Stonger

This last session of my boot camp classes I was super stoked to finally have a guy register.  I’ve been wanting to ‘enlist’ a boy for a while but I’ve come to realize that most guys aren’t really into group fitness (I also don’t think they realize how tough my classes actually are), so I was excited to have my first male participant.

His name is Luke and he said his wife registered him in order to get him in gear to join the military and get ready for his basic training.

Luke came to the classes and admitted to us that he wasn’t big on exercise, although he’d been doing some P90X videos.  He did great.  I don’t know what he initially thought of my class before his first day but I’m certain that he came, he saw, he participated, he was impressed.

In mid-September Luke got his call – he’d be heading off to basic training on October 10.  He finished up what classes he could and then he was gone.

Last week I got a message from Luke:  “I passed the military fitness test! Thanks for helping with that.”

I was so happy for him.  I don’t think Luke believed that he could do it.  But he did.  Way to go!

Easier~Fit Bitch

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Beast Mode

Beast ModeY’know, except for those times when I’m recovering from an injury, I always put 100 % into my workouts – even if I’m strapped for time and can only spare 10 or 20 minutes (this rarely happens for me nowadays) I put everything into my workout.  I want to leave the gym or a class feeling like I really accomplished something. I want to feel like I earned that sweat or those gloriously sore muscles.

Last week I hurt my back at the gym – I tweaked an old (serious) injury and the following few days I was in pain and hobbling around…..the fact that I was able to dress myself those days was a feat in itself.  And although I’d had plans for exercise I played it smart and safe and took a few days off.  Last night I did 30 minutes of yoga (from the P90X series, which is a little bonkers) and felt really good to get those stretches in and start a little sweat.  But once the back pain reared its head I decided I’d had enough.

Tonight I felt good and strong and ready to go.  I just finished a great workout – I didn’t overdo it and definitely didn’t do anything that I knew would leave me hobbling for the rest of the week.  But what I did do I did full beast mode.

(Note* – I don’t encourage or condone working out while injured.  I am a professional with a history of a recurring back injury and I know my limits.)

What my body was capable of I let it do.  And what my mind new better of, I made sure to avoid.

~Fit Bitch

At Home Workout Videos – Review Part 1

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I love the gym and I love my fitness classes. But I also really enjoy home workout videos. I like them for many reason: I get to save gas (and travel time!) on going to the gym, I can switch things up and not get bored, I can work different muscle groups, I can learn from different instructors, etc.

Over the years I’ve done tons of different videos, Tae Bo, Insanity, P90X, Jillian Michaels, Extreme 90, as well as different Yoga, Zumba and other dance videos, etc. My absolute favorite workout videos are the Insanity program. I love it because it’s tough and effective. And it’s real. Shaun T and his cast are panting and sweating and dying on the floor along with the rest of us at home. It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in my life but I felt like a million bucks when I completed it…twice.

On the days that I don’t have class or don’t actually go all the way into the gym but still work out, I have a huge selection of exercises to choose from. A lot of the time, when I’m really craving cardio, I will do one of the Insanity videos (Pure Cardio is my favorite). But, selection is key. Relying on the same exercises too much will hinder me more than it will do me any good so I like to have a lot of options.

A few months ago I found an oldie but a goodie – Cindy Crawford’s The Next Challenge.
Cindy
This is a video I’d wanted to do when I was younger and had a complete girl crush on Cindy. Sadly, I was never able to get it. But, now that I have it I am absolutely in love with the workout. I use it on days when I want to get a decent workout but not about to go crazy like I do on other days (like my Monday and Thursday 3 hour sessions), or just don’t have a huge amount of time but still need to do something.

The Next Challenge has a warm up, some cardio, abs, strength, a little more abs, and a cool down. The warm up is a little lame and the strength is great for beginners (I use more weight than what she uses), but the rest of the routine is great. I really enjoy doing this workout. I always finish feeling like I’ve worked hard, even though it’s not as intense as what I’m normally used to. And my abs always get worked really well.

I don’t do this video all the time – I’m maybe throwing it in there once a week, or sometimes I will do it in conjunction with another workout – like Pure Cardio or Plyometric Cardio (both from the Insanity series) or sometimes even with a yoga vid. I honestly really like the way my body feels after I do this work out with Cindy.
Radu

It’s great for someone who, maybe isn’t just starting out with fitness as I’ve had a few friends tell me it was too intense for them, but for someone who is, just as Cindy says, looking for the next challenge.

~Fit Bitch

Why I Love Yoga

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When I work out, I work out hard.  At the end of a session I’m sweaty, I’m hot, I’m tired and I’m accomplished.  But there are days that I want (and need) to slow things down, take a break, stretch out my body and muscles…and Yoga is the perfect way for me to do that.

I started off long ago with a beginner’s Yoga.  And I hated it.  I didn’t feel like I’d accomplished much and I was disappointed.  But over time I’ve tried different at-home Yoga videos (finding a class that fits into my schedule is ridiculously hard – most classes I’ve found so far are mid-morning and, like most people I know, I work during the day) and I have come to love them.  P90X Yoga and Jillian Michaels are two of my favorites (to be honest, I prefer Jillian’s over Tony’s) and YouTube is a great source of videos when I want a longer workout or to switch it up a bit.

Here are just some of the benefits of Yoga:

Yoga is extremely effective in:

  • Increasing Flexibility – Yoga has positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that are never really on the ‘radar screen’ let alone exercised.
  • Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons – likewise, the well-researched yoga positions exercise the different tendons and ligaments of the body. Surprisingly it has been found that the body which may have been quite rigid starts experiencing a remarkable flexibility in even those parts which have not been consciously work upon. Why? It is here that the remarkable research behind yoga positions proves its mettle. Seemingly unrelated “non strenuous” yoga positions act upon certain parts of the body in an interrelated manner. When done together, they work in harmony to create a situation where flexibility is attained relatively easily.
  • Massaging of ALL Organs of the Body – Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner, including those – such as the prostate – that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder.
  • Complete Detoxification – By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body. This helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny as well as providing nourishment up to the last point. This leads to benefits such as delayed ageing, energy and a remarkable zest for life.
  • Excellent toning of the muscles – Muscles that have become flaccid, weak or slothy are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess flab and flaccidity.

I am now incorporating Yoga into my exercise schedule a few times a week.  Some days I’ll follow a regular workout with a Yoga workout but at least one day a week I try to restrict my regime to just the Yoga.   Because I’ve found videos that are a higher intensity but stretch out and relax my muscles I’m still working up a sweat and feel invigorated and accomplished when I’ve completed my dose of Yoga.  One of my goals has been to increase my flexibility (high heels are killer on your calf muscles) and I’m (slowly) getting there.

I recommend Yoga to everyone.  I’ve been preaching on it for a long time – mostly to my friends and my boyfriend.  It’s highly addictive.  Start off slow.  Find a program that you enjoy and work with it.  If you get bored, move on to something new and different and that you’re comfortable with.

Click Here for some Yoga poses for beginners.  Check out YouTube – or, if you’re fortunate enough to, definitely hit a Yoga class.  And enjoy.

Namaste.

~Fit Bitch

 

Body In Progress – First Guest Post

I am excited to introduce you to Jordan, author of my very first guest post.  I have known Jordan for years, since the 7th grade.  We went to school together, we worked together and we eventually lived together as roomies when I was in college.  She is a great girl and, although I’ve never considered her overweight (she looks pretty damn good for having 3 kids!), I know she personally has wanted to lose weight/become more fit.  So I was ecstatic when she phoned me a few weeks ago (when I was sacked out on my couch with the flu) and told me about beginning her exercise program.  And I was elated that she chose Jennie Garth’s Body in Progress (from 1992) because I love Jennie Garth and grew up on Beverly Hills, 90210.

jenniegarth

I am so proud of Jordan and her initiative.  Many people have the desire to get fit and healthy but never take the plunge to start their new lifestyle.  I often hear “my diet starts tomorrow” or “I can’t do that exercise,” etc. etc.  Jordan has started off slowly and by not jumping into a super intense program like Insanity or P90X, she has found a regime that works for her and that she loves.  Exercise should not be a chore.  It should be something to look forward to (okay, maybe not 100% of the time but often) and Jordan has accomplished that.

Here’s Jordan:

“My name is Jordan, I am 35 years old and a mother of 3 children ages 9, 6 and 2. I gained a lot of weight during my first pregnancy and although I lost some of it, I never did get back to my before baby weight and having 2 more just added to the problem! As most mothers know there is not much time during the day to do anything for yourself so I started all the unhealthy habits that are so easy to fall into, cramming in a quick bite while your baby is sleeping, or picking up McDonalds just because you’re too exhausted to cook. I don’t drink coffee so I became dependant on pepsi for caffeine and just gave up on exercise! Now that my youngest doesn’t need quite so much of my attention I decided I needed to do something to make me feel better about myself and really just make myself feel better! I was tired of being tired all the time so the first thing I had to do was give up the sugar highs and lows I was getting from drinking pepsi, it was hard to do but after a few cranky days I did feel better! The next step was to find an exercise routine that would work for me. Since I’m just getting back in to it I knew I wasn’t ready for Insanity or any of the other high impact programs I hear about so I didn’t really know where to look for something right for me! Thinking back to my high school days (and my love of Beverly Hill, 90210 lol) I remember a program I used to do back then called Jennie Garth’s Body in Progress , I searched for it on Youtube and found it !!! In all honesty it is old school but it is low impact and it builds slowly so your body really does have time to adjust and get used to exercise again. It features a warm up section, then you move on to the low impact fat burning which gets a little more intense and then there is standing leg work ( lots of lunges) and the killer crunches section, it ends with a cool down and stretching and after doing it for just over a week now I already feel better, stronger and actually look forward to doing it everyday! it’s become my “me” time and I love it! i will eventually have to move up to something a bit more challenging but as a beginner it really does work for me and I would recommend it to anyone in the same position looking to ease their way back in to a fitness routine!”

Way to go!!

~Fit Bitch