I wouldn't call myself a gym rat, but I've always done some sort of physical activity since I was a teen. I actually taught Pilates at my summer camp. I basically workout out to eat!
When I lived in the city, I frequented at almost every group fitness studio: Flywheel, Barry's, SLT, Core Power Yoga, Rumble, Fhitting Room -- you name it! I looked forward to a good sweat and the community of in-person classes after a long day of work.
Once the pandemic hit, and it was still winter, I struggled to find a routine. I got a little overwhelmed by the Instagram Lives (because everyone of my favorite teachers started to do them and then I struggled to choose some over others, when I wanted to support everyone!). I still fully took advantage of the free workouts. Like these workout instructors, I was furloughed from my fulltime job, so I could relate to what they were going through and begin to find a sense of virtual community.
After a few months, these teachers had to start making a living. Enter the virtual zoom classes. These allowed me to connect with my teachers, fellow classmates and even friends who I haven't seen in months. It was not like in-person classes, but the next best thing. The prices for most of these were extremely fair and affordable, and most of them offer an amazing new student discount, so you can try a bunch of classes before fully committing to a package or membership.
While the below are not all of the classes I've done throughout the pandemic, these are my favorites. I wish I could support all of them at the same time, but I would be broke and my body would also be physically broken. Also, prices and packages for each of these change pretty frequently, so I've linked the websites for each workout in their section.
AMP Virtual Studio was created by my former Core Power Yoga/Physique 57 teacher, Adrianna Perez. She started doing virtual zoom classes solo, but then realized her platform would be better served with a collective of teachers offering a variety classes from traditional yoga flow, yoga sculpt, sculpt (which is almost like pilates/barre style), bootcamp with bands and hatha yoga. The intention of these classes is to provide a space where students and teachers can practice in any given location while still feeling seen, supported, and connected to a community.
AMP offers both live zoom and on-demand classes, and at the moment, they are offering an awesome new student special: $20 for 2 weeks unlimited. I truly love these classes and all of the teachers so much, so slide into my DMs, and let me know if you'd like to take a class together!
Spinning was always my least favorite workout, but the Peleton has changed this for me. I wasn't into getting a bike since I had so many different virtual workout options, but my husband really wanted to try it, and once it arrived in October, I was addicted. I love how you can get an amazing, sweat-filled workout in 20-30 minutes. All of the teachers are awesome.
I love Jess Simms, Jess King, Tunde Oyeneyin, Jenn Sherman, Cody Rigsby, Sam Yo, Ben Alldis, Olivia Amato, Alex Toussaint and Emma Lovewell. Basically all of them. Most of my friends have their own bikes too, so it's a great way to have some friendly competition, while staying in touch during these less personal times. Their bootcamps, floor and outdoor running classes are also great too.
hOMebodies Fitness and Yoga
Debbie Wolff, a pioneer of the yoga and pilates scene with over 40 years of experience started this virtual studio out of her home in South Florida. Her class is full of regulars, and you can tell those who join for the first time will be back. Her sessions are on ClassPass and she also offers small group classes and private 1-on-1s.
hOMebodies can be done with no equipment. The classes are not intimating and suitable for all levels. Debbie's yin and yang philosophy brings a nice balance to the class. She's motivating and calming, but also tough and takes no BS. Oh and did I mention she's 66 years old and looks 40? If you're not on Classpass, DM her to book on Instagram @homebodies_fitnessandyoga
Sculpted by Alex
I love Alex Scolari! She is the most upbeat, fun and beautiful person inside and out. She teaches cardio boxing/yoga sculpt style classes and plays music and teaches moves that keep your heart pounding for the full 45 minutes. She's super peppy, and you can almost always catch her singing and dancing in between moves. She also hosts classes on Obe Fitness, so if you're on that app, definitely take her. Her classes are typically mid-day, if you live on the east coast and are looking for a lunch time workout. Otherwise, they are almost always in the morning for the LA folks! Alex also accepts venmo and is very accessible via email! Book here!
Home Sweat Home
Former Flybarre instructor, Lane Halpern was one of longest "Instagram Live" teachers throughout Covid (which was so incredible and appreciated) and her class times usually started as I rolled out of bed. Even though it was Instagram Live, the classes were always filled with 15-20 people. Lane couldn't see you, but she still personally shouted out each person's name during class. She recently started zoom and on-demand classes. Her classes make you feel like you're working out in the same room, and her fun personality and contagious engery keep you motivated throughout the entire class.
In-person SLT Megaformer classes are by far my favorite workout. I started SLT right when they opened in the city almost 10 years ago, and while classes got very expensive, I found ways to incorporate them into my routine a few times a month. Friends, family members and co-workers would know the only thing I'd wanted for my bday or the holidays were these workout classes.
This weekend I did my first SLT at-home virtual class, and it was tough!! It was definitely not the same as being in person, but I loved how creative the teacher got incorporating different props like sliders and bands to mirror the technology on the Megaformer. There are lots of planks, so if you have wrist or shoulder issues you'll need to modify, but if you're up for a challenge and want your butt kicked, give it a try!
Redefining Healthy by Danielle Fineberg
Danielle also came for Core Power Yoga, and her sculpt classes are the best. She almost always has a theme and makes a fun, up-beat playlist. She did an awesome Halloween themed class that I took, and I always love her boyband and 90's themed classes. She offers 30 and 60 minutes, and you'll be sure to break a sweat. She is also an registered dietician and integrates her fitness and nutritional expertise to each client's personal needs. Her schedule is limited, but if you're looking for a Wednesday or Sunday morning workout, check her out!
Body By Sav
A friend of mine who lives in Atlanta asked me to try Savannah Butler's class a few weeks ago and I LOVED it. Savannah is a Senior Soul Cycle instructor who started virtual classes during quarantine. Body by Sav incorporates a mix of dance cardio moves with arms, abs, legs and glute exercises. I am a terrible dancer, but there's absolutely no judgement if you can't mimic the exact dance she's doing it. You are moving and sweating the entire time, and the class goes by so quickly. I haven't seen the friend I did it with in over a year, so it was nice to feel her virutal presence.
Melissa Wood Health
I've heard so much hype about Melissa Wood's classes, so I had to try one out! I really liked her teaching style. It's definitely more low impact pilates and yoga with strengthening and lengthening involved. There is no music, but Melissa keeps you engaged throughout the class. I usually need a little more cardio and sweat, but her classes are a great add on to your workout or for a day you need to show a little more respect and love to your body.
There are not too many hot yoga studios in South Florida, so whenever I visit my family, I go to the Yoga Joint. They offer traditional flow classes and FIIT 45 minute classes that are an incredible high intensity workout. The have an awesome on-demand deal and offer a one month free trial! On-demand mirrors the in-person classes almost indentically! We even bought a heater for the room to get the full experience.
Can't wait to hear which one's you all try!! If you have any questions, shoot me an email: email@example.com.