Update Birthday Giveaway!

I have a couple updates on my Birthday giveaway! Exhale heard I was having my blog’s Birthday and they decided to give me a present to give to you! I can give away 5 DVDs, which means 5 winners! Also when I was on Amazon today I discovered the new Core Fusion DVD: Core Fusion Leaned and Tone comes out on May 4th and you can pre-order it on Amazon!!

You have the chance of winning one of the following DVDS:

  • Core Fusion Body Sculpt (2)
  • Core Fusion: Pure Abs and Arms
  • Core Fusion Pilates Plus
  • Core Fusion Thighs & Glutes

All you have to do to enter is:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you would like this DVD (which one you would like) or what your fitness goals are.

2. Be sure you’re following me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway @kymarie13 (make sure you include the link to this post).. make sure to include my Twitter name so I know you did

3. Subscribe to my email updates, it will email you as soon as I put up a new post. You will find a link to subscribe for email updates on the upper left side of my blog (if you already have no worries, I know who you are :) )

4. Write about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook profile and include the link to this post…and then comment on this post letting me know!

5. Become a Fan of Shape Up in the City on facebook and invite others to be fans

You can enter EACH way, EACH DAY till Friday Feb. 26 at 6:00 PM. The more times you enter the better chance you have. Just be sure to leave me a comment every time you enter; I’ll select a random winner from the comments! If you don’t want to risk your luck, you can also buy the DVD from amazon but free is so much better :) Thank you for reading my blog, I am having so much fun writing it! Good luck!

Review: Exhale Spa

So I have reviewed almost all the classes but I haven’t told you about Exhale Spa.

“Exhale is a new breed of spa – merging the paths of mind and body wellbeing and fulfilling the need for an experience that improves and transforms lives in one environment. The core of exhale is a unique and talented team of individuals with a genuine passion for helping people bridge the mind and body to improve overall wellbeing. With plans to grow their well being paradigm to 20 spas over the next few years, exhale currently operates spa and studios in carefully selected upscale locations in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Turks + Caicos, and has several additional spas in development.”

Exhale Spa is a unique kind of gym, but I wouldn’t even call it that. It is a Spa that offers Core Fusion and Yoga classes that focus on your wellbeing. There is no fitness equipment so don’t expect to find that there. They offer four different Core Fusion classes: Core Fusion, Core Fusion Sport, Core Fusion Yoga, and Core Fusion Cardio (coming soon). They offer a variety of different yoga classes. The one thing that I really like in New York is all of their teachers rotate locations so if you have a favorite teacher you do not have to worry about going to one location to find them. In New York Exhale has 6 locations: Central Park South (Midtown), Upper East Side, Soho, Gansevoort, Manhattan House, and Bridgehampton.

Central Park South: Is their main location. It has a full spa with two studios; a yoga studio and a Core Fusion Studio. It also has beautiful locker rooms with showers and all the amenities you would need after class including their GRN products. I heard it can get really crowded on the weekends in their core fusion classes.

Soho: Is a temporary location, they should be moving into a new studio in about a year. It only has one studio and no locker rooms. But there is a bathroom you can change in. It offers all the Core Fusion classes and a couple of yoga classes. Tip: The 5:30pm and 6:35pm classes are the busiest classes during the week so make sure to reserve a spot early. On the weekends the busiest classes are 11am.

Gansevoort: Is located in the meatpacking district in the lower level of the Gansevoort Hotel. It has one studio, spa, and locker rooms. The locker room is pretty small but it has showers and lockers to put your stuff in. The studio sadly has no windows. It offers both yoga and core fusion classes. They do not offer as many classes as other locations because it is a smaller studio. In the summer they offer classes on the rooftop of the Gansevoort, I didn’t get to try last summer but I heard it was amazing so next summer I will be checking it out.

As for the Upper East Side and Bridgehampton I have not been able to visit those locations but as soon as I do I will let you know what I think. The Manhattan House location is part of an Apartment building and is only offered to residents.

As for pricing it is pretty expensive. In New York they offer a couple of different options. For all access to all locations and unlimited yoga and core fusion classes it is $285 a month (3 month commitment) or $265 a month with a 12 month contract. They offer a special price for unlimited classes at the Soho location (because it is a temporary studio) $170 a month (3 month commitment) or $150 a month with a 12 month contract. If you would like access to all downtown locations (Soho and Gansevoort) it is $205 a month. You can also buy single or multiple class packages and if you are a member of Rue La La they offer specials for Exhale every couple of months so keep an eye out for that. If you are not a member of Rue La La or don’t know what it is and want more information or to be a member e-mail me and I will invite you!

The special the offer for new students is an unlimited week of Core Fusion and Yoga at any location for $40. It is a great deal if you have never tried a class because one class is $30. For more information on classes or spa services visit their website www.exhalespa.com.

  • Pros: Amazing classes, friendly/helpful staff, multiple locations, I can see the results since I have been here
  • Cons: Very expensive, no cardio machines or other equipment, only offers Core Fusion classes and yoga

I have been a member since June 2009 and I am very happy here. Everyone knows me by name and if I ever have any concerns or questions about my progress they are always there to help. It has been a great experience and I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t.

Images from Exhale.

Does Muscle Weigh more than Fat?

I took a Core Fusion class last night and after someone asked me “How much weight have you lost while doing Core Fusion?” I explained to her that I haven’t lost much weight but I have lost 4 inches on each thigh and a couple inches everywhere else. Not only did I lose inches but I am much toner than I used to be and my clothes fit better. Core Fusion helps you gain lean muscle mass which is better for your body. I told her muscle weighs more than fat and after I said that I started to wonder if that was actually true…

I have always been an advocate of measuring yourself rather than weighing yourself. Losing inches to me is more important than losing weight. I always used the saying muscle weighs more than fat, and guess what I found out… muscle does NOT weigh more than fat. 1 pound of muscle weighs 1 pound and 1 pound of fat weighs 1 pound.  A pound is a pound. Here is the difference between muscle and fat, a pound of fat is much more bulky and take up more room than a pound of muscle. Muscle is leaner and does not take up as much room. So in terms of volume fat will take up more room and will make you look more bulky.

The next thing I learned is fat does not turn into muscle. You can lose fat and gain muscle but fat can not just turn into muscle. Now the reason why I think that measuring yourself makes more sense than weighing yourself is because “the scale only tells you your entire body weight. It does not tell you the composition of that weight. And it is body composition that really matters.” says William R. Sukala, MS, CS, a personal trainer. He also said “Because a pound of muscle burns more fat than a pound of fat, even at rest, by increasing your lean muscle tissue mass, you’re helping your body burn more calories. If you only have a small amount of weight to lose, then you may feel like the weight training is not helping you move down on the scale. In fact, the number may even go up, but you will look thinner. This is due to an increase in lean body mass (muscle, bone, blood volume) and a decrease in body fat. In other words, even if the scale doesn’t change much, you will probably see a difference in how your clothes fit.”

If you have never taken a body composition you should see if you gym offers body composition testing, to get an idea of where your body is. This will not only help you understand your body better but help you choose workouts that will work for you. Martica Heaner, M.A., M.Ed., for MSN Health & Fitness says “If someone is working out and not losing weight, or not losing as much as they want—or if they’re actually gaining weight—the first place to look is the type and amount of exercise. Weight loss boils down to burning more calories than you normally use in a day. Cardio exercise burns more calories than muscle-toning or the average resistance-training workout. So dialing down the stretching and core work to just once or twice a week, and replacing it with more cardio should produce more weight loss. And the more minutes the better when it comes to weight loss.”

So now you know, muscle does not weigh more than fat and if you already knew thanks for reading my blog!

Images from Mad Brew Labs and Cambridge Charlie.

Review: Body Enlightening at Exhale Spa

Today I decided to try a Massage and Body Therapy at Exhale Spa with Fred Devito. The massage therapy I tried is called Body Enlightening. It is a 60 minute session that is a mix of Thai massage, a little acro yoga, stretching and relaxation. The sessions are held at the Exhales Spa locations at Central Park South and the Upper East Side. You should wear comfortable clothing like yoga pants and a tank top. If you are like me, I had no idea what Thai Yoga massage or acro yoga was, so I was in for a complete surprise this morning. But it was the most amazing massages I have had.

I found out that Thai massage is also called “Thai yoga massage, because the therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. Many people say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work. Muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are also used during treatment. Thai massage is both relaxing and energizing.” Acro yoga is partner yoga.

After a 60 minute session with Fred I felt refreshed and so much better. My muscles had held so much tension from all the Core Fusion and exercise classes I have done, this was the perfect complement to everything I had done to my body. Why would you do a Body Enlightening session and not a normal table massage? Body Enlightening is really good for athletes, dancers, or anyone that does a lot of fitness classes, running ect, that puts a lot of strain on your body. Since the massage is done in clothing it gives you more freedom to move and stretch than a table massage. In the past I would always go get a deep tissue massage because I thought that would help relieve a lot of the tension I held, but every time I left disappointed. It was extremely relaxing, don’t get me wrong, but they didn’t get to where all my tension was and Body Enlightening did. The best way to describe it is, assisted  stretching, similar to what they do after a personal training session but much more focused.

If you workout a lot or have taken a lot of Core Fusion classes, I recommend that you try a Body Enlightening session, you will leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. It was funny after my session with Fred I asked him “So why do you call it Body Enlightening?” And he said “Well how do you feel right now?” My answer, ” Enlightened and refreshed”. There really wasn’t a better way to describe it :).  For more information on Body Enlightening visit Exhale’s website. One session costs $155 which is very comparable to any massage you can get. Believe me, it is worth it. One note to think about if you decide to try, you must be able to let yourself go, do not hold any tension.

Images from Minnesota Gal.

Bring Core Fusion to You

So you read my blog about Core Fusion and how much I love it but your not anywhere near an Exhale location. That is not a problem Fred Devito and Elisabeth Halfpapp have made DVD’s so you can get the same results at home. During my first visit to Exhale I left with the DVD because I didn’t know when I would be back in New York to take the class again. I bought the Core Fusion: Body Sculpt.

The Body Sculpt DVD is divided into 5 different segments, just like the class, each section last about 10 minutes. The DVD is just like the class except for a few minor things. The one thing I do miss is the fun music they play during class so if you need a little more upbeat music I would suggest playing some of your own music in the background to keep you motivated. Equipment you will need is: a set of 3 pound weights (4 pounds is you want something heavier for biceps), and the back of a chair. If you have a band for stretching that is also a great idea. You do not need too much space for this workout.

If strength training is not part of your routine and you do not know where to get started, this is your answer. I promise if  you do this 3-4 times a week you will start to see changes in your body. I even challenge you to do the 30 Core Fusion Challenge. Do a Core Fusion DVD 4-6 times a week for 30 days and you will start to see amazing changes in your body. I can finally do straight legged push ups!

The DVD even comes with a free class so if you make it out to New York, give me a call and I will go take a class with you. Core Fusion has made 4 DVDs and they have more coming out but Amazon sells Exhale Core Fusion Collection for $32.49 which is an amazing deal. You will get 3 of the DVDs in one.

  1. Core Fusion Body Sculpt
  2. Core Fusion Pilates Plus
  3. Core Fusion Thighs and Glutes

Or if you don’t want to get all three you can order the separate DVDs on Amazon for $10.49.