Haaaaappy New Year!! What’s that you say? It’s no longer the NEW year? it’s already March???!! Ok, Ok. You’re right. I know I’m a bit late on my New Years post, but This means I’ve basically already given you enough time to potentially make AND break your New Years resolutions.. so perhaps now is exactly the right time for a kick in the pants. And for this blog post. One of my new years resolutions was to post more blogs, and as you can I have done a rather TERRIBLE job thus far. Because even though I WANTED to post a blog, I just wasn’t. Why hadn’t I just posted yet?? I’ll tell you why, because procrastination is just SO MUCH EASIER. And because I had FAR too many excuses, for example “There isn’t enough time, I don’t have anything to write about, I’m not inspired”…. blah, blah, blah. Procrastination is easier, but it doesn’t make me feel all that great, or very accomplished. It wasn’t until one of my friends called me out on this tonight before I felt compelled to do it. And here I am, writing this blog. hurrah. Look, here’s how it goes. If you want to achieve ANY goals, fitness or otherwise, you need constant motivators and reminders of why you started doing whatever you wanted to do in the first place. And it doesn’t hurt to be good friends with Will… Power, that is. One of the easiest ways to fail at something is to lack consistency and to lose your will power to stay on track. It is easy to fall off when you start to slack off. You stop seeing results and then you start to feel like that goal you had is now so so distant, and then you lose faith in yourself… and then… YOU GIVE UP!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! And you give up until that next round of inspiration comes along, or you start to feel so bad about falling off the first 3 to 5 billion times, and then you decide to get back on that wagon again. Wouldn’t it just be so much better and more rewarding if you could just STAY on that WAGON?? I’m sure your results would come much sooner. I recently had the pleasure of seeing Kelly McGonigal PhD, psychology professor at Stanford, give a lecture on the subject of will power. Kelly is also the author of The Willpower Instinct, (which I am currently reading) a book about understanding and improving your will power. She offers some great insight as to why we sometimes have such a difficult time sticking to our plan even when we know sticking to the plan is going to result in the outcome we want. For example, lets say you have a goal, and if you stay on your path, you WILL reach your destination. And lets say your destination is… Hawaii and an all expense paid vacation for Life! (or some other wonderful place doing whatever you enjoy doing) But maybe that path will take you several years and involve crossing the sea in a paddle boat. This seems rather challenging and quite tedious.. but just think how great it will be when you finally get there??!! However, There are so many detours along the way, and some that offer a less attractive destination, but a more immediate and easier route… like an hour drive that will take you to small mid-western town , and once you get there you can sit on a front porch but the catch is you have to shovel manuer for the rest of your days. Or if you go a few more miles on your journey you might make it to popular destination such as Six Flags in Eureka MO, which is clearly more appealing that shoveling manuer, but less appealing still to an endless paradise. (Now I know, Six Flags is fun, and I have many great memories of going there as a kid, but let’s also consider summer in the midwest… so HOT, so HUMID.. and THOSE LINES Though.) So let’s not get distracted by the short term or easy solutions that present themselves in the now, but instead think about your overall goal that you are working toward. So whether it is sticking to a healthy eating plan, making it to the gym 3 times a week like you said you would… or writing this blog… don’t let your excuses get in the way! Find out why you may be sabotaging your own success and learn to GET OUT of your OWN way. Let’s get better at that follow through and I hope to see you at your destination.
Let’s talk cycling for a minute.
First of all…what do you think of when you hear the word cycling? I’ll let you think about that as I begin.
Recently one of my good friends has started to take up indoor cycling and I have been venturing out with her to several different indoor cycling studios. Which is how I’ve found myself caught in a bit of cycling conundrum.
This conundrum has to do with the concept of cycling (where an individual sits on a bike and moves the pedals to get him/herself from one place to another, either for sport or leisure) vs. indoor cycling (where an individual sits on a bike and does a bunch of upper body movements in coordination with their lower body in an effort to… burn calories?)
I wouldn’t call myself an expert cyclist but I feel I know a little on the subject. I do know how to ride a bike, after all, and I have done it in a variety of ways ranging from downhill mountain biking, to urban commuting, to a casual ride around Brooklyn on a sunny Sunday.
I also happen to be a certified indoor cycling instructor, a personal trainer… and someone with a general appreciation for bio mechanics and proper form. It is with this experience that I am sometimes quite perplexed by so many indoor cycling classes that I have taken.
First and foremost… I like classes. Of all kinds. Dance, cycling, kickboxing, even acro-yoga-pole-core fusion-trampoline, or whatever trendy thing is going on at the moment. I enjoy taking them and I encourage others to take them as well. If a group fitness class is motivating people to move, to be active and to do something good for themselves, than I am all about that! Especially if I get to listen to fun music and get a good sweat on. That being said, I am also very much about a purposeful workout. If something in a class incorporates improper form, poor methods, or is just a “time filler”, I am not about that.
So when I am in an indoor cycling class and I am being instructed to perform exercises that make me look more like the unicyclist in a circus act, where I am juggling 2 pound weights and contorting my body to all sorts of positions that don’t seem comfortable for me to be riding in, I begin to start questioning many things. Why are we doing this? Who is the target audience? and What is the point?
I often wonder what if a cyclist, say for example Greg Lemond, took this class, what would he think? Would he walk away from that class feeling that they insulted his sport with all of these gimmicks? Or would he even feel that it was a valuable use of his training time?
I know that professional athletes are more than likely, not going to be in class with you, but whether you yourself are an cyclist looking to use an indoor class as a way to train, or you are just a weekend warrior trying to get your fitness on, wouldn’t you like to know that you are doing it in the best way possible and getting the most optimal energy expenditure that you can?
I understand that the more dance type spin classes might seem more entertaining, with the special effect lighting and occasionally even live DJs. And I realize it might seem appealing to multitask and get your arm workout in with your “leg” and cardio workout, because you feel like those 2 pound weights really are somehow magically “toning” your arms. But here is my two cents, if you like to dance you might consider… taking a dance class. And if you really want to see results in your arms try picking up some heavier weights and doing 3 sets of 10 reps, rather than 7 minutes straight of bicep curls and triceps kick backs. Just to give you something to think about, that song that you usually pedal slowly to ( essentially sit out) while you are doing your arm exercises could have been an extra 100-200 calories you burn off!
Not that burning calories is everything, but if you are taking a class for the aerobic advantages it might be good to use the whole 45 minutes of the class the best that you can. And that goes the same for form. If when you are on the bike you feel awkward, and you don’t feel like your body should be in a certain position, it probably shouldn’t.
So if you are an avid indoor cyclist who goes everyday or even if you are a newbie who has been thinking about taking a class for the first time, I encourage you now to be a bit more mindful about the workout that you are doing the next time you get up on that saddle. I believe you can still get great results, have fun, and have a great workout all while doing something the correct way, and hopefully learning something more about the sport of cycling in the process.
And don’t just take my word for it.
Check out what Jennifer Sage, founder of the Indoor Cycling Association has to say in her blog (http://www.indoorcyclingassociation.com/blog/ ) and in her book Keep It Real In Your Indoor Cycling Class
Move Better. Live More.
Yay!! I just wrote about 5 paragraphs on the topic of me and my running journey and then something happened to my computer and those paragraphs are now gone forever!!
I just LOVE it when that happens. ARGHHHH.
So, since I just spent about an hour plus writing and revising my post and it was destroyed… I just don’t have the energy to do it again at this moment. But, I promised myself that I would post today since it has been a while, so I will get something up here.
This past Sunday, September 21st, 2014, I ran my first 10K!! it was the Feed and Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 10K, and what made it even more eventful was the fact that I got to run it alongside my client Jess and her boyfriend Phil who also participated. It was also Jess’s first 10k and I am so proud of her for stepping up to the challenge and going through with it and finishing the race!
Adrenaline kept me going for the first couple of miles but by mile 4, I could definitely start to feel my legs tightening up… but at mile 4 you are already half way there and you just have to keep going!!
I would like to thank my spotify playlist for getting me through. :)
I will have to speak at a later point about getting to the place where I finally decided to run a race, because my journey as a runner started not too long ago and for all non-runners and runners out there alike, I would like to share… but… I just might need to write it all down on paper first. I’m an old fashioned gal like that, and I don’t trust technology. Prior case in point.
It can be a challenge for all of us to stay motivated and get that workout in… EVEN for PERSONAL TRAINERS!!
Sometimes I’d rather take a nap/watch a movie/eat a brownie… but I know that I will always feel better once I just get to it… and get it done.
So if you are deliberating or giving yourself a million excuses for not getting your workout today… STOP. Stop thinking… and START, putting on your shoes, START walking toward the gym (or wherever your workout happens)… and just START going. Once you get going, and START… you will NEVER be upset about that.
Enjoy your movement today!!
Here is a highlight from the article:
To check out the entire article, go here… and see what other trainers had to say.
Big Thanks to Amy Roberts (fitness guru and writer)!
I hope by the time you reach my page you already know the many benefits of exercise. (and if you have yet to experience the benefits… get in touch with me stat!!)
And if you need any more convincing, here is an article that points out just a few of those benefits.
Apart from keeping your muscles toned and joints working properly.. and getting you closer to that bikini body (or speedo body?), exercise improves your life in many more ways.
1. Helps you deal with STRESS. (get out that aggression and get some mental clarity!!)
2. Lifts Depression
3. Improves learning
4. Improves self esteem and body image
5. Makes you feel euphoric
6. Keeps your brain sharp
7. Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s (because it keeps you sharp!)
If you need any more convincing today for a reason to get off of the couch and get moving… CALL ME!!
Otherwise, enjoy your workout today! :D
While being interviewed for my first position as a personal trainer I was asked what my fitness philosophy was. At the time… I remember being stumped.
I had grown up always being active and fitness was a part of my life. As a child I was a competitive gymnast, later I would go on to study dance… I surfed, rock climbed, hiked… for me, movement was an integrated part of my lifestyle, and I knew no other way.
So when I was posed with the question, “what is your fitness philosophy?”, I realized at that moment, that I had never really given it much thought. I did know that I believed in movement and I thought being able to move and move comfortably was important to me, so I’m sure I answered with something like, “I think people should stay active to be fit, so that they can get the most out of life”.
I was hired for that job and I began my career as a personal trainer.
As I started training, I continued to think about that question I was asked “what is your fitness philosophy?”. What was it that I wanted for my clients? What did I believe in and what was my motivation?
I had come to the fitness industry because… well, I had been encouraged to do so. My years of being a gymnast had given me a strong and sturdy build, and I was often asked by random strangers if I was a personal trainer. Friends of mine would also try to get me to work out with them, so I guess that I heard this frequently enough, that the idea was planted into my brain, and eventually those small thoughts manifested into a career.
Before I worked in the fitness industry I waited tables. On more than one occasion, I was a asked by a customer if worked out, or where I worked out. Often times I was asked by a young male… who I suspected had other questions on his mind that went along with that… and not just his curiosity as to how I got so strong. Hmmm. So, out of my own amusement I began to answer this question with a very straight face and serious monotone voice… “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.”(zombies were all the rage that year). The person who asked the question typically did not know how to respond to this (unless of course they were awesome and shared my hilarious sense of humor), and I always got a kick out of it.
Point of this story is… when I really did start to work as a trainer, I thought about the fitness level that it would take to actually survive the zombie apocalypse and decided that this was an excellent measure of fitness! If I could get my clients to be able to run away (cardiovascular endurance), climb a fence, lift their own body weight up (pull up), be strong enough to catch themselves from a fall (push up) or pick up a fallen comrade (dead lift)… then we would have achieved this great goal!
However, once I had a little more experience working with people, a variety of people, from the elderly, very overweight, pregnant women, and those recovering from injuries, I began to come up with a new philosophy.
Though I still liked the idea of being able to survive the zombies, what I now really wanted was to just improve the lives of my clients. For many of my clients… performing the tasks in an apocalyptic world, were just too out of context or at the time unrealistic and unnecessary.
My senior clients needed to work on balance, flexibility and coordination… to ensure that they would have many more years of being self-sufficient. My clients who were overweight, needed to start moving in ways that eliminated pain, to get to the place where they could begin to move better and then move more.
In addition to working with my own clients, I witnessed poor form amongst many other gym goers and sometimes would hear stories about how they had suffered injuries due to their poor form.
I became aware of how important form and body awareness were for everyone. I recognized how nit-picky I was about form with each of my clients. I understood that for most of my clients, a goal more relevant than surviving the zombie apocalypse, was just surviving their daily activities. I became increasingly passionate about working with my clients, and taking them from where they were… to where they wanted to be… a place where they weren’t hindered by their movements. A place where they could be victorious and look forward toward the next goal.
So… this is how my fitness philosophy actually came to be. Not only did I just want people to move, but to move better with the best quality.. to provide a lifetime of movement. Because when we can move… we can be self-sufficient, we can be strong, we can enjoy life to the fullest and not be limited by our bodies. And if we so choose, we can climb… heck, we could even move mountains (or larger boulders at least?).
So live your life to the fullest, thrive not survive…. unless of course there is a zombie apocalypse… in which case, survive that!!
MOVE BETTER. LIVE MORE. (do it now. don’t wait)