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.
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.
Shown 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 …
- 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?