Little did I know, back the long days before I officially moved to Philly, how fantastic blogging would be not only for my sanity moving to a new city, but how it could introduce me to new folks, and totally new things. The Philly Geek Awards, a mess of Philly Twitter-users, the glory of Yelp and Yelp Elite, and, most recently Lithe Method and a certain new workout Barbie friend, Julia!
There she is (sorry for the creepy photo… not really.)
Julia, having read my blog a bit when I mentioned I was heading to Philly, commented saying we should meet up sometime. Never one to blow an opportunity for a new friend, I jumped at the chance and, after a few emails and some money exchanged (between me and LivingSocial, not me and Julia), we had a friend date scheduled at none other than Philly’s own Lithe Method for my first ever Lithe 101 class. For a little less than $40, we got 2 101 classes, 3 other classes, AND some juice!
You know I’ve never been one to turn down juice, so before I knew it, it was time to Lithe.
“What’s the Lithe Method?” you may be wondering…. Well, according to the website:
The Lithe Method® is a revolutionary, fun, multitasking and highly effective (albeit addictive) fitness regime that burns fat, sculpts muscle and puts your butt back where it used to be…in record time.
Our intense, systematic, empowering, cardiovascular workout utilizes our proprietary Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting® Technique, Lithe’s Higher Power Band System®, our signature Barre-work, and strength training with weights and other small equipment.
I’m pretty sure my butt hasn’t strayed too far from where it used to be, but the chance to Cardio-Cheer-Sculpt was intriguing, and so I donned my workout best to meet Julia.
Ok, I’m ready.
As far as what to wear, you don’t need shoes OR socks (bare feet babes!), and I’d suggest leggings or shorts (something form fitted on the bottom) with a comfortable top that allows your arms to move a lot.
The first few steps into the Lithe sanctuary, I heard pumping music, peeked a few slim ladies doing some urban rebounding on tiny trampolines, and was shocked by the amount of Lithe “stuff” they had for sale. From juices to snacks and, more prevalent, “Lithe Gear.” Which, after a bit of checking, I realized is just dark/black tank tops and leggings with a ridiculously steep price tag.
Lithe Wear’s very own waist band… a stretchy black band for $45!
Tank tops for $105, and a pair of half-leggings, half-fishnet stockings that I’m sure will hit NYFW like a freight train in the near future.
Julia and I got to chatting, a little chit, little chat, but all the other women there were silently reading magazines and sipping on water. Not the most social bunch, but not everyone likes to make conversation pre-workout. No big.
One of the rules of Lithe is that there is no talking in class – at all. Also, no cell phones in the classroom (I like that one), no street shoes (to avoid fecal matter entering the class. Their rules actually state this.) and NO Perfume! Their 9 Rules are taken pretty seriously, it seems, so I was glad I wasn’t late!
The classroom looked like this:
At one point, my eyes were directly under that beam of sun. I felt like Simba, only blinder.
Notice those bands above the mats? Those come into play for the cheer sculpting part… We each got a mat, two 3 lb weights, and one of these great, squishy balls.
Recess? Nah, Lithe.
The first part of the class had us on our backs and, though we didn’t start right on time, we got started off hard with some ab work. Crunches, leg lifts, pilates-type stuff, occasionally utilizing the ball between our knees for bonus squeezing and work. There was some light weight lifting (but, when you’re also working the rest of your body, those 3lbs feel real heavy, real fast). Then, we went over to the bar.
Things at the bar definitely felt a lot like Pure Barre classes, squats, ballet-ish leg work, definitely got the heart pumping. However, it was during this portion that I realized, although there was music playing the whole time, it didn’t ever really feel like it “went” with the actions we were doing. This was a little distracting for someone who is fond of the Les Mills classes and Zumba, but I made it work.
The most unique part of Lithe 101 was the use of the resistance bands which hang from the ceiling. Holding onto these things without gloves (which they normally “require” though they seemed pretty lax with this rule for us newbies) was tough, and I felt my hands slipping a number of times as we pulled the bands down and around. This was the only part that felt like “cheer-sculpting” was going on but, as we started a little late, I think that we didn’t really get a full immersion into this portion of the class. Oh well, maybe next time.
Throughout the class, I wore my HRM and, in the 54 minutes of the workout, burned 468 calories. A little low for this cardio queen, and I was sort of feeling a little jipped at the end.
Then, I woke up this morning and realized how wrong I was. My abs, calves, and booty are sore in the way they haven’t been in some time. I feel a general tightness that makes me wish we’d spent a little more than a few minutes at the end stretching, but that’s probably my own fault as I could’ve done it at home if I’d wanted. You’ll have to pardon me for not rushing home right away to stretch though… See, I just can’t pass up a free pristine white shower with Aveeno products….
Color me clean.
I’ll be back soon, gotta better gauge the rest of these classes. With names like “Skinny Mini”, “Barlesque”, “Waist Not”, “A-List Abs”, “Cinch”, “Arm-istice”, “Hot Legs”, “Super Fly”, and “Tight End”, there’s gotta be a lot left to learn. Maybe I’ll finally get to live out those dreams of cheering, after all.
I never had those dreams.
Ever try Lithe?
What’s your favorite class name? I’m thinking Tight End, so far.