Monday, January 30, 2012

Review of Stoked 360 with Kira Stokes

A few weeks ago I got a pass to check out the Reebok Sports Club/NY.  Reebok has a group class roster that includes fitness superstars like Kira Stokes, Ilaria Montagnani and Kristin McGee. Not too shabby. I chose to go on a day when Kira Stokes was teaching her signature total body conditioning class, Stoked 360.


The Gym: Gorgeous! Six floors of state-of-the-art equipment. Two Basketball courts. A pool. A running track. Cycling studio.

The Scene: The class was held in one of the 2 group exercise studios and it was packed! I chatted with some regulars as we waited outside and it's clear that Kira has a following. There were lots of regulars and it was obvious that these ladies (and a few gentlemen) came every week. In fact, there were way too many people and I constantly had to watch out for neighbors to ensure that I would not crash into them.

The Class: Required a lot of props including two sets of weights, a jump rope, a stepper, and a medicine ball. This is a total body workout and is described as "combining elements of traditional and functional conditioning, with high intensity cardiovascular intervals and body weight exercises." Compound movements are the theme here. Exercises included forward lunges with overhead presses, pushups with alternating dumb-bell rows, pushups with burpees, to name a few. Each set contained 3 exercises and sets were repeated before moving onto a new set of exersies. In between sets we had to jump rope, do jumping jacks or jog in place as Kira would demonstrate the next set of exercises. The class is high-intensity and very fast-paced. As soon as you get the hang of one set of exercises Kira has moved you onto the next set.


The Instructor: Kira pays a colossal amount of attention to form.  A couple of times she stopped the flow of the class to demonstrate what the class' overall (incorrect) form looked like and how it should be corrected. I did see her give a few individual form corrections but that is hard to do in a class as large and fast-paced as this. If you are hoping for a warm and fuzzy instructor then this is not the class for you. She's the type of instructor who wants to make sure you worked as hard as you possibly could. I was hoping to talk to her after class but she walked away from me while I was go talk to one of her regulars! Rude? Or just flaky? I will never know, but either way, not the ideal last impression I would have wanted to be left with.

Overall: Great class. 75-minutes of high-intensity cardio and strength training in a fast-paced setting. Gym classes always pack in too many people, as did this one, and it would be interesting to try a class with fewer clients just to experience the brunt of Kira's intensity. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Figure 4 Event for Mom At The Barre readers

This weekend some fellow bloggers and readers braved our first snowstorm of 2012 to make their way to Pure Yoga's east side location for a special Figure 4 class that I hosted. It was a full house with not a single open barre spot in sight!

We pulsed and plied till our thighs were shaking...

We did arm raises while in a wide plie....

Here we are doing core work on the floor as Kate demonstrates proper alignment for the exercise...

All in all, it was a resounding success and I want to thank everyone for coming. It was the first barre class ever for a lot of participants and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did! Many thanks to Pure Yoga and Kate for helping to arrange this awesome class!

with Kate

For those interested, there are a few  Hot Figure 4 workshops taking place on February 11th and March 3rd, where this class takes place in a heated room. Details are here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Complimentary Figure 4 Class on 1/21!!

Figure 4, Pure Yoga's signature barre class, was one my list of top 5 NYC workout classes for 2011. I first tried a class earlier this year at Pure's west side location as part of a Well + Good NYC event. Check out my review here.


Figure 4 is now also on the east side and the wonderful folks at Pure Yoga have offered a complimentary Figure 4 class for readers of Mom At The Barre!

Here are the Details:
Date: Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Time: 4-5pm
Location: Pure Yoga East, 203 East 86th Street (@Third Avenue), New York, NY

I can't gush about this class enough! This one will be special because the fabulous Kate Albarelli (the creator) will be teaching it! I'd love for everyone to try this great workout!

Bonus: We will be raffling off a 1-week Figure 4 pass  to one lucky class participant!

If interested please email me your full name at:

Sign-up is limited to 24 participants, and is open till Thursday January 19th,2012.

See you at the barre!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My First Intensati Experience

I have been hearing rave reviews about Intensati over the past few years. Created by Patricia Moreno, it is described as a high energy workout which fuses aerobics, martial arts, dance, yoga and strength conditioning, all performed in combination with spoken affirmations. Truth be told, the spoken affirmation aspect never appealed to me and I always shied away from trying it out. Last month, however, personal trainer and Intensati leader Jolynn Baca invited me to come and try out a new class she has created called Intensati for Mommies.

Patricia Moreno; Source

This class stems from Jolynn's passion for creating a community for moms, dads, and Intensati lovers in general. While this class has "Mommies" in its title it is open to all. In fact, at the class I attended there was even a new daddy in attendance. She has collaborated with Lucky Lil Darlings who provide childcare while the parents workout. Classes take place weekly and at the end of every month are followed by a 30-minute talk by invited guests. Acupuncturist Alyssa Proujansky, L.Ac. was present at the class I attended and she spoke about the benefits of acupuncture for increased fertility, ease of delivery and recovery. A representative from Blue Print Cleanse was also in attendance and distributed juice samples after the class.

But coming back to the actual workout. The main question I always had was whether this was a good workout or not. The verdict? Absolutely! The exercises were very aerobic. There was a lot of jumping, squatting, side shuffling, and punching, so my heart rate was elevated throughout. Spoken affirmations like "I will release the old and I will embrace the new" and "When I radiate I attract" punctuated each exercise. At first I felt odd reciting them but as I got into the swing of the class my up-tightness started to wear off a little and I started to enjoy myself. We practiced each move with its associated affirmation and then pieced the whole sequence together at the end. 

Overall, it was a lot of fun. Jolynn is a petite bundle of energy and it was precisely that energy that charged the rest of the class. As I watched her I couldn't help but think how important an instructor is for a class such as this. The goal is to integrate body and mind and create your most empowered self. You certainly cannot be shy and teach Intensati. Music choice was great. There was a good amount of instrumental music which flowed well with the exercises.

Ripley Grier Studio

Classes currently take place at the Ripley Grier Studio on the Upper west side but check out Jolynn's blog for the most up-to-date schedule. 

Dislaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I received a complimentary class and a gift bag from Jolynn Baca and samples from Blueprint Cleanse but was not obligated to provide a review

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Weekend Warrior Flywheel Sports Experience

Happy New Year all! Hope everyone had did something fun to ring in the new year! This year, like every year, I sat curled up on my couch, watched the ball drop, kissed my husband while whispering "Happy New Year" (the baby was finally asleep, hence the whispering this year), and then promptly fell asleep. I'm boring and I'll be the first to admit it.

I did start off 2012 with a bang though. The 60-minute Weekend Warrior spin class with Alison Cohen at Flywheel Sports was how I started my day today. Do you think you are a strong spinner? Well, take this class and then we'll chat! I certainly thought I was strong going in. I went in thinking that it was going to be like a regular spin class, just 15 minutes longer, and so I also dragged in my newbie spinner husband, eager to utilize that additional quarter hour to burn off those extra holiday calories.

Each bike at Flywheel has an attached torqboard that riders can use to control their resistance and speed. Alison was relentless. When she had us wind our resistance upto 30 (note: a regular class usually hovers around 20 or below) and asked us to sprint to 100 rotations per minute (close to impossible for me!) within the first few minutes I thought she was crazy and it dawned on me that I had clearly misunderstood what this class was going to be about. The name of the class couldn't be clearer. This was a spin class for warriors! For the next hour I panted and puffed my way through those endless climbs and near-impossible sprints. Once it was over though, as is always the case, I felt great. Alison was sweet beyond words and I shall be back. The best part? Alison had mini-prizes for the riders that "won" the torqboard challenge (who racked up the highest numbers) but then also gave out Luna Bars to the rest of us mere mortals! A classy touch! Was fun finally meeting fellow blogger Maggie also!

Question: Did you workout today? What was your first workout of 2012?