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)

 

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/

 

DEFINE body & mind

There is one word I would use to describe this workout and that is, FIRE. My legs were on absolute fire during the “body” class at DEFINE body & mind in West University. DEFINE body & mind offers a variety of classes at 11 studios in the Houston (and surrounding) area. Their classes are body, rev, bounce, yoga and mind. You get one free trial class and can sign up for it online or by calling in. I had issues with the submission form online so I gave them a call and they were so kind and knowledgeable. I asked for a class recommendation and the girl suggested body or bounce (trampolines) for a first timer like me. Since the bounce classes didn’t fit my schedule, I just went ahead and signed up for the body class , but I will be back from bounce one day.

When I showed up, I was welcomed by the staff and given a quick little tour of the facility. Right up front they have a cute little retail section that I had to exercise extreme willpower to stay away from. They also had the cycling room in back, the multipurpose room up front and a little kitchen area to the side. Oh and parking is odd. They have a small lot on the side of the building, but then about 2-3 blocks down they have another designated lot … just FYI.

So the body class is described as “A one-stop shop for the tone and length you’ve been looking for. This results-oriented class combines Pilates, yoga, ballet and core strengthening techniques, coupled with easy to use equipment (for that extra oomph!) to define your best body.” I had never taken a class like this before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Courtney was my instructor and was super sweet. She helped me get set up, put me in the front of the class (eek) and helped me through the entire workout.

The workout covered full body and the equipment used were a light and heavy set of weights, a ball (not sure if it has an actual name) and a band to stretch at the end. You are also positioned on a yoga mat in front of a ballet bar. The workout was intense from the beginning, but a different kind of intense then I am use to. I barely sweat, like at all, yet my muscles were just lit up. I haven’t felt burn like that in my legs in a long time. Arms and abs were burning too, but I was able to push through that pain. I kept having to take a break and stretch during the leg portions. I think the burn was so intense because the muscle movements were so very small and isolated.

The class was pretty full and ranged from what looked like beginners to advanced. I felt like majority of the people in the room had some sort of dance background which made me feel super clumsy and uncoordinated…but what’s new?! I am definitely interested in trying out some of the other classes they have to offer, but if you are looking for a toned body, I think this is a place you should try out. The body class really focused on strength and flexibility and was just a complete mix of pilates, yoga, strength, ballet…you name it!

All I know about pricing right now is that the first class is free and individual classes are $24 each. I know they have packages and plans, but I am not sure what they are yet. I am signed up to take the rev class in the next few days, so I will get some ideas on pricing and let you know about it in the next post. I am also excited to try the rev (cycling) class so I can compare it to the cycling classes at Revolution Studio (which I absolutely LOVED).

To find the location closest to you, visit: http://definebody.com/fitness-studios/

I went to the location at West University here: http://westuniversity.definebody.com/

West University Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Define-Body-Mind-West-U-295810803833845/

West University Instagram: @define_houston

Jazzercise with Danielle

“These are not jazz hands, THESE are jazz hands!” Of course I had to quote ‘Bring It On.’ That was a given. Thanks to Danielle Losos (on Instagram as @danitutu), a friend of mine and jazzercise instructor, I can now officially say that I have taken Jazzercise and it was … interesting.

The class I took was at the West University Place Recreation Center on Bellaire Blvd. and it cost $15 for a one time, hour long class. I got there early and walked into a big empty dance type studio and was quickly joined by 20 or so other classmates. I know Danielle from work events and when she mentioned she taught jazzercise I couldn’t quite picture it, but she was a phenomenal instructor. She was so confident and energetic and she had me smiling and laughing THE ENTIRE TIME 🙂

The class is broken down into 2 parts, cardio and strength, and is a full body workout. The first 40 minutes is cardio and is focused on reaching a peak heart rate about half way through then coming back down the bell curve to cool down before strength training. There was a lot of skipping, hopping and jumping so by the end of the 40 minutes of cardio, I was sweating quite a bit and my calves were on fire, but that was about it. I also felt VERY uncoordinated the entire time, but I could tell nobody in the room was judging me or even noticed. It was actually really nice to feel like a kid again just dancing around without a care in the world. I was also surprised by the variety of people taking the class. There were females and males, young and old, big and small, you name it, they were there!

The last 20 minutes were spent on strength conditioning, so it was time for the mats and weights came out to play. We used the weights for upper body and then focused on legs and abs on the mat. There were a few moves that I felt really target my inner thighs and shoulders, but all in all, I kind of felt like I needed to go home and do an extra little something something to feel like I had a great workout. No doubt it was fun, and taught me that I need to work on my coordination and dance moves, but as far as a killer workout goes, I am still on the fence.

If you are looking to have fun, show your sass and smile (a lot) while working out, this is definitely for you. Also, if you are looking for a low impact workout, all of the hops and jumps can be swapped for marching so it’s really good for anyone with joint problems.

Again, I don’t want to sound bias since Danielle is a friend of mine, but she really was a phenomenal instructor. I was just in awe of her because it wasn’t something I expected her to be sooo good at when I first met her through work. I know she has a background in dance, but she just made every move look so effortless, while I looked like a baby giraffe walking for the first time. It was rough to keep up.

Jazzercise_West U_1

For more information on the West University Place Recreation Center membership and classes, visit http://www.westutx.gov/434/Recreation-Center

Also follow @jazzerciseinc on Instagram.