When Natasha from Physique 57 first contacted me about taking a class at their Beverly Hills studio, I admit–I was a bit skeptical. Having fallen in love with Pilates at my old San Francisco studio, and after jumping on and off the Bikram bandwagon, and more recently settling into a more varied yoga practice along with my horseback riding, I was beginning to feel that my days of fitness experimentation were gone. Now I happily realize that I needed to try something new. It was time to shake up my routine. I’m so glad I tried Physique 57 on Saturday because it reminded me of two important things: (1) it’s both physically and mentally healthy to try new things and to keep an open mind to new workout styles; you never know what you’ll find out about yourself in the process, and (2) my current workouts don’t make my legs quiver and shake with effort like the beginning class I took at Physique 57. Yeah, make no mistake. It was tough.
So, what’s the story with Physique 57? I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at the utility of it all. Precise movements in a short about of time–57 minutes. No reformer equipment; just a white ball, a barre, hand weights, a band, your body weight, and upbeat music. We practiced in a small carpeted room and everyone wore socks. Reading about it beforehand, it sounded so simple and cozy. How hard could it be?
Very hard. Though we did some upper body weights, the class mostly targeted lower body and core toning, which explains why my thighs are so sore two days later. Like my old Pilates studio, the music was upbeat and thoughtfully selected to be synchronized with our movements. Both the receptionist and my instructor were welcoming despite my slight tardiness. Our instructor, Kyle, was wonderful about corrections and encouragement. I especially like how he casually snagged the 3lb. weights from me and slipped 5lb weights in my hands. Sneaky thang! With a great eye for detail, he corrected our movements when necessary, offered a number of more challenging modifications (“You can finish this way, or add this move for an extra challenge!”) and was a wonderful encourager with a broad smile and great energy. And believe me, when your legs are burning like mine were, encouragement is welcome!
Although the receptionist and instructor had wonderfully approachable demeanours, only one of the other class members actually flashed a smile in my direction. I think she was also a first or second-timer, and we both sort of exchanged mutual smiles of crazed agony at the leg-burning/shaking/quivering sensations. However, the other class members seemed to be so single-mindedly focused on their burn that it had a slightly energy-sapping effect. Our instructor was trying to keep the energy high, but I think it’s up to the students to keep up a positive, uplifting atmosphere. And the fact that only three of us cracked a smile (Kyle, me, and the other first of second-timer) was a bit of an energy-drag. Dahling, it’s Beverly Hills. Cheer up!
After class, Ian and I walked to Farm of Beverly Hills where we enjoyed brunch together. Cinnamon apple pancakes? Yes, please! We’ve also eaten at the Farm of Beverly Hills at the Grove and it is nothing like the real deal in Beverly Hills. Not surprisingly, the service and food were far superior at the Beverly Hills location.
I was hoping upon hope that Kyle wouldn’t walk by our cozy little outdoor brunch-spot, take away my pancake plate, and slip 5 pound weights in my hands. Thankfully, this did not happen.
I’m so glad that I tried Physique 57. If we lived closer to the studio, I would attend classes regularly. But since LA freeways are, well … un-fun, I will look for something closer to home.
If you live near the New York, Hamptons, or Los Angeles studios, I highly encourage you to give it a try. You won’t be sorry, but you will be sore. Thanks again to Physique 57 for inviting me to the studio and making me feel so welcome. And for ensuring that my legs are still burning two days later.
The rest of our weekend included an office holiday party and a wonderful brunch with Lynsey and our husbands at Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks. Sweet Butter is straight out of my whimsical Pinterest dreams.
Have you tried Physique 57? What did you think?
On an unrelated note, did anyone watch CNN Heroes last night? So inspiring and definitely the best reality TV I’ve seen all year!
*In the interest of full disclosure, I want to point out that while Physique 57 paid for my first class, no one asked me to blog, write, or tweet about it.*
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.