Weekend fun, CORE40 review and workouts

Hello, friends! Here we are at Monday again. How was your weekend? Mine was just lovely. It feels good to be back to normal after all the rush of the holidays, that’s for sure. Today, I’ve got a weekend recap, a little class review and some talk about workouts. Sit back, grab your second cup of coffee and let’s go.

Weekend fun in the City

On Friday night, I met a girlfriend at Union Larder in the Russian Hill neighborhood for some wine. It was super packed, but we scored a tiny table in the very back, which apparently nobody else wanted to sit at. It was the size of a child’s table, but it was perfect for us. If you live in San Francisco and check out Union Larder, go sit in that cozy corner spot. We sure enjoyed it.

On Saturday morning, I attended a new workout class, before relaxing at home most of the day while Dave was out golfing in a tournament. And on Saturday night, we went out dinner again with our Orlando friends who were visiting for the weekend, as well as another friend. We made very last-minute reservations for a group of five and were able to snag a spot at E&O Kitchen, which is a tasty Asian restaurant in Union Square that Dave and I have dined at several times before. 

E&O Kitchen with friendsShown above: Dave and me at E&O Kitchen, a few of the shared plates we ordered for the table including lamb-filled naan bread, two tasty chocolate desserts and a kale salad, as well as a group shot.

On Sunday morning, I was up bright and early to teach an outdoor bootcamp in a park, and somehow convinced Dave to come along with me as a participant. He was a very good sport. After bootcamp, we ran a few errands and laid low for the rest of the day.

Wine, good food, friends, dinner dates and fitness. That’s usually how the weekends work out for me, and I love all of those things. (I’m sharing my weekend snapshots and linking up with both Katie and Erin today.)

Now before I get to my weekly workouts, I want to talk about a different and challenging sweat session I did at a new-to-me studio …

A quick class review of CORE40

CORE40 is definitely not a stuffy corporate gym. It’s anything but that. It’s a small and welcoming studio full of fancy machines, designed to offer an amazing workout. With three locations in San Diego and two in San Francisco, CORE40 offers beginner/foundation, full-body, cycle and combination cycle/core classes. And, just as you’d expect, the classes are all core focused and most are just 40 minutes long. The full-body class I attended is performed on an “M3” Megaformer Pilates machine. I had tried my hand at the Pilates reformer months ago and was definitely excited to get back to it. Yet, this experience was much different. The Megaformer machine was much bigger, had more moving parts and was more challenging than I had remembered.

There are two CORE40 studios in San Francisco and three in San Diego. It’s a pretty new company, which started in 2009 by a husband and wife team. The CORE40 Nob Hill location is very close to my apartment, and I’d been eager to try it for a while, especially because a friend of mine is an instructor there and she was teaching the class I signed up for. 

CORE40 studio via A Lady Goes WestShown above from top left: Me on the Megaformer with my lovely instructor/friend, Lexie, standing behind, the outside of CORE40 on Larkin Street, the studio’s cool entry-wall and a shot of students working in the class before mine.

In a typical CORE40 full-body class, you will work each muscle group to failure with very slow and controlled movements, never releasing the tension throughout the sets. Even though we were moving very slow and deliberately, our transitions were fast, which meant the class went by in an instant. Oh, and I was sweating and shaking about two minutes in. There is no warm-up in CORE40. There is no cool-down either. You use every second of those 40 minutes to get the most bang for your buck.

Here’e the class description from the website, which pretty much sums it up:

Our signature class. Developed by Hollywood celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree, our CORE40™ Full Body class is an innovative blend of Pilates, cardio and weight training specifically designed to strengthen, tighten, and tone the body quickly and safely using our specially engineered, state-of-the-art Megaformer “M3” ™ (or as we like to call it, the Lamborghini of reformers …). This 40-minute, music-inspired, intense full body workout gets and keeps your heart rate up while targeting your upper body, lower body and core. Be careful … you’ll get hooked!

There is definitely a learning curve when using this machine and being instructed to do moves with weird names, so I think it would be beneficial for someone to take a beginner/foundation class before jumping into the full-body class that I attended. However, with Lexie’s help, I was able to keep up just fine. In fact, I attempted a few advanced and high options as we moved through. This class requires balance, and there were times when I felt my sweaty feet sliding around on the leather. Yet, by keeping a strong core and good posture, I was able to avoid any slips or falls. Oh and it’s hard to go slow. That was the hardest part of the class. Although Lexie would count for us, it seemed like people were rushing to finish and get a break, when the whole point of the class is to never release tension. I caught myself doing it too. 

 CORE40 full-body class details

  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Format: Nearly the entire class is performed in plank, table-top or standing on the Megaformer. Class started with elbow and forearm planks, pikes, twists, woodchops using the straps, donkey kicks, lunges standing on the sliding carriage, and more, with a short section of dips and push-ups off the machine at the end. No warm-up and no cool-down or stretch. Straight business.
  • Equipment: Bring your own towel, but of course, the Megaformer machine is provided.
  • Suggested outfit: Tight tops and bottoms, like you would wear in yoga and bare feet. You can also wear grippy socks if you want. I went barefoot and so did everyone else in my class. Yet the machine felt a little slippery as I started to sweat.
  • Difficulty level: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest, I’d give this class an 8.
  • Pros: Short and efficient workout, intense, challenging for all fitness levels with absolutely no impact on the joints.

I would highly recommend CORE40 as a good addition to your workout regime, so you can build a strong core and connector muscles throughout the body. The slow movements and moments of isometric holding definitely reminded me of Les Mills CXWORX, which is a program I occasionally teach, even though that one is not performed on a huge Megaformer machine. Would I go back to CORE40? For sure! 

By the way, your first class is always free, so if there is a CORE40 near you, give it a shot.

My weekly workout recap and some changes

Every Monday, I like to take a minute to review all of the exercising that I did the week before. You’ll see that no two weeks are the same, as I’m always trying new things and trying to find balance. And things are different these days. My group fitness teaching schedule is much lighter after the new year. I used to teach about seven classes a week, but I’m down to three or so a week now, depending on how many classes I sub. While I will be adding a bunch of new classes soon, right now I’m in transition. Sadly, one of the gyms where I taught had to remove all the BODYATTACK classes off the schedule. In this little city of San Francisco, believe it or not, there aren’t many BODYATTACK instructors, and my class would have been the last left at that gym, meaning there would be no subs, and therefore, it was not a good enough reason for the gym to pay the monthly license to Les Mills. Nonetheless, I have still have a BODYATTACK class and will be adding another one soon. Let’s get to the recap of how I got moving …

Weekly Workouts from A Lady Goes West

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday – Attended one-hour heated power yoga class at CorePower Yoga
  • Tuesday – Taught one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
  • Wednesday – Taught one-hour BODYATTACK and BODYPUMP classes, foam rolling
  • Thursday – Attended one-hour Pure Barre class 
  • Friday –  Attended one-hour Vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Saturday –  Attended 40-minute CORE40 full-body class, completed 50 kettlebell swings, foam rolling
  • Sunday – Rest day

What was good about my week of workouts?

I must say that although I love teaching tons of Les Mills group fitness classes a week, now that I’m not at this moment in time, it does give me the freedom to do my own workouts or take other classes. Once again this past week, I had amazing variety in my exercising. I did two full sessions of yoga, two resistance sessions, one cardio session and some major change-of-pace in both Pure Barre and CORE40, which both also had some resistance elements to them. I know my body appreciated all the new things I had it do, especially the challenges of the Megaformer machine in CORE40.

What could have been better in my week of workouts?

Because so many of my classes were cancelled during the holidays, I hadn’t taught BODYPUMP in more than three weeks when I walked into the group fitness room on Tuesday night to teach a 6:45 p.m. class. To say it hurt, well that would be a major understatement. I felt a little rough in both of my BODYPUMP classes this past week due to all the time I was away from the format, so that wasn’t fun. Also, my weight training sessions were on back-to-back days, which isn’t ideal. It’s better to have a day of rest in between full-body weighted workouts. I could have used a little bit more cardio as well having done only one official session with BODYATTACK, which is something I rarely say, so I’ll be sure to get in more this week.

Okay, guys. Time to get the day going! I hope your Monday is great. And please make sure you come back tomorrow, because I have a giveaway lined up that I’m really excited about. And speaking of giveaways, congrats to Jessie R. who won a free month of Gigabody online workouts. See ya!

Questions of the day

How was your weekend? What did you do? Did you fit in a work out? What are you looking forward to this week?

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  1. Core40 sounds like a great class! I love cxworks so I’m sure with that equipment its even better. I haven’t heard of it in Baltimore but I will need to be on the lookout.
    I remember when I went back to Body Pump after taking some time off I was SO sore! Its really such a great workout!

    1. Hi Lisa! I’m so glad you love CXWORX and all the other Les Mills programs. And yes, CORE40 was awesome. I hope you get a chance to try a Megaformer class one day soon, because it’s pretty challenging. Have a wonderful Monday! 🙂

  2. I had to read that you taught a bootcamp class outside twice. It was hard for me to imagine that anyone could be outside right now ha. Even though yesterday it was a head wave in Chicago (20 degrees) and I got a nice long run in on the Lake Shore Path. My friend sent me pics this weekend from San Fran (he was at the Ferry Building Farmers Market) and it looked really nice out. Happy Monday!

    1. Hi Sara! Yes, we pretty much have the same weather all year round here in SF, so an outdoor bootcamp in the morning isn’t too bad. It was probably about 60 out? Which meant people had to shed layers as they sweat. Stay warm!! 🙂

    1. Hi Megan, Yes, there are a few different classes offered, and one includes cycle. And you don’t ever have to do a crunch to get in a good core workout, that’s for sure. Hope you have a great Monday! 🙂

  3. I’ve taken some Megaformer classes before… I know tons of people swear by them but, I can’t help but prefer my classical reformer classes… I’m glad you enjoyed the Core40 classes, I usually take SLT classes for megaformer!
    I’m an avid Pilates student and runner but a new group fitness instructor! Do you have any tips ?
    Thanks dear!

  4. We had family visiting this weekend – They are super active though so we fit in beach walks, tennis, BODYPUMP and swimming. I like the sound of that studio but I hateeee when classes/workouts don’t allow time for a cool-down. I’ve found that most gym-goers forget about how important that aspect of a workout is to recovery. Obviously, it sounds like a killer core workout but 2 extra minutes at the end would be great 😉

    1. Hi Becky, Yes I know, I like to have a stretch and cool-down too, so I just did my own afterwards. That’s great your visiting family is active. Sometimes it’s hard to fit in workouts when you entertain. Hope you have a happy Monday! 🙂

  5. Haha, Core40 is right down the street from me too!! My gf and I signed up for the free class, then she got off the waitlist and I didn’t…and we had to call to re-sign up. Then after some phone tag with them we gave up trying to get our free class! Which is too bad because I really wanted to try it and it sounds awesome. Pilates based workouts are like none I have ever had!!

    1. Hi Jill! That’s funny. I was on the wait-list too, but somebody didn’t show up for class, so I took their spot. I was very unsure about going and waiting, and it all worked out. You should try again! 🙂

  6. Core40 sounds like an awesome workout! That’s too bad about your classes. I am sure teaching group fitness can change quite a bit from one season to another. I did a strength workout on Saturday and some light cardio yesterday. Happy Monday!

  7. Looks like you got some good variety in your fitness last week! That’s great! I hope this week’s BP and BA classes are a little easier for you. It’s crazy how quickly our bodies adapt when we take time off! Getting back after breaks over the holidays was a little challenging for me too. I most definitely experienced some soreness! 😉

    1. Hi Ashley, I think that was the longest stretch I’ve ever taken off of BODYPUMP since I started teaching it more than five years ago! Wow! But I’m back in it now. Happy Monday!!

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m a huge believer in the power of group fitness. I definitely feel like I push harder in classes. You should try to fit a class in sometime soon! Thanks for stopping by, and have a happy Monday:)

  8. Thank you! So excited to try out all the great content 🙂

    I got to meet a new baby cousin this weekend, did some yoga, sweated my way through your Short and Fierce dumbbell workout, loved it!, and some lower body weight work yesterday. Getting ready to go to Jamaica this weekend!

    1. That’s soooo awesome you have a trip to Jamaica this weekend. I hope it is just wonderful. I’m super jealous, because I need beach time! Have so much fun, Jessie. And your online workouts will be waiting for you when you get back.

    1. Thanks, Jamie! I was sweating up a storm on that Megaformer, but I enjoyed it. Happy Monday to you! I still need to make it SweatRepublic one of these days. )

  9. The M3 Megaformers are killer, aren’t they? They use them at a studio I attend near me. They’re tough but in a good way. I’d like to try that CORE40 class sometime and when I travel to San Diego, I just might on your recommendation.

    I also am a HUGE fan of CorePower – hot vinyasa FTW!

  10. Wow, that dinner looks good, good! An outdoor workout right now would be amaze, but absolutely impossible at the moment with this minus 30 degree CELSIUS that we’re going through. It’s hard enough to catch your breath when the cold bitch of winter pulls it out of me every time I leave the house. LMAO! Oh well, the countdown is on until I can do a beach workout 😉

    1. Hi Karen! I always forget that I live in a moderate climate. I’ve never lived anywhere super cold. But most of my workouts take place indoors, anyway. 🙂 Stay warm and keep up with those yoga poses!

    1. Hi Annette!! Yes, I know. It’s just sad that they had to get rid of BODYATTACK because of lack of instructors. I already have a new one lined up for next month though. Hope all goes well with your BA 87 launch this week! 🙂

  11. Lamb filled naan bread?! Wow, I am getting down to E&O asap, that sounds incredible.
    Core40 seems like a really cool place to workout. I love the reformer machine so I am sure I would love their workout.
    What a shame about BodyAttack :/ I noticed that hardly any 24 Hour Fitness gyms in SF have BodyAttack … and the ones that do have times that do not work for me. I still have yet to try one! I will have to come along to one of your classes one day 🙂

    1. Hi Alice! Right now I teach BODYATTACK on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at 24 Hour Fitness Marathon Plaza, I also teach BODYPUMP right after that. Come see me sometime! 🙂

    1. Hi Cassie! I know, it’s so hard with yoga. I really liked CorePower, and have also enjoyed some classes at Satori as well as Yoga Flow in North Beach. There are so many out there you just need to give each a few chances to find what you like. Good luck!

  12. Oh my gosh, if you were shaking and sweating 2 mins into the class then I’m confident I wouldn’t make it through, haha. My core is one area I could use some major improvement.

    And that sucks that they cancelled a Body Attack class but thankfully you still have one to teach. It seems like there are more instructors that teach it in the East Bay than in SF?

  13. It sounds like you had a great week of workouts! I LOVE reformers and pilates type workouts but rarely do them! I wish they were more readily available here in Switzerland. The reformer class here is 60 CHF per class!!

    1. Hi Ash! Oh wow, yes they can be expensive. Do any studios let you try classes for free? I always like to take advantage of the first-class-free when offered. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great day!

    1. Hi Kristin! I know, I’m pretty lucky to have places like this so close to me in San Francisco. It would be hard to do megaformer at home! 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend!

  14. Core40, omg…it sounds insanely intense! But I am intrigued…too bad there aren’t any studios around me in Philly! I know what you mean about liking a variety of workouts. It’s fun to try different things and challenge yourself in different ways. #wowlinkup

    1. Hi Janelle! For sure! I love to get some variety, so it’s good to live in a place like San Francisco where there are so many studios. Thanks for stopping by to say hello. I hope you had an awesome weekend. 🙂

  15. I love the megaformer, or just really the reformer in general. I used to teach a lot of classes on the reformer, but when I moved to Austin, I became the operations manager of a studio that only offers Pilates mat and Barre (which I love to). I really need to go take a class for fun on the reformer. I’m glad you liked it!

    1. Hi Lauren! Oh that’s pretty cool you can teach Pilates. I’ve definitely enjoyed my workouts on the reformer and megaformer and would like to do more. Barre is great too. Sounds like a fun job to be an operations manager of a studio. Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

  16. I took a megaformer class this summer in Chicago, loved it! I even bought the booties for the class and I haven’t been back. The studio is around my client’s house but there isn’t a class on my side of town. I would love to go back but it is too far away. #wowlinkup

    1. Hi Frugal Exerciser! Well if you bought the booties, you better go back to reformer class! 🙂 heheh Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had an excellent weekend!

  17. I had a fabulous weekend and actually went out for a run in the cold yesterday. We went 6 miles and one of the ladies had icicles on her eye lashes. That was crazy – I have never seen that before. Other than that it was a good weekend. I did have to work. The kale salad looks very good and the Core workout done mostly in planks all class sounds KILLER. #wowlinkup

    1. Hi Diatta! Of course, thanks for hosting the link-up and connecting us! Nice work on the run … but wow, that sounds cold! It’s in the low 60s here in San Francisco and that is cold enough for me. I can’t imagine! Are you training for something with six miles? Good job! Happy Sunday:)

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