Category Archives: Fitness

Review of: Crossfit

I haven’t written any fitness related posts in a while and I’ve been doing something new and thought i would share yep wait for it… CROSSFIT! I know it’s the “latest” fitness “thing” and all that, and it looks really intimidating.. yaaawn. But, I’m tired of people dismissing it with those lame excuses, so I’m here to tell you what it’s about and my experience with it so far.

Crossfit combines aerobics, bodyweight exercises and weight training. Strength and conditioning – Pretty much the basics of any recommended fitness routine to achieve results.

Each class includes a warm up, and a WOD (workout of the day) and usually a stretching section and sometimes a development portion to focus on a certain strength/skill. The WOD’s are at your own individual pace – some people finish in 15 minutes, some people finish in 25 minutes. But, no individual part of it needs to be longer than 10-20 minutes.

The thing about Crossfit that I think is super important to know, and that people who do it all of the time talk about, is the culture. It’s probably talking about the culture that makes it seem like a “fad” or “cult.” (And, fun fact – it’s been around since 2000…, not last year) Everyone there does become sort of family-like or teammate-like. Everyone is positive, encouraging each other – it’s not competitive in a traditional way, you’re competing with yourself and you use friendly competition between members to push yourself through a tough workout. Sure are there some men and women who are in it for the gold? Absolutely, but walk into a yoga class or spin room and look for the HARD CORES… They are in every group of fitness fiends not just Crossfit

I dare you to walk into a Crossfit Box and not feel motivated and excited to check it out. The positive energy is everywhere. Most Boxes even offer a beginners class to familiarize you with some of the forms, names of moves and the pacing. Also if you live near quincy you can come to mine at Crossfit-93.Commy coaches are DOPE (Shout Outs to Craig (Beast), Bruce (Lion-O), and Cory (The New Guy) these are my favorite coaches all with uniques styles and ways of helping you achieve your goals whatever they may be.

That’s what kills me when people talk about how intimidating and difficult it looks. For all of you who are afraid or insecure, Crossfit is designed for you! It’s there for positive reinforcement without a personal trainer and it builds crazy confidence in yourself when you see what you can actually lift in weight, or that you CAN do a pull up and start seeing results FAST.

In terms of the heavy weight, handstands, pull ups, and burpees… Yes, they’re challenging, but yes, you can do them! Every move has a modification and you are allowed to just not do certain things and sub in other exercises. I would challenge you to overcome that and do it anyways, but if that helps get some of you in the door, then so be it.

#MAKEMOVES

Also check out this link before doing a class and find the the humor in it. It’s hilarious!!! Read the comments at the bottom as well. See you next week!

Tips for Running Motivation

I’m often asked for workout advice. This can range from what type of workouts they should do, how to lift weights, explain Street Feet, and about running. I have a love/hate relationship with running; there are many amazing benefits to CARDIO and running is an easy and effective cardio routine. But, sometimes getting out the door to run can be… Ehhh… not appealing.

So, I thought I would include some tips for running motivation, to get you out the door and #MakingFitnessFun! Some of these are my recommendations and some are what I’ve found to be a general consensus of my closest peeps.

  1. A DOPE Playlist – DUH! This one is super easy to overcome because you can just download the latest Street Feet mix 😉 #ShamelessPlug, #It’sFree. Here’s a link to my SoundCloud mixes
  2. Running with someone. Running with a friend is a great way of getting out the door to run. You’re more likely to show up if you have plans with someone, you can catch up with a friend, focus on conversation rather than making that next mile! And, if you don’t have a friend to run with, your dog can be a great running partner! Try to find someone who either keeps up or slows down. There’s nothing worse then running with someone on another level can completely defeat the purpose. Agree to a pace and distance ahead of time incase you get ahead or fall behind you know where a meeting place is.
  3. Use a training plan. There are so many training plans out there, a handful of my friends say they’ve had great success with Hal Higdon running plans. They’re structured for beginners, intermediate runners and more advanced. This helps you set goals and make appointments with yourself to stay accountable and make sure you fit it in to a busy schedule!
  4. Download some apps!There are now so many fitness related apps, some great ones for running include:
    1.  Map My Run, which will provide running routes for you nearby to eliminate that pressure, and you can share some great ones that you enjoy as well.
    2. RunKeeper. This app is awesome if you don’t have a running watch and want details about your run or are on a specific training plan. It tracks your distance, pace, time and heart rate. It measures your performance over time and gives you updates. Provides training plans for you! And, even syncs to your music.
    3. Nike + GPS. GPS, running watch all in one, another great app that syncs to your iPod and tracks your workouts.
    4. Couch to 5k. This app is modeled after the pretty well known Couch to 5k training plan that really outlines everything for you through your phone.
  5. Enter a race – That’s motivation for ya – spending money on a race gives you that financial incentive and a deadline!
  6. Setting your workout clothes out beforehand. This is a big one in my opinion, and is great for WORKOUT motivation, not specific to running. Especially if you exercise in the morning. When you don’t want to get out of bed, make it as easy on yourself as possible. Set everything you’ll need out the night before so you just roll out of bed and can go. You’ll also make sure you don’t forget anything. Put your socks in your shoes, set out your outfit, put your iPod and running watch (if you use these items) and any fuel (for long runs) with it! If you don’t want to carry a fanny pack while you run FINE. just bring ID and some cash and if possible pass by a convenient store during your run and hydrate there. Less to carry and squeeze a little break into your run.
  7. Think about how great it will feel when it’s over. Runner’s High is a real thing – no matter how short of a run, your endorphins get moving and you feel amazing. You’ll always feel accomplished once you’ve hit the pavement!

What did I miss? Obviously there are a bunch of different types of motivators– what are some of your favorites?

#MakeMoves

Top Ten Ways to Refocus your Workout for Fall

As I mentioned in last weeks’ post Fall is the perfect time to refocus your fitness routine; start a new one or recharge an old one! Here are some of my favorite ways to get out of a slump or kick it up a notch!

1. Increase cardio as a slower season approaches! This is really important!! In the Summer you’re always gaining some extra physical activity by walking outside, swimming and staying out and about longer with the sun. Once Fall and Winter approach it gets colder and darker and we all tend to stay indoors, do less and watch “just one more TV show” than usual. SO, Increase that cardio and watch TV from a treadmill or elliptical – you can do it!

2. Lower your weight just a tad but increasing your reps. Maybe even add a set as well!

3. Maintain your water intake and servings of fruit.

4. It’s also a good time to change machines (if you tend to use the same one.)

5. The body needs change every 3-4 months so you can change the order of your workouts, time of your workouts or order of each exercise.

6. Try a new class. Group exercise is one of the best ways to have fun and not think about working out.

7. Create a new music playlist: music will help with motivation and light a new fire to your work outs.

8. Try to increase your time by adding even one extra set of a different type of exercise. Adding a quick Abs, Cardio, or Cross fit activity is great as the extra cherry on top. Just 10-15 extra minutes will do.

9. Bring a friend, especially for ladies who don’t want to be bothered at the gym by the creepy guys. We are less likely to approach you in groups of two or more. But there may always be THAT GUY so heads up.

10. Sign up for a race! Talk about motivation!? October is Breast Cancer awareness month and there are a variety of walks and runs throughout the month. Exercise AND raising money for charity = WIN! Here is just one race coming up in Boston!

What’s your exercise workout schedule look like? What’s your favorite routine?

New Season means NEW! So try something else, you might actually like it.

#MakeMoves

Guest Post: Review of Pure Barre

Hey Everyone, I’m Sami, a friend of Kupah’s and this week I am guest posting about a new (to me) fitness trend I’ve tried out – Barre classes. I have been spending a lot of time in the past 9 months really trying out some new areas of fitness to get into a better and more enjoyable routine. Barre seemed like it would be a natural fit for me and so far it’s been AMAZING! There are many different studios and variations of barre; The Bar Method, Physique 57, Figure 4, etc and Pure Barre –

Spotlight on: Pure Barre. The Pure Barre website describes the technique as follows:

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.   Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body…. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping.  Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk.

The Pure Barre studio in Boston just opened in the winter; I purchased their opening special, 5 weeks unlimited for $100 and you could start anytime. As soon as I signed up I immediately began second guessing what I had just done. Full Disclosure: I get super self-conscious exercising in front of other people and now, not only did I just sign up for this – but on Newbury St everyone is bound to be a size 0, perfect looking specimen right?

I read multiple reviews so I would be fully prepared going in (all of which said the classes were amazing and there was nothing to be worried about.) I walked in RIGHT on time because I couldn’t find parking – stress level through the roof, and BOOM girl at the front desk super welcoming, telling me not to worry, showing me to the lockers, changing room, what gear to pick up (small red ball, resistance band and 2 small hand weights<2-3lbs>) and sent me on my way. Complete calming effect.

The instructor asked if there were any new people in class, I was the only one – score! (eye roll) The class started and just jumps right in! I just started moving and trying to keep up for the first few minutes. She didn’t go over technique specifically, but the beginning was easy enough to follow. While I was a little disoriented, this was actually great for 2 reasons; you’re not wasting time and there’s no time to be worried about if other people are looking at you or if you’re doing horribly.

The first section of abs was REALLY hard for me. I was thinking about just how awkward it would be if I walked out. Then before I could finish that thought, we were switching to arms and I was fine! This was the tone for the class; as it’s getting almost unbearable and you’re ready to quit, you’re doing a change in the movement or on to working the next area of your body.

There are constant changes flexing your foot, going up on your toes, moving to tempo and then you’re moving from abs to arms to legs/thighs to seat to abs and stretching in between each. This made the time FLY!

The instructor, Courtney, could not have been nicer. The instructors walk around and will help you with your form, you can’t hear what they’re saying to someone else, so it’s never embarrassing and she specifically left me alone quite a bit, I’m pretty sure it was because I was new and I think she didn’t want to mortify me; I totally appreciated this. When she did approach me, she would ask if I was feeling it in the part of my body we were working on and I would say yes or no and she’d advise accordingly. I thought this was a great teaching tool, rather than just saying, “you’re doing this wrong!”

Your muscles are supposed to be shaking and burning.. And you may wonder how intense this was.. I think the best way to explain my experience is that it felt like my legs disengaged from my body and Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance took over. But, this felt AMAZING! I enjoy feeling the burn when I exercise, whether or not it’s true, it makes me feel like I’m actually getting something out of my exercise.

I stayed after to ask for some pointers from Courtney who was more than happy to help and very encouraging. I’ve since taken a few other classes and honestly need to stress that the instructors have all been SO NICE! They’re helpful, they’ve shown me modifications and told me that it’s tough in the beginning and you just need to build up strength in certain areas.

I do want to add that they say you’ll start noticing changes in as little as 9 classes. I have finished 6 classes and do already see some small, but measurable changes; some lifting 😉 , I fit into a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear for a year and my core is stronger – I can now complete ab work without stopping or modification!

Between instructors and other people in the classes, not one person has given off a negative or judgmental vibe. No one has been paying any attention to me; there are women of ALL shapes, sizes and age. I have never felt LESS self-conscious in my life.

I highly recommend Pure Barre for anyone looking to add some variety to their routine, or to ease into fitness. It doesn’t require knowledge of complex fitness moves (ex: Clamshells – what ARE those? Sounds like a sex position to me.) The movements are simple and small, they’re not strenuous but you will burn so good and FEEL your workout. If you’re like me and a million other women who feel self-conscious and insecure, you can check your fears at the door. Everyone is encouraging, positive and kind. Check out a class and let me know what you think!

Breathe. Stretch. Pose. Let it go.

I had mentioned on my previous fitness post that I go to a yoga class twice a week and I thought I’d tell all of you about my classes and about my experience getting into yoga. As I had no idea when I started.

When it came to yoga in general I was a blank slate – I knew it was focused on stretching, breathing and overall calmness but that was about it. I went to a class, a traditional yoga class, and it was just too dull/not challenging enough for me. I like stimulation and to feel some energy!

After this, a friend invited me to a Bikram yoga class. I don’t know if any of you have heard of or been to a Bikram yoga class but it’s basically yoga in an extremely hot room. Like over 100 degrees, those of you that know me personally know I already sweat a ton when it’s cold out, you should see me in a Bikram yoga class #JuSayin. Each class is 90 minutes long and covers 26 poses and breathing exercises.

When I went to my first class I had just pulled my back (I would not recommend exercising/yoga when you’re injured) my muscle was inflamed, I was very uncomfortable. But, even though I was really hurting I was still so calm. I went back when my  back was better and was sold. I love Bikram and look forward to my classes. They’re a KJ#CoSigned way to #MakeFitnessFun

Source: Google Images

It’s the only thing I do for me specifically and each time I go I’m in competition with myself. In competition over poses; getting an extra inch out of bend or stretch that kinda thing. For example, there’s a spine-twisting pose and I just can’t get my arm behind my knee and down to the other knee. But I will and I work towards that LOL.

Source: BikramYoga.com

On a sidenote I am extremely humbled by all of the women in the classes who were killing it! I am so impressed each time.

End of the day I love Bikram, I highly recommend it for any and everyone. Men get to a class, women bring your men to a class! 90 minutes in a crazy hot room sounds intense, and it is, but it’s also relaxing and does so much for your flexibility, balance, well-being.

Let me know your thoughts! Have you ever tried a yoga class? What was your experience like, have you tried different versions?

As always, thanks for reading!