By Miguel Velazquez

I have always loved to watch boxing on TV, it has always been my favorite sport. So when I heard about the Boxing 101 class at Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Center I was super excited to jump right in.

(Left – Right) Vodkia Martin, Miguel Velazquez

(Left – Right) Vodkia Martin, Miguel Velazquez

Before heading out to the gym though, I was expecting to enter a dingy, smelly, “Rocky Balboa style” boxing gym with an older man screaming at me “you’re a bum!” every time I didn’t get the exercise right. But, to my very pleasant surprise, the boxing gym was very modern, clean, and the people (staff, members and students) were the friendliest and most welcoming I have ever met. Owner and instructor, Marty P. Hill made the class fun from start to finish.

We learned some boxing jabs, punches, uppercuts & the proper stands to throw a punch and protect ourselves. And as a fun way to practice these new skills, we played a game of “Marty Says” (his boxing version of “Simon Says”) during which he called out various combinations, if you got one wrong you stepped off the mat, until only one person was left. Then we paired up with another student to put what we learned into practice with speed, one person with boxing gloves and the other with punching mitts.

Overall the workout was intense, but because we were having so much fun I was able to keep up with the rest of the veteran students that kept cheering me on throughout the class.

(Top Left –Right) Chris Perry, Keith Murphy, Jeff Lundy, Ivan Howard, Mary Beth Cornell, Dock Davis (Bottom Left –Right) Jason Schreider, Amanda Leigh Stillings, Marty P. Hill, Vodkia Martin, Larry Brown, Sarah Tushin

(Top Left –Right) Chris Perry, Keith Murphy, Jeff Lundy, Ivan Howard, Mary Beth Cornell, Dock Davis
(Bottom Left –Right) Jason Schreider, Amanda Leigh Stillings, Marty P. Hill, Vodkia Martin, Larry Brown, Sarah Tushin

As much as I enjoyed getting a great workout, what I loved most was the fact that everyone made me feel like family as soon as I stepped in the door.  Even if you have no intention of ever stepping in the ring, I highly suggest giving Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Center a try. I’m sure you’ll feel just as at home as I did.

 

 

Details: 6035 Peachtree Road, Suite c117, Atlanta, GA, 30360, sweetsciencefitness.com

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As we gear up for our 6th annual Over 40 & Fabulous! contest, we have decided to check-in with our previous winners to see what they are up to now.

Nominations for this year’s Over 40 & Fabulous! contest open February 1. So, mark your calendars and start thinking about who you would like to nominate! In the meantime, enjoy our updates on previous winners.

Virginia Keagle

Since becoming one of our 2014 Over 40 & Fabulous! Top 10 winners, Virginia Keagle has continued to work with Habitat for Humanity and coordinate volunteer activities. She has also recently gotten involved with Roswell-based shelter, The Drake House, an organization she has wanted to work with for quite some time.

In addition, she is currently in the process of writing a book, entitled “The Chosen Path.” Which she hopes to have published by the end of 2016. Lately she can be spotted on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages of long-time Atlanta jewelry designer Mark Edge, sporting his signature reclaimed designs.

To learn more about Virginia Keagle and our other 2014 Over 40 & Fabulous! winners, check out our June 2014 issue.

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By Alexandra McCray

I arrived for my 6:30 p.m. Full Body Class at Stellar Bodies a few minutes early. Once the class before mine cleared out, I tucked my things away in one of the nearby cubbies and made my way to a Megaformer™. The Stellar Bodies workout utilizes the Lagree Method, which is rooted in Pilates. So if you’ve taken a Pilates class with a reformer, you’ll pretty much feel at home on a Megaformer™.

But don’t worry. If you’re like me, and have little reformer—and no Megaformer™—experience, you’ll catch on fast. Trust me. True to its name, this class works your entire body with an emphasis on core stability and strength.

(Left to Right) Ansley Bourn, Jamie Schneider and Alex McCray.

(Left to Right) Ansley Bourn, Jamie Schneider and Alex McCray.

We began with burpees as a full-body warm up, and then moved on to serious glute work. I love how this workout amps up traditional Pilates moves, like using added tension from the Megaformer™ when making small and large circles with the legs.

The added resistance really makes this class a killer. Within just a few minutes, I was sweating bullets and feeling strain in muscles I didn’t even know I had. When she could tell we were starting to wane, our instructor, Jamie Schneider, encouraged us to push past the pain, saying “I want you to hate me now, but love me later.”

My favorite part of the class was when we focused on our upper bodies, which included doing bicep curls and tricep extensions with straps, and using the moving Megaformer™ platform to do planks and side crunches.

I love new spins on traditional workout moves, and this class offers plenty of them. Stop by Stellar Bodies’ Buckhead or Midtown location to mix up your workout routine and give this class a try.

Details: 44 12th Street, Atlanta, GA 30309, stellarbodiesatl.com

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By Ansley Bourn

As you can probably tell from my other 30 Days of Fitness posts, I love working out and trying new forms of exercise — and, the Power Plate® training class at PowerUp30 was like nothing I’d ever done before.

Ansley performing a Power Plate workout.

Ansley performing a Power Plate workout.

This 30-minute class is designed to help you get an effective workout fast. It is centered around an exercise machine called the Power Plate®. Basically, the Power Plate® vibrates at a certain hertz level, and while on top of it you do other exercises such as weight lifting, planks, crunches, TRX etc. The added challenge is keeping your balance while adding the extra workout elements.

The hardest part for me was keeping my balance (go figure), but you get the hang of it as the class goes on. PowerUp30 owner and instructor, Susan King, kept checking on me to make sure I wasn’t “in my head,” which I quickly figured out is when the vibrations go straight to your head because you aren’t holding a pose correctly. “Get out of your head, Ansley!” was something I heard several times.

Susan King and Ansley Bourn

Susan King and Ansley Bourn

Because your muscles are contracting 40x more a second than they would during normal Pilates and TRX workouts, it’s very important to stay hydrated! I would recommend drinking plenty of water and getting some protein in your system before class.

Small group training is what PowerUp30 is all about. The Power 30 class has a maximum of four students. The class I took was even smaller than that. It consisted of just me and another lady. The good thing about a small class, is that you get extra attention! There are several husband/wife duos that workout with Susan and Scott, and the sense of community in the gym is strong.

Susan overall is a joy to be around and I loved taking her class.

Details: 1985 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318, powerup30.com

 

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As we gear up for our 6th annual Over 40 & Fabulous! contest, we have decided to check-in with our previous winners to see what they are up to now.

Nominations for this year’s Over 40 & Fabulous! contest open February 1. So, mark your calendars and start thinking about who you would like to nominate! In the meantime, enjoy our updates on previous winners.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Evans

Photo Credit: Kimberly Evans

Since becoming one of our 2014 Over 40 & Fabulous! Top 10 winners, Marsha Middleton has continued her charitable work with Meals on Wheels. In November of 2015 she chaired the 28th Annual A Meal to Remember Gala at the St. Regis Atlanta. Which raised over $600,000 for seniors in need. Her PR firm, M-Squared Public Relations had a record year for client media placements, and will turn eight in August of 2016. Marsha has continued to pursue her love of travel. Since winning her title she has traveled to Mexico, Jamaica, Barcelona and Madrid.

To learn more about Marsha Middleton and our other 2014 Over 40 & Fabulous! winners check out our June 2014 issue.

 

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By Alexandra McCray

Walking into The Daily I was immediately overwhelmed by a sense of calmness and serenity. This boutique Pilates studio, tucked away across the street from the King Plow Arts Center, is beautiful. Cool greys, blues and crisp whites can be found in every aspect of its interior design. Lily Collins, studio owner and instructor, greeted me with a warm smile as I walked in the door.

After putting my things away, Lily lead me up a small, spiral staircase where mats, balls, and foam rollers were waiting for me. Today’s Foundations Pilates class was small, with just two other women. Personally, I am always a fan of small classes. To me, it often means you get a little bit more one-on-one instruction and the chance to connect with your classmates more.

Lily and Alexandra

Lily and Alexandra

We began our warm-up by rolling small balls beneath our feet to get our blood flowing and release tension from standing all day, wearing heels and just general wear and tear our feet. We then placed the foam roller vertically on the mat and laid our backs on it. We gently rolled from side to side to help release any stress from that area.

After we were warmed up, we headed down stairs into the reformer room. I’ve never used a Pilates reformer before, but Lily was great at helping me get comfortable with the machine and making sure my form was correct. I loved that we were able to get in a whole body workout on the reformer. One of my favorite moves worked our legs and had us doing circles in the air with the our feet in the straps.

We ended class by using the straps and reformer to stretch out our muscles, which felt great. Lily reminded us that we would get more flexible with each class.

I highly recommend this class if you’re looking to venture into the world of reformer Pilates, or just looking for a new way to work your muscles.

Details: 981 West Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, doitonthedaily.com

 

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By Ansley Bourn

Looking to spice things up in your yoga practice? Core Power Yoga North Druid Hills  is the perfect place to maximize the workout on your mat. Each class adds an extra twist to the modern yoga experience while still staying true to traditional yoga roots. Parking is plentiful, and you don’t need a reservation for class! Get there a little early to check yourself in and peruse the creme de le creme of yoga attire. If you’re like me and forget to bring a towel, mat or water bottle, no worries! They have them all available to rent or purchase (all three are free for your first class).

Each class at Core Power offers variations for all levels, but it is recommended to complete one Core Power 1 or 2 class (C1 or C2) before Yoga Sculpt. Set to upbeat tunes and heated at 92-95 degrees, this class is sure to fire up your muscles and get your heart rate moving. Hydration is key, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after.

Melisa and Ansley

Melisa and Ansley

I like to think of Yoga Sculpt as a hybrid of plyometrics, cardio, yoga and weightlifting. Chair pose gets a little more challenging when you’re holding five pound weights over your head! This class was extra fun for me because I took it with my good friend Melisa Newsome.

Ansley and Samson

Ansley and Samson

We both agree that the hardest part of Yoga Sculpt was the added weightlifting to the already challenging horse and frog squats. Just when I thought my quads couldn’t take it any longer, our instructor and studio manager, Samson Frederick would chime in with a “Yes you can!” and count us down to the next position. He made sure to spend time with each person in the class to help us focus on our breathing. “When you feel like giving up, just take a breath!” — a practice he encouraged us to use both on and off our mats. Excellent advice in my opinion! His energy and coaching throughout the class made the time pass quickly, and by the end I was proud of my reps and the extra calories I’d burned.

If you’re ready to take your yoga practice to the next level, then look no further. By the way, the first week is free! You’ve got nothing to lose.

Details: 2480 Briarcliff Road NE #23, Atlanta, GA 30329, corepoweryoga.com

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By Alexandra McCray

Movement and mobility are not just essential for your efforts in the gym, but also everyday life. Think about it. Are you sore from hard workouts? Are you aching from keeping up with the kiddos? Or, are you feeling tight and stiff from a long commute then sitting at a desk all day? If you can relate to any of those, then I guarantee the Mastering Movement class at Snap Fitness Glenwood has something for you.

Walking in for my first class, I could feel my morning workout taking its toll on my glutes. So, I was pretty pumped when our instructor, Martha Jean (MJ) Schindler, informed us that tonight we would be focusing on opening up our hips and glutes. Each Mastering Movement class focuses on improving range of motion, joint health and reducing tightness in different parts of the body.

MJ demonstrates proper foam rolling techniques with fellow classmate, Jack.

MJ demonstrates proper foam rolling techniques with fellow classmate, Jack.

We started with some basic foam rolling techniques, first on our hamstrings and glutes, then a little on our quads. MJ explained that we should be rolling slowly, and once we found a knot to hold it there, and to take deep breaths and try to relax our body so the knot could release. One of the biggest things I learned in this class is that timing is everything. To really loosen the tension you often need to hold the positions for a few minutes, which can be uncomfortable and at times downright painful. Like a deep tissue massage, the pain is very much worth it though. A few times throughout class MJ had us do a body-weight squat so we could feel the difference the stretches were making.

What I love most about this class is that MJ provides you with a ton of practical knowledge. She showed us stretches we could perform on the couch while watching TV, told us which type of sports balls work well as self-massage tools, told us about red flags to look for while stretching and showed modifications if stretches were too intense.

No matter where you rank yourself on the fitness scale, I highly recommend everyone take this class at least once. Not only will you feel great, but you’ll know a lot more about your body.

To learn more about MJ and Crossfit Mobility visit fitnesswithmj.com

Details:  920 Glenwood Ave. Suite 102/103, Atlanta, GA 30316, snapfitness.com

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By Alexandra McCray

“Can you see me? I’m in the green jacket,” says Summit Fitness Center instructor Linda Bolton, who is braving the cold to help me find a parking spot. Summit Fitness Center is located inside the Peachtree Summit Federal Building in the heart of the city, which means parking can be a challenge at times. Once I am parked, Linda leads me into the center for her 6:45 a.m. Hip-Hop Cycling class.

I walk into the classroom and am immediately greeted by 10-12 friendly faces. I find one of the few open seats and get my bike set up. The energy in the room is contagious and I can tell I am in for a good class.

Hip Hop Cycling at Summit Fitness Center

Linda leads the class.

We begin pedaling with no resistance and start an upper body warm-up of stretches, shoulder shrugs and arm movements. Shortly after, we are up off our seats and pedaling full force. Linda has put on a CD of classic and modern hip-hop songs that have been remixed to create the perfect cardio soundtrack. I have taken spin classes before, but nothing like this. The whole time you are spinning Linda has you doing fun dance moves to the beat of the songs, one of my personal favorites included mimicking the motion of swiping a credit card. Fun radiates off Linda, and when she sees you getting into the moves and dancing along she offers lots of encouragement and praise.

The comradery of this class is appreciable, even though it was my first time at Summit, Linda and my classmates made me feel right at home. Towards the end of class we did a “relay race.” Linda would call out your name then you would peddle as fast as you could, as she told you to go on and off your seat, while everyone cheered you on.

After the relay race we eased up on resistance and slowly brought our pedaling to a stop. We then stretched using our bikes, and class was over. At this point I was a sweaty mess, but felt energized and ready to take on my day.

To learn how you can add Hip-Hop Cycling to your cardio routine contact Linda Bolton at stayfaithfullyfit@gmail.com.

Details: 401 W Peachtree St Nw Atlanta GA 30308, facebook.com/SummitFitnessCenter,

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As we gear up for our 6th annual Over 40 & Fabulous! contest, we have decided to check-in with our previous winners to see what they are up to now.

Nominations for this year’s Over 40 & Fabulous! contest open February 1. So, mark your calendars and start thinking about who you would like to nominate! In the meantime, enjoy our updates on previous winners.

Collette McDonald

Collette McDonald, one of our 2015 Fabulous Five winners and professional dynamo, is widely recognized for her in-depth knowledge of the entire metro Atlanta real estate market, including her focus on homes in the City of Brookhaven. Her direct, engaged and charismatic personality shines through in her work as a REALTOR®, local community advocate, television expert and small business owner.

 Collette is the Official REALTOR® of the Atlanta Falcons Football Franchise. When she is not tackling the real estate market, Collette continues to run a free fit club in the Brookhaven area for friends and clients who want to live their healthiest life ever. In September of 2015 she sponsored Brookhaven’s Police Department’s Hot Pursuit 5K race to benefit the department’s Shop with a Cop program for needy children. A big supporter of the Brookhaven Police Department, she also sponsored the 2nd annual Christmas Appreciation Lunch for the Police Department on December 14 and 15.

To learn more about Collette McDonald and our other 2015 Over 40 & Fabulous! winners check out our June 2015 issue.

 

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