If you’re looking for a great way to get your daily frustrations out while also getting a full-body workout in, make sure you take a class at Big Hit Studios. Their Sudbury St. studio in Toronto has been one of my favorites since the beginning of the new year.
Led by a brilliant team of trainers, including my personal favorite Karina Vottchal (she’s a badass lady that will get sweating and out breath in a few seconds!), their mix of kickboxing, crossboxing, powerboxing and coreboxing classes will make you stronger and get you toned. I like their classes because they’re a great mix of cardio and technique. Don’t be surprised if the trainers ask you to do a few burpees or push-ups, even with your gloves on!
If you don’t live in Toronto, fret not! Big Hit Studios also has an additional space located in Oakville. For more info on Big Hit Studios, go here.
Notes from the hairstylist:
Braids on braids
“A small twist on these boxer braids, instead of the usual two boxer braids, I decided to do six individual braids. I braided each one the length of Mel’s hair, and then took three on each side and braided those together, to make them look like two long individual braids.”
What I’m wearing: Nike Free TR 6 Women’s Training Shoe (get it here), Nike Pro Hypercool Limitless Women’s Training Capris (get it here), Nike Flow Graphic Women’s Training Tank (get it here), Nike Pro Fierce Women’s Sports Bra (get it here).
I had the pleasure of finally discovering MISFITSTUDIO after having heard great things about this place for the past couple of years. Located on West Queen West, this beautiful space divided into two different studios, is definitely unique to the city. The stained glass windows and antique details in the studio creates a very special and charming atmosphere.
They offer a mix of pilates, yoga and movement classes. Their MISFITMETHOD is “a mindfully created experience where strength and grace support each other, where you are guided to allow the body to flow and the mind to quiet. A wild physical journey full of connection, challenge and technique each class will leave you with a touch of magic.”
I had the chance to take one of their Reformer Pilates class with the lovely Michelle Jobin. This supermom teaches Wednesday mornings from 7-8 am in their cozy Pilates room. The studio offers a great variety of classes that are sure to get you moving and make you leave feeling inspired.
A lot of great things are coming the way of MISFITSTUDIO, so make sure you follow them online here to stay tuned.
Notes from the hairstylist:
Perfect Pilates Fishtail
“A french braid is so easy to do, and it’s a go to for all of my indoor workouts, but why not switch it up with a fishtail french braid. Would you believe it’s done with just two strands?”
Opened just a few months ago, Spokehaüs has without a doubt become one of my favorite places to sweat in the city. Located on Dan Leckie Way, this modern and cool cycle studio has built a great community of spin enthusiats in just a few months.
The classes and instructors always offer fresh and cool new playlists to ride along to. Not one class is the same but no matter what class you take, you always end up sweating your butt off. It’s probably one of the only places in the city that will get me up on a Saturday or Sunday morning just because of how great I feel once I leave the studio.
In addition to regular classes, the studio is doing more and more events. They had their first ever HIGHRIDE a few weeks ago, a special riding event with glow sticks, candy and serious beats. They’ll be doing these kinds of events once a month, so stay tuned for future HIGHRIDES!
The 45 minutes of riding will go by in a flash and will have you feeling great all day!
Great gear and a proper riding hairstyle are two musts for me when I ride. The last thing I want is hair in my face when I’m sweating profusely.
Notes from the hairstylist:
A Spinning Topknot
“Take your topknot to a new level. I added two dutch braids, tied Mel’s hair into a high ponytail and instead of leaving it loose, I put it into a topknot so that it wouldn’t be in her way while she’s giving it her all in class. Putting all of your hair up helps with not having so many knots, tangle, and keeps the frizz down too 😉 I also just wrapped the ends of her dutch braids around the topknot to make it look pretty. Why not have pretty hair while you workout?!”
What I’m wearing: Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Capris (get them here), Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Tank Top (get it here), Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes (get them here).
Last week, I had the pleasure to shoot with an incredible creative team on a new series I’ll be releasing on 3 consecutive days next week.
In preview of the summer, I’ll be sharing with you my 3 favorite workout classes in Toronto that you should absolutely check out. These are three completely different fitness studios and workouts that you can find in the city. Though I love to workout outdoors as much as possible, these classes are the exception to my rule.
I had the chance to team up again with photographerPam Lau and hairstylist Cabello by Carolina, who I had the pleasure of working with on last year’s 15k Hairspiration series that you can see here. The lovely Michelle Gardin also joined us for makeup.
I’ll be releasing the series on Monday May 23rd, but in the meantime, here’s a little behind the scenes preview of what we did.
Sharing with you today the last hairstyle inspiration for Sunday’s race. Can’t believe the big day is finally here! Hope you’ve enjoyed these hairstyle ideas, they were a lot of fun to shoot. A big thank you to Aylin and Pam for making the shoot possible and to the Nike team. Please tag and share your hairstyles if you decide to try one for race day – #15khairspiration!
So excited to be representing Toronto in this weekend’s race. So proud of all the women in the city and those coming from around the world who chose to run the 15k. See you all at the finish line!! 😀
Notes from the hairstylist: “I can’t believe how quickly time flies! Thank you Mel for sharing these looks and for allowing me to share my thoughts and inspiration, it’s been a really fun week sharing with everyone my different go to looks. I saved one of my favorite hairstyles for last, the fishtail braid!
Fishtail braid has a very unique look and it is the most easiest of all braids to learn. You can wear the fishtail braid so many different ways, with Mel’s hair I decided to put it up in a ponytail and then added the braid. It’s great this way for when you are running, on a sunny day just add your hat and your hair will still look cute while you run.
Race day is Sunday! I am looking forward to seeing what hairstyles you have come up with! Tag us in your pictures and make sure to use the #15kHairspiration! Good luck to every runner! Finish strong my friends. And see you at the finish line! xo”
I’m particularly fond of how this look turned out! I love the mix of braids and a ponytail together. I’m definitely considering having this look on race day, which is coming up in just under 3 days. Are you ready?! 😀
Notes from the hairstylist: “At some point or another we all like to get a fresh look, and decide to get bangs. I am growing out my bangs at the moment so another of my go to looks is braiding it to the side, and then throwing my hair up into a bun, or ponytail.
This look is so easy to recreate and use with ANY length of hair. If you are in the process of wanting to grow your bangs out but they are getting in the way, I really think this is a good look to use.”
Today’s look is perfect for after Sunday’s race. Stretching after the 15k will be super important! After all the training and all the effort you’ll have put in over the weekend, your body will thank you for a good stretch!
Notes from the hairstylist: “A lot of my friends ask me to teach them how to braid their own hair, it’s not easy braiding your own hair, it takes a lot of practice.
Some of us might want a different look, that’s really easy to do. So the ‘Braided’ Twist is one of my favorites to teach. It’s a good start to learning how to braid.
It works really well if you have bangs and don’t like them on your forehead while you run or workout. Or if you’re growing your bangs out this works really well to keep them out of the way.
1. Section the your hair so you have a side part, closer to the front of your head.
2. Twist, twist, twist, until your bangs are out of the way, and secure with a bobby pin.
3. You can leave your hair down or tie it all up and create a lower bun.”
I’m super stoked on today’s hairstyle! Never in my life have I had the opportunity to sport these rad braids before. I’ve always seen them in movies or in editorials but this is the first time someone has done these for me. These braids are definitely a new favorite of mine!
Notes from the hairstylist: “Inspiration: Female athletes
Growing up in a home will only brothers, we watched a lot of sports where it was mainly male athletes. When I saw that there were female athletes I was inspired by the fact that they made it to a professional level. I also admired that they also had really pretty hair styles. Especially braids. I was taught at an early age how to braid, so I am always trying new ways to braid my hair or someone’s hair. You’ll most likely always find my hair up with a braid in it one way or another.
The ‘Boxer Braids’ can be worn a few different ways, two long French braids attached at the bottom, like I did for Mel’s hair. 2nd look is just make a lower bun, 3rd is wear them like two long French braids, and lastly you can start with the two French braids, stop half way and wear as a ponytail.”
On to look number 3! Today’s hairstyle idea is something I often do when working out, it’s great if you have long and thick hair like I do!
Notes from the hairstylist: “The side braid is another ‘go to’ hairstyle for me. It’s easy and quick to do. It works best on medium to longer length hair, easy to pull off. There are other variations of the side braid for short hair as well.
During race day you can rock this look, just add a hat to keep the hot sun out of your face and your hair still looks good while you race!”