Tag Archives: barre

My New Neighborhood ClassPass Workouts

Starting a new job and moving to a new neighborhood in June meant a change to my workout routine! Thankfully ClassPass (click that link to get $30 off your first month, and full disclosure, I get $30 off too) has options all over Boston, so the service I use has stayed the same, but the classes I pick have now mostly changed from those I used to attend. Since I live in Charlestown and work in the North End, I’m mostly attending workouts in those two areas of the city.

Exhale Battery Wharf

I’ve been to the Exhale in Back Bay before, but had never gone to the Battery Wharf location until I moved. I actually prefer it over Back Bay! No need to take an elevator to the locker room, and the entire studio feels more sleek and zen to me…maybe because it’s on the second floor and I can’t see shadows walking by when I’m in barre. The 7:05 AM morning classes have been really convenient, especially since Exhale offers the nicest locker rooms I’ve ever been in, complete with provided robes and shower flip flops (it’s SO great not to pack those). I’ve tried regular Core Fusion Barre, Cardio + Barre (half an hour of cardio followed by half an hour of barre…loved this), Extreme (this was set up with five bootcamp stations), and Yoga. It will always be hard for me to get through a normal hour long barre or yoga class without getting antsy, but the Cardio Barre and Extreme classes both fly by, despite them being the same length. I’ve also yet to have a bad instructor at any Exhale location – always a plus.


Image from Exhale on Instagram

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Favorite ClassPass Workouts

I want to preface this post by acknowledging the fact that I was recently quoted in an article about the ClassPass price hike in Boston, otherwise known as “ClassPassGate”. My quote was “this is definitely a tipping point”. But the price doesn’t go up until June, so I have still been enjoying ClassPass as an excellent way to motivate me to not only get somwhere to workout, but have high quality workouts once I’m there. And admittedly, I’m considering staying on because of the amount of studios in my new neighborhood (Charlestown). And, because my mom brought up a valid point: “You know Caitlin, if you stayed in one more night per week, you could afford the new higher price.” Goddammit. She’s right.

But anyway, I wanted to recap my favorite studios/classes, because I feel like I’ve been using ClassPass as a mix of trying new workouts and visiting those that I already knew I liked. So I want to share those that I’ve liked best!

Vixen Army @ BFX Studio

Say what? So this is one of the classes that I never would have tried without ClassPass. The name caught my eye, and after reading the description (“cardio dance fitness program that incorporates choreography from different genres of dance including Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, House and Street styles inspired by live concert performances and videos from chart topping artists”), I had to try it out. I went by myself and left the class thinking two things: “That was fun!” and “I wish I had come to this class with some girlfriends.”

Photo courtesy of our instructor!

Thankfully my friends Jeannie and Allie were 100% willing to give it a shot, and we now have ourselves a Monday night tradition. I would call Vixen Army “Zumba but with twerking”. The songs are familiar and so catchy. The dances are quite easy to learn and follow. And the instructor, Melissa Jurado, is so positive and encouraging! Each class starts with everyone repeating after her, saying affirmations like “I will not judge myself or anyone else in this room” and “Damn I look good for a Monday night”. Yes, it’s cheesy. But it’s also fun and a great workout.

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Bike, Barre, Row

January came with the opportunity to try several new fitness adventures here in Boston, and that’s really helped me stay fairly on track when it comes to consistent workouts. Today I’m sharing my experiences at Cyc in Back Bay, Barre & Soul in Harvard Square, and Community Rowing in Brighton.

Spin at Cyc Fitness

I’d previously been hesitant to try Cyc because I heard it involved a lot of time spent out in third position, holding onto the handlebars with one hand while keeping a weight in the other. This just isn’t my kind of spin. I like songs with arm action, but nothing too out there. Still, when I was offered some classes as part of the Calories for a Cause program (hate the name, love the support for the Challenged Athletes Foundation), I decided to experience Cyc firsthand and help a good cause at the same time. (For every class I take, $1 is donated.)

Cyc offers complimentary shoe rentals, but I prefer the clips on my own pair!

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Boston Moves & Food

During this summer in Boston I have continued to eat great food, while also trying out some new fitness options (and keeping with old favorites). I’m back with another round-up post to catch you guys up, and this one focuses on both moves, and the food that makes all that moving worth it.

Vélo-city Spin in Back Bay

I went to Vélo-city once before, and was excited when one of the owners recently reached out and invited me and my partner in crime Emily to try out a class! We opted for this past Tuesday’s 5:30pm Britney vs Beyonce ride. FYI, Vélo-city offers a TON of fun theme rides, including country, which Emily and I plan to return for.


The door to the studio is in an alley and looks like a portal to another world, like something out of Harry Potter.

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Trade Em Up Tuesday: Quickie

Not much time to write but I’m in the writing mood (funny how that happens…Sunday I had plenty of time to write but wasn’t in the mood). So let’s do a quick Trade ‘Em Up Tuesday – written last night between Mad Men viewing. Which, by the way, I would not trade.

Including an appearance from the ever-evil DAN SCOTT!

I also would not trade…the wonderful dinner I made myself last night. I made Julie’s Kale & Turkey Sausage Breakfast Casserole to have on hand for the week. It wasn’t very pretty but it was delicious and really quite easy to put together. The only difficult part was waiting for it to finish cooking! Big ups to Julie for this one.

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Physique 57 Online Workout: Free Trial!

I received two free days of Physique 57 online workouts so that I could review this video. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

I mentioned at the end of my last Physique 57 post that the fitness program now offers, in addition to studio classes, online workouts for fans all over the world! Great news for folks like me who love doing Physique 57 in person, but just don’t live close to any of their locations. Last Friday I was searching for a morning workout since I had plans after work, and thankfully Natasha of Physique 57 reached out to me around that time to see if I’d like to review the months’ new video: Cardio Sculpt. From the description page, I knew it was just what I was looking for – short (so I could sleep later – ha) yet effective.

Tone and sculpt both the upper and lower body by efficiently combining non-impact cardio exercises with strength training.  By engaging several muscle groups at once, you’ll transform your body into its greatest form. Equipment Needed: portable ballet barre or sturdy piece of furniture, a set of weights (5lbs-10lbs) and a cushion or thick towel.

I was sure to wear my Physique 57 grippy socks! I used a chair as my sturdy piece of furniture.

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Chobani and Physique 57 in NYC – Again!

During my August NYC trip for BlogHer ’12, I had two very important “firsts” – my first Physique 57 class (followed by a second a day later, holy addiction) and my first trip to then-new Chobani SoHo. I knew I wanted to experience both again during my NYC day-trip last week to tour the Elvis Duran Show, but would I be able to fit both in one afternoon? OBVIOUSLY.

Chobani SoHo

Kaitlin was super-excited for her first Chobani SoHo trip since she is a fellow Chobani fanatic! We arrived at the store after doing some fabulous shopping near the Elvis Duran studios (everything was grouped nice and close together) and found a sweet employee posted-up outside handing out samples of the PB&J creation (creamy PB, Concord grape jelly, sliced red grapes, peanuts, plain Cho).

Clearly everyone loved the samples - just one left!

Clearly everyone loved the samples – just one left!


No we did not plan our matching jackets and bags.

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Meeting Ellie and She3

This past weekend while visiting Kaitlin of For Love of Carrots, I gave my first ever Ellie outfit (click to get 20% off your first order) from their February collection a test-run during a barre class at She3 Wellness & Fitness Boutique in Fairfield, CT. To say Ellie (formerly pvBody) is a controversial company in the blog world right now would be an understatement. However, my experience has been mostly positive with both pvBody AND Ellie, so this review will reflect that, just as my pvBody review did.

Got those TOMS on SALE at Urban Outfitters in Boston! Yes, it’s possible to find them on sale!

I’m also excited to share my experience with the She3 barre class called the She3 Fit Method. I’ve done a couple barre classes at Physique57 and was excited to do barre again for the first time in awhile. Kaitlin was completely new to barre and we both appreciated a chance to try a new workout that while not necessarily our “typical” intense HIIT or heavy lifting, would still put us out of our comfort zones and test our strength!

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Physique 57 and Agave in NYC

I’M BACK from an amazing, fun, informative, delicious, burning, sweaty, faaaabulous weekend in New York City for BlogHer 2012! I took the train from New Haven on Thursday afternoon and spent my first nice, long weekend in NYC (and am now convinced there’s no other way to do it…see ya, stressful day or one-night trips). I got home last night with so many memories, informative tidbits, freebies, and photos that I felt like both my mind and bags were going to explode – in a positive way. I’m so excited to recap and share everything with you guys, but as I learned Saturday in an intimate small-group writing session called Tightening Your Prose, most blog posts are too long. SO I am going to be using about four posts to recap my BlogHer 2012 NYC weekend. I wanted to start with my favorite part of it all, because that makes sense, oui?

Rocking my #RBKFITBLOG Reebok top and #fitblognyc Sophia Kashuk bag + Sweaty Bands headband!

I was invited by Physique 57 and Well and Good NYC (a cool site that delivers the latest in NYC health and wellness) to join other healthy living bloggers, including Fitfluential Ambassadors, for a Physique 57 class with the workout’s co-founder, Tanya BeckerI’ve heard nothing but love for Physique 57 from some of my favorite celebrities (KELLY RIPA) as well as friends, and was so pumped to get the chance to not only try the workout, but learn from Tanya herself.

Gina and I

I took the subway over to the SoHo studio location with Gina of Running to the Kitchen, who was also staying at the Hilton New York (where BlogHer was held). She is a fellow FitFluential Ambassador and though we had not met before that day, we had plenty to chat about and I enjoyed hanging out with her! Her food photos and recipes are TO DIE FOR. Go check them out!

Wanna look at the camera, Caitlin?

Upon arrival, I received a complimentary bottle of Chobani water (I adore the packaging and 10% of proceeds from this water’s sales benefit the Shepherd’s Gift Foundation) and a pair of the signature Physique 57 black socks. All the classes take place in blue carpeted rooms like the one pictured below, so these particular socks are essential to a successful workout because they have special padding on the bottom to keep your feet from sliding about.

Left to right – Well and Good NYC co-founder Melisse Gelula, Tanya Becker, Natasha (Social Media for Physique 57), and Tanya’s amazing assistant and instructor-in-training.

Each student’s “set-up” includes a set of weights for upper body, a thick square mat, a band, a ball, and a longer/thinner mat (which comes out later).

Ready to go! Smiling because I’m not yet BURNING.

The class went in the following order: quick cardio warm-up, series of upper-body weights (lighter weights, MANY reps), lower body barre and floor work intervals, abs, stretching. But it’s really SO much more than that! I couldn’t get over what an effective workout this was. I love variety and I love unique. Physique 57 is both of those! The movements we did on the barre and floor were some that I recognized and had experienced with from pilates, but some were exercises I’d never seen or done– but will CERTAINLY be doing again, given what a burn they ignited in my quads, calves, abs, and glutes.

Gina, Melisse, Ashley, Theodora, me, and Meghann showing off our Physique 57 socks!

Tanya was such an amazing instructor. It’s hard to believe she recently had TWINS! I feel so lucky to have been able to learn from her, especially since I hear her classes at the NYC studios are impossible to get into. I also adored the Lululemon top she and Theodora were both rockin’.

Me and Tanya!

Also jealous of Theodora’s sparkly headband!

My fave photo – group shot of the class attendees and Tanya! I WOULD wear my Fossil watch during a workout.

We were also treated to samples of two signature creations from the first and only Chobani cafe,located in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood, as well as coupons for free full-size creations if we visited the store (which I promptly did yesterday…but that’s another post).

Bloggers gathering to give Chobani its photoshoot moment.

The two creations I tried were Pistachio + Chocolate (dark chocolate, clover honey, Turkish pistachios, orange, fresh mint) and Blueberry + Power (blueberries, walnuts, chia and hemp seeds, light agave nectar).

Blueberry + Power on top, Pistachio + Chocolate on bottom.

I really liked both of them, but the Pistachio + Chocolate stood out to me because of its unique flavor combos! The pistachios gave a satisfying crunch and I’m already a big fan of dark chocolate in plain Chobani. And can you believe this was my first time having chia seeds?!I know, I’m an unconventional blogger 😛 the truth is I wasn’t a huge fan, they just seemed kind of there (except when they got in my teeth, which made them kind of an inconvenience). I do know they have a lot of nutritional benefits though! I think the Blueberry + Power didn’t stick in my mind as much because I often do similar Greek yogurt combos at home, so it wasn’t different.

Selfie with the chia.

Gaga for Greek 😉

THANK YOU to Physique 57 and Well and Good NYC for having us bloggers to the event! I’m so glad I got the chance to come while I was in town for BlogHer ’12. In fact, I loved Physique 57 so much that I went back the very next morning to use one of the two free classes I received at the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet!

I was lucky to have another fantastic instructor, Lindi, for my second class. Her energy was incredible and I enjoyed the fact that a Mixed class was available because I had Intermediate modifications shown to me to use, but I couldn’t do them in every case, so I reverted back to the Beginner modifications when needed.

Another Reebok outfit from #RBKFITBLOG, of course! Had to get the Physique 57 socks in the photo too!

I will so miss doing Physique 57 at the studios, but I did receive copies of The Physique 57 Solution Book and the Classic 57 Full-Body Workout DVD at the Well and Good NYC event. I plan to do the DVD and review it with a comparison of it and the studio experience. I already flipped through the book and am really interested in the exercises explained inside – in fact, my dad (who just did his first yoga DVD a few weeks ago, YAY Dad!) is excited to use the book and give them a shot too! It’s like having a Physique 57 encyclopedia in my home! Best part of all? My second free class doesn’t expire until the end of January – oh yup, I’ll be back.

I got my silly on with the Physique 57 mural. She adorns each studio’s wall and is called Gorgeous. Well, I was feeling pretty Gorgeous myself after my second Physique 57 class in 24 hours – or at least my butt certainly was – so I strutted my stuff with her before I departed the 57th Street studio. Who rocks the pose best?

Back to Friday’s class with Tanya…afterward, I was psyched to not be the one picking the restaurant for once, and joined the Fitfluential ladies at a Southwestern spot Ashley chose called Agave.

We were seated outdoors (FAVORITE) at a brown paper covered table in a quaint, serene corner. Patterned pillows lined its benches and I had to snap a Instagram photo of the beautiful scene.

The company I dined with and the conversations held were even more beautiful. I felt at home and at peace the entire time as I chatted with and learned from this group of inspiring women.

One of the funniest and most real bloggers I know, Cat. I feel so lucky to have been able to see her while in town! She has the most interesting life ever. And is a genius in the kitchen.

Where bloggers are around, cameras and phones are found 😉 Cat doesn’t look impressed.

Spending time with a bunch of girls who are interested in the exact same things as me is my ideal way to spend a Friday night! There is never enough time to say what I want to say!

Rockin’ a second round of margs with Theodora.

Loved meeting and sitting next to Erika of A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss. Her transformation is inspiring and she has an amazing energy! She also let me try a sip of her spicy margarita – a friend indeed 😛

It blows my mind how much we bloggers can learn from each other! I can’t wait until all of us can meet again. Thank you for a fabulous  night out, ladies!

Gina, Meghann, Sabrina, Ashley, Theodora, me, Erika, and Cat!

Want to see more pics from the event? Check out the photo gallery posted on Well And Good NYC!

Have you ever heard of or tried Physique 57, either at a studio or with a DVD?

Do you have any Chobani signature creations that you like to make at home?

Have you ever gotten to hang out with “blends”, and if so, did you have a thousand things to talk about? I’m gonna guess yes.

Myth-Busting: I Eat At Home!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for a case of Barres: The Real Food Bar. I have never had this much participation (197 entries!) in a giveaway before – woo hoo! I used a random number generator to pick the winner:

Congratulations to the winner Daphne!

Please email me with your address so I can forward it along to Julia at Barre – thank you again to all who entered! Now let’s get to today’s post!

Burnt (on purpose) Digiorno pizza slice, broc, black beans, and some turkey burger and grilled chicken with spicy mustard.

I get a lot of comments on both the blog and Instagram, as well as tweets, about how often I dine out. I am always excited to share my drinks and eats from restaurants, whether via restaurant reviews or photos shared on social media. I definitely tend to write about restaurant meals more often than I write about meals at home. For that reason, I think there’s a bit of a misconception that’s developed (and I can see why). I feel like many of my readers think I eat out all the time.

Leftover vegan Wildflour sweet potato & black bean flatbread, purchased during my last visit with Heather, eaten at home after class on Friday.

And while I do dine at restaurants an average of 3 or 4 times a week, I eat at home as well! The truth is, the more nights I eat out, the more stressed I feel. There’s a guilt aspect to that unfortunately. I think there is a stigma our media’s projected about eating at restaurants: that no matter what you order, it’s bad…that if you finish your plate, even if you have room for it, you’ve eaten too much…a lot of all-or-nothing thinking is associated with restaurant meals. I’ve struggled with that for the last couple of years, and it’s especially hard to get over when I love restaurants so much, but I’m working on it.

Leftover vegan Wildflour raw lasagna, purchased during that same visit. Eaten during class on Friday night.

However I also get more stressed the more I dine out because there is really nothing like a relaxing night at home with a home-cooked meal, my family, and the DVR. I’m lucky to be living with parents that are grill maestros (my dad) and healthy dish mavens (my mom). I feel the most satisfied and content on a weeknight after I kill it at the gym, shower, and settle in on the couch in my PJs with my dinner plate. Just thinking about it right now is calming to me. No matter what fabulous tasting I have planned or which unique restaurant I’m headed to, there is no night better than a night in.

Takeout from my fave Mex place in CT, Loco Perro, of East Hampton. Salsa, black beans over sauteed veggies, and shredded chicken quesadilla with light cheese. Enjoyed while watching latest ep of “Newsroom” on the DVR.

I don’t want any of my readers to think that I’m always out eating crazy food and drinking weird martinis every night because that’s not who I am. I don’t have that much energy! The truth is, I’m a homebody. I’m a grandma. I crave routine and I crave calm. I’ve been working on staying home MORE nights each week, for my own mental health. Whether I’m out on a weeknight eating a salad or a four-course wine dinner, I get stressed. It doesn’t matter what I order; it’s just the fact that I’m not home. I want the couch. I want my family. I want the distance from the place I ate dinner to my bed to be nothing more than one flight of stairs.

Pinto beans, cornbread, turkey sausage, squash & zucchini, and Ore Ida frozen fries with spicy mustard. Thanks, parents!

I also wanted to bring this up because I really, really want to get more into the daily life posts that I see very often in the blog world. I want to be relate-able to my readers and also be able to share more about my musings, workouts, and eats each day. I feel like sometimes I put pressure on myself to review every meal I eat out. While I love putting them together, restaurant reviews are time consuming, especially when I get so excited and passionate that I feel like I could write forever and ever. Most of the time I have to STOP myself from including every last detail in a review.

Dinner’s accompaniments 😉 quite a pair.

It’s nice to just open up a new post and write about what’s on my mind at that moment – like I did here. And this is MY blog! My restaurant and tasting reviews aren’t going anywhere, but I’m thinking with daily life posts I can project a more accurate image of who I really am! 

What do you guys think? Would you like to see more daily eats/workouts/fashion posts from me?

Which do you enjoy more – eating out or eating in? Which is more relaxing to you?

What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

What are you opinions on the way our media skews the consequences of dining at restaurants?