In February, we hosted our very first Arlolympics. We challenged participants to 10 unique and challenging workout classes. Our first Arlolympian, Susan, conquered every single class. We sat down with her to talk about her experience and asked for any workout tips she has for those seeking extra motivation to workout.

1. What made you want to participate in the Arlolympics? Where did you hear about it? (us directly, etc.) Have you been to any of the workout studios before?
I heard about the Arlo Olympics from a friend who sent me a Facebook invitation for it. I moved back to NY a few months ago after being away for a few years, and I wanted to try out the workouts that are hard to find outside of NY. Before I did the Arlo Olympics, I had taken at least 20 classes at Body and Pole and 5 classes at Tone House.

2. What was your favorite workout class? Least favorite?
I am a regular at Body and Pole, and pole and aerial workouts are definitely my favorite. But I discovered Dogpound through the Arlo Olympics. I took a boxing class there and really liked it. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it because I had tried boxing before and didn’t love it. But Rhys, my instructor at Dogpound, was great. He broke down the movements well, tailored the class to the students, and made sure we all got a challenging workout. In addition, Dogpound is such a friendly gym. The trainers smile and say hello even if they don’t know you. I took the class in mid-February, and I loved it so much, I went back at the end of the month.
The class I enjoyed the least was the heated stretch class at 305 Fitness, but I suspected this would happen. I used the Arlo Olympics to try some new classes and get out of my comfort zone, so I finally decided to try a workout in a super hot room. I actually had to take a break and get some air about half way through. I returned to the class and finished the workout, but it wasn’t easy. I have a tendency to run warm, so the extra heat was hard for me to tolerate. That being written, I loved the facility and the people at 305; it has a fun and friendly vibe, but next time, I will stick with a class in a normal, cooler setting!

3. Which workout was the hardest?
Tone House is dubbed the hardest workout in NY, and you should believe the hype. I have done 6 workouts on the Turf, and after one particularly grueling one (I love and hate you, Coach James! ?), I said to a friend, “I just had my butt kicked across 10 states and 4 time zones.” The workouts aren’t just high intensity; they are at the highest intensity. There are sprints, the dreaded burpees, and the 45 pound sled which is covered with two 45 pound plates and weighted sandbags. I have seen marathon runners walk out of a Tone House workout and watched folks make a bee-line to the bathroom to, well, you know. But there is a lot of comraderie among the group; we are encouraged to cheer each other on, and you wind up making lifetime workout buddies. Tone House isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is a friendly, supportive group, and the post workout high is absolutely unreal.

4. Which class would you do again?
I am already a regular at Body and Pole, so I will definitely be back there. I will also return to Tone House and Dogpound.

5. What motivated you to complete all of the classes? How do you stay motivated to workout? (Tips and tricks for getting yourself to the gym!)
I genuinely love working out, so it wasn’t hard to stay motivated to do this. The 28 day time constraint also forced me to get in every class and not put off signing up for any of them. And knowing I was getting a free brunch and Cryo session didn’t hurt either. 🙂
But I do have tips for those who are wondering how to get motivated to workout:

a. Find an activity you enjoy. Fitness is very individual; not everyone loves to do the same thing. Some people love hot yoga, but that is not for me. Give a few things a try and see what clicks. If you’re trying to figure out what that workout is, then go through the list of fitness studios that participated in the Arlo Olympics, check out the offerings, and sign up for a few different classes.
b. Get a workout buddy or ideally buddies. It is much easier to stay motivated to get into the gym when you know others are counting on you. I have a couple of friends from Tone House, and we text each other when we’re going there. We sign up for classes with each other, and they keep me accountable and support me.
c. Make a commitment to a class by paying for it. A lot of NY fitness studios have expiration dates on those classes. If you know you have to get in that workout before a certain date, you are more likely to do it because you don’t want the money you spent to go to waste.

6. Tell us about yourself: are you a very active person, do you do any sports, what makes you stay active?
I have been taking Pole classes for years, and I also lifted with a trainer for a while. When I moved to NY, I immediately signed up for classes at Body and Pole, a studio which is well-known for offering top-notch instruction from the best Polers in the business. Pole is an unconventional method of exercise, but it is also very challenging and helps build incredible upper body and core strength. I am often teased by non-polers for having a hobby which requires that I wear very little clothing. The reason for the small outfits is that many pole moves require us to use our skin to help stick to the pole. Remember, clothing slips, and skin grips. But I don’t want anyone to read about wearing very little clothing and think they have to have a certain body type to Pole. Polers come in all sizes and shapes (check out Roz “The Diva” Mays, founder of plus-size pole competition, Dangerous Curves). But the one thing we all have in common is that we are able to use our bodies to make beautiful shapes on this wonderful, chrome device.

7. Tell us about your post-workout experience at your Cyrofuel session!
I had never tried Cryo before, so my first session was at CryoFuel. The staff was pleasant and professional, and the facility is very nice. I had to put on a swimsuit and go into a Cryo chamber while liquid nitrogen came out of the vents. I think the temperature went down to below minus 100 degrees! I was inside for about 3 minutes, and after I came out and warmed up, I definitely felt an endorphin rush. Despite the frigid temperatures, I did not have frost bite. If you’re thinking of trying Cryo, but you’re scared by the cold, don’t be. Your body will adapt, and it is a safe activity.