Local Experience: Gold’s Gym

rachelb

Rachel Brandenburg has her own intro below but I wanted to make sure I included mine for her as well. If I’m going to try a diet or workout regime, I typically will always ask Rachel what she thinks because 9 times out of 10 she has done/researched it. You can typically find her traveling with her very crafty husband Matt (a local business owner who makes things out of wood at @upstaterepurposed), doing outdoorsy things in/around Greenville or taking pictures of her cute dog. It’s unfortunate that on a blog you can’t hear Rachel laugh, because she has the best one I’ve ever heard.
She probably should start a podcast. In the meantime, you can follow her here at @rachelbrandenburg_fit.
-Courtney

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Hi guys! I know most of you reading this don’t know me, so I thought I would introduce myself and let you know about my health journey so far before jumping into my first review. I’m so excited! My name is Rachel Brandenburg, obligatory self-promotion @rachelbrandenburg_fit, and I am passionate about being healthy. That’s right, I’m not passionate about six-pack abs and macro counting. I’m passionate about being strong, healthy and happy in my skin and I want everyone else to be able to have that, too!

This may sound weird as there seems to be two categories of “health” people out there- the elite fit and the love yourselfers. Well, my mindset is very much in between those two places. I was very active through high school and college, so I never really had to think about what was being put in my mouth or if I exercised that day. After college, I married my super cool, talented husband, who still has the metabolism of a growing, teenage guy somehow and I quickly found out that I do not. That was not fun. I put on weight. I felt bad about myself. I felt lethargic. All those glorious things.

So, I started to try EVERYTHING. Seriously. It’s still a joke among my friends how many fitness scams I fell for. After the diet pills, teas, shrink wraps, and whatever else didn’t work, I tried this crazy new idea called eating healthy and exercise! It has changed my life. I’m still a work in progress and have goals for my bod’s strength, looks, and general athletic performance, but I’ve learned so much about figuring out what works for yourself and not falling into the trap of just trying what is currently being shoved down your throat by marketers! I want to share that with you all by doing the work of trying these places out for you so that you can make an educated decision on where you want to try out and join. Your time is precious right?! Leave it to the crazy girl who loves trying new gyms to do the leg work for ya!

I see that a handful of the reviews on the blog are for specialized gyms- which I love- but I thought I would start out with something more traditional for all those that don’t want to spend half their paycheck on a gym membership! Here we go!

WHAT:

Gold’s Gym

This is really your traditional gym structure. There is a cardio equipment section, resistance machine section, and a free weights section.

WHERE:

There are several locations, but I visited the location on South Pleasantburg Drive across from Home Depot.

1332 S. Pleasantburg Dr. Greenville, SC 29605

COST:

One visit free pass

$39.99/month with a 90 day contract and month to month payments after that.

There are more expensive membership packages available as well, but this one really has everything you need.

THE PERKS:

This place really does have a bunch to offer.

  • They have childcare! Kids Club is open Monday-Friday 8 am- 1 pm and 3 pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-3pm, and Sunday 1pm-4pm.
  • There is an indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub available.
  • If you don’t like working out by yourself all the time, they have lots of classes available. Everything from barre to yoga to boot camp to sculpt! There are more specialized classes that only come with the more expensive membership packages as well.
  • They keep the entry area stocked full of healthy snacks, drinks, and a smoothie bar. I know other places have this as well, but I was truly impressed with their selection.
  • The locker room is extremely clean and spacious. Taking a shower and getting ready for your day after hitting the gym would not be a problem here.
  • The selection of dumbbells, racks, resistance bands, kettlebells, etc. was great. I was also very impressed by the wide range of equipment available- TRX, wall balls, kettlebells, an actual power rack!
  • Lastly, when you use your free pass, they don’t prey on you like hungry lions trying to get you to join! This was an awesome change of pace for me. They are more than happy to answer your questions and sign you up if you would like, but they won’t blow up your phone every hour for the next six months trying to get your money.

THINGS OF NOTE:

  • I tend to enjoy high intensity workouts which is not the general feel of the free weights section. It is very much your typical gym environment where everyone stares at themselves in the mirror while doing slow, calculated reps. Which is totally cool! Just depends on what you like.
  • There are personal trainers available if you would like to use them. I did see a couple working with people. Generally, the trainers that I’ve seen at national gyms like this don’t seem to put a ton of effort into their clients. I would recommend getting workouts elsewhere rather than paying extra for a trainer here.

PRO TIP:

  • They do offer week long passes on occasion. When you go in to use your free pass, ask if you can do a week! If nothing else, you may get a few extra day passes!

Check out their full website and locations here:

https://www.goldsgym.com/

Seedlings @ TCM

Last weekend we had a chance to check out the new Seedlings restaurant (owned by Farm Fresh Fast) in the basement of The Children’s Museum. AND we were able to hang out for the “Microgreen Tasting” with Upstate Greens. (Somehow they had my child eating pea shoots like they were candy!) The Seedlings programs happen once per month and you can find upcoming programs on the museum’s website (linked above). Loving that this farm to table, organic option is now available and that the programs help teach kids about eating healthy and where their food is coming from!

Big thanks to TCM and Seedlings for having us out!

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Local Experience: Burn Bootcamp

Lindsey Breitwieser: NY transplant, Cyclebar instructor and sweat enthusiast. Checking out all of the health and wellness options that Greenville has to offer. @getfitgvl
What:
Burn Bootcamp has, as it’s name would imply, bootcamp style group workouts. All bootcamps are group sessions and circuit style, meaning you will be switching up your moves throughout the 45 minutes. It all takes place in a fun, energetic atmosphere.
Where:There are two locations in Greenville, however I believe they are independently owned franchises. I attended class at the Five Forks location.

Five Forks, SC

1618 Woodruff Rd

Greenville, SC

Suite B101, 215 Pelham Rd
Cost:
14 day free trial
6-18 month packages available $115-$145 per month for unlimited bootcamps!
Why You’ll Love It:
  • Free childcare — I repeat, free childcare!
  • The workouts are a great length. 45 minutes felt like the perfect amount of time to get a great workout in and get on with my day.
  • If you feel like your workout is getting a bit stale they definitely have some unique moves that will ensure you don’t get bored.
What To Expect:
The first thing I noticed when I walked in to Burn was how large the space felt. There is a large workout floor where the bootcamp takes place that has some padding and give, a separate check in area, and then the child care room.
I got myself checked in dropped my bag in a cubby and hit the floor. There was no slow stretching or casual warming up, the instructor had us begin with some high energy dynamic moves and then we were launching right into the workout. The moves for the day were written out on a whiteboard and the instructor demonstrated each move before divvying us into groups. This happened rather quickly so if it’s your first time don’t be discouraged if you get a little lost. For this particular workout there were 10 stations and I loved the unique combination of moves. I go to a lot of studios and there were moves I had never tried before with TRX straps and resistance bands so it made it fun and definitely unique.
With 10 stations it did feel like it was a little difficult for the instructor to keep their eye on everyone, but they were definitely coming around as able. Everyone also seemed to be doing their own thing, which made it a little hard to know where I was supposed to be intensity wise. For example, some clients were bursting out fast reps and then resting and others were going at a slower steadier pace.
Overall it was fun and there was a very encouraging environment. If you’re looking for something that will definitely challenge you, introduce you to some new fun workout moves, and you want to hang with some fun people definitely check this place out!

Pro Tip:

*They offer free bootcamps ever Saturday at 9:30 am
* They offer a 14 day free trial, which is by far the longest one I’ve experienced. Take advantage.
* They are very female centric – the bootcamps in the morning are women only with co-ed camps later in the day.
Check out their full site here.

Local Love: Milk & Honey Market

One of my favorite things about running The Local Greenville is when local people and businesses take the time to reach out to tell me about what they are doing. An event, a fundraiser, a meet-up group, an opening or a new business just getting off the ground. It is so hard to keep up with everything that is going on in Greenville as this little city continues to grow–I need all the help I can get staying up-to-date!

So I was really excited to hear from Taylor, owner of Milk & Honey Market because (1) It’s locally-owned (2) everything they sell are fair trade items and (3) all of their jewelry is really pretty.

Taylor’s backstory on Milk & Honey is up on their site, but I wanted to share my favorite excerpt about why buying fair trade is a big deal:

I discovered there were many brands that were producing beautiful
handmade items. They all had incredible missions, stories, and were
empowering women, the artisans, across the globe in impoverished
areas through providing sustainable & consistent jobs, fair wages,
and safe working conditions…Because of these brands, and the
growing demand for fair trade fashion, less and less women will be
trapped in the cycle of human trafficking.  While learning this, I
also discovered there were a lack of platforms that connected these
incredible brands, lines, and stories together. Fast forward a few
months later and a move to South Carolina- the store was born.

Right now Milk & Honey is offering The Local Greenville followers 15% off your entire purchase. Just use the code localgreenville15 at check out! #supportlocal #buyfairtrade

–Courtney

A couple of my personal favorites, the Vivian Necklace and 
Awaken Bracelet are pictured above.

Local Experience: Fit Body Bootcamp

LINDSEY BREITWIESER: NY TRANSPLANT, CYCLEBAR INSTRUCTOR AND SWEAT ENTHUSIAST. CHECKING OUT ALL OF THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS OPTIONS THAT GREENVILLE HAS TO OFFER. @GETFITGVL
What:
Fit Body Bootcamp
Fit Body Bootcamp dubs itself as “group personal training” but I think of it more like a class. Each class consists of a 30 minute HIIT circuit that is lead by an instructor where the moves and equipment will vary each time.

Where:
Fit Body Bootcamp is located just off of Lauren’s Road in the same shopping center as The Fresh Market (bonus points for being able to grab some healthy food without even having to get into the car).

27 S Pleasantburg Dr Suite 150
Greenville, SC, 29607

Cost:
1 week free trial
21 day package $67
12 mo package $127/month
Month to month membership for $157/month

Why You’ll Love It:
• There is an un-intimidating feel at the location, every fitness level will feel right at home.
• There is a good variety of equipment so the workouts can vary a lot.
• It’s FAST! Being done with your workout in 30 minutes is quick.

What To Expect:
Fit Body Bootcamp has an open layout so when you arrive you walk in to the main workout area. The overall feel is very welcoming — the decor and color scheme is a friendly red, white, and blue.

There were about 6 of us in the class I took and we all spread out on the padded floor. The floor had a bit of give to it, which was a nice change especially when we began to do jumping moves. Once the workout began the instructor set a fast pace, which made sense when I thought about the fact that we only had 30 minutes. For me, I would prefer to workout a bit longer (I enjoy closer to an hour class) with a little more attention on slowing down the moves and form, but I was sweating and got my heart rate up.

This seems like a great place for all ages, there were definitely young and old participants, but it seems a little friendlier to an older demographic than some other studios I’ve been to. Overall it seemed like a great place to get your heart rate up and get a quick sweat in, I would definitely consider it is if you’re just starting out or are limited on time. Pro Tip *Grab all of your equipment and multiple sets of weights at once. Since the workout is so fast paced you don’t have time to go back and forth a lot without missing a few moves.

Pro Tip:
*Ask about their challenges, they have full-blown meal plans and incentive based challenges that can really enhance your routine.
Check out their full site here: https://www.fitbodybootcamp.com

 

Local Love: Compost House

I have been spending more time in Spartanburg lately and had the chance to meet Leslie Rodgers, the Education Director and Compost House Coordinator. We spent well over an hour sitting at The Crepe Factory downtown talking (mostly) trash. And it was awesome.

Compost House is a part of Atlas Organics, which is a local company that handles the commercial collection of food waste. (Did you know some of your favorite local spots like Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery use them and compost their waste?) Compost House is the residential component of Atlas.

There are two different ways you can compost with Compost House. They offer a door-step collection, with weekly or bi-weekly options starting at $16 per month. Or you can take your 5 gallon compost bucket to one of their many drop-off locations once a week for $14/month. What is really cool is that once a month you get 10 gallons of super nutrient rich finished compost to use in your garden (or gift to a friend who gardens) once a month!

So I live in Travelers Rest and am married to a hippie who is very green. Let’s just say we already have a serious composting operation going on. When Leslie offered me a free month of the door-step service it didn’t make sense for me in particular, but then entered Hazel.

This is Hazel the puppy.

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Hazel lives in a one bedroom apartment in downtown Greenville with her owner, who was a complete newbie to all things composting. I was curious to see how composting and the pick-up itself would go over in an apartment with secure access, that had limited space and with Hazel, who has a track record for tearing apart all kinds of inanimate objects. (But is really cute, so it’s okay.) 

A few weeks into the service and Hazel’s owner reported back that the entire system is extremely easy. The Do’s and Don’ts of what to put in the buckets are clearly labeled on the outside. One of them fits easily under the sink. It doesn’t smell. Pick up has been effortless. And the big one–Hazel has not gotten into the buckets or even been mildly interested in them.

If composting is still a little scary, go read the great reviews over at Greenville360 and Kidding Around Greenville. Then go be a greener person and support local by signing up!

— Courtney

Local Experience: Upstate Performance Project

LINDSEY BREITWIESER: NY TRANSPLANT, CYCLEBAR INSTRUCTOR AND SWEAT ENTHUSIAST. CHECKING OUT ALL OF THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS OPTIONS THAT GREENVILLE HAS TO OFFER. @GETFITGVL
What:
Upstate Performance Project – If I had to sum up Upstate Performance Project in one phrase I would use the term “functional fitness.” It’s both an open gym and training center so the exact workouts you do can be customized. The space has everything from barbells to a rope climb and offers personal training, group training, and yoga.
Where:

Upstate Performance Project is right on main street near Fluor Field. 98 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601

Cost:
$10 Drop In
$30 Open Gym Membership
$60 Personal Training Session (packages available)

Why You’ll Love It:
• If you know your way around equipment you can’t beat this no nonsense atmosphere.
• The location! It’s on main street but down far enough that parking isn’t a problem.
• The trainers have some serious knowledge. If you’re looking to get smart about training, learn !

more about nutrition, and build a solid workout foundation this place is impressive. What To Expect:When I first walked in the overall athletic feel struck me. It felt more like I was walking into a training center than a “gym” and I think that’s intentional. There’s turf on the ground, recovery tubs, and an open floor plan so you can see all of the equipment throughout the space. I immediately noticed the sled, but more on that later. During my first visit I met with co-owners Pete and Chelsi for an evaluation. If you plan to use this space as an open gym, you won’t need to be evaluated, but if you have some serious goals they use the evaluation to lay out a plan and set some realistic expectations.

After my initial evaluation I went back for a full training session with Chelsi. We trained for about 1-1.5 hours and it was awesome. By the end of the session simple body weight exercises like pulling up on TRX straps had me shaking. Unlike other places that live and breathe by the clock this felt like it was all about making sure I was trained effectively. As long as we both had the time and stamina we were going to go for it.

The best thing they do here is educate you. Every move was not only explained but Pete and Chelsi took the time to explain why it was important, which muscle I should be engaging, and how I could correct my form if needed. The more they explained the more it began to click that there really wasn’t any point in going fast and being sloppy, but rather honing in on my movement and getting the most out of my effort and time. After an earth shattering session I asked to do the sled, because honestly it’s rad, and after two laps I wished I hadn’t asked at all ;).

Pro Tip:
*Ask to do the sled 🙂
*There is often a dog at the studio. I LOVE dogs so this made my workout even better, but if you’re allergic or that is a concern for you, you may want call ahead and see if the pup will be there.
*They are a drop off for a healthy meal prep business, Nutrition Solutions, so you can grab a healthy meal right at the gym too.

Check out their full site here: https://upstateperformanceproject.com/

Local Scene: Escape From New York – February Freeze Tour

If you’re in need of something to break up the February weekday drag, add this to your calendar. The Escape From New York Comedy Tour is headed to Greenville on Tuesday the 20th. They are performing at Coffee Underground (great little venue).

When Ryan Brown reached out to let me know they were coming to our little corner of the world, I asked “Why Greenville”? Ryan actually has a unique connection to Greenville. Shortly after arriving in NYC, he landed a job as a writer at Greenville-based advertising agency, EP + Co. “That’s what put Greenville on my radar. I traveled there for work a few times and I expected it to be this sleepy little town but it actually had this very unique energy that I wasn’t expecting and I loved it. When we were booking this tour I knew right away that we should do a show there.”

Ryan, Eric and Ron are all based in NYC and while they of course love performing in the city that never sleeps, they also love taking their act on the road to smaller towns and cities. Thus the name “Escape From New York”. Their first tour was in July 2017 and they hit 4 cities in 4 nights. It was a huge success, so they decided to do it again but a little bigger this time.

Doors open at 7 with the show at 8. The pre-sale tickets are just $8 and you can get them here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/escape-from-new-york-comedy-tour-at-coffee-underground-tickets-42241327949

Local Experience: The Warehouse Theatre

I have been meaning to write about The Warehouse Theatre ever since we were blown away by their production of “Clyborne Park” back in the fall. If you’re looking for something a little different to do on a night out downtown, I would add Warehouse Theatre to your list.

As they say about themselves on their website, Warehouse Theatre doesn’t shy away from challenging topics and they aren’t afraid to push the envelope. All of which I can say has been true of the shows I’ve been able to see, which have made for good theater and have sparked some interesting conversations after the show is done. The theatre itself is intimate (a converted textile warehouse) and located in the heart of the West End downtown. So go get those reservations at Husk and then walk down for a 7:30 show!

“A Moon For The Misbegotten” is playing now until February 10th, after which is coming the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Flick” starting March 9th that I’m really looking forward to seeing. If you’re in the Young Professionals crowd, make sure to check the dates for YP Night–$10 off the price of your ticket and a free drink/light hors d’oeuvres.

Find out more about supporting local theater, the current season and more of the awesome stuff Warehouse Theatre does here.

–Courtney

Local Experience: Lash Extensions at Organic Tan Face & Body

Lash extensions frightened me.

But I was still intrigued because hey, I am a female and lashes are having a bigger moment than usual right now.

I see ladies with extensions that look so good it makes you wonder if they just have really good genes or have discovered the mother of all mascaras.

Then I see ladies that look like they have tarantula legs trying to attack their faces.

I hear rumors that they will ruin your real lashes (untrue if cared for properly) or make your real lashes fall out (same as above).

So right before the holidays I paid a visit to Organic Tan Face & Body to watch a session in person. The owner, Lindsey, is a very cool chick (you can follow her here) and I remember going to see her several years ago when she was working out of the upstairs of a house on McBee Avenue and perfecting her art of the “organic tan”. Since then, she has continued to grow her business to a spot right on Haywood Road and is just a major girl boss to admire. She even published a book  recently.

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I started getting tired ten minutes into the process, which can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours. So I can only imagine how our lash model felt. You literally just lay there and relax, which is extremely enticing to me. There are a variety of different lash looks you can go for at Organic Tan, however today our model was looking for something that still looked natural and not over the top.

90 minutes later….

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They turned out absolutely perfect and will last about 2-3 weeks. At that point, if you want to keep them up, you just schedule a fill-in appointment. The Organic Tan team also understands a busy schedule and offers online booking to make an appointment even at the last-minute.

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These babies are for sure an investment for those who want to keep the look going for longer than just a special event or photos. The initial extensions can run anywhere from $150-$230 and fill ins from $60-$100. Which is why they offer memberships and packages for frequent lashers. And if extensions aren’t your thing, they offer a Lash Lift option and also sell an eyelash growth serum.

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Go support a great locally owned business and check out Organic Tan if you are looking for not only lash services but also tanning, massage, make-up, waxing, nails or esthetic services.

— Courtney