The Strength II

Hi guys, hopefully y’all are having an amazing week! This past Sunday I had the opportunity to visit another Pilates studio, Beyond Studios Frisco is a cute and compact studio located in Legacy Drive in Frisco.

I decided to give Pilates another go since I loved my previous experience in Sessions Pilates, but man had I forgotten how much they make you work your muscles! I’ve been sore for days!!

I arrived to Beyond Studios Frisco for the first class of the day on Sunday, I got greeted by my instructor Sam and she was AMAZING! She was super upbeat and demonstrated the exercises on the machine so that we could get our form right; this was a major plus for me since last time I had a hard time getting the correct form on the machine.

The class was a total of 50 minutes and it was non-stop. At the beginning we had a warm up, preparing our leg muscles for the workout ahead, we mostly did squats and pulses. 5 minutes into the warm up and I can tell you my thighs were ON FIRE!!

The first 30 minutes or so of the routine we worked our legs, we did extended lunges, pulses and squats. The variation of each exercise is hard to put into words since we worked mostly on the machine. After legs we targeted arms and chest by incorporating resistance bands, each move has to be calculated and control is everything for this workout to be effective; this means you don’t really have to go fast and try to get a lot of repetitions in, slow and steady is the way to go!

For the last 10 minutes or so we worked on our core, and let me tell ya’ by that time I was trembling like a leaf!! Again, controlled movements are everything when executing any Pilates workout, there is a lot of balancing involved!

At the of the class we did have an instructor led cool-down, I feel like this is imperative! Even with the cool-down my muscles are sore, but it feels amazing!

As a recap, my second experience with Pilates was a total success! I love that Beyond Studios Frisco has a small and intimate feel, everyone in class was engaged and the instructor was great! I am definitely a fan of Pilates and will continue to incorporate these classes in my journey.

Again, Pilates is a workout for those who are looking to tone, although you WILL sweat during your session it really isn’t cardio so it will not help you gain much resistance.

I absolutely recommend checking out Beyond Studios if you’re looking to try out Pilates, I know they have many locations and they offer great deals for first-timers.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Comment below if you have tried Pilates and what is your favorite studio!

Until next time!!

Xo,

Alexandra.

The Training

Hi guys, I’m finally back to writing after a long while! Not gonna lie, after the first few posts on here it almost started to feel like a task and I started getting overwhelmed with feeling like I had to post weekly; so, I am going to change my perspective on the blog and remind myself why started this in the first place.

This week I got to try an amazing workout at F45 Kings Ridge. This workout is intense, it will get you sweating and 100% make you want to keep coming back for more. Their studio is just an open space, it makes it feel like a CrossFit box or a boot camp right away, which I love! it just feels like you’re getting right to business.

Once I arrived at the location, I was greeted by one of the trainers, she was fantastic, super friendly and she noticed I was a new face right away. The concept of the gym is simple, every day is a different workout (and each has a cool name name like Hollywood, Varsity and Renegade), some are concentrated on cardio and some in strength.

On Monday, I completed their Firestorm class; it was cardio orientated so definitely not my strong suit. I did power through and their trainers are really personable, engaging, fun and motivating; and that does influence the energy and helps you demolish the workout!

The gym is equipped with everything you can think of, from rowers to TRX bands, from jump boxes to spinning bikes. Once you enter the gym you will notice that the equipment you will be using during the 45-minute training is strategically placed and marked with a number (for the Firestorm workout we had numbers from 1 to 26) and the idea is each person starts at a certain number and completes that workout for a minute and moves to the next; they refer to each number as “station”. For the Firestorm workout we went through all 26 stations twice with a 1-minute water break in between, the workout was killer!

Please note that each day and each workout is different so the amount of stations and the time spent on each may differ.

On your first visit the the trainers will approach you and walk you through the stations before demonstrating to the whole class, they also ask if you have any injuries and offer alternative workouts if you have or have had any. F45 has a great concept, it feels very familiar and the staff is very friendly. I recommend trying F45 once you are committed and ready for a fast paced, high intensity, killer workout. 45 minutes might not sound like much, but it is INTENSE!

Some pointers that I feel I need to touch on are, although they do offer a trainer led warm-up, they do not offer a cool-down or stretching after the workout. I also recommend you be somewhat familiar with gym equipment and basic form, because you change stations so fast and you only have a certain time to complete the exercise on each station, that if you do not have your form right or if you’re not familiar with a certain equipment you will not get the most out of your workout.

One of my takeaways and another great thing about this concept of training is that if you do not decide to sign up to F45, you can really expand your knowledge and learn new exercises to incorporate on your daily gym routine!

F45 has multiple franchised locations, you can download the F45 app at the App Store and just check out your nearest location and their schedule of classes, super convenient! They also offer a free week to try them out, talk about an amazing deal!

Hope you enjoyed this post and comment below if you have tried any revolutionary workouts around the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) area that you would like to see on the blog.

Until next time!!

Xo, Alexandra.

The Strength

I finally got the chance to write again, it’s been a minute! I feel like the weeks have been so hectic lately, even my mom ordered me to drink more vitamins since I’m on a “go, go, go” streak.

Nevertheless, I found the time – and strength – to get myself to another class. This last weekend I tried Pilates for the first time and I was so excited, because I’ve heard great things about this workout! I decided to go to Session Pilates, it’s this little boutique-style studio near Uptown. I did notice that they mostly sell out on their classes early, so if you’re looking to book here make sure you do so at least one week prior.

The on-site parking is a little limited, but since I went to the 9AM class on a Sunday -the day after Cinco de Mayo may I add hehe- I had no issues finding a spot.

Once I walked in, the instructor -Sarah- and the host greeted me and let me know where to place my belongings and offered socks if I didn’t have any -Pilates is done in socks, no shoes are permitted on the equipment.

Before beginning the class, Sarah let us know that we were going to do heavy leg work, which was perfect because I love me a leg day!! Pilates is basically all about control and strength, we use bands and the movements have to be precise to work the exact muscle you want to target.

Although we did heavy leg work, we also did major core work, moderate lower back work and we worked our arms and shoulders.

As a beginner what I struggled with was the bands and getting the right placement and posture. I had never worked with bands before, but luckily Sarah was very nice about guiding me and correcting me when needed.

I definitely enjoyed the workout and man did I feel it! I’ve been sore for days!! Pilates is a great alternative to free weights and it is guided so you are less likely to sustain injuries.

This is a great workout for anyone who is looking to tone rather than for those who are looking to improve their resistance (cardio). I do recommend that you have experience with heavy weights and control before you try, it’s 50 minutes of pure strength with no breaks in between.

All in all, I will most likely be back and take more Pilates classes to focus on toning and I loved the intimate feel of Session Pilates.

Let me know in the comment section if you have taken Pilates before or have though about trying it!

Until next week!

xo,

Alexandra.

The Routine

For the love of Spring! Ok, ok I should let you know that this post is not about a class. This week I decided to embrace the weather and create a quick 30-minute workout routine that you can do whenever, wherever.

This was such a fast and busy week for me, sometimes it’s hard squeezing in some time to work out, but fear not! we’ve all been there. This no-equipment-needed routine combines workouts that will get your heart rate going and ones for toning arms, back and legs.

Let’s get to this! This routine is customizable to fit your needs, it can be modified to be longer or you can include a set of weights to turn up the intensity. I recommend doing 15 reps of each exercise and do the routine 3 times with 30 second rest in between sets.

I started this routine with burpees, these will get your heart rate up and is a great exercise for warm up, not to mention that it works out your entire body and is super high intensity!!!

Burpees – 15 Repetitions

Second exercise in the routine are tricep dips you can perform these on any chair, anywhere. They are great to tone your arms, they work out your triceps – hard!!

Tricep dips – 15 Repetitions

After the dips, I decided to add another workout that involves a bench or chair, I incorporated push ups, these work out your arms, back and chest all at the same time, they’re a classic and should be incorporated on all routines!

Push ups – 15 Repetitions

To keep our heart rate going strong I incorporated high knees, these work out your legs, especially your inner thighs and outer hips, but will also get you sweating good!

High knees – 15 Repetitions

The next exercise on the routine is one for the quads! A one-minute wall sit will help you get those quadriceps poping – and you’ll feel the burn.

Wall sit – Hold for 1 Minute

To keep those legs working and your body sweating, I incorporated squats, I personally enjoy step and squats where you jump or step up on any platform and squat and step down, these will help you raise your heart rate while also working your quads, hamstrings and gluteus.

Another classic exercise that should be on every routine and works out your legs good is lunges these are super convenient, you can do lunges everywhere and there are many variation of these. You can also incorporate weights and make them more intense.

Lunges – 15 Repetitions

Finally, I wanted to incorporate an exercise that will work out your core. This is more of an aerobics move, I would call it step core, you step into a platform and bring your knee to the opposite elbow, targeting your core.

Step Core – 15 Repetitions

I would recommend doing three whole sets of these exercises, but again this is completely customizable! Go outside, enjoy the weather and drink lots of water!

I hope you guy enjoyed this post and let me know in the comments section what you would like to see next!

Until next week!!

xo,

Alexandra.

 

The Climb

So, this Wednesday I decided to try something new, something I had never done before or even seen done, I CLIMBED! I went to this cool new place in Highland Park called Rise Nation Dallas, and I loved it!

The workout consists of using a machine I would refer to as a “climber” and it’s super low impact, so great for everyone at any stage of their fitness journey.

I found out about Rise Nation Dallas from Instagram, they have a very appealing feed and a large following; even Mark Cuban – the awesome Dallas Maverick’s owner and Shark – took a class here recently and posted it on his Instagram! And although the workout is revolutionary – and kinda hard to explain on words – and the location is fairly new, they seem to be very busy.

But enough of that, let’s get into my experience! I arrived for my 7PM class, it was a Level 1 class for the newbies – like myself. The location is super convenient and offers free parking on a garage next door, HUGE plus. When I walked through the door I immediately felt comfortable, the atmosphere in the lobby was upbeat and inviting and they had a candle burning which made the whole place smell amazing – and any place that smells good, just makes it feel more appealing in my opinion.

I was super excited to take this class and was surprisingly not nervous at all – I’m finding out that I am more comfortable trying out something new than something I have a lot of experience with (like spinning).

Since I was taking the Level 1 class, I knew there would be a lot of first-timers and I was not wrong, we were all expectant and excited. The machine is super simple to operate and it truly works out all the muscles in your body, with concentration on gluteus, quads, abs and biceps.

The class is 30-minutes, non-stop and super upbeat! By the end of the class I was truly proud that I finished and was amazed at how much I was sweating – we didn’t stop climbing, not for a second! We had a monitor in the machine that tracked the total time spent on it (if you stopped climbing for whatever reason, the time paused and resumed when you started climbing again), and it tracked how many steps you climbed. My time was 30min and 32 seconds and my steps were 2,651!!!!

Overall, Rise Nation Dallas is an amazing concept for a spin on your regular fitness routine. It’s a low impact, high intensity workout with a great atmosphere and an amazing team of instructors. Fun fact: my instructor, Danielle, used to be a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys! She was super motivating and charismatic!

So, bottom line, if you are in any of the cities where Rise Nation has a location, I definitely recommend you give them a try, you will not be disappointed!

Until next week!

xo,

Alexandra.

The First Try

On Sunday morning, I visited my first scheduled class and it was spinning at Cyclebar Lakeside Market, led by Kaanji. I was absolutely nervous for this workout, as I mentioned before I used to go to one hour spinning classes from Monday to Thursday for about four consecutive years. Spinning was my favorite group class and I was actually great at it! That is exactly why I was so nervous, I was afraid of not being able to even finish the class, letting myself down and looking like a fool.

I know how I can perform during a spinning class and I was more so self-conscious about not being able to reach the level I once so comfortable performed at. I had to constantly remind myself that I was there to do my best and that I couldn’t be so hard on myself since I hadn’t been even near a spinning bike in three years!

As soon as I arrived at CyclebarLakesideMarket, I was greeted by smiling faces and a very welcoming atmosphere. The check-in process was super simple and fast, you select your name in one of the tablets near the reception area and click check-in, it will automatically remind you what bike number you have assigned. After that, you select your cycling shoes by size and put your belongings in the lockers provided; the instructors are around and seem more than happy to help with any questions or concerns before class.

Once the first class’ attendees came out of the cycling room I knew I was in for a hard, high intensity workout; EVERYONE was drenched in sweat!! At that point, I put my hair in a ponytail and just hoped for the best! Once inside the studio, they provided us with a four-pound weight pole which we took with us to our bike – this might sound strange, but I later explain what we used this for. One of the instructors came to me and one other first-time visitor and made sure our bike chairs were in the correct height and our shoes were strapped in nicely, which is great for first time riders!!

I noticed they had two monitors in the front of the class where they simultaneously display the Stats of all the riders, which might seem overwhelming for a first-time visitor, but I understand that many of the guests were actually regulars and they were tracking their progress compared to previous rides. The Stats consist of: average Power or Watts which is the power generated when you push your pedals, and average RPM which is the Rotations per Minute or speed. They also send you your Stats to the email provided, as well as your class rank – I posted my Stats at the end of this post.

The instructor, Kaanji, was awesome! She was motivating and so nice!! It was however, and as expected, a super high intensity session, we actually did around 7 HIIT (High Intensity Intervals) throughout the ride. High intensity intervals consist of giving it your all for during about 90 seconds and cooling down for about a minute. It raises your heartbeat like crazy!! At one point, we picked up the four-pound weight pole and exercised our chest, arms and shoulders; which is another benefit of spinning classes, it’s not only great cardio but you actually work out your muscles, from your abs, hamstrings, gluteus, and quads to even arms, chest and shoulders! During the 45-minute session I did struggle at times to catch my breath – that’s what three years away from the gym will do to you – and I feel like I got my butt kicked by the class.

Overall, Cyclebar has a great community feel, they have a no devices rule which is great considering you are in class for yourself and should have no distractions whatsoever. I would recommend visiting when you have worked on your endurance for a while, it’s a non-stop 45-minute high intensity workout. The great thing about spinning, though, is that if you are starting off with your fitness journey or are a little rusty – like myself – you have full control of how fast, ir how much intensity you put towards the ride. As you can see in my stats below I wasn’t even in the top half of the class ranking, I was actually one of the worst!! But it made me feel amazing that I could complete the class and had a great workout! Best believe I felt like a badass the rest of the day!

And again, it’s all about getting into a healthier, more active lifestyle, which won’t be easy and will require me to get out of my comfort zone many many times! So, I encourage you guys to try something you’re borderline scared of (if it is for your benefit), even if you don’t succeed or excel, you will be glad you gave it your all.

Until next week!

xo,

Alexandra.

The New Girl

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by fear just thinking about trying a new group fitness class? What if I am not as “in shape” as I should be to take this class? What if I can’t finish? What if I faint??? Been there, done that and I end up not signing up. That’s why I decided to create this blog, I will tell you exactly what to expect from each class and their level of intensity. I will go through all those first day jitters so you don’t have to!

Every week I will make my mission to visit a different fitness class in the DFW area -hence the name of this post, I will always be the new girl in class- be it yoga (which I’ve never tried), cycling, kickboxing, climbing, boot camp, etc. and let you guys know how it went, so if you’re on the fence about joining a class I hope you find my blog helpful.

So, a little background on myself (fitness-wise). I began going to the gym regularly during my second year of college – yeap, trying to shed those terrible freshmen 15 – with one of my best friends, it became our thing and when she eventually decided to move to another gym then it became MY thing. I was really motivated and would take spinning (cycling) classes from Monday to Thursday and then hit the gym hard! I could honestly say I was obsessed, I would work out to Insanity videos during the weekend too!

I was a regular at the gym for the next 4 years, until I graduated college!! Once I graduated, my sister and I made the decision to pack everything and move to Dallas (from Puerto Rico). When I arrived I was completely overwhelmed, everything was so different from my laid-back island gal lifestyle. I started a new job where I worked 6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day – I know, yikes! – so fitness fell off of the priority list and I haven’t been able to fully get back into the gym for 3 years!! (I did however move on from that job and now have actual time to have a life).

I am hoping that by having this blog I can motivate myself to regularly get back into having a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and have you guys follow me on the way. Let me tell you, I will also be WAY outside my comfort zone, I mostly keep to myself and I am afraid of doing ANYTHING alone, but I have been wanting to find something I can dedicate my time to and call my own for a while. So, I hope this blog helps you guys to experiment and try different things as well, pushing yourselves to get out of your comfort zones every day!

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I write about my first visit to a class, be sure to come back to my page to read all about it!!

xo,

Alexandra.