This Week: Workouts, B/Spoke Review & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? Mine seemed extra long because it was kicked off by going to the Red Sox game on Thursday night, but I’m not complaining!

Last week was a pretty solid week of workouts- a good mix between at-home stuff, teaching and GOING to classes- one of my favorite things to do!

B/Spoke

A while ago, I was invited to take a class at a new indoor cycling studio in the financial district: B/Spoke. It’s been a LONGGG time since I’ve taken an indoor cycling class, so I was really excited to get back “in the saddle”, as they say. I reached out to my friends Athena and Caroline to see if they wanted to join. Sadly, Athena had wedding planning plans, but Caroline was still able to come so that was fun! I also invited my friend Megan to come since they offer a free first class.

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As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with smiling faces and asked my shoe size. I love that all these studios provide shoes- I hate wearing non-spin shoes on those bikes now that I’ve seen what it’s like to wear them. It really makes a huge difference in your ride! I was also given a free water- never a bad thing! They have elastics, ear plugs and gum- free of charge- as well.

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The studio is a little cramped in places, but they definitely made the best use of the space that they could by offering lots of locker space and a nice bathroom area. The showers were stocked with fancy shampoo, conditioner and body wash, they had towels to use and soap, q-tips, and other necessities to make getting showered and ready after class a breeze. The only thing I wish they had was more bathrooms, but it seems to be a common thing to only have a few of them at these types of studios. I guess I’m just used to big gym locker rooms.

Ok, enough about the building and amenities, how about the class, right?! I actually loved it! The room was the right size- not too big, but big enough to fit a crowd of people.

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They keep the lights down low so you’re forced to just be in the moment and focus on your ride rather than looking around at everyone else. Caroline, Megan and I were front and center, which is where I generally like to be when I take classes, but not always when I’m in a spin class since that’s not my forte. However, I didn’t feel like a fool or like I couldn’t keep up in this class- maybe I didn’t push myself hard enough? I felt like I was working hard, but when we finished I felt like I could’ve done another ride. I was actually a little sad it was over. I must have definitely not pushed myself hard enough 😉

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The instructor was really great, though. She wasn’t annoying or boring- she was the perfect mix of bubbly energy and hard-core “push yourself” type of instructor. I’m fairly critical of instructors these days, and she passed the test for me. We chatted after and she was super sweet. I loved her choreography because we were hardly in the saddle, which is my least favorite place to be! We did lots of booty drops and oblique work and then the arms song left my delts screaming!

All in all, I really liked the class and would love to get back there. You really can’t pass up a free first class, so if you’re looking to check out someplace new, I suggest getting your bums over to B/Spoke. Take a class with Natalie- she was great!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I went to B/Spoke. Before I went, I filmed my 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner and did this workout from Pumps & Iron. Loved it!
  • Tuesday- I went to a Chisel class at my new gym. The instructor was awesome!!! I loved her energy and southern accent and it was overall just a great class. I used a lot of moves in UXF Burn on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday- I ran 3 miles on the treadmill before teaching UXF Burn. We worked hard… like really hard. Lots of back to back shoulder exercises and leg stuff and cardio. For the cardio blast, I took Nicole’s format from this post, but did a 5 minute AMRAP of the 4 different stages of a burpee and at the end just had them do 1 round of 10 reps of the 4 stages. They loved to hate it 😉 The crowd is definitely growing now that I don’t teach there on Thursdays anymore. And, now that I don’t teach on Thursdays anymore I have LOADS of energy when teaching my Wednesday class. No holding back anymore!

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  • Thursday- I was given tickets to the Sox game on Thursday night so I got up and did 30 minutes of kickboxing in my kitchen before going to work. I hadn’t done any kickboxing in 3 weeks- I was sore on Friday!
  • Friday- I went to the Lynnfield BSC during lunch and kicked my butt on the UXF turf- no cardio, but my heart rate was up the whole time!

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  • Saturday- I finally taught my kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA. I missed that crowd so much!
  • Sunday- Rest day 🙂

This Week’s Workouts

    • Monday- I taught my Muscle Work class at 6am today and did some cardio after.
    • Tuesday- I plan on going to a Core Fusion Cardio Exhale Spa. I have 2 free class coupons to use by the end of the month so I’d like to take advantage of it!
    • Wednesday- I’m either going to do a double or run before teaching UXF Burn.
    • Thursday- Not sure! Maybe the cardio/strength fusion class at PUMPS? Maybe kickboxing at Wellington? Who knows!
    • Friday- I’m going to a Barry’s Bootcamp workout/event at Revere Hotel with my gym friend Jen. I can’t wait!
    • Saturday- Probably rest day since RM and I are getting up early to head to Maine for my dad’s birthday (and a beach day).
    • Sunday- Not sure- maybe a jog or walk in Maine?

Things I’m Looking Forward To

What I’m most looking forward to this week is going home to Maine on Saturday- I haven’t been home since FATHER’S DAY, which is unheard of for me! My dad is turning 65 on Saturday so it worked out perfectly for us to get up there for a beach day and celebration for him. I’m also looking forward to having a quieter week and hopefully not drinking during the week. I know it’s summer and summer brings about reasons for social gatherings more so than during the winter months, but I’ve just realized how often I’m having a casual cocktail multiple nights a week at this point. I know it’s not a big deal, but I just like to have the week as a detox from drinking.

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Have you been to B/Spoke? What are you looking forward to this week? Do you drink during the week?

Catching up {Workouts and Life}

As I read other healthy living blogs, I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one feeling like there just isn’t enough time in the day or week to accomplish everything on my to-do list. Sometimes blogging just has to take a back seat, and even though I sometimes feel guilty about it or stressed to get posts written, realizing it’s OK to take a break is so refreshing. Sarah wrote a post earlier this week that hit me hard. It was as if I was writing it myself! I’m finding myself in a recent job change, increasing love for fitness and teaching and no longer just being on my own. Being in a serious relationship and moving to that “we” thing is awesome, but it’s also a big change for someone who hasn’t had that in a longggg time. My normal blogging time and teaching time and “Monique” time is just not the same as it used to be and I wouldn’t change that for the world. As we grow up, our priorities change, right? It’s such an exciting time, but sometimes it can be a little stressful! Sarah’s post was a great reminder to not let myself get stressed out over these types of changes, but to embrace them and live life. Blogging will always be here, but random nights with the bf or friends of family won’t- it’s more important to DO those things, rather than sit at home, writing a post because it’ll “screw up my schedule” if I don’t.

And, with that, let’s catch up on some stuff!

Workouts- Last week

Last week was my last week teaching my Thursday night double, which was totally bittersweet! On top of that, RM and I headed to Chicago with some friends so my weekend workouts were a bit different than usual. Overall, though, it was a great week of workouts. We did SO MUCH WALKING when in Chicago. Our hotel was about a mile from all the action (just in the wrong part of the city), so getting to and from anywhere was at least a 2 mile walk.

    • Monday- After work, I ran 3.5 miles and then did the workout listed at the bottom of this workout post. I kinda died a little…

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    • Tuesday- I went to a BodyPump during work since I had a hair appointment after work. What is it about BodyPump that gets me every time?!
    • Wednesday- I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill before teaching (and doing most of) UXF Burn. I’m not sure what we did to get so dirty?

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    • Thursday- Last double:( In SHRED, we did 3 rounds of stations and then we did some across the floor cardio and partner ab stuff. We had a big group and everyone seemed to enjoy it! Kickboxing had it’s biggest crowd to date and we worked super hard!

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    • Friday- Nothing. We had an early flight so there was definitely no morning workout for me! We did do some walking, though.
    • Saturday- I got up and ran 4 miles, although I think my mapmyrun GPS wasn’t working because it was saying I was running all sub 8 minute miles… highly doubt that! After, I did some core work at the gym and then RM wanted to go for a walk so we went on about a 45 minute loop- we were walking so fast!

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    • Sunday- We had all intentions of going to the gym at the spa before our massages, but a late lunch got in the way of that. I did walk for about an hour in the morning while getting breakfast and Architecture tour tickets.

Catching Up- Life

The past couple of weeks have been so busy!! I feel like I’m on auto-pilot going from one thing to the next. Anyone else feel this way? I have a full recap of Chicago coming soon, but besides that, here are some things going on:

  • My garden is growing so much! Over the past couple of weeks I have picked kale and green beans, and both taste so fresh!

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  • I recently started reading The One and Only by Emily Griffin for a book club that my college friends and I started. It’s really just an excuse to get together to drink wine, but we decided to throw a book in the mix, too!

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  • I had to buy new Tom’s when walking around in Chicago and I’m actually happy about it because I’ve been meaning to buy a new pair for a while now. Love this blue!

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  • I’m heading to the Cape this weekend with RM and his brother, sister-in-law and their 1 year old son. I think the weather is supposed to be crappy… why can’t it be nice when I have time to go to the beach?!
  • My parents are coming next weekend for my mom’s birthday- any good meal suggestions?

Questions for you: When’s the last time you skipped workout for sleep? Have you had any garden-fresh veggies this summer? Do you read Emily Griffin books? Are you in a book club?

Wednesday Workout: Run the stairs!

As I mentioned a little while ago, this summer I’m trying to take my workouts outside. Whether it’s just a run or a walk or a boot camp, it’s just a nice change of scenery to be outside rather than in a stuffy gym. On top of that, there are so many things that can keep your mind occupied while working out, which decreased the chances of becoming bored and quitting early 😉

These are some of my favorite parts of outdoor workouts:

  • People watching is awesome
  • You can work on your tan
  • Forces you to get creative
  • Fresh air
  • Pretty scenery
  • Hills and stairs help with training

Last week, the weather was so hot and humid that my plans for a long (for me) run went out the window shortly into the run. I did manage to do 3 miles, but they weren’t pretty. Since I still had some gas in the tank and was in a mood to push myself, I went to a nearby park and used various pieces of equipment (stairs and benches) there to help give me a butt kicking finisher workout! Note: if you don’t want to run first, I’d do the bootcamp part of the workout 3 or 4 times through for a full body workout.

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After doing 10 sets of these:

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(they’re steeper than they look!)

I felt like this:

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#sweatybeastmode

I’ve thought of some other creative ways to incorporate the stairs into my workout, so that makes me excited to get out there again. I did this on Monday:

  • 1 stair run, 10 burpees
  • 2 stair runs, 9 burpees
  • 3 stair runs, 8 burpees
  • etc. until you do 10 stair runs, but instead of doing 1 burpee, do 10 😉

So, the moral of this post is: go find a set of stairs and make them your b*tch! (ok, that was aggressive, but you know what I mean 😉 ).

Questions for you: Does anyone else get motivation to workout when they’re introduced to something new or figure out something new?? What’s your favorite outdoor piece of equipment?

 

 

 

Wednesday Workout: January Burpee & Push-Up Challenge!

Hi there! I am SO excited to be hosting my first “challenge” this month. My friend Athena has hosted a number of awesome challenges, and while I am not ready to put together anything as detailed, planned out and organized as well as she has, I thought this would be fun little challenge to add to your current workout.

It’s no surprise that I LOVE burpees, right? Remember this burpee post I wrote over the summer? So fun. I also love (more so, love to hate) push-ups. No matter how many I do, they are always challenging for me. But I think that’s part of the reason why I like them. That, and because they are such a good exercise for almost your entire body: chest, triceps, lats, core, quads, etc. On top of that, there are SO MANY variations and they can be modified to any fitness level (against a wall, table top position, hands and knees, hands and feet, hands and feet but with one foot lifted, etc.).

So, with that said, I have picked these two exercises for my challenge since I think they give you the most bang for your buck.January Burpee & Push-Up Challenge

Say, what?! 100 burpees AND 100 push-ups?! Yes, you read that correctly 🙂 Don’t get overwhelmed, though, there are a few things to note that will help show you it’s totally doable:

1. Even though this is a “for time” workout, meaning your goal is to complete the exercises as quickly as possible and to beat your time from one week to the next, I want you to make sure you’re keeping good form because doing exercises super fast, but sacrificing form isn’t safe or effective.

2. Feel free to complete the 100 reps of each exercise however you’d like: all at once, breaking it down to reps of 10, 20, 25, 50, etc., finish the burpees first in smaller sets then do the push-ups or vice versa, etc. There are so many ways to break it up!

3. Choose different burpees! You don’t have to do strict CrossFit burpees if you don’t want to. My burpee post has a number of different variations to choose from! Choose different push-up variations: clock push-ups, on your knees, 1 leg lifted, tricep push-ups, diamond push-ups, staggered hands push-ups, etc. Your choice 🙂

4. You can do these on any day of the week you’d like- If you want to get them over with on Monday’s, go for it! If you’d rather wait until mid-way through the week, that’s fine, too. This is your challenge.

5. Any fitness level can participate! Just make sure you warm up with some dynamic stretching beforehand!

6. I’ll check in with you guys on Mondays, but don’t wait until then to tell me how you did! Please share your thoughts/pictures/time with me via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I want to see who’s joining me in this challenge!

So, what do you think?! Is this something you’re interested in doing with me this month? If you are, leave me a comment saying that so we all know who’s participating. I’ll check in with you on Monday to see how you did, but feel free to comment on any post with your time!

Wednesday Workout: Mini Circuit Workout

Hi there! I hope you all enjoyed last week’s “Wednesday Workout” post, which focused on burpees! I heart burpees. A lot.

Anyway! I wanted to give you an actual workout to try this week. I taught this in my SHRED class and really enjoyed it. The workout itself actually came from Fitnessista, but I added my own touches with the cardio blasts and changing up the reps a bit.

Mini Circuit Workout

Everything should be pretty much self-explanatory, but if you have questions, obviously leave me a comment or shoot me an email.  For the step-ups, I had my members stack 6 risers under each side of the bench and hold a weight while they stepped up. This is KILLER for the quads and glutes; I’m totally obsessed with step-ups now. I gave the class the option to do whatever burpee they felt like doing- so nice of me, right?! 😉

Let me know if you try this! I foresee this being a new “go to” at-home workout as you don’t need much equipment to complete it.

Questions for you: What’s your favorite leg exercise? What’s your favorite fitness blog?