Feel like there is never any time to exercise? Sure. Bogged down by family committments? Of course. But for Neda Talebian Funk and Caroline Levy Limpert, these major obligations are minor obstacles to overcome in the great cycle of living a healthy life everyday.
Funk and Limpert, who founded the company with Jonathan Cranin, describe FITiST as “an entirely new way to approach fitness, providing that same one-stop access that consumers have grown to value through years spent at the gym, but updated [to include] multi-studio, multi-category bundled memberships.”
What does that mean for FITiST members? Essentially, that by joining the group you’re not only provided exclusive access to myriad fitness studios and classes throughout the city but also that the FITiST team will help you design a program to achieve whatever you want to accomplish. “Our goal is to take away the guesswork,” Funk and Limpert explain. “We have designed specific membership plans geared toward the Bride, Expectant Mother, New Mom, Marathoner and more that each offer a well balanced mix of specific class types.”
FITiST members get to combine these “highly-curated work outs” with deals that offer up to 60% off at some of the most exclusive studios in the city.
It should come as no surprise that FITiST provides an extremely organized approach to “goal-oriented” fitness. Funk and Levy, who met while receiving MBAs at Wharton, are both accomplished athletes who “compare their to-do lists as frequently as their workouts.” Levy describes her partner as “the most fit person and incredibly displined. The poster girl for FITiST.”
So how many hours do Funk and Levy really clock at the gym (or yoga studo, barre class, spinning room, etc.)? Take a look at a week’s-worth of their exercise journals to get a sense of how these busy entrepreneurs are living proof that there is always time for exercise. For more information on available programs and professional partners, check out fitist.com.
FITNESS JOURNAL: CAROLINE LIMBERT LEVY
Friday, June 3: Wake up very early (4:55 a.m., to be exact), as I know today we are running on Daily Candy. Great day for the site, and lots of site traffic once the world wakes up which means I have to get out early for a run. Living a few blocks from the Park makes it easy and I have easily completed 6 miles before most people’s alarms have gone off.
Saturday, June 4: One of the best things about FITiST is the Last-Minute Deal portal, so my husband and I are taking full advantage with a 9 a.m. Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp class in Central Park. The class meets at 60th and Broadway, so Brad and I do a mini run there and back which is a nice added perk. Plus, we love our weekend runs together (We actually were run partners before we dated and even got engaged on a Central Park run!). The bootcamp is tons of fun – 60 minutes of running, squats, lunges, steps, and utilizing park benches in ways you never knew were possible. Great morning, and by 10:45 we had happily run home and had coffee in hand.
Sunday, June 5: The FITiST philosophy is all about mixing it up and I am truly living that. Today, it’s all about indoor cycling and I sweat it out with Kate at the Flywheel UWS. It was her Fly 60 class, which is a great end to the weekend -- or beginning of the week, depending on how you look at it. Kate is amazing – by far, one of the City’s best spin instructors. Her energy is infectious and you always leave the class totally spent, but ready to tackle the day.
Monday June 6: I have been running with my friend Sarah two times a week for over a year. We are the perfect complement to each other as our career paths could not be more different (she is a Ph.D. in political science). We meet in the middle of park at 8 a.m. and run for a solid hour, chatting about everything from her research in Columbia to the FITiST marketing strategy. It’s a mini therapy session and business consulting, all in one. By the time we finish at 9:20 a.m., I have cleared my head and am ready to take on the day.
Tuesday, June 7: I am a definite cardio hound, but I am 100 percent committed to building strength. I am loving all our performance classes. Today is Velocity Sports Performance for their adult fitness class. It basically brings you back to your days in practice, and the class is filled with people from all over the city reliving their days on the field. Of course, today is a running day in the park which means I, the runner, have it easy but after rounds of pull-ups (who knew the park had a pull-up bar?!), sprints, and more one-leg jumps on the stairs than I could handle, nothing feels easy. I jog it home from East 58th Street feeling pretty accomplished.
Wednesday June 8: I take Sarah, my running partner, to Flywheel for her first spin. She has signed up for the FITiST starter plan and is really getting her feet wet with new activities. I love seeing people experience Flywheel for the first time. With its stadium seating, awesome music, and torq board, it’s definitely not like your gym spin class. Forty-five minutes later, Sarah is hooked and we finish 1 and 2 on the board (impressive for a newbie, but not expected giving her type-A personality!). Go FITiST! (Note, whenever I spin now, I channel my inner Neda. Neda is one of the best spinners I have ever seen and her Flywheel numbers make me look like a total wimp -- in a totally inspiring kinda way.)
Thursday, June 9: Four of my FITiST friends are feeling bold and we are tackling 7a.m. AEROJUMP this morning followed by AEROSCULPT. Yep, 30 minutes of jump roping! Cedric was a total dear and the 30 minutes was closer to jump-roping 101 then AEROJUMP. Yet, through the laughter and lash marks, by the end, we all could not wait till next week. Jump roping is amazing exercise – humbling for sure – but who does not like a challenge? After the jumping, we sculpted -- and Thursday is ab day. Let’s just say my abs were shaking the rest of the day.
Friday June 10: With super-sore calves (thanks to the jump roping), I end the week the way it started -- on a run. Sarah and I run and chat out the week. A great start to a Friday. And by the way, we now incorporate a little Brooklyn Bride Bootcamp into every run with two sets of pushups and dips. Thanks, Ariane, for making us stronger!
Fitness Journal: Neda Talebian Funk
Friday: Tyler, my two-year-old son, is my alarm clock, and he tends to go off anywhere between 5 and 7:15 (on a good day). This morning was on the earlier end of the range. We had our morning routine of Sesame Street and some playtime, and then I made my way over to Flywheel for Steven’s 8:30 a.m. class. I have been spinning for years, and I just never get tired of it. Plus, I am pregnant with my second child and find spinning to be a great workout during pregnancy. It’s low-impact, yet still allows me to get the cardio rush that my body craves. Steven’s music and energy are just what I needed to get me through the busy day of all things FITiST that I had ahead.
Saturday: My husband and I try to do “family” weekend runs once a week, weather permitting. We take Tyler out in the jog stroller (I push because my husband says the handle bars of the stroller are too low for him) along the West Side Highway path. Although my husband and I tend to get a little too competitive when running together, we somehow maintain the peace when we take Tyler with us. My pregnant state also forces us to keep the pace under control. We usually run around eight miles, but I know I have to start dialing it back soon.
Sunday: Another spin class for me today. My friend and I love to spin together on the weekends, so we usually try to make a date out of it. My bump is beginning to be more apparent now, and it is also beginning to make running a little less comfortable. So, I find myself spinning more lately than I normally do. I definitely try not to push as hard and let my heart rate spike to high when spinning these days. I also bring extra water (and Gatorade) and try to sit near a fan in hot spin rooms.
Monday: It’s a busy day at FITiST, so I don’t have time to work out much, and I know I have to take it easy during my pregnancy, so I opt for my 50-minute Power Yoga DVD with Kristin McGee. I have been doing yoga with her DVD at home for years, and continue to find it to be the perfect amount of yoga for me. Kristin is so uplifting that even listening to her on my laptop gives me a little lift to get my day going.
Tuesday: My friend and I make a date to take a class at Bari studio in Tribeca, so I jog down to meet her along the West Side highway and we jog to Tribeca together. We ran the marathon together this past year and both happen to be in our second trimester of our second pregnancies. It’s definitely funny to compare how we used to run 20 miles at a pretty fast pace, chatting the whole way effortlessly, and now our growing bumps have made the run a bit different -- but still just as great and rewarding. We get to the studio, and are welcomed by the amazing staff. Alexandra, the studio’s founder, teaches our “Macro” class, which is a challenging and refreshing spin on a sculpt class. We walked out feeling tired, but in a good way.
Wednesday: This is my spin with Ruth day. Ruth Zuckerman, Flywheel founder, teaches my favorite spin class. The combination of her warmth, energy, amazing music, and challenging class are what make her following so strong. The class flies by, and I leave feeling like I am ready to take on the day.
Thursday: Tyler woke up on the earlier side today, so we go out in the jogger for a run down the West Side Highway today. This is probably the best way I can start my day. He sings and chatters along the way and we both take in the early-morning sunshine.
Friday: It’s probably not the ideal workout during pregnancy, but Barry’s Bootcamp just opened nearby and I have been wanting to try it and figured I should try it before my bump gets any bigger. The treadmill intervals combined with lunges and weights in an efficient 60 minutes really gives me a good sweat. Don’t worry, I tried to modify in my pregnant state!
Mallory Stuchin, a native Manhattanite, is a freelance food and health writer. She studied Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India and has taught classes at PURE Yoga and New York University. Mallory is also a Natural Foods Chef and has worked for Mario Batali. She has previously been featured in The New York Observer, Glamour and Maxim, as well as College Humor.com and other publications in New York and Los Angeles. You can follow her on twitter @malstuch.