Workout Review: Beyonce at Broadway Bodies

Listen.  I like Single Ladies as much as the next guy.  And I have seen Queen B in concert.  But I have to admit something.  And I may be crucified for it and/or lose my gay icon status.

I’m not a complete OMG Beyonce fanatic.  I do think she is amazingly talented–so much so that I sometimes wonder if she is a robot–but I don’t DIE over her.  I mean not like I do Taylor Swift (Kidding) (Sort of).  Maybe it was B’s cringe-worthy HBO documentary where she kept making model face into the camera and saying that god made her special that made me slightly turn on her.  And vomit on myself. But I digress.

Two of my gay besties wanted to take the Broadway Bodies Beyonce dance class.  And I am not one to turn down a Broadway Bodies class.  Or my besties.

Source

This was what the 3 of us looked like in class.  Source

You may recall I reviewed Broadway Bodies in one of my early blogs posts.  That was one of my favorite classes (more fun-wise and less serious-werkout wise) and I couldn’t wait to return.  Turns out the Beyonce class was quite the different experience.  Here’s what went down:

The Skinny:

When I went to the previous Broadway Bodies show tunes dance class, pre-class activity was a breeze. I basically just walked in and started my kick-line.

That was much unlike the Beyonce class which was STRESS.FUL. There were so many people waiting around for class that even though we were already registered I felt like I wasn’t going to get in.  What is happening?  Is Beyonce actually HERE? Then when we were lined up to enter the studio the woman who is the class manager was like, “This class is full.  And don’t email me complaining that the studio is too crowded.  You chose to stay here.”

I’m sorry but we also paid.

Where do I punch someone?

I realize this isn’t really “the skinny” but it pissed me off that she made that comment.

But after that snafu, class was seriously fun. Even though the studio was a bit too crowded it didn’t bother me much.

The skinny= warmup to a myriad of Beyonce songs where you don’t learn choreo but just follow along with the instructor.  After the warm up, learn a routine to a Beyonce song.  We danced to “Partition” off the new album.  Before we started, the instructor was all, “does anyone NOT know this song?”  I didn’t raise my hand because I didn’t want to look like an outcast.  But I didn’t know it.  I’m sorry but I don’t love the new Beyonce album.  There I said it.  Don’t sick the Beygency on me.

 

Will You Survive?:

You will.  Broadway Bodies is a fun werkout and you will werk up a sweat, but it’s not high impact.

The choreo moved quickly which was sometimes challenging, but the dance was pretty easy to get the hang of.  The instructor was great at explaining the moves slowly and going over each 8 count a million times until everyone had it down.

I will say, I took this class when I was only about 8 weeks pregnant (this post has been sitting in my drafts for a looong time) and I don’t know that I would feel as comfortable grinding my booty at 23 weeks.  Think lots of body rolls and booty shakes.  Also there were some drop-to-the-floor-and-quickly-get-up maneuvers which would be super awkward with a large preggers belly.

 

The In Crowd:

The crowd was so different than the Broadway show tunes dance class (which, for me, was kind of disappointing).  The show tune class? Theater freaks = best people ever.  The Beyonce class?  Too many people who thought they were Beyonce.

Source

Source.  I mean, do you love the instructor Mitchell or what?

Will You find a Date/Friend?:

You might snag a friend.  But probably not a date.

What to wear:

Rock sneakers and whatever werkout attire you have.  This was not the Lululemon skinny bitch crowd.

Instructors:

I will show you a picture of the instructor and you will understand that he is fabulous.

Mitchell Wayne keeps it fun and light.  He will encourage your sass and will call you out if you are insecure and holding back your Sasha Fierce. “No one is looking at you so don’t be shy!” he said to the class.  “You think everyone is staring at you but trust me: they are only looking at themselves.”  So true.

He also had us strike some improvised poses when the music clearly called for a quick hit with a sultry stare (refer to photo above).  And if you did the same move every time he’d be like, “girlllll, you better get creative and switch it up.”  My signature B move was to stick my ass out so it was in my friends’ faces and simultaneously flip my hair over my head while ending my move with a face that asked you, “what you looking at?”

Mitchell not only brought out everyone’s inner Queen B, he was also an amazing dancer.

Does it work?: 

Will it give you a new ass?  Doubtful.  Will it bring out your sass?  Yes.

If you are looking for some cardio without the crazy intensity, this is your jam.

Walking Funny or Not So Sore?:

Not so sore.

Keep your Blow-Out or Sweaty Beast?:

Somewhere in between.  I wasn’t too schweaty but one of my friends was a little beasty after class. But he also came straight from Mark Fisher Fitness.  Show off.

One and Done or Do it a Ton?:
Do it a Ton!  Caveat: IF you can get into class.  The Beyonce classes book up FAST so you seriously have to sign up the MINUTE they become available (and I’m sorry I don’t know when that is but you may want to call the studio).

It makes me a little sad for humanity that the Broadway Bodies show tune classes have drop-in availability but the Broadway Bodies Beyonce classes don’t. What does that say about the world we live in?

Our class already had a waitlist and many of the Beyonce classes were booking up at the time I signed up, but you could still get in a few months ago.  But the week after I attended, the freaking New York Times did a story on the class.  As if it needed any more publicity!  So now it’s even more impossible to get in.  (And I mean with the publicity that this blog post brings?  Triple impossible.  Clearly :)

beyonce-dance

Know before you go:

  • Classes in NYC take place at rented dance studios and the locations change so check the website.  Most classes are at studios in Chelsea.
  • Everyone brings their stuff into the studio since there isn’t a locker situation.
  • Classes are $18 each but Beyonce classes are $20 each and multi-class money saving packages are available.
  • Most classes don’t require a reservation but the Beyonce classes do and book up fast.  Check the website for all their class offerings and schedule.

Where in the Hell Have I Been?

It’s been a minute.

A few months back I posted something about not being sure if I’d run any races this season depending on my life plans.  I thought I was being rather coy until my friend noted that I basically put in headlights that I wanted to get pregnant.

At my yearly visit this past winter, my OB/GYN told me that it takes most couples a year to get knocked up, so I shouldn’t be worried if it doesn’t happen right away.  So when I saw her weeks later at my first prenatal appointment she walked into the exam room and said, “well that was fast.”

We got pregnant on the first try (sorry for the overshare).  This was very awesome and exciting, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it to happen so fast (but am so glad it did!).  I downloaded some conception app and bought those little ovulation pee strips that friends recommended to help you get pregnant, but turns out I didn’t need them because I’m just a fertile biotch.

The first trimester was a little rough. I give you a recap in bullets:

  • I don’t know why they call it morning sickness because I was sick all day long.
  • I vomed a few times at work so that was awesome.
  • For some reason, snacking was the only thing that kept nausea at bay.
  • Worse than the nausea was the exhaustion.  I am usually someone with a lot of energy but I could barely keep my eyes open after goddamn high noon.
  • In the beginning, I was so excited to be pregnant that the symptoms didn’t really bother me emotionally (except when trying to werk out–more on that later).
  • By 14 weeks I could not take feeling sick all the time for one more day.
  • I am so ridiculously hormonal I cry at everything.
  • I tried to stay very positive and not complain but I really just saved all of my complaining for my husband (hi boo!)

On werking out in the first trimester:

  • So many bloggers have said that werking out was the only thing that helped them with morning sickness.  This was all lies.
  • Werking out just made me feel worse and I wanted to vom in class.
  • I did run and go to Refine Method a few times in the first trimester, but they were really rough experiences that only stressed me out more.
  • At first I felt guilty about not working out because I always thought I’d be one of those pregnant skinny bitches.
  • I’ve learned now that I’m just not a skinny bitch.  Or a pregnant skinny bitch.  I’m just a bitch. (Sometimes).

I am now just over 18 weeks and my nausea and energy levels are MUCH better . I’d like to return to werking out but realize that I have to set expectations here.  I’m not going to be in the same shape I was pre-pregnancy –which was probably the best shape I’ve ever been in my entire life.  (Side note: at my first prenatal appointment at 7 weeks, the nurse went to take my blood and looked at my arm and was like, “do you werk out?”  When I responded yes she was like, “I can tell!”  And all I could think of: well that’s all going to shit now).

My doctor does not recommend any high-impact werking out (she recommends yoga and swimming–both of which sound horrid).  I did take a few prenatal classes, but honestly they were pretty lame and made me miss my high-impact beastiness (reviews on prenatal classes to come in future posts).

It seems doctors vary in their werking-out-when-preggo recs and my doc seems to be on the more conservative end of the spectrum.  I’m okay with this though.  I mean, I’m creating a human in my stomach so I think it’s acceptable if I’m not Miss Fitness America right now.

(Did that sound defensive and insecure?  Please hold while I speed dial my shrink…)

Where do we go from here?

I apologize to readers who emailed or commented asking where I was with no response.  I should also mention that work (not ‘werk’) has been super busy so the little energy I did have during the rough first trimester was spent on making that cash money, with nothing left for the blog.  I didn’t even have the energy to read my usual blogs that I follow let alone write my own, so you know it was serious.

Needless to say, it’s going to be hard to review tons of classes while pregnant since I’m limited in what werk I can do.  Plus, many classes do not allow new clients who are pregnant (unless they offer a special prenatal class).

However, I do have some prenatal classes (and a few non-prenatal classes) saved up for review coming your way soon.

In the meantime, please send me any and all suggestions on werking out while pregnant.  Or really any and all suggestions about pregnancy and babies in general!  I can use all the advice I can get!  And I promise I won’t be so MIA anymore (maybe just a little).

Oh one last thing.  We do know the gender already.  Here is a clue:

 

And there goes the crying again.

Workout Review: Swerve Fitness

First things first my little werkers: be sure to like my new Facebook page (via this link or my cool new widget to the right).  I promise to update it with hot tips, bonus reviews and giveaways, so like it now and let’s be friends.

Now onto the goods: You all know I love me some Flywheel, SoulCycle and Revolve.  I love the stats and competition in Flywheel but sometimes when I’m feeling less beastly I hit up Soul.  And sometimes when I’m not feeling choreography or competition I hit up Revolve.  I appreciate that each studio has their own little personality to match my ever-changing mood.

When I heard about the newest playa on the scene, Swerve Fitness, I was like, mmmmkay I’ll get there someday.  But then when I heard that you ride in teams and are assigned colors like Color Wars during summer camp (anyone?), I was like, must.sign.up.now.

I should note that when I entered the studio I was impressed by how pretty, sparkly and spacious it was.  The friendly front desk staff  oriented me on my first visit and offered me (free) rental spin shoes.  They even asked me if I wanted to place a smoothie order now at the juice bar to have ready for when class finished.  Oh hay fancy pants.

With a stellar first impression, I geared up for some team-style ass kicking (even though I was by myself).  Here’s what went down:

The Skinny:

45 minute class with LOTS of hardcore sprints and hills plus one arm segment using 2, 3 or 5 pound-ers.

When you sign up, you select a team: green, blue or red.  I chose blue because at the time when I signed up, blue seemed to have the least team members and I’m an equitable person.  I realized after I sat on my bike that I was wearing a red shirt.  And then I thought, what if I had come dressed in all blue?  That would have made me really, reallllly cool.

There is a monitor on your bike that gives you data including your RPMs, resistance level, and  your own personal “output score.”  The screens at the front of the studio display the team scores.  These screens are only on sporadically throughout the werkout for 2 purposes: 1) When we “raced” for 15, 30 or  90 seconds and a team champion was declared; and 2) to display our teams’ overall output or score.

Whenever a team won a race, the instructor would flash a green, blue, or red light (well, okay, just a green or blue light because red was left in the dust. Suckers.)

Of course because I’m an insane person, I was a little concerned about being dead weight on the blue team and then everyone hating me and pushing me off my bike.  But.  It’s really not that serious.  I mean, I hated the green team because they ultimately won.  But I didn’t seriously hate them.

Will You Survive?:

You will survive, but it will be a rough ride.  The instructor will give you targets: for example, “your resistance should be between a 3 and a 5 and your RPM target is 120.”  If you are following along with the instructor, you will werk it honey.  I was gasping for air and sweating like a pig.  At one point the instructor looked at me and was like, “are you okay?”  I nodded (because I was too out of breath to speak).  I guess my game face looked more like an “I’m going to barf now’ face.  That’s what being a competitive asshole does to me.

Even if you aren’t competitive by nature, when you are racing and see that the godforsaken green dillholes are 0.1 points ahead of you, your legs will move like they’ve never moved before.

I suppose you could take it easy, but chances are, peer pressure will get to you. Even if no one on your team notices your slacking, your fear of their collective side-eye will put a fire in your pants.

The In Crowd:

There was a nice mix of men and ladies.  Our instructor, Dyan, noticed this and was like, “Ladies, there are lots of men here.  And men, there are lots of ladies, so you all better werk hard so you look good.  And if you are men who like men or ladies who like ladies, you have no excuse because there is something for everyone here.”

Playing to sexual desires to make us move.  Love it.

Will You find a Date/Friend?:

See above.

What to wear:

Don’t wear baggy pants.  I made this mistake at a cycling class once years ago like a doofus and my pants did in fact get caught up in the wheel.

You will need spin shoes but rent them here for free! or bring your own.

Instructors:

I’ve taken Dyan’s Tsiumis’ class at Revolve and loved her, but I honestly don’t remember her being this much of a tiny spitfire.  She was dancing around like someone had given her 7 Redbulls and was cracking jokes that made me not just crack a smile, but full-out LOL.

Dyan also has an amazing story.  She lost 75 lbs and became a fitness instructor.  Girl knows what’s up.

Dyan.  Source

Dyan. Source

Does it work?: 

Holy hell I got a serious werkout.

Walking Funny or Not So Sore?:

At the end of class when we were stretching Dyan was like, “so if you are new to cycling, you may be sore downtown.  You may be like HOLY F*CKBALLS DID I RUIN SOMETHING?  But I promise you, it’s normal and will go away with time as you come regularly.”  I couldn’t stop laughing.

Besides your fun parts, you may be sore in the arms if you aren’t used to lifting light weights for what seems like forever (but is really only 1 or 2 songs).

Keep your Blow-Out or Sweaty Beast?:

Sweaty beast!

One and Done or Do it a Ton?:
Do it a Ton!

Know before you go:

  • Swerve fitness is located on 30 W 18th Street (btw 5th and 6th).
  • Classes are $30 a pop and your first class is a two-fer-one.  Packages are available.
  • Complimentary shoe rental.
  • Water bottles for sale or fill up your own with their water fountain.
  • M and F locker rooms with showers on site.
  • Smoothie bar!
  • You can opt-out of the team competition, but I advise participating in the fun.

Workout Review: FitWalker and GIVEAWAY

Updated 2/28: Thanks to all who entered the Giveaway!  The winners are Paige and Brooke!  I will email you ladies to get you the hook up at SuperStar Gym.  Have a great weekend all!

 

***Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end of this post!***

My friend texted me before this class when I told her I was going to FitWalker, “why do you need a class for power walking? Old bitches do that at the mall for free.”

Well, I’m old and crotchedy. I used to be cool-ish and went out every night in my 20s but something switched in my 30s and now I’m like, you are asking me to go out to a PLACE?  Where there are PEOPLE?

I was interested in trying a FitWalker class at Superstar Gym because 1) there doesn’t seem to be anything else like it in NYC and 2) I was picturing some good old-fashion power walking, complete with purple jump suits and blue hair.

superstar-gym-logo

Turns out, this class was certainly not for old bitches.  Here’s what went down:

The Skinny:

45 minute class.  The class name is actually a misnomer because there is a lot of high-intensity running and jogging which I did not expect. And that running is on a crazy incline a la Barry’s Bootcamp.

The FitWalkers are different than treadmills in that the platform does not move automatically.  Rather, you are pushing the platform to move.  And once you get enough momentum you are flying.

We broke up the  jogging sections with luges, push-ups and tricep push-ups using the FitWalker and our body weight.

There was also a lot of fancy footwork.  Think step aerobics but on a treadmill.  Yes.

Also, think of the video below.  And even if you are not thinking about FitWalker you should always think of the video below:


[side note: I found this internet gem recently and now cannot stop watching it.  I don't know what is funnier: this dude's ridiculous footwork or the fact that NO ONE in the gym is even batting an eye]

Will You Survive?:

You will survive, with a few caveats:

  • I was really bad at the choreography on the FitWalker. No it was not as crazy as the video above but more of step-aerobics on and off the machine with a high knee or a kick-back here and there.  Not easy stuff but with a few classes, I could probably get the hang of it.  Also, Katherine was ridiculously better at this than I was.
  • I kept fearing I was going to fall off and go flying across the gym.  I didn’t.  But I was very careful and didn’t want to loosen my death grip on the machine.  I think being overly cautious made me even worse at the choreography.

My fear probably stems from the time I was on the treadmill at my college gym and was chatting away and looking super awesome. And then did this:

It gets me every time.

The In Crowd:

The class was pretty small and made up of mostly first-timers.

Will You find a Date/Friend?:

While my particular group was all ladies, the class takes place inside a gym (a shiny, new gorgeous gym I might add) so you may see some hotties walking around.

Also, this class takes place on the ground level with enormous windows facing the street.  I was so amused by some of the passerbys who were like, WHAT.  IS.  HAPPENING.  But if you are single, maybe one of them will be like, hay girl after they see your fancy footwork.  What?  It’s not a stretch.

What to wear:

No purple jumpsuits. Wear sneakers and whatever you can sweat in.

Instructors:

How do I come up with the words to describe Christian? He is adorbs and super duper friendly.  Also his muscles are so big they are almost cartoonish.

Superstar Gym is Italian.  All of the equipment comes from Italy and their logo looks like it was inspired by the Ferrari.  Christian fits this Euro vibe.  He had the look and he had the oonce oonce playlist (which I admit I love).

My one critique?  Instead of having us do every rep of squats, triceps, lunges, etc.  in unison, we should do them, as you CrossFitters like to say, AMRAP (as many reps as possible) within a given time.  Sometimes Christian’s counting was super fast and I could not keep up.  During the push-up portion I was like, who can push-up that fast?  (besides Christian, obvi).

Christian.  Source.

Christian. Source.

Does it work?: 

I must say, this class exceeded my expectations in difficulty and I definitely felt like a got a great, full-body werkout.

Walking Funny or Not So Sore?:

I wasn’t so sore but fitness beginners might be.

Keep your Blow-Out or Sweaty Beast?:

I was surprised at how much I sweat but it was more baby beast style.

One and Done or Do it a Ton?:

If you are looking for a cardio/strength werkout to change up your routine than I would suggest checking out FitWalker.

And now for the Giveaway:

If you are interested (which, why wouldn’t you be?), Superstar gym is graciously giving away 3 class passes to 2 lucky werkitinnyc readers.

  • All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me why you want to win!  I will select the winner on Friday, 2/28.
  • Bonus entries if you ‘Like’ my new Facebook page (and comment below to let me know you did, otherwise it won’t be counted)!  The FB page is total bare bones right now but I will be posting links to reviews and hot tips so be sure to like it even if you aren’t entering the giveaway!
  • Bonus entries if you tweet with a link to this review (and comment below to let me know you did)!

Also, you won’t fall off the FitWalker, I promise.  Here is a more accurate depiction of the class:

Know before you go:

  • Superstar gym is located in Tribeca/Soho area: 452 Washington Street.
  • Classes are $30 a pop.
  • Check the sked and sign up online.
  • Gorg locker rooms and clean, shiny showers.
  • Towels and water cooler available.

Workout Review: Brooklyn Bodyburn

Holy mother.

This was the hardest class I have ever taken.

And I have taken a lot of classes, peeps.

Whenever someone tells me about a new fitness class to try, I make a note of it in my iphone (yes, I’m really cool).  When writing my Blog Birthday post, I took out my phone and listed all the classes I had in the notes hopper, including Brooklyn Bodyburn.  One commenter to that post, Sara, was like, you HAVE to try it.  Her comment was so enthusiastic that, even though Pilates aren’t generally my jam, I couldn’t wait to head to Williamsburg to hit up the studio.  Plus, Sara told me she liked to werk out AND throw em’ back.   My type of people.

Sara was emphatic that the class was crazy hard and I guess I didn’t take her comment as seriously as I should have.  I mean, how hard can Pilates be?  I had taken other Megaformer classes before and I also had a Pilates Reformer machine in my house growing up (yes, in the 90s before any of you knew what a Pilates Reformer was) so I wasn’t at all intimidated.

To recap of my previous Megaformer classes: Studio Anya was very low-key and SLT was hard-ish, but do-able.  It’s funny because after my SLT review last year, a few people told me they disagreed with my assessment and thought SLT was super hard.  Um, what can I say, maybe I’m just really amazing at the Megaformer.  Bring it, Brooklyn Bodyburn.

And then I had my ass handed to me.

Here’s what went down:

The Skinny:

The sked said that the class was 50 min but this was an hour.  And I noticed because I was staring at the clock wishing that I could fast forward time.

If you aren’t familiar with a Megaformer, it looks like this:

Source

(btw this is the dude who created this torture device.  Read about him here.)

There is a front and back platform and the middle section is a carriage that slides back and forth.  You can change the resistance of the carriage by changing the number of cords connecting the carriage to the platform.

We werked our core, arms, legs and booty–mostly in isolation–by resisting and sliding on the reformer.  I can’t give you too many specifics because I’m suffering from PTSD.

Each exercise lasted way, way, way long.  Like maybe I can do this butt exercise for 20 seconds and it will scorch me, but now you are telling me to do it for 2 minutes and my muscles have turned into complete sauce.

I remember SLT had all these weird names for their moves like “dolphin” and “rainbow” (may or may not be the actual names) and there was a touch of that at BB as well.  For instance, there was a “dancing bear” move but I don’t remember what that entailed because I wanted to cry during the dancing bear.  And I usually associate jam music,  mary jane and a Ben and Jerry’s flavor with dancing bears.  Not crying.

Will You Survive?:

No.

Okay, fine. Maybe you will.

But no, you won’t.

I have done Pilates, I have done advanced barre classes, I have done Barry’s Bootcamp, spin classes and CrossFit, run half marathons (okay one half marathon) and this shit was for real the hardest ever.

I do planks every day.  And I wanted to cry during the planks during this class.

CrossFit didn’t break me but Pilates did?

I kept wondering during class: is this too hard?  Like, can we modify this ish please?  Because when the instructor saw me struggling during some of the moves and tried to encourage me and fix my form, I just wanted to scream, “NO!  MY BODY DOESN’T GO THAT WAY!”  But instead I stayed on that godforsaken machine and flailed around in horror, as if I had never werked out in my life.

The In Crowd:

First thing I noticed: lots of guys in the classes.  Yup, dudes in a Pilates class.

Second thing I noticed: lots of regulars.  And even the regulars had to take breaks.  (Okay, this made me feel a little better about myself.)

Will You find a Date/Friend?:

I chatted with everyone after class because I just HAD to know, how do you OMG do this every day?  I stared in awe as if they had all just run a 3-minute mile.

I told everyone that I swear I’m in shape, I SWEAR I werkout even though it didn’t look like it in class (insecure?  who me?).   My classmates encouraged me that yes,  it is super tough but no, unfortunately it doesn’t get any easier.  “Once you take more classes and are actually executing the moves correctly, it is harder.  And once you have it down, the instructors increase your resistance to make it even harder,”  one fellow werker warned me.

Harder?  Excuse me? Come again?

Bright side: Stressful situations bring people closer together.

Bright side for singles: There is a gender mix here and stress makes people have sex.  (Don’t get an STD with your PTSD…sorry I had to).

What to wear:

They say to wear those grippy socks if you have them but I just went bare foot and found this to be better on the machine.  I also noticed the regulars had these half sock/half shoe things that I’ve never seen before and am wondering if they sell them in the studio.

Instructors:

Marcus Jaskson was a warm and lovely dude.  He was excellent in introducing himself and making sure that I, as a newbie, felt comfortable before and during class.  He also had an accent that made the word cement sound like the word semen (he kept saying “face the cement wall” and all I could think about was sperm….sorry again.)  He also loved to correct people and then say “do your best.  do your best.”  To which I wanted to reply: “my best is that I cannot do this at all, thank you.”

I actually felt guilty that he was spending so much of the class helping me because I was a piping hot mess.  I also didn’t want him to help me because instead, I wanted someone to create a diversion so I could run away.

Pro Tip: After class, my fellow werkers told me that Marcus is known as the “nice one.”  They warned that other instructors will scream at you if you can’t do a push-up or punish the rest of the class if you mess up.  So I won’t be taking class with anyone else, thankyouverymuch.

Source

Marcus.  Mr. Jackson if you’re nasty.  Source

Does it work?: 

For the love of my gluteus maximus, that torture session better werk. 

Walking Funny or Not So Sore?:

I hurt everywhere.  Hold me.

Keep your Blow-Out or Sweaty Beast?:

This was not a cardio class by any means, but I was a sweaty beast. That machine had my sweat all up in it by the time I was done.  I must say, I loved this about the class.

One and Done or Do it a Ton?:

Do it a Ton if you enjoy torture.  And after you go let me know if you also wanted to cry the entire time or I’m entirely too dramatic.

On the one hand, mostly because of my pride, I’m like, ef that.  I’m not going back.  It was too damn hard.  But on the other hand, mostly because I can’t believe I was so terrible at something, I want to go back and improve.

I saw Missy and Angela at Refine today and told them if they go, I’ll go again with them.

Know before you go:

  • Brooklyn Bodyburn is located in Williamsburg, 32 N. 6th Street (at Kent).
  • Your first class is $18 and after that it’s $33.  Packages are available.
  • Water cooler onsite.  Bring a bottle to refill.
  • No towel service so you might want to bring a hand towel if you’re a sweaty one.
  • Bathroom but no shower.
  • Classes book up so book early.
  • Locker area with automatic locks.

Workout Review: CityRow

My friend M who lives in Boston emailed me about a year ago after I started this blog and was like, you need to try an Indo Row class!  I told her of course I would.  I figured if they have something in Boston, they must have it in NYC, right? (I am such a NY snob).  So I searched and searched but couldn’t find any rowing classes! How is it possible that Boston has something we don’t?  And then I saw M like 6 months later and she was all, excuse me but you did NOT take my suggestion.

So when I heard about CityRow opening up in Manhattan recently, I had to check it out to remain true to my word (a year later).

[Side note: I have since learned there is a rowing studio in Williamsburg that I didn’t know about–but I don’t think they use Indo Row machines so not the same thing].

Sam from Momatthebarre was also interested in checking out the new rowing class so we finally arranged to meet up and be newbies together (check out her review of the class here).  Here’s what went down:

The Skinny:

50 minute class divided between rowing and mat werk.  Each rowing segment was 6 minutes long and consisted of several “sprints.”  This rowing werk was broken up by mat work that lasted about 5-6 minutes and consisted of squats, planks, inch worms, push-ups and some arm werk with light free weights.

The rowing machines were Indo Row WaterRowers, which are different than those machines you see at the gym because they have water inside and look like this:

Will You Survive?:

Yes.

I actually thought the mat werk was harder than the rowing portions and saw a few people in the class struggling with the planks and push-ups that seemed to go on forever.

I surprisingly didn’t think the rowing portion was that crazy hard. Because you can’t change the resistance on the rower as you could, say, on a Spin bike, you have to rely on speed alone to get your sweat on. I would try to sprint during the intervals when we were commanded to increase our speed, but I never felt like omg-I’m-going-to-die-now like I do when there is a lot of resistance on a bike.

But maybe with a few more classes I could figure out how to push myself harder to get to my ideal speed?

The In Crowd:

The class was almost at capacity and made up of in-shape people and those looking to get in shape.  Also, surprisingly, there were a handful of dude-bros.

And at one point I saw the bros next to me fist pump after a tough push-up segment and I was like, yessss that was the best thing ever.

Will You find a Date/Friend?:

If you like the fist-pumping bro types you may be in luck (it was actually very cute and endearing and not obnoxious, I swear).

What to wear:

You may not want to wear booty shorts, ladies, since you will be sitting on a rower and may expose your crotch.  Otherwise, wear sneakers and whatever you can sweat in.

Instructors:

OMG Shaun Jenkins is insane and he hands down MADE this class. Did this guy just drink 7 Red Bulls?

I must say, I am not for instructors that yell at you and put you down for “inspiration.” Jillian Michaels?  Girl, bye.

So when I say that Shaun likes to yell and get in your face with multiple profanities I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.  It was more, “go f*cking faster!!!” as a pump up, not a put-down.

Imagine if Busta Rhymes was a football coach pumping up his team in the locker room.  It’s a lot of stimuli coming from one person.  But in a fun way.  It made me tired just watching him.

I loved how he walked around the room and got in your face because honestly, the rowing portion would have gotten dull without Shaun’s personality oozing everywhere. Although, I kept seeing a few peeps bust out smiling when he would get all crazy-pants pumped and I think they didn’t know what to do with themselves in response to his energy.  Whereas for me, his crazy ass just made me focus more and push myself harder.

And Shaun WILL remind you of proper form on the rower.  I think he yelled “LEGS-CORE-ARMS!  ARMS-CORE-LEGS!” about 7 million times.

Does it work?:

Yes. I definitely werked up a sweat and can attest to the class being a total body werkout.

Walking Funny or Not So Sore?

I wasn’t so sore from this class but a lot of the mat werk was similar to moves we regularly do at Refine so I think my bod is used to it.  My arms did feel hella tired by the time the class was over, though.

Shaun is a hottie.  Source

Shaun is a hottie. Source

Keep your Blow-Out or Sweaty Beast?

You will be beasty but it’s not ring-out-your-clothes bad.

One and Done or Do it a Ton:

I say do it a ton if you are looking for a full-body werkout that incorporates an alternative form of cardio.

Know before you go:

  • Studio is located on 80 5th Avenue, near Union Square.
  • Classes are $32 and packages are available.
  • The studio doesn’t have a locker room, but just cubbies to throw your crap in.  There is a (shared) bathroom on the floor but they suggest you come to class changed if possible.
  • Class reservations may be cancelled without penalty up to 24 hours before the scheduled class.
  • Check-in closes 5-minutes before class or your spot could be given away to the wait list.
  • Easy ipad check-in.
  • Bring your own water or purchase a bottle there (there is also a water cooler on site to refill).

Workout Review: Tracy Anderson multiTAsk band

After my first 3 classes at Tracy Anderson’s NYC studio, I took a while to book another class.  My delayed return says something about how I felt about the classes.  It’s not that I hate the werkout, it’s just that I hate the minimal instruction. Interaction with instructors is the main reason I go to werkout studios.  I may be a fitness blogger but I’m no expert and need a profesh to correct my form and help me improve through personal interactions.  I don’t want to flail around like an ass-wad and look like a dorkus!  I need you to HELP me!

However, all this NY Super Bowl hype was making me crave some skinny bitch action to counteract the masculine debauchery.  So on Sunday afternoon I returned to Tracy Anderson Studios for multiTAsk band and here’s what went down.

The Skinny:

multiTAsk band is an hour class that is divided into about half cardio/ half band werk and 5 minutes of abs to close out the class.

I wasn’t expecting the cardio portion to also include the bands but oh yes, to my dismay it did (the bands are my nemesis). This time the cardio wasn’t so much dance as it was jumping around and moving your arms while pulling the resistance bands from the ceiling.  The most “choreography” we did was a grape-vine.

The non-cardio section included pulling down the resistance bands from the ceiling in lots of complicated directions with our arms while standing and then with our legs while on all fours.

Will You Survive?:

The cardio portion wasn’t super high-impact killer omg crazy.  My heart rate was increased and I was schweaty as balls but this was more due to the fact that Tray Tray keeps the studio at 86-degrees and 65-percent humidity.  It’s not hellish hot yoga hot, but it’s not exactly comfortable either.

The on-all-fours section was more difficult and you definitely feel the burn, but the main reason why you may not survive is mostly that your body is contorted into an uncomfortable position for about 25 minutes straight.  If you’ve ever done Tray Tray’s at-home videos, you understand the frustration of being on all fours and exhausting your glutes while trying to look up at the screen, or in this case the instructor (who is not instructing verbally but visually).

A commenter on one of my previous class reviews said that she tried Tracy’s studio classes and decided not to return because her neck hurt her too much from this ongoing kneeling-while-looking position.  I don’t blame you girl!  My workout companion yesterday had the same complaint and when we were leaving class she turned to me and said, “the only thing that hurts right now is my neck.”

I will say, during my previous deTAil band class, I hated my life and wanted to hang myself from a band when we had to do the glute and thigh movements on all fours whilst cutting off the circulation in our hands with the bands.  This time, we pulled the bands down not with our hands but with our feet during the ‘all- fours’ portion and it was much easier and more comfortable for me (my booty is poppin and strong, unlike my arms which are skinny and pathetic despite my best efforts).

The In Crowd:

A mix of models, successful business women who have more disposable income and trend older than at other boutique studios, and the occasional not-so hardcore lady looking to start a fitness routine.

My observation is that models tend to stick out at TA because they 1) are the only ones who are tall enough to reach the ceiling bands unassisted and 2) they generally aren’t dancers by nature.  I suppose we all have our strengths.

Will You find a Date/Friend?:

Like many studios, there are some chatty Kathys at TA.  And others who scowl and judge you.

What to wear:

Whatever you can sweat in.  And that hot and humid room will make you drip bodily fluids you didn’t know you had so you may need a sweat headband.

Perhaps you would like to purchase a pair of leggings from Tracy’s new line, which are so low-rise they will show your hip bones and possibly your lower lady parts.

Instructors:

Our instructor, Megan, tried her best to instruct but she was not wearing a mic so I could not hear her half the damn time over the music (which, by the way, was a stellar playlist, I must admit).

When Megan was trying to give me corrections (yes, the majority of the corrections were meant for me), she would mouth and point while meeting my eyes in the mirror.  I did not find this to be the most effective form of communication.  WHY NOT WEAR A MIC.

As I have described at length in previous posts, the instructors do not give you physical or oral instruction; everything is visual.  And the all-fours position is not exactly conducive to visual learning. All I could think about during the entire class was what in the sam hell is  the reasoning behind this nonsense? This is not a bumblefook mom-and-pop studio that doesn’t know what’s up or can’t afford body mics.  This is Tray Tray.  So why this issue?

The only possible conclusions I can come up with regarding this non-verbal direction are 1) this is Tracy’s signature schtick that she can’t let go of, or 2) the instructors need to get their werkout in too so they don’t want to bother talking or moving around the room.

I am accepting additional theories so feel free to contribute yours.  My mind will not rest until I find the reason.

Does it work?:

I do not agree with Tray Tray that her method is the be-all-end-all, silver bullet, one-and-only, best method ever and nothing else works.

I am instead of the camp that the best method is the werkout you will actually do.  So if you like jumping around and pulling on bands in a hot and humid room, than Tray is your girl.

Walking Funny or Not So Sore?

I am not so sore after this sesh, which is surprising because my left butt cheek was going to fall off after the previous class.  However, my neck does feel a little strained (although my neck is always strained because that’s where I carry around all my stress) but I’m not positive how much this class is responsible.

Keep your Blow-Out or Sweaty Beast?

That room will make your hair look like Beyonce’s during her recent Grammy performance.  And your clothes will need a separate bag following the werkout.

Source

One and Done or Do it a Ton:

If the instructors were more hands on and/or wore a mic, I might designate this as Do it a Ton but I just cannot because of this issue.

Know before you go:

  • Tracy’s NYC studio is located at 24 Hubert Street, 3rd floor in Tribeca.  There is a brand new Flywheel studio right across the street!
  • There are also Tracy Anderson studio locations in Studio City, Brentwood, the Hamptons and London.
  • Classes require a $900/month membership (or so I’ve read).
  • Water is available for purchase for $2 (card only) and/or fill up your bottle at the water cooler.
  • Showers, towels, shampoo, hair dryer etc. available.