Another year and another Sweat Local Columbus Fitness Expo and 5K is in the books. We had such an amazing time and owe a huge “thank you” to all of our vendors, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees that came out. Sweat Local Columbus started because we wanted to build a community of businesses and health-minded people, and judging from all the energy in the room this past weekend, we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal.
And please know that just because the expo is over, it doesn’t mean that we are slowing down. We will still be doing everything we can to promote Columbus’ businesses that want to make a difference and change the way people stay healthy. We are also making some modifications to the way we’ve been doing things so that our pop up Sweat Sesh’s are events that really stand out. Keep an eye on the Sweat Sesh page and our social channels for the September Sweat Sesh announcement!
We hope that you continue to support the #sweatlocalcbus movement online and in our city. Please tag us if you think there are businesses that need to be seen or events that people would want to go to and we will be there.
We love Columbus and everything that makes it great. Thank you again for a great 2017 Sweat Local Columbus Expo and 5K, and keep active in all the ways you sweat local!
-Ryan and Kelly, Sweat Local Columbus
Peak Human Performance is wrapping up another 8 Week Challenge. Check out our post about the Challenge here. We had the chance to interview one of the participants, Simone Blake. Simone owns her own business, is a mom of 4, and yet still finds the time to get to the gym. We are so inspired by people like Simone. Find out why she chose to do the 8 Week Challenge for the THIRD time!
How long have you been a member at Peak?
I joined Peak in the fall of 2015. I had bounced around a bit from gym to gym, just not quite finding the right fit. Looking back now, it's funny, but I remember feeling really nervous about going in. The first smiling face I met was Vince, he showed me around and put me right at ease. I recall Stacy's morning class getting their barbells ready and everyone was chatting and laughing and seemed happy to be there. I was optimistic I may have finally found my home gym! My first class was Fit Mix with Amy. I actually had to step out of that class because I felt so lightheaded (I've come a long way since then!). Amy was so encouraging and supportive, I knew I was in the right place.
What are you goals for once you finish the Challenge?
My current goals are to continue to improve my aerobic base. Peak is beginning to implement training via heart rate monitors to better customize workouts for each individual in class. I'm really excited about this, because my current struggle is being able to maintain aerobic exercise for long periods, so I'm hoping to improve my aerobic endurance over the next few months. I always feel I should be pushing myself as hard as I can, I've learned it helps to slow things down a bit to help grow stronger.
Being a busy mom of 4 and a business owner, how do you make time for the Challenge and for your workouts?
In reality, my workouts keep me sane!! I am a much better mom and business owner when I do get my workouts in. I love caring for people... my family and my patients, but I've learned it can take a lot out of me at the same time. So, gym time is my time to focus on me. It helps clear my mind without interruption from work or kids or texts or laundry or the other million things in life we are constantly bombarded with. I'm constantly tending to maintaining a happy work-life balance. For a long time, I fell into the trap of feeling as though taking time for me meant I was detracting from what I could offer everyone else. In reality, I've learned taking time for me helps me stay more engaged. I'm happier and more energetic, which benefits everyone in my life!
What/who keeps you accountable?
I think I keep myself accountable, with the occasional nudge from my husband on the rare mornings I'm just not feeling like leaving my warm bed to workout. I know the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from completing my workouts. I also know how much more energy I have overall when I'm in shape. My days start early and end late and being in top form helps me keep it all going. I schedule my workouts at least a week in advance, just like I schedule my other meetings and appointments. Once it's in my calendar, I know I've committed. On the mornings I start to hear even the quietest of voices in my head trying to talk me out of a workout, I immediately shut it off. I treat it like an appointment on those days and I've yet to be sorry I went to a workout, but I always regret if I skip one.
What's your favorite part about the Challenge?
My favorite part about the challenge.....it forces me to sit back and analyze my life instead of moving forward in autopilot. How are my stress levels? Am I nourishing my body as best as I can? Am I sleeping enough? I'm being asked, "what is it that you want to improve about yourself?" It forces me to really think about where I am, physically and mentally. The challenge isn't just about losing weight or building muscle, those things play a large part, but Alex takes the time to help build your mental and emotional strength as well. They all play a part in your overall well being.
Most people might go through something like this once, but this is your THIRD time! Why do you keep coming back and joining the challenge?
It's just FUN! Simple as that. Challengers are separated into teams, each with two coaches to help guide them each week. There is a bit of competition between teams, but it is all in good fun. The ultimate goal, to improve your overall fitness and implement healthy habits into your life. Each person is held accountable for workouts and menu planning. The challenge is chock full of information and there is always something new to learn. There are a lot of extra classes outside of Peak such as meal prep, a grocery store tour, an hour long stretch class (seriously, you feel amazing after stretching for an hour, something I would never do on my own!), yoga class, nutrition classes by a dietician and a life coach seminar. My team even participated in a hip hop class (talk about taking me out of my comfort zone!). I can't think of a reason why someone wouldn't participate.... hanging out with fun, positive people, a lot of sweat, a lot of laughs, getting fit ..... I love it!
What is it about the Peak crew that you love?
Every person I've met at Peak is genuinely supportive of others, no matter where someone is in their physical journey. Trainers and members will cheer you on with words of encouragement during a workout if they see you starting to fade (for me, always the sled pushes and pulls!). Each of the trainers is extremely knowledgeable in exercise and physiology, and are always available to each member, modifying exercises, correcting form. I love that the trainers will take classes alongside you, it's encouraging to see them beside you giving it their all to get through a tough workout. Going to the gym shouldn't be something to dread, it should make you feel alive. This is why I love Peak!
Say goodbye to greasy delivery food, Columbus. Porttion delivers healthy 'Global Fusion' inspired meals straight to your door.
You know those nights where you get home from work late, or have a million things due this week and have to either choose between making a healthy meal and checking something off the list? More often than not, a pizza gets ordered, something fatty and salty from a bag gets picked up, or you make something quick that lacks fresh vegetables.
This is where Porttion comes in. Porttion bills itself as “Global Fusion” cuisine, and we can say that everything we tried was delicious. Their menu changes weekly based on what is fresh and locally available around Columbus. After you go through their website and pick which meals (or meal plans) you want, your Porttion meals are delivered on Sunday in time for the upcoming week.
Porttion isn’t just a substitute for meals when you are in a hurry. Each meal has a calorie count, carbohydrate count, and protein count listed right on the label (great for macro counters). Each of these is also listed on the website when you choose your meals, so you are free to pick from low-cal, low-carb or protein-dense options. The “Global Fusion” is also great because nothing taste the same. For instance, when we ordered ours, we had Mexican breakfast quesadillas and sweet potato hash for breakfasts (2 meals split between two people), then we had Japanese Squash Curry and pasta with marinara and zucchini noodles for lunch.
The food tastes great, but the convenience of having these meals delivered really cannot be overstated. Think of Blue Apron, but the meals are ready and can all be microwaved in under two minutes. They arrive at your door on Sunday in a zipped bag with an ice pack inside to keep it cold until you can get the food in your fridge. Each meal comes in a sealed, microwave safe plastic bin.
Definitely check out Porttion’s website and take a look at this week’s menu. Porttion does a good job at being open to adjusting meals based on food allergies or personal preferences, but try not to good too crazy changing everything (they have a lot of food to make!). As long as you get your order completed by 11:59 p.m. each Thursday, you’ll get your food fresh and on your doorstep sometime Sunday. We can’t wait to see this company grow in Columbus and continue making wonderful food!
When I first learned about RISE Fitness Community last year, I knew they were a badass group of women who worked out really early in the morning in Upper Arlington. After sleeping through my alarm for a 5:30am workout with them during the fall of last year, I didn't know if I'd ever be invited back to RISE. Luckily, they are in to second chances.
RISE owners Michelle Fleming and Jessica Kopp started out by offering group runs and HIIT classes outside of Upper Arlington High School. RISE gained a core group of followers and a business was born. After a few years of not having an actual studio, Michelle and Jessica felt it was time to open up their own place to call home.
RISE recently opened their first physical space in Upper Arlington and I couldn't wait to check it out. I chose to come to a 6:45am HIIT IT RISE class, which explained by their website is a class that will push your limits! You will get to test the stronger, fitter body that you’ve earned this month. Anything goes. We want these workouts to be FUN, high energy, and unexpected. Using weights, body weight, and cardio HIIT moves, I was sweaty within 15 minutes. After about 45 minutes, Michelle took us back to the RISE Run Club (RRC) room. Picture a spinning studio, but with treadmills. Six minutes of intervals gave me a taste of what a true RRC would be like. I will be the first to admit that I really dislike running, but I think I'd really enjoy a full RRC class.
You can tell that RISE really is a community. And while RISE did start out as being a women's only group, men are now allowed, and encouraged to come to classes. Michelle and Jessica really have poured their heart and soul into the business. RISE has many class options including HIIT IT BUILD which is a combination of tougher exercises, faster transitions, a challenge to your cardiovascular system so that it learns to uptake oxygen faster, and continue to BUILD a stronger body; and HIIT IT ENDURE which focuses on endurance, muscle tone, definition, range of motion and challenge ancillary support muscles.
RISE has class times at 5:30am, 6:45am, 9:45am, 5:45pm and 7pm during the week, and late morning times on weekends. Make sure to check out our website at for full schedule and program information. RISE also offers full and half marathon training programs.
Check them out at 4499 Kenny Rd, Columbus Ohio 43220 and online at risefitnesscommunity.com. Your first class is free!
The RISE team will also be out our Fitness Expo on July 30! Get a taste of them there!
We have been big fans of Peak Human Performance since we met with their coaches prior to last year’s Sweat Local Columbus Expo, and they put us through one of the most intense (and fun!) workouts we’ve done around Columbus. That’s why when they asked us to sponsor their 8 Week Challenge for their members, we were happy to throw our support behind a brand that truly works.
What we love about the challenge is that each participant sets their own goals and encourages each other to keep pushing. Over 50 people in the Peak community are taking part in this fourth edition of the challenge.
Beyond the fitness classes Peak offers during the challenge, everybody gets access to nutrition classes, grocery store tours (so valuable), motivational speakers, and one-on-one access to all the coaches to talk through any struggles and successes they experience. The best part of the challenge is the community of positive people who want nothing more than to succeed and to see those around them succeed.
Currently, competitors are just past the halfway point of the challenge. We got a chance to attend of of their nutrition seminars that included our favorite Propello Life protein bites (how could we pass that up?). After talking with some of the people involved in the challenge, we could help but get excited for them and to cheer on their success.
Seeing good businesses doing good things in the community are what we’re all about, and we can’t thank Peak Human Performance enough for letting us be a part of their awesome event!
This might be my favorite article to write because as much as I love working out and finding new ways to sweat around Columbus, I love to carb load, whether there is any reason to or not. But, with Cap City coming up this weekend, the smart runner knows that Friday (and Thursday's!) night’s meal should include lots of good carbs for quick and accessible energy for your big run. You will want to make sure your Friday meals are full of high-carb, low-fiber meals to ensure you run your best. Do your best to also reduce the amount of protein and fats (cheeses, creams, butter, etc.) for one or two days before. With all that in mind, below are the top ten places we love around Columbus to carb load ahead of the Cap City half and quarter marathons.
1. Sammy’s New York Bagels
Sammy’s is a deliver-to-your-door bagel company that also has some other baked goods on their menu. Sammy’s is the perfect way to get hot, fresh bagels at your doorstep race morning, or even the day before to ensure you have enough carbs to power you through Cap City. They deliver to most Columbus’ suburbs, and they have just about every kind of bagel you can think of. Make sure you order by 3:00 to ensure they arrive the next day, fresh on your doorstep when you wake up!
2. Northstar Cafe
Everyone has been to Northstar, so there is nothing we’ll tell you about how fantastic their food is that you don’t already know. However, lost in the quest for pasta are all the great carby options Northstar has, like their Buddah Bowl, Square Meal, Korma Bowl, or one of their delicious burritos (pictured above is Northstar's Thai Burrito). Oh, and they have the best pancakes in the world, so there’s that...
3. Vittoria Ristorante & Bar
Vittoria is on the fancier side of carb-loading, but their menu rivals any Italian restaurant you’ve ever been to. Vittorio, their maitre d (aka professional host) is one of my absolute favorite people in the world (with the coolest tie collection you’ve ever seen). The service at Vittoria is top notch, and their menu is straight out of the Motherland. Get their gnocchi...no get their vegetarian penne...no get their lasagna. Better yet, get all of it and have some for dinner!
This ramen shop on Bethel serves up some of the very best noodles in Columbus. They offer ramen in either chicken stock or vegetable stock, which is perfect for vegetarians like me. The staff is super friendly and will help you find the perfect bowl.
5. Borgata Pizza Cafe
Borgata makes homemade pasta, and their pizza is great too (but try to limit the cheese while carb loading). For delishious pizza, pasta, and calzones, the price point is way lower than what it probably should be. They are located in Worthington, and every single thing we’ve tasted is perfectly cooked and so so good. One of our favorites is the cavatelli pasta (little shells) with their marinara sauce.
6. Villa Nova
Villa Nova has a special place in our hearts because it’s our parents favorite place in Columbus to meet for dinner. Their food is fantastic though, and they have the best breadsticks! The staff is very friendly, and the bar is always welcoming (in case you wanted to go back after the race, of course). Portions aren’t too big, but the menu has every kind of pasta, pizza, or dish you’d hope to see.
7. Sushi Ten
You didn’t think about sushi as a way to carb load, did you? Well, as long as you’re smart about it, you can get the perfect carb-heavy meal before Cap City. The trick is, stick to veggie sushi and limit the protein from the raw fish. It’s odd ordering veggie sushi at a traditional sushi restaurant, but they do have plenty of options that you can mix in with a few of their fish rolls. They also are the sushi place for party trays, in case you are having a big pre-Cap party Friday!
Located in the North Market, Pastaria has traditional Italian dishes that all cost $7.99. Everything is super fresh and makes for a great lunch. Plenty of options that are all perfect to eat there or take home. There might not be a better quality vs. cost option to fuel your big race this weekend!
Everyone knows about Katalina’s famous pancake balls, and if you don’t, well, perfect time to try them, right?!? They are only open from 8:00-3:00, so make sure you plan ahead. Their lunch is fantastic, but they are known for their breakfast and brunch. Aside from the pancake balls, make sure you try their Sunrise Sammy, a vegetarian twist on a pork and egg sandwich that is absolutely perfect.
10. Thai Grille in Westerville
This hidden gem is right in the heart of Westerville, and has some of the best pad thai in the city (extra spicy for me!). Thai food is a great alternative to anyone looking to carb load that might be sensitive to cheese before a big endurance race. Their dishes are noodle and rice focused, with tons of fresh and tasty vegetables that make for the perfect night-before meal. They always have a table available, so check them out and get ready to crush Cap City this Saturday!
What places are we missing? Where will you carb load the final hours leading up to the race?
Columbus loves running (and so does Sweat Local!). The Columbus Marathon attracts some of the country’s elite runners, and the Cap City is one of the best half and quarter marathons around. This year, Runner’s World will be in Columbus to cover the Cap City Half Marathon, which will also host the USATF Half Marathon Championships. It’s kind of a big deal.
For those of you who are running (we are!), you will want to ensure you do everything you can to run your best and prevent injury. Aside from a quick stretch before the race, there are a ton of places around Columbus that will get your body ready for 13.1 miles. You’ve put in the miles, and now it’s time to get your body and mind in check before race day. Since you probably aren't running much at all this week, use this time to stretch get your body right. Below, we listed our top 5 places around Columbus you should consider checking out ahead of the Capital City Half Marathon on April 29th.
SOS SloFlo Class
SOS actually has a ton of great classes that will strengthen your core and major leg muscles that will help you with endurance racing. With SloFlo, you are taken through a 75 minute yoga class that is relaxing and challenging all at the same time. This is seriously one of the best stretches in the city. Check out either their Grandview or Dublin studio.
Barre classes are great for flexibility already, but throw in some heat and you have one heck of a workout! Melt has a lot of great classes, all heated (hello, MELT?), that will get you sweating and help with your mobility for the long run. What’s really cool is that your first class is free!
We blogged about this place a few weeks ago, and their pre-competition cocktail would be the perfect way to get all the essential vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants before the big race. Book your appointment soon and try to get in on that Friday to ensure you are performing at your best come race day!
PAI offers a great meditative yoga class that will allow you to get your body stretched out, but also get your mind in a good space so you can be focused, relaxed, and ready for the race. They have two locations in Dublin and Gahanna, and they offer different types of yoga classes for all levels. Classes begin at 5:30 a.m. and there are plenty of classes throughout the day to fit any schedule. PAI is also offering a free yoga class on Sunday for all Cap City runners at their Dublin location at 1pm! Grab your spot here: http://paiyogafitness.com/workshops-events.
Balanced Yoga Studios
Newly renovated and located in Clintonville, this yoga studio has everything for all types of Yogis out there. There are hot power yoga classes, and mindful “Baptiste” classes to clear out all the bad energy and find your focus. The classes are all taught by excellent instructors and the classes fly by. Check out our review of them here, and make sure you get in a class before the big race.
What are your plans the week before the big race?
Why Columbus' first Hydration Bar, Hydrate Me, will amplify your next workout and save your head from the hangover monster!
I’ll be honest: I had no idea what to expect when we walked into Hydrate Me, Columbus’ first Hydration IV bar. I had this idea that when we walked in on a Saturday, that half of the room would still be wearing last night’s hit-the-town outfit, and the other half would have an IV in one arm and a cocktail in their other hand. While you will probably see both of those people from time to time, the actual experience is something entirely different.
First of all, the space is done up beautifully with black, white, and gold, accented by pops of brown. The main space has TV’s on all walls, and enough couches and chairs to accommodate a group or get away from one, depending on why you’re there. Hydrate Me is staffed by Nurse Practitioners, ER Physician Assistants, ER Registered Nurses and Paramedics who all do this as a second job. When you sit down, you are guided through the whole Hydration process by one of the staff members, and after choosing the right “cocktail,” a nurse gets an IV going and you’re off! In addition to the IV concoctions, they also offer booster shots, IV add-ons, and VIP add-ons and private room experiences. They will also even come to you off-site which is perfect before a big event or a bachelor party!
Jim, our ER Physician/”Hydration Tour Guide” was really great about explaining everything that was involved with what was in each fluid bag. He then told us a story about a family member who had just gone through his last treatment of Chemo and had started using Hydrate Me to give him more energy and feel more like himself. This really opened our eyes to what Hydrate Me could be, which is more than just a hangover cure or performance enhancement tool. There is science and data that backs up what Hydrate Me does, and there isn’t a better way to get the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs than through their IV absorption.
We left and didn’t feel much different than we did going in. We decided to “test” the claims that getting an IV therapy before a big night of drinking would prevent a hangover, and had a few cocktails of our own that night. We can testify that we both felt amazing the next day, and we each had a big workout later than morning and our bodies felt and performed great.
Whether you are an athlete looking to perform or recover, a High Street All-Star looking to perform or recover, or you just need to feel like yourself again after being sick, Hydrate Me should be high on your list for places to go. They’re located on West Fifth Avenue in Grandview by Zauber Brewing.
ReForm Total Fitness has big plans for their Reynoldsburg location, which had it’s grand opening in January. ReForm doesn’t want to just be an ordinary training gym, although they do offer some familiar group-style classes like Yoga, Spinning, and TRX-style suspension training. But for those of you who need a little “extra spice” in your workouts, ReForm also has bootcamps and OCR (obstacle course racing) training classes that allow you to get in a great workout while doing things you wouldn’t ever do in traditional workout classes.
And those big plans we mentioned earlier revolve around creating an outdoor course for OCR enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys that kind of workout. Inside, ReForm already has a rig, which is like adult monkey bars with some grip-practice components thrown in, as well as some floating walls, tall ropes for climbing, and a heavy bag on a rope-and-pulley system you can work on your grip and strength. They have a four and six foot wall you see at races to practice technique, and well as multiple big tires for flipping. And that’s all INSIDE!
Outside, ReForm has plans to build a dozen or so more obstacles and create a ⅛ mile track that they’ll use in their classes and open gyms to allow you to train and practice for anything you might see on an obstacle course. The beauty is that you don’t HAVE to be training for a race to enjoy these obstacles and get a great workout. You’ll use everything from core and lower body strength to upper body and grip.
ReForm Total Fitness was one of the most unique places we have been able to get a sweat on in Columbus. Jeff, one of the owners, was great during the open gym we attended and gave us some advice on some movements we struggled with.
For anyone curious about obstacle course races, this place is a must-try, and they have great drop in rates and packages that make it easy to try. We want to go back and check the place out once the outside obstacles are built, but there is plenty to do inside in the meantime to get a great workout and have a blast doing it!
They also offer yoga, Spinning, suspension training, and bootcamp classes on a regular basis. Check out ReForm, located in Reynoldsburg!
When people talk about PAI Yoga & Fitness, they usually comment on the yoga program. While the yoga is fantastic and the center of what PAI is about, there is so much more to this little studio that now has two locations. PAI Yoga & Fitness opened up its Dublin location 7 years ago. They expanded to the other side of town about 2 years ago with a new studio off in the Gahanna/New Albany area.
One thing that makes PAI really unique is that they offer yoga, barre, TRX, and Spinning classes at both studios. Where most yoga-focused studios only focus on separate yoga offerings, PAI gives you an entire selection of class options all under one membership.
I've taken all of the classes that PAI has to offer, but TRX is to be one of my favorites. There aren't many TRX gyms around town, and PAI's does not disappoint. TRX is just suspension training--using straps that come down from an anchor point and your body weight, you get a total body workout that leaves you sore for the next few days.
The barre classes aren't like other studios around town. PAI uses the Barre-OM technique which is a fusion of traditional barre/pilates and yoga. I always underestimate the power of a barre class and end up getting an awesome workout that leaves my muscles super worked.
The Gahanna/New Albany location is definitely the star of the show between the two locations. It's huge and has three separate rooms for TRX/Barre, Spin, and yoga. It's located just off of Hamilton Rd between Morse an 161. But, the Dublin studio is still my personal favorite. It's smaller, but the owners have done well keeping all the equipment up to date. It feels nice in cozy especially during yoga. And the location is perfect just off of Sawmill next to Trader Joes.
Want to try PAI? Use promo code: TryPAI to get your first class free!
We're taking our March Sweat Sesh to PAI Gahanna/New Albany on March 25 from 4-6pm. Grab your spot here!