This last month, AFM has started a new practice; every two weeks, the staff takes a field trip to a new workout/training/exercise location. We love it because it gives us a chance to sample all the cool, different ways that Austinites are finding fitness and then provide feedback from “real people.” And, hey, we get to do awesome workouts as part of our job — sweet!
This month, July 2012, AFM had the pleasure of working out with barre3 Austin (115 Sandra Muraida Way, Suite 103) and Wanderlust Live (206 East 4th Street).
Let me start by saying that I've been frustrated by a nagging hamstring injury that kept me from attending the barre3 Austin workout and I was a little hesitant about doing yoga, especially a class that incorporated weights. As I entered the warehouse building of Wanderlust Live, I was greeted with smiling faces and directed to the provided towels, yoga mats, and hand weights. They also recommended which weights I should use (five pounds) and advised me on which movements to be cautious about because of my hamstring problem. The YoStrong class included vinyasa yoga, plyometrics, and core work. What I really liked was that this class incorporated upper-body work too. The weights provided an extra challenge to the movements we did and I think it's a different challenge that people might be looking for in some yoga practices. By the end of the class, the five pounds felt like 50 and I was feeling that yoga-high. Ashley put on an awesome session. Afterwards, I took advantage of their clean locker room showers and stopped by their café for a post-workout drink. Wanderlust LIVE will be seeing me soon, and my hamstring is feeling a lot better after the session!
barre3 Austin: I have to admit, I was a bit nervous to attend my first barre class, but I loved it. The room was bright, the mood was light, and our workout was the perfect blend of ballet, dance and yoga. While challenging, this class was truly refreshing. It's a keeper! (And boys, the barre babes don't disappoint!)
Wanderlust Live: As a yoga enthusiast, I felt pretty confident walking into my first YoStrong yoga class. That confidence lasted a whopping five minutes. Take your favorite yoga class, then pile on plyometric exercises, core strengthening, hand weights, and a pretty toasty room. Sweatin' yet? I certainly was — buckets! This total body workout kicked my butt, and I liked it!
barre3 Austin: As the only man present, I was a bit intimated, but I also felt very lucky to be surrounded by the gracefulness and beauty of all the women in the class. I quickly realized that this was a damn good workout because I felt muscles I didn’t know I had getting their butts kicked. Overall, I highly recommend to any guys who are reluctant to try barre to man up and give it a shot. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the workout—as well as the scenery : )
Wanderlust Live: First off, Wanderlust Live is a beautiful space in downtown Austin that has a lively, playful energy. The yoga class was truly a unique experience. I was a big fan of YoStrong, a fusion yoga class that combines hand weights, yoga, and plyometrics in a “warm” room. There is a natural tendency to sweat a lot (as well as relax and loosen up), all while working to strengthen your muscles and keep your heart rate just within that fat burning zone. If your current yoga practice—or lack thereof—needs a change, the YoStrong class at Wanderlust Live should be your next stop for something fun and effective.
barre3 Austin: I had no idea what to expect here—I’m a very inflexible runner who never did dance class and was only marginally coordinated at Jazzercise. I had some fears that I’d be the ugly duckling in a set out of “Black Swan” or (worse) that it would be a frou-frou, easy workout. Neither fear was realized. It was easy to follow along as the instructor did a great job of talking us through the exercises. While movements could be intense, it was the perfect amount of time to hold each position. And the variety of work (at the barre, on the floor) was interesting and fun. Afterwards, I felt long and lean and wonderfully stretched, especially throughout my back. The next day, various muscles spoke to me during my run to let me know that, yes, I got a good workout at barre3 Austin.
Wanderlust Live: I came barreling in to the YoStrong class at the last minute, which set me up for some failures (be sure to allow time for parking—Wanderlust Live has a parking lot, but it was blocked by workers that day). The class was full and I was fortunate to wedge my matt (provided) between two nice women but I neglected to pick up weights and a towel (both also provided). I’m a fan of hot yoga and, while this was warm, it was not the temperature of Bikram yoga. Even so, no towel led to an epic failure, as my mat turned into a sweaty Slip-n-Slide within minutes. The instructor took us briskly through challenging poses but always offered modifications, which was great for me, as I am still regaining balance and strength in a previously broken ankle. It was possible to still feel challenged even without weights, too. Afterwards, I left light as a feather and pleasantly peaceful.
barre3 Austin: Wow, this class was so much more than a few plies and leg lifts at a ballet barre! The team at barre3 Austin managed to provide a full body workout that was fun and flew by. To my relief, there were no dance skills involved – phew! The entire AFM team agreed that this was a fun, feel-the-burn workout that is definitely worth a try (even our lone male enjoyed himself). As someone who loves to constantly change up my workout, I won't hesitate to try a barre class again in the future.
Wanderlust Live: I've only gotten into the yoga scene over the past two years or so, thus a yoga class involving weights and plyometics sounded a little daunting. However, YoStrong turned out to be a fun, fast-paced, and sweaty good time! Ashley was encouraging and managed to hit multiple muscle groups in our one-hour session. My three-pound weights proved to be more challenging than I anticipated during some of the upper body work, and my heart rate raced during intermittent cardio bursts. Wanderlust Live is a great space (did I mention the cafe?) with even greater classes. I encourage everyone to give YoStrong a try, as it's a great change from your typical day-to-day yoga routine.
Are you interested in having Austin Fit Magazine take a field trip to your workout or practice? Send an email to Jackie@austinfitmagazine.com with the name, time, and location of the class as well as your contact information in order to find out how you can include the AFM staff in your group fitness fun.