Finding Your Happy Place

All day today, I was looking forward to this evening’s workout date with Bo. While we rarely workout after work, this morning the snooze button won and instead, we decided that we’d find a class on Classpass that worked for both our schedules and make it a date. I know guys, we’re so romantic sometimes but seriously, when you’re working long hours, sometimes it’s nice to be together even if it’s sweating  in a class and then commuting home together.

Unfortunately, as soon as I sat down on my bike I realized the vibe of the class wasn’t what either of us wanted. The teacher we were excited to try, whose classes were called challenging and inspiring on the ClassPass site, was out sick. Instead, the substitute teacher said that his goal was to make us dance on the bike and have fun with new moves. After a long day, I wanted to zone in and just sweat out the day’s stress. I didn’t want to focus on choreography moves. I wanted a class that would push me physically. Within a few minutes of class starting, I was tempted to leave. While I’m sure some people love this teacher, his constant reference to the co-ed class as “ladies” and “girls” annoyed me and his focus on fun choreography just isn’t my style.

During the warm-up song, I tried to look past my disappointment and frustration, instead, taking a moment to focus in on why I came to class.

  • I came to class to sweat out the knots in my back, the stress in my head and the tension I was holding after work.
  • I came to class to feel strong physically.
  • I came to class to spend time with Bo.
  • I came to class hoping I would leave feeling the endorphin high.

Instead of leaving, after the warm-up we moved from our front row bikes to empty bikes in the back row. In the anonymity of that back corner, we were able to spend the next 45-minutes zoning out and focusing on what we each needed and wanted from the class.  We didn’t change the vibe of the class or stand out since no one could see us. I ignored his complex choreography cues and instead did mini sprints during the bike dancing. During the climbs, I pushed the tension on the wheel, progressively making it harder until reaching the top. Changing my mindset allowed me to enjoy the 45-minute class and even find myself smiling and nodding my head to the final song of class,  Evanescence’s, Bring Me To Life.

Sometimes it’s important to remember why you walk through doors of a workout studio or class. While the teacher may be one aspect, it most likely isn’t the only reason. So next time you accidentally end up with a teacher or class that isn’t your style, take a few deep breaths and find your happy place. Then spend the rest of the class doing your best to make the time meet your needs – whether that is physically or mentally. After all, it’s your workout and your time, right?

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CLASSPASS Month In Review: August 2016

NYC Classpass reviews

It’s time for another recap of my ClassPass workout adventures in New York City.  Since I spent time running outside and traveling during August, I didn’t get to use all 10 of my classes. I am thankful that I decided to drop down to the CORE plan for summer and am going to keep using this same plan in September as I know I’ll be running outside a lot for 10k training. As a reminder, the Core Plan is $125 per month and allows ClassPass (Use this link to save $20 on your first month!) members to take 10 classes per cycle and visit any studio up to 3 times.   

If you’re on CLASSPASS  feel free to follow my fitness schedule here. I love meeting readers so if you see me in a class, please say hello! If you want to check out my previous monthly recaps, click herehere,  herehere, andhere.  Also, my friends are taking me up on this offer already, but if you guys have ANY questions about ClassPass, even if you’re not in NYC, feel free to email me! I’m happy to help and can also reach out to the team if you have specific questions. 

August 2016

  • Number of classes taken: 8
  • Number of studios visited: 6
  • Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month for 10 classes: $15.62

Area Yoga Basics

I’m a huge fan of the Area Yoga studio in Carroll Gardens due to the hands on approach to teaching, airy second floor studio and proximity to our house. This class included 60 minutes of  yoga and a total of 10 minutes of meditation and childs pose/savasana at the beginning and end. The basics class ensures that any student, regardless their level, can reap the benefits of yoga and try new things during class. This particular class included everything from some slower flow, focusing on alignment, to an introduction to headstands. I was so relaxed by the end that I fell asleep during an especially relaxing savasana which included props to make it even more restorative and relaxing than normal. Make sure to bring your mat and towels to this no-frills studio as it’s $2 to rent.

IMAX Shift

Unfortunately this new Brooklyn spin studio did not delivery on our expectations. The IMAX screen reminded us more of the Windows screensaver while the huge studio was awkwardly empty with only 5 of 50 bikes filled. While I did get a pretty good workout during the class, I didn’t enjoy it. If you want to read more, check out the full review I wrote last week following the class.

We Flow Hard Y7 (2)

This studio isn’t for everyone, but man do I enjoy it. Luckily, my friends like it too so lately it’s become a “happy hour” workout choice on Friday evenings. Each class is a bit different but in the WeFlowHard classes, students should come prepared to sweat – a lot. The infared heated room is darkened so that students can focus on their flow versus watching others or feeling self conscious. The music is often rap or top 40 music which creates a very different vibe than you have at most yoga studios. Throughout the class there is time for free flow which allows students to complete a sequence at their own rhythm and pace.  The Flatiron location doesn’t have showers but both locations feature a “refresh bar” where students can blow dry hair, freshen up and apply makeup. If you want to read more about Y7 you can read my full studio review here.

Box Group at Work Train Fight (2)

Recently boxing has become Bo’s favorite workout so finding a studio that we both like was a priority during August. Work Train Fight, which I first learned about from Meaghan’s review, is the perfect studio for us. The classes have no more than 15 students, ensuring corrections and adjustments from the instructor. Each of the classes we have taken there so far have been challenging but not so hard that we want to quit. The instructors take time at the beginning of each section to review the moves so everyone, even new students, can quickly follow along.  The gym also offers treadmills and weights which students can use if they arrive early or stay after class. If you want to shower before work, the studio has locker rooms and showers but make sure to bring your own toiletries.

Church Street Boxing

The second boxing studio we tried in August, this is definitely more of a gritty experience which I would recommend to people who have previously taken boxing classes. While the staff was very friendly and welcoming, I felt like a beginner in this class, barely able to keep up with the other students as the class quickly transitioned movements. Even though I’ve taken multiple boxing and HIIT classes, the ten minute warm-up left me sweating and against the wall catching my breath as well as confused since I’d never heard of some of the moves and the teacher didn’t demonstrate them. After the warm up we headed outside for walking lunges around the block, which when done correctly, takes longer than you’d think. The actual boxing work portion of the class was great but the 25 minutes of warm-up and cardio before that really turned me off to the studio. In addition, the showers and lockeroom are quite small and grimy so make sure to bring your own towel, shower shoes and toiletries.

Mixed Level Bar Method Brooklyn

This is hands down my favorite barre studio. It’s super convenient, spotless, welcoming and offers more than eight classes per day. The 60-minute, non-impact total body workout includes a warm-up, arm section using free-weights and body weight followed by intense leg work at the bar and finally an ab section. The teachers are welcoming and do a wonderful job providing adjustments and helping you ensure you get the most out of the workout. This studio has two showers so you can easily get ready for work after class. Make sure to bring socks with you for class and wear leggings or crops. My favorite teachers are Lauren, Alyssa and Katie!

Your turn: If you’re a NYC local, what are your favorite studios? Where should I sweat next? 

This post is not compensated nor requested of me via CLASSPASS. While it does contain affiliate links, as a CLASSPASS affiliate, I only receive a small compensation if you choose to purchase a CLASSPASS membership.


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IMAXShift Brooklyn

imaxshift studio image

This blog post could also be titled, the time I took a spin class in a movie theater or that time I left a class utterly confused and disappointed.

IMAXShift, which opened in May, is located near the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo. The first new studio to open in this area, they will soon have lots of company since Shadow Box and Row House are opening next month. Due to the convenient location and our love of spin classes, Bo and I hoped that we would quickly fall in love with this unique workout. We signed up for their 7:00 AM ride via ClassPass, excited to have discovered another great Brooklyn workout option. With average reviews of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it had to be a good experience, right? Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Ride Beyond ImaxShift Brooklyn

ImaxShift Spin Studio

Since the studio highlights the IMAXShift difference multiple times throughout their website and studio, I thought I would use these aspects to provide my review as they are correct, these things do differentiate the experience and studio from other NYC spin studios.

ImaxShift spin shoes

imaxshift difference

  • Screen: When I heard the name of the studio and read the description, I thought the screen was going to make me fall in love with the experience. I envisioned simulated rides through the Alps or Pyrenees – following Tour de France rides or other globally known bike courses. Another option I envisioned was riding to my favorite, inspiring movie scenes. Instead, the 40 x 24 foot screen played everything from Justin Bieber music videos to nature images which reminded me of the Disney ride Soaring. Evidently each trainer has the freedom to design their own visuals and soundtrack so that no two rides are the same.  The teacher pointed out multiple times that we weren’t staring at a mirror or competing against anyone. While I love the no judgement mentality, I also don’t understand the mirror comparison when it comes to spin classes. While the ever-popular Soul Cycle has a mirror in the front of it’s classes, the classes are so dimly lit and sweaty that I’ve never even noticed the mirror as it’s often too dark or fogged from the sweat. 
  • Sound: While the music is Imax theatre quality, the louder than necessary music caused the instructor to literally scream at us during the class. In addition, for the entire class the music was off timing with the music videos which drove me a bit insane.
  • Studio: This is by far the largest spin studio I have ever seen! Since it is in the IMAX theater it is literally the size of a large movie theater and houses more than 50 bikes, only 5 of which were occupied this morning. The studio was so large that it left me feeling alone, especially during this morning’s class.
  • Stats: The Schwinn bike’s console, which reminded me of bikes at Equionx, allow you to see your stats at all times including time, distance and RPMs. However this class is more about keeping the beat than tracking your distance. I felt that it fell in between the bike dancing of Soul Cycle and the focus on the torque style of Flywheel.
  • Scene: The studio is the largest studio I’ve visited in New York City with plenty of space to relax before or after class, get ready in the spotless locker rooms. It is very similar to Peloton in that they encourage you to lounge and enjoy the space though unlike Peloton, there is no food or coffee bar to enjoy.

Would I go again? Most likely. I would be willing to try another class as long as it is during a more popular time and with a different teacher.  When I spoke with the front desk staff, they said that Bree’s classes are their most popular as she was just named NYC’s Hottest Trainer.

Cost: IMAXShift classes cost $34 or you can use one of you can take up to 3 classes per month via ClassPass.  They do have a first time rider special which is 2 rides for $34.

Address: The studio is located in DUMBO in Brooklyn at 127 Plymouth Street, conveniently located near the F train.

What to wear: I recommend wearing bike shorts or crops paired with a sports bra and tank top since the studio was warm this morning. Since they include spin shoes and towels in the price of class, you just need to remember socks!

Your turn: What would you want to watch if you were taking a spin class in an IMAX theater? 

Some images via New York Post.

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