Out of your comfort zone: My first week using ClassPass

Out of your comfort zone: My first week using ClassPass

My best workouts are classes – spin, yoga, bootcamp, you name it – I just get a better experience from when there’s an encouraging instructor blasting great music.

Thank goodness for ClassPass! It launched in DC earlier this month and allows you to access some of the top studios in the city for $99 per month. There are so many classes in their network that you’ll never run out of options. When I first got wind of it coming to the district, I got super excited.

The lovely folks at ClassPass gave me a complimentary 1 month membership, so I used my first week to dive right in and check out studios I had never visited. I’m the type that when I find something I really like (workouts included), I stick with it, so it was nice to have an excuse to venture outside my comfort zone.

Here’s what my first week looked like:

Thrive SignClass 1: Barre at My Thrive Pilates in Shirlington

This class was an easy pick. I had already done cardio in the morning, so I wanted a good toning class as my evening workout and this place is right around the corner from me. It’s an intimate setting – I think there were 5 or 6 people in my class – and very welcoming. It was also much more laid back than other barre classes I’ve attended, so if you’re a barre newbie and concerned about an intimidating atmosphere, no need to be scared here. The instructor picked fun music and I got a great sweat on.

Class 2: Gentle Yoga at JOURNEYoga

My muscles were aching from all the tucks and plies the day before, so the next day I opted for a Body Ride class at Revolve (not using my ClassPass) followed by a gentle yoga class at JOURNEYoga in Arlington. One of my good friends got her yoga teacher certification here, so I trusted it would be a good class and it didn’t disappoint. The class started AND ended in savasana, which is always a good sign in my book. I left feeling much more relaxed and ready to take on the day.

jrinkClass 3: Lunchtime Power Hour at Epic Yoga

Okay, so this wasn’t my first time at Epic Yoga, but it was my first time at JRINK Juicery, the new juice joint attached to the studio. After a great lunchtime pick-me-up yoga practice with April (which included honking cabbies, a crazy downpour, and a leaking roof…but more about that later), I treated myself to two yummy JRINK beverages: Build Me Up (raw almond, cinnamon, vanilla, agave) and Cheer Me Up (raw hazelnut, cacao, gave). They were heavenly! A very welcome addition to a rainy day.

Class 4: Pure Barre Alexandria

I jumped on the barre groupie girl train awhile ago, first with a class at Biker Barre and more recently at Xtend Barre and Thrive Pilates, so I didn’t hesitate to check out Pure Barre’s studio in Old Town Alexandria. The instructor, Jamie, showed me around the studio and verbally walked me through the workout before class, which I found to be really helpful. I did wayyyyy more tucks in this class than any other barre class I’ve taken. Oh, and LOTS of ab work (my favorite!). This was a top-notch barre workout. I’ll be coming back soon.

Whew! What a first week. I’m loving ClassPass so far and can’t wait to figure out what I’ll try next.

Are you using ClassPass? What have been your favorite workouts?



EPIClates: Not Your Mama’s Pilates

Don’t let Epic Yoga fool you. Despite the spacious, light-filled studio and soothing ambiance, Epic’s EPIClates class is anything but relaxing. If you’re looking for a Pilates class where you do a few crunches on a mat, well, this isn’t for you.

After finishing my usual Saturday morning spin class routine – this time an hour filled with non-stop intervals – I thought a Pilates class would be a nice cool down. I mean, I’ve done many Pilates classes before and barely broke a sweat, so I didn’t really understand why the other students had towels next to their mats. Boy, was I about to find out.

Melissa teaches EPIClates and if you forgot to drink your cup of coffee before coming to class, don’t worry. Her energy is the equivalent of 5 cups plus one or two Red Bulls. She’ll wake you up. Fast.

What’s a plank run? You’ll soon find out. Hint: They’re the reason why everyone has a towel next to their mat.

For those in the never-ending quest for Michelle Obama arms (ahem, that would be moi), the two-pound weights sitting next to your mat will be deceiving. Though small, they pack a big punch during the arms portion of the workout and will leave your biceps and shoulders burning.

Finally, you’ll spend lots of quality time at the barre. Melissa said this was the ‘easy part’ of the class. My post-cycling legs didn’t think so. My quads were shaking after a healthy number of pliés, relevés, and rond de jambes. I figured my thighs and glutes would thank me later.

I wouldn’t even call EPIClates a Pilates class at all. It’s more of a boot camp, barre, and yoga class all rolled into one. If you’ve taken Epic Yoga’s barre yoga before, then you’ll be familiar with many of the moves in this class. It’s a lot more fast-paced, though, so if you’re a beginner remember to pipe up if you need something explained.

Not what I expected, but I enjoyed every minute. I didn’t think I could sweat more on a Saturday, but EPIClates proved me wrong.


My Excuse to Wear Legwarmers with Spinning Shoes

Despite being in a post-election daze, I managed to get myself together enough to make it to Barre Ride at Revolve on Wednesday night. After teaching a yoga class in my office conference rooms (Kristine is obviously a rockstar attendee), I rolled up my mat, grabbed my Shimano’s, donned some Lululemon and headed to Clarendon.

Grant teaches the Wednesday 7:30 PM Barre Ride and if are unfamiliar with the class, here is a breakdown: 30-40 minutes of spin (expect lots of intervals with lots of tension and Dubstep beats to match) and 20-30 minutes of barre exercises. The most challenging part of Barre Ride is that by the time you are done with the spinning, your legs are feeling the burn and then come squats, lunges and more squats. Let’s just say that walking home takes me an extra 10 minutes.

In the corner of the spin studio are bins filled with what can be described as mini kickballs. Extra squishy and shiny  these are not toys! They are more like round, bouncy upper-body exhausters that do their job well. With arms extended and ball squeezed into an oval we squat and lunge like crazy. Add in some relevees (that is French for re-lift  but in Barre language it means rise on to your toes, and/or squat, bicep curl, chest press etc…)

The title sounds so friendly, and if all you heard were the awesome beats coming from the studio you wouldn’t expect a room filled with sweaty spinners and ballet hybrid workout crazies. Don’t be fooled. It is hard work, but you feel fantastic afterwards and despite the longer than normal walk home, you can expect a solid night’s sleep and a great feeling the following AM.

Bust out your spin shoes and legwarmers and check it out!