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Hot Fitness Trends for Summer 2014: 6 Props Your Workout is Missing

You know that feeling when you’re caught between wanting to do your regular thing and the desire to try something new? If so, Shape Magazine’s 15 upcoming fitness trends are perfect for you. Most of these trends take something we know and love and combine it with something a little different. For example, the fitness class “Groove” has all the elements of a dance-based workout, but instead of doing the same intricate movements as everyone else, you’re invited to move however the music makes you.

This fitness with a twist trend carries over to fitness props too. A lot of classes are using ho-hum props in new ways or using brand new props to fill a void. Here are 5 we can’t wait to try:

ugi ball The Ugi Ball
A relative newcomer to the fitness world, the Ugi ball is used as a kind of blend between a medicine ball and a physio ball, and is a great tool for a full-body workout. It’s used as part of a 30-minute routine combining strength, cardio, and core training.


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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off a 387-Calorie Piece of Banana Cream Pie

banana cream pie

We just reported on the latest dessert trends, speculating that ice pops might be upsetting cupcakes as favorite sweet treat. But in Portland, pies are a pretty big deal. There are cream pies, fruit pies, and even savory pies, which are sort of like gourmet pot pies. And they are everywhere. At restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and even a handful of pie-specific eateries.

This past week—last night to be exact—I gave in to the hype and ordered a slice of banana cream pie. And it was delicious. Real pieces of banana mixed in, a buttery crust that was definitely handmade, and a thick pile of whipped cream on top. Yum.

What was the damage? 387 delicious calories.

What were 3 ways I could have burned off the extra calories?
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Sprint to Orangetheory Fitness for a Seriously Sweaty and Worthwhile Workout

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.

orange theory fitness
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!
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US Rower Mary Whipple Defends the Gold with a Vegetarian Diet and Her Pre-Race Ritual

Mary Whipple has only a week left in the states before she packs her oars and heads to London, where she’ll be competing on the US rowing team. She and her fellow women rowers are defending the team’s first gold medal since 1984, which they earned in Beijing in 2008.

While terribly busy with training preparations for team’s trip to the 2012 Olympic Games this month, Mary took some time to chat with us about her diet (which is vegetarian), training methods (which are intense), and even what gets her head in the game at the starting line (it’s not music like fellow water athlete Michael Phelps). She even shares her personal breakfast recipe that she calls the “MWhip special.”

What does your training diet look like?

Because I’m a vegetarian, I keep a fairly constant diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I don’t keep a daily food journal but I do a self-check with my favorite app (Lose It!) on a weekly basis. My official race weight is 110 pounds; I fluctuate a pound or so but because I’m weighed in 2 hours before each race, I track it very closely.

Usually I’m under so often I have to carry weight in the boat. I, naturally, have a lower weight. My weight isn’t something I worry about because I’ve got great genes from my family.   
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