Who needs to join a gym when you can work out for free?

Living in place where you are required to squeeze into a little bikini year round, there are a number of gyms to keep you in that perfect ‘CaRIOca shape”. As you have seen Body Tech is one of the nicer gyms in Leblon, and thanks to a fab corporate discount I am still enjoying my membership:) For those that don’t have access to corp rates…. besides taking long walks on the beach, there are a few other options for you to choose from.

Option 1: Get a bike (I got one too!) Not only does having a bike in Rio make it easier to get around, it is also a great work out! Check out the bike road- yes unlike NYC (sorry to bash, but I truly hate how they have set up the bike lane), as you can see it is its own separate bike area, away from cars and people.  Makes things MUCH safer for everyone.

Option 2:After running, walking or biking down the beach, stop at one of the ‘outdoor gymnasium’ overlooking the ocean!  Pull ups, sit ups, dips and more, you will always see someone working out on one of these exercise stations located all along the beaches.

Option 3: There is a park 2 blocks from my apartment that has been full of kids since I arrived so naturally I assumed it was a kids park… WRONG! To my surprise I discovered that it is really a ‘make-shift gym’.  As you can see there are elliptical’s, and other various ‘machines’ you might see at your gym.

While walking through I saw a mother and daughter on the elliptical… The mother was yelling at her daughter ‘don’t you want to fit into your birthday dress!!!’ hmm sound familiar…

As you can see, lots of different ways for people to stay in shape in Rio

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Saving the World One Kilo at a Time!

Going to the gym here is truly an eye opening experience….. You will see everything from head to toe matching ensembles, to bikini looking tops and mini spandex shorts… basically a bunch of women dressed like super hero’s and yes all of them wearing their knee socks rolled all the way up ( I have asked the 2 English speaking trainers about this and even though they are dressed this way too, don’t have a real answer for me besides “Brazilians like to show off their bodies”).

As you can imagine, like a typical American wearing a ‘beater’ and shorts I look like a homeless person next to these trendy ladies.  So, my future mother in law was kind enough to pick me up a little something so that I would ‘fit in’ at my gym: 

Shocking I know! All I need is a cape and I have my Halloween costume ready;) Can you imagine wearing just this into NYSC or NYHRC?! They would probably make me go put on a t-shirt! The funny thing is that this particular sports bra/ top (since people don’t wear anything over it) is actually the most popular ‘look’ at Body Tech! Morphing into a Carioca already, just need a bigger ‘bunda’ to really fit in!

Body Tech… Can YOU Feel the Burn?!

For those of you who don’t know me I am sort of a ‘gym rat’ (sort of is a bit of an understatement, as I gym 5 days a week @5am for 2 hours like a crazy person) so as you can imagine I appreciate a nice gym.  Naturally, when moving to Brazil- the land where you are in a bathing suit 90% of the time, it was important to sign up for for a gym membership immediately.  

Body Tech is one of the more popular gyms in my area (there are 2 a block away from each other), however one is MUCH larger and nicer than the other— here is your grand tour of the bigger one.  Warning: one cannot just enter the gym or even let a friend use their ‘pass’.  There is a very high tech membership security system in place — no passes, key cards, or swipes.. In order to gain access, you have to get finger printed when you register and enter using your thumb!

There is a pool on the first floor, a snack bar on the second… we are starting on the third- Cardio zone

As you can see from the pic there are lots of ellipticals, treadmills, bikes and one stepper. There is also a smaller weight section on this floor.  Moving on to the 4th floor- weights/ core machines.  Lots of leg & butt work stations for the women to build up their ‘bunda’s! One thing I have noticed that is very different about the gyms here compared to that of NYC are the trainers…Yes they come over and talk to you just like in the city, however they are not aggressively trying to get you to start private training with them; instead they are checking in to make sure you are ok (if you need a water etc) its pretty impressive.  Additionally if you are stretching, one of the trainers will come over to you and offer to help you stretch. They do it in a very pleasant way and if you don’t want to be bothered (or in my case have no idea what they are saying since I am still lacking in the Portuguese department) just give a ‘thumbs up’ and you are good to go!

Up to level 5: Studios. There are 2 studios which each have a variety of classes including: Dance Mix, Muay Thai, Pilates, Fit Ball, Yoga, Samba Fit, Jump (using mini trampolines- totally trying that one!) and of course the regular core/strength etc.  There is also a spinning room and a ‘running room’ on this floor.Yes you read correctly, it is a room full of treadmills with an instructor coaching you along as you run…. I was amused so asked the trainer if it was really popluar.. the response.. YES apparently Brazilians need that ‘extra push of encouragement and additional positive reinforcement’(FYI- this mentality is not just int he gym).

Now on to the 6th and final amazing floor……the “Spa”.. You can actually see people in the pool from level 5 which is pretty cool.Besides the beautiful and refreshing pool there are a number of other great amenities: 2 extremely hot soaking tubs a jacuzzi, steam room and ‘rain’ shower.  What a wonderful way to end a long work out!

With all the amazing food,  Carioca’s need a place like this to work it off!