Confession: I Was Totally Fooled by Lithe Method
Last week, as I was rushing to make it to my first-ever Lithe Method class, I realized that I’d not only forgotten my water bottle, I’d also forgotten my inhaler, one of my must-haves for basically any physical activity beyond a brisk walk. But instead of panicking about the possibility of not being able to breathe in front of a room full of strangers, I thought to myself: I probably won’t need it, anyway. After all, it’s called Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting. The classes have names like “Skinny Jeans” and “All That.” How hard can it be?
Boy, was I fooled.
Within the first 10 minutes of the class—an hourlong, demo-style medley of the Lithe Essential Workout classes, taught by Lithe Method creator Lauren Boggi—my legs were trembling, I could barely feel my arms, and my face resembled a sweaty, overripe tomato. And I really wished I’d remembered my freakin’ inhaler.
The class kicked off with a serious cardio session. We had our arms strapped into the resistance bands that hang from the studio’s ceiling, and we were bouncing around, doing everything from squat jumps to jogging in place to three-step hop moves that reminded me of choreography from a Beyoncé music video. I tried not to look at myself in the mirror during this portion because, when I did, I realized I resembled a marionette puppet being controlled by a puppeteer who’d just downed six martinis. Needless to say, I’m not the most coordinated gal.
Throughout the class, we covered all the bases, doing cardio, leg exercises, arm exercises, ab work and some insane booty work. There were a lot of sharp movements—that’s where the whole “cheer” part, inspired by Boggi’s time as a USC cheerleader, comes in—a lot of repetition, and a lot of pulsing. The word “stiletto” came up in reference to a workout move more than once.
The resistance bands, which eventually moved from our wrists to our ankles, added an element of, well, resistance that I’ve never experienced in another fitness class. When we were doing leg-centric exercises, like squats, our arms, which were attached to the resistance bands, were still getting a serious workout. And when we were focusing on our abs, doing stuff like boats and crunches, our legs, which were fitted with the bands at that point, still had to put some work in. Nearly every move was a full-body exercise, to some degree. Plus, the added resistance made balancing a bit of challenge. So, in order to keep from falling on my face, I had to engage my core for the bulk of the class.
By the end of the hour, I felt like someone had pinned me down and sucker-punched every inch of my body. When I looked at Boggi with eyes that screamed, “Why did you do this to me?!” and confessed that the class was way tougher than I’d imagined, she looked at me with a knowing smirk and replied, “I hear that from a lot of people.”
And if you need more proof that Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting is way more hardcore than it sounds: This morning, when I told a coworker that after the class, the sight of a staircase was enough to send me into full-blown panic (because So. Sore!), he joked that within minutes of his first Lithe class, he was soaked in sweat and trembling, both physically and emotionally.
So consider this a public service announcement, people: Do not underestimate the power of a Lithe Method class, even if it is called “Fabu-legs.” I now have a three-class pass, and next time I hit the studio, I will be taking my inhaler, a giant bottle of water and a friend. You know, to catch me in case my legs give out mid-stiletto.
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