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ClassPass Atlanta: Trial Week Review

27th May 2015

For the past seven years, I’ve had a fairly healthy relationship with running, but like any great romance, it hasn’t been without its bumps. I’ve been committed, and this time, to a fault. Just a few months ago, it seemed my hip was calling it quits. Stubborn as usual, I forced myself to rest and when all else failed six weeks later, to the sports doc, I went.

The culprit? Not enough muscle to support all of those miles. A stubborn running routine and little strength training had done quite the number to my hips. Here we are another six weeks later, following many a date with PT instead of the trails, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. A much stronger version of myself.

As much as I’d like to stick to my cost-effective running relationship, my glutes and abs disagree. It turns out the whole saga was just the push I (and my frugal bank account) needed to give ClassPass a try.

One hour warning! What class are you signing up for at noon?

A photo posted by ClassPass (@classpass) on

I’m one week into my ClassPass trial and I could not be more in love with the program. I’m not one for a gym (that machine does what again?) and easily find myself getting bored with one style of fitness class. ClassPass has done away with that.

The premise, and the price, are quite simple. Here in Atlanta, you’ll pay $79 for a month of unlimited classes at unlimited studios around town. The only catch? You can only visit each studio (or group like a Pure Barre or FlyWheel) three times in a month. A catch that equates to more spontaneity and less comfort.

As my sore butt can only handle a hand full of classes in a week, I’ve enlisted my former roommate, Kate to weigh in on reviews of what we’ve tried so far. Give us a month and hopefully we’ll have some favorites, but for now, we love just about everything.

Kate and I at every ClassPass class this week

VibeRide Midtown

Class: Rhythm Ride

A spin class with a live DJ spinning R&B from the 90’s? Yes please. This didn’t take much convincing and I don’t think I have ever sweat that much during a half marathon. The staff was incredibly welcoming to us newcomers and we felt right at home. It also helped to have some spirited regulars in the audience.

The interesting catch in this class was that it also combined light upper body movements with resistance on the bike for a full body workout. The only downside was as the class moved so quickly (and I myself am not the world’s most coordinated), I found myself wondering at times if my form was a hot mess.

This one will definitely take some getting used to, but I’m excited to go back. I’ve heard similar reviews from FlyWheel, so that’s on the list as well. The small class size and friendly staff of VibeRide certainly gave it bonus points.

Svelte Brookhaven

Class: Signature Barre 

After working on the small muscle groups in my abs and glutes nearly exclusively during physical therapy, I knew I’d love this class. I had only taken one barre class in the past, so this was a welcomed refresher.

The studio was beautiful and again, Celia leading this class could not have been more welcoming. I’m not sure why I expected to be treated like a serial studio switcher with ClassPass, but so far I’ve been dead wrong on that point, and wonderfully so.

Again, as a newbies to the studio (Kate joining me for this class) we were incredibly impressed with Celia’s attention to detail and recommendations to ensure each exercise was reaching its maximum potential. This one is in running distance from my house, so I may have to invest in extra classes on the side. Though, Pink Barre and Pure Barre have also gotten rave reviews, so I’ll be visiting those soon as well.

From here, I’ll hand it over to Kate to tell you a little about herself and the ClassPass classes she’s tried so far.

Before I dive in you, a little background on my fitness history. I have been an aspiring runner for almost 10 years now and LOVE weight training. I was never really into the “fitness class thing”. In fact, all signs pointed me in the opposite direction

  • With a crazy work/travel schedule, it was almost impossible to commit to anything regularly
  • I get bored…QUICKLY. Running seems dull today? Cool, I’ll hit the weights. Not feeling the elliptical? Sweet, maybe Kaitlyn’s up for a running date
  • I need to be challenged. My body and my mind need to be pushed, and I thought I needed to be in control to make sure that happened

As you may notice I am speaking in past tense. Kaitlyn and ClassPass converted me. From hot pavement and smelly weight rooms to yoga mats and hard wood dance floors, I’m hooked. With so many classes to choose from it’s easy to find time, impossible to get bored and I have been challenged by more barre instructors than I’d care to admit.

Stellar Bodies Buckhead

Class: SPX Total Body

My first thought when reading about the Megaformer heads immediately to something out of Transformers. The pictures are reminiscent of a torture device and the website proclaims, “a challenging workout that may not be suitable for beginners. Come prepared to work hard!” I’m in.

Memorial Day weekend kept the class was small, but with only 8-10 machines, the class size is always limited. This lead to plenty of one-on-one time with an instructor, ensuring beginners, like me, keep the correct form.

What a humbling workout. I lift weights and run, shouldn’t be too hard right? Wrong. The funky gliding machine activated muscles I didn’t even know I had. The instructor was welcoming, encouraging and challenging, and when I couldn’t complete an exercise (believe me, I tried) she provided alternatives so I could continue to push myself.

Stellar Bodies not only helps you build muscle and core strength, but also challenges your mental toughness. It was unique, fun, engaging and rewarding. However, heed the warning. If you’re a fitness beginner (or took a little fitness vacay) build up some strength and then check out SPX Total Body to push you further.

Hopefully after all of that fitness rambling, we’ve convinced you to lace up (or buy some Nike Studio Wraps) and get started with ClassPass. While they regularly run a free 10 day trial, (which is what I used to get started) until the end of May sign up with this link and you’ll get $50 off of your first month. That makes it $29-$49 for your first month, depending on your home city. Oh and I’ll get a credit too, so it’s a win-win for both of us. Whatcha waiting for?

Interested in following our journey? Tried ClassPass and want to send us your class recommendations? Comment here or find Kate and I on Twitter: @KateLarson12, @KaitlynDennihy.

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Ski Whitefish

20th May 2015

It may be almost June and more than 90 degrees outside in Atlanta right now, but we’re still reliving snow over here in the White household (and it seemed an appropriate break from the heat).

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So while it may be months before we see powder again, enjoy this video P put together from our winter trip to Whitefish, Montana earlier this year. He kind of killed it and it deserves its own post.

Sure, it’s long, but can you blame those views?! I even make a few seldom appearances. Being in the back of the pack has its perks, less time on camera and more time to soak up the sunshine. Because it certainly wasn’t due to my lack of skills to keep up with these crazy kids. ;)

Mr. Kelly and I circa 1990

The Important Places

13th May 2015

It’s a joke in our family that my grandpa was part gypsy. Never one to stay in one city, one job or stick to one story in a single sitting, Edward Kelly was a man of adventure and of narration. Through his seven children and too many to count grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he most certainly passed along a mix of wonder and disregard for contentment. However, it wasn’t until recently that I had a moment of reflection for his disposition in my own life.

Mr. Kelly and I circa 1990

Mr. Kelly and I circa 1990

For weeks now, I have been on the hunt for the perfect destination for a trip for P and I to take later this year. To call it a case of wanderlust would be a vast understatement. It’s almost as if I’ve convinced myself that the countries of the world will slowly disappear if we don’t choose the correct ones, all in the right order.

P has reminded how silly this sounds on multiple counts and as per usual, I’ve fought it. As if right on cue this week, that gypsy of mine stepped in. Mr. Kelly sent me a series of these moments that my uncle-in-law would call God moments. A single moment where time drags its feet to a halt, clarity rushes inward and you know without a doubt someone is screaming for you to pay close attention, right at this very moment.

Whether it was truly my Grandpa or my brain finally coming to terms with the “calm yourself down” notion, I can’t be sure, but let’s just say I’m a sap for these types of moments when they happen, and I believe that they truly do.

Cue the God moment.

Kelly moment. Moment of clarity. Whatever you feel like calling them for your own personal well being.

This past Thursday night, my brother arrived in town. For those who don’t know, he’s away in Chapel Hill, NC being a super smart astrophysicist. For realsies. I work to discover things on the Internet and he works to discover new solar systems. An even sibling playing field, but I digress. What this boils down to is that we no longer see each other as often as I’d like.

Erik and I likely searching for dinosaur bones

Erik and I likely searching for dinosaur bones, or pre-historic shark teeth

Thursday night, Erik gets to town. P and I fight Atlanta traffic for what seemed like hours to get to my parents’ house for dinner. As we are sitting around the table (four siblings, two parents, one new husband), likely arguing about why Amanda didn’t make her desert sooner and now it’s melting, I noticed a look exchanged between my parents.

A look that took the lust right out of wanderlust, exchanged the a for an o and focused right in on the wonder part.

It was in that quick glance between two people that I understood. The most important places, trips and adventures in the world pale in comparison to the company we keep. That one hit me loud and clear. It was in that moment that I realized, for my parents there was no greater adventure than watching a rare adventure around a dinner table unfold.

These are the important places, because as it turns out, gypsies are more than just nomads. They are a community, a tribe and a connection that forces us to forget that adventure isn’t so much of a place, an action or even a destination.

Adventure is a state of being.

A state of joy, of content, of challenge and of support. An adventure that if we’re lucky enough, we’ll seek out every single day. I needed that reminder this week. Thanks Mr. Kelly.

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PS, if you haven’t seen it, please take a moment to watch the short film, The Important Places. It was the icing on the cake and the push I needed to get these thoughts on to digital paper this week.