Lonestar Fitness

“Get the good life.” So I met Kelly West, owner of Lonestar fitness for the first time about 3 months ago at a networking group for work. As soon as she introduced herself I was like, ooh, I need to talk to her! After chatting with her for a bit I just straight up told her I needed to take her class which is super convenient because the gym is less than a quarter of a mile from my work in Bellaire.

The gym is not your typical box gym like Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness, but I also wouldn’t consider it a boutique gym. It is quite small, but has everything you would need. The thing is, you cannot just go in and work out whenever you feel like it and do your own thing. Anytime you go in for a workout, a trainer either provides a workout for you or you take a small group training class. I decided to try out the small group training class (about 6-8 people) and after having to reschedule numerous times for all sorts of reasons, I finally made it over there last week, AND brought another friend I connected with through another networking event. And can I just say that I am loving how my professional work life and personal gym life are starting to overlap. Makes me very very happy!

Lonestar Fitness with Kearston.jpg
Kearston – networking friend turned workout partner 🙂

Anyways, on Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 PM they do the small group training classes. I got there around 5:15 PM just so I could look around and get a feel for the place. Like I said, it is small, but has all the equipment you could ever need really. There are like 2 treadmills, a bike or two, an elliptical, a little running strip, a full weights station with dumbbells and barbells, TRX bands, bosa balls, weight machines, etc. etc. I could literally go on for a long freaking time, but you get the point. I was greeted by Jess when I first walked in along with another trainer and then later met a third trainer who helped lead the workout, and I have to say, they were ALL so freaking nice. Unfortunately, Kelly wasn’t there, but I had already rescheduled so many times, I didn’t want to reschedule again when I found out she wasn’t going to be there.

Jess led the workout and when 5:30 hit, she took called us to the the back of the gym and assigned us all stations. Each station had a mat, a dumbbell, another ‘elevator’ of some sort (I will explain later) and a jump rope. There was a white board in front of us with like 10 exercises on it. The goal was to run through the exercises as many times as you could in 30 minutes. Here were some of the exercises (and I am not sure on the exact number of reps or order of each one, but I know I am in the ballpark): 15 Hip thrusts with the dumbbell, 20 breakdancers (abs), 20 alternating lunges with weight in the air, 15 elevated push-ups (so whatever elevator you had, you put your feet on and did push-ups – I had a bosu ball), 20 weighted v-ups (abs), 15 reverse pushups (kind of like pullups on a bar or TRX bands), 15 squat jumps and 50 jump ropes. Something like that. So you just cycled through as many times as you could in 30 minutes with a goal of 3 rounds. I made it through about 3 and half rounds.

When I first saw the whiteboard and heard the explanations of the exercises, I was like eh this is going to be easy and boring, but I was actually very surprised at how I felt after. I was a little sweaty, mainly because there is no air, just big fans, and my quads were shaking pretty intensely. What I didn’t like though was that there wasn’t a warm-up or cool-down and if there isn’t one built into the workout, I typically don’t do it even though I know how important it is. Anyways, I see Kelly pretty much every week for work now and her catchphrase is “get the good life” meaning, she doesn’t want to be that fad gym. She wants clients who are ready to make a lifestyle change, clients who have a serious goal and are ready to achieve it through nutrition and fitness. I love this! Fitness is not a fad. Health is not a fad. Diets should never be a fad. Your health is a lifestyle change and you have to commit to making that change or else you will never achieve your goals. If you are serious about getting healthy and making a change, contact Kelly. She would love to chat with you at her gym and figure out a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

 

For more information on Lonestar Fitness visit https://lonestar.fitness/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LonestarGetFit/ or and Instagram at @lonestar.fitness

Defy Pilates

So this place changed the way I thought about reformer pilates. Think of a barre workout on the reformer. Talk about burning muscles! Most reformer classes do have a barre inspiration, but Defy takes it to another level.

Defy Pilates in Houston, both conveniently located for me. One is in bellaire, within walking distance from my work and one is in the heights, about 5 minutes from my house. They offer 2 free trial classes, so I tried one class at each location. I didn’t have a problem booking the Bellaire location and went right after work one day. The heights location on the other hand was harder to book. I had a friend wanting to join me so we needed 2 spots available and could only make the 5:30 AM classes which were all full!! We had to book our class 2 weeks in advance and ended up taking the last 2 spots.

Both of the classes were pretty equal in intensity. The first one I took used a little weighted yellow ball and this big box thing that you put on the reformer to use as a prop to sit and lay on. The second class used the pilates ring and the same big box. Like I said, both classes were very barre inspired with lots of pulsing. For instance, you may start by doing full range lunges for a period of time and then switch to pulses where you move within an inch of space. This is where the burn ramps up!

Defy is definitely a full body workout, but again, just like with any reformer class I have taken, you barely sweat even though your muscles are on fire. Both locations were really easy to get to with decent parking lots. Pretty convenient for anyone really. Oh, and one other thing I like is that they don’t require you to buy those grippy socks! You can just go barefoot if you want.

Here is my reformer pilates rankings from most favorite to least so far:

Defy Pilates

Method Pilates

PosturFit

Avenue Fitness

HIP Fitness

Anyways, you get 2 free classes, so why wouldn’t you give it a try??

Defy Pilates Connie
Thanks for the company @connieisthebest

For more information on Defy Pilates visit http://defypilates.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Defy-Pilates-1164304360358641/ (Bellaire) or https://www.facebook.com/Defy-Pilates-325458807873070/ (Heights) and Instagram at @defypilates

 

DEFINE Bellaire – Bounce

Talk about FUN! Okay, I have been wanting to try this Bounce class since the time I visited DEFINE West University back in August, but I could never find a time that fit my schedule…until now! Bounce classes are typically only during the day which sucks but makes sense since they are probably not as popular as DEFINE’s signature Body class and they share the same room so one of them has to give. Anyways…the Friday before Christmas I was off work and there was a class at 4:15 at DEFINE Bellaire, so I signed up and I am so glad I did!

I showed up a wee bit early and talked to the owner, Deborah, who I kind of knew already from work, but she was so sweet. We talked about my blog and she told me they were looking to train some new instructors which totally peaked my interest… just saying 🙂 If this interests you as well, contact Deborah at DEFINE Bellaire! I also met the instructor, @kaylamhyde, who was also super sweet and very energetic. I picked out my light and heavy weights and claimed my trampoline and then it was time to jump on!

There were only 5 of us in the class and funny enough, 4 out of the 5 of us were all newbies to Bounce. Now, I have said this before and I will say it 800 more times … I am not super coordinated, but I am really trying to work on it (esp if I want to become an instructor). The class reminded me a lot of a Rev/Cycle class because you move to the beat of the music. So we started off what I like to call jump/running…like high knees on the trampoline…but to the beat of the music…or at least tried to jump to the beat of the music…I kept getting off beat… Anyways, we did that for a bit, then added some arm movements with the high knees, the some sashays which really threw me for a loop, then would turn to the side, then back, then switch the lead foot, then turn some more back to the front, then sprint as fast as we could to finish out the song. Round 1 on the trampoline was done and it was time to hop off and grab our weights.

We use really light weights, only about 2-3 for light weights and 4-5 for heavy. All of the moves that we did off the trampoline were very similar the their Body class, so small pulses and focused on specific muscles. If you have ever taken a Body or Barre class, these were the types of movements we were doing. After that song was over we would jump back on the trampoline for some more jump/running for a song, then off the trampoline for some more weighted Body/Barre inspired moves, then on the trampoline, then off, then on … until class was over and it was time to stretch.

Kayla was a fantastic instructor. She was super energetic and made sure we were all smiling the entire time. Half the time I was loose and having fun laughing at myself, the other I was so focused on staying on beat I probably looked like a robot. I wish my parents would have forced me to take a dance class when I was younger. It would come in handy these days.

So my overall experience at DEFINE Bellaire was fantastic. Pros: everyone was friendly and helpful, the building is super easy to find and get to with tons of parking, a variety of classes to choose from (Body, Bounce, Rev, Yoga, Pilates and even Hammock classes which is next on my list!). Cons: some of the classes are hard to fit into your schedule if you work a full time job since they are only offered mid-morning and early afternoon. Oh, also just a piece of advice, if you call to make an appointment and they don’t answer, just leave a message or email them and they will get back to you ASAP! They are really good about getting back to you in a timely manner as long as you leave your info.

For more information on DEFINE Bellaire visit http://bellaire.definebody.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DefineBellaire/ and Instagram at @definebellaire