Juliet and Ashli’s Fitness Challenge: Try New Classes

This week, Juliet and Ashli were challenged to try four new classes. They traveled all over the Capital District, trying new classes at new Y locations. See what they thought about each class below!

And don’t forget to enter our free t-shirt giveaway on Instagram by sharing your workout pictures with the hashtag #WorkoutwithAJ!


Total Body Circuit – Schenectady – 12:00pm on Mondays with Hannah

I was extremely nervous walking into Total Body Circuit. You never know what to expect walking into a new class. Is it going to be super packed? Are people going to judge you if you don’t know what to grab? Etc.

Plus, I’ve heard Hannah is a tough cookie when it comes to Group Exercise and Personal Training–which, I can now say that she is tough, but she is very good at what she does. She pushes you to the limit, she encourages, and inspires you to reach your full potential.

She started the class by telling us what equipment we would need and asking us if we needed any modifications due to injury, then proceeded to tell us what to expect from the class: 2 minutes of cardio circuits (but it felt like 4 minutes), 2 minutes of legs, 2 minutes of arm, 2 minutes of abs, then repeat.

There were four cardio stations we cycled through that included sandbags, ladders, various squat jumps (sorry, Hannah, I’m still working on remembering the proper terms), and plank-like activities.

For legs, we did a lot of different squats and lunges using weights and a body bar.

For arms, we used the same equipment.

And for abs…man, she really pushes you. Abs are little tiny muscles. They tire quickly, but thanks to Hannah we pushed through.

Final Thought: I want to come back every week. It can be tough to squeeze in a workout around lunchtime (especially since I also have to pop home to let the dogs out), but I think it’s totally worth it for this class. It hits every part of your body in a short amount of time! Want to try it with me? Send us a message on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #WorkoutWithAJ

Pilates/Yoga Fusion – Guilderland – 10:55am on Tuesdays with Penny

I was way more nervous for this class than anything I’ve done before. I’ve never been a big yoga person, as I don’t consider myself to be very mindful. I tend to feel bored or have wandering thoughts every time I do yoga, but this was different!

Since it was fused with Pilates, we were consonantly moving, the music wasn’t as calm as other yoga classes I’ve been to, and the instructor was very mobile. She came around to help those who were struggling, perfecting their form, and showing them how to do modifications.

Honestly, I never knew how strong you need to be to hold up your arms for a certain amount of time, or squat in the same position. Let me tell you, it’s very hard! My arms were trembling, my legs were shaking, but I powered through!

After the Pilates portion of the class, I can definitely say my abs were extra sore, especially since I had worked them so hard in Total Body Circuit the day before!

Final Thought: It takes a lot of mental strength to be good at yoga and/or Pilates (or, as they called it on The OC, “yogalates”). It’s something I want to work on, and I think this is a great class to start with!


Triple Threat – Southern Saratoga – 6:00pm on Mondays with Jeanne

Going into this week I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous…a lot of people that regularly attend Group Exercise classes are just that – regulars. I would absolutely define myself as someone that’s a little clumsy – I’ve never had the best rhythm. And furthermore, group ex studios are literally a room full of mirrors. Nervous, anxious, scared to be laughed out of the room … it was like playing “worst case scenario” over and over in my own head! (Haha! I love an opportunity to bring up This Is Us.)

Monday night my heart was racing as I stood outside of the Southern Saratoga Group Exercise Studio and everyone starting saying hi to each other, asking about their holiday weekends, generally excited to see each other. Once they started moving into the room I really thought about leaving – after all, I was hungry!

I forced myself to go into the room because, well, accountability – to Juliet and to myself and hopefully to at least one person who is thinking all the same stuff, and wants to know they are not alone!

Class started and just as easy as it was to get nervous was as easy as it was for my nerves to sink into pure determination…to the point where I can honestly say, I walked out and I LOVED EVERY SECOND. Even the advanced moves that were a little out of my league – I never felt bad about using the provided modifications. The instructor – Jeanne – was super motivating…I started out in the back and directly behind at least one person at all times so I couldn’t see myself in the mirror. By the time 20 minutes had gone by, I was in it to win it, looking at myself, checking my form based on the cues Jeanne was giving and I was having fun!

Final Thought: Triple Threat was difficult in the best of ways – I felt as though my heart rate was up, I was getting stronger and I was truly making myself work. Not to mention – her playlist was AWESOME! Loved the class format – it’s broken up into 3 sections (hence, triple) that include cardio, strength, and core. And although it’s essentially three separate segments, it flowed together so well that an hour went by really fast and I was left with a sense of accomplishment as I exited, knowing Triple Threat was indeed, a full body, interactive, fun workout!


Tuesday I had a hard time finding a class that fit my work schedule and I really don’t like when that happens because I’m someone who would willing give up my workout to make something else fit or I’ll give it up because otherwise it would just uncomfortably fit into my schedule. But not anymore. I decided that although it would be uncomfortable for me to fit 30 minutes in on the treadmill, I would simply save it until the end of the day…which, was sort of like a booby trap because there is almost nothing easier than justifying why you need to get directly home after work.

Got on the treadmill, checked off 3.1 miles and went along my merry way.

Final Thought: Will it ever be warm outside, ever again?

Body Sculpt – Troy – 4:30pm on Wednesdays with Lisa

I was a little less intimidated about walking into this group ex class for a couple reasons – Alecia had joined me, I took Jo’s advice from a couple weeks ago and spoke to Lisa ahead of time about attending, and I had already attended a class this week so I knew a little bit of what to expect.

There was a lot of equipment on the board but Alecia (such a good friend!) went in and set up both up before I got in there!

Lisa is a friend of mine and a very well respected instructor at the Troy Y, but I’ve never been in one of her classes, so I was definitely fan-girling a little bit about how great she was! I liked having someone in the class with me to push and motivate along the way – this simply added to the constant existence of Juliet’s motivation that’s always in my head.

Final Thought: I cannot wait to go back! I DID ALL 3 SEGMENTS OF BURPEES – UNBROKEN! I thought that was the coolest thing. It was a fantastic mix of exercises I loved using the weighted body bar and dumbbells and exercises that I would never never thought about doing with low weights and high reps. Again, music was on point. Lisa was right – I walked out of there feeling strong and empowered.