This week we're celebrating Lithe's Endvy, born in 2013...
My camera and I went out to the Main Line a few weekends ago and captured these pictures of my favorite Lithers seriously sculpting it out. Lithe Endvy is a bit like Thinny (it's so easy to cheat!), so you really have to work those bands. As you can see, these ladies were on fire!
Images via Lauren
What you need: Wrist Bands! Gloves! (Not vital, but really helpful since your hands will get sweaty from holding weights the whole time (or socks or leg warmers). The new Thinny bands no longer have a foam cushion to protect your ankles (for sanitary reasons).
Props: Twiggy Bands (the ones that Velcro around your wrists) 3 and 5 pound weights
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you're comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Sweaty Freddy (Some ladies were soaked. Others had an average sweat going. You may not want to go out in public right after for a drink, etc.)
Like most women my age, I had a massive crush on Uncle Jesse from Full House, so for me, the name of this class (Mercy) really invokes his signature catch phrase from the show: "Have Mercyyyy!" (Although, when I think about it, why was that his thing? And why did I laugh and think it was cute? That's the power of being HOT, for you.) (Although have you seen John Stamos's belly button?? It ain't pretty. Sorry, John Stamos. If you ever read this, I love you. And "Kokomo" was my favorite song as a kid because of you and that episode where you were in Hawaii with all the Tanners and played the bongos with the Beach Boys. Did I mention I love you? And your almost tail-like belly button, too? Rebecca Romijn was a fool to let you go! A fool, I say!)
Wooo! Ok, where was I? I saw the brief description on the blog which described Mercy as low impact cardio, requiring a coordination level of 2, and I thought this would be perfect for me as I continue to ease myself back into Lithing regularly.
Class begins by strapping into your Twiggy bands and grabbing your 3 pound weights. You start to warm up your muscles and work your abs by doing some familiar side-to-side flat back lunges. This begins a series of movements that incrementally raises your heart rate. You go from lunges to reach-throughs to some fun rolling snake movements to calf-pumps to the jack combos we do in most of our cardio classes. As soon as my stamina was waning, however, we got a brief reprieve from the cardio portion by doing some standing sculpting work.
Mercy distinguishes itself from other classes here. The band, weights, and barre-less leg work were done in combinations I've never had before at Lithe. In fact, despite being a coordination level 2, I found myself befuddled by how to get my arms and legs to do what everyone else's were doing. Not because the movements were complicated, but because they were brand new to me. I had zero muscle memory for them. Incorporating my biceps and triceps while doing standing foldover work was challenging, but also fresh and different.
After doing the intense sculpting work, it was on to burpee push-ups with weights, building to another series of cardio, and then sculpting work on the other side.
I'm not going to lie, I was a hot mess in Mercy. Full on. I couldn't coordinate, and I was having trouble with my balance and stamina. This was for a few reasons. 1. I'm out of practice, 2. This was completely new to me. 3. I went in with totally different expectations. I totally ignored the "get ready to sweat" part of the class description and figured coordination level of 2 and "low impact" meant that this was going to be a mellow-ish kind of class. I wasn't fully mentally prepared for how quick-paced the class was. And mental preparation, at least for me, is half the battle.
That said, I really liked it. It was such a full body workout. My shoulders, arms, BACK, waist, butt, legs ... everything. All at once. I could feel myself whittling down with each precise movement. It was like Twiggy and Skinny Mini and Armistice got freaky and had an incredible baby personal trainer that's gonna whip your ass into shape.
So, I'm definitely going to take it again (and again), but next time I'm going to 1. get to class early (especially at Rittenhouse) to get a good view of the instructor. It can be my instinct sometimes to want to hide in the back when I don't know a class yet, and that made things tougher for me in this case (I really encourage anyone new to Mercy to venture to the front for this one to get a good view of the instructor.) 2. Not to let low-impact fool me, and be ready to sweat!
For the days that you're not quite up for the non-stop cardio blast of classes like Weightless and Pom, but want to sculpt your body to a good sweat, this class is the perfect fit. Just imagine yourself on the beach with Michelle and DJ and imagine your tummy (and totally normal belly button) flattening with every move. Have. Mercy.
See you in class!
Image of Sayeh in Lithe via Dom
If you're new to Lithe or have been away from the studio for a while, you'll want to know more about our latest and greatest. You'll see these four new workouts (and their corresponding coordination rank on a scale of 1-4) in December & January.
This is a "best of CCS" workout that allows you to experience Lithe's evolution over the years and learn our cardio CCS in one hour! This progressive workout combines Waspie, Higher Power, Twiggy, Pom, Tight End, Rock Steady, Sideline, and Rah CCS.
A grounded sculpting workout utilizing Thinny bands attached at the ankles. We use the bands in our proprietary Vertical Sculpting Technique which challenges your entire body. Experience Lithe's sculpting blueprint: seated, straddle, side-lying, and standing work.
A great combination of cardio and sculpting with our Pom bands and proprietary Vertical Band Sculpting. This class is a cult classic much like Rock Steady and includes fun, high impact CCS with hip-popping choreography, high cardio spread eagle jumps, and floor explosions.
A low-impact cardio workout. Not coordinated? No problem. Mercy's CCS is basic and user-friendly. You'll have Twiggy bands around the wrist and also hold 3 and 5 pound weights. Although this workout is very cardiovascular, it's low impact, so it really sculpts the body (especially the arms) because you're using the bands for extra resistance, while holding light weights throughout the entire workout. Don't fret. The bands counteract the weights, so it's not as hard as it sounds. Newbies can skip the weights and master the moves easily. Vets can challenge themselves by utilizing heavier weights. Either way, be prepared to sweat!
Our cult classic cardio workouts are all the rage, but when it comes to sculpting, we've got the tight stuff, baby. B-Sides is built from the bones of our most effective sculpting CCS, wrapped up into a one-hour flow. You can expect a Thinny-like pace from this total-body (and very sweaty) workout utilizing Thinny bands and our signature Vertical Band Sculpting™. You'll need: gloves and sweat bands
What's a B-Side? In most urban street circles, a B-Side is known as the more "real" or "true-to-the-streets" recordings of an artist. Those that are less "main-stream" and less indulging of censors, critics, and airplay. *Lithe's B-Sides is a Lither concept brought to life.
Image of Gina Toscano in Nike via Dom
This week, we're showing some love for Thinny (created in 2009)...
Ahhh, Thinny. Thinny = LOVE for your bod. If you're Lithing regularly, it's a must-do. It's the perfect combination of stretch and strength. Thinny is one of our slower-paced restorative classes (in the Melt, Rare Form and Watershed realm). Its purpose is to undo all the "doing" that we do in many of our Lithe workouts. But, it's no walk in the park. You'll definitely "do," and when done with proper form, you exit in a fumbly vibrating haze. Long, lean, stretched, and dripping in sweat.
Here are a few shots of my Tuesday at 12:15PM Thinny at Old City. I like to turn the lights down, the music up, and get to work. My girls weren't afraid to get on their feet with our new standing sequence with the Pom bands.
One of my favorite hip-hop playlists gave us the perfect beat and pace. Three of my faves: "Around the Way Girl" (Untouchables Remix) by LL Cool J, "She Wants to Move" by N.E.R.D. featuring Native Tongues, "Umi Says" version by Mos Def, and a cool down from Digital Funky by J. Rawls.
Images of Lithe Lithers via Lauren's Canon Rebel EOS
For the next 40+ weeks, we'll be featuring our favorite Lithe workouts. This week we're starting with Spirit, which debuted back in 2010...
In my opinion, this is one Lithe workout that is so underrated. Spirit is unique, so effective, and it's quintessentially Lithe. Tough AND fun is what we do best. CCS on the mat, tuck jumps, star explosions, Marios ... You'll burn at least 700 calories and smile the entire time.
Want to know more? Read Sayeh's take on it!
I sat in on the 11:00AM Wednesday Spirit at Old City and the room was on fire! LM2 Reggae Dancehall (Collie's Bermuda Mix Tape's Defend Your Own and Assassin's Don't Like You (Applause Riddim) are two of my faves) was blasting and all the girls were working their butts off.
Images via Lauren
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