Monday, September 17, 2012

Gladiator Training Part 1

My fit life journey continues to teach me that I must respond accordingly to routine boredom, conquering new challenges and expanding my horizons. So, in true Love Fit Life fashion, it's time to climb a new mountain and cross another finish line!

When my great friend and fitness buddy Chanel Hason of Photography + Science = Chanel sent me an excited message to sign up for the Gladiator Rock'n Run happening Saturday, October 6th at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, I was pretty terrified... no use pretending I wasn't... But, fear can be the most powerful fuel, so, I agreed and the next thing I knew, we began gearing up for the most intense race I've decided to participate in (so far in my fit life journey). Not only am I terrified because a run combined with obstacle challenges isn't something I've ever done before, but I was also nervous about putting my body through that kind of test. 

*Lifelong friend, fitness lover and real life gladiator Joe Polifroni never stops motivating me to push my limits*

The first thing on my training list to check and clear was my injured elbow. About 12 years ago I pulled a classic move called "trip and fall at the 4th of July parade and break your elbow." After a night in the hospital and surgery that put me in a sexy full arm cast for the hottest part of summer, my elbow never felt the same. Since then, I've almost completely avoided strenuous activities that I fear might further injure my arm and myself - despite my desire to take on things like CrossFit and upper body strength training, I've chosen not to. Signing up for Gladiator Rock'n Run made me give some serious thought to that though. For the first time since I broke my arm, I decided to actually spend the time and money on seeing a professional. To my joyous surprise, my friend and incredible chiropractor in Pasadena named Kevin Cressey happened to come up on Yelp when I searched sports medicine doctors in my area. I was thrilled that Kevin has a lot of experience with athletes and is highly active himself, which is something that's different from the chiropractors I've seen in the past. My visit left me feeling confident in my ability to train in a way I haven't done before, and made me vastly more knowledgeable about modifications I should be making to cater to my specific injury and needs. Thank you, Kevin!!

Now, onto the hard part.... actually doing it and figuring out how to train!
To get ourselves started, we asked for help from the Pasadena Fire Department. That's right, ladies.... we've been working out with the firemen... it's totally a bummer too.... they're super ugly and they have really small muscles... ew. HAHA, just kidding, I crack myself up. They're the coolest guys ever and since they're practically the definition of real life gladiators, they've been the perfect trainers!! Granted, Chanel and I enjoy dance parties when they have to break away on a call for 10 minutes, but that just adds to the fun! So far, they've been putting us through workouts like FIGHT GONE BAD! This CrossFit workout designed to simulate a mixed martial arts fight consists of 5 minutes of high intensity work followed by 1 minute of rest. Here's what our workout and 3 rounds of FGB looked like last week:

Warm Up
1 mile run & 5 minutes jump rope


Cherry On Top

That's not all though!
Stay Tuned...
There's more Gladiator Training to come!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


This weekend, something big is happening in Pasadena...

Need some reasons why you should head over to Pure Barre Pasadena this Saturday and participate?? Don't worry, I have PLENTY...

All the regular classes for the day will be donation based only! That means it's the PERFECT opportunity to try out this incredible workout if you haven't already, or to save your already purchased classes for another day.

There's an extra class added to the schedule for the day - that makes 6 opportunities to come join the fun!

All the money raised will be donated to 3 amazingly deserving local charities: 

There will be free coffee, tea, and snacks provided... yes, that means treats... delicious delicious treats!

Everyone who comes into the studio for Pure Give will be eligible to enter the raffle! Raffle, you say?? That's right my friends...and the prizes are way better than a gold star sticker.
3 lucky winners will be chosen to receive a week of unlimited free classes at Pure Barre Pasadena!

Last, but certainly not least...
That means I'll be at the studio all day long giving away free hugs, lots of enthusiasm, Pure Barre testimonials and so much more!

I hope to see each and every one of you there. 
See you Saturday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting Comfortable

My fit life journey has shown me that there are 2 kinds of "getting comfortable" - 1 that you should do and 1 that you shouldn't...


Whether you're going to the gym for the first time ever, going to a new gym, picking up exercise equipment after taking an "extended fitness vacation," trying a new exercise class or routine, or anything else in between, it can be intimidating, to say to least. For me, it feels borderline terrifying. That experience of walking into a gym for the first time as a total stranger and getting all those looks that feel like everyone knows you've been vegging out on the couch for what feels like an eternity is enough to send me running for the hills (or rather, slouching back into the couch). Unfortunately, I did just that for a long time. One day though, I woke up and realized that a new gym or new fitness routine isn't unlike anything else that's new - it's a change that requires getting used to. 

The other day as I was pumping away at the gym, going from a great interval session on the elliptical to some much needed stretching on the mats in the middle of the weight room and then finally to a cool down walk and jog on the treadmill, I thought about how far I've come. The first time I walked up those stairs and into the gym, I felt more out of place than ever before. I wouldn't stretch because I thought I was being watched and judged. I would rush through a 15-20 minute cardio session just to say I went to the gym. I didn't pay any attention to what I was doing, my own goals and what I was there to accomplish. For what felt like weeks, I only did the elliptical because that's what I felt comfortable doing. I would survey the scene - locating the weights I would go for when I felt ready (since I didn't ever want to be that person wandering aimlessly around the weight area), watching people perform their exercises with confidence and ease (giving me the feeling that I could do the same), getting into the music blasting through my headphones and finding my "zone".... ultimately, I was allowing myself to get comfortable. Now, everything has changed and I could care less what anyone else is doing at the gym. My mindset is ME, MY GOALS and MY PERFORMANCE!

The moral of the story is, don't be too hard on yourself - give yourself time to feel comfortable with your new environment and allow yourself to make that step in the right direction for you and your fit life. We all have to start somewhere. Ladies, everyone is staring at you because you're a sexy new woman to look at - Fellas, everyone is staring at you because you're a sexy new man to look at. They're also probably staring at you because they've BEEN THERE and they admire your ability to step up and start a new path! Feeling fat and too disgusting to show your face to the world, let alone inside a room full of gorgeous bodies? GOOD - That's the whole damn point and should be your motivation! 

Never ever forget that!

We, as humans, adapt to an endless amount of circumstances, surroundings and situations. Muscles, as I'm sure you've heard, are no different. Whether you experience muscle adaptation by reaching a plateau and seeing stagnant results/changes or you feel like your muscles have adapted so much to lounging that you can't seem to move your fat ass off the couch, it's all a similar principle. In order to stay fit over time, we must must must change things up.

Variety in exercise doesn't just mean you'll help prevent boredom, it also means you'll improve your results. As we train our muscles to work harder and more efficiently, we're also decreasing our resting heart rate and allowing our muscles to get comfortable. Ultimately, this means that we need to change things up to see results and feel the burn again - lift heavier, run farther, add more resistance, etc...

As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of changing things up, trying different workouts and setting new fitness goals. Most of the time, it's because I get really bored, but it's also hugely in part because my body responds well and I stable out really quickly. Right now, for instance, I juggle between a gym membership, running dates with friends, active adventures like Paddleboarding, classes at Classic Kickboxing, a variety of LivingSocial/Groupon/Bloomspot deals, and most consistently, Pure Barre classes. In all honesty, one of the reasons I've fallen so in love with Pure Barre Pasadena is because the exercises and routines are always changing - no matter how long I keep going, I never get bored and my muscles don't get too comfortable. And before you even say "well, I can't do that because it's too expensive" - that is NOT true. You MOST CERTAINLY CAN exercise consistently and change things up without breaking the bank - run for free outside, find a community swimming pool, ask a friend who is really into another workout style to do a workout with you, take advantage of deals and discounts, and most of all, be creative!

The only thing stopping you right now is YOU, so get out there and get going! Yah... you... on the couch, reading this right now - you've reached your couch comfort level and it's time to change things up! Again...

Never ever forget that!