Tag Archives: refine method

Refine Method: Take 2

Operation Look Not Awful in a Bikini In OBX/Run Strong And Awesome Races is well underway, and today I decided I desperately needed some more strength training.

After I blogged about Refine Method last time and that I wasn’t the hugest fan, Brynn, the founder emailed me to say she was sorry to hear that and would love for me to try the class again, on her.

I realized early this morning that tonight would likely be a relatively early night and emailed Brynn to ask her if I could take her up on it tonight.

I will say this first: I went into the class tonight in a much better mood than last time, and I went in knowing what to expect. I also went in really wanting to like the class.

I took the 6:30 class with the adorable Emily Cook. In these boutique fitness classes, it’s pretty common for the instructor to introduce herself to you so you feel like you’re getting more personal attention when she says, “Good job, Theodora!” (And dude, it works. And I did get a “Good job, Theodora!” once or twice.)

So, since I didn’t do a full review last time since I wasn’t a fan, I’ll give you a brief review now.

The sixty-minute class starts with a brief warm-up that includes some squats, jumping jacks and punches.

It’s then broken up into three circuits of strength moves. Each circuit is repeated a few times (I lost count each time) before moving on to the next. The circuits included exercises like diagonal squats, push-ups, jumpbacks (burpees, basically) and a number of moves using their pulley system, which is sort like TRX but with more resistance.


[via Dori]

That’s the pulley system, but that’s in their UES location–I went to their Union Square location, which looks far less barre-y.

Edited to add: Dori tells me that that’s their old set-up in the UES location. There’s no barre there now either.

The last time I went, I definitely broke a sweat and it wasn’t easy, but I got both a more enjoyable and a better workout tonight. Emily is incredibly upbeat and played so much cheesy music (by cheesy, I mean awesome) the entire time, that I couldn’t stop smiling. She corrected me, but it felt like she genuinely wanted me to understand how to execute the exercises correctly. She also did a great job cueing the class, and pointing out things like “if you don’t feel this in your core, you’re not doing it right.”

The class ended with some ab work, that included rolling from laying down to sitting up, hinging back slightly. (I did this against a foam roller to support my jerk of a lower back.) We ended with some stretches laying down, and Emily came around and gave us each a 30-second-ish quad massage while we were stretching. So random, so awesome.

Dori and her friend Melissa Z. were there, and Melissa said that something “felt weird” while she was doing jumpbacks, and Emily took the time to have her demonstrate her jumpbacks and where they felt weird in between classes so that Melissa could make sure she had the correct form.

FYI, they’re doing a promo code “PREVIEW” right now to get 20 percent off class packages.

Why did I like this class so much more than the last one? Tonight’s instructor just had a great energy–upbeat and the type that made you want to work harder, rather than the type to make you feel like you weren’t working out hard enough, which is how I felt last time. I definitely see myself trying this class again.

Six in a Row

I just logged a workout in DailyMile and realized I’d logged six workouts in a row.

This is not something that usually happens. I am not someone who has to be persuaded to take a rest day. I don’t plan rest days because I’d rather plan workouts everyday or almost everyday and realize stuff comes up and 1-3 of them probably won’t happen. (Those 1-3 don’t usually start with an r and end in unning.)

Three of those were runs: two run-mutes and one long run. Whatever. The run-mutes only served to get the miles in–they weren’t particularly awesome or awful–and the long run was rewarding, as they usually are. (I mean, I have a hard time not running more than 6 miles and feeling good about it. That’s about when the endorphins kick in for me.)


[photo via Ashley]

I also tried out Strala Yoga with Ashley and Ashley on Sunday.

AND I LOVED IT. It was $15 for the class, which is pretty reasonable for New York. Tara Stiles is the owner of the studio. (I thought she was the instructor in my favorite yoga DVD, but it turns out that’s Sara ivanhoe.) I knew I’d definitely heard her name before, but didn’t know why. Turns out she’s actually pretty controversial in the yoga world for being a little unorthodox. I really enjoy yoga, but don’t practice it super-frequently, so I’m definitely not a yoga snob. All I care about is if the class stretches me and relaxes me, and this class did both.


[Photo also via Ashley]

One of the criticisms in the NYT article I linked to up there is that Tara’s a bit of a goofball. Well, so am I, so any time I heard her giggling as she talked to someone while adjusting them, I smiled, too. As for the actual yoga, it was all pretty standard, except for some “yoga freestyle” right before the savasana (in which I wondered why I was paying to just pick my own poses) and the really long savasana. I think it must have been at least 10 minutes.

We took the Relax class, and it absolutely filled the bill. Before the class, I was stressing about work, moving and other stuff, after the class, I was a smiley, bendy girl who was very happy to walk the 2.7 miles home.

Tonight, I was off to a Refine Method/Lululemon blogger event. As part of their community-building, Lululemon invited a bunch of bloggers active in the health/fitness/wellness community in NYC to take a free Refine Method class. I had been curious to try it in the way I am to try any new NYC workout class (ooh! shiny!), but I hadn’t had a chance to try it yet.

I may or may not do a full review sometime, but I didn’t love it this first time. Dori swears by it, and I was hoping to love it, too. To be honest, I sort of skimmed some of her posts, so i totally didn’t realize it wasn’t a barre class, which I thought it was. I was corrected an awful lot, which was both frustrating and disheartening, but I was also corrected a lot during my first Physique class and still loved it. I can’t put my finger on what I wasn’t crazy about with this class.

The group was really fun (and I think i giggled through the last 2 minutes of class when Laura‘s foot came about 2 inches from my face while stretching, and I looked at her, and just said “AHEM.”)

photo (48).JPG

And the workout ended with champagne. Can all workouts please end with champagne?

Six days in a row? Tomorrow is sure as hell a rest day.