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Nov 19, 2015

13.1 Tips for a Surviving Your First Half Marathon

I completed my first half marathon this fall. It's something that I started planning for around 9 months out so I had plenty of time to train, get excited, and get nervous. As someone who was never been into distance running it was totally new territory. I learned quite a bit and here is a little sliver of that wisdom for anyone looking to run their first race...
(1) Select the right race... My search for a half marathon began with a Google search for "flattest half marathon on the west coast". It was a solid strategy.

(2) ...at the right time of year.
 My race was in mid-October and I'm so thankful it wasn't any later than that. When the days started getting shorter it was getting harder and harder to fit runs in the daylight.

(3) Look at a training program, but don't live by it. Stay on track, but every body and everyone's schedule is different. You do you.  

(4) Invest in an ad-free music streaming service and in making a killer running playlist.  It's going to be your soundtrack for the next few months so it's worth it. Don't add all your favorite tunes at once, that way you still get new variety throughout your training.
Need a few suggestions?
Peanut Butter Jelly by Galantis, Work B***h by Britney Spears, and Can't Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are a good place to start.

(5) Invest in the right pair of shoes...
I went and got fitted for a pair of running shoes at Road Runner when I got serious about training. It made a huge difference. I was wearing shoes for people who pronate and I don't actually pronate (obviously I bought them just because I liked the colors).

(6) ...and know when to replace them.
Most sources say to get a new pair of running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. The best advice I heard though was get a new pair when you feel like you need them. Unfortunately the week of the race I had flash backs of having a bit more skip in my step, but no time to break them in a new pair.

(7) Try to have changes in your routine inspire you rather than derail you.
During my training I was traveling a week per month to New York and had a ton of fun weekend trips planned. It would have been easy to let travel be an excuse to skip my routine, but I actually found enjoyment in having new environments to run in.

(8) Pockets can become your new best friend.
Pockets are always a friend, but as a workout class fanatic I never realized how amazing they are in active wear. For short runs a pocket was just what I needed. For longer runs at the end of my training you better believe I rocked that fanny.

(9) GU is the best worst dessert you'll ever have.
There is nothing like jazzing up mile 8 with the grossest thing you'll ever love eating!

(10) Find a running path that inspires you. Mine -------------->

(11) Let your emotions run you.
I definitely had miles where Eminem blasted through my headphones and I ran through anything that had happened that day at work. I also had miles where I found my inspiration by being thankful to be healthy and for having the freedom to spend my time running.

(12) Be prepared for the elements.
On race day there was a 30% chance it was already raining. I read this article when I saw the forecast which helped me feel prepared (and also gave me a good laugh).

(13) Have a cheerleader and be a cheerleader. It made a big difference to have support at the finish line and I'm looking forward to returning the favor soon.

(13.1) And lastly, in the worlds of Christopher Robin, "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem”

Oct 31, 2015

Don't Squash the $80 Pumpkin Serum

On Halloween I guess it's relevant to talk about how much I love pumpkin _______.

...but I actually hate most pumpkin things like Pumpkin Spice Lattes and pumpkin pie (gasp). I have however recently discovered a new skin product containing Pumpkin Ferment Extract that I've grown to love.The product is called C-Firma Day Serum and it's by Drunk Elephant (the name alone is awesome).

Disclosure, I got it inside a POPSUGAR Must Have Box, I didn't pay $80 for the serum alone. I will however be deeply saddened when I finish the bottle and have a lengthy self debate on dropping that type of money on a beauty product.

What does it do? The Drunk Elephant (tehe) description sounds like something out of a biology textbook:
This everyday serum delivers advanced protection against damaging free radicals while replenishing lipids to visibly reduce wrinkles, firm, and brighten the skin. Jam-packed with a game-changing antioxidant complex and an antiaging chronopeptide that transforms into vitamin D—plus pumpkin ferment and pomegranate enzymes that gently dissolve unwanted surface skin cells—it supports natural collagen production and cell regeneration.
I've been using the serum for a few weeks now and I feel like it as moisturizes well (I still follow it with a SPF moisturizer), reduced the ever forming lines of my forehead, and brightens my skin. I do find the smell to be slightly off-putting (think burning jack o'lantern), but I didn't see anyone else have this complaint in the online reviews.

More surprising than the slight stench, was the benefits of pumpkin for the skin. Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which increase cell turnover, to brighten and smooth the skin. It also contains antioxidant Vitamin A and Vitamin C to help soften and soothe the skin and boost collagen production to prevent signs of aging (International Dermal Institute).

Whether it's the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, or another product, I've decided I'm a much bigger fan of pumpkin on my skin than in my pie or in my coffee cup.

Happy Halloween!

Sep 29, 2015

Welcome to New York - Tales of Turbulent Travel

I've traveled to NYC four weeks in the last five months for work. Big news - I'm finally Silver status on Delta and I'm not sure what makes me feel more grown-up, that or my Costco card. Anyway, every time I think I have this business trip thing figured out, the city that never sleeps finds a way to bring me back to earth.

Travel for work can be incredibly draining, often with 12-14 hour days. I feel like I need to remind myself to reflect on what I accomplished, but I'll take a look back now on faux pas from this last trip.

One Step at a Time
I had to be in business casual or dressy casual three of five days, something I rarely have to do in the tech industry. I spent the Friday night before I left planning out my outfits for the week and tried to narrow down the number of shoes I was bringing - I landed on heels (comfortable pumps I wear any time I need to dress up), nice sandals for my casual days, and flippy flops for a foot vacation during walks/subway rides on my days in heels. Flawed, very flawed. I went to a conference 8am-4pm then ran (and by ran I mean subway-ed) across town to a meeting and then out to drinks with clients.

Walking to the rooftop bar (how amazing is this view btw?) I had that moment where I tried to convince myself that the bark must be worse than the bite, that my feet had hurt way worse than it actually was. Wrong. It was bad, aka I may have to throw away my blood encrusted heels since last I checked that was not a trend for fall. 

When I got back to my hotel, I got patched up with some band aids from Duane Reade and then laid in bed unable to sleep with a throbbing foot, telling myself that I would either wake up and sandals would be business appropriate or magically my heel would be healed. Instead I woke up and needed to fit in a shopping trip before an 8:30am meeting. Thankfully this wasn't my first rodeo. I had a broken boot zipper incident at a conference in 2013 so I knew at least some of the stores in Times Square would be open by 8am. I somehow managed to comb through a conveniently located Loft and Gap with no luck by 8:10am. In a mad sprint to Nine West a few blocks away I walked by an Aerosoles, a store I had heard of but had never shopped. I basically grabbed every comfortable looking flat, shoved them toward the sales woman and asked for my size. Bless her heart because I had comfy shoes and a sigh of relief as I left the store at 8:23, just in time. Needless to say, flats will always be in my bag now whether I think I need them or not. 

Password Doomsday
I can't be the only one who feels like password change day is actually doomsday and it always catches you at the absolute worst time. I have stories from doomsday past when I was locked out when I needed to check something for work at midnight because I didn't update my email password on my phone, rookie mistake. Of course I procrastinated until the last day I have to change my password this time and then end up on the phone with IT three times in one day before heading to the airport terrified I would get locked out again mid-flight. I still don't know what my computer was doing to lock me out, but I'm thankful for the IT guy who was stuck dealing with it. 
In addition to not procrastinating on password doomsday and being realistic about footwear, I learned another important lesson this last trip.
Round Trip Runaround 
I had a personal weekend trip planned to San Fransisco with flights already booked when I learned I had to go to New York for the week. Being as clever as I am, I realized I could save a whole trip to the airport by flying right from New York to San Fransisco by just skipping my flight I had booked and flying right. I had a minute of down time in New York and decided that I would call Alaska Air and let them know I wouldn't be on the first flight on my itinerary with the high hopes of getting some sort of flight credit, maybe even just $50. After explaining the situation and mid-day dream about what trip I would justify booking knowing I had some flight credit, I snapped back into reality when I was asked for my credit card number. Fact: if you do not show up for one leg of your round trip flight the airline will cancel your second half of your trip.News to me.
I guess I should have grabbed out a magnifying glass to read the fine print. I ended up paying $125 to change reservation, but I  got a $75 credit (the difference in the cost of the flights) in this nice email with the subject line "You have received a gift of travel." Thanks Alaska, maybe it was time I bought myself something nice like spending more money on a flight I already paid for in addition to emergency shoes in Times Square. Fail.

Anyway, I made it to San Fransisco and had a fabulous time. I should have a break from work travel now so I can finally do things like start reading the fine print... and of course blog!

Sep 2, 2015

Hoppin' with Kangaroo aka Kangoo

I've been traveling to New York for work a ton. One reason I love Classpass is that you can setup a flex city to take workout classes in. I find my trips to NY much more enjoyable when I can find fun workout classes to try - and in New York, the options are endless.

Last time I was there I tried BOING at Crunch Fitness. I think the quest to take this class started about a year ago when my friend and I came across the video below. As an ex-cheerleader, if you give me any workout class with a beat and a solid 8-count, I'm there! But really. how fun does this look?

The name of the crazy space boots you wear during the workout is "Kangoo". For pretty much the entire year I've wanted to try this class, including when I checked in at the front desk of Crunch Fitness, I called it Kangaroo. So for all intensive purposes that is what I am going to call them because if you ask me that is a way better name.
The Kangaroo boots were originally developed for runners to help decrease impact. A doctor lists off that and 32 other health benefits here. Let's be real though, I wasn't doing it for my health... I just really wanted to bounce like a Kangaroo.

Here is bit about how my class went....

By the time I got to the class I think I already had burned like 500 calories from dodging tourists in Time Square, then walking up to the 4th floor in this gym since, like everything else in NY, the gym was in a sky scraper. I finally made it to the class room and the teacher handed out the boots for us to put on. Of course, Big Foot over here had to wear a large, but the teacher, also tall and apparently a fellow Big Foot, made a comment about also having to wear boots that looked large enough to take over the world.

Putting the boots on felt like strapping into ski boots.When I first stood up I, and everyone else who also appeared to be first timers, started to wobble, and no not THE Wobble. We did a few silly exercises to show us that we weren't actually going to fall over and die in the Kangaroos. Then the music started and we finally got to bust a move. And yes, Hey Mickey, was a song we Kangarood to so you know I had to hide my excitement when that came on.

In case you can't tell from watching the video above, it was actually a really good cardio workout. I was slightly relieved when the instructor announced that we only actually Kangaroo for 35 minutes. We spent the last 10 minutes doing leg lifts with the moon boots as weights and stretching out.

Image - Kangoo Jumps Pinterest
While I don't think you'll spot me jogging around Central Park in a pair of Kangaroos anytime soon, I would definitely BOING again. Hey Mickey!

Jul 31, 2015

Fiday Five: No worries, I Googled it.

Hold up, it's Friday and I'm about to do a happy dance over here. Before the weekend starts though, there are some really serious, life changing questions on my mind that I need to FINALLY get the answers to. I thought I would share some really riveting insights from my Google sesh. Maybe you've asked yourself some of these as well...
1. Who the heck is Fido?
On my morning run there is a sign about leashing your dog which uses the name "Fido" to reference dog-kind. It got me wondering, why is Fido the go to generic dog name? Personally I would have used Clifford. 

The Answer: Fido was actually the name of Abraham Lincoln's dog, which is how it became popular. In Latin it means “to trust, believe, confide in".  Aw cute, cheers to man's bff!

2. Should I know what Starbucks means when it says "Sumatra"?
Sometimes I think I need a Starbucks dictionary. As a Seattleite, I figured I should know this one.
The Answer:  Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia and part of the Sunda Islands. Coffees in Sumatra are traditionally processed using a method called Giling Basah, or wet-hulling. It results in a coffee that leaves the farm with a higher moisture content.

3. Can I recycle red solo cups?
I was at a BBQ and someone threw a red solo cup in the recycle. In my head I was thinking, "what a recycle newb", then I started to second guess myself..
The Answer: Most municipal recycling programs don't take #6 plastic at the curb (#6 = polystyrene, what solo cups are made of), but there are a few exceptions including Ann Arbor (Go Blue, Live Green)!  In case you aren't ready to leave your frat star life behind, this article has info on other options to recycle red cups and suggests other more eco-friendly options like these from Red Cup Living.

4. Why is the flag at half-staff right now?
At some point in the last week someone asked me this and I could speculate, but didn't have an actual answer.  
The Answer: 
"Periods of mourning are proclaimed either by the president of the United States, for national remembrance, or the governor of a state or territory, for local remembrance, in the event of a death of a member or former member of the federal, state or territorial government or judiciary." - A PDF probably made for a third grade classroom, so no, I'm not smarter than a 5th grader
Had I been keeping up on The Skimm this week maybe I would have known what the current half-staff was for. If you are really dying to always impress your friends with your flag knowledge, you can actually sign up for half staff email alerts, but I'll just stick to The Skimm. 

5. Why are there cracks in the bathroom doors?
OK does this bother anyone else? I know the cracks are small, but why do public bathrooms, including the ones in the office, have cracks along the hinges? As if shared bathrooms aren't weird/uncomfortable enough!
The Answer: The jury is still out on this one... from what I could gather there is a multitude of reasons ranging from cost savings to public safety. I guess life will have to go on without solving this mystery...

Jul 21, 2015

A Ginger's Guide to Summer Sun

Whether or not my strawberry blonde hair qualifies me as a redhead has always been up for debate. When it comes to my skin type however, I am 100% ginger and happy to own up to it. This year I decided I needed to step-up my sunscreen game. I mean I'm 25, and if my dermatologist told me again this year that the wrinkles under my eyes are actually just from allergies I would call bullshit. Wrinkles and skin cancer scare me, so it was time to really start being defensive.

Anyway, I've finally purchased and tested a full array of sun care products and, while only time will tell, I'm super happy with everything I'm using. I have 9 go to sunscreen/sun care products. I use a different products depending on what I'm up to that day.

Here are my go-to products as I try to look the part of a daywalker.

Total Coverage: These are the products I use when I'm planning on extended sun exposure during activates like hiking, outdoor workouts, and water activities. 

CeraVe Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Face Lotion SPF 50: Previously I had always used a Neutrogena sunscreen on my face, but decided to switch to something with zinc. This sunscreen is thick, but it does the job.

Banana Boat Sport  Broad Spectrum SPF 30: As much as a love sprays and sticks, when I mean serious sun business I always use lotion (water proof with high SPF). I try to put my sunscreen on before leaving the house instead of whenever I get to where I'm going, that way I do a more thorough job. If I need to quickly reply and don't want to use lotion then I'll switch to a spray or stick.

Fake Bake Flawless: I can't even begin to tell you what a fan I am of Fake Bake. 1) I love the name, amen for just calling it what it is 2) it's the best at home sunless tanner I've ever tried and arguably better than a spray tan at a salon (and a heck of a lot cheaper and more convenient). You don't need to take my word for it, it has 4.5 stars and over 2.7K reviews on Amazon... so I'm not the only one with this dirty little secret. Fake Bake is a liquid in a spray bottle which you spray on your skin or on a mitt and then rub it in with the mitt, which helps prevent streaks. Before I used it for the first time, I spent some time on You Tube watching how-to videos, which was well worth the 20 min investment. 
Hello Sunshine: These are the products I use when I want to look good in the sun. The sport sunscreen and CeraVe face sunscreen offer great protection, but can be a little greasy. These are my go to  products for a day of wine tasting or a ride on the cycle saloon

Neutrogena Beach Defence Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+...Think a deodorant stick but sunscreen for your body. I find that this is easier to reapply and you can throw it in your purse without having to worry about it exploding.

Eltamd UV Physical SPF 41: My mom's dermatologist recommended this face sunscreen and I borrowed it last time I was home. After liking it and having my dermatologist recommended it as well I decided it was time to put on my big girl panties and shell out $27 for sunscreen...and it was worth it. This sunscreen is tinted but it's really faint. I use it under my foundation most of the time (it feels very light). I first started using it on weekends when I actually see daylight and now have decided also use it on a daily basis. While I rarely see the sun during my M-F cubicle life, I still think it's well worth the investment of using it daily. 
Mineral Fusion SPF 30 Brush On Sun Defense: This sunscreen powder is a fairly new purchase and so far I like it. I don't think this should ever replace liquid face sunscreen, but I carry it in my purse for those - oh shoot happy hour is in the sun this afternoon and it's been 8 hrs since I put on sunscreen moments.
Light Sun: I've really been using higher SPFs on a daily basis, even when I don't have plans to be in direct sunlight, but I still have my favorite lower SPF products.

CLINIQUE Even Better Makeup SPF 15: I've been using this Clinique foundation with SPF lately and just layering it over whatever other sunscreen I have on (usually the Eltamd).

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer SPF 30: I was using this every day before I switched to the Eltamd. I love Cetaphil because it's super gentle and the price is right.

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion SPF 15: If you're not hibernating and you are going to moisturize at all in the AM, why not use something with SPF? I have this Lubriderm lotion with SPF, it smells a bit like sunscreen, but I find that it fades by the time I actually leave the house.
What are your favorite sun care products this summer?

Jun 30, 2015

Daer Dad, Sinserly Your Dog Wanter

I went home over Memorial Day and as usual my parents requested I help clean out something from my childhood. I have already gone through my closet and the rest of my bedroom (which actually is no longer my bedroom). This trip home the ask was to go through a box of schoolwork, artwork, and other random mementos my parents had kept and to set aside anything I still wanted them to save.

I found a lot of gems in that box. I had a book where each person in my first grade class wrote a sentence about what I was good at and drew an picture of me doing it. Even 20 years later, it was quite the confidence boost to read that 20 first graders thought I was good at soccer and gymnastics. How great would it be to get one of those from your team at work everyday (and they wonder why millennials need constant praise in the workplace)? I also found this funny coloring book from kindergarten which shows a seemingly un-PC association with little people and St. Patrick's Day. I think these two really deserve their own TLC show at this point.

Anyway, last week my boyfriend asked "Why did you want to get a dog?" I thought it was a super weird question and something that should have been asked 2.5 years ago before we actually got our dog, Stella. I secretly think he was fishing for the "I wanted to test you as a parent" answer. While there is likely deep down some truth to that to that, after going through that box from my childhood, I had cold hard proof that this was something I had wanted for a long long time. Apparently since the creation of Microsoft Word, but before my knowledge of spell check or where to find the apostrophe key. Before I knew it would actually be hard a sh*t to make a doghouse from scratch, and before I had any understanding that taking care of a dog would actually take more time than writing a three paragraph letter.

For full disclosure, my mom is allergic to dogs which prevented me from living this childhood dream, because I don't know how you could get this letter as a parent and not totally cave...


Jun 1, 2015

Kim Kardashian's Book Reviews are Everything

Touché America, you have a pretty fabulous sense of humor. The reviews of Kim Kardashian West's (yes that is her official name as an author) new book, Selfish, are pretty much amazing. I've pulled parts from some of my favorites to save you from wasting time reading reviews of a book that may be the biggest waste of time.. you're welcome.
I can recommend the audio version of this book. It lasts 37 seconds. The narrator basically says, "On this page, we have an idiot and her cleavage looking into a camera," 500 times. Full review
>preparing for Kanye to interrupt my review< Full review
I heard this was a great picture book and purchased it as a gift for a toddler. The cover excited him (having recently been weaned from breastfeeding) Full review
This book is on the reading list for my psychology class on Narcissistic personality disorder to show us what to look for. Full review
 who knew that keeping up with the karhashians was based on a book? Full review
I bought this book because I wanted to go into the tropical fish business. I really thought this would be an instructional guide to Sell Fish. Full review

Apr 21, 2015

Totes Magotes: I Love Le Tote

Last year around this time I started a new job and went from a team where a t-shirt and jeans was acceptable everyday attire to having to step up my fashion game. Without a cushy bank account to revamp my wardrobe, I found myself having some serious angst in the mornings when trying to put an outfit together.

One day I Googled "renting clothes" since I figured someone had to be brilliant enough to start a business for this already- and if they weren't I was about it. I came across Le Tote, a clothing rental company, and decided to give it a try. For $49/month I get a box of clothing and accessories that I can keep for as long as I want. There is no pressure to purchase the clothes in the box.

One year later, I can't tell you how much I love using Le Tote, but I can try... 
  • When I have a new box it's just a little easier to get out of bed in the morning (like that feeling when you were little and got excited to go back to school just for the clothes).  
  • You build a style profile on Le Tote and "heart" your favorite items, but it still pushes me to try new styles. In my totes I get a mix of things that I would try on and buy for myself and some things that I probably wouldn't have picked out for myself but end up liking. 
  • Other people post photos of how they wore the item. I find this super helpful for times like when I can't quite figure out what shoes I should be wearing with a particular piece of clothing. 
  • Other amazing benefits of Le Tote? Getting mail that isn't bills (Yes!) and doing less laundry (Double Yes!).
Not convinced that it's worth the money? Good thing I like math.

I said it's been a year since I started using Le Tote, which means I've spent $588 on this service. I think it is totally worth it and this is why...

My average tote cycle is around 10 days.
Your membership includes free 2-3 day USPS Priority shipping both ways. My totes ship from Oakland, CA so in Seattle I find that I get my totes in two days. I typically keep my totes for 4-5 days. I have a mail room at work where I drop off my totes so it's super easy to return them (having a USPS drop off center somewhere convenient for you is key). Le Tote ships totes Monday-Saturday, so I added one extra day to my typical tote time to account for this.

So at 10 days per tote, I typically receive 3 totes per month. Each tote has 5 items in it, 3 pieces of clothing and 2 accessories. That means I get around 15 new items to wear each month. At $49/month that equals out to $3.27 per item. I know it's a little bit like leasing a car, you spend that money and don't have anything to show for it, but what do you really do with the clothes you don't wear anymore? I can tell you I'm officially a Buffalo Exchange reject... I have come to realize that no hip 18 year old is looking to buy my used clothes anymore. And at any given time I have a bag of clothes for donation sitting in my room or in my car. So when I think about it that way, renting clothes makes so much sense. Plus if you bought a $40 shirt, you would have to wear it over 10 times to get the same cost/wear as Le Tote.

I really like the contents and brands in my totes. Some of the brands include French Connection, BCBGENERATION, Sam Edelman, Rebecca Minkoff, Kensie, Olive + Oak, and many more. Here is a look at the contents of my last 4 totes.

Have you given Le Tote a try?

Mar 25, 2015

Orangetheory Fitness

About a year ago I gave up my gym membership because I realized how much more I enjoyed taking group fitness classes than spending time in the gym. While my favorite classes are $20+ a pop, I also suplement it with running outside with my pup and finding free or first-time free classes.

I thought I would start sharing more of my fitness adventures and I have my first class review... If you like to color code your Outlook calendar and your closet, you can now color code your workout with Orangetheory Fitness.

What the hell is Orangetheory?
I'll let them tell you:
The idea of Orangetheory is simple: a 60-minute workout designed to push you into the Orange Zone. This creates "Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption," or EPOC. It's what burns calories after your workout and gives you noticeable, lasting results with Orangetheory Fitness.
It burns carbs. It just burns up all your carbs.

I have no doubt that circuit and resistance training in the Orangetheory class lead to EPOC, but I also have to laugh a bit at their marketing.I feel like EPOC is scientific word for "working your ass off." I have no doubt that many, if not most, of the other workout classes I've taken have a EPOC effect, but it doesn't mean they are going to brag about it. I kinda envision Organgetheory like that annoying kid in bschool who always interrupted the professor and tried to use big words.

Here is a rundown of what we did in the class:
The class was split into two groups, one that ran on the treadmill first and one group that used the weights and rowing machines first. Halfway through the class we switched.  A final section was comprised of bursts of power, alternating between sprints on the rowing machine and jogging on an incline.

image: http://www.orangetheoryfitness.com
What I liked:
My stats: I am a numbers girl so even though my tracking device wasn't fully working, I liked getting to see my stats after the class. They even emailed them to you which I loved.  
The rowing machine: It had been awhile since I had been on a rowing machine. I love the mix of strength and cardio. 
The tempo: Even though we were on the treadmills for around 20 minutes straight, the class felt quick. The constant change of pace or movement made it easy to stay motivated. The instructor was high energy and the music was totally my jam.  
 What I didn't like: 
Weights: We were instructed to use 15-20 lbs weights for chest presses (I used 10 lbs since 15-20 was not in my cards). In general, I would rather do more reps with lower weights to build endurance (you can read more on the Strength Continuum here), so I wasn't super jazzed about the heavier weights. The instructor is also conducting both the strength and cardio groups at the same time so he didn't have the bandwidth to make sure everyone had proper form on weights (aka it felt like an injury waiting to happen).
Mix of workout: All of the strength training we did was around chest and arms. I asked the instructor after if they ever do other core work. He reassured me that they alternate themes/muscle groups by class. Personally I would rather touch all muscle groups within a single class. We also did not stretch as a group at the end. While some people stayed behind and stretched on their own, I really like closing a workout class with even a quick 90 second group stretch--again, back to the fact that this class seemed prone to injuries.  

I give it 2/5 stars. It was great to give it a try, but I don't think I would go back.
You don't have to take my word for it. Find a class near you here. Tell me what you think! 

In the meantime, I'm getting cheese fries. Namaste.