Archive of ‘other’ category

Work Hard, Play Harder at Throwback Fitness

Throwback Fitness NYC


Crash Course: Re-live the fun and games of recess with Throwback Fitness, a unique workout designed around your favorite school yard pastimes. This small group class focuses on camaraderie, teamwork, and good old-fashioned competitive spirit to power through 45 minutes of high intensity training. Expect to play dodgeball and do burpees at the same time. Or maybe a relay race on the erg while your teammates jump rope or shoot hoops. Whatever the workout du jour, you can bet it will be enormously entertaining and a fitness experience like none other you’ve had in the city.  For more information about class times, check out Throwback’s schedule.

where: 303 Fifth Avenue, Suite 207

bring: water bottle

perks: towels

sweat score: 8 out of 10

wear: sweatbands and umbros

instructor: Ryan

cost: first class $19 | drop-in $32  

 


“What’s your favorite animated television show?” 

Standing in a circle with my classmates at Throwback Fitness earlier this week, I wracked my brain for something from my childhood that would be fun to share. There were so many choices, each of them nerdier than the next: Pinky and the Brain, Doug, Rugrats, Magic School Bus. When it came time for me to introduce myself with an answer, I blurted out the coolest cartoon that came to mind: “The Ninja Turtles.”

A total lie. But I was feeling some serious cartoon peer pressure and wanted to be sure the other kids knew that I took my Captain Planet with a side of street savvy, pizza wielding reptiles.

Throwback Fitness NYC
And thus began my experience at Throwback, the fitness studio where your childhood days on the playground come back with a vengeance, shake you out of your business casual, and demand you do ten more burpees.

When you walk into the space, you’ll realize that it’s set up to facilitate two things. The first being a nostalgic trip down memory lane. There are Karate Kid and Top Gun posters lovingly enshrined on the wall, nurf balls and super soakers waiting to be used in the corner, and a playlist dedicated entirely to early 90s hits cooing in the background. Even Ryan the instructor is wearing a uniform reminiscent of gym class days: polyester gym teacher shorts, sweat band, and a whistle.

throwback-nyc-gym-space
The second thing the gym is set up to do is deliver a legitimately tough, full-body workout.
 If you used your recess time to play patty cake, fold paper fortune tellers, or knot friendship bracelets, this isn’t the throwback you’re thinking of. An entire row of ergs lies in wait in the back. Free weights, medicine balls, battle ropes, chains, and jump ropes hang out in the front. And between the two is an enormous room just begging for a round of capture the flag.

Throwback Fitness NYC
Every workout is divided into four periods: warmup, phys-ed, recess, and stretching. 
Everything is done together as a group or as a team competition. The coaching staff usually consists of both Ryan and his polyester-clad partner in crime Brian, who orchestrate and lead the workout in classic gym teacher style. There’s a lot of cheering, encouragement, demonstrations of good form and technique, and of course, a heaping dose of friendly competitive spirit.

Throwback Fitness NYC
This evening’s line up was a doozy.
For warmup, we played hot medicine ball. Think hot potato meets musical chairs. If you’re caught with the medicine ball when the music stops, your punishment includes 200 meters on the rowing machine.

Throwback Fitness NYC
Up next: the portion of class called “phys-ed.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but my days of grade-school phys-ed were not ones I would like to re-live. Terrible shuttle runs. Embarrassing pull up competitions. And the endless, endless squat thrusts. Luckily, none of those were on the agenda this evening, but this was definitely the period of class where the focus was on working hard. Really hard. We partnered up into teams of two, switching off continuously between the rowing machine and a series of weighted exercises for a period of 16 minutes. The team who rowed the furthest during the allotted time was the winner.

My partner was fellow NYC fitness blogger Evann Clingan (hi there Evann!), who gave me the sage advice of not going too hard on the rowing machine at the beginning. This isn’t her first Throwback rodeo. “Sixteen minutes is a long time.”

Sixteen minutes is a long time, and I was slowly losing steam. Ryan was always just a step away, cheering everyone on while keeping the group abreast of the rankings. This was a competition, after all! And if you’re motivated by a bit of friendly rivalry, nothing sparks a fire under your stationary rower than being told you’re just 60 meters behind the first-placed team. Go, go, go!

Throwback Fitness NYC

The buzzer marked the end of phys-ed and I found myself lying down on the floor, staring at a Wayne’s World poster on the ceiling, listening to Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony. Despite being physically exhausted (and not winning the competition), I was happy. How could you not be? That was ridiculously fun. Little did I know, however, that the real fun was up next. Time for recess!

The group split into two for a friendly game of dodgeball. Ironically enough, the nurf balls we used were Ninja Turtle characters. That’s right. I was about to be pelted with a bunch of Ninja Turtles. What poetic justice. That’s what I get from telling a little white cartoon lie.

In order to earn an opportunity to throw a ball at the opposing team, we had to cycle through ten pushups, ten sit ups, and ten air squats. If you got hit by a ball, you had to do five burpees to get back into the game. If you caught a ball, the thrower had to do five. You get the picture. I lost track of time (and the number of burpees I had to do) because, truth be told, I was having a grand old time. Dodgeball and recess are fantastic endeavors and should be incorporated into adult life more often. Thank you, Throwback, for making it happen.

Throwback Fitness NYC
The workout ended and we huddled around for the cool down.
I remember this portion vividly because I was signing along to K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life” while doing quad stretches. Those 90s hits, man. Classics.

Evann and I grabbed our gym bags, guzzled some water, and headed out into the New York City evening on a high from the hilarious trip down memory lane. The studio is located right next to the Empire State Building, which makes for some impressive scenery on your walk home. Looking at this photo now I realize it was lit up with green lights. One last karmic tribute to the Ninja Turtles. Well played, New York. Well played.

A special shout-out to the kind folks at ClassPass for providing me with a free month so I can get a head start on my long list of NYC fit crashes – thank you!

 

 

Top 10 Fit Crasher Highlights From Last Week

Hope you all had a glorious Memorial Day Weekend! This past week was packed with all sorts of random fit crasher goodness, so I thought I’d break it down for you with a top ten list. Are you ready?

TEN: Kate Bakes Bars

kate bakes bars


kate bakes bars

I had the opportunity to try my very first batch of Kate Bakes bars. What makes these so special, you ask? Well, a few things! They’re made right here in DC by a local lady entrepreneur who is committed to providing the city with healthy on-the-go eats. The ingredient list is small and full of items I recognize, and each bar is always gluten free and vegan for anyone who has dietary restrictions. Not to mention, they’re pretty darn scrumptious too. My favorite flavors were the banana cinnamon oatmeal and the chocolate coffee. Perfect for tossing in my gym bag as a before or after fit crash snack. These things were definitely a highlight of my week! Thanks for the samples, Kate!

NINE: New Oiselle Running Shorts

oiselle roga shorts

My stash of running shorts is in serious need of an update. I was thrilled to receive a pair of the Lululemon speed shorts for my birthday earlier this month, but after wearing them over and over again, I figured it was time to add another new pair to the rotation. I have been hearing awesome things about the Oiselle roga shorts, so last weekend I popped on over to City Sports to try on a pair. It was love at first lunge (yes, I did a few in the dressing room). In fact, I wore them out the door and straight to the trail. There’s a front pocket deep enough to fit my phone, and a back pocket that works great for keys and an ID. They have just the right amount of stretch and a comfortable wide waistband. I’m officially smitten.

EIGHT: Garden Greens

organic salad greens

A friend of mine has an organic garden plot and grows some of the most delicious-looking produce every year. He is experimenting with different kinds of greens this spring, and is having overwhelming success with just about everything he put into the ground. So much so, in fact, that he currently has more lettuce than he can possibly eat and was kind enough to give me a sampling of his bounty. I was over the moon excited to have a huge bag brimming with the most colorful, fresh looking leaves I’ve ever seen. Salad heaven!

SEVEN: Outdoor Workouts

playground workout

 

memorial day weekend workout

No gym? No problem! Fit crashing doesn’t have to happen at a studio, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been here in DC. I like using the 12 Minute Athlete and Sworkit circuit training apps for quick, no-nonsense sweatiness wherever I go. I definitely got a few strange looks from kids enjoying an evening playdate at the playground, but hopefully they’ll remember the crazy lady doing pull ups on the monkey bars when they get older : )

SIX: Berry Season!

berries and lemon

I think this pictures says it all, yes? Hello summer!

FIVE: Standup Paddleboarding

Key Bridge Boathouse DC
On Memorial Day a friend and I slathered on the sunscreen, strapped into lifejackets, and took to the high seas Potomac River for an afternoon of stand-up paddleboarding at the Key Bridge Boathouse
(formerly Jacks Boathouse, RIP). I almost forgot what a tough workout it can be going against the wind and the current. After an hour of adventuring we docked our vessels and went in search of some much-needed nourishment. Hey, all that paddling is hard work! Thankfully, Malmaison was a stone’s throw away and offered fresh-squeezed green juices. I got the Hulk flavor, a refreshing combo of pear, cucumber, and other delicious ingredients. Win!

FOUR: Bowling at the White House

truman bowling alley white house

truman bowling alley white house

Talk about a fit crasher bucket list item! Can’t believe this actually happened. A friend invited a few of us to bowl at the White House Truman Bowling Alley last weekend. It’s a tiny two lane operation, complete with personalized bowling balls, a wall full of shoes, and even its own White House score cards. I loved looking over the pictures hanging along the walls of the various presidents and first ladies using it over the years – the history in that place! I’m absolutely terrible at bowling but had a blast. Now if only I can learn to keep it down the middle…

THREE: Crashing the Newest [solidcore] Studio

solidcore dc

On Sunday I took a bike share bike to Mt. Vernon Triangle to check out the newest solidcore studio. The location is a little bit hidden – look for it underneath the Le Pan Quotidien across the street from Sixth Engine bar. It has the same design as the other studios but in a more convenient place for folks living in that neck of the woods. A word of caution: this is still the toughest and most addictive workout I’ve done in DC. You’ve been warned.

TWO: Memorial Day 12 Miler

memorial day walk memorial day dc honor flight memorial day dc

The weather this past weekend was picture perfect. 70 – 80 degrees, no humidity, brilliant sunshine. I decided to make the best of it and adventure down to the monuments to see what kinds of things were going on for Memorial Day. I should have mapped it out before I left because it ended up being a whopping 12 miles! I ran part of the way but it was mostly a brisk walk. That said, I had to stop at one of the tourist-trap concession stands to buy a water and a bag of pretzels just to keep me going. Serves me right for not planing ahead!

As expected, the monuments were absolutely mobbed with folks in town to celebrate the holiday. I walked the length of the Lincoln to the WWII memorial just in time to witness a group of Honor Flight veterans being escorted in to see the monument for the first time. It was incredible to watch. Really brought home the “reason for the season” and I felt so lucky to have been there at the right time to see it. But next time, I’ll bring water and snacks for the journey!

ONE: Celebrating 80 Fit Crashes

dc fit crasher 80 fit crashes

The blog reached a whopping 80 fit crashes last week! Cue the confetti and party hats! Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Cheers to this milestone and at least 80 more sweaty adventures ahead :)

TGIF: Massage, Private Yoga, and a Pure Barre Winner

Happy Friday fit crashers!

TGIF, right? I don’t know about you, but my past few weeks have been absolutely packed. 2014 flew in with a zing and is still going strong. Despite my best attempts to capture everything in real-time on social media, I thought it’d be good to put pen to paper and document a few of the most awesome moments for blog posterity. So here we go!

1. Escaping Winter at the Lavender Retreat

lavender retreat spa

I was given the most wonderfully generous opportunity to visit the newly-opened Lavender Retreat Wellness Club in Capitol Hill last weekend. With all of my crazy fit crashing adventures racking up major sore muscles, they offered to treat me to an hour-long massage to help work out the kinks. I was elated – what a treat!

lavender retreat spa dc

The outside of the Lavender Retreat looks like any other traditional row house. But walk in the front doors, and my oh my, you are transported into a colorful, clean, calm oasis. Smack dab in the middle of the DC! Every room is beautifully appointed with bright, gleaming windows and custom decor. No two are the same. I did a whirl through the hallways just to check out all of the nooks and crannies. There are dedicated rooms for massage, skin care, acupuncture, reflexology, and relaxation. It’s an enormous two-level house…you don’t think they’d mind if I move in, do you?

lavender retreat spa dc

My hour-long session with Bonnie was a dream. I haven’t had a massage in years, so I’m certainly not an expert, but never have I felt so well cared for or pampered. Highlights included: hot towels on my back to help relieve a few stubborn knots, a to-die-for foot massage followed by moisturizer + steaming hot towels to lock everything in, and extra care placing pillows below various joints so I was constantly comfortable.

lavender retreat spa dc

I was handed a bottle of water after my session and spent the next few minutes chatting with Bonnie and other staff about the studio, life in DC, and anything else that came to mind. There was such positivity, joy, and pride as they described the Lavender Retreat, and I was really impressed by everyone’s professionalism. They really put every effort into making the experience memorable. I can’t way to go back again and try one of their signature skin care treatments. Oh la la!

2. The Joy of an Unexpected Crash

IMG_8622

If you follow along with me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was out in Nevada for a friend’s wedding two weeks ago. It was an absolutely beautiful getaway, but any weekend involving cross country flights, jet lag, snow storms, no workouts, and an unplanned overnight layover (sans luggage) would naturally cause a little stress. So when I returned to the office on Tuesday, I was in desperate need of a workout. Not just any workout.

Yoga.

Say it with me folks…yoooo-gaaaaaaaahhh. Doesn’t that sound relaxing? After the hustle and bustle of a weekend away, it was the only thing on my mind. I did a little googling at work to see if there were any studios in the area I could pop into at the last minute. And wouldn’t you know, I came across a cute website for The Source Yoga in McLean, VA. Not only that, one of my favorite teachers from my early days at Down Dog Yoga was leading the class. Win! Where do I sign?

I was surprised – no, scratch that, elated – to have the class almost entirely to myself. The second student was one of the owners, so in reality, it was very much a private session with me, my mat, and I. And with the blustery weather outside, I tucked my bright green mat right next to the space heater and blissed out for the next hour and a half.

Sometimes it pays to go out on a limb and try something new and unscheduled. What a welcome, unexpected gift.

3. Pure Barre Giveaway Winner

pure barre dc

And finally – the Pure Barre giveaway!

After crashing Pure Barre in Dupont Circle last week, I can say (for now!) that I’ve visited every barre studio in DC. Hooray! To celebrate my crash, the lovely ladies at Pure Barre were kind enough to offer one of my readers two free weeks of unlimited classes. Thank you to everyone who participated – we had over 200 entries! Woot! And now for the fun part: the winner is…

* drumroll please*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats Cait! I’ve sent you an email with the details. Enjoy fit crashing at Pure Barre and thanks for reading!

Getting Ugly to Get Pretty: Training at DC Boxing & Fitness

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill


Crash Course: The “training class” at DC Boxing & Fitness offers a cardio-centric 45 minutes geared toward getting you in tip-top fighting shape. No, you don’t have to jump into the ring, but be prepared to fight tooth-and-nail through an intense barrage of plyometric moves, heavy-bag work, and bodyweight exercises. Believe me, burpees and round kicks make a formidable opponent any day. This is a non-stop, in your face, no frills class that will leave you in a pool of your own sweat. If you like high-intensity cardio, this is the class for you. Click here for a schedule of class times.


where: 1000 New Jersey Ave/Navy Yard Metro

bring: water bottle, towel, clean shoes, boxing gloves

perks: across the street from metro

sweat score: 9 out of 10 

wear: clean shoes

instructor: Jerome

cost: $95 per month for training

 

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

You have to get ugly to look pretty. - Coach Jerome

I was lying face down on the mat, praying for the pushups to end and slowly sweating through every single item I was wearing. Those words, that phrase, felt both motivating and ironic. But I could appreciate the sentiment. Nothing about what I was doing was pretty. I was flailing my arms at a heavy bag. Jumping up and down like a crazed pogo-stick addict. Sprinting in place as fast as I could. Lurching toward the floor and doing rapid-fire mini pushups. Flinging sweat at complete strangers. Grunting. Even whispering a few expletives under my breath.

This class, my friends, is ugly. It requires good old-fashioned hard work and grit. And it is awesome.

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

Indulge me, if you will, in a little soapbox moment:

One thing that never fails to amaze me about the fitness world is how easy some folks make it sound to get into “the best shape of your life.” While I understand that statement is entirely subjective, if you are hoping to lose weight and make some serious changes, it’s going to take a lot of work. Hard work. Work that shoves you outside of your comfort zone and makes you stay there. No it’s not “fun” and it’s certainly not “pretty” – which is why I appreciate a class like the one at DCBFit where that ugly, sweaty, explative-strewn process is par for the course, expected, and celebrated.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, on to the crash review :)

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

DCBFit is a Thai boxing and MMA studio located directly across from the Navy Yard metro stop. There aren’t any big signs hanging from the building, so in case you can’t find it, it looks like this from the street:

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

When you walk inside, you’ll be greeted by someone at the front desk and asked to sign in. Put your belongings in one of the lockers along the wall, grab your water bottle and boxing gloves, and take off your shoes. That’s right. No outside shoes are allowed on the mats at DCBFit, so either bring a fresh pair to wear during class or get ready to work out in your socks. 

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

The majority of the space is taken up by a boxing ring and a large heavy-bag section. Every other nook and cranny is filled with some sort of training equipment, whether it’s a cardio bike, free weights, or MMA pads. There are two generously-sized restrooms in the back of the gym (no showers) where you can change before/after class if needed.

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

I showed up to crash the 9:45 class on Saturday morning and walked into the fogged-up studio with my coffee au lait just as the 9 a.m. folks were finishing. From what I could tell, I was in for a whooping. Jerome was pacing back and forth, yelling out a loud mix of encouragement, demands, and expletives. Everyone in the class was drenched in sweat. I clutched my coffee cup and nervously smiled at the woman waiting patiently next to me. It couldn’t really be as bad as it looks, right? *gulp*

Right?

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

I put my half-emptied coffee on a shelf, grabbed some loaner boxing gloves, and tried to look like I knew what I was doing. No sooner than the last 9 o’clock person stepped off the mat, we were jab, cross, and upper-cutting away at the heavy bags. Jerome didn’t miss a beat. He would call out a combo, demonstrate it, and the rest of us would try to keep up. Some folks had more experience and aced the combinations. Others, like me, not so much. It didn’t matter. It got our heart rates up and the point was to just keep moving.

Jab. Cross. Punch. Sweat.

Then…the gloves came off.

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

The second portion of class focused less on bag work and more on plyometrics and interval bodyweight training. Each round consisted of fun things like mini-pushups, diamond pushups, pike push ups, planks, high knees, and jump lunges. Instead of resting in between intervals, we did burpees. Now…interpret burpee as you will, but the point was to just keep moving the entire time. Was it crazy hard? Absolutely. But like Jerome said, you have to get ugly to look pretty. Nobody’s going to get fit just standing around.

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

Third part of class: back to bag work. This time we practiced knees and round-kicks. Truth: nothing makes me feel more badass than kicking the stuffing out of a heavy bag with a few round-kicks, even when I’m flinging sweat half-way across the room while doing it. We alternated legs to the tune of Jerome’s increasingly-louder yelling. Left, right, left, right. If we weren’t exhausted from the first half of class, we were now.

For the finale, we landed on our backs for core work. One of my favorite moves we did involved holding the heavy bag between our legs and crunching up to punch it. Need motivation? Jerome will gladly get in your face for a little extra “encouragement.” After a dozen or so of those, I had officially tapped out. Phew! I’m spent!

DCBFit Boxing Capitol Hill

The 45 minutes flew by. There was honestly never a time I looked at the clock out of boredom or desire to be somewhere else. Sure it was a really hard class, but it was engaging from start to finish. The transitions were smooth, the instructor was a force-of-nature and captivating, and the group was welcoming and supportive. And at just 45-minutes, I was in and out of the whole operation in under an hour. Even got to grab my still-hot coffee off the shelf to enjoy on my trip home.

I loved this crazy class. And if you’re looking for a cardio-infused round-house kick to the face, you will too.

Crash it and let me know what you think!

American Parkour Academy: Feeling Like A Video Game Hero

American Parkour Academy


Crash Course: According to my research, parkour is a method of movement where “practitioners aim to quickly and efficiently overcome obstacles in their environment, using only their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves” (via). According to my personal experience, parkour is a crazy fun way to workout that feels a whole lot like being a stunt double in an action movie or one of the Mario brothers. You pick. There’s a lot of climbing, swinging, jumping, tumbling, leaping, running, and scrambling involved. It’s not really something that fits well into words, so here’s a video featuring one of the American Parkour Academy instructors doing his thang all over DC. Click here for a schedule of classes and to sign up. 


where: 219 M Street NW/Convention Center Metro

bring: water bottle, towel

perks: where else can you learn to do this in DC?

sweat score: 8 out of 10 

 

American Parkour Academy

Confession: parkour is something I have seen in videos before and thought, “well, isn’t that interesting, someone made a workout out of climbing up walls and jumping off them.” It seemed dangerous. Crazy. Reckless. Something that appealed mostly to boys who liked to climb stuff. Totally not something I would ever let my clumsy self attempt. Until I did.

American Parkour Academy

The American Parkour Academy is part of Primal Fitness, a functional fitness studio located just past the Convention Center on M Street NW. The enormous space offers both crossfit and parkour classes, so there’s something for every functional junkie out there.

Walking up to the red brick building, my first impression was that it’s rugged, loud, and whirling with activity. I had to walk through a few shirtless guys doing handstands and ring dips to get to the reception area in the back. As a first timer, it’s intimidating – but everyone is friendly and will be happy to point you in the right direction if you look as lost as I did. Just don’t expect to be greeted by a reception area with calming zen gardens and complimentary lattes. This just isn’t that kind of place (in a good way).

American Parkour Academy

The first floor of the building houses the crossfit box, reception desk, and a smaller area with functional training equipment. After you check in, head upstairs to where the parkour room is. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet the resident pup, who enthusiastically greeted me with a hairy hello. Workouts + dogs = a win in my book. I stashed my belongings, filled up on water at the cooler, and headed into the classroom for the warmup.

American Parkour Academy

I can always tell when I’m in for a wild ride on a fit crash when the warm up throws me for a loop. We did a series of dynamic movements unlike anything I had ever done in a class before, including running from one end of the gym to the other while spinning in circles and somersaulting all the way around the room. Dizzy yet? I was. The last time this body did a somersault was somewhere in-between pre-k and grade school. Rusty is an understatement. I was warmed up, slightly dazed from all the twirling, and a bit panicked about what could possibly come next.

American Parkour Academy

The workout that day focused on scaling walls of all shapes and sizes. There were three stations to choose from and work through, each with varying degrees of difficulty. The instructors went over the form and technique at each station, taking questions and offering bits of advice.

American Parkour Academy

I started with the smallest wall, where the focus was learning how to use the leverage in your arms to swing your legs to the top in one graceful swoop. Graceful. Ha. Let me be the first to tell you that nothing about my crash was graceful, but I sure as hell tried. I got a lot of great feedback after every attempt and eventually got my bearings. But guys, it is in no way as easy or intuitive as it seems. And this was only stage one.

American Parkour Academy

Stage two involved running at top speed toward a medium-sized wall, where the goal was to use your momentum and a carefully placed foot mid-height to launch yourself up to the top. Launch. Kind of like Mario does when he wants to go down one of the pipes to beat up on King Koopa. I couldn’t quite get out of my own way with this one; the voice in my head was a bigger obstacle than the wall. But running as fast as I can toward a big stationary object isn’t something I do every day, so hey, it takes practice.

After all the tumbling, running, and jumping, I didn’t make it around to stage three. But if you’re following the pattern, that stage was the most advanced and required serious ups and hustle. In other words, scrambling up the tallest wall in the room. Honestly, it seemed 15 feet high, although I’m sure that’s not the case. I couldn’t believe how effortlessly some of the students sailed up that thing. Crazy impressive.

American Parkour Academy
With only a few minutes left in the workout, we closed out the class with a good old fashioned game of “don’t touch the lava.” 
You know, the one you played in recess where you had to jump from rock to rock without touching the ground (aka, the hot, molten lava). But in this case, instead of rocks, the entire group of us scurried over small planks, bars, and obstacles strewn about the room. All at once. For time. Every man and woman for themselves, and heaven forbid you’re the last one back.

It was chaos. It was hard. It was hilarious. It was so much fun. Straight out of recess circa 1995. Not many workouts can give you that kind of nostalgic whiplash while also kicking your butt – but parkour, I tip my hat to you. Nicely done.

American Parkour Academy

Let me pause for a moment and talk about the class members and instructors, who were hands down some of the friendliest folks I’ve ever met. Some fitness fads tend to get cliquey (you know what I’m talking about), and I was worried that something as niche as parkour would be totally insular. But I couldn’t get over how welcoming everyone was. Not only was parkour 100% new to me, but I was also the newest kid in the class, and I had a zillion-and-one questions. There was always someone willing to demonstrate a move, explain a technique, or offer a high-five after a successful attempt. Even more importantly, the instructors were extremely engaged and I never at any point felt like I was in danger, despite my constant fear of breaking a leg or faceplanting on the floor. Kudos to everyone in the class for making this total newbie feel like part of the crew.

Things I liked: 

  • A workout that’s so different, challenging, and fun that you forget that you’re working out
  • Welcoming community, cool vibe, great energy throughout the whole gym
  • Genuinely helpful instructors who care about sharing their craft
  • Where else can you do this kind of crazy stuff?

Things to consider:

  • This is a no frills spot. If you’re looking for cooled lavender scented towels after your workouts, this ain’t the place.
  • This is a high impact, high energy class. Know your body and what it needs before you go jumping off things. Just a friendly reminder!

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