Blink Fitness Review + GIVEAWAY

If you live in New York City, chances are you’ve heard about Blink Fitness, the relatively new chain of gyms owned by the same peeps as Equinox and Soul Cycle. Since opening it’s first location in 2011, the brand has since expanded to more than 35 locations in New York and New Jersey.

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What makes Blink Fitness different is their focus on affordability and making fitness accessible– two things I definitely stand behind considering a gym in NYC can be insanely expensive. At $25 per month it’s less expensive than just about any other gym I’ve visited.

Over the next 6 months I’ll be writing about my experience working out at Blink Fitness in exchange for free membership. So far I’ve been really impressed. The gym is clean and bright and has all the essentials I need to get in a strength training session and of course treadmills, which will become necessary as marathon training begins.

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Where I think Blink really shines is that it fills a weird void in the fitness scene right now. The New York City boutique fitness scene is certainly on the rise compared to big box gyms… but it’s also expensive. Blink is a really great option for people that want to supplement with a handful of boutique fitness classes during the month while still having a place they can go lift and run on the treadmill– all without totally breaking the bank.

For someone like me it’s working out well, I adore my boutique fitness classes– but can’t afford to have all my workouts be $34 a pop, plus I need access to a treadmill for marathon training as back up on a rainy day.

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One interesting thing is that there are no towels at Blink which is part of the lower cost. While it’s not a big deal to bring a small hand towel if I’m working out before work and heading home right after, showering might be more complicated. I’m also squeamish when it comes to other people’s sweat (yes, even after working as a personal trainer) so part of me does worry that lack of towels might also mean lack of wiping off sweat if you know what I mean. So far though I’ve yet to experience that though, so the towel policy is fine with me.

 

GIVEAWAY TIME! Win a year-long membership to your local Blink Fitness. Check out where the nearest one to you is here. You can enter two different ways or do both– each option counts as an entry so your choice!

  1. Post a comment below with you favorite workout move. I’ll start– mine is plank :)
  2. Follow me on instagram! Be sure to leave a comment afterwards below that says “Following”. If you already follow me, just comment as well!

CONTEST ENDS 7/9/15 at 11:59PM. 

Photos via Blink Fitness.

4 Classes, 1 Weekend: Self #UpNOutStudio Event

This weekend I died and went to fitness heaven at Self Up & Out Studio. A bunch of studios from around the country came together at the gorgeous Spring Studios for a whirlwind weekend of working out. I wish I had come up with the idea for this event because it’s pretty brilliant to bring a ton of different studios under one roof.

Each class was shortened to 40 minutes long (I think the majority studios usually teach a 60 minute format) to give you a taste of what the studio is all about. I think the most impressive aspect of the event was that there were 6 different rooms housing workouts throughout the weekend. That’s a lot of sweating going on.

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The  majority of studios participating were NYC based– Flywheel (yes they had a Flywheel stadium set up, bikes and all!), Pure Barre, Kettlebell Kickboxing, 305 Fitness, CITYROW, Mile High Run Club, Barry’s Bootcamp and CPX. I was especially excited to check out the new-to-me classes from other cities– PlyoJam, JetSet Miami and SHIFT by Dana Perri. During the weekend I ended up taking 4 classes total and tried to focus on new classes to me instead of old favorites. How often do I get to take a popular class from Miami?

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305 Fitness

I couldn’t resist taking a class with 305 Fitness even though I’ve taken a ton of their classes. 305 is often described as Zumba on crack, which is pretty accurate. Think high energy, non stop dancing like you would do in a club (not that I would know truthfully…) but with a fitness flare. One thing that really sets 305 apart is the live DJ at every class. During the 40 minute classes I was drenched with sweat and seriously loved instructor Hannah’s fun approach to teaching. It was all about having a good time and not being self conscious. Cheers to that.

 

JetSet Miami

Classes at this Miami based studio are typically done on a megaformer. Instead we used gliders which are torturous in their own way. Doing lunges on the gliders sounds all easy… until your 40 seconds into an exercise and shaking profusely. The class was so simple in theory– doing lunges and planks more or less with the gliders, but SO hard because gliders make everything hard. Next time I’m in Florida I have to check out their megaformer class, I can only imagine how tough it is.

 

PlyoJam

I had SO much fun dancing with PlyoJam, a Los Angeles based high energy dance class. I may or may not have spent the whole class pondering opening my own PlyoJam studio in NYC because I was loving it so much. Cardio dance has a special place in my heart as a former dancer/ musical theater nerd. PlyoJam uses easy to follow dance moves plus amped up intervals like jump squats and jumping jacks all set to popular music. Think Zumba but with more energy and less salsa.

Instructor Jason, who also created the workout, made sure everyone was having a good time and kept us laughing throughout class. He was concerned about how lack of skill when it comes to body rolling and stopped the class to give us a quick body rolling tutorial. You learn something new everyday :)

 

SHIFT by Dana Petri

Shift stands for Shifting How I Feel Today, which is a philosophy instructors and owners Dana and Kit really infused into the workout we did. The first chunk was cardio interval based, think high knees, jump squats, the usual suspects. At their Los Angeles studio the floor is actually a cushiony gymnastics floor to help lessen the impact when it comes to jumping.

After getting our heart rate way up we strength trained with resistant bands and ended with some planks and core work. I adored Dana and Kit’s encouraging demeanor and their focus on feeling great overall– not just the aesthetic aspect of working out. My kind of people.

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As you can tell, I really loved this event and hope Self does more like it in the future!

Breather + Promo Code

Even though I live alone, sometimes I need to leave my apartment and work elsewhere in order to be seriously productive. I blame HGTV. No really, I can watch house TV shows for hours mindlessly without even realizing it.

Enter Breather, an app that lets you book quiet, private spaces for 30 minutes at time. After the company reached out to me, I booked a space super close to my apartment in Greenwich Village. I’ve been working from home most days recently and it was just what I needed to get out of my apartment and into a new environment.

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The room was absolutely adorable, complete with a reading nook and books. There was a ton of space in the room I rented and would be great for a small yoga class, group meetings, or just a space to work alone.

I decided to use my hour to work on a few shots for an upcoming blog post I’ve been wanting to put together for some time. Far more room for planking and tons more natural lighting than in my apartment.

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All Breather spaces are equipped with pencils, pens, notepads, candy and WiFi. My space also had a dry erase board and a charging station for cell phones. Breather currently has spaces in NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Montrael and Ottawa. In NYC prices start at around $17/ hr and goes up from there depending on how big the room is.

Want some peace and quiet? Breather kindly offered Kayla in the City readers 1 free hour using the promo code KAYLACITY (edit: apologies to anyone that had issues with the code earlier– it has since been updated!)

I was offered a free credit for Breather. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Weekend + Workout Plan For the Week

Hiiii all, happy Sunday evening. Hope you had a great weekend.

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Low key weekend over here and it was honestly just what I needed. The week after a vacation is always especially rough so having downtime and minimal plans ended up working out nicely.

My weekend workouts were courtesy of Self’s Up & Out Studio event which was SO much fun. I’ll do a full recap this week all about the classes I took. What I will say is it was a pretty awesome event and I’m really happy I was able to attend a few classes.

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Arguably the other highlight of my weekend was dinner at Burger and Lobster with my mama. I’ve been on a serious lobster roll kick lately. We both ordered the lobster roll which comes with a cute little salad and fries. The verdict? Two thumbs up from both of us.

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If you’ve never been the restaurant literally only serves burger and lobster (steamed or roll). That’s it. All meals come with a salad and fries for $20. I’ll definitely be going back again soon for more lobster rolls.

 

This is my last week until I *officially* start training for the NYC Marathon. Eep! Since I just ran a half I decided to give myself a tiny bit of down time in-between racing and training so avoid mental burn out. This whole training for a marathon thing is obviously new to me, so maybe I should’ve already started training, but eh, oh well. I know by next week I’ll be feeling mentally more prepared to run all the miles.

The end of the week is up in the air as of right now since I’m pretty sure I’m heading “out east” for the holiday weekend… but not I’m quite sure when and I’m also not quite sure if I’ll be able to workout there.

Monday: Uplift Strength

Tuesday: Yoga + 30 minute personal training

Wednesday: Uplift Strength

Thursday: Exceed

Friday: Trapeze + TBD

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: TBD

 

Hope you all have a great (short!) week!