My Exhale Spa class pack expired yesterday and I needed to get to class if I didn’t want to lose it. Normally an early morning class wouldn’t be a problem but I also wanted to attend Ali Baldassare’s Turn Up the Beat Pilates Cardio Bootcamp hosted at the W Hotel Boston. I went to her cardio Pilates class at Equinox during my gym trial period and it was pretty intense. It definitely let me know how out of shape I was. Since I am not an Equinox member, I knew I should try to take advantage of this opportunity for a free class and to check out the Be Up trunk show and Bliss Spa samples.
The Be Up clothing samples felt really soft and looked to be made well. Ali said there are a lot of lifestyle clothing that you can wear just to wear-not just to workout in. Ali was wearing one of these items-the Metro Tee from Be Up that I could definitely see myself lounging in on the weekends or a weeknight.
As for Bliss Spa samples, there were “Tidy Towels” in case you don’t have access to a shower after a class but want to clean up a little bit. I have used similar towels after some Pilates classes so that I might not sweat in as much (Ali’s class is NOT one of these classes…you will be drenched!). I liked these wipes because some others I have tried leave me feeling a little slimy. There were also samples of the Fabulous Foaming Face Wash that I used once I got home. It smelled refreshing and didn’t irritate my skin.
Lastly, Ali had a few handouts which included her class schedule and a card with a 20% discount on Energy Bits. These are algae tablets that Ali has been taking instead of regular vitamins! I’m intrigued and may have to give it a try at some point.
Though trunk shows, free samples and fruit infused water are nice, Ali’s cardio Pilates classes are really what you go for. Her class alternates cardio and strength intervals, getting your heart pumping and your muscles shaking. Cardio intervals are the same throughout the class but strength segments change, focusing on a different body part. Last night’s cardio section included burpees, mountain climbers, high to low plank, and superman alternating legs and arms. As for strength, we did a lot of push ups, lunges, Pilates isometric moves, the c-curve and the Pilates 100.
Throughout the class, you could tell that people thought this workout was tough. After the hip segment, which included Pilates and barre-like moves, the whole room let out huge groans when we moved to the figure 4 stretch. Ali and other instructors have told me that you can tell that you have done the exercise right because you can feel it in the stretch after. Well, I’m pretty sure we all did it right! At other points in the class, Ali said she could see in our faces that we were feeling it. She kept encouraging us to keep going. I like Ali because she is a tough cookie but kills you with kindness at the same time. She knows when to push you and how to encourage you.
Overall, this is one of my favorite classes. I like that the cardio segments are the same because I know what is coming-it always gives me a little motivation if I know what is coming next. The class challenges me in every move and I never find myself thinking, “This was too easy.” If it is too easy, there are ways to modify to make it more difficult.
Unfortunately, my friends couldn’t make it to class but there were a few familiar faces. I saw a few people who had attended my team’s PMC spin-a-thon, Tori who is Jenn Phelan’s assistant, and Jane. Jane and I have been tweeting for some time but haven’t had a chance to meet yet. I was glad to finally put a real life face to the name instead of just photos online. And thankfully my friends have plenty more chances to workout with Ali! Before we all left, Ali made an announcement that she will be teaching these series on the North End Greenway the rest of the summer. So get ready to really bring on the heat! Next class is July 15th!