Revolve Pole Studio

Okay. Every woman should be required to take a pole class. I know this sounds so strange… but from someone who has struggled with body image issues my ENTIRE life, I have never felt so liberated or confident EVER! Now I am not saying to get on a pole and twerk on stage in front of an audience in the buff, although if that’s your style, then by all means GO FOR IT, but I am saying to try a pole fitness class like they offer at Revolve Pole Studio.

I have been wanting to try this for quite some time, but I was just super intimidated and nervous that I would look like a total dork and feel out of place, and boy was I proved wrong. First of all, the people that work at Revolve are the sweetest and most patient people. On top of that, the people taking the classes are all super nice as well and there is NO JUDGEMENT.

So my first class was a beginners class where we learned a super short, but super fun routine. Everyone was laughing and chatting and no one judged me when I asked 800 times for Jackie, the owner and instructor, to help me learn the moves. The classes are small so you get 1-on-1 help when needed. There were only 5 people in my first class, 3 in the chair class I took and 5 in the risque pole class I took.

Each class starts with a really simple warm up of stretching and body rolls and just simple movements to get the body warmed up. Then the instructor walks you through a portion of the routine and you just follow along slowly. Then I ask (a few times), “Wait, can you do that again?” or “Wait, how did you do that?” before we run though it to the beat of a song. Then the instructor adds on another portion and we put it together and then another portion, etc, etc until we have covered the whole routine. Then I ask 56 more questions/clarifications and finally the lights dim way down low and we perform the whole routine 3-4 times through to different songs.

Here is the thing. At first I was super self conscious about … touching myself and acting ‘sexy.’ There is a lot of outline the body and touching your hips or whatever, and I was nervous because I wasn’t alone. But as the class went on, I realized that I hadn’t even taken a second to look at anybody else and guess what, they weren’t looking at me. The classes are really about just being in touch with yourself (no pun intended). If you want to go off routine, you can go off routine. It is a very similar theory to yoga where you do you and forget the rest. Be in tune with yourself and move in the way your body craves. I have only taken the three classes so far (beginners pole, chair and risque pole) but each time I leave that studio, I just feel so alive and confident and free.

Now when it comes to it being an actual workout, I would give it like an intensity level of maybe a 4-5. It really does not require a huge amount of strength, but it does require a bit more flexibility and rhythm. After the first few classes, my hip flexors were a bit sore, my calves were sore and my upper back and shoulders were a bit sore, but that was really it. My calves were sore because if you aren’t wearing the 7” platform shoes, you are supposed to stay on your highest of tippy toes, just barefoot. I did try on the platforms and I was SHOCKED as to how comfortable they were, but I think for my ankles sake I will just stick to bare feet.

I suggest signing up for the new member package of 5 classes (use in 2 weeks) for $35 and trying all of the variations to see which on you like best. Then every month they do a series class where you can sign up for a series (I think 4 classes plus some drop in classes) and learn something specific. This month just happens to be beginners/basics, but next month might be chair or something else.

Listen, don’t think too much about it, just go take a freaking class. You do not have to be in shape. You do not have to have rhythm. You do not have to be flexible. You do not have to wear super high heels. You just have to be willing to try something new and really appreciate the fact that you are a beautiful human being and you should flaunt your shit even if it is in a dark room with nobody watching!

For more information on Defy Pilates visit https://revolvepole.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RevolvePoleStudio/ and Instagram at @revolvepole

TIEM Cycle Shoes

Is it worth the investment? YES! Ok end of post … Just kidding, but this will be a short one.

Over the past year I have taken quite a few cycling classes and started to do the math. Typically if you sign up for a cycle class, the studio will let you borrow a pair of cycle shoes for free the first time and then charge you $3 every time after to rent them, and for those of you who have never taken cycle class, the answer is YES you do have to wear special shoes for class. Anyways, for a decent pair of cycle shoes, it’s going to cost you around $130-180. Mine were $150, however, a lot of studios will run specials on their merchandise throughout the year or even give you a % off if you leave a review, which is what I did at DEFINE Bellaire so my shoes ended up being like $120. Now let’s do some math. I had a month membership to DEFINE of unlimited cycling AND won a 10 class pack to soul cycle PLUS I had a few class pass credits which I wanted to use to try out a few cycle studios. Point being, I only had to 40 classes my entire life for this to be a good investment, and guess what?!?! I have way exceeded that by now. Not only do I no longer have to pay to rent shoes, I also don’t have to wear someone else’s stanky sweat soaked shoes. BUT before you run out and buy some shoes, there are a few things you should know.

Cycle shoes have these clips that lock your foot to your pedal so when you are sprinting or out of the saddle, your feet don’t go flying off the pedal. So let’s take a look at the two main types of clips for indoor cycle shoes. There are the ones that feel like you are walking around with a massive rock under your foot and you can hear someone walking up from a mile away, those are called three-hole (commonly called “Delta”) system. Then there are the clips that are much more subtle and flat on the bottom called two-hole (commonly called “SPD”) system. SPD shoes are much more attractive, mine are gorgeous, but are typically harder to clip in for new riders. It took me forever to figure out how to clip in after I bought my pair because I was so use to the Delta clips, but not i’m so use to it that it’s hard for me to use the Delta clips on the rare occasion I forget my pair at home.

Anyways, I don’t think I have ever come across a studio that didn’t accommodate both types of clips. The pedals on these bikes are two sided, one side uses the Delta clip and if you flip the pedal over, the other side uses the SPD. I am in love with my SPD cycle shoes by TIEM pictured below. Not only are they comfortable, but they also just look like normal tennis shoes vs the clunky ugly Delta clip shoes. One day I was signing in at Soul Cycle with my cycle shoes in hand, clearly visible and the guy behind the counter was like, do you need cycle shoes, and I just looked down at my shoes and was like… you mean these?? He like had a fit over how nice they looked and had a million questions about them because he thought they were so cool. Anyways, to wrap this nonsense of a post up is basically just to say that if you are going to take 40 or more cycle classes in your life, it is totally worth it to buy your own shoes ANDDDDDD I highly recommend the TIEM ones I have. They are so pretty 🙂

 

(Left) Delta Clips – notice the bumps on the bottom (Right) TIEM SPD Clips – notice the flat bottom like a tennis shoe