Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Classtivity Passport Class 5: SyncYoga

Halfway there! On Saturday I completed my fifth Classtvity class in Brooklyn at SyncStudio. While it was quite the nightmare to get to from Queens, I think it was worth it. For starters, it was a 75 minute class and definitely did not feel that long.

Once I got to the studio I signed in at the desk. Like Yoga Vida, you drop your coat and shoes into the lobby before heading to the yoga room or spin studio. THESE ROOMS ARE TOO SMALL! Boutique classes are a major trend right now and these small hallways cannot accommodate the amount of clients coming in and out. 

I brought my own yoga mat to this one just in case that little detail of needing to rent one got left out. At Sync they provide mats for you but I chose to use my own. The studio was decent sized, probably a little small but everyone fit pretty comfortably. Before class started were were asked to grab blocks, a bolster and a strap. 

We started off with some deep stretching then began our practice. I really liked how the instructor flowed the class together. We did several hip openers which were amazing! I got a few adjustments to my down dogs, which is to be expected. The instructor had us use a block between our legs for a few sun salutations so we felt how our legs were supposed to feel.

The description Classtivity put in my calendar said:

"Heavy focus will be placed on building strength, movement to breath, flexibility and alignment. This class is open to all levels, but it is recommended that you have practiced Yoga or taken a Basics class prior to joining this class. If you are new to Yoga we strongly encourage you to begin with SYNCYOGA Basics."

Overall this was a basic yet slightly challenging class. I would like to take the next level up to see what else the studio has to offer. There was definitely a big focus on breathe, movement and alignment. I recommend taking this class if you are new or a veteran. It was just a genuinely good class. 

Have you taken any SyncStudio classes?


Monday, January 20, 2014

Classtivity Passport Class 4: Body Space Fitness' Training for Warriors

Last Thursday I headed back to the Union Square area for Body Space Fitness' Training for Warriors. I signed up via Classtivity and this class appealed to me the most and the time was right. When I arrived I accidentally went to the wrong floor- Classtivity I recommend putting the floor in the calendar memo. The girl at the desk had me fill out a waiver then pointed me in the direction of the locker room.

If Body Space Fitness had morning classes I would definitely go. They had lockers with the digital number combinations, showers, bathrooms, hair dryers, etc. I put my stuff in a locker then headed back out to wait for class to start. I started talking with one of the girls waiting for kickboxing and she expressed that she loved Body Space Fitness.

The studio itself is a little small- it's more for personal training than classes. Each class was VERY small although mine had 9 people in it. The coach (that's what they call their instructors) came over and rounded up the Training for Warriors class. He went over that we would be doing 3 rounds of the following:

  • 20 second sprints and 2 strength exercises. Repeated 3 times per 1 round.

For strength we did a mix of lifting weights, mountain climbers, planks and push-ups. On the treadmill we had the incline on a minimum of 8 and the speed on a minimum of 7.

The first set I felt like a rock star and flowed right through it. Although I am pretty slow when I'm using weights. As the class went on, I was getting a little worn out!

At the end after our 3rd round, we did 3 full rounds of strength, each station was 30 seconds each. I started at these long, heavy ropes and alternated between moving them up and down together, moving one up and one down and making circles. Then were jump squats and last was abs.

Here's what I didn't like:

  • There was too much waiting in between cardio and strength sets
  • Not enough pump me up music
  • There was not too much cardio

Overall, I would recommend this class. In fact, I'm taking it again since they offered a free class after your first. It is definitely a full body workout and perfect for after work. 

Have you ever taken at class at Body Space Fitness? Which one?


Ps. I forgot to take pictures again

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Classtivity Passport Class 3: As One

On Sunday, I woke up early(ish) to eat some breakfast before heading to my third Classtivity class. After getting caught up on my iPad I ran out of the door to head into the city over to Columbus Circle for an As One class. Classtivity only allows you to sign up for the intro class but trust me, it's more than enough. 

When I arrived I headed upstairs and had a seat while the previous class finished up. Mark I think came up and had me sign a waiver. He asked everyone else if they had injuries, but not me. I guess I look like a healthy athlete. As more people came in I chatted with them about Classtivity and what other workouts they like to do. 

Then we got started. We got a light pole and followed Mark (I'm not 100% sure of his name but for this post, that's what he's called) who guided us in stretching out our legs and arms. Then he explained what our workout was. Mark divided us into 2 groups and gave this instruction:

If you were on the floor you did 30 seconds of each of the below strength training exercises for 2 sets:

  • Squats
  • Push ups
  • Plank
  • Burpees
  • Abs
Those doing cardio had options of:
Air bike
Jump rope 
Mountain climber machine (I think that's what it was)

Oh did I mention you repeat the above 3 times?

I started on the air bike and alternated 30 second sprints and regular pedaling. I actually didn't mind this or the StairMaster (my 2nd cardio).

During the first strength portion, I think I did well. I did all of my push ups normal-no knees! And didn't stop too much in between burpees. The second set, after the StairMaster, I may have gotten a bit slower, but still maintained my push-ups.

For my third cardio I did jump rope. I wore the rope more than I jumped it but that's OK. I tried as best as I could to do the 30 seconds hard but I failed a bit. 

The last strength rotation I did my first set of squats with a weight. Everything I did during this last portion was slow. But it felt so good!

After the last 30 seconds we all got foam rollers and Mark guided us for a cool down. 

This is by far the best Classtivity Passport class I've taken so far. I only wish Mark was more vocal and encouraging rather than quiet and timid. 

I highly recommenced taking this class. If I could do it again- I totally would!

Have you taken any As One classes? What did you think?


Ps. I was just so excited I forgot to take my own photos and I couldn't find pictures of the studio. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recipe: Stuffed Chicken

[Broccoli, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken]

A few weeks ago I finally decided to try out a stuffed chicken recipe. It was to die for! I love chicken so it's fun to switch it up every once in a while and try something new. As usual, I added my own modifications. While I am posting this on a Tuesday, I recommend hitting favorite and waiting until the weekend to try it. Mine took a little long to cook and on week nights I prefer something quick and easy. 

Recipe courtesy of Skinny Mom.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Quantity depends on how many you are cooking for. I used 3. 
  • 1-2 cups  broccoli (Although I love fresh broccoli, I used the frozen kind for this)
  • A block of Mozzarella 
  • Baby spinach
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 toothpicks per each piece of chicken
  • Spray Oil (optional)
What's next?

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Also, make sure your chicken is defrosted. 

Using a cutting board (or ziplock bag), place chicken and secure the entire board with saran wrap. Pound chicken until it is flat and thin. 

In 1 dish, whip the eggs together and in another, mix breadcrumbs and seasonings. 

Also make sure you slice the Mozzarella. 

Remove the plastic wrap from the cutting board and place a slice of cheese, broccoli and a handful of spinach on each chicken breast.

Next, roll the chicken as tight at you can and secure with 2 toothpicks. Brush the egg mixture over the chicken then dip the roll into breadcrumbs. Roll it around and make sure it is completely covered. 

Place each roll SEAM down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or tin foil). 

Bake for about 30 minutes. I was having trouble cooking the chicken through so make sure it is really done before serving.

Lastly, plate and serve! I had brown rice and spinach with mine. 

Have you ever made stuffed chicken? What did you put inside?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Classtivity Passport Class 2: Yoga Vida Union Square

Last Thursday I took a basic yoga flow at Yoga Vida's Union Square location though Classtivity. I headed down after work and it was really easy to get to. The elevator doors open right into the studio which was great. I checked in at the desk as a first time visitor. The front desk area was a bit small, it's also where you leave your coat and shoes. The man who checked me in was very polite and let me know where everything was. What did come as a shock was the $2 mat rental. My reminder e-mail from Classtivity said the only thing I need to bring was comfortable clothes- no mention of a yoga mat. Luckily my fee was waived when I mentioned that. 

A few months ago I read a story on Well & Good a few months back about how a man was suing after his leg went through a window when practicing a head stand. I commented on the story saying no one ever forced me to do anything I didn't want to do and had taken many crowded classes. BUT this class was overkill crowded. With potentially 50+ people in the class, I ended up squished in a corner by the cubbyholes where you put your bags. So I now totally understand his concern. 

I got settled in my little corner and stretched my legs out. That's the whole reason I was looking forward to yoga- my legs were super tight. Before class,the instructor did not come over to introduce himself, ask if anyone was new or if this was their first time at Yoga Vida. 

[Not event half of the people in the class]
The instructor started with a little background on breathing techniques then we began classes. At Yoga Vida, instructors demonstrate on a box so everyone can see (my guess is because it is so crowded). 

While the class was called flow, I felt it was just a race to get all of the poses in. Although my legs felt great, I I couldn't stretch to my full potential without nailing my neighbors in the head or landing in a cubby. I also didn't receive any adjustments- I know my yoga poses are not that good. 

The description Classtivity posted on my Google calendar said:

"In this Open-Level Vinyasa Flow class we keep the structure of the class simple enough for beginners, but suggest optional variation to engage and challenge all levels and abilities."

There were only minimal variations offered. In my personal opinion, the Yoga Vida class was geared toward college students who need something to do. It reminded me of when I first started yoga in college.

Classtivity's Passport is all about trying new studios. I'm happy I got to go to Yoga Vida but I don't think I will pursue additional classes. 

Have you ever been to Yoga Vida in Union Square? Thoughts?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Classtivity Passport Class 1: Pedal NYC 45-Minute Spin

On Wednesday I took the first class using my Classtivity Passport. That activated my account, meaning I have 30 days from then to use my 10 classes. I don't believe that should be a problem! I needed some cardio in my life so I chose a Pedal NYC spin class. 

I headed down to the studio on West End, just over from Lincoln Center after work. The walk was brutal (this would be polarvortex day) and I was really happy to walk through the front door once I arrived. But there heat was broken! But don't worry, I won't hold it against them. When I walked in the receptionist was very cheery and signed me in. She gave me a waiver to sign since I signed up through Classtivity and the computer indicated it was my first time at the studio. Additionally she handed a piece of paper with my name that went into a raffle of my choice. Options were a free class, one on one personal training, a sweat party with 20 people or a free t-shirt. I put mine in a free class. 

I headed to the locker area to put my bag and coat down. Wearing a spaghetti strap shirt was so NOT ideal. I was frozen! Pedal has 2 rooms and fortunately they had fan heaters in one where I went to warm up a little. Eventually I headed into the room with the bikes for our class to start. 

The instructor was Mr. Ray himself. He is the own of Pedal NYC. Before we began he came over and introduced himself and taught me how to use the bike (even though I've taken spin a zillion times- protocol!). 

This is the description that Classtivity put in my calendar:

"Indoor cycling is your calorie burning diamond in the rough! A multi-engaging exercise, ideal for all ages and fitness levels, workout newbies and pros are provided an outlet to be reactive and proactive for a healthy kick butt lifestyle.Don’t believe us? Here’s some proof… Indoor Cycling has been listed by the American Heart Association as an effective way for improving your cardiovascular health. Specially crafted for a low impact workout coupled with fierce sweat dripping cadences, you won’t miss a pedal while moving to the beat in the SpinBin!If that’s not enough to convince you to pedal with us, another equally enticing quality of indoor cycling is that it’s EXHILARATING & ENTERTAINING!PEDAL NYC's instructors are highly trained and ALWAYS bring their “A” game! Our classes jam out to ADRENALINE PUMPING, ENERGIZING, MOTIVATIONAL MUSIC!"

Mr. Ray started us off with a warm-up (I didn't get warm) and we were off! It took me a while to get used to the bike since I've been getting accustomed to Flywheel bikes. There was a RPM monitor attached so I could see how fast I was going, a clock and something else (clearly was not paying attention). My bike also came with a free water bottle!

Throughout the class Mr. Ray kept us motivated and encouraged us to keep going. Although I wish I heard more of the music. Sometimes I dislike too many countdowns when I really just want to get lost in a song. Our class was filled with sprints and hill climbs, we even split into teams at the end.

[Inspirational pillow on Pedal's couch!]
I highly recommend Pedal NYC's spin class for those new to spin. I didn't get the workout I was used to, but it felt good to be on the bike. For me, it was as challenging as I expected but for someone just getting their feet wet I think they would enjoy it.

My first Classtivity class (double negative?) was a success! Can't wait to share more recaps with you as the month goes on.

Have you been to Pedal NYC before? What did you think?


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Three: Things I've Learned This Week

Yesterday marked one week of me living here. I've already blew a fuse with my hair dryer, cracked an egg all over the counter, hung up a mirror completely crooked, bought an expensive Metrocard and left it at home and froze my butt off walking from Lincoln Center to West End. Obviously that was more than 3 things so for today's post it's all about the things I were good accomplishments.

[I purchased my own bed and dresser (which has still not arrived] 
[I signed up for Classtivity's Passport to get back on my fitness game, source]

[Joined Meetup to meet new people in my neighborhood, source]

What struggles did you have the first week you moved to a new city?


Monday, January 6, 2014

Classtivity Passport

One of the biggest struggles I've had in the past 4 days is which gym to join or should I stick to boutique classes. I'm sure this is not something high on others peoples stress list but it was on mine. After going back and forth over what to do I finally sprung for Classtivity's Passport. 

Although I definitely did NOT read the fine print with this one. I have been signed up for their e-mails for quite some time and was really excited about the new studios that were just added. However, I can't take classes at them. Classtivity is not just a fitness concierge service. It is meant as a way to introduce you to new studios. I get 10 classes to use for the next month and can only visit each of the studios in the Passport selection once. 

I chose to take 2 classes this week- a spin class at Pedal and a yoga class at Yoga Vida (Union Square location). And next Sunday I will be headed to As One Effect

My dresser is arriving tomorrow, the last piece of the puzzle, and I am excited to get back on track with my workouts and eating. Although my budget is making me a bit limited on what I can buy, I'm making an effort. 

Look out for recaps all month from the classes I'm taking through Classtivity!

Do you use a fitness concierge service? Which one? Do you like it?


Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's 7:57 PM and I am writing this from the comfort of my computer AFTER I've eaten dinner. After work. Because I finally moved! 2013 was a year filled with challenges from work, friends, boys, sports and more. I wouldn't change any of it for the world because it landed me here. 

2014 is already proving to be a good one. On my calendar so far is the NYC Half in March and a Luke Bryan concert in September. And after coming back from Corning last week the Wineglass Half is high on my list!

Now that I have hours on hours on hours of extra free time during the week, you should see more of the fabulous posts I use to have up. Like recipes or that I actually worked out instead of ate all day. Am I the only on who feels like they gained 20 pounds in 5 days?

Although this post is several days late, here's to 2014. Who knows what will happen, but I'm sure excited to find out!