My camera and I went out to the Main Line a few weekends ago and captured these great pictures of my favorite Lithers seriously sculpting it out. 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
I love a good Split. Since February 2009, Split has been one of our most loved workouts. Get the best of both worlds with 1/2 bands (30 minutes) + 1/2 barre (30 minutes) that's perfectly programmed so you're balanced and Lithe. Check out what's on deck this week!
Image of Lauren Boggi wearing Lithe via Dom
Ready? Okay! What's Rah? Rah is a raw, total-body, cardio-focused CCS workout utilizing Thinny Bands and light weights. Set your Pep Talk to empowerment, join the Spirit Circle for beat-box and vocal cheer motivation, and Lithe towards transformation and healing. Rock your body, hottie.
*Rah has a back-bone and deep psychological roots. Stay tuned for Lithe Instructor Rachel Dore's, PSY.D. write up on it! You'll need: Sweat Bands Tip: If you like Rock Steady, you'll love Rah!
Image of Lithe Instructor Julie Fannin in Lithe's Spur Skirt & Rhythm Tee via Dom
What you need: Just yourself!
Props: 3lb, 5lb and 8lb weights (Lauren encourages using 8's at the barre and bumping down to 5 only after you've tried giving it a shot with 8's)
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you are comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: I didn't sweat a ton, but I was definitely muggy...if that makes any sense. Other folks had a good sweat going. But no one was drenched.
Every Lither I know loves to talk about Lithe. And more than that, we LOVE talking about our schedules. Do we take the 5:30 Sculpt at Rittenhouse or the 5:45 Pom at Old City? Perhaps we hate Sculpt, but Rittenhouse is closer and earlier and there isn't a wait list. We have to talk these conundrums out as if we are at a UN summit. Weighing all our options and making the best possible decision. Get two Lithers in a room and it generally sounds like this: What class are you taking? Have you taken it before? What do we need? Is it crazy? What studio? And my favorite: Who is the instructor?
Why? Because one of the things I love most about Lithe is that in addition to the 75 plus classes on the roster and the revved up, 2.0 versions of those classes constantly being added to the menu, each instructor often has her own line-up variation within each class. Taking Skinny Jeans with Lauren is different than with Krista or Elizabeth. Liz's Twiggy is slightly different than Ashton's. So even if you take a class over and over again, you'll still be exposed to some variety. The same holds true for Sculpt, and I took a new variation last week that I really loved.
The lineup that I have taken in the past incorporates a 3 or 5lb weight into the barre work. With the weight in one hand, you do 3 different types of arm work along with the leg work. For example, you do your first 10 lunges while doing a bicep curl. Your next ten while punching up in the air with the weight, and the last 10 while taking the weight behind you to work your triceps. I have to admit, even though I liked this class when I reviewed it, I never got very good at it. I was clumsy and couldn't coordinate. Trying to punch up in the air while doing a Sumo had me all over the place as far as my form was concerned and I just felt like I wasn't getting the most out of my workout. I had friends on the other hand, who had it down, loved it and chased that class around the schedule. Different strokes as they say.
So when I signed up for Colleen's Sculpt, I have to admit that I was not excited about the class. But I was soon dispelled of any preconceived notions because Collen has a different variation of Sculpt I've never taken. You spend more than half the class on the mat doing a TON of arms, abs, and foldover work. Your standard ab prep that you're used to, peppered with arm sequences from classes like armistice. A push-up, see-saw, plank sequence with no breaks that will have you pleading with God to have mercy on you. Waist rotations. The works. I was quivering and shaking and almost spent before we grabbed our 8lb weights and headed to the barre.
So we started (without the weights) doing leg combinations at the barre--think hover-launch-and-land-its and all the standards. Inbetween the leg exhausting sets at barre sets, we picked up the weights and used them during our wide second work. Lowering and lifting our heels, for example, in concert with lowering and lifting weights in a variety of configurations. Up right row, out to T, and adding the extra pounds to our plyos.
This class was INCREDIBLY challenging, but I left there feeling a) pleasantly surprised at how much more I liked it than the other Sculpts I had taken and b) thinking that this class was a BODY CHANGER. And while all Lithe classes do that, there are a few that, for me, after just 1 or 2 times, I can see a difference. This Sculpt variation is now on that list. If you'd like to give it a shot, Danielle, Colleen, Julie and Meredith all teach this version. I will certainly be signing up.
See you in class!
What you need: Wrist Bands! (or socks or leg warmers) The new Thinny bands no longer have a foam cushion to protect your ankles (sanitary reasons). You need something to protect the delicate skin around your ankles from chafing from all the sliding the bands do in this high energy class. BYO or purchase them at the front desk for $6. I highly recommend them. They make a world of difference.
Props: Yellow Melt Ball, Lithe Thinny Bands (the ones that velcro around your ankles) 3lb weights
Clothing Considerations: Long pants. Especially if you don't have wrist bands. This will protect your skin from the abrasive velcro of the bands.
Sweat Factor: A light sheen. You could hang out with people afterwards without anyone wrinkling their nose and asking..."What IS that?" It won't be you. You'll be fine.
A few weeks ago I tried to jump back into Lithe after my post-wedding, love-bloat, lithe-hiatus by taking Watershed for my first class back. I thought to myself: It'll be a good chill class to get me started. We roll around on that spiky ball a lot, and I should be fine. I've never been more wrong in my life. Being the person that reviews all Lithe classes, you would think I would know better!! Once I got in there, I remembered that we exhaust the leg muscles at the bar BEFORE we roll around on the spiky ball. I was in so much pain the next day that I straight up couldn't WALK let alone go to class again. This sent me back on an unintentional break to recover and then the new year's holiday hit and then...well I was back on hiatus (never having really ever left).
So this week, I decided I would ACTUALLY ease myself in...for real. So I took Thinny on Monday. And while it was super challenging, especially with the brand new incredibly tight bands at the new Rittenhouse studio, I was able to use my legs on Tuesday when I kicked it up a notch to take Skinny Jeans (taking it slow by staying flat footed the whole time). But foreseeing that 40 minutes at the barre would do a number on me regardless, I made sure to sign up for Melt yesterday. I used to chase Melt around the schedule a couple of years ago, when it was in rotation, and loved the combination of stretching and massage the class offered, so I thought it would be perfect.
Now, of course, as with all things Lithe, Melt has upped the ante and is a whole new class. When I walked in and saw the Thinny bands hanging from the ceiling, I cursed the Gods because it was clear that we were about to WORK. And work we did. But I have to say...it was the perfect combination of WORK and reviving my muscles. We started the class with a series of stretches, much different than the quick ones you may be used to in other Lithe classes. We took our time with them. Really getting into it and getting our bodies ready for the class. Then we grabbed the the small yellow Melt ball which is slightly larger than the spiky balls from Watershed and significantly smaller than the blue balls (hehe), used in many other classes. Tif, a licensed massage therapist, guided us to put the ball in a particular spot on our bodies that is often incredibly tight. And while she queued us for exactly what to do, and we laid there breathing, taking deep breaths through the tension, pain and release, she came around and adjusted each of our bodies to help us to get deeper into the stretch. (Germaphobes, need not worry, she sanitizes her hands between each Lither). And depending on the number of people in class, she gets to you once or twice max so no need to fret if being touched isn't your thing.
Next, we strapped the Thinny bands around our ankles, grabbed the 3lb weights and placed the small ball under our low backs. And that's where we moved the train from relaxation station to f#@k me! depot. We did an ab series that I might be so bold to say is one of the tougher ones in all of Lithe. My core was seriously quaking. And I had to take periodic breaks before continuing. Yes, I'm not at my all time best as far as stamina is concerned, but it was objectively TOUGH.
This process basically repeats itself for the duration of the class. Your work the hell out of a muscle group, then you take a quick breather by using the ball to release tension in the body. At one point you rub the ball across your pecs (ladies blessed with big bazooms, you might have to wrestle with yours for a bit first, but it's worth it) and you will feel a "hurts so good" feeling (as Tif puts it) that will have you wincing with agony/pleasure.
If you're in that mode where all you want to do is burn calories by taking all of the high cardio classes, and you think Melt is too soft. Think again. You get that heart rate up repeatedly. Burpee moguls (try to visualize that one), mountain climbers, back bends...the list continues. This class is incroyable! And honestly, might be my new favorite. It was challenging, but also felt so therapeutic and...fun. Melt is all grown up, and perfect for those days where you want a challenge, but doing a CCS sequence is more than your overworked mind or body can handle.
So far so good on easing my way in. I'm feeling the momentum building and climbing my way back onto the wagon. (Although I have had more chocolate chip cookies than I care to admit in the past 2 days...but hey! Baby steps!)
See you in class!
What you need: Wrist Bands! The new Thinny bands no longer have a foam cushion to protect your wrists (sanitary reasons). They protect the delicate skin around your wrists from chafing from all the sliding the bands do in this high energy class. BYO or purchase them at the front desk for $6. I highly recommend them. They make a world of difference.
Props: Lithe Thinny Bands (the ones that velcro around your wrists) 5lb and 8lb weights
Clothing Considerations: Anything you are comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Sweat City, USA.
I once saw a guy walking down the street sporting a white tank top that said--in giant black letters--F*CK SLEEVES! Aside from almost causing me to choke on the smoothie I was drinking, I tend to agree with the man. Sleeves? Please. WHO NEEDS EM? I don't know about you guys, but this dreary, rainy and completely erratic weather has me yearning for the days of sun, fun and obscene tank tops. But since I can't do anything to speed up the slow, frosty crawl of winter, I can at least use this time to get my arms in shape for when the day finally does come, right?
SUN'S OUT, GUNS OUT!
Enter Sleeveless 2.0. By this time, you all know how I feel about 2.0s. Insert expletives here, but I've learned to just embrace and accept that I'm going to get my butt kicked even harder than that last time I thought I'd my butt kicked.
Basically, you arrive, strap into the Thinny bands, and start standing up. The music is turned sky high and it's go time from the first count. Sleeveless 2.0 is rife with Lithe Method signatures: bursts of cardio moves that build upon one another and eventually lead to a CCS sequence that is fun to learn and much easier than it looks. I promise. Think calf pumps, jacks, and bow and arrows into your favorite 90s throw back move, the Roger Rabbit.
Once you're good and sweaty, you take the heart rate down a notch to do some sculpting lunges and squats with 8lb weights (the Thinny Bands help to carry some of the weight) and do a series of arm sculpting exercises. You can always drop down to 5s when it gets to be too much.
You end with foldover work (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah) and push-ups. That's right. Push ups. After all that. Get ready for it. I have to say though, I'm looking forward to taking the class again. It was the combination of fun CCS and then slower sculpting that I really enjoyed. Also, Colleen taught our class and really PUMPED up the jams. So it was nice and loud and she was loud and the bands were clanging and we were sweating and the dancing was in sync and at one point...I was like YESSSSS. THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! I love those Lithe moments. And this class is full of them. I think you'll really enjoy it.
See you in class!
Image of Sayeh wearing Lithe via Dom
We've given Melt a bit of a makeover! The feel-good workout is still all that it was, but with the addition of Thinny bands, you'll take your stretch and ab work to the max. We hear you guys are loving it!
Image of Lauren Boggi via Dom
Check out this #litheburn from Lither Kristin Smith taken ten min post-Weightless with Lithe Instructor Marisa!
Melt (lithe therapy) is back and better than ever! What does that mean? Basically, we're taking it to the next level just like we did with Watershed. You'll see it on the schedules soon, and taught by our most anatomically aware instructors: Tif (Melt creator & massage therapist), Jaime (PICU nurse), Joellyn (physical therapist) & Kelly (nurse practitioner). Enjoy!
Image of Lauren Boggi in Melt via Dom
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