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WOD Asana

11 Dec

What happens when you combine Crossfit and yoga?

WOD Asana!

Sunday morning started bright and early with an hour and a half combination workout; half Crossfit, half yoga. Rochester, Auburn Hills, Royal Oak and the surrounding communities have a large-ish Crossfit population with boxes everywhere. We headed to New Species Crossfit in Royal Oak; one of the assistant managers and educators trains there and both were leading us through the Crossfit portion.

New SpeciesWe started with a timed-5 minute warm up of 15 seconds each:

  • jumping jacks
  • “air” squats
  • mountain climbers
  • hollow rock

After that..duh-duh-duh.


7 burpees

14 tuck jumps

7 candlesticks

The burpees were different from the ones I usually do; they had us come all the way to the ground, then almost peel ourselves off to come to standing, clapping overhead. When I do them, I either perform a push-up or hold a plank, then jump my feet back in and jump up. The Crossfit burpees were more challenging since pushing up from the ground is the hardest part-NO MOMENTUM.

Burpees have 6 movements:

  1. hands to the ground
  2. walking or jumping feet back to plank
  3. push-up, hold plank, or drop completely on the floor
  4. pushing up from the ground to a full extension
  5. walking or jumping feet back in to a squat
  6. standing/jumping up or clapping arms overhead

Another reason they’re so challenging? Think about the amount of mass (your entire body weight) you move over a distance (your full height plus the height of your vertical jump); transitioning from a squat to plank to squat to a vertical jump requires tons of muscles and lots of energy. Breaking a burpee down makes us quickly realize why burpees are a functional exercise and calorie/fat burner! Please add them to your workouts; yes, they’re hard and test every aspect of you but there are SO many variations to make them easier/harder!

How do you burpee?

Strength Circuits

7 Dec

A couple of Thursday’s ago, another instructor and I switched classes; I got to teach both her Core & More and Strength Circuits, while she taught my Abs, Glutes, and Thighs class later in the afternoon. That’s one of the perks about being able to teach it all; having the opportunity to teach another format to new participants! They say variety is the spice of 🙂

Because it’s a 40 minute class, I wanted to give them the biggest bang for their buck…SUPERSETS! The idea behind supersets is to move from exercise to exercise, with little to NO rest in between. It allows one muscle group to rest while another muscle group works, thus constantly working throughout the entire set.

PicMonkey CollageSupersets are a great way to push through a plateau; our bodies are smart machines, they recognize when we’re doing the same workout(s) over and over again. This not only stops producing results, but also takes a toll on our motivation.

This way of working out can work with cardio exercises too; performing back to back bursts of cardio exercises takes little to no room, equipment, and can be done in under 10-15-20 minutes; perfect for travelers!


I got the BEST news today..

a4c7c4e4408e11e2900e22000a1f96c7_7Presenting at NIRSA Student Lead-on in Chicago in January!! Cannot wait!

Do This To Get Looks At The Gym

9 Aug

Well hello football friends! Who’s excited about the season starting tonight?! Okay- it’s only the preseason but is football; it means the real season starts soon which indicates fall is right around the corner! Scarfs, UGGs, and pumpkin lattes oh my!

Back to reality.

Thank you for all of your kind words on my last post; reading your thoughtful responses on how you too are dealing with balancing life reassures me I’m not in this alone! I can learn from each and everyone one of you, keep them coming :).

Vertical BOSU Lunges.

Simply line 2 BOSU’s up, the behind one slightly to the right of the front one (hip-width apart) and stand on top. Lunge away!

This is NOT an easy exercise! You’re on unstable surfaces so your core has to work overtime, balance is an issue or two, coordination, strength, and the observers around you who are mad they didn’t come up with an exercise this cool and functional are factors too. Beginners could hold onto a wall or bar to the side of the front BOSU.

The rest of the circuit: 3X-15 reps.

  • jump squats
  • plie squats
  • jump lunges
  • vertical BOSU lunges
  • deadlifts
  • “t” push-ups
  • triceps dips
  • pull-ups/chin-ups

Day 7

22 May

As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm”!

Contrary to my workout schedule, I decided to wake up at 6am and get a strength workout in. It’s been a couple of days since my last weight training session and since I had a client at 8am, I hit the dumbbells for a total body workout beforehand.

When I plan on doing only strength exercises, I like to practice time under tension (TUT); the amount of work placed on a muscle. This way of lifting refers to the total time the muscle resists weight during each set. For example, this is how I squatted during the squat track:

  • (2) 4-counts down, 4-counts up. TUT=8 seconds of tension/rep. 16 seconds total.
  • (4) 3-counts down, 1-count up. TUT=4 seconds of tension/rep. 24 seconds total.
  • (4) 2-counts down, 2-counts up. TUT=4 seconds of tension/rep. 24 seconds total.
  • (8) 1-count down, 1-count up. TUT=2 seconds of tension/rep. 16 seconds total.
The TUT my quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings felt for the squat track was 80 seconds; I completed that 3 times through (totaling 240 seconds of TUT). Based on the table below, I’m working muscular endurance (my goal).


 (source) This chart shows the relationship between the duration of the repetition and which energy system it utilizes.

Les Mills Body Pump and Jari Love’s Get Ripped series both practice this technique in their respective formats. It’s another way to add variance to your strength training routine and preventing a plateau. I continued to use TUT with the following exercises:

  • Forward/Reverse Lunges
  • Chest Press
  • Dead Lifts & Bent-over Rows
  • Push-ups/Rotator Cuff rotations
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Hammer & Biceps Curls
  • SL Squats & Plie’s
  • Overhead Press & Lateral Raises

Successful start to the day! Breakfast was a bowl of overnight oats with cookie butter and a banana. Starbucks was en route to my internship so it was only fitting I stopped beforehand :-P.

I had the intension of attending Interval Training today, but based on my observations of last week, knew the class was going to full and didn’t want to risk my chance of not getting a number; I observed and took notes instead! 

Wanna hear something cool? When I introduced myself to the instructor, she recognized me from Raleigh Fitness Weekend back in September! She and her daughters took my class and now use the exercises in their own workouts and class formats! I’m so glad I got that opportunity 🙂

Because I woke at the crack of dawn, I really wasn’t in the mood to make lunch. I usually pack my lunch because it saves money, but now that I know I can grab an affordable, healthy lunch at work, it takes the pressure off.  Turkey and swiss sandwich. Those sweet pickles on the side are so much fun to eat!

The rest of the afternoon looks like I’ll be working away on my special project fingers crossed I can focus! Have a splendid day :).

Final Touches

5 Feb

Hello! I’ve finally bit the bullet$17 and bought my blog domain! I’m not sure why it took me so long to make a final decision, but I’m so glad I did; hopefully this will encourage me to keep blogging and sharing my passions :).

After a night out in downtown Raleigh with goods friends and sugary drinks, my body was craving something a little more substantialprotien-y oats were on the menu! In the mix: oats, milk, vanilla bean protein powder, banana, and a sprinkle of almonds. I haven’t eaten oatmeal in a while but when I do, I like to toast the almonds. It gives them a smokey-not burnt-taste similar to a graham cracker(?). YUM.

After bummin’ around for a majority of the morning and finishing The Hunger Games, the gym was next on my to-do list. My workout was strictly strength-my knee has been bothering me so I’m keeping things low impact until tomorrow. The Canadian version of Les Mills, Jari Love’s Ripped and Chiseled workout is some serious strength training! The workout hits ALL major muscle groups two times over using a technique called Time Under Tension; tension meaning the force being applied to move the weight and time meaning the period when a muscle is under tension (eccentric and concentric contractions). Every exercise followed a similar pattern of 4(down)-4(up), 3-1, 2-2, singles, and pulses:

  1. Bulgarian Split Squats
  2. Squats
  3. Dead Lifts
  4. Chest Press
  5. Push-ups
  6. Chest Flies
  7. Bent-over Rows
  8. Triceps Dips
  9. Skullcrushers
  10. Pullovers
  11. Shoulder Press/Front-Side Raise
  12. Biceps Curls
  13. Hammer Curls

Lots of exercises but a complete total body workout! I will be sore tomorrow..

A fail-boat trip to the mall in the afternoon was not on my to-do list; after driving around the parking lot for 15 minutes trying to find a parking spot, I was to fed-up to shop!  Sushi at Domo’s Sushi made me forget about the trip!

Seeing The Woman in Black tonight! Ah.


Spring Break a Sweat

2 Feb

Monday’s and Wednesday’s- 6:30pm- Spring Break a’ Sweat with yours truly!

This high intensity, total body fitness class is designed as a circuit/interval/boot camp-ish type workout that involves using mainly your body weight (lots of participants!) as resistance. I’ll utilize equipment based on how I format the class, but the easiest, most functional and safest way is with your own self. The energy from the participants is AWESOME! I don’t know if it’s the name of the class that gets them pumped up and motivated or they’re just having a great time-it’s contagious whatever it is!

At the conclusion of the semester, I plan on posting a majority of the workouts that we’ve completed as my gift to the participants who K.E.P.T.( 😉 ) up with my cheesy sayings, my high-pitched squeaky voice, and my consistent energy to provide them with the best workouts possible!


16 Jan

When it hurts to walk, sit, climb stairs and laugh 2 days after a workout..

You’ve met my little friend, DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. We’ve all experience this; you wake up a day or 2 later after a new or an intense workout and you’re questioning where this pain is coming from. It’s a love-hate relationship; you love knowing you worked hard because you’re sore..but hate how badly it hurts to do daily activities-WHAT GIVES!

There are 2 types of muscle soreness you feel during exercise: immediate and delayed. Immediate soreness is the quick, acute pain or discomfort you feel as you’re exercising or the burning sensation immediately after the rep is finished. Delayed onset soreness is the excruciatingpain you feel 24-48 hours after the workout. So what causes this pain and how can you prevent it? I’m so glad you asked..

While lifting, your muscles go through 2 phases-a concentric contraction (shortening of a muscle) and an eccentric contraction (lengthening of a muscle). For example, during the lowering phase of a squat, your muscles are eccentrically contracting (lengthening). As you press up, your muscles are concentrically contracting (shortening). Movements that require the muscles to both contract and lengthen simultaneously contribute to DOMS.

The good news about DOMS is that once you recover, you won’t feel that degree of pain again because your body has adapted to that level of intensity. Once the level of intensity increases though, he. will. be .back.

Warming up before a workout, stretching after a workout and taking a rest day if the soreness is unbearable may help alleviate DOMS, but there’s no way to prevent it. Another technique that can help with DOMS is self myofascial release.

Self myofascial release, or a poor man’s massage therapist, utilizes a  foam roller to ease tight muscles and “roll” them out (excuse the pun!). The fascia (fibrous tissue) that connects muscles to bones becomes so tight that your range of motion and/or flexibility can be limited. By rolling over the foam roller and pausing when you feel a “hot spot”, (and taking deep, slow breaths) you’re releasing and lengthening the tight fascia and breaking down scar tissue that connects the muscles to bones. The break-down of scar tissue increases blood flow to the soft tissue, thus, soothing tight fascia and improving range of motion and flexibility. A foam roller is very inexpensive and come in different shapes and sizes (and color if that’s important to you :-P).

Foam rolling how-to’s will follow!


12 Days of a “K.E.P.T.You Fit” kind of Christmas!

18 Dec

Happy holiday’s to all! Tis’ the best time of the year to spend time with family and friends, relax in front of the fireplace and indulge in decadent goodies. But.. tis’ also the time of year when the average person packs on 1 pound from Thanksgiving to the New Year (doesn’t sound like much but that 1 pound adds up).

Don’t deprive yourself! Combat the goodie-gain-guilt with a little 12 Days of Christmas exercising! Everyday, I’ll post an exercise to complete. You’ll complete that exercise as well as the previous exercise(s) from the days before. By the end of 12 days-you’ll have an entire workout!

I’ve already started it, but there’s no better time than now to jump in on the fun!


Make yourself, your family and friends accountable to complete each exercise.. everyday! You’ll feel better about indulging if you know you’ve exercised, even if it’s to the “12 Days of Christmas” if you don’t hear it enough! Hey, you never time you hear the “12 Days of Christmas” song, you’ll stop what you’re doing and complete the workout. No judging 🙂

On the 6th day of Christmas K.E.P.T. You Fit Gave to me..

  • 6 sets of 15 seconds of Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Walking Lunges w/ Shoulder Press (both legs=1 rep!)
  • 4 Kettlebell Windmills
  • 3 sets of 10 Bent Over Rows
  • 2 sets of Push-ups, 30 seconds each.
  • 1 set of 60 seconds of Squats

Killer Treadmill Interval Sesh for Newbies!

14 Dec

Just because you might be new to HIIT or exercising in general doesn’t mean you have to be limited to any activity! There are ways to progress (make harder) and regress (make easier) all exercises and workouts. This regression of the Killer Treadmill Interval Sesh is just for you! Most importantly, always get clearance from a physician before starting ANY exercise program. I am not YOUR personal trainer, but I am an ACE certified personal trainer.

I’ve cut the workout in half, but by all means, if you can complete all 40 minutes-go for it!

Time Speed Incline
1-5 minutes Warm-up 0%
5-6 minute Medium pace power walk 1%
6-7 minutes Slower pace power walk 2%
7-8 minutes Medium pace power walk 3%
8-9 minutes Slower pace power walk 4%
9-10 minutes Medium pace power walk 5%
10-11 minutes Slower pace power walk 5%
11-12 minutes Medium pace power walk 5%
12-13 minutes Slower pace power walk 5%
13-16 minutes Medium pace power walk 0%
16-17 minutes Steep hill power walk 6-8%
17-18 minutes *Right-angled walk 6-8%
18-19 minutes *Left-angels walk 6-8%
19-20 minutes Steep hill power walk 0%

Cool down at an easy-pace walk with 0% incline.


Angled walks means position your upper body to the right so you have to bring your left leg over your right leg. Position your upper body to the left so you have to bring your right leg over your left leg. This movement works your inner (ADductors) and outer (ABductors) thighs a little more than walking straight. When you can completely turn to the side and “shuffle” (side-step), this move will really target those areas!

How do you make exercise progressions/regressions to your workouts?

P90X Ab Ripper Review

4 Dec

One word. Ouch.

Workouts like P90X and Insanity became a huge fad this past year, rightfully so because they push most people past their comfort zones! I dusted off the Ab Ripper DVD by P90X and decided to try it..I teach a 15 minute Absolutions class, it’ll be easy-peasy 🙂

False. Tony Horton’s 16 minute abs workout is one of the toughest DVD’s I’ve done in a long time! There were 11 exercises focusing on the entire core-not just the abdominals. A lot of people hear the word core and think of only the front of their abs (what they can see). In actuality, the core is compromised of the following muscles (groups):

  • rectus abdominis (“6” pack)
  • transverse abdominis (TVA-horizontal belt)
  • internal/external obliques (sides of abdominals)
  • erector spinae (muscle that runs from neck to lower back)
  • multifidi (underneath erector spinae, stabilize and rotate spine)
  • hip flexors (located in the front of the pelvis and upper thigh)
  • quadriceps (upper thigh muscles)

Tony Horton’s workout makes you aware of all of them! The first couple of exercises (in and outs, forward/reverse bicycles, froggy-things) involve a lot of hip flexor and quadriceps strength-very fatiguing and challenging. If your hip flexor and/or quadriceps are weaker, you won’t be able to complete all 25 reps with good form. The other exercises that followed focused on the obliques, TVA and erector spinae, all of which contribute to a stronger core, better posture and can reduce lower back pain. I really liked that Tony’s Ab Ripper workout provided 3 other exercisers with him, all doing a variation of the exercise (regressing and progressing). AND he stressed that taking a break is encouraged! A lot of hard-core (no pun intended) DVD’s don’t mention that taking a break during the exercises is OK, especially if your form is in jeopardy.

This 16 minute workout is short enough to complete at the end of a cardio-type workout and/or weight training or it can be done by itself for a quickie. It will leave you breathless and rolling on the floor, screaming “why did I just do that?”! Like I always say in my group fitness classes..”If you didn’t feel it today-you will tomorrow” :P.


Change up your abs workout every couple of weeks! Hop into a core class at your gym, search different exercises online or daretry  Tony Horton’s Ab Ripper DVD! But remember! Abdominals are just like every other muscle; don’t focus on them everyday, they too need rest in order to breakdown and rebuild.