A few years ago, I felt bored with my workout regimen and wasn’t really seeing results. When my friend shared a NYT article about Kayla Itsines (link), a mega-popular trainer, I was super impressed with her genuine personality and perspective on fitness. After browsing her Insta page (which now has 10.9 million followers) and seeing the jaw-dropping transformation photos, I decided to jump on the BBG (Bikini Body Guide) bandwagon. Kayla’s program is one of my favorite home workout routines and I’m so excited to share about why I love it. 

The SWEAT App

BBG App

When I first started BBG in 2016, Kayla just launched the app and it’s definitely evolved. It now includes workouts from other trainers, like Body & Mind by Sjana Elise, PWR & PWR Post-Pregnancy by Kelsey Wells, BUILD by Stephanie Sanzo, and FIERCE by Chontel Duncan. I’m sure the SWEAT app will continue to add more programs and trainers which is a pretty cool feature. I’ve mainly stuck with the original Kayla workouts and challenges. I just genuinely love them and haven’t felt compelled to explore the other programs yet.

BBG app

You can now choose from the ‘Something Different’ menu and use a newer training style if you want more variety. I’ve found that these generally include more weights and equipment. You can do several of the workouts with basic equipment, like dumbbells, a jump rope, and a bench, but some of the added programs require more full-scale gym equipment. If you’re at the gym and not sure where to start, the Full-Body strength program would be a great option.

bbg app

The app also offers food suggestions and meal plans, like what to eat for a morning or afternoon snack. Each day comes with a new menu and it’s pretty thorough with recipes, ingredient lists, and diet types. I haven’t used the food feature, but I’m sure it could be helpful for someone just starting out or who could use some healthy food inspiration.

If you’re interested in tracking your activity or overall progress, the app also syncs this data. I also don’t pay attention to these or even the community feature (where you can find BBG social media accounts and encouragement), but if you’re die-hard or need that extra motivation, it’s a fun platform and unique concept. There are thousands of Instagram and Facebook pages devoted to BBG transformations and progress. I follow a few and it’s amazing to see the results of so many women who are clearly stronger and have taken their health and fitness to a whole new level.

bbg app

The app is pricier than most fitness apps out there, and I think this deters a lot of people from giving it a try. If you’re using the app religiously, then it’s pretty reasonable and a smaller investment then a studio or gym membership. A monthly subscription costs $19.99 or you can save more by paying quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly (up to 50%, which breaks down to $9.99 a month).

BBG Programbbg app

Every week, the goal is to complete 3 resistance workouts (legs, abs, and arms) alongside a few low and high-intensity workouts. The low-intensity workouts can include running, biking, walking, jumping rope, or whatever recreational activity you prefer. For the high intensity, you can do intervals, like sprinting, for a 10-20 minute window. I never knew how much I loved sprinting until I started BBG. It’s quick, efficient, and torches calories.

bbg app

Each resistance workout is made up of 4 circuits, 8 exercises total, that alternate between 2 different 7-minute sets. I usually complete a resistance workout within 33-40 minutes (including a stretch). It’s super convenient that the app times the workouts, buzzes when you’re finished, and tracks everything so you don’t have to think about it. The workouts are super challenging, efficient, and effective. They’re pretty easy to learn and there’s a thorough explanation for each exercise. During the workout, you can pause to read directions if needed.

I’ve been using the BBG app for almost 3 years, so I’ve literally tried almost every workout or level. Each one offers something unique and becomes increasingly challenging. Sometimes the exercises can be repetitive or you may get sick of a certain ab move, etc. I just adjust accordingly and add weights or modify if needed.

bbg app

Also, I now have a home gym in my condo building which is awesome, but when I first started I literally did every workout in the living room of my very small apartment. I just had a mat, bench, and some weights. You can easily do these workouts anywhere and they’re super accessible.

My Progress

When I first started BBG, I followed the program for 24 weeks straight and rarely missed a workout. Here’s my first transformation pic after finishing week 12, round 1, of BBG. I did not anticipate sharing these so I apologize for the low quality haha. I was thrilled with my progress and it was the first homework I ever tried where I noticed results.
BBG transformation

There wasn’t a huge difference, but I felt stronger, more toned, and could finally see my abs peaking through! Here are a few more progress pics from when I completed BBG 2.0:

BBG Transformation

BBG Transformation

These pics were taken after completing 4 months of consistent BBG workouts and I felt AMAZING! My body looked more toned than ever and  I was beyond happy with my progress. Interestingly, I did not lose weight; in fact, I gained a few pounds (GASP! I’ll let that sink in…) This is an important reminder to  NOT focus on the scale, as my clothes did fit better and I could see increased muscle in my glutes, hamstrings, arms, back, and legs. Strength training and toning is way more important to me than being a skinny-minny. I also don’t worry about the scale because I maintain a healthy balance of eating clean/ sticking to whole foods and being active. Consequently, I’m stronger, more confident, and not obsessed over my weight.

bbg app

Now that I mix up my routine with more studio workouts, I usually do about 1-2 BBG workouts a week. I highly recommend BBG and it’s really an awesome, effective program. I’ve also tried quite a few home workouts/ fitness apps that I plan to review and share this year. If you’re contemplating creating a healthier habit or amping your fitness routine–go for it! Focus on the reward and stick with a routine.  You’re more capable than you realize and don’t let excuses hold you back!

 

 

Motherhood is a complex journey and often overwhelming. While learning how to raise children, you’re also managing taking care of yourself and trying to maintain a fitness regimen. Finding balance can be extremely challenging, especially if you lack a support network or you’re not sure where to start. Thankfully, Grand Rapids has a very special place, Renew Mama Studio, where moms in all stages can find fitness, wellness, community, and education all in one spot!

Aboutrenew mama studio

After Amanda Holbert had her first baby, she realized there was a lack of fitness and wellness options in Grand Rapids for women learning how to navigate motherhood. Shortly after, she founded Renew Mama Studio to ignite a community where women can take a variety of fitness classes and also connect, grow and thrive. After over 6 years in business, the studio has amazingly become the place for all things mama.

renew mama studio

They offer pre and postnatal classes, workshops, wellness services, and an incredibly supportive community. Amanda is enthusiastic, welcoming, and extremely positive. She makes every effort to make you feel right at home. As soon as you walk in the door, the warm, calming environment puts you at ease. And there is so much to explore! Here’s a break down of the many programs offered at and what to expect:

Classesrenew mama studio

The variety of classes at Renew Mama is impressive. If you’re in the pregnancy stage, you’ll definitely want to experience Prenatal Yoga. It’s one of the most beneficial types of exercise a woman can do during pregnancy. Renew Mama’s class is specifically designed to challenge and bring peace to you during this special time – all while in a community with other expectant mothers. You’ll learn poses to help prepare the body for labor and to improve blood flow and oxygen to both mom and baby.

The Barre classes will lift, tone and engage muscles you forgot you had. Whether you’re a prenatal or postnatal mama, or just looking to rebuild your core, barre is perfect for everyone.

renew mama studio

Yoga Flow is both energizing and empowering! It focuses on building strength, releasing tension and calming the mind. You will leave feeling stronger, less stressed and re-energized. Prenatal and postnatal moms are also encouraged to attend Renew Mama’s Yoga Flow class.

Bring along your baby for a mom + baby yoga practice! Reconnect with all your prenatal yoga mama friends and practice yoga in a community of women who can support one another. This class is gentle and will support your new postpartum body.

You can also bring your baby along to Babywearing Barre! Lift, tone and engage muscles while using your little one as a counterweight. Bring a carrier or wrap or lay your baby down for tummy time.

renew mama studio

Pre-Tot Yoga is ideal for all of the Mom + Baby Yoga graduates. This class focuses on a combination of yoga, songs, play and sensory activities for your little one. Meet other mama friends while your little one works on their communication skills.

Kids yoga provides children ages 4-8 years an hour of imaginative yoga sequences, mindfulness, breathe work exercises, art activities, and a relaxing savasana. This is a great way to introduce kids to yoga and its many benefits!

renew mama studio

In family yoga, practice partner poses that strengthen relationships and muscles. Play yoga games and enjoy yoga-based activities with your family. Enjoy this special time with your child + partner while learning and growing together.

Wellnessrenew mama studio

We all know that being a mom is oh-so-stressful, so thank goodness Renew Mama also offers wellness options to help restore and relax your body. If you’re in need of a massage, they offer pre and postnatal for reduced swelling and easing discomfort. You can also opt for a deep tissue massage that works the deepest layers of the muscle and provides much-deserved relaxation.

Interested in chiropractic care? Dr. Theresa Osmer, Renew Mama’s onsite chiropractic and functional medicine physician, can adjust, use myofascial release, functional rehabilitation, and give nutritional advice.

Kids Classesrenew mama studio

If you need a break from the kiddos while enjoying a workout, then sign them up for one of Renew Mama’s awesome kids’ classes.  Preschool yoga provides 3-6 hour imaginative yoga sequences, mindfulness, breath work, exercises, and relaxing savasana.

Or if you have an aspiring dancer in the family, have them try the New Ballet Class. Dancers 3-7 learn the basics of ballet in a fun and creative 60-minute time-frame. They’ll learn basic ballet positions, traveling ballet steps, and even have time for free dance.

renew mama studio

Have your toddler get creative with a Renew Mama Art Class. In Toddler Art Class kiddos get to explore colors, tools, cause and effect, their senses and much more! They get messy and creative while experimenting with process-oriented art.

And, of course, Renew Mama offers child-care while you’re taking a class or if you need a break in the mama-lounge. The child-care room is spacious, clean, vibrant, and nurturing.

Mama Loungerenew mama studio

One of the most unique and integral parts of the Renew Mama Studio space is the Mama Lounge. If you need a place to work, mingle, network, or just take a nap, this is your spot. The decor is trendy, modern, and fun and there are so many perks. Enjoy wifi, coffee, tea, and surround yourself with mom bosses just like you! You definitely won’t want to leave and will feel so inspired by the creative community.

Events & Workshopsrenew mama studio

Renew Mama Studio is passionate about making sure you’re equipped to handle the challenges of parenting. From breastfeeding workshops to baby’s first foods, there are plenty of classes to help you understand the more complicated components of parenting. Here’s a link to upcoming classes and mama circles so you can share experiences, get sound advice, and find support in a safe and loving environment. https://renewmamastudio.com/events-workshops/

Contactrenew mama studio

If you’re longing for some mama friends and an amazing place to break a sweat + enhance your family, wellness, and lifestyle, then stop by Renew Mama Studio and see for yourself why so many women absolutely love it. Check out the website, class schedule, and variety of reasonable packages or just bring the kids along and give it a try.  It’s a wonderful community and truly a gem in Grand Rapids! 

Renew Mama Studio Website

Phone Number: (616) 425-9642

Instagram Page

 

 

Finding the right yoga studio can be tough to navigate. Some appreciate meditative, calming yoga, while others prefer sweltering heat. Fortunately, the yoga movement is thriving in Grand Rapids and there are plenty of fantastic studios where you can practice. Here are 16 tried-and-true list places with a brief description for each that will make it easier for you to find your flow!

Funky Buddha Yoga

yoga studios

Funky Buddha Yoga was the first hot yoga studio in Grand Rapids and has since become an institution in West Michigan. They offer hot yoga that is ridiculously fun, sweaty, and relevant to everyday life. This place is all about getting active: you will sweat, and you will work! The studio has a Bohemian-Esque vibe complete with an artistic chalkboard wall, strung lights, and lively color. Given the popularity, the classes are typically packed, so get there early. During the summer, they host free yoga in the park and stand up paddleboard yoga. You can find a Funky Buddha studio in Holland, Eastown, and Forest Hills.

AM Yoga

yoga studio

Through service, community, and love, AM Yoga’s mission is to help you discover who you are by removing what you aren’t. As their name says, AM is practicing the state of I AM – Sadhana (daily spiritual practice) + Satsang (sacred gathering) + Seva (selfless service). The 60-minute Vinyasa classes are the perfect balance of stretch and strength training. If you’re in need of a longer, deeper stretch, then try out Yin Vinyasa. Carve out time to meditate with classes like Meditation Vinyasa and New Moon Meditation. Spice up your routine & hit up one of their community classes at hot spots like the GRAM or Donkey Taqueria.

Yoga Fever

yoga studio

Yoga Fever combines the ancient science of yoga with contemporary warm and hot vinyasa yoga classes. The tastefully decorated studio has a spacious lobby and practice room. Their vigorous classes deliver exceptional results and continual advancement in a supported environment. You’ll have room during class to focus your energy and get stronger in each pose. The instructors really take the time to explain what your body should be doing. They also pay particular attention to the history and philosophy of yoga. Check out Yoga Fever for a yoga studio that is inclusive, diverse, creative, and positive!

Kula Yoga

yoga studio

Looking for a hip studio where everybody knows your name? Then Kula Yoga is the place to be. They aim to provide quality yoga instruction and it’s great for those on a budget. Kula is an inclusive, judgment-free zone. Yogis are encouraged to explore their practices under the guidance of knowledgeable and nurturing instructors. They offer different types of classes like Buti Yoga (awaken the chakras & power within!) as well as frequent workshops designed to enrich your knowledge, practice, and foundation of yoga. They recently moved to the heart of Eastown beautifully renovated home shared with Wanderluxe Beauty & Wellness Co. The new space is bright & airy, tastefully decorated, and totally zen!

Twisted Hot Yoga

yoga studio

If you want to turn up the heat, head over to Twisted Hot Yoga. Twisted’s classes are 99 degrees and 45% humidity, to be exact! Their Push and Chill classes are not heated, but there is residual heat, which keeps the room nice and warm. They also offer a super encouraging environment with friendly and positive instructors. Each teacher has a slightly different specialty, but all are knowledgeable and passionate about yoga. The studio is the perfect balance between not too big and not too small. BONUS: the cool lavender towels at the end of class are HEAVENLY. Check out one of their locations at Knapp’s Corner or  Caledonia.

Grand Rapids Healing Yoga

yoga studio

If you’ve experienced trauma or want to use yoga as therapy, then Grand Rapids Healing Yoga is the place for you. They offer group yoga and private practice for transformation and empowerment. Instructors encourage self-care, learning to befriend the body, and connection to the present moment. All teachers strive to protect students from physical, emotional, and psychological harm. The instructors are carefully trained and follow a complete code of ethics. Be empowered in your body, mind, and spirit.

From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center

yoga studio

This studio is guaranteed to give you a fun, challenging, and potentially eye-opening workout for both your body and heart. Founded by Behnje Masson and Rick Powel in 19971, From the Heart was one of the first studios opened in Grand Rapids. The expert instructors attract multiple internationally known teachers every year. The alignment-based principles will make you stronger, more flexible, and empowered. From the Heart is a beautiful and serene space with a welcoming atmosphere. They offer explicit instruction, a great workout, and time to get focused and relaxed. You will also learn yoga in a way that prevents injury.

The Yoga Studio

yoga studio

Practicing since 1979, the Yoga Studio is Grand Rapid’s first yoga studio.  Instructors are trained in the Iyengar system of hatha yoga. They focus on precise alignment and use props (blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets, the wall), so there is less risk of injury. Teachers of Iyengar Yoga are held to a high standard of knowledge that is rigorously maintained through ongoing study. The Iyengar philosophy connects both the body and mind through its holistic approach. Class sizes are small, so each student receives individual attention and guidance. The Yoga Studio will encourage your pursuit of self ­knowledge while providing a well-rounded practice.

Lotus Jo’s Yoga

yoga studios

Lotus Jo’s recenently opened and is so adorable–it feels more like home than a yoga studio. It’s community-oriented & will meet you wherever you’re at in life. Their rates are SUPER affordable & they offer great drop in prices too.  Love the free CBD restorative yoga class and the essential oils + heavenly aromas.  The zen vibe radiates the moment you walk in the door and it’s beyond cozy (complete w/blankets & tons of props). Go check it out – it’s perfect for all-levels and you won’t be intimidated.

PeaceLab Yoga

yoga studio

The Mission of PeaceLab Yoga is to create a warm, inviting yoga community where yogis of all experience levels can come together to share in the Art and Science of Yoga. They aim to empower each student on their path towards wellbeing, growth, and personal fulfillment. PeaceLab Yoga strives to offer the highest quality yoga programs in a serious, yet playful, environment. They accept you as you are and know when to challenge what you thought you couldn’t do. PeaceLab will also help you slow down and deepen your practice, work on peak poses, and learn about the elements of yoga history and philosophy. Peacelab is located in Grandville!

Yoga Blue Studio

yoga studio

This hot yoga studio’s admirable mission is to support the police, fire, medical professionals, their families, and the communities they serve. Yoga Blue offers a counterbalance to high-intensity, high adrenaline work days through breath and mindfulness. A unique feature is that they provide Broga, yoga for men, which combines core-strengthening, muscle-toning, cardio-working, stress-reducing, clarity-enhancing yoga postures with functional fitness exercises. Love the cause & mission of this awesome studio!

Renew Mama Studio

With a niche focus on motherhood, Renew Mama Studio provides a variety of yoga classes, services, and resources to both prenatal and postnatal mothers. Their classes are taught by instructors who are specifically trained in this area. They also aid in the physical and emotional demands of labor, birth, and motherhood. Come in for a little “me time” or bring your baby for a great bonding experience. Renew Mama Studio is hyperfocused on building community and supporting women during their motherhood transition. BONUS: They also offer child care and a calming lounge where moms can decompress, get some work done, or find some much needed rejuvenation.

Seva Yoga

yoga studio

Seva Yoga in East Grand Rapids offers a variety of classes that can be physically challenging or more calming and meditative. The teachers, atmosphere, and culture of Seva are all-inclusive and nurturing. The studio has a lively energy, like-minded people, and fun music! It’s a wonderful space for a breath-based, soulful practice. Great teachers, community, and the studio itself is beautiful and relaxing. No matter your style, no matter your experience level, there is a class for you.

The Yoga Zen

yoga studio

If you’re looking for a yoga studio in the heart of Caledonia, then bee-line over to The Yoga Zen. This newer studio is an inclusive space for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to learn and practice yoga. With over 7 different classes to choose from, including power vinyasa, you won’t be lacking options. They even offer kids, adult, and adapted yoga classes to accomodate physical limitations. BONUS: They actually have a Zen-Den. Schedule a  massage or body work with Reiki or AromaTouch where you can truly unwind, breathe, and relax.

Expressions of Grace & Cascade Yoga Studio

yoga studio

At Expression of Grace & Cascade Yoga Studio, the teachers work from their heart. Each class offers a different kind of practice and they’re all beneficial. Some of their unique classes include theraputics (for specific injuries), yoga for women over 50, and martial arts / self defense. The relaxed environment, positive vibes, and special classes (yoga with live music or meditation) all make this studio worth checking out. They also offer thai body work, massage, & energy therapy!

Iyengar Yoga Center of Grand Rapids

Iyengar Yoga Center

Iyengar yoga develops strength, endurance, and optimal body alignment, in addition to flexibility and relaxation. The Iyengar method also focuses on self-awareness, intelligent evaluation, and profound inward reflection. All classes at the Iyengar Yoga Center are taught by experienced, dedicated, and rigorously trained Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYT). The Iyengar Yoga Center has a beautiful new facility and the classes will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

 

Are you ready to try something new? Whether you’re a workout warrior and need a shift in your routine, or ready to re-introduce yourself to working out, The Barre Code is for you. At The Barre Code Grand Rapids, you can expect to see people rocking all fitness levels. Now let’s get started!

What to Expectbarre code

Once you walk into the vibrant studio tucked away in the lower level of The Oakwood  Apartments in Heritage Hill, rest assured you can drop your stuff (and stress) at the lockers and disconnect as soon as you enter the studio. Whether you’re working on centering your strength in Barre Code or breaking a sweat in Brawl, you are bound to leave feeling accomplished after your workout.

What is the Barre Code? barre code

The Barre Code is more than a great workout; it is a fitness community with a mission focused on self-acceptance and empowerment. Ultimately, you’ll strengthen your relationship with your body and the people around you. 

Class Formatsbarre code

Barre Code

Barre Code is the original total-body isometric workout, designed to build muscular endurance & mental strength. Anticipate a wide variety of exercises, props, and upbeat playlists week to week, guaranteed to keep you engaged.

Brawl

Brawl is a heart-pumping cardio kickboxing class designed to test your coordination and endurance. You’ll kick, punch, sweat, and walk out feeling like a total warrior!

Total Body Conditioning

Total Body Conditioning is a high-intensity boot camp class designed to build functional strength & improve cardiovascular conditioning. Brace yourself for a sweaty, heart-pounding workout that uses heavy weights, HIIT, and high-energy playlists.

Member Perks
barre code

The studio welcomes all fitness levels and walks of life. The Barre Code is committed to taking care of members and that your experience goes beyond a workout routine. All monthly auto-paying member gain access to some sweet Member Perks:

  • Free H2O + 10% off retail
  • Free or discounted admission to in-studio events
  • 1 waived late-cancel fee per month
  • Bring a friend with you for free once per month

Find Out Morebarre code grand rapids

Try out the wide variety of class styles & equipment to build strength and refresh your mind. The fun lighting is designed to elevate your mood and the energetic music will give your mind, body, & spirit a much-needed boost. Now is the time to join this awesome community dedicated to helping you grow from the inside out. See you at the barre!

barre code

Summer is filled with spontaneous road trips, fun nights with friends, one too many beach parties, and plenty of vacations – few people can say they stayed clear of all the sweet treats and indulgences. But with fall on the horizon, it’s time for a healthy reset. As the kids head back to school and the temperatures cool down, you may find yourself craving a more consistent workout routine and structure to get your sweat on! 

ACTIV8 Challenge – That Extra Push You’re Looking For!

mvp sports clubs

If you’re looking for some extra motivation with a fun group mentality and expert training, sign up for MVP Sport Club’s Activ8 Challenge. Kicking off on Monday, September 17th, this 8-week challenge will give you all the tools needed to build strength, lose weight, and kickstart your health & fitness journey. With the support of experienced personal trainers, you’ll experience small group training, nutritional guidance, and learn how to develop lifestyle habits. It also includes activity and body measurement tracking along with a supportive community that encourages you to do your very best.

Sometimes, it takes a group expecting you to show up, to actually show up. It’s that element of accountability we all love to hate, but it’s an essential component to see real, lasting changes. Plus, it’s more fun to workout with friends!

Testimonials

Here are a few inspiring testimonials from previous participants who not only conquered the challenge, but made INCREDIBLE lifestyle changes:

Amy Hutchinson

MVP sports clubs

When 2018 rolled around, Amy decided she needed show up and get fit. Choosing to participate in the Activ8 Challenge was the exact opportunity she needed to build a solid health foundation inside and outside the gym.

“There was a time when I would get on the treadmill and didn’t think I could do that speed or incline without hanging onto the bar. I needed to get moving and on a regular basis. I would put off trying to be healthier, thinking ‘Just one more day’, or ‘I’ll get started next week’. There is no better day than today to get started on being healthier. Activ8 provided the tools I needed for healthier habits, such as how to build and portion meals, and how to find my rhythm in working out while still pushing and chaellenging myself. Now I choose healthy every day! ”

Ryan English

MVP sports clubs

New to town and quickly gaining 10 pounds, Ryan knew he needed a change:

“I joined RDV and immediately jumped into the group fitness classes. When ACTIV8 started, I decided it would be a great way to achieve my fitness goals. I was new in town, I was new to the gym, but I never once felt alone during the ACTIV8 Challenge. From the friendliness of the front desk staff to the expertise of the group fitness instructors, everyone at RDV played a part in the success of this challenge. The program binder was great, the weekly challenges kept me on track and provided variety, but by far the best resource was my trainer, Jesse. He kept us accountable, inspired us to push beyond what we thought we were capable of and provided us with thoughtful guidance.”

Ryan saw measurable results, losing 16 pounds and 10 inches!

“I look and feel better than I have in years, my energy levels are way up, I’m more confident and comfortable in my own skin. ACTIV8 is an investment in yourself with a built-in support system and a well thought out plan all laid out for you.”

David Miller

MVP sports clubs

Looking to jumpstart his wellness journey, David joined the ACTIV8 Challenge Challenge in February 2018. The eight-week challenge offered the training guidelines and accountability support he needed to get back into the routine of being active and making healthy choices again.

“The Challenge gave me constant encouragement from the trainers and staff, a great camaraderie with the small group I trained with, and a healthier attitude towards keeping fit in general. I had great gains in my endurance and realized that even as I get older, I have the capacity to push myself beyond what I think I am capable of. No matter where you are starting from, it’s important to keep focused on where you want to end up. The ACTIV8 program gives you an opportunity to kick things into gear and create a stable platform from which to move forward after its completion.”

Sign-Up Today

MVP Sports clubs

The ACTIV8 Challenge provides a unique and effective opportunity to help you fall back into a routine and ignite your health and wellness journey before the winter season. Not only will you see results and feel your best, the 8-week time frame will enable you to establish a realistic & attainable routine that you can incorporate for years to come.

Ready to sign up!? Simple click this link, register for a time, and you’ll be on your way to living a healthier & happier lifestyle!

 

Have you heard of 4G Athletic? If the answer is yes, there’s a high five heading your way! If it’s no, you’re really missing out! 4G combines the best of any kind of fitness facility you can think of to create a one-of-a-kind space revolutionizing boutique fitness today. For real.

The Facility

The space is just awesome. It’s modern and cool looking, with sleek designs and a very clean interior. It’s a fun motivator and atmosphere members looking forward to.

The Classes

4G Athletic

Unlike many boutique fitness centers that focus on one form of exercise, bet it yoga, Pilates, cross fit and the like, 4G stands for four fitness groups, meaning four different workouts that give you a nice variety. Each is structured within a 45-minute format and has its own dedicated space, customized to the specific kind of workout.

Get Stronger with LIFT

4G Athletic LIFT

Combine strength with movement training, and you get LIFT. Grab a barbell, some plates and hit the bench to get stronger, build endurance, and gain some extra muscle definition. The equipment is pristine and set up for you. Customize your weight and push yourself to the next level each time. 

Rejuvenate with FLOW

4G Athletic FLOW

Build strength, restore flexibility, focus on mobility, and de-stress the body and mind. FLOW is a mix of power vinyasa in a 75-85 degree heated room. First timers and experienced yogi are encouraged to attend. 4G recently partnered with AM Yoga to offer a truly comprehensive, empowering yoga program. Anticipate incredible instruction and take your practice to the next level. If you haven’t noticed, this yoga studio is absolutely STUNNING, complete with strung lights, earthy tones, and a relaxing atmosphere.

Get Cardio with BIKE

4G Athletic BIKE

Think big music, a get-it-done group mentality, and an awesome instructor challenging your power, speed, and distance – encouraging you to get better with every mile. It’s crazy fun, crazy hard, and totally worth it. Each class offers a new playlist and the instructors customize based upon your preference. BONUS: The bikes are state-of-the-art and in mint condition!

Find Resilience with MOVE

4G Athletic

The name says it all. Using HIIT style interval training, enjoy an always changing workout that will keep you guessing. Get sweaty, toned, and build strength with a variety of circuits that include TRX, Ropes, Kettle Bells, Sleds, ViPR and more. MOVE is all about challenge, fun, and, change. It also incorporates heart rate monitoring where you can track your calories, heart rate, and improvement each time. The group camaraderie always motivating and you’ll love the hype, invigorating music. 

The People

4G Athletic

Ali, the general manager, leads the pack of rad instructors who take the time to get to know you by name and encourage you to work hard to get the results you’re after. They offer weekly incentives, challenges, and even send helpful email reminders to schedule your weekly classes. At 4G Athletic, they believe that people should “sweat in solidarity” and support each other in shared goals. This is truly a community based on healthy movement and effective, motivating workouts.

4G Athletic

Something else to note, it’s for everyone. Like, really. Some gyms say anyone can go, then your boyfriend comes along with you to a yoga class and things get awkward. It’s not like that here. Men, women, and families all come to get a good sweat, participating in one of the four dynamic classes they offer on a rotational basis throughout the day. Just read through the testimonials on their community page and you’ll be clamoring to check out 4G Athletic too.

The GR Fitness Destination

4G Athletic

That’s it in a nutshell. Located just 15 minutes outside of Grand Rapids with free parking, a state-of-the-art facility, 4G isn’t a place you hit up if you have time on your way home from work. People plan their day around the class they want to go to; it’s the anchor in their schedule, and something they seriously look forward to.

4G Athletic

Why? Because the unique fitness platform works, and people are starting to notice. The variety is an essential motivator, it’s an easy-to-get-to location, the instructors are the best out there, and the facility is really fun. It’s a no-brainer.  

Check out 4G Athletic online, learn more about their classes, the schedule, the instructors and schedule your first class for free. We promise it won’t be your last!

If you’ve been to 4G Athletic, share your comments below – what do you love about it?

 

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Better than a barre studio and more than a yoga lounge, Alkalign Studios in Ada presents an invigorating fitness approach that focuses on the whole body and self-improvement from the inside-out. How? It’s called functional fitness, and it can help you find a dynamic life balance, grounded in strength and serenity.

What is Functional Fitness?alkaline studios

Functional fitness emphasizes core stability while preparing your body for daily activities. By incorporating balance and coordination with strength and flexibility, Alkalign helps participants train for life.

Alkalign Studios offers holistic classes that focus on strength, alignment, cardio, and nutrition training. In each class, elements of barre, yoga, Pilates, and even physical therapy are integrated in a way that feels completely fresh.

alkaline studios

The instructors at Alkalign strive to educate, empower, and inspire people to be a better version of themselves. Their classes are mindfully presented with hands-on instruction and a focus on physical function.

7 Functional Movementsalkaline studios

Each class at Alkalign incorporates 7 functional movements: squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate, and walk. To properly exert these movements, the body requires strength development, flexibility, mobility, and balance. Alkalign builds upon the foundation of these areas with the repetition of functional movement, so clients walk away from each class noticing immediate results.

alkaline studios

What you practice at Alkalign translates to life. Whether it’s a sport, hobby, or mastering daily tasks that were always rooted in pain, Alakalign instructors work to break that pattern, while helping you live a healthier, happier life!

GRHL Promo!

Interested in trying Alkalign for yourself? This awesome studio is offering an incredible deal for the month of June. Sign up for unlimited classes for just $79!  Just click the following link and sign up for your first class. Alkalign now, thank yourself later!

When Monday night rolls around, I’m always psyched to cruise over to CKO Kickboxing, where I get to sweat, glow, and challenge myself with every kick and punch!  There’s nothing better than a motivating trainer, hype music, and punching some bags to lift me out of the Monday funk.

Over the past few months, I’ve been taking classes at CKO Kickboxing and I’m officially addicted to the heart pumping cardio, combat moves, and intensity of the class. The best part!? IT’S FUN! There’s never a dull moment with the constant push to amp your fitness and lively atmosphere.  During my first class, I definitely felt intimidated, but as soon as the instructor cranked the music and got the momentum going, I found my groove and quickly caught on.  Though it takes time and commitment to truly learn the techniques, push yourself to new limits, and build strength, here are a few reasons why I absolutely LOVE kickboxing and why you should give it a shot!

It’s a Huge Stress Relief

cko kickboxing

Photo | Instagram @ckogr8

If you have any pent-up stress or aggression, kickboxing is an AWESOME outlet. Instead of internalizing a stressful event or bad day at work, take it out on the bag–or put a face on it and punch your least favorite person into oblivion. There’s extreme satisfaction that comes with hitting the bag a little harder each time or launching it further after a few powerful kicks. After just 30 minutes of class, my adrenaline and anxiety significantly subside. I feel more empowered, confident, and relish in the afterglow of the much-needed endorphin and serotonin boost.

Build Physical Strength & Endurance

cko kickboxing

Photo | Instagram @ckogr8

In addition to the mental benefits, kickboxing engages all of the muscle groups in your body through high-intensity training.  The martial art techniques combined with bursts of explosive energy can burn up to 750 calories an hour. At CKO, the trainer breaks down each technique in preparation for several combos which typically include jabs, uppercuts, roundhouses, sidekicks, and backhands.  Toward the end of class, we finish off with squats, sprints, and intense ab work. PHEW! I’m always a sweaty mess and ready to collapse during the final minutes.

Social Benefits

cko kickboxing

Photo | Instagram @ckogr8

Another awesome component of the class is the camaraderie. Not only do I get to workout with a few friends who hold me accountable, the atmosphere of CKO is highly motivating and encouraging. The instructors work with you to achieve proper form and maximum strength, the music is off da hook, and the adrenaline of each workout is enhanced by the group aspect. When John G (our Monday night trainer) shouts, “Don’t get tired, get busy!” the extra effort is contagious and keeps everyone going.

cko kickboxing

Kickboxing is an invigorating way to develop yourself physically, mentally, and socially. Since attending CKO, my back, shoulders, and arms are more sculpted and I’ve improved my cardiovascular endurance. Maybe you never pictured yourself ferociously taking out your aggression on an innocent bag, but if there’s one thing that makes us better at being human, it’s surpassing all the expectations we have of ourselves. If you’re craving something new and ready to get busy at the gym, we have a SWEET kickboxing studio right here in GR! Or you can check out any of CKO’s +65 locations all over the United States. For more insight on the benefits of boxing, read this inspiring interview with an accomplished kickboxing champMaureen Shea

yoga studios
What does a funky buddha, a bohemian vibe, and Eastown Grand Rapids have in common? The makings of my new favorite fitness regime. I recently discovered a $30 Groupon to try a month of unlimited classes at the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse. I live a few miles from their Eastown location, so I figured, why not!? Despite my love for fitness, Yoga had taken a backseat to my HIIT and strength training workouts. Thus, I decided to try something new and emerge myself in the full Yoga experience.

Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

I pre-registered for my first class, Power-Flow w/Music, with the Funky Buddha app. The app lays out the weekly schedule and is easy to navigate. I arrived about 10 minutes early and relished in the Bohemian-Esque studio complete with an artistic chalkboard wall, strung lights, and lively color. It was happy hour on Friday, so members were especially chatty and friendly. For an added touch, they burned a little incense and played upbeat, acoustic music–just what I needed after a long week.

Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

At the start of class, the instructor introduced herself and her assistant. She exuded a calm, helpful demeanor. We first settled into Balasana, Child’s Pose, and focused on our breathing. It occurred to me that I rarely breathe consciously and my mind immediately entered a quiet, calm awareness. Despite my lack of experience, I felt comfortable and invigorated. Within a minute of class, they cranked the heat and I braced myself for a sweaty mess. Thankfully, I came prepared with 2 towels: 1 to place over my mat and a bath towel to wipe off added sweat. As the heat intensified, I let my feelings of self-consciousness, along with beads of sweat, melt right off of my body as I focused on my practice.

Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

We spent the 1st part of the class in standing poses, then gravitated to poses either lying or sitting on our mat. The instructor gave clear, step-by-step directions throughout the entire duration. Finally, we ended with  Savasana, where you lie on your back, close your eyes, and breathe long and deep. I forced myself into a relaxed, meditative state and found my inner zen.  After an inspiring “namaste,” I walked away feeling energized and fulfilled. It was not easy, but it was one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. At this point, I decided to make Yoga a regular practice in my health and fitness journey.
Funky Buddha Yoga

Image | Instagram @funkybuddhayoga

During my trial with Funky Buddha, I took 19 classes and was never disappointed. Two months later, I’m officially a member and striving to improve my practice. When I want to switch things up, I find a scenic setting outside or attend a community class. Since sticking with Yoga, I’ve increased my flexibility, strength, and coordination. Beyond the physical rewards, Yoga has also taught me to:

Embrace things both in and outside my comfort zone
Stay in the moment and be present
 Simply breathe and relax
Find new ways of approaching life

Funky Buddha is a gem in the Grand Rapids area. If you haven’t tried it yet, go for it! They have 3 locations in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Forest Hills. Sign up for new customer specials, check out one of their events, or take a class for beginners. Happy bending!

barre studio

The secret’s out – workouts don’t have to be full of push-ups and high knee runs to see serious results. (Hallelujah!) The Barre studio movement has arrived in full force around West Michigan, showing everyone that tiny, pulsing movements that are hyper-focused or long fluid motions that are repetitive and centering are just as, or even more, effective than any boot camp. Using a combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga, and Pilates, barre studio classes focus on isometric strength training (think fiery pulses) combined with high reps and small movements.  Spend a sweat session in any local barre class and we guarantee you’ll stumble out satisfied and ready for more. Here are our top 6 Grand Rapids Barre Studios worth checking out!

Studio Barre

barre studio

This girl walks into a barre…

That’s the catchphrase of this trendy boutique barre studio located in Breton Village. Think all of the fun and none of the hangover as the “barre-tenders” serve up roughly 5 classes a day focused on exceptionally effective and personalized barre workouts for all fitness levels. The musically driven 60-minute sweat session makes you dig deep physically while the energetic instructors keep you mentally “in it” until the end. Looking for a fun place to go with great music and a results-centered workout? This is it.

The Barre Code

barre studio

Live by the barre code and find strength in the struggle. We think this place has what it takes to become a GR mainstay and you will too when you visit the newest addition to the local Barre circuit. Located in historic Heritage Hill Downtown, the Barre Code’s signature class is a 50-minute session focused on lengthening and strengthening your muscles, incorporating the best of Barre and challenging you to the max. Beyond Barre, the studio also offers Barre-dio, a class that combines heart-pumping cardio movement with dynamic pulses to bring you the best of both worlds and Brawl, recognized by Self Magazine as one of the best workouts in the country! If you’re an old hat at Barre and you’re interested in switching it up and trying something new – the Barre Code is perfect for you.

Beer City Barre

barre studio

Who knew beer and working out went hand in hand? Located on Monroe in Downtown GR, this sweat centric class incorporates yoga, Pilates, and dance elements into a fast-paced workout. Pulse like crazy till fatigue, then ramp up your heart rate with large range movements to make every minute count. Low impact? Yes. Huge results? Oh yeah. Have fun with weights, balls, bands, rings and your own body resistance to create long, lean muscles while you refocus your mind for the week ahead. Beer City Barre’s first trial class is only $20.00, and you get the second class free! That’s $20 for two classes – a great deal for anyone interested in trying out the Barre method for the first time.

Pure Barre

barre studio

Tried and true, Pure Barre Grand Rapids is probably the most well-known of the Barre programs around the area. Located in Knapp’s Corner, this intimate and friendly studio offers approximately 7 different classes a day (that’s a lot!) and is one of the fastest, yet safest ways to change your body. Each class is similarly structured, focusing on warm up, arms, toned thighs, seat lifting exercises, core work, and a nice cooldown. It’s low impact, so your joints won’t feel it the next day, and helps you strengthen and tone without the pain. If you’re looking for a stable workout routine, that’s effective and fun, this is for you!

Alkalign Studios 

barre studio

Alkalign takes barre to whole new level, offering classes that focus on targeting strength, alignment, cardio and nutrition training to let you find your own dynamic life balance. They combine barre, yoga, Pilates, and nutrition consultation to offer a fun and well-balanced way to stay fit and have fun. A community focused studio located in Ada, they even provide a supervised playroom for children birth – 10 years, so busy moms can still feel grounded with a holistic health-focused workout.

The Dailey Method

Variety, that’s what comes to mind when we talk about the Dailey Method. A welcoming, purposeful place, the Dailey Method in Eastown starts with the basic, then ramps up to an action-packed, heart beating workout. Here, clients receive individual education and a hands-on holistic approach that makes a real difference. And who knew you could cycle AND practice barre at the same time? Their Daily Cycle class does just that, integrating elements of both into a well-rounded hour of power. For local moms, they also provide an infant and kids’ room, so you can get a workout in while your kiddos have a playdate. Win-win!

Get your best barre outfit out of that closet and hit the pavement to check out these awesome studios. Did we miss an amazing studio in your neck of the woods? Did you try a class? Let us know by commenting below. We would love to hear from you. Be sure to subscribe to GR Healthy Living for all our latest updates and health happenings in West Michigan.