Workin’ on my fitness
Ever since I stopped taking ballet classes and rehearsing for performances most days of the week for hours on end, my fitness level has definitely suffered. I still keep up with regular walks/hikes, yoga and pilates and occasionally swimming, but I know I need to push myself more, especially since I love the feeling of being active as soon as I leave my desk job each day.
Palo Alto has too many fitness options to choose from, which I love, so I decided to check out a few before my free Crunch membership started when Bitcasa moved to the new San Mateo office in July. So far, I’ve checked out Equinox (I was a member for most of 2013-2014); uforia studios, SoulCycle, The Dailey Method, Pure Barre, The Bar Method, and Core Studio.
At Equinox, I loved that the $150/month (partially subsidized by work) included an amazing gym, unlimited fitness classes, a saline rooftop pool, a beautiful spa, impeccable locker rooms with cold eucalyptus towels, Kiehl’s products, and a eucalyptus steam room. I never regretted a trip to Equinox, but I found that, after a while, I wasn’t totally challenged by the workout classes anymore (my favorites were Danceation, TRX, Pilates, yoga) and wanted a change for a bit.
I knew that SoulCycle was acquired by Equinox in 2011 (I wish SoulCycle classes were included in an Equinox membership), so it made sense that everyone was raving about the workout. I decided to give it a shot and absolutely loved it! Downsides: $30/class + $3 shoe rental (a few dollars cheaper if you buy a 5 or 10 class package; $20 for your first class; includes free shoes your first time); getting used to clipping in/out of the bike. After you get used to it, it’s the only way to spin. I recently took a spin class at Crunch wearing just Nike running shoes and I wished I’d had spin shoes. Everything else is wonderful. I love the atmosphere: lights off, clean studio with great branding, candles, motivational quotes on the walls, teachers who push you to places you never thought possible, upbeat music that makes you feel like you’re at a rave, and the high you feel is better than any drug could possibly be!
I’ve done barre classes for years, and I love Pure Barre out here (I loved in back in Michigan too!) The problem I was running into was similar to my problems with Equinox – after a while, I wanted to switch things up. I checked out The Bar Method, which wasn’t challenging enough – I didn’t even break a sweat – and The Dailey Method. I liked The Dailey Method, but again, if I’m getting up for an intense 6am workout, I want to sweat along with my resistance training.
Uforia Studios and Core Studio are both right down the street from my apartment in Palo Alto. Uforia is a cute boutique studio in an old church, and it’s beautiful! The prices are about the same as most exercise studios in the area – it averages out to between $18-24 per class, depending on your package. The staff is wonderful and the Grit and Revolutions (spin) classes are great. I’d go more often if I didn’t have a free Crunch membership through work now.
Core Studios uses SPX machines and it’s hands down the best core workout I’ve ever done. My first class was $15, first month once a week package was $79, and they just offered me a $99 monthly unlimited class, so I’m looking forward to toning and strengthening in August.
In addition to these classes, I’ve tried yoga, pilates, and spin at Crunch. I’m looking forward to checking out boxing, cardio kickboxing, pole dancing (!), and other weight/cardio/resistance training classes.
I also try to hike in the Bay Area (and beyond) as much as I can. It’s so beautiful here; the weather is always perfect and the hills make a killer (and free!) workout that’s fun to do with friends and visitors.
I’ll keep this blog updated as I try more fitness classes! I’ve even turned myself into a morning person – the way these classes work (booking online in advance) does not allow for cancellation without penalty, so when my alarm goes off at 5:20 (and 5:30… and 5:40), I’m out of bed and ready to go!