Friday, January 11, 2019

Using StudioHop To Rediscover A Healthier Me

I have a vivid memory of a conversation I had with my much-older boss eating lunch one day at work. I was 24 years old and fresh out of college. My boss was at least my Father's age, if not older, and he sat eyeing the Taco Bell I was enjoying while he picked at a salad. "You know," he said dryly, "You're not going to be able to eat like that for forever." I grinned as I opened yet another Taco Supreme taco laden with cheese and sour cream and smartly replied, "Welp, then I better enjoy it while it lasts." And thanks to good genetics and a high metabolism, my ability to eat all the fast food, pasta, sugary sodas I wanted and and do without working out - ever - lasted for 50 years.

But sadly, all good things must come to and end.

Natalie Wolfe, Founder
Studio Hop
When I turned 50, I started to notice that things were, um, let's just say, shifting around. Heading South. Gravity was taking over. At 51, all hell broke loose and I started packing on the pounds. My body started looking more like my Grandmother's than my own. Nothing had changed in my life. Not my eating or workout habits. Not my stress levels. My metabolism just.... stopped.

Any weight I gained settled in my stomach. My arms started to look like proverbial "chicken wings" and I woke up one morning to discover to my HORROR that my once perky breasts were now touching my stomach! THAT. WAS. IT.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I enjoyed one last decadent holiday season of sweet indulgences and eggnog and on Jan. 2, 2019 I reached out to Natalie Wolfe, founder of StudioHop.

StudioHop's membership program (which can be accessed online or via iPhone/Android apps) gives users different tiers of membership that grant access to over 200 of the best boutique gyms in Dallas. This tier system lets users choose their preferred studios based on price, popularity, and activity. In addition, members can visit their studios up to 10 times per month, up from the five permitted by StudioHop’s former iteration. StudioHop works with all different types of exercise programs, including barre, cross training, boxing, cycling, dance, martial arts, pilates, strength training, and yoga. Different classes fall into different levels, so members can pick the level that best suits their preferences. BONUS: StudioHop memberships also include restaurant perks and massages.

I chose StudioHop for two reasons: 1) I get easily bored. I love the idea of being able to try a different kind of class at different sorts of studios each and every time. 2) There are so many different types of fitness options to choose from that it can be overwhelming for a novice. Pilates, Spin, Barre, Weight training, Yoga. StudioHop allows you to try all different kinds of activities and see what you like.


My first StudioHop class was a private trainer
session at The Fitsmith

Class 1: For my very first foree with StudioHop, I chose a private team training at The Fitsmith. They are more of a traditional gym, focusing on cardio and strength training. I found it very helpful to be able to work one-on-one with a personal trainer to talk about my fitness goals and get lots of personalized attention. Shoutout to Nat and Max. They were amazing and so fun to work with. I couldn't finish the session because I started to feel nauseous. Max just chuckled and told me to get up earlier next time and eat before I came.  Wait, I have to get up early and sweat before 9AM on a Saturday. Ugh.

Class 2: Sunday morning I headed to out to a beginner's yoga class at Uptown Yoga (Lakewood) There were about 8 people in the class, and Kristen G. led a slower paced vinyasa class in which she broke down the poses and helped the class understand the alignment of the postures, the language used in yoga, and the benefit of practicing the poses. I am rehabbing a shoulder injury and this was a fabulous class for stretching out and learning the basics of yoga. I liked it so much, I've already booked a return visit for this class! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Melissa Moore (center) will kick your ass at Bar Method.
And you will love every minute of it.
Class #3: I am great friends with Melissa Moore, one of the lead instructors at Bar Method in Park Cities. She's been trying to get me to take her classes for forever, so I booked her class for Tuesday but found my poor baby muscles so sore from my first two classes, that I canceled and rebooked for Wednesday with Cori.

Bar Method is a one hour, non-impact total body workout. It starts with a warm-up, free-weight exercises, and push-ups, then moves on to an intense, isometric leg work at the bar, followed by exercises targeting your glutes then finishing with abdominal work. Every exercise includes active stretching to elongate the target muscles. I am a big fan of Bar classes because they are designed to help you get lean and tone up. A perfect fit for my fitness goals. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Parker gets the award for Most Spirited instructor. If you are looking
for a high-intensity, high energy class - The Ride House delivers.
Class #4: A reader who follows me on Instagram saw my Stories and recommended that I join her at The Ride House for Flashback Friday, led by owner Parker Williams. I had never tried a spin class, but I loved the idea of beat-based choreography accompanied by an amazing light show. Plus, this week's class was to music by QUEEN. That was reason enough to give it a try.

The Ride House is an experiential indoor cycling studio that captures riders' energy to create an unified tribe. Their nationally certified instructors create a 45 minute class that challenges the lower body while incorporating the upper body using free weights. Each class is full of energy that will leave you feeling challenged and invigorated.

PROS: Parker was energetic and made the class super fun. CONS: My va-jay-jay needed an ice-pack by the end of the day. I can see why people totally dig spin. I am just not a fan of high intensity cardio, so spin is probably not ever going to be my main thing. But I would go back here and there - especially for this class. Especially if Parker is teaching it. Special thanks to Marcella for the invite! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I encourage you to join me in being a better you in 2019 and give StudioHop a try. Trial Plans start at just TEN DOLLARS and allow you to try 3 Classes over 2 Weeks to get a feel for their structure. And if you are willing to try them for 30 days, StudioHop has generously offered my readers $20 OFF any plan (excluding the $10 Trial plan). Choose your plan, then use the code OHSOCYNTHIA at checkout. This offer expires May 30, 2019.

Do you have any classes you enjoy or studios you think I should check out? Hit me up on any of my social channels @ohsocynthia. The best way to follow along on my adventures around Dallas, is to follow my IG Stories. That's where the real action happens. See you around town!