There's nothing like this warmer weather coming around to remind us that swimsuit season is rapidly approaching! We went around town last month and tested out a variety of group training sessions and classes. Here are 4 of our absolute favorites, each one different from the next. If you're looking for a little extra oomph in your fitness routine, or just want to mix up what you're already doing, consider one of the following classes...
~Cassie & Megan
Club Pilates McKinney
9245 Virginia Pkwy., Ste. #200
Pilates is a low-impact, full-body workout. Unlike the mat Pilates classes offered in many gym settings, Club Pilates offers classes using an array of specialized equipment, including the Reformer, EXO-Chair, Bosu Ball, TRX Suspension Trainer, springboards and more. Pilates creates a strong foundation of balance, strength, mobility and flexibility
Know Before you Go:
They offer complimentary post workout snacks (fresh fruit or KIND bars)
Different levels of classes are offered throughout the day
When you leave you're not sweaty and gross, you feel good and refreshed. Hair/Makeup done would be just fine. Perfect for a midday workout on a lunch break
Special socks with grips on the bottom are required (they sell them at the studio)
They offer private lessons
This Pilates studio is located in the same shopping center as Sprouts, at Custer and Virginia. There is a small reception area at the front of the studio, with a filtered water system to fill your water bottles and cubbies for your belongings. Ashley at the front desk greeted me with a big smile and lots of helpful information. They are experts at all things Pilates here, and are even home to one of the top instructors in the country: Cara was recently featured in Women's Health magazine and leads classes regularly at the McKinney location.
I had taken pilates classes at my gym before but had never been to a dedicated Pilates studio, with reformer machines and all the official tools. The reformer machines were seriously intimidating at first, but my instructor Bernadett did an amazing job at explaining simply what to do. Something I couldn't help but notice was how friendly all the other women taking the class were too - they all LOVE pilates and expressed how it has helped them. The woman on the reformer next to me, Liz, had recently completed her 250th class (she's 68 years old) and had toned arms any 20-something would be jealous of.
The crazy thing about this workout is how it felt, for the lack of a better word, "relaxing". Upbeat music was playing, but wasn't blaring. Even though it worked various muscle groups with tension, a lot of it felt like stretching and just felt good. I was a little sore the next day, and know I got in a good full body workout, but wasn't sweaty at all when I left. I had secretly rolled my eyes a little at the women at the beginning of class in full makeup and pretty hair, but when I left it all made sense... this is not a workout that requires a shower afterwards. In fact, it's absolutely perfect for a midday lunch break workout! Now, keep in mind I was in a beginner level 1.5 class. They offer more intense levels and even a cardio based class so things might be different in those ones.
This studio is definitely on my radar to personally join in the near future. In my opinion it seems like an amazing way to build strength and balance and just tone all over. The overall vibe here is focused but chill, and I feel like everyone could use that in their life!
1st class free at Club Pilates, by clicking HERE
F45 South McKinney
2890 Craig Dr., Suite 140, McKinney, TX 75070
F45 Training is a group training experience that combines elements of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training, and Functional Training. The “F” stands for Functional Training and the “45” stands for the total-time of the classes - 45 minutes.
Know Before you Go:
Bring a water bottle. Or two. This is a high intensity, heart pumping, sweat inducing workout!
You don't need to bring any special equipment or gear.
Every day throughout the week offers a different workout.
Nearly every class is 45 minutes, except for some weekend classes which are 60.
There's a live DJ at every other Saturday class.
All of the moves in the circuit are displayed on big screens throughout the class, so if you forget a move or need a reminder on form, all you have to do is look up.
There was a wide range of men and women at different fitness levels and ages in the class, so "every body" should feel comfortable attending
Each and every move comes with a modified option so you can set your own pace and do the level of intensity that's right for your body.
This brand new F45 gym is located behind the Trader Joe's shopping center, just off of 75 at Eldorado. It's very easy to get to and you don't have to walk a mile from your parking spot to the door. Inside is very bright and clean and it's a great atmosphere. There are 31 different themed class options at F45 and the one Megan and I attended in February was "West Hollywood"... what die hard F45-ers call "the climax of the week". The DJ was pumping, with high energy atmosphere, and we got ready for 60 minutes of intense training combining strength, cardio, agility, speed and power.
Kettlebells, ropes, spin bikes, rowing machines, and lots of other equipment is set up in an organized system. Trainers Stephanie and Mickey warmly welcomed everyone and there were big screens all around the room with a countdown clock to the start of class. Before we got to work, the trainers demonstrated every move in the 27 station circuit workout, and even explained a modification for each one.
I started to get nervous that I would forget the moves but then they pointed out that the big screens no longer displayed a countdown clock, but rather mini videos of each station. This was so helpful, especially for a novice like myself who doesn't already know the form for each of these workouts! On top of that, the two trainers circulated throughout the room doling out major motivation and correcting form as necessary. Another cool use of the big screen is you have the option to wear a heart rate monitor which connects to the screen. It displays your heart rate so you can look up and check your personal progress throughout the workout.
This workout was HARD but FUN! I loved the fast paced vibe and the DJ pumping 90s jams definitely helped keep me going. In between stations (in addition to chugging my water bottle) I was often laughing and dancing. There were high fives galore. It was a full body workout for sure and I felt it for days after we finished.
F45 is offering a 10% monthly membership discount, exclusively to Be McKinney readers! Mention this blog post when you sign up to receive the discount.
192 Industrial Blvd, Suite 102
R&G Fitness is hardcore group and personal fitness. The workouts combine strength training, high-intensity intervals, and flexibility into one well-rounded fitness program. Husband and wife team, Beau and Jamie, are the coaches, nutritional advisors, and your personal cheer squad.
Know before you go:
All you need to bring is yourself, water, a towel, and motivation
Cubbies are provided to hold your belongings
Cassie and I took this class together, and we honestly had no idea what to expect. We walked into a warehouse converted to a gym that was filled with life. Members are laughing it up with one another, coaches are calling members by name, and there are handwritten motivational quotes, goals, and stats all over the walls. After quickly meeting some of the members, it was time for class to start. We formed a circle and us newbies were introduced before moving on to some ice breaker questions for the group. After spending a few minutes going around the circle, Beau and Jamie demonstrated the stations and then we teamed up into groups of four. After a quick stretch/warm-up, the music got turned up and we were off! Ropes, one-handed pushups, rows, and squats were just a few of our stations. Working out with a group, we called ourselves the Ginger Snaps, was a great motivation. We were all there encouraging each other along with Beau and Jamie calling us out by name to personally motivate. After completing every station it was time for a quick cool down and a group hand stack send-off cheer.
The session was a great full-body workout that focused on strength training and burning calories. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the sense of community. Motivating yourself to workout or to push your limits can be very hard, and at R&G you've got a built-in cheer squad and fitness family to help you with that. Beau and Jamie truly care about their members and are even known to hang out with their “family” of members outside the gym. It’s clear that when you decide to join R&G, you become part of a family that cares for each other and motivates one another.
If you would like to give R&G Fitness a try, go to www.rngfitness.com to sign up for a free 3 session trail. And as a special offer to Eat, Drink and Be McKinney readers, R&G Fitness is offering 10% off their membership packages.
TITLE Boxing Club
5080 Virginia Pkwy, suite 800
TITLE Boxing Club is a full-body boxing workout that changes your body, clears your mind and completely engages your spirit. Workouts utilize the fundamentals of a true boxer’s workout – including proper heavy bag training – to strengthen and tone your arms, legs, back, core, stamina, and your confidence.
Know before you go:
Hand wraps are required. You can bring your own or purchase there.
Boxing gloves are provided to first-timers.
Lockers to store your belongings are provided free of charge.
Towels are provided.
If you need to bring your older children feel free. There is free wifi, and an area up front with bean bags, tables, and chairs.
Classes start as early as 5:30 am and go throughout the day.
Classes are an hour, with the exception of a few 75 min classes.
Private lessons and kickboxing classes are offered as well.
The class I attended was a 60-minute boxing class. I've never taken this type of class before so I was extremely nervous! The staff was very helpful though and showed me some basic moves and even wrapped my hands for me. I was also excited to see a few other first-timers joining the class, who also were getting a quick boxing 101 lesson. Now, of course, each class is different, so here's a breakdown of my personal experience.
Class starts after the trainer introduces themselves and pumps up the music. You start with a warm-up which was a combination of high knees, squats, jumping jacks, and burpees. Not the type of warm-up I’m used to! After a few rounds of warm-up, you move onto the boxing. Now when I say rounds, I mean there is a countdown clock up front and a bell goes off when the round is over. I liked that feature because it made you think in short time fragments instead of an hour, which can be daunting sometimes. There were about 6 rounds of boxing. These rounds are not only physically, but mentally challenging. The trainer is shouting out combos to follow, and you need to really listen and pay attention so that you can execute the combo correctly. For example: jab, jab, cross, left hook, right hook, left uppercut. Sounds easy when you’re reading it, but throw in the fast-paced rhythm and it’s a lot harder than you think! I imagine the more you attend class, the less challenging this can be since you’ll learn the lingo and the moves will start to come naturally. The boxing rounds are exhausting, but they go by fast since you’re switching up combos every round. You will be sweating like crazy at this point! With gloves on, it’s hard to use your towel, so my suggestion is to wear some kind of sweatband. After the non-stop, fast-paced boxing rounds it’s time for a quick water break before the cool-down. Cool-down for our class was all about the legs. There were some walking lunges, frog jumps and squats involved. Then we ended with a 1-minute squat hold where the whole class had to hold it and if anyone stood up we started over. This was a killer but damn did I make sure I held that squat!
When you walk into TITLE Boxing, be prepared to never stop moving and to s-w-e-a-t! This was a great full-body workout that combines stamina with muscle building. Anyone that takes a TITLE Boxing class 2-3 times a week will be in amazing shape!
If you would like to experience a TITLE Boxing class make sure to go online and sign up for a free 3-day trial. And as a special to Eat, Drink and Be McKinney readers, TITLE Boxing is offering $0 enrollment and $10 off membership rates.