Written in collaboration by Natalie Leon (Wine With Nat) & Nicky Valdes
When NuShape Studio reached out to me about their new grand opening in Downtown Miami, I listened. I’m not sure if it was how they referred to the workout via email as “Pilates on steroids” or the fact that I was ready for a new workout that wouldn’t make me feel so bad about treating myself to wine (almost everyday).
I reached out to my dear friend and proofreader, Nicky Valdes who runs NickyValdes.com. I can always count on her to try new and, sometimes, crazy things with me. Plus, we have a lot of fun together.
On Monday, January 18, we made our way to NuShape’s new studio at 121 SE 2nd Ave. Not knowing what to expect, we arrived and introduced ourselves to one of the instructors, Kristhel “Kikki” Perez. I can only imagine how freaked out she was when I asked her to take pictures with a bottle of 2013 Little Black Dress Pinot Noir. Being an absolute trooper, Kikki showed me some poses and Nicky snapped pictures (that’s a true friend) before class started. But it was at that very moment while I was taking pictures (and holding onto a bar for dear life) that I realized that this workout was not going to be a walk in the park. I was literally sweating while posing for those pictures.
Class begun and all I could do was look at Nicky and think, “What the hell are we doing?” Put simply, this workout uses the Megaformer, a Pilate’s machine as they say, “on steroids”. It is designed to develop core strength and muscular endurance and most importantly, burn those wine calories. The class’ focus is on time, rather than reps, with each movement lasting about 60 seconds. So right when you feel like your dying, the instructor will tell you to hold it (burn baby burn).
Nicky and I did escalator lunges, mega donkey kicks, bungees, spider lunges, oblique teaser, side planks, mermaid twist and crunch. We basically worked out every damn muscle in our body. After the workout, I came home and treated myself to that Little Black Dress Pinot Noir. Ruby red in color with fruit and floral aromas, this light-bodied Californian wine is full of fruity character. Just like a little black dress that’s playful, yet elegant, this is a go-to wine for any occasion.
Going back to the Megaformer, the best way I would describe this workout is, YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF! Classes start at $30 and packages range from $140 to $269 for 1 month of unlimited classes. But I won’t just let you hear from me, which is why you have to hear it from Nicky too.
Hear from Nicky:
When Nat called me to ask about joining her for a “new kind of Pilates,” I agreed. Mostly because I’ve yet to learn how to say “no” to Nat, and— well, why the eff not? I’ve never done Pilates and I’m by no means a workout junkie, but I exercise and I’ve taken a few other workout classes. I don’t have a gym membership but I’ve run around the park, the block etc. I use weights. Given, they’re about five pounds each, but I’ve managed to get some muscle definition while using them. Basically, with my workout experience I’m maybe somewhere above a novice, but my inflated ego told me I was somewhere near expert.
So, with my black belt mentality, I researched the Megaformer and NuShape before showing up to their downtown location thinking it was all no big deal. Yet, nothing prepared me for what Nat and I encountered. We met our instructor, Kikki, (whom, bless her heart, had her work cut out with us) in a room full of pretty intimidating looking Megaformers. Megaformers are basically these giant Pilates machines with numbers, and lots of bolts, straps etc. They’re fairly easy to figure once you hop on, but in an overhead lit room with 15 Megaformers all lined up, they looked like a form of group torture. I was way out of my element.
While Nat was posing for pictures, I posted a picture of the Megaformers onto my own Instagram with a caption that read: “TRYING PILATES FOR THE FIRST TIME SO OMG BYE YOU GUYS” (because I like giving my Instagram followers something that’ll brighten their day). To which, I received a bevy of likes and one comment telling me that if I was doing Pilates for the first time, I should have went for mat exercises, but Kikki already had on her microphone, the other class-takers were in their positions. It was too late!
Long story short, I felt the burn. Poor Kikki (again, bless her) had to reposition my sweaty body position after position because I couldn’t keep myself aligned. “What is this, ballet?” I thought. It’s not, its Pilates so you do have to focus on position and movement. NuShape happens to go by the Lagree technique, where your movements are meant to be slow and calculated, meaning it’s kind of like ballet and also, THE BURN IS REAL, LADIES. We had to hold squats, lift straps and do things to our bodies that are making my oblique hurt just thinking about it.
I left a little shaken and woke up the next morning with sore muscles, but not to the point where I couldn’t move. It hurt in all the right places. The good kind of sore. So would I recommend NuShape? Yes, as long as you walk in knowing that the workout is intense and you’re gonna have to work, then hell yeah! Remember to be slow and conscious of your alignment and you’ll probably feel much better than I did. And once you get home, you can treat yourself to some vinito like Nat and I did.
Experience NuShape for yourself and receive 20% off. Once you've signed up, you can choose a class or package. Enter promo code BLOG20 at checkout. Offer expires February 8th. Meter or garage parking is available nearby. Happy workout!
NuShape Studio website: http://www.nushapemia.com