Tag Archives: playlist

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).


What’s Up With This Weather? Gearing Up for Thanksgiving!

So, in a week, the temperatures in Charlotte first thing in the morning have gone from as low as 16 to as high as 61.  How do you even plan your workouts with the weather fluctuating so much?

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With a dip in temperatures last Sunday, I saw a rise in the number of riders at the Flywheel Charlotte studio.  When I checked the schedule on Saturday night, I noticed that every single class on Sunday had a wait list.  Incredible.  I don’t know if you have checked out the Thanksgiving holiday schedule, but it looks the same.  Since I knew I was going to have a large (even fun) group, I threw some surprises into my playlist. See below.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 1.44.56 PMEven better, look at the power numbers on the torqboard for just 45 minutes!

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You better believe, “Save A Horse” was in there.  The response was so fun.  Lots of “woohoos” and singing along.  I have to say, with the weather being so iffy, Flywheel Charlotte is one of your best options for cardio.  Let’s face it.  You know what you are going to get every single time you ride:  great music, a motivating instructor, a killer cardio workout AND an additional short arms circuit (all while staying warm and dry).  I’m biased.  A little, but it is so true!

photo 3-140That said, I have to admit, when I saw 61 as the temperature on Tuesday morning, I decided I had to be outdoors. How many more mornings (in the next few months), will I have the option to run in shorts and a tank top?  It was dark, so I grabbed my Black Diamond headlamp.  I know.  I look ridiculous, but the last thing that I need to do while running pregnant is fall.  Several streets in Charlotte are not well lit.  Having a headlamp not only allows cars to see you, but you to see all aspects of the ground in front of you.  It is actually incredible how easy it is to wear this device.  As I was finishing up my run, I was happy to find my daughter excitedly waiting!

photo 2-163Probably because I made her cinnamon rolls for breakfast (and my husband had already given her one).  This was an impulse buy at the store the other day, but a treat that reminds me so much of my childhood.  I sure do miss these things, and I do plan on buying/making them again.  It’s the start of the holiday season.  Little things like this remind me of how important it is to be around my family during this time of the year.  I’m looking forward to sharing ways we sweat together as a family and try to maintain our fitness while balancing all of the good food!

Weekend Workouts + Smartcore Health Fair

We got back from our weekday football game excursion late Friday night.  It felt good to sleep in our own bed.  The expectation of great weather in Charlotte motivated both my husband and I to sneak in workouts before lunch (his was much longer the mine).  While my daughter napped, I squeezed in a twenty minute weight circuit in my family room (while I caught up on mindless reality television).

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Grab a pair of dumbbells and a kettlebell.  Complete the following exercises sequentially as one circuit three times.  For your first round complete 20 reps, second round 15 reps and final round 10 reps.

  • Goblet Squats
  • Kettlebell Shoulder Press (total reps each arm)
  • Kettlebell Side Bends (total reps each side)
  • Kettlebell One Legged Deadlift (total reps each leg)
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extension with Dumbbells
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks/Fire Hydrants (total reps each leg/each exercise)
  • Knee to Elbow plank

photo 1-148When my husband got home from his workout, I went for a short run/walk outside.  There will only be a few more weeks of this kind of weather in Charlotte, so I need to take advantage of it.  I am also getting to the point where I think riding on the bike might just be more comfortable than trying to run.

1380467_638039679646434_2369739541380449960_nWe grabbed a quick lunch before heading to the Smartcore Fitness Health Fair.  I was there representing Flywheel Charlotte, but my husband and daughter also came to check out the festivities.  It was great seeing several of my regular riders outside of the studio with my family.  It is rare that they get to meet my husband and daughter.

10710702_855483041163077_9170105258112787083_nI enjoyed catching up with the nutritionist on site, Chef Thomas (a healthy home delivery meal service) and Performance Rehab Associates.  All offered great options for my family when we experience different scenarios over the next several years.  I look forward to being in touch.  Let me know if you want more information!

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 10.09.56 AMSunday playlist above.  Lots of new stuff.  Thank you riders for turning an early morning workout into a great start to my day.  I rarely find myself on the bike teaching these days, but when I do, it is great to be welcomed in such a great environment.  There were several riders in my class this morning getting geared up for the big Flywheel Challenge.  Good luck!


Fall Fun – Football + Family + Flywheel

Our weekend ended up being more busy than we had planned for it to be.  My mom and dad were in town visiting, so they offered to watch my daughter to give us a time to visit Chapel Hill for the Virginia Tech-UNC football game.   Kickoff was scheduled for 12:30PM.  Knowing that we would be gone for a good part of the day (and Saturday is typically one of our longer workout days) we both got up early to do our own individual workouts before we hit the road.  It’s all about prioritizing.  Some might find it weird, but exercise is our outlet.  The second my husband walked in the door, I handed off babysitting duty.

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Given the opportunity to run away from the house (because someone was watching my daughter), I opted to do a strength/run outdoor bootcamp from my driveway.  Grab a kettle bell and a pair of dumbbells.  Here is how this workout went down.

  • Run around the block to warm up (moderate pace). It is approximately .75 miles around my block or about 6-7 minutes.  Use what resources you have.  You don’t have to run that distance, but add the cardio how you can.
  • Once you get back to your start (and weights), complete the following circuit, sequentially:
    • 10 burpees
    • 10 Thrusters (with dumbbells), immediately followed up with 10 push press
    • 10 Stepback lunges (holding kettlebell in one hand)
    • 10 Russian Twists each side
    • 10 Pushups
    • 10 Kettlebell Swings
    • 10 Sumo Squats with Upright Row
    • 10 Side bends (holding kettlebell) each side
    • 10 One legged deadlifts (holding kettlebell) each side
  •  Repeat the run, followed by the circuit two more times.  You will complete three runs and three circuits total.

photo 2-142See the post workout picture above.  I have to admit, because I’m pregnant, I do monitor my heart rate.  At times in this workout, I did take a second to reset (i.e. bring my heart rate back down).

photo 3-122Following the quick workout, we showered up, ate breakfast and hit the road for Chapel Hill.  What a beautiful day.  We were stuck in the visitors end zone section and directly in the sun.  I was overdressed and ended up getting some pretty serious tan lines. At least, I had good company!

photo 4-92Go Hokies!  After several tough games in a row, it was good to walk away with a win (and most importantly, bragging rights in the office for the year).  I ran into my good friend Ali, who is getting married next September.  How cute did she look?  You can even catch a rare glimpse of the baby bump!

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We grabbed food on the road all day Saturday.  I will admit.  We ate bad.  That’s what the weekend is for in our house though.  Without cheat days I would lose my mind.  However, with every cheat day comes the anticipation that a good workout is around the corner.  That workout happened this morning.  Denise Duffy was out of town, so I offered to sub the class after mine (meaning I was doing a double).  Hello fall!  Several people brought their workout inside this morning to join me for a warmer workout.  Great energy, which always makes class so much more fun.  Most energetic goes to the 8:30 crowd.  See the playlist below.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 3.07.11 PMAlthough the day might have started out cool, it ended up being a perfect fall afternoon.  We took a family trip to Freedom Park.  My daughter was loving the swings.

photo 1-138I can’t get enough of her. She was also loving her dad.  As good as it is to get away, it is that much better to get home to see this smiling face.

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