Class Review: Physique 57, Signature Class

physique 57 review

The Scoop:

I’ve been meaning to take a class at Physique 57 since… the end of my senior year of college (seriously, I wrote about it here!) A pesky rotator cuff injury got in the way of me hitting up a class before graduating, and then I just never ended up getting around to it.

Luckily my friend Leslie (<– check out her amazing nutrition focused blog. I want her to cook for me all the time) invited me to come take a complimentary birthday class in honor of both our recent birthdays. It’s taken me 4 years, but I finally took my first Physique57 class and got to see what all the hype is about!

The Deets:

Physique57, Fidi
55 Broadway #1602, New York, NY 10006
[additional locations in NYC: Midtown, Soho, UWS]
Website || Facebook || Instagram
1 class is $36, first timer can snag a 2-for-1 deal

The Studio:

physique 57 review

I took class at Physique57’s brand new Financial District studio. It’s BEAUTIFUL and I foolishly took zero photos. Towering over the city on the 16th floor of what I assume is an office building, I hear one of the classrooms has a nice little view of the river. Yes, there are multiple classrooms. My classroom did not have a million dollar view, however it did have ample natural lighting from the huge windows surrounding two side of the classroom.

The rooms have soft rugs in them, which seemed a bit bizarre to me. I was wearing my beloved Studio Skins from New Balance and told after that socks/covered toes are required. Lesson learned, bring your sticky socks!

I took a peak into the bathroom, which was insanely clean like the rest of the studio, and was impressed with all the counter space and room to get ready post-shower. Barre studios with a shower are a rare find.

The Financial District seriously needed a fitness makeover and this is a great studio for the neighborhood– ample room to get ready before work or freshen up after a lunchtime workout.

The Class:

I’ve taken my fair share of barre classes at all the big names in NYC (Flybarre, Pure Barre, Pop Physique, Exhale to name a few) and truthfully have mixed feelings on barre as a whole, but that’s another post for another day.

Physique57 offers a variety of different barre classes. I decided to skip the basics and take their Signature class.

What makes Physique57 stand out to me is extreme focus on form and instructor Julie, who was obviously super knowledgeable and knew her stuff.

Class started with a short warm up before grabbing the arm weights. We were encouraged the pick up 5 pounders which is something I’ve rarely seen in a barre class. The arm section was super focused on biceps and triceps, something I prefer. I find that barre classes tend to piss my rotator cuff because it’s one shoulder pulse after another. Today in class I felt like I was actually working out my arm muscles instead of just pissing off my rotator cuff.

Next up was some thighs at the barre followed by glutes and finishing off with abs. I found these sections to be a bit more in line with what I was used to in a typical barre class. Barre thigh work is unlike any other thigh workout– you will literally feel a burning sensation and probably some bizarre shaking as well. During the glute section I usually struggle in other classes because my hips are SO tight and cramp up fast. I didn’t have as many issues with that and think it was due to the precise positioning and coaching of what actually I should be moving and when.

As I mentioned, instructor Julie was AMAZING. She checked in with me throughout class since she knew it was my first Physique57 class, but also made her way around the room offering personal corrections to everyone in a kind way. She was also super encouraging in all the right ways and the perfect introduction to Physique57 for me.

physique57

Bottom Line:

I don’t always love barre workouts, but I really enjoyed taking Physique57’s Signature Class this morning thanks to Julie’s upbeat vibe, smart programming and focus on form. I will definitely be back!

All photos are from Physique57’s Facebook page. 

The 5 Foam Rolling Mistakes You’re Definitely Mak..

Are you guilty of these super common foam rolling mistakes?

foam rolling mistakes

Foam rolling is one of those necessary evils of the fitness world, I love it and all the benefits that come with foam rolling, but I also hate it because it can hurt like a bitch. I’ve whimpered in pain on the foam roller more times than I can count– ah the joys of fitness.

foam rolling mistakes

I’ll admit I was clueless about the foam roller before I started studying for my personal training certification with NASM. This particular personal training certificate focuses a ton on the benefits of foam rolling and why it’s so crucial for both fitness newbies and marathon veterans.

The areas you should be targeting are:

  • Calves
  • IT Band (from right below your hip to right above your knee)
  • Adductors (inner thigh)
  • Piriformis (think the muscles of one butt cheek….)
  • Lats (the tender spot below your arm pit)

When you’re foam rolling you’re actually doing self-myofacial release and working to break up the knots within the muscle to release muscle tension. I’ve seen people do some weird ass things at the gym which they think is foam rolling.

While I worked as a personal trainer at a big box gym awkwardly trying to seek out new clients, one of the easiest ways to spot someone that needed help was based on their foam rolling technique.

foam rolling mistakes

Friends don’t let friends look like fools with the foam roller, so I’m here to let you in on a few secrets of foam rolling and the foam rolling mistakes you’re definitely making.

Looking for a foam roller? I highly recommend the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller from TP Therapy. I have zero affiliation with them, just a huge fan of the product and I like that they come in a few different sizes– perfect for travel and tiny NYC apartments. 

foam rolling mistakes

Foam Rolling Mistake #1: You’re Taking the “Rolling” Part Too Seriously

Hands down the most common mistake I see at the gym is people aggressively and quickly rolling on the foam roller like it’s a toy.

Please, please, please never do this again! One, you look ridiculous. Two, you’re not actually getting any sort of release when the aim of the game is self-myoscial release. Which brings me to…

Foam Rolling Mistake #2: You’re Not Allowing a Release to Happen

Did you know that you’re supposed to find a tender spot and sustain pressure with the foam roller there for 30 seconds in order to allow the muscle to release? If you don’t know, now you know.

If you’re acting like a rolly-polly and not allowing the muscle to release, sure you’re giving yourself a nice little massage, but you’re also not getting the true benefit of foam rolling.

When you’re holding one spot for 30 seconds, be sure to keep on breathing through the pain and do your best to let your body relax instead of tense up.

Foam Rolling Mistake #3: You’re Tensing Up.

It can be really tempting to tense up your entire body when you’re trying to find those tender sweet spots to release. Do your best to avoid any excess tension– it will help release the muscle faster and ensure that you’re getting the knots out.

Foam Rolling Mistake #4: Your Form Sucks

People contort their body in weird shapes while foam rolling to encourage the release to happen. Just like you wouldn’t allow your shoulders to hike up during a bicep curl and make a conscious effort to sit up straight at work, keep those same form cues in mind while you’re foam rolling.

Foam Rolling Mistake #5: You’re Not Foam Rolling BEFORE Exercising

While foam rolling is a nice way to cool-down and stretch post-workout, it’s even better as a part of your pre-workout warm-up. Breaking up those knots before working out will allow you to use your body to the best of it’s ability and avoid injury.

It does wonders to your legs if you foam roll before running, trust me.

foam rolling mistakes

Your turn: Foam rolling – love it or hate it??

Is There Life After Running a Marathon?

I like to think of myself as a retired runner these days. I came, I saw, I ran a freaking marathon, but now those days are over.

nike women's half sf

This weekend was the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Saturday morning I was bombarded on social media with race day pictures of smiling runners with their bibs. I honestly didn’t feel an inkling of jealousy or FOMO looking at those photos, I didn’t feel a burning desire to participate in the race with so many of my friends from the fitness and blogging community.

I [foolishly] entered the lottery for the 2016 NYC Marathon thinking No one gets in! If I get in, it must be a sign! Lo and behold my credit card got charged on lottery day and all I could think was Oh crap, I don’t want to run another marathon.

It’s been over two months since I found out I got into the NYC Marathon, and my thoughts haven’t changed.

While I had a really positive training experience last year, training for a marathon took a toll on me, my boyfriend, my family and just my life as a whole. I felt like I couldn’t do anything fun last summer because I was always tired or knew I couldn’t be on my feet all day when I had to run double digit miles every single weekend. I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy summer in the city without having the marathon as a creeping thought in the back of my mind.

I ran a marathon not because I love running, but because I wanted the bragging rights and to prove to myself that I could. I had literally no reason not to run a marathon and signed up before I could come up with a million excuses why I shouldn’t.

I now feel the opposite, I have no reason to run a marathon, except to say Hey, I did it again! The truth is, I don’t think I personally would be filled with the same sense of pride because let’s be honest, if I can do it once, I could probably do it again and PR’s don’t motivate me.

My marathon experience was amazing. I learned SO much about myself, what motivates me, the determination that’s hidden deep inside of me and only came out during those grueling long runs. I kept referring to it as “my marathon” because I really did feel a sense of ownership over it. Come race day, everything went perfectly. Part of me feels so grateful for that first marathon experience that I almost wouldn’t want to risk it by running another.

Everyone told me I would become a marathon addict.

Everyone told me that it’s hard to be a one-and-done marathoner.

Everyone pointed out the fact that I said I’d only run one half marathon, and then proceeded to run a few more.

Being a marathoner is a forever kind of thing. I will never not be a marathoner, if even I don’t run another mile in my life. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy life as a retired runner.

Do I Absolutely Need a Fitness Goal?

Hi my name is Kayla, and I’m a fitness blogger + personal trainer without a fitness goal. Is that even allowed???

Do I need a fitness goal

Two months after running the NYC Marathon (will I ever shut up about running a marathon? Probably not…) I got an in-depth body fat and muscle test. It had been exactly a year since my last test and I was curious and nervous to see where my body was post-marathon.

After the test I was absorbing the information when the trainer asked me: So, how are you going to use these results?

I shrugged. I was honestly just using this test as a check-in with my body post marathon. Hello, body fat percent, how are you doing? How ’bout you, arm muscles, still there?

The next questions was well what are your fitness goals for 2016… it was the end of December and resolution season was upon us.

I froze. I had already started thinking about the resolutions I wanted to accomplish in 2016 but none of them had to do with fitness. All I could think was I had just ran a freaking marathon, I think I’ve done enough fitness goal setting for the next decade…

He wouldn’t let the question go at first. I explained that I had no interest in running another marathon, I can’t swim so triathlon is out of the question, I don’t care about PR’s and I know I don’t need to lose weight. At that point in time I was far more concerned with taking the GMAT and shifting my gears from a year SO hyper focused on working out and hitting the prescribed mileage each week.

do i need a fitness goal

This isn’t the first time that I’ve been “called out” for my lack of fitness goals and it honestly pisses me off.

I’m super goal oriented in all other aspects of my life– a queen of to-do lists and hitting metrics. I’ve come to realize that I’m the exact opposite when it comes to fitness because I don’t need to be metric and goal driven. In fact, I really hate classes that focus on numbers because it stresses me out when working out is supposed to be my de-stresser.

I think fitness goals are great if they act as a motivator for you— whether it’s losing weight, PRing in a CrossFit workout or training for your first 5K. But you also shouldn’t feel guilty about not having a fitness goal, as long as you still feel motivated to work out.

This approach is working well for me, for now. I’m sure I’ll eventually crave a goal, whether it’s another marathon or some other physical feat. Until them I’m going to keep “training for life” as I like to think of it.

Your turn: Are fitness goals necessary?