Tag Archives: workout

ClassPass Atlanta: Trial Week Review

27th May 2015

For the past seven years, I’ve had a fairly healthy relationship with running, but like any great romance, it hasn’t been without its bumps. I’ve been committed, and this time, to a fault. Just a few months ago, it seemed my hip was calling it quits. Stubborn as usual, I forced myself to rest and when all else failed six weeks later, to the sports doc, I went.

The culprit? Not enough muscle to support all of those miles. A stubborn running routine and little strength training had done quite the number to my hips. Here we are another six weeks later, following many a date with PT instead of the trails, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. A much stronger version of myself.

As much as I’d like to stick to my cost-effective running relationship, my glutes and abs disagree. It turns out the whole saga was just the push I (and my frugal bank account) needed to give ClassPass a try.

One hour warning! What class are you signing up for at noon?

A photo posted by ClassPass (@classpass) on

I’m one week into my ClassPass trial and I could not be more in love with the program. I’m not one for a gym (that machine does what again?) and easily find myself getting bored with one style of fitness class. ClassPass has done away with that.

The premise, and the price, are quite simple. Here in Atlanta, you’ll pay $79 for a month of unlimited classes at unlimited studios around town. The only catch? You can only visit each studio (or group like a Pure Barre or FlyWheel) three times in a month. A catch that equates to more spontaneity and less comfort.

As my sore butt can only handle a hand full of classes in a week, I’ve enlisted my former roommate, Kate to weigh in on reviews of what we’ve tried so far. Give us a month and hopefully we’ll have some favorites, but for now, we love just about everything.

Kate and I at every ClassPass class this week

VibeRide Midtown

Class: Rhythm Ride

A spin class with a live DJ spinning R&B from the 90’s? Yes please. This didn’t take much convincing and I don’t think I have ever sweat that much during a half marathon. The staff was incredibly welcoming to us newcomers and we felt right at home. It also helped to have some spirited regulars in the audience.

The interesting catch in this class was that it also combined light upper body movements with resistance on the bike for a full body workout. The only downside was as the class moved so quickly (and I myself am not the world’s most coordinated), I found myself wondering at times if my form was a hot mess.

This one will definitely take some getting used to, but I’m excited to go back. I’ve heard similar reviews from FlyWheel, so that’s on the list as well. The small class size and friendly staff of VibeRide certainly gave it bonus points.

Svelte Brookhaven

Class: Signature Barre 

After working on the small muscle groups in my abs and glutes nearly exclusively during physical therapy, I knew I’d love this class. I had only taken one barre class in the past, so this was a welcomed refresher.

The studio was beautiful and again, Celia leading this class could not have been more welcoming. I’m not sure why I expected to be treated like a serial studio switcher with ClassPass, but so far I’ve been dead wrong on that point, and wonderfully so.

Again, as a newbies to the studio (Kate joining me for this class) we were incredibly impressed with Celia’s attention to detail and recommendations to ensure each exercise was reaching its maximum potential. This one is in running distance from my house, so I may have to invest in extra classes on the side. Though, Pink Barre and Pure Barre have also gotten rave reviews, so I’ll be visiting those soon as well.

From here, I’ll hand it over to Kate to tell you a little about herself and the ClassPass classes she’s tried so far.

Before I dive in you, a little background on my fitness history. I have been an aspiring runner for almost 10 years now and LOVE weight training. I was never really into the “fitness class thing”. In fact, all signs pointed me in the opposite direction

  • With a crazy work/travel schedule, it was almost impossible to commit to anything regularly
  • I get bored…QUICKLY. Running seems dull today? Cool, I’ll hit the weights. Not feeling the elliptical? Sweet, maybe Kaitlyn’s up for a running date
  • I need to be challenged. My body and my mind need to be pushed, and I thought I needed to be in control to make sure that happened

As you may notice I am speaking in past tense. Kaitlyn and ClassPass converted me. From hot pavement and smelly weight rooms to yoga mats and hard wood dance floors, I’m hooked. With so many classes to choose from it’s easy to find time, impossible to get bored and I have been challenged by more barre instructors than I’d care to admit.

Stellar Bodies Buckhead

Class: SPX Total Body

My first thought when reading about the Megaformer heads immediately to something out of Transformers. The pictures are reminiscent of a torture device and the website proclaims, “a challenging workout that may not be suitable for beginners. Come prepared to work hard!” I’m in.

Memorial Day weekend kept the class was small, but with only 8-10 machines, the class size is always limited. This lead to plenty of one-on-one time with an instructor, ensuring beginners, like me, keep the correct form.

What a humbling workout. I lift weights and run, shouldn’t be too hard right? Wrong. The funky gliding machine activated muscles I didn’t even know I had. The instructor was welcoming, encouraging and challenging, and when I couldn’t complete an exercise (believe me, I tried) she provided alternatives so I could continue to push myself.

Stellar Bodies not only helps you build muscle and core strength, but also challenges your mental toughness. It was unique, fun, engaging and rewarding. However, heed the warning. If you’re a fitness beginner (or took a little fitness vacay) build up some strength and then check out SPX Total Body to push you further.

Hopefully after all of that fitness rambling, we’ve convinced you to lace up (or buy some Nike Studio Wraps) and get started with ClassPass. While they regularly run a free 10 day trial, (which is what I used to get started) sign up with this link and you’ll get $10 off of your first month.  Oh and I’ll get a credit too, so it’s a win-win for both of us. Whatcha waiting for?

Interested in following our journey? Tried ClassPass and want to send us your class recommendations? Comment here or find Kate and I on Twitter: @KateLarson12, @KaitlynDennihy.

The Dreaded Runner’s Knee

13th May 2013

Remember that whole resolution to take things a bit slower in 2013? The one that I *thought* I was conquering just a few months ago? I have a confession to make, I’m apparently doing it all wrong. Or so says my body.

Last week, on an otherwise bea-u-ti-ful run through Central Park during a quick business trip to NYC, it hit me, the dreaded, often whispered about pain just to the side of the kneecap, also known as runner’s knee. Until this point, my running career has been largely injury free. I’ve learned how to better take care of my body, train properly and as a result i’ve made it hundreds of miles without too many setbacks.

How could one *not* want to run here?

How could one *not* want to run here?

Then, around mile two, as I floated past Strawberry Fields, someone took a sledgehammer to the outside of my knee, and that all too well known searing pain found its way up my leg. Runner’s knee had finally caught up with me and reared its ugly head.

The cure? (thanks to futile Google searches in hopes of some forgotten treatment), ice. And ibuprofen. And REST. Oh the rest, we’re just not quite on the same page, rest and I.

The good news? Another likely culprit of this little setback is a lack of strength training. While I’d like to tell you that my bottom half is rock solid muscle, it’s not, running does many things for me, and building the right types of muscle is just not one of them. I’ve known for some time that I should be spending more time strengthening my hips, quads and hamstrings, and now I have the perfect excuse.

If an injury is the excuse, The Nike Training Club app is the solution. I’m not much of a gym fan, so in-living room workouts work well for me. The app provides some fantastic workouts for as few as 15 minutes, all targeted to various body parts and brought to you by Nike athletes. Combine this with AirPlay over the Apple TV and it’s almost as if I have a personal trainer in the room with me.

Here are a few of my favorite low-impact exercises so far (all courteous of the ever so lovely Gabby Douglas, who can also be found within the app):

Side planks with leg lifts:


Side leg circles: 20130513-213224.jpg
Straight leg flutters:


So there you have it,  this is the look of my next week and beyond. With a little help from Gabby and others, I’m hoping to be back outside in no time. In the meantime, I’ll be here with my phone and a bag a frozen peas on my leg.

Redefining resolutions through technology

4th January 2012

The dreaded swap of comfy sweaters to those for spandex and running shoes, it seems to creep up earlier and earlier each holiday season. New Years Resolutions to get in shape are nothing new, but let’s be honest the word “resolution” really should mean “I’ll keep this up for at least two weeks and then let my too busy schedule take over.”

Making a “resolution” and sticking to it takes more than a new pair of sneakers, it takes a shift in the way we behave and luckily there are plenty of tech gadgets out there today to help you do just that. Here are a few of my favorites.

There’s nothing new about the Nike+ system which launched in mid 2009, but it’s still one of the best on the market and my fitness addiction. The system, which started as a simple in-shoe chip and receiver for an iPod has now expanded to an iPhone app, GPS watch and SportBand.

My new favorite is the SportBand watch which easily allows me to glance at time, distance, calories, pace and time elapsed on my wrist. The whole system costs less than $60 and the watch face converts to a easy to plug in USB to record data. No more glancing at an armband or carrying an extra device.

The motivation for logging those miles? The Nike+ system makes it easy to track progress, set goals and join groups with other runners – both physically or virtually. I’ve found setting small goals for myself like run X miles this week or run X runs with an average pace of X have really kept me going and striving to hit the next level.

Not a runner? Check out the Nike Training Club app, which allows users to pick a type of workout and follow through with timed exercises and video tutorials.

Apple TV and YouTube
My boyfriend, tired of watching Netflix with me on my tiny computer, recently surprised me with an Apple TV. Beyond Netflix, I’ve found it to be a great companion to quick workouts when the weather is miserable or I just don’t feel like heading out the door. With YouTube integration, I can easily add workout videos to playlists from my computer and easily catch up through my TV.

With YouTube’s recent launch of the YouTube Next Trainer program, I can easily follow along with some of fitness’s rising stars from the comfort of my living room. This is the perfect motivation for quick exercise direction before bed, with most workouts lasting 10 minutes or less (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t have 10 minutes before heading to bed).

Yes, most of my Pinterest boards do fall into the categories of DIY, crafts and cute owls, but Pinterst is a great place to find easy, healthy recipes. Not typically a huge cook, I’ve found myself cooking much more from scratch and saving more money than ever before by choosing the right recipes. An easy favorite of mine: baked apple chips. These take 5 minutes to make, let bake for a few hours  while home during the evening and take to work for a snack the next day.

Use that time with your electronic devices in new ways this year and you might just find yourself with a “resolution” that lasts far longer than 14 days.