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?

-Kristine

STARJUMPS & Burpees: A Review of MyBootcamp

Lexie:

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Revolve in Clarendon. One of their all-star instructors, Grant Hill is not only a fan of the Beastie Boys and tabatas, but he also is the founder of MyBootcamp. The workouts combine fun things like kettlebells, a firehose, sandbags, burpees, lunges, pushups, running and my personal favorite STARJUMPS. I really enjoy starjumps for a few reasons most importantly that they can involve jazz hands and they remind me of my days as a cheerleader (fun Lexie fact – I was even captain my senior year of high school). Grant reached out the Wonks and suggested we try out a few bootcamp classes. The dates were set and we began to mentally prepare ourselves.

Kristine was rocking a juice cleanse (stay tuned) so she made the smart decision to sit Monday out. In case you don’t recall, Monday was a miserable day. It was super cold, and raining. So bootcamp happened in the freezing rain in Quincy Park. Lauren was our fearless leader. A new addition to the MyBootcamp team I wasn’t sure what to expect. We did a short circuit of kettlebell swings, zurcher squats (squats with a sandbag), high-knees, firehose drills and sandbag sprints. Toss in a little running and some lunges to top it all off.

I have to say, it wasn’t too much of a challenge. The fact that it was frigid and raining wasn’t too motivating. Lauren was understanding of the weather and we all huddled under the gazebo to do our circuit. While it was a good workout, I left feeling a little unfulfilled. From start to finish it was about 30 minutes with little sweat. If you have ever taken one of my yoga classes or been in any class with me, it is no secret that I like the heat. The sweatier the better.

I walked out with a fellow bootcamper and we both hoped for something more challenging on Wednesday.

Wednesday came around and Kristine and I headed to the park. It was still chilly, but no rain so the intensity was definitely elevated. We started out with a nice long lap around the whole park and then settled in for the circuit workouts.

Cardio Circuit:

  • Firehose side slaps

  • Sandbag slams

  • Kettlebell swings

  • STARJUMPS

Strength Circuit:

  • Goblet squats

  • Walking lunges

  • Rows & deadlifts

  • Pushups

Each circuit was done twice with short laps in between each, one long lap after cardio before strength and long finishing lap. First three back from the final run didn’t have to do burpees. I ran my ass of. I hate burpees.

It was a much longer workout than Monday and more intense as well. However I felt as though something were missing. I could have done another circuit, or maybe 30 seconds of mountain climbers in between each exercise. Good workout nonetheless. Lauren was energetic, fun and clearly very knowledgeable. Plus we got to chat about the most recent Lululemon scandal. For those of you who are self-proclaimed Lulu addicts like myself, this announcement was a tragedy. Hands down, my favorite part of the whole workout was watching the three macho men do starjumps…jazz hands encouraged.

To really finish off workout-Wednesday right, I headed to Grant’s Body Ride at Revolve. I’m not sure if he added an extra arm workout because there were two bootcampers in the class or not. The arm intervals combined with pushups and slams has left my arms a little sore. Let’s just say I wasn’t been energetically raising my hand in meetings in the days following.

If you enjoy being outside, want the camaraderie of a smaller group and want diverse exercise routines, definitely check out MyBootcamp! There are different locations around the DMV and a variety of awesome instructors.

Kristine:

Prior to our MyBootcamp week, I spent three days detoxing with a juice cleanse from Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar. It was an awesome deal with a $75 Groupon, but left me with little energy to tackle the Monday night class with Lexie, so I sat the first night out.

By Wednesday though, I was back and at ‘em and ready to tackle any burpees Lauren was willing to throw at me. While I was expecting the usual boot camp fare — kettlebells, squats, and the like — I was not prepared the amount of running we did, which was a paltry distance compared to what many DC fitness buffs do during their daily runs. Nonetheless, I’m not a runner — I repeat, I AM NOT A RUNNER — so my legs and lungs weren’t in tip top running shape, which was made quite clear during our last lap around the park.

I appreciated Lauren’s personal attention to make sure we did each exercise correctly, as well as the innovative workouts that you don’t find in your out-of-the-box gym classes. I don’t know many instructors that will have you using a firehose one minute, then jumping up and down with jazz hands the next. You certainly won’t be bored during MyBootcamp.

While at the time I felt I could’ve done another circuit (perhaps I had an extra boost of energy from the juice cleanse?), the soreness I felt the following day was clear evidence that MyBootcamp had done its job. It got me moving in ways I wasn’t accustomed to and in a setting that was fun and energetic. Kudos to Grant on developing an awesome program. If you’re looking for a comprehensive way to build fitness into your lifestyle, or simply want to spice up your workout routine, sign up for MyBootcamp.

MyBootcamp Meme

What’s Better Than a Spin Class Full of Bloggers?

A spin class full of bloggers with SNACKS afterward! Thank you to Francina and Revolve for the class and Goûter for the snacks!

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!

-Lexie

S.S.S. (Sweaty Sunday Spin)

As you may know, per our intro post, Kristine and I both work in public affairs. Sometimes, that means spending a weekend day working. Yesterday was that kind of a day. 7:15 AM it began and after a long day of running around the great state of Maryland, I crashed.  Typically Saturday’s are a day of yoga, grocery shopping and cleaning my apartment.

Since my Saturday was otherwise scheduled for public affairs magic, I decided to start Sunday off right and headed to Clarendon spin studio Revolve. Now, I frequent Revolve and really enjoy all the classes they have to offer. On this morning’s menu was Complete Body Ride with Francina. CBR this morning was 35ish minutes of high-intensity spin and 5ish minutes of upper body work and a short stretching-sesh to close.

I fancy myself a dedicated spinner and recently purchased my own shoes. Unfortunately, they failed me today. My clip completely detached itself and was stuckin the pedal during the one of the final songs. My level 10 intense climb was interrupted by my shoe/pedal malfunction. I quickly jumped off and headed to the front desk to let them know of my dilemma. Danielle quickly handed me a pair of rental shoes so I could finish class.

Both Francina and Danielle jumped to help following class. Super helpful and friendly. Just another reason I love Revolve. People are fantastic, space is great and I can always count on an awesome class.  Expect a post following Wednesday night’s Barre Ride with Grant. Completely different vibe in both class and teacher, but equally tough and motivating.

Note: Franinca’s class is fabulous. Great playlist with a mix of flashback 80’s tunes and top 40 hits that I admit are great motivators. Super positive, which is helpful since this morning’s class was an @$$ kicker.

BONUS – Revolve now has membership options instead of just ride packages. My wallet could be in trouble…

– Lexie