Tag Archives: FiA

Bootcamp, Bootcamp, Bootcamp

Now that I have started leading a bootcamp one day a week (soon to be two) at SmartCore Fitness, I have really tried to wrap my hands around the term “bootcamp” and all of the competition in our beloved fitness fueled city.  It seems like every where I look there are “bootcamps”.  How does one distinguish between which one is best for them?  I have taken some time to explore several options in Charlotte.  I still have a lot to go.  However, I thought I would start with several options (Part 1) and do a second post several months from now showing even more options (Part 2).  Let’s start with the “Free” options and build to the more expensive.

Females in Action (FiA) and F3 

10487361_10103563946524453_7774651761354712784_nCost – Free

Advertised Actual Workout Time – 45 or 60 minutes

Actual Workout Time – By the time you warm up and stretch, 35-40 minutes for a 45 minute workout, 50-55 minutes for a 60 minute workout.  These girls try to keep things moving.  They are limited on time.

Class Time Options – Early.  Sorry.  Most workouts start at 5:15 AM or 5:30 AM during the week.  There are some 6:00 AM workouts.  Weekend workouts typically begin between 6-7 AM.

Locations – Several.  Check the website for workout times and locations. FiANation.com OR F3nation.com.


Instructor Qualifications – None.  This is a peer led workout group.  While leaders are required to attend a “Q” school prior to leading their first workout, the disclosure for participating in this group is that the person running the workout is not certified to train.

Other Info – FiA is an all female workout group.  F3 is all men.  Most of the individuals participating and leading these workouts are working out early because they have a lot on their plate.  While I have built some solid friendships through my workouts with FiA, there isn’t time for a lot of chit chat.  The ladies want to work.  The website will indicate which workouts are “bootcamps” and which are running workouts.  The website also lists higher intensity workouts.

My Opinion – For a free, non certified workout, using the outdoor elements, this is a great group to work out with early in the morning (especially if you are female who is looking for a running partner when it is dark out).  I try to incorporate these workouts into my routine a few times a month.

Stax Bootcamp with Randy Moss and Emily Breeze Ross Watson


Cost – Free

Advertised Actual Workout Time – 60 minutes

Actual Workout Time – With a variety of fitness levels and breaks – approximately 45 minutes.

Class Time Options – Wednesday, 6:30 PM

Location – Stax Crossfit


Instructor Qualifications – I am a huge fan of “Breeze”.  She is incredibly tough.  Her credentials range from yoga and mobility certifications to Crossfit and personal training.  She has definitely acquired quite the following.  Clearly Randy Moss has an incredible athletic background.  While Breeze is ultimately demoing the exercises and really driving the workout, Moss and her work well together to split things up.

Other Info – At least for now, expect heat.  Bring a towel and water.  The majority of the workout is outdoors.  While it is advertised as being held at Stax, you will likely spend most of your time outside.  Many of the exercises are geared towards running and Crossfit – think sprints, burpees, squats, pushups, and power.  You need to arrive early to sign a waiver.  Don’t be surprised if there are 50-100 people.  Space is not limited.

My Opinion – I attended a closed “preview” of the bootcamp.  It will open to the public in the next few weeks.  There is no behind the scenes payoff here.  Randy Moss and Breeze Ross are offering this bootcamp as a way to give back to the community.  That said, expect large crowds. Ultimately, it’s SUPER hard for me to work out at night, making it difficult for me to scrounge up the energy to work out with so many other people.  The class reminds me a lot of old school down and dirty athletic conditioning workouts at the Dowd YMCA.  Lots of young, good looking people.  While I will try to drop in at least once a month, I would recommend this workout to those who enjoy getting a good sweat in the evening hours.

Dowd YMCA Athletic Conditioning

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Cost – Free with paid membership

Advertised Actual Workout Time – 60 minutes

Actual Workout Time – 55 minutes

Class Time Options – Varies throughout the week and day.  Check out the website.

Location – Almost all Greater YMCA’s in Charlotte offer the class, however, I am specifically referencing the Dowd YMCA.

Instructor Qualifications – All Dowd YMCA instructors are required to be Group Exercise certified.  Most also have additional certifications.

Other Info – You won’t really go outside in this class.  Classes can also get pretty full (depending on the instructor and time of day).  Like anything, people have their favorites.  You can really make these workouts as hard or as easy as you want to.  Like I said above, there are usually a lot of young, good looking people there.  Don’t let this intimidate you.  Space is not limited.  You could be working out with up to 100 people.

My Opinion – Have I mentioned before that my husband used to teach athletic conditioning at the Dowd YMCA?  Did I also mention that we met through his class?  I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Dowd Y.  If you are already paying to be a member of the Y and you can handle plyometric exercises and running, you should check one of these classes out.  The instructor typically breaks the class up into groups – essentially making it easier to keep everything moving while offering a variety to the participants.  Since it is held in the gym, there is enough equipment on hand to mix cardio with some strength training using weights.

MADabolic (OK they don’t advertise themselves as a bootcamp, but in case you were wondering)


Cost – One session – $22.  You can decrease that cost by buying a package.

Advertised Actual Workout Time – 50 minutes

Actual Workout Time – 30 minutes (10 minutes exercises explanation, 10 minutes warm up)

Class Time Options – Varies depending on the location.  At the South End location, most days, classes start as early as 5:30 AM. The last class is offered at 6:30 or 7:30 PM.


Locations – Asheville, NC, Burlington, NC, Charlotte, NC, Mt. Pleasant, SC, Charlottesville, VA, Greenville, SC, Huntersville, NC, Raleigh, NC.

Instructor Qualifications – Not disclosed.  I scrounged the website for information on qualifications for instructors and couldn’t find it.  I assume they go through a “MADabolic” training.  It may be worth asking?

Other Info – MADabolic has their own methodology for getting the best results out of the people that train with them.  The people who go to MADabolic swear by it.  It is not only their workout but their lifestyle.  The gym promotes ways for individuals to spend time with each other both at the gym and around town at social functions.  You will need to buy or rent gloves (if you are boxing on the day that you go).  Space is limited to make sure that there isn’t too many people at the workout.  You need to make sure that you sign up online (sometimes one week in advance).

My Opinion – I’m going to go ahead and say it.  I hate boxing.  If I only get 30 minutes of actual workout time, I don’t want to be spending part of it boxing.  Sorry, I’m never going to like it.  I just like to run and ride a bike.  That said, if you can’t get your cardio in on the pavement, many of the MAD workouts would be ideal for those looking to get their heart rate up in other ways (while still building strength).  Think boxing, rowing, box jumps, etc. I like the idea of the workout, and I like the team (and many of the people that go there).  It’s worth a try!

SmartCore Fitness


Cost – $46.50 per session

Advertised Actual Workout Time – 60 minutes

Actual Workout Time – 60-75 minutes (no breaks!)

Class Time Options – Saturday 8:30 AM (Steve), 10:00 AM (Jen- that’s me!), Tuesday 6:00 PM (Jen)

Locations – 831 Baxter Street, Suite 201, Charlotte, NC


Instructor Qualifications – Certified Personal Trainers to say the least.  You know my background. Founder, Denise Duffy, and trainer, Steve Justice, have a long list themselves.  Check out the website.

Other Info – Class is super limited, allowing the trainers to demonstrate modifications for each and every exercise that they are asking participants to complete.  The exercises and cardio will sneak up on you.  You can’t muscle through some of the core strengthening balance exercises.  These are the exercises that will make every day tasks easier (without you even knowing it).  For example, my Spartan Race Training.  My pull ups.  My bucket carries.  Etc.

My Opinion – Okay, I’m biased, but I have every reason to be.  It’s expensive, yes, but after visiting several other boot camps, I can absolutely state why.  Maybe it should be described as a personal training bootcamp.  Everyone starts together, but not many people end together.  Everyone starts with the intention of doing each and every exercise as stated, but sometimes our athletic background or certain limitations make modifications necessary.  Since we are limited in class size, we get you through the same intense cardio strength workout at your pace based on your ability.  If you need to go faster than everyone else, we let you go faster.  We show you what’s next.  If you need to move slower (and take a little longer than the person next to you), we let you do that.  If something just doesn’t feel right on a given day, we find a way to still work the muscle group that we intend to hit, but we change it.  Like MADabolic, we have our own methodology that is used to get the most out of each designed circuit.  There is no rest, because you are going at your own speed, while being pushed by others around you.  On a regular basis, I train such a wide variety of people (several of which can’t run, but still want to get cardio in – off a bike).

IMG_6377A word on bootcamp.  I actually looked up the definition.  Thank you Merriam Webster.

“Full Definition of BOOT CAMP

: a navy or marine corps camp for basic training
: a disciplinary facility or program in which young offenders are forced to participate in a rigidly structured routine”

I think the term is being used loosely.  I don’t think all bootcamps are the same.  I also don’t think all bootcamps follow a “structured routine”.  That said, you have to find the one that works best for you (both financially and athletically).  Over the next several months, I plan to check out several other options (both bootcamp and not) and offer the same sort of info!   In the end, it’s really just important that we all find a workout (any workout) that makes us feel better about ourselves and keeps us healthy!


The Pictures (+Stories) Behind My @WeLoveCLT Instagram Takeover

Oh hey!  Did you miss my @WeLoveCLT Instagram takeover?  Maybe you don’t have Instagram?  Or maybe you just want more details on some of the things that I posted about?  I’m here to fill you in.  First and foremost, when I decided to sign up to takeover the account, I had an idea of some of the events, places and food that I wanted to share.  The @WeLoveCLT Instagram account is entirely a takeover account.  Those interested in participating must apply and be approved by management.  There are rules surrounding posting guidelines.  I love it. It is such a great way to see Charlotte through the eyes of completely different individuals.  It’s growing.  I hope the growth continues!

IMG_6257Flywheel Charlotte – I started my takeover with an introductory video outside Flywheel Charlotte.  Bright and early.  Saturday is a big workout day for fitness junkies in Charlotte.  The weekend is typically the best time to get a long workout in simply because of time.  While most people have the weekend off, I am actually working both days!  That said, if I want to get my own workout in, I have to do it super early or later in the day (after training people).  I lose motivation as the day goes on.  As such, I jumped in the first class at Flywheel Charlotte Saturday morning – 6:15 AM.  Yep, early.  I’m up early anyways.  I have a four month old and a twenty-one month old.  That’s life.  May as well get my workout over with.

IMG_6253On Saturday mornings, the studio has an incredible vibe.  Classes are full.  People are revved.  It’s an exciting atmosphere to be a part of.  It just so happened that the day I was riding Denise Duffy was also teaching a Tour De France power hour ride.  I couldn’t stick around for it, but I did see her getting set up for it.

IMG_6256Like I said, Saturday has a different vibe.  For all of her power hours, she draws the profile of the ride on the mirror that covers the wall behind her.  You know what you are in for.  Look at that hill.  Yikes!

IMG_6261Riders gathered in the hallway anticipating the brutal test that laid ahead of them.  There are several things that make these rides so incredible.  First, it’s cardio that the majority of people can do.  It’s low impact.  I rode until the day I delivered both children.  Second, it’s dark.  You don’t have to worry about what you look like (or what other people think you look like).  Get in your zone and move on.  Finally, it’s super effective, efficient and not boring.  The instructors are hyped, the music is incredible, and you won’t find very many other workouts that will burn that many calories in such a short amount of time.


SmartCore Fitness – Following my own workout, I headed to SmartCore Fitness for the fun part – running other people through their own workout.  I am now leading regular bootcamps every Saturday at 10 AM.  It just so happened that the trainer that leads the 8:30 AM bootcamp was on vacation this week.  That left me leading back to back sessions.

IMG_6264Workout was on the wall.  This is shorthand for many exercises.  It really isn’t as easy (or hard) as it sounds.  These key words were there in case participants needed to review what they had to do next.  Each workout is approximately 60 minutes.  4 circuits of 4 exercises completed twice.

IMG_6265Each individual has their own designated space that he or she can perform the exercises at their own speed.  This is not a competition but rather an effective way to complete complex moves with an added cardio element.  It’s organized such that anything can be modified for various injuries or preexisting conditions.  I love it.  I am a believer in it.  I do it myself.

Poppy’s Bagels – Insert big break in Insta posting.  I didn’t touch my phone while I was at SmartCore.  I picked it back up after my final client left and the training facility was cleaned up.  I’m not going to lie, I was starving.  I needed something substantial.  Something filling.  Thank you Poppy’s Bagels.

IMG_6272If you haven’t been here, you are missing out.  My husband and I discovered this diamond in the rough several years ago.  Since then, the small company has started delivering their bagels to all of our local grocery stores.  Awesome.  If I don’t want to make an extra trip (or stand in line), I can always just swing by Harris Teeter.  $1 a bagel.  I can work with that.

24 Hours of Booty – Once I got some food and showered, I was ready to take on the day with the family.  Listen, everything that happened prior to Poppy’s happened before 12:30 PM.  I was busy.  We live within walking distance of the coveted “Booty Loop”.  We spent a lot of time cruising the various tailgates both Friday and Saturday night.

11760332_10103647681114663_2506830710254934774_nPrior to Saturday, we spent a better part of Friday evening catching the kick off National Anthem, riders taking off from the starting line and enjoying some good barbecue.  The ride is for a great cause – raising money for cancer-fighting programs.  The camaraderie and atmosphere is incredible.  Suburbia turns into a mini city for just one night.  There is a buzz in the neighborhood.

IMG_6232IMG_6246IMG_6275IMG_6245While we were out and about, I ran into FiA (Females in Action) founder, Amy Peacock.  See picture below.  Coincidentally, it just so happened that we were standing outside of the F3 fueling station.  If you didn’t know, FiA was started as the female version of F3.  I met Amy (nickname ChiaPet) over a year ago when I posted at one of my first workouts.  See my review.  I love these groups because first and foremost they are free.  However, I have built an incredible network of friends while grueling through peer led bootcamps and runs as early as 5:15 AM some mornings.


Selwyn Pub/Reid’s – It didn’t take long for my husband and I to get hungry again.  My husband also put in a hard workout with F3 earlier in the day.

IMG_6263We had enough barbecue Friday night, so we opted to swing by Selwyn Pub for a drink before stopping at Reid’s for dinner.  Selwyn Pub is quite possibly one of my favorite places to enjoy a drink and food.  Situated under a large oak tree, the outdoor patio has large sofas and televisions that allow you to really just kick back and relax.  The crowd ranges from the old man that has lived in Myers Park since he was born to the young freshly graduated college kids going out for the night.  I even bring my kids there!  Surprisingly, since Mellow Mushroom has gotten harder to get in and out of, we have started picking up pizza from Selwyn.  It’s really good!

IMG_6286That leads me to Reid’s.  I used to go to Reid’s when it was located uptown and I resided a little less than a quarter mile away.  Some things never change.  I loved it then.  I love it now.

FullSizeRender-40I will admit.  It can be expensive.  What do you expect?  It’s fresh.  It’s local.  Care is put into the food.  I can’t complain.  I know what I am paying for.

IMG_6283Va Da Vie Gelato – The weekend would not be complete, if we didn’t treat ourselves a little.  It seems like I got ALOT of feedback about this place.  Va Da Vie opened approximately a year ago in the parking lot of Park Road Shopping Center.  I really didn’t think this place was going to make it.  I’m not going to lie, I am a sucker for hard ice cream.  I didn’t really know what I was missing.

IMG_6288How cute is this little building?  I can’t imagine a better design for a hip, new, local hot spot.  Tables surround the little building.  Kids are roaming around the exterior.  Flavors are made from locally grown fruits and can get creative.  Give me some of that!


So that’s that, huh?  I talked a lot about food.  I talked a lot about fitness.  That’s what FlyJenDuf is all about.  How do you balance enjoying life (and all of the good food in it), while continuing to stay fit?  A typical day for us is crazy, but we have figured out a way to enjoy it while still prioritizing our health.  I hope that you all enjoyed my takeover (and the stories behind it) as much as I did!

#DesignCharlotte – Part 2 (Fun, Food and Fitness)

It has already been a month since I posted about the #DesignCharlotte challenge that is being implemented by Marriott Charlotte City Center paralleled with their ongoing hotel renovation.  As part of my first post on the project, I asked my followers (that’s you!) to post pictures of your favorite elements of our city to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #DesignCharlotte.  The response has been incredible.  In just a short search of the hashtag, I found several great photos of not just the skyline, but specific things about the city that represent our culture.  These photos could potentially be used in the walls of the redesigned hotel.


Let me remind you that by simply participating in the project, you will be entered to win a stay at the newly renovated hotel to experience the new stay features – you may even see your pictures on the wall!  I am a transplant to the city of Charlotte, so I feel thrilled to be asked to be a part of this project.  Since 2007 (when I moved here), I have seen the city undergo an amazing transformation.  The blend of cultures and people from all over the world has created niche communities that are so exciting to be a part of.  I describe my blog as being one about my “crazy, yet enjoyable, fit life”. That said, in describing our city in more detail, I feel that I need to touch on the fun, food and fitness that I crave from our vibrant community.

Fun – We are busy, but we do find ways to have fun.  You don’t have to go far to find a plethora of activities right in our backyard.

  • Pops in the Park  – Each Sunday in the month of June, the Charlotte Symphony holds an outdoor concert at Southpark Mall’s Symphony Park.  The last performance of the year is on July 3rd (to celebrate the Fourth of July).  Bring your own food and drinks.  Kids welcome.  Such a good way to end the week.


  • Wells Fargo Championship – I don’t even love golf, but I love going to this annual golf tournament.  Held at Quail Hollow Country Club the first or second week in May, this tournament has continued to bring in big time names.

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  • Queen’s Cup Steeplechase – My husband grew up watching horse racing.  He was in heaven this year when the first horse in his lifetime won a Triple Crown.  This isn’t anything close to as extreme as that, but we still enjoy getting dressed up, having a drink and watching some horses race.


  • Knights Baseball – Gone are the days of driving to South Carolina to watch the CHARLOTTE Knights.  Also gone, are the days of a large number of empty seats.  The new stadium is uptown and most games are SOLD out!  Great food and drink to go with a beautiful view of the city.


  • The Founders Hall “Singing Bears” – Okay, not fun for all, but fun for my toddler.  It’s also fun to meet dad uptown for a break in his day.  During the holiday season, these bears temporarily set up shop and sing Christmas carols to the kids eagerly watching.


  • Duke Mansion – I may be pushing it here, but this is where I got married.  I had my first daughter’s baby shower at the venue.  I watched a good friend of mine get married here.  Great times have been had at this quiet home just miles from Uptown.



Food- One really big thing that I love about Charlotte is the ease in finding very distinct cuisine non-chain restaurants.  Very rarely do we choose to go out to eat at a chain and/or a restaurant that has locations outside of the state of North Carolina.  The owners are typically present and a part of day to day operations, the wait staff has seen my children grow up and I always know I am going to get good service and food.

  • Mr. K’s – The first time we tried this long time local favorite was just last month.  We didn’t know what we had been missing.  This is a one stop lunch and ice cream shop.  In fact, in digging deeper, we learned that it was one of the only places still serving food when Hurricane Hugo demolished a good portion of Myers Park in 1989.  Mr. K’s reminds me of home.  It’s a family joint – in that family works the register and grill and I can take my family there.  This dive is just a short light rail ride away from center city.  It also is very inexpensive.

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  • Cabo Fish Taco – OK, OK.  I am partial to this place because the only other location is in Blacksburg, VA (home of the Hokies).  I had eaten at this restaurant many times before visiting the Charlotte location.  Located in the heart of NODA (the North of Davidson neighborhood), the restaurant has a sort of hippy vibe yet still draws in regulars from all over the city.  The food?  Think surfside salads, tacos and burritos with a twist.  Drinks?  Think margaritas, locally brewed beers and tequila with a twist.  I love it.

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  • The Roasting Company – I can’t even begin to describe how great this food is.  Take out or eat in, it doesn’t make a difference.  No wait staff.  You order from a walk up register and wait for you name to be called before picking up your food.  There is just something about this place.  Maybe it’s the comfort that I find there?  In both the food and relaxing environment.  They added a bar several months ago, which has only attracted more people to the laid back joint.  Whatever it is, we go there a lot.


  • Suarez Bakery – So good we named a day of the week after it – “Suarez Saturday”.  Fresh baked donuts, pastries, cookies, cakes and the list goes on.  Not many places serve fresh cinnamon twist donuts anymore.  Nothing is too fancy about this place.  They keep it simple.


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  • Leroy Fox – It doesn’t get more local than plastering the names of local streets on the first wall that you see when you walk in the restaurant.  The food has a southern American twist. There is so much good and bad for you food to eat here.  It is part of a group of local restaurants that we can’t get enough of – Mortimer’s and Cowbell.


  • Nolen Kitchen – I have never been to a restaurant with more of my girlfriends than this one.  Hands down, Nolen has one of the best patios in Myers Park.  The lighter fare menu and smaller portions mixed with the creative cocktail menu is a great place for a date (with my girlfriends).  Look around the next time you are there.


  • Food Trucks – This is as local as you get.  They are popping up everywhere.  I spotted one at a parents night out for my daughter’s preschool.


  • Viva Chicken – Located a few blocks from uptown on the trolley line, we found this place when I was staying in Presbyterian Hospital after having my second daughter.  Peruvian rotisserie chicken.  A different variety of sides.  Local beer.  It has my husband hooked.


Fitness – I could talk about the good food in Charlotte all day.  However, if it weren’t for the amazing fitness scene in the outgoing city, we would have trouble keeping up with how much we eat.  If you have read the “About” section of my blog, you know that my husband and I met at the gym.  I was a college athlete.  Fitness is a HUGE part of my life.  That said, we love living in a community where activity and being on your feet is valued so high.

  • YMCA – Since I met my husband at the local YMCA, let’s start there.  If you aren’t from Charlotte, you probably don’t get this.  Charlotte actually has quite and amazing group of YMCA gyms.  In fact, for those paying $50-100/month for a membership, it is one of the preferred places to exercise in the area.  We currently are still members – mainly for the pool and weight room (which my husband uses).  Several years ago, it was our gathering place for conditioning classes and running groups.  This is the kind of thing you might see nowadays.


  • F3 and Females in Action (FiA) – I could go on and on about how amazing the growth of both of these groups has been.  Check out their websites for more information (f3nation.com and fianation.com).  My husband and I both actively participate in the respective groups on certain days of the week.


  • Flywheel – The most badass thing that has happened to indoor cycling in Charlotte.  I am not biased.  If you want to be on a bike indoors, nothing compares.  You will never want to ride anywhere else again without getting irritated.  Dark.  Loud.  Fun. Competitive.  Did I mention the instructors and staff are like no other?


  • SmartCore Fitness and Denise Duffy – If you went to the Dowd Y in the mornings during the last 15 years, you probably saw Denise.  She is a machine who has developed an incredible following in the Charlotte area.  Denise left the Y over a year ago to open her new studio.  Read my review here.  You have to try it.  You will be talking about it for days.


I love all things Charlotte, but I had to find a way to condense my favorite things into a short list.  I hope that my picks inspire you to share some of your favorite foods, people, sites and experiences as a part of the #DesignCharlotte project.  Be a part of something special.  Details on the hotel can be found using the following links.  Let me see what you have got!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of #DesignCharlotte. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Putting In That Extra Effort

I haven’t posted since Monday because I have been putting in that extra effort (quite literally) this week.  While continuing to dig deep with my Spartan training, I happily subbed several additional classes at Flywheel, met the ladies of FiA for an early morning beat down and co-led my first weekend bootcamp at SmartCore Fitness.  Details to follow.  It was an incredible week, full of amazing levels of effort put forth by everyone that I was surrounded by.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 12.57.46 PMLet’s start with Flywheel.  It has already been almost two months since I started teaching after having baby number two.  The transition back to pre baby body has been made easier by enjoying several rides a week on the bike.  The downside of taking so many weeks off is that I have to work my way back on to the schedule.  I also have to get my name out there so people know I am back.  Well, I AM BACK!  While my regular class times – Thursday 10:45 AM/11:45 AM and Sunday 7:30 AM – are difficult for most to make it to, please check the schedule for days that I am subbing.  I am doing everything that I can do to get out there during times that I know my “regulars” can make it to!  As requested, see Sunday’s playlist above.

IMG_6015Following Thursday’s double, I grabbed lunch at neighboring hot spot Leroy Fox with a fellow rider and co-worker.  The decor in this place is as well thought out as the delicious food.  Upon entering the doors of the restaurant, the right wall is covered in words that represent street names in and around the neighborhood.  I actually think I might try to make something like this for my home (in a smaller version, framed and on the wall).

IMG_6010I had a refreshing barbecue chicken peach salad.  I love salads that are juicy and flavorful enough that I don’t even need to add dressing. This is one of them.  The sauce over the chicken mixed with the juiciness of the peaches gives the lettuce and vegetables enough flavor to pick the dressing up off the plate and give it back.  After teaching a double prior to eating, this was just what I needed to refuel.   Full disclosure – I actually ended up teaching another class that night.  Making sure I ate enough “good for you” food was imperative.

IMG_6030Three classes on Thursday equals over two hours on the bike.  I had every intention of sleeping in and taking a day off on Friday.  My plans changed when my youngest woke up at 4:00AM for a feeding and my husband admitted that he was not going to get up to go to the gym if I wanted to go.  Geez.  I have to take these days when I can get them.   As my daughter finished her bottle, I made the decision to lace up my running shoes and say “hell with it”.  I drove over to Metropolitan prepared to get a decent run in if I didn’t do anything else.  It is always nice to run with someone else.

IMG_6031Go figure, the day that I show up to put in a less than stellar effort, I was informed that we were partnering up and performing a AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout in which there might be a “winner”.  Great.  Competitive Jen kicked in.  Everyone had picked partners the night before.  Except me.  I looked around the circle of ladies before seeing the one new person that didn’t have a partner.  Well, here goes nothing.  She was literally the “Real Deal” (which ended up becoming her nickname).  Over a matter of forty minutes, we ran almost four miles, up and down stairs, while performing several sets of pushups, squat jumps and partner wheel barrows.  I’m pretty sure on the run we were hitting 7:15-7:45/mile splits.  Thank you “Real Deal” (Cara) for taking me out of my comfort zone.  While I train people all of the time to do this, sometimes I need someone to do it to me.

IMG_6025I earned an afternoon off for some playtime with my oldest daughter.  Boy is it hard to find things to do when it is so hot outside.  Anything with water or indoors seems to be the preferred activity.  Anyone else have any ideas?  I would love to hear them.

IMG_6043I FINALLY got my chance to sleep in Saturday, before getting geared up for my first bootcamp at SmartCore Fitness.  I joined fellow CPT, Denise Duffy, to lead 10 hard working individuals through four, four exercise circuits.  This workout is legit and hard.  Several things differentiate it from your average bootcamp:

  • The thought put into it – This workout was not put together on the whim.  The order of each and every exercise is methodically organized such that you get the most out of the muscle groups that you are working.  Hence “Smart”Core.
  • The number of complex movements using your entire body – Four, four exercise circuits, means you are doing at least 16 different movements over the length of the workout.  I have been to several places where you might only be doing 4-7 exercises the entire workout (and they are basic exercises).
  • The length – 60 minutes.  There is also some leeway here.  It’s go at your own pace.  If you finish before an hour (good for you).  If it’s going to take you an extra ten to fifteen minutes, that’s OK.  Depending on how quickly you move, you can burn ALOT of calories.
  • The ability to modify – Having a Certified Personal Trainer overseeing a smaller group, allows us to be able to modify specific exercises to work around weaknesses, injuries or at times that we see fatigue.  There is no need to neglect an entire exercise when modifications can be offered.  There is also no reason why ANYONE cannot do this workout (regardless of your fitness level).  Change is good.
  • The strength component – I am always surprised how big the strength piece is.  You will likely be sore somewhere the next day.  This stuff is not easy, light weight repetitions.
  • Working out indoors (and out) – We will likely take you outside for a cardio component.  Yes, there is cardio in this workout.  Again, if you don’t like running – there is a modification.

I have to say, the group that showed up Saturday knows how to work.  While the entire circuit was designed by Denise, I am looking forward to taking ownership and adding a spin on several exercises over the next few weeks.  If you are interested in checking this out OR want to learn more, please reach out!
IMG_6045I was so pumped after that bootcamp that I came home excited to continue my own training for the upcoming Spartan Race.  Apparently there might be a SmartCore team in the upcoming Sprint?  I’m down.  Did anyone else notice that Amelia Boone is gracing the cover of the most recent issue of Runner’s World.  Obstacle course racing (OCR) is taking over the racing scene.  Bootcamps are a perfect way to train the body for the stop go motions involved in completing a race like this. My daughter actually pointed at Amelia and said “mommy?”.  Whoa.  Biggest compliment ever.  This girl is a machine.  She pushes a 500 pound sled.  My husband can’t do that.   You better believe that I am checking out her Instagram for workout inspirations and ideas (clearly not at her level, but modified).