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A Little Bit of This or That

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Good Morning!

Can you already believe that it is hump day?  It seems as though this week is flying, and I am not complaining one bit about it!

Before heading to the gym to teach my Yoga Sculpt class this morning, I had an interesting first meal of a glass of almond milk (so good!), two plain rice cakes with some Laughing Cow cheese, and some unpictured egg whites.  Usually I crave something sweet first thing in the morning, but this meal totally hit the spot and gave me plenty of energy to teach.

A white but tasty meal

Survey

Do you remember surveys???  Back in the day, I used to love filling out the surveys with all of my information and the e-mailing it to my entire address book of friends!  I still love surveys to this day.  I love reading about other people, and I love answering the questions.  So, when I saw this little survey on Courtney‘s blog and on Clare‘s blog…well I just had to join the club 😉

1.Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow?

It really depends on the situation.  I am resuming my half marathon training this week, and usually run my races in the summer.  On the fourth of July this year, Brian and I ran a 6 mile race in 90 degree heat and humidity…and I hit a personal record!  Who would have guessed?  On the other hand, when it is winter, as long as the sun is shining, the snow is glistening, and I am dressed appropriately, I love a nice brisk snowy winter run.

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs?

Does this mean to look at or have?  To be realistic, I would have to say flat…I don’t think I could ever have anything near washboard abs due to my body type.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

Before I had my day job, I had plenty of time to catch  up on my daytime TV, but now I don’t have time to even watch night time TV.  I guess I will say Dr. Oz because I haven’t really ever watched The Doctors.

4. Cardio or strength?

Tough one!  I love the high and adrenaline rush I get while doing hard core cardio, but ever since I started lifting heavy weights on the cruise, I have started getting a high off of that too!  I gotta say both 🙂

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs?

I would probably say carbs J  At least recently, I always love a good bowl of oatmeal, fruit, veggies…but I try to incorporate some form of protein at every meal!

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Recently, I have really been getting into Jillian Michaels.   She has some amazing podcasts that are very informative, and share her opinion but don’t push it on you.  They are great to listen to in the car on the way to and from work.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

Although I love both, I am going to have to go with Frozen Yogurt.  I love the self-serve and adding my own toppings!

Fro Yo is kind of like ice cream 😉

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body?

I totally neglect my lower body, which I need to change.  I think I see quicker results in my upper body, therefore, I train it more often…

9. Protein powder or food with protein?

Food with protein is always the top options, and I try to get most of my protein from fish, eggs, and dairy.  There are sometimes though that I like to eat foods that don’t have a lot of protein in them, like smoothies and oatmeal.  When I enjoy these foods, I will add protein powder to supplement the protein that the meal is missing.

10. Lunges or squats?

Oh! Tough one!  They both hurt, but I am going to say lunges because for me I think they are harder, so I like to work at them more.

11. Sweet or salty?

Can I say sweet and salty?  I love a good trail mix!! However, if I am just craving something, it is probably going to be sweet 🙂

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy?

Cute.  I really like to have matching outfits, and especially when I am teaching I like to look halfway decent and not like I rolled out of bed.  Feeling like I look good always motivates me to work harder and do better!

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

I have recently been working to become certified to teach Body Pump, and I love it!  However, when I complete my own workouts, the majority of the time I do heavy lifting rather than the lighter weights with higher reps like Body Pump.  I find that I am able to get stronger that way, and increase my weights in Body Pump more frequently.

14. Yoga or Pilates?

Pilates.  I used to hate yoga, then I had to learn a format and teach it on the cruise!  I will say that Yoga feels great, but if I had to pick a class to go to it would for sure be Pilates.

15. Nike or Adidas?

Well, currently, one pair of shoes is Nike and the other is Adidas.  When it comes to workout clothing though I usually pick things up at Target, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx!

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

Honestly, I get so dizzy on the treadmill it is usually just not even worth trying more than walking on the darn thing, however!, Monday I tried a new kind of treadmill and was able to complete three miles!  I will always prefer running outdoors.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

I absolutely love both!  They are both a bit of a drive from where I am currently living, so it is like a special treat when I shop at either one.  I love the selection at Whole Foods, and I love the prices and specialty products at Trader Joe’s.  What can I say, I love ‘em both!

18. Summer or Winter Olympics?

Summer for sure.  I am loving the gymnastics, diving, swimming, a touch of running…basically it is all awesome!

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted.  I love roasting up veggies with onion and garlic pieces for lots of flava!

 

Now it’s on to you!! 

  • Do you prefer strength or cardio?
  • Do you prefer cute of comfy workout gear?

Super Secret Sample and Bananay Oats!

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Last night, one of the frequent travelers to one of the hotels that I work at brought in a little surprise.  He has been traveling to Indianapolis for months now working on this project and  I got to try some before it even hit the shelves!

Sorry I can’t say what it is, but it will roll out October 1 🙂  It was a fun little way to spend one of my long days at work.

Breakfast

Yesterday, I was a complete slow-poke in the morning….for absolutely no reason at all.  Today, I want to start things off right and get where I need to be on time without completely rushing around like a crazy person.  I helped myself out a bit by preparing my breakfast last night…overnight oats that taste like banana bread!

Instead of peanut butter I put a teaspoon of homemade cashew butter…so good…and I put some frozen bananas in the mix last night.  When I woke up, the bananas were all mushy, and the perfect consistency to mash around in my oat bowl.

The result was a thick, creamy, sweet, bananay bowl of goodness.

Workout

This morning I teach my cardio intervals class.  I usually change the workout, but I have been keeping the same format throughout the entire summer.  There are eight exercises that get completed for one minute each.  During that minute, I want my class (and me!) working their little hearts out to the best of each person’s ability.  We then take a quick water break, go back to the top and cut out the last exercise, so we only complete seven the second round, then six the third, five the fourth, and so on…

The class loves the format and always tells me how quickly class goes by!

Click here for a “how-to bear crawl” video 

I can’t believe that it is Thursday already!! EEK! Tonight, I am team teaching a Body Pump class then I have lots to do to prepare for the weekend…wish me luck and have a great day!

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So You Want To Teach Group Fitness

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Yesterday, when I got to work and unloaded the cupcake torches, I had a little disaster on my hands that looked something like this…

source

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone or camera to capture a shot of the real thing.  I ended up leaving a note for the rest of the staff to enjoy a little Tuesday Treat.

At that point, I had pretty much given up and was going to toss the rest of the ice cream cone cupcakes I had sitting in the garage.  As the day went on, I continued to think about my little cupcake mishap and how I could have avoided it…surely I was not the first person to try to transport ice cream cone cupcakes!

So, I googled it, and I found a brilliant idea!

 

 

I took cereal boxes and cut little holes in them for the ice cream cone cupcakes to rest.  Perfect!  Another change I made was making my own icing because I knew that it would go through the piping bag better and hold up better on the cupcakes while they sat in my car during my morning gym session.

Yes, that is 110 servings of oatmeal…thank you Sam’s Club

 

Brian’s dad then had the brilliant idea to put the cupcakes in coolers to protect them and try to keep them cool.  Another perfect idea!

 

Let’s cross our fingers that we don’t have another disaster upon delivery this morning….

Breakfast

This morning, my sweet tooth was just as awake as I was, and a strawberry smoothie bowl was just what I needed to tame it.

The smoothie mix contained:

  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/3 cup banana
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 1 splash of vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a little water to get things movin’!

I blended everything all together and then topped it with part of a homemade luna bar.  The strawberry, peanut buttery, and chocolaty combo quickly satisfied my sweet craving 🙂

So You Want to Teach Group Fitness?

Recently, I had a request to write a post about how to get involved in the group fitness community and how to break your way into the industry.

I still consider myself very new in the industry, and I am learning new things all the time.  Here are some important tips that I have compiled throughout my experience to help you get more comfortable teaching in front of others, to help you truly get the most out of the group fitness program that you are working in, and to ultimately land your own class slot. I have found that earning your own class slot on the schedule is like gold, and when it’s yours it is yours to do whatever you want with…so don’t take advantage of it and let things fall to the wayside!! Give it everything you got 🙂

1.  Get Certified

Whether it is ACE, AFAA, ACSM, or specific to the type of class you are teaching pick the one that works best with your learning style, time schedule, and will teach you the information that you want to know.  The fact of the matter is, that no matter what you want to teach…you gotta be certified!

2.  Find a Mentor

I was lucky to start teaching group fitness while in college at my school’s gym where we had a huge educational component and a group fitness coordinator that understood what it was like to be a new instructor with many questions and concerns.  Another good thing to do is to find a facility (maybe the gym that you already belong to) that will allow you to sit in on some group fitness classes as a spectator and take some notes.  If you have a friend that is already an instructor, you may be able to sit in on his or her class.  While you may have taken many group fitness classes as a participant, there many aspects to the class that you probably never noticed as a participant that are essential to making it run smoothly.  So, find a mentor, sit in on a class, and take lots of notes.

3.  Treat it Just Like a Job Interview

Because it is a job interview!  I have a separate fitness resume that I have neatly typed up to bring with me when applying for a group fitness position.  Your resume should include:

  • certifications (including CPR, Blood Borne Pathogen, First Aid, etc.)
  • formats you are comfortable teaching
  • leadership experience
  • fitness experience (if you have previously had large fitness accomplishments like placing 3rd in the all-city women’s marathon)

The big question I had was, what do I wear to the interview, or to drop off my resume?  The answer…fitness clothes!  Now, this doesn’t mean the cut-off t-shirt and bleach stained shorts you have had forever, but it does mean to have light makeup on  (if you are a girl!), your hair neatly done, and a nice fitting, matching fitness outfit.

4.  Be Available to Sub

When you finally make it to the gym in your nice fitness outfit ready to turn in your resume, ask to speak with the group fitness instructor.  He or she may be busy and need to schedule an appointment time for you to come back, but he or she may be ready to speak with you right there!  All they will want to do is get to know you, what you love to teach, a little bit about your fitness background, and anything special about you there is to know.  The biggest piece of advice is right here:  be available to sub and let the group fitness coordinator know.  Everyone always needs a sub, and while some gyms have a list of 50 people to call, some gyms have none.  This will help you get your foot in the door, and will allow people to see what you can do on the fitness floor.

5.  Meet People

Once you are on the sub list, the next thing to do is attend as many classes as you can in the formats that you are comfortable teaching.  At the beginning or end of the class, make sure to introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know that you are available to sub.  This will keep you top of mind, and I can almost guarantee that they will call you at some point or another to fill in.  Also, use this opportunity to learn from his or her teaching style and pay attention to the way the class reacts to certain things.

6.  Send an E-mail

Again, once you are on the sub list, send an e-mail to the list of instructors letting them know who you are, what you teach, a little bit about yourself, and of course your availability.

7.  Get Involved

If your gym has special group fitness events, or launches…get involved!  Volunteer your time, attend the event, use it as a chance to meet people, have fun, get a great workout in, and promote group fitness.

There is so much more that could go into how to really make your way in your local fitness community, but these are some of the key tips that have really helped me out in my path.  I hope this helps, and feel free to reach out to me with any other questions you may have!!

 

Koru: Representation of Strength

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First things first…breakfast!

I started out my morning with a batch of protein pancakes topped with homemade almond butter, strawberries, and a side of Greek yogurt.  So good! Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day.

I needed to start out the day with good fuel in my tummy, because today is a very exciting day for me.

The gym that I teach Body Pump at launches the new release of Body Pump today…and I am teaching two of the tracks!

If you are new to the blog, I recently completed the initial training module for Body Pump, and I am loving every step of this new fitness journey.  I worked hard to create a great video tape of a class that I taught, sent it in and I am anxiously awaiting the video assessment results.  In the mean time,  I have been subbing classes and I also started teaching my very own class once a week.

Secret Package

On Thursday, I got a notice in the mail that I had a package waiting for me at the post office.  I had just ordered a Les Mills Body Pump workout tank top, so I thought that is what my package was.  Because I head into work before the post office opens, I had Brian pick up the mystery package.

Once he picked up the package, he called me sounding pretty confused.  I thought for sure that the package was my new workout top, but Brian explained that the package was very small…too small for a tank top, and from Indonesia.  What could it be???

When he opened it up and explained to me that it was a bone carved necklace, I knew exactly what it was!

When I started attending Body Pump and other Les Mills classes, I noticed similar necklaces on the instructors’ necks.  When I was in training, the trainers and some of the participants had necklaces on too.  I didn’t know what the necklaces were, but I suspected  that they were a symbol Les Mills used to represent strength.

My mom, being the sneak that she is, secretly asked her Body Pump instructor about the necklace that she wore and where she could purchase one for me to help me in my new fitness journey.

The necklace is a New Zealand koru, symbolizing growth, new life, strength, and peace.  Because Les Mills originated in New Zealand, several Les Mills instructors wear these necklaces to provide them with personal, mental, and physical strength while teaching.

I received my necklace just in time to teach my first official class and right before the new launch.  It is the perfect symbol of strength and personal growth, and I can’t wait to wear it at each class and see where my new Les Mills and Body Pump fitness road takes me.

Wish me luck at the launch tonight!

Do you have anything that you wear or keep with you to help symbolize strength???

Friday Ants in my Pants

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It’s Friday the 13th!

Any spooky plans on the agenda today??  None for me, however, my day is off to a great start, and I just know that it is going to continue to be great.

 

Breakfast

I started out the morning with a delicious and creamy bowl of overnight oats topped with some blueberries and peanut butter.  Yum in the tum.

Workout

I then completed a super sweaty, intense, high intensity elliptical circuit that completely beats the boredom that can occur while using a cardio machine…trust me, I’ve been there.

And now, I am headed  to work….with the Friday ants in my pants.  I swear that it is almost impossible to sit still and focus for me on Fridays…don’t tell my boss that!!  I am so excited for AFTER work, because I have a special surprise date night planned for Brian and I.  He has no idea what I have up my sleeves!! 🙂

What are your Friday night plans??

 

Bounce the Ball Workout

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I was so excited when last night I realized that the peanut butter jar was practically empty….

because that meant that it was time for a batch of overnight oats in a jar.  Seriously, this little breakfast of champions is to die for (if you love nut butter and oats of course!) and will never get old for me.

This morning, I was off to an early start to teach my cardio intervals class.  I always try to switch up the routine to keep things interesting.  This week, we incorporated the beloved EXERCISE BALL.  I feel like so many people have an exercise ball, but they never use this fun and versatile piece of equipment.  

Today’s exercise uses the exercise ball in every single move.  It is fun, effective, and I promise that you will be sweating within the first 8 minutes 😉

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A Lovely Lunch Surprise!

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This morning, I woke up and did my workout at the apartment.  At first, I had planned on heading to the gym and just getting ready there, but since Brian is leaving for two weeks today (and it is our three year anniversary!) I thought that it would be nice if we ate breakfast together and spent a little time together this morning.

Workout

The workout was quick, but effective.  Because I knew I had limited time, I used supersetting to maximize my time.  To superset is to complete one exercise then immediately follow it with another exercise without having a rest inbetween.  The two exercises work best if they don’t target the same muscle group.  It is a great time-saver and adds a little extra challenge to a workout because of a shortened rest period.

Breakfast
My plans to make a weeks worth of baked oatmeal turned out perfectly!  They were all ready to go this morning, and they tasted delicious.

Blueberry Baked Oats

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 packets of stevia in the raw
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease ramekins or large muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour into 5 ramekins or muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for use at a later date, or eat warm from the oven!

Nutrition:

Calories:  248   Fat:  8.2g   Carbs:  40.4g   Protein:   11.9g

Because these little cakes are so filling and dense, I usually eat half before I workout and then half after 🙂

Lunch

Yesterday, when Brian and I got home from our midday date, there was a little surprise waiting for me in the fridge.  Brian’s mom had made me a salad with tuna and egg whites for lunch.  She even packaged up some almonds for a snack!  What a nice treat!

The salad was delicious and filling!  Thanks Kate 😉

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