Last Friday, I doubled up on my workouts; I went to an intense bootcamp class (complete with weightlifting, plyometrics, and treadmill sprints) and a dance class. While they were both fantastic in their own right, only one left me so soaked in sweat that I had to change my shirt — it wasn't the boot camp.
I walked into the stunningly bright West Hollywood studio of Body by Simone — a familiar scene for anyone who watched Revenge Body — where I was instantly (and warmly) greeted and hugged by Simone, an icon in the fitness world. The tiny trainer is pure energy and joy in a 5-foot-tall bright blonde package; she beamed as she gushed about her new DVD and how excited she was to have us in her class. Right off the bat, I knew it was going to be a special experience.
For reference, the Body by Simone dance cardio workout is adored by Victoria's Secret models and the likes of Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Kate Hudson. I wasn't just getting a workout — I was getting the Hollywood experience.
Only a few moments passed before the class began. There was no formal announcement; upbeat electronic music started to thud through the sound system, Simone started to dance, and the regulars immediately clued in and followed her lead without skipping a single beat. I clumsily copied their movements and tried to follow along, but it didn't matter how uncoordinated I felt or that I completely lacked the years of Juilliard-status classical dance training my peers seemed to have — I was THRIVING.
To be honest, I know that muscles in my body were burning — the copious amount of sweat and color of my face at the end of class made that very evident. But the only muscles I really remember being sore in the moment were in my cheeks, because honest to God, I could not stop smiling. The energy in the room was more than contagious, and our source of energy was the firecracker of a trainer leading the pack in the front of the studio. I was jumping, clapping, hip swerving, and living my very best life for approximately 40 minutes.
Apparently I was also burning a sh*tton of calories. I did a little math based on my heart rate for our session, and it was somewhere around 500. Believe me, I'm not in this for the calories, but it was kind of insane to see how much work my body did without me even realizing it. It was seriously so much fun, and I now totally see how the Revenge Body contestants had such incredible transformations.
The class flew by — it was a whirlwind of laughs and sweat and pirouettes. Simone turned around and smiled at us, always joyful, and said, "There's no better feeling than being in a room full of people who are really living."
In true LA fashion, they offered fresh coconut water and smoothies on the outdoor deck adjacent to the mirrored studio, so we could soak up the Friday afternoon sun and refresh ourselves post-sweat sesh. We took some GIF photos in the Bosco photo booth (Simone was really excited about this) and went on our way, leaving with a different kind of high than I usually get from my standard exercise classes.
Unfortunately, Body by Simone studios are only in LA and New York (Simone did tell me she plans to open more soon, though!), so I won't be able to add this to my regular fitness routine in SF, but I will certainly be using my new BBS DVD and Simone's Class FitSugar 20-minute video to get my celeb-style dance fix.