VIDEO: Fun Fitness Class – Recess Workout!

(credit: King5) Click the image to see the video.

Who doesn’t love recess? Well what if I told you there is a gym that turned recess in to a workout? Monkey bars, relay races, obstacle courses and a live DJ spinning awesome mixes…and it’s all in the service of providing a muscle sculpting, fat burning workout!

This month I had the extreme pleasure of checking out Seattle’s Rival Fitness club for KING5 TV’s daytime show New Day Northwest. Click the image above to see the video and read all about it!

If you live in Seattle you will definitely want to pay Rival Fitness a visit. The gym is all about making fitness fun and accessible, and along with innovative classes like Recess and Field Day, Rival features some of the most cutting edge equipment including VIPERs, sandbacks, ropes and, of course, monkey bars.

Rival is also the only gym in Seattle that features Indo Rowing classes. The Indo Rower is a   water resistance based indoor rowing machine that provides a full body, low impact workout. It also means business… get ready to sweat and sculpt your entire body in a way you’ve never experienced before.

I tried a few classes during my free week pass and each one blew my mind.  Tabata, Field Day and Shockwave…all incredible, fun, innovative workouts. Rival is like Christmas morning for anyone who loves fitness, there is almost too much good stuff. The best part is the warm, friendly, helpful environment that makes fitness fun and everyone feel welcome!

To learn more about Rival Fitness visit their website.

Rival Fitness’s Indo Rowers use water as resistance.



Get Bathing Suit Ready with Bachelor Winner Catherine Giudici and The Bar Method

Ever wonder how the lovely ladies on the Bachelor stay in such amazing shape? For newly engaged Catherine Giudici and (one of my personal favorites who I was hoping would be the Bachelorette or at least find real love with Kalon)  Lindzi Cox… it’s all about The Bar Method.

The Bar Method is one of my favorite workouts and studios in Seattle. The ballet barre workouts are some of the hardest I have ever done, and the studio is famous for transforming people’s bodies and attitudes about exercise. Seriously, you will never look at a set of two pound weights the same way, this class will shred you!  (You can read my class review here.)

Just in time for summer and bathing suit season, Bar Method is hosting a “60-Day Get Bathing Suit Ready Challenge”. Not only will you sculpt your arms, flatten your abs and tone your legs (ideal for bathings suits!) you will also raise money for a good cause.  Check out the details…


  • Commit to taking Bar Method a minimum of three days per week during the months of April and May
  • Commit to clean eating and a healthy lifestyle
  • Bar Method will donate $10 on behalf of each person who completes 24+ classes and $20 on behalf of each person who completes 48+ classes to Ben Towne Foundation

There is also a fabulous Kick Off Party on April 1 at The Bar Method South Lake Union studio at 6:30pm and at 7:45pm where you can meet a gold medalist and the Bachelor ladies!

Join Bar devotee and Team USA Olympic swimmer and world record holder Ariana Kukors (someone who is no stranger to fitness or wearing a bathing suit). Ariana will be taking the Challenge herself as well as sharing motivation, assisting with goal setting and revealing her best strategies for overcoming obstacles and achieving your dreams.
The kick-off will also provide a special opportunity to meet Bar Method enthusiasts
Lindzi Cox and Catherine Giudici (schedule permitting) from The Bachelor, who will
also be taking the 60-Day ‘Get Bathing Suit Ready’ Challenge! In addition to taking the
Challenge, they will be offering their own insights, humor and motivation.

I think challenges are a great way to motivate yourself to workout and if meeting a gold medalist, the Bachelor ladies, getting bathing suit ready and raising money for a good cause aren’t enough, there are also prizes!


  • Activewear from Prima Studios, Lululemon, Lucy, Zella and Athleta
  • 90-minute wardrobe styling session with fashion expert Darcy Camden
  • Nutrition consultation with Certified Nutritionist Deborah Enos
  •  Customized facial from Esthetician Reini Greene
  •  Blowout and makeup session at Swink Style Bar
  • Cut and color from Coupe Rokei
  • Manicure and pedicure from Julep
  • Spray tanning from Seattle Sun Tan
  • Massage from Vida Spa
  • FREE Bar Swag Bags and FREE month of unlimited Bar classes


  • Take 24+ classes and get one entry in to the drawing
  • Take 48+ classes and get two entries into the drawing
  • Bonus entry in drawing for submitting a transformation story at the end of the
  • Challenge (before and after pictures are encouraged)

I have tried and love The Bar Method (plus many of the prize places above… seriously amazing!). I just wanted to let you know this is not a sponsored post, I just happen to love this place and think you will too:).

I think this is a fabulous event and it’s a great way to try a new class or challenge yourself to change your body! Let me know if you go and I hope to see my Seattle ladies there!


Fitness Class Review: High Intensity Training (HIIT)


Interval training is all the rage now, and for good reason! It helps you burn more calories in less time (love this), helps improve your speed and endurance and recent studies have shown it can actually reduce belly fat (double love this!). High Intensity Interval Training (or HITT as it’s sometimes called) is a full body cardio workout and involves alternating short bursts of super intense work with a low intensity recovery. These intervals are usually performed in a 2:1 ratio so for example,  20 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of rest and repeated for 9-20 minutes. However,  you can take these intervals up to about one minute long just make sure the work interval is very hard since one thing that sets HIIT apart from other interval training programs is the short duration and  high intensity of the intervals.


I’ve taken several HIIT classes and I also happen to teach one. One of my student’s favorite classes involves a 5-10 minute warm up (since the intervals are so intense I like to make sure everyone is totally warmed-up for the class) followed by 4 / one minute intervals with 90 second recoveries using jumprope, burpee, alternating front kicks and shuffle intervals. Then we move onto 4 /:45 second intervals with one minute recoveries using mountain climbers, high knees, flying lunges and squat jumps and finally 4/ :30 second intervals with :30 second recoveries using wide knee run, air jacks, hitch kicks left leg and hitch kicks right leg. If the class really wants to turn it up I’ll add 30 second relay sprints between the interval groups. This workout usually burns 550 calories in about 40 minutes.  

I’ve taken HIIT classes that alternate one minute of intense cardio like sprints on the bike or jump squats with one minute of full body strength training like pushups or squat presses. The class lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and makes a nap afterwards absolutely necessary.


  • HIIT training is so demanding and intense that it’s proven to change your body and lower your body fat composition. You become a fat burning machine and if that’s not reason enough to try it then I don’t know what is!
  • Flat abs and a strong core
  • Plyometrics like jump squats will tone your legs and literally lift your butt inches higher
  • If you incorporate pushups and burpees get ready for ripped arms and sculpted shoulders


  • This workout is short and flies by which I love since I’d rather be catching up on my Bravo TV than spending all day in the gym.
  • The intensity means you get an after-burn so you’ll burn and extra 100 calories trying to decide if you’re on team Teresa or team Caroline and wondering what happened with Dina…?
  • Pushing yourself past your comfort zone is always a rewarding experience. You’ll feel tough and like you can overcome anything after one of these classes or workouts.
  • Get out the skinny jeans because 2-3 of these workout per week will have you tight and toned in no time!


Every celeb does this kind of training…Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Jessica Biel, Giuliana Rancic, every Victorias Secret model, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Beyonce to name a few. If you see someone who has a lean toned body I bet they do interval training!


My HIIT class is at the University of Washington Intramural Activity Center so (bummer) you have to be  UW student or staff to take it…but if you live in Seattle I’d give these a try…

Club Zum in downtown Seattle: The class is called Hard Core

David Barton Gym in Bellevue: The class is called Melt

Elite Fitness Bellevue: Drop in Bootcamp Class on Sunday mornings at 9am or Wednesdays at 1pm.

Class Review: Lab5 Fitness – TRX class


The TRX suspension trainer is a completely portable, packable, take anywhere full gym…and it weighs less than two pounds.  It’s a set  of straps anchored to any high location or door jam and from there you can do thousands of body weight strength training exercises that tone muscles and melt body fat. It was developed by a former Navy Seal so you know it works!


The Lab5 Fitness TRX class was held in it’s beautiful back studio with full length mirrors, wood floors, large windows and great lighting. The TRXs were anchored from the ceiling (perfect for getting the most out of each exercise) and the class size was limited to 12 people. After the warm-up our instructor Ron started the workout with pushups and core work, then we moved into a hard-core lower body section. We did fast squats and lunges with the back foot elevated for 2 minutes followed by  tabata cardio intervals with jump squats. Next we moved into alternating upper body exercises like pushups and rows and lower body exercises using the same tabata protocal (20 seconds on/10 seconds off). We finished with killer planks and mountain climbers with our feet suspended in the TRX handles. The workout lasted for a total of 50 intense minutes and I left sweaty as can be with a full body workout…Toning, check. Cardio, check. Happy hour justification…Double Check!


  • TRX’s design makes you focus on your core with every move. It’s similar to Pilates or  yoga in that way but waaay more intense.
  • You can get very deep in your squats and lunges to really target the area I affectionately call the “thut” (it’s where your thigh and butt meet)


  • I was actually excited to try on my skinny jeans after the workout…your body feels so tight and toned it’s like your thighs, triceps and abs have been sucked in. Plus you’ll be sore for about three days…which I totally LOVE!
  • The TRX uses multiple muscle groups at once for more toning and calorie burning in less time plus helps to raise your metabolism
  • The workout increases your flexibility
  • It’s actually very good for newbies or anyone recovering from an injury since you can easily adjust the intensity of each exercise
  • There are so many exercises to choose from you never get bored
  • It’s easy to use, and easy to bring with you anywhere so no more excuses…I’m talking to you frequent travelers.


  • Celebs like Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen, Scarlett Johansson
    Mary J. Blige, Ellen Pompeo and Jamie Pressly owe their killer curves to TRX workouts
  • Plenty of pro-athletes including Superbowl MVP Drew Brees and triathletes love the functional training aspects of the TRX
  • My class had frequent TRXers but that’s not always the case. I really recmommend this workout to everyone from beginners to the hard cores. Just make sure you get someone to show you the ropes so you make sure you’re doing it right.


Lab5 Fitness offers Ballet Barre, Pilates, Yoga, Reformer and Aerial Conditioning classes. The studio, trainers and customer service  are all outstanding I will definitely be going back and I recommend you give it a try if you live in the Seattle area. (First class is free…yay!)

Lab5 Fitness Studio
606 Broadway East Studio A
Seattle Washington 98102


Check out some TRX workouts on the official TRX youtube page here.

You can buy your own TRX at

Class Review: The Bar Method


I absolutely love the Physique 57 DVD’s so I was super excited to try the new Bar Method class, after all who wouldn’t want to have the long lean body of a dancer? Both Bar Method and Physique 57 are ballet based workouts that use light weights and dance inspired movements to sculpt long lean muscles while increasing flexibility. Plus the new studio in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle is gorgeous! Lots of turquoise and white, locker room with showers and I loved this…hair ties in case you forget yours!


We started with arm work including pushups, bicep curls and tricep extensions using light weights. This is a pretty big change for me since I usually lift pretty heavy so two to three pound dumbells seemed, well unintimidating. I was wrong! The teeny tiny one inch movements were killer and I was oh so happy to only be lifting something comparable in weight to an iPad. We them moved onto super small range of motion plies and squats and followed with left lifts lifting up and down only an inch. Oh my goodness where my muscles shaking uncontrollably! I was sweating bullets and I am not ashamed to say I had to stop and rest a few times. We concluded the class with more pushups, killer core work and some great stretches. Even days later I can still feel my biceps and triceps and yes, I wince just a little when I walk by a two pound dumbbell.


  • Tight lean biceps and triceps
  • Sculpted shoulders
  • Super flat tight abs (seriously just looking at some of the instructors is inspiration enough)
  • Long, lean thighs and high tight bootys


I adore doing something different and something that challenges me. I was not good at this class, like at all. Everyone else kicked my butt and I kinda love that. It means I really need to work on this kind of core strength and flexibility. The teachers were fantastic and even though it was my first time they knew my name and were very supportive and gentle in their corrections as they walked around the room. The music was good (pop, my fave) and the class seemed to fly by even during the crazy core work we did neat the end. Plus I’m a sucker for any workout that I can feel days later.


  • FYI dress to impress at these classes…the girls turn it out! The class was filled with Lululemon‘s fall collection and most girls were in their late 20s to 30s. That might just be this location because I have seen men and women in their 40s and 50s at bar classes.
  • This is a great workout for anyone starting out or looking to do something lower impact and lower intensity. (It’s not going to be high intensity like say, a cardio bootcamp) You can make it your own and  I didn’t really feel like I had to keep up with anyone…a very pleasant surprise.
  • Bar classes are sooo hot with celebs right now. Kelly Ripa, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Drew Barrymore, Lisa Rinna, Anna Paquin, Denise Richards and Jacqueline Laurita to name a few


REDMOND: The Bar Method Eastside Redmond Town Center 7551 166th Avenue NE, #D240 Redmond, WA 98052 425.556.5163

SEATTLE: The Bar Method Seattle South Lake Union 124 Westlake Ave North Seattle, WA 98109 206.467.5249

Go online to reserve your spot now!