Sweat, Snack, Shop: Birthday Bootcamp at Athleta

A couple of weeks ago, I teamed up with Athleta Legacy Place to teach an in store bootcamp class during the week of their one year birthday celebration.

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

I arrived around 6:15 to get situated, help clear the racks from the middle of the store, and make sure my music was okay. My class sold out pretty quickly which was AWESOME, and people started trickling in around 6:30. Of course my mom and bridesmaids were the first to arrive!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday BootcampAthleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

I started the night by welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming, introducing myself and my background, and going over some logistics. I also gave a short talk that would speak to who I am and hopefully leave everyone feeling inspired before we jumped into the workout.

“I’m passionate about empowering women through fitness. I love showing people that fitness is fun. It doesn’t have to be about spending hours on a boring piece of equipment, and it most certainly is not only about how we look. Fitness is about trying new things. It’s about how we feel, how it makes us confident, and it’s about feeling strong and happy in our own skin. Athleta’s tagline is “power to the she,” which I love because it speaks to women who see being healthy and fit as vital to life. It speaks to the fact that it is okay to make fitness and healthy living a priority, no matter how much else you have going on. And you know what’s awesome? That there are 30 of you here tonight, choosing to spend your time doing something for YOU, something healthy, and something fun.”

I then made everyone introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know since the social aspect of fitness is so important to me. As everyone was chatting away, I got my music going, and then we were off!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

After the warmup, I used a tried and true format: bodyweight strength supersets with cardio and ab blasts in between each round. I tried to pick exercises that would show you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or a gym to get a good workout in or feel the burn!

Athleta Birthday Bootcamp: Bodyweight superset workout

This took us right up until around 7:40, so if you are doing this on your own you can allot around 40 minutes for the workout, including the warmup. For the remaining 20 minutes, I had everyone find a partner and do the following partner exercises:

  • Leg throwdowns
  • Crab walks forward and backward + 4 hand claps
  • Cross arm jumping lunges
  • Plank reach and touch
  • Back to back “wall sit”

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Everyone was laughing and having so much fun together by the end of these! <—that is what I LOVE seeing and when I feel truly in my element. We finished class with some of my signature group situp lines and a stretch, and then it was time to mingle!

Here’s a sweaty pic of me and some of my gym friends… shoutout to Jen who took my class at 6am that morning AND came to the event to support me!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Athleta was kind enough to set up a table with veggies and munchies for people to snack on during the post class shopping event. They also offered a 25% discount off of any apparel purchased that night and two raffle drawings. So generous! I want to also extend a thank you to the folks at Hint Water who donated waters for us to stay hydrated and Joos who donated one of the raffle prizes for the night.

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

I would say the event was definitely a success! I ended up leaving with a nice thank you goodie bag from Athleta with a yoga mat, headband, water bottle, and hat. I also purchased this, these, this in white, and a pair of black leggings! Thank you to everyone who came to support me in my first event like this. I loved seeing so many familiar faces but meeting so many fun new people at the same time.
Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday BootcampI left feeling inspired to do more things like this and less of what doesn’t fuel me, but you could probably guess that would happen. Stay tuned!

–Let’s chat–
Have you ever taken a fitness class in a store before?
Were you at my Athleta event? What did you think? What does fitness mean to you? How do you interpret Athleta’s tagline of “power to the she?”

Let me know if you try the bodyweight workout at home or have any questions about it!

My Two A Day Tuesday Farewell

I already know that I’m going to be all sorts of confused about what day it is today. I started the day by teaching my first Tuesday morning class, and it will be my first week without Two A Day Tuesday classes to look forward to tonight because last week was my final Tuesday night class!

Last Two A Day Tuesday

I created a special good-bye playlist, and it was a huge hit:

Goodbye Playlist: Last Two A Day

I also told my regulars they could request whatever they wanted for the last class. I received requests for circuits, typical “Athena-esque” cardio blasts, partner moves, my favorite exercises, and as many awkward exercises as I could think of. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to squeeze all of this into only an hour, but somehow I did. After our warmup, I taught two mini circuits that consisted of some of my favorite moves to teach in a group exercise setting:

Circuit 1

  • Chest press with leg lifts (12)
  • Squats with halos (12 total)
  • Straight leg dumbbell crunch to toes (15)

Circuit 2

  • Wide grip bent over rows (3 pulses + 1 row = 1 rep, 12 times)
  • Lying stability ball hamstring curls (15)
  • Weighted standing windmills (10 each side)

We did three sets of these, and I put two minutes of fast feet, jumping jacks, and jump rope in between. If you are looking for a 30 minute workout, this took us right to our halfway point and may be a good one to try.

I then moved on to some partner work:

Last Two A Day Tuesday

One of my favorite ways to incorporate partner work in classes is to have one partner squat while holding an exercise band around their partner’s waist. The partner with the band around them then does moves like jabs, hook punches, upper cuts, high knees, and burpees for a designated amount of time, working against the resistance of the band. I also had the members do high five pushups together. You didn’t think I’d teach my last class without any burpees or pushups, did you?!

After the partner work, we had about 15 minutes left, so we busted through my ten favorite awkward exercises that I’ve dubbed “awk move of the night” in past classes. Everyone was laughing a LOT during this part of class, so we got an extra ab workout! I plan to dedicate a whole separate post to these awk moves, so you’ll have to stay tuned until my next Awk Spot post. Any guesses on what the awkward exercises were?!

I ended class with a plank hold, obviously.

Last Two A Day Tuesday

The best part of the night was after class though. I said my last good-bye, thanked everyone, and put my weights away, only to turn back and find a setup of presents just sitting in my spot. I was very surprised to see a giant pinata in the shape of a two (for Two A Day), a thank you balloon, and two bottles of wine waiting for me. My gym friends sure are quick and sneaky!

Last Two A Day

How amazing is it that the two was accidentally backwards? Makes it even more fantastic. My friends also had as many class members as they could pull aside sign a goodbye/thank you card for me before class started. I couldn’t read this in person without getting sappy, but I felt so happy and appreciated after reading these notes at home.

Last Two A Day

These class members are so AWESOME AND NICE. Things like this are why I teach and do what I do.

Last Two A Day Tuesday

When I got home, I posted the following Facebook status:

Last Two A Day

And I really meant every word of it! Two A Day is where  I met all my gym friends, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.

Last Two A Day

Liz, who has taught Kickboxing before my Interval class for years, brought me a separate goodbye gift that consisted of TWO to do lists (because we are both neurotic and Type A), TWO pieces of fruit, an iTunes gift card for new class music, and the playlist that she created especially for me that night in Kickboxing. So sweet!

Last Two A Day

Last Two A Day

Thank you to everyone who made my last class so special! I feel so loved. You’re all awesome.

–Let’s chat–
When’s the last time someone or a group of people did something really nice for you?

I’m off to work! Today is an exciting day because it’s our first farm share delivery. I can’t wait to see what produce gets delivered right to my desk. Have a good one!

Memorial Day and Teaching Schedule Changes

Memorial Day Flags[Source]

I hope you are all enjoying a fun Memorial Day weekend with your friends and families, but please take a second to remember those lost while in service defending our country. Today I am especially thinking of Chris Crosby, one of my brother’s best friends from high school who was brutally killed a couple of years ago. While the cookouts and time off are an added bonus, it’s important to pay tribute to the real meaning of today and be thankful for our freedom.

I also wanted to pop in today to announce some upcoming changes to my teaching schedule. Effective Tuesday 6/10, I will no longer be teaching my 7:30pm interval training class at Oak Square. This was a really hard decision for me to make because my Two A Day Tuesday tradition of taking Liz’s kickboxing class before teaching my class has been a big part of my life for YEARS.

The double workout is always awesomely sweaty.


The regular members of the Y can always count on Liz and I to plan fun back to back themed classes with costumes and prizes for almost any holiday.

Valentine's Day Two A Day 2014

And it was in Two A Day that I met my gym friends.

Gym Family Reunited

For the past couple of months, I’ve just wanted more consistency in my schedule. It’s hard to get into a good groove of working out consistently in either the morning or at night when I teach at both times of day outside of my 9-5 work. I also feel like I’ve simply outgrown teaching at 7:30 at night. I don’t get home until almost 9, and it just makes for a long day.

I’ve tried to push these feelings aside, but when the Tuesday morning 6am class recently opened up, I just had to take it. Teaching two 6am classes a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays will give me the consistency I’m craving without having to drop down to only one class a week.

Leaving my Tuesday night crowd, especially Liz, makes me SAD, but I know it is the right choice for me.

Two A Day

I’ll have an extra free night during the week (the possibilities!), and I’ll still have my morning peeps who are awesome. I do plan to drop in at kickboxing now and then (I’m subbing a couple of times this summer too), but my last OFFICIAL double Two A Day Tuesday class will be on June 3rd. How will I ever decide what to teach? What I can guarantee is a kick ass goodbye playlist…

–Let’s chat–
Have you had to make a tough decision lately? Do you work out at a consistent time every day? Instructors, what’s the longest amount of time you’ve taught a class for? How do you say good-bye?

P.S. Happy birthday to my brother!