Workouts as “detoxifying”

“Detoxifying”

This is a word I hear a lot from Fred DeVito during some of the Core Fusion workouts I”ve been doing at home. Usually it’s in reference to a hip opening move or spinal stretch or other stretching techniques.

But when I really paused to think about it, I totally view an entire workout as a detoxifying process.

Not just physically (though that’s a huge part of it) but also mentally.

And I think that’s a big reason I return to my workouts faithfully each and every day (‘cept for that rest day, of course).

It detoxifies me.

Centers me.

Makes me feel alive.  Energized.

Toxin-free.

Finally! I have an answer to the question I get all the time: “how do you stay so committed to your workouts?”

Working out is detoxifying.

At least it is for me.

This as I sit here working from home today and noticing that I’m increasingly feeling the effects of Kick last night followed by Core Fusion Body Sculpt this morning. Can you say DOMS city?? Ahhh, just how I like it. Nice and warm and toasty up in my back, my shoulders, my core, my glutes (ok, my ass).

Not a bad way to kick off the weekend if you ask me. Yes, pun intended. Because that’s this workout nerd rolls. Take me or leave me. ;-) 

 

So what makes a workout “puke-worthy” you ask?

Well – none of you really *asked* this question, but I’m gonna answer it anyway!

(and part of me is surprised nobody asked what I meant by that in my random post the other day, but then again – you’re all just as crazy as me so it kinda makes sense, scarily so!)

A workout just *may* be puke-worthy if it involves…

  • …your crazy – but favorite – spin instructor urging you to turn that resistance up higher than you thought you were capable of climbing at. And then pushed you to turn it up even more.
  • …double-wave loads (hello STS!). As in six, yes six, sets of one exercise done with 5% increased weights after each set. So for example: one set of chest presses at 20 lbs for 12 reps; set two at 22.5 lbs for 10 reps; set three at 25 lbs at 8 reps. Repeat series once from the beginning.
  • multiple rounds of double-wave loads. As in three in one workout. One for chest press. One for shoulder presses. One for tricep extensions. Oof. Oof. Oof.
  • …the coldest run you’ve done in awhile, complete with husband yelling at you to run as hard as you can, and that yes, your chest should be aching or you’re not running hard enough. <ahem>
  • …HiiT work (as in high intensity interval series). But not just any HiiT work. A round of true HiiT work (as in high intensity the entire time) followed by a round of low-impact HiiT work (much of the same intensity, just done with less wear on those joints).

And yes, these are all workouts I’ve done as recently as today, if not this past week.

And it’s been awesome.

JUST what this self professed workout-a-holic has been craving since the cold weather has hit. Lots of variety, lots of fun, lots of, um…near-puke moments? And I mean that in the best possible way, of course. ;-)

But now I gotta know – what was your last workout that left you gasping for air and praying for a reprieve??

And while I eagerly await your responses (hehe), I’ll go back to searching for my inner Type A-…I’m sure it’s around here somewhere….

 

Motivation mojo – where are you hiding?

Let’s call this a mini “Confessions of a Fitness blogger” post, shall we?

I’m not always motivated to workout.

*GASP*

I know, I know. Despite what you all may think – I do have moments where I fight with myself to get ‘er done.

Case in point – here’s what’s been running through my head the past hour or so…

God, what a day. I really need to get my workout in tonight.<editor’s note – was supposed to hit Ride this AM, but the rain, coupled with a slight scratchy throat and I nixed it for fear of coming down with a cold which would be bad, bad, bad>

<sigh> But I’m hungry. And tired. And grumpy. And I miss my couch.

Buuuut Sunday was my rest day and today was supposed to be a cardio day sooooo…

And that’s where I stopped and thought to myself:

SELF! What is your motivation today???

Well – my friends, my only motivation for working out tonight is to SHAKE OFF this mood I’m in. As I’ve said a million times before, nobody ever regrets going to the gym when all is said and done.

And so, that’s that. I WILL get my cardio groove on tonight, probably in the form of a Kick workout in front of my TV. It always does the “shake-it-off” trick, that’s for sure.

AND since this blog is oh-so-good for that thing called accountability? You bet your ass I”ll be back tomorrow to report back on how that workout went. ;-)

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#TheLittleThings for today – I’m thankful for this blog for letting me be me. For letting my voice shine through, even when in the form of a “confession” like tonight’s post turned out to be. AND a huge thank you to all of you for helping me to surpass the 20k hits to my blog which I happened to notice last night. How cool! Here’s to 20k more hits and then some. :)

 

“Christmas” in, um, October?

Something that makes this self-professed workout-a-holic fitness blogger giddy?

The promise of new workouts to come.

It’s like “Christmas” in October!

What could I possibly be referring to?

Cathe Friedrich’s new workouts that I pre-ordered right after hearing all about them at the Cathe Road Trip this summer. (yes, I’m a total sucker, could hardly wait to get to my laptop to pre-order them!)

I was just watching the video clips – been so busy with work and with auntie life that I hadn’t even had a chance to watch them since they were posted to Cathe’s site a couple weeks ago.

They look awesome!! And they are just what I need now that we’re heading into the cooler months, forcing me to seek more indoor workouts to do that don’t involve the dreadmill unless absolutely required. ;)

Since I’m such a fitness dork, of course I’m going to recap them for you briefly here:

  • Intensity – This is Cathe’s longer, even MORE intense version of some of her STS Shock Cardio workouts she put out a year or so ago. From the looks of the video – it’s gonna be killer, but lots of fun and lots of variety (mix of step, bootcamp moves and plyo…ohhh plyo how I love to hate you!).
  • High Reps – After watching the video clip for High Reps, this TOTALLY looks like it’ll be very similar to Group Power. Ten songs choreographed to ten workout segments working full body at low weights, high reps (aka an endurance weight workout). Ahh, LOVE this!!
  • STS Total Body – Using the same premise as Cathe’s BEST (in my opinion anyway) weight training series yet (STS), STS Total Body uses 65-80% of your one rep max weights to give you a killer total body workout. This will be PERFECT as a complement to my current 3 1/2 month STS rotation. I can add it in as a fourth weight workout, or add it in when I’m not even doing an STS rotation at all. Love.
  • Lower Body Blast – I have a feeling I’m going to die doing this workout, but I am equally excited to give this one a whirl. I have a feeling it’ll be similar to one of my “oldie but goodie” favorites of Cathe’s – Butts & Guts. An intense lower body workout that I am SURE will leave me with major DOMS.

I know, I sound like such a dork gushing about these workouts but they just look like such fun, and I honestly really do need a workout refresh for what I currently use for at-home workouts in between my gym visits for Ride, Power, Kick, etc. These will come in especially handy when it’s cold and miserable this winter…I seriously am NOT looking forward to winter because it totally limits my outdoor workout activities which is such a depressing thought! BUT – with a few new workouts to add to my at-home fitness library, well, I think I can handle that this winter. ;)

On a similar note – STILL haven’t figured out what my next challenge is gonna be quite yet, but am hoping that the promise of new workouts this fall will at least keep me from feeling bored. Until that next “dare to be great” moment comes along. ;)

Needing a dose of endorphins, STAT!

Anyone got some endorphins to spare me??

I mean – really. I literally *just* posted about all things balance last night, right?

Well – today, of course, I’m now absolutely craving an endorphin rush.

I bet you want to know why, right?

How could I be craving that when I had such good intentions for this morning? Well, let me explain how it all went down, shall we?

Me last night: I’m going to get up at 5 tomorrow so I can give my new Core Fusion DVD’s a whirl before our uber-dark run, ok, sweetie?

Husband Scott: Ok, babe, whatever makes you happy.

Me this morning (when alarm buzzed at 5am): Oof. My knee still hurts. I’m going to reset the alarm for 5:45 and do Core Fusion only this morning. No run.

Husband Scott: Ok, babe, whatever makes you happy.

Me: <reset alarm clock to 5:45 and snuggle down under covers>

Me: <awaking with a start at 6:52> Oh wow, I’m so happy I woke up or I’d have missed my workout. I can’t believe I didn’t turn my alarm clock on! <pause> Wait. It’s 6:52, not 5:52?? Bah!

Um yeah. That NEVER happens. I’m so organized, so type-A, so prepared. Apparently my body hit “override” on all of that in favor of sleep. Clearly I needed it.

But now, oh now, I am SOOOO craving an endorphin rush. A long run tomorrow coupled with Core Fusion, now that is most certainly on my agenda for tomorrow morning, mmk?

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Now I hope you all don’t think this post means I’m complaining about the time spent with my sister and niece because it’s not. At all. I am loving having them around. Loving the bonding moments. Loving it all. But I’m human. And a Type-A, routine-oriented human at that. Who just so happens to be a workout-a-holic who LOVES a good sweat. And yes, I realize that makes me a smidge weird. ;)

And PS. Thank you all for being so supportive and thoughtful as my sis goes through this rough patch. Good news is that she’s recovering well – in fact, she’s off the wound vac pump as of today which is a welcome surprise! One step closer to full recovery. YAY!

We could all use a little more “kick” in our lives

At least I think so.

Last night, I came home from work after a chaotic, frenzied day and – while later than my normal workout – I had to get something done. Not just because I heart working out but because I felt “off.” Stressed. Sad. Anxious. Not really one thing in particular that set me off, really, just a combination of things.

So what’s a girl to do when running isn’t an option (too dark, sad, not ready for fall/winter!) to re-focus, re-energize, re-invigoriate, re-”me-if-y”?

KICK.

I kicked it wicked hahhd last night.

I used every muscle in my upper body, my core to toss some fierce punches.

I used every leg muscle to kick my pretend “opponent” right out of my living room.

I felt alive.

I felt confident.

I felt strong.

I felt ME.

As my sister so wisely re-iterated to me over BBIM message, channeling the fierceness that is Kick, and you just never know how you might feel afterwards.

Always better than where you started, that’s for sure.

And usually much more sore, too (which I am – but you know me, I LOVE DOMS!).

Hence why I think we could ALL use a little more “kick” in our lives. Wouldn’t you agree?

(and BTW – for those of you always asking me what my motivation is for working out even after a long day?? It’s that natural high you get after a fantastic sweat-fest like Kick. Seriously, nothing compares…just sayin’)

What workout do you use to work off steam after a rough day? Do you ever use your workouts as a channel for stress, or is it just me (which I highly doubt)?? ;)

Antsy pants, like whoa

So, it was only a matter of time before I’d contract a major case of antsy pants.

Why, you ask?

Because I’m ITCHING for a new challenge.

Kick - check! (for now at least- would love to teach again soon)

Half marathoncheck!

So, now what?

Now that I’m back from vacation and getting back into my groove of “normal life” (as in life without a wine glass permanently glued to my right hand at all times!), it dawned on me:

I’m not working towards a new challenge right now.

And it’s sort of boring me.

I mean – don’t get me wrong, I love my “usual” workouts that involve a mix of cardio and strength training and the occasional conditioning class, but it feels so “normal” and “expected” that I’m bored already (which is kind of scary considering I’m JUST now getting back into the groove after two weeks of vacation and three weeks post-half marathon).

So what’s a self-professed workout-a-holic to do?

What exactly is my next challenge?

Do I want to finally learn to swim (yes, I honest to God do NOT know how to swim)?

If so, will I then want to tackle a triathalon? (I know a certain someone that might join me in that!)

Do I want to sign up for *another* half marathon (uhh, maybe…but ask me again in a few months, I’m not sure I’ve quite recovered from this one!)

Do I want to attempt to learn to love pilates or yoga – something I always resist because of my innate flexibility issues? (tempting – but I always get so bored with it that I have a hard time fully committing…and thus, I’m not too excited about this one…yet)

WHAT will my next challenge be? I really don’t know…but you bet your ass it’s all over my brain right now.

Holla with ideas please :)

 

What a difference…

…a day makes.

(thank you for your words of encouragement, as usual!)

But also, what a difference…in the spinning class I took this morning versus the one I took while Road Trippin’ it in New Jersey two weeks ago.

I mean – I always found the Group Ride class at my gym to be a challenge, particularly given how great the instructors are at our gym. They are motivating, they push you, they make it fun. But – I never had a point of comparison, so I thought this was just how ALL spinning class experiences were like.

Never assume.

The two spinning classes I took in New Jersey simply did NOT compare in any way to the Group Ride experience.

The instructors were not motivating. In fact, they hardly talked at all.  My sister and I both commented after that teaching that class would be SO easy, especially in comparison to what we’ve seen in Group Ride, and from personal experience teaching Group Kick!

The moves were monotonous and did not simulate the actual cycling experience. The positions were first, second and third position. In Ride – it’s ride, race, and climb. And when you’re riding – you feel like you’re, um, actually riding on outside terrain. When you’re climbing, damn are you CLIMBING that mountain. And when you’re racing, you are in full out sprint, going head-to-head with whomever is sitting on the bike next to you (in my case today, it was Scott to my left, Jo right behind me).  It’s no wonder so many of my friends don’t love spinning – based on their non-Group Ride experience – it’s no wonder so many of my friends haven’t stuck with it. Even Heather commented that her husband didn’t like spinning much since it didn’t really feel like actual cycling moves.

The class left me sweaty but in no way was I spent. In Ride, you work as hard as you can (at least I do!) and you literally have nothing left to give by the end of the last track (climb). It’s an incredible rush.

So, um, I gotta say it: Hello Group Ride! You are an amazing workout!

Seriously – after this experience, I have that much more appreciation for all of the BTS programs out there. From Group Power, to Group Ride and obviously, Group Kick (and a slew of others I have yet to try) – they ALL kick your butt in a way that no other class has ever kicked my butt. It’s a total bummer that more gyms don’t license the classes, at least around here, because they are worth every penny.

So now I gotta ask – how has your group fitness experience been? Am I the only one out there that thinks some group fitness classes leave much to be desired? Or is this the workout-a-holic in me coming out, full-force?

And no (insert caveat here!) – I did not intend to write this as an advertisement for BTS, seriously. I am just in awe, literally, after having a chance to compare one of the BTS classes to a non-BTS class and was totally struck by the very obvious differences. At least to me.

Ever have one of those days…

…where you feel like you could workout all day?

Uh yeah, me neither. ;-)

But seriously, I’m having one of those days where I’d love to just spend it working out more and more and more. Call it early-Cathe RT fever, or call it antsy-pants after sitting in my office all day glued to my desk.

Whatever “it” is (and I have a few sneaking suspicions!), I am definitely antsy, feeling like I have loads of energy to burn off and no outlet to do so. I already did a whammy of a workout this morning – went back to Power today (for a little change of pace, plus with the long weekend, my time to fit in weight training ala STS was a little bit limited – only so many days in the week, right?) followed by Ride. That back-to-back combo is a doozy, and a total sweat-fest which I LOVED every minute of.

I’ve obviously more than done my workout for the day – though I’ve been neglecting those abs again – must get back on track there asap. So why the extra energy lurking? I’m thinking after spending MOST of the weekend outside, by the lake, in the lake, running in the early-AM cool before the heat settled in for the day, etc.,  and being chained to my desk has been a little bit shocking, in a way,  after feeling so “free” all weekend. The good news is that the work week is FLYING by (not necessarily a good thing with lots of deadlines looming!) and I’ll soon be outside enjoying the summer air once again. And – as my hubby so kindly pointed out last night, just seven working days until I’m back in Maine on vacation for the week!

Which brings me to my next (rambling) point – I’d LOVE a few guest blogger volunteers for the week I’ll be on vacation (week of July 19). Ideally, I’m thinking a handful of guest posts for that week will keep things chugging along nicely in my absence (no Internet whatsoever at the camp in Maine!) so if you’d like to guest blog for me, leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I’d love to have ya!

I have lots of other bloggy thoughts stored up from my weekend in Maine (mostly some revelations around running and body image – not necessarily interrelated, per se) which I’ll share with you tomorrow. For now, I leave you with a few rambles and a request for guest bloggers. That’s all I got. ;)

Why I blog (revisited)…

…It’s my outlet to share my passion for fitness, healthy living and balance.

…It’s all mine and I’m very proud of what I’ve created in just under 8 months.

…It’s a sounding board. I have some of my best realizations by blogging. A post could start out as one thought and morph into another in the 20-minutes it takes me to write the post. Amazes me every time.

…I love to write. My day job is very techy, so this is my way of keeping those creative juices flowing in a decidedly non-techy way.

…It keeps me honest.  In my workouts (rest days – ahhh).  In my desire to find and maintain balance (oh wine, pizza, chocolate, how I love you dearly in spite of it all)

…It’s made me realize that fitness and good health are much more important to me than I thought way back in October when I launched this here blog. It’s a lifestyle, it’s what I love, it’s what I want to be continue to find ways to instill that passion in others, inspiring them in any way that I can.

…It’s enabled me to make some amazing bloggy friends that I cannot wait to meet IRL (Heather – can we start a countdown to the Cathe Road Trip yet?)

…It defines me. Yes, my blog defines me in a way that not much else in my life do aside from loved ones. Work doesn’t define me. But somehow this blog does, funny that. More on this in future posts, I’m sure…

In a nutshell – I blog for me, but also (and more so) for you. I hope that comes through in my posts – my desire to share my passion, and not in a “woo, look at meeee and all my workouts” kind of way – but in way that, if it inspires just one person to get off the couch and go to the gym, well then, my job here is done. Somehow I feel the need to leave an impact in life, rather than just going through the motions.

As I read on a dove chocolate wrapper this week:

“Love yourself, dare to dream, live on purpose.”

So that’s what I’m trying to do - living on purpose.

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As you can tell, I’m doing a lot of thinking, mulling, ruminating. For now, I’m very grateful for this blog, and for all of you that listen to what I have to say everyday. Funny enough, Naomi‘s post today on blogging is the one that got me thinking about my reasons for blogging to begin with. Thanks for the inspiration my dear, blog it up and never apologize for it, sista!