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

Empower Fitness Lab – HIIT Box

This place. This place knows how to ave fun. But let me back up for a second. So, I signed up for a class through class pass, and then last minute had to cancel because something came up. I called to see what could be done, and was prepared for them to be like, your shit out of luck and you owe up $15 for canceling late, but that is not even remotely what happened! The guy that answered the phone, was like no biggie, we will try to recredit the class and if you don’t see a credit back within the week just give us a call and we will go ahead and sign you up for a free class anyways. So about 4-5 days pass and I get a text saying, don’t forget to sign up for your free class! I was like OKAY! YAY! Here is the date I want and I was all signed up again. No harm no foul.

I really wanted to try their HIIT (high intensity interval training) Box class. They also have HIIT Yoga and HIIT Strength I think … and maybe some others, but I wanted to try the boxing one. I signed up for a Thursday 5:30 PM class and got there about 20 min early for the typical paperwork and first time run down stuff. I found a parking spot, but the shopping center it was located in was pretty crowded, so I would imagine it may get pretty tough to park at certain times of the day. As soon as I walked in I was greeted, very energetically I might add, by like 4 people. I filled out the little waiver thing and then was shown the ropes. I was also given a heart rate monitor to put on for the class.

So I found out that the person who like started Orangetheory Fitness branched off and started this after he left Orangetheory. I don’t know the full story, but I could see some resemblance like with the heart rate monitor and ‘scoreboard.’ There are a few screens around class and you are suppose to stay in a certain color with your heart rate and you get points based on the time you spend in each zone and you are ranked in the class. Not sure if I really care about the scoreboard though. I mean I am going to workout the same intensity whether I see my points on a screen or not. Some people may really like seeing that though.

Anyways, the workout was half on the floor and half on the treadmill, but not a normal treadmill. It is one of those curved treadmills that you propel it by how fast you run. So the faster you run, the faster the belt moves. So half of the class is spent on that and you go through intervals that the instructor calls out. So there is you base pace, which is basically walking, then a faster pace that I don’t remember the name and then your all out sprint. So he may say, 1 minute base pace, 3 minute middle zone and 30 second all out sprint. You go through various intervals for about 30 minutes, then switch with the group on the floor.

On the floor we spent 15 minutes doing intervals of free weights, TRX bands and the rowing machine. Then the last 15 minute segment is spent on the punching bag doing various punching combos and other workouts like jump squats and lunges. We ended class with a couple minutes of stretching and that was that!  It was basically a middle ground between Sweat 1000 and Orangetheory. I was not a fan of Orangetheory, but I am obsessed with Sweat 1000. If you have class pass, I recommend checking it out. The atmosphere and staff was amazing and the workout was great too. Definitely something a bit more unique.

For more information on Empower Fitness Lab visit http://www.empowerfitnesshouston.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/empowerfitnesslab/ and Instagram at @empowerfitnesslab

X Fit Pro

30 minutes of pure work! That basically sums up X Fit Pro. Okay … Guess that’s all I have to say … Just kiddinggggg

So I recently signed up for ClassPass (if you are interested in signing up, shoot me a message with your email address and I will send you a link where you will get an extra $40 added to whichever package you sign up for) and bought 5 classes to try some new places. X Fit Pro was my first stop.

I had never heard of this place before, but it is literally right off of Kirby around West University, so it has a great location and really easy to get to. It is a tiny little gym, very similar to F45 Training, which I wrote a review on a few months ago. They are both within like a block or 2 of each other as well. Like I said, very similar. Anyways, I booked my session under the impression that it was a 30 minute group training class, but when I showed up, it was just me and Marcus, my trainer. So the facility was tiny and super similar to F45 Training, but the workout itself was basically a shorter version of Plex.

I started out with 5 minutes on the stairmaster, working on my booty gains 😉 then the real workout started. I did 4 sets of this …

  • 10 medicine ball slams and squats
  • Plank on one of those stability ball things for I think like a minute or so, alternating pulling in my knees one at a time holding each side for 10 seconds or so at a time
  • Sled push across the gym… it was very heavy too… I felt like a turtle could have zoomed right past me and I was pushing as hard and fast as I could
  • 12 push ups and mountain climbers on a bosu ball
Click the image above to check out Bosu balls on Amazon.com
  • Sled pull back across the gym
  • Sprint up a flight of stairs and walk down 2x

Repeat 4x. Last I did a 500 meters all out sprint on the rowing machine, 10 up/downs (basically burpees without the jump), 250 meters on the rowing machine, 10 up/downs then foam roller and stretch to finish off.

I was pretty good as far as stamina through the majority of the workout until that 500 meter row… I thought I was going to pass the f*** out at about 450 meters…but I pushed through and hit Marcus’ goal of 500 meters under 2:20.

Anyways, it was a great 30 minute, in and out kind of  workout if you are short on time. They are open at like 5 AM and go until like 7 or 8. Every workout is a guided workout… very similar to Avenu Fitness actually, but harder. Marcus was a great trainer. He was very motivating but not pushy or mean. I thought for sure I would be doing most of the bosu ball push ups on my knees and even though I took a few short breaks, I only did like maybe 8 out of the 48 push ups on my knees.

 

For more info on X Fit Pro visit http://www.thexfitpro.com/ or Marcus visit http://www.thexfitpro.com/marcus-latham-cpt/

You can also follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Xfitpro-617608145036753/

 

 

Mekanix Round 2 & JuiceWell

Back in August, I wrote a review for Mekanix Calisthenics Gym. The session was HARD and the people were super friendly and supportive, so when I saw a little special on Facebook for a session and smoothie for $10, I thought, what they hey, let’s try it out again. I was really interested in seeing how my body handled the workout this time vs. last since I have been working out soooo much more lately.

I show up and again, it was kind of strange. There is no check in area or front desk person, it’s just kind of walk up and wait until class starts. I did get to finally meet the owner, Justin, who I had been chatting a bit with back before my first class. He would be taking the class with us this time. I had the same trainer, @gregorygains, which was cool so my class would be pretty similar to the first time which would make it easier to compare.

Class started with the same stretches and chest openers to get us prepared… although I was not prepared at all for what was to come. Class was very similar to the first time I went. Lots of crawling on the floor and squatting and jumping and my quads were feeling it within the first few minutes. It’s funny because as we were doing some jumps, I was thinking in my head that I was doing so well and jumping so high and when I asked Greg to take a video of the class doing an exercise and rewatched it, I was barely even getting up off the ground!!! I will say though, I did leaps and bounds better this time vs. when I visited in August. I could tell my flexibility has increased tremendously from yoga which is really important in most of these moves and my overall stamina was stronger. I was definitely tired after the workout, but I wasn’t like dying… I even went to another cycle class a few hours later.

So the workout itself was really tough yet amazing. I felt it for days after. They people are all really encouraging and supportive of each other. There were about 10 of us and everyone was high fiving or doing little shout outs to motivate someone to finish their last rep. I love love love that type of environment! After class was smoothie time. Wen, the owner of JuiceWell, was there to hand out really fresh and DELICIOUS smoothies. He had vegan and non-vegan as well as a few different flavors. I got a beet based smoothie and fun fact, I like beets. I had not idea! I later visited Wen’s juice and smoothie shop called Sustain Juicery because I literally pass it everyday on my way to and from work. I stopped in one day around 12:30 and it was PACKED and for good reason. This time I got a Green Monkey smoothie and it was just as good as the first one, if not better. I will definately be back to try some of the juices or acai bowls. Just a little side note – there is a menu on the wall at Sustain with a few different juices, smoothies and bowls but you can customize or create anything your little heart desires and all of their ingredients are FRESH fruits and veggies, not juices or syrups.

 

 

For more information on Mekanix Calisthenics Gym visit http://www.mekanixhouston.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mekanixhouston/ and Instagram at @mekanixhouston

 

For more information on JuiceWell visit https://shopjuicewell.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/juicewellhouston/ and Instagram at @juicewellhouston

Warren-T Fitness

I have the best friends! The more I share my workout journey with friends, the more and more opportunities open up to me. Rachel, pictured in the Pure Barre photo with me, invited me to her apartment complex for a HIIT class recently. At first I was a little skeptical. Could an apartment complex class really be that good? I mean really?! Answer …. HELL FREAKING YES IT CAN!

Lately, I have noticed my body really starting to change thanks to the blog and constantly challenging my body with different workouts. My muscles are getting stronger and more defined and mentally I am able to push myself harder and longer than before. I thought this silly little apartment workout would be N.B.D. and then guess who showed up … my humility, that’s who!

I’m going to just walk you through the workout. First of all it was outside in front of the complex and there were about 20 people participating. Weather was sooooo nice that evening might I add! Terrance Warren, owner and personal trainer with Warren-T Fitness gives these HIIT workouts on Tuesday and Thursday evening for the apartment complex, but also does personal training as well as other classes. Just check out his site HERE. We started off with a warm up of high knees while holding a weight straight up in the air, then butt kicks with the weight then squat jumps…3 rounds, 45 seconds each…I was basically already in pain at the point. Terrance is a ‘tough’ trainer. He kept saying if anyone dropped the weight or put their arms down or stopped moving, he would make the entire class run laps. I say he was ‘tough’ because although he kept ‘threatening’ us, I don’t think he would have actually punished anyone if they couldn’t keep up. It was more his style of motivation so if you don’t like someone yelling at you and pushing you, he’s not your guy.

After the warm-up, we did 2 different circuits and I can only remember some of the exercises … sooooo sorry ….

Circuit 1: 15 single leg deadlifts (each side), 25 tricep kickbacks (each side) in plank position and something else … repeat 3x

Circuit 2: 15-20 single leg side raises with squats (each side), 25 dumbbell rows (each side) in plank position and something else … repeat 3x

Then we did some other squats/holds and jumps and abs to finish of the 45-60 minute workout.

To those of you reading this, you may not think it sounds like much, but I workout 5-7 days a week and although I kind of live in a state of constant soreness, the following 2 days were soooooo extremely painful, but it hurt sooo good!

I guess you have to know someone on the inside to experience this workout for yourself, but you can always contact Warrent-T Fitness for your own personal training session or to set up a group workout for yourself.

 

For more info on Warren-T Fitness, visit http://www.warrentfitness.com/home.html or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WarrenTFitness/ or follow them on Instagram at @warrentfitness

 

iLoveKickboxing

I mentioned before that I had been wanting to find a good kickboxing gym because 9 Round was such a disappointment when it came to kicking and punching, so this weekend I visited iLoveKickboxing Memorial and TITLE on Westheimer. I will talk about iLoveKickboxing today and then compare it to TITLE on Thursday.

I saw a Facebook ad for iLoveKickboxing that advertised an introductory special of 3 classes plus gloves plus some reading material for 10 bucks, so I thought what the heck, let’s give it a try. I signed up for the introductory offer and within 24 hours I had a missed call and voicemail from the most energetic person I have ever heard on my phone congratulating me on signing up for the classes and wanting to know when I could come in for my first class.

I called them back and got a class scheduled for a Saturday morning at 9 because after looking at their schedule and their location and the atrocious traffic we have seen since the storm, I figured I would be safe and schedule for a time where there would be the least traffic and I didn’t have any other obligations before or after. They asked me to be there a half hour early so that they could give me a tour around and find out a bit about me, etc. etc.

I showed up at 8:30 and was greeted by Jasmine and Daniel. Jasmine led the class and Daniel stood by my side and helped me with my form and combos since it was my first class, which I loved! I have taken many kickboxing classes back in Baton Rouge at the UFC Gym, so I knew the basics, but it was great to have him there to polish up my technique. Before the class though, Jasmine showed me around, gave me my gloves and then we sat together and just chatted about everything from my job to my fitness goals to just life in general. People started showing up around 10 til and then it was time to hit the mat.

The class is an hour long. The first 15 minutes are the roughest part most would say. It is spent doing cardio and drills such as pushups and squats and burpees and such. The next 30 minutes or so were the fun part. It was time to put the gloves on and start attacking the bag. The bags were strange. I am used to hanging punching bags but these were weighted to the ground. The only real difference is that the ones that hang swing around when you kick and punch them, these just stayed in place. When it was time to do bag work, Jasmine was calling out combos and would walk around and help people with technique. Since I was new, Daniel had me start out with just 1-2 punches or jab-cross punches, very basic. After about a round or two, we decided I knew enough to just join in with the rest of the class instead of continuing to do the first time newbie version. The combinations were … okay. Nothing too difficult to follow which to me means nothing a bit stale, but I still enjoyed it and spent a lot of time trying to work on my form.

After bag work it was time to work with a partner and then stretch it out. We did a little but of partner combo work and then some like partner pushups and stuff like that. Lastly we stretched. After almost every workout or combination, there were always people woohooing and high fiving and you could tell there was a really good sense of community and encouragement there. One person had a heart monitor on and wanted to hit 500 calories during the workout but wasn’t quite there after stretching so a few of the other classmates stayed after and ran a few extra laps around the bags and cheered her on as she punched out the last few calories to hit that goal of 500. It was really cool to experience. (See Boomerang below)

After class, Jasmine sat back down with me to see how I liked it and then to run down the pricing. They will tell you when they call to confirm your class time, to make sure to bring a form of payment because they like to give a deep discount if you sign up on the spot. To sign up, there is a 198 intro fee and then a monthly fee depending on how you want to pay, around 80 bucks a month … I think. I was pretty worn out after so I kind of forgot. Anyways they offered 100 off plus a reimbursement for the classes you paid for, so either  110 or 120 (some of the specials are 20 for 3 classes) off the one time fee if you signed up that day.

Overall, I liked the experience. The staff was so energetic and helpful and happy. The facility was clean and easy to find. The class was intense, but not so intense that I felt like I was about to pass out or something. I mean I was able to do all of the moves and combos without stopping soooo, yeah! And I a excited to go back for my next 2 classes.

I am also very excited to share with you the comparison of iLoveKickboxing and TITLE later this week because they were pretty different!

 

If you want to check out iLoveKickboxing Memorial for yourself visit http://www.houston-memorial-ilovekickboxing.com/ or follow their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ILKBHoustonMemorialTX/ to sign up for your first few classes!

 

Hot Yoga Plus – Hot Pilates

pricing Talk about a good community. Traci Silverman, a friend from networking, invited me as her guest to a 60-minute hot pilates class that she teaches. As soon as I opened the doors to Hot Yoga Plus, I was greeted by some of the nicest people. Traci introduced me to two other instructors, the instructors introduced me to other classmates and so on and so on. I felt like I met every person in the studio which is always a welcoming feeling. I set all of my belonging in a cubby along with me socks and shoes and got set up with my mat, towel and water (weights optional) and waited for class to start.

The room was hot (somewhere in the high 90s), so I started to ‘glisten’ before we even started moving. Side note: I highly suggest investing in a yoga mat towel if you are going to do any sort of hot yoga or Pilates. I have one on my to buy list and am in desperate need because I am always losing my grip and sliding around on my mat. Click the image below to see more fun options and pricing for yoga mat towels on Amazon.

The first half of the class was all mat work. It included lots of breathing exercises, hip raises and abdominal work. Then we got up and did a round of ‘crazy 8’s.’ From the sounds people were making, I was prepared to die … but it really wasn’t that bad. I was told at the beginning of class by one of the other instructors to not use weights for my first class, but I definitely needed them. Crazy 8’s were a series of exercises, where you perform 1 exercise for 20 seconds then get a 5 second rest, then you do the 1st exercise for 20 seconds, 5 second transition, 2nd exercise for 20 seconds, 5 second rest, then the 1st exercise for 20 seconds, 5 second transition, 2nd exercise for 20 seconds, 5 second transition, 3rd exercise for 20 seconds, 5 second rest and so on until you get to 8 exercises in total. Traci called the workout a HIIT workout that was pilates inspired. (HIIT stands for high intensity interval training)

Traci was a great instructor! Very energetic and even brought ‘shots’ for everyone. She said at the beginning that she will bring the juice shots, we bring the 6 packs….that made me chuckle. I would rate the workout a medium intensity workout. I definitely needed weights to increase intensity, but I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started so I never grabbed them. I think the hardest part about the entire workout was just the heat. Every inch of me was covered in sweat and I started to get just the tiniest bit light headed towards the end because of the heat and probably a little dehydration.

Overall it was a fun new workout, but I don’t think it is something that would become part of my everyday routine. I especially loved the environment and the people I met, but the workout just wasn’t quite my style, unfortunately. They are having a special right now for anyone interested in trying it out, $30 for 14 days unlimited.

Hot Pilates with Traci

For more information on Hot Yoga Plus and to see pricing and membership availabilities visit http://bikramyogameyerland.com/

For more info on Traci visit https://www.feelinggreattoday.com/