SAYEH'S LIVING STEMS 2.0! 1 Aug 2013
What you need: Wrist Bands! The new Thinny bands no longer have a foam cushion to protect your wrists (sanitary reasons). BYO or purchase them at the front desk for $6. They keep the delicate skin around your wrists from chafing from all the sliding the bands do in this high energy class. I highly recommend them. They make a world of difference.
Props: Lithe Thinny Bands, Lithe Loop (giant blue rubber band that goes around both thighs), 3lb weights
Clothing Considerations: I would avoid shorts so the loop isn't directly rubbing on your skin
Sweat Factor: Major sweat-athon.
Recently, Lauren posted a beautiful yellow image of Lithe instructor Joellyn Fox with words "No Maybes" written across it. I loved it and found it inspiring, but after I took Stems on Tuesday, I decided it should be changed to: "No gimmes." or "No free passes. At all. Like Ever." Because in her mission to constantly raise the bar, Lauren has revamped the old Stems line up (which was already challenging) and really upped the ante.
I walked into Stems remembering that there was a bit of cardio in the beginning, but looking forward to the other part of class--the majority of it--which is spent on the floor doing a sculpting series using the Lithe Loop for resistance. I was tired and dragging myself into the studio, so I thought it would be perfect. Then our instructor, Rachel Dore, asked who was new to Stems 2.0. My stomach immediately dropped.
I know what 2.0 means in Lithe speak. It's not just a slightly faster, more streamlined version of its former self. Oh no. It means strap yourselves in tight, b*tches. This is going to hurt. So that's exactly what I did. Strapped myself in tight to the Thinny bands--a new edition to this class--as the cardio used to be done without bands--and put my game face on.
The beginning cardio was wait for it...really fun! There was new moves I'd never done before and some that were CCS staples. It was definitely much much longer than the previous CCS in the original Stems, but a great playlist was pumping super loud and I was FEELIN it. It was a little Rock Steady, a little Higher Power and a little Pom all put together.
After we had a proper sweat going, we grabbed our 3lb weights, still strapped into our Thinny bands, and started an arm series that was almost an excerpt from Peeled, which kept my heart rate going. It was only after all that, that we got to lay it down on the mat and thread our legs through the Lithe Loop.
At that point, my muscles, although super warm, were exhausted so the loop work was NO GIMME. I was shaking. I was quaking. I was Lithe stalling. I was Kerri Struggling. I imagine however, with a couple of classes under my belt, I'll just get stronger and the loop work will get less painful--at least a little bit.
Stems 2.0 turned out to be exactly what I didn't know I needed. It pepped me up and made me feel SO much better. I left really worn out, but in a great way. Not the same way I came in. I highly recommend this class. It's got a bit of everything, and will certainly kick your butt, but you'll have fun in the process.
See you in class!