Wednesday Workout: Thanksgiving Workouts & Events To Try/Checkout

Good morning! I have a great Dynamax workout I want to share with you, but since Thanksgiving is just about a week away, today I want to provide you with some workouts and workout events happening in and around the Boston area in case you want to plan ahead and schedule your Tday workout. I love working out on Thanksgiving, not because I want to “earn my turkey” (although I used to have that mindset), but because I love my body and am thankful for all it can do for me. I feel my best when I eat well and move well, so it make sense that I’d want to do both of those on Thanksgiving 🙂

If you’re looking to do your own workout on Thanksgiving, I posted these workouts over the past couple of years:

*Turkey-Day 20 Minute AMRAP Workout

Turkey day 20 minute AMRAP workout
*The “I’m Thankful” Workout

I'm thankful workout

If you’re looking for classes or events to go to in the area, check these out:

  • The Handle Bar:
    75-Minute Endurance Ride, 8:30 am (At South Boston, Fenway and Harvard Square)- Ride with Rachel, Alexa or Allie at one of our three studios for a 75-minute ride and give thanks to your hard earned sweat. You can sign up on their Schedule Page
  • Recycle Studio has a bunch of classes between Wed-Sun- full list is here, but here are some that my friends teach:
    11/25- 6-7pm- “Pre stuff reboot buff ride” with Lindsay (hour long class!)
    11/26- 8-8:45am- “Reboot Bird Ride” with Alice, 10-11am with Lindsay
    11/27- 10:30-11:30 “Reboot Bird Ride” with Lindsay.
  • The Oak Square YMCA has a whole bunch of classes- if that’s not your gym, but you’re interested in trying one out, let me know 🙂
    Thursday, November 26
    8:30-10a Group Cycle with Kelly (60 minute option)
    8-9 Barre with Carolyn
    9-10a Zumba with Lindsay
    Friday, November 27
    8-9a Total Body with Athena
    9-10a Yoga with Ben
    9-10a Group Cycle with Emily
    10-11a Zumba with Michelle
  • Thanksgiving Day at 7:45am-8:45 for F.I.T. BootCamp at Glen Meadow Park, Lynnfield MA (weather pending!)
    ***ALL MONEY WILL BE DONATED TO MY BROTHERS TABLE, Lynn MA***
    For only $5 you can come workout, feel good and know that you’re helping others:) Bring water & towel or mat too, it gets messy! Please contact Dina (dmetrano@gmail.com) to register.

I know there are lots more, but here’s a brief roundup of some of them 🙂

Whether you decide to workout or not, I hope you make that decision as an entirely separate thing from food and your Thanksgiving Dinner. Exercising just to try and eliminate guilt as a result of a meal is not worth it. Exercise because you love it or because you know all the benefits it provides. Eat because you love it and because it tastes good and fuels you. Don’t mix the two.

For me, I’ll likely workout because I love to move and I love to start the day with a sweat. For the meal, I like to indulge on things I may not eat year-round (all the desserts, stuffing, mashed potatoes of all varietals, etc.), but I try to do it mindfully because I HATE being overly full and feeling sick from it! I’d rather eat enough to feel satisfied and then go back for more a few hours later 😉

Questions for you: Do you have a Thanksgiving workout planned? Any that you want to share with other readers?

Things I Learned from Taking 4 Yoga Classes in 6 Days

A few weeks ago, I was feeling a little off all day and decided I didn’t want to go to the gym for my normal weight and cardio type of workout. I felt like I needed something, but something more along the lines of yoga, which is something that sadly gets neglected far too often in my training schedule. Luckily, there are 2 yoga studios within a short walk from my apartment, so I was able to satisfy my need/want for yoga. I opted to go to CorePower Yoga in Newton Corner since they give new students and ENTIRE WEEK for FREE! How cool is that?! With classes running you $23 a pop, getting the chance to even get one for free is a treat.

photo 2 (1)

In typical Monique fashion, I decided that I should make the best of the free week and get to as many classes as possible, which ended up being 4 since we were away over the weekend. My first class was a little rough. My bad shoulder was bothered by a lot of the moves (I realized later probably because I wasn’t used to moving it that much), my mind just couldn’t slow down and I was too focused on remembering how to get my body the way it was supposed to be rather than really soaingk in the aspects of yoga I needed: calmness, breathing & slowing down my mind. I also wasn’t a fan of the instructor as there seemed to be no flow to what he was having us do and I think I can settle into my practice the most when we are flowing through sequences and focusing on our breathing.

My second class was the Yoga Sculpt, which wasn’t really what I wanted for that particular day (a Sunday late afternoon when I was already sore), but it ended up being a really great class. I love that it incorporated yoga AND weights AND cardio all in one class- totally my style and the instructor, Angela, was great! It was a small class, but she kept the energy high and pushed us through some challenging sequences. I also felt like I was able to get into my groove better and leave more thoughts outside of my mat. This is a great class for people who think they don’t like yoga or that it’s not a good enough workout (even though it is a workout if you want it to be!).

My third class was the 6pm CorePower Yoga 2 with Carrie, which was really great! It was challenging and there were some good flows and by the end I was a sweaty, sweaty mess & felt totally noodle-y. I even surprised myself with rocking out a challenging arm balance, which felt way easier than it used to feel when I practiced yoga regularly.

View this post on Instagram

The body is an amazing thing. Up until last Thursday, I hadn't practiced yoga in an embarrassingly long time. 🙏🙏🙏 There was always something I'd rather do, even though I know I would've benefited from yoga more than anything on some days. # My first day back was rough. I felt rusty and inflexible and my mind couldn't slow down for a second. # My second time was better- I was flowing more smoothly, breathing was better and My mind wasn't racing so much. # Today was my 3rd time and it felt amazing! Great flows, great breaths and then I totally surprised myself with this arm balance. I used to be able to do it back in the days when I practiced yoga a lot, but I remember that it was a challenging for me . Today, though? I was shocked by how easy it felt. Clearly it wasn't from practice, but I have to attribute it to my consistency with my strength training over the years. Consistency does pay off and I gotta say- it was pretty damn empowering to do this! So next time you take an extended break from working out or practicing yoga, remember it takes a bit to get back to where you were before you took that break. You have to start slow and be easy on yourself, but if you keep at it, you'll get back to where you were soon enough. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing! #yoga #yogaeeverydamnday #corepoweryoga #armbalance #challengeyourself #consistency #selflove #selfappreciation #onestepatatime #keepgoing #namaste #ffcheckin #fitfluential #motivation

A post shared by Monique Gagnon- Magno (@burpeestobubbly) on

My fourth and last class may have been the best. My body felt so much more flexible, my mind was quiet, my breathing matched every move and my shoulder wasn’t bothering me anymore. Emily G taught the 6pm CorePower Yoga 2 and she challenged us by having us go through a 10 minute flow! By the end, I was exhausted, but felt really good. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to yoga since I was feeling a little off so I told myself I would take it easy. Once I got on my mat and slowed my breathing, everything felt better and I left so happy that I went.

My whole yoga experience at CorePower Yoga last week taught me/reminded me about a few things:

1. Muscle Memory is a fantastic thing. Even though my first few classes were a little rough due to the fact that I hadn’t practiced yoga in MONTHS, once I got back into the flow (literally) of things, my body remembered how to do the things that I hadn’t done in so long. I was able to relax into child pose and pigeon pose and I remembered what the various sun salutations were and how the breathing aligned with each movement.

2. Strength training helps in so many aspects of your life.
Although I hadn’t practiced yoga in a while, thanks to regularly lifting weights, my body felt strong in all of the poses I tried- from chaturanga to forearm balances to standing balancing poses, everything felt easier than it did when I was practicing yoga regularly.

3. Practice makes you better, but some days you may not be where you were the day before and I love that yoga encourages us to acknowledge an accept this. It’s so easy for me to get hung up on always trying to be better than I was the day before, but that’s just not how life works. Some days I can whip out 4-5 chin ups and some days it’s hard to do 1. Some days I can run 5 miles and feel amazing and sometimes 3 is a real struggle. Life is always going to ebb and flow and have ups and downs and yoga is a good reminder that that’s all part of life!

4. Breathing helps. A lot. Whatever it is- whether a holding a challenging pose, finishing that last rep or handling a rough situation or argument, breathing through it will always help you get through it.

The sad part about yoga is how expensive it is, so I need to be on the lookout for some deals because I KNOW how good it is for me to try and practice fairly regularly. The way I feel when I leave yoga is a totally different feeling than when I leave the gym after a cardio/strength training session, which is why I need to make it a priority to fit both types of workouts into my workout schedule. I can see the calmness and peacefulness of yoga really coming in handy leading up to my wedding 😉

Questions for you: Do you practice yoga? Where do you practice it? What do you look for in a yoga class? What have you learned about yourself from a workout (lifting, yoga, running, etc.)?

If you’re looking for a flow you can do at home, check out this post: Strong & Lean Yogamomto Yoga Sequence

Weekending: Hopsters Date Night, Handle Bar & Brunching in Harvard Square, Hosting my Parents

Good morning! What a busy, but fun weekend we had- let’s recap 🙂

Friday

After work on Friday I had to go into the city for an appointment. I had some time to kill and decided to pop into City Sports since I knew they were doing “going out of business” sales and I had a gift card I needed to use. I didn’t find much worth looking at (sales weren’t THAT good year), but I did find these awesome Saucony running sneakers I was able to get for 35% off! I’ve never run in Saucony’s, so I hope I like them!

IMG_3002

By the time I finished up at City Sports, it was time to head to my appointment near the North End. As she was finishing up, she asked if I wanted any water, which I declined since I had a water bottle with me. She then asked if I wanted wine and I said “well, yeah! that’s more like it”. I thought she was totally kidding until she came back in the room with a big ol’ cup of wine. Best surprise ever 🙂

IMG_2995

RM got home shortly after me and we decided to walk to Hopsters for a drink and dinner. I was there last Friday night with my sister so it was funny to be back again! We decided to get the sausage and arugula flatbread and harvest salad and both were incredible, the pizza especially. Wow- so so good!

IMG_2997 IMG_2998

Saturday

Saturday morning we woke up kind of early and decided it was a good morning for healthy pancakes so RM got busy.

IMG_2999

Usually we do Sunday morning pancakes so this was a fun treat 🙂 It’s rare to have a Saturday at home without having to teach.

IMG_3001

My sister and I had plans to go to The Handle Bar’s new Harvard Square location for an 11:30 class and then brunch after. The class was really good and challenging, the brunch was a big disappointment 😦 We ended up going to Park Restaurant and Bar and everything from the slow service to the really, really sub par food made for a less than stellar brunch.

IMG_3003

I ordered the goat cheese and spinach omelet and it looked like they literally put a scoop of goat cheese in the middle of the omelet and threw in some barely cooked spinach. I could have made something way better than that. My sister’s burger melt looked like it was from McDonald’s- the slice of yellow cheese wasn’t even melted and the burger itself was tiny. And the kicker? it took 40 minutes to get the food and it wasn’t even busy! I would not suggest going there if you’re looking for a bunch spot in Harvard Square- save your money!

After I got home, RM and I booked our wedding photographer (!!!) and went to Chelsea to go to the huge Home Goods to get some house stuff. We ended up getting new pillows, a new throw and laundry baskets- we are getting there!

IMG_3007

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2)

The rest of the night was spent food shopping and meal prepping for my parents visit on Sunday. I also made our favorite Shrimp and Veggie Curry Dish for dinner, which is such an easy and delicious meal to throw together.

IMG_3006

Sunday

I woke up early because I knew I had a lot to prep in advance before my parents and my sister came over for a little luncheon. On the menu?

  • Easy Pumpkin Soup from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
  • Roast Chicken
  • Roasted sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, celery, carrots and onions
  • Spicy broccolini
  • Fancy veggie filled stuffing that my sister made and brought- it had grated carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms- it was a really fun change from your traditional stuffing.

IMG_3009

We had such a nice afternoon drinking bubbly/wine, catching up and talking big time wedding talk. My mom got me my first bride magazine, which was fun to look through! I love that my parents are so willing to come down for a few hours and a meal.

After they left, we finished cleaning up and got comfy on the couch- preparing a big meal and hosting a luncheon is tiring!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Did you get any good workouts in? Do you like to entertain? Have you been to Park?

Although I still don’t know how to put into words the sadness and fear I have after hearing about the terrorist attacks in Paris, I’d feel remise if I didn’t take a little bit of blog space to mention it. We have been watching CNN and listening to NPR steadily since Friday night and I woke up Saturday wishing that it was all just a bad dream. What is this world coming to, where people can’t go to a concert, a game or out to dinner without the fear of an attack? My heart goes out to all the people who have been affected by this tragedy. I pray for a world with peace and love, not this crazy world filled with terrorists and fear.

I’ve only been to Paris once, but it has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit again. I loved everything about it and still hope to get back there some day.

196028_504256705098_8484_n 197104_504256700108_7087_n

Five on Friday {11.13.15}

Hello! Happy Friday 🙂 Last week I felt like the week FLEW by and all day on Friday I kept thinking it was only Thursday. This week? Notsomuch. I thought it was Friday all day yesterday, which is really not that fun. I blame it on the following:
  • a rest day. I realized I hadn’t taken a full rest day in an terribly long time (ugh. I hate that!) so I decided to do it yesterday since I had lunch plans and after work plans, which leads me to the other reason I felt like it was Friday..
  • My team went out to lunch for one of my associate’s last day and then we went out for drinks and all of those things combined just scream Friday, #amiright?!

IMG_2988

 In case my “Five on Friday” series is new to you, I randomly created this blog post series as a way to share any sort of random thoughts/things I’m loving/things I think you might love/news/etc. So far, it seems as though you guys enjoy it and I love sharing tidbits of “all over the place” stuff with you, so here we go!
1. Coming home to the bed made– I have this weird thing where I NEED to make the bed as soon as I wake up (please tell me I’m not alone here). The problem? RM usually gets out of bed a little after me and I usually don’t have time to make it before I leave. I always come home hoping he will have made it and last week, after an especially long day, I came home to a beautifully made bed WITH the throw pillows on it. Love!

IMG_2936

Side note- for a while I would try and make my side of the bed when I got up, usually pulling blankets away from RM who was still snuggled up… he made me laugh one day when he brought this to my attention and asked for me to just wait until he got up, haha

2. Shopping list for this year- My cousin-in-law posted this on Facebook and I instantly loved it, especially since holidays and birthdays will be light this year due to the wedding. I mean, do you really need more than these 4 things?

IMG_2924

3. Saving money– If there’s one thing I wish I would’ve done more of in my younger years, it’s save money.  I knew wedding planning was expensive, but until I started planning one I had no idea just how expensive they were! Which kills me when I think about all the money I’ve pissed away over the years. I remember specifically saying to someone back in my younger years (23/24): “I’d rather be spending my money experiencing things than just saving it for ‘what ifs'”… if only I would’ve been smarter and realized that saving when you’re young is the smart thing to do because it makes your older years so much better and easier! So, if you’re reading this and you’re not focusing on building up a savings account STOP THAT! Start a savings account, please, and even if you only save $10/month it’s something!

4. Adele’s new song “Hello”- I know I am absolutely not alone here, but I just love her new song!

IMG_2898

5. Sriracha cashews- RM’s office has these and he was raving about them so when he brought me home a pack I couldn’t wait to try them. The verdict? OMG. So good. You’ve got to try them!

IMG_2987

Previous “Five on Friday” Posts:

Five on Friday {10.30.15}
Five on Friday {11.6.15}

And that does it for this week’s Friday Five- anything spark any comments or interest or anything you can relate to? Do you have anything you can share with me this week? What’s on tap for the weekend? What ever it is- enjoy it, get movement in, and try to relax 🙂

Wednesday Workout: 3 Exercise Circuits

Hi guys! How’s it going? Happy Wednesday 🙂 Between work and my own workout and teaching, Wednesdays are long days, so I’m always happy when I’m leading the cool down in my class because it means it’s all downhill and easy after that!

Before we get into the workout, I have a few wedding-related questions for you:

  1. Do you know of any photographers that you think I should look into? There are so many out there that are fantastic, but also super expensive. While we want good pictures, we are trying to be smart with our planning and vendor search so we are open to newer photographers who are looking to get more exposure. Any suggestions (new or seasoned photographers) are greatly appreciated!
  2. Band or DJ? I know bands are more expensive but I LOVE to dance and want people dancing all night and I feel like bands tend to get a better dance crowd going. Thoughts? Know of any good bands or DJ’s that are worth looking into?

thanks in advance!!

And now for the workout…. My schedule is finally allowing me to get back into more consistent training. Yesterday I even went into the scary part of the gym: the heavy weight lifting area with squat racks and benches and all of that stuff. Even though I know what I’m doing (for the most part), it’s still a bit intimidating to navigate my way around that area of the gym because it’s not a place I venture into very often. Once I figured out where everything was, I loved it- well, besides the nasty guys who think it’s OK to stare and check me out- what the heck is that all about?! It’s so disturbing and as much as I try to ignore it and avoid eye contact at all cost, part of me wants to say something.

Anywayyyyy. This workout was done in the area of the gym I AM super comfortable with: the UXF Zone area with the turf, battle ropes, KB’s, TRX, etc. I threw in some combo moves, singular moves and a little cardio. The battle rope/KB/weighted sit-up finisher was killer!

3 exercise circuits

Here’s a video demo of the first set: https://instagram.com/p/9wJSXJvWyB/?taken-by=burpeestobubbly

The next set goes like this: grab a set of weights and keep them by your side as your lower into a deep squat. As you rise, do a bicep curl and then press the weights up to an overhead press.

If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me or do a quick search on YouTube 🙂

Questions for you: What part of the gym intimidates you? How do you push through that feeling? Do you notice that guys are disgusting in the gym by the way they think it’s totally appropriate for them to check women out?