Since then, I’ve seen the class change. And change. And change again. From the removal of the barre to the new and improved pulley system to the mats to the props to the structure and format of the class – this workout has evolved so much in the last two years. You’d think it would be unrecognizable, but at the core the principles behind Refine remain the same. Two years ago the class was comprised of circuits, intervals and sets (and foam rollers) and today, even though it is very different, the class is still comprised of circuits, intervals and sets (and, ouch, foam rollers).
Another change? While Refine used to have just one small location in a room at an Upper East Side church, now there are three awesome places to take class – the UES studio, the Union Square studio (where you’ll find me – please say hi!) and the brand new Upper West Side studio, which is gorgeous.
[Me doing a sliding disc plank, aka pure evil. Image courtesy of Erica Sara]
The Refine Method website explains that the class is designed to help you:
- Benefit from Cardio and Resistance Training Together: Through resistance training, we produce a cardio burn while building metabolically-active lean muscle, the antidote to traditional repetitive cardio and the most efficient way to change your shape.
- Move the Way You Were Made: We exercise your body in the way it was designed move. Refine’s circuits are made up of Five Essential Movement Patterns to prevent muscle bulk, develop transferable strength and encourage functional mobility.
- Harness Refine’s Intelligent Sculpting Sequence: First, we focus on large movements, stoking the metabolism and stripping the fat. Then we move to targeted finishers to activate and attack the smaller problem areas, leaving an attractive, balanced physique.
- Escape the Herd: At Refine we want to help you make smart choices about your exercise program. Refine trims the fat off all the fitness jargon, educating clients about what works and what doesn’t so you can navigate the NYC fitness scene and separate fact from fiction.
To that end, Brynn has always said that one of the founding principles of Refine is that they will always update their methods if they find a better way. I’ve seen this principle put into practice countless times over the last two years — and now, the switch from barefoot training to sneakers is the biggest change yet. With the sneakers comes new equipment and new exercises.
[Image courtesy of Refine Method Facebook page]
The mats are gone and we now work out on a rubber floor. Boxes line the center of the room, and we use these boxes for new exercises that we haven’t done before such as step-ups, box planks, kettlebell rows and I may have heard a rumor about box jumps. There are also pull-up bars at each station, which I am inordinately excited to try.
[I was there when this photo was taken, but I was already changing into jeans and missed my chance at Refine fame. Good thing I already filmed a Microsoft Bing Friends Matter video there]
The change to sneakers means we have a whole new playing field of exercises to mix into the routine, further ensuring that we are constantly working different muscles, performing different motions and never getting bored.
You might remember when I admitted that I broke up with the barre after a 10-month long relationship. The main reason was that I got a permanent injury, a labral tear in my hip, from the constant repetitive movements in those classes. It was only after this injury (that I still deal with today) that I educated myself about why certain exercises work, what brings the best results and what the overall benefit is. And this is why I love Refine — nothing is repetitive. There are always new exercises, new formats, new challenges, new stretches and new ideas. In the two years I’ve been taking this class I can guarantee no two classes have ever been the same.
Do I want to have another thing I need to remember to bring to class? No, of course not. I guarantee that the day will come where I show up to Refine without my sneakers and I will be pissed. But do I admire Brynn’s commitment to providing the most effective, varied, interesting, fun, supportive, encouraging class possible – based on science, not on fads. I love the improvements I’ve seen in my strength and running ability as a result of Refine. I love how amazing I feel after every single class. I love how each class pushes me to my limit and sometimes beyond.
And with that said, I have a discount offer for you! Last week I organized a group class at the new Upper West Side location and after class Brynn generously offered the attendees 10% off any Class Package or the first month of an Unlimited Membership. You can take advantage of this 10% off Refine offer too! Sign up at RefineMethod.com and enter code DORI at checkout. Offer expires 10/31.
Has any workout ever impacted your life?
(My $500 VISA Gift Card giveaway with the Blue Cross Blue Shield365 program is still going on if you feel like entering for a chance to win free money.)