Posts Tagged ‘equinox’

Our Crystal Ball: Fitness Edition

December 18, 2014

Crystal ball

There are trends in everything, from fashion and interiors, to cosmetics, food and even fitness. As the new year approaches, here are a few of the the fitness trends lurking in our crystal ball:

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Treadmill workouts:
We have been inundated with indoor cycling studios for the past few years, and if you have ever tried to book a class at Soul Cycle, or a Saturday morning ride with Wil Ashley at Equinox, you know just how popular and almost cult-like spinning has become. The great music, high intensity intervals, encouraging (and sometimes intimidating) coaching, and a high calorie burn are some of the reasons people flock to studio cycling. This year, we expect to see the phenomenon spread to running, with indoor treadmill workouts starting to appear around town. Equinox launched it’s Precision Running series a few months ago, and new studio, Mile High Run Club is already getting some buzz. Watch for more and more studios and classes to start popping up around town in the new year.

Young woman stretching

Recovery and Rejuvenation:

We hit it hard everyday… running, spinning and doing high intensity metabolic training with weights. This results in fatigue, sore muscles and plain old exhaustion.

This year, expect to see classes that focus on aiding recovery, using foam rollers, therapy balls and other tools to help undue the knots and kinks from working out through myofascial release  I love Laura Ward’s Pilates /Bartenieff Fusion which gives me a great stretch and release after one of the afore mentioned cycling classes.

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Body Weight Training:

Lately I seem to be reading more and more about body weight training, which relies on your own body to provide the burn. Bypassing weights and machines for old school rounds of burpees, pushups, lunges, and squats is taking off, and classes that include 30-60 second rounds of each of these exercises in quick secession are trending upwards. Look for adult “playgrounds” to emerge, with jungle gyms and other simple equipment suitable for pull-ups, climbing and suspension training.

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Wearable Tech and Digital Engagement:
It seems everyone has a wearable technology device on their wrist, tracking activity, calories, steps and even sleep. As technology improves, and more companies enter the arena, we will start seeing even more digital engagement. Apple’s Health app becoming standard on all iPhones, is just a start, and the much anticipated release of the Apple watch could be a major game changer in 2015. Designer takes on wearable technology, from notables such as Tory Burch for Fitbit, will make health and fitness tracking fashionable.

Shorter workouts at a higher intensity:

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been the big thing for a while and will continue to gain momentum. With life getting busier and busier, people are looking for more bang from their gym time buck. Tabata reared it’s head a couple of years ago, and variations of the 4 minute rounds of super high intensity 20 second intervals with 10 second recoveries have been appearing in fitness classes everywhere, including cycling, running and strength training disciplines. Compound movements are stepping into the forefront now, shortening workouts by combining moves that target multiple muscle groups. Think squat or lunges with bicep curls and presses, or plank variations. Circuit training classes, such as Equinox’s MetCon3 or Stacked, combine compound movements with plyo movements to get the heart rate up, as well as build strength. Shockwave, adds rowing intervals to mix, leaving participants breathless and into the coveted anaerobic zone, which builds muscle and increases stamina through oxygen depletion.

 

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Morning Yoga Raves:

Early morning dance parties, featuring healthy juices, yoga and meditation instead of cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, are taking place in big cities across the globe. Start your day with an underground party before work, for an uplifting, social and spiritual awakening. Watch for this trend to spread as an alternative to the current club scene.

Stay tuned for more predictions in the world of food, fashion, and fitness for the coming year.

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Aqua Spin

April 5, 2013

opening-soon-21In the cutthroat world of indoor cycling classes, there’s a new game in town!

The New York cycling scene (spinning, to some) has become intense. Studios, such as Fly Wheel Sports and Soul Cycle have packed–to-capacity classes and instructors with a cult like following. Booking a bike is competition sport. Some studios allow bookings by phone up to one week in advance, and charges full price if the class is not cancelled by 5pm the night before. Equinox, where I ride, has online booking available 26 hours before class. For popular instructors, this is literal. Log in 25 hours and 57 minutes before class, and you are most likely out of luck. Yes, I am often sitting at the crack of dawn, waiting for the class to come up so I can get my bike reserved and go back to sleep! As our fitness attention spans will inevitably wander, we can’t help but wonder what the next big thing will be to sway our fickle hearts.  Well it could just be Aquaspinning!

Aquaspinning is a huge trend in Europe, and is about to take New York by a storm.

The bikes are submerged in a pool, allowing for a gentle yet challenging experience. Riding through water adds resistance that speeds in firming and toning the body, and enhances calorie burn. The water also makes the movement easy on the joints.

New York’s first studio opens in Tribeca next week, with a full roster of classes. At a hefty $42, including rubber cycling shoe rental, it is a pricy proposition. While I love the idea of added challenge and going easy on my joints, I don’t love the idea of donning a swimsuit and actually getting wet.

Time will tell if this new workout can gain traction, and I have to admit I am kind of interested in trying it out. Once.

How about you? Will you take up aquaspinning?

Aqua Studio opens April 15, and is currently a women’s only facility.

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

February 20, 2013

Young woman flexing muscles

After 13 weeks of nursing a fractured knee, I am ready to go forth gently to the gym.

It isn’t going to be easy. I lack the strength and muscle tone that I once had just mere months ago, and no longer have the aerobic stamina to push through my grueling cardio intervals.

I know I need to start slowly, but the warrior woman in me is going to need to be tamed to avoid over doing it.

I have worked my way up to enough exercises in the last 6 weeks of physical therapy to be able to go it alone.

Stay tuned, as I work my way back to strong and fit in the hallowed halls of Equinox.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath

November 1, 2012

It’s the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the most vital city in the country has been left wounded and limping.

Our power went out Monday evening, and we have no idea when it will be coming back on. This morning, (Wednesday) I walked uptown, where it was rumored there was electricity, and took solace at Equinox on Lexington and 44th Street, where we are all grappling for power outlets and hot showers.  It feels like an upscale homeless shelter, and in many ways it is.

We seemed to have survived the storm without harm or property damage. We reached the point of having to toss out all of our perishable foods, despite taking all the right precautions. We have no lights, no cell service, no Internet, no phone and no television.  Once my Nike Fuel band loses charge, we won’t even know what time it is.

It is a strange existence. Time passes with little to do. We have had no news until now.

The tunnels are flooded in lower Manhattan, and until they are pumped out, they cannot fix the electricity.  The news shows wide spread devastation around the area. If you are reading this, you probably know more than we do.
Thanks to everyone who is trying to reach us. We are fine, albeit over-carbed and bored.

Thanks Equinox. All of my batteries are now recharged, physically, emotionally and electronically. Now for a nice, hot shower…

Color Play

October 26, 2012

Color is taking over the gym floor, with bright sneakers replacing the classic white, black or grey models.

Trainers waiting for their clients yesterday morning at Equinox, in New York City.

Real men wear raspberry… a trainer and his client both rocking raspberry sneakers: 2 of the 6 men I noticed wearing raspberry while working out in close proximity this morning.

Bright blues and turquoise were also prominent.

A couple on Fifth Avenue were color coordinated. LOVE the orange laces and neon green socks!

 

 

 

Doubles Match

May 7, 2012

Do you ever do “doubles?” What I’m talking about is 2 workouts a day. They can be back to back, or once in the morning, and again in the evening. They can even be done at more than one location. Think it sounds a bit extreme, and that only athletes or swimsuit models do that? Think again!

Today’s New York Times Sunday Styles section documents the phenomenon, and it’s way more prevalent than you might think.

They talk about the 350-yard dash, from Barry’s Bootcamp in Chelsea, to Flywheel Sports located just across the street.  Or the run from Soul Cycle on the Upper West Side, to Pure Yoga next door, for a barre-method class.

The interesting fact is that most of these people are females who aren’t athletes or models. They are working professionals with fulltime jobs who just want to stay in shape and find the classes good stress busters.

These classes don’t come cheap. Most individual sessions run about $32 a piece, with a discount when purchased in bulk. Multiply that by 2 (sometimes 3!) per day, 6 days a week, and the cost is pretty hefty. And some of them maintain gym memberships as well.

Just as I was sitting there thinking that the women in the article were obsessive nuts, I glanced at the clock and realized that I was going to be late for my own Sunday morning “double.”

Although I am a long-term Equinox loyalist, I am guilty of doing doubles, when time permits. While I often mix weights and cardio into one workout for maximum efficiency, on Sunday, I do intervals in a circuit training class aptly called “Whipped,” followed by a spinning class. I too workout 6 days a week, but try to stagger my activities to work different body parts and intensities to avoid burnout or injuries.  I totally get what these women are doing, but I think it’s a bit extreme even by my standards.
It has been my experience, that once you start working out regularly and vigorously, your body stops responding the same way, and requires more intensity or frequency to get results. I don’t actually see the benefits of the 90 minutes or more of walking that I do for transportation purposes each day, but when I stop, I notice the difference in a negative way. These women (and I to a slightly lesser extent) are setting ourselves up for actually needing this much exercise, instead of just wanting it.

At what point does this morph from being calming and invigorating, to a dangerously unhealthy obsession?

photos: Glasshouse Images

What’s in YOUR Gym Bag?

April 23, 2012

Today I decided to clean out my gym bag.

This bag is the clown car of all gym bags. I am amazed at what I pulled out of here, and I spared you the photo of the sweaty workout clothes, and dirty socks!

Every day, I lug this bag as I take B across town to school, go to the gym, walk 1-¼ miles or so to the office, and then back again, with a short grocery stop on the way home. In addition to this, I have an insulated lunch bag, and whatever clothes I need to wear for the day. On the way home, I add the groceries to the mix. DId I mention that I do all of this in 4-5″ heels? No wonder my shoulders and neck ache.
While many of my friends dream of employing chefs and laundresses, what I really need is a Sherpa.

Mind you, my gym has all of the various and sundry necessities: Kiehl’s shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion, deodorant, hair gel, mouthwash, razors and shaving cream. They even have great hairdryers, and cotton balls, Q-tips and feminine hygiene supplies. So why I am I carrying all stuff around?

Let’s take a look at the innards of my gym bag, shall we?

  • 2 pairs of sneakers: One for running/cross training and one specific for cycling. They are not interchangeable, and I often combine more than one type of exercise in a session.
  • Elastic knee brace and gel toe spacers: Over the counter remedies for my constant, yet chronic aches and pains. The big bottle of Advil? Same story.
  • Make-up bag
  • 1 metal water bottle: Water is a must for hydration, and disposable plastic bottles are bad for people and the environment. My beat up Cycle for Survival/Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital water bottle is a motivator to keep pushing and stay healthy.
  • IPhone and ear buds. Not only does it keep me plugged in at all times,my Equinox app functions as my gym membership card and lets me book my bike for cycling class and keep track of my workouts. Spotify provides the soundtrack via perfect playlists!
  • Hair elastics: A ponytail is a must! 5 ponytail holders? Not so necessary!
  • Deodorant, organic argon oil for my hair, and some feminine hygiene products.
  • Tums and an extra contact lens.
  • 2 mini flash drives, because one never knows when they will need to transfer data unexpectedly. I do know, that the likelihood that I will be doing this at the gym is quite low.
  • 5(yes 5!) different lipsticks and lip treatments. I never wear makeup at the gym, but the gooey tube of clear lip balm keeps me from chewing on my lips when the effort gets tough! The other 4? I’m not really sure why they are there!
  • Cash, Metrocard and my lock.
  • Wallet, sunglasses and keys. All legit.
  • 2 types of hairbrushes, one for brushing and one for styling.
  • Altoids: Have you ever gone absolutely anaerobic next to someone who ate garlic for dinner? Don’t be that person; have a mint.  The person on the next treadmill or bike will thank you for it!

I am about to repack this, and see what I can live without. I suspect it won’t be much more than a few lipsticks and a flash drive or 2.

I bet I am not the only one out there carrying my life around in a nylon tote bag. I just showed you mine, now you show me yours! What crazy things do you carry in your bag?

photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images exclusively for Indigo Jones

Ride Like A Life Depends On It

January 31, 2010

Today we were part of a life-changing event. We participated in the 4th annual Cycle for Survival, a 4-hour studio cycling event, benefiting the research and treatment of rare cancers through Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center.

Hosted by Equinox Fitness Clubs, over 600 teams gathered to spin their way through the day; sweating, cheering and supporting one another to fight this debilitating disease.

Some rode in memory of a loved one, some rode to celebrate the fact that they could, and some rode to support someone that couldn’t. We all rode as if our lives depended on it, and silently prayed that we would never have to.

Cycle for Survival’s remarkable and intrepid founder, Jennifer Goodman Linn, shared that she recently received the news that her cancer had returned for the 5th time, and would be resuming treatment next week. Her strength and determination is an inspiration to many, and a gift to those who are battling cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with her as she begins her journey again.

Next week the ride resumes in Chicago, and the fund raising continues throughout the month of February.

Thanks to all of our readers who supported this very special cause. Your generosity is helping to save lives and change the face of cancer treatment.

To make a donation log onto: http://www.cycleforsurvival.org

photo courtesy of spencer jones

Keep the Wheels Turning

November 8, 2009

Bicycle Wheel Silhouette

In December 2004, Jennifer Goodman Linn was diagnosed with MFH Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects less than 1% of all patients.

Jen has since endured 4 surgeries, and over 30 months of chemotherapy, all while maintaining her role as a senior level marketing executive, and avid studio cyclist.

While undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Hospital, Jen vowed to find a way to express her gratitude, and help others who were battling obscure, or “orphan” cancers like herself.
During treatment, Jen discovered the empowerment that her indoor cycling classes provided. She credits the ritual of pushing herself physically to the best of her ability with helping to save her life.

In 2007, Jen and her husband Dave founded Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling fundraiser envisioned to “reward, and challenge the mind, body and soul.” Anyone that has participated in this event can attest to its success, both financially and inspirationally.

Anyone who has met Jen, can attest to her drive and enthusiasm that seems to be unwavering.  When I met her several years ago, she immediately confided that she “had cancer, wore a wig and went for chemo every Friday afternoon”. She just put it out there, and moved on. I have never ceased to marvel at her resolve, optimism and ability to make things happen, despite the obstacles her illness has thrown her way. Being part of last years Cycle for Survival literally left me in awe.

Someone once suggested, that we should reframe what happens in our lives. Instead of asking, “why is this happening TO me?”, we should ask” why is this happening FOR me?”

Jen truly embodies that spirit and has taken her personal tragedy and turned it into a triumph.

Last year, the event, raised $1.2 million, all of which went to Memorial Sloan- Kettering for the research and treatment of rare orphan cancers.

This year, the event has expanded to 2 locations in New York, and another in Chicago. The New York events will take place on Sunday, January 31, at Equinox locations in midtown.

“The fact that this event has directly benefited patients motivates me to keep going.” Jen said. “We’ve gained momentum, and we have already changed the way we’re fighting this illness. I have great hope that this will ultimately lead to more treatment breakthroughs and higher survival rates for those with rare cancers, so that more of us will live to tell our unique tales.”

To join the ride, or donate to the cause, please go to http://www.CycleforSurvial.org, and click on my team, ”Shari’s Spinners”. Please help us keep the wheels of progress turning to fight this deadly disease.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Eat.Sweat.Blog.

September 30, 2009

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Eat. Sweat. Blog.

Now that sounds like something we can relate to!
The Socialworkout.com is serving up a challenge that incorporates all of the aspects of healthy living. The challenge, beginning October 1st and running through the entire month, encourages you to work out 20 times, achieve 10 of the many “food feats” they list, and blog about it on their site.

Food feats include simple lifestyle changes, such as going soda free for the month, dairy free for the week, being a localvore for the day, or working a shift at a food bank.

The site plans to post a daily food/ exercise pairing to help you get started.

Log onto The Socialworkout.com today to sign up for the challenge, and follow indigojones on their site, as we eat, sweat and blog throughout  the month.

The Social Workout Fall Challenge is sponsored by City Harvest, Equinox, Whole Foods, The Kitchn, Cleanplates and Rouge Tomate.

photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images


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