March 15, 2014

Body Contouring at Toned Spa


Recently Dana and I were invited to try out Toned Spa. Were we super intrigued and had no idea what we were in for. We had trouble finding more info on it other than a handful of (great) Yelp reviews, later finding out that Toned Spa primarily relies on word of mouth (like soulcycle, when it only had 1 studio). The Toned Spa website describes the treatment as "a 40 minute regime of pulsations that work to tone the muscles and skin from the inside out".

A short walk up two flights of stairs and you enter a tranquil spa. An impeccably clean space that causes you to forget all about the hustle and bustle of the streets of Chelsea just steps away. Then you are whisked away into a small private room resembling a massage room; only with this crazy looking machine next to the padded table.

After discussing which parts of the body to work on, (you may choose one large like abs and 1 small like arms, I decided to go full attention the thighs. I had to be bikini ready in 4 weeks for Costa Rica, I wasn’t messing around) you are ready to lay down and relax.  Once I was measured she began to take out the stick-on sensors… now this is starting to look familiar. Anyone who’s done physical therapy will know exactly what this machine is.  It's commonly used to send electro currents into the body helping breakup scar tissue. Having recently been in PT for a few months, this was all too familiar for me. By using a higher frequency, Toned Spa uses this machine to force your muscles to contract…. Creating More Muscle Tone!!!!




Anna was a great tech. She was very attentive and explained everything throughout the session. Being a facial esthetician as well,  she was happy to chit chat and provide some great wellness and skincare advice. Over all, the entire process was enjoyable.

Results:
For real, I lost an entire inch off my upper thigh!!! And just shy of ½ inch on my lower thigh (makes sense, there tends to be less ‘jiggle' there). I was super surprised to lose so much so soon. I can only imagine what a few more sessions could do. Of course one couldn't just rely on this machine to get into shape. Your heart still needs cardio. Also, it’d be near impossible to tone all the muscles in your body. But IS this a great quick fix before an event or trip? You bet!! It’s like when a guy does a number of push-ups prior to taking his shirt off, only it actually lasts.

If you maintain healthy eating and work out regularly you’ll definitely be able to maintain your results.

It is expensive*, but worth it if you need a quick tone up. 
*we've seen deals offered on Gilt City!!



289 7th Ave, 2rd floor, NY, NY 10001


March 06, 2014

Miami’s 305 Fitness is Turning Up the Heat in NYC


I’ve professed my love of dancing before. Nothing professional or anything, just letting lose with some friends and having a good time…. There may or may not be a video out there with a friend and I doing the entire dance from Gagam Style.

Dance fitness is nothing new, especially in NYC with dance studios on every corner throughout midtown, but 305 Fitness has certainly set a difference pace from the rest.

As soon as you walk in the room you feel the difference, the lights are off and the room is illuminated by dim colored lights. There’s a DJ (no pre-mixed playlists!!!) in the corner spinning your favorite dance & club songs. Wait, is this actually a club in South Beach?!?! The music was certainly good enough to feel like you were in out of this cold NYC winter. None of those cheese ball tunes you hear at weddings either (ugh, if I hear YMCA or the Cha Cha Slide one more time…). The DJ was spinning all of my fav’s from the club (or at least, if I went to the club anymore). There were tons of Rihanna to make anyone to want to sing along, trouble was, your heart is pumping so fast to do the cardio that you couldn't get a single lyric out if you tried. This class was legit hard, anyone could keep up with the dance moves, but the cardio was INSANE!

It’s like spin class, once class starts it STARTS. We were spinning around and breaking it down, all over the room. It was so much fun! And no worries if you can’t land the steps your first try, there’s plenty of space to screw up, and after just a beat or two you’ll be in sync again. It’s like the rules of soul, if you newer or like to dance to your own grove then try to stick to the back of the room. Plus, I was so focused on my own moves that I didn’t even notice if other people were missing steps in the dimly lit room.

Bottom line: if you want to dance you’re a** off (literally, dance the calories away in this dripping sweat class) then I recommend that you sign up tomorrow. It’s either that or book the next flight to Miami…


Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands 

Studio- 3
Instructor- 5
Sweat Factor- 5
Amenities- n/a (in a shared studio)
Pricing- 3




notice the dog watching us

November 26, 2013

Pre-Feast Workout: What will be Open this Thanksgiving?

Whether you plan to stay in town this holiday or will be headed out in the afternoon, here is a list of fitness studios that are open on Turkey Day. Maybe you won’t need elastic waist pants this year after all….


BARI: Open- AM Classes 
Barry’s Boot Camp: Open- All NYC Locations AM Classes 
Exhale/ Core Fusion: Open - All Locations AM classes 
The Fhitting Room: OPEN-AM Classes 
Laughing Lotus Yoga Center: Thanksgiving Mash-UP, @ 10am-11:35am Thanksgiving Day all proceeds going to Africa Yoga Project  
Petal NYC: Open- AM Classes 
Physique 57: Open- All locations AM Classes 
Pure Yoga: OPEN- AM Classes 
Revolve: 60 minute Turkey Ride @ 9:30 am Thanksgiving day 
SLT: Open- AM Classes 
SoulCycle: 90 minute Turkey Burns, happening at all Soul studios on both Thursday and Friday







We'd like to thank our Readers, this past year wouldn't have happened with out you!
xoxo
Susan & Dana


November 23, 2013

Elements Barre


Back in September Susan and I reached our 1 year anniversary as bloggers and though our sweaty adventures have taken us all over the city (and parts of the world) we still get excited when fitness professionals reach out to US to try their class or product and give our humble opinions. We are certainly not professionals, we’re just a couple of weirdos with a shared passion for active and healthy lifestyles. So when Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger, founder and director of Elements Fitness Studio invited us to try out some classes we were ready to go (once our damn injuries would allow that is). Andrea has an extensive background in both dance and fitness and her energy and passion are contagious. She combined her experience to create Elements, a boutique studio that offers Barre Fitness, Sculpt and Tone , Piloxing, Cardio Jazz, Plyo Boxing and Circuits, Pilates Mat and Yoga Flow Classes.



Susan:
First off, let me warn you that I’m not particularly into the whole, ballet Barre class craze that seems to be going around. Yeah, I know it produces hard abs and long lean muscles, but I hate the slow moving pace. I think working out should be fun: high intensity, energy boosting, heart pumping,(bring you back to those childhood playground and gym class sweats) fun. Trying to hold a plank longer than the girl next to me just doesn’t do it for me. I especially hate wincing in pain as I try to keep that tiny ball from dropping from my quivering thighs… I hate that tiny ball. So I when Elements suggested we take their new ballet Barre class I can’t say that I was exactly thrilled. But I’m a trooper, and I vow to try anything at least once.

Right off the bat the instructor informed us that Elements does their Barre slightly different, while you should absolutely expect to reach a quivering (god-I-hate-this) moment, she promised to immediately switch to a complementary stretching move. I’m pretty sure both Dana and I relaxed slightly after hearing this. The class consisted of mostly mat work with the addition of that famous ballet barre, as well as minimum props: the tiny ball that I hate so much and stretchy bands. This was my first sighting of stretchy bands at a ballet class; having recently come out of physical therapy I was happy to see these. Such a modify-friendly prop, just tighten the slack to increase intensity. There were pushups, planks, Pilates 100’s, various arm moves such as tricep curls, squats, and tons for bar work. Which I can best describe as a fitness salad: start with a bunch of ballet Barre moves, mix in some pilates, add a dash of yoga and you've got this class. Andrea was energetic and very cautious of any necessary modifications.



Dana:
Unlike my lovely friend Susan I am not a barre class hater! I will admit that some can be a bit of a snoozer (*cough* like this one) and they can give off that Medieval torture vibe, I am generally a fan of barre and Elements barre was anything but boring! Andrea is a ball of energy and clearly a very experienced instructor. Her enthusiasm is undeniable and she does a great job of structuring her class in way that keeps the intensity up without making you want to punch her in the face, which really is an important skill for a fitness instructor. As she explained to us before the class she makes you do just enough of every move to really feel it burn (and make some crazy faces) then you get to move on to a stretch or another type of isolated movement. Whether you love or loathe the barre, this class is worth checking out. We are already planning to go back and try Piloxing, which is a mix of Pilates and boxing.


Susan: So for any of you who are Barre class haters out there, I suggest you take your butt down to Elements Fitness Studio and try their Barre class. It certainly turned this former Barre class hater. 

 Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands 

Studio- n/a
Instructor- 5
Sweat Factor- 3
Amenities- n/a
Pricing- 3

Amenities: Currently Elements Fitness Studios is growing, at the moment workouts are based out of a gorgeous Tribeca dance studio


November 06, 2013

Get Rowing at Brooklyn Crew

 
 
 
 



Over the weekend I took my first indoor rowing class, or maiden voyage if you will at Brooklyn Crew. It has been a long eight weeks of resting (sort of resting) my injured knee. If a fractured tibia sounds like a strange surfing injury, I KNOW. I don't really understand how it happened either, but lets just say I'm super psyched to finally be at about 85% and mostly off of the disabled list. I have been doing yoga and a little climbing since about week 3 and steadily improving, but I was ready to finally get some serious cardio in.



Let's do this




Brooklyn Crew is New York City's first indoor rowing studio. Launched in Williamsburg in April, the 45 minute high intensity interval rowing classes are lead by former crew coaches and said to burn up to 800 calories. Rowing is one of the few sports that exercises all the major muscle groups with no impact on the joints, which is perfect for a delicate flower like myself.





Ergs (Indoor Rowers) simulate rowing on water
 
About a 10-15 minute walk from the Bedford L stop, the location is not the most convenient for me, but I am always willing to venture out for a good class and there was a lot to like about Brooklyn Crew right from the start. The studio itself is brand new and very nice. The classes are small (8 person max) and my instructor Michael was awesome- very knowledgeable and motivating.
I also like how much they emphasize correct form, posture and breathing. Several novice classes are required to insure proper technique before graduating to the signature class. The interval format keeps the class interesting and challenging and the digital screens on each Erg help you track your intensity and progress, similar to Revolve. I also love that this is not a "girly" workout, my class was evenly split and it's something you could easily persuade a man friend/ brother/ husband to try with you. Overall this an intense workout that is also fun. I was a bit nervous about how my knee would hold up, but it wasn't bad! I'm hoping to be back on my bike soon and I will definitely be back for another row at BK Crew.



Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands 

Studio- 5
Instructor- 5
Sweat Factor- 4
Amenities- 3
Pricing- 2
 
 
 
 

20 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11249

October 25, 2013

Weightless Running on an Anti-Gravity Treadmill

We are finally back!!! Dana is at about 75% and myself at about 95%. I'm feeling GOOD and ready to hit this city for some fitness fun. While in the recovery phase I got a change to use the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. This gravity defying machine was the perfect tool to ease back into running after my badly (self-inflicted) sprained ankle. 

The AlterG is a treadmill with an air pressure chamber that surrounds your legs. Once pumped with air the chamber causes you to become almost weightless. The perk of this is you can run at only a portion of your body's weight.  I ran anywhere from 70-95% of my body weight. It's certainly a strange feeling at first but much easier on the joints. Less weight on your joints means less pain and fatigue. This is a wonderful tool that can be found in physical therapy clinics, professional sports team facilities, and hospitals. 


I am a firm believer that some basic gyms should carry these. Imagine that you’re training for a marathon and you begin to get a minor injury. You could continue your training but lighten up your weight to limit the damage overtime. OR this could be used for someone who is majorly out of shape and can barely run a half mile, lighten them up and watch them go. Seriously, why aren't these at the local Equinox? 


I really found this machine useful. It certainly helped me speed my transition back into running. Not only that, but I was able to work on my form. It’s like being on the Jack Rabbit treadmill with even more cameras. You can watch your foot landing and heel kicks all in real time and adjust accordingly. I've  already learned so much more about my running form and where my body tends to over compensate. 


I've only just begun to run at my full body weight, so it will be quite a bit of time before I can train for another distance run. Thanks to the AlterG, I’m one step closer to full recovery. Until then I’ll just find new workouts to blog about :) 

The Sweaty Girls are BACK!!!! #sntc

September 26, 2013

Let's roll

Long Island City

 
"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring." –Desmond Tutu

The last 3 weeks have felt like an eternity. I injured my knee while surfing which has made all of my favorite activities a no go. As much as I've been missing yoga, climbing and all the crazy classes I love trying, I'm dying to ride my bike! Now that summer is over (nooooooo!) I realized that my biking days are numbered before it gets too cold for me. Yes, I am a huge baby when it comes to cold weather, so biking past October is most likely not happening. I guess I'll have to get back to SoulCycle at some point. While my knee continues to heal, I'll get a little nostalgic and share a few of my favorite summer bike trips.

Upper East Side to Prospect Park- 22 miles

 
 
  Queensboro Bridge 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Central Park to Randall's Island- 8 miles
 
 

                                Pedestrian bridge to Randall's Island 
 
 

Puerto Rico- Old San Juan to Pinones - 20 miles

 
 
 
Sarah taking a well deserved break- it was quite hot and humid that day
 
 
And she's back
 

September 12, 2013

Spotted, Green Smoothies at Blue Dog Café

King of the Jungle!


Always on the lookout  for a great Green smoothie Dana and I were recommended to try Blue Dog Cafe. I'm embarrassed to say that neither of us have stepped foot into the cafe since it's conveniently within delivery distance from our office and on Seamless. Yes, one the most wonderful things about this city is that just about anything can be delivered to your door.

There are plenty of other local smoothie options but this one by far gives you the most bang for your buck. Their smoothies are the Largest (a whopping 24 oz!!! compared to the usual 16-17oz) for about the same price or less than everyone else. With plenty of dairy-free and/or feel good ingredients, like almond milk, agave nectar , kale, granola, coco water and more, these will have you feeling good all day. Some times we'll add some almond butter to make it filling enough to have for lunch or just as an afternoon pick-me-up if we haven't eaten enough greens on a particular day. 

Some of our fav's include:
  • King of the Jungle: Banana, kale, spinach and almond milk.
  • Queen of the Jungle: Banana, kale, spinach, and fresh orange juice.
  • The Hulk: Banana, pineapple, almond milk and spirulina.


But all of them are great. The menu also includes some great healthy snacks and meals like, Peanut butter caramelized Pear & honey Sandwich… mmm or Egg whites and avocado and tons of juices & snacks. 

And  while they do  serve meat and cheeses they have plenty of options for  vegetarians, vegans and RAW eaters. Keeping just about anyone happy and healthy. Maybe one of these days we'll get around to walking our butts over there... 


August 14, 2013

DMF's Ultimate Dance Party Workout & Giveaway



Susan: 
Dana and I were super excited to attend an event by DMF (Dance Motivation Fitness). I've been particularly looking forward to trying DMF because I'll find any excuse to shake my booty.  I can often be found dancing around my living room (much to my dog Oliver's disappointment; he's the one stuck being my dancing partner). As the hubb's says… all it takes is the sound of rhythm and beats and I can't help but start to move. DMF looks like something I've been missing in life. As a married woman I don't find myself at the club too often. Sometimes I just miss the dancing, those nights when you walk out drenched in sweat because you got wayyy into your dance moves.  I miss those days, then again I don't miss the sleazy people, expensive bottle service, and club promoter texts on random nights of the week (no, I cannot go to Marquee on a Tuesday night, I have work in the morning!).  DMF seems like the answer to all of this, and a lot cooler than that Zumba class my mom does. Unfortunately, I'm still nursing that ankle sprain so I was majorly disappointed that I could not participate (will this thing ever heal???). But, much to Dana's dislike I was available for in-action picture taking (insert evil laugh… Muah haha ha!!!!)


Dana: 
Initially I was not QUITE as excited to try DMF as Susan was. I was never really much of a club goer/ dancer, but I am always willing to try new things and be a trooper. My dance experience is more like this: I took ballet as a part of my gymnastics training, but not as an actual dancer. Oh and I used to jam out pretty heavily to Club MTV after school. Anyone else remember Downtown Julie Brown? What about The Grind? I was probably the fly-est 5th grader to step foot in the club, and by club I of course mean my basement. So you can imagine my disappointment when Susan told me her sprained ankle would keep her sidelined during DMF. I was glad to have her there for moral support, but less enthusiastic about her endless photo ops. I'm sure there are some real goofball gems in her camera roll. (hopefully already deleted?!)



Susan:
The scariest part about this class is the unknown. Are the dance moves going to be complicated? Will I look like a fool if I have trouble catching the beat? (much like sitting in the front row of your first SoulCycle class). But as an observer, I can tell you that none of that seemed to matter. The crowd was a total mix, no one is particularly amazing, and no one cares if you're a step or two off. Besides, you're so focused on your own moves that you're not even going to notice the girl next to you. Here, it's all about FUN.  Letting loose after a day's work and burning some calories at the same time. "Shake it like you're in the club… or in your living room!" as told by the instructor. Nobody cares in here, just let loose.

Dana:
DMF was awesome! The dancing is a combination of styles ranging from hip hop to salsa and the class is structured to work for any fitness level or amount of dance experience. Once I pushed past my initial awkwardness and got going it was quite a sweaty workout. The class went by quickly because it is varied- I especially liked the strength/toning section. Our instructor Lindi (the DMF founder) was awesome, she really kept the energy up and made it fun.



Here's Dana crushing her lunges, can you find her?

Susan:
I think DMF would be great to pepper into a workout routine that already has some strength work. While there are tons of lower body work mixed with some air punches, you'll want to add some weights or yoga planks to complete a body transformation. Did I mention it looks super fun?!?! Sounds like the prefect spot to burn off some energy on a Thursday night!

Here's a thought, DMF Happy Hour. Drink a shot (or two) then get dancing. Everyone dances better with a drink or two. Then again, maybe that's not the best idea, experience has taught me one or two drinks also causes loss of coordination with a possible sprained ankle.

Dana:
I agree with Susan that this is a great option to mix in with other workouts. I cannot however condone her mixing alcohol with any sort of physical activity! She tends to get injured and I like having a workout partner.

Susan:
Bottom line, if you like to shake your booty then this is for you, no matter how much rhythm you may or may not possess.





Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands 

Studio- 4
Instructor- 5
Sweat Factor- 4.5
Amenities- 1
Pricing- 4

One lucky reader will receive a FREE DMF class!!
How to Enter to win: 
Tweet at us on Twitter OR Like us on Facebook! 


 

August 01, 2013

Kayaking at Rockaway Beach

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I LOVE the beach. I love anything that involves sun and water, but especially the beach. I've been to beaches on several continents and some are so amazing they literally took my breath away, but I don't discriminate. I can have an excellent beach day pretty much anywhere. Considering it's close proximity to Manhattan and the ease of hopping on the A train, Rockaway Beach is pretty great. I've been a regular at Rockaway every summer since moving to the city, but this was my first time heading over to Jamaica Bay.



Our starting point

 
My friend and I got a killer deal (FREE!) on an afternoon tandem kayak rental from Rockaway Jet Ski. The weather was perfect last Saturday and we set off on what I called a romantic date between two friends, hilarious I know. I was bummed out that we didn't bring any water friendly camera equipment, but you can't win them all. So apologies for the generic photos.



Not us, but you can imagine....




The lovely Rockaway Beach
 
 
 
 
Horseshoe crab

 
 I would absolutely recommend this trip to anyone who likes the outdoors, physical activities, wildlife, and general awesomeness. It's not a strenuous workout if the water is calm (unlike my sea kayaking experience in Thailand) but definitely more exercise than laying on the beach.
 
 
 
Bayside of 92nd Beach Street 
 
 
 
Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands 
 
Studio- n/a
Instructor- n/a
Sweat Factor- depends on conditions
Amenities- n/a
Pricing- 5

July 24, 2013

SUP on the Hudson


Last Friday I was super excited to do some Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) at Manhattan Kayak Company. Two things I was not so excited about were the exquisite brown water of the Hudson and the incredible heat wave we were experiencing last week. You know it's hot out when even an outdoor water sport doesn't sound appealing! I think the heat index was right around 105 and it was uncomfortable to say the least.

  

After standing on two sweltering subway platforms and pretty much running the last several blocks to make it there on time, I didn't feel like doing much of anything except maybe throwing up (somewhere air conditioned, of course).




After meeting our instructor and being outfitted with all our gear, we were ready to get our paddle on. My friend Kelly and I were really hoping not to fall in the water, maybe we were being total girls about it, but it's dirty and smells weird. Our instructor let us know right away that there was about a 95% chance we would go in, especially with the rough current that day. I at least thought I would be able to avoid submerging my head/face. I was wrong.




We both took several dips in to that murky water, but it was nice to cool off. SUP is not easy, but it is definitely a great workout. You're using your legs and core for balance while your arms are paddling. I was surprised how quickly my legs got tired and shaky, but we were both a bit low on energy and motivation (borderline heat stroke?), so we ended our adventure a little early and watched from the dock.




Manhattan Kayak Company also offers SUP and Kayak tours.

Pier 66 Boathouse (12th Avenue & 26th Street)

Rating- out of 5 Sweatbands 
Studio- n/a
Instructor- 4
Sweat Factor- depends on weather
Amenities- n/a
Pricing- 4


July 18, 2013

FREE Summer Fitness!




The only thing hotter than this steamy NYC weather is the amount of FREE fitness classes all over the city!
 

"New York City's Hottest summer workouts are free!"
 
 
I love a good group class, but I do NOT love paying $35+ for them. So check it out you spoiled New Yorkers, with all these awesome free classes there is no excuse not to take advantage!
 
 
Central Park
Through August 15
Tuesdays 6:30pm Bootcamp/circuit
Thursdays 6:30pm Yoga
Info

Bryant Park
Through September 19
Yoga
Tuesdays 10am-11am
Thursdays 6pm- 7pm
Info
Schedule
 
 

Union Square
Through August 15
Thursdays- activities all day including;
Morning running club, bootcamp, yoga, zumba
Schedule
 
 
 
 
Hudson River Park
Through August 20
Tuesdays 6:30pm
Activities vary per week;
Info
 

 
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Through September 25
Tuesdays 7pm- Pilates
Wednesdays 7pm Pilates
Thursdays 5:30pm- Kayaking
Info
 
 
 
Prospect Park
Through August 20
Fridays 12pm-1pm- Pilates
Info

Shape up NYC- Tons of free classes throughout all 5 burrows (ongoing)
Info

No Swimmies Required

I'm an idiot, NO  really I am. I also love jumping into swimming pools.  Being both an idiot and a lover of swimming pools is not a good combination.

After having a fun filled weekend out in the Hamptons I decided to ruin it all with cannon balls and can-openers into the pool.

It's a shame these aren't in the Olympics, I'd be promoting Subway Sandwiches right now.


Why, you ask, did I think I was 10 years old?...




The sweet nectar of Cyril's signature BBC... 

That's right I'm blaming Cyril's... Ok, maybe I'm at fault here, but it's their fault they taste so good! Recipe here (extra points if you add a rum floater). ***Disclaimer: These are delicious, make at your own risk!

An X-ray two days later would reveal a sprained ankle (scarier because I've broken that same ankle years go) and a blushing Dr. after I told him it serves me right for mixing 10 year old swimming skills with adult cocktails. 

That's it, the summer is ruined. Bye-bye: boxing, yoga, Soulcycle, morning jogs, paddle boarding, and Barrys Boot Camp. So-long heels and fitting into my skinny jeans. See you later fitness blogger… ok not really, but I'm sorry that I can't try any fun fitness studios for a while. I'll be passing the Olympic Torch of Cannon Balling to Dana for a while. 

I refuse to post pic's, but if you're into grotesque things just imagine Elephantitis of the ankle. Ok, it's not that bad, more like my ankle with a tennis ball size swelling protruding off the side. Again, I'm lucky it isn't worse. 

If you're bored please help cheer me up by letting me live vicariously through you, post some comments about some fun fitness activities you'll be doing this summer. Or your favorite stupid injury stories to make me feel better about myself :)