Most of you guys know that I’ve never been a gym member before. In fact, until recently, I’d been quite averse to it. A sea of treadmills and dudes lifting weights in front of the mirror? No thank you.
That was until I was introduced to Equinox, which from what I have experienced, is so much more than a traditional gym. While I’m still flailing around the place in my physical ineptitude, Equinox is equipped to set me up for success in so many ways, and create a luxe experience while I’m on that path.
So yes, I’m obsessed with my gym, and no, this is not an ad. No one paid me to write this. I’m just genuinely in love. Here’s why:
For starters, I didn’t realize that gyms could have such cool classes. I was nervous to leave my yoga studio at home and try something new, but Equinox offers a variety of yoga styles, including Hot Power Yoga, led by the fiercely hilarious and fabulous Buddy Machua. It’s the first 90 minute class I’ve ever taken, and it challenges me to go deeper into poses, try new ones, and get really sweaty without feeling like every single pore is a faucet. Then there’s Best Butt Ever, which is the class you take when you’re trying to paralyze yourself for the next 24 hours. You seriously do 800,047 squats. Caroline Jordan literally kicks your ass so you can love your ass a little more, and build serious strength to protect your lower back, hips, and hamstrings. I had no idea so much injury prevention depended on a strong butt – I just signed up because I thought the class would make me hotter. What a time to be alive, amirite?!
You don’t have to bring a yoga mat… or clean yours up
Speaking of Hot Power Yoga, you never have to bring your own mat. Equinox stocks Manduka mats – the Ferrari of yoga mats – en masse, and at the end of the class, you just LEAVE THEM THERE because someone else will pick them up and clean them. It’s almost as lazy as the pre-peeled oranges at Whole Foods, but I’m super okay with it. For the extra $ you throw down, you get to take out some of the hassle of gym equipment transportation, storage, and cleaning – and save a little time.
The Eucalyptus towels
After yoga or a sweaty workout, grab a chilled eucalyptus-soaked towel. They’re ready for you in a refrigerator, waiting to be delightfully enjoyed and placed across your eyes. Is this a gym or a spa?!?! OH WAIT IT’S BOTH.
My God the Kiehl’s. Not only have I discovered my new favorite shampoo, the Amino Acid Shampoo (with pure coconut oil), but my shower time is like a spa experience. Think about that – I get to treat myself to a mini spa experience 3-5 times a week. The showers are so nice, the amenities are all provided (razors? of course. shaving cream? duh. mouthwash? of course, are you kidding me?), everything is top notch, and the ambiance is luxurious and spa-like to begin with.
At my location, the locker room is in the old vault of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange building in the downtown San Francisco Financial District. The vault door is still in tact and sits frozen at the entrance of the locker room. There’s a steam room where you can detox and relax, basically a thousand blow driers and stations, facial and body moisturizers (from Kiehl’s, of course) on every corner, plastic bags for laundry, fresh clean towels for days … and, as mentioned, eucalyptus soaked cold towels. This place. Is. Magic.
So the reason I like going to classes is because 1) I have no idea how to use gym equipment and 2) I can’t really give a workout my all unless someone is watching/yelling at me. Ok not yelling, but you get it. My will is not strong enough to be a standalone force. I need something guiding me, whether it’s an app, a group instructor, or a buddy. In this case, it’s a personal trainer.
As I’ve never been a member of a gym, I’ve also never had a personal trainer. Yes, Equinox is trying to get you to spend an additional $800 each month on training. However, they provide a free evaluation/diagnostic, and one complimentary PT session.
The diagnostic is soooo cool and sciencey. You stand on this fancy scanner, with sensors under your feet and on these two poles you hold with your hands. In one fell swoop, it analyzes your body makeup – fat and skeletal muscle tissue percentage, distribution, etc. You’ll go through a series of movement patterns with your trainer and assess what your body needs. Once you evaluate your state, then comes the training session.
You can use this hour of one-on-one time to ask your trainer to show you how to maximize your time in the gym, and how to most effectively use the equipment for your body and needs. My trainer showed me some tips for rolling out and some new stretches, worked with me on my first deadlifts and corrected my form, taught me how to use one of the machines, and had me do a few new exercises to both build strength and up my heart rate. At the end of our session, we did some seriously tough ab work that made me want to give up forever but also keep coming back. It’s weird how exercise does that to you.
The trainers are available to you basically 24/7 via text, and they create comprehensive nutrition and fitness plans for both in and outside of the gym, based on your exact physical needs, background, and goals. The science of it really blew my mind.
Earth Bar aka the place I found Pop & Bottle
Within the gym, there’s a shop with fancy athletic apparel and activewear (think: lululemon, Nike, S’Well bottles, foam rollers, etc), and Earth Bar, where you can get $10 smoothies that have some kind of elixir in them that turns you into a beautiful superhuman like the ones they have in the Equinox ads. If you don’t want a $10 smoothie, you can opt for a salad, quest bar, kombucha, juice, or one of the amazing Pop & Bottle milks.
To my San Diego area readers, you can check out Equinox in La Costa: It’s opening April 5! Hit up Kirtie and tell her you heard about the new club on beauty & the beach – she’ll get you an all access pass and an inside look to this gorgeous new gym in Carlsbad. Here’s a sneak preview!
Hope you’re loving the extra daylight! Use the extra light hours to get in an awesome workout. Have a great week you guys!