SF Sweat Spotlight: Core40

October 18, 2016

In a quest to discover the fitness option in SF and beyond, I’m visiting different studios and bringing you the details. Here’s what Core40 in San Francisco is all about.

Core40 Studio

Guess what, another studio I teach at! At Core40, I teach cycling, but in this post I’m going to focus on their bigger offering, the Core40 signature full body class, based on the Lagree Fitness method. If you’ve seen those crazy looking pilates-like contraptions, you might know what I’m talking about. That weird contraption, the megaformer, or to regulars known as a torture device, is a killer for achieving that slow muscle burn. For my NY and DC readers, Core40 is similar to SLT and Solidcore.


At Core40, each class is (you guessed it) 40 minutes. As someone used to 45-60 minute workouts, the 40 minute workout feels quick, yet effective. Each class uses the megaformer, various springs for resistance and tiny movements to build lean muscle. Like other workouts that use tiny muscle movements or tiny weights, it seems easy on the outside, but get in there and it’s a different story.

Core40 Full Body + Targeted Moves

I’ve taken other megaformer classes and Core40 lives up to the name, really focused on your core/abs throughout almost the entire workout. Even when you’re doing leg work, you’re engaging your core. After particularly challenging classes I expect to leave with an instant six-pack because the burn is so strong.

Because of the way the megaformer functions, I find that these classes target your obliques better than any other workout. They way you have to hold your entire core tight to stay in control engages those obliques more intensely than I’ve ever felt before. While the classes are full-body, I do wish there was more upper body work, but the bigger focus is core and lower body. There are always some upper body sections thrown in, but the next day I tend to feel it in my abs, glutes and thighs the most.

Each class is formatted differently and uses a variety of moves, but many you’ll see in each class. As you continue to go, I wouldn’t say the class gets any easier, but you feel more coordinated, more in control and able to get deeper into the movements. I’ll admit that some days I think, wow I’m kinda good at this! Other days, I can barely hold a plank. Some days you got it, some days you don’t!

Seeing Results

I’ve been taking Core40 classes a couple of times a week for the past six weeks and I’m seeing and feeling changes. If there is one place this class falls short, it’s in the cardio elements. While the movements are effective and leave me sore and sometimes a little sweaty, you don’t get that out-of-breath drenched effect, which sometimes I really want.

And that’s where my cycling class comes in! There are six Core40 locations in SF and in addition to the megaformer signature classes, studios also host cycling class. A cycling class paired with the megaformer class is the ultimate combo. Get your sweat on for 40 minutes, burn crazy calories, then head to the megaformer and get those muscles lean and mean. If you’re not in the mood for 80 minutes of action, there are also combo classes that are 50 minutes total, half cycle, half megaformer.

Studio Vibes

I’ve regularly visit two studios (Noe-Mission and Soma) and both are simple, clean and overall have a very lovely zen feel. The Noe-Mission studio is in an old church and is particularly gorgeous with stained glass windows to calm you through the struggle.

If you’re looking for an extra challenge, the Soma location features “Ramped” classes where the incline of the megaformer changes throughout class, all controlled by the instructor. SO hard!

Core40 Megaformer

image via petitandtoned.com

Tips for Core40 Beginners

A few things to keep in mind for your first class.

  • It’s okay to take breaks during moves. You’ll notice that most people break form throughout the process because it is so hard to hold those trembling muscles in place.
  • Listen to the spring cues. The instructor will tell you how many springs to put on and take off at any given time. There are a bunch of red and yellow springs (yellow are the light ones, red are the harder ones). Pay attention to the spring changes and remember what you do on one side so you can use the same level on the other side.
  • Look around. Don’t be embarrassed to check out the other students, this will help you get the form right. The instructor will demo some moves, but she typically isn’t doing the workout with you, so if you’re confused, and you probably will be at first, take cues from those around you.
  • Listen carefully. Instructors are very specific in what they tell you to do. Whether it’s moving just your left leg and keeping your right leg straight, or engaging certain muscles, stay focused and listen up and you’ll get more out of the class.
  • Go back again! If the first class seems confusing and you felt uncoordinated, that’s totally normal. Don’t be scared away. Give it a second try and you might be surprised by how much more you understand.

Core40 date? Let’s Go!

Interested? Visit Core40 for the signature class and also please come check out my cycling class! I teach Tuesdays at 6:20pm and Thursdays at 6am and 6:20pm at the Noe-Mission location. Since the studio isn’t super close to my apartment, I like to make my visit worth it and tack on a megaformer class. Shoot me and message and let’s do it together soon.

Any questions on Core40? Do you like megaformer classes? What’s your favorite studio? Comment below & let me know.

{10/17} Classes & Avant-Barre Wellness Workshop Recap

October 16, 2016

A look inside the Avant-Barre Wellness Workshop + all the opps you have to sweat with me this week!

wellness workshop

Hi lovelies, how was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty sweet, the highlight being the Avant-Barre Wellness Workshop. Avant-Barre is my favorite barre studio in SF. I’ve been going since I moved here and the classes are that perfect balance of shaking muscles and a zen afterglow. I’m going to give you a full write up on the studio next week, but let’s first chat about the wellness workshop.

wellness workshop

I met with Nini, the studio owner and total #girlboss a couple of weeks ago and she asked me if I’d be interested in speaking at the event. Half of me was nervous, but the other half very excited. When she asked me, I didn’t give it any hesitation, I just said yes. I wasn’t even sure what I’d speak about and like most people, public speaking isn’t #1 on my comfort, but there was no way I could say no to this opportunity. I get up and talk to groups of 10-50 people on nearly a daily basis, but leading a fitness class is so different than giving a group of people life advice. Doing things that aren’t easy are the way we change and grow, so for me, saying yes to this exciting opportunity was a must.

Avant-Barre Wellness Workshop

In addition to speaking at the event, I attended the workshop. Along with about 25 other #badassballerinas (coined by Avant-Barre. I’d love to call myself a ballerina but let’s be real), we kicked off the day with a new class offering, Avant-Barre Sculpt. It’s similar to the signature class but with the energy and burn kicked up a notch.

After class, Avant Barre master trainer Catherine gave a talk about how to set and achieve goals that matter. I really connected with this chat. With so many changes happening in my life recently (moving across the country, career ups and downs/changes, getting married, and so on), it was a good reminder of what goals I truly want to achieve, and how I can make them happen.

Next up was me! I spoke about leading your healthiest and most balanced life. I started with this exercise that I’ve seen across social: Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do everyday. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly. I then spoke about how we can all make simple healthy changes in our lives to lead us to more happiness, and more time to focus on the things that really matter to us.

Then we got treated to a healthy lunch from Tender Greens, before it was on to more speakers.

Jennifer spoke about the science behind essential oils and their holistic uses. I’ve never used oils but after hearing Jennifer describe their benefits, I’m ready to get behind it and give it a try.

For the last talk, we were treated to How to Un-Edit Your Life on Social Media by Joanne of GoFitJo. As an insta-follower of Joanne, she’s as real and authentic as they come, and shares her positive and real message with her followers. I loved hearing her talk about how to bring your true self into your social media as a way to connect.

We closed out the day with an extended stretch class. I left the studio feeling energized and ready to make and tackle new goals.

The event was so great and I loved connecting with like-minded San Francisco women. I got to chat and connect with a bunch of attendees and hope I see them in and out of the studio again soon. A huge thank you to Avant-Barre for hosting the event, inviting me to talk, and for the sweet swag including my cute new Plié All Day tank. Real talk: I quite ballet int he first grade because I thought it was boring, but I’m totally going to rock that tank.

And now, with that refreshed feeling, I get to enter into this new week ready to make moves. Want to hear something crazy? This is my last full week is SF until I head east for the final weeks leading into the wedding. I have no choice but to be super organized and productive because that wedding to-do list isn’t finishing itself.

And when I’m not being an efficient bride, I’ll be working out and in the studio teaching. Who is joining me? Here’s where you can find me:

Class Schedule 10/17

What are you going to get done this week? Let’s all make positive moves my friends.

Exploring SF: Muir Woods National Park

October 14, 2016

The most gorgeous way to spend a weekend: Muir Woods outside of San Francisco.


Free weekends are made for exploring! Especially when we have guests in town, we’re making a big effort to check out something new in the SF area. A couple of weekends ago our east coast friends Michele and Ian were visiting and we had a full list of activities. On Sunday we made our way up to Muir Woods for a cool walk along the giant trees.

After a little research, we learned that it’s best to get to the Muir Woods early for parking. If you get there after about 9:30am there’s a good chance you’ll have to park really far away and take a shuttle. Muir Woods National Park is less than an hour from downtown SF, we got there around 8:30am. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that if you get there before 9am, entrance is free! Otherwise, it’s $10 per person.

We wandered aimlessly through the park, taking in the fresh clear air and quiet of the forest. Another piece of advice, if you get there early you avoid crowds. After about an hour in the park, it started to get more crowded and very noisy with chatty visitors. If you want to enjoy some solace in the woods, get there early to have some time to yourself.

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Muir Woods





The hike effort level was pretty low, although we did climb one big hill. There were even some people running through the forest for an early morning workout. If you searched and went further, I’m sure you could find more challenging terrain if that’s what you were after.

After our hike, we made a stop in Sausalito for lunch at Salito’s Crab House. I loved this place, it’s right on the water and gives off the perfect seaside town vibe. I recommend the crab platter and fresh baked bread to share. Bloody Marys were pretty tasty as well. Can you get over these views from our table? I cannot.


Sausalito CA  img_5075


We took a quick walk through the main street of Sausalito and grabbed ice cream at Lapperts. Minty Cookie and The Mayor (coffee ice cream with chocolate fudge chunks) for me. I kinda went all out, it’s cool.


I mean look at that double scoop in a waffle cone. It was worth it, ok?

Since we started our day so early, we were back home 3pm. For my SF pals or friends making a visit to the bay area, fit in a little time in Muir Woods and Sausalito, it’s a beautiful way to spend a morning.


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