Group fitness classes have become a huge part of my life this past year. I often went to yoga classes downtown but found that a monthly membership to a single studio was too expensive for the amount of times I wanted to go to yoga a month. I wanted more variety so I decided to try a membership to ClassPass. If you have not heard of ClassPass it is an app where you pay a monthly membership to have access to hundreds of different fitness classes in your area with studios in over 30 cities across the country. There are different packages but the one I do is 10 total classes per month a any studio I want. The only catch is that you can not attend the same class more than 3 times within each month. But this has never been a problem for me, there are so many studios I love going to. I usually go to a mix of yoga, pilates, and barre classes each month. I love that I can decide what kind of workout my body needs in the moment and not have to pay for multiple gym memberships. Also the best part is that the cost of a ClassPass membership is significantly less than an membership to any of the studios I attend regularly. I now have about 6 studios I am faithful to, but I have been to more than I can count around the Austin!
I've never been able to stick with a habit of going to a gym. Everyone has a different type of exercise that works best for them! For me, I like the structure of a group fitness class and that it forces me to keep pushing myself for the full duration. I hope to start sharing more about my favorite fitness classes with you. I'll start with a pilates class at Pure Pilates Austin that uses "megaformer" machines. Workouts on these resistance machines have sprouted up all over the U.S. in the last ten years. They became popular because of their high intensity yet low impact nature. (Clarification: not all pilates classes use machines like this, others I have attended simply take place on a yoga mat with weights!).
Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian, two of my fave ladies, are mega fans of the Megaformer!
This Pilates studio is right down the street from my apartment. Confession #1: I passed people working out on these machines everyday for over two years and was so intimidated. It took me so long to work up the courage to actually try it even though my intrigue was always strong. I will never forget the first day I went to a class. I had been going to regular pilates classes for months now and felt like I was finally in good enough shape to take on the scary machines. Confession #2: my body shook the entire class and I sweat more than I sweat in hot yoga! Confession #3: I FELL IN LOVE
Yes, this class was one of the most challenging workout classes I have ever attended but the pace was slow and relaxing and the way my body felt after was so rewarding. Also its only 45 minutes! Express lane to getting swole?! The feeling of being "good" sore the next day is addicting, it makes me feel like the time I took to workout was worth it! My fave workout buddy Jayme has also gotten hooked on the megaformer. "I think the megaformer is a great combination of a lot of different workouts but more effective! I always leave class feeling like I really worked my entire body and gained strength. It's the most toned I've ever felt!" Jayme told me when I mentioned that I was going to post about megaformers.
Pure Pilates shares on their website "Building on the foundations of traditional pilates, Pure Pilates Austin incorporates strength training and cardio-intervals to maximize your workout and make those muscles burn. By integrating the key elements of resistance and counter-resistance, a unique dynamic occurs whereby clients are able to encourage maximum muscle exertion in an exhilarating, yet, low-impact environment. Many clients have experienced increased body awareness and improved muscle stabilization."
The moral of my story is - if you are intimated by megaformers like I was (the name alone is scary).... don't be! It's like a more creative way to lift weights! And getting to slide around on the carriage is fun!