Fitness // January 12, 2015

Once the new year begins, usually the first thing on people’s minds are to make New Year's Resolutions. Maybe you’re making resolutions to spruce up your home or declutter your personal life, but more than likely there’s a resolution in there about fitness. People everywhere are pledging to do a little bit more with their workouts – go on a hike, buy a yoga mat, maybe even visit that fabled land they’d heard of where people put on spandex and run on hamster wheels. You know… the gym. Normally, the resolution involves the same old tricks and tactics that might pump you up for a few weeks but don’t genuinely fit your lifestyle, and eventually are as much a memory as the New Year’s confetti.

Instead of just adding a new (but doomed) routine to the mix what would you say if I told you I had discovered a whole new way to work out? Recently, I tried a game changing fitness system called IOBELLA. IOBELLA is a 30 minute workout in a heated pod followed by a relaxing spa treatment. Tucked away amid the shops and stores of Santa Monica, the new, luxurious Iobella day spa and exercise studio isn’t easy to spot. A pretty name and location, the spa boasts futuristic fitness pods (which look like something out of a SyFi movie I know, but we’ll get to that later), a welcoming environment and a warm sense of community.

IOBELLA is owned by December’s Made Woman of the Month, Roxana Lissa, who invited me to try it out after I had interviewed her. Roxanna says she discovered the 50 year old fitness method after traveling home to Argentina. “IOBELLA – means I’m beautiful in Spanish. I was in Argentina and I tried it and I loved it… The whole idea is to tone and to lose inches. The whole concept is to really shape your body.” I was excited to try the work out. A cross between Bikram yoga and Pilates, it seemed so intense, but I wanted to try it out - I had to see what media outlets like Shape, Marie Claire and E! News had all been raving about.

When I arrived at the spa, I changed into my workout clothes in their fancy locker room. It felt like I was about to get a high-end spa treatment rather than get an intense workout. After check-in, I was offered cucumber water and led into the room that housed the huge IOBELLA pods. Let me tell you, those things are intimidating at first. It looked like they were going to beam me up rather that work me out - but I was determined. I climbed up into the pod, heated to a warm 98 degrees, and another girl climbed into one beside me. Our trainer wasted no time jumping right into our warm up.

What I liked about the workout was that it used resistance and isolation to really hit those hard-to-reach-but-in-desperate-need-of-toning areas. My biceps, glutes and calf muscles were all burning in the days after my work out. The tight space of the pod meant that the workout couldn’t be too high intensity, but the smooth, defined movements I could do still made me feel the burn. A note about the pod: it is a small space. If you get claustrophobic, the Iobella method is for sure not for you. Small space and all, I found it to be effective. I really appreciated having the personal trainer right there next to me to help me get the exercises right since this was my first time.

When the 30 minute workout was over, we showered using a special detox body wash to open our pores and then were lead to the O3 lounge for our 15 minute skin renewal session. They use “triple oxygen” to detoxify, hydrate skin and diminish the appearance of cellulite. We relaxed in the small, heated cabins with headphones on our ears and cucumbers on our eyes. The experience left me feeling refreshed, clean and relaxed; and let me just say, I’ve never left LA Fitness feeling that way. (No shade.)

The IOBELLA experience is not cheap but if you have the funds it is a new, exciting way to invest in your body and your state of mind. More than a simple workout the folks at IOBELLA will help you track your progress toward a healthier you. Owner Roxana says, “We give you a whole plan. We take your measurements every six sessions. So there is a follow up and there is tracking of your body, of your weight and how you are doing, are you losing weight, how are your eating habits? We really hold your hand in this process.”

Intended for all women, there is even a “Bella After Baby” package for you Made Mommy’s out there! To get more info about IOBELLA visit!

Published in Health