Featured Revolve Riders: The Carlin Twins

Sweat first, sweet potato fries after —  this weekly ritual keeps two sisters dedicated to their fitness. Meet Ilana and Samantha Carlin, twins who meet at Revolve NYC every week to keep each other committed to their healthy lifestyles.

IMG_20130420_124019_887Ilana (L) and Samantha (R) love meeting for sweat dates at Revolve!

Do you have twin workout styles, or are you different?

Ilana: I’m competitive and Samantha is more easy-going. I used to run track and cross country, and still occasionally run 5Ks, so when I exercise I’m always trying to beat someone else, or just myself! Samantha is into yoga and I’ve never been able to handle that!

Samantha: My workouts are “me time”– to refresh after work and reconnect with myself. I definitely don’t have Ilana’s competitive edge when I exercise. I’m balancing a full-time job, working on a writing career, and volunteering for a non-profit — exercising recharges my creative energy.

Who pushes the other?

Samantha: Ilana definitely pushes me as a role model. She’s so in shape and keeps to her workout schedule — even heading to the gym during her lunch hour at work — it’s inspiring!

Why does working out together motivate you?

When we lived together, we’d always see and expect each other at the gym after work. If one of us didn’t show up, we knew we’d be held accountable. Now that we live in separate neighborhoods, we don’t have that physical, in-your-face proof.

We miss the constant togetherness, so we meet at Revolve. We’re depending on each other to be there, and we never want to let each other down, so it adds a level of commitment to showing up for the workout.

Tell us about your post-workout ritual. Be honest, do you refuel with something healthy, or indulge a little? 

We always go out to dinner after class. Lately, we’ve been heading to Grey Dog on University Place for some simple and healthy post-ride options. The ride makes us feel so good that we just want to continue the healthiness!

We can’t resist the sweet potato fries, though — do you call that indulging? So, still in our workout gear, we’ll eat together, debrief the workout, talk about how much our legs hurt and chat about life.

Why does it help to workout with a friend in class that doesn’t let you talk to each other?

Ilana: Just knowing that she’s there, sharing the same experience, is enough to motivate me. After class, we talk about how we did and how we felt, and encourage each other to push harder next time if need be.

Samantha: And, with separate jobs and lives, at Revolve we get to know the same great people, the awesome teachers, listen to the same music…in New York, where we’re all so scattered pursuing our own things, indoor cycling together brings us to common ground, which usually feels nearly impossible to find in this city, even for twins!

How do you keep up with your workout dates together?

Ilana: We compare calendars on the weekends, and plan what day works for us. Since we’re both super committed (addicted?!) to exercising at Revolve together, we never skip out, unless one of us is out of town. No matter what, we will make it work! I’ll text her Monday at 8:25am: “RESERVE YOUR BIKE!”.

Samantha: I treat our workout dates like any other appointment I can’t break…if I get an invitation to something on an evening when I’m signed up for Revolve, or know that’s the one day that week we’ll be able to make it to class, I tell friends or colleagues that I have plans.

When Ilana isn’t at Revolve, you can catch her running loops around Central Park, reading, and trying new restaurants and bars with her friends. In between indoor cycling classes, Samantha mixes up her workouts with kickboxing and regular gym time; she also volunteers as a Writing Mentor with Girls Write Now.

Featured Revolve Riders: The Workout Wonks

“A pair of fitness geeks in our nation’s capital”, the Workout Wonks (otherwise known as Lexie and Kristine) have taken over the D.C fitness scene one workout at a time.  As co-workers and co-bloggers, Lexie and Kristine love to work and workout together.

Running StairsThe Wonks smiling through a freezing run in Meridian Hill Park

You two went from co-workers to co-bloggers. What prompted the creation of the Workout Wonks?

Workout Wonks came about very organically. We both enjoyed trying new workouts and just wanted an outlet to express ourselves. We expected our only readers to be co-workers, friends and family members.

Thanks to the awesome Washingtonian article “9 DC Fitness Bloggers to Read Now“, things have really taken off! We’re having a blast and love seeing the blog grow. A special shoutout goes to the readers as well as our favorite fitness studios (Revolve is at the top of the list!) that have encouraged us along the way.

How are your workout styles different?

We do very different things. Kristine is obsessed with indoor cycling and Lexie is a yoga fanatic, but we aren’t married to one location or activity. Kristine tests out indoor cycling classes all over the DMV, while Lexie just joined a gym and started working with a personal trainer.

Kristine uses workouts to relieve stress from her day job and help maintain a work-life balance. For Lexie, exercise is more about habit and journey. Starting with yoga and through teacher training, physical activity has now become an integral part of daily life.

Who pushes the other?

We act as each other’s pseudo-life coach. Pushing each other isn’t just about workouts. It’s also about encouraging healthy life choices, whether it’s walking to a meeting instead of taking a cab, or eating a salad for lunch rather than something less healthy.

Why does working out together motivate you?

It holds us accountable. It’s hard to skip a workout when you’ve made plans to meet someone there. There’s also a social aspect to exercising together. We chat and catch up before and after class, and have now found ourselves part of a great fitness community in DC.

Tell us about your post-workout ritual. Be honest, do you refuel with something healthy, or indulge a little?

Food and shopping. South Block in Clarendon has delicious smoothies as does Protein Bar in Ballston. We’re itching for the new location to open just around the corner from our office!

We’re usually sipping on a delicious, often green, smoothie as we stroll through shops. Unfortunately for fellow shoppers, we often don’t smell lovely, but working out makes you feel hot! And a new outfit never hurt.

How do you keep up with your workout dates together?

Because of our job, we’re always bouncing around town. Morning meetings and evening events often force us to work out as individuals. We plan in advance and make our fitness goals a priority. We’re big fans of calendar invites, and honor them as we would any other meeting.

For more Lexie and Kristine, follow them at @KristineinDC and @lexie1218 or follow their workouts on Facebook and Twitter!

7 Reasons to Workout with a Friend


You know why exercise is important, but do you know why it’s better to get your sweat on with friends? Check out seven reasons why working out with a buddy (or buddies!) is one of our favorite ways to rock the #revivalofthefittest.

  1. You train harder and longer

    We all get by with a little help from our friends. So why not workout together? A recent study shows that exercising with a friend helps you train harder, longer, and more regularly than exercising alone.

  2. Friendly competition does a body good

    A little friendly competition doesn’t hurt; in fact, working out with someone at a slightly higher fitness level can encourage you to work harder and constantly give yourself that extra push.

  3. Their success becomes your success

    Your workout buddy’s fitness accomplishments can also encourage you to achieve the same goals. Seeing someone you relate to achieve, and watching the process that gets them there makes it feel more possible for yourself.

  4. Limit the pain, get the high

    Working out releases endorphins, which intensifies when you work out with others. Research indicates that exercising with a friend elicits a “natural high”, making your workout seem easier and less painful. Bonding over burpees never sounded so good!

  5. Experiment with new workouts

    It’s easy to get stuck on auto-pilot when you workout alone because it can be intimidating to try something new. So set a date to try out a new class and invite a friend. Going with a friend makes the experience less scary, more comfortable and more fun.

  6. The workout you won’t cancel

    Once you set a workout date with a friend, it’s more difficult to cancel – who wants to be the flaky friend? Committing to exercise with a friend makes you more socially accountable to your health. Making a habit of hitting the gym together regularly eliminates the question “Should I or shouldn’t I work out today?”, which is where most people fail.

  7. Rituals and rewards

    Research suggests you’re more likely to adopt healthy habits if your friends are, too; you’re also more likely to make healthy choices if you build ritual and rewards around them. Make a habit out of weekend workouts and brunch and it could be the perfect ritual to enjoy with your friends.

Need more reasons to workout with friends? Bring a Friend or Tell a Friend from now through April 28 to earn Revolve Rider Rewards! Details below:


REVIVE Your Smoothie with These 7 Ingredients

Smoothies are one of our favorite go-to options for on-the go and post-workout meals. They’re delicious and quick to make, but it’s also easy to get into a rut with the same smoothie recipe every time. Tired of your standard frozen fruit and milk-of-your-choice smoothies? We’ve highlighted seven super ingredients that will revive your smoothies from boring to BOOSTING.


Photo credit: 1 | 2 | 3

  1. Chia seeds

    How it REVIVES: Yes, chia as in “ch-ch-ch-chia pet”. When added to liquid, chia seeds become gelatinous in texture. These tiny seeds aren’t just good for growing fun houseplants; they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fiber.

  2. Flaxseed

    How it REVIVES: Flaxseed is another good source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and gives smoothies a nutty flavor and texture. Ground flaxseed meal is the easiest to find in your local grocery store – just 1-2 tbsp of ground flaxseed meal gives you the recommended daily dosage.

  3. Almond butter

    How it REVIVES: Revolve NYC instructor Dyan Tsiumis loves putting almond butter in her smoothie. A good alternative to peanut butter, this ingredient provides a big dose of flavor and healthy fat to give your smoothie more staying power. We like Whole Foods freshly ground raw, unsalted almond butter.

  4. Kombucha

    How it REVIVES: This gut-healthy fermented tea contains probiotics, alkalizes your body’s pH levels, and detoxifies the liver. Try adding 1-1.5 cups to your smoothie instead of water or your choice of milk.

  5. Eggs

    How it REVIVES: No need to scramble, fry, poach or boil – raw eggs can be a valuable addition of protein and fat. Revolve DC instructor Grant Hill likes to add two organic raw eggs to his grass-fed whey protein and banana smoothie after intense workouts – “tastes like banana pudding!”

  6. Silken Tofu

    How it REVIVES: A good vegan and protein powder alternative, tofu gives your smoothie that extra protein boost. Make sure to use silken tofu for the best silky smooth, creamy texture.

  7. Green Produce

    How it REVIVES: Think spinach, kale, and even avocado. Throwing some greens into your smoothie is one of the easiest ways to get one of your recommended five to nine servings of vegetables a day. Baby spinach is hardly noticed flavor-wise, while kale can result in a more earthy, kale taste. Adding 1/2 an avocado thickens texture and the healthy fat will keep your hunger at bay.

What ingredients revive your smoothies? Share your tips in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!

Grant’s Two Cents on Good Eats

Ever wonder what the best breakfast option is to kick off your day?  And what about those snacks that really power you through until the next meal?  If these are questions that have crossed your mind, read on!  Grant is a powerhouse of knowledge on smart eating so we asked him to share some tips on breakfast and snack choices that are paramount.

Breakfast: One word. EGGS!  They keep you going for a long time as they are the most complete form of good fat and protein on the planet.  Your body simply loves them.  PERIOD.  Some people ditch the yolks opting for egg white omelets.  This is generally due to assumptions that the yolk results in high cholesterol.  Grant offers that you should not be trashing that precious yolk.  Cholesterol does not spike from the yolk rather it is an inflammatory response due to toxins, poisons, and an unhealthy Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio.  In sum, the yolk is not the bad guy!  Grant suggests local, pasteurized eggs which offer the highest contents of the “good stuff.”  There are plenty of fun way to take in eggs- hard boil them, pan fry them, scramble them, make a frittata, make an omelet.  Get creative and add various veggies, fresh herbs, low-fat cheeses and/or meats to make them as enjoyable as can be.

Snacks: Those windows of time between meals can be filled effectively with long, sustainable sources of energy AKA not carb-laden snacks.  If your meals are carb-packed, you will find yourself insatiable between meals.  This is because the intake of lots of carbs are like kindling a fire- they light up fast but the fire burns out quickly.  What does Grant suggest targeting (and avoiding) to achieve this long, sustainable energy? Here are some tips:

  • High-quality nuts and seeds like macadamia, almonds, and Brazilian nuts (Caution: Be moderate here.  A handful is just right!)
  • Home-made grass-fed beef jerky
  •  Veggie chips by Terra
  • Go easy on the fruit due to the sugar content
  • Avoid the “100 calorie” packs and opt for real food

Another idea is to consider NOT snacking at all.  Instead, fill yourself with nutrient dense meals to hold you over from one meal to the next.  Give your body the chance to naturally burn some of the stored energy (fat).  Even lean people have a reserve of about 20 pounds of fat.  Point being that you will not kick the bucket if you do not snack.  Snacking has become a mainstay because of the sugar roller coaster so many are riding these days.  Avoid the refined carbs and extra sugar and strive for real human meals packed with organic veggies and high-quality meat and not only will your energy soar on the reg, but you will be head towards the “fat optimized” zone where your body will USE rather than STORE both dietary and body fat.