Where to sweat: bodybar Studios

origFor me personally, working out is about much more than trying to be fit, losing weight or any additional health-related reason (though those are on my list of reasons I do, of course, not to mention heart disease runs spastic through my mom’s side of the family). However, without a doubt, the number one reason I workout as much as I do is to keep me from punching people in the face repeatedly. Or crying my eyes out on a daily basis. Basically, it keeps me as close to normal and sane as I possibly can be. If you’ve met either of my parents you certainly know I naturally come by multiple forms of crazy.

Getting into a rut with workouts is extremely easy to do. I overdosed on P90X two years ago and still can’t make it through an entire week of that bloody program anymore without screaming at Tony Horton. And I know a lot of people who are over going to standard, run-of-the-mill boring gyms. Can’t say I blame them. I am a member of one just because it’s, well, cheap. Trust me, if I had my way I would frequent boutique fitness centers only: Flywheel, American Power Yoga and bodybar Studios. Of course, if I had my way I would also be dating Seth MacFarlane. But that’s…clearly off topic.

I have been super excited to write about bodybar for quite some time. I am 150% biased when it comes to these workouts and this Pilates studio. Up until the end of June I worked for them regularly, which is why I held off writing this. In full disclosure, I will still be working there on occasion when someone needs me to fill in; I couldn’t bring myself to leave it all together!

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Where to shop: a Fabletics invite for fabulous you

FableticsI am a sucker for a membership program. I was one of the first people I know to sign up for Shoedazzle, loved it when I could still wear heels. I used to have a spa membership and a membership to Drybar (more on both of those places later). Needless to say I had to put those all on hold until the career situation gets itself sorted. However, I just landed a much desired part-time gig at one of my favorite workout studios in Dallas, bodybar. This means I have to buy new workout clothes for WORK. Amazing, right?

I happened to just come across an ad for Fabletics on Facebook, a wonderful women’s workout clothing boutique co-founded by Kate Hudson. We love her. I just got my first outfit (yes, outfit…THREE pieces!) for $34.95. That’s unheard of. A shawl, tank and capris. I can’t wait to see how it all looks in person! Until then, here’s an invite exclusively for you, readers, so check it out – you get 50% off your first order: Fabletics invite for fabulous you.

Update! Hey ladies, I just got my first delivery today (Jan. 31) and I absolutely LOVE it. I noticed this post is getting some traction from search engines so I wanted to make sure my review was included. The quality is great, the sizes are spot on and it’s all absolute comfy! I will no doubt continue to order from Fabletics! Let me know if you have any questions. Visit the link above for 50% your first order!

Xo, Nikki

How to sweat: group exercise etiquette

spin roomDon’t get me wrong, I am by no means Emily Post; I’ve acted a fool many times (tequila is typically involved). However, I was raised to conduct myself a certain way in certain situations and places. Usually that means with some form of decorum and consideration for others. One of the places I think people fail the most is at the gym. The other is movie theaters, but we’ll save that for later. You’re shocked about that one, I know.

I’m well aware how difficult it is for a lot of women to even have the courage to step into a gym. I have faced these insecurities quite frequently.  Just signing up (membership is such a racket anyway), hopping on that first cardio machine, attempting to use one of those torturous looking weight lifting contraptions (Christian Grey designed some of those, don’t lie), walking into a group fitness class (especially when you find out the instructor is RUSSIAN)…it all can rather intimidating. God forbid you need to ask a trainer with less than 1/2 percent body fat a question. Staying on the couch and watching Psych on Netflix is so much more comforting. Well, Shawn Spencer, he’s more comforting.

We all know how important consistent exercise is for literally EVERYTHING. For the most part, it keeps me from wanting to punch everyone in the face. However, I’ve not stepped foot in my gym since December. I despise going the first few weeks of January for obvious reasons. I’ve been doing P90X and yoga DVDs at home. If I lived in a perfect world (read: had a job), I would actually be at American Power Yoga and bodybar almost every day of the week. Best. Workouts. Ever. But, in the meantime, I have to stick to LA Fitness. This is mainly for cardio classes (spin mostly). Until I get the mini Home Depot removed from my ankle so I can run again and/or get over my ridiculous and deathly fear of road bikes, gym cardio will have to do.

I am a member at the LA Fitness Signature Club in Uptown. Remaining a signature member is really the only “luxury” I’ve allowed myself to keep since cutting all unnecessary expenses. Exercise is important to me, I actually enjoy it and really like this  specific location (my other favorite? Universal City). Not to mention we all have a better chance of becoming President of the United States than successfully cancelling a gym membership. This location unfortunately comes with its own intimidation factors, as it’s in UPTOWN. Just think Courtney Loves Dallas goes to the gym. That pretty much covers it. Not always, but often. So it’s difficult, cause I’m no twig nor do I have a closet full of Lululemon. Movie t-shirts and my Target pants work just fine and I’m not going to be social. I was awfully proud of myself for getting in the car and making spin class this morning. Who knew my shoes still clipped in?

Then my worst nightmare sat down on the bike next to me. She was late. She smelled like Victoria’s Secret threw up on her. She had her iPod. And she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. If you know me at all, you know how annoyed I was by this.

After a successful 21.5 miles (meaning I didn’t die and didn’t rip her hair out) I thought about this on the way home. My BFF owns a women’s cycle shop in SoCal and taught spin for years and one of my best friends here in Dallas is also a long-time spin instructor, currently at some of the nicest gyms in town. So I also recalled what they’ve said regarding class etiquette, so this isn’t just my own personal opinion. But those of professionals as well. Below is what I (we) consider major issues and can easily be addressed, one would even think it’s common sense. I know we all agree that getting to the gym in itself is a personal achievement and being considerate of that and supporting each other  is important. So no need to be hussies when it comes to group exercise.

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