Brooklyn Bodyburn’s Second Location: The Sweaty New Fitness Destination

It’s not exactly like I’ve been avoiding going to check out Brooklyn Bodyburn but until it opened in Cobble Hill last week, I’d never made it to a class. The original studio opened in Williamsburg last year to rave reviews but it was a pain to get to from my part of Brooklyn. However, the new studio is super convenient and finally, all of my excuses for not getting my butt over to check out Tracy Carlinksy’s studio flew out of the window.

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The studio is a Lagree Fitness™studio and Tracy was quick to point out that this was NOT a Pilates class…which, I appreciated. The new Cobble Hill studio is equipped with the very latest version of the machine, the M3S, which is the newest, extra large souped-up version of the Megaformer.

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For the opening weekend, the new studio hosted a special Lululemon and friends Bodyburn class. The basics of the workout is that the movements are slow but the transitions are fast and as Tracy went over the M3S at the beginning of class, I could already tell this class was going to be a lot more challenging than I had anticipated –there were a lot of moving parts to contend with!

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I have a bunch of friends who’ve been raving about it and I finally get why. 10 minutes into this class, my muscles were shaking and I was dripping in sweat. Our crew was filled with fitness fiends – CrossFitters, Dancers, Barre addicts and Triathletes and not one of us had an easy time with this one… which was slightly comforting, considering I was dying. Tracy’s cues were spot-on and she gave a lot of hands-on corrections that were really helpful – especially for a class filled with people who had almost no experience on the Megaformers.

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The machine is made up of a large main platform that is spring loaded with two stationary platforms on either end to change how you balance on your weight while making the carriage move. The biggest surprise for me given my experience on the traditional Pilates Reformer, is that on the Megaformer there weren’t any moves where you are on your back – at several points during the class this was a fact that made me very sad. There were planks, pikes and pushups – sometimes with your hand on the stationary platforms, sometimes with your hands out on the moving carriage.

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The twisting pikes were my favorite – awesome and super challenging but I could see getting good at them. The series that made me want to cry, though, was the leg section in the middle. Occasionally, the lunges would be done with the front foot planted on the solid platform and the back foot pushing out the moving carriage to pulse. Then, we ran to the back of the machine so that our front foot was the one pushing out to pulse.

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In both positions, Tracy ran around grabbing our knees to make sure that they were held in the right position and didn’t launch over our toes, which would be a recipe for knee disaster. She was a stickler for form, which I love… but occasionally, as she held my knee, I really wanted to burst out crying because it was so damn hard. At one point, I had to hop off my machine and grab a towel since I thought I was going to slide off the platform because I was so very, very sweaty.  Note to self: next time, grab the towel before heading to the machine!

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The following day, sitting was comically painful. I don’t think I’ve gotten my ass handed to me that badly in a long time… I can’t wait to go back.

 

photos by Eric Stafford, Stafford Sports Media for FBS

Sometimes it takes time: I finally take my 3rd SLT class…

I’ve mentioned it before, but my goal, always, is to only talk about classes that I love. I don’t write up a lot of the classes I take, some because I have written about them so much that unless something new happens, I figure I have covered it. Some classes, though, it is because for whatever reason, I just didn’t love them. That doesn’t make them a bad class, per say, just not for me. There are classes people adore, that I spend the entire time wanting to throw my shoe at the instructor’s head. These days, I have gotten pretty good at knowing what I will hate and just skipping it. However, there are some classes that take a little bit to warm up to, which is why if there is a deal for something that seems like something I will love, I will snap it up. SLT was one of those cases.

This week, I went to my final SLT class, I had gotten a 3-class Gilt City deal ages ago and have been really slow in using them up. My first SLT class was with Jamie Lugo and I liked it but didn’t LOVE it. There wasn’t anything bad about that first class, but it just didn’t hook me. The second class I took with Natalie Uhling Pozatek, I really loved her class and it made me realize why people were completely hooked on SLT. Then, I got a tweet last week from a devoted SLT’er about joining her in a class, and I immediately said yes. After a little back and forth, we figured out the perfect time… and then I realized it would be with Jamie again. I signed up, figuring it would be fun anyway, even though I hadn’t been crazy about it the first time.  I was right.  It probably didn’t hurt that it was my 3rd class, the Megaformer moves were less foreign, and I was able to pick up what was supposed to be happening a little more quickly.  In this class, I was totally won over by Jamie. She was sweet, helpful and had good, solid corrections. All of her sequences flowed, were really challenging, with moves that were interesting and creative. My friend, who I went to class with, has been going every day and it was completely evident. She was so strong and I had to work extra hard, not to match her skill at this method (that wasn’t going to happen) but at least to keep from making a total ass of myself. It made the class tons of fun. I like it when someone in class is so inspiring – especially when I know them!

By the end of class, I was tired and felt really challenged by the great, interesting workout. I was also really sorry that it was the last time I was going to get to do it.  It might have taken me a little while to warm up to SLT but by the end of those 3 classes, I really loved the method and think it would be an amazing addition to any workout regimen. I finally really get exactly why they have such a devoted following.  They are one of the FITiST studios, though, so next time I spring for one of their awesome 4 packs, I might just have to make my way back to SLT….

Top image & design from SuperBrutte

Natalie Uhling Pozatek & finding the love for SLT…

I finally took my second SLT class on Monday (SLT, short for Strengthen- Lengthen- Tone, is a Pilates-inspired class that uses an apparatus called the Megaformer, which is basically the standard Pilates Reformer on steroids.) This time, I took the class with Natalie Uhling Pozatek, an instructor who also teaches at Barry’s Bootcamp. I had heard some great recommendations for Natalie but the kicker was when Kira Stokes mentioned her and said that Natalie was a stickler for form too! I knew my next SLT class HAD to be with her since really, praise like that doesn’t come every day. When it comes to any workout method a form stickler for me is a good trait, but in something so new and challenging like SLT, it is an absolute necessity and that missing piece was what kept me from adoring SLT the first time I took it. I liked it a lot, but didn’t love it.

On Monday morning, I finally made it into Natalie’s class. In person, Natalie is just as stunning as she appears in all of her fitness modeling gigs but much more importantly, she is ridiculously charming and personable. She has a sweet, goofy side that made me immediately like her. Natalie is just so comfortable when she starts to teach and most importantly VERY sure of what she is teaching. Seriously, nothing charms me more than that. Charming and commanding is a hard line to walk and she does it with ease.

In SLT, like in Pilates, it makes all of the difference if you are doing the moves correctly and the moment Natalie started the class, I knew we were in good hands. Her instructions were clear, concise and with almost every move she demonstrated it long enough to make sure that we were all doing the move before hopping off and making the rounds to each of us. She was very hands-on and I LOVED her for it. The moves are really challenging in SLT and it is easy to over compensate by leaning out of alignment, but she never once let anyone of us get away with any cheat at all. She would quickly move over to anyone doing the move wrong and correct us.  Even though Natalie’s corrections made the moves a million times harder, it also made the class intense, exciting, AND a fun experience – because even though I knew I would be sore the next day, I also knew her keen eye wouldn’t let me hurt myself by doing something wrong. That is a huge big deal, if I know an instructor is really watching, correcting and intensely engaged with making sure I am doing the move right, I will do anything asked. Two days later, I was still sore (seriously there were some crazy moves that apparently hit muscles in my inner thighs that I didn’t know existed) BUT I am now completely smitten with SLT, which is exactly what I had been hoping for when I walked into class on Monday!

I can’t wait to take another class with Natalie…

Top and bottom images from SLT’s website. Middle image of Natalie Uhling Pozatek from a recent photoshoot by Coty Tarr via Natalie’s Facebook page.