Wednesday Workout: 3 Set Lower Body Burnout

Good morning! I hope you’re having a good week. Today I am sharing a workout I threw together on Monday that left me VERY sore yesterday. I started with a 10 minute treadmill run at a moderately fast pace and then headed downstairs to the weight room to complete this 3 set lower body focused workout.

When doing this, please think about choosing weights that are challenging (last couple of reps should be hard!), but don’t compromise your form.

3 Set Lower Body Burnout

Explanations:

  • Deadlifts– these can be trap bar deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, or whatever else you would like to do. They’re a single exercise set so that you can lift heavy and have enough recovery between rounds/sets.
  • Step ups- choose a step height that’s challenging, yet doesn’t make you feel like you need to use momentum to get up. Also, I held 15lb Kettlebells in each hand, which wasn’t quite heavy enough, but it still did the trick.
  • Pushups- If you’re struggling with doing proper chest to ground pushups on your toes, try doing incline ones, maybe on the step you used for the step ups or even against a wall.
  • Lunge -> SLDL (single leg deadlift)- Hold a KB like you would for a goblet squat and then step your right leg back into a lunge. As you come back through center, engage your core and hinge forward at the hips coming into a single leg deadlift and changing your grip on the KB and hold it from the top of the handle and letting it hang towards the ground. As you lift back up to center, do a KB clean and step back into the lunge with a KB goblet grip. While doing this, focus on moving slow rather than rushing through the movements. Repeat on the opposite side.

The last move is definitely what killed me- I used a 25lb KB and wowzers were my hammies screaming at me yesterday!

This workout should take you about 40 minutes to complete if you do the 10 minute treadmill run- just letting you know in case you’re like me and generally on a time limit at the gym. As always, let me know if you try it!

Questions for you: When’s the last time you felt really sore after a workout?

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Currently I’m Crushing On {Part IV}

I go through phases for things I’m loving. Whether it’s fashion, food or fitness, I tend to be really into something for a while and then once I get sick of it, I move on to something new. I’ve share some other things I’ve been crushing on here, here, and here. But it’s time to share some new things I’m loving- most are fashion related, as that is currently something I’m really into- enjoy!

  • These Lululemon casual pants- I don’t remember what the name of them is, but I got them on super sale and LOVE them! So comfy.

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  • Skinny Jeans and Wedges/flowy tops (Shirt is from a boutique in Kennebunkport, jeans are J. Crew and shoes are Lucky Brand)

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Weekending & Life Lately Catch-Up

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend 🙂 Mine was really pretty great and I actually took pictures so I thought I’d spend today sharing those with you! But, before I get to that, let’s catch up over the past couple of weeks. I can’t believe we’ve been back from Italy for over 3 weeks- seems like just yesterday we were packing up to go there.

  • I’ve been working out outside a lot- whether in the form of running or bootcamp style workouts. With the nicer weather upon us, I just want to be outside as much as possible!

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  • But, I’m also loving being back in the gym with weights and strength training! Feels so good to leave the gym with jello-feeling everything 🙂

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  • I’m participating in Neghar Fonooni’s Bikini Rebellion challenge this month and am more than obsessed with it. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve probably seen some very personal, “leave it all on the table” types of posts, which has been hard, but also really refreshing.
  • We’ve been loving healthy, light meals. In the heat, it’s awesome to throw something together quickly!

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  • My curly hair is back… BIG and back! I was afraid my curls were going away over the winter, but fear not… it was just the dry weather that made my hair less curly than usual!

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This Week: Workouts, Loving Challenge Workouts & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! This week is a little weird as I have to be at a client site all week, which sucks because I have really grown to LOVE my Monday work from home days. I’m also not looking forward to driving to Canton every day- yuck! But, at least it’s just a week! I’m hoping to get most of my workouts done in the morning so that I can have the evenings to finish decorating my apartment and stuff.

Luckily, this week has a few challenges that are workout based so that will make it easier to decide what to do! And, speaking of my challenge- I’m having SO MUCH FUN participating and seeing so many of you participating! I’ve definitely been pushed out of my comfort zone a few times, but it’s been great. Don’t forget to let me know somehow that you’re participating- I’ve got some great prizes lined up 🙂

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I went for a gorgeous 4 mile run during my lunch break. The weather was perfect and it felt so good to be running outside! I also did 3 pull-ups (!!!) and 1 minute of push-ups.

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  • Tuesday- I went to the Wellington BSC for a bootcamp class. It was heavy arm-focused and I loved it!
  • Wednesday- I did my 20 minute AMRAP workout as part of my #happyhealthyfit challenge before teaching UXF Burn. One of my members was at the gym early for class and he joined me- it was fun and it was a tough workout!

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  • Thursday- I went to the gym during lunch and ran 2 miles before doing some kettlebell tabata rounds.

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  • Friday- Rest day, although I did get up early for some stretching, as part of Athena’s Holiday Hustle. It was a really nice way to start the day, especially since I don’t ever take time to specifically just stretch.IMG_9541
  • Saturday- Roberto and I were at a hotel in NH, so I hit the gym when I got up for a quick total body workout as part of my challenge. I ran 10 minutes on the treadmill, walked 10 minutes then did a bunch of different exercises. The gym was the size of a closet, but it got the job done.

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  • Sunday- Rest day

This Week’s Workouts

I have no idea what my workouts will look like this week, but I do know that I’m teaching UXF Burn on Wednesday and cardio kickboxing on Saturday 🙂 I’ll also be doing all of the fitness challenges in Week 2 of the #happyhealthyfit challenge.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Although I’m really NOT looking forward to being in Canton all week, there are lots of other things I’m looking forward to, including decorating my tree and apartment, book club on Tuesday, massages on Friday and a quiet weekend. After last week, I need a quiet weekend!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Are you participating in the challenge? What was your favorite challenge last week? What are you looking forward to this week?

SWC MANIA 2014 Recap

Hi there! A little late for my MANIA review, but better late than never, right? Although I was only able to go one day this year, my one day was amazing. I was able to go to 4 different physical class sessions and 1 lecture. By the end, I was physically exhausted, mentally drowning (happily) in new information and super motivated to get out there and be a better instructor, not just for me, but for my members, their growth and their safety. There’s just something so invigorating about spending the day immersed amongst fitness professionals!

I wanted to share some of what I learned with you guys in case you were not able to attend the event or are looking for something new to try. Here’s the summary of the classes I took, as well as some take-aways. Enjoy!

Jump on it! for Chicks & Battle it Out! Ropes for Chicks

Ok, probably the coolest thing about MANIA this year was getting to take two classes with Chris Freytag.

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I remember doing her videos On Demand when I first moved to Boston, so meeting her & doing her workouts in person was so cool! What I loved the most about her classes was her emphasis on making the workout a team event. We worked the following connections:

  • Coach/Athlete Connection
  • Coach: Motivator, educator & guide (we, as instructors, do the same thing in our classes- we guide people by giving them an overview of the class, we educate people by cueing and giving direction and explaining form and we motivate people by being there, by giving positive feedback and encouragement to keep going)
  • Athlete: Challenged, empowered & focused (this is their job when they come to class- we want them to feel engaged and proud of themselves. We also need to remind them that they are not giving up if they’re modifying)

Another thing I liked about her teaching/classes was the different ways you can run the class, again, keeping the team/coach aspect in mind.

  • Coach/team- You, as the instructor, are the coach and your members/class participants are the team. This is the traditional way that group exercise classes are run.
  • Coach (participant)/Athlete- This is where you have a member coach another member. We did this and it was so fun! While one person worked, the other coached and encouraged them, which was their “rest”.
  • Athlete/Athlete- Two members are both working at the same time. Not necessarily doing the same thing, but both working.

The Jump on It class was fun as we used the SPRI boxes and did all sorts of workouts on them: step ups, plank jacks, decline push-ups, box jumps, elevated reverse lunges, etc. We worked for 30 seconds at a time. I was so sweaty and beat after this class- it was awesome!

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I think the most challenging class for me was the battle ropes class. The good thing was that the ropes were smaller than those huge ones they have at the gym that, lets face it, are just not meant for women. They are so thick it’s hard to even get a good grip! These were the perfect size and I learned so many new ways to use them- prone snake whips, squat walk with alternating waves, star jacks, isometric squat hold with arm circles, kneeling power slams, lateral shuffle with alternating waves, v-sit and whip, side plank with outside circles, burpee push-up… you get the idea. I can’t wait to do a workout like this on my own. I was SO SORE from this the next day- holy lats!

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Chris Freytag was so encouraging and positive and made you feel like a star player. I was honored when she gave me the team leader award, and especially stoked when I realized my prize was a SPRI Step 360. This piece of equipment is amazing- so versatile an better for your form since it has a flat top. My workout for you tomorrow shows you all sorts of exercises you can do on it.

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Kettlebell Training

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Another class I took was Kettlebell Training with Kelly Roberts. I’ll admit that KB’s generally intimidate me. I never know if I’m thrusting and moving and swinging correctly, so it was nice to break things down and learn how to do some basic moves. I never realized that KB’s had so many benefits:

  • Improves total body coordinated strength
  • Improves posture
  • Time efficient because you’re working multiple components are once
  • Weight bearing and functional
  • Enhances exercise efficiency
  • Increased bone mineral density

I also liked learning about the different techniques:

  • Grind- slow & controlled (lifts, squats, etc.)
  • Ballistic- using momentum, the KB projects away from you body
  • Curvilinear- lifting out to the sides
  • Rectilinear- lifting up and down

We worked through all sorts of different moves in an hour long workout. The format was set up in a way where we did a grind move, a ballistic move and then a core movement. I learned some great moves and love that some of them can be used in my classes with dumbbells.

Piloxing

The last class that I took was Piloxing. I didn’t necessarily take the class to get new moves for my classes, but rather, I took it to find out what it was all about! Piloxing is a type of workout that incorporates standing pilates, boxing and dance and while I thought it was a good workout, it wasn’t as great as I was expecting. The instructor kind of annoyed me because she literally yelled the entire time… like yelled AT us, which I didn’t take well to. The moves were fairly basic so it was easy to follow along, but I think it was hard to get a great workout if you didn’t have rhythm and didn’t add in extra flare. I’d like to try it again, but I definitely don’t think it’s the type of class I would like teaching- it just wasn’t my style!

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Women & Weight Lifting

To break up the day, I decided to take a lecture instead of a movement class. This lecture was SO interesting- I think it’s amazing how much our bodies work in a connected manner. You’d never know something about the way you stand could affect the rest of your body so much. I will say, though, that I thought we were going to be learning more about how to lift and ways we should be lifting and while we didn’t get into that specific type of detail that I wanted, I still learned so much about movement and lifting in general. Here are some things I learned:

  • The average woman sits for 13 hours a day
  • If you stand for even just 2 hours a day while working, you’ll lose 11.2 pounds a year
  • Only 20% of women strength train twice a week
  • Because of our wide hips & short legs (generally), the Q angle increases and creates weakness in the knees. We need to increase our knee stability, which starts with ankle mobility. From there you work knee stability and then hips mobility.
  • Women have less Type II fibers (anaerobic) and have less glycogen therefore we are not made to work out as long as guys are. I thought this was crazy, but after he explained more about why this is true, it made more sense. I never knew why guys and girls had different standards, but seeing scientific facts behind it made sense.
  • We can gain Type II fibers by lifting heavier or by doing explosive moves.
  • Working in 4 sets with 6-12 reps is ideal
  • Women are better designed for low to moderate, longer duration, sub-maximal exercise and continuous steady state exercise. Shorter intervals, but shorter rest.
  • We can preserve muscle mass by resistance training

The instructor for this course (Fabio Comana) was SO knowledgeable. I learned better squat and lunge techniques and have really started to bring those slight changes into my classes. I wanted this class to be longer because I still had so many questions! I wanted him to watch me do various exercises so he could critique my format. Such a valuable course!

All in all, MANIA, although I only attended 1 day, was awesome. I left there feeling so inspired to be a better instructor and to expand my class base. Unfortunately, I can’t add any more classes to my schedule, but man do I wish I could!

If you’re a fitness professional, or just someone who loves learning about fitness and trying new things, I highly suggest MANIA- it’s awesome!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to MANIA? Do you like Kettlebell training? What do you think about the differences and males and females and what we are both capable of?