Colorado Let’s Get Physical!

IMG_1755

A couple of weeks ago Dustin and I were able to go back to my home state of Colorado for a 5 day trip. It is amazing how you can grow up in a place and never really experience all the city has to offer. I am not sure if others feel this way, but for myself coming back home as an adult is different compared to how it was in my youth. I have grown to appreciate my hometown in a way I never did when I was younger. Home used to just be a place to come and see family and friends. Now home has become a vacation. It has now become a place to not only enjoy time with the ones I love, but to also spend that time doing things I love with them.

IMG_1692

So what did 5 days of activities and fun look like in Colorado? Well Day 1 started with a 3:30am wakeup call to get ready for the airport. Now I am one who will stop at no cost to get a workout in the morning. I mean I have been known to get up at 4:00am to get a run in before a really early flight or work meeting, however we all have our limits and 3:00am was mine. If I am being honest I thought about working out all morning. When was I going to be able to get it in, how could I balance spending time with my family while also doing what I needed for me? Once the plane touched ground and I saw my parents waiting to eager and happy to see me, I decided being with them was way more important than any workout I could get in. So I just made this day my “rest” day for the week. Now this might sound like nothing to most, but for me it was a big step. One of many steps I am slowly making to learn how to balance my life more.

IMG_1721

Day 2 started with a morning at the gym. I went to an hour spinning class while Dustin hit the weights on the gym floor. Afterwards we headed home, ate some breakfast, and got ready to play golf with my parents. This was the first time I had made it out to the golf course this year and boy did it feel good. I forget how much I enjoy playing. I love being outside, being completely engulfed with concentration, almost into a meditation at times.  For me when I  play golf it is a true  mind-body connection. When I am out on the golf course I am thinking about nothing else but what I am doing in that very moment. If your mind is off then your game will be too. There are few opportunities we have in life to fully be present, to not have our minds wander. When I find an activity that allows me to do just that I love it.

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender 3

Day 3 was a day of running and hiking through Garden of the Gods. I grew up with this magical place practically in my backyard, well a 15 minute drive. In my adolescence I never enjoyed any of the outdoor beauty that Colorado Springs had to offer, so I am only grateful I have learned to love it as an adult. I try to make it to the beautiful red rocks every trip home I can. My run for the day was 5 miles, followed by a couple miles of hiking/walking. For me every time I go home to Colorado I never know how my body is going to react to the altitude.  The longer I have lived at sea level the more I feel a difference when I go home and attempt to run. Some trips are easier than others. I have found if a trip happens to be a hard one for me to acclimate then I need to listen to my body. This typically means a shorter run than usual, a slower pace, and if a break is needed in between miles then that is ok. What is important is I am out moving my body.

IMG_1773

Day 4 was maybe my favorite day of them all. I started the day with a 4 mile run around the neighborhood. I love this run, for the sole reason of every time I do it I get flooded with memories. I see the house of my best friend in 3rd grade where I had more slumber parties then I could ever count, the friend’s house where in high school on summer nights we would sit around a big outside fire pit, playing guitar, talking, and just hanging out. I run by the neighborhood pool where for countless summers I spent sun bathing while my friends had their first summer jobs as lifeguards. Then to bring the run home I end right in front of my elementary school where I spent years learning and growing. After getting home Dustin and I grab my parents bikes and do the 10 mile bike ride on the Santa Fe Trail to downtown Colorado Springs for breakfast and coffee. This trail is amazing. You go through the whole length of town seeing a vast array of views. You cross over multiple bridges and get waved at by every biker/walker/runner you encounter. It is a true heart of Colorado Springs in my mind. After breakfast Dustin and I saddled back up and rode the 10 miles back home.

IMG_1781

Day 5 was all about the Manitou Inline.  I am pretty ashamed to admit this, but I had never heard of the Manitou Incline till this past Christmas when chatting with my uncle. Even though I was not into fitness growing up, it feels like this should have been something I at least knew about. Either way once Dustin and I learned about it we decided next time we were out in Colorado it was on! Let me tell you a little about the incline. It is located in Manitou Springs, a quick 20 minute drive from my parents’ house. “Since its closure as a railway in 1990, the trail has steadily grown in popularity as a hiking trail and fitness challenge. The base of the Incline sits at 6,600 feet (2,000 m) and the trail climbs 2,000 feet (610 m) in just over 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km). Parts of the trail are extremely broken and steep and will require even the fittest of hikers or trail runners to scramble over the broken rocks and steep trail.”

I have to admit, I was nervous. Seeing pictures of how steep the trail was and just knowing how my lungs had not been cooperating with me on my runs all week, I was not sure how this hike was going to go. However regardless of my fear I knew I was physically capable of doing it and had a great partner in crime to do it with. We arrived at the trail head early Friday morning. We looked at the trail, looked at each other, smiled, and started our walk up. Was it steep, yes. Hard, yes. Did moments of rest have to occur, yes. But overall I would say it was a breeze and by the time we reached the top we were excited and marveled by the view. It is good to remind yourself from time to time you can do anything. We hung out for a bit and then hiked the 3 miles down the Barr Trail instead of hurting our knees trying to go back down the incline. All in all it was a perfect start to my Monday and a great way to end the trip!

Advertisements

New York City Studio Re-Cap

Image-12

The first studio stop on my recent trip to NYC was Row House NYC. I have wanted to try a rowing studio since the moment I first read about this new workout trend in one of my fitness magazines. Of course when I researched studios in the bay area there were none in San Francisco. Therefore I knew I would need to check it out on my next trip to New York.

This studio was about an mile walk from my hotel. Upon arriving I was greeted by a very friendly staff who showed me around the facility since I had gotten there a little early. I am going to be honest here. I was a little nervous prior to starting. Thinking about rowing for a whole hour just made me cringe. My initial thought was it would either be so monotonous that I would be bored out of my mind or it would be so hard that I would be hating every moment of it. Of course I decided to do it regardless of my apprehensions and luckily it ended up being neither.

The space was large and had quite a few rowing machines to support a large class. For this particular day though there was only a handful of client. I always find packed cardio type classes more fun as you feed off of one another, but the smaller class did make it better for more personal attention though. I grabbed a rower up front and got myself situated and ready to begin.

The class was broken down into alternating segments of rowing and floor training with weights for abs, arms, and legs. Each rowing set was 10-15 minutes, which after completing would be followed by a 10 minute strength training set on the floor. The rowing segments were broken out into speed, endurance, and then the final one which was just going all out. This last segment was by far my favorite one. At the very end of class when we started on the last song the instructor turned out the lights so we were in a pitch black room. Then they started to play this song that just gets the blood in your veins boiling and without you even knowing it you are going all out.

All in all I enjoyed this class, but I have to say I did not feel like it was the most challenging class I have ever done. It was not till the end I started to break a sweat. I cant say I would make this a weekly routine for me, but it is a great alternative for a cardio class and worth checking out.

Image-10

We all know about my love of Flywheel and Soul Cycle, well now there is  a new love on the block and its name is Peloton Cycle. I had been debating on trying this place. I had read the reviews and everyone had nothing but amazing things to say. However the safe side of me wanted to just do Flywheel all week. I already knew I loved it and with classpass I would be able to do 3 classes for free. Plus it can be exhausting to keep trying new places. In the end my adventurous side won and tried it out, boy was I glad I did!

The moment I walked into this studio I knew it was different then any of the other studios I had ever been to. When you walk into the door you immediately walk into an amazing fitness store with all of the latest and hippest clothes. It took all of my self control to not buy it all. I checked in and then walked around the corner to find myself in a little coffee shop. A barista was around the corner with couches for lounging and hanging out. I knew after class I was going to have to take a moment to relax and enjoy the space. How often do you want to stay somewhere after a hard workout?

I walked into the spinning room and started to get setup on my bike. The instructor walked in with more energy then I could ever imagine to have and she resembled Jem and the Holograms, which brought back my childhood love immediately. Her body and spirit were amazing, and I found myself quickly wanting to do anything she told me. If Flywheel and Soul Cycle had a baby it would be Peloton. It had the competitiveness that I love about Flywheel, but also the soul and heart pounding music that I love about Soul Cycle. The 45 minutes flew by in a sweaty, painful kind of way. By the end I had a giant smile on my face and knew I had found a new love.

One other really cool thing about this studio is they offer a subscription model for people remotely. The instructor has a TV on their bike and people at home can log in and spin along from the privacy of their own home. They also have bikes in the studio with TV’s for people who want to work out with an instructor at off class times. Just a very unique business model.

Image-13

The Monster Cycle + Studio was a little gem I found in Soho. Walking in you got an immediate vibe of metal, meets garage band, meets faux luxury. The upstairs was the lounge area, outfitted with a chandelier, couch, and cow hide rug. Tucked in the corner was a soon to open juice bar, but for today it was still under construction.

In the basement was the spinning room. Walking down the stairs and into the studio, I felt like I was going into some dark and forbidden place. Like one of those parties in high school with the older kids who lived life on the edge and you knew the moment you walked in your parents would not approve.

The class was pitch black with only the only light coming from the TV’s up front projecting the latest music video’s to the songs playing overhead. All of the music had a very distinct and dark feel to it, think Marilyn Manson. I have to say the TV’s were quite nice though when you needed a place to focus and tune out while hitting another steep climb. Nothing like Madonna’s latest video to motivate you to keep going.

By the end as with most spinning classes I was sweaty, beat, and ready to move upstairs and see the light. This place definitely has the dark and brooding theme down, a great switch up from the usual and perfect for a cold winter day.

Image-11

The last studio stop for me was BYKlyn a small spinning studio located in Brooklyn. After having spent all week in the high tech, top notch, studios in Manhattan it was a re-adjustment to come back to a little neighborhood spot. The studio was simple, nothing fancy to it. However the staff was all super friendly and you could tell from the moment you walked in that they were there because they loved it.

My instructor was super energetic and sweet, I ended up chatting with her for a little while after class. She did a great workout, even without all of the TV’s, dark lights, and loud music to guide her. I cant say this was my favorite spot of the week, however if this was my neighborhood spot in San Francisco I would be going there often.

New York City A Week Of Workouts

IMG_0062

When getting ready to travel out to New York City this year I was more excited then usual for my workouts because with my class pass membership I knew I would also be able to use it in the city. What does this mean? Well it meant I would get to try a ton of new studios for free! So then the question would be which ones to try?  My trip this go around was 7 days in the city, some days of pure work mixed with some days of vacation. On my workdays I had to stick to my hotel due to early morning meetings and lets be honest, freezing cold temperatures that were not welcoming to walk at 6:00 am. However once Wednesday came around and I was officially done with meetings the workout fun began! So what does a week of working out in NYC look like for me?

Sunday: 7 mile Treadmill Run at Ink 48 hotel Gym, NYC

Monday: 6 mile Treadmill Run at Ink 48 hotel Gym, NYC

Tuesday: 6 mile Treadmill Run at Ink 48 hotel Gym, NYC

Wednesday: 5 Mile Treadmill Run at at Ink 48 hotel Gym, NYC and 60 minute Rowing Class at Row House at W 59th St

Thursday: 45 minute Spin Class at Flywheel Sports followed by a 1 hour Fly Barre Class in the Flatiron District

Friday: 45 minute Spin Class at Peloton at W 23rd Street

Saturday: The Monster Cycle + Studio in Soho on Lafayette Street

Sunday: 5 mile Treadmill Run at the local YMCA in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn

Monday: 45 minute Spin Class at BRKlyn Cycle in Brooklyn

In general I ended up doing more cardio then I would usually, but in a city that has so many amazing spinning studios how could I not. One of my biggest issues with the San Francisco workout scene is our lack of innovative and unique studios, especially when it comes to cardio like spinning. As for the studios I tried I actually ended up really liking all of them, obviously some more then others. My top picks of the week though would be #1 Peloton, #2 Flywheel (as always), and #3 The Monster Cycle + Studio. I plan on going into detail on each place in my next post, so check back if you are looking for more details on the places!

Yoga Sculpt followed by Spinning, Good Morning!

I had originally been signed up to go to Barry’s Bootcamp for my morning routine today, but due to an old back injury starting to flare up I decided running and jumping around would not be in my best interest. In the spirit of me trying to listen to my body more I decided to be spontaneous and try two new places this morning which would be more low impact on my back. Yes back to back new studios!

IMG_0728

First up was Yoga Sculpt at Hot Yoga Ocean Avenue. Class started at 6:00 am, which meant a nice 5:15 wake up call for me. Half asleep I got myself up and ready, then by 5:35 I was out the door and on the road. What I love about working out early in San Francisco is there is no traffic on the roads. You can zip from one side of the city to the other in no time. In a city only 7 miles by 7 miles you can get anywhere in about 15-20 minutes.

Parking was easy, I pulled right on up and was in the door with 5 minutes to spare. I setup my mat, grabbed my set of weights, and waited for the class to begin. The class was 45 minutes and it went by super fast! It was a great combination of stretching, yoga poses, cardio bursts, and weight lifting. I dont know if it was the workout or the fact I was moving around in a very heated room, but either way by the end of it I was sweating all over! Class was done at 6:45 and I quickly grabbed my mat to run out the door to head over to a spinning class which started at 7:00. This class was 8 minutes away so I was cutting it close on time.

IMG_0726

At 6:55 I pulled up to Fit Glen Fit located in Glen Park, a cute neighborhood I had never spent much time in. I was able to park right out front again, which was the only way I was able to pull this double workout off. I jumped out of the car and made my way into the studio. I had only been here once before back in November so I was excited to give this place another try. What I love about this spot is the neighborhood vibe it invokes. If there was a Cheers Bar of gyms this would be it.

IMG_0729

The spinning room is located in the back of the gym, a bright and warming space. There are only a handful of bikes, but it was the perfect amount for a pleasant and intimate class.  The instructor Claudine had a bright smile and a demeanor making you feel like you had been friends for years. Instead of setting her bike up in front of us, she jumped on a bike in the middle, a rider like the rest of us, guiding us through our ride. I appreciated the change and felt like I was riding with a group of friends instead of just sitting in a class being instructed on what to do next.

The spinning part of class was 45 minutes. Claudine had a good mix of music and varied up the routine from sitting, to standing, to hills, and sprints. It was a perfect sweat, not too hard, but not super easy either. The last 15 minutes of class was devoted to ab work on the floor, which was a nice active cool down.

Upon finishing my morning I walked over to the neighborhood market to explore what it had to offer. I could walk around a grocery store forever if I had the time. Next I grabbed coffee at the little shop around the corner, again another local neighborhood spot I was proud to have found. Although I was still in San Francisco, being in 2 completely new areas made me feel like I was on a little pleasant vacation. It is amazing how rejuvenated you can feel just by switching up your workout routine, trying a new studio, and being in a new area.  All I know is this routine might just have to be duplicated next week!

Ride Oakland- Spinning in the East Bay

Image-1

Friday night I had the pleasure of being able to spend the night in Oakland at one of my close girlfriend’s new house for a girls night. We made homemade pizza, drank wine, watched classic Halloween movies like The Craft and Hocus Pocus, all while wearing witches hats. Which as you can imagine made for a fabulous night! You can never be too old for slumber parties in my book. Something about reliving nights from your youth just makes you feel rejuvenated. Just to be able to leave behind the stress of adult like and reenact adolescence. Knowing that I had this amazing night ahead of me and since I was going to be staying the night in Oakland I decided had to try a new studio in the East Bay.

Of course with working out in a new area I had to start my research process early. Fist I looked on yelp to find a place close to my girlfriends place and found Ride Oakland, a spinning studio only a few minutes away. Perfect! Next I checked my Class Pass site, yep it was one of the studios featured. Yes! Then it was about selecting the times. To my despair the 8:30 am class was all booked and only the 7:00 am or 10:00 am were open, both not ideal times. I looked at the studio website and saw you could try your first class for free there. I gave the studio a call hoping I could get on the wait-list. Sure enough I was able to and got a confirmed spot later in the day.

Saturday morning with a slight headache and only 5 1/2 hours of sleep I got up, threw on my gear, and made my way over to the studio. Parking was super easy, something I am no longer accustomed to in my new neighborhood.  It felt like a luxury to not have to drive around the block several times before finding a space. Walking into the studio I could immediately picked up on the neighborhood vibe, however the studio also felt new, modern, and up to par with some of the nice mainstream studios in the city.

The crowd was slightly older then what I am used to in the city, however Helen the instructor had great energy and definitely kept us all on our game for the full hour. The music was great and the class utilized weights, which I am a big fan of in spinning classes. It creates an extra added benefit. By the end of the ride I was sweaty and quite pleased with my overall workout. Also my headache was gone! I would highly recommend this studio out to others. I don’t know if I would ever make my way to the East Bay just for this studio, but if I happen to be over in the East Bay I would go again!

A New Love, Perhaps an Obsession….

photo

Yes it is true, I have a new love, well maybe more of an obsession. I might even go as far as to say it could become an addiction. What is it? Well my first hint is it deals specifically with group fitness classes, however before I reveal  I am going to be honest here. There was a small part of me that was debating on whether to share this new amazing site out with everyone. I felt this small inclination of protectiveness with what I had just recently found and a small part of me that wanted to be selfish, to keep it all to myself. I felt like I had this special secret no one else had, I wanted to protect it.  After some quick internal debate however I decided this is something too good to not share with my fellow health and fitness enthusiasts. Plus anything that will help others to be more active needs to be shared.

So again what is it? Well it is a website called Class Pass which for $100 a month you can go to a huge variety of different fitness studios in your area and try all sorts of various types of workout classes. As the website says “ClassPass is an alternative to a gym membership. With ClassPass, you get access to the best boutique fitness classes in your city. There are over 1,000 classes available to ClassPass members, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts, and more.  For $99 a month, ClassPass members get unlimited classes to use at studios in the ClassPass network. While a member can take as many classes per month as they’d like, they can only visit the same studio 3 times per month.”

At dinner with a girlfriend last week she told me about the site and I of course went home, slightly tipsy, and immediately joined. My girlfriend had warned me that when you ask to join they will first do a little teaser where there is no open spots and you have to get on a “wait-list.” Once they have space they will let you know. Well then a few days later you get in. You have 48 hours to accept the invitation and join. Once you do, then you get to let the fun begin. I got my invite to join Monday morning and of course by the early afternoon I was already signed up for a yoga class to try. Had I already been to a spinning class that morning, yes. Was I going to let that stop me, no. Of course I also had my workout’s planned and already booked for most of the week, but how could I pass up going to more classes for free? What is a girl to do. Well this girl ended up doing a little bit of double dipping, one class in the morning and one at night. I made sure to focus my night classes on more stretching and less vigorous activity. It needed to compliment what I was doing in the morning, not add on a lot more working out, otherwise that would not be sustainable.

So far I love the concept although I will be honest their website has a few little flaws. The one I find the most annoying is it is not mobile optimized, so you cant actually book anything from your phone since they have a pop up you have to click to confirm and on your phone the screen is too small and the pop up does not shrink down. It is the E-commerce side in me coming out.  I also ran into a little issue with canceling one class to re-book another and had to e-mail the customer service. They got back to me the next morning, which was great. However I then ended up not being able to sign up for the class I wanted as it was full. I ended up actually calling that studio directly since you can try your first class for free with them anyways and got added in that way.

Now my plan is to report out on all of the different studios I try out and give the scoop on the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am not going to lie, it is a little intimidating the idea of trying so many new places and different types of workouts. But I am all about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. This morning it was spinning in Oakland and tomorrow it is TRX in the city. Stay tuned!

Los Angeles Studio Run Down

Kinetic Cycling

 photo 17

One of my go to group fitness classes, especially when traveling, is spinning. Not only is it the best way to get a major cardio session in, but I have found it is one type of class that is very different depending on what studio you are at. Soul Cycle, Flywheel, 24-hour fitness, Worlds Gym, they all have a completely different format and approach to spinning. Of course the more boutique spinning classes are edgier and unique, which is why I wanted to give a new studio a try when I went to visit.  Kinetic Cycling ended up being my studio of choice. It is located in the charming area of Brentwood which was about 15 minutes away from my where I was staying at my girlfriends place in Culver City.  Walking up to the studio it is located in a typical LA shopping center and at first impression one would think there is nothing special about this typical suburbia mall.

photo 27

Walking in I was first greeted by the instructor who had to be one of the happiest people I have ever met! Upon learning it was my first time at the studio he proceeded to advise me that before  we could do anything I needed to introduce myself first. After introductions he gave me a huge hug and smile. This of course put me right at ease and I was ready to get my spin on. Now what makes Kinetic Cycling stand out from other spinning studios out there is not the ambiance of the place, as walking in the ambiance is pretty bare bones and basic. Rather it is the premise of the class, spinning while the music video’s of the songs playing are streaming in front of you.

photo 29

Once on my bike and the time hit 9:30 the  music came on and Usher was all of a sudden singing and dancing in front of me. The  lights started to  flash from hot pink, to blue, to green, to purple and continued in this fashion all throughout the 45 minute ride. In front of us our fearless leader started the charge and we were all immersed in the television screen behind him. Talk about a great way to zone out when you are starting those hills! After about 10 minutes into the ride and  just when I thought our instructor could not get any more enthusiastic he all of a sudden jumped off his bike, grabbed a microphone, and preceded to walk around the room cheering us on and giving is high fives, talk about a great tactic to keep you motivated and engaged.

photo 28

Towards the end of class when my legs were burning and I was cursing the fact that I made myself get up early for this, it was as if the instructor knew we needed something a little more. It was here we were told that we were no longer racing for ourselves, but we were doing it for one another. We had to decide then and there to continue on and push through to help our fellow neighbor.  If that does not make you want to push yourself harder, I don’t know what will!

 photo 31

All in all this class was not only a great workout, but the sense of team work and motivation was off the charts. I would highly recommend this place for anyone starting an adventure in spinning. There was every age, sex, and type of person in my class which also helped in the feeling of this is a people’s spin class with an edge.  They currently have a groupon deal out to try 5 classes for $45, which is pretty cheap!

The Main Barre

photo 14

Surprise, surprise I had to of course try an LA Barre class while I was visiting. For this one I enlisted my best friend Melissa. The class was bright and early Saturday morning and located in LA’s emerging downtown area. This area is very similar to San Francisco’s Financial District. It is very busy during the work week, but desolate come the weekend. Our class was bright and early at 9:30 am, which would normally not be a problem for me at all. However the only obstacle we had not factored in with this early morning start time was the bottle of wine we each consumed the night before. However we still managed to make it on time and get our Barre on!

photo 11

The studio was located in an old, vintage  building with early 1920’s elevators and a grande marble spiral staircase. We made our way up to the top floor and walked into a quaint and quintessential  barre studio.  Hard wood floors stretched out in front of us with  large bay windows overlooking the downtown financial buildings. Looking outside one could see the streets lined with pops of Palm Trees guiding the roads, making it feel very LA From the minute I walked in I felt at home and at ease. For those of you from San Francisco it had a very similar feel and vibe to Yoga for the People in the Mission District.

photo 12

photo 13

Our instructor was tall, blonde, friendly, and natural, which all fitted with her big grin and effortlessness in teaching. She had a demeanor which made you feel like you had been friends for years.  The class was a great workout. It was similar to many of the Barre classes I have taken before where you start with warm up, move onto hand weights, followed by a set focused on glutes and thighs, and then rounding it out with abs. The workout was challenging, but easy to follow.

photo 15

 

photo 26

Overall what I loved about this place is it very Los Angeles. It is not a chain studio and that independent feeling is shown through the entire experience. In terms of pricing they have a deal for your first time trying the class where you can buy one class and get one free for $20, which if you take barre consistently know that $10 a class is really not a bad deal. If I lived in LA this might be my studio of choice. However I think I will have to try a few more various studios out before I fully commit to that statement. Either way I am hoping I can make it back prior to my second class expiring. If not Melissa is a lucky lady with a bonus class to try!

Los Angeles vs New York City, A Gym Story

Every time I visit New York City I make it a point to try a new workout class or studio since New York is known for having so many unique and diverse ways to exercise. I now always look forward to these adventures in health and fitness and it has become a staple in my bi-yearly trip to the Big Apple.  This would leave one to think that since I visit Los Angeles at least 4 or more times a year for work as well that I would partake in this same kind of love.  Surprisingly though, the only times I have ventured outside of my hotel gym is for a run outside or to the neighborhood 24 hour fitness.

Now I was sitting and thinking to myself why this might be. Los Angeles is just as adventurous in terms of workouts as New York, one might even say more so. You have all of the scantily clad women with their tan and toned bodies, so they have to be going somewhere. Not to mention the many celebrities who call LA home.  In my guilty pleasure US Weekly magazine I will see photos of celebrities meandering around the city in yoga pants, cupping a juice smoothie, with that glistening just worked out glow, so they have to be going somewhere?  After some contemplation I decided it came down to convenience.

photo 8

 In New York I know I can get to anywhere without a car. I can pretty much walk to some studio from wherever I am staying, although yes sometimes the walk is so long it is getting a workout in before my actual workout. I also know if it came down to it I could get on a bus, train, or taxi cab for relatively cheap if needed. LA is a completely different game. Without a car you are virtually locked in your immediate surroundings.  This last week I was in LA for work and stayed on a couple of days to celebrate my best friend turning 30. I decided for this trip I was going to indulge and face my fear of finding my way around the city of Angels.

photo 7

Now obviously I do not have the time, money, or resources to try a new class or studio every day. I wish I could! So there was some hotel gym runs in the mix. Below is my LA workout’s for the week. My trip began on Monday and went through Saturday morning. One thing I like about going on trips is switching up my routine. It helps in keeping me feeling refreshed and not stale, especially when it comes to workouts.

Monday: 45 minutes of my own personal made up spinning class at my local gym

Tuesday: 6-Mile Treadmill Run

Wednesday: 6-Mile Treadmill Run

Thursday: 6-Mile Treadmill Run

Friday: 45 Minute Spinning Class at Kinetic Spinning Studio

Saturday: 3-Mile Run Outside and 60 Minute Barre Class at The Main Barre Studio

Although I will say my week of running at the Marriott hotel gym was at least nice since the treadmills were new and the facility was not crowded, two big thumbs up for me when it comes to travel. The fun for me or also known as slight torture depending on the day started on Friday and Saturday morning with my two classes. Stay tuned for my next post where I go into details on the two studios I tried!

New York City Gym and Studio Re-Cap

Physique 57

NY 3

One of my favorite workouts to do in San Francisco is Barre. For those who are not familiar with Barre it is a workout that combines Pilates, yoga, and ballet moves to help make sculpted and lean muscles.  It really centers on using small movements and helps to work on muscles you do not typically focus on in other types of workouts.  I started practicing Barre about 6 months ago after a back injury and have become obsessed!

NY 1

Physique 57 is a barre studio I had wanted to check out for a little while now. I had first learned about it this past December when I was looking for a Barre DVD to bring home with me to Colorado Springs over the holidays so I did not have to venture out in the snow every morning. After reading a lot of various reviews online Physique 57 kept coming up as one of the top choices. I ended up getting the DVD and boy was it good! I felt really worked after doing the 55 minute session. I could only imagine what the actual class was like! There currently are no locations in the Bay Area so I knew that I would have to make it a priority when I came out to NYC.

When booking my class they had a deal for new clients of buy one class and get one free, which I very much appreciated when classes were $36 each. The first class I checked out was the mixed level class on Monday from 7:00-8:00am at the 57th street location.  The second class I did was the intermediate class on Thursday from 11:30-12:30. The 57th street location was not too bad at about 0.7 miles from my hotel or a pretty quick 10-15 minute walk.

I really enjoyed both of the classes and I like how Physique 57 uses weights in the class so you really feel like you are working your muscles more than if you were solely focused on body resistance. Both days had very energetic and charismatic teachers which for the 7:00am class I really needed in order to fully wake up. The studio was really clean and the amenities were great, it made getting ready before work a snap.

NY 2

Overall I would give Physique 57 4 out of 5 stars. With really the one down side  being the price per class and only having 3 locations in the city.

Physique 57

Equinox Gym

NY 6

The one nice thing about staying at the Night Hotel was even though they did not have a gym themselves they were affiliated with the Rockefeller Equinox Gym, so I was able to use that facility for free. It was only 0.4 miles away or a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel and I ended up going to this gym both Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Unfortunately I was not able to take any of the classes, but the facility was large, spacious, and had a ton of machines and weights to use without being overly crowded. I also liked that they had complimentary sweat pants and t-shirts for people to use if needed.

Overall I would give Equinox 4 out of 5 stars. My friend Dana who lives in the city and uses Equinox says on average it costs about $200 a month to be a member, but the classes are great and there are so many locations it makes it easy to find something close to home or work. My feeling is if I lived in the city this would end up being my gym of choice.

Equinox Gym

Flywheel Sports

photo 5

I am obsessed with Flywheel Sports! I tried it for the first time last year when I came out to NYC. They had a new member program at the time where you could try one Flywheel Spin Class and one Fly Barre class for free. Of course I tried both since it was a $32 value for each class. After my first time going I now make it a priority every time I come out to NYC.  This time I ended up doing the spin class on Thursday morning from 9:30-10:15 at the Flatiron location, which was about a 1.2 mile walk from the hotel. Luckily this was my first day not working so I was able to enjoy the 30 minute walk.

NY 5

The Spin class is done in a dark room with a TV screen up top so participants can opt to have their bike and stats posted throughout the class. For someone who really is driven by competing this really helps to push and motivate you. I also like how the bikes show both torque and RPM. What I find in typical spin classes it is hard to gauge how much resistance you should really have on the bike when instructors tell you what number to be at. With the Flywheel bikes it takes all of the guessing out of it. The instructor will inform you step by step where you need to be, for example between a 25-30 torque and above 80 rpm.  The music is energetic and you do get to use weights in one of the song sequences which I love because then you are getting some resistance training in there as well.

NY 0

Overall I would give Flywheel a 4.5 out of 5. The studio is a little small and crowded, so getting ready there on a daily basis would be hard. However it does offer free bottles of water, fresh fruit, and free shoe rentals. I just wish there was one in San Francisco!

Fly Wheel Sports

Soul Cycle

NY 11

Soul Cycle was my last class of the week on Friday morning. I did the 9:30-10:15 class in Soho, which was 0.3 miles or 5 minutes from the house I was staying at with my friend Katie. I have done Soul Cycle once before in Los Angeles so I was curious to see how the New York classes compares. The space was cool with the studio upstairs and the locker rooms downstairs.

The class took place in the typical soul cycle fashion of a pitch black room with a few candles to help guide your way. The premise of Soul Cycle is to have all of your rides to the beat of the music, which I have to say when you are in the class the music does completely over take you. I loved how the teacher kept us constantly stimulated with trying new and different moves. We would be standing, sitting, leaning back, using our arms, doing crunches, busting out weights, and anything else you could imagine doing on a bike. I left the class feeling completely worked!

NY 10

Overall I would give Soul Cycle a 3.9 star out of 5 with the big reason being the cost. 1 class is $34 and you have to pay an additional $3 to rent shoes. They offer no free water or other amenities which makes doing this on a consistent basis hard. However the workout is amazing. They just opened a location in San Francisco which I plan on checking out soon.

Soul Cycle