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FITiST Launch Event: Group Chat Review

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A new fitness-service website called FITiST held a launch event last night called "The Ultimate Fitness Class," and some Go Healthy New York bloggers and readers were there to sample some of the workouts. The program included (from first to last):

    Food Matters NYC was also on hand to offer food and beverages.

    Among the GHNY contributors who were at the event: Dori Manela, Melissa Davison (who couldn't join us for the chat but sent along some notes), Alison Feller, Mallory Stuchin, and Sarah Levy.

    We regrouped this morning to chat about the event. Here's a slightly edited transcript of our (slightly) long but (very) fun conversation!


     Mallory Stuchin:  Hi everyone

     Dori Manela:  Hi!

     Michelle:  Hi guys!

     Alison Feller:  Good morning!

     Mallory:  Who else is super sore?

     Alison:  Um, totally

     Dori:  Just the insides of my elbow area

     Alison:  Too. Many. Planks.

     Mallory:  Agreed!

     Dori:  i think from the FlyBarre section

     Alison:  All those weight things during FlyBarre worked me goooood

     Dori:  insane!

     Sarah Levy:  clearly i'd been neglecting my abs...

     Sarah:  i LOVED the arms portion of flybarre - in an "i hated it" way

     Mallory:  I'Ve been neglecting my crazy bootcamp jumps
    I did not care for those

     Alison:  Oh gosh, I never want to do another squat thrust

     Dori:  i actually love jumpbacks, but did not love the bootcamp

     Michelle:  Haha, sounds like it was pretty intense... So give me the deets -- what was the event about, and what was it like walking in?

     Sarah:  When I walked in, I assumed the studio we were gathering at was "FITiST," but the premise is a website that sort of serves as a versatile, one-stop-shop for fitness

     Mallory:  I had the chance to speak with the founder of the program a bit

     Mallory:  She was great and explained FITiST

    The idea is that FITiST will work in conjunction with boutique exercise programs- like bootcamp and flybarre to create personalized programs for the individual

    You join as a monthly member and then have access to all of the different workout progams

     Sarah:  From what I understood, you pay for a plan/program, and then you get access to the affiliated studios

     Mallory:  So, for example, if you're a marathon runner and want to combine yoga, weight training and pilates, you can sign up and go to all different workouts and book them through fitist

     Mallory:  They are also working in conjunction with health coordinator types who can help customize a plan for the individual

     Sarah:  I think its point is to be a loophole for those who like to try out different studios/boutiques in the city

     Sarah:  Rather than paying for a million different classes/membership fees, you get access to a variety of workouts

     Alison:  It also seems like a great idea for people who don't want to belong to just one gym.

     Dori:  i know they offer last minute discounts too

     Dori:  so if a flybarre class isnt full, theyll let their own fitist members get in at a cheaper price

     Mallory:  Well that's cool

     Alison:  Nice. That's pretty cool, I like that

     Michelle:  Oh, kind of like a Priceline for fitness classes then? Cool!

     Dori:  thats a good way of putting it

     Mallory:  Thats exactly what it is

     Michelle:  So tell me about the event

    Alison:  Well when I first walked in I was thrilled — that space was gorgeous and it was set up really nicely

     Alison:  All quality stuff: Lululemon yoga mats, SmartWater, etc.

     Dori: yes and lots of Zico coconut water, all flavors.. my favorite   

     Mallory:  I know!

     Sarah:  it was GORGEOUS

     Alison:  I loved the big windows, the gorgeous kitchen (the quinoa brownies...)

     Mallory:  Large loft, yoga mats, weights, picos everywhere

     Dori:  it looked like a loft apartment
    but a giant one

      Alison:  And they had two strapping young men (in my opinion—hehe) who were constantly setting up the mats, rolling out new ones, etc., so we didn't have to do it ourselves

     Dori:  not my type

     Michelle:  LOL

     Alison:  I felt confused, but I felt taken care of. I loved the water out everywhere, the abundance of fresh towels

     Dori:  yes! we were very provided for
    there were healthy baked treats and smoothies
    wine

     Sarah:  There was a great culinary nutritionist in the kitchen
    with delicious cookies

     Michelle:  Was it kind of a like a circuit deal? Or did everyone do the same activity at once?

     Dori:  same activity at once

     Alison:  Everyone did the same activity
    We started with yoga

     Dori:  we started with yoga with kristin mcgee
    shes a big name

     Michelle:  How was the yoga?

     Sarah:  Yea, Kristin McGee does Bethenny Frankel's videos with her

     Dori:  good! i thought it was a really nice stretch to ease into the rest

     Alison:  It was fine. It was tough to get into it because of all the background noise, but I liked easing into the workout

    And Kristin was adorable

    I'd definitely take class with her again. She adjusted me in Downward Dog and I wanted to cry it hurt so good.

     Dori:  i would too
    i would like to

     Sarah:  I actually started doing Kristin McGee's videos when I was in high school - so it was fun to see her in person!

    Not sure where/if she teaches in the city though

     Dori:  she does
    she teaches at a couple places

     Alison:  I would have loved a printout with all the classes we took, the names of the instructors, where they teach, etc. That would've been helpful

     Michelle:  Melissa just sent me a write-up and she said "Kristin set herself apart from the other instructors by being one of the most friendly and encouraging instructors I have met. She consistently said, "Great,' 'You all look gorgeous,' 'and 'This is beautiful.'"

     Mallory:  She did say that a lot

     Sarah:  Definitely the most personable

     Sarah:  Slash, she didn't yell at us like the bootcamp/kickboxing instructors
    So that was pleasant

     Alison:  Yeah even though yoga wasn't my favorite, SHE was my favorite

    See now...I liked being yelled at :)

     Alison:    After yoga we did boxing! I liked that, too.

     Dori:  i didnt love that

     Michelle:  Was that the Aerobox?

     Alison:  Yes

     Sarah:  Yep

     Alison:  Lots of fast punching

     Dori:  i thought it was a little boring

     Sarah:  It was fast-paced, but a little repetitive/predictable

     Alison:  I liked it because that was when I really started to SWEAT—my favorite workouts are ones that have me dripping

     Sarah:  Nothing we haven't seen in Tae Bo

     Alison:  Right

     Dori:  i dont like that it was uneven

     Alison:  I also didn't like that we never switched sides!

     Dori:  we did everything on one side

     Alison:  Exactly!

     Dori:  nothing on the other
    yep

     Dori:  i wonder if my left elbow being sore is because of only doing uppercuts on that side

     Mallory:  It was kind of bizarre to go from one workout to the next and so on but I think it gave us a good sense of how versatile the program can be

     Sarah:  Absolutely agree - the idea behind FITiST is "muscle confusion"

     Mallory:  It was a promo
    I mean, we all get the point

     Mallory:  It was an amuse bouche to their fitness style

     Alison:  Well said

     Sarah:  And last night was a great example of ping-ponging between completely different fitness styles

     Michelle:  For sure... what was after boxing?

     Alison:  After boxing we did Pilates, right?

     Dori:  yes

     Dori:  Real Pilates
    i liked that one, found it challenging and my abs burned the entire time
    i now want to go there and take a class

     Michelle:  Melissa said the instructor's lecturing "felt a bit patronizing"... but that "she really emphasized form, and her corrections made a huge difference."

     Alison:  I didn't like that one. I thought the instructor was a little annoying :-/

     Dori:  she was annoying
    but the workout was great i thought

     Sarah:  I agree - it was a bit preachy

     Mallory:  She was very traditional in her approach to the method. It was tough but that's how pilates was founded

     Alison:  I honestly don't remember the moves we did in that one

     Dori:  she was really trying to sell us on pilates

     Alison:  But pilates is pilates is pilates to me

     Dori:  a lot of chair pose with weights

     Sarah:  in that she promoted her style of pilates as the real, most accurate approach to the method

     Alison:  oh right right. arms back by the elbows.

     Dori:  it seemed different than all the other pilates ive taken actually

     Alison:  sorry, by the ears

     Dori:  thats why i liked it

     Sarah:  I think that what she was going for

     Mallory:  She was straight out of the Joseph Pilates textbook.  Now in gyms we get a mess of workouts.  I liked that she was back to the basics

     Sarah:  She was trying to get back to the basics
    Ha - exactly

     Mallory:  Sarah we are so on the same page!

     Michelle:  Definitely different instruction types for different folks! And after that was the Warrior Fitness Bootcamp, right?

     Dori:  yes
    not my kind of thing

     Mallory:  Ughhhhhhhhh

     Dori:  but a great workout

     Mallory:  So much yelling!

     Michelle:  LOL

     Alison:  This was my favorite.

     Sarah:  Very military

     Alison:  I'm all about the kind of cardio that makes me feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest.

     Dori:  they would say we were doing 15 push-ups, but then they would make us start over a hundred times because one person didnt yell out the count

     Alison:  I liked the drills, the two lines and the yelling

     Sarah:  We were lined up in two rows

     Alison:  We did the class in two vertical lines, not all spread out

     Mallory:  Agreed, however I remember thinking that if I were a FITist member and took bootcamp classes for a month it would be a great complement to my other workouts

     Dori:  it was all exercises i knew from Refine Method
    but taught in a way that bothered me

     Michelle:  Alison, probably goes back to the whole "yelling motivates me" thing for you, right?

     Alison:  Totally

     Dori:  yelling does not motivate me!

     Alison:  I liked that we were doing the same hardcore, ass-kicking type of stuff that military dudes do. That's kind of empowering.
    He wasn't treating us like pretty girls in Lululemon clothes

     Sarah:  I actually liked how minimalistic it was - very 'back to the basics' with the exercise we did

     Alison:  Sorry, they* not "he"
    Two guys taught

     Dori:  the actual exercises i liked, but as i said, i do those in Refine all the time

     Dori:  and no one there yells at me!

     Alison:  They wanted us to sweat

     Michelle:  What kind of exercises were they?

     Alison:  Lots of jumping jacks

     Sarah:  Burpees, jumping jacks

     Alison:  Squat thrusts

     Sarah:  pushups, planks

     Mallory:  I give them points for clear instruction and simple exercises

     Dori:  definitely

     Alison:  Again, all basic stuff

     Mallory:  Not easy, but simple to follow

     Alison:  But I find that yelling the counts makes me work twice as hard

     Dori:  it was the stopping and starting over
    i like knowing how to pace myself

     Alison:  You're forced to further engage your core and focus more on breathing so you can scream the numbers

     Dori:  so i can pace myself for 15 reps

     Dori:  but when they tell us 15 and it ends up being 25 because they make us all start over
    that annoys me

     Mallory:  I liked that

     Alison:  I felt the opposite

     Mallory:  It keeps you honest

     Dori:  i had to sit out the last ones
    because i paced myself for 15 and worked hard in the beginning

     Alison:  Yeah, I thought I was going to do 15 reps...but then I'm forced to do 20 and realize that I'm capable of that. It was a good push

     Dori:  and i realize im not!
    haha

     Sarah:  I agree - and I liked that it encouraged participation

     Mallory:  Agreed!

     Alison:  Yeah the "move as one unit" thing I liked

     Sarah:  No one wanted to be the person not counting off or participating that made everyone start over

     Dori:  the person in front of me didnt count at all

     Michelle:  Melissa said, "the instructors were loud and demanding, but they had a hint of playful attitude and congratulated us at the end."

     Michelle:  After was ReAB Pilates? What is that?

     Alison:  Blech. Didn't love.

     Sarah:  This was more of today's pilates

     Dori:  i didnt like the second pilates
    boring

     Mallory:  By ReABpilates we were all exhausted

     Sarah:  All of the moves you'd find in a standard studio/gym class

     Dori:  yeah

     Alison:  I just wanted to lay down
    (or eat brownies)

     Mallory:  Me too

     Michelle:  Haha... so nothing especially exciting, huh?

     Sarah:  It was also difficult because we took breaks between the 15 minute workouts
    and it's SO easy to fall out of 'workout mode'

     Alison:  Yeah, it wasn't structured at all

     Sarah:  especially when you're taking 8 mini classes

     Dori:  and they started late

     Michelle:  Okay, what about the last one? FlyBarre?

     Dori:  AWESOME
    i loved it

     Alison:  Flybarre was great, even though I was beat by that point

     Alison:  After bootcamp I seriously debated between getting back on the mat or drinking a glass of wine

     Dori:  their music was phenomenal and timed perfectly

     Mallory:  I. Loved. Flybarre.

     Dori:  the arm section was impossibly hard

     Sarah:  I really liked FlyBarre - it was the one workout that made me want to try out the studio

     Alison:  The girls were adorable. Super cute. I appreciate an attractive leader, is that bad?

     Dori:  it was better than the class i tried in the studio actually

     Sarah:  No, I agree

     Alison:  Yeah they came off as the most prepared and professional

     Dori:  i want to go back and take it with one of them

     Sarah:  Good motivation

     Alison:  They were very polished, very put together and worked well together

     Mallory:  I mean, we are all intensely in their target demographic

     Dori:  it was an intense, perfectly timed 15 minutes that worked everything

     Mallory:  But with that, they sold it really well...we all bought it!

     Alison:  Also, the name alone carries a heavy weight. FlyBarre & FlyWheel have a great reputation, so I felt like I wanted to work hard to impress them

     Sarah:  Absolutely - they managed to hit most of the basic portions of a barre class

     Alison:  Also, if doing FlyBarre means I'll look like the little instructor, then game on

     Dori:  and their music was just so fun
    right! her butt!

     Alison:  So perky! Hehe

     Dori:  they went around making corrections too

     Mallory:  I was next to two guys who were having a hard time.  It's always kind of motivating to feel strong in a workout that is tough for guys too

     Dori:  which is so important

      Michelle:  LOL! What's the music like for FlyBarre?
    Oh, the poor dudes.

     Sarah:  Very Z100

     Mallory:  Pop hits
    Yess

     Dori:  and the exercises were timed to them

     Mallory:  We might as well have been at jingle ball

     Dori:  so we stopped the arm work as soon as the song ended

     Sarah:  Hahaha

     Dori:  it was all just choreographed so well

     Sarah:  I actually wish I'd gotten their names - because I'd love to take a class with either of them

     Alison:  Again, a onesheet would have been helpful!

     Michelle:  Sounds like you all loved it... and as a whole, I think each workout appealed to at least one of you, which goes back to what one of you were saying, about it being a kind of amuse-bouche

     Mallory:  Yes
     Mallory:  A single bite of each workout.  I'd go back for more of many

     Alison:  Yes, very true
    And the brownies were really good. Did I mention that yet?
    I was a big fan.

     Dori:  the cookies were better

     Michelle:  And there were reps from food and beverage companies there?

     Alison:  I'm not sure who the food ladies were.

     Dori:  i have no idea, but our gift bags had a bar that was labeled -- same company maybe?

     Dori:  it was like a personal chef type company
    cant remember the name right now

     Mallory:  She was from Food Matters

     Dori:  yes!
     foodmattersnyc.com

     Mallory:  Great cookies

     Dori:  that bar in the gift bag was delicious

     Michelle:  Yum... so how did the event end?

     Dori:  Alison and I left after flybarre
    there were 2 more workouts
    but they started so late and it was almost 9

     Alison:  Yeah I was beat...most people had left by that point. I felt bad, but it went tooooo long

     Mallory:  It was a lot of exercise but a solid event
    I mean, I see how many classes I could take through FITiST

     Alison:  It's a good idea for sure.

     Dori:  yes i was happy that it all felt like a real workout

     Mallory:  Agreed

     Michelle:  Would you sign up for FITist after that event, do you think? Or recommend it to others?

     Alison:  Personally I wouldn't because I already belong to a full-service gym.

     Mallory:  I would!

     Dori: i would like to do a trial membership if possible
    see how it works

     Alison:  But I would recommend it to people who aren't sure what they want or who want to try lots of different things.

     Michelle:  Could it be too overwhelming for people who are new to working out altogether?

     Dori:  no i bet they would ease people into it based on their fitness levels -- at least i hope they would

     Mallory:  I think it would actually be perfect for that person.  They would create a program specifically for you and walk you through it

     Alison:  And the studios are all boutique studios where you're likely to get more direct attention than at a big gym
     Alison:  That could be reassuring

     Mallory:  Yes

     Michelle:  Cool! So, closing thoughts on the event, on FITiST?

     Sarah:  I love the idea of FITiST - I'm actually kind of surprised no one has centralized boutique fitness prior to this

     Dori:  agree

     Mallory:  I think it's a great concept

     Alison:  I'm so glad I was able to attend and to try things I may not have signed up for on my own. It's a smart idea for one-stop fitness shopping.

     Mallory:  Yes

     Sarah:  I like that it makes boutique fitness more accessible - and also that it allows you to try a good amount of affiliates

     Dori:  especially for people who go to a gym and have no idea what to do
    this will give them a focused, effective means of working out

     Sarah:  One of the worst things about private studios is that you really need to commit to one type of workout to get any sort of loyalty rewards (i.e. purchasing monthly passes or large class packages)
     Sarah:  And FITist remedies that

     Michelle:  This was great, ladies! Thanks so much for joining and chatting!

     Mallory:  Good chat! Later ladies

     Dori:  bye bye

     Alison:  Great to meet you guys!
    Good chat. Have a great day everyone!

     Sarah:  Enjoy your afternoon, guys!


    FITiST bills itself as the "first one-stop booking website for fitness and willness," and offers 10 different workout plans with access to popular workout studios in New York City. The plans have names like "Intense," "Slim," "Body & Soul," "Bride," "New Mom," and "Rookie," and range in price from $150 to $760 a month, and are offered in one- to three-month chunks. You'll be able to book your classes and manage your schedule on the FITiST website, which is currently in beta.