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35 posts from June 2009

SLIM & DETOX. 30 Jun 2009

Rik Lee

Tomorrow is July 1st.  This is the time of year when people really fall off the wagon, get sucked into summer and lose all control when it comes to food.  Happens every year like clock-work.  

This year, We're here to help you stay on track so that you don't undo all that you've done and come back crying this September.  We're even going to add a special "10" to the August schedule (with a food plan) for those of you who want to join us and brave the dressing room, the beach--and your skinny jeans-- come September with confidence to spare.

For the next 7 days, I'm going to dish out daily tips that are designed to help you stay fit, boost satiety, banish bloat, rev your metabolism and strip away unnecessary additives and crap that can make you retain weight and feel uber-sluggish. Hooray!

Image via Rik Lee



Seriously, it's time to put the bon-bons down and drown that ice-cream out in the sink. The ideal treat is one that fills you up without filling you out.  Below are three of my newest favorite 100 calorie snacks from Sally Sampson's 100-Calorie Snack Cookbook.  

Chapters are filled with super simple, inexpensive, and very easy to prepare snacking alternatives.  Craving the crunch? Try Apple Chips, Peanut Butter Banana Apple Bites or Chocolate Matchsticks.  Feel your blood sugar dropping by mid-afternoon?  Get a protein boost with Tuna and Olive Paste and Fennel, Shrimp with Spiked Salt, Turkey Sliders or a BLT without the bread...Yum!

Salty:  Toss 2 1/2 cups air-popped popcorn with 1/2 tsp. canola oil, 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. cumin.  

Sweet:  Quater 2 fresh figs and place in a bowl with 10 raspberries.  Top with 1 tsp. honey and 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder.  

Creamy:  Mash 1 oz. goat cheese.  Slowly mix in 1/8 cup buttermilk, 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh basil, and 1/2 tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes until smooth.  Use as a dip for veggies!  


Rik Lee Cancer

Summer is in full swing!  Lithe's super-hot summer schedules will get even hotter when Leo rises on July 23rd.

Girloscope image via Rik Lee

HOT LEGS. 29 Jun 2009

Hot Legs

Most of you are loving Lithe's hot legs class.  Why are you sooo sore and ultra sweaty?  Well, it's a bit different than our regular barre classes. 

Combine 1 hour at the barre with movements more inspired by dance (rather than cheerleading), we move through the joints more, at a pretty quick pace.  All that sliding around in our "gam gear" keeps in the heat, allows for greater reach and has your muscles working in a very long and lengthened state!

Image via Stella McCartney.com



Ladies, stretching is like backing up your PC: You know that you should do it, but it's easy to blow off. You really risk losing your range of motion and stability if you skip out on stretching. 

There are three kinds of stretching:  Dynamic (think warm-up & barre work), Static (Rare Form) & Myofascial (Melt)--We do and offer all three at Lithe.  Combine them strategically (yet simply) and you'll prepare your muscles to expand and contract quickly so you can finesse your way around the barre, up your flexibility (and svelte-factor) and promote healing between Lithing.

Stay tuned for more on the 3 types of stretching!

Image via Stella McCartney.com



Crunches are like that bad boy ex that you've sleepishly stayed in touch with since college:  It's been way too long and little good has come out of the relationship, yet you keep going back for more.

Truth is, doing crunches by the truckload shortens the front of your abdominal wall and trains your body to move with limited motion.  We're better than that.  At Lithe, we train your midsection to move in all directions whether you're at the barre, band or on the mat!



Philadelphia is a really transient city, and with this economy people seem to be moving more and more with their new jobs.  

Many Lither's often email me to keep me updated which always warms my heart, reminds me just how special Lithe is, how fortunate I am to be working with such wonderful people AND keeps me motivated to spread the Lithe.

Here are a few recent emails, with love:

Hi Lauren, 

I am sitting here in my new house in California (I just moved last week) and am looking on the internet for a new place to work out.  I  miss Lithe already and just wanted you to know what a great experience I had there. I started going to Lithe for the last few months that I was living in Philly.  I had a baby this past year and, prior to Lithe, was struggling with the idea that I would never get my very fit, pre-baby body back.  

After only a few months of Lithe, I felt incredibly strong, motivated, and more proud of my body than I had been even before being pregnant. You do great work at Lithe. I know that there isn't anything quite like Lithe out there, but ifyou have heard of places that might be worthwhile in the bay area (we are now in Palo Alto, CA), I would love to know about them.  Also, if you ever made any lithe-at-home videos, I will be the first to buy one:-). Seriously.  

Thanks and best wishes, M

Lauren & Team, 

I just wanted to say thank you. Lithe has made such an incredible difference to my self-esteem in the past few months, I know it sounds a little cheesy but spending an hour each day in the presence of strong, fun, and motivated women has really made a huge difference for me. I love that at Lithe you focus on making your body strong and healthy rather than fixating on a certain body type or weight. 

I was paid the ultimate compliment the other day when I was running with the high school track team I coach and one of the young men looked over and said, (excuse my language) "Dammmn Ms. W, you got some strong legs!" Strength is beautiful! You've also made me pull a total 180 on my eating habits - I buy organic food and focus on fueling my body. All in all, I cannot thank you enough for providing such a wonderful environment in which to get such a great and unique workout. It is amazing how taking care of your body can completely change your mood and mental well-being! 

Sadly, I just found out that I am going to be moving to Austin TX at the end of June. I can honestly say that Lithe is one of the things I will miss most about Philadelphia. I have starting looking into workout options in Austin and I was wondering if you had any suggestions about how best to find a program that provides a similar kind of workout as Lithe (although I know I won't find anything just like it!).  Sorry for such a long email - but your classes and blog really have rejuvenated me and brought me a totally new mindset that I love.

Thank you, W

Hey Lauren,

I just want to tell you again how AWESOME I think waspie is! It is my favorite class of all time. You really do get an awesome workout, head to toe! if I didn't see it myself, I wouldn't believe it, but I swear my body is different after that class. My whole waistline is just a little more toned. I'm so sad to move! i'm so ready to leave the city for a million reasons, but i'm really bummed about losing lithe. 

I just told my boyfriend that lithe was my biggest reason for being sad to leave :(  i'll definitely make it up for some classes because there is nothing like it anywhere else. Believe me, I've tried every class, gym, video, machine, and lithe is the only thing that I really love! 

I would never workout that hard at the gym for an hour and if I did, I'd be totally miserable. I just wanted to say thanks for coming up with such an incredible program!


p.s. Chester County! Chester County! 

Hi Lauren,

I’ve been struggling to find a work out routine here in the West Valley of the Sun.  Phoenix and Scottsdale have what appear to be great programs, but there is nothing within 30 minutes of my new place in the west valley.  

I miss the Lithe Method, and as much as I’ve tried to incorporate what you and the other instructors taught me, my discipline sucks!  I tried the YMCA but as you could imagine, there were more breaks than actual work out.  My first clue that it was going to be a bust should have been the lack of music and ceiling fans.  

Do you have a video?  I think of you every time I see the “bender ball” lady on tv.  Some of the moves look familiar, but I’d rather buy a work out series that you’ve designed.  I read your blog – I love that you incorporated the recommendation for less than 18oz red meat per week, and more fruits and veg.  The literature regarding reducing risk of certain types of cancer is compelling.


Please tell Carla and Jackie hello for me.  I miss the pain!



Dear Lauren,
I used to live in Ardmore and currently live in Reno, Nevada...I so wish I could visit your new facility.  
Anyway, is there a CD available?  I visited your website (GREAT, by the way!), and watched your video clips.  It would seem that recent transplants like me out west can & will benefit from your instruction and advice. 
I look forward to getting "on-tone" with a dvd in the future!

Kat MacLeod Image via the Jacky Winter Group.



Hey All!
I just wanted to write and say congrats--It's your last week!  I'm sure that I'll be seeing some of you in regular classes soon.  Around this time, we often get a lot of emails and questions re: regular classes, our band system and the new client unlimited special so I thought that I'd write and explain some things in more detail.

Regular Classes:
Yes, you are ready : )  No, you don't need the immersion again.

What I Recommend:
I would recommend mixed level classes for another week and then you can start to break into those level 3's.  Yes, you will be sore.  Yes, you will see results very soon if you keep coming--Don't take 2 weeks off after the immersion--You'll be back at square one!!  Yes, you can absolutely modify.  No instructor will EVER yell at you or push you beyond your current limits.  Remember that our regular level classes are tough for even the most seasoned Lithers and you will often see them (and our instructors) on their knees during push-ups and taking breaks during barre/band work too!

Band Classes (Waspie, Split, Higher Power and Thinny):
Yes, your hands WILL hurt at first.  Give the classes a chance (2-3 band classes) until your hands get stronger--You have to get used to the bands and work correctly (slide your shoulders down and not grip/squeeze the bands).   I highly recommend gloves to help with the pain, your grip, the sweat-factor and the hygienic issue.  Some people do not use gloves.  Unfortunately, this leaves the band quite sweaty and stuck together.  We do change them every week, but gloves keep everything cleaner, extend band life and protect your skin!  You can purchase gloves at City Sports or Dicks.

We offer a New client Unlimited special for people coming right out of the immersion for $125.  This is a 1 time deal and I really recommend that you take advantage of it if you can.  Come as much as you want for 30 days (starts from date of purchase) and you will see major changes very quickly!  I always say that you will see results within 10 classes.   You're already 6 in after the Immersion.  If you're going away, you can purchase a class card now and can take advantage of the new client unlimited at another time within 6 months.

How many times a week do you need to Lithe to see results?
It all depends on what your goals are.  We have you coming 2 times a week in the Immersion to start a trend with you.  We need to see you at least twice a week to get you the results that you want.  If you can come 3-4 times a week you're golden.  A lot of clients Lithe everyday (It's addictive).  I always tell people that 2 times a week is great but just like anything else, 1 time a week is not going to get you far.  It will take a long time to get you to your goal and doing anything once a week is not enough.

Class Cards:
Do what is best for you and your budget.  Class cards are great if you're going to attend 2-3 classes a week.  The more that you purchase, the more that you save.  Many people find the 10 class cards perfect for them but if you come 12 times or more in one month I would go for the unlimited or the 20 or 30 class card to really save.  The 5 and 10 class cards are good for 3 months and the 20's and 30's are good for 5 months.

Unlimited Monthly?
Totally worth it and an incredible bargain for those of you who are attending class 3 or more times a week.

How do I reserve/pay?
You can purchase and reserve online via our website.If you feel uncomfortable doing that you can call 215-545-5144 and Mary or Wendy can help you!

Love Lithe?
Check out our blog: www.fithiphealthy.com where I dish daily on all things fit, hip and healthy!

We're all looking forward to working with everyone!

Image via Rebekah Nichols at Artscouncelinc.com



R.D. asks a great question:

Hi Lauren,

I'm a new client at the Northern Liberties studio and I absolutely love it. I got into a car accident last Wednesday morning so I haven't been able to make it to the classes because my car is in the shop. Although I understand the basics of lithing, I'm a little nervous about starting regular classes because I don't want to slow down the classes. Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do or do you think it would be okay if I start the regular classes? 

Oh No!  I'm so sorry to hear about your ride.  I say if you can make it to the studio, get in there asap!  Do not let the unknown hold you back.  Our regular classes are a bit quicker paced (no breaks and "teaching") than the Immersion but it's the same workout and vibe.

If you know the basics, you will not slow the classes down.  We offer plenty of modifications and we are here to help.  it's the so called "fit" people who drop into regular classes without taking the Immersion that stick out like a sore thumb--They have no knowledge of our principals and modifications.  I think that you will be pleasantly surprised at how well you do!  You'll do great!

WORK IT ALL. 24 Jun 2009

the whole

Lithe was created so that you get a total body cardiovascular workout in 1 hour no matter what class that you take. Some of our classes have more of an "emphasis" on a certain part or area, but you still work everything (Thank God).  Ever wonder why people that go to the gym or use trainers are always injured?  Read on...

What really ruffles my feathers and blows my mind is when people just want to work their problem areas.  I was working with someone new the other day and when I told her my philosophy and that I was really going to work everything (from her feet to her neck) and that I wanted to really work on her arms and define her shoulders so that her bottom looked a leaner, she said, "It's my legs that need work, not my arms."  My head spun around twice and then I quickly told her that it's great to know your problem spots but you shouldn't just focus on them every time that you work out. The body doesn't respond that way.  Exercsing the entire body is what maintains the look of your favorite part(s).

The body is a WHOLE and working some areas and not others causes real muscle imbalances which can lead to injuries, major tightness and strange misshapen physiques. So, even if you love the way that your arms look but aren't a fan of your thighs, don't skip out on upper body and band work and over-kill on the lunges, squats and barre work.  It's kind of like always just doing the front of your hair and never touching the back.  Nice look, huh?

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