Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So. Many. Things. But mostly Refine Method

The year is already almost HALFWAY OVER and I am WAY behind on blog posts. To catch you up quickly, I've run two half marathons, completed the Refine Resolution Challenge (and have moved on to the maintenance phase), did a fun run with a ton of awesome bloggers/tweeters that I follow, and have taken a few spin classes at Revolve.

It's been a great few months for workouts, even though for a while I wasn't totally digging running. I think I experienced a little thing I like to call BURNOUT. Which is funny, since I wasn't really running all that much! However, somewhere between Refine, work, hanging out with the relatively new boyfriend, and attempting to train for TWO half marathons, I let running go a bit by the wayside and reprioritized. This happened mainly because I fell in LOVE with Refine Method.
Back when it all started...
Do you know what Refine Method is? Most of my NYC fitness blogger friends will, but if you're not one of them you may be confused. Refine? What do you refine at Refine? The answer: your entire body, attitude toward exercise and working out, and your limits (maybe those you reDEfine). It's an AMAZING circuit-based workout called metabolic resistance training, which uses pulleys, suspension straps, kettlebells, and body weight to get the most out of a workout. There are cardio bursts, too, full of jumpbacks, sprints in place, and step-ups. We do planks, hip thrusts, squats and lunges. Tricep exensions, lat pull downs, bicep curls and push ups. No two classes are ever the same. Form is HUGE (I learned quickly that I'd been squatting and lunging all wrong!) and you WILL BE corrected, no matter how long you've been Refining. I am always dripping with sweat (I actually get blinded by my sweat at least twice a class) throughout the class, and my fellow Refiners probably love me for it.

It all started because of Dori. Dori, whom I'd met a few years ago at a blogger meetup thing after a frigid 4 mile race in Central Park, is a fitness fanatic in the best possible way. She's tried everything - and she lets you know what's good and what's not. Refine was something I'd seen appear on her blog more than once and I was intrigued. When I saw they were having a Refine Resolution Challenge and that a couple people I knew had signed up for it, I decided to give it a shot. I needed some help with strength and was in a running rut, so to get out of it and to get moving again, I signed up for the challenge and was (very fortuitously!) paired with Dori as my Refine buddy.

Month one I did five classes (the minimum you could do was four). It was love at first class. Like, as in, this was my first Daily Mile post about it:
First Refine class ever and OMG I LOVED IT. I liked the variety, I liked that it was a challenge and I loved that I left a sweaty mess. Pretty sure my butt, legs and glutes are gonna hate me tomorrow though :) Bring on class number 2!

I'm such a nerd, I know.

You have to increase by two classes per month, so month two I did seven classes, then nine classes in month three. I'm in the "maintenance" phase now, which basically means I get a sweet rate on Refine classes ($10 less than a regular class!) and go to eight classes a month.

Refine is intense, but I love it. Seriously. I don't know how else to describe it. I look forward to going. I NEVER dread a class. Today I think I may have actually found nirvana as I laid on the ground stretching after a grueling class.

When it comes to the changes in my body, I (personally) don't see a ton. HOWEVER...the way I feel and the way my clothes fit helps me know that something's working well here. My abs (they are there, dammit!) are making a very slow emergence (oh if only I could cut out sugar), but my strength has increased dramatically. Can I do a million push ups or a pull up? No...but I am getting closer to that with every class that I go to, and am so much stronger than I was when I first started. Strong is sexy!
By the end...obsessed with lunges. OBSESSED.
I hope I can keep up Refine. It's an investment for me, but it's an investment worth making because it's in my body, my mind, and my health. I've met some awesome people along the way and love every second of class, even when I'm in the midst of hating it and pushing harder than I thought possible. If you're in NYC, it's totally worth checking out a class - the first class is half-rate and will suck you in!

Half marathon recaps to come...

Note: Refine did not ask me to write this post, I'm not being (nor have I ever been) compensated by Refine. I am just a #RefineAddict and want to spread the word of this amazing and awesome class!