Two weeks ago, I was invited by Physique 57 to join them in a special blogger/journalist class and meet & greet with CO-founder Jennifer Maanavi to celebrate their Beverly Hills location’s 2nd birthday! Being obsessed with Barre workouts, I RSVP-ed faster than you can say kale.
Physique 57 celebrity clients include: Demi Moore, Parker Posey, Lisa Rinna, Denise Richards, Lydia Hearst, and Kelly Ripa.
“Physique 57 is an innovative workout program that combines isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to systematically lengthen and sculpt your muscles and create a beautiful, lean body. Their process is similar to interval training, but they’ve taken that concept to the next level to make it even more effective.
Physique 57’s interval sets use your body’s own weight as resistance, and through dynamic exercises, your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief. They call this groundbreaking process Interval Overload which includes muscle-defining arm exercises, intense thigh and seat sequences, waist-chiseling ab moves and fluid stretches.” – Physique57.com
The benefits of the Physique 57 technique include:
- A sculpted physique
- Strong core muscles
- Cardiovascular health
- Long and lean muscles
- Lifted seat
- Strength and endurance
- Improved body alignment
- Increased bone density
I was so excited for my class that I had my outfit picked out the night before. I decided on my black Lululemon Wunder Unders, signature “EAT MORE RABBIT FOOD” DIY tank, black American Apparel leg warmers, and black socks. I was quite proud of this little getup!
I arrived early to the adorable brick corner location in Beverly Hills just steps from Rodeo Drive. The studio has a private parking lot with free validated parking for students (a rarity in LA), which gave me an ear-to-ear smile! I walked up to the front door thinking that the cute corner building would consist of one cozy studio, but boy was I wrong! Don’t judge a book by its cover, or should I say, don’t just a barre studio by it’s front door. I opened the door to a gorgeous naturally lit, exposed brick sanctuary filled with trendy chic workout clothes and Physique 57 décor.
I walked down the staircase and was greeted by a super smiley and very friendly staff member named Janet. She helped me and the other girls sign in and gave us an adorable pair of Physique 57 grippy socks and a huge water bottle. After everyone arrived, we threw on our cute new socks and headed down a long hallway to our studio. The floor to ceiling mirror-lined room was filled with mats, mini exercise balls, weights, and resistance bands. We were introduced to our instructor Sarah who is a professional dancer, certified Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher, 2 time Marathon finisher, and holistic health coach. What does she not do?! Sarah asked each of us if we had any injuries or complications and gave modifications for a few people in the class that had knee and wrist issues. The personal awareness to students was a change from most group exercise classes where there is no individual attention.
The 57 minute workout started in the center of the room with leg lifts to get our bodies warmed up and then moved right into arms. We burned out our triceps and shoulders with 5lb weights and a couple sets of pushups before heading to the ballet barre. Once we got to the bar we did some extra intense standing thigh work. I felt THE BURN! Even though I take barre classes all the time, my legs would not stop shaking! The moves are simple, pulling away from the barre in a seated position while pulsing up and down, but oh my gosh does it hurt so good! I could literally feel the fat melting off of my thighs with every pulse. Sarah kept coming around to each of us and telling us “only 10 more seconds! Don’t forget to breathe!” Once we finished our last 5 seconds, I was pumped. I had survived the thigh segment! WOO! Or so I thought… Next, we all went to the middle of the room for some “Thigh Dancing” where you sit on your knees and lower your hiney down towards the floor, but don’t fully sit down. Sarah guided us through some intense thigh burning, hip swinging, arm raising, moves along with the music and I couldn’t decide if I wanted laugh or cry. As my legs started to reach full exhaustion, I started laughing and thinking in my head “omg please don’t give out legs, don’t sit down Catherine!” I looked around the class everyone was cracking up, but doing a great job staying in the position! I love that after each segment, you give the muscle a nice deep stretch to lengthen it, to avoid bulking up. We went into another set of pushups where I took the girly knee position. Since I modified to an easier version of pushups for this round, I made sure I went all the way to the floor for each rep, and it felt great.
We moved back to the bar for some “Standing Seat,” which was my favorite. I have absolutely no behind, so any chance to work my back end is fabulous for me. I love “Standing Seat” because not only are you working your gluteus maximus, but your standing leg and lower back as well. It’s like a 3 for 1 deal and the results are lean muscles! Sarah was fabulous and made adjustments to my form and posture to make sure that I was getting the most of the exercise, which I really appreciated. Throughout the class she also gave beginner and advanced options to modify each exercise to everyone’s individual exercise level i.e. rising onto the ball of your feet for more of a challenge or bending your legs for more stability. After giving my derrière a nice lifting workout, it was onto the abs. The first ab exercise was really interesting and super effective! Out of all of the bar classes I’ve tried, I have never done this exercise. We laid down with our backs on the floor, a resistance band laced over the bar, and our legs up, using the resistance bands to stabilize our arms parallel to the floor while we did curls (sit-ups). With every movement I could actually feel my transversus abdominis contracting. We topped off our ab segment with tons of curls on the mats with the addition of the mini exercise balls. I couldn’t wait to do a nice long cobra stretch after that haha. The 57 minute workout concluded with an extra long plank and some deep stretching on the mats, which felt amazing. We celebrated the end of class with a round of applause. I could not believe how challenging the class was!
I love barre classes and am surprised after every class as to how many muscles are engaged without any machines or equipment besides arm weights! Even though I take Bar Method classes all the time, I felt like Physique 57 was a much more challenging workout. It’s a much faster paced class, making it an excellent cardio workout with tons of firming and sculpting benefits. With a new found confidence upon completing the class, I walked over to the meet and greet area feeling muscle fatigue in areas that I had never felt before! It felt as if every inch of my body got a workout that day. We snacked on kale chips and champagne (so classy and cute), while we had a chance to speak with Jennifer Maanavi, one of the CO-founders of Physique 57.
One of the first questions was “Where did the name come from?” Jennifer explained that the first studio was located on 57th street in New York and that they made the class 57 minutes long to fit with the name. Obviously the word physique was a given, because you end up with a smokin’ hot physique after taking this class! A few of the girls that attended the class were big time runners who wanted to know if Physique 57 should be accompanied by another cardio such as running. Jennifer informed us that she had a baby a few months prior to our meeting and took only Physique 57 classes to get back to her pre-baby body. My jaw dropped and I said, “You just had a baby?!” You would have no idea she just gave birth a few months ago by looking at her lean, svelte figure! Her body is stunning! After that answer I was sold and I said bring on the Physique 57! Of course there are always women who are thin and use this class to tone up, but it’s amazing and so inspiring to hear from someone like Jennifer who actually lost weight with this exercise class. She even told us that she took the class a couple times a week up until she gave birth to her new baby! Jennifer talked so passionately about the class and all of her instructors who absolutely adore her back.
I had so much fun at the class and really enjoyed the change of pace from my usual barre class. I was pleasantly surprised how challenging it was and how quickly the 57 minutes went by! Some of my favorite things about physique 57 include:
- Long lean muscles, lifted seat, and better posture with visible results after 2 weeks.
- Personal attention by the instructor to perfect form.
- Small class sizes that are not overwhelming or claustrophobic.
- Modifications for beginners and more advanced students for each exercise.
- No footwear required, all you need is a pair of socks.
- No need to bring any exercise equipment. Mats, exercise balls, weights, and resistance bands are provided.
- Restrooms and showers at the location.
- Excellent cardio and full body toning workout.
- Focuses on problem areas for women.
- Professional teachers with strong dance and/or fitness training backgrounds.
- Fun upbeat music.
- Free validated parking at the Beverly Hills location.
When I was leaving Physique 57, I was given an adorable swag bag with some super fun Physique 57 goodies. The ladies at Physique 57 gifted me with a 2 week challenge of Physique 57 classes, The Physique 57 Solution book, measuring tape, water, grippy socks and BH class schedule! The grippy socks are too cute and extra helpful in class. The little sticky dots along the bottom prevent sliding, while the padded ankle area protects your ankles from rubbing or hurting while on the bar. Grippy socks are recommended for classes, but not 100% necessary. I alternate between my ordinary athletic socks and grippies.
The book was absolutely fabulous. It’s filled with different variations of moves taken from the class, and adapted to do in the comfort of your own home. The book does a great job of describing each move, exercise, and stretch clearly and simply with bullet points and step by step photos, which are extremely helpful for visual learners like myself. I was able to do many of the Physique 57 exercises at home with the use of a chair (as my barre) and dumbbells! The book also contains a 2-week meal plan filled with energy boosting healthy snacks, and clean breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes. There are some fabulous fresh salad dressings that I cannot wait to make this summer. The recipes in the book follow a similar philosophy that of RFFMBT. Most of them include fresh whole foods that are easy to prepare. I really love that Physique 57 is not just a workout, but a lifestyle. Most workouts consist of only that… the workout, but Physique 57 has the idea of a sculpted, beautiful body down to a science with their combination of interval training and suggested healthy recipes to reveal those long lean muscles you work so hard for in class.
If you are a fan of Cardio Barre, The Bar Method, or any other barre workout, Physique 57 will give it a run for it’s money, it is quite challenging and so much fun!
Physique 57’s is giving one lucky RFFMBT reader one complimentary Physique 57 class, at any of their locations!
Do you live near a Physique 57 location? Find out here:
Los Angeles or New York.
For your chance to win:
- Leave a comment on this post “Physique 57 + Giveaway” telling me why you would like to try a Physique 57 class.
- You can earn a second entry by tweeting: “I want to win a complimentary class at @Physique 57 from @EatRabbitFood http://bit.ly/LTs7v5 .”
- Complete your second entry by leaving a second comment on this post with a copy of your tweet.
- All entries must use a valid email address.
- Open to U.S. residents who are able to attend a class at one of the Los Angeles or NY Locations only.
- All comments must be posted by Tuesday, July 10th at 11:59pm (PST).
- 1 winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, July 11th.
Stay in the loop with all things Physique 57 by following them on Twitter and Facebook!
Happy 2nd Birthday Physique 57, Beverly Hills! xo
* The giveaway has ended, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 11.
** Congratulations to the winner: Sam B. from CA.