Sunday in NYC: Body Space Fitness + Westville

Sunday morning started off very similar to Saturday-with an intense interval style workout!

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“Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice”

Kat and I went to Body Space Fitness for a “Warrior workout”. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but went in with really high expectations, thanks to its incredible reviews. There were supposed to be seven participants in the class, but we ended up only being a group of four! Talk about a great instructor to student ratio.

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We completed 3 rounds of 3 mini circuits and one finisher at the end. Each mini circuit was composed of 3 exercises with no rest in between, which kept my heart rate high and my mind engaged.

There were a few things that were very special that made the “Warrior workout” live up to its incredible reviews:

  1. Our instructor killed it. Our trainer, Kelvin (who’s also the owner) was upbeat, positive, and knew when to challenge us more. I really appreciated this, because it forced me to not slack off, and motivated me to actually want the harder variations.
  2. We did novel, interesting, and strange exercises. This was not your typical pushup/situp/jumping jacks/squats type of workout. We used treadmills for sprints, ladders for speed work, “booties” for core work, and ropes for arm strengthening.
  3. Each exercise was only 30 seconds. Just long enough you have to sustain something for longer than you want to, but not too long that you’ll dip into the “aerobic” zone.
  4. The class size was small. We were able to get enough individual attention so it felt almost like a personal training session, but we had each other for competition.

If you know of somewhere where I can find a similar type of workout in Philadelphia, please comment below! Functional/circuit training is so much better in groups, and I could use a change from my usual solo lifting.

Lunch

After the Warrior workout, I grabbed a Quest bar and an Iced Americano and met up with Hadley for a little at her place.

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Coconut Cashew Quest Bar

IMG_3302After showering and chilling for a bit, I headed out to grab brunch with Rachel at Westville!

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When I told Hadley that Rachel and I were going to eat at Westville, she literally jumped out of her chair, and exclaimed: “WESTVILLE!?! THAT PLACE IS AMAZING!!!” She then proceeded to tell me about their unique “Sides” section of their menu, where you can choose 4 sides for $15! If I was a little less hungry, I might have opted for that, since they had about 20 farm-fresh vegetable sides that sounded divine.

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Rachel ordered a mimosa to start, and our waiter surprised us with a complimentary Mint Honey Lemonade!

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I’m not usually a huge fan of mint, but this drink was the definition of refreshing. It had the texture of a slushie, thanks to the ice, and was perfectly tart yet sweet, due to the mixture of lime and honey. Sadly, I don’t have a blender with me in Philly, but as soon as I have access to one, I’m recreating this baby!

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I was very hungry by this point, and wanted something nice and filling. I ended up selecting the Westville Breakfast, which consisted of two poached eggs, smoked salmon and roasted red pepper aioli on whole wheat bread.

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The poached eggs were the highlight of the meal, because the runny yolk became another sauce for dipping! I must learn how to poach eggs in the near future.

It was an absolute perfect weekend in the big apple, and I really loved being able to see the city as more of a local rather than a tourist. Plus, I am so happy I got to see a ton of people, and got to try new workouts to boot!

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Hope your weekend was a success, and have a great start to the week!

 

Body Cycle Review + I Bought a Pound of Chocolate

Review: Body Cycle

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After doing some work at home this morning, I headed out to take my second Body Cycle class at 12:30! I first took one of their classes last Friday, having found them online in search of a good spin class in Philadelphia. I’ve done Flywheel before, so I knew that it was an option, but decided to keep looking for a cheaper and geographically closer option. After not too long, I stumbled upon Body Cycle, and upon seeing their free trial promotion, I had to give it a try!

My class on Friday was great, and I knew even before seeing the spin bikes that it was going to be a great experience. Immediately after the class, I purchased a student discount package for 10 rides (only ~$10 a ride!).

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I’m not going to comment on the profiles of the individual classes themselves, since that is very much a personal preference. Some people like climbs, others like sprints. Some prefer a lot of encouragement and yelling, others find it annoying. Therefore, since each instructor is different, just as every participant is different, I am not going to include my personal opinion on the classes. I will say, however that I have really liked both classes I’ve taken so far, and that the instructors have been positive, encouraging, and knowledgable.

Things I loved about Body Cycle:

  • They have new Kaiser spin bikes that show RPM, watts (love this feature!), time elapsed, your gear, and calories burned. The RMP and gears are very useful for effective communication between the instructors and the participants. I had different instructors for my Friday class and today’s class, and they both gave a range of RPM and gear to try and maintain, dependent upon what kind of interval we were doing. This is great because it can help each participant have an idea of how hard they should be working.
  • It has a homey, approachable feel. This might be one of my favourite features about the Body Cycle studio. It doesn’t have a flashy entrance, (it’s actually almost impossible to see from the street- you’d never know it was there), but this does not detract from the experience that it provides. It is cleanmodern, they have showers, and will even let you store your spin shoes there!
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The Instructor’s bike
  • The staff are extremely friendly and approachable. Since I signed up online (as most people do), they were expecting me, and greeted me warmly. Furthermore, one of the instructors that I met briefly on Friday was there today, and remembered my name! I instantly felt like part of the Body Cycle community, and I could really tell that the staff are passionate about working there. Afterwards, another instructor, Russell, came up to me and asked me how I had found Body Cycle, and what I thought of it. We had a great conversation, which made me feel even better about purchasing my 10-ride package.
  • They don’t do arm weights. Okay, I know I said no personal opinions about the rides, but I figured I should mention this. I am not a fan of the arm weights that some other studios do, because I like to focus on the ride. I understand that some participants enjoy being able to get the “full body” workout by incorporating the arms into the ride, but I’d rather focus purely on the cycling and keep my heart rate up.
  • It’s less intimidating than Flywheel. I know Flywheel’s got all those gadgets that let you see how you’re doing compared to everyone else, but sometimes, I don’t want to know those stats. Don’t get me wrong, if I’m feelin’ good one day, I’m all for competition, but sometimes you just don’t feel like comparing yourself to others. I really like being able to see my own stats on the Kaiser bikes, but don’t need to see anyone else’s.
  •  It has good prices (for students too!) Okay, last bash against Flywheel, I promise: Flywheel 10 Rides: $225 ($22.50/ride). Body Cycle 10 Rides (Adult):  $159 (~$16/ride). BUT, the kicker is: Body Cycle has a student/military discount to make each ride roughly $10 each. Image 31
  • They have a free trial ride. This is HUGE. Never been to a spin class? Don’t know if you’ll like it? No problem! Come out and try it for free, no obligation!
  • They take care of you. During the class, one of the staff who is working at the front desk will come and fill up your water bottle for you, so you don’t have to worry about getting off the bike. This is going to take a bit of getting used to for me, since I’m not used to this fancy-schmancy kind of service, but I think it shows how much the Body Cycle instructors want you to enjoy your experience.

Okay, that’s all I got from my first two classes there, but I think it’s a good start! They also have other special events that I haven’t even experienced yet, like “scavenger hunts” and “tag team rides”, but they sound awesome!!! Bottom line:If you’re looking for a fun, affordable spin class, check out Body Cycle!

Lunch

I’ve got a lot of lettuce to use up, but wasn’t in the mood for a salad, so I made some lettuce wraps! (Basically a deconstructed salad, I suppose). Included in this random assortment was:

  • About 6 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • Hummus
  • A carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes (already ate them before I snapped the picture)
  • Avocado
  • Oven roasted deli chicken

Image 25I saved utensils by using the carrots as “knives” to spread the hummus on the lettuce! (The things I do to avoid walking back to the kitchen to get cutlery…)

Image 28I also stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home, and picked up a few “weekly” ingredients, such as Almond milk, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and some veggies.

A couple of other “fun” purchases I got:

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GoLean Crunch! I opened it up right in Trader Joe’s as I was shopping- I have no shame. I am also considering writing a sign and pasting it to the front of this box saying: “This box must last until….(said date)”, because otherwise it will be gone by tomorrow. Maybe even tonight.

Trader Joe’s microwave popcorn. I got a box of individual packages instead of the plain bag of kernels basically so that I wouldn’t be forced to exert self-control. Popcorn’s one of those things (like GoLean Crunch) where ya just eat it for days n days n days until lunch turns into dinner.

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Also, each bag makes about 7 cups popped! Check out the stats:

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And finally… ok please don’t laugh at me for this one. I had spent about 10 minutes debating which kind of chocolate bar I wanted to get (a classy chocolate bar, not like Snickers or anything), mainly so I could enjoy little bit after dinner, or with almonds or something. Well, I had just picked out a nice 3.5oz bar, when I ran into this:

Image 32I bought a pound of chocolate. To be fair, it only cost $3 more than my 3.5oz chocolate bar, and I got waaaaay more for it. Now, if this were milk chocolate, or peanut butter chocolate, or something I find equally scrumptiously addicting, I would not have got it in bulk. However, fortunately for me, I won’t and don’t eat chocolate by the pound (or half pound), so this should be safe in my cupboards for a while. This does mean, that there will likely be lots of chocolatey recipes coming your way pretty soon!

Okay well I’m hungry again, so I think it’s time to go have some chocolate + roasted almonds. Have a great rest of your Monday!