go west! ATL's (insanely awesome) west coast workout

Earlier this week, I mentioned being in a bit of a workout funk - tired of trying so hard to come up with workouts and really needing something to push me.

Ask and you shall receive.

I recently had the pleasure of trying Atlanta's West Coast Workout, which has been on my ATL Workout Bucket list for a while now. The class did not disappoint - it was both insanely hard and so much fun. Tammy, the high-energy creator and instructor, is passionate about fitness and mental wellness, which is essential in my book. She's all about going beyond just a good workout class to really provide a full experience for her clients and help them live their healthiest life. 

 All of the classes are guaranteed to be full-body workouts and include cardio and strength training. 

I tried her West Coast Barre class, which is nothing like a normal barre class. It was yoga and Pilates infused, but also offered some serious cardio and core conditioning. We mainly used the barre for balance and flexibility. I often get frustrated during standard barre classes because they (1) aren't hard enough, (2) don't make me sweat or sore and (3) feel like you have to have gone a bunch in order to really do it well.

Not this class.

(1) It was so hard I almost couldn't finish. For real. 
(2) I did it Sunday and was sore until Wednesday. 
(3) I could follow completely - the instruction was clear and, while I know that I will become more proficient as I do it more (as with anything), I didn't feel like I was missing out because I couldn't quite tuck right, didn't know the terminology, etc. 

Not only that, but the space is great. It's swanky enough to make you feel like it's worth paying for, but intense enough to make you work. I can't wait to go back for another class and definitely recommend trying it.  I went to the Buckhead location, but would also love try it in Sandy Springs, because it's right by my office. You can see the schedules for both locations here.

Be sure to let me know if you try it!

all images via giltcity - which is, sadly, sold out!

And we suspend! TRX: the q+d

Let me tell you a story about how last week I tried a TRX Suspension class on Wednesday and today is the first day my abs haven't been sore. For real. 

In my defense, I did have some stand up paddle boarding and kayaking in there, which may have delayed the un-sore-ifying process. But either way, what I have discovered is: TRX is hard.

After blogging about how I wanted to try it, my friend Taylor mentioned she and her husband do a suspension class a few times a week. I now know that she is basically a superhero.

We went to Balance Total Fitness in Kirkwood. The class was only 30 minutes, but she made the most of every single one of those minutes. From deep squats to push ups and planks to dominating our obliques, it was amazing. During the workout, I knew it was hard, but it felt manageable in a sweaty sort of way. The minute we stopped, though, I was suddenly dead - and the next day came the soreness. 

And with this, I strongly encourage anyone looking for a crazy good workout to run - don't walk - to your nearest TRX studio and start suspending. If you're like me and like to know what you're getting into before a workout, here's my quick and dirty:
  • You can wear whatever you want, but I liked having my yoga crops on. Spandex are probably best since you can spend a good amount of time with your legs in the air.
  • It's mostly strength, with a bit of cardio. Expect to sweat. It's not one of those workouts where you need to supplement with a run prior to going. 
  • You don't need anything - no mat, no gloves - you really wouldn't even have to have shoes. It's a workout, simplified!
And now, I am seriously considering getting a TRX band of my own for at home use. Nothing like falling hard and fast, eh?

Happy suspending! 

Atlanta {workout} Bucket List

best workouts in Atlanta - a list

I don't always prescribe to the notion that you should try anything once, but when it comes to working out, I most certainly do. While nothing compares to my trusty running shoes (a la the BeltLine), what I like even better is my running shoes + a great class. 

I've tested out quite a few of them, and lately I've been asked for recommendations on what my favorites are. So, without further do, my Atlanta Workout Bucket List

The quick and dirty on what I've tried, what I've loved, what I haven't loved and what I need to try...

  1. Atlanta Hot Yoga  Great for super-hot yoga. I love Todd's West Coast Power Flow Class. 
  2. Decatur Yoga and Pilates Another great studio - and they have $35 unlimited for your first month when you sign up. It gets really hot in there. 
  3. Balance Yoga This is my favorite studio in Atlanta and where I have spent the most time. I love Jennifer and Caroline's Vinyasa Flow classes the most. They'll leave you super sore the next day.
  4. Tough Love Yoga - I didn't actually have a great experience here, but everyone else in the world seems to love it. I think I need to give it another shot.
  5. Studio Lotus
  6. Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga - dying to try this one. Caroline, from Balance, teaches it. 
  7. West Coast Workout - tried it, loved it. Will leave you happy and sore. Two of my favorite things. 
  8. Exhale Yoga

  9. FlyWheel - I think I have made my feelings on FlyWheel abundantly clear. 
  10. LA Fitness Buckhead Spin with April - After Flying, LA Fitness doesn't really compare. Unless you go to April's class. She will kill you and you will like it. I promise.

  11. Blast 900 - As amazing as the website makes it seem. You will sweat, you will be sore and you will burn a load of calories. 
  12. Piedmont Park Boot Camp - such a great way to get outside. We did an awesome track workout + strength
  13.  VeriFit
  14. TRX Witzlib (Suspension Class) 
  15. Chaos Conditioning 
  16. Body Solutions (Body Blitz)
  17. Urban Active Calorie Crusher

  18. CoreFitness
  19. X3 Sports  Tried the Kickboxing class in Inman Park. It was great and I was so sore! Next up is the FastTrack class. 
  20. Atlanta Kick I was silly and went when I had a stress fracture. Still a great workout, but I need to go back now that my foot is fully functional. 
  21. Bangkok Boxing

  22. Pure Barre - Absolutely loved it. It was amazing for toning. 
  23. Fly Barre - this was good, but not as good as FlyWheel or Pure Barre. A nice workout, but it won't leave you dead the way the other two will.

    Just Fun
  24. Atlanta Rocks Climbing
  25. SkyZone Trampoline 
  26. LA Fitness Brookhaven Zumbamore fun than it is a workout, but always nice to mix it up

So there you have it. My thoughts on the Atlanta workout scene. Don't forget a lot of places offer your first class free or discounted, and if you go to Lululemon, they'll give you free yoga passes around the city, as well as offer free in-store yoga each week. And that, my friends, is how you stay healthy, wealthy and wise in Atlanta. 

Happy fitnessing!

PS: Am I missing anything? Tell me, tell me below! To share is to love!


Never one to turn down the opportunity to try a new workout, I've been semi-stalking, mainly just dreaming, about Stand Up Paddleboarding (Sup) ever since my aunt, Mit, emailed me that she'd tried it and it was the best core workout she'd ever experienced.

The ocean? Plus a core workout? She needed not say more. I was hooked.

When we went to the beach last weekend Sup boards were everywhere and I decided I was going to have to try it. Less interested in renting one and more determined to borrow someone else's, Emily and I set our sights on making a Sup boarding buddy. Sunday night, with only a few short hours until sunset to go, we find ourself one kind sir with two YOLO boards.

We spent our last few hours on the beach balancing on the water and I can safely say that if I had the opportunity to do so, I could become pretty obsessed with it. We attempted yoga on them, which was definitely more successful for Emily than it was for me, but I did manage a backbend. Good enough, right!?

I'm currently trying to decide if using one on the Chattahoochee would work. I mean, you can Shoot it, so why not Sup it?

Photos by Emily McNider