Method Pilates

I’m pretty sure I have said this a few times before, but reformers pilates is typically not my jam. I am more of the cycle, bootcamp, sweat, sweat, sweat type workout girl, buttttttt when one of my favorite yoga instructors from Revolution Studios opened up her own reformer pilates studios, I just had to give it a try.

I’ve taken 2 classes so far, both from Dani, and I have really enjoyed them. I still have 1 more to take, and I am looking forward to trying a different instructor. What I love about the studio is, well a lot. It is in Rice Village which is a great location, and has a Nourish juice bar in the front of the studio. All of the reformers have these cute and inspiring saying engraved into the floor and there is a really fun neon spring sign on the wall that is perfect for taking boomerangs (boomerang wouldn’t load for some reason 😦 but you can see the fun light up spring sign in the background of this pic even though it’s blurry). There is also a small retail section with method branded clothes and grippy socks and I so want to buy all of it!!

Method Pilates Rice Village

The class itself was medium intensity, which is perfect for beginners and also for the more advanced person. In 50 minutes they focus on your entire body. Both classes I have taken started with a focus on legs and booty, then we moved to arms and back and ended with abs and a bit of cardio. Like I said, full body workout! Legs and booty are usually worked by doing squats, lunges and leg lifts with resistance plus some other stuff. Arms are typically bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, etc. Abs are planks or mermaids (which SUCK). Lastly, cardio is like mountain climbers in plank position or something like that.

If you have never taken a reformer class, I definitely recommend trying one out. They are pretty fun mainly because it’s just different than anything else. It is all resistance which is adjusted by adding springs on and off your carriage which makes it harder or easier to move. It doesn’t seem like much when you are actually in the class though, or at least I never sweat and muscle fatigue doesn’t ever really happen for me, but in the days to follow I am always sore, especially in my abs and obliques.

One negative and positive about the class is that there are only 8 spots total per class so you have to book your class pretty far in advance cause they fill up FAST! The good part about there only being 8 people in class is that you get the one-on-one assistance and support you need from the instructor. Classes are all purchased and booked through their app which you can download from the app store for free. You can also see a full schedule and all of their pricing in the app. They have single classes for purchase if you just want to try it out once or packages that you can buy depending on what you are looking for.

So far I would say this is my favorite reformers pilates class. My ranking is:

  1. Method Pilates
  2. HIP
  3. Avenu Fitness

I still have a bunch of reformer classes already on my schedule to take and will add them to the rank as I blog about them. Whichever class you decide to take, just don’t forget your grippy socks!!!

 

For more information on Method Pilates visit http://www.methodpilates.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/methodpilates.tx/ and Instagram at @methodpilates (btw, their instagram is super cute)

 

Black Swan Yoga – Kirby

In terms of yoga class, Black Swan Yoga is just about tied with Revolution Studio. In terms of facility and people, Revolution takes the cake hands down, no competition. I used one of my class pass classes on Black Swan Yoga on Kirby even though I don’t think they do memberships. I think you just pay $10 per class, but don’t quote me on that. Parking kind of sucked too. I had to park in the strip center next to theirs, and was kind of nervous that I would get towed because Houston is awful about towing and I wasn’t technically a customer of that strip center, but I figured it was around closing time for those shops and I was running a bit late so yeah. Didn’t get a ticket or towed so I guess if you go to Black Swan Yoga on Kirby and they are out of parking spots, you can park in front of the mattress store, I guess…

Anyways, I walked into BSY and I was really shocked because it was like all guys. Usually there are a few guys in my yoga classes, but this was way more than usual it seemed like. Anyways I got signed in and the girl was like, “Enjoy.” I was like … uhhh where do I go?? Basically there is the lobby with cubbies (not lockers) and one big yoga room. So I made my way into the studio and claimed my spot and luckily I wasn’t running any later than I already was because class was absolutely packed!! We were squinching together to make space for everyone.

I took a 60 min flow from Angie… I think… and it was fantastic. I had had a pretty stressful day at work that day and needed to really unwind and this class did the trick. We started with a typical warm up and a flow very similar to Revolution but then ended with some balance postures and our cool down and final resting state. The class was decently advanced … or I guess you could say intermediate. Any level yogi would be welcome and could take moderations if needed, but I really had to push myself to keep up with some of the poses.

I would say BSY is also a hot yoga, but not inferno. I was pretty drenched by the end of class. The community aspect I was typically look for at any gym was kind of lacking. The instructor never introduced herself to us and the staff was just kind of like, “Oh it’s your first time? Cool …” I don’t know, I don’t think I deserve to be treated like royalty, but it really makes a huge difference when the staff and instructors take an extra step to make you feel welcomed.

Another little perk about BSY is that there is a juice/smoothie shop connected to it for a post flow pick-me-up. I didn’t try it because I was going home to cook dinner right away, but I have heard really good things about JuiceLand and will have to try it sometime. May even have to write a post about juice/smoothie places in Houston. I definitely have a favorite (cough cough Sustain Juicery cough cough). So many people think these juice places are all super healthy and then they go and get a cup of sugar. Sorry (not really that sorry) about the tangent … but yeah… BSY was a really fantastic workout and I would suggest taking a class there, butttt getting there early because it does get PACKED.

 

For more information on Black Swan Yoga at Kirby visit https://blackswanyoga.com/houston/schedule/kirby/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/blackswanyogakirby/ and Instagram at @blackswanyogahouston

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/

 

 

Pure Barre

Just when I think I am finally getting in shape, I take a Pure Barre class and it’s like I’ve never worked out a day in my life. One thing I absolutely love through this fitness journey is how each and every place I visit is a new challenge, physically AND mentally. I am so use to killing myself in the gym with cardio and weight training to the point of pure exhaustion, but Pure Barre is FARRR from that!

Pure Barre was really a mental challenge for me more than anything else. All of the moves are very concentrated and isolated and completely doable for anybody at any fitness level, but the burn that overcomes your muscle is unlike anything I have felt before. These classes were similar to the Body class I took at Define, but I would say more intense. For those of you who don’t know what a Barre class is, I would describe it as a ballet inspired workout. It suppose to develop long lean muscles and improve flexibility.

My first experience at Pure Barre was somewhat underwhelming to be honest. After class I felt like I still needed to go for a run or something because I didn’t feel like I got a good enough workout. Because you get a full week for free to try out Pure Barre, I recruited some friends and we decided to give it another shot and holy cow, the instructors were like night and day. First class I walked away feeling underwhelmed, but the second and third class I thought my muscles were going to burn holes through my skin.

The classes were all organized the same. First, you do some warm up moves to the beat of the music, then move into your arm workout. The weights you can choose from are like 2 lbs, 3 lbs or 4 lbs. I grabbed the 2 pounders because I had an inkling that whatever we would be doing with them was going to be harder than anticipated and I was correct. By the end of the arm workout with the 2 lb weights, my shoulder and arms were burnt out! Next, we move to the butt and thigh workout. These were all done on the ballet bar and even though I didn’t move from my 1’x1’ square I was sweating and burning the entire time. The exercises were mainly holding positions, tucking your pelvis and pulsing. Sounds simple right? WRONG! I kept having to stand and stretch before getting back into position. Last part of the workout was abs and again … tiny movements, lots of pulsing and tucking and lots of burning. Stretching was also incorporated after working every body part. So after the arm portion, we stretched, after the butt portion, we stretched, after thighs, we stretched and after abs we stretched.

I say this workout was mostly a mental exercise, because I really believe everybody is capable of holding these poses and pulses, but pushing through the burn was just another level of will power. The only thing that really made some of the moves difficult for me was lack of flexibility and the fact that I have SUPER TIGHT hip flexors, but with everything, the more your practice, the better you get. Although, Pure Barre is not my workout of choice on a daily basis, I loved how humbling it was. I thought these workouts would be a breeze and I beyond wrong!

So the last thing I will mention is the atmosphere. The entire staff, or at least everyone I met, was so nice and encouraging. Both of the instructors I had knew EVERY single person’s name and were constantly motivating us and correcting our movements to make sure we were getting the most out of the exercises. The class itself was pretty quiet and kept to theirself. Not one of those classes where everyone introduces themself and high-fives, etc. which is totally fine. Just throwing that out there.

I recommend trying out the free week and seeing what you think. You will be surprised at how these tiny movements can cause so much pain! The only thing you need to bring with you is socks, preferably the grippy ones, but any ole pair will do if you are just testing it out for a week.

Pure Barre.JPG
Thanks Rachel and Jane (not pictured) for joining me at our first class!

For more information or to sign up for a free week, visit http://purebarre.com/tx-westu/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/purebarrehoustontxwestu/

 

HOTWORX

I am very conflicted with my experience with HOTWORX at Planet Beach. I haven’t been posting in awhile because I was so graciously given a free month at Planet Beach by a friend and I wanted to use my membership as much as possible.

I came across HOTWORK through a Facebook ad stating, “Come try a FREE HOTWORK workout.” I signed up for my first class, even asked a friend to join and when we showed up we were told that they class was free, but we had to pay $10 each to rent a HOTWORX mat and towel. We decided to go ahead and try the class and I was pretty happy with the actual workout, but I will get to that in a bit.

I want to start this blog by talking about the lack of communication and somewhat manipulation of the staff at Planet Beach. If you don’t want to hear my rant, skip this paragraph to read about the actual workout. First, it was the “FREE” class that actually costed $10, no biggie. Then we were told that they had a special going on for $99/mo. unlimited services including HOTWORX, all tanning services, the massage bed, facials and teeth whitening. We were shocked at the deal and asked numerous times, “So it’s only $99 for all of that?!” and told yes everytime. We both purchased the package and were on our way, excited about all the pampering we would get over the next month. I showed up for my first HOTWORX session as a member as was asked if I wanted to pay the $10 to rent the towel and mat or buy my own for $50…..WHAT? I thought it was covered in the $99. NOPE! And you can’t use your own mat and towel, even though I have 8 million mats at home because these are special mats and towels that are made for the temperature … I call bullshit, but on with my rant. So I said, “Fine. I will buy the mat and towel for $50 because I will come more than 5 times.” Long story short, 2 days later, I get a charge on my card for $100….because according to the girl who worked there, it was $50 for the mat and $50 for the towel even though my friend and I both heard on multiple occasions her say, “It’s $50 for the mat and towel.” NOT “$50 for the mat and $50 for the towel.” I mean what sane person would pay $100 for a freaking mat and towel … I already thought $50 was outrageous. Even longer story short, everything we did besides tanning and the massage bed was an extra fee. Want a facial, the service is free but you have to pay for the products. Same with teeth whitening. All bullshit if you ask me AND a fantastic way to lose a customer. BYEEE Planet Beach forever.

Ok onto the actual HOTWORX workout. HOTWORX is a little wooden room that you rent out for  1-3 people. There is a TV inside and you pick between like 7 different workouts like yoga, pilates, iso, warrior, etc. The room is basically an infrared sauna that is kept at 120-125 degrees. All of the videos were pretty similar. Basically you hold poses for about 1-2 minutes at a time and just SWEAT. Each video is 30 minutes long which is just enough to have you completely drenched by the time you walk out. The workouts were moderately difficult. I could do 90% of the poses without letting up but my right hand girl had a bit more trouble during the workouts. I enjoyed the workouts and felt re-energized whenever we were done, but I probably would never do HOTWORX again, esp if the customer service is as bad as it was here at other Planet Beach locations. (btw we went to the one on Buffalo Speedway)

HOTWORX.JPG

Another note on HOTWORX. I have always had a bad pain in my shoulder, just a effed up muscle, but on days I did HOTWORX, the pain would melt away within being in the sauna for only 5-10 minutes. I need to find me a sauna to visit more often I suppose.

Anyways, I suggest HOTWORX if you like to sweat but want low impact. I don’t suggest it because it is expensive as hell for what it is. I would suggest just finding a real yoga or pilates studio to go to instead, unless you hate working out in front of people, then we are back at a pro for HOTWORX since you are by yourself in a room. All in all, there were more cons than pros with HOTWORX.

 

Learn more about HOTWORK at https://planetbeach.com/HOTWORX/ or find Planet Beach at Rice on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/planetbeachrice/