BoxFIIT Certification {Review}

It still feels so crazy to say that I am completely finished with my Box FIIT Certification!!  While I felt like I worked diligently on the certification, it still took me about 2.5 months to finish, but considering everything else I had going on (teaching, subbing, blogging, working… oh yeah, and planning my wedding!), I don’t think that’s too bad!

Before I get into the details of what the certification was like/what to expect, things I liked, things I would change, etc., I want to say that this is the best certification I have EVER done. George Foreman III (“G3”) clearly put his heart and soul into this certification and every time I felt overwhelmed by how much work it was, I reminded myself that GF3 put a hundred times more time & energy into this certification and that helped power me through 🙂 It’s seriously incredible everything that he put into making this certification and it far surpassed all of the other certifications I’ve done in terms of teaching you the basics, advanced levels and how to teach it. AND, I get 7 AFAA continuing ed. credits as part of the certification- amazing!

Ok, let’s talk about the certification now! I have wanted to teach at The Club for a long time now. I had previously gone through the hiring process but for one reason or another, never ended up teaching there, so when I saw that they had a public certification, I knew I had to do it. Between my love of boxing/cardio kickboxing and my want to start teaching at a new-to-me gym, I knew it was the perfect certification for me. Oh, and they had a crazy deal at the time so I got the whole thing for SO cheap!

Once I signed up, I had a Skype introductory meeting with GF3. He went through all of the various stages of the certification, suggestions on how to complete it, what to expect, what he would like to see, etc. and he answered all of my questions. From there, I jumped right in with watching the videos. I took LOTS of notes, but that’s because that’s how I learn best. If you don’t need to take notes, you can print off notes from the library, which is what I did when it came time to do my videos so I could remember the specific cues that I should use.

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There were 5 Learning Paths: Boxing (this included 5 rounds within the path: Footwork, Defense, Offense, Combinations & Styles), Strength (this included 8 rounds within the path: Core, Squat, Lunge, Clean & Row, Push & Press, Turkish Get Up, Suspension & Safety), Conditioning (Rowing/Cycling/Ropes/Plyos & Running), Teaching Classes (and using the trainer app) and Mittwork (mittwork & sparring). If that sounds like a lot- it was! But I really did find everything in the videos to be extremely helpful and they really inspired me to be a better instructor and boxer. GF3 taught the videos on the boxing learning paths and Anthony Diluglio lead all of the non- boxing learning paths (conditioning, strength, suspension training, Turkish Getup, squats, lunges, etc.). Both of these guys are incredible instructors and I learned SO MUCH by watching the videos and executing the moves.

For each phase you had to watch various videos on content related to the learning path, do your “homework” which was watching short video clips of the exercises and cues he wanted us to focus on, video yourself demoing the focus exercises and then video yourself teaching someone how to safely and accurately execute the exercises. While the video part didn’t bother me (hello, I post videos and selfies all the time!), I did struggle with finding time and people to teach for video purposes. I also found it hard to tape some videos based on the equipment necessary- I tend to go to the gym during busy times which is not conducive for videoing 😉 But it all worked out- I was able to make trips to the gym during off hours and find gracious people to help me! Also, I had invested in a cell phone tripod from Amazon (not sure the link anymore, but it was $7!) that was a LIFESAVER throughout the certification process.

Pro’s

I want to talk now about the things I loved about the certification- there are so many!

  • Attention to detail and thoroughness of the certification- As I mentioned earlier, this certification is the best I’ve ever done. Each part of the boxing and strength experience is completely broken down to make sure that we, as future instructors, know our shit (for a lack of better words 😉 ). There is nothing worse than an instructor who instructs incorrectly, so it was clear that GF3 and Anthony really made it a priority to make sure that wouldn’t happen.
  • Communication- GF3 was very active with communications, whether via email, Skype, Twitter, etc., he was around. Also, he responded to EVERY video that I submitted- either with notes or tips or tweaks to make or just a “nice work!” note (<- those were my favorite 🙂 ). Knowing that he’s actually looking at the videos and taking the time to give us feedback is awesome. Nicole Schultz was also a HUGE help when it came to communication- I emailed her countless times for random questions I had throughout the certification. She is amazing!!
  • Expertise- GF3 is so incredibly knowledgeable about boxing AND teaching- truly a master of his craft. And Anthony was just as knowledgeable about the other exercises we learned as GF3 is about boxing. The tips and cues Anthony gave throughout the videos have helped me SO MUCH in my own teaching.
  • Content- The content was spot on and I truly felt like I finished the certification with such a better understanding of the human body and how it relates to and reacts from exercise and movement so much better. Rather than skimming the surface of boxing and conditioning and strength, they dug really deep to help us drill down the necessary fundamentals to safely and correctly execute and teach the movements.
  • Resources- The “library” which holds all of the individual movement videos was invaluable to me during my certification because it also linked to written notes about each exercise/movement with specific cues/teaching points. Also, the trainer dashboard is awesome and having access to so many other trainers and workouts is going to be so helpful as I get going with my teaching. The BoxFIIT Trainer App is also great- so long paper notebooks with my scribbles on them! The app allows you to create your entire workout right in it AND link to music. It’s awesome!

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Con’s

With every list of pro’s, there’s usually a list of con’s, right? I don’t really have much negative to say about the certification because it was truly an incredible learning experience. However, I will say that this certification is not ideal for someone who isn’t serious about wanting to teach a BoxFIIT/boxing class because it is a lot of work and does take a lot of time. Going into the certification you really need to be prepared to work hard because you can’t slide your way through it like you might for other certifications. I think the hardest part for me was finding people and time to do the video submissions, but I do know they are really important for an online certification. I would’ve loved a 2 day intensive in-person certification, but I think online is much easier for most people because you’re able to go at your own pace. Attending the recent BoxFIIT clinic at The Club a few weekends ago was SUPER helpful in getting the in-person experience that I personally crave.

The only other things that I thought got to be a little redundant were the videos on teaching, but again, I think that’s because I’ve been teaching for 4 years and have a pretty good handle on that. I think those videos were targeted towards people who have never taught before, so when I reminded myself of that, I realized how important they were!

All in all, I couldn’t be more impressed with this certification, nor more grateful that I took a chance and added it to my plate during a very busy time in my life. I can’t wait to continue learning from some incredibly motivating, inspiring, talented and smart people in the field. GF3- thank you for everything- you’re amazing!

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If anyone is interested in learning more about this certification, PLEASE let me know. I believe I can get you a discount code, or at least put you in touch with Nicole and George.

Also! I will be teaching my first classes on TUESDAY (May 24th) at 5:30pm and 6:30pm at GymIt in Watertown. Let me know if you’re interested in coming (would love the support of some familiar faces on my first night!) 🙂

 

 

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Weekending: Frank Pepe’s Pizza, Boxing, Brunching & More

And just like that- the weekend is over in the blink of an eye! Don’t get me wrong- we certainly made the most of the weekend, but it doesn’t mean it makes it any easier when it’s over.

Friday

After work on Friday I did some shopping for shoes to wear to various wedding-related events. I ended up finding a few pairs at Off Saks, including these fun pink heels. What do you think?

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They’ve got a snake skin-ish type of material, too. Once we both got home, we headed over to Chestnut Hill to check out Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria. While there was a long line, we ended up getting seated in just about 35 minutes which wasn’t bad. We opted for their famous clam pizza and a traditional cheese pizza. Both of us were “meh” about the clam pizza but totally loved the cheese pizza. It was light and thin so you could eat multiple slices without feeling too weighed down. Definitely worth a trip if you’ve been thinking about checking it out.

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Conveniently next door was a little Gelateria, so obviously we had to stop and get one. I opted for the baby sized Biscoff and Hazelnut and both were amazingly good. I haven’t had gelato that good since Italy!

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Saturday

Saturday morning started with an awesome Bags & Body class at The Club, followed by mitt practice with Nicole. I have never done that so it was really humbling, but it felt good to be out of my comfort zone and learning something new. The best part? Nicole sent me home with some awesome fighters swag so I can be outfitted for my first class (more details soon!).

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After class I met up with a few friends to celebrate Jessi’s engagement. We went to Worden Hall in Southie which was another place on my “want to try” list. We got a bottle of bubbly and I got spinach and goat cheese omelet which was really tasty.

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I love girls luncheon dates! Jess had to leave after lunch but my sister stopped in so she, Jessi and I had another drink at Stephi’s in Southie before heading home. On my way home I offered to pick up food at Whole Foods for dinner so I opted to get food shopping for the week out of the way, too. The rest of the night was spent hanging out, making wings, eating left over pizza and watching House of Cards.

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I love Saturday night’s where I’m in bed by 10:30… yes, I’m 30 going on 75 😉

Sunday

After breakfast, I went to church and then came home and worked on my taxes. While spending 2 hours on that sucked, I’m getting a good chunk of money back which will come in very handy for the wedding! Once I was done, we went for a quick walk and then I finished off with a quickie 5K since it was so gorgeous out. I needed Vitamin D in a bad way!

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We finished off the day with the most delicious eggplant parm and chicken cutlets at RM’s mother’s house. I opted to not do any real meal prep this week since it’s my birthday week which was a nice change.

Although my Sunday was not nearly as productive as I wanted to, it was perfect. I had wanted to get to the gym to film a few BoxFIIT videos and work on that certification, but I decided that I wanted to go for a walk and a run MORE, so that took precedent over that. Sometimes you just have to pick and choose what’s important to you on a particular day… and sometimes that’s not in line with what you “should” do or what’s on your to-do list…. and that is totally fine.

With that, here’s to a good week! It’ll be a busy one for me due to birthday celebrations, but it’s all fun things so I can’t wait!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Pepe’s Pizza? Did you get in any good workouts? Did you go out to eat at all? Did you get out to enjoy the sunshine throughout the weekend? What’s going on this week?

Five on Friday {4.8.16}

Good morning! TGIF, right?! This week has really dragged on for me- no idea why, but it makes me especially happy that it’s Friday (FriYAY, right?!)! Here are some of the topics going on in my head these days:

  • Personalized Cornhole Bags- Etsy is my new best friend these days, which is exactly where I found these adorable cornhole bags. I opted to go with cream and navy with gold lettering since those are roughly the colors we are kind of going with. I also ordered the boards from someone else off of Etsy so once RM paints those I’ll show them. So excited to bring these up to NH for our wedding!

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  • Wedding Invitation Frustrations- Speaking of our wedding- which, btw, is less than 3 months away!!- invitations have been a bit of a frustration so far. I designed them on the PaperSource website and then went into the store in Lynnfield to have them help me with a few things. They timed everything out and said I would see the proofs in 3-5 business days, however, I did not see a proof until 8 business days!!! Seeing how the 23 business days they quoted me to get the final product already put us at the end of April (need to get these babies out by early May), I was stressing big time! I called the store probably 5 times and emailed with them, but I will say that I love the final proof and can’t wait to get them in. Anyone else have any wedding-related issues out of your control that caused you stress?
  • Shrimp Pad Tai- We had another week of Just Add Cooking meals and it was another week of winning meals! The Shrimp Pad Tai was so easy to make and SO delicious that I have a feeling it will become a regular meal we rotate in.

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  • House of Cards- We started watching House of Cards the other night. So far, even though it’s a little slow I’m enjoying it- no violence, which is a nice change of pace from Breaking Bad 😉 Anyone else watch this? Will we love it?
  • BoxFIIT Certification Update- Ahh! I’m getting there! I have only a handful of videos left to film before I’m done and I’m SO excited. I’ve been focusing on taking more classes to get comfortable with the format and bags and things like that. Eliza’s Tuesday night Bags and Body/Beats is such a fun class- something I could totally see myself teaching. If you’re interested in learning more about this certification, let me know- happy to provide more information!

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And that does it for me! As for weekend plans, RM suggested checking out Pepe’s pizza in Chestnut Hill… and I’m not one to turn down a pizza offer so I think we are doing that tonight. Tomorrow I am going to Nicole’s Bags & Body class at The Club in the morning and then doing some mitt practice before meeting up with a few friends to celebrate my bestie’s recent engagement! Whatever you have on the agenda for the weekend, I hope you take time for YOU!

Questions for you: Wedding planning tips for how to stay sane and not stressed? PLEASE SHARE! Did you cook any good meals this week? What are you up to this weekend? Any good workouts?

 

Weekending: Wedding Update & Double Easter Celebrations

Good morning! Hopefully by the time this post goes up, I will have already gotten my butt kicked by Eliza at the Watertown GymIt/EBF studio. As part of the Box FIIT certification I’m working on, I’m trying to get as much class experience as I can with other instructors to help better prepare me for when it’s time to start teaching my own classes- eek!!

This past weekend was another good one- lots of family time with both families which is always a nice treat! However, I am looking forward to this weekend since we FINALLY have a weekend with virtually no plans, which hasn’t happened in forever. I have so many general life things that I want to catch up on, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a bunch done!

After work on Friday I went to the Paper Source in Lynnfield to finalize our wedding invitations. I started them online which helped because I went into the store knowing exactly what I wanted and how it looked, but I was also able to work with a super helpful lady who helped me add more text lines and change the layout a bit. They are super simple, but classy- I love them and can’t wait until they come in! Oh, and the best part? All wedding invitations and related things were 20% off, which really helped keep them within my budget.

Once that was done, I picked up a few things at Whole Foods: pizza ingredients for dinner and quiche ingredients for Saturday brunch with my family. I made this quiche which was a big hit.

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The pizza I made for RM and me was also fantastic- the dough from Whole Foods is so good!

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Saturday started off with a sweaty kickboxing class. I don’t know if it’s because I hadn’t worked out in 2 days or if it was because I hadn’t slept well the night before but the class kicked my butt!!

After class we showered up and headed into the city to go to my sister’s apartment for part 1 of our Easter celebrations. So much food, so much wedding talk, so many laughs! I also brought out my biggest of hair for the occasion 😉

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Oh! And my mom washed her vail and brought it down to see if I wanted to use it for our wedding. I think it will be so special having my “something old” (and something borrowed) as her veil. I just need to find a nice comb to attach it to.

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(and yes, I am a giant next to her!}

We stopped at Branch Line for a few drinks on our way home. As good as the drinks are, we REALLY need to get back there for dinner because everything looked and smelled amazing!

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Sunday morning I kicked off the day with a quickie 20 minute bodyweight tabata workout (I’ll share it with you on Wednesday!) and then went to church. I haven’t been to church since we moved, so I figured Easter Sunday was as good a day as any to start. I hope to get back into a more regular church-going schedule.

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When church was over I went food shopping and got wine and flowers for the Easter dinner at RM’s mother’s house. I didn’t get any photos of the food, but it was quite a feast: homemade lasagna (homemade noodles and everything!), grilled lamb, salad, brussels sprouts, potatoes, peppers and so many desserts. My future SIL’s parents came and when her mom walked in with a bunny cake it made me so happy because my mom always made me a bunny cake for my birthday/Easter!

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As much as I didn’t want to food prep when we got home, I knew it would be better if I just got it over with!

And that about does it- the weekend came and went way too quickly, per usual! I hope you all had a great weekend and have a kick ass week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? What did you do for Easter? Did you get any good workouts in? Do you go to church?

Five on Friday {3.18.16}

Good morning! TGIF! This week dragggged on for me for some reason. I attribute it to the weather- the string of gloomy days really got to me. But, today is Friday and that is a very good thing- so here we go!

  • #Runbold A fellow blogger reached out to me about a really cool opportunity John Hancock is doing for the marathon this year. They are giving people the opportunity to share a running picture with a powerful word that running means to them and then adding the hashtag #runbold. When you do this, you have a chance to be featured on a marathon banner- pretty cool, right? If you’re interested, head on over here for more details.
  • Wedding Food Tasting– Tomorrow morning we are heading up to the Wentworth to do our food tasting for our wedding, which, btw is in 108 days!!! It’s a group tasting for all of the 2016 weddings so it will be fun to meet and chat with other people getting married there. Plus, it’ll be nice to have a little weekend getaway!

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  • THIS Rose Bubbly– My friends Amy and Amanda introduced us to this amazing rose bubbly. I’m telling ya- if you like rose and you like bubbly (Sherri- I’m thinking of you!), you must go get this. I found it at Whole Foods in Lynnfield but the girls have found it at the City Target and a liquor store in Ball Square (Somerville). It’s about $15/bottle but it is SO worth it. So delicious and almost too east to drink 😉

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  • Starburst Jellybeans- I’m a sucker for these bad boys and when Walgreens had a sale on them, I couldn’t help pick up a bag. Why are they so good?!

  • Bags & Kicks- As you know, I’m working on my BoxFIIT certification so my goal is to start getting to more classes. I feel confident in my teaching ability, I just need to get more familiar with the class formats which I think will come pretty easily to me. Nicole taught the class I took and she was fantastic! It was a super hard class, but totally my style. I was able to stay for the second and “shadow” here which was fun. People were very receptive to my cues and help. Can’t wait to teach my own!
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And that does it! I hope you have a great end to your work week!
Questions for you: How was your week? Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you have anything fun planned this weekend? What’s your favorite Easter candy? Do you have a “must try” bubbly?