Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Bootcamp HIIT Workout

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Good morning! Did you guys enjoy my second round of Cardio Kickboxing Combinations that I shared with you last week? It was fun to do! If you have any other suggestions for posts, don’t hesitate to let me know because I like knowing I’m writing about something people want to read.

Today I’m sharing a piece of the bootcamp workout I taught last week which successfully kicked all of our butts! HIIT workouts will do that to you, though. In case you’re new to the term, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and HIIT workouts are generally a bout of cardio or “work” period (lasting anywhere from 15-60 seconds, usually) followed by a short bout of rest (10-30 seconds). The point is that you work hard for a set amount of time, knowing you will have a set of time to rest after your work period. You get to catch your breath, bring your heart rate down then bring it right back up- a sure way for max calorie burn!

In this workout, you’ll work for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. I have 20 exercises, ranging from cardio to core to legs to upper body, so you’ll feel like you’re getting a full body workout. If you’re feeling up to it, repeat the circuit once more!

Bootcamp HIIT Workout

Here’s an explanation for some of the exercises:

-Trunk Swing (from Shape April 2014)- Sit with feet extended in front of you, hands by your hips with your finger tips pointing towards your toes. Lift your hips up, bringing yourself into a reverse table top position (press those hips up!), then lower your hips and bring yourself back to the starting position, but don’t let your butt touch the ground! You’ll be holding yourself a few inches from the ground by pressing your palms into the ground. Holy tricep burn!

-Line Jump (from Shape April 2014)- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend knees and jump forward (pretending to jump over a line), landing on just 1 foot. Bend forward from the hips and touch a hand to the ground. Hop back to starting position and repeat landing on the other foot.

-Plank Jumps- In a high plank position, jump both feet up to your right hand, jump them back to a high plank, jump them up to your left hand. Repeat for entire 45 seconds. Too difficult? Step them up to your hands instead of jumping them.

-Plank with Knee Drops- In a low plank, alternate dropping your knees to the ground. More advanced? Do both at the same time.

-Walking Planks Right and Left- In a high plank position, move 3 steps to the right and 3 to the left.

-Squat Jump with Heel Clicks- Instead of doing just a regular squat jump, click your heels together when you jump up.

If you have any other questions about the exercises listed above, please don’t hesitate to contact me! This workout left me huffing and puffing- I hope it does the same for you!

Questions for you: Do you like HIIT workouts? If so, what’s your favorite one? Do you like 30 second, 45 second or 60 second intervals?

 

A Beautiful Cape Cod Wedding

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A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend on the Cape celebrating a fantastic friend. If you read my post about her Nantucket bachelorette weekend, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that her wedding weekend was nothing short of amazing. Whenever my college girlfriends and I get together, it’s ALWAYS a good time, so when you throw a wedding in the mix for one of the most fun girls out of the group, it’s sure to carry on that torch. Not only was Sheila an absolutely beautiful bride, she thought of every single detail to make the day go off without a hitch.

Upon arriving on the Cape on Friday, we had lunch and then got to work putting together the flower arrangements. For all of you DIYers… props to you! Although it’s nice to know you did all of the details and decorations, it’s very time consuming both in the execution and planning. However, everything we helped Sheila with came out absolutely beautiful and her vision was perfect!

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While they were at the rehearsal dinner, some of us had dinner at the house we rented. Our friend Amy is fantastic at finding houses and this one did not disappoint! it was .1 miles from Sheila’s house and had plenty of room to entertain.

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Later that night, we headed to Shuckers for pre-wedding festivities. This bar was right on the water and with the temps and humidity very high, it was a perfect way to cool off. That, and huge goblets of wine also do the trick ;)

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I woke up on Saturday morning bummed to a. feel the intense humidity and b. notice the tremendously overcast weather. I always feel sad when the weather isn’t perfect for outdoor weddings, but I assure you it didn’t rain on her parade (literally and figuratively). After a 4 mile run, Lauren and I headed to the church to set up the flowers. It looked absolutely beautiful and there is something just so peaceful about being in a church when no one is there.

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We held a little cocktail/snack hour before the ceremony and before we knew it, it was time to head to the church.

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To say it was hot and humid both inside and outside of the church is and understatement, but you couldn’t tell by looking at Sheila. She was an absolutely stunning bride and the service was very heart-felt. On top of that, the church was adorable and quaint and just perfect for her beach-themed wedding.

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The reception was held at her parent’s Inn (Seashell Inn, if you’re wondering) which has a great yard area that was perfect for the wedding tent.

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Not only that, but it has private beach access across the street! Cocktail hour on the beach? #dontmindifido

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We had a blast drinking and chatting and taking pictures on the beach. The sun came out for a bit and even though it went back away, the rain held off the entire night! Sheila had flipflops at the beach for all of us to wear since heels are not sand-conducive.

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The passed apps were out of this world amazing. Seriously- the best I’ve ever had! I had oysters, steak with a gorgonzola cream sauce, a cranberry goat cheese thing, lamb and quinoa meatballs served on cucumbers, coconut shrimp, shrimp and kilbasa kabobs… and there were so many other things that I didn’t even get to try! By the time dinner came around, it’s no surprise that none of us were that hungry ;)

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We were ushered into the tent around 6pm for the dinner portion of the night. The tent, tables and decorations were beautiful!

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Dinner was just as delicious as the appetizers. It was the most organized, delicious buffet food I’ve ever had at a wedding. The main entrees were salmon, wrapped in sole with a scallop in a lobster butter sauce (ummm hello, delicious) and steak. Both were absolutely incredible. Best wedding food I’ve ever had!

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It was so nice watching Sheila and her dad dance, and I think he had everyone in attendance shedding tears during his speech. It was so thoughtful and funny and sweet- Sheila will definitely always be his little girl.

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Sheila’s brothers stood in as her “Men of Honor” which is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Her oldest brother kept fixing her dress throughout the ceremony and their speech was not only hilarious, but also very loving! I love watching the relationship between brothers and sisters.

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Sheila surprised Bryan with a very, special guest appearance. She had Rene Rancourt come to their wedding to sing the National Anthem!! It was seriously the best surprise ever!

(Press play, then pause, then play again and it won’t be skewed. Not sure what’s going on with my Vimeo videos!)

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The rest of the night was spent dancing, laughing, drinking, and more dancing. The band was phenomenal and played all the best songs to dance to. Here’s a glimpse into what that looked like ;)

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Once the band was done for the night, we all ventured back over to their private beach and went skinny dipping (haven’t done that in YEARS!!!) and then chatted and hung out around the fire.

Sunday morning, we all gathered at a local waterfront restaurant for a wonderful goodbye brunch. It was exactly what all of us needed ;) Catching up with the girls after nights like that is one of my favorite things to do! I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful group of girlfriends.

The weekend was such an incredible time. Sheila and her mom’s hard work, time and energy going into planning and executing the wedding did not go unnoticed- all of it was perfect! And I know I’m not alone when I say this: Sheila, can you and Bryan get re-married every year?? Cheers to a wonderful lifetime of happiness, laughter and love!

 

 

This Week: Workouts, Moving is Hard Work & Things I’m Looking Forward To

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Phew. Is it really Monday already? I certainly wasn’t ready to get out of bed to go teach a 6am Muscle Class this morning after all of the moving/heavy lifting/etc. that I did for the past 4 days, but- it’s done, which means I have tonight to do whatever I want :)

For those of you who are also moving (or have moved), I’m sure you can relate to how hard it is. Thankfully I’m only on the second floor, but still- that’s a LOT of trips up and down the stairs, often times with a lot of weight in your arms. I wore my heart rate monitor on Thursday night (which is when we did most of the heavy lifting and moving) and I burned 676 calories in 2 hours. Not too bad!

Non-moving workouts were also good this week, and between my workouts on Monday and Tuesday, I was SORE. RM and I also went to the driving range on Tuesday night, so that definitely contributed to some of it.

BSC’s 40th Anniversary- This Wednesday!

I got an email last week that I thought I should share with you! The BSC is celebrating their 40th anniversary and are offering free workouts on THIS WEDNESDAY. You know what that means, right?? You can come to my class on Wednesday at 6:30pm at the Central Square location. Let me know if you’re interested :)

Boston Sports Clubs is proving that “good things last,” especially when you’re fit! On September 17th, Boston Sports Clubs is celebrating 40 years strong as a fitness industry leader and opening their doors and offering free workouts to all Bostonians. Already a member? Bring a friend to join you in this special birthday sweat-sesh. During this open house celebration, BSC will be offering members and nonmembers alike free fitness classes and demos, meet & greet with top fitness instructors, giveaways, prizes, and fresh post-workout snacks.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I did 15 minutes on the elliptical before doing some random exercises in the UXF Zone. I did 3 sets of 1 pull-ups AND chin-ups. Someday I’ll be able to add on haha I also subbed Cardio Kickboxing at the Watertown BSC. Great crowd!
  • Tuesday- I taught my bootcamp at the Wakefield lake and boy did we work hard! The girls were all feeling like they were so out of shape so I had to remind them that I was huffing and puffing and dripping sweat, too. I’ll post the workout hopefully this week as it was good and didn’t require anything but yourself!
  • Wednesday- I tweaked my knee when I was at the driving range and although it was feeling mostly better by the end of the day, I took it easy at the gym. I just did 22 minutes on the Arc Trainer and a pull up and chin up (they felt easier!) before teaching UXF Burn. I did the low-impact modifications and skipped out on the lunges and squats. Luckily my glutes were already sore so it was nice to have a break. It’s funny because whenever I tone it down or do the low-impact version, there are so many other people who join me… some of which I know are doing it only because I am!
  • Thursday- Rest day from the gym, but walked 20 minutes at lunch (rain set in at that point) and moved all of the big stuff into my new apartment. In 2 hours, I burned almost 700 calories… I had no idea moving was such a good workout!!

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  • Friday- I ran 3.5 miles during lunch- it was a gorgeous- almost cool- day and the miles were easy… can’t beat that! After work, I made another thousand trips up and down the stairs to continue moving stuff.
  • Saturday- I couldn’t sleep on Friday night so I was up before 7 on Saturday, again making multiple trips up and down the stairs. I thought moving in the same building would be easier, but it’s really not because you don’t end up packing things up… you think of something you need and run down to get it. That happened all morning! I also taught kickboxing at the Y- the fall crowds are back! We had a blast.
  • Sunday- A much needed rest day. I did some final trips up and down between the apartments and did a preliminary clean of my old place, but my body was SO TIRED.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I will have taught my 6am Muscle Work class and probably have done some cardio by the time this post goes up.
  • Tuesday- Teaching my bootcamp! If you’re in the Wakefield/Saugus area and want to join for the next session (starting on 9/23 at 5:30pm and runs for 4 weeks), let me know!
  • Wednesday- Probably some cardio before teaching my 6:30pm UXF Burn class at the Central Square BSC
  • Thursday- I’m on the waitlist for a free yoga class at Exhale Spa, so hopefully I can get in. If not, I’ll figure something else out :)
  • Friday- Not sure. I’m heading to Maine after work so I’d like to get something done during the day. Maybe a run or maybe go to the gym.
  • Saturday- I’ll probably go the YMCA near my parents house in the morning… and hopefully do a lot of dancing at the wedding!
  • Sunday- Not sure- it may be a rest day depending on how the rest of the week turned out.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m excited to have the majority of the move behind me! It will be nice to finish unpacking, organizing and generally just getting more settled in. The nice part about moving in the same building is the address change is easy and I don’t have to get used to a new area or a new commute! Hopefully RM and I will have another mid-week date night since we don’t get to spend this weekend together… again… :( Lastly, I’m excited to go home for my cousin’s wedding! My sister can’t go, so it will just be my mom and dad and me, but that’s ok- we’ll have a blast I’m sure!

Questions for you: Did you move this year? What’s your least favorite part about moving? What’s your favorite part? What was your best workout last week? What are you looking forward to this week?

Wednesday Workout: My Favorite Kickboxing Combos {Take 2}

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A while ago, I posted some of my favorite kickboxing combos (with videos) and have received a bunch of great feedback, so I thought it was probably time to post a new set of combos! Back when I was teaching 2 kickboxing classes a week, I was coming up with a LOT of combos; some I loved and repeated and others got used once and I realized they just didn’t work how I wanted them to so I didn’t used them again. It’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t when you’re making them up in your head at your desk ;)

Check out my previous post on “how-to’s” for the various basic punches!

Shuffle & Jabs, Up, Up, Down, Down Jabs & Steps, Knees & Burpee

  • Shuffle & Jabs 4 times to the right, then back to the left
  • V-Step forward and back with high and low punches (twice)
  • 2 right knees, 2 left knees
  • Burpee

For this one, you start with 4 jab and shuffles right and left. I do this a bunch of times for us to get warmed up and ready to add on. From there, you step up with the right foot and punch up with the right arm. Do the same thing with the left and then step back with the right and punch down with the right and again with your left so you’re back where you started. Next, add on 2 knees on the right and 2 on the left. Lastly, add in a burpee, then start from the top!

Alternating Quick Jabs, Squat, Double Jabs, Hops, Burpee & Kick

  • 4 alternating quick jabs, 1 squat
  • 2 double jabs, 4 hops forward and back
  • Burpee, kick right, Burpee, kick left

(This video is formatted weird… if you press play, then pause, then play again it will show up how it’s supposed to. sorry about that!)

This one starts out pretty basic: alternating jabs, focusing on strong arms and a tight core. From there, you add on a basic squat: 4 jabs, 1 squat. Taking the same theme, you switch to double jabs right and left and then with your guards up, hop forward and back twice. I love this move because I can feel it working my inner thighs a lot! The last part is killer: burpee, front kick right, burpee, front kick left.

Side Facing Quick Jabs, Squat, 4 Alternating Wide Knees, Hooks, Upper Cuts, 2 V-Jumps

  • 4 quick left jabs in a low squat position, 1 squat
  • 4 alternating wide knees
  • 2 hooks, 2 uppers (twice)
  • 2 v-jumps with 2 hops back

We turn to face the side of the class on this one and start with left quick jabs. I usually do about 3 sets of 8 to start so the shoulder really feels a burn! From there, you do 1 squat. Adding on, you’ll do 4 alternating knees, right hook & left hook and right upper cut & left upper cut- repeat the hooks and uppers once before doing 2 V-jumps forward with 2 hops back.

Jab, Jab, Elbows, Knees, Jump Squats

  • Right & left jabs with jack feet then 2 elbows (twice)
  • 2 right knees, 2 left knees
  • 2 jump squats

This one is high cardio, so you may want to take it down a level before adding in the jumps. You jump your feet out as you jab with the right, back in as you bring your arms back in and back out as you jab with the left. Then you jump your feet out and bring your elbows back two time: jab, jab, elbows, elbows- do that twice through before you add in 2 right knees, 2 left knees and end with 2 jump squats.

Speed Bag, Shuffles, Knee & Kick, Kick Front & Back, Kick Touch Down

  • Speed bag with shuffle feet (right, left, double right, left, right, double left)
  • Right knee & kick (twice)
  • Right front kick, left back kick (twice)
  • Right front kick & touch down (twice)

Start this on by just doing the feet shuffles: right, left, double right, left, right, double left. From there, add in the speed bags. After doing it on the right and the left, do a knee & kick on the right and then the left. Then do a right front kick, left back kick (2 times) and then right kick & touch down (2 times). So it looks like this: Speed bag & shuffle right, then left, knee kick right then left, front right kick back left kick (twice), right kick and touch down (twice).

For all of these combos, you’re going to want to do them on the left lead, too, so that you’re training both sides evenly. Also, I realize I messed up in a few videos (didn’t repeat things enough), so pardon me for that! I was too far in to re-film them as  my sister was losing her patience for helping me :)

So, there you have it! I hope you like these and are able to incorporate some of the combos in classes you teach or if you’re working out at home! Everything I do with a right lead gets repeated in the second half of class with a left lead. I usually do 3 combo sets with the right lead and the same 3 with the left lead- I hate being uneven!

Questions for you: What’s a kickboxing combo you like?

Fresh White Summer Sangria

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A few weeks ago, I went up to my friend Lisa’s apartment to have drinks on her deck. We originally talked about doing margarita’s, but decided to skip those in favor of something a little healthier. Enter: sangria! Although some sangrias can be filled with too much sugar, this one doesn’t have any added sugar and is naturally sweetened by the fruit, brandy and white wine.

It’s also a very simple, minimal ingredient sangria because, well, I just wanted to throw something together quickly and easily. Feel free to sub out the wine for something you prefer more and pick fruit according to what you have or what’s on sale. The beauty of sangria is that there are endless possibilities for what you can put in it!
Fresh White Summer Sangria

Ingredients

sangria 1

  • 1 bottle of white wine- I suggest a sweeter wine like a Riesling or Pinot Grigio
  • 1 or 2 nips of Brandy- I only used one, but using 2 might make it sweeter if that’s what you’re looking for
  • 1/2 large orange, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 lime, sliced
  • 1/2-1 cup strawberry seltzer water- feel free to use whatever flavor you want, but I had this and thought it was a great addition

Directions

Pour the wine and brandy in a container, add in the sliced fruit and half of the seltzer you plan to use. Stir and refrigerate for a few hours so the fruit juices can settle in. Before serving, add in the rest of the seltzer to give it a bit of fizz. Serve over ice and enjoy!

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We all loved this sangria and I think what made me love it was that it wasn’t TOO sweet. Sometimes I feel like sangria’s are all juice and, as a wine lover, i’m always a little disappointed when that’s the case. I want to taste the wine and this sangria accomplished that.

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I realize it’s September, but the weather is still great for outdoor cocktail hours so there’s still plenty of time to hang onto summer drinks with this recipe!

Questions for you: Do you like white or red sangria? Have you ever made sangria?

 

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