Now that we have all eaten ungodly amounts of Halloween candy, and are curled up in the fetal position begging our digestive systems to not fail us, let’s talk about working out! Last month I took on the Double Dip Challenge from two of our favorite Atlanta fitness studios Fit9 and Stellar Bodies. The challenge was: 2 Fit9 and 2 Stellar Bodies class each week for the entire month of October. We just wrapped up – and while we’ve never felt stronger – we are really, really tried. Here’s a diary of the humbling, one of a kind experience. Fit9 Atlanta
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: woah – hold on there sister. A little background on the workouts, please. Stellar Bodies and Fit9: What’s the Deal?
Stellar Bodies is the OG of the Lagree Fitness Method in Atlanta. Amy Selig and Jeff Toney, Atlanta’s bonafide celebrity fitness couple, brought it here. They have a cult following of seriously fit/beautiful women and men who swear by their workouts. Take a quick glance at their Instragram – you’ll quickly know what I mean. Recently Jeff and Amy opened Fit9.Fit9 Atlanta
FIT9 combines high intensity interval training (HIIT) with high-performance elements of metabolic conditioning (MetCon) for a killer workout. Need the CliffsNotes? Fit9 Atlanta is set up in rows that contain the SkillMill treadmill (kind of like a Woodway…but on steroids), plyo boxes, weights, Crosscore (suspension-oriented training – similar to TRX) and the Aqua Bag (boxing!) As you progress, you make your way down the row – so you end up with 4 different 15 minute blocks: 2 on the floor and 2 on the SkillMill. Fit9 AtlantaAtlanta
Now, here’s our recap of the month: Fit9 Atlanta
Stellar Bodies –
As I was walking into my Stellar Bodies classes this week I repeated my inner mantra: “there is a difference between being uncomfortable and being in pain. There is a difference between being uncomfortable and being in pain.” I was able to complete each move, but it wasn’t pretty. I have a long way to go.
One thing Keir, my instructor for my first class, pointed out is that I was cheating myself during the transitions. I considered pointing out to Keir that what she calls “cheating” I would call “survival”, but I was still gasping for air and unable to respond. She gave me a goal of wasting 0 seconds between transitions for at least half of the class and building up from there. Seems reasonable. I’ll see what I can do next week.
Fit9 – Fit9 Atlanta
Okay, real talk. I was seriously intimidated when I walked into the studio for the first time. Fit9 is STUNNING – and I don’t just mean the women and men hanging out in the lobby waiting for class. The studio looks like a prop for Instagram – beautiful gray, black and cream decor and lots of #fitspo inspiration painted on the walls. Everything is spotless. It feel both serene and bada*s at the same time. Love it.
The Fit9 workout is NO JOKE. Most workouts only focus on cardio to burn calories or weight lifting to build muscle, but Fit9 is designed so you can’t just work on one aspect of your fitness routine or one body part without the support of others in the process – every element is designed to support one another. So that basically means everything is really, really hard and muscles from all different parts of your body are screaming at you the entire time. Yippie.
The block I struggled the most this week was the cardio endurance (they call it Speed and Stamina) on the SkillMill. You basically have to pump oxygen to your muscles so you can endure SERIOUSLY vigorous activity over an extended period of time. That means you’re going to run (beware of the numerous sprints) with varying resistance and speeds…with little or no… break for a full 15 minutes. If I made that sound easy in ANY way I’ve failed. It sucked. That said, I can’t wait to get better at this block. I didn’t stop sweating for at least 15 minutes after class. I feel like I need at least a week to rest, but 1 day will have to do because week two starts tomorrow, and Stellar Bodies is next.
Stellar Bodies –
I attempted my goal of 0 wasted seconds in transition time between moves this week, and I’m pleased to say I nailed it. Granted, it was a humbling experience because most of time I was slipping and sliding in pools of my own sweat to get from move to move, but in situations like these we put our pride away. We also grab two towels instead of one at the beginning of class.
Now that I had the SkillMill basics under my belt it was time to focus on the last block of class – coordination. At Fit9 They use a special punching bag called the Aqua Bag, which is designed to absorb impact and protect joints (read: your hands don’t hurt afterwards.) Boxing is SERIOUSLY fun and the instructors are incredible. The first class I was a total bonehead trying to move between uppercuts and jabs – but by class 2 I could transition my power hook to a cross pretty easily. This block makes you feel really, really cool. Kind of like Christina Aguilera in her music video for Dirrty. HAHA JUST KIDDING. But it does make me feel pretty cool. Boxing is my favorite way to end workout EVER – and is something that makes Fit9 really unique.
If boxing freaks you out, or if you are just want more practice, they offer a 30 min FIT9 Boxing 101 class 3 times a week on Monday @ 10am, Thursday @ 1:15pm and Saturday @ 12:15pm. $25/class and I strongly recommend it.
Stellar Bodies –
In my first Stellar Bodies class I struggled. Badly. But here’s something I kept in mind: a key pillar of the Lagree Fitness Method is working your body to the point of muscle failure. And at any one time we are working hundreds of muscles in one single move. That gives me hundreds of chances at failure for each move LOL FUN! But it also means I’m working really hard – as hard as I physically can – and that’s a win.
In my second stellar Bodies class I have never, EVER felt stronger. I opted for the difficult “Challenger” options throughout class – and nailed my transitions. I was so surprised that at one point I even got off the megaformer to make sure I had the right spring count. Two yellows and one blue? Well okay then! This Double Dip is NO JOKE and I really feel stronger. I’m so thrilled. And tired. And thrilled.
Holy floor sliders. This Double Dip has been ROCKING my core – so when Jeff told us get out the Core Flyte Dynamic Stability Trainers (a really nice line of floor sliders) in BOTH of my classes this week I knew I was in trouble. Because mountain climbers and hamstring lifts aren’t hard enough (eye roll), these floor sliders create lots’o instability and test balance…basically core killers. Fit9 Atlanta
At one point I had to trick myself into not giving up. “Okay, just finish this block and then you can quit” –> on repeat. Woof. BUT, if I was going to identify a positive from class today, I did pretty well on the Plyometric exercises. Basically it’s “jump training,” so you launch yourself from the floor to the top of a soft box. It didn’t go half bad! Last week this was a real struggle for me, so I do think I’m making strength progress in Fit9 as well. Small wins, people. Fit9 Atlanta
I’m seriously getting addicted to this workout. I can’t believe next week is my last of the Double Dip! Fit9 Atlanta
Stellar Bodies…the hardest core workout in Atlanta…should be interesting tomorrow. On to week 4…
Stellar Bodies –
My travel schedule strikes again…I only completed one Stellar Bodies class out of the two. I’m honestly super, super bummed about this. I feel like I let someone (Amy? Melinda? Danielle?) down. But really I let myself down – because, let’s be real, they have more important things to worry about. BUT…at the same time…isn’t it kind of good that I feel this level of accountability to the Double Dip Challenge? I was physically in another state, and knew that missing class was out of my control, but I still felt a huge desire to be there and meet my commitment. There is serious magic in this challenge, and I would encourage EVERYONE to try something like this. I’m 100% certain I created some rock solid habits that are going to serve me very well. Fit9 Atlanta
But I DID make it to one Stellar class and it went really well! A long 4 day streak of rest worked wonders for my muscles, and I was able to push myself really really hard. We ended class with army crawls, basically my least favorite thing ever, but it felt good to be able to knock these out much more easily than I ever have before, and end the Stellar part of my Double Dip Challenge on a really high note. Fit9 Atlanta
I hate cardio. Have I ever mentioned that? Hate it. And today I realized that what makes the Fit9 classes fly by for me is that the cardio isn’t boring. Now, let’s be clear, I’m not saying it’s fun. I’ve even considered faking an injury to get out of the first 15 minute block of sprints (but never did, thank you very much.) But it’s not boring. And you have to be really focused or you are going to fall off the SkillMill and die (or at least need a nose job, which actually isn’t a bad idea…) so the time doesn’t drag. It took me a month, but I do see significant cardio improvement. I hit speeds that the four weeks ago version of myself couldn’t even dream of.
So, that’s it! I’m stronger, more motivated and absolutely hooked on both classes. I think the combination of the two + the accountability of the Challenge is especially effective – and fun. Here’s why: I know the slow-and-steady approach to fitness is important, critical really. But if I’m being honest with myself I’m just not wired that way. I can get easily discouraged when I don’t see fast results. I’m not saying this challenge is a silver bullet to looking like a supermodel..heck no. But I did see results and also laid the foundation for long-term success. I liked the very clear, very specific fitness plan. Big thanks for Amy and Jeff (and Erin!!) for the opportunity. Fit9 Atlanta
Have you guys done a fitness challenge? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below! Fit9 Atlanta