Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Challenge #2: Pure Barre

I did it! After literally months of procrastinating going to a barre class, I finally tried it yesterday evening! Yes, it is as terrible as you think it will be, but no, you will not hate it, you will hate how much you love it. I don't think my barre recap will ever be as hilariously awesome as THIS ONE, but I can only try. 

I researched all of the classes at St. Albert Sculpt Barre and put the Tuesday evening class into my calendar AND wrote it IN PEN in my agenda. The biggest hurdle for me was honestly just getting to the class. On my way out the door in the morning as I was heading to school, I grabbed some tights and a tank and threw them in my car so that I had no excuse not to go when I got home from school. I got there early and was the third one to the studio. I checked in and let them know it was my first time. The ladies working were super nice and showed me around the adorable studio, including where I could change, the lockers I could use, and how to set up for class!

I paid only for the drop-in class fee, but I also had to purchase socks to do the class. They are "grippy" socks that are mandatory so you don't slip on the studio floors. The instructor told me that for my first time I should grab the 1lb. weights. (When she left I grabbed the 1lb. and 2lb. weights… I didn't use the 2lb. weights). When the class started there were about 12 women in the room. The maximum is 18, but that room would be pretty crowded with a full class!

We started with the weights, doing shoulder movement. I actually thought my shoulders were going to fall off at this point in time. I was really worried about what I had gotten myself into. The pulses, the little circles, the pulsed reps, all without rest and with the lightest weight possible, but ohhhhhh the burrrrrn. 

We were finally allowed to drop our arms, we did plie squats until our quads were screaming, and then we headed to the barre to do some pulsing pushups on the bar. It felt so good… and difficult. We moved into leg work on the bar. We did more squats, single leg squats, and everything imaginable to literally make my legs SHAKE. It is the pulses that make it burn, you are holding these moves and pulsing for so long that your muscles are burning and it feels amazing. 

If there is one muscle group I am super proud of, it would be my glutes. We got on all fours, and lifted one leg behind us at a time and pulsed, circled, and did a million reps, and I rocked it. I think my glute strengthening exercises are really paying off because unlike the other moves, I was one of the strongest in the class for the glute movements. 

After the glute work we did some core work which was amazing and gave me tons of insight into what I can do in my normal gym workouts instead of ridiculously monotonous crunches to work my abs. Placing a ball (that we used for squats and such too) behind out backs, we sat in a V and did pulses and it was killer! The hour truly flew by and before I knew it we were stretching! The amount of time you spend pulsing, burning, shaking, and trying to concentrate on maintaining your form makes the class go by really fast! 

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the class. It was a full body strength workout and I was amazed at how much I was able to work by muscles using either no weight or 1lb. dumbbells. I have tried and tried again to convince myself I want to join the yoga cult but I really don't like it… this cult however, I could fall for. The only true downside to this type of workout is the price. I already pay for a gym membership and spin classes, so adding the cost of pure barre would be a lot. I am thinking about getting a 10-pass and doing it once every two weeks or something… hint: this would make a really great Christmas gift, wink, wink!

My second "try something new" challenge of the month was a huge success and I am really glad I tried barre. It was really hard and I haven't felt such a good burn in a looooooong time. It would be a great way to strength train without hitting the gym and lifting. If you want to switch up your workout, challenge yourself, or just try something totally new, I definitely would recommend the class. It is a little pricey but if you can afford it, it is a great workout. Most studios have an intro two-week unlimited pass so you could try that and go as much as you can to get the most out of it! Or, ask for a punch pass for Christmas!

Edmonton readers… anyone want to meet me at the barre? ;)

On to Challenge #3! In case you missed November Challenge #1, you can check it out HERE!

Have you tried Pure Barre?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Tangents.

Yes, I am in fact stealing this post idea from Hungry Runner Girl. I felt like I had nothing to say today and everything to say today so I might as well just own up to how random and tangent-y this post is!

Yesterday I had a super long day and by the end of my work shift I could barely keep my eyes open. It just goes to show that less than 6 hours of sleep DOESN'T WORK for me. I tried to get away with it and once again failed. I was telling my coworker that I function best on about 7.5-8 hours and she told me she was lucky if she got 6 per night. It just goes to show how different everyone can be, I really need my sleep. Point in case: I was obviously super tired when I went to bed Sunday night because I woke up yesterday morning with my pj shirt on inside out and backwards… 

This is what happens when it is 5:23am and you try to take a picture of the pretty trees covered in Christmas lights at your gym. I genuinely think I was standing still when I tried to take this. 

After an easy recovery run (that felt anything but easy) I did 40 minutes of chest, biceps, and abs at the gym yesterday. I used the new VIPRs we have at the gym and I had no idea how to use it so I was winging it. If someone could let me know what those are for that'd be great. They kind of look like giant crayons. 

After the gym I got to eat breakfast next to this adorable thing. It is a genuine Charlie Brown Christmas tree (replica)!! It is seriously the cutest thing ever. 

I am obsessed with snacking on puffed wheat cereal. After trying it during my "Sugar detox" I have fallen in love with it. I slice banana, throw in some raisins or other dried fruit, or sprinkle some cinnamon on it, add some milk, and it is delicious! I always tell myself that the puffiness takes up room and I deserve a second bowl because the first one was practically air. 

Oh, and clearly I'm a rebel. 

How was that for the most randomness you will see on your Tuesday morning! I have only 6 days left to try TWO NEW THINGS this month and I am struggling to come up with ideas/time! I will not give up though! After reading that man's account of his first barre experience I am terrified of going to that class. 

What should I do for my remaining challenge?

What is your latest favourite cereal?


Monday, November 24, 2014

Motivation Monday: November 24

How is it possible that this is the last week of November. And that next Monday will be the last month of the year. And then it will be 2015?! Time flies. 

This is the part of the year where so so so many holiday parties start popping up, people hide from the cold in their kitchens baking up a storm, and there is always an excuse for that gingerbread cookie and eggnog latte. It is one of the best times of the year, and we shouldn't feel guilty about enjoying it. Moderation and consistent exercise are where it's at, plus I always have some #MondayMotivation to get your week started on the right foot!

For some reason this week was full of amazing stories and awesome internet wonderfulness. I laughed harder, cried harder, and was inspired more than ever by some of this amazing stuff. 

  • Grab your Kleenex. A whole box. This girl is amazing. She has MS and when she runs her body temperature rises and the symptoms of MS start to appear and she can't feel her legs anymore. Her coach literally catches her at the end of each race because she can't walk. She runs because it makes her happy and she doesn't know how many years she will be able to do it. THIS IS INCREDIBLE.

  • Now keep that Kleenex but use it to wipe your happy tears. I sent this story to as many people as possible because it was one of the funniest things I had read all week. A woman dragged her fiancĂ© to Barre class and he wrote about it. I think the title says it all. You can find it HERE… and cue laughter. 

  • THIS is sure to get you in the Christmas mood… and the running mood, which is likely the best combination ever. It is called 'Twas the Night Before Race Day and it is everything you want it to be from the blog It's a Marathon and a Sprint.
  • A friend sent me THIS link, and I have also seen it floating around on Facebook and other social media. It is an infographic depicting the "cost" of getting lean. It ranges from an unhealthy overweight to an unhealthy underweight and explains what each body fat % means for health benefits AND the costs of getting to that range. Super interesting.

  • Oh, and when all else fails… THIS.

Make this week AMAZING! 

What is motivating YOU this Monday?