Tonight, thanks to Dori over at Dori’s Shiny Blog, I had the pleasure of taking a Refine Method class with the fabulous Brynn Jinnett.
But before I get to that, a quick recap of my day:
- 5:30 am wakeup = success!
- Morning ab workout = success!
- 6.4 mile run in Central Park = cold, success!
- Work = busy, stressful, semi-success
So there’s that.
I came home after work—it was the first time since I moved over a month ago that I came straight home from the office. Crazy! I’m always off to the gym or some random work function. I had to think twice about the fastest way to get back to my apartment.
The plan was to have a pre-workout snack, since the Refine class didn’t start until 7:35 pm.
Enter, my new love:
Peanut Butter & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams.
Um. How had I not discovered this until last week? Crazy. It’s so good.
On a toasted whole-wheat English muffin? Don’t mind if I do. (Sorry for the blurry photo—my camera is inadequate; my photography skills are obviously not the problem.)
After the delicious snack (plus some baby carrots and a handful—OK 12 handfuls—of my brother’s homemade Chex Mix) it was off to class.
So as I mentioned above, I got the hookup for this fabulously free class through Dori, who posted this great Refine Method review on her blog a few weeks ago.
I wanted to take the class for a few reasons:
- To meet Dori in person!
- To meet other NYC-based bloggers and fitnessy folk.
- To try a new, barre method-based class. I’ve read so much about Physique57, Bar Method Soho, Core Fusion, etc., but hadn’t given any of the classes a try myself. But a free shot? Perfect.
- The instructor, Brynn Jinnett, is a dancer! She was a member of New York City Ballet, so I knew she’d be a rockstar instructor. I love meeting dancers (I used to be one, and now I work in the industry).
- The studio is just 10 blocks from my apartment. Couldn’t possibly be more convenient.
First of all, the studio is fantastic. It’s the perfect size for an intimate class but I never felt cramped or too close to the person next to me (by the way, I ended up next to Dori, who is a freakin’ Refine Method superstar—hellooooo inspiration).
We went through a whole series of moves including deep squats and pliés, upper body and ab work using the cable pulley-systems attached to the wall and some deep stretching at the end of class.
The workout itself is fantastic. It’s low impact but I definitely broke a major sweat. I’m fairly certain I’ll be feeling it tomorrow morning!
My favorite thing about tonight’s class was that Brynn is a fantastic teacher.
She’s one of those people you say “Hi” to and instantly feel like you’ve known her forever. She was warm and friendly, but once she got into teaching mode she really commanded the room. Plus I had fun chatting with her after class about people in the dance world.
Fun Fact: She told me that Kevin McKenzie, the artistic director at American Ballet Theatre, wants to come take a class with her! Probably not a big deal to most, but for those dance nerds out there like me, that’s pretty awesome.
And of course, it was great to meet all the other young women who came out for class. (Special shout out to Alison Foster. The coolest girls are ones named Alison, spelled with the fewest letters possible, and have last names that start with the letter F.)
I also got to meet Melissa tonight, whose blog was one of the first ones I started reading this spring when I first got hooked on the healthy living blog world.
So another thanks to Dori for offering up this class.
I highly recommend Brynn and the Refine Method. You’ll leave feeling the burn!
TELL ME: What fitness class should I try next?! I really want to check out SoulCycle. Send me your recommendations!
I have that dark chocolate peanut butter in my pantry too! Yum! This class looks like alot of fun, I’ve never tried anything like that before!
was nice to meet you at the class, and nice to chatting about marathons with you after 🙂
Ali! Thanks for the special shout out! You were so much fun and I can’t wait to do more in the future. Us Alison’s are taking it OVER. 🙂
Hi Ali! I met you in class last night – awesome review of The Refine Method! I thought it was a great class and I really loved all of the heart rate multi moves(like the squats with rows etc). I take soulcycle often and if you’re going to try out a class let me know! I know some motivating/inspiring instructors – it’s a fantastic workout and an amazing way to cap off a workday or start a weekend morning. By the way, I was the one that almost brought down the lockers while trying to get my bag out – and the only shy one who didn’t pose for the picture.
You my dear had a fabulous day – how fun!! Good PB and a run in Central Park is certainly hard to top.
I would totally do Soul Cycle – heard way too much good things about it. I would love to try it.
Hey there! Great meeting you and great class. I have heard good things about soul cycle and I think they are offering free classes soon–maybe I saw that it vital juice daily.
Flywheel is fun two.
The Core Fusion and Physique 57 classes are also great!
PS, you are so fast with your reviews! I should do mine before I forget!
Sounds like such a great class! So sad I didnt get to join you guys! Ill definitely have to try this class out. & yes, Dori is a rockstar is so many ways 🙂
OH and I am really in my own zone during workouts and don’t usually notice other people, but from what I saw you did so great!
Sorry I couldn’t make it tonight. 🙁
Would you share your morning ab routine? I’d love to add more abs into my life!
My morning ab routine is nothing fancy and quite honestly, it’s probably not the most effective workout either. But it only takes 6 minutes (every time, without fail) and it’s a nice way to make the transition from sleep to run.
It’s basically just a series of 200 controlled crunches (no stopping). The first 50 are regular crunches, followed by a set of 50 twisting to the left side, then 50 to the right side. The final 50 crunches I try to vary. Sometimes I do butt raises, sometimes I do fast oblique twists and other times I’ll just do a regular set of 50. When I do regular crunches, I use a method my old dance teacher taught me: every other crunch has a different “focus.” So first crunch upward, toward the ceiling, then on the next crunch lift forward, toward your knees (without pulling on your neck, of course). It’s a nice way to switch up the monotony of the workout.
And that’s it! Nothing fancy at all! But since I started doing this every day, I have definitely noticed a change in my ab definition.
How did you write this so fast! You are my blogging hero. I won’t even upload my pics til tomorrow.
Thank you SO much for coming and for this incredible review. I love this! It was really great meeting you, I think your blog is really funny and I recognized you right away. So glad we finally got to meet.
Did I really seem like a Refine Method superstar?? Haha I thought maybe everyone thought I was a phony when she had to lower my resistance at one point. That class definitely works muscles I don’t usually get in other workouts.
If you plan on going back to class let me know! I’m going to send an email tomorrow with a special price Brynn has right now. I can also bring you to Core Fusion if you’d like.
Thank you again for the awesome review and for coming!