124 posts categorized " Sayeh's Living Lithe! "

SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE! {2011 RE-POST} 17 Jun 2015

Skinny Jeans

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

Skinny Jeans

What you need: Just yourself.
Props: 3 or 5 pound weights and a blue ball.
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: You’ll look like you were sitting front row at a Gallagher show. (Yeah, I pulled out Gallagher. Times are tough in the sweat factor section these days!)

I feel like I went to bed a few nights ago and woke up with autumn upon me. When I left for work, there was such a chill in the air, that I considered running back upstairs to grab a scarf. While taking Walk Star yesterday, I couldn’t believe all the leaves littering the ground.

And although summer’s over, and fall is a harbinger of frigid temperatures to come, I have to admit, I love it. Coming from Texas, we don’t have much of a fall or spring. We go from really hot to pretty cold (seriously), and there’s never much time in between, so I really enjoy Philly’s 4 seasons.   

And for my past 3 years here, I always tell myself that I’m going to get into the fall spirit, but somehow it always seems to pass me by before I get the chance. So this fall I’m making a list and sticking to it!

1.  Carve pumpkins – something I’m absolutely terrible at, but love to do. (Every time I do this, I say I’m going to bake something delicious with all those pumpkin guts – a pie or some pumpkiny spicy cupcakes. And I don’t know why I say this because I don’t bake and have no clue how to make any of the above. Perhaps this year, I’ll just aim for toasting the seeds!)

2.  Apple picking! (Another activity that spurs a desire to bake, but my oven has yet to see the likes of an apple pie.)

3. I want to go to an outdoor festival, walk around in a cozy hoodie, ride a ferris wheel, drink warm cider and eat funnel cake.

4. Make chili! Texas-style chili is no joke and I’m bringing it to Philadelphia this year!

My list continues with things like mulled wine (I love that dangerous stuff!) and soups and stews and tons of other fall related food stuffs--because that’s just how my mind works--but I’ve noticed that in the northeast something else is more fall than pumpkins and apples.

Skinny jeans and Uggs.

The weather drops below 70 degrees, and women everywhere are pulling those bad boys out of the mothballs with the quickness. It’s the same in Dallas with hats and scarves. People are so excited to wear beanies and don their Burberry neck gear that the whole town looks like it’s in the midst of a blizzard when it’s sunny and 68 degrees!

I have to say, I don’t own Uggs. Not because I’m too cool or because I hate them, but because I just never got any. But, I DO get down with some skinny jeans and boots as my go-to fall uniform. And this year, after taking more Skinny Jeans classes than I can count, I’m ready for the trend!

Skinny Jeans is a Lithe staple that’s been around for a long time. It’s a strenuous class which includes the reliable series which make up the foundation of the Method. After 20 minutes of ab work using the weights on the mat, Skinny Jeans spends the remaining 40 minutes at the barre. That means you will be pouring sweat and doing every single leg series you’ve ever done in any Lithe class. Ever.

You’ll be folded over, doing seat work. You’ll be doing Lithe's signature sequence lunges, sumos, curtsies, and the list goes on and on. And just when you think your leg is going to give out from underneath you, you get to do  the other side! It’s a killer. But like with everything else Lithe, it works! Throw this into your rotation and you’ll be ready for fall in no time.

So, I may have to be realistic with myself. I may not get to all of those things on my list. The most fall I get might be going to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice latte, or ordering pumpkin beer somewhere. But at least I’ll feel good in my skinny jeans and boots (and maybe Uggs, if I can’t resist).

Step Rally ( aka, Step Really??)

What you need: Gloves!
Props: Step (like the kind from step aerobics classes); Higher Power band system.
Clothing Considerations: Cropped pants or shorts, so you don’t get tangled or slip on the step. 
Sweat Factor: Go straight home. Talk to no one. Take a shower.

I know full well that I am probably one of only five R. Kelly fans at Lithe Method. His reputation precedes him, so I won’t subject you to two Kelz videos in a row this week, but I must make note that the entire time I was in this class “Step in the Name of Love” was in my head.

Step Rally is certainly another class that will get you in shape for the tight jeans and leggings of fall. It’s not your mom’s step aerobic class to be absolutely sure. There is no grapevining left or right. Although I kinda wish we could wear Reeboks and tube socks.

The Step Rally I took with Melissa was a) nonstop and b) two parts cardio, with an intense sculpting sesh sandwiched in between. This class gets going from the second it begins. You grab onto the blue bands and do a long series of jumping up and down off the step, running over it like you’re walking on hot coals, doing jumping jacks onto it and much more.

The moment you think you might pass out, you take it down a notch and bring your seat to the box. Still holding onto the bands, you do ab and quad-busting moves, while trying to get your heart rate under control.

As soon as you think your tummy can take no more, you’re back on your feet to finish the class with more grueling cardio. Jane Fonda would have a tough time keeping up, but you’ll walk out feeling like you burned some serious calories – which is good because I really do plan on drinking a ton of pumpkin lattes!

Next Up? Higher Power and Sleeveless!

See you in class! 

Images of Lithe Instructor Liz Galbally via Dom. 



Last week I talked about the winter blues getting me down and you guys responded in kind. I think we are all feeling it right now. It's common knowledge that February is the worst and the beginning of March rarely offers any reprieve. And despite some higher (yet soaking) temps for today, we are likely in for another snowy mess tonight, so it's time to tighten our grip on that last shred of sanity we are all holding onto by the very tips of our fingernails. Here are a couple of ideas that occurred to me that just might help evoke the warmth of sunnier days. 

  1. Pump up the jams! I took Waist Not with Jonathan this week, and aside from completely kicking my butt, his play list was ON POINT. After the triple threat of Mariah, Whitney and Janet, I could barely contain myself in wide second. My mood was completely lifted. So, instead of listening to my usual array of podcasts during my walks and while cooking, I've been turning up the music instead. A few of my faves to put a smile on your face?
    • "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" – Whitney Houston (If you don't get a little pep in your step from this one, perhaps you haven't realized that you got into a car accident on your way to the store and are now living in a weird miniature model of a city in the attic of the house you used to live in while the creepy new people living downstairs do the calypso with their shrimp cocktail. Beetle Breakfast? Beetle Orange? Forget it.)
    • "Love Will Never Do" – Janet Jackson (Not only is Janet's 1,000 watt smile enough to brighten up your life in this video, but you've also got young HOT Antonio Sabato "Dimples Like Swimming Pools" Jr. and Djimon "Abs for Days" Hounsu dancing their tuckuses off (tucki?) for you in the searing dry heat of a desert somewhere. Someone check the thermostat, I think it's gonna blow!) 
    • "Dream Lover" – Mariah Carey (She is frolicking in a field of tall grass and flowers wearing a tied-up flannel shirt and jorts. There's sun, ponies, hot air balloons, dancing, writhing around, and everything else you'd want in a classic summertime jam. 
    • "Summer Breeze" – Seals & Crofts (To take it way back, this song just does something to me. It makes me nostalgic for an era I didn't live in and has me wishing a warm breeze would blow through some jasmine that's actually blooming anywhere but in my mind.) 
    • "Under the Boardwalk" – The Drifters (Because can't you just feel the sun and sand and saltwater when you listen to this one? Who doesn't want to be on a blanket with their baby, having some fun?)

2. Watch a summer movie! Nothing transports you to warm weather mode like a good summertime movie. Make a pallet in your living room or grab a couple of lawn chairs and throw on one of these classics, and you'll start to smell the sweet scent of freshly cut grass, chlorine, and coconut Hawaiian Tropic.  

    • The Sandlot – This movie has not only become a cultural touchstone, it's synonymous with summertime. Sweaty kids guzzle Coca-Cola Classic out of ice cold glass bottles dripping with condensation, ride bikes, swim in the city pool and get mouth to mouth from Wendy Peffercorn. Watch and get nostalgic for a time where you could hang outside with your buddies all day long and just shoot the sh*t without worrying about getting kidnapped. Haven't seen it? You're killin' me, smalls! Don't be such an L7 weenie! (Oscar Meyer even!)
    • Now and Then – This is Christina Ricci's finest work (outside of her portrayal of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movies, which are ridiculously underrated). Follow this group of girlfriends as they come of age, ride bikes, uncover family secrets, poke around cemeteries, save each other from flash floods, and flirt with Devon Sawa before his Casper fame. If that doesn't appeal to you, let's just say that the soundtrack to this movie might just be one of the best ever assembled and is the essence of summer in 21 tracks.
    • Dirty Dancing – No explanation needed. I carried a watermelon. 
    • Stand by Me – See all the reasons why you should watch The Sandlot and add in a dead body, leeches, and feelings that only a Stephen King story can evoke.
    • Do the Right Thing – It doesn't get much hotter than the non-stop sweat fest that is this movie. Hydrants are pouring into the street, Rosie Perez is rubbing ice cubes all over her body, and people in the streets are on the verge of exploding from the heat and tension of summertime in NYC. 

So if we indeed get a big snow day tomorrow, I plan to pump up the heat at the crib, wear bright colors, play some jams, eat pineapple, make myself a tropical drink with a little umbrella in it (or at least a Corona with lime), maybe make a citrus-soaked ceviche and watch a summertime flick. Fake it till you make it, right??

What songs and movies are on your list? 

See you in class!



I don't know about y'all, but this winter's been rough on me. No matter how many folks tell me spring is around the corner, or that this winter really hasn't been that bad, or at least we aren't enduring what the New England area has endured, I still can't help but feel a little bit like we are all characters in that movie Snow Piercer. Circumnavigating the world on a rickety train for the rest of eternity, forced to eat gelatinous bricks of protein and amino acids for nourishment, while the rest of the planet freeze dries during an extinction level snowpacolypse.

I'm slipping on ice. I'm ruining shoes. My back hurts from bracing myself against the wind and cold. I'm cranky. I don't want to cook. Even though I know I should be trying to incorporate foods that are purported to warm me up from the inside, I just don't FEEL like it because all I want to do is crawl under a blanket and complain about how I also don't feel like watching anything available on Netflix. In sum, the struggle is real, and it's time for a vacation to somewhere much warmer than here. In the meantime however, not surprisingly, my motivation levels to get into the studio have been as low as my mood. And that never helps.

I just want to eat MSG-laden dan dan noodles and greasy cumin lamb on top of steamed white rice (hello, Han Dynasty!) I want bechamel covered mac and cheese. I want to eat meatball hoagies on crusty bread that I dip into a plate of spaghetti. I want chili on top of everything. (There's a place in Texas, that I LOVE, that basically serves you ground up chili on top of chili on top of chili with a side of Saltines, and I can't stop thinking about it.) Not only do I want all of these rich, heavy foods, I want them in copious quantities. I want thirds. Pad thai or pad see ew? I'll take both. And throw in some spring rolls and any manner of dumpling you may have on the menu. Danke schoen.

Since good ol' Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow and I know I won't be warm again until mid-April, I realize this is not going to be a sustainable way to live. This means I need to find recipes for meals that stick to my ribs, but not my arteries. I tried to Google "hearty, healthy" meals, but Google assumes that I misspelled "heart" instead of "hearty" and is giving me lists of 25 foods approved by the American Heart Association. Which is all well and good, but not exactly what I'm looking for. (Yes, I know I should've put the terms in quotation marks. Whatever!)

Do you guys have anything you do to keep it together in the winter? Recipes to share? Tips to brave the cold and get to the studio? Or if you're feeling the same way, I'm certainly down to commiserate. Let me know, ladies! I need ya right now!

See you in class! (Tomorrow)



Sayeh's Living Lithe


What you need: Wristbands (for your ankles)! Gloves!
Props: Thinny bands (the ones that Velcro around your ankles).
Clothing Considerations: Long pants make the ankle bands more comfortable. 
Sweat Factor: Very light sheen. You can go to happy hour after or get away with not showering before work. 

When I think of B-sides, I think of the white cassette tapes I purchased in the early '90s when my favorite group would release their newest single. My favorite song was on the A-side and often a not so great song, or an instrumental version of the A-side song would show up on the B-side. I'd usually give the B-side a quick chance, but quickly eject, flip the tape over and listen and rewind and listen and rewind the A-side. More music savvy consumers than I, collect records, the home of the original A and B-side, and there's much debate among collectors about the greatest B-sides of all time. Songs that may have been even better than the A-side that sold the album in the first place. 

I must say that Lithe's B-sides was a mix of this A-side vs B-side question for me. A mix of OH MAN THIS COULD BE A CLASSIC with a little WHAT THE...! I can start by saying if you like Thinny (which I love), I think you'll really enjoy B-Sides. It's grounded for most of the class, like Thinny is, and the bands are around your ankles like they are in Thinny. However, I think the comparisons really end there. B-sides is like a mix of A-List Abs, Waspie, and Stems. Just sculpt city USA.The thing that makes B-Sides a little bit discombobulating is how different it is than those classes too.

Because in addition to the Thinny bands around the ankles, you grab the same bands with your hands too. Not additional bands hanging from the ceiling. You grab the bands that are around your ankles, find a place where you have a little slack and pull them towards you. This resistance is a monster. You have to really engage your core to keep your feet on the ground as you pull them away from you with arms. This is where the discombobulation occurs at first. 

This is a class where you really need to listen to the cues your first few times. If you're a newbie, get to class early (especially at Rittenhouse) and get a mat with a good view of the instructor. Bari was my guide, and her cues were incredibly important. She explained what to do, and more importantly what NOT to do so that you don't accidentally strain your neck or something else as you wobble around at first. 

The other key to this class is PLACEMENT. Placement of yourself right under the bracket in the ceiling where the bands are coming from makes a huge difference. A fellow Lither saw me struggling and encouraged me to scoot my tuckus right underneath the bracket and VOILA, I was a pro! (Kinda.) The next placement to be mindful of? Where you place your hands along the bands. Where you grab the bands will need to change depending on the move. Sometimes you'll need more slack, sometimes less. Listen to cues and remember to move your hands around consistently. This is especially important when doing the standing vertical band work (my new fave). 

I have to say, although I've been a bit of a mess both times I've taken the class (improving every time), I absolutely love it. It's totally different than anything else, which I always welcome and which Lauren is so uncannily good at providing, and it's challenging. It's nice not to have muscle memory for something and have to work hard to get it right. And working hard is what you do. You quake, you shake, you tremble and you WERK IT. 

Sometimes a break from CCS is just what the doctor ordered, especially when you're not sacrificing burn or difficulty level (which I never you think you do with grounded classes but more skeptical folks will likely agree with me for B-sides.) I say take a friend and give it a shot, if you haven't already. Sit next to each other. Shoot each other WTF glances, let go, and get into it. I will make this a weekly staple as long as I can, that's for certain. 

See you in class!



Sayeh's Living Lithe


What you need: Gloves!
Props: Pom Bands
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you're comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Ice Bucket Challenge Status

I'm going to be bold and proclaim something big right now. Sideline is the new Lithe class that will change your entire body. Fast. We all know the staples like Waspie, Skinny Jeans and Higher Power will whittle you into shape, and we take them religiously. Add Sideline to the list, sister girls. Add Sideline to the list.

It kicked my ever-loving butt in a thousand ways. Unlike its title may convey, this is not a class where you can hang out on the fringes and observe. You are in high gear from the jump, and don't let that intimidate you. It was the perfect mix of high-intensity CCS, but also slower-paced sculpting interspersed throughout using Vertical Band Sculpting. This is where you stand up and step on handles of the Pom bands instead of holding the handles with your hands. You then push and pull on the bands that now have incredible resistance since you are holding them extremely taught with your feet. (Where you place your feet matters...up too close to the ball of your foot, and you'll be in pain quick...go back towards your heels.)

The Vertical Band arms sequence in this class might be the most challenging arms sequence I've yet to encounter at Lithe. My shoulders, biceps and back were on FIRE. During the cardio sequences I was praying for them to be over, so we could cool it down with the sculpting, but the arms and back stuff was so intense, that I was quickly praying for the sculpting to be over so I could get back to jumping around (and I'm not a cardio lover). 

If you're trying to get your arms and back on point for any reason (wedding dress, just to be a badass) take this class. From butt to thighs to calves to waist to fingertips--you are working it out in Sideline. As I left, a fellow Lither and I agreed that taking that class on a consistent basis would whip us into shape in no time. 

See you in class!

Image of Sayeh Magaziner via Dom




Lithe's Tight End is one of our two featured glue-based workouts for Jan-March 2015.  Born late 2011, it combines our core cardio sequence with tall box work with Pom bands that make for a fantastic total-body workout with an emphasis on tightening and lifting that booty!  Here's a re-post from Sayeh: 

What you need: Gloves!
Props: Lithe’s Higher Power Band System (Pom Handles), Tall Box (from Hipster)
Clothing Considerations: Long pants (You place the pom handles around your ankles at one point.)
Sweat Factor: Imagine you are standing on a corner on a rainy day, and a giant SUV plows through a puddle near you, and mercilessly splashes you without so much as slowing down. Now, do that 10 times...and you might be close.

Growing up in Texas, I was a pretty big football fan. The Dallas Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, and I was going to my high school football games every Friday night. I fancied myself pretty knowledgeable about the sport. But, as the years have passed, I’ve become almost completely disconnected from what’s happening in the NFL. Eagles fans heckle me about another embarrassing Cowboys loss (as if they can talk, oooh buurrrrn), and I just shrug my shoulders because I haven’t the slightest clue what they’re talking about.

But in recent weeks, a phenomenon has swept the nation, and has brought football back into the forefront of my mind. Two words: Tim. Tebow. This man has single-handedly brought prayer back into public schools. Kids everywhere are having Tebow flash mobs--meaning they all take a knee simultaneously in some predetermined location, and feign ardent prayer. (Somebody oughta tell these kids that Rodin’s Thinker has been sportin this pose a century before Timmy hit the scene! DUH kids.) PRAYING flash mobs? Hopefully the trend will hit Philly soon, where the very mention of the term flash mob has shopkeepers and restaurant owners on South Street reaching for their baseball bats.

For those of you whose Facebook news feeds haven’t been inundated by Tebow-related attempts at comedy, Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Extremely open about his religious beliefs, he is given to taking a knee on the field during games to say a quick prayer. Inevitably, it seems that despite his poor performance throughout these games, once he prays--things turn around and the Broncos come back and win in dramatic fashion. Case in point, last weekend when the Broncos ousted the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. Tebow miraculously threw an 80-yard touch down pass to bring the score to 29-23 in overtime. The real crazy part? He threw for 316 yards that game. 3:16, Tebow’s favorite bible verse, which he often writes into the shoe polish under his eyes. Go fig.

And it’s because of all this Tebow mania that I almost fell to a knee to say my own prayer in Tight End last week. I was in so much pain that I almost pulled the girl off the box next to mine to make her kneel and chant with me: Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly fah. Fah fah away from here. Tight End is KILLER. Imagine that Weightless, Hipster and Sweet Cheeks got busy and made a little Lithe baby. That would be Tight End.

You begin the class by grabbing onto the pom handles and doing a cardio sequence similar to the fun, dance-cheer series in Weightless. The dance moves themselves are different, but super fun, and equally intense. Then, once your heart rate is pounding and your sweat is forming into little beads all over your body, you incorporate the tall box. Using the bands for support, you do a quad and glute-murdering series of squats, lunges and kicks.

Once you’re legs are giving way, and you’re considering consulting your lord above for support, you get down and go straight into another high octane cardio series. Once you can shake your rump no more, you get back on the box for some inverted work--a la Sweet Cheeks. Here you place the pom handle around your ankle and use the resistance to tap and lift your leg in a zillion different directions. The real crazy part? Lauren kept telling us that she was merely introducing us to Tight End basics--that soon the class will attempt to actually murder us with a lot more moves on the box, and a more ramped-up dance series during the cardio segments.

Tight End is a must-take for anyone looking to kick it up a notch and get their serious sweat on. And when you’re legs are quivering and the sweat is dripping off the end of your nose, just channel your inner Tebow, have faith...and believe. And hey, if you need to say a quick prayer to get through it, go for it. It’s working for the Broncos!

See you in class!

Image of Master Lithe Instructor Tif Nork via Lauren

25 THINGS! {KALIKA FAIL} 21 Jan 2015


I love the flair and edge that this week's subject of 25 Things! brings to Lithe. She is a powerhouse of strength and explosive energy who exudes confidence in the studio. I love her classes because she's firm and relentless, but supportive while pushing us to get lower, finish every rep and work through the transitions. When I take Kalika's classes, I can feel how invested she is that Lithers leave her class getting the best possible workout. So when I read number 25 on her list, I wasn't suprised at all. Read on to find out more about the Lithe vixen she is. 

1. I was born and raised in Neptune Beach, Florida.

2. I have a BA in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida (in Tampa).

3. My boyfriend and I moved to Philadelphia in 2005 and it was the best decision we ever made.

4. I have been a member of the Peek-A-Boo Revue Neo-burlesque show since 2006.

5. We won Best Troupe at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in 2008 and 2012.

6. My boyfriend, Chris, and I have been together for 13 years. We're considering marriage.

7. I have a 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Kya who doesn't act a day over 2. It is impossible to be in a bad mood around her.

8. I am the oldest of three. I'm seven years older than my brother Andrew and ten years older than my brother Matthew. They're my half brothers, but really they're my brothers. We are different in many ways, but share the same overly sarcastic sense of humor.

9. The Exorcist and Garden State are tied for my favorite movie. The Breakfast Club is a close second.

10. My troupe was on America's Got Talent in 2010. We made it to Vegas.

11. I dislike most reality TV shows.

12. I have never seen a Harry Potter movie.

13. The first job I had in Philly was in "The Freezer" at Nightmare on Broad Street, a haunted attraction at the Spectrum.

14. I worked with a wheelchair dance company in Tampa.

15. One of my earliest childhood memories is seeing Michael Jackson in concert while sitting on my dad's shoulders.

16. Most people call me Kaley and my stage name is Ginger Leigh.

17. Three things I can't live without: coffee, sushi, and peanut butter.

18. I am gluten-free 93% of the time.

19. I perform with The Roddenberries, a Star Trek cabaret band.

20. I quickly became a city girl, but am most at ease near the ocean.

21. My first experience with Lithe was at my instructor audition. I instantly fell in love.

22. I used to say I would never be a cheerleader. Now I can't get enough Lithe CCS.

23. I have been dancing since the age of 3; ballet, tap, jazz, modern dance, and many other forms have been sprinkled in over the years. I love and hate to choreograph.

24. Entertaining and teaching both make my heart sing, but in different ways.

25. I teach burlesque classes. Helping women feel comfortable and sexy in their own skin is far more rewarding than teaching them dance steps.

BEST OF FHH 2014! 29 Dec 2014


What a great year! Thank YOU for all of your hard work and dedication: We completed 3 challenges, 2 Lithe Escapes, traveled on tour to Seoul, NYC & LA, celebrated a decade in Philly, Welcomed 11 fantastic new instructors (Meredith, Cate, Jen L., Maggie, Jenn B., Annette, Liz S., Kalika, Jonathan, Alicia, Katie B), 3 veteran instructors became Masters, debuted 7 new workouts (Rah, Lithe Beach, Hi-Top, All That, Sideline, Mercy & Lithe Lab), 2 WKND's and have seen the most killer camaraderie and results than ever before!  Here's to 2015!  Check out some of our favorite posts...

Lithe Escape Jamaica, Lithe WKND, Lithe Escape Tulum, Love Letters, Kristy's Before & After, Lithe Tour Philly, Seoul, NYC & LA, Because I'm Perfect, Lauren's Gym Bag Essentials, Beauty Tips for a tired face, 3 Days to Flat Abs, Lauren for Prevention, Breaking the Mom Cycle, Talking biz with Forbes & Jon Oringer, Fall Transformation Results, Elizabeth Tomkins x Destination Maternity, Lithe Foods x Art In The Age Skinny Heathen series, Sayeh's Living Lithe Tips, Earned in Winter Challenge, Results, T-Minus 30 Challenge, Mission: Lithe, Mama Says, Lithe Spice No.1, Meg G. & Lithe on BLDG 25, love from the Press & Eating Lithe,




We all know Lauren as the brains (and the body) behind everything Lithe. From the constantly evolving classes, to the clean drinks she creates to compliment them, to the stylish, high performance gear she designs for us to wear during them (and out to dinner after we leave), she has carefully crafted an entire lifestyle for her clients. One that is without gimmick and that gains die-hard converts daily, because of one simple fact: it works. But aside from all of that (and that's a lot), one of the things I l love most about Lauren is the genuine joy she still gets when she watches how Lithe changes her clients' bodies and lives.

I'll never forget when I ran into her a couple of months after my initial Lithe Diving commitment. I had lost another 7 or 8 pounds and toned up quite a bit. She saw me, and just seemed overwhelmed by my results. She had this childlike delight and surprise – almost like she couldn't believe that it was she, herself who had created this thing that had worked so completely. It was a glimmer of something underneath that typically unwavering, fierce vision she has when it comes to Lithe – the almost preternatural confidence she has about what it can do for a woman who commits to it, and how much it will continue to grow. It was a brief flash of that side of her that still cries at every love letter and whose jaw still drops at every before and after picture and endless summer hashtag. The side that kind of still can't believe that her dream is coming true. This week, she brings us 25 NEW Things to share as she continues her constantly evolving journey to better herself, life, love, and Lithe. Like me, I'm sure you'll tip your hat at the screen a bit thinking about her skills, business acumen and the general bad-assery she's brought to our lives.

1. Being a mom has inspired me in so many ways. I'm working on two new projects for 2015 (one food and one fitness) that I think all the mom's out there will love! 

2. I can't believe that I'm saying this out loud ... I've been toying with the idea of possibly having another baby at some point. I've gone from never again, to maybe...

3. I'm developing two new incredible in-studio workouts for 2015 and even more content will be debuted online. For the many displaced Lithers who have been dying for VOD for all these years, we've heard your cries : )

4. I'm never idle. When you don't see me on the schedule, I'm where the business needs me: instructor training, working on my book, Lithe Foods, a project, or another aspect of the businessLithe is so much bigger than me and most days I go from 5AM to 12AM, just trying to chase it!

5. I don't have a favorite studio, but Rittenhouse is conveniently located two blocks away from my house, so to make my life easier, I prefer to teach there. Since having Mars, I've realized that my time is so incredibly valuable. I’ve really learned how to work smarter and not harder, as well as choose quality over quantity.

6. Teaching is my happy place. I'd always rather be teaching. 

7. I've been asked to be a ambassador/sponsor for many companies. I'm taking on my first one this year. The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to associating yourself with another brand is to be selective and to align yourself with something that you truly believe in. I believe that it's vital to work with companies that are harmonious with Lithe and myself. By being selective, I strengthen the connection with my fans as well as their confidence in me. At the end of the day, it’s really about authenticity and staying true to yourself and your brand.

8. Lithe is such a small business. We are a team of approximately 50 (and only three studios), but our brand is so much bigger than the business itself. I giggle at some of the things that I hear. Sometimes people assume we have "issues" because it takes us time to install mirrors, for example. It all boils down to being a small business. At our core, we are a workout. We're not a large company (yet!).  

9. At this point in my career, I feel like I have an MBA. I learned it all through experience and that is priceless.

10. When I opened our first studio in 2005, there were no boutique fitness options in Philly. I feel like Lithe (and Lithers!) are the pride of Philadelphia. In my opinion, the rise of the local fitness scene was due to Lithe. We put Philly on the map. The big box fitness brands wouldn't be here if we hadn't built and proved the market. I've enjoyed watching Philly grow and reach its full potential!  

11. Lithe is absolutely amazing. We're working towards a goal and every six months we're stronger and more united. Our current manangement team is phenomenal and I pinch myself every day. I work with such talented, hard-working people.  

12. Pepsi recently asked me what my proudest (business) moment has been so far. Honestly, it has to be having THREE men on the Lithe team. I couldn't be more proud of that and the direction that we're moving in.  

13. I'm striving for Lithe to make it on one of the best places to work list, and someday that will happen. Over the past year and a half we've completely changed our culture. I don't believe in your typical workplace seniority. A very smart business man taught me about the importance of horizontal organization charts.

14. Eventually, I will cut back to only one studio in Philadelphia. I look forward to shifting my focus and scaling the business in a different way.  I'm an entrepreneur at heart. 

15. When it comes to my leadership style, I'm a big believer in hiring great people, and then getting the hell out of their way. 

16. Don't believe everything you think and don't worry about what other people think.

17. Fit.Hip.Healthy turned seven this year! Because I have so many hats to wear, many aspiring bloggers want to know how I continue to blog and support each facet of my business effectively. It all boils down to time management and your team. I changed the type of staff I've had a lot over the past several years. I started with interns during the early days of 2008. Then, I worked with freelance contributors. Then, last year, I decided to go back to blogging by myself and now I only have a few Lithe-specific contributors posting on occasion. I feel like I've found the perfect balance that works best for me. 

18. Progress is impossible without change. So many people are afraid of change and become caught up in failure. Do not worry about failing. Its your failures that inspire you to go out and do something better. Missed opportunities open doors to better opportunities and help you recognize how you can improve in preparation for them.

19. I hate excuses. Our 6AMers have inspired me so much over the years. There's always a way to get your workout in!  When I find myself in a bit of a fitness slump, I realize that the best way to get back on the horse is to stop making excuses. When it comes to working out, we all set our own limitations. The truth of the matter is that if something is a priority, you will make time for it.  

20. Confidence is the key to happiness. Embrace your thighs and measure yourself in strength, not pounds. Allow yourself to be the best version of the person you really are!  

21. Working with 45+ females (and over 1,000 female Lithers) is fascinating. There are so many different personalities to manage and some women tend to be negative and gossip instead of support each other. When I catch wind of something negative that's happening in-studio, it changes the way that I think about that person. This quote has really stuck with me: If those words appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?

22. I still cry over every love letter that I receive.   

23. Yes, send us your before-and-after photos! I never tire of seeing Lithers' progress and results. It totally makes my day and makes me realize why I do what I'm doing. It's a true light bulb moment every time!

24. I'm an eternal cheerleader and I believe that everyone needs one. Whenever I'm overtired or just not feeling 100 percent, I pump myself up by watching this clip of USC's Sandstorm, and then I head out to face the world. Channel your alma mater!  I swear it works. 

25. I highly recommend having a fierce vision when it comes to yourself. There's nothing wrong with being a little egotistical! The best project you'll ever work on is you – the trickle down effect is profound. 

Image of Lauren for Prevention Mag wearing Michi NY, Lithe & Norma Kamali via Dom



Sayeh's Living Lithe


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

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