We Tried It
The disclaimer is there: This class is not for the faint of heart.
“I really think it’s important to have a solid base of strength fitness under your belt,” Michele Rogers, resident muscle mechanic at Relentless Fitness, said of her ‘H.I.I.T. It Hard’ high intensity interval training class.
After running eight miles on Kelly Drive Saturday, and playing hours of full court basketball Sunday, I thought I at least had the stamina to withstand an hour of this high intensity workout. But on a rainy Tuesday night inside the cozy boutique fitness studio in Washington Square, I found myself more drenched than if I had stood outside.
At Focus Fitness, barre classes have reined supreme and all other disciplines played second fiddle — until now.
With two studios firmly established on the Main Line, early March brought a third Focus location into Center City with the opening of Focus Barre and Yoga at 1923 Chestnut Street.
“Here, there are two great disciplines that fall under one roof so from a client perspective, I feel like they’re getting the best of both worlds since one membership covers both practices,” said co-owner and barre instructor Amy Feeney.
If you’ve ever wanted to channel your inner superhero, here’s your chance! Philadelphia Sports Clubs have unleashed THOR's Thunder Workout — a high-intensity MMA-style workout inspired by Marvel’s latest smash film, THOR: The Dark World.
Marvel approached Town Sports International’s New York club to develop a workout that would rival the film’s fight scenes and Eli Ingram, New York Sports Clubs’ head master trainer, tackled the job — which has since trickled down to Philly.
Whipping you into god-like shape, THOR'S Thunder Workout is a cross-training, total-body workout with cardio kickboxing techniques incorporated to make sure you’re keeping your heart rate up.
When I was approached by Pure Barre to try out their patented “Lift. Tone. Burn.” method at their newest studio in Haddonfield N.J., I thought, being the avid exerciser that I am, I was totally prepared for this workout…. I wasn’t, at all!
Let me preface this by sharing that I workout 6 times a week. (Crazy I know, since I’m the health and fitness producer here at Philly.com!) But never, have I ever, seen my muscles shake the way they did at that barre.
Based on ballet principles, Pure Barre utilizes a ballet barre to perform a series of small isometric movements that tighten and strengthen your muscles, creating that lean physique that most women strive for.
Halloween came early Saturday in Wildwood as myself and about 1,000 other people spent the morning running from zombies.
The 2nd annual Zombie Mud Run 5k took place on the beach, in the ocean, and through Morey’s Pier. The course featured 30 different obstacles ranging from giant sand mounds to zombie “attack zones.”
Konopelski Catering founded the Zombie Mud Run three years ago. “We focused on events and running and then we saw the trend in zombies, so we brought our two worlds together” said the owner of Konopelski Catering, Patrick Konopelski. “It was natural for us.”
In an effort to rejuvenate Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Alliance has launched a new series called “Mind, Body & Soul ARTLANTIC.” The series takes place in two Atlantic City art parks with daily events from local arts organizations, performers and fitness experts that are designed to appeal to people of all ages.
I was intrigued by the whole concept, but most interested in the “body” events of this unique series. As a part of 500 events over the course of the summer season, ACA has teamed up with Tilton Fitness and local fitness instructor, Dina Buttino, to offer three different workouts on the boardwalk.
The classes are set against the backdrop of “Etude Atlantis,” a large-scale optical illusion featuring streaks of white, gray and black overlooking the beach. “We knew this was the spot for morning events and what better way to wake up your day than with a fitness class,” said Atlantic City Alliance President Liza Cartmell. “All classes are free and open to the public, so morning bikers, runners and walkers can stop by and change up or compliment their fitness routine.”
When I walked into Joltin’ Jabs studio and saw former boxer Joey DeMalavez going at it on the heavy bag while he waited for me to show, I knew I was in for a tough workout.
Before I even had time to really introduce myself, Joey had me down on the floor doing the longest set of crunches I think I’ve ever done — upper abs, lower abs, planks, side planks — and right into a couple sets of push-ups.
Then came the strange part. As part of my warm-up, Joey led me around the heavy bags for a few circuits of animal movements — bear crawls, crab crawls, gorilla walks. “It’s all about natural strength, you’re using your whole body weight to shock your body with these awesome movements,” said DeMalavez.
In an effort to keep even the weariest of travelers refreshed and renewed, Philly’s new Hotel Monaco partnered with local fitness favorite Lithe Method to launch an exclusive “Lithe on Location” weekly fitness class. Every Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. you can get your workout on with Lithe instructors in the fresh air on Hotel Monaco’s Stratus Rooftop Lounge (weather permitting, of course!).
And that’s exactly what I did this Wednesday when I woke up extra early and followed along as Lithe instructor Tiffany Nork led five of us Lithe newbies in a custom-made CCS fitness regimen — that’s Lithe-talk for Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting. CCS is an awesome blend of muscle-shaking cardiovascular, cheerleading-inspired aerobic, and strength training exercises.
If you’re not familiar with Lithe, Lauren Boggi’s workout is widely known for its signature higher power resistance bands that are suspended from the ceiling. Now since this is the first “on location” class Lithe has offered, it’s a twist on the total-body workout using primarily your own body weight and a few innovative props.
“I really have to take into consideration that most people have never taken Lithe before. So we may not do as many reps or as many sequences — it’s just about modifying a lot of the moves,” said Nork (who, by the way, is eight months pregnant and breezing though this workout).
Keeping this in mind, Nork opens every class with a quick lesson on Lithe’s principles: deep breathing, which helps you to incorporate your abs with every move you do, and three spinal positions to help you keep perfect form.
While the CCS regimen features a myriad of different sequences and exercises, Nork lead us through a circuit of high knees, a jog, a high V-low V with a calf pump, a twist, a single jack, a double jack, three jacks with a plyo, the step together touch, the scoop, the clam digger and ended it with the wave to the crowd move that really unleashed my inner cheerleader. Tired yet? Because I was! And that was only a 10-minute sequence.
The rest of our hour workout targeted our arms, core and legs using hand weights (that made 3 lbs. feel a lot harder than it looks), resistance bands to get our legs burning, and a small exercise ball to ensure we were engaging abdominal muscles I didn’t even know I had!
This class is only available to Hotel Monaco guests, local Kimpton Inner Circle and InTouch members, but you can always join one of 25 daily Lithe classes held at four different studios in Rittenhouse, Old City, Northern Liberties, and on the Main Line in Haverford.
Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.
- Alfred Atanda, Jr.
- Arm, Shoulder Injuries
- Ashley Greenblatt
- Back Injuries
- Brian Cammarota
- Broad Street Run
- Cassie Haynes
- Children, Teens
- David Berkson
- David Rubenstein
- Desirea D. Caucci
- Eugene Hong
- Head Injuries
- Heather Moore
- In The News
- Jim McCrossin
- Joel H. Fish
- John Quinn
- Julie Coté
- Justin Shaginaw
- Kelly O'Shea
- Kevin Miller
- Knee Injuries
- Michael G. Ciccotti
- Other Sports
- Performance Enhancement
- Peter F. DeLuca
- Philadelphia Marathon
- Philly Marathon
- Physical Therapy
- R. Robert Franks
- Robert Cabry
- Robert Senior
- Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
- We Tried It
- Working Out