For a few weeks BTone Fitness on Newbury Street (my favorite workout spot!), has been offering a triple threat, hour long combination class of Spin, Barre and Tone (Lagree Pilates). I have been a longtime fan of the Tone and Barre classes, but hadn’t tried the spin in over a year!
BTone has unique spin bikes called “Real Ryders.” Rather than being fixed, they allow the bike to tilt left and right depending on your motion. It has a much more realistic bike riding feel than a typical spin bike does. It also give you the added benefit of working on your core as you spin and try to keep yourself stabilized.
When I had done spin previously at BTone is had been their half Tone / half spin split (see my post about combining strength and cardio workouts here!). It was very early in my adventures into fitness, and really I think that I was pretty intimidated by the spin portion of the class. There were so many girls who seemed so intense, and I felt like I wasn’t able to keep up. That coupled with the fact that I wasn’t able to sit for the next few days following the few classes I did take, I decided to pass on spin for over a year.
More recently I have a lot of friends who have been getting very into spin and rave about the classes. There are also a lot of new spin classes in the city, with new studios popping up all of the time. I can honestly say the spin studio is the only room at my gym that I haven’t been in yet. So I decided that it was time to get back on the bike and give it another try.
Btone’s TriTone class is on Sundays at 5:20 pm. I am normally working at the shoe store until 6 pm on Sundays, but I had taken this week off for a getaway to Portsmouth NH. Ben had to be back in the early afternoon for a soccer game, so I figured it was now or never to try out the class!
I arrived a little bit early, knowing that I would need to get my bike set up beforehand. From what I had seen from going to the Tone class that’s right after, Karen, the instructor had been ending the class with spin. In order to minimize the time it would take to move from one type of exercise to the other I wanted to make sure I was prepared. When I arrived Karen explained that she wanted to start with spin. This was good and bad. I had psyched myself up to have spin at the end of class, but it would also be nice to get it out of the way, and not waste time putting shoes on at the end.
On a side note I tend to get very anxious before I have a new instructor or take a new class. Something about not knowing what exactly to expect, coupled with not knowing how the instructor likes to frame their workouts makes me very nervous. Having visualized that I would be spinning last, meant that the changed order dialed up my anxiety about the class even more. Luckily I knew that the spin portion would only be 20 minutes. No matter how bad it was going to be I figured I could manage for that long.
We started off on flat ground, aiming for a difficulty of about 7. Karen kept reminding us that it was only 20 minutes, so the goal was to keep moving the whole time. After a series of sprints, hills, flat ground and standing, we made it to the end. I remember we ended on Beyonce’s “(Run the World) Girls”, mostly because I was trying to concentrate on the lyrics rather than my burning thighs, but it was a good anthem to get me through to the end.
After spin we moved to the Barre Blast portion of the class. BTone’s Barre Blast is different from all other barre classes I have taken. Rather than the small isometric movements that comprise most of a barre class, BTone has a more cardio / dance method to it. Not only do you burn out your legs, and arms, but you also keeps your heart rate up throughout the class.
By the time we finished the at the barre I was pretty wiped, but there was still the Tone portion to power through. Tone is done on a megaformer, which is the Lagree Pilates version of a reformer. It is essential the same concept; but on steroids. It has higher spring tension then a normal reformer, and also has a platform on the front and the back. So far I feel like there is a pretty limitless combination of exercises that can be done on it. Normally I will be completely wiped after the 45 minutes, and I have to attribute a lot of my new found strength to these classes.
Because so much of the focus had been on legs so far, I knew that when we got to the reformer it would be primarily arms and core. After all was said and done, we ended the class with my nemesis, which is “Bear”. In “Bear” you start in a plank and then pull your knees toward your chest, so the carriage slides forward. I have always had trouble with this move, which I attribute to having tight hips, and weak lower abs. There is also “Side Bear”, where you rotate your legs as you pull your knees in, which works your oblique’s as well. Someday soon I will have to make it my new goal to focus on “Bear” and being able to complete a stretch of it without taking any breaks.
And just like that we were done. Except that I was a shaky mess who needed a good foam roll! I certainly took the day off the following day except for a walk and little foam rolling, I could feel that my body needed a break after the madness of the TriTone class. However, I would certainly take this class again, especially being a little less anxious about spin now. I hope that it aligns with my work schedule someday soon, or that its popular and they add more classes throughout the week! It was a great workout, and a lot of intensity packed into 60 minutes. If that’s what you are looking for in a workout, I would certainly recommend this class!
Location: BTone Fitness, 30 Newbury Street, Boston
Time: Sunday – 5:20 PM
Intensity (1-10): 8. Maybe a little less if you are an experienced BToner / Spinner, maybe a little more if you’re not!
Cost: First Class: $5. Individual classes: $30 (class package deals also available, see BTone’s website)
( Side note: I would not recommend using your first class at BTone to take TriTone! I would suggest taking one of the full Tone, Barre or Spin classes first so that you can get used to the machine, studio and instructors. You will get more out of the class if you have a good base knowledge of how a megaformer works, how Barre Blast is set up. )