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pureMUSCLE aka “jello arms”

1 Feb

Back to the gym this morning for one of my favorite classes, pureMUSCLE.  Love it! It’s taught by the same instructor who does ABSolute Strength.  She’s so positive and helpful, great fast music.  Gotta love the positivity at 6am, considering I hauled my butt outta bed before 5am, to get to the gym in the suburbs by my office on time.  Ohhhh, the discipline, right?? ha!

pureMUSCLE

Enjoy this muscular workout that will tighten and tone for a lean body. This resistance class uses barbells and hand weights and is a great counterbalance to all other muscle conditioning classes and is perfect for all levels

 But HOLY cow!  That’s some intense arm work!! Today, we only used hand weights, but we’ve used the body bar in previous classes.  I think we did at least 8 sets each of shoulders, biceps, triceps, laterals, and then got right into lunges, then finished up with ab work.  By the way, doing squats with your legs far out to the sides, toes pointed out, while raising off your heels=purePAIN.  Maybe that’s what the class should be called instead of pureMUSCLE??  But then again, I probably wouldn’t have taken it if that was the case.  Good call on that one smarties.

Since this is the year of Halle Berry thighs, I’m thinking it should also be the year of Michelle Obama arms??  What do you think? Yes? Do you have other suggestions for a better arm role model?

 

 All I have to say, is that as long as you keep those dang pictures of scary Madonna arms away from my line of vision, I think I’ll live a much happier life.  Ugh!  Seriously?? What is her deal?!? And who told her that was a good look to go for?

So, I’m loving my classes and can defiitely feel myself getting stronger and stronger every day. Just pretty please…do not ask me to reach for something on the top shelf of the cupboard for you today? Mmmmkay?? Thanks! 😉

2012…time to get going!

19 Jan

January is for the start of a fresh healthy new year, but it took a bit to get back into the swing of things…

I was out of the gym for about a month, from mid-December to mid-January.  Not cool.  I injured myself at the gym in the middle of December by straining muscles around my ribs…while stretching!!!  What!?! Who does that??  Ugh.   Such a dork.  It hurt to move for days. No bueno.  I was really starting to get into my new workout routine and fun classes, and then WAM!  No gym for me.  Soooooo, time for healing my injury lead into my vacation for Christmas and New Years, and then a week in Portland for work.  All adding up to a month off from the gym.  I realized I really missed how I had started to feel back in December from taking my new classes.  I was feeling stronger and healthier, and then it was gone.  Poof!  I  topped it off with eating sweets and decadent food at the holidays and a few (many maybe??) celebratory cocktails, hey it was the holidays. 

Cut to last week, my first week back at the office in almost three weeks.  Finally got my booty back into the gym, and it felt DAMN good!  Ooooh boy!  Loved to be back at the gym! I missed that adrenaline!   After a week back at the gym, I decided I was ready to get back into my class routine and headed to 6am ABSolute Strength class this Monday. 

ABSolute Strength

High repetition, high-intensity endurance oriented strength training designed to train the core, legs & upper body. Highly effective abdominal training exercises and compound muscle movements for a lean look, incredible posture and a great sense of physical and mental strength.

The class works biceps, triceps, abs, core, quads, glutes, and I was squatting and lunging my little booty away with weights on my shoulders.  It was a great way to start off my week.  I was feeling strong, getting thru all the reps, feeling the burn. The teacher plays great upbeat music and is super helpful to everyone during the class.   She even called me out in class to say I had beautiful form!  BONUS!  🙂  I got a good stretch after class and then went to make my way down the stairs to the locker room.  Now, let me tell you something…whoever decided the womens locker room should be THREE flights down from the main workout area, must have been some type of crazy torturer.  I mean, THREE??  Come on!!  I took my first step down and nearly collapsed in the stairwell.  My legs were jello from all those lunges and squats!  I had to hold onto the railing for dear life as I very slowly creeped down the three flights of stairs, hoping nobody had to rush past me and laugh at my weak little legs. I even laughed at loud at myself!  But I kept thinking…if this is what it takes to be just thiiiiiiis much closer to getting sexy thighs like Halle Berry and rock some cutoffs, I’ll take the pain.

Let’s DO this 2012!!!

Group fitness classes? I’m in!

13 Dec

Wow, I’ve waited WAY too long to post anything for a while!  I’ve got some catching up to do! 

So, I’ve gotten a bit more adventurous in my time at the gym this past month.  I’ve moved away from just using the treadmill and a few free weights (BORING!)…into the land of group fitness classes! OOooOoohhhh! 🙂 

I’ve always been super intimidated by group classes.  I feared:

  • I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the rest of the class
  • I would make a fool of myself, because I had no idea what I was doing
  • I would get too tired to participate for the duration of the class
  • I don’t have the right workout gear (cycling shoes, padded bike shorts, etc)
  • I wouldn’t be strong enough to lift the weights for the whole class
  • My face would turn BRIGHT red from my workout “glow”
  • And the worst fear I ever had, would be that I would just straight up pass out! Eeeeek!

Luckily, my first real group fitness class was taught by the nicest, sweetest woman named Ginger and she played bumpin’ music to boot!  It was a 30 minute spin class.  Now, spin classes are usually 60 minutes long, but this 30 minute class was quite enough for me as a first-timer, lemme tell ya.  Woooooh doggy! It started off with such a great beginning, when Ginger first saw me walk in, she noticed right away that I had never been to one of her classes before.  She made a point of introducing herself, asking my name, and welcoming me.  Major bonus points for calming my nerves a bit on first meet.  She then went on to help me get all set up on my bike, adjusting the seat, the handlebars, and even giving me a padded seat cover.  The seat covers are for all the newbies who don’t wear the dorky padded bike shorts.  And I am SO glad she gave me that seat cover.  Yowsa!  When class started she introduced me to the whole class and even checked on me throughout the class to see how I was doing.  She was encouraging, made funny small talk during class, played some super upbeat dance music like David Guetta (which I immediately added to my running playlist when I got home), and made the time go by super quick.  I made it back for another visit to the same class a few weeks later…and she remembered my name!  Love it!  Now, that is what I call, first-class teaching!

Gotta work it out

12 Oct

I joined a new gym!  Woohoo!  The biggest thing that got me to join at this particular gym, was all the super awesome classes included in the monthly gym membership.  It’s also helpful that it’s right down the street from where I work.  Classes like TRX, Whipped, Pilates, Yoga, Cycling and ABSolute Strength.  I just got in for my first visit last night and stuck to the treadmill.  It’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve gone running and it felt great!  I forgot how much I love that exercise high after I’m all done.  Love it!!  Keep that bumpin’ music going!! 

After my run on the treadmill, I decided to watch a bit of the Whipped class in one of the studios.  To be completely honest, it looks REALLY tough.  Really.  These people looked like some serious athletes in that room.  And the instructor…let’s just say she looked like she could kick my booty, even though she was about a foot shorter than me! Thighs of steel!  Whipped is a class specific to my gym and is described as:

Whipped! is all about “old school” rope training combined with intervals such as jumpbacks, planks, squats, running, and more. The rope training includes literally whipping heavy ropes up and down using your entire body with your arms and shoulders especially getting a major workout.  Sending ripples down a thick rope seems like a simple motion — until you do it as fast as you can repeatedly. To keep it up, you need to squat, tighten your core and muster whatever power you can find in your arms and back.Other equipment used during the class includes stability balls, kettlebells, and steps.  The class is designed to “elicit high anaerobic intensity in quick bursts (30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest) using endurance-sparking moves.”

kinda weird pic, but it shows the ropes!

I’m thinking this class is EXACTLY what I need to get into wedding shape for next summer 🙂  I might leave crying from exhaustion…or from the feeling of pure wimpiness in the presence of super athletes.  We’ll just have to see.  I’m hoping I just make it thru!  It isn’t offered again during my workout schedule until next week, but I think I’m gonna jump right in.

Workin’ on my fitness

5 Aug

I’ve recently started trying out new types of workouts.  I’m trying to find what I both enjoy and what makes me “feel the burn” both during and the day after a workout.  One thing I’ve found so far,  is that music is a GREAT motivator for working out.  It’s no secret that I looooooove me some booty-licious music.  Anything with that boom-boom-boom beat made for booty shakin’ is pefect for me.  People tease and wonder what the heck makes me suddenly bust out my booty drop to the floor move, with a lot of sass thrown in, but I can’t help it!  I recently stumbled across this new Beyonce song, and it’s safe to say I’m OBSESSED.  It’s sooooo good.  And I love the video.  She is a fierce dancer.  No doubt, this will definitely be added to my workout playlist asap.

Along with running, I’ve discovered that lifting weights is another huge component to getting fit.  Now, I’m not talkin’ mucho grande 50 pound weights or some crazy business.  No, no, no.  I’m talkin’ 8-10 pounders for now.  Weight lifting helps you to burn fat, develop definitition, and helps for a huge calorie burn by speeding up your metabolism.  The more lean muscle you have, the more your metabolism goes up!   I’ve never thought of myself as someone who would lift weights, but it truly does make a huge difference!  I’ve done lots of research, and found a circuit training workout that I like a lot.  It’s a plan from Jackie Warner’s “This Is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever)” Yes, yes, I know the title of the book is harsh, but it’s good!  (Even though I’m slightly embarrassed to be seen carrying it anywhere. Shhhh!)

I first saw her on her show on Bravo, “Workout” and then again on Bravo on “Thintervention.”  Thintervention seemed to really hit home for me, because the show was more than just about losing weight.  She worked with a small group of people on weightloss goals thru exercise, diet, and also had them go thru group therapy sessions.  So many people have issues with food and exercise that needs to be figured out in order to move past, and she helped them to connect both their body aaaand mind to get healthy. I think she opened up the topic to a lot of people, which is so awesome. 

In her book, she talks about clean eating, 20 minute power cardio workouts, and 30 minute fat-burning exercises (resistance training).  Power circuits are all about constant motion, never slowing down during your workout.  It’s also all about alternating back and forth from upper to lower body exercises.  It’s great, because you’re never doing one thing for too long, always moving on to the next.  I already realized I need to get heavier weights, so it’s more resistance for me.  Wooohooo!  The key is to alternate weight training with cardio every other day, which I also enjoy.  Apparantly I don’t like doing the same thing day after day after day??  Who knew?? 

The other thing I’ve realized, is I have to go at my own pace and do what feels right for me.  I won’t become a super buff chica overnight, but I can do what works and what makes a difference for me.  Hopefully I’ll be sharing my amazingness of results sometime in the future. 🙂

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