ClassPass Love.

Recapping highlights from when I tried ClassPass for a month and fell in love a little bit.

For anyone unfamiliar with the brand, here’s the Cliffs Notes version: ClassPass allows members to explore unlimited exercise classes in their city for a set monthly price. Class types range from barre to martial arts to pilates to dance, and everything in between. The only caveat — each studio can only be visited three times in the course of one month. Otherwise, all bets are off. (Really, you could take four classes a day if you wanted, but that would be nutty.) ClassPass is currently available in 29 U.S. cities, with monthly membership rates subject to change depending on the locale. Shocker of the year: NYC boasts the highest rate, at $125.00 per month.

So, with way too much free time on my hands during a month-long break from school, I was able to sweat it out at studios I’ve been wanting to try but not wanting to regularly spend exorbitant amounts of $$$ at, thanks to ClassPass.

Here’s a rundown of some of the places I tried during that month.

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Pop Physique. This boutique-y studio in the West 20’s occupied an awesome space. Renderings of fishnet-stockinged legs danced along the wallpaper that lined the room and resistance bands, balls, and weights were magenta and purple. ‘Twas was a good barre workout to match, with all your standard groups worked, including arms, legs, seat, and core. Expect a whole lot of arm reps with light weights and a burn that’ll stick with you through the next day (or two, if you’re me).

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Mile High Run Club. This studio’s Dash 28 class was some kind of wonderful for me. After not having run since, oh, May, I was hesitant to hop back on a treadmill. Thankfully, this 45-minute class combined 28 minutes of treadmill intervals with strength training exercises on the floor — just what I needed to ease back in. What’s more, each tread had a pace guide, so runners could choose to follow a jogger’s or sprinter’s speed (or a mix) for their 28 minutes on the machine. I wasn’t a huge fan of the kettlebells section of class (the strength training portion, done on the floor during the last few minutes of class), but the studio’s bomb soundtrack and ambient lighting made up for it by making the space clubby enough to make me forget I was doing weighted squats. Always appreciated.

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Physique57. Unlike most barre studios, Physique57 offers nine different types of classes. I tried their beginner class on account of my newbie-ness and the fact that they require clients to take five beginner classes before trying any of the others. Challenging despite its title, the class worked thighs heavy, with leg portions of the workout done both at the barre and on the floor. Also, though the studio space itself wasn’t particularly memorable, the UWS building that housed it was. Hence why I took a photo of the lobby..

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Flywheel. / Flybarre. Cycling junkies have probably tried their hand (or foot?) at Flywheel already. A Flywheel and Flybarre virgin, I tried both the studio’s cycling and barre classes while home. Things I liked: Flywheel’s integration of weighted bars during class for a hit of strength training and toning during its 45 minutes of mostly-cardio, as well as Flybarre’s use of resistance bands during its core portion of class. Of all the barre classes I’ve tried, Flybarre’s left me the sorest by far.

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Y7. This studio’s vibes put it at the top of list. Bottom line: Y7’s candle-lit hot vinyasa practice is set to beats by artists like Lupe Fiasco and Biggie, and with no lights or mirrors in the studio, yogis are left to sweat it out in their zone while instructors cue flows. It’s definitely not your mama’s vinyasa. Perfect for those looking to sweat to sick music without even a moment of cardio. Count me in.

Other studios I tried but didn’t take photos at included Barry’s Bootcamp, 24Hour Fitness, Circuit of Change, Bikram Yoga NYC, Cyc, Peloton, and Pure Barre. Of those, favorites were unquestionably Barry’s and Cyc.

That I’ll ever have the time and energy to work out this often again is highly unlikely, but it was indeed fun (and sweaty) while it lasted. No doubt I’ll be rejoining once I’m back in NYC for good. At the top of my list to try next? You better believe it’s a Bollywood dance class.

P.S. If you like my recaps, be sure to check out my articles on the soon-to-be-live The Sweat Scene, where I’ll regularly contribute class reviews. Read up!

Year in Review (2015).

Like any other year, 2015 had its ups and downs. And as always, the downs made the ups ever-sweeter. Here’s to focusing on the positive: some of my most favorite “ups” from the last 365 days.

2015 brought me to Miami (twice), Nashville, and Park City, where I spent time with family and friends for vacations, birthday celebrations, and a wedding. Of course, I took pictures all along the way.

Miami:

the w south beach

Nashville:

broadway nashville

tavern nashville

bj reece orchard

Park City:

st. regis park city

st. regis park city

ritual chocolate park city

But if you follow This Is It Though, you know my heart lies in NYC, where I was born and raised and yet remain a freak of a tourist, never ceasing to take photos during my everyday pursuits. Yes, I am completely ashamed of it, and no, I will not stop. Lincoln Center, the Empire State Building, and a morning in Williamsburg all documented below.

nyc blogger

empire state building

williamsburg morning

Luckily, I was able to pursue some of things I love most in life in 2015. At the top of that list? Exercise, cooking, and spending time outdoors.

So, I did yoga whenever I could…

yoga to the people nyc

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…and ran a 10k in May.

nyc 10k

I ate a breakfast of champions every damn day, whipping up winning combos like this plant-based protein smoothie bowl…

healthy smoothie bowl

…these dates with almond butter, coconut, maple syrup + strawbs…

healthy paleo breakfast

…and this bowl of overnight oats topped with raisins, walnuts, and honey.

healthy oatmeal

I also enjoyed all that the great outdoors has to offer, be it in Utah or Westchester, NY.

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wild nature

And when my schedule (and wallet) allowed for it, I made sure to pick up fresh goodies from local farmer’s markets’ bounties. Those goodies included the following:

summer flowers vscocam

union sq. farmer's market

union square greenmarket

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As for some of my most memorable restaurant meals, this salmon + labne dish from Bonfiglio & Bread (in Hudson, NY) deserves a shoutout…

bonfiglio

…as do the chips + guac and Mexican corn from Taquiza in Miami…

…and the killer hummus from Taim in the West Village.

taim nyc

With just one last year left of my time in Atlanta, I returned to some of my favorite spots, like Octane Coffee

octane coffee grant park

…as well as Piedmont Park…

piedmont park

…and Yalla!

yalla atlanta

So, here’s to hoping that 2016 is as nutty as 2015…

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…and that:

the best is yet to come

Lots of love to all in the brand new year. Make it a goodie, lovelies!

Life Lately (13).

Life lately. Here goes.

gansevoort market nyc

I’ve been making frequent pit stops at the Gansevoort Market, which is conveniently (or perhaps dangerously) located near my place of work for the summer. Above is the market’s eclectic seating area for visitors and diners. Best of luck finding a spot at the communal table.

nyc flea market

Sparkles for days at Greenflea on Columbus Avenue.

highline nyc

Refreshing summer snacks noshed on at the High Line. Thankfully juicy cantaloupe, sweet mango, and crisp watermelon beat the NYC heat quite nicely.

cheese counter

Say cheese. Taken on a recent country weekend spent in Connecticut.

healthy hike

Way up after a quick Sunday morning hike (also in Connecticut). A much appreciated break from big city life.

coffee break brooklyn

Coffee everyday. Usually multiple times.

Check back soon for more of Life Lately!

What’s Working (Out) For Me

A low key finals schedule had me searching for ways to fill the days at the close of this semester. With high summer temps fast approaching, I decided to take advantage of the cooler weather and get up and out for a variety of workouts. Here’s a recap of my favorite recent sweat sessions:

piedmont park

A 3-mile run through Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. My favorite route consists of the 1-mile dirt path that wraps around the park’s lake and offers peeks at the city’s skyline between super lush trees.

free yoga atlanta

Yoga at the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark, hosted by King of Pops. The event, open to the public and free of charge (!), takes place every Tuesday evening at 7pm. Basically a flawless way to wind down your workday.

blast 900

The ultimate workout, indeed. Remember when I tried Blast 900 last year? I returned for an encore and was (not surprisingly) wiped out once again. The class combines treadmill intervals with strength training for a high intensity session. Be prepared to take a rest day (or three) afterward.

nyc 10k

Some 12 hours after arriving in NYC from ATL, I made my way to Roosevelt Island for a Mother’s Day 10k. I snapped this pic post-race: dripping in sweat and with goodies (free samples of chai-flavored roasted almonds and a superwoman-themed race tee) in hand. Can you say #victory?

hudson river workout

After sitting still for what felt like forever during two days of jury duty service, I needed to get moving. So, I took my bike along the Hudson River for an easy 8-mile ride in the evening, then parked myself on a bench and basked in the sun until it set. *Sigh*

What’s working (out) for you lately?

workout roundup

interning at a health and wellness website this summer has confirmed for me what every fitness expert advises: vary your workouts, and vary them often. with what little free time i have, i’m trying my best to spice up my exercise regimen. that means ditching the trusty (and yawn-inducing) elliptical machine for outdoor rock climbing and the like. of course i’ve taken photographs along the way. here they are with brief descriptions of the kinds of activities i’ve tried lately.

workout roundup

sometimes getting up and out is exactly what you need to start your day right…and then sometimes it isn’t at all. i realized that when i got myself out of the house at 7:30 a.m. this week, expecting to jog myself awake. after running an embarrassing three quarters of a mile, i was tired, weak, and contemplating my breakfast options. knowing i’d feel defeated if i turned around and went home, but nauseous if i kept on keeping on, i decided to walk another two miles to the monument pictured above before returning home for a big bowl of superfood-packed cereal (you’ll probably see it in an upcoming the week’s healthy eats post). this easygoing exercise session reminded me of my very favorite fitness rule: anything is better than nothing.

workout roundup

 part of my intern duties include attending and reviewing fitness classes around new york city. the above pic was snapped before i took a core yoga class at the your movement wellness center in midtown manhattan. i loved the words that lined the mirror –balance, harmony, joy, and inspiration — and the 45-minute practice that was entirely geared towards strengthening the muscles that serve as the foundation of a handstand pose. click here for my full review about my experience in the class.

workout roundup

i snapped this photo on a simple hike through backroads in connecticut. i’m a firm believer that exercising outside is enormously superior to exercising in an air conditioned, florescent-lit gym. when summer temperatures are cool enough to allow for it, i head outdoors.

workout roundup

perhaps my most extreme attempt at varying my fitness plan was at jumplife, the nyc studio that offers dance cardio classes on individual trampolines. yes, you read that correctly. each participant gets their very own trampoline on which they can jump, kick, and squat (as per the instructor’s cues) for 45 minutes straight. check bitesizewellness.com soon for my review on this class, as well.

as for next week, aerial yoga is already on the schedule. just don’t hold your breath for a photo of me hanging from the ceiling while attempting a warrior pose.