Fitness Friday Feature - Empower Fitness Labs
I loved Empower Fitness so much, I had to go back and try a second workout! Not only is this place visually appealing, they give you everything you need for your workout. Towel, water, bars and even hair ties if yours snaps or you forget to bring one. The little things mean so much to get you laser focused on your workout! In addition, you are hooked up with heart monitoring where screens around the room keep you in tune with the effort you're exerting and the zone in you are in.
The workouts at Empower are jam packed and filled with everything you need in one hour! They offer shorter (and longer) workouts too but for my review, I took two different 60 minute classes.
The first was called HIIT60. The class is split into two thirty minute halves. One half is cardio on the treads and the other is strength focused on the floor. You can pick which half to do first its a full class. I didn't know what I was getting myself into and chose strength first. In retrospect, cardio would have been better for me to get out of the way first. Haha.
The strength portion was structured in forms of rounds. You get a list of exercises (explained and demonstrated) and then you run through them all as quickly (but with good form) as possible in the time allotted. You have two trainers in the room which I thought was a nice bonus. One is calling out the time and exercises while the other is going around the room and checking form.
Here is sample of some of the things in the two different rounds we did. As you can see, we hit Core with the Rower pikes (a favorite of mine), Cardio with the rower, strength with both dumbbells and functional trainer.
Once time is up, groups switch which in our case meant heading over to the treadmills. My friend and I chose to try these super cool Woodway self propelled treadmills. It was a little unnerving at first (being that I am uncoordinated and all) but once you get the hang of it, it was amazing. The treadmills have a unique curve to them that mimic a more natural running stride causing less friction and shock to the joints than traditional treadmills. Because it is non powered or in this case "MOM powered" you burn 30% more calories than you normally would on a dreadmill, ahem..treadmill. 😬In addition, the class if formatted so that it, too, is dynamic and changing with bursts of intensity and even stepping off for extra strength work.
I have been eyeing to get boxing into my routine for a long time now and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take the HIIT BOX class. It, too, is a hybrid of cardio and resistance training with a good amount of boxing in there too.
This time, cardio went first. Similar treadmill work with timed bursts of building, sprints and recovery. One strength circuit at the end with dumbbells. Then, the switch and what I've been waiting for! 15 minutes of boxing. A set of moves and reps listed on the screen for you to follow until time is up.
And if your shoulders aren't fried already, head on over to the floor and pick up a sandbag and hold it up while you do lunges, side lunges, shoulder presses and lateral raises. Yikes! A full body workout without a doubt!
One of the things that stuck with me about Empower is that if you become a member and come here regularly, you will NOT get bored. EVER! Just because you sign up for HIIT60 once or twice a week does not mean you will be doing the same thing. They mix things up all the time and you will always get a solid, full body workout without the boredom that can come from traditional group classes.
If you get a membership, with your one time registration fee, you will get your own FOREVER boxing gloves and heart rate monitor that will sync with all your devices including your Apple Watch. Pretty sweet! And they have TWO locations, I went to the Uptown location on Woodway. The other location also has an amazing cycling and yoga studio (by the way, the yoga director Alicia, is AWESOME...I took her classes at another studio in the past and also during the #HTXfindyoursweat event downtown on Greenstreet.)
Oh and if you are a competitor at heart, at the end of the class they will announce the winner of "most output". I was surprised to learn that I WON (twice!) Although, I think its just because I was in the red zone the whole time and my cardiovascular fitness is not so great. Haha.
If you're interested in trying out Empower, use my code: ROYALS for $30 off your signup and don't forget your first class is free! Visit them here.
Until next Friday, get your move and sweat on!