Tag Archives: cardio

Re-cycling in Boston

I received a discount on the cycle class detailed in this blog post. All opinions on my experience are my own.

Awhile back (as in before my Christmastime trip to Boston!) I read Sarah’s first review of Recycle Studio in Beantown and eagerly made a reservation for a class (at a discounted price – thank you Megan!). I was going to be in Boston for an overnight trip in December and wanted to get in a morning spin session, which is one of my favorite forms of weekend exercise! Unfortunately I read the schedule incorrectly and didn’t get a chance to go back in December, but Recycle Studio agreed to extend my purchased class past its expiration date so that I could go again next time I was in town and had time…which was this past Sunday!


I adore the logo.

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Plank Challenge Met!

Yesterday I hit up my gym for my second-ever TRX personal training session with Marcy. She was kind enough to offer me a freebie after I blogged about my first one for Kaitlin! And I now have two more freebies under my belt (or yoga pant waistband) because before we did our TRX, I accepted – and met – the Healthtrax Abs of Steel June challenge!

I had to hold good form for the whole five minutes. The bottom right is me immediately after finishing. Sweet relief! (That’s what she said.)

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XTrain With Cathe Friedrich

Thanks for your feedback on yesterday’s review post for my February Ellie outfit! Remember you can get 20% off your first order by clicking here.

Firstly, Cathe is the new Kathy. Seriously, I just LOVE the spelling of that name. I had to get that out; I love when classic names are spelled uniquely (for example I know a Karan and a Carin…sorry to all Karens, but they win).

I’m a self-proclaimed gym rat, but I’m also armed with an arsenal of home workout DVDs that come in handy for those situations when I can’t get there because I don’t have time or am buried under over a foot of snow. Unfortunately since I live in Connecticut, that latter situation presented itself to me this past Friday when the five-or-so inches of snow we expected turned into a blizzard that kept me off the roads. Pro: no work! Con: can’t get to the gym! Enter the Cathe Friedrich XTrain Workout Series. As usual I’m going to be a Wordy Wendy in this review, but you can scroll to the bottom of this post if you’re in a rush and just need the bottom line version!

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You still have until 11:59PM (EST) tonight to enter my giveaway for an Albion Go Long Crew tee! THUMBHOLES my friends!

I’ve been really lucking out in the blend date department lately. I spent last weekend with Kaitlin, and this past Saturday I hit the road for Stamford in the afternoon to stay with my lovely fellow Connecticut blogger Maria of Pappa Don’t Preach! And if there’s one word that describes our time together, it’s gotta be MARVELOUS! I hereby declare today’s MIMM post…M(aria) In My Monday!

Thanks Katie for helping us all see the marvelous side of things every Monday!

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Outside Our (Workout) Comfort Zones

Please sing the title of this blog post to the tune of Brad Paisley’s “Southern Comfort Zone” – it’s a wonderful country song and a fabulous play on words. Country haters, please give it a chance. Plus Brad is a sexy man. Right Kelly?

Wow, my mom is seriously DYING over your positive reactions to her Mexican casserole recipe that I shared yesterday! Susan even made the recipe that very night, and I sent my mom her blog post with rave reviews from both her and her hubby.

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Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD Review and Giveaway!

Before this post gets going, please read this hilarious Gawker article my friend Rachel sent me about the food menu at this year’s Golden Globes. I hope it brightens your Monday!

I was first introduced to the Tone It Up trainers, Karena and Katrina, through Heather. She’s a huge fan of their workouts, boho style, and general real-ness. I have to agree! I even had the chance to meet the lovely ladies themselves at the Oakley Store in Times Square.

Beautiful women, they were such sweethearts!

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Anchor Bay Fitness DVD Review and Giveaway!

You may recall that when I last reviewed two DVDs from Anchor Bay Fitness‘s Element Yoga collection, I did a giveaway for two new releases:

Anchor Bay was nice enough to also send me a copy of each of these two DVDs to try out and review. I have been working on doing decreasing the amount of high-intensity workouts in my week, and having a variety of workout videos has certainly helped me on that journey. My recent GI issues have also called for more low-intensity workouts. Heavy weights and cardio don’t feel great to my body when I’m feeling nauseous.

Yoga expert Tamal Dodge teaches both 30-minute workouts. As you can probably guess, one is for energy and includes poses that strengthen, tone, and stretch. The other relaxes the body through simple poses like downward dog, spinal twist, and crocodile (one of the easiest poses in yoga). I tried this DVD while I was feeling nauseous and it was nice and relaxing, though my stomach couldn’t handle poses that incorporated back bends, like camel or cobra. If you plan to do both programs, I recommend doing the energy first and the relax second. This is what I did and if I had flip-flopped, I think I would have been ready to take a nap or just meditate after the relax video and never would have made it to the energy! Tamal’s instructions are calming and the video would even be one I’d recommend to a beginning yogi. I can certainly see myself using this DVD again when I am craving some movement but not feeling 100%.

The talented and beautiful Lisa Hubbard (who sometimes likes my Instagram pics…I die) leads both workouts on this DVD – the 30-minute total body and 10-minute abs. The pink resistance band shown on the cover is indeed included inside and functions very well, although it does stick to itself (like tape) a bit! To be honest with you, I don’t know if I would call this an “accelerated” pilates routine. I was expecting something more advanced, but found the total body work to be not particularly challenging. The abs were a bit harder – a straight 10 minutes of abs usually is! But the video overall is still a good mix of total body moves that kept me interested thanks to all the variety and the use of the band, something I’m still inexperienced with. I have to admit that it pissed me off a few times when it came “unlooped” from around my foot, but I don’t think it’s anything practice won’t fix! I don’t want those not super-experienced with pilates to be discouraged by the classification of the DVD as “accelerated” because I really think a lot of folks can do this DVD and get in an enjoyable workout!

Dance Workout DVD Giveaway

I love dance workouts like Group Groove and Zumba. They’re both heart-pumping and brain-occupying, which makes the time fly! Anchor Bay has two dance workout DVDs to give away to one lucky Cait Plus Ate reader:

  • Dance Off the Inches Latin Cardio Dance Party: Three dance routines (samba, reggaeton, cumbia) broken down into steps, then combinations, to help you learn the routines! The workouts total 65 minutes, so each is about 20 minutes of cardio fun.
  • 10 Minute Solution Cardio Hip Hop: Five 10-minute dance routines – so easy to customize your cardio workout’s length! Even if you just have ten minutes, there’s a routine on here for you. And if you have almost an hour, do all five in a row!

Giveaway is open to continental US only and ends at 11:59PM EST on Sunday 11/4/12. To enter, you can do the following – and leave a separate comment for each:

  1. Comment on this post (mandatory) and tell me which you prefer – yoga or pilates?
  2. Follow @CaitPlusAte on Twitter, and comment with your Twitter handle saying you did.
  3. Follow @AnchorBayEntFit on Twitter, and comment with your Twitter handle saying you did.
  4. Tweet “I’m entered to win two @AnchorBayEntFit dance workout DVDs from @CaitPlusAte! #fitfluential http://wp.me/p1SfTW-1CH” and comment here with the link to the tweet.
  5. Repin something from Element on Pinterest and comment with the link to the repin.
  6. Follow CaitPlusAte on Pinterest and comment with your Pinterest name saying you did.

Though it’s not an option for giveaway entry, you can also like Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Fitness page on Facebook! 

General Giveaway Rules: No Purchase Necessary. This giveaway is only open to residents of the continental United States. The email addresses that are collected for this giveaway will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner and will never be given out to anyone nor sold. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. Please make sure you check your junk mail folder.

Good luck to all who enter! I received both of these DVDs from Anchor Bay to review free of charge. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Workout Wednesday

Sorry, no food on today’s post, seeing as it’s Wednesday and workout starts with a W, I thought I’d put a fun little alliteration together and do a post on my favorite workouts. I almost always get my activity in the form of a group fitness class. I think they’re a great way to increase motivation (I always want to work harder than my neighbor) and challenge myself, as well as learn new plyometric and weight training moves for specific body parts.

I live in workout clothes so I can eat entire snack tables.

I try to switch up the classes I take to keep my body guessing and my mind interested in working out. I’ll go through phases, but try to go with the flow, because if I force myself to do a class just because I feel like I should be doing that type of class instead of another, I’ll just grow to hate the gym. For example I was the queen of spin as a junior, but haven’t really done any spinning at all in a little over a year and am fine with that, because I  just got sick of it and still haven’t wanted to get back to it. And if I do want to someday, I definitely will head back to spin class.

Let's get physical?

My gym uses a lot of classes by Body Training Systems, which is very similar to Les Mills for you bloggers that haven’t heard of them. A lot of the classes are virtually the same and offer a great workout with a nice variety. I do know of one blogger that I have been following for quite awhile, Heather, who teaches BTS classes. Any others out there who are certified to teach a BTS class?

Group Power: I did this one on Monday. This has the exact same set-up as Body Pump – a song for each muscle group, with weight-lifting moves choreographed to the music, using a bar and plates. I always leave Power feeling so strong and accomplished! In fact, my hamstrings are still sore right now, just two days later. No matter how much I try, I never seem to get as good of a strength training workout on my own as I do with this class. I love feelin the burn!

The songs in Power go like this:

  1. Warm-Up
  2. Legs (usually all squats with the bar)
  3. Chest (some combo of presses, flies, and push-ups)
  4. Back/Legs (some combo of dead-lifts, dead-rows, clean-and-presses, and sometimes flies)
  5. Triceps (some combo of tri push-ups, kickbacks, overhead extensions, and presses)
  6. Biceps (curls, occasionally a bicep row is  thrown in there)
  7. Legs (some combo of different types of lunges, and sometimes sumo squats)
  8. Shoulders (some combo of split raises, presses, upright rows, rear delt t’s, arnold presses, and more)
  9. Abs (lots of different possibilities here)
  10. Strech

So as you can see there are plenty of varying exercises to keep your body guessing and keep your interest peaked!

Group Step: Think your traditional step classes, but each song has its own focus, and is choreographed. So if I keep going to Step each week, I get better and better at the routine and can put more into it each time. I love dancing and this kind of reminds me of that!

Just like Power, the order of the song focuses does not change, but the songs in each release do along with the steps!

  1. Step Start (warm-up)
  2. Step Ahead (cardio-focused)
  3. Step Up (cardio-focused, usually involving lots of knee lifts)
  4. Step Strong (leg workout, squats and lunges)
  5. Step Energy (top speed)
  6. Step Agility (balance worked in somehow, usually involves running and high knees)
  7. Step Motion (lowers heart rate before the finale, often involves dance-like moves like mambo, cha-cha, etc)
  8. Step Attack (peak heart rate, think a combo of Step Strong and Step Energy)
  9. Step Symmetry (abs and/or push-ups)
  10. Step Down (stretch)

Group Groove: For all you Zumba fans out there, you’d really enjoy this class! This is purely a dance class, but it’s a great workout all the same – in fact, I’m attending tonight! Just like Step, it gets really fun once you’ve gone enough times and have the routine down pat because then you can put more effort into getting really into the moves and getting the best workout possible. Some of the moves are cheesy (the last release did involve a moment or two of air guitar…) but it’s easy to sub-in your own momentary move if you feel too silly (for example, I do dynamic lunges during the air guitar portion).

Groove songs go a little something like this:

  1. Warm Up
  2. First Dance (just to get you into the dance mode, a fairly easy routine)
  3. Party Dance (usually a Latin song, involving lots of cha-cha-cha)
  4. Cardio 1
  5. Low Dance (legs focused, most of dance done in low-stance, usually something urban)
  6. Cardio 2
  7. Break Dance (get heart rate down before peak, slower, often ethnic in some way)
  8. Peak Dance (two-song mash-up, learn the moves in first song and go all out with them in second, peak HR)
  9. Last Dance (cool-down)

Group Kick: This class is what I like to call a kickboxing-dance hybrid. I would throw the dance thing in there because it is choreographed. Instead of punching and kicking bags you are punching air, but you can still get a great workout in. Kick typically involves lots of jumping and fast-feet. I always forget how much it works your shoulders – mine are usually surprisingly sore the day after! There are little cardio drills spaced throughout, at the end of random songs, that can really kick your butt and put a nice interval spin on the workout.

I don’t get to go to Kick nearly as much as I’d like to anymore because the classes are either on nights I have school or are too late in the day on weekends for me (I like my 8am and 9am classes on Saturdays/Sundays). But whenever I do I am always surprised at how sore my shoulders and legs are the next day!

Pre-gaming the gym with Jif.

Unfortunately my gym doesn’t offer any other BTS classes, but there are plenty of other things I like to do there:

  • Interval Training: This class kicks my butt every time – it’s 3 minutes of intervals alternating with 3 minutes of weights. Each weight interval is a different body group. So much is changing that you don’t get bored with any one move!
  • Yoga: I haven’t gotten to a gym yoga class in awhile but when I’m stuck at home with no other workout alternative (hello snow days), I really like the P90X Yoga DVD. I am covered in sweat by the end and though 90 minutes seems long, the hardest portions of the workout are split up by nice stretching moves.
  • Pilates: Ditto on not getting to pilates in awhile, but it’s a great ab workout and also surprisingly hard on the legs. Don’t shun pilates or yoga until you try them – they are tough! I was in a pilates and yoga phase my senior year, I did each about twice a week, and loved how flexible and lean I felt.
  • Elliptical: Not a class, but when all else fails and there is no class for me to take but I want to work out, I hop on the elliptical, alternate the resistance from normal to super high, and read a magazine. Sometimes this is just all I’m in the mood for, AKA I’m not in the mood for an intense class but want to get moving, and it works for me!
What workouts do you like to do? Was there anything you tried and surprisingly loved (or hated)?

Thank you to Body Training Systems for the images in this post. I was not given any incentive to write about their programs, I just did so because I love them!