It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been taking Refine Method classes for two years now! I went to the opening party with Missy back in 2010 and started taking classes not long after that.
[Me, Missy and Brynn at the launch party in 2010 – awwwwww]
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.
[Refine instructors demonstrating exercises on boxes.]
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.
You can learn more about the principles behind Refine at their website and on their blog. Check out this event Refine is having this week. Will I see you there?
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.)
First things first, the winner of the Wild Buddha Designs + YogaVibes Class giveaway!
Thank you all for your submissions. Your slogan ideas were all wonderful and it was difficult to choose a winner. In the end, YogaVibes and I decided that the winner of the Wild Buddha Designs Ganesh wrap is Erica! We loved Erica’s slogan idea:
Live the life you love, love the life you live
The random winner of the YogaVibes online class was actually Erica too, so I ran the Random Integer Generator again and this time it chose Sara! Congratulations to both winners; I will email you with details.
On Thursday, I held a free Refine Method class for Dori’s Shiny Blog readers. I got to Refine Method early to make sure I was the first one there. even had time for an eyebrows done before class, lest my new friends find me beastly Shortly after I arrived, I met Amanda, who is seriously the sweetest blog reader ever. I loved talking to her! She made me feel special and I think people who have that quality are amazing.
Everyone else started arriving and I got to meet Alison, Ali, Laura and Susanne, and see my friends Melissa, Katie, Fiona and Rebecca again.
We got set up in our little stations along the wall and mirror, and Brynn explained the way the class would work with sets and cardio intervals. And then we got started!
After a warm up, some stretches we got right into the workout with a set of pushups and planks. I love planks. Then we jumped into our first set. The entire class used the pulleys to do combinations of upper and lower body exercises like rows and squats.
That’s Ali, Katie and Rebecca hard at work!
Every single exercise requires you to brace your core or else you will topple over. A good example is Brynn in this professional photo below. This is an exercise we do where we take both our hands and using our shoulders, move them to down to our waist on the outside, while keeping our hips and abs in place. I love indirectly working my abs.
In between these pulley sets we did our cardio bursts. The actual exercises change from class to class; in my last class before this one, the bursts included pushups and planks while moving our legs. In this class, we did repetitive side lunges — seriously, NONSTOP — which required us to engage our core for balance and worked our legs. I felt sore on the inside of my thighs for days!
We also did plies in a wide second position which made me legs shake, and lunges with one foot on the slider. Those also require you to use your core for balance and form. You can see Fiona, Alison, Melissa, Ali and Katie doing this here:
We eventually took our hands off the bar and did the lunges using only our balance. And we did them quickly in a row, no stopping. Hardcore!
After we finished the intervals and sets, we got onto the floor for some ab work.
Brynn is demonstrating here.
I really liked holding onto the pulleys while doing abs. It added some arm work to the abs section and it added variety from what I usually do. We finished with glutes. We put a tight band around our thighs and did pelvic tilts (I wish I got a photo but I was too busy doing it myself). Even though I do pelvic tilts in Core Fusion, having the band around our thighs adds so much more to this because you really have to engage your glutes. Our tushies were all on fire! When this section was finished the class let out a loud, collective sigh of relief. It was pretty funny!
We stretched out and then class was over. Most of the class posed for this picture. I think we look sexy considering we just had our asses kicked, yes?
Let’s see that closer up.
Yes, definitely very sexy.
I love Refine Method because it is challenging but doable, and not at all boring. Nothing we do lasts for a long time, so even if I don’t like something I push through and it is over before I know it. The class speeds by because there are so many sets. I also love the music.
Thank you to everyone who wrote an awesome review of Refine Method:
Brynn put so much research and thought into creating Refine Method. She wanted something effective and based in science. She traveled the country in her research, and I am so impressed with what she has done. I am always surprised to remember that she is the same age as me because she has done so much. I hope you will support Refine Method by trying a class (first one’s free!) or Liking Refine Method on Facebook!
If you decide to try a class this month and like it, there is a new client special going on right now: 10 classes for $100. That is just $10 a class but this needs to be purchased in December and used within a month from the date of your first class in the package. The idea is that you will see such awesome results in that one month and will want to come back for more!
There is also a special offer for unlimited membership at $200/mo for 6 months, a savings from the regular price of $225 a month.
If you missed attending this class, lookout for Missy’s Refine Method blog reader class next month or just come on your own! I am sure that you will love it. I will be attending Refine Method often over the next few weeks for a few reasons: I want to see these results for myself, and I injured my hip and some exercises we do in Core Fusion aggravate my injury. Brynn can assist me in only doing those movements that will not affect my injury. I will keep you updated.
Check back next week for an amazing Core Fusion Bootcamp DVD review and giveaway!