Sayeh's Living Lithe


What you need: Peeled Sleeves! (These are optional. You can bring your own, or order them at any studio. Once you pay for them ($10 or $12) they will arrive within 30 days.)
Props: 3lb, 5lb, 8lb weights, Hipster box, gliders (purple pads from Short Shorts for those not wearing arm warmers) Grapefruit essential oil spray
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in
Sweat Factor: Pretty good sweat (but you should be presentable public after)

Recently, I was treated to a very sweet V-day gift of a facial. Growing up with a mom in the beauty industry, I got facials regularly. My mother would spy a blackhead on my nose and send me marching to the esthetician in her salon. (Tough life, I know.) But, as an adult, I can rarely justify the expense or make time for them, so this was a wonderful relaxing treat...until the peel. 

If you've never had a facial before, typically you lay on a massage table face up with your hair in a wrap away from your face, under a sheet with your shoulders and decollete exposed. The esthetician then cleanses your face of any makeup, dirt and oil. All the while, a neat device sprays gentle steam onto your face to loosen your pores and make your skin more pliable. Your skin is then examined under a giant magnifier with lights (your eyes are protected of course) and depending on your esthetician's style, she'll go to work cleaning you out--removing black heads and squeezing zits with various tools and sanitary techniques that minimize damage and scarring to the skin. After which, she usually applies masks and gels and lotions and peels...depending on what you request and are hoping to achieve. 

Now you may recall a certain episode of Sex and the City where Samantha gets a chemical peel right before a big PR event and ends up with a crazy blueberry face forcing her to wear a veil like Lydia from Beetlejuice to hide the damage. The peel I got was nothing like that. (Although I hear those peels can do wonders!) It was a slightly acidic concoction that my facialist made and applied to my face to help slough off the dull outer layer of my face to make room for a bright new, shiny glowy me. Sounds like a great plan right? After having your skin poked and prodded, it felt like she was applying lemon juice and salt onto my raw and tender skin. "Is it burning?" she asked. I replied that it stung a little to which she casually responded: "It will get more intense, so let me know if you can't take it anymore." 

What is this? I thought. A spa or Guantanamo Bay? After a few minutes of wiggling my toes and gripping the sheets in discomfort, she came to my rescue and removed the peel with gentle pads soaked in...something. SWEET RELIEF. She then massaged my face and neck into a blissful oblivion. I emerged from this appointment feeling an odd combination of relaxed and slightly abused. It wasn't until I saw my skin in the mirror that I realized it was all worth it. It looked SO CLEAN, and fresh and glowing. Literally. It was incredible. The results were SO immediate, I couldn't believe. Totally worth the few minutes of the total discomfort. 

This is exaclty how I would describe Peeled the class. Incredibly painful, while being kind of fun, and leaving you feeling sore in ways you never knew you could be sore, but also emerging with immediate results like definition in your arms that you KNOW wasn't there the day before. It's crazy. 

You begin the class by spraying Grapefruit oil on your arms for beneficial toning, circulation and diuretic effects and slide on your arm warmers, if you have them. Then you grab your 3lb weights and do a series of standing arm work which incorporates the lower half of your body too. This portion left me wanting to suck my thumb on the mat until it was over. Then you bump it up to 5lbs for another series of arm, chest and back killers which will have you wondering how you are still able to get your limbs to cooperate. From there you take a quick "break" from the weights and so some sliding ab and arm work using either your arm warmers to help you slide on the wood floor or the gliders if you don't have any. After that, you pick up the 8lb weights, throw them onto your shoulders and do various squats using the Hipster box to guide you (you never step up onto it). This part was my favorite because I could give my arms a break, which at this point were telling me to go F myself, and use my legs and butt instead. 

I walked out feeling incredibly sore right away, and am still feeling it in my shoulders chest and back 3 days later. BUT, my boyfriend went to touch me on the arm yesterday and said, "Whoa Schartzenegger! Take it easy!" and couldn't stop gripping my biceps and feeling them in disbelief. So was it kind of agonizing? YES. Was it worth it and did I see results basically 5 minutes later? YES. 

You know what they say. Beauty is pain. But, Peeled definitely qualifies as the good kind. 

See you in class!


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Besides being an amazing sculpting class for the arms, this class has begun to tone my abs like no other workout before (although sort of similar to the workout you do on the "Ab-Roller" if you've ever tried one of those). The sliding series on the floor (if you do it right by keeping your butt down, back flat, using your core, and pushing through your palms) makes my abs sore for DAYS!! Love it!

My all time favorite class, best results in abs and arms. Someone just asked me yesterday what I'm doing that my arms look like this and at 46 that's really fun!!!

Haha I was in this class with Sayeh and couldn't wait for her take on it! SO PAINFUL but so worth it. Has overtaken Armistice as my favorite "arms class" Love/hate relationship.

thanks for the write up. i've been wanting to take this class but have been afraid. looking forward to trying it. curious- where did you go for a facial???

Sandy, Love to hear that!

Elizabeth, I was out of town...but have you ever been to or heard of Ursula's About Phace? The woman Elina is pretty amazing! In fact, I need to get back there. Also, I've heard great things about Moko in Old City--they have lots of ayurvedic and organic options.

I just went to my first Peeled class tonight and loved it! Also love this post for explaining the grapefruit oil & sleeves (I figured there was some reason for them both!)
Prepping for my wedding in September and hoping this class will help with my arms for the big day!

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