One writer discovered what that meant for her fitness schedule to be written in the stars.
Photo: Luciano Lozano
You've seen the grabby headlines before—calling out the best workout for your zodiac sign and even the clothes you should wear to those workouts. But have you ever actually scheduled your sweat session according to the stars and planets? Curious about whether it could benefit my routine, I committed to leaving my workout decisions in the hands of an astrologer for a week.
So I called Lisa Greenfield, gave her my birth date, time, and city where I was born, and let her map my signs. She primarily focused on my moon sign, which she says drives me to choose one thing over another; my action planet, which affects how I do something; and my sun sign, which impacts how all the different elements come together for me.
Greenfield explains that my moon sign, Leo, is a major player in my inclination toward disciplined, structured workouts—and really, just organization in general. (Hello, Type A.) It's also why I take pride in doing difficult workouts, especially ones that give me concrete results. Case in point: Running a marathon, at least once, where there's a clock to tell me just how well I did.
My action planet is Mars, though, and that pulls me toward the instructor, says Greenfield. "You're completely influenced by who is leading the exercise, whether it's a one-on-one personal trainer or a group fitness instructor," she says. "Whoever it is, you're either completely inspired or totally deflated based on who's leading it."
Lastly, Scorpio is my sun sign, and apparently, it's a big reason why I like to tie together philanthropy and fitness. "You have a really genuine humanitarian chart, and you're here for the greater good," she says. "And it's okay to take pride in that. You feel most understood when people support your goals of giving back."
With all of this astrology insight in mind, Greenfield outlined five days of workouts for me. The criteria: Each one had to fit with one of my sign's desires, and the last one had to fit all three. Then, I could truly evaluate what served me best—or whether it was all a total crock.
Workout 1: Boot Camp
When Greenfield told me my moon sign was responsible for my inclination toward harder workouts, I wasn't all that surprised. I've always enjoyed routines where I really sweat, so I decided to start the experiment with what I know works well—boot camp. Ripped Fitness, a boutique studio in New York City, sounded like a solid fit.
The class operates in circuits, with half the participants running intervals on the treadmill while the other busts out strength training exercises on the floor. (You rotate between the stations twice). Assigned to the tread first, I cranked up the incline, kept my speed up, and immediately felt the burn. I considered backing off—I didn't want to burn myself out before picking up the weights—but then I remembered another thing Greenfield mentioned about the relationship between my moon and sun sign. "You are uniquely wired to withstand a great deal of intensity, and you thrive on it," she said. "Not everyone is like that, so use it to your advantage and really push yourself when necessary."
With that in the back of my mind, I powered through the hill then dominated the weights. Before I knew it, class was over and I felt like a badass.
Workout 2: Circuit Training
On a high from yesterday's session, I signed up for circuit training at TS Fitness with one of my favorite instructors, thinking about what Greenfield had taught me about needing to be motivated by the right trainer or teacher.
I didn't choose this class because it was full of unique, special moves—yes, it worked and yes, it was intense—but the real reason I always went back is that I vibed with the instructor. And Greenfield says there isn't anything wrong with that, adding that there's no shame in scheduling your fitness around your favorite instructors. That's how you'll be able to get the most out of a workout.
So I embraced my planet Mars, and when my trainer pushed me to try a more challenging exercise, I literally told her to praise my sad attempts. (She did.) And when she walked over in the middle of my weighted wall-sits, watching me bob my head to the music so I wouldn't focus on the clock, she cracked a joke to help me forget about the pain—and added another sandbag to my lap. (P.S. My playlist strategy is backed by science. One study says that music can make HIIT classes more bearable.) I wanted to scream, sure, but her energy made me believe in myself and encouraged me to work harder so I wouldn't let her down.
Workout 3: Power Yoga
Ready to expand my horizons, Greenfield suggested I try power yoga next. I've done it before, but am the first to admit I don't practice as often as I should—which she says is a mistake. "To be truly happy, you need your actions to have a higher purpose—it can't just be about getting in a workout for you," she says. "Power yoga could be a good fit because the athletic flow will push your limits, which makes your moon sign happy, but it also has a spiritual component that satisfies your sun sign." (Related: The Biggest Yoga Mistakes You're Making In Class)
So I headed to Lyons Den Power Yoga, which was new to me, but friend after friend has told me it's "life-changing" and the instructors are top-notch. I joined the Power Flow class, which involved a lot of strong, athletic sequences in a hot room (just the way I like it). The instructor was very encouraging—great for my action planet—and I paid attention to the motivational talk, but I'd be lying if I said I walked out of there feeling like this workout was any better or more "me" than the others.
Workout 4: Boxing
Powering through the second half of the week, it was time for another intense workout I know I enjoy—boxing. Instead of my go-to studio, Rumble, I decided to check out the Bags class at Everybody Fights. It's held in a gritty, more bare-bones facility, and the entire class is done with the lights off, which Greenfield said is another useful element for me. "Sensory deprivation really gets you to focus," she explains. "It requires extreme concentration, and your moon sign likes that." Couple that with boxing itself, a sport that requires discipline and extreme physicality—two more things my moon sign is into—and it felt like I really couldn't lose. (Related: The Boxing Yoga Mash-Up Workout for a Fierce Body and Calm Mind)
Unfortunately, I walked out not loving this class and, as much as I hate to admit it, it's really only because I didn't love the instructor. The class itself was tough and similar to other bag-focused boxing classes I've taken, but I was in the back corner of the room and wasn't approached by the instructor for guidance or encouragement. As I took off my wraps, it really hit home how much this instructor thing made a difference for me. I vowed to take another class at Everybody Fights before writing it off, though—and a week later, I tried the Train class and the experience was like night and day from the first class. So, for me, Greenfield had really sold me on the instructor strategy.
Workout 5: Charity Spin Class
While chatting about different ways I could fulfill my need for workouts that have a "bigger meaning," Greenfield and I quickly realized that charity fitness events were the way to my heart. Whether I'm raising funds for the Alzheimer's Association during a 50-mile bike ride or running a 5K to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer, I'm way more likely to sign on the dotted line if my money and hard work are going toward a good cause. As luck would have it, during this weeklong experiment there was a cycling class led by an instructor I love where registration fees would go toward helping victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
I always like to push it in spin—the low lights, loud music, and ability to close my eyes when needed really help on the sensory deprivation front, says Greenfield, whereas the sprint intervals and hills hit my craving for intensity. But in that class, I hit the trifecta. At one point, the music peaked and the instructor told us to crank the resistance once more, reminding us of who we were doing this for. Thinking about the victims who had lost everything, I turned my dial as high as I could possibly manage. It felt like I was pedaling through quicksand, but I didn't care—it truly felt like I was no longer riding for me, but to be strong for them. I didn't care about the miles I covered or the number of calories I burned—just as Greenfield told me to do, I had found a way to work out with a higher purpose. And it meant more to me than all the other workouts combined.