Monday, April 18, 2011

Group Exercise Classes - Why they are great!

So, being a personal trainer who is often focused on individual clients, you'd think I'd have some issues with group exercise classes.  Some trainers feel that the lack of individual attention will lead to participants using bad form, not giving 100% or just not being pushed to their level of fitness.  While there is some validity to these points, I think the benefits outweight the possible negatives.  I am a big believer in ultimate cross training, I think a little bit of everything is good for everyone!   I don't believe that you can get by with only group classes, I think there is a place for them in your fitness routine. I teach Les Mills Body Attack, it's a sports oriented high energy class.  We launched brand new choreography this weekend and it was a great class that left me with an exercise high!   Group classes afford people the chance to jump in and try things they normally wouldn't do, take the exercises at their own level and feed off of the other participants energy.  My class this Saturday had great energy and it took us all to a higher level, the lunges were deeper, folks pushed out a few more push ups then they previously thought they could and the high knee runs were higher!  Some other reasons to include group exercise classes into your routine:
1. you can try something new
2. you don't have to think of a workout, the instructor has done all planning
3. you can meet new people
4. being around people will push you harder
5. you, along with the rest of the class really feel like you've accomplished something once that hour is finished (and you have!!)
So, I'd like to encourage all of you to add a class or two to your routine, they're fun!  Don't worry if you don't know the moves or you've never done it before, remember, everyone was new at one point!  What are your thoughts on group exercise?  What keeps you from joining a class?  I'd love to hear some comments!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who are we and what are we all about?!?

You are probably saying, “Yet another blog about physical fitness? Really?  What’s this one about? Running? Weightlifting?  Diets?”  Well, the real question is what is this blog NOT about?  Between the two of us, we (Samara and Kelly) have tackled many fitness issues and challenges and are still muddling our way through so many more.   We are starting this blog as a place to share our learnings with as many people as we can!  Its tough figuring out how to reach your potential in any fitness activity, maybe something we’ve learned can help a few of you out there, and hopefully you all can teach us a few things!  The way we see it, Life is good J! We’ve only got one body, so let’s share together everything we’ve learned to make the most of this one life, with the strongest, most fit body possible.

Samara and I have been athletes all of our lives (or so we thoughtJ ). When we met, as college roommates, I ran track and Samara was a swimmer. I think we both considered ourselves pretty fit then…but we’ve come a long way…and we’re still going.  For example, yes, I ran track, but I couldn’t for the life of me do 10 push ups and struggled with eating disorders. Yes, Samara was on the swim team, but she was also a size 10-12. These days, we both have specific passions, ranging  from Competitive Fitness to Ironman Triathlons.  While our competitions may be different, we both provide each other support along the way each season. And we find that, more often than not, we run into similar stumbling blocks and learning points. We’ve pretty much done everything together since college, so we decided, why not blog together? We hope that you’ll join us on continuing our journey for a fit life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Race Report: Nautica South Beach 2011 Classic Distance Triathlon

Competed in the Classic Distance Triathlon this weekend. I wasn’t exactly sure what distance that was until Saturday. It includes: 750m swim, 19 mile bike, 4 mile run.

Race conditions were warm and muggy, ocean current, but not even half as bad as 2010

Racing buddies: Jack – who attended some of the race weekend seminars and shared tidbits he learned: when running through the surf, run with your lower legs out to the side to take your legs over the surf. When the surf is deep enough, start using the dolphin method to get out until swim depth. Dolphin method is diving under the surf, streamlining, then pushing off the bottom back up for air, and repeat.

Swim: Water was barely wet suit legal. I wore my wetsuit, and the swim was short enough to remain cool enough and reap the benefits of the wetsuit. I just am unsure if the benefits of gaining time during the swim were offset by the time required to pull the wetsuit off in transition.

Bike: Bike was good. Struggling with why I can kick tail on the hills (yes, the few hills in Miami; read: bridges), but then the people that I feel like I fly by while they are standing still on the hills, then come flying past me on the flats. Need to work on that!

Run: just trying not to aggravate the plantar fasciitis from which I’m recovering, so just ran nice and steady. No cramps in my quads, so that’s an improvement as well. Only had a stitch in my side; from over or under hydration?

All in all, the race went as well as could be expected. 9 out of 53 in my age group. So, no complaints from here.

Thanks to Amanda, RunToTheFinish, for cheering me on at each leg and providing the finishing line photo.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

When to wear your race day t-shirt

Is it wrong to wear your race day t-shirt before the race actually takes place? I have a 5K on Sunday morning, but I picked up the packet on Tuesday and the race t-shirt ROCKS! I couldn’t stand it just sitting there on the kitchen table, so when I packed my gym bag this morning, I threw it in alongside the shirt I’d already picked out. At the gym…I had to make a decision…

The Jinx
I run mostly for exercise and not necessarily speed, but to better myself. I never go to a ‘race’ and intend (or expect) to win. So, if one should not wear the t-shirt before the race in order to avoid jinxing yourself, I don’t really fall into that category. What am I really going to jinx…my easy to medium paced jog?
The Reward
Is it uncouth to wear it prior to the race because you haven’t actually ‘earned’ the right yet? The t-shirt could be considered a reward for your hard work. So, maybe you should not wear it until you’ve fully earned the right, by completing the race! And what if you sleep in on race day and miss it - can you still wear the shirt afterwards?
The Label
I read somewhere that it is dorky to wear your race t-shirt to the actual race. I can’t remember a time that I ever wore it during the actual race, however sometimes I do like to wear it as my ‘clean’ shirt after the race is over and for the ride home. And the ride home often includes a stop at an eatery to which I don’t normally earn a trip; but in the special event of burning extra calories that day, I get to stop and partake. And I like knowing in the back of my head that people in the eatery know that I’ve earned my meal and THAT’s why I am there that day! J
The Exhibitionist
And how soon after the race is it appropriate to wear the shirt? Is it too showy to wear it the next day? Or should you be so proud of your accomplishment that you share it with others? I tend to lean towards waiting a week or so to throw it into my repertoire; so as not to seem like a race snob; non-racers who are working out are good people too…they might just not have such a cool shirt!
My Choice
With all this said, I chose to wear it on my run today. I felt a little apprehensive when I walked past people because I didn’t want them to see the date, clearly in bold, on the shirt. But, I loved running in it and can’t wait until a week from Monday to add it to my workout cycle! Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself…