How SweatBox Changed My Workout
By: Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor and member
Like many in the VIDA community, fitness is an integral part of my lifestyle. In fact, I’ve worked out every day for nearly two years (I even wrote about what that whole experience has been like here). As an avid gym-goer, one of my biggest challenges is keeping my routine fresh and avoiding those pesky plateaus. I try to switch it up regularly — my daily workouts are a mix of weightlifting, indoor cycling, yoga, boxing, and cardio sessions on machines like the StairMaster.
But sometimes, you need a little push. Or, in my case, a big push. I’m a creature of habit, so it often takes a lot for me to make the effort to try new things. Once I know what I like, I really know what I like. And I probably won’t stray too far away from my comfort zone because it’s, you know, comfortable!
That’s where SweatBox comes in. Its entire existence is pretty much built on the idea of escaping your comfort zone and taking your stamina to levels that are outside this universe. Plenty has been written about the science behind SweatBox — aka the Sweat Method — and about all the reasons why you should give it a try. But if you’re a fitness fanatic like me, you might be wondering whether SweatBox is really that life-changing of a workout and if it’s worth your energy, money, and time.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the answers to those questions are undoubtedly YES and YES. So if you’ve been eyeing SweatBox from afar but haven’t made the leap from observer to participant, check out all the ways SweatBox changed my workout and see what’s in it for you!
The ambiance sets the mood.
From the mirrored walls to the rows of state-of-the-art IC7 bikes, just walking into the SweatBox studio will get you incredibly pumped up. It’s the type of environment that seems to subliminally say, “You are badass and you will conquer this.” Best of all, the workout is timed with lighting and musical effects within the studio that make the entire experience feel more like a night out dancing than a hardcore sweat session.
The music is crazy motivating.
Speaking of dancing, expect to hear a killer soundtrack during your SweatBox experience. I tend to listen to the same songs and playlists when I work out (creature of habit, remember?), so I welcomed the musical picks of my instructor Alexx that included everyone from Britney to Gaga. You never know, you just might discover your new favorite gym tune!
Partner work builds a sense of camaraderie.
I gotta be honest: As an introvert, I’m not the biggest fan of partner workouts. I like to do my own thing and be focused on what I’m doing as opposed to what everyone else is up to. But when we did some partner exercises in class, it was surprisingly enjoyable and — better yet — encouraging. It’s also strangely comforting to know that someone else is right there with you, enduring seemingly endless sets of burpees, push-ups, and sprints on the bike.
Intensity level is off the charts.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to intensity. And at SweatBox, there is plenty of that to go around. You won’t be taking unnecessary rest breaks or mindlessly checking your phone between sets — there’s no time for that. Alexx maintained a high level of momentum over the course of 50 minutes and expected 200% from everybody. He offered variations of each exercise to ensure that it could be modified for all fitness levels.
MYZONE integration means unparalleled accountability.
SweatBox uses MYZONE heart rate monitors that pair with your bike. They show your progress on screens in the studio, so you can see the efficacy of your workout in real-time. Talk about accountability, right? If you don’t already own a MYZONE heart rate monitor (VIDA members can purchase one at an exclusive discount), the studio will supply one for you to use for the duration of class. These monitors are a great way to visualize your metrics — average heart rate, calories burned, all that good stuff — and to see just how hard you worked!