By Alexandra McCray

Just walking into Eclipse One on One Fitness Studio is motivating. The studio is filled with energy and the atmosphere brims with positivity. My trainer for the morning, Alex Carson, greeted me at the door with a smile, and proceeded to give me a full tour of the facilities. This state-of-the-art personal training facility may be small on space, but it is big on amenities.

(Left to Right) Jeff Toney and Alex Carson

(Left to Right) Jeff Toney, Eclipse co-owner, and Alex Carson

We began my session with some light walking on the treadmill to get my blood pumping. While I walked, Alex asked me about my goals, if I had any injuries, and what kind of training (if any) I was already doing. He explained to me that each training session varies from client to client. Everything from what muscles you are going to work that day to how many repetitions of each exercise you will perform is tailored to your goals.

Once I was nice and warmed-up, we moved over to the leg press. I almost had a heart attack when I saw Alex set the weight to 160 pounds. To my surprise I could do do more than get the weight up — I could actually crank out the 20 repetitions. I normally would have never tried a weight that heavy, but having a trainer there to encourage me to add that extra weight and “just try it” was exactly what I needed to maximize my workout.

Since Alex knew that I wanted to shed fat while gaining, and maintaining, as much muscle as possible, he pushed me to go deeper and lower when I was doing my leg moves. He explained this would work my glutes instead of my quads, which would help to lift and shape my butt. I also learned that doing a higher number of repetitions helps your body get into fat burning mode, as opposed to fewer repetitions, which are more effective for building muscle.

Eclipse 1

My favorite thing about working with Alex, was that he pushed me when he could tell I was capable of more and let me rest when he could see I was getting worn out. When I told Alex that I thought I might be done for the day there was no guilt trip; he simply told me I’d done a great job and that with time my muscle memory would build, then sent me on my way.

If you’re searching for personal trainers with balance and positivity look no further than Eclipse One on One Fitness Studio.

Details: 295 West Wieuca RD NE Atlanta, GA 30342 eclipse1on1.com

 

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Join the Joyous Heart Network on February 1 from 7 – 9 p.m. at Grace Midtown and celebrate how far the ONE BILLION RISING movement has come in their work to bring an end to violence against women … once and for all.

An Evening with Ensler

“An Evening with Ensler” brings together local artists to use art to share ONE BILLION RISING’s message — uplifting and encouraging attendees through songs, drumming, comedy and drama, and featuring the work of Eve Ensler, an activist who has devoted her life to helping prevent women and girls from being victims of sexual and domestic abuse.

To date, ONE BILLION RISING’s V-day Movement has raised over $100 million to provide education about the issue of violence against women and create strategies to stop it.

Details: Grace Midtown, 642 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta GA 30318, onebillionrising.org

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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.

Trudy Davies Davis

Since becoming one of our 2014 Over 40 & Fabulous Fabulous Five winners, Trudy Davies Davis and her image consulting company, The Image Academy, have had a slew of exciting opportunities. She has worked as a wardrobe stylist for multiple media personalities and as a media style segment host on “Plugged-In with Kimberley Kennedy.” Her television success doesn’t stop there though. You can also catch Trudy as a co-host on the weekly TV talk show “The Christian View,” which won “Most Uplifting Program” in 2014.

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

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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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