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

Avenu Fitness

Nicest owner ever. Let me just start with that! Not only was the owner insanely generous and helpful, the entire staff was welcoming. LOVED my week at Avenu Fitness. I reached out to Avenue Fitness via Instagram and it took them a bit to get back to me, but once they did, I got treated like a VIP. I was instantly connected with Brent, one of the owners, and told him I had a fitness blog and wanted to try them out! He was so gracious and invited me over for a cup of coffee, on him, at their in house coffee shop where they serve delish Boomtown coffee. He gave me a tour of the facility which is broken into two separate buildings with a interior shop in between that’s separating them. To the right is the fitness/training facility that has free weights, machines, TRX bands, medicine balls, sliders, etc. etc. and to the left is the pilates studio.

All of the workouts at Avenu Fitness are 30 minutes long and guided by an instructor. Brent shared with me his vision for opening this gym and it seems like he has really made his dream come true. Brent and his wife have owned Avenu since 2006 (if I remember correctly) and really wanted it to be that place for those people who are ‘too busy to workout’ to come in, get a killer workout and be out the door in 30 minutes. Right now they have only one location and it is smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood in West U. Very convenient for anyone living in that area, but still really easy to get to if you live elsewhere.

I was set up with a Pilates class with Meagan at 5:30 Monday morning followed by a discovery session with Kay, then I attended a community conditioning class on Tuesday at 6:00 AM that Brent led, and finished off my time at Avenu with a training session with Angie on Thursday at 6:00 AM. Avenue is definitely a place for the early riser. In fact, their last session starts at 6:00 PM because one of the things that was important to them was to be able for, not only them, but their trainers to be able to have a life outside the gym. Most trainers burn out within 2-3 years because they are working from 5 AM – 10 PM at most places and it leave little room for them to have a life outside the gym. Brent mentioned that majority of the trainers have been with them for around 10 YEARS! That alone should prove to you that the community at Avenu is bar none.

Let’s talk about the workouts now. The pilates class with Meagan was good. I have to say the one I took at HIP Fitness was more intense, but It was also 2x as long. We were on the reformer for all of the class which is still a very new piece of equipment for me so I was a little like a baby elk all wobbly and off balance, but Meagan helped me get into correct form and provided a great workout in 30 minutes.

I met with Kay after class for my discover meeting which really got my week started off on the right foot. The discovery session is just a few minutes of chatting about your goals and motivations and trying to identify areas that may need improvement. Where do your weaknesses lie and how can we work on strengthening them to make your overall health and wellness better. That is one thing I was really impressed with about Avenu and it was that they cared about overall health and wellness, not just fitness. They want to find out what those triggers are that have held you back prior to coming to Avenu instead of just prescribing you with fitness classes in hopes that you reach your fitness goals.

Something really cool that Brent does is a community conditioning class every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 AM that is open to the public and free to attend. When I went on Tuesday, there were 7 of us, outside running sprint intervals for 30 minutes and that was it! Simple yet effective. Every session is a bit different, with different drills, but all just quick, simple conditioning work.I will definitely be attending more of those sessions and bringing along more friends, as long as I can get them out of bed that early that is!

Thursday finished off my week with my fitness session with Angie. All I can say is that half hour FLEW by and my hamstrings and lower abs were SO sore for the next 2-3 days. The training sessions are all started on the half hour so as long as you show up on the half hour or hour you can jump in at the beginning either with a specific trainer one-on-one or with a small group. I was grouped with 2 other ladies who showed up the same time as me and we all went through the same exercises then were out the door and on our way in just 30 minutes. Pricing for the sessions depend on if you want to have a one-on-one or group session. A single one-on-one session is $55 and small group session is $35. All pricing is listed on their website.

If you want personal training in 30 minutes at a gym where people actually care about your health and well-being, then I highly suggest Avenu. I didn’t mention this, but when I walked in on Thursday, I think like 10 people all shouted hey to me! It was like I was walking into a group of old friends and just felt welcoming.

 

For more info on Avenu Fitness visit http://avenufit.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/avenufit/ and on Instagram at @avenufit