For awhile, I broke up with Classpass.
As any loyal reader of this blog already knows (~ya tu sabes~), I L O V E SoulCycle and I would go every day, if they had a monthly membership option. But, alas, they don’t offer that pricing, and I can only justify so0o0o many $35 ad hoc classes.
So, for now, I am back to my fitness roots of daily Classpass social experiments/sweat excavations (and supplementing with Soul whenever possible! If you follow my Instagram-turned-quasi-Snapchat, you will know that it’s still quite often).
Classpass in Miami is $109/month for former members ($99 with my code!) and $19 for 2 weeks for brand new members. Lace up your Nike Frees and run TF after that deal, because it is amazing. Most of the classes listed here are $20-35 for ONE class if you’re not on Classpass. But this $19 offer is unlimited (with the consideration of the perpetual 3 classes per studio limit).
Click HERE for my code; it’s never too late to start working on your ~summer bod~, especially here in Miami.
NuShape- Megaformer Pilates
I’ve been trying to workout every day, sometimes twice a day, so I was feeling pretty confident about my ~fitness skills~ before walking into class. However, my false perceptions of my physical capabilities were shattered roughly 2 minutes into the NuShape workout.
Essentially it is the same “Pilates on crack” approach as The Hamptons/NYC’s popular SLT Studio, which has been frequented by celebs like Chrissy Teigen and Sofia Vergara.
With locations in Downtown Miami and Key Biscayne, NuShape brings Sebastian Lagree’s patented Megaformer machine to the 305, elevating your run-of-the-mill lunges and seated twists to disturbing levels of difficulty.
It also introduces new fitness contortions which test your balance, strength, and humility.
The mermaid, dancing bear, and teaser may sound like coy, whimsical little tricks, but trust me, you will be sweating and swearing after just a few repetitions.
My class was just me and one other woman, so I tried to keep things conservative and only dropped F-bombs internally. This proved challenging as I valiantly struggled not to fall flat on my face, while laying horizontally and gazing straight at the floor during some sort of sadistic pushup variation on the unsteady machine, perpetually on the verge of an emergency rhinoplasty, as my arms shook unpredictably.
This NuShape Megaformer class ended up being a great example of how Classpass can save you so much. Most “duet” Pilates classes, which are 2 students for every 1 teacher, cost anywhere from $80-125 per session in Miami. This one was free with my membership!
Being in such a small class was difficult because I couldn’t get away with any form-related lapses (and there were easily a hundred, which I had to correct). But on the positive side, I definitely maximized every minute of my medieval torture sesh.
[Not sure why these random Megaformer freaks look so happy… This is painful!*]
The instructor played great music (Beyoncé? Yas. Fifth Harmony? Yas. Drake? YAS.) and the studio itself was really chic and clean.
I hated every second that I was on the machine.
That said, I am going back this weekend, and looking forward to it (for now).
House of Movement-Cadillac and Reformer Pilates
House of Movement is located in a beautiful, large home in Brickell, just about 10 minutes walking from my apartment. They focus on being a center for full mind/body wellness, offering an eclectic course selection spanning ballet, Crossfit, water yoga, meditation, ~sexy chair dance~, self-defense, and chakra alignment, to name a few.
Thus far, I have only taken pilates classes, with two different instructors. Both classes were an hour long, starting on the Cadillac and finishing on the Reformer. Each time, class was challenging in the sense that there was a laser focus on proper alignment, whether we were intent on rolling down one vertebrae at a time or placing the feet exactly on a specific spot. One instructor spent a full minute chastising us when she felt like the whole class wasn’t paying attention (sidenote: the majority of the class was comprised of 53 year old Lululemon-clad Coral Gables moms, not, like, truant Hot Topic teens, so I am pretty sure everyone was trying to do it right, but okay.)
That class was kind of hard to get through, because there was a lot of pressure to pay attention and execute the movements correctly. However, I wasn’t sweating/swearing/dying most of the time, and I would guess that I burned about 250 calories in the hour (vs. ~600-1000 in 45 mins, for SoulCycle and Flywheel). It was more of a mental challenge than physical one. I liked the second instructor a lot better (and it ended up being another accidental “duet” class, with just one other classmate), though it was more toward the advanced stretching scale of the spectrum, versus hardcore HIIT sweating.
That said, I am planning to return and use my third Classpass credit soon. I liked the overall ambiance and vibe of the house, and the stretching/alignment approach provides a good counterbalance for all my spinning.
It’s nearly impossible to address Flywheel, without also mentioning SoulCycle. Created by one of SoulCycle’s former founders, and now its chief competition, Flywheel incorporates less of the dance choreography of Soul, and emphasizes more of your performance statistics (chiefly resistance and speed), which are shown to the whole class via the ranked Torqboard.
[My first ever Flywheel class on January 28. My score was a 178. Now, my highest score for a 45 min class is a 296 #progress]
Since I started spinning in January, I’ve noticed a lot more choreography has crept into Flywheel, which I personally love. Some people opt not to do the tapbacks and side to side and four corners, ignoring the teacher’s instructions so that they can maximize their score and be at the top of the Torqboard. This really annoys me and feels like cheating, but whatever… have fun doggedly grinding away in the corner while the rest of us dance. I’m happy to be in third or fourth place these days, since I do like to follow the structure of the class and make it more dance-y (while still burning 700-1000 calories per class).
As mentioned, I gravitate toward a really fun, rap/hip hop/EDM cardio party of a class, so I usually only take Flybeats. This is Flywheel’s ~SoulCycle~ imitation, where you ride to the rhythm and are less focused on hitting a certain RPM, though its sometimes called out to give you an idea of where to be. I also like Flybeats because it omits the arms section of class. In an effort to differentiate itself from Soul, Flywheel uses 2 long weighted bars (similar to batons) instead of hand weights, for their traditional arms part of the workout. I find the long bars to be cumbersome and awkward, and don’t enjoy arms at all.
This weekend, I did my first Fly 60 class with Dallas, adding on an additional 15 minutes to the standard 45-minute workout. It was the perfect mix of challenge and fun, and I plan to do another one soon.
I’ve taken Flywheel classes in New York, Chicago, and Florida, and found instructors in all regions to be inconsistent. Some are really great (love you Marie and Dallas!!!), while others play way too much Bon Jovi/Taylor Swift/Aerosmith, and fail to motivate me. This is one of the differences from SoulCycle for me, where I find just about every instructor to be a true ~rock star~.
[#soulpeoplearethebestpeople #ridewithreed #bigwilliestyle #jamwithjaime]
SoulCycle is also more inspirational and spiritual. One time, months ago, Rachel said in class, “this workout can be just a workout for you. Or it can be the tool that you use to transform your life”, and that always stuck with me. Some of my SoulCycle classes (7:30 Mondays with Rachel and Soeuraya‘s Orlando Pride ride and Allison‘s Monday/Wednesday 6:30 and my first class with Reed) have left an imprint on my soul and changed me from the inside out. They gave me confidence and power and community and love. That’s a feeling that I wish I could give to everyone I care about, but you have to show up and find it on a bike for yourself.
[I ❤ Rachel… And Chloe!]
I wish there were more Flywheel classes which I connect to spiritually and musically, because the brand has great package deals, compared to SoulCycle. An unlimited month of Flywheel cycling is $250 (which could be 40 classes for someone like me!) but for the same $250 price, you only get about 8 SoulCycle classes. Since it is such a great deal comparatively, I am interested to try it one month… But presently, you have to commit to 3 months for that membership at Flywheel in Florida specifically, and I am not sure where I’ll be living 2 or 3 months from now.
One other cool thing about Flywheel is that, unlike SoulCycle, you get free shoe rental ($3 at Soul) and bottled water (also $3 at Soul), if you are a member. If you come through Classpass, you still get the free shoes but have to pay for a bottled water, or you can fill up your own water bottle for free at one of the fancy water fountains.
Warning to spin virgins: you can probably skip on water for pilates or yoga if you have to but you ABSOLUTELY need water for spin. Only once have I completely forgotten water for a spin class, but the memory still haunts me like Gatsby’s green light.