My First CrossFit Class

Hey friends!  This week sure is flying by.  I’ve been so busy playing catch up from my week off that I haven’t had much blogging or blog reading time.  But that’s okay.  And then on Tuesday night I came home from the gym and instead of doing anything productive I spent two hours catching up on Food Network Star.  *SPOILER ALERT* — can you guys even BELIEVE that Nikki didn’t make it to the finale?!  I was rooting for her since day 1 and was so sad to see her go.  But the second she got voted off I went online and voted for Damaris as many times as I could.  She definitely deserves it over the other finalists!  Any Food Network Star fans with me on this one?!

Anyways.  Trying CrossFit.

CrossFit Together at City Sports

Yes!  Katrina and I tried our first CrossFit class last night on the rooftop of City Sports, overlooking the parking lot of Legacy Place in Dedham.

CrossFit City Sports

I have wanted to try CrossFit for a while now, so when I got this month’s City Sports events newsletter and saw that there were free outdoor classes being held, I was pretty psyched.  Plus, Legacy Place is super close to some of my work locations, so it’s more convenient for me to get there during rush hour than it is to get downtown.  I was definitely nervous going into the workout because I wasn’t sure what to expect (and because a CrossFit person tweeted at me that it would be “grueling,”) but once we got started I felt comfortable right away.  Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and a few people around Katrina and I introduced themselves.  I was still glad Trina came with me so I had a buddy.

Trina and I at CrossFit

CrossFit

We did a quick warmup, and then we jumped right into a Tabata stations workout.  There were eight bodyweight exercises total in the workout.  They divided everyone into groups and had us rotate from station to station.  At each station we did 8 rounds of whatever move was designated for that station.

Here’s a rundown of the exercises we did:

CrossFit workout

None of these exercises were brand new to me, but we did do all the moves in the true CrossFit way.  Think: burpees done with your chest hitting the ground, mountain climbers done by having your knees hit your armpits, pushups done with chest hitting the ground, abs without hands under your butt, etc.  I think the hardest for me were the scissor lunges and maybe even the shuttle run.  The coaches told me the shuttle run was the “rest,” but that certainly did not feel like rest to me!  I secretly loved the burpees though.  Yeah, yeah, I know.

The workout format was tough, and I definitely was feeling shaky and wiped by the end of the hour.  However, I’m still interested in trying out a CrossFit class with equipment.  Unfortunately we could not use equipment on the rooftop of City Sports for liability reasons, but I imagine that the workouts with weights are much different.  And it’s that heavier lifting aspect of CrossFit that I’m intrigued by because it’s still pretty foreign to me.  What we did in the class last night was hard, don’t get me wrong (and I’m so sore today!), but the exercises and Tabata style were definitely familiar.  The coaches handed out a pretty awesome discount at the end of our session, so I’m considering trying it out for a month.  I could definitely see myself getting hooked by the community and competition aspect of the program… I’m a sucker like that!

CrossFit Coaches

Thank you, CrossFit Together, for a kick-ass workout!  For anyone interested, the folks at CrossFit Together are offering this free series each Wednesday in August at 6pm at the Legacy Place City Sports.  The best part?  It’s free!  I can’t make it next Wednesday, but let me know if you’d like to join me on the 21st or 28th!  I’ll definitely be going back.

Have you guys tried CrossFit before?  What do you think?  Do I have any readers out there drinking the CrossFit Kool Aid?

Have an awesome day you guys, and don’t forget that if I hit 700 Facebook followers I’m going to run another fitness challenge on the blog in September.  I only need 8 more likes and then it’s on!

Double Workout Post! How to Pass 35 Minutes on the Elliptical & Spicing It Up with Stations

Good morning folks,

First Order of Business

My giveaway winner!  This was a really exciting giveaway as it generated a lot of exposure for both Fitness & Feta and for DanceFIT – we each got a lot of new followers and Facebook likes in our respective communities!  Thank you to each and every one of you that participated.

Using the random number generator, the winner is…

…commenter #15, Lindsey!

(I didn’t include #1 since that comment was Gina’s herself).

The winning comment was actually her DanceFIT Facebook like, but Lindsey’s original comment was “I loved this post, I did ballet my whole life and love learning about new exercise classes that involve dance.  I heard BalletFIT was awesome and would love to try it!”

Congratulations Lindsey, please email me at Akaralekas@gmail.com for details on how to redeem your free class!  🙂

Next Order of Business

My Tuesday night workout.  Since I’ve been opting out of Kix (grrrr) because of my shoulder, my Two-A-Day Tuesdays have recently been dedicated to elliptical work followed by my Circuit Training class.

If you have any questions before trying any of my workouts, let me know!
(And of course make sure to clear any new exercise routines with a physician first).

For my elliptical workout, I did the following.  It really helped to pass the 35 minutes I had dedicated to a machine tonight!  As you know, I am not a big fan of getting on a machine for extended periods of time, so switching things up really helped me keep going as opposed to keeping a steady pace, incline and resistance for the whole 35!

  • Minutes 1-5:  5 minute warmup – incline 4, resistance 6
  • Minutes 5-8:  Fast front jog – incline 6, resistance 6
  • Minutes 8-10:  Fast back jog – incline 6, resistance 6
  • Minutes 10-13:  Repeat fast front jog – incline 6, resistance 7
  • Minutes 13-15:  Repeat fast back jog – incline 6, resistance 7
  • Minute 15-16:  Forward hill – incline 8, resistance 8
  • Minute 16-17:  Continue up the hill – incline 9, resistance 8
  • Minute 17-17:30:  30 seconds down the other side – incline back to 6, resistance 8
  • Minute 17:30-18:30:  Repeat forward hill – incline 8, resistance 8
  • Minute 18:30-19:30:  Repeat the continuance up the hill – incline 9, resistance 8
  • Minute 19:30-20:  30 seconds down the other side – incline back to 6, resistance 8
  • Minute 20-21:  Backward hill – incline 8, resistance 8
  • Minute 21-22:  Continue up the hill – incline 9, resistance 8
  • Minute 22-22:30:  30 seconds down the other side – incline back to 6, resistance 8
  • Minute 22:30-23:30:  Repeat backward hill – incline 8, resistance 8
  • Minute 23:30-24:30:  Repeat the continuance up the hill – incline 9, resistance 8
  • Minute 24:30-25:  30 seconds down the other side – incline back to 6, resistance 8
  • Minute 25-26:  Forward jog recovery – incline 6, resistance 8
  • Minutes 26-30:  Tabata intervals.  20 second sprints, followed by 10 second jogs.  Repeat 8 times – incline 6, resistance 8
  • Minutes 30-35:  Cooldown – lowering the incline and resistance down to 1 by the end

Note:  These incline and resistance settings can be adapted to your own individual needs!

For Circuit Training class, I set up 5 different stations and the divided the class into 5 separate groups of 3.  We worked out for one full minute at each station, followed by 45 seconds of cardio intervals in between each one.  The first circuit targeted upper body, the second targeted lower body, and the last set was geared toward all abs.  It was very bootcamp-ish!

Setup:  Steps for station 1, Body Bars for station 2, Bands for station 3, Steps at station 4, and more Body Bars at station 5.

Warmup

Upper Body Stations

  1. Pushups with hands on step
  2. Rows with bar
  3. Bicep curls with band
  4. Tricep dips on step
  5. Overhead presses with bar

In between each of these, we did the following cardio:

  •     Jumping Jacks
  •     Jump Rope
  •     High Knees
  •     Football Runs
  •     Side to side ski

Lower Body Stations

  1. Alternating front lunges on step
  2. Calf Raises with bar over shoulders
  3. Outer thigh presses lying flat with bands –> Warning:  Make sure your bands are thick enough that they don’t snap!!!
  4. Squat pulses up and over step
  5. Bridge raises with bar

In between each of these, we repeated the cardio intervals:

  •     Jumping Jacks
  •     Jump Rope
  •     High Knees –> This time knees up to the side.  Definitely my “awkward fitness move” of the night!  There’s always one, right!?
  •     Football Runs
  •     Side to side ski –> This time we added the option of extending one leg even further behind the other and pitching slightly forward.

Abdominal Stations

  1. Sit on step genie twists
  2. Bar over shoulder drops
  3. Hold plank
  4. Heels on step – regular crunches
  5. Bar over shoulder twists

And of course, in between we finished with the same cardio intervals

  •     Jumping Jacks
  •     Jump Rope
  •     High Knees –> I originally planned high knees here but got bored with them so improvised with some alternating back and front kicks.
  •     Football Runs –> This time 4 counts of football runs to one side then a big jump to the other side, alternating sides.
  •     Side to side ski

We finished class with glute presses, supermans to work the back, and a long stretch!

[Picture Source]

Lots of hard work tonight, everyone did a fantastic job.

Last Order of Business

Today’s Be Thankful Challenge:  I am thankful for my physical therapist, Erin, and her certification in Graston technique.  Works WONDERS!

Question of the Day:  Tell me what you’d like to see more of in Fitness & Feta!  I’m open to suggestions for different types of posts.  I love all my readers and followers and really want to target what YOU are interested in seeing more of!

Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Bootcamp: Session 3, Class 2

Hello, friends.

It’s been a few days since I’ve written.  I’ve been down the Cape with my girlfriends enjoying the sun, food, and drinks.  I promise to do a full Cape Weekend post soon!  It’s going to be a good one, I promise, so keep your eyes out for it.

But first, tonight’s bootcamp workout:

Warmup

  • 1 jogging lap
  • Lower body stretch
  • 10 jumping jacks, 10 high knees
  • 1 jogging lap
  • Upper body stretch
  • 10 jumping jacks, 10 high knees

Stations Round 1

(Here I split the group up and had a few people at 5 different stations, rotating through)

  • Station 1:  Pushups
  • Station 2:  Plie Squats – 3 pulses and 1 jump
  • Station 3:  Plank Hop Ins
  • Station 4:  Regular Squats, feet together
  • Station 5:  Tricep Dips on bench

Do each station for 60 seconds.  Repeat whole circuit a second time, this time 30 seconds at each.

Cardio

  • 1 jogging lap

Game #1

  • Split group up into 4 equal teams and have each team stand at one corner of the field
  • One person from each team at a time:  Sprints into center, picks up a cone, jogs backward to rest of team, and passes off the cone.  Next person sprints to center with cone, then backwards jog and hands the cone off.  Last person sprints to center with cone, puts the cone down, and jogs backwards.  When teammates are not running in the center with the cone, they are doing jumping jacks.
  • Finish with everyone doing jumping jacks all together, winning team doesn’t have to do as many.  

Stations Round 2

(Same as before, rotating through each station first for 60 seconds, then 30 seconds)

  • Station 1:  Bicep Curls
  • Station 2:  Squat Jumps
  • Station 3:  Weighted Oblique Drops
  • Station 4:  Lateral Raises
  • Station 5:  Plank Hop Side to Side

Cardio

  • 1 jogging lap

Game #2

  • Same teams as Game #1, starting in each corner.  Teammates do jumping jacks when not running in center.
  • This time, high knees into the middle.  Then 5 pushups and sprint back.  No cones involved.
  • At the end, everyone but the winning team had to perform one more high knees in, 5 more pushups, and one more sprint back to the start.

Ground Work

  • Outer Thigh:  Side leg lifts, then pulse, then rotate forward and back, then straighten legs and circles front and back.
  • Inner Thigh:  Inner thigh lift, up and down.  Then pulses.  Then 2 pulses and one lift up and down for 8 reps.
  • Repeat outer/inner on other leg.
  • Abs:  Regular crunches with feet on the floor.
  • Abs:  Regular crunches with feet lifted, knees over hips.
  • Abs:  Bicycles – Slow singles, then holding on each side, back to slow singles, then double time.
  • Abs:  Hold legs straight out in front of you with feet raised 6 inches off the floor.

Cooldown / Stretch

My personal workout today wasn’t as intense, unfortunately.  I still don’t want to push it with my shoulder, so I gymed it before work today and did 45 minutes on the elliptical.  20 minutes good pace, 20 minutes of sprint intervals, 5 minute cool down.  I did the ground work with bootcamp tonight so that was my inner/outer thigh and ab work for the day.  The rest of the time I was demonstrating and correcting form, keeping time, setting up stations, etc.

The class did a great job.  I’m excited to plan bootcamp #3 for Thursday.

I’m off to bed – too tired to write anymore tonight.

P.S.  Wish me luck teaching my very first Kix class tomorrow!  Eeek!