5 Non-Running Workouts I Enjoy

  May 16, 2016  |  #Charlotte

Good morning! How is it already Monday? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

I got a 90 minute massage Saturday morning, then we went to a cocktail class put on by Bob Peters, who’s a stud in the craft cocktail industry here in Charlotte. The class was at one of my favorite lunch spots: Earl’s Grocery. They do it the second Saturday of each month and it’s a neat way to learn about new local distilleries and more about cocktails. This week, they partnered with TopO distillery in Chapel Hill.

cocktail class

On Sunday, we went to a friend’s graduation party, where I had lots of summer food, including WATERMELON (my favorite!), grilled corn, and lots of cookies and ice cream.

watermelon, fruit


So, friends, I’m hoping to run my first marathon this fall. Ed is making my training plan that will start up in a few weeks. Until then, I’m kind of just enjoying engaging in some non-running workouts and lots of long walks. I wanted to share some of these workouts and classes with you today, in case you were thinking about trying some new workout classes or looking for some new cross training ideas. I have really liked all of them!

Trying new workouts is one of my favorite things. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that when it comes to working out, I like having a guide and having someone tell me what to do. That’s why I thrive in group exercise class settings, or doing a youtube circuit workout at home. I love not having to think, and I’m competitive enough that I need to finish and hold myself accountable.

I’ve been trying some new exercise classes throughout Charlotte and I thought I’d share some of these new-to-me workouts! While these classes are local to me, I know similar class offerings are offered in many different locations. I’m linking up with Hoho Runs and Trish for the Weekly Wrap and  Jill for a Life of Fitness, Health and Happiness!

1. Orange Theory

Orange Theory (OT) is a non-stop, energetic class based on increasing your heart rate. They do have some running incorporated into these workouts but its mostly sprints and only for a few seconds. I love the constant movement involved – you’re not doing the same thing for more than 1-2 minutes at a time. You’ll move from the treadmill to the rower, back and forth for half of the class, and you’ll spend the other half of the class in the weight training blocks, using free weights, resistance bands, and using a lot of your core.  You don’t have to think about anything – the teacher/trainer will lead you through it, count down for you and tell you exactly what to do. It’s based on the notion that you’ll have a longer afterburn (burn more calories for a longer time after the workout) the higher your heart rate gets.

orange theory, workouts

I love the little summary they email you after class, and having a heart rate monitor on you that tracks your HR on a screen in real time. You can see what “zone” you’re in (based on color and exertion), and it motivates you to keep up or work harder. Also, the first class is free, so major plus.


My only advice is that I would try to start on the treadmill/rowing circuit first, if you can. You’ll get your heart rate up quicker. I started with the strength training circuit, and would have rather started with cardio. I didn’t spend as much time in the “orange and red” zone, where you’re working realllly hard.

2. Core Revolution

Core Revolution is a great spinning workout! I’m not big into spinning (or at least I didn’t think I was), so I wouldn’t normally have picked this class, but I was offered a chance to go as part of the Yelp Fit Club. The instructor was very motivating and positive. He kept repeating, “You only have one life – don’t skip on your physical fitness.” I loved the message. The music was awesome and kept you pumped up while cycling. Not to mention the huge screens they have where you virtually see yourself biking up a mountain – it’s almost like Super Mario Kart, and you can see yourself racing against everyone else. It also shows your RPM and heart rate. I liked the mixture of standing and sitting, and increasing the resistance for our uphills!

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Sitting on a bike for a long time is slightly uncomfortable for me – I’m not a huge cyclist to begin with so I always feel a little awkward, but other than that, it was a lot of fun!

3. HSM Core

You wouldn’t think this would be a cardio class but it gets your heart rate up! We were working our core for pretty much 40 minutes. You spend the entire 40 minute class on the “megaformer,” which is the platform machine that has everything you need for the workout. It has cables to allow you to spring back and forward to push and hold those core muscles and build strength.

I like how it’s a small, intimate class. There are only 10 machines available, so you don’t have to worry about an overcrowded class where you won’t get attention. The instructor can give some one-on-one guidance, but he’s mostly inspiring the class as a whole and counting down the time left in each pose.

HSM Core_Charlotte

My body was shaking the whole time – you do different exercises for a certain amount of reps or time, and then hold at the end. Aside from tons of planks and other core work, we did lots of squats and some arm work too. It was a very enjoyable class. I’m the goofy one with the hot pink yoga pants.

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As a runner, I know I should do more core but it’s hard to motivate myself to do it alone. Whereas at HSM Core, you have someone telling you what to do, counting the time, motivating you, and cheering you on, with the other cohort of people there. This is a great way to get in shape for the summer. My abs were sore for days!

4. Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing is so challenging but it sculpts your entire body, from your fingers and forearms, abs and core, down to your glutes, quads and hamstrings. You can challenge yourself as little or as much as you want because there are walls of varying difficulty throughout. I actually bought this first pass through Groupon at a local place in Charlotte, and was so glad to have found this place. It’s not somewhere I would normally seek out.

I was working muscles I haven’t worked in a long time, and it was increasing my heart rate. My arms were so sore in a good way.

rock climbing, workouts

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5. Xtend Barre

To be honest, I’ve been intimidated by the thought of barre for the longest time. I am extremely uncoordinated and far from graceful. But this class was not what I expected. We did lots of leg squats, pulses and core work. And even if you proclaim yourself to be uncoordinated and not into ballet (ahem: me), there’s a place for you here and it will challenge you! The instructors are so uplifting and the moves are choreographed to upbeat music in the background, which is always a plus!

barre, workout

Those are some of the newer classes I’ve tried this year and have really enjoyed. Most of them offer a free first class, which is great if you’re curious but don’t want to drop any coin initially.

Do you like having control of your workouts and regimen or having someone tell you what to do?

Favorite summer cookout food? <– Fruit salad, pasta salad, grilled corn on the cob

Grab your FREE list of the most nutritious post-run foods to refuel your body and muscles. No spam here, promise.

58 responses to “5 Non-Running Workouts I Enjoy

  1. Love all these classes and yes, they are such a great idea when you’re stuck in a workout rut! They really change up your game and add fun into your workout again! So important! If you want to share your posts at Sunday Fitness 7 food Link-Up we would love to have you! Happy Sunday!:)

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  3. I like to have control but I admit after becoming a personal trainer it’s kind of nice to have someone else come up with my workout.

    Thanks for sharing with the Fitness Health & Happiness community! Have a great weekend.

  4. That core class looks intense! I’ve heard a lot about OTF lately. They just opened one recently around here. It also looks like a good workout. I think it’s great that you have so much variety in your workouts. I like group classes, but I struggle to make the time to go in the evenings after work. Congratulations on signing up for your first full. I look forward to following your training.

  5. I don’t’ know which class looks more fun to do…. I’m thinking the cocktail would be pretty cool. 🙂 Tell me about this yelp fit club? It sounds interesting! Thanks Sarah for linking up with us!

  6. These are 5 very different types of activities. I think that would definitely keep things interesting. I usually don’t do anything with a class environment. I’m not opposed to them, but they don’t seem to work well with my schedule. How exciting you are planning to run your first marathon this fall. I can’t wait to follow along as you train for and accomplish that goal. Thanks for linking with us Sarah!

  7. I think ultimately I love working out in a gym by myself, but once a week or so I love taking the time to go to a group class and try out something new. I have tried Orangeology Fitness and if the membership wasn’t so expensive I would totally join! I havent’ tried Core Revolution though!

  8. I would love to try a spin class, because the only class I’ve tried is the Body Pump which was super fun! I’m just so lazy about getting out to the gym. I like working out at home, but I do love the class atmosphere too!

  9. love these different workout ideas you listed! i heard the megaformer is insanelyyyy hard. i’ve never tried it myself. personally i like to do all my own workouts. i’m not good at taking instruction from other people!!

  10. As a trainer, I usually do my own workouts, but sometimes I just want someone to make a workout for me. I’ve been wanting to try Orange Theory for a while! Favorite summer cookout food is either watermelon or baked beans!

  11. I’ve been wanting to try an Orange Theory class sometime but we don’t have any studios near us! I might be in Denver this fall and if so I for sure am going to try it! I also really like to have a plan when I work out. I feel like I work a lot harder when I do too!

  12. Watermelon is my favorite food and I am SOOOO happy it’s back in season- I can’t get enough! I really want to try a Barre class. Thinking about it, the only group fitness class I have ever done is hot yoga, otherwise I just workout on my own. I should try switching it up!

  13. Orangetheory is my obsession!! I love it and its so hard to not go more than 4-5 times a week( which they do not suggest). In the Charleston location we have really great motivating trainers. It’s hard for me to go to a gym now by myself because I’m so accustomed to people telling me what to do!

    1. I can definitely understand that! It really gives you those instant endorphins and I would be excited to see my results after every class! I love just going and doing the workouts and not having to think!

  14. These all look so fun! I love spinning classes, hot yoga, and barre. I do like having control over my workouts but I love going to classes too and having an instructor in charge. I think a balance with being control and having an instructor works great for me!

  15. So many bloggers are talking about Orange theory today! Must be a great class. I’m not into fitness classes but I do enjoy climbing the rock wall.
    Congrats on taking the plunge with the marathon this fall!

  16. These all look so fun, especially the mega-reformer class. I love Pilates workouts but haven’t done one on the reformer yet, in part because they are so expensive where I live. My favorite summer cookout food is any grilled vegetables – corn, zucchini, eggplant, all of them are so good!

  17. These all look so fun! Im partial to the rock climbin one, but thats just because its my favorite 🙂 My gym offers a class called EVO Fit and its basically a HIIT type of class. Each class has a different time structure [45 sec work -15 sec rest / AMRAP / etc] and the exercises they pick are always TOUGH! Wall balls, burpees, TRX, plyo moves, running the stairs, thrusters – it’s challenging but fun!

  18. I like having control over my workouts. I take a lot of advice from all over the Internet and my friends and put them together to know what works for me.
    My favorite summer food to grill is corn on the cob!

  19. We need to take a class together! I have been dying to try HSM Core considering I LOOOVE HSM. I also love OTF and MADabolic. I definitely prefer having someone tell me what to do, especially something like OTF. I like having the motivation of someone else when doing treadmill sprints 🙂

  20. Barre is high on my list to try!! I honestly need to start doing some yoga because my muscles are SO tight. Right now I’m pretty much only running because I either go with friends or listen to podcasts. Group classes are so fun. There is a yoga studio above Cupcrazed I think I’m going to try soon.

  21. I like having a plan to follow, whether its my own or someone else’s. These all look like great classes! I tried some different workouts using a free trial from class pass last year but now Im not willing to pay for any studios. I miss having a gym membership where I could take group fitness classes!

  22. These look great! I need to mix my strength training up, good way to do non-running workouts since my city is too crowded and pollution.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. You are lucky to have such a wide choice of fitness activities. Most of the gyms here in France offer the basics. I would take full advantage of all the classes before marathon training starts !
    A cocktail class ? fun !

  24. Those cookies are so pretty!

    I reaaaaaaaaaaallly wish we had somewhere to go rockclimbing near us as I always LOVED it as a child and have been wanting to go for ages! I’ll have to convince Jesse to take me one weekend soon now that it’s getting cooler and inside activities are more appealing!

  25. I’ve recently been doing the Tone It Up workouts at home. They are actually pretty good if you’re looking for something quick and easy at home to get your heart pumping a bit. I’ve never really been into taking classes due to scheduling conflicts but I have always wanted to try Orange Theory!

  26. I’ve heard about some of these before and love that you’ve gotten to try so many different types of workouts! So cool that Orange Theory emails you a workout summary after class- i’m sure that’d motivate me to work a little harder during the class!

  27. I’m like you and would rather have someone tell me what to do! I think I workout better when someone shows me what I need to be doing. All of those classes look like so much fun! I wish we had those core machines somewhere near me. I would use them all the time!

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