F&F Friday Favorites

Friday, we meet again.  My mind has been all over the place this week, especially last night.  Instead of trying to figure out how to get all my thoughts out, we’re gonna just do Friday Favorites today and leave it at that.

Friday Favorites

Here are 8 links that I really enjoyed this week!

Prevention’s view of the 10 most useless exercise machines, along with better exercises (usually bodyweight) to replace them so you can get more bang for your buck during your workouts.  My favorite useless machine is the seated abductor machine.  By “favorite useless machine” I mean favorite to shake my head at people using.  Ladies, if you currently work out on the seated abductor, shame on you. 
Any personal favorite useless gym equipment?

— I loved this letter to you, from you in Boston Fitness Magazine.  Pretty powerful.
Has anyone ever written a letter to themselves like this? 

— I already cut coupons, but probably not enough.  Here’s a great blog post on how to eat healthy but spend less.  It includes some grocery basics that I already do, but it has a lot of great coupon sites that I need to look over in more detail.
If anyone has any couponing tips for me, let me know! 

moving coupons

— A way to change up my go to workday breakfast perhaps?  25 uses for cottage cheese (besides with blueberries, cinnamon, and slivered almonds).
Can anyone add a 26th?

— Another food round-up post:  31 healthy snacks for fruit lovers.  As summer approaches, I definitely will be using some of these ideas!
What’s your favorite snack that involves fruit?


— Another fab post from Tina, on why injuries rock.  Injuries are definitely no fun, but this was a nice reminder of why we should embrace injuries and find the positive in them.
Anyone currently battling an injury?  Any lessons learned you’d like to share?

— Interesting perspective on high rep workouts.  I completely agree regarding not wanting to participate in challenges that sound like 100 pushup challenge or 300 squat challenge.  No thanks to overuse or imbalance issues.  Plank a day though, I’m not so sure.  I like planks too much.
Your thoughts?

— More love for Nia Shanks (featured this week on Living the Nourished Life).  She shared 6 myths about strength training for women.  I think I like an article like this probably every week.  It’s just mind boggling to me why people think these myths are true!
What’s a fitness myth you used to believe?

Plie Squat and Bicep Curl, Plus Upright Row

Anything you bookmarked or starred this week that you’d like to share?

Hope everyone has a fab Friday and a lovely weekend ahead… and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a month’s worth of unlimited classes to The Studio Empower if you haven’t already!

Pre-Vacation Vacation

Hello, friends.  Wednesday already!

Weekly Goals

First of all, I’m loving all the “Two Goals for Tuesday” that came in yesterday!  Here’s what some of you are working on this week:

  • Erica:  Drink a ton of water, also, and FINISH the 50k this Saturday!!
  • Jess:  Get back to the gym…at least four days this week. I’ve been on hiatus!
  • Ash:  1) Go to two a day! finally! and 2) work out M-F due to weekend away
  • Jen:  1) WATER! 2) Lots of veggies and healthy food to prepare for my half marathon on Sunday!

Such great goals, everyone!  Keep at em!  Anyone else have any weekly goals they’d like to share?!

20 Minute Abs

Second of all, I wanted to share another 20 minute core workout with you!  Here’s what I taught in Core Strength class on Monday:

Perhaps something to try today?  On your lunch break?  Before bed?  As part of your workout?  20 minutes ain’t that long in the grand scheme of your 24 hour day!!   If you try this, let me know how you like it.  🙂

Pre-Vacation Vacation

Alright, to the title of this post!  Today I wanted to share some of the highlights of my vacation… but not my week down the Cape yet.  Here are some scenes from Thursday July 5th through Sunday July 8th, or what I’ve been referring to as my “Pre-Vacation Vacation.”  It was quite nice to enjoy a few days in Boston without any work and without having to teach any classes.  I did work out, but I resolved not to step foot in the Y during my time off.  Aside from the workouts I posted yesterday, here’s all the other fun stuff I did!!

Went kayaking on the Charles River….

Walked around Castle Island

Had a pizza date night (with an Eversave deal) at The Upper Crust

Enjoyed a beach day in Nantasket with fun friends…

Followed by calamari and fun drinks at Barefoot Bob’s

Had a dream date at the waterfront with Miss Slesh…

Which included fun drinks and lunch at The Chart House….

And then another drink at The Landing

And finally, attended Ryan and Jenna’s wedding at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth…

You know, some people say that they would eventually be so bored if they didn’t have to work… but I strongly disagree.

Ever taken a pre-vacation vacation?  Does this count as a stay-cation?  Do you think you are someone who would get bored and antsy if you didn’t have to work? 

Off to tackle my day… because unfortunately, I do have to work!

TRX Suspension Training Demo (and Great Deals at the Y!)

Hi guys!
Hope you have enjoyed the weekend so far!
As you know, I teach exercise classes part-time at the YMCA Greater Boston Oak Square Branch.  I often get asked how much it costs to belong to the Y.  Well, if you haven’t heard already, the YMCA is lowering its membership rates for the new year!  This is REALLY exciting news.  They’ve also added a new “Young Adult” category, so if you are between the ages of 18 and 29, you can join the Y and pay only $40 a month.  I think this is a fabulous deal, considering all the amazing group ex classes, programs, pool, and more that the Y offers.  Bonus – if you join in January, your joining fee gets waived!
For anyone in the area, this should be great motivation to jump-start your 2012 fitness goals!
Another great thing that the Y has done recently is expand its health and wellness area!  There is a newly expanded fitness space called “The Annex” right near the group exercise studio and the downstairs weight room.  This space is great for specialty trainings, a more “private” workout area, and new equipment including kettlebells, punching bags, and more bosus.  The Y is also starting to hold smaller classes in this area – some of which include Barre, Weightlifting for Women, Ropes & Straps, and more!  Last week there were free demos being held for all of these specialty classes, and my friend Jen and I decided to give TRX a whirl.
All I have to say is:
Holy hard!!!
Have you guys heard of TRX before? 
Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. It requires the use of the TRX® Suspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises for every fitness goal.
  • Get a fast, effective total body workout
  • Benefits people of ALL fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, road, outside)


I mean, this demo was only 30 minutes and I definitely could tell that all the above is so true.  Ed did a great job explaining how to use the suspension straps properly, demonstrating different variations of exercises that can be done, and advocating for the program!

Participating in this demonstration was actually quite humbling!  Normally I pride myself on being able to plank for minutes, do a lot of pushups, and having strong arms.  I know that I’m still building my shoulder strength back to where it was (it’s almost there!  So exciting!), but wow the TRX arm stuff is tough.  I could barely do more than a few reps without needing to stop – completely different from how I normally train!

I wish that I could commit to every week of this program, but unfortunately I can’t – too much on my plate!  I am excited though that they will be leaving some of the suspension straps hanging for general use so I can do some of this on my own.  If you guys haven’t tried TRX before, I highly recommend it – what is better than getting to work on strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously?!  It would be a great challenge for a new year.

Anyone ever tried TRX before?  What did you think?  Are you joining a new gym or starting any new fitness programs for the new year?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday – I’m off to study and try a new pasta recipe tonight!