Evolve Fusion Fitness
Day 30: Pedal & Butts’n Gut
Background: Cycle. Sweat. Strengthen. Repeat. Located in the heart of Mission Hills, Evolve Fusion Fitness offers intimate classes designed for maximum results. They provide specialized group classes suitable for all ages, and customizable for all fitness levels. Fusion exercise enhances your overall physical condition faster than any type of workout alone! Combining cardio and strength training in the same hour increases results exponentially. Check out Evolve Fusion Fitness here!
Hey everybody, Cristina writing here — Vizer’s new intern! Working with Vizer has been so incredibly fun and rewarding. The 100 Days Challenge is just one of many experiences that highlight the awesome work culture of the company. After working behind the scenes at the office, it felt very special to go out into the community and see the app come to life.
When Sam asked me if I wanted to join the class, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I heard was something along the lines of “new technology” and “pilates but not pilates.” Instead of stopping them right there and asking to fuel my mind’s burning questions, I said, with tongue-in-cheek, “Sounds cool, I’m in”.
In my defense, my summer mantra has been don’t knock it till you’ve tried it and I’d recommend everyone go into this class with the same mindset.
Mission Hills is the cutest place (and not just because the Vizer headquarters is located in the area). There really is a neighborhood feel. Before class, I waited for the others beneath a tree and everyone who walked by greeted me with a warm smile. Upon walking in, you immediately feel the high energy: the music playing, the bikes warming up, and the members chatting. After checking in, we were given ice cold water to have with us while we cycle.
You’ll be impressed by how much you can do in this studio. It is not excessively large — which adds to the intimacy of the gym. Additionally, this workout really is for everyone as it’s easy to tailor to your abilities and goals. When I was looking around (to see if anyone saw me almost trip), I immediately noticed the age diversity of the class participants. Not only was that motivating to me, but it felt nice to think I could take my parents to workout here.
In all honesty, I was never the cycling type of gal. So when we started out at the spin corner, I was sweating before even getting on the bike. Luckily, our instructor, Lena, was so helpful and clipped me in. She also taught me how to shift the gears properly then challenged us through hills and sprints. Starting with spin was a great way to get sweating quick — I’m definitely one who prefers to be very warm before moving into more physically demanding exercises.
The next half of the class involved what is known as the “gravity training system” or “GTS”. It’s basically a pulley and glideboard machine that you lay on. It works your whole body by essentially using your body weight as resistance and pairing it with different smaller movements. Lena guided us through a series of moves that alternated between lying down and standing up using resistance bands.
All in all, it was a solid class. I’d suggest bringing an extra towel because you will leave sweaty. I left the class with my legs feeling like jello so I’d say it was a success!
As always, we made sure to ask our instructor if she had a moment to answer some questions — read her responses below.
Meet the Instructor!
Lena Baker: @mov3itgirl
How did you get involved with fitness?
It started when I was in high school. My senior year of high school I started instructing classes at a local gym in my town — that was over 20 years ago now! I’ve been doing since then — either full or part-time depending on my family or work situation.
Where are you from?
Northern Arizona (Fun fact: It snows there!)
What is special about here?
I like Evolve because of the smaller class sizes and the equipment that we have. It’s difficult to do any of this on your own or when you’re in a setting where you don’t have instruction. I started teaching here when the studio first opened and gravity was new. It was really appealing to do the new equipment and the spin bikes. Having the computers and being able to track the speed, the gears, and all of that was really appealing to me.
In 2012, the gravity machines were a new technology — here we have the professional versions of that with individual pieces that allow you to emphasize the different body parts. There is so much more that it does too! You guys just experienced half an hour of it but there are a lot of variations that you can do. Another reason why I like teaching this class is because the options are endless as long as you have the creative energy.
Do you plan it all before the class?
I do — I put a lot of time into my programming. My day job is physical therapy so I try to incorporate a lot of that into my classes as well. Like for you guys, for example, I wasn’t sure who was coming today so my original plan was something slightly different which I modified because you guys are new. I switched some things up at the last minute to make sure that you guys could feel successful with what you were doing and that we were doing minimal changing of equipment with the limited time that we had.
Do you need to be a frequent exerciser to take this class?
I don’t think so. If we were to go back to why I like this equipment, it’s because it’s very modifiable. I always try to make sure that everybody has lots of options throughout class. On the bike for example, if I was giving you a range of intensity that was too much for you, it’s so easy to just take the gear off or to stay seated instead of standing. The same goes with the gravity machine — if it’s too intense on the angle, you can easily lower it down to make it an easier resistance. I usually try to give most people easier options to build on so that way, they’ll always have a foundation to go back to.
What’s the community like?
I love the community of people that we have here in Mission Hills. I don’t live in the area so I like coming here to a neighborhood feel. You’ve got kids eating ice cream in the corner every time I come in around the afternoon so it’s a really fun neighborhood. Evolve does a bunch of community events.
For example, once a month I do a Friday happy hour class because we have such great people here and I feel like sometimes we’re all just passing the night between classes. So it’s a nice way for members to get together and to get to know each other — as well as for us instructors to get to know our members too.
I feel like that’s a big part of why people do classes — otherwise they would just workout at home or go do their own thing at the gym. People that come to classes like this appreciate the sense of community and friendships that can be created in the process. The happy hour classes really keep people accountable and motivated to come back because they are getting to know the people that are here and start to hang out together outside of class.
Drinks are optional. We come and workout then I take you out around here. I don’t really want to emphasize alcohol as something that is the highlight of the happy hour. Instead, I want to emphasize more that we are going out to just hang out together and maybe grab a bite to eat or drink but I want to make sure that it is always welcoming for people that don’t drink alcohol as well. I’d work hard for a glass of wine!
Share your experience with the hashtag #100VizerDays or meet us at the studio to join in on the fun! Up next is Fit Athletic Club on Tenth Ave!