least we’re all in this together, then,” I responded. Did you catch that “High School Musical” reference? Because I sincerely hope she didn’t.

Hudgens may never have taken a Sculpt Society class before, but she’s the star of live musicals like “Rent” and has shown off some fun choreography in her own music videos in the past. Me? I was born with little to no coordination, let alone rhythm, so I’d always stuck with lifting weights, or traditional forms of cardio, like running on a treadmill, as my exercises of choice. I rarely dabbled in any sort of creative cardio workouts, and now I was about to get my dance on in front of one of my teen idols.

Vanessa and Propel  credit to Propel Josh CortesPropel Josh CortesI was a little intimidated to be working out with a professional dancer.

So, I was a little intimidated when Hudgens chose the mat next to mine, but to say that her energy was infectious would be an understatement.

Once Roup took her place at the front of the class, and a high energy song came through the stereo speakers, Hudgens made each move her own, and I’m proud to say I (somehow) kept time with the instructor and the rest of class, much to my surprise.

When Hudgens turned, I turned (though, half the time I was turning in the wrong direction); when Roup told us to work our hips, I worked them; and when Hudgens would pause between tracks to take a sip of Propel Vitamin Boost, I followed suit.

I can honestly say that judging by the first sip, it was pretty refreshing, and by the end of the workout, I was gulping down the Strawberry Raspberry flavour for dear electrolytes.

I had assumed the dance portion would have been the hardest, but surprisingly when it came to Roup’s ankle-weighted fire hydrant-esque sequences – something more akin to yoga which, I had assumed would be more my speed – I wasn’t keeping up with anyone. I found myself having to drop into child’s pose a few times in order to regroup and correct my form. But I wasn’t the only one.

Not only were other class attendees pausing here and there, I even noticed Hudgens taking small pauses when she needed them, too. Maybe we really were “all in this together.”

For the record, Roup is a fantastic instructor, but as someone who works out at home more often than she does in a gym or class setting, I’m not used to being on point for an entire 30-minutes straight. I prefer working out solo for the fact that I can go at my own speed, and know that no matter how many child’s poses I take, I’ll complete the routine in full. Hudgens, on the other hand, said classes are more “her thing.”

“I am such a class person; I am not self-motivated [when it comes to exercise]. I kind of need someone telling me what to do,” she said, and added that her go-to exercises are SoulCycle, yoga, and pilates.

Vanessa and Propel 2  credit to Propel and Josh CortesPropel/Josh CortesWorking out with Hudgens ended up being a blast.

Overall, working out with Vanessa Hudgens taught me that, when it comes to fitness, it’s important to know what you like and what will actually get you moving.

Fitness is a personal journey; you have to figure out which exercises click, which don’t, and which ones make you feel good inside and out. To do that, sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and push your body in ways you never have before. That’s why I am glad I tried something totally new and took this class.

It showed me that even if something wasn’t exactly my type of exercise, I could actually enjoy a new challenge and a different way of working out. A cardio dance class was nothing to fear, even if I won’t be starring in a TV musical anytime soon.

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