FitReserve Review and Recap

As previously mentioned I was kindly offered a free month’s membership for FitReserve. FitReserve is an all-in-one fitness membership that allows you to mix and match classes from a curated selection of the top studios in NYC, at over 50% off retail. FitReserve provides access to full studio schedules and peak class times, plus access to exclusive insider studio and partner perks, events and more.

At this time they offer 2 different memberships: 10 classes/ month for $150 or 20 classes/ month for $250. By NYC fitness standards, both are a pretty great deal.

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I was pretty impressed with my month. So impressed that I decided to hop on this great summer deal they were having and pay for 3 more months of membership.

What I love about FitReserve:

  • Peak time slots. The mass majority of my workouts take place around 6-6:30AM before work or weekend mornings AKA peak time slots. From what I’ve seen, FitReserve offers all time slots. Period. If the studio offers that class, it’s on FitReserve.
  • Stress free booking. There’s been a number of times where I’ve signed up for a pretty popular class less than 12 hours before class time. Much to my surprise there were still spots. From what I’ve gathered, the only time a class is “full” on FitReserve is because it’s literally full at the studio too.
  • Good mix of classes. The list of studios is still growing and missing a few of my favorites, there’s certainly a healthy mix of choices in my area and the nearby neighborhoods. Whether it’s yoga, barre, HIIT, strength training or spin, there’s a studio not too far away from me. 
  • Has a lot of my favorite studios. Between Uplift, Exceed and Body Space Fitness I’m a happy camper.
  • You can visit a studio up to 4 times. I totally understand why there is a limit, and 4 is kind of perfect. It means I can hit up favorite classes once a week for the month.
  • Easy to follow a routine. I’ve found my favorite classes that work for my schedule and can pretty easily stick to these classes without stressing about spots filling up too fast.
  • Easy to navigate. The website is pretty intuitive to figure out.

What I don’t love about FitReserve:

  • Limited number of studios. There’s still a few studios I wish were on FitReserve. Keeping my fingers crossed– after all Uplift was added during my first month!
  • Inconsistent sign up times for each studio. I can’t seem to figure out when each studio’s schedule gets uploaded/ updated. For someone like me that likes to plan way in advanced this stresses me out. Granted, I’ve never had an issue getting into my favorite classes.
  • Cancellation policy. Originally it was 24 hours which stressed me out, however they’ve recently changed to follow individual studio’s policy.
  • Can’t see full history of classes taken. Not the end of the world, just something I sometimes like to look back at.

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Classes I took:

  • Exceed x2
  • Uplifting Strength at Uplift x4
  • Metabolic Burn at Body Space Fitness
  • Dash28 at Mile High Run Club x2
  • Core Fusion Extreme at Exhale

All in All…

I think FitReserve offers a really great platform and membership. At 10 classes/month I still need to have a full gym membership to supplement the rest of my workouts during the month.

The membership does make a lot of sense financially, though, since it allows me to hit up a number of my favorite studios without totally breaking the bank.

Shock and Ah with Kristin Kenney + Kiwi Sweat

My first encounter with Kristin Kenney was taking her cycling class a few years back. It was a great class and still sticks out in my mind. I remember at the end feeling like I was part of a team and legit wanted to high five everyone in the class. I don’t know how she does it, but that atmosphere was no doubt created by Kristin’s style of coaching and leading a class. Flash forward a few years and she’s still making that teamwork magic happen, but now it’s off the bike in her own class called Shock and Ah.

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Shock and Ah is that quintessential New Yorker class: it combines fast paced circuits and simple but effective moves followed by 5 minutes of meditating. Sitting still and being quiet is really hard for someone like me, but this class was a nice reminder of how necessary it is, especially when living a slightly crazy life in a really crazy, fast paced city. Breathing is good.

Kristin is truly a force to be reckoned with. The tiny class size allowed her to give each and every one of us personal attention, whether it was giving me a harder modification on a move, or slightly tweaking my form during speed skaters to make sure every single rep counted. There’s zero slacking off during class because it’s pretty impossible to hide from her hawk eyes. It’s a good problem to have, no?

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Kristin explained to me that the class is designed so you get the most bang for your buck– and honestly who really has time to workout for more than an hour during the day? As a busy mother, fitness instructor, personal trainer and athlete, she knows a thing or to about being busy.

One things I’ve been really struggling with since transitioning from being a student to working full time is maintaining that healthy life style I’m obviously passionate about sharing on this blog.

Here are Kristin’s favorite tips for staying fit, healthy and sane when you’re super busy:

1.) Prioritize. I learned by watching clients work hectic schedules, travel and maintain a personal life and public persona: You MUST set aside 50 minutes 2-5 x a week for yourself in order for your body and mind to be optimal. Ideally, combine a short, effective workout with meditation for best results.

2.) Sleep. Most people need 7-9 hours a night but many can’t sleep due to anxiety, compulsive, repetitive thoughts and worry. The combination of working out AND quieting the mind is ESSENTIAL for sound sleep and excellent health.

3.) Plan. Stop worrying and making last minute decisions about workouts, meals and me-time. Plan your meals and schedule workouts that are functional, like Shock & Ah, to effectively work the entire body, train for best physical results and mental clarity and calm.

 

Check out Shock and Ah with Kristin currently offered by Kiwi Sweat at Bellavita Studio.

I was invited to take a free class on behalf of Kristin and Kiwi Sweat. All opinions on my own and I was not compensated for this post.

Lately + Workout Plan for the Week

Can we all agree that coming back from vacation is the worst. My apartment has looked like a war zone since I landed Monday night, I refused to go food shopping all week, and finally got my inbox to a manageable size today.

Here’s what’s been going down since I’ve be back…

Springtime!

The day I left for LA it was 30 degrees out. When I landed it was 60 degrees. Hallelujah.

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During my lunch breaks I’ve been scarfing down food as quickly as possible so I can enjoy the rest of the hour outside, walking around the park.

Yesterday was GORGEOUS and you could tell everyone was loving it and so happy. That’s the magical thing about NYC, all winter we’re bitter angry people but come spring the entire city becomes a much friendlier place. I literally spent the entire day outside because why waste a beautiful Saturday?

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Outside brunching at Dos Caminos.

I’ve been really into brunch at Dos Caminos lately, which is kind of embarrassing because the restaurant is a tiny bit touristy. I first fell in love with their brunch freshman year of college when my friend and I would go there to celebrate special occasions. A few weeks back I suggested Jeremy and I check it out again… and I fell in love with their guacamole once more.

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So goooood.

The Distance @ Mile High Run Club

This morning I hit up Mile High Run Club’s class “The Distance”. It was really flipping hard to say the least.

I’ve previously taken Dash 28 at MHRC which is 45 minutes long with only 28 minutes on the actual treadmill, the rest of the time is spent on the floor strength training. The Distance is 60 minutes of all treadmill, all the time. At the beginning of the class I was thinking “What did I just get myself into” because the thought of running on a machine for an hour is pretty daunting.

The class was far from boring because we were constantly switching things up. The bulk of the workout was alternating between 1 minute of incline at a moderate pace (I generally stuck to a speed of 5.5 during this part) and 2 minutes of running (not to be confused with sprinting. I tried to stay at 6.5 during this chunk). First we alternating between these two intervals for 22 minutes, followed by a walking/ jogging break and then repeated the whole thang for 10 minutes. Oh and there was a 1 minute sprint tacked on at the end.

When I write it out, it doesn’t sound tough, but I was definitely riding the struggle bus throughout and took a few breaks to catch my breath. Running is hard, y’all.

I ended up running a little over 5 miles. I can’t even tell you the last time I ran 5 miles so I felt pretty awesome leaving that class, despite the walking breaks and feeling like I was going to die.

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I already signed up for next weekend because I’m crazy, and also because it’s the perfect class to ease me back into 5 mile runs for half marathon training.

Uplift Entrepreneur Event

Reason #43908 why I LOVE Uplift– they put together amazing events with the intention of empowering ladies. Wednesday evening I attended a panel focused on female entrepreneurs that created their own business and are totally crushing it. On the panel was Uplift founders Helena Cawley and Leanne Shear, career coach and founder of AB Strategies Antonia Bowring, co-founder of Well & Good NYC Alexie Brue and Payal Kadakia whom I of course know pretty well since she’s the founder of ClassPass.

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Photo via Uplift

I’m certainly not ready to start my own business endeavor quite yet but I have a lot of hopes and dreams right now and know I want to create my own business one day. Preferably something in the fitness world where I can wear yoga pants all day. Hearing everyone talk about their path to get where they are today was really comforting though and a nice reminder that it’s okay that I’m not already where I want to be.

One of the big things all these ladies emphasized was that life is made up of multiple chapters. All of them had other career paths before founding their own company, some of which were directly related to their passion, other careers were certainly not. I seriously struggle with this idea because I WANT IT ALL RIGHT NOW. Just because I’m not already starting my own business today doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.

Patience is not my strongest suit, but hearing everyone talk about their journey was oddly comforting.

 

Plan for the Week

Last week was a total bust on the fitness front. Not sleeping a lot in California + the time differences kicked me in the butt so most mornings I ended up sleeping in instead of working out. It happens.

Monday: Uplifting Strength @ Uplift
Tuesday: REST or Cardio of sort (running or cycling)
Wednesday: Core Fusion Cardio @ Exhale
Thursday: Fitness event
Friday: TBD probably REST
Saturday: Exceed
Sunday: The Distance @ MHRC

On the food front I’m really excited to cook for the first time in 2 weeks. I’ll only be home 2 nights this week to make dinner so am of course making my favorite go-to dish chickpeas + kale and for lunch I’m making a lentil soup from Oh She Glows cookbook that will last me the week.

 

Now tell me about your week + food and fitness plan for the upcoming week! 

LA: Eats & Aerials at AIRFit

Hey hey! My vacation in LA absolutely flew by and I’m already back at LAX wishing I could stay a bit longer. Signs of a good trip, right?

I feel like I gots lots to share with you from my adventures here, and the days have kind of jumbled together, so let’s just dive on in!

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Disneyland trip is ALWAYS a must when I’m in LA.

Aerial at AIRFit

When my friend Persia asked if I was down to take an aerial class at AIR while visiting, I of course couldn’t say no. Love me a class with an adrenaline rush! Unlike any other aerial related class I’ve taken before, AIR really incorporates conditioning and cardio to make the class more of a workout than if you were just learning the fundamentals of hammock.

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The foundations class started with a warm up with lots of stretching both with and without the hammock. It as a good way to get used the apparatus and trusting our arms to hold our body weight.

Before jumping into inversions we did a few strengthening exercises using the hammock kind of like a TRX for rows and planks. I of course loved this, even though planks in the hammock were ridiculously hard.

Then it was upside down time! Our instructor slowly walked us through the inversions and “tricks” step-by-step and walked around the room to ensure everyone was able to get into the poses. Like rock climbing your hands take a huge beating during class and arguably get tired before any other muscle (or maybe that’s just me). It’s also a pretty killer arm workout and my biceps and triceps are still sore.

Some moves are a tiny bit uncomfortable because of how they pinch your skin. I have a tiny bruise on my hips, but nothing too serious. Considering the bloody palms and bizarre bumps and bruises I’ve endured doing trapeze, a little bruise is nothing.

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Before stretching we finished the class with a quick cardio song using small hand weights. I liked the idea of incorporating a cardio section to get the heart rate up (if the adrenaline rush isn’t doing it for ya!) but didn’t love how it was executed– you did 10 of each exercise counting on your own, doing as many reps as possible during the song. Everyone was doing their own thang and all over the place.

Like I said earlier, compared to other aerial classes I’ve taken there was way more of a fitness aspect to AIR which of course I loved. After class I felt like I had a pretty solid workout similar to attending barre or pilates… but you know with a flare of circus.

I highly recommend wearing tight fitting leggings/ yoga pants and a shirt that fits tight and won’t ride up. I was in a tank top and didn’t have any issues with rope burns on my arms, but some might prefer wearing a log sleeve top to protect the arms.

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Cirque du Soleil, Persia and I are waiting for our call.

Eats

Los Angeles, I love your food. I ended up planning most of my trip around food and restaurants I wanted to go to. As a lactose intolerant, non red meat eating, picky eater, Los Angeles gets me. Almost everywhere I went while here was super vegan friendly and had an emphasis on fresh foods. New York please take note.

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Brunch at Hugo’s in West Hollywood was SO GOOD. The restaurant isn’t vegan or vegetarian but labels which items on the menu can easily be made vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free and nut free. Note that like 95% of the menu can easily be vegan (guestimating here but it was a good chunk of the menu). I was overwhelmed in a good way– SO many choices I could eat!! I opted for the huevos rancheros, eggs over medium with daiya dairy-free cheese. Hit the spot. This will definitely be on my must list next time I’m in LA.

 

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I’ve read a lot of Cafe Gratitude and how much people love this vegan joint. The atmosphere is a bit hippie dippy and yogi, which I totally dig but not everyone will necessarily. All the the dishes are named things with positive vibes like “elated, happy, radiating”. After taking our order our waiter asked us the question of the day which was about how we were practicing consciousness.

I wanted to try EVERYTHING on the menu, it all looked so good! After careful consideration I chose the eggplant parm panini which was aptly named the “Awesome”. It seriously hit the spot. David and I also split kale chips to start and finished off our meal with warm cobbler topped with ice cream. Heaven.

Definitely have to go back and try everything.

And now it’s almost time to board my flight! It’s been swell, Los Angeles, see you again soon!