Sweat By Candlelight – DEFINErev

Co-owner Erin Stewart on a DEFINErev Bike

I’m a firm believer in dinner by candlelight. I’m also that girl who prefers the lights off during those special-between-the-sheets moments with my man. So working out with the lights off, yeah why not? I don’t want to be judged by the mass amount of boob sweat turning my pastel pink sports bra into a deep shade of magenta or my ugly “push it harder” beast mode face I’ve somehow perfected over the years. I want to work out, I want to sweat, I want to be pushed, I want the time to fly, and most of all I want to feel DEFINED.

DEFINErev is a full-body, rhythm-based indoor cycling class which incorporates isometrics, an exercise ball and hand weights (sadly, even my strong pushup arms can only handle 2lb weights) for 45minutes.

Henry “Hank” Richardson just opened his 4th location in West U (2518 Bissonnet) with blonde bombshell co-founder Erin Stewart. For the past month this place became my second home. The two, along with their lululemon-clad instructors and strategically digitized playlists have motivated me and made me sweat from places I didn’t know contained sweat glands like each and every blonde hair follicle. If at one time Hank was responsible for the all the curves and beauty of Julia Robert’s body, then surely I’d let him take mine over for a month and see what he could do.

Hank brought his raging workout idea back from a class he attended in NYC and after adding his own flair, decided to open up the exercise studios providing one of the first true “body and mind” workouts around Houston.

Founder and Co-Owner, Henry "Hank" Richardson

As someone who considers herself a truly hardcore college athlete, for the first time, I can admit that mind does play a huge role in meeting goals and pushing harder – whether in a fitness class or in the middle of a State Championship Final’s Game. When the spin instructors scream, “dig deeper” through their headsets with Ellie Goulding’s Lights blaring in the darkest moment of class (both literally and figuratively), the ability to dig deeper comes from the mind; not the legs and core I originally thought. Those muscles were exhausted and had long given out, but my head? Nope, that was ready to keep pushing through.

I asked Brian Vanas, one of the lone males in our nightly 5:15 REV class how this class compares to his typical workout. “It’s kind of funny but when I am there I feel like I am in a ‘cage’ and I can’t leave so I have to finish right to the end as opposed to when I am tired to just stop. I definitely burn more calories and sweat more in this class,” he said. His workout partner Jennifer Ban shares the same sweaty sentiments. “I think DEFINE classes push you more. The rooms are crowded and even though the instructors reiterate that your only competition is yourself, I can’t help but push myself a little harder when I see my neighbor doing more than me!” And it’s true – even though the room is virtually pitch black and the bikes are stationary, you still feel that sense of pride and competition and want to beat your neighbor both climbing up that hill and then again minutes later sprinting back down it.

The studio also offers a DEFINEbody class, which Hank refers to as their main class (REV is the cardio version and should supplement the body class). While cardio is usually my thing, I gave the body class a go – basically 45minutes making your legs do things they’ve never done (which for me, says a lot…) and hold onto a ballet bar while on your tippy-toes for virtually the entire class. I’m pretty sure my legs were shaking just like Anastasia’s did throughout the entire first Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, it worked for her and it seems to have worked for me, so we’re both happy girls.

Even Julia Roberts is a fan of DEFINE

I’m starting a fitness column where I partake in classes (both private and group settings) just like this one for at least 2+ weeks at a time. While these classes are putting my muscles to the test, I’m going to be putting them to the same test – was it worth it? Below is the scale I’ll be using to evaluate. This scale not only allows me to determine if this workout was worth it and beneficial for me, but it also gives you an inside look before heading in and checking it out yourself.

The Blonde Side’s Fitness Scale

Convenient (scale 1-10): 9 – with 4 locations and classes every few hours, it’s pretty convenient for the 9-5’er, the stay at home mom, or the freelance sports writer taking over Houston.

Price (scale $ – $$$$$): $$$$ (classes are pretty pricey, but there are deals for monthly memberships both based on number of times used or unlimited anywhere from $120 – $250/month)

Did boys notice a difference in my body (scale Y or N): YES

Did I notice a difference in my body (scale Y or N): YES

Would I consider a membership here? Unfortunately the classes/memberships are a little too rich for my freelance blood, but if I was in town more and had a bigger budget, I most definitely would.

You can follow them on Twitter @DEFINEbody & @DEFINErev and of course you can follow The Blonde Side on Twitter @jaymelamm

DefineBody.com | define@DEFINEbody.com | 713.526.1800 (West University Location)