Hey there! This week I have another fitness class review. I love trying out new classes, and there are so many cool ones out there, especially in the NYC area. I follow a lot of NYC-based fitness instructors and fitness bloggers, so I’ve been hearing a lot about BODYROK on social media. They have studio locations in California, Illinois, Montana, and NYC. If you’re interested in hearing a fitness instructor’s perspective on this class, keep on reading!
What is BODYROK?
BODYROK is a fast-paced 40-minute sculpting workout that uses a megaformer. BODYROK claims to “do in 40 minutes what other classes do in 60”. It’s a low impact workout - pretty much Pilates with music and lighting.
About the studio.
I went to the Union Square location in NYC. I was able to book my class a couple of weeks out. So you shouldn’t have to worry about setting an alarm to book for the upcoming week like you would with SoulCycle.
Some online reviews claimed that the studio was big, but I felt like it was pretty small. Yes, there are two floors, but they’re both tiny. There aren’t any showers; just cubbies downstairs to hold your belongings. I’d advise getting to class at least 15 minutes early because the locker area is small and gets really crowded. Plus, reformers in the best spots get claimed fast. The front desk was super friendly and helpful both before and after my class.
BODYROK offers a discount for first-timers. I paid $20 for my first class. The other option is $99 for 5 classes, but you have to use them all within 30 days of purchase. Since you’re not really saving anything with the 5-class option, I’d go with the $20 single-class pass if you want to try it. BODYROK is also on Classpass, which is another great way to try it!
BODYROK is on the pricier side. It’s $36 for a drop-in class if you aren’t a first time client. They offer class packages, but you aren’t really saving much by buying any of them. If you don’t want a membership commitment, your best option for saving money is 50 classes for $1,450. This breaks down to $29 a class. A bit better than the $36, but it still seems high to me. Especially since most people can’t afford to shell out that much money at one time for a workout class.
The monthly memberships don’t come in an unlimited option. They require a minimum 3-month contract, and any drop-ins beyond your monthly limit will cost you $25. 4 classes a month is $125, 8 classes a month is $220, and 12 classes a month is $300.
Is it worth the money? Keep reading to find out.
I liked my experience with BODYROK, but I didn’t love it.
If you’re new to the megaformer, this probably isn’t the class to start with. I’ve done plenty of mat Pilates, but this was my first megaformer class and I felt super lost throughout most of it. I didn’t feel like the instructor was very good at cueing. Even though the girl next to me was a regular, she seemed to be confused. She was also doing some of the moves wrong. It seemed like most of the class was lost; the instructor didn’t really know how to explain things in a way we’d understand. I’m sure that after a few classes things would become more intuitive, but I wouldn’t say it’s beginner-friendly by any means. I felt like I missed out on a lot of potentially good work because I spent half the class trying to figure out how to get into the pose/movement.
BODYROK claims to do in 40 minutes what other classes do in 60. My experience was that BODYROK attempts to do in 40 minutes what should be done in 60. There’s no real warm-up or cooldown and everything just seems really rushed. We weren’t in a lot of the moves long enough to benefit from them. Had the class been 10 to 15 minutes longer, I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. The express-style class may work for people with tight schedules, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable relying on this as my main workout.
Another issue I had was that the workout was very uneven. For several moves, we didn’t do the same amount of work on our right side as our left, which is a pet peeve of mine. I personally prefer classes that use a set time or number of reps on each side instead of just winging it.
The class certainly wasn’t easy. If you’re experienced with the megaformer you’ll probably get a lot more out of it than I did. I was definitely sweating by the time class was over. I also like how challenging the megaformer can be.
Was I sore?
I left the class feeling like I kind of wasted my time. It wasn’t until later that day that I realized how sore my abs were! I took the class on a Saturday and didn’t feel the soreness completely go away until Monday night. This was such a pleasant surprise! Because I’m so active, I rarely get sore any more. When I do, it’s a great sign that my workout was super effective.
I didn’t feel anything anywhere else in my body - it was just my abs. But, at least I know the class was effective with the core work. I would’ve loved to have felt some soreness in my glutes/legs. Most of the class was focused on core, though, so I wasn’t expecting it anyway.
Tips for BODYROK first-timers.
Is BODYROK worth it?
BODYROK in NYC only offers the one 40-minute SCULPT class. I could see myself coming back via a service like Classpass when I’m looking for something quick and effective, especially now that I’ve gotten a little megaformer experience. I can’t say that I’d recommend buying a membership at BODYROK because I think your money would be better spent elsewhere. For the prices they charge, you can pay for an all-inclusive membership at a place like Equinox, which offers plenty of sculpting classes and much better amenities.
If you love megaformer classes or Pilates in general, I think BODYROK is a good express option for when you don’t have a full hour. As an instructor, I didn’t like that the class had no warm-up or cooldown. Even in a low impact sculpting class, they’re still important. To me, it felt like BODYROK skipped out on some of the important pieces of a workout class in order to make it 40 minutes. It felt rushed, but I got a great core workout.
BODYROK has definitely sparked my interest in megaformer classes. I’d love to see how my body responds to an hour-long class! I’m thinking I’ll try some more popular ones to get more of a full-body burn.
Thanks for reading! Do you prefer mat Pilates or reformer/megaformer classes? What are some of your favorites?
Let me know in the comments!
Hey, there! Today’s post is all about how to save time choreographing your barre classes. When I first started teaching barre, I found myself spending hours on end trying to come up with the right class. Along the way, I’ve developed some tips that help me quickly choreograph classes that my clients love. Every studio and instructor is different; so, all of my tips may not work for you. But I think you’ll find at least one tip you can put to use today to help you create your classes a little more effectively!
How I format my classes.
Every studio is different, and some studios require instructors to format their classes a certain way. This section only applies to instructors who have the freedom to format their classes the way they want. For example, I can do core work at any point in the class I choose.
I like to have a set order in which I go through the different sections of a class. If I want to occasionally switch it up, I may do that. But I typically don’t deviate from that order.
Having a set order allows me to easily mix and match sections from previous classes to create a “new” class. Which brings me to my next point…
Class notes storage.
I touched on this in my post where I talked about tips for your group fitness instructor audition. In my opinion, the best way to store your choreography notes is electronically. I don’t use a notebook or paper for my choreography notes at all, and here’s why.
Mixing and matching different sections of the class allows me to create a “new” class without really adding any new choreography. I can pull together a class using different series from a bunch of past classes and boom - I have a brand “new” class with hardly any extra work. But this becomes a lot more time consuming and hard to track when I have to flip through a huge notebook of notes (or multiple).
Here’s exactly what I do:
I have an armband that I wear during classes that holds my phone, which is a lot easier to glance at than a notebook on the floor. Plus, I have an electronic record of what I taught (and when) that makes it very easy to mix and match when I’m short on time.
Use outside resources.
If you’re a barre instructor, there’s a good chance you also have some awesome choreography ideas. It’s important to tap into that, but it’s also important to know that there’s no way you can come up with fresh ideas every week. It’s okay to go online and be inspired. There are tons of resources out there with excellent barre choreography ideas, both free and paid!
I was certified through Barre Above, and afterward, I decided to join their Elite program. It only costs $99 for a full year of new releases every month. I don’t get 100% of my choreography from Barre Above, but I always use at least one or two of their series in my classes. The Elite program gets you get monthly releases of different choreography styles, which I love. Every month there’s a traditional Barre Above release, a Pilates-focus release, a ballet-focus release, a musicality “to the beat” release, a HIIT/cardio release, and more. With all that fresh content being released so often, I can’t even get through it all by the time a new release is out!
I also get great free ideas from YouTube. BODYBARRE has some excellent and fun series. Their Bohemian Rhapsody Plie series is one of my clients’ favorites! There are always new ideas you can get from looking on the internet. Checking out what other people are doing will also spark you to come up with great new ideas.
Finally, take other people’s classes. I can’t stress this enough! Fitness is an ever-changing industry with new trends and movements coming out all the time. We can and should all be learning from one another. I can guarantee you there’s another instructor at your gym or studio who uses a technique you haven’t seen before. In that hour of class, you’ll get a workout AND save the hours you might have spent scouring the internet for that perfect hamstring movement using a Pilates ball. Take other people’s classes, and take them often. You’ll continue to learn new things that you can take back to your choreography sessions.
PS - Take classes outside of your format, too. Your classes will be a lot more unique and creatively designed because of it. Pilates, spin, yoga, and CrossFit have all taught me things I’ve implemented in my barre classes.
Everyone’s classes are a little different, which is one thing that makes freestyle barre classes so awesome. I personally find it so much better to use music in the foreground of my class and develop choreography to the music in my playlist. My clients like it better and catch onto moves easier. Plus, it makes things a whole lot easier for me as an instructor and choreographer. Let’s not forget that Barre is ballet-based. Even though it’s not a ballet class, adding musicality to it and getting clients to understand an 8-count makes the class better (in my opinion).
Storing notes electronically allows me to quickly create a “new” class using sections of previous classes when I’m short on time. This seriously comes in handy during busy weeks!
I’m a huge advocate of using online resources for choreography inspiration. When you find a series you like to use, you can repeat it in multiple classes to a different song to give it a new feel.
While I do try to introduce at least one or two new movements to my clients every week, I don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel every class. There are lots of ways to make your classes feel new without actually spending hours coming up with new content every week.
If you’re a new instructor and you feel like you’re spending way too much time planning your classes, try some of these tips! And keep in mind that it’ll get much easier as you become more experienced.
If you’re an instructor, do you have any tips you use to save time creating classes as a group fitness instructor? How often do you use online resources for ideas?
If you take group fitness classes, do you like to have a brand new class every week? Or do you prefer some aspects of the class to be repeated?
Let me know your thoughts below in the comments! And check out the workouts I did last week.
Hi, friends! This week, I’m doing an honest review of 9Round and letting you know what it’s all about. I signed up for a free trial at my local 9Round location and didn’t let them know I’d be writing about my experience. This review isn’t sponsored and these opinions are 100% my own.
What is 9Round?
According to their website, 9Round is “a specialized fitness center for people who want a unique, fun, and proven workout that guarantees results. 9Round offers a kickboxing themed fitness program that incorporates a functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The programs consist of a proprietary system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a World Champion Kickboxer.”
9Round is a franchise with over 750 locations nationwide. The workout is 30 minutes long and consists of 9 stations that differ every day. The first two stations, which target strength, might use equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells. Stations 3-8 are kickboxing fitness stations where you punch and kick a bag. The final station is an abs/core station. There’s always a trainer to help you with each of your stations but there’s no “class”. You can work out at any time during the gym’s open hours. Rounds switch every 3 minutes and you can hop in at whatever time you want.
What I liked.
My 9Round workout was awesome. I was dripping with sweat by the end and I’d learned something new! This was my first time working with a speed bag, which I found really fun to learn. The 3-minute rounds went by super fast. This was partly because for 30 seconds of each round, the trainer threw something different at us. Everyone in the class had to do it regardless of which round we were on.
I love that there aren’t class times. You just come whenever the facility is open and hop in when you’re ready. You don’t have to worry about being late or not finding a time that works for your schedule. I also love that it’s so quick! I felt like I got just as good of a workout as I would in an hour-long class.
I really like that the workout is different every day. This is one of the reasons I love CrossFit. Variety keeps me wanting to come to class! The trainer was also super helpful when I had questions. The facility is super small, so it was easy for her to keep an eye on all of us and make necessary corrections.
The 9Round system also gives you a pretty well-rounded workout. There are elements of cardio; some that are kickboxing-based and some that aren’t. There’s also strength work; we did kettlebell snatches, an excellent compound movement. The workout made great use of compound HIIT movements as well, like box jumps and mountain climbers. We did plenty of burpees too. I love that the workout always ends with core work. It’s so important!
Perhaps my favorite thing was the price. There are several prices for an unlimited membership, which depends on how many months you agree to. There’s a start-up fee that includes your equipment (gloves, hand wraps, heart rate monitor, etc.). It’s a little weird that there’s no information about pricing available online...at all. They don’t tell you until you come into the facility for a class. So, I honestly don’t remember what all the pricing options were. I believe the most inexpensive was around $50 a month for a 12-month agreement, though. Compared to some of the fitness class prices I’ve seen lately, it’s not bad (considering the workout is different every day and you’ll always get some level of one-on-one attention from the trainer on duty). 9Round memberships all include a nutrition program. You can also see your stats on screens throughout the class using the heart rate monitor that’s included in your start-up fee.
What I didn’t like.
9Round locations don’t have showers. This is standard across all locations. If you’re someone who likes to work out in the morning then shower and head straight to work, this might be a deterrent. I prefer working out in the evening anyway, but having the option to shower at the gym and head straight to work is nice. Apparently, they don’t have showers so that they can keep costs affordable, which I can appreciate.
I know 9Round trainers go through a training process that’s specific to 9Round, but I don’t know what other qualifications they hold. I get the feeling that some of them aren’t certified group fitness instructors and could probably benefit from earning these credentials.
As a fitness instructor, proper form when executing exercises is important to me. The average person can’t execute a regular push-up with proper form, even if they think they can. I’m one of those people! In order to maintain excellent form, I need to come down to my knees when I do them. During my 9Round workout, we had to do push-ups. I came down to my knees and started doing them; a few other people did too. The trainer told us that unless we’re hurt, we shouldn’t be on our knees. I guess I’ll come off my knees and do them with improper form, then?
I get more out of push-ups on my knees using good form than regular push-ups with bad form. A lot more. Most of the people in the room weren’t capable of doing a regular push-up with proper form, but they were made to do it with bad form anyway. This really rubbed me the wrong way. While I got a great workout, it grinds my gears when fitness instructors don’t understand the benefit of modifications. There are people of all fitness levels working out here - we shouldn’t all be doing the same thing.
I also noticed that the trainer’s demonstration of how to execute box jumps wasn’t done properly. They didn’t have us extend the hips fully at the top - the focus was just on getting up and down as quickly as possible.
I also would’ve liked more of a warm-up. The first station is always jumping rope, which I think is nice, but the warm-up could be more robust. Maybe something resembling what we’d see in the next few rounds?
Finally, there wasn’t any time in between rounds. Not only do you have zero time to transition to your next round, but you also need to figure out what you’re doing at your next round. This may be less of an issue for people who come all the time. But if you’re new and the trainer needs to explain to you what to do, this is cutting into your 3 minutes at that round.
There were people who had been there before who needed an explanation of the rounds as well. I would imagine this improves as you keep going, but I still think they could work in a 30 second transition period in between rounds. I understand that not having any rest time is part of keeping the workout so short, though.
I think 9Round is a solid, affordable option for busy people who like to have someone else create their workouts for them. The ability to show up whenever you want as long as they’re open is a huge advantage, and I think options like this will become more common in the fitness industry. The workout gives you a well-rounded, challenging session in just 30 minutes.
I do think that almost all of what’s done in the 9Round workouts can be done at a gym on your own for $10 to $20 month. But the convenience of not having to think about what your workout is going to be for the day is worth the extra money for some people. You’re also probably going to work harder in these 30 minutes than you would on your own because you’re being pushed by your trainer.
I do, however, feel that the camaraderie that’s typical of a group fitness experience is lost with the 9Round system. There isn’t much interaction between participants, at least from my experience. You truly are getting in, working out, and getting out all in 30 minutes. Some people like that, but if you’re looking for a workout community to become a part of, you may want to look elsewhere. I find that in CrossFit, although we may all be at different fitness levels, there’s a really strong community and a lot of interaction between participants during classes.
CrossFit, on the other hand, is up to triple the price of 9Round and has set class times. If you’re looking for a more affordable option or aren’t interested in learning how to powerlift, 9Round is a good place to start. You may find that after a few months of training there, you’ve picked up enough that you can do the workouts at the gym on your own.
Hi, friends! Today’s post is all about why I decided not to get certified to teach a Beachbody Live group fitness class format. I’m also telling you what my workout routine was last week. If you’re interested in hearing about this, keep reading.
What is Beachbody Live?
If you’ve been into fitness for a while, chances are you’ve heard of a Beachbody Live format or at least know who Shaun T is. He’s a fitness world legend who’s developed several of the Beachbody Live formats, including P90X and Insanity.
Beachbody Live class formats allow instructors to be certified by completing a 1-day training, much like many pre-choreographed formats that exist today. Beachbody offers home workout programs, but also provides Beachbody Live certifications so that instructors can teach the programs as a live group fitness class.
The Beachbody Live formats currently available for certification are as follows:
Core de Force Live - A high energy, non-contact group fitness class that mixes MMA-inspired cardio drills with explosive power moves for a full-body conditioning workout. No equipment needed.
Insanity Live - A cardio-based, athletic style workout that combines HIIT and strength moves. Each high energy workout is packed with cardio drills, plyometrics, and bodyweight strength moves. No weights required.
P90X Live - A total-body strength and conditioning group fitness class. Designed to burn calories and build muscle using light to moderate weights.
PiYo Live - Designed to build strength, improve flexibility, and tone muscles. You’ll perform a series of high-intensity moves using only your bodyweight, all without putting unnecessary stress on your body.
Turbo Kick Live - A high-energy, fat-burning workout that combines cardio kickboxing with body-sculpting HIIT moves.
Transform Live - A high-intensity cardio conditioning class that uses a step to ramp up your calorie burn.
Why was I considering getting certified in a Beachbody Live format?
I currently teach barre and the occasional HIIT class. While challenging, my barre classes are always low impact. When I teach HIIT classes, I typically have my participants at different stations at a given time. I demo movements at the beginning of class, but I spend the majority of class correcting form and encouraging my clients.
I’ve been on the hunt for a format I can teach that’s high impact but will also allow me to get a good sweat on as I teach. Some of the first ones that came to mind were Insanity, P90X, and Transform.
Transform was at the top of my list since it seems like a fun re-invention of the step classes that were popular a couple of decades ago. It would also give me a great cardio session as I teach my class. Shaun T--a fantastic choreographer-- also created Transform. Since it’s a brand new format, there are lots of local trainings happening in the coming months.
Why did I decide against it?
The main reason that I decided not to get certified to teach a Beachbody Live format was that all of the Beachbody Live class formats are pre-choreographed, meaning that the instructor doesn’t develop the moves or playlists.
The choreography and playlists are given to the instructor by Beachbody in the form of “releases”. Zumba and Les Mills follow a similar structure. If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on some of the Les Mills programs, see the following links:
Ultimately, I don’t think pre-choreographed formats are for me and here’s why...
Lack of creative freedom.
One of my favorite parts of teaching is coming up with music and choreography. While it can be time-consuming, this is one of my creative outlets. It also allows me to tailor my class to the wants and needs of my clients. If a client tells me s/he wants a longer calves section during barre, I can easily fit that into my next class. If I were teaching P90X, I wouldn’t have any control over which body parts we focus on - I’d have to teach the choreography I was given.
In general, I also tend to dislike the music that comes with pre-choreographed formats. Zumba has really awesome music sometimes, but formats like Les Mills and Beachbody Live use awful fitness remixes of popular songs. Everyone’s taste is different, but I rarely like the music in those classes. I also find that my clients love the music I put into my playlists and it’s always fun to take song requests for future classes.
Teaching group fitness isn’t my full-time job; it’s a passion project of mine. I don’t think I’ll be as passionate about teaching choreography that isn’t mine to a playlist I didn’t create. Once I give creative control to someone else, I no longer feel like the class is mine. Yes, instructors of pre-choreographed formats can add their own personal touch to the way they deliver the choreography. But they really have no freedom to change things up if they want to. Teaching a class I’m not 100% passionate about would be a disservice to my clients and myself.
Issues with the Beachbody brand.
There’s no doubt that Beachbody has some of the best trainers in the business on their team. They also have some uniquely awesome workouts. Clients at one of the gyms I work at love their P90X and PiYo classes. However, I have some conflicts with aspects of the Beachbody brand.
I don’t support MLMs.
If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve either seen or been contacted by a Beachbody “coach”. As a fitness professional who went through the process of getting certified, it’s pretty infuriating to see people with zero credentials calling themselves “coaches” and attempting to make money off of people who don’t know any better.
Aside from offering the live programs, Beachbody is an MLM company. MLM stands for multi-level marketing. Also known as network marketing, MLM consultants earn commission from any product they sell as well as product sold by other consultants they recruit, known as their “downline”. MLMs require their consultants to pay a fee, typically for a start-up kit of some kind, in order to start selling. One of the most common themes in an MLM is that consultants focus more on trying to recruit people to join their “team” and start selling rather than actually selling the product themselves. According to recent studies, more than 99% of MLM consultants end up losing money. Some other examples of popular MLMs you've probably heard of include Herbalife, ItWorks, Mary Kay, and Monat. Now, back to Beachbody.
Their “coaches” attempt to recruit more “coaches” to be part of their “team”. Some of the tactics I’ve seen Beachbody “coaches” using are downright disgusting. Targeting women who recently gave birth and are insecure about their weight gain, single moms, immigrants, and people from low-income areas are just a few examples. MLMs have ruined a lot of people’s lives, and I find that a lot of their tactics are really dishonest. This isn’t meant to be an anti-MLM post, so here are some good resources if you’re interested in learning more about what I mentioned above.
If you’re in search of a fitness/nutrition plan or looking for motivation to get fit, please don’t seek the advice of a Beachbody “coach”. The vast majority of these people aren’t certified in anything fitness-related and are trying to sell you something. And whatever you do, please don’t give them any of your money! If you’re looking for someone to push you, find a good certified personal trainer or registered dietician.
As far as I know, the Beachbody Live programs aren’t part of the MLM side of Beachbody. However, it all falls under the Beachbody umbrella. If I were going to teach a pre-choreographed format, it wouldn’t be one associated with practices I don’t agree with.
Who should be a Beachbody Live instructor?
I think a lot of people would have a good experience teaching a Beachbody Live or other pre-choreographed format. There are a ton out there. Beachbody Live, Les Mills and Zumba are some of the most popular companies offering pre-choreographed classes. Each of those has multiple programs you can choose from to be certified to teach in. I would encourage you to do your research on the companies as well as the programs they offer if you’re interested in teaching a pre-choreographed format.
New instructors or people who don’t want to spend time creating choreography and playlists.
Did you just get your group fitness certification but don’t know where to start? A pre-choreographed format like one of the programs Beachbody Live offers may be an option to consider. You’re guaranteed to get an effective class that was designed by professionals who know what they’re doing. This can help relieve pressure for people who are new to teaching. Or, maybe you’re not new, but you’d rather not focus on creating choreography and playlists. If this is you, Beachbody Live programs may be a good fit. They’ve already done the legwork for you - all you have to do is learn the choreography and deliver it to your class!
People interested in becoming a Master Trainer.
If you’ve ever attended a training to become certified to teach a particular class format/modality, you were probably taught by a Master Trainer. All certifying group fitness companies have them. If you’re interested in hearing about my experience with Barre Above training, click here.
If you want to “train the trainers”, you can become a Master Trainer and lead the trainings that develop new instructors in your format. Most companies require you to have taught that particular class a certain number of times before you can become a Master Trainer. This is generally more financially lucrative than just teaching.
Becoming a Master Trainer for one of the big companies like Beachbody Live, Les Mills, or Zumba can open the door to lots of opportunities. This is a great place to start if you want to make fitness a full-time career. Beachbody Live programs are wildly popular and the brand has been around for years. If you want to become a Master Trainer, getting certified to teach is the first step!
If you really enjoy Beachbody Live programs and don’t have an issue with their MLM alignment, I’d say go for it. I don’t think teaching a Beachbody Live format is for me, but I know people who do it and love it.
What’s next for me?
I’m still thinking about getting certified to teach a more high-intensity, sweat-filled class. I’m actually considering indoor cycling! There are a few different companies I can get certified through, but I’ve been looking at good old Spinning. It’s one of the most popular and it’s been around a long time. I think indoor cycling would be a great format for me to teach because instructors always get a great workout and I’d have the freedom to use whatever music I like. While there are only so many moves you can do on a bike, there are ways to keep it exciting.
If anyone has any recommendations or tips for getting certified to teach indoor cycling, I’m all ears! Check out last week’s workouts below.
Thanks so much for reading!
What are your thoughts on Beachbody Live? Do you take any of their live classes or teach them? What’s your favorite class? Let me know in the comments!
Hi there! Today, I’m sharing my tips for keeping up with your workout routine while traveling/vacationing. I partnered with adidas to create this post as part of their Staying Fit For Summer campaign!
Since I spent most of last week in Toronto, my workout routine was very different from usual! This was my first time in Canada and I had so much fun. While I didn’t get in much resistance training, I stayed active, which was my focus during this vacation.
If you want to know my tips for staying active on vacation, keep reading!
Thank you for reading this week’s post! I hope you found some of my tips helpful! These are some of the things that help me stay active while I’m on vacation. Do you have any other tips to share? How do you plan to stay active during any upcoming vacations? Let me know in the comments!
Other posts you might like:
Hey there! Are you a group fitness instructor or interested in becoming one? Or maybe you’re just curious about what it’s like. If so, keep on reading! This post is about the HONEST pros and cons of being a group fitness instructor.
All in all, I think the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to being a group fitness instructor. While making extra money is awesome, my biggest reasons for teaching aren’t financial. Yes, making $45 for a 50 minute class sounds great. But when you factor in the time it takes to prepare for class, arriving early to greet clients, and staying after to chat with them, the hourly rate goes down. If you’re in it for the money, you’ll probably find yourself disappointed!
My day job pays the bills and my fitness jobs provide some extra income, but the best thing about teaching is how fulfilling it is on so many levels. Preparing my choreography and playlists takes me a lot less time than when I first started teaching. But even when it took forever, it was something I enjoyed doing. I don’t teach any pre-choreographed formats - all my choreography and playlists are 100% original. Teaching gives me an opportunity to express myself creatively. It’s also really honed my public speaking skills, increased my confidence, and contribute to my ability to network. Most of all, the feeling I get when I have a room full of people who got an awesome workout is unmatched.
Check out my workouts from last week:
Taught barre class
Taught PiYo class
Taught barre class
Taught barre class
Do you want to know anything else about being a group fitness instructor? If you teach group fitness, what’s your favorite and least favorite part? If you’ve tried group fitness before, how did you like it?
Let me know in the comments!
I've been on a huge Les Mills On Demand kick lately! I've been so busy with new work projects and teaching group fitness classes that home workouts have been the ultimate timesaver. I'm trying out as many Les Mills On Demand programs as I can during my free trial. I want to try and evaluate Les Mills as a whole. I've tried several other Les Mills programs already (Les Mills Barre, Les Mills Bodyattack) and I'm considering reviewing Les Mills Grit as well. Let me know if you're interested.
Next on my list to try was Bodycombat!
Here's the description from the website:
"Step into a BODYCOMBAT workout and you’ll punch and kick your way to fitness, burning up to 740 calories* along the way. This high-energy martial-arts inspired workout is totally non-contact and there are no complex moves to master. A LES MILLS™ instructor will challenge you to up the intensity and motivate you to make the most of every round. You’ll release stress, have a blast and feel like a champ. BODYCOMBAT is available as either a 55- minute workout, 30-minute express workout and an online exclusive Remix workout."
To give you all some background, I've done Muay Thai kickboxing classes in the past (both hitting a heavy bag and doing pad work with a partner). I always left those classes drenched in sweat. They were great for cardio and practicing technique.
*Side note* If you're in Connecticut and want to try a great mixed martial arts gym, I highly recommend Fighting Arts Academy in West Haven. The head coach, Nick Newell, is a professional fighter who fought on the UFC Contender Series. He’s a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu! After just three months of training there, I competed in a jiu-jitsu tournament. Whether you want to become a professional fighter or just want something fun to do to stay in shape, you should check it out! Nick offers a free trial week, so you can try it before you commit!
I've also done cardio kickboxing classes (no equipment or partner) at local gyms and left mostly unimpressed. The music was usually pretty terrible and they were all pretty similar.
I was very impressed with Bodycombat, though. It wasn't the most challenging workout I've done, but it was very fun and I did sweat. I really liked that this class wasn't just a bunch of kickboxing combos. They took movements from different martial arts - even Capoeira, which happened to be my favorite part! This was something I'd never seen in a martial arts fitness class, and the moves really target the legs.
The music was outstanding and matched the exercises perfectly. Even though it’s a cardio workout, I also got in a good amount of bodyweight strength training, especially with the Capoeira. I wasn't as crazy about the music in Bodyattack, but I loved most of the songs in this release of Bodycombat.
On a difficulty scale of 0 to 10, I'd give this class a 7. This is a good workout to do after a day of heavy lifting. It’s a good way to sweat and keep the muscles loose, but it’s probably too intense for an active rest day workout. I’d say this is one of the most fun workouts I've done; Les Mills really hit the nail on the head with this choreography. Transitions were flawless and the variety provided in the class was excellent. You won't be bored doing this workout. Bodycombat did a good job activating the core, but not enough that you'll be sore the next day if you exercise regularly. I also appreciate that there was some HIIT during the session. The instructions provide tons of modifications; don't be afraid to try this class out if you're a beginner.
As with most Les Mills On Demand programs, the instructors were a bit cheesy. Some people love this and some people hate it - it just makes me laugh, which I guess is a good thing! Of course, if you're doing Bodycombat live, then this will vary by instructor personality. In my experience, the Les Mills Barre instructors do a lot less of the cheesy yelling and are more calm and collected. That’s more my speed!
I chose a 45-minute version of Bodycombat. But you can choose a shorter or longer class with Les Mills On Demand. It went by very quickly since there were so many different martial arts covered! As with the other Les Mills programs I've tried, I did this at home in my basement.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend Bodycombat for all levels of fitness. You can choose how difficult you want the class to be - Les Mills programs are top notch when it comes to providing progressions and regressions. I had a lot of fun with this one!
Check out my workouts from last week:
Lower body day
Taught 55 minute barre class
30 minute barre workout at home
Taught 50 minute barre class
30 minutes of lifting
55 minute HIIT class
Rest day - went to my mom’s wedding!
30 minute HIIT workout at home
Have you tried Bodycombat? Did you find it as fun as I did? Did you meet your fitness goals last week, and what are your goals this week?
Let's talk about it!
Hi, everyone! This week’s post is going to be all about acro yoga. I tried my first class a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been coming every week since then! Check out my Instagram to see a couple of poses from my first ever class. If you’re interested in trying acro yoga, have no idea what it is, or love it and want to know my thoughts on it, keep reading.
What is acro yoga?
Acro yoga (often called acro by its practitioners) combines yoga and acrobatics. There are a bunch of different flows and postures, and all of them involve lifting another person in the air. There’s a base, a flyer, and a spotter. The base is the person doing the lifting, the flyer is the person who gets lifted, and the spotter makes sure everyone is safe at all times. Some flows and postures can be especially dangerous, so it’s important to always have a spotter. If you want to see a couple of the flows I did as a first-timer, check out my Instagram!
Why did you take this class?
One of the fitness centers where I teach barre has partnerships with several local studios. Through this partnership, I can take classes at all of those studios free. Breathing Room is one such studio, in downtown New Haven, where I had already taken a couple of classes. I initially signed up for their acro class by mistake! I thought I was signing up for the aerial silk class (which is another class I’ll be trying and writing about soon!). Still, I decided to stay when I arrived and realized this was acro rather than aerial silk.
I did competitive gymnastics growing up and love anything that allows me to flip or fly. I had no idea what to expect in this first class, but I ended up learning a bunch of new tricks! This was an open class where all experience levels were welcome. There’s also an intermediate class that you need instructor permission to attend.
If you’re local, check out Breathing Room! They offer many different kinds of classes. You’re sure to find one you’ll enjoy.
The class is listed as a 1-hour class (most people were there well over 1 hour). I stayed for about 2 hours - there wasn’t really a firm end time since there was no class after ours. We started with some stretching and sun salutations. Then, the instructor grabbed a couple of volunteers to demonstrate some poses. After that, we broke out into groups and began trying out poses. We rotated groups every few minutes so that we had a chance to work with everyone there. Each person spent time in all three roles (base, flyer, spotter) but I spent most of the class flying. We started with a pose called bird, then worked on some flows using that pose. Once we started working on the star pose, things got really interesting!
There are lots of cool things you can do from the star position. If you’re a flyer, all of them require a lot of trust in your base and spotter! I got to work on flowing from star to side star, then rolling through to bird. I worked on a couple of other flows as well.
This class was an excellent workout. Whether you’re the base or flyer, you’ll definitely work up a sweat. It’s tougher than it seems; not everyone in the class was even able to get up to star and hold it. So, if you do it in your first class, pat yourself on the back! Not only was it a good workout, but it was incredibly fun. When the instructor would demo a move, I’d think to myself “there’s no way I’m going to be able to do that”. But you’d be surprised what you can do when you have a good base!
I noticed that with certain bases, movements were a lot more challenging than with others. That’s why it was great to get to work with just about everyone in the class; to figure out who I work well with.
Any tips for a beginner? Try all three roles. It’s important to try being a base, flyer, and spotter. Even if you go in thinking there’s a role you’ll prefer, try them all out. I really liked flying, which seemed like an obvious choice since I’m pretty light and like being up in the air. But being a base helped me understand how to better distribute my weight while flying.
I’ve really loved incorporating heated vinyasa yoga into my routine each week. It’s a great way to complement a long day at work. I never really cared for traditional yoga, but add heat to the room and I’m there. I’m also trying to make sure I get in at least one good sauna session per week! Check out my workouts from last week below:
75 minute heated vinyasa class
Taught 55-minute barre class
55 minute barre class
Taught 50-minute barre class
30 minutes of lifting
Sauna and steam room session
Taught 55-minute barre class
55 minute CrossFit class
Home barre workout
Do you prefer hot yoga or regular temperature? Would you like me to talk about my experience with Bikram yoga? What are your thoughts on saunas after a workout?
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know!
Other posts you might like:
How I Became a Barre Instructor
Les Mills Barre Review
How I Passed the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Exam
As you may have read in my last post, I'm trying out Les Mills On Demand using their free 10-day trial. This is my first experience with Les Mills group fitness classes; but after trying some of the programs at home, I'd really like to do one in-person! Check out my review of Bodyattack #99 here. That post also has more information about who/what Les Mills is, as well as how you can try Les Mills programs at home for free.
This time, I decided to give Les Mills Barre a try. I didn't know what to expect at first. I had no idea that Les Mills even had a barre program until I browsed the On Demand catalog. When I think of Les Mills, I think of high energy workouts that are more aerobic/cardio-based. To be honest, my expectations for the barre program weren't high - I really just don't think of Les Mills when I think of barre.
But I have to admit that I was VERY pleasantly surprised! I tried the Les Mills Barre #02 release.
First, Les Mills Barre doesn't use a barre or any other support mechanism. While I actually loved this aspect of the class, it's something to note if you're looking for a typical barre experience. Anyone who’s familiar with barre knows that the class uses a ballet barre for support while performing some of the exercises. This class is an exception, which I think is great because it forces you to use your stabilizing muscles to stay balanced. However, they probably should've named this a ballet fitness class rather than barre since there's no barre or barre alternative involved.
The class was perfectly choreographed, as is the case with all the Les Mills programs I've tried. It was 30 minutes long, the same as all Les Mills Barre workouts. And the entire session had an excellent flow - each move and series had a flawless transition into the next.
What I appreciated most about this class was that the instructors were clearly former dancers. There were three of them, and they had excellent technique and used ballet terminology throughout the workout. As a former dancer myself, it was so refreshing to hear French ballet terminology beyond just plié and relevé! One of the things I love most about barre is that you don't have to be a dancer to do it. But I feel like we sometimes take too much of the traditional ballet base out of the class! I loved that Les Mills Barre used a lot more ballet moves than other barre classes I've seen and actually taught us the French names for them.
There was an arms section with light weights like you’ll find in most barre classes. I didn't think it was challenging, but the arms were active throughout the entire class. So, I was fine with the intensity of the weighted portion.
The overall class was challenging enough that anyone could benefit from it. Not having a barre there made it even more challenging, but the instructors offered plenty of modifications for people at different fitness levels. I enjoyed attempting to pirouette gracefully in my basement!
Although the choreography was excellent, the presenters in the On Demand version of Les Mills Barre #02 really made the class. If you've done other Les Mills programs, you're probably used to a lot of yelling and (almost scarily) high-energy instructors. I consider barre to be a mind-body format just as much as yoga or Pilates, and this particular workout had the same calm nature. The instructor's voice was so soothing! All three of the presenters had impeccable form, which really encouraged me to challenge myself with each movement.
I do wonder how this translates to a live class with different instructors since the feel of the class can easily change with someone else leading. The choreography, though, was some of the best I've seen in a barre class. I loved the glute work on the floor and plan to use some of it in my upcoming barre classes!
Musically, the song selection was great and matched the pace of the class perfectly. I really dislike the covers that Les Mills uses (they're nowhere near as good as the original songs). I understand they have to use them for copyright reasons, though :)
Check out my workouts from last week below:
75 minute heated vinyasa class
40 minute powerlifting workout (check Instagram for some movements!)
Taught 55 minute barre class
2 hour acro yoga class (review of this will be up next week!)
Taught 50 minute barre class
Sauna & steam room session
55 minute HIIT class
Taught 55 minute barre class
Have you tried Les Mills Barre in person or On Demand? How did you like it? What cool new workouts/classes are you trying this summer?
Let me know your thoughts, and enjoy the rest of your week!
Hello! This has been a super busy week, but I'm excited to say that I landed an additional barre class at a new gym!
As you'll see from my weekly workout summary, this week was very class heavy! I normally teach two barre classes a week but ended up teaching four this week. I was subbing on Wednesday and my audition at the new gym was on Thursday!
(Pro tip: The best way to get people to sub for you when you need a day off is to sub for others when you're available. I recently needed 3 subs while I was on a cruise and I’ll need a sub in June for my mom's wedding. So, I’ll be sure to return the favor. Plus, who doesn't love extra money?)
The fitness center where I currently teach is your typical CrossFit gym: no machines - just barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and rowers. They only offer classes and there’s very little open gym time. While the classes are great, I’d love the option to do my own thing sometimes. I wanted to pick up another class at a more traditional gym so that I’d have access to a facility with the hours and equipment I need to get my weightlifting routine back to full throttle. And I found the perfect place!
This new gym is beautiful and has both free weights and machines. It also has a sauna and steam room! Not to mention, the group fitness classes sound pretty awesome. They offer incentives for getting high numbers in your classes, which I love! I'll be teaching at this gym on Thursdays, which brings my weekly teaching schedule to 3 classes per week (when I’m not subbing). Although I taught 4 classes this past week, I think 3 is more than enough for me right now.
(Pro tip: Dying to work out at that gorgeous gym but don't want to pay that monthly membership fee? Consider getting a part-time job there. Even if you aren't an instructor or trainer, just working at the front desk will more than likely get you a free membership. Free classes/memberships are one of my favorite perks of being a barre instructor!)
So, my audition at this gym went so well that I was offered the position on the spot! While this audition went great, my first ever group fitness audition (at the fitness center where I currently teach) wasn’t so great. Although I ended up getting the job, my nerves got the best of me. I was required to do a couple of weeks of shadowing other instructors before I could teach my second demo class and be added to the schedule. I picked up some useful tips along the way, though. I hope they help you nail your audition!
I probably won’t be auditioning again for a while. But these are all tips that can be applied to teaching regular classes when those pre-class nerves start kicking in.
Check out my workouts from this week:
Weight training at Planet Fitness (legs/glutes)
Taught 55-minute barre class
Taught 55-minute barre class
Taught 50-minute barre class (audition)
Taught 55-minute barre class
Barre workout at home
My goal for next week is to get in a lot more weight training than I did this week. Since leaving Planet Fitness a few weeks ago, I haven't been lifting nearly as much as I want to. That should change now that I'll be teaching at this awesome new gym!
Did you hit your workout goals this week? Do you have any auditions coming up, or any other tips I forgot? Let me know in the comments!
You may also like the following posts:
How I Became a Barre Instructor
How I Passed the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Exam
Les Mills Bodyattack Review