Shaking up my Routine: Physique 57

by Kristen at The Red Velvet Life on December 12, 2011 · 12 comments

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.*

Live inspired: 

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ian December 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I will take you to Beverly Hills any time, especially if I can eat pancakes and french toast at the Farm!! I was definitely impressed by Physique 57!! I recommend giving it a try!


2 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life December 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Thanks, love! I had so much fun with you in BH . . . let’s go back soon for P57, pancakes, and lululemon!


3 Erin @ The Grass Skirt December 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I am so jealous that you got to take the class! I have the DVDs and LOVE them. For the first time ever, I actually have a butt. It is a really fun workout. :)


4 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life December 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

OH I was curious about the DVDs, Erin! So glad to hear that you like doing it from home — I might have to order the DVDs soon! And congrats on your butt, ha!!


5 Melissa December 13, 2011 at 9:59 am

I’ve been wanting to try this, but I don’t live anywhere near a studio–I’ve heard great things about the DVDs though. I love trying new workouts. Doing this once a week with brunch after sounds amazing! Sign me up! ;)


6 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life December 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Wish we could take a class together, Melissa! If you’re ever in LA, I’d love love to go with you! I’m very curious about the DVDs — I’ll let you know how I like the at-home routine if I decide to splurge on the DVDs! xoxo


7 Lynsey Michelle December 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I love pilates for all of the reasons you set forth above. Sounds like a brilliant class. Now if I could just get my butt out to the studio… Is it bad that I am more motivated by the thought of eating those pancakes?



8 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life December 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

We should go to class together sometime, Lynsey! Orrrr just eat pancakes at Farm of BH of course! See you soon. Preferably in Beverly Hills. ;-)


9 Amy Romero January 13, 2012 at 7:24 am

Oooooh I LOVE me some Physique57. I did it almost exclusively for about a year. I still love it so I work it in every week, but I do mix up my routine with other stuff now. I’m super jealous you got to take a class in the studio! If I’m ever, ever, EVER in NYC or Beverly Hills I’ll definitely be there. Wonderful review, btw, and right on point! Nothing else I’ve done makes my legs shake like that!

New to your blog, btw, and love it, going to go try to subscribe now :)



10 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life January 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hi, Amy! Thanks so much for coming by the blog and for subscribing! Yep, Physique 57 is a beast of a leg workout, right?! I’m thinking that I really need to order the DVDs because I need some more leg-strength in my life! :)


11 Amy Romero January 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

All right, finally got subscribed. I tried like 10 times and couldn’t get it to work…(using safari) so I juuuust thought to try firefox and POOF. In like flynn. Look forward to reading more! :)


12 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life January 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Oh WOW this is great to know! Thanks for telling me :) I should look into this. I think wordpress might have a new subscribe plug-in, so I might install that to make things easier. I’ll let you know. Sorry for the trouble! Happy weekend to you and your husband! :)


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