Tag Archives: FlyBarre

Teaching While Pregnant, Part II – Flybarre

If you have been a regular fixture at the Flywheel Charlotte studio over the past three years, you would be crazy not to notice that several instructors and riders are working out while pregnant.  I am currently teaching through my second pregnancy on the bike, which is totally low impact and safe for an entire pregnancy.  What about barre though?  Believe it or not, there have been more pregnant barre instructors at the studio in the past three years than wheel!

1549415_662881810495554_8759759233087623433_nI love sharing my experience with someone else.  Fortunately for me, Flybarre Master Instructor and Southeast Regional Training Lead, Carrie Kaschak, is also teaching through her pregnancy at my home studio.  Carrie and I have known each other since the opening.  In fact, she even recruited me to try out to teach cycle.  It has been great to see her evolve throughout her role at the organization and to the point when she was ready to expand her family.  When I asked Carrie if I could do a post on teaching barre pregnant, she obliged, and I have to say, I was very excited to dig into how she does it.

10253909_853134121397969_8224834474124163890_nFirst things first.  This week, Carrie is in her 35th week of pregnancy.  Um, you couldn’t tell.  Where is that bump?  Prior to becoming pregnant, she was teaching TWELVE classes a week on top of subbing classes when she needed to.  In her 35th week, she is STILL teaching twelve classes a week.  Important to know – her doctor has approved this.  Interesting to know – through our chats about pregnant teaching, we learned that her doctor is the same doctor that delivered my first daughter!  I think it is important to share this.  It is in your best interest to find a doctor that understands your fitness abilities prior to being pregnant, so they can properly advise you while pregnant.  In Carrie’s case, her doctor has been extremely supportive of her job.  In fact, she thinks it will only help ease her labor and delivery.

10353115_614925448624524_7196328383331860247_nOn top of teaching several classes a week, as part of Carrie’s regional role, she has assisted in the opening of three new studios and trained approximately twenty new instructors during her pregnancy.  Check out the picture above at the Flywheel Raleigh opening.  Although she is still on her routine, Carrie does know her limits (and discusses these with her doctor).  See ways in which she has modified her routine as her baby has grown.   Sorry, this is not an indication that class has changed.  It means more than ever that she is keeping a watchful eye on participants!

  • Scale back some of her movements while instructing
  • Stopped jumping around 30 weeks
  • Scaled back abs in the third trimester (for comfort)

10806458_880367022008012_8536644088170271460_nIf you are not already impressed by this fit mom-to-be, let me tell you about how she has transformed her life outside of Flybarre during this pregnancy.

  • During weeks 9-16, she took a daily one hour nap.
  • She learned quickly that if she wanted to continue to teach 2 classes a day, she had to take a nap.
  • Continued to run – maxing out at approximately four miles most days.
  • Continued to take a few weekly Flywheel cycle classes.
  • Squeezed in time at the gym with her husband to lift some old fashioned weights.
  • Opted to take several sessions at SmartCore Fitness with Denise Duffy.

All of this variety has kept her motivated and relaxed throughout her pregnancy.

photo-63So, I want this post to be entirely open.  I did ask Carrie the big question – Naturally there is a little discomfort the bigger you get, has she had any issues?  I love that she responded honestly, because I think a lot of people are afraid to say it like it is sometimes.  Carrie indicated that she has not had any major issues with the actual Flybarre exercises, but she has had some perfectly normal constraints in every day life:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tenderness in hips/round ligament pain around 32 weeks
  • Inability to lie on the floor facedown
  • Changes in blood sugar during exercise- eating a light snack before class helped her blood sugar from spiking.  Her go to – clementines or almonds.

1512652_10100857882957876_9000181020912400058_nY’all this FlyMama is rocking out her first pregnancy in a way that most people are afraid to do.  She is confident in her workouts, still rocks her spandex and has a special glow about her.  Carrie and her husband are both very career driven, but in just chatting with her for a few minutes, you can tell she is ready for the next chapter of her life.  Her excitement for all of the things that having a child brings is so genuine.  Wish her well as she reaches that full term mark.  We can’t wait to meet her little one!


Finding Encouragement From Other Fit Moms – Part II

December first marked the date of my first month out of corporate America and officially staying at home with my daughter.  Last week, I highlighted a neighbor and Flywheel rider (Anna Anglemyer) who helped make my decision easier.  This week, I want to highlight a co-worker of mine that was a great example of what I hope to strive for over the next several years (Yes!  A co-worker of mine).

image2Meet Meghan Lee.  Meghan is a co-worker of mine at Flywheel.  While I only teach Flywheel classes, she teaches both Flybarre and Flywheel.  Similar to me, she graduated from college, moved to Charlotte and worked in the corporate world for almost six years.  It was after her first daughter that she decided to stay at home.  It didn’t take long for her to find her calling in the fitness industry.

10635707_10100208792171010_5498521737457136537_n-2When she took her first Flywheel class, she realized how varying her routine could open her eyes to new ways to push her fitness level.  At the time, she was considering getting certified for personal training.  Instead, she tried out to instruct at Flywheel.  Fitness transformed from a hobby to her way of life.  It is the best of both worlds for her.  She gets to do the job that she loves, ultimately feeling happy and de-stressed the rest of the day (when she is with her family).

1010298_525822804201456_1232980563_nShe even said that her proudest fitness accomplishment is becoming an instructor at Flywheel.  It is unreal to get paid to do something that she loves.  She is a little fireball.  This woman transformed her body post baby number two.  She gets to know all of her riders and pulsers and is willing to take the time to help them make fitness a priority (as referenced by her work in both the Flywheel and Flybarre Challenge).  SONY DSCWhat I love about Meghan is that she is so down to earth, yet honest at the same time.  She says it like it is.  She has made the most out of her decision to make a huge career change.  While she is at home with her girls, she is staying engaged through working at Flywheel (which is also what I hope to do).  She is setting a great example for her kids as they grow up.  She is a  role model for other women who are contemplating a career change.  I have gotten a lot of wonderful feedback from women in my boat (trying to decide whether to return to work).  My hope is that reading success stories about women who have fought through the same decision will make yours easier.  Part III of the series will be posted next week.  In the meantime, check out one of Meghan’s rocking barre or wheel classes!


Food, Friends, Family + Flywheel (doesn’t get much better than that!)

What a beautiful weekend in Charlotte!  My father-in-law/Grandpa Dufresne is staying at our house for several days.  The last time that he saw his granddaughter was when she was just 10 days old.  Needless to say, she has grown up ALOT since then.   I am so happy that they get some quality time together over the next several days (with this weather, I think that they will be spending a lot of time sitting in the rockers on the front porch).

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With Grandpa Dufresne in town, that gave me some time to pick up some things at the farmers  market Saturday morning.  I was not the only one!  It was packed as early as 9AM.  I cannot reiterate enough how much more fresh and cheaper the food is at your farmers market compared to the grocery store.  Not to mention, it just feels better shopping for this type of food in its element – outdoors.

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I get a lot  of stuff at the farmers market, but I would say there are two things that I buy almost weekly that are unbelievably cheaper than the grocery store – watermelon and raspberries.  Seedless, whole watermelon (and I’m talking HUGE) $5.99.  Organic raspberries, only $2.99 (I have seen non-organic raspberries at the grocery store at upwards of $5.99 a piece!)  It is hard to force yourself to make an extra trip somewhere just to get fruit and vegetables, but most farmers markets are in pretty central locations (like the one that we go to).  You really don’t know what you are missing until you check one out.

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Saturday farmers market was followed by #SuarezSaturday.  As I mentioned in last week’s post, we love a good donut on the weekend.  Since my workouts on Saturday are in the afternoon, I can’t resist a little donut and coffee after a good nights sleep! (compliments of Suarez Bakery in Park Road Shopping Center)

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So, I have hit food and family, now it is time to talk about how friends and Flywheel fit into my weekend.  We are fortunate enough to live on a street in which homeowners have a great sense of camaraderie.  There are also close to thirty kids between the ages of a few months old to teenagers.  We typically have a block party on our street for Halloween, but this year we decided to have a spring kickoff block party with a pre-Flywheel ride.  What?  Yes, Flywheel before the block party!

photo-18One amazing thing about Flywheel is that the studio will host “private” rides with your favorite instructor.  Think pre-wedding, sorority, class reunion, anything! Just ask.  They even do this for FlyBarre.  After a good sweat, we all headed home to get changed before the block party.  Through a very easy process, the City of Charlotte will allow neighbors to close down a section of the street to make it easier for kids and parents to navigate while a party is going on.

photo 4-12Lucky for us, we were also able to secure Roots Farm Food food truck to provide our meals for the evening.  If you haven’t heard of Roots Farm Food, the chefs use all fresh, locally prepared ingredients. Everything is reasonably priced and delicious.  I had the North Carolina flounder tacos with peach pico de gallo and rice.  Delicious, and right at $10.

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With the food truck operating on a closed street, it took the pressure off of neighbors to cook.  It also allowed kids to roam free without worrying about traffic.  Nothing better than working out with your neighbors and then enjoying a cold drink and good, local food.


The Importance of Core Training to our Fitness

For the past several weeks, I have been trying to stay on a pretty consistent routine as far as my workouts. Some sort of weights circuit on Monday, run Tuesday, weights circuit Wednesday, recovery/light day Thursday, Flywheel Friday-Sunday. I used to think that doing straight cardio all of the time was the most efficient and effective way to burn calories while also keeping me in shape to compete at a high level in races. I have realized over time that not incorporating some sort of strength workouts into my routine can cause injury as well as decrease my performance. I will be the first to tell you that since I incorporated some of these mini strength training circuits into my day, I feel better, I fit into my clothes better, and this is the first time since before I was married that I haven’t had a knee or foot injury from running (knock on wood!).


A picture from my one and only marathon!

With the Boston Marathon happening earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal had a great article in the Life and Culture section about this topic (See full article).   The article details the types of pain that marathon runners experience as they begin to “hit the wall”.   The article argues that although this pain cannot be totally prevented, it can be delayed until later in the race through strength training. By strength training, we aren’t talking Olympic power lifting moves, but rather, exercises as easy as squats, planks, sit ups and push-ups.

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Most runners don’t realize how important the “core” is to their performance. In fact, when most people hear the word “core” they think of the abs. The core really reaches from the trunk to the torso and includes the abs, obliques, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and several other tiny muscles that you probably don’t even realize that you use. All powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, so the more stable the core, the more powerful the movement.

When I did pole vault in college, we did our running and lifting workouts with the sprinters. Pole vaulting requires a significant amount of speed and power. After every sprint workout, we ended with several hundred sets of abs and core exercises. I will never forget the sprint coaching reiterating how important the core is to being a faster runner. The motion of your arm movement, which helps drive your turnover, originates in your core.

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In a recent Charlotte Magazine, of the six hardest workouts in Charlotte, two were core workouts – TRX and FlyBarre

Now I know that most people reading this post are not collegiate sprinters/pole vaulters, but this applies to everyone. Outside of making your athletic performance better, a strong core can also make everyday tasks easier (like the yard work that I did a few weeks ago). The hardest part is adjusting your mindset to place these exercises as high in importance as the actual run (or other workout) itself and doing the exercises correctly. If you are unsure of where to start, Charlotte is fortunate enough to have several options of studios to work core muscle groups, including several barre studios and recently opened SmartCore Fitness. I will be stopping by sometime in the next week to check this place out. Without spoiling the details, Denise Duffy has transformed the typical personal training session into a core intense circuit workout. Be on the lookout for a write up on my first visit to her studio!

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Denise and a recent SmartCore Fitness training group at a temporary space.