Workin’ on My Fitness

Happy Friday my friends!

Fridays are always pretty darn sweet, but they’re just a tad sweeter after a crazy week and a three day weekend ahead, am I right?! I feel like each day this week has been rush here, rush there … just craziness. I’m ready for a relaxing and low key weekend! Things should be slowing down a bit next week too, so that’ll be nice.

I wanted to zero in on my fitness a little bit today. I don’t have to put a whole lot of thought into my workouts each week because my workouts are typically the classes I teach. This can be a good and bad thing I suppose. It’s nice not having to plan out workouts or put much thought into them, but it’s also easy to just go through the motions without figuring out where I can improve or change things.

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Below are some things I’m going to be focusing and improving on in my fitness these next few months:

Decrease my BodyPump classes

As much as I love it, too much of a good thing can be bad. I’ve been teaching four of my own BodyPump classes each week, and then sometimes I will sub one class which totals five BodyPump classes per week. Way too much. Not only is my body feeling it, but I need and want some more variety too. BodyPump isn’t meant to do almost daily! Starting in two weeks, I’ll be cutting back to three BodyPump classes per week. I’m looking forward to putting my energy into some other workouts!

Add weight to my bar

Because I’ve been teaching so many BodyPump classes each week, it’s been more challenging for me to add weight to my bar since my body is tired. I’m hoping to start gradually adding more weight to my bar as I decrease my classes to help me get stronger.

Do more core work

Ever since I had Hunter, I’ve noticed my core is weaker than it’s ever been (which is very normal post pregnancy). My core has never really been a “trouble area” for me, so it’s more difficult for me to feel motivated to work on it. However, I can definitely tell the muscles could use some extra attention. We really focus in on our core for about five minutes each BodyPump workout (along with bracing it during other exercises), but it doesn’t always feel like it’s enough. I’d like to tack on some core exercises to my cardio workouts a couple times a week to help strengthen my core.

Incorporate more variety in my routine

I really want to add some more cardio and yoga into my weeks. I’m thinking a higher intensity cardio workout like a cycle class or HIIT workout and/or a more moderate cardio workout like the elliptical, incline walk, or easy jog would be good additions. I’ve been pretty good about getting yoga in at least once per week the last few weeks, and my body is LOVING it. I want to keep up with this. I tried out a Sunday morning yoga flow class at my gym this past weekend, and it was so nice to stretch and relax my body. It works out great to go before church, so I hope to make it a regular thing.

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I’ll keep ya updated on how I do with everything! Winking smile

Make it a great day!

What are some things you want to focus and/or improve on in your fitness routine?

Any fun plans for the long weekend?!

Intro to BodyFlow + Tips for First Timers

Last week when I was in San Diego, I had the pleasure of attending a Les Mills BodyFlow class taught by one of my wonderful blog readers, Breanne. I had never attended a BodyFlow class before, but have always been interested in it since it’s another Les Mills format and I LOVE Les Mills. Since I’ve been trying to add some more yoga and stretching in my life lately, I figured it was the perfect time to check it out.

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Here’s some basic facts about BodyFlow to give you a little introduction of what it’s all about:

  • BodyFlow is a mix of Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi.
  • BodyFlow focuses on strength, flexibility, and controlled breathing.
  • The moves, stretches, and poses done in BodyFlow are all performed according to music.
  • BodyFlow is called BodyBalance in countries outside of the United States, but it’s still the same workout.
  • BodyFlow is a 55 minute workout that will leave you feeling centered and calm.
  • Just like other Les Mills programs, a new BodyFlow class is released every quarter with new music and choreography.

As a whole, I typically enjoy higher intensity workouts and have more of a challenging time truly falling in love with lower intensity yoga-esque style workouts. However, my experience with BodyFlow was different – I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t too serious for me, I didn’t feel awkward, the music made it fun, and I liked the variety of Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. I’ll be honest, the Tai Chi felt a little goofy to me at first (my sister and I may or may not have had a few giggles as we were swaying our arms through the air), but as I got more into it, it helped me “let loose” and open up my body.

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I’ve obviously only ever taken BodyFlow one time, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I can imagine like most other classes, the instructor makes a huge difference. Fortunately, my sister and I got lucky because Breanne was an incredible instructor. She knew her stuff, she talked in a calm voice without making it cheesy, she challenged us, and best of all, she made it fun.

I reached out to Breanne and asked if she would mind sharing some of her tips for first time BodyFlow attenders. It’s a unique class, so hopefully these tips will come in handy if you ever decide to try out BodyFlow!

  1. Have fun! It might not be an upbeat, cardio-kicker class with tons of hooting and hollering, but you can still have fun and enjoy yourself. So, smile. :) Breathe. You will gain so much more in depth and breath in every pose and movement if you relax. Go into it as relaxed as possible. I know that it can be scary and uncomfortable taking a new class for the first time, but remember that it’s okay to not be perfect, it’s okay to fall in balance, and it’s always okay to take the options. Really and truly. Everyone starts somewhere.
  2. Wear comfortable clothes; fitted if possible. I recommend form-fitting clothes, but it’s not necessary. I would definitely recommend that you wear a top that will stay put though. You’ll be a lot more comfortable if your shirt isn’t flipping up over your head in every downward-facing dog. :)
  3. Go barefoot. You’ll feel more stable and feel more grounded if you take your socks off. If you always wear grippy yoga socks and you know that works for you, feel free.
  4. Mats. Okay, so I want to say a little more here. Most people will have a mat. If you have one, I would bring it. Your instructor will tell you which way to face your mat if there’s a change during class (vertical or horizontal). You can use the floor or a gym mat in this class, you do not NEED a yoga mat. I wouldn’t buy one for your first class. In fact, I know instructors that don’t even use mats in their regular classes. If you use one of the gym mats, plan to use the floor a lot as well. The gym mats are short and thicker. This is great for the Pilates tracks and even the tracks with more stretching (kneeling lunges and the like). For most people though, their stance in downdog or in any warrior pose is too long to stay on the mat. Rather that shortening your stance to fit the mat, step off the mat and take your feet wider. For balance, I would again step off your mat as the thicker mats don’t allow you the same stability and it’s harder to balance.
  5. Tell your instructor that you’re new. This goes for all classes, but it’s worth repeating. There are a ton of options in BodyFlow.
  6. Yoga and Pilates veterans: there is certainly a TON of crossover in terms of movement in this class as it inspired by and pulls from both disciplines. However, some of the names you hear may be different. Instead of cuing a chaturanga, your instructor will likely cue it as crocodile.
  7. Mirror your instructor. This is the case in all Les Mills classes, but I wanted to make a special note as the twisting movements in Flow tend to cause the most confusion. Remember that left and right are YOUR left and right and that front and back are front of the room (where the instructor is standing) and back of the room.
  8. Keep coming back. As with any new class, give it a few tries. Balance, flexibility… it all takes time.

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A huge thanks to Breanne for a great class and for taking the time to share her tips! She also wanted me to tell you that if anyone has questions, feel free to email her at bleach226@yahoo.com.

Happy Thursday!

Have you ever tried BodyFlow / BodyBalance?

Does BodyFlow sound like a class you’d be interested in taking?

Do you typically prefer higher intensity or lower intensity workouts? Or a mix of both?

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