I designate one day of the week to working out with the FiA ladies. If you are not familiar with FiA (Females in Action), it is worth reading about my first workout with the group in the Product & Studio Review section of the blog (or click the link I have attached here). This is a free, peer led workout run out of several locations all over North and South Carolina (it keeps expanding!). Don’t let the free part fool you either. There is a range of fitness levels, and these women represent a diverse group of people in our community (successful businesswomen, teachers, volunteers, moms, the list goes on).
Wednesday I posted at Metropolitan. If you aren’t familiar with the Metropolitan, it is a mixed-use condo development in Charlotte that is set on the Greenway. At this workout location I have done workouts entirely in the parking deck, entirely on the greenway, and a combination of both. There is a lot to work with here. We were advised to bring a kettlebell or heavy weight to today’s workout. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. Extras were provided, and we rotated between exercises, so no one was ever left without something to do.
As I mentioned above, the workout is for all fitness levels. Using an AMRAP (“As many rounds as possible”) workout, it makes it very easy for a group with significant gaps in fitness levels to stay together (without anyone feeling like they aren’t a part of the group). The “Q” (person who leads the workout) today spent the first five minutes explaining the workout while we took some time to stretch and warm up. I failed to start my GPS watch when we started, so my mileage and time were not correct, but here is the gist of what we did for the first half hour (we started in even groups at each station to space people out, from there it was go at your own pace):
Station 1 – 20 Kettlebell swings
Run – we worked out entirely on a croquet court that is approximately 200 meters if you run around the sidewalk that encloses the court.
Station 2 – 20 Kettlebell rows
Run – around the same approximately 200m loop mentioned above.
Station 3 – 10 Plank Jack Burpees – instead of doing a pushup at the bottom, jack your legs apart while holding a plank.
Run – the same loop (approximately 200m)
We did the same rotation for 25 minutes. Get this, I logged in at least two miles (remember, my watch didn’t start until I had run around the court at least two times). I didn’t keep track of how many times I went through the entire circuit, but the great part about this is that it didn’t matter. I got a good workout in, and everyone essentially stayed together. We spent the last 10-15 minutes doing leg and ab exercises in a circle.
Let me explain why I do make time to work out with these women once a week. I could totally workout in a gym or by myself every day of the week, but there is something to be said about working out with people who are taking their own time to plan a workout, outdoors for free. These women have plenty of things going on in their lives, but they love exercise and the camaraderie of a group so much that they choose to make this group a part of their life (did I mention unpaid?). I never hear anyone complain (workouts, life, etc.). This is real life. 45 minutes to enjoy your own time before the craziness of the day starts. How is that for refreshing? We ended the workout circling up to a motivational send off and beautiful sunrise. Love this city!