Sunday, January 4, 2015

How to hit the ground running in January (#leanin2015)

Tomorrow is the start of the first real week in January, and it also happens to be my official designated day 1 for my #drop15in2015 plan.

I spent an hour or so yesterday putting together a methodical meal plan and created a full-blown meal tracking and exercise log in Excel, which is basically just what I currently log in myfitnesspal, but taken to another level.

It looks a little something like this, and it takes me through the day I leave for Paris (Sunday, March 16):

In theory, I'll weigh in every Monday, and compare current weight vs. my intended goal weight. For now, I'll be happy with 143, and if I break into the 130s by 12/31/15, I'll be overjoyed. We'll see what happens.

Today, I taught RPM at 1030A, and then spent a few hours at a nearby Starbucks after class with my best friend (who took the class for the first time in a while). We parted ways after finishing our coffees and sharing stories, and I headed to Trader Joe's with a prepared list in hand. Cut to 3PM, and I had a fully organized fridge and meal prep completed. I'm ready to take on the week and months to come!

I also bit the bullet and bought a 2 week unlimited pass to BEYOND500 ($50 for 2 weeks) because I love the workout so damn much, and figure I could use a little jumpstart to the whole #drop15in15 plan.

Boutique fitness studios are really hot in Dallas (and all over the USA, really), and these days, there's a studio for almost every workout you can imagine. Trying new things can be scary, and since each studio comes with a heftier price tag than your standard big box gym, it makes it tough to branch out.

Luckily, several competing startups have recognized the need to round up the best boutique studios in one place for you, offering unlimited monthly memberships to try as many classes and studios as you'd like.

Here's the skinny (punny) on your Dallas options, and the best deals I've seen from my personal favorite studios in Dallas:

1) City Surf Fitness

Co-owners (and instructors) Lauren and Mitch

If you've never been to City Surf before, you can now get an unlimited month for just $49! They used to limit you to 2 weeks for $25, which was a great deal and how I got hooked and into a 5x/wk habit, but now, they're giving you even more chances to try out every single instructor and class format on the schedule.

Create an account here, and go to the Online Store tab to make your selection. From there, start signing up for classes!

Each class is 50 minutes long, set to great tunes, and led by motivating and fun instructors. You can't go wrong! I've tried every instructor and format, and my favorites are City Surf Circuits (Catherine) and Beach Body Bootcamp (Mitch or Alicia).

And, the Austin studio is about to open! Stay tuned and follow @citysurfaustin on instagram and Twitter for the latest.

2) BEYOND500

BEYOND500 opened in October 2014, and it's been turning heads with its sexy CURVEs (human-powered treadmills, aka the "Hamster Wheel") and game-changing PHIT (Pilates Hybrid Interval Training) workouts.

My City Surf and BEYOND worlds collided in the best way possible because I can take classes from CSF instructors Mitch and Catherine at both studios! I also highly recommend Elissa Fairchild, "The Enforcer," who plays the sickest tunes and motivates and corrects in just the right ways throughout the 50-minute class.

And, BIG NEWS: in just two short weeks (w/o January 12), BEYOND500 is coming to Preston Hollow! The Preston and Forest BEYOND Pilates studio (in between Paciugo gelato and Snappy Salads) is in the process of being converted to a smaller version of BEYOND500, with six CURVE treadmills and six MVe Pilates chairs.

Keep an eye out for the schedule and new member deals here. New members get a discounted first class rate and introductory pricing for an unlimited month or 2 weeks unlimited.

Here's the 4-1-1 from Elissa aboutBEYOND500.

3) ClassPass

I got the Real T on ClassPass from one of my good friends who lives in NYC and has been using CP for a few months. ClassPass has rounded up a killer cast and crew of participating gyms in several cities, and you get unlimited monthly access for just $99/month!

The only catch? You're limited to 3 visits per studio per month, so if you really love a certain gym (like City Surf or BEYOND500, let's say), you're typically better off just contracting separately with that studio.

Visit the ClassPass website for everything you wanted to know about ClassPass, and a full list of participating studios. It looks like it couldn't be easier, with online class sign-ups and even an app for the guy or gal on-the-go. They've been emailing some hot deals, like getting $100 cash back when you sign up now for 3 months, so keep an eye out on Facebook and on their site for the latest.

4) StudioHop

This one hasn't officially launched yet, but it's based on the same premise as ClassPass. I haven't seen a full list of participating studios, but know that they've got a pretty solid list. I know for sure that City Surf Fitness is a part of it, but other than that, I'm not too sure about any restrictions with their membership, or exactly where you get to workout. Their price point is a little higher ($150/month unlimited), so I would hope that gets you in to more than 3 classes/month/studio.

More details should be released soon when they officially launch. You can sign up on their site to get notified when everything's up and running.

5) FitMob

This one popped up on my radar on Facebook the other day, and you can get your first month for just $20! I wasn't sold on the studio list, so I didn't take the plunge, but definitely check it out for yourself on their site here.

6) ClassDropin

This is yet another one that isn't yet in market, but has a place on their site for you to sign up for news.

7) Blend Athletic Culture

This one is set to launch sometime soon in Dallas. What makes Blend different is that it is all about creating a culture and community for fitness-loving individuals, connecting them to the best studios and trainers in town, and other class takers. It's going to be great for people new to Dallas, or people new to fitness who have trouble convincing their friends to go with them to classes.

Blend has a proprietary algorithm to help you handpick your weekly and monthly workouts based on your goals, interests, and budget so that you can mix things up and be nudged to try new things.

Stay tuned for more info on this one!

Clearly, there are tons and tons of options out there (or soon to be, at least) for mixing up your workouts and creating positive life changes.

If you want to try a BEYOND500 or City Surf class, let me know! I love introducing people to their next best addiction.