We Tried It: The Body Lab

Written by Leah LeMoine Category: Health & Fitness Issue: September 2015
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The Body LabAs journalists, we get to try a lot of things. It comes with the territory when your job is to step into other people's lives for a bit, hear their stories, and then bring those stories to your readers.

We want to bring you in on our experiences with a new sub-column of The PhiX called We Tried It. In it, we'll share our experiences of things we've tried recently, from classes and experiences to daring feats and day-in-the-life dispatches from our sources.

For our inaugural We Tried It, our associate art director Mirelle Inglefield and marketing director Lauren Barlow tried the rigorous, Pilates-based workout program at The Body Lab. We sat down and asked them about their experience.

What is your fitness background? What do you enjoy or do regularly?

MI: I used to do an hour of spin one to two times a week, but it's been a while since I have been going regularly. I do, however, work up a good sweat each weekend while cleaning the house. I wouldn't say I enjoy it – it just needs to get done.

LB: I grew up taking ballet, but it has been a few years since I have seriously danced. I occasionally take adult ballet classes and try to work out at the gym at least twice a week (but we know how that goes...haha). I recently have started lifting weights and I am really enjoying it. Noticing small changes with my body is pretty exciting! I also took an aerial yoga class a couple weeks ago. Hiking and walking also add to my workout routine.

What were your thoughts and feelings going into the class?

MI: Oh, I was nervous! I hadn't done any strengthening exercises in over a year. And I'm not very flexible. I was a little self-conscious, too. I didn't want to be the circus sideshow of the class.

LB: When I realized I was about to take a Pilates class at The Body Lab I was nervous. I don't have the best ab strength... and when I think of Pilates, all I can think of is a class of people with washboard abs. So yes, I was nervous to walk into class. It is always a little intimidating trying something new, especially when it comes to a fitness class. I was also excited, though – working out is something that I am really growing to love, and knowing that this could help me get into better shape was exciting to think about.

How was the reality of the class compared to your expectation?

MI: I was surprised to feel welcome! That hasn't always been so in my experiences at health clubs. It was a difficult class, but it brought out a self-competitiveness and I wanted to come back and conquer some of the moves I just wasn't flexible or strong enough to do, like the French Twist.

LB: The classes are awesome! For a Body Lab beginner, moves are tough and terms are still slightly foreign, but it helps having some veterans in class who know what they are doing. Plus, their amazing bodies are inspirational! The teachers, Carl and Danielle, both are so nice and have helped me with positioning and movements, which is great too. It was one of the best workouts I have ever had!

What did you enjoy most about the class? What was the most challenging? Anything you didn't like?

MI: I love the smooth resistance of the Pilates beds and the format and pace of the class. You do the moves in four counts, each exercise is done for just a short amount of time (around 1-2 minutes each) and then there's a quick transition into the next one. And it might be wishful seeing, but I swear I've noticed new definition right after a class! The music is good and energizing, too. The instructors we've had are fantastic! They are encouraging and will support you if they see you struggling. The most challenging for me is holding a pose. I'll shake, fatigue and then relax before I'm supposed to – haven't done it properly yet. But that just makes me want to come back and push harder until I can do it all the way through.

LB: I loved that the class was something new. The challenging moves give me something to work towards and I set personal goals for myself as the classes progress. Also, it was great to be so sore after class! I know that might sound strange, but being sore just always makes me feel like I woke my body up and hopefully those muscles are starting to grow and get toned! The pace of the class was great, everyone was so welcome, and I never felt embarrassed if I couldn't do a move. Danielle and Carl are so encouraging, as are the other students in the class. Everyone there is there to work out and to have fun in a really positive environment.

Would you do it again?

MI: Yes! I'll be back on Tuesday!

LB: Yes! I am purchasing a package so I can keep going twice a week. Love the Body Lab!


If you go:
The Body Lab
20511 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale

Other location:
4414 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix