fitness

Fit Friday: Barre Wrap Up

Good Morning and Happy Friday! We have made it through another month:) This is my wrap up and first impressions from completing one month of Barre classes. I completed all of my classes at a local studio 10 minutes from my apartment called Studio Barre. I attended 4 classes per week in the evenings. I found the classes challenging because the positions feel unnatural and it took all of my focus to remain in the correct form. The movements and positions you do cause your entire body to shake and it feels as though you are going to collapse if you remain in that position any longer. With that said I have enjoyed Barre because it is difficult and you can feel the muscles working but you typically don’t sweat too much.

The community at the studio I attend is wonderful which is the part that I love the most. The instructors know every students names and are so knowledgeable about the body. They always come around and correct your form if you are not doing something exactly right and make suggestions to alter the movements if your are injured or your muscles are straining. The studio also offers workshops every few months to its members to get more detailed instructions on how to keep the correct form. I went to their most recent workshop and it was excellent! I learned so much but it was also the harder then any class I’ve taken so far. My muscles were shaking and sore within the first two minutes. They focused on what you are supposed to do with your muscles without any equipment that way when you add equipment back into it you get the most out of your workout. Overall, I highly recommend checking out a local barre class! The only thing I would be interested in is if there are other formats of barre classes. I even signed up for a monthly membership to keep going! Let me know if you have any recommendations for what fitness classes I should try next.

Since this is a new month it is time for a new fitness challenge! I loved Barre so much that I intend to keep going at least two or three times a week. On top of that I have decided to focus my efforts on training for a 5k this month since I made running several of my yearly goals. In order to afford to keep doing this challenge, I have cancelled my Planet Fitness and Orange Theory memberships. I have almost the whole month of April left at Planet Fitness so I will be using the gym to train for a 5k and since it is getting nicer outside I am hoping to train outside as well. Once those memberships fully expire, I intend to join a local gym that offers unlimited group classes as well in the monthly membership. That way I can use the group classes over the next few months for this challenge. Comment below if you have any suggestions or tips for beginner runners.

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Fit Friday: Barre Update

Hello and Happy Friday! Today’s post is going to be an update on my experience taking barre classes. I signed up for Barre classes at a local studio called Studio Barre when they were running a special. It was a 3-week new member unlimited class membership for $59 plus the cost of grip socks. I signed up in person and they were super helpful about talking me through all the options and asking me what my goals are. They even have a cute boutique in the lobby of the studio as well with workout gear including grip socks which is where I got mine.

I started taking classes that weekend and I definitely felt out of place my first class. I was lucky and there was another new student in class the same day so we shared the feeling of awkwardness. The instructor Mel got us set up with the equipment we would need for that class and explained what equipment you would need to grab every class. Once we had our equipment she asked us about our experience with Barre classes or lack thereof. Then she proceeded to explain what the fundamentals of Barre are. She explained that Barre is tiny, targeted movements that focused on one particular muscle to strengthen. She said the main movement of their Barre class is called a “tuck” which is where you squeeze your bellybutton in towards your hips and push your hips forward to align the spine and create a straight back. Simple enough, that move was easy for me to grasp after watching her demo. Then she moved onto explaining what the “seat” was which is the muscles right under your butt on the back of your thigh. Basically you use tiny movements and your mind-body connection to move the muscles in your “seat”. This one is harder to grasp for me because it is not as obvious as the other movements. You have to really focus on what part of your body is squeezing while keeping up with the tiny movements as well. I have taken 8 classes so far and I still feel that I have not fully grasped how to properly work your “seat”.

With that being said I have really enjoyed taking this Barre classes. We start with a warm-up that works your arms and shoulders and then move on to working thighs then seats and then butt and end with abs. I have not experienced a class that I did not shake or feel sore or want to quit in the middle of a movement. Throughout the whole workout, start to finish, you feel your muscles working and know you’re going to be sore. The workouts are difficult but low impact which causes less sweating and is easier on my joints. I still have four more classes to take but I do recommend you try at least 10 classes of Barre because it is a whole different type of workout. I always thought you had to be going 100% all out about to puke to be working out or exercising properly but this has shown me that is not the case.

The studio I attend is also a great community. After I attended my first class they sent me a hand written card welcoming me and offering assistance if I had any questions. Every instructor or front desk attendant knows everyone’s names and things about their life. This is the first place I actually feel a part of a community and not just another membership fee.

Have you ever tried Barre? If you have what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below and keep an eye out for more posts next week!

fitness

Fit Friday: OrangeTheory Wrap Up

Happy Friday! Today’s Fit Friday topic is wrapping up my month of OrangeTheory! After my two weeks of sickness I got right back at it and took 4 classes for the last two weeks. They were all really great classes and I thoroughly enjoyed them. There were two types of class setups that really pushed me and my dramatic self thought I might die or puke. The first was called RowGo where you row as hard as you possibly can for 4 minutes straight aiming for at least 800 meters. Once the 4 minutes are over we moved to the weight floor and proceeded to do the sets given. After that we went back to the rowers to row for 2 minutes straight were the goal was to reach at least half of what you got during the four minutes. After the 2 minutes we were back on the weight floor until the last set which was a 1 minute all out where you try to get at least 200 meters. This format made me feel exhausted and so sore. I think it is because you push yourself for each round and then only have a few minutes to recover on the weight floor before going back at it at basically an all out pace. The next type of class that pushed me the hardest was the Tornado Thursdays. Our format for these classes were actually similar to the RowGo where you went all out until 200 meters then did a floor exercise like jump squats and then repeat the cycle increasing the number of reps for the floor exercise each time. Despite feeling like I was going to puke for half the class in these instances I always felt like I left everything I had in the class and did not hold back.

Overall, I find Orange Theory to be a great workout out. I always left out of breath and was sore the next day. The coaches provide great enthusiasm, encouragement and feedback throughout the entire class. It is easy to follow because there are other people doing the same thing as you but there is always a heavy emphasis on focusing on yourself and not competing with those around you. I learned new exercises and techniques that I can apply in the gym or even doing an at home workout. I also noticed that I improved in some aspects after my 30 days. I can do more ab work then I used to such as bicycle crunches and longer planks. I also increased my all out pace from around 3.7 to 4.3 at a 15% incline. I think if you stick with OrangeTheory long enough you will definitely see more results. I had so much fun doing OrangeTheory and had such a good mindset while doing it I did not cancel my membership opting instead for 4 classes a month. I would highly recommended you try OrangeTheory at least once, especially if you enjoy high intensity workouts.

With my month of OrangeTheory over it is time to announce March’s workout! This month I wanted to try something that seemed near impossible at my level of strength, flexibility, and fitness so I choose to do Barre! Barre combines yoga, pilates, and ballet movements to increase strength and flexibility. It focuses on small movements and specific muscle groups to shape and tone your body. I was nervous to try this because it is a lot of ab work and I have zero abdominal strength. I cannot even complete a proper sit-up which is why I have never felt like I could complete a class like Barre. But here we are! So keep an eye out for an update on how my first few Barre classes go and my takeaways!

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Fit Friday Update

Happy Fit Friday! This month I chose to do OrangeTheory as my new workout challenge. I did three classes in my first week and it was great. I went to the 5 am classes and I enjoyed them a lot. I like the structure of the courses because we get our heart rate up throughout the class and we complete strength exercises as well. When we row or do the strength exercises the coach walks around correcting people’s forms and offers advice on how to make the exercise do more for you. I did go into the Orange Zone each of the three classes and I left sore. The employees at my Orange Theory studio are all very friendly and encouraging. Below are my stats from my first week of classes.

This is the breakdown of calories burned during my first week of classes.
This is a bar graph of how many minutes I spent in each zone. The goal is to spend 12 or more minutes in the orange or red zone to burn the most calories.

I started to experience health problems the next two weeks where I had bouts of nausea, headaches, body aches, extreme fatigue, and acid reflux throughout the day. I would get up for my 5 am class and feel as though I was going to get sick so I would have to cancel. I did not think my symptoms would last longer than a day to a few days so I never canceled all my classes until the morning of which resulted in cancelation fees. Each time you cancel a class with less than 8 hours notice you get charged $12 and there are no exceptions as far as I know. I would say that is the only downside to OrangeTheory so far. I was hoping that my health would get better each day and when it did not I had to cancel and get charged the $12. I understand why because some more popular class times end up having waitlists and if you do not cancel with enough notice they cannot move someone off the waitlist to join in. However, the three 5am classes I attended did not even have half the maximum people the class could hold. I think it would be better if the policy would be there is a cancelation fee if you cancel with under 8 hours notice and the class has either a waitlist or is full. This month I have paid almost as much as my membership in cancelation fees simply because my body is going through some changes. I already paid for a membership and so to have to pay all of these fees when I already paid to attend the classes got frustrating.

The employees were still very caring and called a few times to check in and see if there was a way to help get me to attend more classes and fewer cancellations going forward. I am going to attempt to switch to later evening classes as my symptoms are their worst in the morning. They are also still willing to drop my second month’s membership to 4 classes a month versus unlimited as the challenge is just one month. I believe I will be able to come close to the 12 class goal by increasing my classes to four a week and using my second-month membership in the first week of March. While there was a little bit of disappointment I still love the classes and am excited to try to finish out this month.

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Fit Friday: Boxing Wrap-Up

Happy Friday! We made it through the week:) Since it is now February I have officially finished my month of boxing at Title Boxing and will be moving onto a new workout routine. Today I will be breaking down my experience with boxing and whether or not I would recommend you try it. At the end of this post, I will also announce February’s Fit Fridays Challenge so keep reading!

For Fit Fridays the goal of the challenge is to attend class three times a week for the entire month or a total of 12 classes. January started off great and I had no problems attending classes three times a week. I honestly loved the classes because it was a great workout plus every time I left I felt so accomplished to have made it through another class. I also felt like I was improving as I took more classes. Most classes I had the same instructor because I like to create a routine so I went at the same times each week. The instructor was pretty cool and I liked her style, however, she rarely corrected people (I promise I made a ton of mistakes to correct). I think it would have been nice to have slightly more feedback on things like form and technique. I did take one class with another instructor on a Saturday and his style was a complete 180. His class was very intense and there were many times I felt like dying. He focused more on technique for the first half of the class and gave feedback before moving into combinations. There was also one class where another instructor was floating around and engaged each of us one-on-one for a full 3 minute round. I worked on my jabs and crosses with him off to the side and after I felt so much more confident in myself. I would not say I am particularly stronger or in better shape after boxing but I had a lot of fun.

Overall, I truly enjoyed boxing at Title Boxing. I think it would be beneficial to have more one-on-one instruction to learn the basics and technique more thoroughly. They do offer private sessions with a trainer but I am unaware of how much those cost per session. Towards, the end of January I did get into a week-long funk where I had absolutely no motivation to do anything, especially get up at 5am to go box. That week was followed by a huge week-long snowstorm that made driving dangerous and businesses close. So January was a slight bust because I barely got half the amount of classes I originally set out for, however, I can see myself going back to Title Boxing again. I highly recommend giving it a try at least once in your life:)

With January wrapped up, it is time to announce February’s workout!! For the month of February, I will be complete 3 workouts a week at OrangeTheory Fitness! Check back next Friday for an update on my first week at OrangeTheory. Leave a comment below on what type of fitness class I should try next!

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January’s Fit Friday Challenge

Welcome to Fit Fridays! For the month of January, I challenged myself to complete a month of Boxing!!

A sport like boxing requires strength and speed and I have never considered trying it because I was never strong enough or “fit” enough. It is also a group class so I would have to learn something new, something I might not be good at in front of other people. People who are probably better at it then I am. I purchased a one-month membership for the TITLE Boxing Club near my apartment and got the required hand wraps and gloves. My TITLE Boxing Club was running a special so I got my wraps and gloves included with my one-month unlimited membership for a total of $119.

I chose to attend classes in the morning because I work an 8-5 job and I personally know I would never workout after 6pm. I attend their 45 minute Boxing class at 6:15am Tuesday and Thursday and a 60 minute Boxing class at 8:00am on Saturdays. My first class was Thursday, January 3rd but due to a medical treatment I had on Friday I could not attend another class that weekend.

However, here are some takeaways from my first class. The environment was friendly and I did not feel any judgment. They recommend you come 30 minutes early to your first class so they can teach you the basics but the gym only opens 15 minutes before the class started when I went. They might open early if you reserve your first free class but I was informed when purchasing the membership that I did not need to reserve a class going forward. The instructor wrapped my hands but did not have time to explain the basics while opening the gym and getting other new people checked in. I already had some knowledge of boxing so I knew the different punches but I felt unsure of myself the whole time. The workout was fast paced and it was a lot to keep up with but I left feeling accomplished and excited to continue. After the first class, I did not experience a lot of muscle fatigue or soreness until the day after but it was still manageable and did not interfere with my day. Overall, it was a great workout and I was ready to take on the rest of the month!

Check back on Friday for an update on how my first full week of boxing classes went!

fitness

Fit Fridays

Hello and welcome to Fitness Fridays! This is a series where I commit to trying a new workout for 1 month and I post my takeaways! I chose to complete this challenge because I am the queen of staying in my comfort zone. I am not a fan of trying new things because they make me nervous and I overthink things. I also have a love/hate relationship with working out. Sometimes I am totally committed and other times you could not pay me to leave the comfort and warmth of my couch. I always hear people say that working out is great **insert eye roll and skepticism** you just have to find what you like. So hopefully with this challenge I not only will be committed to working out regularly and doing things that make me nervous but also help me find my workout. The one that gets me excited to be awake and functioning at 5 am when all my friends are fast asleep. Fingers crossed!

So the rules of this self-imposed challenge are the following:

  1. Choose a workout that I have never done before
    1. Preferably one that creates feelings of doubt, nervousness, self-consciousness, intimation, and fear, etc.
  2. Complete the workout 3 days a week for 30 days
  3. No repeating workouts
  4. Try to stick to workouts that require a gym, avoid at home workouts to increase the likelihood of completion
  5. Report Stats at the beginning and end of each month for progress updates
  6. 100% Honesty

Now that the rules are laid out, keep an eye out for January’s challenge!

***Disclaimer: I do have pre-existing health conditions that may impact my ability to complete workouts. I do not foresee this happening, however, I will respect and listen to my body and if needed a doctor’s advice.