Lithe Passport. 61 days. 32 classes. My trip has already begun.

Higher Power

What you need: Gloves!
Props: Lithe Higher Power Band System (blue bands)
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in
Sweat Factor: You’ll look like you were attacked by someone with a super soaker.

I didn’t grow up in a religious family. In my house, our mother just told us there was a higher power, and to always do the right thing. So, as a result, I grew up keenly interested and curious about all things spiritual--both traditional and alternative, so horoscopes were always a source of light-hearted fun. They were the first things I would read in Teen or YM magazine (well right after the “Nightmare of the Month” column. I’m still scarred by all the tampon horror stories I grew up reading as a child.)

So it’s no surprise that when I’m not lithing, or writing about lithing, I’m the resident astrologer for the National Constitution Center. This means that every month I write a column for the NCC’s blog, Constitution Daily, analyzing a zodiac sign and using it to think about events of the past, instead of attempting to predict the future.

Am I extensively trained in the art of reading the stars? Not a whit. But that’s what the internet’s for, right? (The way I see it, if Kris Jenner can become an ordained minister, I can sure as hell try my hand at a little astrology!) As for me, I’m a Taurus. A true Taurus. Bull headed, but caring. A teacher. Jealous and a bit possessive, but loyal with a slight penchant for nice, material things. Taurus likes? Stability, comfort and pleasure (duh, who doesn’t like those things?) Taurus’s dislikes? Being “pushed too hard.”  

Well it’s clear that Liz Galbally didn’t get that memo! I took Higher Power with her last week, and nearly died! I’ve taken it before, but Liz just took it to the next level. It is 60 minutes of intense, practically non-stop cardio using the bands. According to various reports on Fit.Hip.Healthy, it burns around 600 calories in an hour. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Between the endless Clam Diggers and jumping lunges and cheer sequences, calf pumps, lift and pulls and more, I didn’t think I was going to make it through side number 2, after finishing the first.

No amount of star gazing could’ve prepared me for how nuts Higher Power was, but hopefully this post will help you see into the future a little bit better than I did, and prepare you for what lies in store!


What you need: Nothing! Just yourself!
Props: Step 8, 3 and 5 lb weights
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Ever taken clothes straight out of the washer and put them on? It’s like that.

Ever since I’ve been lithing consistently, my favorite thing to do is make people feel my arms. My biceps. My shoulders. My triceps. The whole thing. I warn them of course, that squeezing my arms may cause them serious pain...because they’re so rock solid!! (Seriously, I do this. All the time. My friends just shake their heads and indulge me.)

The thing is, I’m proud of myself! I’m no Angela Bassett or Madonna (thank God), but if my friends did as many Crazy Arms series, push-ups, tricep dips, and band classes as I’ve done to get my arms in shape, they would insist that people squeeze them as well! When I look around class during weight work, every woman regardless of weight or size, has incredible arms. Lithe Method doesn’t mess around when it comes to them.

Sleeveless for example will not only kill your arms, but burn some serious calories. The first 20 minutes of class is serious, fast-paced cardio which includes things like Rockette Kicks and a Kick Cross Step that I’ve never done in any other Lithe class, so is a little tricky to get at first.

Then the class moves into heavy weight work, and slows down significantly, using 8lb weights the whole time. Basically, I thought my arms were going to fall off. After that we dropped it down for push ups (which is killer after all the weight work) and then picked up the 3lb dumbbells for another set of weighted cardio. To top it off (or should I say bottom out?) we ended, with wide-second work, lunges and squats to round out with a lower body workout.

Needless to say, incorporating Sleeveless into your repertoire will have you wanting to sport tank tops through the winter so you can flash your incredible arms! And maybe ask some innocent strangers to squeeze them, or at least tell you which way to the gun show.

Next Up? A-List Abs and Short Shorts!

See you in class! 

Images of Lithe Instructors and Anna Marie Chang, MD via Dom


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Sleeveless has become one of my favorite classes, thanks to the passport for 'getting to know' this class! I always love reading your posts! : )

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