Several weeks ago I shared a pretty lengthy post on the months I’d spent following Kayla Istine’s BBG (bikini body guide) program. After a couple of minor injuries and wavering motivation, I decided to switch gears and re-active my Classpass account. In this post I’m sharing why I made the change, and the classes I’m loving to get myself into shape physically & mentally.
One of my best friends loves saying that when it comes to workouts, I get a bit fanatical. Monday at 5:30? I’ll be at Soul Cycle. Traveling to Michigan or Ohio? I’ll find the nearest Pure Barre studio and get myself to class. BBG? I was completely devoted for weeks upon weeks, touting its benefits to anyone who would listen. So while I am a little bummed I’ve moved away from BBG, I’ve felt really rejuvenated going back to some of my favorite classes and also adding a couple of newbies into the mix via Classpass. I think switching things up is healthy and can be really motivating, especially when you’re feeling a lull!
Why I moved away from BBG
As I shared in this post, I kicked off the year trying out BBG. I had wanted to do it for months, and I’m proud of myself that I mustered up the motivation to try a new routine and really stick to it. I was committed to BBG for nearly 6 months, which I think is no small feat! All of the reasons I started doing BBG I still stand by. I streamlined my fitness expenses by maximizing the gym in my building and the gym we go to on weekends. I was only paying $10/month for the guided app. Especially in the cold months of winter when I’m not really wanting to bounce around town, it was nice to be able to simply go upstairs or do abs in my living room! And I really enjoyed pushing myself as an individual, especially during a time of the year when I was feeling a little more shy and homebody than usual. I was working against my own goals, on my own schedule. Especially if you are a stay-at-home mom, work from home or are on the road a lot, I do think BBG is an amazing option, as it’s always with you no matter what your schedule or gym looks like.
However, as we progressed into summer it was easier to have that extra glass of wine or hit the snooze button and blow off my workout. Plus, an injury to my wrist and a sore knee were making me question whether or not the intensity and unsupervised aspect of the workout were really the best for me. Last, but not least I promised myself that I had until late August/September until I had to start getting more regimented about my fitness routine for my wedding later this Fall. It was the perfect combination that led me to re-activate my Classpass membership.
A Quick Overview on Classpass
While there is something to be said about staying self-motivated, I ultimately stay on track much more easily when I have a little external push. So I signed up again for Classpass, which helps keep me accountable whether I like it or not! In order to avoid a late fee, you have to cancel class within 12 hours. And if you’re a no-show you’ll get twice the penalty, which makes pushing the snooze button or heading to an impromptu happy hour a LOT less tempting. I wanted to try out a few different classes, and having one membership ala Classpass is much more streamlined than having multiple packages at different studios. In addition to missing the social aspect of working out next to other people, I missed teacher overseeing the movements and fresh music. (Composing playlists is not my forte!) CP had changed their booking system since the last time I was an active member, you can read more about available studios, how to book classes and more here.
And if CP is available in your city and you’d like to give it a try, you can get $40 off any plan package with this code – http://class.ps/j5Xqk
My Savage Six Favorite Workout Classes Right Now
As much as I workout to get in shape and/or offset my pasta intake, I really really do it for my mind. I am much more anxious and can even get a little sad when I don’t workout regularly. These classes are a wonderful mix of both cardio which creates a high for me and also pumps out a good sweat as well as toning and barre which help with my posture and psyche.
- Studio Lagree – This is by far the most challenging reformer based Pilates class I have ever taken. The moves are very small and done very slowly to intensify their effectiveness. The classes are small in size so if you need adjustments or assistance the teacher is readily available. They play awesome music and while the class lasts a little under an hour, it goes by very quickly. This is my absolute number one favorite class to include in my workout routine. It helps with specifically targeting my abs, which are incredibly difficult for me to tone. More importantly it helps with my posture, something I always need help with!
- Exhale Barre – The first barre class I ever took was at Exhale. I lived a few blocks away and completely splurged at the time to pay for classes and start my day at the studio. I took ballet for a few years when I was a little girl, and I will say one of my biggest regrets is that I quit and didn’t dance longer. Exhale helped me tap into that long lost passion while simultaneously working on toning and stretching, the latter of which I never do enough of. The studio is quite a distance from my home now, but I went shopping in the Gold Coast this past weekend and it was nice to start my day with a class at Exhale, just like the old days!
- Pure Barre – After Exhale I tried Pure Barre. I was living in River North really close to the studio and had never been to a PB class before, so I signed up. It was a bit of a shock to me, I thought I really had barre classes down but it went much more quickly. In my opinion it has a little less stretching and quicker movements than Exhale. Once I got used to the pace and the structure of class, PB became one of my favorites. I absolutely love that when I go home Columbus or visit my fiancé’s family in Grosse Pointe, I can visit the nearby studio. I’ve always felt welcome and better about myself starting my day in sticky socks at the barre!
- Pilates ProWorks – I had never been to this studio before and I decided to go on a Sunday, which typically is reserved as my day of rest. I was a little nervous to show up to class but everyone was SO friendly, it was unreal. The owner, Jessica had her dog there with her (Charlie!) and was really nice. They showed me around, they actually have a really big space and lots of different types of classes. I took a traditional Pilates class on the reformer, but I’ll definitely be back to try their boxing option!
- Barry’s – As a self-proclaimed class junkie, it is kind of surprising to me that I only first tried Barry’s a couple of weeks ago. I had mentioned it to my coworker, who goes multiple times a week and she encouraged me to go in the morning before work when she’d also be in class. Barry’s is THE thing I was missing in my routine. The treadmills are easy to use and they encourage lifting heavy weights. The class is under an hour but the last time it went so fast, I thought the teacher was wrong when she said class was over. I will not flinch in admitting that Barry’s and my next favorite class really do give me an adrenaline rush, being an intense mix of cardio and weights with super loud music playing. I guess it’s the healthy alternative to the club, haha. Their locker rooms are also beautiful and fully equipped with Oribeé products. It kind of feels like a luxury when I spend my morning working out and showering at Barry’s. Definitely a top new fave!
- Soul Cycle – I will end with Soul as it’s the only class that you can’t do via Classpass, but it’s been one of my favorite for years. One of the main reasons I love it so much is that it’s not competitive. At least not outrightly so, I think all classes naturally have a slight competitive edge. The entire intent is to ride as one group, on the same beat and to hold yourself accountable. This evening our teacher reiterated that no matter the number of impressive stats she throws our way, no matter how many times she encourages us to add intensity to the wheel, we are ultimately 100% accountable for ourselves. The room is usually kept dark with the exception of a few candles which makes it easier to focus in on yourself. People have very strong opinions on Soul and it’s often been called cultish. Well, I am on board. It’s something I look forward to every time I’m signed up.Sometimes I have to drag myself to class, but the feeling once class is over is awesome. You feel incredibly accomplished and mostly proud that your body can push that hard for 45 minutes. No matter how hard you work, you never feel defeated and speaking from a ‘cult member’s’ perspective, it’s hard not to feel lifted up leaving a Soul Cycle class. They call it a ‘cardio party’ and it’s another class that really feels like you’re at a club, as ludicrous as that sounds. The Loop and Southport locations are my favorite. Every time I’m back in NYC I try to book a bike, as there’s nothing like the experience in Manhattan, where Soul started. You can read the whole story here!
What are your favorite classes? If you are heading to a Soul Cycle or any class really, join me! Or if you happen to give one of the above a try, comment or email me anytime, firstname.lastname@example.org