I was in the middle of an Apple Fitness workout the other day (review coming soon) and I realized my focus kept returning to the countdown timer that showed how much longer I had left in the workout and it was really distracting.
That got me thinking. Why was I so focused on how much time I had left instead of celebrating everything I had done? I could say it went deeper than just the workout. I stopped my workout and changed the way you see metrics on Apple Fitness so it now shows the time elapsed, not the time remaining. This little change has allowed me to be more present in my workouts, especially yoga.
It’s true for life too. Do you think as you get older that you are running out of time to accomplish that bucket list while forgetting all the things you’ve already checked off? So let’s start counting up instead of down.
To experience Camp Gladiator yourself, I have 2 referral codes for four weeks free. Email me at email@example.com to get the code!
Initially when I heard about Camp Gladiator from a friend, it was pre-pandemic and they were going to a public park in town and doing what I thought was a boot camp that had you running around like crazy. It wasn’t until I met a trainer, Lauren, who eventually become my trainer, that I really grew to understand and like it!
CG is a four-week fitness program led by Certified Personal Trainers, where every workout is different. Each “Camp” is a 60 minute, full-body workout incorporating both cardio and strength exercises. While they still have outdoor workouts (which are following Covid safety rules), I still prefer the virtual workouts.
The great thing about virtual workouts is that you can literally hope on a workout at any time of day. There are multiple workouts with trainers across the country starting every 15 minutes and they are done via the Zoom platform. I haven’t done an in person workout so I can speak to have but if you like group workouts and the camaraderie that goes along with it, you will probably like Camp Galdiator. You trainer will have set days and times but you aren’t restricted to your personal trainer. The convenience of having a live class when it’s convenient for you is not something I’ve seen in other virtual fitness firms.
What to expect? CG is based on a 4 week camp broken down by weeks: Endurance, Strength & Agility, Interval and Peak Week. It all ends with community week and then begins again. It’s a combination of strength and cardio. Each class is live so that means each workout is different. These workouts will make you sweat. My typical calorie burn for the hour is somewhere between 400-600 calories depending on my input and the workout itself.
You have a trainer who learns your fitness goals and helps you plan to meet them. Lauren sends text messages on what to expect and touches base for accountability. Lauren always offered multiple modifications on the exercises as well so it may be a tough workout, but it’s really meant for all levels of fitness.
Part of the fun is earning points for checking that you can use on equipment and other gear or clothes. They also run discounts on gear so I was finally able to get 20 pound weights for a really good price. The cost of the program is very reasonable and they run specials frequently. You can also get a referral code from a current camper or coach for more savings.
I love walking. Enjoying the outdoors, walking the dogs, window shopping. Walking is also very accessible. There’s a reason why there are so many fitness trackers that encourage 10,000 steps per day. It also doesn’t involve many accessories. If you have a comfortable pair of shoes, you are good to go.
When we lived in a building downtown, I walked everywhere. I estimate I could walk upwards of 5 miles or more each day. I walked the dogs around Lake Eola each morning, walked my daughter to her preschool, then walked across downtown to my office building. There were several months where I was walking to her school for lunch. We walked to the grocery store on the other side of the lake, we walked to dinner, we walked to the park and playground. We walked everywhere! That was definitely the least I have weighed since I hit my 40s.
Once we moved to the suburbs, I would still walk my daughter to school but the 7 block walk fell to 1 block. The daily 1 mile dog walk around the lake was 1/2 a mile around the neighborhood (and sometimes not even that since we could just let them out in the backyard). I had to drive to the grocery store and to my office. My daily movement dropped drastically, even with other exercise programs!
I still prefer to walk over driving when I can. When I am visiting my client law firms downtown, I often park and walk from building to building. I’ve even worn through the bottom of my shoes! I love vacations to places like New York City or Las Vegas that encourage a lot of walking. I also love to spend the day at Disney with friends, walking a ton!
There are also many health benefits to walking, aside from the obvious weight loss. The Mayo Clinic says that walking can lower your blood pressure and your blood glucose levels, can lower your stress levels, can improve your memory and cognitive functions. Walking can be part of your self-care routine as well.
This is also a very pandemic-friendly exercise and can be done by just walking out the door. So try and add this great exercise into your routine!
My last post detailed my annual tradition of setting goals versus resolutions. Part of this process is reviewing past goals. As I started this ritual, I realized I couldn’t do this year like I had in the past.
I decided to take this year month by month. I think especially since the status of the world seems to change so much week to week, this will make things more realistic.
I’m excited for 2021. In January, I’ll be sharing all the stuff I’m doing, including Dry January, my first Diet Bet, my 21 Day Ultimate Reset and how I’m doing with my new workout program.
Working my way through the Beachbody on Demand catalog, I wanted to mix up my usual workout selection. I felt like I had hit a plateau with what I had been doing and I needed something to give myself a kickstart. I decided to do Joel Freeman‘s boxing workout 10 Rounds. 10 rounds is a six week program consisting of five days a week, three days of boxing and agility and two days of weight lifting.
The workouts range from 30 to 40 minutes but don’t include a cool down or stretching at the end. (There are videos included in the program that you can watch afterwards for a cool down but I just cooled down and stretched on my own.) The boxing and agility were the longer ones and clocked in at about 40 minutes. One day of lower body and one day of upper body weightlifting usually was around 28 minutes, so a very quick workout. The way Joel structures the program is that you can work out any five days of the week and rest the other two of your choosing but just to do the workouts in the order specified. Another cool thing about this program is that it was done in real time and the cast went to a different city every week so it was really interesting to see where they would be.
When I first started this program, I felt pretty clumsy and uncoordinated, and this is coming from someone who used to routinely have to follow choreography for dance teams and cheerleading. After the first couple of agility workouts, I did get used to it more and then the soreness the following day really made me realize how hard you were working out! I loved the lifting workouts because they weren’t multiple sets that were very repetitive. It was a really fun way to get that workout in and I’ve actually incorporated those lifting workout into other weeks where I’m doing something different.
Results wise, it was pretty shocking! While my overall weight didn’t change anything dramatically the amount of inches that my body changed was crazy! My biceps are actually bigger and more defined and my legs are smaller, leaner and definitely stronger. Overall, I enjoyed this program because I got very good results in a short period of time and it’s just added on to my goals of being stronger and leaner.
You can access this program in the Beachbody on Demand workout catalog. Joel also incorporates this program into some of his hybrid calendars that you can get from following him on Instagram. I will probably do the hybrid of this and Liift 4 sometime in the spring.
Losing weight is always a tricky thing. Our bodies change as we age, exercise, gain and lose weight. One person’s 150 is another person’s 130. It may also be difficult to choose a “goal weight” because you may not have weighed that amount in a decade or more so how do you know if that is an appropriate weight for your current self.
So how can you tell if you are being successful on your journey to slim down? I have several non-scale ways of monitoring my progress.
1. Am I getting stronger or is my endurance changing? The thing I like about doing the same workout programs is I can really gage my progress. If I started out doing 10 pound goblet squats and I’m now doing the same exercise with 30 pounds, I am definitely stronger. If you can make it through a tough cardio workout without pausing, that’s a great sign too. If you are a running, adding distance or dropping your minutes per mile shows progress. These are great non-scale victories.
2. Are you clothes fitting differently? This is a great gage for me. I even have a pair of mint green jeans I am looking forward to fitting into! When I can wear those comfortably again, I know I will have hit my goal! Other clothes begin to get baggy and maybe need to be given away. Be realistic though. If you have been working out a lot, your clothes may fit differently and some may never fit the same as they did before. That’s not a bad thing! Athletic women know the pain of finding pants that can fit right!
3. Do you feel better? If you have more energy, are sleeping better and are less bloated, that is great progress. Honestly, I would rather take all of those than a random number on a scale.
What are some of your non scale methods of tracking progress?
I wasn’t going to review another Autumn Calabrese workout this soon but I just finished 21 Day Fix Extreme and I had to get my thoughts down while they were fresh. This was a really tough program for me but it was also a fun challenge to see how hard I could push myself and what I could accomplish!
I did 21 Day Fix (Real Time) and 21 Day Fix Extreme (Real Time) back to back so I really did a 42 Day program. 21 Day Fix Extreme is similar to 21 Day Fix in that it progresses in difficulty each week but is also very different in difficulty and complexity. It is definitely an advanced program. For example, most moves are compound (squat to shoulder press) and your plyo and cardio moves are done with weights. There are a lot of 30 second holds and plyo jumps. By week 3, your burpees are really two shuffle steps with a weight, the burpee and then a plyo jump with the weight! I have see this program advertised for fitness competitors to follow to prepare for competition.
As a note, I have never done the original 21 Day Fix Extreme, which I believe is 7 workouts that you repeat for 3 weeks. It is available on the BOD library but I like the Real Time programs as they offer a unique workout each day and they have the weekly progression.
I loved and hated this workout all in one. It pushed me but it also caused pain and soreness like I haven’t felt in a while. There were many workouts where I was checking the clock to see how much longer I had to do it! The Pilates with the workout band was so awkward and difficult, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. On the flip side, I loved the upper body workout, which is usually not my favorite, and the yoga pushed me and stretched me like no other! I finally nailed crow pose!
Bottom line, I really got results. Doing these two programs back to back shaved 10 inches off my body and I am fitting into clothes that have been in the back of my closet for a while. I am sure I will do this program again but it won’t be in the near future!
This list isn’t about workout equipment or outfits, but about little things that make my workout routine (and life) a little easier. I really can’t live without them!
1. Pre-workout and post-workout supplements
I personally use supplements from the Beachbody line: Energize and Recover. Honestly, since I don’t really drink caffeine, Energize is my go-to morning drink even when I don’t workout. It gives me a boost of energy for my workout and the day without jitters. I mix mine with lots of ice so it’s like a refreshing glass of lemonade. It comes in lemon, fruit punch and mixed berry. I really like the fruit punch but I have some mixed berry to try next. Energize has also helped me relieve headache pain!
When I first started lifting regularly, I didn’t use any type of post-workout and I definitely had muscle soreness the next day or two after. When I started using Recover, my muscle soreness became virtually nonexistent and it also helped increase my endurance for my subsequent workouts. Recover comes in chocolate but I prefer orange flavor which tastes just like a creamsicle! A thicker shake-like drink but definitely a pain-saver.
2. Dry shampoo
I have a lot of long hair and I couldn’t possible wash it every day, plus who has time for all of that? Dry shampoo is a girl’s best friend anyway but when your head and hair are all sweaty, you need to get clean. I have tried a bunch of different kinds but my favorite by far, especially after a workout, is Bumble and bumble Post Workout Dry Shampoo Mist. It’s better then just the standard dry shampoo and really works on the sweat to make your hair manageable, presentable and smelling nice. Perfect on second (or third) day hair!
3. Yoga Balm
I was introduced to Yoga Balm this year after a massage at the Ritz Carlton where we stayed for my birthday (ah, the pre-pandemic days). Yoga Balm works with the heat generated in a massage or while you work out so I put it on anything that is sore prior to exercising. It works really well on the parts of my back or neck that sometimes feel sore from sitting all day. It smells much nicer than a sports cream and feels much better too. It’s a little on the pricy side but a little goes a long way. It’s not currently available on Amazon so I linked to it at the Ritz shop. You may be able to find it somewhere else less expensive.
4. A good playlist
I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to get through cardio or a tough workout without a little music for inspiration. It can be as simple as listening to a playlist on an Amazon Echo or curating your own inspirational list. I used to have a great list of music for my Half Marathons to keep me going. I would make sure they would last as long as my run without repeats and would throw in some special songs depending on the race (Star Wars for Disney races and some Vegas-related songs for running the Strip at Night). I used to save mine on Apple Music or listened to other playlists on Spotify. If you aren’t sure what to listen to, there are plenty of playlists to sample. Most music services will let you save songs to a playlist as you are listening.
What are some of your workout essentials?
To purchase any of my favorites, just click the link. I don’t have an affiliation to any of the products listed above with the exception of Beachbody, which I will earn a commission if you purchase using my link.
As I write this, I just finished my first workout in two days. I planned to take Sunday as a rest day but when Monday came around, I listened to my body and knew I needed an extra one.
Rest days are important. They help heal your body from the strain you put it through during your workouts. Sometimes you also need the mental break from working out. Whatever the reason, no one ever lost all their fitness or weight loss from taking a rest day here and there. Could I have forced myself into my gym yesterday? Probably, but that extra day of rest allowed me to tackle the workout today with heavier weights and more energy.
Even an active rest day can be beneficial. Taking a walk or a bike ride, doing yoga or swimming in the pool; these are all great active rest days that allow you to physically and mentally take a break. You can even stretch or foam roll!
Yoga is one of those omnipresent things that it seems like everyone has tried at least once. One of the things I love about yoga is it strengthens your body and your mind. It also helps to stretch out all my muscles I make sore while I’m lifting weights. It can be your only method of exercise or you can fit it into a cross-training schedule. It is perfect for active rest days. I am pretty sure I do at least a few down dogs and crows every day just to stretch!
I was fortunate to experience my first yoga class on a rock pier jutting into the ocean in Jamaica. The teacher was an Expat hippie with dreadlocks down to her ankles. It was so amazing and zen, especially at the end, sitting in Shavasana (corpse pose which has you lying on your back, still, at the end of each class) at sunset. I honestly thought this is what yoga was all about.
I didn’t really start taking regular classes until after I had my daughter. I had gained 54 pounds with my pregnancy and when she was six months old, we relocated to Orlando. I signed up for the local YMCA and started attending yoga classes there. Taking classes three times a week, along with regular walks, helped me shave off those 54 pounds and then 10 more! I felt strong and clear headed. My favorite teacher (no deadlocks on this one) would put a lavender scented towel over your eyes while you were in Shavasana. Again, total zen!
Since then, I’ve had private classes in Las Vegas (surprise that I was the only one that signed up for the 8am yoga class), a giant class outside on top of one of the office buildings in downtown Orlando, tried out the Beachbody Yoga, a few apps including one called Pocket Yoga and quite a few yoga DVDs. The favorite DVD (also available online) is Body by Bethenny which is shockingly good for a celebrity exercise program, especially the core section. Yoga is so versatile that it translates to so many different modes.
You can even do virtual yoga! My friend Kelly is a yoga teacher in at the Yoga School of Miami. Unfortunately, I was never able to take her class because of the distance but now anyone can! Just sign up here. With Kelly, you get Pink Floyd, David Bowie & Prince, which is an awesome way to do yoga! Check her out. She does yoga teacher training too!!
Yoga is perfect for all fitness levels and ages as well. There are even programs specifically for kids. I have heard many times that there is no ego in yoga. You only try and improve yourself each time your practice. I have also found the others in my classes are only encouraging. At the Y, we would have time to practice stands, whether it be shoulder stands, head stands or even a handstand. It would usually involve lots of laughter and cheering when someone achieved the stand that had been working on. I always leave yoga a happier person then when I started! So where some people don’t enjoy working out at gyms, yoga is a much more inviting space for group fitness.