Tag Archives: Fitness Class

Work it Out Hoboken – Turkey Burn 2012

I was excited to finally try Work it Out, a boutique studio in Hoboken. Dori and I signed up for a special work out called the Turkey Burn for the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The studio is gorgeous. It is bright and welcoming.

Photo Credit: WiO Studios

There is a small locker room which lockers that you can program each visit right past the reception area (you do not need to bring your own lock, which is awesome for people like me who ALWAYS forgets your lock).

Photo Credit: WiO Studios

We were given a quick tour of the studio and then give the agenda for the workout (which scared me that any workout is long enough to have an agenda).

Warm up: 1 mile run outside

Ride Class (spin)

Sweata Weatha Class (strength circuit)

Dori and I were in the first group back from the run so we went into the spin class first, ON THE PINK BIKES!

The spin room is Teeeenty tiny. Only 8 bikes, 4 rows of 2. It didn’t feel cramped though. The instructor, April, was amazing. The class was really tough but she helped us through each part by being very motivational!

After spin, we took off our shoes and went into the work out room. The room had a springy gymnastics floor. My childhood memories came rushing back to me and my initial reaction was to do a back handspring but then I remembered I would probably break something. The next part of class was the circuit training taught by Monica. There were stations set up around the room (8 or 10 total I cannot remember) and we did each station for one minute. In between stations we did 30 seconds of burpees. I am positive I did 6,000 burpees yesterday. My favorite station: boxing with Monica. I love boxing and used to go often and I lost my touch because she gave me a look like “Come on, is that really all you’ve got?” Constant motion, constant work on a different part of the body. Awesome format. We finished up with a 2 minute wall sit that made me want to jump off a bridge. We ended the entire class with a great stretch and I felt refreshed.

My only peeve about the class was the lack of correction by the instructors. We were given the instructions of a lot of exercises quickly and it was hard to remember. I had to take a second at each station to see if I was doing it correctly. Because she was boxing the first time, it wasn’t until the second time around the circuit that she came over with corrections and instructions to help us out! I found myself doing the wrong thing on more than one occasion.

I really did love the classes and the studio. I would 100% love to go to a spin/strength combination workout like this each week! It was great to visit a new studio! I am loving the boutique studios more and more! Bonus: I got to spend some more time with Lynda, who was also taking the class!

For more information on Work it Out Hoboken, you can visit their website at http://www.workitoutgym.com/wio/

You can visit them on Facebook and Twitter as well!

The address of the studio is as follows:

603 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 222-0802


Schwinn Spinning Instructor Certification

I have went back and forth with my love for spinning since 2007. I would spend a year going all of the time and then stop going completely. Over the years, when i was going on frequent dates with the class, I felt like I could potentially one day be an instructor. Then I would stop going (mainly it was during times when I would focus more on running) and the idea and dreams of conducting my own class would disappear.

When I injured my a couple of months ago foot, I was told to bike. I didn’t have a bike yet (however, I just got one this past weekend), so I went to spin class once or twice a week. This consistent attendance reminded me why I loved being there – the energy of the class and connecting tough moves to (sometimes) amazing music. During certain classes – I thought to myself, “I could run a class and i can get people motivated to climb this awful hill and complete a kick-ass workout.” I decided to go for the certification. LUCKILY – my friends Lyndsey and Erin (read an interview with her here) were already planning to get it as well. Initially we were going to sign up for the Spinning program, but after calling around to gyms and studios in NYC about their requirements (and preferences), we decided on Schwinn Fitness. We scheduled September 15 at an Equinox in Woodbury, NY!

Our 8 hour program was completed in the spin room the entire time (we were on and off the bikes a lot – and on the floor)!

schwinnerinclass Lyndsey and Erin diligently learning!

Our instructor, Jeffrey Scott, was PHENOMENAL. His energy was contagious and he was freaking hilarious. You can read more about his credentials here, but basically he has been in the biz for 20+ years (and even taught step class, bonus points – I loved step in high school, but sucked at is and tripped a lot).

Some details about the program:

  • The Schwinn bikes are awesome. They have an aluminum frame and a steel flywheel.  The bikes are very light and easily portable by lifting onto front wheels. The bikes were built to mimic a road bike so the flywheel is connected to the pedals directly by a chain and there are various handle bars.

Photo courtesy of ErinPhoto courtesy of Erin 

My favorite part of the bike is the MPower Console.

schwinnconsole After ride: Shows high/low and average stats – these were my highs after one of our rides. Hello high heart rate.

The console is placed in between the handle bars. Through the ANT+ technology (Garmin users!) you can sync your heart rate monitor to the console which will display calories burned. Huge plus: your RPMs are always on display. I believe this is an amazing way for the student to be aware of their output. If the instructor gives a range – the student will know whether or not they are working hard enough (or even if they need to back off a bit). I hope to be able to incorporate this type of user experience when it comes time to teach a class (Jeffrey let us know that Schwinn is continuously developing this technology).

  • I learned A LOT: How to fit a student to a bike; Important stretches necessary to prevent injury and help the body adjust after an intense workout; Instructor communication and cues to get the class motivated; Music selection. We spent a great deal of the lecture on the body’s anatomy and range of motion and how it relates to cycling (Quick fact: a correct setup will mimic a correct lunge – the knee should never be over the ankle)! The most interesting part of the program (in my opinion) was learning about which muscles are recruited during pedaling!
  • Schwinn research and training results in a completely different ride than I have been doing for my entire spinning life. Their motto is “If it’s not done on a bike outdoors, we don’t do it indoors.” This eliminates jumping and introduces new body positioning (to name a couple of examples). Instead of instructors directing the class by percent of max heart rate (an unknown calculation and feeling to many students), it is done by zones – easy, moderate, hard and anaerobic. It is a different method of teaching and I really like it and believe it is much more user-friendly than what I have previously experienced.
  • The best part of the day: Two 50ish minute, high-intensity spin workouts. I am not going to lie to anyone here – the first one was the hardest spin class I have ever done. I went into the second one absolutely frightened and panicked that my heart was going to stop. It ended up being just as hard – but (here’s the kicker) Jeffrey was an amazing instructor with an overwhelming (and contagious) enthusiasm for fitness – and he pushed each one of us to give the best effort we could for that workout. I ended the day full of endorphins and satisfaction with the certification and my new riding abilities!

My thoughts and feelings:

The program was informative from start to finish (I only listed a few key points from our day)! The elements of the Schwinn program were presented very well: teach authentic cycling principles, create a broad-based appeal and develop an engaging and empowering coaching style!

Jeffrey kept the entire class engaged (it helped that more than half of the class were already seasoned instructors that were completing a new certification)! At the end of the program, he gave us the exact cycling workouts we had completed, broken down by song, intensity and speed. I love that I can go back and review the entire workout and piece by piece put together everything that I learned (and also have a base to start for my own class one day)!

I am extremely happy I now have this certification. Do I believe I am ready to teach a class? Yes and no. Yes I can get up there and put my newly-learned moves to kick-ass music. No I do not feel like I have enough of an understanding of the science just yet. I am going to review the literature and make sure I am able to answer as many questions that a class may have. Was it worth $225? Every penny. I honestly hope to get a job as soon as I am ready (and with that a free gym membership)!


I would love to hear from other certified instructors about their programs vs.. Schwinn as well as their certification and job-search process! Any details will be extremely helpful!!

As a student, what is your favorite/least favorite thing about an instructor?

Who wants to take my class?

Wine Tasting at Uplift Studios

I had heard great things about Uplift Studios.

From the website,”Uplift is a fitness and social movement for women that engenders positivity, self-empowerment and celebration by combining back-to-basics cardio and strength fitness with a fun social/networking element.”  

When Kara sent me a message about attending a Team in Trainingfundraiser at the studio (“Workout and Wine,” one of Uplift’s signature social events), I was in. Although I cannot do wonderful whole body workouts as much lately (I modify), I was excited to go to the studio and drink wine, I mean, try the workout, obviously.

The studio is located at 24 West 23rd Street (btw 5th and 6th Avenue) and was welcoming upon first walking in, I think it is because it is painted a very happy green with large floor to ceiling windows that take in an endless amount of light!


The boutique studio has two rooms, a bright training area and a workout studio lined with mirrors. They had music playing, snacks and water for everyone, a bar with fake grass at your feet (that doubles as the front desk, clever) and a full-service locker room that was nicer than any I had seen before!

After we put our belongings in the lockers (lock+key are provided by the studio), I was eager to begin this social style workout. We were greeted by Michelle Mason, our instructor for the class. She was full of energy and while explaining the mechanics of the 30-minute timed circuit class, she discussed the importance of form and hard work. I was happy when she asked anyone if they had any injuries and/or limitations. After seeing the black boot I carry around as an accessory on my foot, she gave me exercises to do in place of certain lunges and cardio that I was not able to complete. Two thumbs up for her quick thinking and creativity.

The class is circuit training that focuses on legs, core, arms, and cardio. We completed three circuits and performed various exercises from squats, lunges, overhead press, triceps kickbacks, planks, more squats, core work and bursts of cardio.

Yes I took pictures mid-class!

We finished the class with ab exercises and stretching. It was a quick, effective and yet challenging workout. I used heavier weights the entire time and did not think I would be able to keep going after each set. I am sore today, but in a great way!

I will take this class again (and am excited to try others). You can see a class description and price list here. Fortunately for all of us, Uplift offers great deals on classes and packages!

NOW on the to wine tasting! We left the workout studio and went directly to the bar where the amazing (and inspirational) founders (Leanne Shear, Helena Wolin and Katie Currie) had set up an array of snacks for everyone that included almonds, cheese and crackers and a crudite platter.

The wine tasting was hosted by Adam Linet, the owner of Vino Fine Wine & Spirits, located at 121 East 27th Street (at Park Avenue). Vino has wine on tap. Amazing. We had 4 different types of wine and Adam gave us a short lesson about each bottle, including the types of grapes used and the fermenting process!

  • Sparkling wine:

  • Rose:

  • White wine blend that I drank too fast to take a picture.
  • Montepulciano:

She’s going to kill me for posting this.

I purchased 3 bottles (all but the red) and lugged them back to Jersey.

BIG THANK YOU to Uplift Studios and Vino Wine & Spirits for a great night supporting a great cause! I cannot wait to get back here when I am 100% healthy and can do all of the exercises!

Refine Method Review

I decided it was 100% necessary to try Refine Method with Katherine after she and Dori raved about the workout! I added it to my list of goals for August and immediately Katherine had me signing up for a class in the Union Square studio (located between 17 and 18 street on Broadway). Best part? New students get a free class!

Refine was founded by former New York City Ballet dancer (and Harvard-educated, I would never leave that out if I attended Harvard), Brynn Jinnett. Refine Method features a circuit-style of Cardiovascular and Resistance Training. According to the website, there is benefit from Cardio and Resistance Training together – “Through resistance training, we produce a cardio burn while building metabolically-active lean muscle, the antidote to traditional repetitive cardio and the most efficient way to change your shape.” We used cardio movements, kettle bells, elastic bands and a customized pulley system that offers resistance similar to free weights.

The studio was very simple and clean. There was a large room to the right which included changing rooms, large couch-type seating and lockers for your belongings. We took our shoes off and walked into the actual fitness area. It was a perfect size for an intimate class and I never felt too crowded. I was immediately greeted by the instructor, Pam. She recognized I was a new student and began to teach me about the class (type of movements and exercises, where to stand etc.) and how to use the equipment. Everyone in the class seemed to know one another and to be experienced!

Photo Source: Refinemethod.com

We started the class with foam rolling to loosen our legs and back muscles. I welcomed it with open arms as my quads are ALWAYS tight from running. We continued with a warmup that included all types of stretching and some cardio moves to get our heart rate up before we entered into the series of circuits (with each circuit having a few sets, maybe 3). The circuits included cardio exercises and strength exercises. The strength exercises were done with kettle bells and the pulley system. The circuits we did included a variety of exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks, “jump-roping”, ice skaters, and many different forms of planks! We used the pulley system for rows and for triceps work. The class ended with core work, a serious amount of glute work and wonderful stretches done while laying down. Pam even gave each one of us a short (random, unexpected and amazing) quad massage while we were stretching.

I definitely worked hard (and  was sweating, as usual) the entire time but it remained an enjoyable workout. Pam was so upbeat, encouraging and helpful. She corrected any positions that were wrong. Not in a rude way but in a way that she genuinely wanted us to be executing the exercises correctly. The little tips such as “don’t arch your back, lean forward more etc” absolutely helped. I know that if you are not doing the exercise correctly, you will not feel the benefits and can even get injured. I would much rather know that a tiny shift in my hips or a slight movement of my back can change the entire outcome of the exercise.

SO will I be back? YES! But not as much as I would like. With all boutique fitness studios, comes a larger price tag per class. Refine is $32/class. It seems like a lot but you also get the feel that you are working with a personal trainer. They offer certain types of packages as well as a rewards program (which I am going to look into further when I decide how often I can attend)! Click here for the pricing!

What was my favorite aspect of the class? First of all, I loved the instructor, Pam. The classes are small enough for individual attention. Second, I felt great when I left. I loved the music and it put me in a good mood (we stretched to “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac, amazing). My body was also quite relaxed (even though I will definitely be sore tomorrow). I stretched all of the muscles that are normally so tight from running and was able to do so during a great total body workout!  I absolutely believe this class is very complimentary to marathon training!


For a much more detailed and helpful review of Refine, read this! It comes from Dory, who is a Refine Extraordinaire 🙂