When I initially decided to join a gym about ten years ago I pretty much only ever stayed in one very small area of the building: the cardio section. I would walk in, jump on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for about 45 minutes and leave. I wasn’t really sure what to do in the weight room and found it to be pretty intimidating, so I steered clear of it altogether. But then I got bored. I decided that I wanted to start doing exercise in the form of strength training to build some muscles! And then one day, as if by fate, I noticed a flyer for a new class that the gym was offering: Les Mills Bodypump.
Bodypump is described as the original Les Mills barbell class and will sculpt, tone and strengthen your entire body, fast! The classes use a specific formula of resistance training that is referred to as “The Rep Effect.” This essentially means that the classes focus on using low weight loads and high repetition movements for effective fat burning and production of lean muscle tissue. (Or, in my own words – it’s an hour of strength training combined with cardio moves that will kick your butt and re-shape your body.)
Nervously, I decided to give Bodypump a try, and I loved it! Even though the class was nearly an hour long, it went by super quickly and I enjoyed every heart-pumping minute. I immediately became hooked and found myself faithfully attending the class three times a week. I loved it so much in fact that I eventually decided to become a certified Les Mills Bodypump instructor!
Read Full Post >
Nike is an obvious leader in the sports industry, running the game from shoes and apparel to tech gadgets and major league sponsorships. Now they are not only dressing you in the gym, they’re meeting you there with Nike Training Club. In addition to being an app available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, Nike Training Club, or NTC, is a group fitness class featured in a variety of universities and gyms across the US, with one of the biggest gyms being 24 Hour Fitness.
Nike’s idea for the class is amazing: Get a variety of trainers to put together a killer 45-minute routine with a variety of functional movements and athletic drills, using simple equipment to get everyone moving. Some of the tools employed are dumbbells ranging from 2 pounds up to 15 pounds, medicine balls, body weight, and common equipment used in any sports practice (e.g cones, small hurdles, and agility ladders). The instructor uses all of these elements together to come up with a unique exercise experience.
The quality of the class, while founded on Nike’s principles, will vary by trainer. Nike only wants its name to deliver the best of the best and they constantly send in representatives at random for quality control, but still, some instructors unfortunately fall under the radar.
I’ve experienced one great class where the instructor gave simple modifications to accommodate those who needed them, but were still able to work the same muscle groups targeted in the original programming. When I checked back later that week, I was greeted with new choreography to match the same high intensity I experienced the first time around.
Read Full Post >
When I first heard the name “Orangetheory Fitness,” my mind immediately conjured up images of some kind of old school punk band playing a set in someone’s basement. Boy was I wrong! As it turns out, it’s a rapidly expanding fitness sensation (locations in more than 15 states and 2 Canadian territories) that is taking the continent by storm!
I ventured over to the Naperville, IL location (as I am now a Chicagoland resident) to try out a class to see what it was all about. When I entered I was greeted by a very friendly staff who explained the workings of what was to transpire in class. I was given my own heart rate monitor to wear for the workout to see how hard I’d actually be working.
The workout starts with interval training (which I am a HUGE fan of). The first part consisted of Indo Row machines (rowers with water in them for a real rowing effect) and then switching to the box area where we did various strength training moves. This persisted for about a half hour. At first, I was like “Easy Peasy!,” but by the third time around, I was sweating profusely and was feeling the burn!
The second half of the class had us on the treadmills. We did various lengths of intervals, running and jogging, mixed with recovery walks in between. I felt as though I could run a lot harder and faster because we were doing shorter sprints, rather than long drawn out runs. By the end of the second half, I had clocked more than two miles in sprints!
Read Full Post >
Snack time around my house isn’t very typical. Little Debbie isn’t welcome and neither is her recently recovered friend, Hostess. Nutrition is key, but we can’t just munch on dry rice cakes either. When we find a tasty snack that passes the healthy test, we get excited and want to share the good news. We have nothing but high praise for Vegan Cuts and their snack boxes.
Vegan Cuts is web-based company that is dedicated to promoting vegan products, not just foods. They have a great way to sample many of their favorite products in the form of their snack boxes. It’s the newest entry in a growing trend of monthly subscriptions that deliver a fun box to you each month. Theirs is filled with food and products that all fit the vegan lifestyle. The subscription is $19.95 per month and has free shipping in the U.S. Each monthly box comes with about 7-10 items. In addition to being vegan, the contents are about 80% gluten-free too.
Each box is different and allows the recipient to try out new things each month. My box came with several snacks, a few drink mix-ins, and even some vegan lip balm.
Read Full Post >
By Naomi Shapiro of SuperDumbSuperVillain.com
Although many people think of juice cleanses as a weight loss tool, for some they’re a pathway to wellness. The idea is that if you give your digestive tract some time off from all the hazards of the modern world — processed foods, refined sugars, artificial colors and flavors, etc.— and fill it with easy-to-absorb, nutrient-dense liquids, your body and mind will work more efficiently.
Skinny Limits is an Austin-based purveyor of fresh, cold-pressed raw juices that can be delivered nationwide. Their menu consists of six core juices, each of which you’ll consume each day via 16-ounce bottles. The following Skinny Limits juices will be drank in lieu of solid foods.
Read Full Post >