Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out

Thanks Trainer Karl for a great workout.

Thanks Trainer Karl for a great workout.

I don’t want to say I’m back, but I am feeling inspired. With the kid at sleep away camp (and having a blast) I find myself with more free time than usual. This week I took full advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to be home by a specific time or pay a sitter. We tried two new restaurants (well new to us) and I went not once but twice to a relatively new gym in Santa Monica, Gloveworx.

I first learned about Gloveworx from my friend Christina Malizia, a top fitness trainer and co-founder of CHILLBYWILL. Christina knows I love to try new things and that I’m alway up for a challenge. She said I would love Gloveworx and she was right. My first class was on Wednesday night. I went with three of my work peeps to a BOOM class. When I first arrived I felt a bit intimidated. There was a class going on and these people were working hard – sweaty hard. Class started and we were introduced to our instructor Karl. We started with a brief warm up on a spin bike. From there the 5 of us went over to the turf and were instructed on the proper stance and taught how to do a 1-2-3 combination. 3 of us were then brought into the ring. Our hands were wrapped and we picked out a pair of gloves (they supply wraps and gloves if you don’t have your own). I put on some awesome pink gloves and was ready to go. I had gone to a boxing gym in downtown San Diego the summer before I started college and loved it. Though it had been years, maybe even decades since I had gloves on I was energized and ready to go. There is something about standing in a ring that makes you feel tough! We spent about 5 minutes in the ring with Karl. He’d alternate between the three of us and work with us on our technique. From the ring we went to the turf where another trainer led us in a series of ab/core exercises. These were no joke. We then got on rowers and I became breathless trying to get below 1:55 on the rower (not sure I know what that means but it was hard). We repeated the ring, turf, cardio two more times. Our time on the turf got even more difficult (plank, squats, jump squats, high knees) and the final cardio session was on a Versa Climber. Wow maybe all the treadmill running wasn’t doing as much as I thought. Class flew by and left me drenched, just how I like it.
I came home super pumped and began plotting my next visit. I recruited my regular workout buddy and another friend to go Friday (yesterday) at 6:30am. Again we did another Boom class. This class was with Leyon, one of the Co-Founders. In this class we followed a similar format with the addition of time on a heavy bag. Can we talk about how fun it is to try and whack the sh%$ out of a heavy bag. Not only is it fun and therapeutic but this morning the back of my arms and my entire back are sore (that’s a good thing).
Gloveworx is located in Santa Monica on Wilshire between 15th and 14th. The first class is free. Go check it out and tell me what you think.
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Orange Is The New … Workout

Friday morning I tried the brand new Orangetheory Fitness  in Brentwood.   I was told to arrive 15 minutes early to get the heart rate monitor set up.  This meant arriving at 5:15am.  What was I thinking?

Parking was a breeze.   The check in process was easy. Sign a waiver, get a moist heart rate strap (don’t worry it isn’t residual sweat…they wet the straps to make it less abrasive on your skin and it helps facilitate the Bluetooth transmission to the PODS) and put around your chest.  Snap on a Polar monitoring component.

Here is a run down of my 60 minute class (I may have missed a few details):
Minutes 1 – 10:
On and off the rowing machine.  Doing short bursts on the machine then getting up and doing full body squats.  What am I doing wrong. My feet are getting stuck when I try and get out of the rowing machine.  My heart rate (there are mounted flat panels with your name and % of exertion listed) is not going up.  I woke up at 4:45am for this?  The instructor needs to explain more up front and walk us through how to set the machine, proper rowing technique etc.

Minutes 11 – 30:
On the floor doing two different circuits.  The first involves TRX and burpees.  I hate burpees (but I know they are good for me).  What am I doing wrong. Instructor is saying heart rate should be in the orange zone.  I’m still nowhere near there and I can tell by the monitor other people are getting their heart rates up.  The second circuit is with dumbbells – chest fly, skull crushers, and then abs.  Okay, I know I’m getting a workout but maybe I’m just flat out bad at this class. Do I like it? Am I glad I came.  Hmm … Still not sold.

Minutes 31 – 56:
Treadmill time.  I can do this.  I can run on the treadmill.  We do a set of intervals.  Medium pace for two minutes , faster pace for one minute , fastest pace for one minute, walk.   Now I’m getting it.  My heart rate is 96%.  Awesome. Yay me I must really be doing a great job.  I can’t remember all the different combinations we did on the treadmill. I was too out of breath to think about it.  This is good.  I’m panting and dripping with sweat.  This was a great idea. I’m so glad I got up.

Minutes 57 – 60:
The moment of truth.  Our stats are put up on the screen and we are led through some stretches.  I’m too distracted by the data.  I have real data about my workout in the form of a bar chart showing how many minutes I spent in each of the zones and total calories burned.  I’m kind of bummed by the calorie count – 404 calories.  Seriously is that all.  A tad depressing seeing some of the men burned more than 700.

The teacher explains what the results mean and I’m asking a bunch of questions.  Mainly I want to know how  I optimize my workout in order to burn the most calories.  Answer, Orangetheory (spend your time in the Orange Zone).   Interesting so maybe I shouldn’t try and run so fast?

I leave class and within a few hours I have the results of my workout emailed to me.  This is good.  I now have a benchmark and you better believe I will be back again this week to beat my results.

With the studio just opening on Friday, I expect it to take a bit of time for the instructors to find their rhythm.  One thing I hope they add ASAP is towel service.

So if you are looking for a new workout to try Orangetheory is it and they have over 400 locations.

 

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Pretzels at The Bar….Method that is

I know you’ve been doing Bar classes for years now.  I could never get my head around spending a hour  doing something where I wasn’t dripping with sweat.  Cardio was my mantra for years.   I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you sooner when you told me how amazing Bar Method is.  Well amazing may not be the right word, but I can see why you were hooked.  Holy sh&T that is one tough workout.  I’ve been going once a week for the last 3 months (well that is what I’ve been trying to do).    I’m fairly certain I’m always the worst in the class.  I have zero flexibility so things like getting my leg  up on the bar pose a bit of a challenge.   That being said, I don’t care and I’m certain nobody else in the room cares either.  We are all too busy “pushing our limits” and “experiencing the shake.”  I  kid you not, at time it feels like I’m my own earthquake but they say that is “when the change really starts to happen.”  Oh and there are pretzels at the Bar but you don’t eat them.  Instead, I think they eat your fat away.

Bottom line is I get it, I understand why people hit the Bar. In fact,  I wish I could do a 30 day Bar challenge as I truly believe I would see changes in my body.

You can find me at Bar Method Brentwood @ 6:10am on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

So cheers! Take a shot at the Bar.

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I Woke Up at 5am on Purpose

I know I’m nuts.  I’m okay with it. Last week I ran into Raphael Verela, owner and creator of Circuit Works in Los Angeles. I’d been to Circuit Works a few times in 2009 and decided it wasn’t for me.  Raphael told me a lot had changed since 2009 and I should give it another shot.  I told him I would and then learned the only class I could make that he was teaching was 5:30am on Tuesday at the Main St. Santa Monica location.  When I give someone my word I stick to it.  I had a bit of anxiety on Monday night. Why in the world would I wake up at 5am on purpose.  I wake up early but 5:00 for some reason seemed like the middle of the night. When my alarm went off I think some expletives left my mouth.  Getting from Pacific Palisades to Main St Santa Monica that time of day was a breeze (10 minutes door to door/no speeding).  When I arrived I was warmly greeted by Raphael and happy to see there were other suckers ready to get their butts kicked along with me.

The class flew by as we went from 2 minute intervals on the treadmill to various strength stations on the floor.  The class had changed a lot since I was last there and I really enjoyed myself.  My idea of enjoying myself might be different from yours. When I work out I want to feel like I’m getting my butt kicked and if I’m paying for a class then I want to feel like I’m being pushed and challenged.  Raphael provided the right amount of motivation and helped keep me in the moment.  I guarantee you I would never do 95% of what we did in class on my own.  

This morning I woke up a little sore but that is a good thing.  I’ll definitely be spending more early mornings at Circuit Works.  5:00am wake up is early but seriously the benefit and endorphins I get from working out make up for it.  Besides with my schedule if I don’t work out in the morning it won’t happen.

If you want a challenge and are easily bored I urge you to try Circuit Works.  Oh and they have classes throughout the day in both Santa Monica and Brentwood so no need to be a rooster unless you have to.

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Hey Lulu, meet Will…ChillbyWill

I’ve been salivating over my friend Christina’s (and her business partner Corrina Wall) new line of workout gear, Chillbywill, for a few weeks now.  You can only imagine how excited I was to check out her trunk show at Burn60 on Saturday morning.  I’d seen a pair of pants (New Power Crop with skull insert) I wanted on her Instagram feed @chillbywill.   Saturday morning these pants became mine.  Upon returning home from my workout, I decided to put my new pants on.  Even though I’d already worked out my afternoon would be spent at the park playing handball and practicing baseball, thereby justifying my choice in workout clothes. Okay who am I kidding if I could I would wear workout clothes all the time. After all I do live on the Westside of Los Angeles and have a child.   Isn’t workout attire the default uniform?  All joking aside,  my new pants fit me like a glove.  The material sucked me in (this is a good thing) and they were beyond comfortable (not sucked me in like Spanx where I get a stomachache). The pocket on the side was also a great place for my phone and keys.  Running around these pants performed well (meaning they stayed in place, the waist didn’t fall down, etc).  I can’t wait to buy a few more pairs.  Speaking of buying them, you can order them online http://store.chillbywill.com/.

By the way the picture above is the picture I saw on Instagram.  Those are my new pants but that is not my body.  And if you don’t like skulls don’t worry there are other styles to choose from.