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Training In a Warehouse Means Business: Legacy Fit

When your friends invite you to train with their personal trainer, and the concern is that you don’t puke you have high expectations. Mostly of yourself to prove that you won’t puke, but also secretly hoping that you get such an intense workout that it could very easily happen.

That’s how a personal training session at Legacy Fit in Miami was presented to me. Apparently the last friend that was brought to this workout puked and had Isaac, the trainer, concerned.

On the drive over to the gym for our double-date, sweat session, we got the low down. There are pitbulls outside, but they adorably snugly.  There can be a lot of sled pushing…and so forth. We pulled up and the gym was exactly as promised. A down and dirty, old warehouse that was turned into a two room gym. One room holds what looks like a cross between a crossfit wod and boot camp. The other room is set for personal training with astroturf, a few cardio machines and lots and lots of weights. image6

Also, their tagline is #nodaysoff, which really resonates with me, because “hi. My name is Laney, and I am a fitness addict.”

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There isn’t a lot of A/C moving around, and you can get warm pretty quickly. There were four of us, and Josh went to workout with Corey and I got paired up with Lauren. We did the same movements, just with some more weight (for the guys).

The full workout consisted of: sled pulls running backwards, sled static pulls in an iso-squat, sled pushes, battle ropes, Russian twists with the battle ropes, partner sit ups with a medicine ball, and partner push ups with high-fives. The sled pushes did me in, and I needed a serious breather after my intervals.

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My heart rate was skyrocketing and it was absolutely a challenging workout. I was surprised when it was over, and did feel like I could go a little longer. On the positive I watched a Dolphins defensive lineman grunt through his very tough workout and made me feel like a hardcore athlete.

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High Intensity Training at Its Finest: The FHITTING Room

High intensity training is a staple in my weekly workouts. Essentially, any routine that gets me in and out in 30 minutes or less (thinking Kayla, Plyos from P90X and 21DayFix, and more) are done at least twice a week. Friends who live in the NYC-area have told me, more than once, that I “have to try FHITTING Room.” That it was in my fitness wheel house.

So we rallied a few troops from work and went during my last week long trip. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was ready to sweat.

The room holds 24 participants and class is run by two instructors. I loved the added instructor. It means you can’t get caught slacking at all, and the energy remains high throughout the workout. Ben and Farouk taught our class, and they were just really fun to be around. I don’t remember looking at the timer once because they were keeping our spirits up.

The workout itself was challenging in the sense that it got my heart rate up and I was sweating VERY quickly. It was broken up into a “warm up” (term used loosely), strength, circuit, and then finally a partner workout.

The Warm Up: we did 30 seconds of jumping jacks, jump rope, air squats, hip openers, mountain climbers and then more jumping jacks. I was certainly warm up the jump rope and sweating buckets by the second set of jumping jacks.20150413_181908

Strength: I didn’t go extremely heavy here, probably used just about a 12-15lbs depending on exercise, but really started to feel it when we were doing the bent over rows with kettlebells. Each move was a minute long, and we did it with the entire group. This was done twice through.

Circuit: Then they broke us into four groups and we went through four different exercises twice. Each station lasting a minute. This included rowing, KB presses, KB step ups and KB swings.

Partner: Finally, if my arms weren’t tired enough at this point we did 4 rounds for each person and you had one minute to finish nine dumbell thrusters to a medicine ball and nine burpees. And at the FHITTING room, you go all the way to the floor for the burpees. 20150413_192745

This workout was no joke. I was honestly sore for two days following, and couldn’t believe it. The workouts change daily, so you can be sure you never fall into a rut.

Yoga At The Brewery

I’ve done yoga in the middle of Times Square, in a blocked off alley way across from a Whole Foods, on a hilltop, and inside a Lululemon with all the pretty clothes tempting me while I was in down dog. Two weeks ago, we practiced yoga in a new unconventional spot….Saltwater Brewery.

Knowing that we were at a brewery, it shouldn’t surprise you that this was the first time Josh joined me for vinyasa flow class. Apparently being surrounded  by beer taps is the best way to get your husband into the yoga mood.

Bend at the Brewery is led by Alexis King. She runs the TRX Yoga class at Slash Fitness and also does private practices for clients. This was my first class with her, and her energy made me want to take more — especially that TRX class.10982713_10153127380966757_465222353687387447_n

The Sunday that we went was a much smaller class than some of her previous classes (know this because of the pictures). It was just us, and four other people, which means more attention (yay!). The flow itself was challenging with some added twists that my incredibly tight sore body needed. Alexis was great about coming over to help you move deeper into the poses. She also helped me get into flying pigeon on one side.

The only down side is when you go into a headstand you realize you are on a concrete floor and should you lose your balance you may hurt yourself. I was a little tentative to do anything beyond tripod because of that.

Should you choose to stay after class, you can get a flight of beer for a little cheaper than the usual price. We didn’t stay since I was headed to NYC that afternoon and had to get some packing done…but the next time we go, we are absolutely staying to take advantage of that.

Falling In Love With Pilates

Since I was little I wanted the grace and beauty of a ballerina and the flexibility and rhythm of a jazz dancer. Unfortunately, while I have some of the rhythm everything else just seems to be slightly out of reach. I focused my attention on workouts that we less dainty and more grunty.

I’ve woven in yoga, and enjoyed the graceful flow that comes along with it. And then there was Pilates. I’d once done a Pilates DVD without ever attending a class and hated it. My mistake. I viewed Pilates with the same hesitancy one views pulling into oncoming highway traffic for the first time. But I continued to hear good things.

So when I found out one of my trainers at OTF also taught Pilates I decided to take the plunge. The real kicker I decided this might be the right time, was mostly because you could do one-on-one sessions and having that meant I would actually learn how to zip up my belly.

Despite my active workout schedule, I tend to work the same muscles and have weaker hips and lower back — leaving me tight and in pain. MaryBeth, of Beyond Fitness, has designed workouts that condition my entire body from ankles to the tiny itty bitty muscle in my rotator cuff. We use a combination of the reformer, weights, body weight, bands and bosu balls.

Our workouts are gentle, but challenging. I am sore the next day but not overly sore that I can’t do that day’s workout. I feel like I am standing and sitting straighter. I am feeling stronger

I am fully hooked on Pilates.

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Review: Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

If you follow healthy lifestyle and fitness experts on Instagram, you may have found the fantastic abs of Kayla Itsines on your phone.  Kayla is a 23-year-old personal trainer from Adelaide, Australia. At first I was hesitant, since a 23 yr old’s body is WAY different than a 30 year old’s. But, Kayla also shares #fitspirations from her many, many members of #thekaylamovement and some are new moms, moms of three, and others who are living incredibly busy lives. We are talking abs for days, people.

Those abs!
Those abs!

 

So I went ahead and purchased her Bikini Body Guide 1.0. Her workouts follow a great interval format, in total it is 28 minutes of resistance training — two 7 minute circuits that you run through twice. You tend to do these Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Monday being a cardio/leg day, Wednesday arm/abs and Friday total body. The remaining days are either low impact cardio or recovery days. The full program is 12 weeks long.

Circuit Example
Circuit Example

I am a month in, and really love the challenge these circuits bring. In truth, I haven’t changed my diet so my progress isn’t necessarily the same as some of her other participants. Also, I haven’t taken my progress photo yet…because I am scared of photos.

Of course, my “low impact cardio” days are my Orange Theory Days, which isn’t low impact and just cardio, so my body is incredibly tired. I have a hard time resting, and was recently counseled that “yoga isn’t resting.” Maybe I can change that up for the next four weeks.

In all honesty, I just love the fact that Kayla didn’t see her nearly 2M Instagram followers coming. She was just a humble trainer posting progress photos of her clients, then she started answering questions, and THEN she launched her eBooks.

Orange Theory: 90 Minute Class

“It’s just an additional 30 minutes,” said a very optimistic Laney to her very hesitant husband just before she punished both of them with a grueling workout.

Ever since starting Orange Theory a few months ago, I have been dying to try my hand at the 90 minute class. In my crazy mind, I thought — I’ve done long runs that last longer than that! There is a huge difference between straight endurance training for a certain amount of time and strength/endurance/high intensity.

First of all, we got cocky. Normally we get there with enough time to ensure we start on the treadmills. For busy days we try to get there 15-20 minutes early. I can’t stress the importance of starting on the treadmill. There is something about starting in the weight room that just drains you so that by the time you get on the treadmill you just want to roll off. However, we were convinced that there would only be a handful of people as crazy as us. We were wrong.

Immediately, I freaked out. Then Greg told me it was a partner workout. SAVIOR! With partner workouts you are rotating the entire time so you don’t really burn your legs out with squats and then have to get on the treadmill. Essentially, you are doing the cardio push until your partner finishes a circuit in the weight room. Then you switch and so forth.

The hubby and I paired up…and I love my husband…but I am going to be honest when I say that he doesn’t get into the competitive spirit like I do. In fact, there was a time when Greg even called him out because he was leaving me on the treadmill.

The workout itself was incredibly challenging — lots of legs & shoulders. My glutes were also crying for a break by the time we hit the 75 minute mark.

We made it through the entire workout. It was good, I felt really accomplished. We then crashed for the entire day. I am not joking…that couch was our friend.

We weren’t the only ones though! On Monday at my regular class those who had also attended the 90 minute were still feeling sore. And we all agreed, doing 90 minutes twice a month was just crazy town….once a month is enough to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

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Pushing Yourself in Your Normal Workout Routine

It might be the former athlete in me, but part of my mind games is to pretend I am in some sort of competition. I do it when I am working out alone in my home gym. I find myself pretending I have to reach a certain point by a certain time to “win.” I guess this is where I let my imagination run wild…maybe that’s why Barbies were never my thing, no competitive edge. ANYWAY…

I try hard to hit 4-5 rounds when I am doing 20 minutes AMRAP. If I get an additional one, I feel like I pushed myself enough.

sly smile; totally going to hit my goal today
sly smile; totally going to hit my goal today

Now, the dangerous thing is when I am in my Orange Theory Class. There are days when I can stay in my own head space and try to pick a calorie burn to beat. For example, I always try to get as close to 500 calories burned. Some days (like today) it just isn’t possible, because the second I lay down to do crunches my heart rate drops. The other way I push myself is picking someone in class to “beat.” I try to match reps, time, and speed. Usually this is when I end up blowing my calorie burn goal out of the water. The person has NO IDEA I am challenging her, it is my own victorious little secret.

Didn't hit 500 today; it was a weird workout day
Didn’t hit 500 today; it was a weird workout day

FlyWheel also affords me that opportunity. I worry less about turning up the resistance to the highest point in the range and more about getting my heart rate up and pushing the power level. I want my name to be in the top 5 spots, I know I will never be number 1 my little beefy legs can’t take it, but I set a goal at the beginning of class and aim to meet or beat it.

It’s those head games that keep me motivated and push me to work harder each time. Of course, every once in awhile you need to kick it up a notch…I will be letting you know what that is like with a review of the 90 minute Orange Theory class later this week.

Spinning Might Be My Third Love

It is kind of sad that in order for me to get to a spin class these days, I have to be in NYC. It’s not that Delray doesn’t have spin studios (PurCycle and Flywheel aren’t too far away), it is just that their class schedules aren’t really conducive to mine.

It is partially my doing — I prefer morning classes because I feel more in control about making them, but  there is just no reason to go to a 5:45AM spin class when you don’t need to be in an office all fancied up. At the same time, the latest evening option is at 6:30PM and THAT is only  twice week.

Since I’ve been traveling a lot in the last three months, I’ve found myself at Studio 360 at least twice a week for a spin class. I love them — it almost like they were made for fitness-obsessed travelers like me. I don’t have to worry about renting or bringing shoes, I don’t have to worry about a towel, and I don’t have to worry about a water bottle. Studio360-1

It doesn’t hurt that they are around the corner from my hotel of choice and takes me 4 minutes max to walk there, so when I am going to a 6:30AM class I am not getting up at the crack of dawn.

The bikes are also insanely easy to use. I like that instead of your standard “turn up the resistance” you have a range to work from and it shows up on your little computer on your bike. It makes it so much easier for you to go at your own pace AND still get a really good workout without feeling like you are phoning it in.

The music is good, and the instructors are insanely nice. I’ve been to a 45 minute and 30 minute class, both equally tough and with good music. The 30 minute class just never lets up, you go right from warm-up to hills and sprints and keep going. There aren’t any “active recovery” segments, it is just cardio blasting the entire time to fit everything in. For mornings that you don’t have a lot of time this is the perfect way to go. Studio-360-1024x589

They have a “Signature Series” that I am just dying to try because its 40 minutes of spin plus 20 minutes of yoga. It is the perfect combo.

 

Soaring with My Team

I am all about the team bonding. Sometimes we do it with a fry basket and wine; but I really love it when it involves some sort of funtivity.

On one of my recent trips to NYC, we decided to try our hand at aerial yoga. I love aerial yoga, it is an entirely different challenge because it has the potential to be completely embarrassing. What better way to build camaraderie with your team but do something completely embarrassing?

I did a little research and found Om Factory. With two locations (one in Union Square, one just  outside of the Fashion District) it made it easier to find a class that would fit our schedule.  We hopped over to Amanda’s class, which was a level 1/2…so my little newbies were a little concerned.

The way Om Factory describes its aerial classes pretty much makes it everything but intimidating.

“Everyone who enjoyed swinging on the monkey bars as a kid is encouraged to try out this fun fusion of yoga and aerial arts.”

Luckily, the rest of our class didn’t mind our constant need for hand on instruction and giggling. I was just a few days away from the marathon and was so happy to have us focusing on hip openers. I’ve always enjoyed yoga as an option to cross train for running, but aerial yoga truly gives me that extra lengthening. image (22)

In truth, I have always wanted to be a Cirque du Soleil performer — and aerial yoga is the closest thing I can come to actually doing it!

Watch us swing!

So we giggled our way through class and somehow convinced the instructors to not throw us out, and stay after for a photo shoot.

The studio is cute, and they have all sorts of other classes that I am dying to try. Yoga inspired by break dancing? Sign me up. Aerial Circus? One step closer to fulfilling my dream of being a circus performer.

 

Workout Review: Yoga with Live Music at Colony Hotel

Whenever I mention my love for yoga someone tells me I need to check out yoga at the Colony Hotel.  It is led by Keith Fox and has live music with a rotating group of musicians.

Know before you go….I went to sign up online, paid for the class, and then got a little confused because there was no actual way to sign up for the class. So I called over to the studio and spoke to Keith Fox himself.

Turns out you pay for class, but then its a first come first serve experience. That made me a little anxious since I heard people flock to this class and it can be seriously packed. Keith told me that they usually get about 100 people.

I made plans with my mom to go, and decided to get there around 9:15 to get a relatively good spot in the larger/main room. Class starts at 9:30 and is 90 minutes and follows your standard vinyasa flow. There are so many people around you but everyone is focused on their own practice that you don’t even really notice. 10562875_10105458930201931_2045322270_o

Sometimes I do like to watch for transitions and variations, and didn’t really get that in this particular set up.

heyyy pretty teal ceiling
heyyy pretty teal ceiling

The room we are in so pretty. There’s no air conditioning, but they keep all the windows open and fans going. So it almost felt like a hot vinyasa flow…you know since its summer and all. DSC_0031

The music was fantastic. I regularly listen to “yoga” music during the day while I am working.  Somehow its become my favorite background noise to focus me.

I can see why people swear by this class. I am going to try some of their other classes during the next few weeks.