Lithe Method in Philadelphia Combines Dance Cardio and Resistance Training, and Takes it to a Whole New Level

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From first glance it looks like an Aerial Yoga class, but it is not silks hanging from the ceiling it’s actually resistance bands, which increases the intensity of the class. Photo: Alison Mastrangelo

Lithe Method. What is it? It sounds like a new a new scientific formula. But it’s not! Lithe Method is a cool new workout that incorporates Pilates, cheer-leading and dance.

The great part is that the first class is free and you can register for classes online. The classes are very popular and can have a wait list, but they recommend to check the night before because some people cancel.

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Meredith Steinberg kindly demonstrating a few moves that one could see during a Pom Lithe Method Class. Photo: Alison Mastrangelo

 

Lithe Method clients have enjoyed the classes so much they have become trainers.

“I love Lithe. I started as a client before I started teaching. I found I loved the variety and loved how fun it was. I feel like there is a great community of women here who support each other and it’s such a nice motivating place to be, ” Meredith Steinberg, Lithe Trainer for  4 months said.

One of the main reason Lithe has been so popular is their workouts are always changing so that the clients never get bored.

“There is a lot of variety in the workouts. One day you will have a lot of jumping and sweating cardio and the next day you will be sculpting muscles that you didn’t know that you had, Steinberg explained. The next day you will be at the ballet bar or you could be working your arms using weights.”

Steinberg recommends that everyone come about ten minutes early before class and to make sure that you bring a water bottle and a workout towel. They will supply the mats, gloves, and resistance bands.

If you’re worried about trying it because you have been out of the gym for a while do not worry! Lithe Method is great for women of all ages.

“People who do Lithe have all kinds of backgrounds. There are modifications for everyone, this workout environment is very positive and free of judgment,” Steinberg said.

If anyone has any questions they can go online and read the descriptions of all the different classes or they can call the front desk who is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. There are also three Lithe Method Studios in Philadelphia and one coming soon to New York City.

 

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Lunge + Over head resistance bands = Total Body Workout Photo of Me: Alison Mastrangelo

As usual I tried this new hip fitness class. The Lithe Method staff recommend taking their 101 class to help introduce you to their movements and the choreography that they use. Unfortunately, I could not attend the 101 class, so I tried the Pom class which they said should not be to difficult for a beginner that practices Pilates weekly.  The trainers were right, I could follow along, however, I did  stumble through a few of the beginning choreographed parts but after a few minutes I could follow along more easily and really broke a sweat!

 

 

RowZone: a Great Indoor Cardio Workout for All Ages

Do you go to the gym and see the rowing machine and just walk by it? Or do you just use it as a warm up? Rowing is no longer just for the avid crew athletes or the cunning characters in House of Cards. Thanks to Rowzone, it is a full body workout for all ages.

Rowzone  is about a 45 minute to an hour class that works the entire body. It takes your boring running, elliptical or spinning routine and changes it up.

Rowzone has multiple locations throughout Pennsylvania and they even have a location in Texas.

The video above shows the rowing aspect of the class, however, about every five minutes or so you get off the machine and  lift weights and work on your arms, abs, and legs.

**As always I had to try it ( that’s why there is not any video of the entire class),however, I was completely surprised by what a great workout it is. Just when I thought I could not row for one more minute we would stop our rowing sprint and get off and do a mini circuit working my arms, abs and legs. If I lived closer to the locations I would definitely incorporate this into my daily cardio routine! If you can try this class!

Wave Jet, Indo Yoga, and Wave Shape: Three Warm Fitness Products and Activities I Want to Try as Soon as the Weather Gets Warmer

With the all of the snow we have had this winter, I am already dreaming about warmer days. Since spring is only a few months away I found some cool new products that would be awesome to try!

(video above found on Youtube…I did not shoot this one.)

1.  Wave Jet  

Surfers some times have to deal with days when there are no waves or the waves are so-called “mushy” and hard to paddle into. Those days may be a thing of the past thanks to the, Wave Jet, it is a new jet powered surfboard that does most of the hard work for you.  It will power you through big waves that you would normally need a jet ski to tow you in or it can push you through small waves that otherwise would be near impossible to paddle and catch.

A wrist controller powers the surfboard and is completely waterproof. One of the best parts is if you fall off the board the wrist controller shuts down when the surfboard is farther than about 10 feet away, according to the website.

As of now it looks like they are only available to rent at four locations, three in the United States and one in South Africa. Until then I will keep researching until I find a place that I can actually try it.

2.     INDO Yoga Board 

One of my first posts on my blog was on SUP Yoga. I loved it, it was so different and a great workout. Now that it’s colder and the bay has had sheets of ice on it, SUP Yoga is on hold until the spring.

However, I found the next best thing. Indo yoga, Check it Out.

It does not look like there are any classes close by, but you can buy an indo board for $390.00 or you can buy a SUP Yoga package, which is a little different from the Indo Yoga Board. It will only cost you about  $140.00 which is cheaper but it’s a little bit bigger and might be harder to store in your house.

3.     Wave Shape Fitness 

To go along with the  spring/summer fitness products, I found a new workout called Wave Shape. It brings the movements of surfing into a fitness class. And the best part is there are classes available online that are free. So you can start the Wave Shape class now!

Happy 2014! To Make a New Year Resolution or Set a Goal that is the Question

Happy New Year or is it Happy Resolution. It seems to me that the New Year  is always over shadowed by the daunting New Year Resolution. It almost feels like every time someone says Happy New Year it is immediately followed by the question, what is your New Year Resolution? Jeesh put me on the spot why don’t you. Honestly, I have never made ” a New Year resolution.” I set goals every year throughout the year and try to accomplish them.

A friend of mine made a good point about writing down work goals, personal goals, and spiritual goals you want to make throughout the year. This allows you to stay focused and realize what you have accomplished and what you have left. A big problem is some of us are too busy to realize that we may complete more goals throughout the year than we think. So make sure to write your goals down.

Finally, most of us regular gym goers dread the first two weeks of January because it will be crowded with new members who are trying to lose weight and get healthy for their New Year Resolution. Try not to be that person that puts down the new gym goers, yes it can be annoying but they are making the right step towards a healthy life. A little encouragement never hurt anyone. So be a gym buddy or show some one how to use the fitness equipment at the gym this year!

Hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Even Though the Semester is Ending, This is Not GOOD BYE

Although the end of the semester is approaching, I will continue posting to my blog.  I may not be posting as frequently I was the last several months, but I will still be posting whenever I get the chance to take a unique fitness class. With that said, if any of you (my readers) come across any fitness classes or trends that you find unique, please contact me or leave a comment and I will try to cover that class for my blog.

Throughout this fitness blogging journey I learned to go into each fitness class with an open mind because the classes I originally thought would be easy for me, ended up being the hardest.

Also, in case you just started reading or following my blog here are the links to some of my favorite posts!

Leigh Babiasz: Dancer, Grad Student and Pure Barre Instructor in Haddonfield, New Jersey Explains the New Pure Barre Workout

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Leigh showing one of the many leg burning poses in the class. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Leigh Babiasz has been a dancer all her life, and earned her BA in dance performance from Western Michigan University. From there she worked as a professional dancer and performer for different jobs and gigs. Babiasz started getting into personal training and got certified through NASM.

Currently she works as a certified trainer and will be starting grad school to study dance/movement therapy at Drexel next fall. Teaching Pure Barre came unexpectedly to her. She moved into the South Jersey area and saw an online ad for a job opportunity for fitness instructors with a dance background. That sounded perfect for her so she answered it and started teaching. Babiasz loves teaching Pure Barre because it gives her a combination of her two favorite things, dance and fitness. Plus, it gives her a different experience working in a group atmosphere compared to working with one on one training.

Q. Explain what Pure Barre is and how it is different to other workouts.

A. Pure Barre is a workout that incorporates the ballet bare and strength training that focuses on small isometric movements. It is a full body workout but it emphasizes working the thighs, seat, and abs. It is different from other workouts because it is a specific technique that takes a couple of classes to catch on. There is a not a lot of big explosive movements compared to other workouts so it is safe for most people to do.

Q. What muscles are you using in the Pure Barre workout?

A. Pure Barre works the full body but we do focus more on the “problem” areas of women. There is a lot of quad, glute, and core action in a class. We also do lots of body weight exercises and work on flexibility to achieve a longer leaner aesthetic look of a dancer.

Q. What makes Pure Barre unique?

A. It’s unique in the fact that the classes are designed so you get a variety of different exercises in each class. No class will be the same so your body can’t adapt and get used to it, so you will continue to confuse the body and thus see the results continuously.

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Some of the equipment used during a Pure Barre Class. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Q. What should someone wear or bring to Pure Barre?

A. We always suggest to wear long pants and form fitting clothes. Pure Barre also has a line of special socks that have a special grip on the bottom of the foot so there is limited slipping on the floor and that’s helpful to wear in class.

Q. What should someone expect when they take a Pure Barre class?

A. Expect a lot of burning and shaking in the first couple of classes!

Q. Where can they practice Pure Barre and how much?

A. There are Pure Barre locations all over. If you go on the website, they list all the different locations and there are always more studios opening up. A single class is $23 but there are different packages you can purchase as well a new client special. All the prices should be on the website if you click a specific location.

Q. Anything else interesting you would like to add about Pure Barre.

A. Pure Barre is a great positive community of women that are really supportive of each other. I am really proud to be a part of the Pure Barre family!

As usual I had to try this class. I have been taking the class once a week for a few months now. I have to say that I was skeptical of this class when I started. I thought it would not be that hard since I am an avid runner and do other intense boot camps; however, I was so wrong. Every class my legs are shaking and I sweat a lot! I am definitely seeing results from this class just by incorporating it into my workout routine just a few days a week. I recommend it to anyone that is looking to change up their workout and get that long and lean body!

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The relaxing Pure Barre workout room. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Discover the New Workout: Surfset Fitness at Upper Level Fitness Taught by Corrine Schulthesis

Love surfing but do not get a chance to practice it all year because of the weather? Or have you always wanted to try surfing, but are afraid of the ocean?

Upper Level Fitness in Ocean View, New Jersey started Surfset fitness classes this spring. Corrine Schulthesis is one of the personal trainers who introduced Surfset to Upper Level Fitness and their clients.  The class costs $17 per class or  $150 for 10 classes. Each class is an hour long, all an individual needs to bring is a water bottle, wear comfortable clothes, and enjoy the class.

ElliptiGO: It’s a Hybrid Between an Elliptical and a Bike and it Will Make People Stop and Stare as You Ride By

Need a break from running, but tired of the indoor bike or the elliptical at the gym. Well the ElliptiGO is the perfect solution.

I heard about an ElliptiGO from a friend who saw it and I did some research to find out where I could try it. The Harbor Bike Shop in Stone Harbor rents them for one hour for $25.00 plus tax. The only rules are that you cannot ride it on the sidewalk and do not ride the ElliptiGO on the beach. After that you are good to go!

One of the Harbor Bike Shop employees agreed that it is good exercise.

“It’s definitely a workout and it is very easy once you get it started. I rode it once and its pretty similar to the elliptical at the gym, however, you’re using it outside and not in the gym, Donna Olfert, 24, Harbor Bike shop employee said. You get to workout on the elliptical outside with the fresh air and sunshine.”

Make sure to wear comfortable sneakers, workout clothes, and bring a water bottle. Other than that enjoy the ride and have fun!

After my hour test ride I have to say that it is quite the workout. I enjoy working out on the elliptical at the gym; however, I find myself getting bored because I want to be moving and going somewhere or just want to be outside. I tore my ACL and meniscus about four years ago. I am an avid runner, but need to take a few days off for the knee every once in a while, that is when I incorporate the elliptical into my workout routine.

The ElliptiGO is the perfect solution for my elliptical boredom. I love being outdoors, running, biking, surfing, etc. Being able to ride the ELLIPTIGO outdoors was great.  So many people would stop and stare as I rode by. I even had a car slow down and drive along side me and ask me about it. They were curious and asked me about the ElliptiGO as I rode it. What’s it like? Is it easy to ride? Where can I rent one?

Similarities to an elliptical/bike:

  • The pedaling motion is almost identical to an elliptical machine and the upright standing position that you pedal.
  • The front of the ElliptiGO is exactly like a mountain bike with hand breaks and gears for you to use and change as you ride.
  • On an elliptical you can increase the resistance and on the ElliptiGO you have three different gear changes you can use one being the easiest gear and three being the hardest gear. (I started on gear one and quickly changed it to gear three to increase the intensity of my ride.)

Differences to an elliptical/bike:

  • With an ElliptiGO you need to use a lot more balance because you are moving on two wheels, it is almost impossible to remove your hands while using the ElliptiGO without falling. Unlike an elliptical where you can take you arms off and pedal forwards and backwards with ease you cannot on the ElliptiGO.
  • You are also battling the wind, sun glare and traffic.  On an elliptical you are indoors in a controlled environment.
  • The only difficult part was stopping and starting.

For example, to cross traffic if I had to stop my momentum it was a little difficult to start up the momentum again to get across the street quickly. So I had to make sure that when I had to cross traffic that I waited until there was no traffic coming so that I knew I had plenty of time to cross the street without causing traffic problems. Or I tried to make sure to just coast and not stop completely which would help prevent me from having a difficult time crossing the road.

The only downside to the ElliptiGO is if you really enjoyed riding it and wanted to buy one for yourself you can, however, it will cost you about $1,800. So with that I would highly recommend renting them and trying it a few times before you make the investment or find one used if you can, but it is a great workout so have fun!

ElliptiGO a nice change from the everyday elliptical! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

ElliptiGO a nice change from the everyday elliptical! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo