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Let’s Play a Game

15 Dec

Happy weekend!

After teaching 2 group fitness classes back to back..

Blue equipmentA girl’s gotta have a little fun with it! I purposely used all blue equipment; BOSU, the resistance tube that’s equivalent of using 7 pounds of force, and an  (un-pictured) pair of 7lb. dumbbells that were obvi blue. Up first-Abs, Glutes, and Thighs..and the LAST one of the semester! We went through a circuit for the first half of the class:

  • BOSU lateral hopovers
  • dumbbell wood choppers
  • resistance tube lateral walks
  • BOSU glute bridges (double and single legs)
  • BOSU decline planks

After, we played what I call a “game”*. I had each participant flip a coin; whether it landed on heads or tails, it corresponded to an exercise. We only got through 1 round of it, but it was a change-up from my norm group fitness class of me doing all of the work! I always try to do something “fun“* on the last class and involve the participants when deciding what workouts/exercises to do. It gives the participants a chance to run the class (so to speak) and show-off what they learned throughout the semester. MY group fitness classes aren’t just about getting a workout in, but taking what we do in the class and using it in your OWN workouts, with amazing form and variations so no workout is the same.

*I put these choice words in quotations because apparently what I think is a game and fun, the participants think otherwise! (cough-Stephanie-cough) ;).

Next up-cycle! I was subbing for another instructor because usually, I do not do back to back classes. It’s too much! I give those who do it regularly lots of credit. For me, I must have balance when it comes to teaching; too much burns me out and I start to dread it. ALL fitness is a PASSION of mine, not an everyday thing..moderation :).

Three people plus me for an hour-long class. I’m used to teaching my lunchtime  40-minute class; an extra 20 minutes allowed me to add in more climbs, sprints, and jumps! FYI-Kelly Clarkson’s new song, Catch My Breath, is the perfect song for jumps!

Wunderunders after cycleTo blue crops.

Oh yes I did.

Add 1 Mile To That

7 Sep


I’m not sure where your whereabouts are, but it’s a gorgey day in Rochester MI! Fall is right around the corner and you can tell by the crisper mornings and cooler nights. I’m no vampire or emo but I love the dark, both later in the mornings and earlier in the evenings :).

Last night was my first Abs, Glutes, & Thighs class at OU! With that kind of name, it attracts a lot of the girls (who woulda thunk) and I had a smallish group of 11 lovely ladies who glistened, burned, and had an hour filled of fun! As much as I love a huge group of participants, like the Spring Break a Sweat class I taught at NC State, a smaller group offers just as much satisfaction because:

  1. you can connect with the participants on a more personal level. getting to know their names and having a conversation instead of just teaching at them.
  2. it’s not as intimidating to suggest an exercise they want to do or region they want to work when they’re surrounded by the same people every week.
  3. as an instructor, you can really see their progress; not only in fitness but in their body awareness, appreciation, self efficacy and esteem as well. on the fitness aspect, maybe when the class started they performed push-ups on their knees and by the end of the semester, they’re doing them on their toes! in their body awareness, their form has improved tremendously to where they can actually feel when they’re doing it correctly/incorrectly; focusing on what their body can do rather than what it struggles with (notice I didn’t say can’t!); self efficacy is strengthened by realizing they’re capable of reaching their goals and not giving up; and their self-esteem sky-rockets simply because when we exercise, we feel good about ourselves.

This morning started with another run around campus! I’m telling you, OU has some serious hills! I ran the same route as before (minus the intervals) but did it twice around. I then wanted another hill (say whaaaaaat) so instead of stopping at the Rec center:

  • continue on Pioneer Drive. you’ll stay straight (or veer right) on the road and NOT turn onto Ravine Drive (a parking lot and the soccer fields will be on your left)
  • enjoy running down the hill.
  • make a U-ey and trek back up the hill. try not to lean too far forward; it restricts your breathing and actually makes it harder because your weight is forward rather than upright.
  • now turn onto Ravine Drive
  • turn right onto Meadow Brook Road and continue until you reach the stop sign.
  • make another U-ey back towards the Rec center.

When you’re finished, you’ve added ~1ish more miles! Make sure you properly cool down and stretch those muscles!

Heyo-I’m A PiYo Instructor

2 Sep

PiYo™ is a unique class designed to build strength & gain flexibility. The moves  fit perfectly together to form a class filled with intense choreography that’s  fun, challenging and will make you sweat. It’s about energy, power, and rhythm.  Think sculpted abdominals, increased overall core strength, and greater  stability. (source)

Last Sunday, I finally got certified in PiYo at Club 1 Fitness Studio in Pittsburgh, PA.

The day started at 9am with a brief overview of the entire certification process. Lauren, our PiYo instructor and a Duquesne alumni!, explained the certification process in detail, what to expect when we take the “exam”, and answered any questions we had. She was enthusiastic, personable, and her energy was contagious!

All of the attendees received a manual to use as a reference, but the certification was more hands-on than any other certification I’ve been through. As much as I like to have something to hold and refer back to, I’d rather be up and moving and learning and feeling rather than being talked at. I’m much more of a kinesthetic, visual, and read-write learner than an auditory learner! I may or may not have selective hearing..

The one con about this certification was the lack of education in the anatomy part of teaching group fitness. The instructor (not to criticize her as she was doing her job to focus more on teaching us PiYo choreography) skipped over it, without even reviewing basic terminology that would help us understand the choreography more. Nerd alert. I LOVE learning about the body; how it moves, what connects to what, muscles, planes, levers, oh my; there’s always opportunity to learn more about this amazing machine we live in. I don’t think there was an assumption that we were all certified group fitness instructors, personal trainers, or even fitness professionals in some way so a basic anatomy lesson would have been beneficial. I think that’s the biggest downfall of these pre-choreographed certifications; the instructor may or may not have an exercise-type degree and/or background so they don’t know the mechanics of it or even the basics when it comes to anatomy.

Ranting over.

After a flip through of the manual, it was time to sweat glisten! Lauren took us through an hour and a half workout that was a fusion of various PiYo releases. I’ll tell was on point! PiYo doesn’t follow the 32-count, rather, its BPM is relatively consistent throughout the workout and the moves just flow; there isn’t a set move to a beat. You do 2 repetitions of each exercise and move to the next exercise in a fluid and somewhat graceful cadence. The certification comes with a CD and the exercises that associate with each song -BUT- it’s just an outline. What’s great about PiYo and why I gravitated towards it is that it gives you the freedom to put your OWN spin on the workout, so that no PiYo class is the same at the end of the day. As long as you follow the outline, it is a PiYo class that’s filled with the instructors’ personal flavor!

After a much-needed lunch break, we got into groups of 4 and practiced the 12 PiYo essential exercises that are a mix between yoga and Pilates moves. We also practiced the warm-up (which is the same warm-up as the last couple of releases) and had the opportunity to get up in front of the class and teach it. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to the exam! We ended up getting out early which I throughly appreciated; I feel like I’ve been to hundreds of certifications! #fitnessinstructorprobs

I’m super excited about learning the choreography, owning it, and putting my own spin and flavor in my Piyo classes! The coordinator at OU and I are going to team-teach a PiYo class next semester, since were both newbies to teaching a mind/body class consistently. Team-teaching is so much fun! We thrive off of each other’s energy, get creative with our moves and workouts, and give the particpants a one-two punch when it comes to their group fitness experiece..the more the merrier!

What type of learner are you?

When you attend ANY certification, would you rather it be hands-on or off?