BeWOW: 8 Tough Exercises Using a Bench

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Shutterstock

You only need two pieces of equipment for this week’s workout, guys: A bench and a weight. You’ll be using this bench for each exercise, so pick one that’s nice and sturdy, that you can lie down on, jump up on and sweat on, problem-free. You’re going to do five rounds of the eight exercises listed below. Get ready to sweat!

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BeWOW: Build Power and Burn Fat with This Explosive Plyometric Workout

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Shutterstock

This week, get ready to jump—we’re doing some plyo, people!

If you’re unfamiliar with plyometrics, also called jump training, you’re in for a treat. Plyo exercises are all about building power, speed and explosive reaction. You’ll challenge your body with short bursts of movement aimed at stretching and shortening muscles in rapid-fire succession. Serious athletes love (well, love/hate as these things go) plyo drills because they increase vertical jump, muscle strength and overall performance while helping build defenses against joint injuries. And, of course, they leave you totally breathless.

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8 Awesome Fitness Classes Worth Driving to the Suburbs For

Classes at Plank Studio are performed on Megaformer machines.

Classes at Plank Studio are performed on Megaformer machines.

Let’s just admit it, fellow Philadelphians: We can sort of be snobs when it comes to the suburbs. And why not, right? The entire point of living in a city is having everything you need within easy walking/biking/public transportation distance. City life is supposed to be convenient, so why should we bother going to the ‘burbs for, well, anything?

I’ll give you one sweaty reason: fitness studios. One of the perks of my job is being able to spend work time driving around and visiting fitness studios in far-flung places throughout the region. I’ve done Pilates in Wayne. Hot yoga in Westmont. Boot camp in Atlantic City. Spinning in West Chester. Trampoline aerobics (seriously!) in Oaks. In all that research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the suburbs have got it going on, people. And while you may not want to travel far for all of your fitness classes, it’s fun to mix it up every now and then with a new studio and new instructor.

So without further ado, here are eight not-so-far-from-Philly fitness classes that are worth the trek.

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BeWOW: Can You Complete This Tough 3-Minute Challenge?

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Shutterstock

Grab a stopwatch, guys. For this week’s workout, you’re going to complete six three-minute rounds, each round with two exercises. You’ll start by doing one of each exercise in the round, then two of each exercise, then three, and so on, switching off until your stopwatch reaches three minutes. Then you’ll move on to the next round of exercises.

The goal is to keep moving until you reach the end of the six rounds—you’ll be sweaty, but it’ll be worth it. Now, set your stopwatch for three minutes and see how many reps you can squeeze in. Good luck!

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New Megaformer Pilates Studio Coming to Philly

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The future home of Sculpt Fitness Studio. | Photo via Google Maps

The first time former Philadelphia Soul dancer and fitness instructor Stephanie Tolar hopped on a Megaformer Pilates machine, she was hooked. “It was the hardest thing I had ever done,” she says. A friend of a friend owned a studio in Hoboken with a fleet of the massive 10-foot-long, 250-pound machines, and Tolar knew immediately after trying a class there that she wanted to bring them to Philly.

More than a year in the making, Tolar’s brainchild, Sculpt Fitness Studio, will open in the SouthStar Lofts building at 521 South Broad Street in early December. Hers will become the second Megaformer studio in our area—folks out on the Main Line have been enjoying Plank Studio in Wayne since April—and the first within city limits.

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