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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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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.

Why I Changed My Training

For the last few years (read at least six), I have been a devoted runner. While I may not have crossed the finish line of more than 100 races, I have still completed at least 20 halves, 2 fulls, and a smattering of 10Ks and 5ks during that time. After this past running season (training for the NYC Marathon), I knew I was going to have to hang up my competitive long distance runs. My body just couldn’t handle it anymore. In fact, I had one doctor tell me three weeks before the race that I was heading toward a serious injury. Though he knew I wasn’t not going to run the marathon, we needed to talk about what that meant for after the race.

Since then, I haven’t been out for a true run. I’ve run at OTF but if we hit 3 miles total without stopping it’s a rare day. Instead, I’ve focused more on HIIT workouts or combo workouts with cardio bursts and weight lifting/body weight exercises.

Truth is, my body has changed because of that. The scale may not shift to the low number that I once was, but I am leaner. If I catch my arms in the right angle I am shocked by their definition, but even more than that, I am not carry any pudge in my tummy.  It isn’t like I am rocking a 6-pack, but I am just flatter.

I’ve been using the Skulpt Aim to keep me on track and take my mind off the scale number. It is really hard to do that, but once you understand what you are measuring, you kind of get into it. And if you are crazy like me, you get competitive with the machine especially when it says you are “average.”

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Just measuring my ab MQ

 

Skulpt Aim measures the following:

  • Muscle Quality (MQ): is a rating of your muscles’ fitness that was designed to be intuitive. Aim uses EIM technology to send a small current directly through your muscle. It uses 12 sensors and multiple frequencies to get very accurate readings. Since current flows differently in muscles based on their composition and muscle fiber size, Aim is able to evaluate the quality of each muscle. It lets you see your strongest areas, focus on the ones that need improvement, or change your routine for the muscle groups that have plateaued. 

MQ Score Chart | SKULPT

  • Body fat: Aim comes pretty close to delivering results similar to Hydrostatic Weighing Measurements. You take measurements on four muscle groups to get a total body reading of the fact percentage, plus you can get measurements on individual areas so you can see where the fact is located. image1 image2

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.

 

Building a Complete Home Gym

This has been the longest stretch I’ve gone without belonging to a big box gym since I was a newly minted entry-level PR person barely scraping by in NYC.  Getting into a long-term relationship with a gym is almost as serious as getting into a long-term relationship with a significant other.

My gyms have always been within walking distance, had classes that fit my schedule, and had enough location options that I could avoid the crowds. So that’s what I tend to look for when committing. There just wasn’t a good option near me, so I just bought packages at local yoga studios, a spin class here and there, and made use of my tiny apartment gym. With marathon training looming, I didn’t need much. Now that time has past and I am getting bored/antsy with my workout limits. (There aren’t even two benches to do these fancy squats I want to do!)

What I’ve found though is that my area isn’t really catering to a young professional….more like someone who has retired or can do a 9AM class, which makes it really hard. Who can make a 9:15 cycle class? I mean come on!

There are gyms that are just equipment and therefore much cheaper, but I would have to drive 15 minutes to get there. GASP, 15 minutes you say, but it is on the highway and can get really backed up. Also, it is AT the mall…that’s just like tempting you way too much.

Unfortunately it just isn’t feasible to join a spin studio, a yoga studio, AND a gym to gain access to all the equipment. It really isn’t even feasible to join even two of those.

So, instead I am thinking of building out my home gym a bit more. We already have a few essentials (TRX; varied dumbells, jump rope, glides, resistance bands, pull-up bar); plus a ridiculous amount of DVDs (thanks, friends)…so now I need to figure out what else is needed. My running list is below, but would love some other must haves.

1. Medicine Ball — for slamming and ab work

Medicine Ball

2. Plyo-Box — one of the most versatile tools you can have in your home gym…you can jump, squat, bench dip, and step ups.

3. Barbell & Weight Plates — deadlifts and weighted squats are much easier to complete with a barbell

4. Bosu Ball — another all purpose tool

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5. Heavier Kettlebells — right now we only have 3lbs and 5lbs…we need some heavier ones to do more workouts (Again Faster has some relatively inexpensive options)

6. Adjustable Step — different from the plyo box, but something I can also lay on and step on k2-_d6fea17a-f47a-4d04-90be-134fa2052189.v1