Category Archives: Fit for TBA

Fit for TBA: My Favorite Workouts (Part II)

Hello there! Happy Monday…I am definitely ready for a fresh new week.

Let’s start it off with Part II of Fit for TBA: My Favorite Workouts! You can find Part I here.

Fit for TBA: My Favorite Workouts! (Part II)

I have a true love for yoga, and definitely don’t make enough time in my schedule for it. I truly think one reason I have been so stressed out lately is not having that time carved out every week to let go and quiet my mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to my favorite yoga classes, only to walk away yoga-noodley AND have a clearer head…my instructors always seem to have the right things to say, and help you to feel like you are in the right place at the right time, and your life is right where it should be. I need to do yoga more regularly again!

Runners-Up: BodyCombat and boxing-inspired classes. Alright….sometimes there is no better feeling than uppercutting that imaginary bad guy in your kickboxing class, and delivering a nice roundhouse right to his head. And hitting a heavy bag is a therapy session all on its own!

I could go on and on about these super-inspiring, outrageously gorgeous girls, but all you need is to spend a few minutes on their blog or YouTube channel and you will see why! They have developed a lifestyle eating plan that works, and started a Community that is unlike any other. And they are so FUN! I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Runner-up: Cassey at Blogilates. She has the cutest personality and blog, and a great YouTube channel as well. Her Call Me Maybe Squat Challenge is NO JOKE!! Seriously….do it everyday for a week and try to tell me you don’t see a difference in your thighs!

Taking this class has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Women should absolutely weight train! (Good article on why strength training is so beneficial to women here.I accredit this class for the definition in my arms that I never thought was achievable. It is my main source of lifting, and in two (sometimes 3) days a week, I get in my full body weight lifting sessions, accompanied with fun instructors and good music. Since starting weight training, I haven’t gotten bulky, but definitely more toned. Due to the lack of testosterone in us ladies, we can’t can’t too bulky without the help of supplements. With the high rep, lower weight-style of BodyPump twice a week, lots of pushups, and protein afterwards, I am perfectly happy with my weight training. It’s what works best for me right now, and all of us regulars cannot deny the effects of BodyPump! This is one group fitness class that also caters to the males just as much as women. Our classes at my gym are often 50/50!

I am not much of a long distance runner. As much as I want to train for a half marathon, sometimes I think the Disney Wine & Dine is so enticing to me A) because of the cute medals and B) due to the fabulous food and drink awaiting for you at the end. I get bored easily and usually tap out at 3 miles, so Tabata intervals are PERFECT for me. I usually perform these on a treadmill. A Tabata is a 4 minute cycle where you go hard for twenty seconds, totally STOP for 10 seconds (I hop on the sides of the treadmill), and repeat for 8 total rounds within the 4 minutes. This. Is. Killer. I am not very fast, and my top speed is usually 9.5-10, but let me tell you. Two rounds of these with an incline walking warmup and cooldown and I am spent!!! Shape magazine has a great article on why Tabatas are so great for you.

“Doing as little as 4 minutes (or one “Tabata”) can increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max, resting metabolic rate, and can help you burn morefat (and make you look 200-percent leaner) than a traditional 60-minute aerobic workout. That’s right—4 minutes of Tabata can get you better fitness gains than an entire hour of running on the treadmill.”

…yes, please! 🙂

 

Hope you all have a great week…my weekend included a super fun bachelorette party in Atlantic City (Revel is AMAZING!!), a shopping trip to Anthropologie where I bought a towel set I have been lusting over (and picked up my sister’s huge paper mache elephant head from there as well, which I had to carry through the mall like a crazy person), and a yummy Shrimp Fra Diavlo dinner, accompanied with a Weeds marathon, Breaking Bad, and a couple glasses of Malbec. AND some Oreo ice cream pie…my parents wanted to celebrate Coop’s 30th, too! They got him a programmable crock pot. THIS I am happy about. 🙂 Any great crock pot recipe ideas? Hoping to catch up on some sleep this week!

Have a fabulous week!

Fit for TBA: My Favorite Workouts

Today I am introducing a new series on The Balance Artist: the Fit for TBA Awards! For each installment, I will discuss my favorite fitness and healthy-living-related things. Although I am not a certified instructor or personal trainer yet, I enjoy sharing my favorite things with fellow fitness and healthy-living enthusiasts!

First up: My Favorite Workouts! (Part I)
Fit for TBA Awards: My Favorite Workouts

BodyCombat is by far my favorite group workout. It is a perfect combo of boxing, tai chi, taekwondo, karate, and muay thai, and beats plain old steady cardio any day in my book! Lots of jabs, crosses, knees, uppercuts (my favorite), roundhouses and side kicks (my other favorite). The hour flies by and you are drenched in sweat by the end, and you feel super powerful! It is amazing what your body can do. And there’s always so much energy in the room! Since I have been taking Combat regularly for the last year, my core, legs, and arms are noticeably stronger, and my endurance is way up. SUCH a fun class!

Runner-Up: Zumba. Since I was a dancer for 13 years, I can be very picky about dance-inspired classes, but if you find a great instructor, this can be one of the most fun classes!

These DVDs are by far one of the toughest workouts around! Shaun T means business, and this 90 day challenge does NOT get easier as it goes on. In fact, the stronger you get, the harder you are able to push yourself, and these are some serious workouts! I started doing Insanity when I moved back home from college and wanted to change some things about my life. One thing I was able to control was my fitness and dedication to a healthy lifestyle, and I was so ready to finally do something for myself! And….let’s just say Shaun T whipped me into shape, and FAST. You begin to crave these sweaty workouts. Don’t be too intimidated, you get out of it what you put in, but you will build up so much strength if you stick with it (and you use ALL body weight! No free weights, pull-up bars, or any other fitness equipment needed. So at-home friendly.) and you will no doubt get some new definition in your muscles.

Runner-Up: Beach Babe by Tone It Up. It’s no secret I love the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina. Their nutrition plan is top notch, but you don’t have to be a TIU member to take advantage of their workouts. They post workouts every Tuesday on their blog, and also partner up with Livestrong to deliver great videos. This DVD is great and their HIIT the Beach workout (1 of 7 included in this DVD) is perfect when you are short on time but want a good, sweaty HIIT workout.

Not many better things in the world than being about to get a good workout in while exploring the beauty this world has to offer. Two of my favorite places to hike?

New Hampshire

and Tucson, Arizona.

I miss the Sonoran desert so much! Always had the best hikes there.

Runners-up: Walking/Running with the Pup and Kayaking. On my fitness bucket list: try stand up paddleboarding! And SUP yoga sounds super awesome, too!

These are hands-down the best sculptor for your obliques. They are tough, but I am obsessed with them! The conditioning tracks at the end of BodyCombat and BodyPump often incorporate these, and since I have been doing variations of planks throughout the last year a few times a week, my core is stronger and more defined than ever. These things TRUMP sit ups, anyday!

(You don’t need to have your top leg up…just the regular version of a side plank is killer!)

Runner-Up: Regular plank, with alternating shoulder taps, or alternating knees + pushups.

Gina is not only a Tucson-native, with an adorable husband and baby, but she is also an awesome instructor of all-things-fitness. When I get back out to Arizona, I am for sure going to make it out to one (or more!) of her classes! Her Tabata Thursdays are great, as are all the posts in her Focus On: series.

 

Be on the lookout for future Fit for TBA series posts including: favorite workout clothes/accessories, and my favorite health and nutrition finds. What are some of your favorite workouts?

Off to do some last-minute prep for a best friend’s bachelorette party tomorrow! Early morning Dirty Double (Combat/Pump), pretzel tray pickup (DROOL Philly Pretzel Factory!!!), and then AC, here I come, baby! Mary, I hope you are ready for a wild night at Revel! 😉 Have a great weekend everyone!