Five Things to Do Before Trying A New Workout

We’ve all had that horrible feeling. It’s the cold sweat or butterflies that start fluttering in our stomach as we walk through the door into a new workout class or studio. You have no idea what to expect, you become intimidated and suddenly forget everything you’ve learned during other workouts. You consider leaving or hiding in the back of the class during the 45-minute workout. You are miserable the entire class and regret the choice you made.

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Last night as I walked through the doors of Title Boxing Club, I felt all of these emotions and more. The studio was larger than I expected, I was learning to wrap my hands for the first time and I was intimidated by the 60-minute class which was longer than other boxing classes I’ve taken.

Since moving back to New York City, it’s no secret that I love trying new classes and workouts. Thanks to ClassPass, I’ve had the opportunity to try over 65 classes in the past few months. But, trying new workouts and studios can come with a certain level of intimidation and fear. Trying something that you don’t know much about, especially if you’ve heard horror stories from other people about how hard and challenging the class is, can leave you wanting to stick with the studios that you know.

But, getting out side of your comfort zone can help you learn more about your workout style, improve your cross training, challenge your muscles and discover what could be your new favorite studio.

If you’re trying to step outside your comfort zone with a new class or studio, here are a few tips to help ensure you have the best workout possible even when you’re trying somewhere new.

  • Do your research ahead of time. Spend at least a few minutes doing some research on the workout ahead of time. I recommend going to the studio’s website, if one exists, as well as a review site like Yelp or Rate Your Burn. Make sure you can answer these few questions before you leave your home or work for the studio. There is nothing worse than showing up at a studio late because you can’t find it or assuming you can rent a towel or buy a water only to find out that this studio is barebones and doesn’t offer anything other than a water fountain.
    1. What do I need to wear?
    2. What do I need to bring (mat, towel, water, boxing gloves, wraps, etc)?
    3. Do they have showers?
    4. Where is it located? Is it upstairs or on street level?
    5. What time do they close the doors or can I show up a few minutes late?
  • Arrive five to ten minutes early. I know this can be difficult especially if it’s a before work class or directly after work but having time to get acclimated to your surroundings and speak with the instructor will help you feel more comfortable. I always recommend letting the instructor know it is your first time taking the class so they can keep an eye on you and provide you with a higher level of instruction or provide pointers.
  • Be honest with the instructor. There is a time and place for the whole “fake it until you make it” mentality. A workout class that you’re taking for the first time is not that time. Be honest with the instructor when describing your fitness level, experience and any injuries you may have. The last thing you want to do is get injured.
  • Convince a friend to join you! Walking into any new experience is more comfortable with a friend by your side. After signing up for the class, do your best to convince one of your friends or workout buddies to join you. Working out together is a great way to catch up and have new experiences together as well as providing you with someone to grimace or give the side eye to during the hard sets and laugh with during any awkward moments. You’ll set yourself up for even more success if you happen to find a friend who has taken the class or visited the studio before as they can provide you with first hand advice.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay to take a breather, laugh or even skip a move if you’re not comfortable. When last night’s boxing instructor told us to jump on the bags and hang for as long as we could, I looked at Jess and laughed out loud. Trust me, during a hard or intimidating class, laughter can infuse you with the energy you need to push through the rest of class! 

title boxing with classpass

(Picture source)

Luckily, I ended up having a great first experience at Title Boxing last night due in part to the ClassPass friends who helped me push through the class, the instructor who gave me pointers during class and the research I did in advance which let me know that I’d need to buy wraps in advance.

What was the last class that left you feeling this way? Or, is there a class you’re thinking about trying but are too nervous to try? I’m definitely intimidated by the reviews I’ve read about Tone House but have promised myself that I’ll try it this month!

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Savannah Christmas 2015

Greetings from Brooklyn!

christmas glow

Bo and I arrived back in Brooklyn yesterday afternoon after a wonderful holiday week in Savannah with family. We relaxed on the couch with The Martian, the warm glow of our Christmas tree lights, a nice bottle of red wine, and our favorite white chicken chili.

Instead of giving you a play by play recap of our time in Savannah, I’ll give you an overview with pictures. This trip was like many of our other holiday trips to Savannah: we split our time between Bo’s parents house and my parent’s house while also enjoying some of our favorite Savannah activities. The only difference this year was that our family gatherings grew! My aunt and uncle drove down from Chapel Hill for the week and Russel’s family, The Millers, drove down from Milwaukee to join in the holiday festivities and see Savannah for the first time. Bo’s sister Meg is marrying Russell in May so the holiday week provided the perfect opportunity to do some wedding planning as well as celebrate Christmas together as an extended family. While it isn’t always easy blending 15 different people together, while trying to respect each family’s holiday traditions, it ended up being a wonderful holiday.

Two Christmas tree decorating sessions with my mom

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Nine types of cookies baked

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One Fried Turkey on Christmas Eve

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One Beef Tenderloin on Christmas Day 

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One sunset boat ride 

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Two historic homes toured


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One dockside lunch including fresh seafood and afternoon beers

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One afternoon skeet shooting session 

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Six workouts including three with my brother

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CLASSPASS Month in Review – October & November

Classpass month in review oct nov

As you may remember, three months ago Bo and I decided to give ClassPass a try after hearing wonderful things about it, realizing the two of us could leverage it together and a positive month long trial back in July.

Each month I will provide a brief recap of our experience including the number of classes taken, average cost per class and a brief recap of the studios where we sweat that month. In addition, 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 recap from Month 1 click here.

Month 2: October 20- November 19th

Number of classes taken: 13

Number of studios visited: 8

Number of classes missed or late cancelled: 0

Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month: $9.65

Considering that I spent six days traveling for business or races, I am thrilled with the number of classes I took the first month. Of these classes, nine of them were early morning classes taken with Bo before work. On a typical day I take the subway into Manhattan with him for a 6 AM class somewhere in Flatiron or Chelsea. Once class is over he’ll shower at the studio and head to work while I’ll quickly hop back on the subway towards Brooklyn.

Keep in mind, while Bar Method Brooklyn is a ClassPass studio, I use their registration tool and the membership as part of our partnership versus registering on ClassPass. If you include that, then there would be an additional seven classes and one studio added to the below list, which would of course reduce the average cost even more.

As you can see from the below, last month I didn’t do as much yoga, but still mixed things up with lots of cross training especially after the half marathon on November 7th.

Last Month’s Classes

The Distance at Mile High Run Club (3)

I’ve professed my love of Mile High multiple times (full review here) but only recently did I begin taking their distance classes. The distance class is 60 minutes of running, and is therefore designed specifically for the advanced runner or athlete who is looking for a challenge. The 60 minute class isn’t for the feign of heart as it includes 50 minutes of non-stop running including hills and speed work. During the three classes I covered an average of 5.5 miles per class, which included race simulations, sprints and hill work. I highly recommend class with Luke or Michael who each teach a handful of distance classes per week. If you are new to Mile High or running, the Dash 28 class with Andia Wilson is also a great option!

Lotus Hour at Laughing Lotus  

When I lived in Gramercy, I used to frequent Laughing Lotus with Theodora. This class, which I took with five other blogger friends, reminded me why I frequented the studio. It is conveniently located in Chelsea, has classes almost every hour, their classes tend to be challenging but motivating, and the warm studio means that by the end of the 60 minute class you are drenched in sweat. The only downside to this studio is the changing area which is tight, crowded and steamy.

Row House Full Body 45 at Row House Chelsea (2)

Rowing is a wonderful, low-impact workout which can supplement any workout plan. While I’ve taken classes at CityRow, Row House is the first rowing workout in NYC that truly reminded me of the rowing practices Bo and I sweat through in high school. The Full Body 45 class is a 45-minute class which includes a 5 minutes of rowing drills to warm-up, 15 minutes of rowing intervals and sprints, 5-10 minutes of strength work, another 15 minutes of rowing intervals and sprints, followed by a short cooldown. The class is perfect for people of all abilities as each person controls the speed or intensity at which they row. Scott is our favorite instructor, constantly motivating students while correcting form and ensuring that everyone is pushing themselves. For those who need to sweat and then dash to work, the Row House Chelsea location includes a small, but nice locker room featuring two showers, blow dryers and toiletries where you can get ready for work or date night.

Fly 45 at Flywheel (2)

Historically, I’ve had a love hate relationship with Flywheel. I love that the studio provides water, spin shoes, towels and healthy snacks with the cost of every class. But, I have had one too many sub-par teachers who don’t inspire or push me during class. Luckily, last month, Bo discovered two teachers (Josh Arden and Johnny De Triquet) who merged challenging classes with awesome, upbeat playlists. Now that we’ve discovered these teachers, we’ll more than likely use our 3 classes per month allowance since they have 5:30 or  6 AM classes daily.

Flow and Restore at Area Yoga

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 40 minutes of strong, power yoga which left me sweating but then flowed into a relaxing 30 minute sequence of restorative poses. I was so relaxed by the end that I fell asleep during legs up the wall. Make sure to bring your mat and towels to this no-frills studio as it’s $2 to rent.

All Levels 75 Min Flow at Brooklyn Yoga Project

Nestled in a Carroll Gardens brownstone, this studio is small but mighty. Featuring just one studio space and a small entry area, they squeeze in average of seven power yoga classes per day. I joined three of my girlfriends who live in Brooklyn and are ClassPass addicts for this 75 Minute Flow on a Sunday morning and left the class drenched in sweat, exhausted and refreshed. While the class is open to all level students, I would recommend it for intermediate to advanced students as it was a challenging class even though the instructor’s adjustments and support made it inspiring and manageable. The Sunday morning class was packed to the brim, meaning that at points I thought the person in front of me was going to kick me during the moves and transitions. Make sure to bring your own mat and towel as this studio charges for both.

Signature Fhix at Fhitting Room (2)

I think I screamed with glee the day I received the ClassPass email stating that Fhitting Room was now an affiliated studio. Bo and I love the 50-minute high intensity classes which pair two instructors with a class of 20-25 students for a sweat inducing good time. The music is always perfectly on point, motivating and pushing us while the instructors lead the group through functional movements such as lunges, burpees and squats followed by strength training with kettle bells and finally high intensity exercises including rowing machines, ski-ergs and box jumps. The atmosphere is one of the most supportive I’ve felt and it is a great starting place for people who want to learn more about functional training and using items like boxes and kettlebells as the instructors adjust students during class. The dual instructor model means that there is always someone watching you! The studio offers showers, lockers, towels and water.

45 Minute Metrics at Peloton

After a solid first experience, Bo and I decided to give Peloton a second try due to the fact that they have lots of classes on their daily schedule, feature one of the nicest locker rooms for post workout showers and we’d heard a great deal about their bikes. This 6 AM class did not disappoint and we loved the instructor, Hannah M Corbin, who motivated me with her six pack abs and infectious smile. The Peloton classes are all streamed live so Peloton bike owners can follow along at home. This creates a different dynamic as the instructor is at times motivating and coaching the class while other times she’s giving props to the riders at home. Regardless, we both agreed that we’d return to this studio because the bikes were the best we’ve ridden on – smooth, easy to read computers and easily adjusted. The gorgeous studio greets clients with complimentary spin shoes, water and towels which make things easy in addition to a spacious locker room which features all the essentials!

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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