Where I’m Crashing This Week + Instacart Review

This week is packed to the brim with fun workouts and I can’t wait to share all of them with you. Yes, it’s only Wednesday, but I just couldn’t wait to get started. So bear with me while I recap the few I’ve done already and preview the ones for the rest of the week. Plus, I wanted to tell you about my experience with a  new DC grocery delivery service (aka a busy fit crasher’s dream come true.) Okay, shall we get started?

Dance Trance Cinco de Mayo Party

dance trance DC

What better way to celebrate Monday (and Cinco de Mayo, at that) then with a little dance party, eh? Lauren from LaTooFit and I met up at Dance Trance DC for an hour of toe tapping, voguing, and choreographed sassiness. If you aren’t familiar with Dance Trance, the class puts you through song after song of pre-coreographed dance routines. New and don’t know the routine? That’s okay, me either. Just follow the instructors staged around the room and they’ll show you how it’s done. I’m not a talented dancer to begin with, and following choreography is really not my strong suit, but I consider this class a chance to get outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself. And hey, it’s a lot of fun too! Thanks for hosting us Dance Trance!

Sunrise Power Yoga at The Studio DC

the studio dc yoga in adams morgan

I recently re-discovered The Studio DC in Adams Morgan. I used to live right across the street a few years ago, but haven’t been back since. Well shame on me! This cozy and welcoming space has a great schedule, and I am officially a huge fan of their $10 hot power vinyasa classes. I went to one this morning with Lexie and it was such a fantastic way to start the morning. There were copious amounts of hands-on adjustments (I’m talking mini back massages and assisted stretching), a challenge but accessible sequence, and I left with sweat on my brow and a smile on my face. I can’t wait to go back again soon! If you live in Dupont, be sure to read about my fit crash at that location too.

Coming up…

Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. free bootcamp hosted by VIDA fitness at Yards Park

Thursday: 8 p.m. spin class at the new Pure Ryde in Bethesda with Ingrid

Friday: TBD (suggestions welcome!)

Saturday: checking out the new Pure Barre location on Captiol Hill

Sunday: 10:15 a.m. barre class at Barre Tech in Clarendon

Now on to the more delicious portion of this blog post!

My Experience with Instacart

instacart dc grocery delivery

Instacart is a service that delivers groceries straight to your door from stores including Yes! Organic Market, Safeway, Whole Foods, and Costco. When they launched in DC, Instacart asked if I would try out their service and share my honest review on the blog.

Now, I’m not a food blogger and I rarely do reviews outside of fitness classes, but as someone who works full time and fit crashes full time, I can appreciate the amazing convenience of not having to stop at the grocery store at 9 p.m. just to pick up a few things for dinner. And as fellow fit crashers in this crazy busy city of ours, I thought you might appreciate knowing about this cool new service too. So I agreed to give it a whirl and was given a $25 credit to use on my first order.

On Sunday evening I went to the website to pick out a few items I knew I’d need for the week. I scheduled a delivery time for Monday (in my case, 9 – 10 p.m.) and went about my merry way. As I was heading home from Dance Trance on Monday evening, I got a call at 8:45 p.m. from my Instacart shopper, who was at the store collecting my order. There were two items on my list that Yes! didn’t have in stock, and she was calling to ask if I wanted to replace those items with anything else in the store while she was there. How awesome! I then received a text message with an estimated delivery time, and by 9:10 my groceries were delivered (with a smile and in the pouring rain) to my front door.

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I was so thankful to have some basics to work with for the week, particularly when I knew it would be a crazier-than-usual few days with not a lot of personal down time to go shopping.
 The only negative thing I can say about my experience is that I confused a sweet potato with a sweet potato yam garnet, which is apparently a super-sized version of the original (see bottom left). It’s enormous. Nothing I can’t work with, but next time I’ll read the description more carefully and not go by the picture alone. My salad greens, on the other hand, were perfect.

instacart salad may 2014

I could definitely see myself using Instacart again, particularly if I needed some bulk items from Costco (hello chia seeds and frozen fruit binge!) or if I was out of town for the weekend and needed to restock my fridge. Or heck, let’s be honest, if I just don’t feel like going to the grocery and want food delivered to my door. Who doesn’t love convenience like that?

Want to give it a whirl? Try it for yourself! Use code “DCFITCRASHER” for $10 off and free delivery on your first order. Leave a comment and let me know that you tried it out, and Instacart will also enter you to win three months of free delivery. Not a bad deal, my friends! Start making those grocery lists!

 Happy and healthy crashing!

Tabata Pilates Class at Fuel Pilates in Georgetown

Fuel Pilates Georgetown


Crash Course: The pilates tabata class at Fuel in Georgetown is a 45 minute zinger full of unexpected surprises and moves that will make you quake and shake. The class begins with a pilates warm up, then moves on to a series of four minute tabata intervals alternating between cardio and pilates exercises. Everything from burpees to teasers are fair game, so be prepared for anything. Check out Fuel’s schedule for class times and dates.


where: 3214 O Street NW // Georgetown

bring: water, sticky socks

perks: small class size

sweat score: 7 out of 10

wear: whatever you like, recommend socks

instructor: Robin Zahrt

cost: $22 drop-in

 

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

Fuel Pilates is a beautiful boutique studio tucked away on the quiet cobblestones of O Street in the heart of Georgetown. Owner Kelly Griffith also runs the trendy Xtend Barre studio in Shaw that offers the sweatiest cardio barre class I’ve ever taken. With that in mind, I was excited to come by and try her newest class concept at the original Fuel location: Pilates Tabata.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

For better or worse, I know the streets and shops of Georgetown like the back of my hand. Great for giving directions to tourists, terrible for my wallet. But I had never noticed Fuel sitting quietly across from Wingos and next to late night favorites Kitchen No. 1 and Smith Point. Its lovely row house exterior blends into the neighborhood so well that it had escaped my detection for years – until now!

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

I arrived a few moments before class and checked in at the front desk, signing the appropriate waivers that promised I won’t die (or at least try my best not to) during class. I smooshed my backpack, shoes, purse, and coat into a cubby and proceeded through the sea of pilates equipment on the first floor to the staircase in the back of the studio.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

The downstairs studio encompasses the entire lower level, with wall to wall mirrors and gleaming wood floors. There is a small bathroom in the corner in case you need it, and all of the equipment you’ll use in class is neatly displayed along the back wall. When I arrived, our mats, rubber balls, and bands were already set up and ready to go.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

All of the spots in the back were already taken, so I tiptoed my way to the front left corner to set up shop. I sat down on my mat, rearranged the equipment a few times, and looked around at the other students. All women under the age of 35, some possibly Georgetown students, others definitely coming to class straight from the office like me. I noticed I was the only one not wearing sticky socks. I don’t remember seeing socks suggested anywhere on the Fuel website, and while I was told they aren’t essential or mandatory, I highly suggest bringing a pair. It’s always good to have options.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

Class began with a light warm up of cat + cow stretches, gentle full body movements, and a pilates hundred. Then Robin demonstrated each of the exercises we would do during the tabata sets. I wish I had written each of the sets down, but I remember we did the following: burpees, lunges, jumping jacks, v-ups, planks/side planks, resistance band arm lifts/curls, and abs. There may be a few I missed, but you get the picture. It was a good mix of cardio and classic pilates.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

We started with a burpee tabata, which I think threw everyone off a bit. Wait, wasn’t this pilates class? I didn’t sign up for boot camp! To be honest, while unexpected, the spurts of cardio intermixed with the less intense moves were the key to a well rounded, quick, sweaty workout. Once I figured out the method behind the madness, I was on board.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

One thing that really perplexed me, however, was the music choice. This was supposed to be a 45-minute sweat fest full of strengthening, toning, full-body tabatas. We were doing jumping jacks and burpees, for goodness sakes! So why, then, was Norah Jones crooning calmly in the background? It set a strange mood and made me feel like I should be doing yoga instead of pulsing in a lunge. I now have a renewed appreciation for the power of a well thought-out playlist, because poor Norah made me want to curl up on my mat and take a nap.

Fuel Pilates Georgetown

Aside from the music issue (which was fixed during the last part of class, thankfully) Robin was a really wonderful instructor. She took the time to demonstrate each of the exercises and provided lots of variations for folks who wanted an extra challenge or a modification. She paced around the room with a tabata smartphone app and helped us keep time. I think there could have been slightly stronger cues for the tabata (there were a few instances where we were still burpee-ing after the round had ended), but understand that it’s a new class and instructors are still breaking it in.

Things I loved:

  • Quick + effective
  • Fun new concept I haven’t seen anywhere else
  • I was sore the next day in all the right places
  • Cute boutique studio around great shopping and restaurants

Things I would change:

  • The music makes all the difference – pump up the jams!
  • Opening a door or window downstairs would make a huge difference when things get sweaty

Thank you to Fuel for inviting me to come crash their new class. If you’ve crashed tabata pilates or any other Fuel class, leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

 

Note: While Fuel Pilates invited me to try a free class, my review is based entirely on my honest-to-goodness personal experience. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

On My Radar This Week

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Happy Friday everyone! This photo just screams muddy spring trail runs and bright sunshine, doesn’t it? The speedster in the white skirt is my bestest college running buddy. I took this photo of her two weekends ago on the morning of her wedding. The almost-newlyweds invited guests to join them for a 5 mile fun run through the Virginia countryside followed by coffee and bagels. It was such a unique and perfect way to kick off the celebration. Congrats to the happy (sweaty) couple and thanks for the fit crash!

I hope to be back to my regularly scheduled posting next week, but didn’t want to leave you all without something to nosh on till then. So, I’ve compiled a list of all the fit crashing things that caught my eye this week. If you like this roundup, let me know and I’ll include it on the blog more often!

[ fit crashes ]

Anne at Fannetastic Food checked out the strength training class at Stroga

Chelsea from Chelsea Eats Treats and Erika from The Sweet Life shared their reviews of class at Barre 3 in Georgetown.

Well + Good delivers a preview of NYC’s newest spin spot Peloton Cycle, where class is live-streamed for folks working out at home and students receive a free turmeric tonic and muffin after they sweat. Fancy!

[ fit happenings ]

This week: DC welcomed two new spots to satisfy your green juice fix! Cold-pressed juicery JRINK opened its doors in Dupont Circle and PRESS Juice & Smoothie Cafe soft-launched their store on 14th Street.

April 26: free 5k “ONE Run” at Anacostia Park to raise awareness about energy poverty

April 28 – May 3: DC Yoga Week + free yoga class on the National Mall Saturday May 3

May 4: Nike trainer Chris Perrin is hosting a free sweat + stretch + sip class at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown

[ fit readings ]

+ fun guide to this weekend’s Nike women’s half marathon from Live Free and Run

+ lovely post about how to find the right yoga studio for you

+ the Secret Life Coach of DC shares her five favorite things about exercising outside

+ DC local David Magida chats about his spartan-inspired group exercise program

+ a handy-dandy “Spin 101″ article for anyone new to indoor cycling

+ workout duds need a spring reboot? check out District Sparkle’s cute fitness finds 

TRX + Kettlebell Class at Reformation Fitness

Reformation Fitness Washington DC


Crash Course: The TRX/Kettlebell class at Reformation Fitness is 50 minutes of intense cardio, weights, plyometrics, and agility training sure to kick your keister into crazy shape. Warning: this is not a class for the faint of heart or for those who don’t like to sweat when working out. This is a class full of traditional, good old fashioned hard work that makes every minute and every move count. Prepare to be tested mentally and physically. Suspension trainers are tricky, and swinging kettlebells is harder than it looks. If you want a total-body workout to work you over and leave you with nothing left in the tank, this is the class for you. Click here for a schedule of classes


where: 1302 9th Street NW

bring: yourself

perks: small class size, towels

sweat score: 8 out of 10

wear: whatever you like to sweat in

instructor: Ivan Black

cost: $22 drop-in

 

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

I feel the need to provide full disclosure regarding the photos in the post. They were taken after my class at Reformation Fitness because I was too busy getting my tush handed to me during the session itself to stop and snap a few. So that serene, calm expression on my face in the photo above? Fake. Staged. Aspirational at best. Consider this your friendly warning. Now on to the good stuff.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

I know two things to be true. TRX suspension training is incredibly challenging. Kettlebells are also incredibly challenging. Put the two together, and wham bam holy sweat factory, you’re in for one heck of a ride. When Reformation Fitness reached out to me about crashing this class – one of the newer listings on their schedule – I knew I was signing up for a full-body beat down. And I was excited about it.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

I crashed a pilates reformer class around this time last year just after the studio first opened and hadn’t been back since. Imagine my surprise when I arrived to discover that the place more than doubled in size during that time period. The new area sits adjacent to the original studio and includes a downstairs room full of fun fitness gadgets (where the TRX class takes place) and an upstairs room used for yoga and other classes.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

There was another class going on when I arrived, so I ducked into a bathroom in the waiting area to change into my workout clothes. I grabbed a towel off of a rack by the cubbies, filed up my water bottle, and waited for the next session to begin.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

The first thing I noticed when we all filed into the room is that we were working out in tight quarters. I never felt overly cramped, but just know that you won’t have a ton of space to spread out in while lunging or doing burpees. After a short dynamic warm up, we started into the first set of the day: an ungodly number of pushups, lunges, TRX mountain climbers, dolphin plank dips, and other adventures.

As Ivan was going over each part of the set, I almost thought it was a joke. Were the moves challenging and sure to work up a sweat? Absolutely. But after 80 lunges and 80 pushups I’m bored. I want out. I would honestly rather be doing anything else. There’s something to be said for switching things up and keeping the pace of class quick and interesting. Obviously, this experience was unique to that day’s designated workout, but I bring it up because it’s one of the things that stick out most prominently in my mind.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

Things really picked up during the second half of class, when we did a ladder of exercises involving the TRX and steelbells (which are basically neoprene disks filled with heavy sand). We didn’t actually use any kettlebells during this particular class, but I wasn’t disappointed because throwing the steelbells around was just as challenging.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

The ladder included all sorts of fun and unique exercises, including dynamic lunges with resistance bands around the ankles, steelbell overhead slams, TRX rows, and lateral ski jumps. I was impressed with how Ivan weaved together strength, cardio, and agility moves, making sure the second half of class was well-rounded into a total body conditioning experience. While I was frustrated with him for making us do seemingly insurmountable repetitions of (in my opinion) boring exercises, I began eating my words during the second half of class and left with nothing but the best impression of his training. The man knows his fitness, and I would absolutely love to come back and workout with him again just to see what he comes up with.

Reformation Fitness Washington DC

So, what’d I think of the class? I‘d say it’s a no-nonsense, effective, creative full body experience built around the principle of good old-fashioned hard work. This class will make you sweat and will push your body beyond your comfort zone. Ivan is upbeat, fun, plays good music, and encourages you every step of the way. It’s a great addition to any current conditioning program, or an excellent place to build a foundation for new fitness goals.

If you go or if you’ve been, please leave a comment and share your experience!

Note: While Reformation Fitness invited me to try a free class, my review is based entirely on my honest-to-goodness personal experience. Thanks for reading!

Barre Body at Studio Body Logic

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Crash Course: Studio Body Logic is located in Ballston and Alexandria and best known for teaching authentic pilates. Open since 1996, the studio offers five different levels of mat class and an impressive number of apparatus options. Lesser known are the studio’s other sweaty offerings, including evolved sculpt, yoga, ballet, and Barre Body – a 55-minute cardio workout with a foundation in classical ballet moves. Expect weights, balls, therabands, upbeat music, and a sore tush the next morning. Click here for a full schedule of classes at Studio Body Logic.


 

studio-body-logic-front-door

Studio Body Logic is a hidden gem in the heart of Ballston, tucked away on the first floor of an unassuming apartment building. I had a very hard time finding it in the building itself, so if you’re going for the first time, give yourself five extra minutes to make your way through the maze of doors in the sprawling complex. Or, better yet, learn from my mistake and ask the front desk attendant how to get there before wandering into the labyrinth alone.

studio-body-logic-reformers

The space is well-lit and cozy, with every square inch occupied by strange contraptions with names like the “electric chair” and the “Pedi-Pole.” Don’t let their sleek and minimalist look fool you, these devices will make you beg for mercy. I’m itching to come back and try a traditional pilates session here. Something tells me, by sheer deviceage alone, this studio can whip up some mean workouts.

studio-body-logic-spring

studio-body-logic-barrel

Thanks to a bad combination of DC traffic and the last coughs of winter weather, I was running late to class. I shimmied my way into the already-started Barre Body session of 12 ladies, hoping not to cause a fuss or disrupt anyone. Karmic irony would dictate that the only spot still available was right in front. Of course. Totally busted.

Luckily, the class was still warming up and doing a stationary leg march with an added arm lift, so I did my best to join in and follow along. I’m not the most coordinated, so it took me a few counts before I synched up with the rest of the class, but I eventually fell in line. Right arm lift, left leg lift. Right. Left. Okay, I think I got this. The warm up was definitely more aerobic than I was used to in other barre classes, which I liked because it got my heart rate up and made my forehead glisten. I like to work up a sweat when I work out, what can I say.

studio-body-logic-arm-weights

The exercises and motions in Barre Body were also different than I was used to. Not enormously so, but enough to make you feel like you’re trying something a little different than your traditional tuck and lift barre class. In fact, there was zero awkward tucking, which I give two big thumbs up to. However, we did an entire series of floor exercises that mirrored something out of a Jane Fonda workout video. At first I was skeptical. Laying on our side and doing leg lifts and sweeps? Pass the leg warmers please. But by the time rep 15 came around, the burn was real folks. And the reps kept coming. And I started to wonder what the heck I had gotten myself into.

We also did a series at the barre doing squats and plies with a ball between the legs for added resistance. I had one hand on the barre for balance and another around a two pound weight extended out to my side. Again, my inner skeptic scoffed at the two pound weight. What the heck is that going to do? And then we began to squat, plie, squat, plie, releve, plie, releve. Oh my word. It was much more challenging than I had anticipated. My inner barre critic was eating her words.

studio-body-logic-arms

Adrienne – who was an awesome instructor with serious command of the moves and a killer playlist, by the way – finished the class with a final cardio segment. I was officially tuckered out at this point. My legs were wobbly, my arms were burning, and the glisten on my forehead morphed into a full-on sweat stream. The closing stretch and cool down was magnificent, and my body was so very thankful for a chance to take a break and work out the kinks. Was I sore the next day? You betcha. Abs, legs, and arms were all thanking me for trying something new.

So how did Barre Body stack up? Here are my takeaways: 

  • More cardio-centric than your average barre class.
  • Lots of props, get ready for some creative burn.
  • Not as much focus on “tucking.” A plus for those of us who think it’s a painfully awkward movement to do in public.
  • The moves are more fluid with a heavy emphasis on their ballet and dance origins.
  • Tiny class size with a personal, causal atmosphere.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Note: While Studio Body Logic invited me to try a free class, my review is based entirely on my honest-to-goodness personal experience. Thanks for reading!

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