Wednesday Workout: My favorite fitness blogs

I have a super fun “Wednesday Workout” post for you in the makes, but I ran out of time over the weekend, got home much later than planned on Monday and left for North Carolina on Tuesday, so, in other words, I didn’t have a chance to finish it. Womp, womp.

Now that I have time to go to the gym on my own, I’ve noticed that tend to use workouts that fellow bloggers post, or take pieces of their workouts and make a bit of a mash-up workout to do. Since I find these blogs helpful for providing motivation to get to the gym (and workouts to do when you get to the gym), I thought I’d share them with you in case you’re in a workout “rut” and need inspiration.

Fitness and Feta
It should be no surprise that Athena’s blog should be at the top for my favorite fitness blogs. Members always say how the two of us teach very similar classes, and since I have gone to a number of Athena’s classes (back when I lived in Brighton, I went to her 6am Thursday class at the Y religiously) and have done a number of the workouts she’s posted on Fitness and Feta (most recently, her 10-12-15 workout), I can agree that we do have a very similar teaching style! Her workouts are tough, full body and she always keeps the format changing, which helps me when it’s time for me to make my workouts since I tend to get into “fitness ruts” and need reminders for ways to change up a workout. On top of this, Athena has created a number of online fitness “challenges” that helps bring her readers together and push us out of our comfort zone. If you haven’t tried one, I highly suggest it!

Nutcase In Point
Right behind Athena, is Jen’s blog. Jen was also an Oak Square class groupie like I was; we were always in the same classes, always in the front, and usually sweating more than everyone else (sorry, Jen… I take pride in my sweat production! Haha). Anyway, she subbed for some of Athena’s classes and was always a sub that I didn’t mind, because she taught very similarly to Athena. Now that she lives in Canada, we don’t get to workout together (wish we did, though!!), but I do love reading her blog because she always throws in moves that are either completely new to me, or, are moves I haven’t done in forever and completely forgot about. Oh, and did I mention she bakes amazing looking treats and that she used to do a Winesday Wednesday series that I think she should bring back… hint, hint 😉

Fitnessista
Fitnessista was one of the first healthy living blogs I started reading, and I’ve been and avid follower ever since. Gina’s posts range in topics from workouts to her job as a fitness instructor to cute stories about her little daughter and to delicious looking recipes, to name a few. One of my favorite post series are her “Focus On” posts where she picks a trending workout (her latest was Focus On: Buti Fitness which looks incredibly… interesting, to say the least) and gives background about the workout in addition to pros and cons of it. If she isn’t familiar with a particular trending workout, she will have a reader or friend write a guest post on the topic. Another thing I enjoy about her blog is the fact that she reminds us all about the things we should all remember and follow, but rarely (in my case, at least) do, such as resting, changing up the intensity of the workouts, listening to your body, etc.

PB Fingers
Julie’s blog was another blog that I started reading a number of years ago (before she became a full time blogger) and have enjoyed thoroughly throughout those years. Recently, Julie became a fitness instructor and I’ve enjoyed reading about the various classes she has started to teach, as well as all of the functional workouts that she posts. Julie’s workouts tend to be shorter and simpler in format, but sometimes seeing those workouts are just what I need to remember that every workout doesn’t have to have some crazy format or advanced moves to be effective; as long as you’re getting your heart rate up, working hard and sweating, that counts as a workout in my book!

Day With KT
Kim has been a reader and follower of Burpees to Bubbly for a while now (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and when I went over to her site, I realized she’s as big of a fitness nut as I am! She’s also doing the Daily 44 this year in honor of her being 44. The “Daily 44” is something she created to stay healthy and active (which started with her Daily 43 after her 43rd birthday), so each day she picks an exercise and does 44 reps of it. The exercises and format of how she gets to 44 vary from day to day, but I had a blast reading through all of the different exercises she has chosen thus far and can absolutely see myself doing something like this for a milestone birthday (maybe my 30th, which is much closer than I’d like to admit!).

I could go on and on, but these are my top 5 favorite fitness blogs where I get most of my inspiration for workouts.
Questions for you: What’s your favorite fitness blog? Any new ones that I should add to my list?

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I Went To A Class! That I Wasn’t Teaching! (And, a UXF Inspired Workout)

Happy Wednesday! Two posts in one day… how do you feel about that?!

So, last night, I did something I haven’t done in a long, long, LONG time. I went to the gym. For a class. That I wasn’t teaching! Can you believe it? Back before I started teaching, I would go to the Wellington BSC 6 or 7 times a week for classes and for my own workouts. On Tuesday’s, I would go to Mary Beth’s Kickboxing IT class at 6:30. For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that Tuesdays used to be my go-to rest days since I was teaching Mondays and then Wednesday-Saturday. Now that I don’t teach on Friday’s anymore and am only teaching every other Saturday, it gives me the option to workout on Tuesdays if I want, which is kind of fun… and also why I went to the gym last night. It was SO good to see all of my instructor friends at that gym… boy have I missed it!

006Although Mary Beth’s class is quite different than how I teach, it was really nice being able to workout for ME. I didn’t have to worry about sounding like I was sucking air as I was giving cues and pointers in my mic, I didn’t have to worry about watching everyone and checking form, I didn’t have to worry about remembering the next move. As much as I LOVE teaching, last night was a reminder that I need to get back into the gym to TAKE classes, because I really love that, too.

Post workout, I went home, watered my flowers and made a quick and easy dinner, using leftovers from Sunday’s Cinco de Mayo meal.

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(from Instagram. Are you following me yet?)

All I did was take the leftover “chili” mixture (it thickened up in the fridge) and put it in a honey wheat tortilla (Fiber One- love them!), added some cheese and grilled it up. Quick, easy, delicious.

Workout

Ok, let’s get to that workout that I promised you, ok? As most of you probably know, I teach a UXF Burn class for the Boston Sports Club once a week. As much as I love the workouts, I get bored quickly and need to change-up the format sometimes. While the basis of the workout is consistent with the “Keep It Moving” format, I changed it up in that we kept the 60 second time intervals for the strength portions throughout the whole workout (instead of dropping them down to 45 seconds, 30 seconds, and then 2 tabata rounds).

In the Keep It Moving, the workout is set up in the following format:

1. Lower body

2. Upper body- pull

3. Core

4. Compound Movement- RIGHT

5. Compound Movement- LEFT

6. Upper- push

7. Compound Movement- both right and left together

8. Core

90 Seconds of Cardio

Although, I kept the moves somewhat consistent with how the format is laid out above, I did change it a bit in that I used moves that were not on “the list”… tisk, tisk, I know!

UXF Inspired workout

I had a really hard time trying to explain moves for #’s 3 and 4, so refer to THIS post for a better description, but it sort of looks like this:

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If you have any other questions, please let me know! A couple of members told me that they really liked the exercises I chose for this workout, so try it out and let me know what you think!

Questions for you: Instructor friends- think it’s easier or harder to take a class vs. teach it? Do you like leftovers? Ever taken a UXF Burn class?

Also! Check in tomorrow for a special recap of the April Arms Challenge I participated in last month:)

Run Through Cambridge, Lunch w/Mom & Dad, Gardening, Chicken Parm Burgers

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday. I woke up thinking that the weather looked so nice, but when I checked my weather.com app (first thing I do every morning!), I was rudely awakened (haha no pun intended, but I’ll take it!). 40 degrees?! It’s MAY. Our thermostat in the apartment read 61 degrees. I’m sorry, but it’s MAY and I am not turning on the heat anymore! Where is the warm weather?!

Anyway, I posted a lot of photo’s yesterday and wanted to fill you in on them today!

Wednesday

I got to Central Square about an hour earlier than I needed to be there, so I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go for a jog through Cambridge. I say jog, because that’s really all it was for me. I wasn’t in the mood to push myself and track my pace, but rather I was more in the mood to be in the sun and clear my mind. Running with this view certainly helped that!

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001Class was awesome- I incorporated one of the moves that Jen’s posted in her most recent Monday Moves post and everyone loved it! I’ll post the workout later this week- promise!

Friday

My sister had a “live” in Western Mass, so my parents went and stayed with her for the night (yes, this may seem odd, but if you knew my parents you would understand. They love any sort of little adventure, especially when they can be around us.).  Since I had to teach my double on Thursday night, I couldn’t make it to join them, but persuaded them to drive out of their way and come visit me for lunch on Friday!

Mom can’t visit us or we can’t go home without her giving us a little present, and today was no different. They went to the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center in Lancaster on their way to see me (I know, seems silly, but I love how cute they are when they do stuff like that!) and picked up this cute little plate!

lady bug plateDid you know that the Lady Bug is the Massachusetts state insect? I had no idea, but apparently the little lady running the visitors center shared this info with my parents.

We had a great time catching up, laughing and eating lunch- the BEST work lunch ever! (sorry, JP!)

011Friday night, I went to Olives in Charlestown with my friend Jessi. It was a long overdue, greatly needed girl sesh catch up night. I had never been to Olives before, but I totally loved it. The atmosphere was awesome, the people watching was superb and the food/wine was delicious! We shared a bottle of Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc and the sweet potato appetizer. Hit.The.Spot.

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014Saturday

I woke up and was SO excited that it was my day to teach. I hadn’t been there for 2 weeks and I was really itching to get back.

excited to teachSign of a good class? When a member (yes, you, Macall) asks me what I smoked prior to teaching. haha I love it! Obviously, I didn’t smoke anything, but I love teaching kickboxing and getting super sweaty so when you combine those, it equals a pretty intense class- perfect for a Saturday morning, if you ask me!

After teaching, I picked up my sister and we went to Home Depot to get all of the necessary supplies to get my garden going.

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020All of that shopping really worked up an appetite. Chipotle to the rescue! The burrito bowls there are so big, that it works out great when Danielle and I go together because we can share one (with a side of chips and guac, duhhh).

019For the most part, I think of Chipotle as a relatively healthy “fast food” place to grab lunch. Ok, maybe that was really only backed because I saw so many cross-fitters there and other people who looked like they came straight from the gym. You tell me- healthy or not?

The rest of the day was spent outside in my garden. I am not naturally blessed with a “green thumb,” but I sure do try! My dad, on the other hand, is amazing. He has a super hi-tech green house (temperature sensored so when it gets too hot, the vents open and a fan turns on and if it gets too cold, the vents shut and a space heater turns on. Classical music is played for the plants. yeah, THAT type of green house) and has always started all my veggies and flowers for me, but this year, I decided to do it all on my own. Who knows how it will turn out, but I am hoping for the best!

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026Chicken Parm Burgers

For dinner, we made one of our go-to favorite meals: Healthy Chicken Parmesan Burgers from Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. Every time we make them, I am reminded of how good they are! here is the recipe from her site:

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Extra marinara sauce
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:

Combine first nine ingredients (through dried basil) and mix well. Form into four patties, creating a slight dent in the center of the patty; refrigerate about 30 minutes. Grill over medium-high heat, 6-8 minutes on each side. Top cooked chicken burgers with mozzarella cheese.

If desired, coat insides of hamburger buns with a little spray butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder or Italian seasoning and place on the grill 1-2 minutes, until lightly toasted. Spread marinara sauce on toasted buns and top with cooked chicken burgers. Enjoy!

Ours didn’t look as good as hers, but I can bet that they tasted just as good! We tried them 2 different ways: in a wrap and on an english muffin (we didn’t have any buns so we got creative).  Both were good, but I liked eating it as a sandwich better.

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Yum. Definitely a fun thing to eat on a Saturday night. I made the roasted broccoli by coating the florets with a little bit of EVOO, Sea Salt and Pepper, Garlic Seasoning and Mrs. Dash- we baked them for about 15-20 minutes. Delish!

As for the rest of my Sunday, who  knows! We might head over to the SOWA Open Market, clean the apartment, cook a fun Mexican meal and make margs for Cinco de Mayo!

Questions for you: Chipotle- do you think this is a healthy “fast food” option? Have you ever been to the SOWA Open Market? What are your Cinco de Mayo plans?