Working out has become something that I really look forward to every day. When I transitioned to a freelance schedule, the first thing I did was start scheduling in my workouts like I would with meetings. I was always trying to get to the gym, but treating workouts like meetings has made me so much more accountable, and now I go… at least five times a week. Another key to sticking to your exercise routine is finding a time that works best for you. My favorite time of day to exercise is lunchtime. I’ll never be an early-morning person, and working out during lunch provides the perfect mid-day boost while freeing me to attend morning and evening events.
Today, in collaboration with CALIA by Carrie Underwood I am excited to share my five favorite workouts in New York. And guys.. CALIA is amazing. I have a ton of their stuff and am blown away by both the quality and the styles. So cute, but still very functional.
Outfit Details: CALIA by Carrie Underwood Waffle Dolman Sweater // Tank // Leggings // Gym Bag
1. Exhale Core Fusion. Core Fusion is hands down, my #1 workout. My body looks and feels its best when I am going 3-4x a week, which is what I try to do. It is simultaneously the most miserable, satisfying, and effective hour of my day. My girlfriends and I joke that it’s pretty much the closest thing to liposuction in workout form. If we are being honest, I don’t actually enjoy the whole hour. There are parts of class that I truly hate, and I swear that I’ve actually blacked out during thigh and glute work. It’s that intense; I’ve walked out of class with my thighs still shaking. That said, it gets a lot better with time, and it’s the most effective workout I’ve done. Since going regularly, I am stronger, more flexible, and standing much straighter. In addition, I’ve gotten leaner and feel a lot more toned, even just after a month of going consistently.
2. Soul Cycle. Okay. I’m going to get myself into trouble here, but guys… I have a lot of feelings about Soul Cycle. I love it but I hate it. It’s my favorite workout to actually do as it feels fun and I love the music… but it makes me so hungry that I end up not losing any weight when I’m doing it. This summer I found myself going a lot (sometimes I’d go 5x a week!), but my clothes were fitting tighter. Obviously, working out isn’t only about losing weight, but it wasn’t giving me the long, lean body I craved. (Barre + Yoga are great for that.) So now I only let myself go once (mayyybe twice a week). My favorite instructors are Charlee and Sunny in New York. (For the Chicago set, take Hallie W, aka Corals and Cognacs!)
3. Yoga. I really, really love Yoga Vida. There’s something really special about the huge room and large group setting. The classes are fast-paced so you break a good sweat.. almost to the point where you could consider it (light) cardio. I leave feeling long and strong… and so much more relaxed than when I left. They also have great restorative classes which are basically the equivalent to adult nap-time (if nap-time helped to open up tight hips). My favorite class to take is the Sunday night 7pm candlelit session (there’s no better way to wind down the weekend.) I also really love both Heather + Katelin’s classes – they are hilarious and also run Yoga For Bad People, which runs the coolest retreats (I’m saving up to maybe go to Cuba with them this April…)
4. Chaise Fitness. I love Chaise for the same reason that I love Soul Cycle. It’s really, really fun. But it also gets you super toned. It’s sort of a mix of Pilates + barre moves. The class goes by really quickly as you are moving the entire time and doing a lot of various movements. I am an Exhale devotee but when I’m feeling bored from barre, I will mix things up with a Chaise class. (If you go, Cat Scanlon is my favorite instructor – she is so upbeat and awesome!)
5. Flex Pilates. In my opinion, this is one of the hardest workouts in the city (second only to Brooklyn Body Burn!) Admittedly, I’ve only gone a handful of times, but every time I go, I can’t even laugh the next day! It works every inch of your body, and you’ll use muscles you didn’t know you had. Their reformer is a torture device – in the best possible way. If you need to get into incredible shape in a quick amount of time, this is the one to do.
photography by Lydia Hudgens.
Created in partnership with Calia by Carrie Underwood (and thank you to Exhale for letting us use their space to shoot!)
Your leggings are so cute! I’m a huge fan of barre classes too!
Hi Grace –
What brand are your shoes?
Hi! Sorry about that – they are Matt Bernson. The style is called “Finn.”
Great post! I love reading about different workout options and new studios to try!
Dani | http://www.styledvariety.com
Loved this post–makes me miss your weekend workout posts! I wish those would make a comeback 🙂
I know, I’ve gotten that feedback. I just haven’t felt like I have anything interesting to say – I mostly just go to exhale. I will think about how I can reincorporate them… Maybe in a different structure, or maybe doing them monthly 🙂 thanks for the comment (and for reading along for so long!)
I wish that we had a Soul Cycle in San Diego!!! I’ll have to try that next time I’m in New York!
The best homemade jam recipe is up on the blog today!
Out of curiosity how much do you pay a week for all of these classes?
It varies. 🙂 I used to do Classpass which let me take all of these classes (except Soul) for $100 a month. I found that I loved Exhale the most so I became a member. Most of these classes are around $35 a class (except yoga which is $15/class) so I typically take three four exhale classes a week and then go to yoga once + soulcycle, Barry’s or Pilates on the other day.
Being self employed or freelance it’s so crucial to build a schedule. Setting up a consistent workout routine is a great way to do that. I usually stick to barre3 but I wish we had a Soul Cycle near me. It sounds like quite the workout!
1. LOVE Calia stuff! It’s super flattering.
2. I’ve heard great things about those yoga retreats. I have some serious vacay days to burn…maybe I should look into one!
Do you do the Core Fusion Barre or Fusion Barre + Cardio?
I usually do barre, but I take barre/cardio every now and again. It’s a nice mix as cardio is SO SO SO hard!!!
I’m trying Flex next week! Those Calia pieces are so cute!
Love this post, Grace! I’m wondering which of the Exhale Core Fusions you like best? Cardio, Barre, Yoga, “Extreme?” I’ve only ever done the cardio one and I’m semi-scared to go back it was so hard!
I love Barre. I like the yoga too. I can only do Cardio when I’m in my best shape (not right now) and I have yet to try extreme. I think in a few weeks I”ll be ready to try cardio again but you are right… it’s really, really hard! xx
Exhale core fusion is great but I also love flybarre! And exhale power yoga (Lauren’s class is bestttt killer yoga, super intense and hard but so good!) I’ve been wanting to try Chaise, I’ve heard mixed things. And I’ve only tried Flex TRX and it was the hardest but most hellish class in.my.life. What’s so hard about their basic classes??
I am trying flybarre next week and so excited!!! I gotta take Lauren’s class – thanks for the reco! Flex is so hellish. I can barely get through their classes but I keep trying! 😉
Have you tried Physique57? I like Exhale a lot but I think I like physique more!
Omg those leggings are everything! I’ve been wanting to check out Carrie’s line, thanks for reviewing!
I am happy to see you put Yoga Vida in here – the NoHo location is right across from my office and I have been tempted to try it out – will have to now! thx!! 🙂
You don’t know how much I miss Core Fusion. There’s one in Stamford, but that’s like going to TriBeCa from uptown. Maybe next year when both kiddies are in school all day…
At least we have Soul. 🙂 Although I double up and do weights inbetween my workout days so I keep burning calories. If you haven’t tried CMT, I’ve heard amazing things and it’s a fun, upbeat Pilates type class. OrangeTheory is also great upbeat cardio that uses running and rowing. Amazing. Just a DL from the burbs :).