Two very different fitness class experiences

Hello friends, and a very happy Thursday going out to you. This time next week, we’ll all be changing into our stretchy pants and hopefully preparing for a day of togetherness and feasting. And I for one am quite excited. On Wednesday, Dave and I are driving all the way south to San Diego from San Francisco to stay with his parents, and it will be our maiden voyage that far down the coast together. (His parents relocated there this year from Florida, and although Dave has visited, I haven’t yet.) I’m looking forward to the new scenery. 

Checking out the class scene in San Francisco

But today, let’s talk about being healthy and active. I love to go to new group fitness classes and often recap what I think about each right here on A Lady Goes West. If you’d like to see some of my thoughts on several nationally-branded classes, as well as local San Francisco studios, visit the Fitness page. 

That being said, as a fitness professional who also teaches group classes, I’m in full of support of companies, start-ups and trends that get more people moving. And one such program that everybody is talking about around San Francisco these days is fitmob, and with good reason. fitmob is taking over the Bay Area fitness scene by giving people a chance to try tons of workouts whenever they want. I’ve had the opportunity to take several yoga classes, a barre class and an outdoor bootcamp using the fitmob service, as there’s quite a bit of variety available to choose from. Every time I’ve booked a class, I’ve gone on the easy-to-use website and found what I wanted, at the time I wanted, and in the neighborhood I wanted, with no issues at all.

And currently, if you sign up for fitmob within the month of November, you can get your first month for only $1. That means you get access to unlimited classes at tons of studios and gyms around San Francisco and beyond, which is way less than the normal price of $99 per month for the Passport program. Quite the deal.

Now, let’s get to two very different class experiences I’ve had as of late using fitmob. Because I already teach and do a high-impact cardio class, BODYATTACK, and a muscular endurance class, BODYPUMP, a couple times a week, the other workouts I do each week need to give me a different kind of challenge. And these two did just that …

Class review: Raise the Barre at fitmob headquarters

Okay, super fun. If you sign up for fitmob, you must attend “Raise the Barre,” taught by Andre, which is a fitmob exclusive class. It was challenging, but doable, fun, but effective, and fast-paced, yet at the same time easy to follow. While the class is rooted in a “barre” workout, which means there is a lot of tucking of your butt, pulsing and small movements using light weights, a squishy ball between your thighs and a ballet barre, it also let us branch out a bit and included some more freestyle-dancey moments (which is the official term for what we did, of course).

Raise the Barre equipmentYou need a lot of stuff for Raise the Barre, but it’s all nicely provided to you by the folks at the fitmob headquarters.

Andre comes from a Zumba background, and he added that Zumba flare into the class. We did a lot of aerobic-type dancing, big arm movements and leg movements, which are not usually part of a traditional and stuffy barre class. And we even used a Pilates ring for a little ab work at the end. I was smiling the whole time, even when my legs were burning, because Andre’s enthusiasm was infectious. Not to mention, the class took place in the fitmob headquarters in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco on 5th Street, so there were people at their desks doing work just a few feet away, and that made the whole thing that much more entertaining. So very San Francisco, is what I kept thinking …

fitmob headquartersI knew I liked fitmob, but I then I decided I loved the company, once I was introduced to the wall of foam rollers available over there under the sign.

I attended the class on a Thursday night, when I wasn’t very enthused about getting a workout in, being that I was sore from teaching a double the day before. But this class had me working, sweating and feeling great in no time. I’d definitely go again.

Raise the Barre class at fitmob headquarters

  • Length: 55 minutes
  • Format: Short warm-up, followed by arm work using small weights, dance moves using small weights, bodyweight cardio work, balance work on a yoga block, ball work for legs and glutes at the barre, ab work using a Pilates ring and a short cool-down
  • Equipment: Ball, weights, mat, ring, yoga block and barre provided; bring your own towel
  • Suggested outfit: Tight tops and pants, bare feet or socks
  • Difficulty: On a 1 to 10 scale, probably a 6
  • Pros: Entertaining instructor, variety of moves and equipment, fun dancey vibe and a good combination of cardio and strength

Switching gears to experience number two …

Class review: Power 60 yoga at Body Temp Yoga

If you are a regular around here and read my post yesterday, you know that I wasn’t aware that I was showing up to a hot yoga class when I arrived at Body Temp Yoga, a new studio in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco on Chestnut Street. 

Outside of Body Temp Yoga SFBody Temp Yoga is in a nice neighborhood, just up those stairs above a laundromat.

Maybe the name should have clued me in? But for some reason, I thought because I wasn’t going to one of the studio’s traditional Bikram classes, that I was in for a regular yoga experience. I wasn’t. When I arrived, people were walking out of the last class super sweaty, there was coconut water available for purchase, and there was a sign asking people not to sit on the couch when wet. Don’t get me wrong, this was a very clean, well-done and inviting yoga studio, but it was definitely catering to a clientele that would be drenched when done, i.e. hot yoga.

Body Temp Yoga in SFEven the logo should have given me a hint. I really missed the mark here.

The Power 60 class that I attended was a full 60 minutes, and the instructor, Panithi, taught the class by walking around and instructing via voice only, because it was way too packed for him to have a spot. The room was heated to just above 90 degrees, which makes for a very intense session. This class was not for beginners, and we moved very quickly through the poses. I will say I had the most clothing on of anyone there, and I was wearing long pants and a tank (a brand new get-up I plan to tell you about tomorrow!). Had I known I would be entering a heated room, I may have opted for shorts instead.

The actual content of the class was good. We didn’t stay in any pose too long, and we worked all parts of our body equally. But it was hot. I mean super hot. Nonetheless, I felt so loose, worked and refreshed after walking out of that steaming yoga session. The heat really helps your muscles loosen up.

Body Temp Yoga offers a great class, definitely worthy of checking out if you’re in the Bay Area. And I’d know, because I’ve hopped around to many-a-yoga studio over the past few months to adhere to my goal of going to yoga at least once a week. Would I return to Body Temp Yoga? Yes. But I’d hydrate, wear something different and mentally prepare myself to be soaked and exhausted, because you just need to be ready for that kind of thing. Good stuff.

Power 60 yoga class at Body Temp Yoga

  • Length: 60 minutes
  • Format: Deep breathing, seated stretches, repeated sequences using holds, arm strength, core strength, balance and a ton of Chatarunga to Upward-dog flows for the majority of class, ending with some bicycle crunches and a very short Savasana — all taking place in a packed room just above 90 degrees
  • Equipment: Mat rental available, bring your own large towel and plenty of water
  • Suggested outfit: Tight tops and shorts, bare feet and maybe consider bringing a change of clothes to go home in
  • Difficulty: On a 1 to 10 scale, probably an 8
  • Pros: Very challenging, provides a cleansing sweat, moves fast and utilizes the entire hour for a full-body stretching, lengthening and strengthening session

Two very different classes, yet both provided me with exactly what my body needed at the time. And both can be accessed via a membership to fitmob. Pretty good deal, I’d say.

Alrighty friends, please be sure to come back tomorrow for another fun edition of “Friday Favorites,” because I have some good ones to share! I promise! Today, I’ve got some work to do, will be sneaking in a lunch-time Barry’s Bootcamp class, and then Dave and I are going to see a traveling Cirque du Soleil show tonight. Yes, I’ll be sporting my latest LE TOTE dress in style. Have a great day!

* Disclaimer: I received the opportunity to take part in the fitmob campaign through my ambassadorship with Fit Approach. While I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, all thoughts and words, of course, are my own.

Questions of the day

Have you ever taken a hot yoga class? What was your experience? When’s the last time you tried something new workout or food-wise? Do you ever do anything fun on Thursday nights?

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  1. I signed up for Class Pass a few months ago (I think SF has it now too?), and I am obsessed. It has been the answer to my I-get-bored workout prayers. In a given week, I take at least one spin class, visit a few yoga studios and typically one barre class. It sounds similar to fitmob.

  2. I love to try new classes, but it’s hard with my current teaching schedule and a new baby. I am hoping to do one this weekend while my hubby is home to watch the baby! I have done hot yoga a few times and really enjoyed it. Now, Bikram on the other hand, is a little too hot for my liking!

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