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The hybrid-style of virtual and in-person classes has become the new normal for the majority of fitness studios across the world. While we all have augmented our workout schedules to accommodate in-person and online classes, I suddenly got the motivation (it could be because I am getting married soon) to get back into in-person HIIT classes.
Pre-COVID, I had just started getting into HIIT. Coming from a girl who grew up dancing and doing barre her whole life, it was a big adjustment for me, but I started to love the classes. And with studios near me reopening, I realized that I felt ready to go back into the studio to test out a new style of HIIT class.
I found Gemini Fit by Scott Baker on the Mindbody app. It’s a HIIT/ Tabata training studio in San Diego, CA that aims to create a unique, fun, effective group and personal training experience. What immediately sold me was the class sizes were limited to 5-6 people to allow for social distancing, so I signed up a week or so in advance and was ready to go.
Not going to lie, when the day came to go to class, I was a bit nervous—what was an in-person class going to look like in the new normal? Luckily, my fears subsided when I arrived.
Scott excitedly welcomed me and gave me the low-down on everything in the studio. I got there 10 minutes early to make sure I had enough time to go through everything and check in. I also got to meet the studio mascot, Alabama, Scott’s adorable dog! Scott explained that the class would be HIIT/Tabata style (like an F45 class), where you go from station to station for a certain amount of time. He explained the exercise at each station and equipment accompanying.
He then went over the several COVID-19 precautions they were taking:
• Limiting the classes to 6 people
• Sanitization wipes and hand sanitizer at each station
• 50-minute class times
• Masks required in the lobby areas (can be worn working out depending on comfort
• Optional gloves
• Extra cleaning between each class and station
I was a bit intimidated; my workout regimen had been less than optimal (thanks, COVID), so I was scared to get back into things. Once we got moving all my concerns disappeared, and I got into a groove. The music was blasting, the exercises were dynamic, fast-paced, and effective. Each station had different props and moves, and they all felt extremely safe and clean.
What stood out to me immediately was the personalization of the class.
I was so impressed with the way he personalized each move at the different stations for each person. He really gets to know his team and provides separate workouts for everyone based on their comfort level and what they want to achieve—it’s almost like a personal training session!
As the 50-minute class was drawing toward the close, I realized I didn’t want it to end! It had flown by due to the moving of stations and dynamic mix of exercises. I was feeling the burn and going to be sore the next day—but I loved it.
What I enjoyed most about the class was the fact that I felt so safe the entire time, and could go at my own pace and comfort level, which is especially nice coming back to an in-person for the first time since COVID-19. I can’t wait to go back and would recommend trying the class. The fast-paced style of HIIT may not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a new workout to mix up your fitness routine, it’s definitely worth a try.
Want to try it for yourself? Book a class at Gemini Fit! Not ready to go in person, browse virtual HIIT on Mindbody.
Tipping. While it can be a taboo topic that no one really wants to talk about publicly, the fact is, it’s a very important one that shouldn’t (and can’t) be avoided. This is all too true, especially now, when it comes to beauty services. Even before, “all of this” happened, there appeared to be some ambiguity about exactly how much to tip, when, what’s a respectable amount, and why. Now that we’ve tried our best at #homebeauty, it’s time to head back to the salons, spas, and other boutique beauty businesses (if you haven’t already). We’re here to guide you through gratuity in the new normal and why tipping a little extra to show your stylists and service providers you care during this tough time is the right thing to do.
To make sure we get you all the right answers, we asked around about it (so you don’t have to). Turns out, our Instagram followers had a lot to say about how to tip your stylists and show them some extra love right now.
Here’s what you think:
79% of you said you’ve been tipping more for beauty services recently. We’re all so grateful for our stylists—with split ends, grown-out roots, out-of-control brows, and terrible home-cut bangs to prove it. And now that many of us can return to our salons and spas, we’re appreciating the ones who help us feel beautiful even more right now.
We got a range of responses to this question. Some said they tip 5% more than they previously did, and many said 25%-35% total! Not only are these stylists actual artists, but they’re providing services we just can’t do ourselves. On top of that, many had to close their doors for several months, many were displaced as their salons shut down for good, and all of them are trying their best to get back to a sense of normalcy and do what they do best—help us look and feel beautiful. So, take this as a guide. Tip what you can but remember how much these wonderful people do for us.
When it comes to trying new services, 69% of you gave it a big fat NO, while 31% remain intrigued. It makes sense that many would stick to their go-tos right now, as salons are just starting to reopen in some areas or may not be open yet at all.
Depending on where you live and your overall health, you might be sticking with the bare minimum for now. But if your city has put in place safe reopening guidelines and measures, and you feel ready to head back out there, you can do so safely at a Mindbody salon. And you may be interested in trying out some new services right now as a way to show your local salons some extra support. If that’s you, browse beauty on the Mindbody app—and filter your categories to find out what’s out there.
Another way you can support your stylists right now? Shopping. It’s the safest way to show them some love without actually going in for a treatment. Many salons offer pre-payment on the Mindbody app and curbside pickup or a plethora of shipping methods, so you can keep contact to a minimum as much as possible. Plus, they have some pretty great stuff. If you need to invest in a good shampoo—especially because you haven’t gotten your hair done in months—so why not buy it from your stylist? According to our poll, it’s a pretty even split. 55% of you haven’t bought any products yet, while the other 45% have been shopping away. If you’re part of that 55, consider checking out your salon’s product offerings (you might see something you like).
Finally, we asked you all open-endedly how else you’re supporting your stylists right now. We got a lot of great answers. There was a lot of overlap, but we thought you might like to see some of the ones that stood out. So, if we didn’t cover it all so far, we’re about to—because you all are awesome and you did it for us. Here are some of the great ideas you had:
• “Paying in advance!”
• “Being more diligent about scheduling appointments versus letting my hair grow out”
• “Referring friends!”
• “Being flexible” (this is a good one—check out the 5 things your stylist wants you to know before you book)
• “Scheduling my next cut before I leave!”
• “Sharing their photos on Instagram and telling friends!”
So, if you’re a stylist reading this, thank you. We all want to continue showing you support during this time and beyond. And if you’re a regular person like me who really needs her highlights done, just schedule the damn appointment already (if you feel comfortable) or buy some purple shampoo from your favorite salon.