Category Archives: Workout

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!

It’s Been a While…Part 2!

Part 1 here!

Here’s another slew of photos from my last month. This batch includes our New Hampshire trip and a yoga photoshoot in some beautiful gardens in New Jersey!

It’s been a good, albeit super busy, month. Part 3 (and possibly 4!) to come tomorrow.

xoxoxo

My Otter Half

Want to spread some love on Valentine’s Day? Here’s a few fun-lovin’ things for V-Day 2012!

Here is a sketch I planned on coloring before today, but life has been pretty crazy lately! For those of you who don’t know, my dad went in for surgery last week for prostate cancer and is home recovering…so far, so good! The Bocks really enjoy kicking cancer in the tuchus.

Happy V-Day to all my loves…

Also, try this workout today if you want to feel the burn on this Valentine’s Day! It is harder than it looks…and the girls are super-cute!

Another way to share the love today? Email Love Grown Foods today with your address (LOVE@lovegrownfoods.com with ‘VDAY LOVE’ as the subject), and they will send you (and your Valentine!) a free bag of their granola. Yesssssss.


Doing anything fun for V-Day? I am celebrating by eating chocolate and doing a Barre class and some yoga. 😉

xoxoxo

And congrats to all my Tone It Uppers who finished their 7 Day Slim Down today. You girls rock!

As for the Slim Down, today is technically my last day….but I have not been following the plan as closely as intended. Which is okay! I ate cleaner and more raw, but still had some diversions in the form of chocolate, Greek yogurt, wine, quinoa, peanut butter…and even with that, I still have a tighter belly and lost some bloat. The effects of this plan are amazing, and I can’t even imagine what they are like if you actually stick to it for the week. After the first four days, I felt great and was ready to incorporate my carb-loves back into my life…plus, my workout routine is too intense not to. I will definitely do the Slim Down before my vacation in March, but for now, this mini-SD was exactly what I needed. <3

Rest Days

Hello there!

Finally back into the swing of things….regular gym-going, healthier eats, more arting.

Veggies, get back in my life.

My newest flavor love, Chobani Apple Cinnamon.

Lots of the best flavor of Larabar (thanks to chocolate chips, this is the winner).

My black bean soup!

Saturday we had a little party for my mama’s birthday.

For prep, Friday night was shopping trip number one for our food necessities. I dragged Allie along with me to WalMart, where we found Oscar (Allie’s boyfriend, if you are new to the blog).

An uncanny resemblance to our Oscar. We also found some pantyhose on the wasabi popcorn. Uhhh?

To add to our adventure, I had to climb a fixture in order to get the last bottle of lime juice. Unfortunately, the only pictures we have of that are mental ones.

After some kickass BodyCombat and BodyPump classes the next morning, I headed to the grocery store to pick up some last minute things for the night.

Family and friends came over for the football games, complete with my parent’s homemade wings and lots of pizza. I also made some buffalo chicken eggrolls and my buffalo dip (we had buffalo chicken on buffalo chicken!!!) and they were pretty tasty.

She even got a froggy funfetti cake (she collects frogs).

It was lovely and I think my mama had a fun birthday!

Sunday is normally my exercise rest day, where I can usually be found taking Koda for a nice long walk and/or spending the day watching football in Philly in my yoga pants…..sans the yoga.

And I did both of those things this Sunday. Starting with The Monster’s walk (he’s a ferocious beast, I know).

Along with a little drawing. Although I usually limit my alcohol consumption to once (occasionally twice) a week, a leisurely beer or two is usually consumed on Sunday. Like this week’s local microbrew:

Obviously.

The brewery is in Allentown, where Coop’s alma mater is located. Muhlenberg!

I did take off Monday from the gym as well, which is usually a BodyPump class and some cardio. I just wasn’t feeling it yesterday; I was absolutely exhausted after work (didn’t have off for MLK like all of you luckies!) and in a bit of a weird funk and just wanted to lay on the couch all night and take a bath. Definitely my body’s way of begging for some extra recovery time after a hard week at the gym and a double sesh on Saturday morning, so that wish was gladly granted. That means I had time to scour some new magazines for recipes that I want to try.

^Had to buy this one due to this show (please watch this;….you are welcome):

Our new obsession on the Food Network. And my new obsession with the extreme weirdness that is Aaron Carter.

But I ended up loving Every Day with Rachael Ray…who knew! This thing is chock-full of awesome recipe ideas that are organized so well. Can’t wait to try my spin on many of them.

Plus, I needed my rest. It will be an exciting week at the gym…new BodyCombat launch tonight with all of the instructors, and a new class on Wednesdays called Fight Club! So I got to buy these pretty little things:

As time goes on, I am becoming more and more passionate about becoming a certified instructor/trainer. Something that is a huge goal of mine for the year. I am just loving the way these classes have been transforming my body! And I am loving being back in a class mode and pushing myself to the max…reminds me of my dancing days.

Other two big goals for this year? Getting my finances in order and trying to consolidate some things, and to move out! These are all very doable, and I am in super-saver mode. Which means my extensive Lululemon collection is going to have to stay content in its current state at the moment. No new additions. That is, unless I find the perfect long sleeve tech shirt in the perfect color…

Some illustration coming at ya later this week!

xoxoxo



How often do you take rest days? Usually 1-2 days on a normal week for me, unless I am traveling/on vacation. I get grumpy when I don’t work out!