No Weights Required Workout

Do you ever have those days when you somehow sleep through not one but three alarms?

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This morning I woke up from what felt like the deepest sleep ever to the sound of a fog horn. Yes, evidently my body was so tired that I slept through a fog horn for a total of 45 minutes. I guess this is also the time to admit that my foghorn was on soft since I evidently turned the volume down on my phone yesterday. Ooops.

There was no way that I was getting from Times Square to Flatiron in 2 minutes to make the Uplift Strength class I signed up for earlier this week. After feeling defeated and frustrated, I embraced the extra sleep and spare time to make iced coffee and read the New York Times before logging onto my work computer.

Since working with Jess, I’ve kept my commitment to strength workouts. She stresses their importance and I’ve seen the results from this commitment both in my pace and how I look and feel. If you’ve never done her equipment-free strength training workout for runners, I highly recommend it!

I turned this missed workout into an opportunity to create a new “do anywhere” workout for you guys. This workout can be done anywhere as it doesn’t require weights! The only thing you need is workout clothing, socks, shoes, a timer, and some fun music. I highly recommend listening to Rachel Platten’s Fight Song EP on Spotify while doing this workout.

This workout is short on time since it clocks in at 27 minutes but it packs a mighty punch by working your full body. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did; though your muscles may not thank me by the end!

No Weights workout

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Spin Geneve – Geneva’s First Spin Studio

This morning it felt more like we were in London or New York than Geneva!

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Bo and I spent the morning doing something we’ve missed since moving abroad – enjoying a workout class followed by brunch. Catching up with friends before and after a sweaty workout class was a regular part of our weekend routine until moving to Geneva full time. While Geneva has many athletic people, very little of the Geneva social scene revolves around group fitness activities.

When I saw on Facebook that Geneva’s first spin studio was opening this week, Bo and I knew we wanted to give it a try. Bo, who is an avid Flywheel fan, has missed spin more than I have since moving abroad. But, as a runner who realizes the importance of cross training, I have missed cycling during these shorter, colder winter months.

Spin Geneve, conveniently located near our transportation hub, Gare Cornavin, enjoyed a soft opening the last few weeks of December before formally opening their doors on Monday.  An experiment of sorts, Spin Geneve is currently in Bike Switzerland, a local bike store which closes each winter during the off-season. This allows the Spin Geneve owners to see if the concept will work here before expanding into a permanent location.

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Based on our first two classes, it is clear that spinning is an unmet demand here, and the studio should do wonderfully! The space features 15 brand new bikes with RPM monitors, a bathroom, changing area and huge fan to keep the room cool. One great aspect of Spin Geneve versus many other spin studios is that their bikes all have interchangeable pedals. This means that regardless your shoe or clip style, they can fix a bike to meet your need!

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The classes are 45 minutes in length and have, thus far, replicated many of the nearby rides and popular cycling routes. The climbs are long and intense, followed by fast sprints to flush out the lactic acid. Doing their best to cater to the local market and demand, they are considering adding a few back to back classes, allowing people who want longer rides to stay for two classes. Their schedule currently includes morning, lunch and evening rides making it a very convenient Geneva workout option.

Cost: 25 CHF though packages can reduce prices to 20 CHF – Address: 22 Rue des Grottes, 1201 Geneva – What to wear: If you have cycling shorts & shoes, make sure to wear them. Otherwise, your favorite workout outfit & shoes will suffice.

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Mile High Run Club

After reading about the forecasted wellness trends for 2015 in Well+Good’s article last month, I knew I had to try a treadmill running class when I was next in New York. Luckily my favorite workout partner and motivator, was willing to meet me bright and early on Friday morning at Mile High Run Club.

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The newest member on the treadmill class scene, Mile High Run Club, brings something different. Mile High, in essence, is an indoor running club. The instructors, or coaches, are all elite runners. Their expertise helps them encourage and motivate each student to reach their own goals during the group treadmill class, whether it is your first day running on a treadmill or you are training to Boston qualify in your next marathon.

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If you’re one of the many New Yorkers who loathes training for that goal half marathon in the bitter cold, this is a great option for you.

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The large studio, located in NOHO, features 30 Woodway treadmills and kettlebell stations which face a gorgeous, lit wall. During class the wall colors changed, mimicking sunrise and sunset colors to brighten the mood. In addition to the large treadmill space, the studio also has a foam rolling area, small shop where runners can buy all the essentials, and a locker room featuring lockers, showers, toiletry items, towels and blow dryers.  (image source)

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Mile High offers two class formats: Dash 28 and The Distance. Dash 28 is a 45 minute class which includes 28 minutes of running followed by 10 minutes of kettlebell strength work and 5 minutes warm-up and cool down. The running portion is filled with constant intervals ranging from long climbs to sprints. Due to the coaches ability to modify and provide different speeds to attendees, this class is recommended for all levels ranging from beginners to elite runners. The Distance is far more intimidating and specifically for the advanced runner or athlete who is looking for a challenge. The 60 minute class isn’t for the feign of heart as it includes 50 minutes of non-stop running including hills and speed work.

Theodora and I experienced the Dash 28 workout on Friday. It was everything I hoped for and more. I was drenched in sweat by the end but smiling ear to ear! In the 45 minute class I squeezed in 3 miles of running, including a long climb and a few sprints. Each treadmill features a pace card for reference. This card gives you suggested speeds based on your ability and the level. (image source)

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During the class the coach led us through each of the four levels: jog, tempo, 85% effort, and full out. I really enjoyed our coach, Andia W, as she was a perfect mix of motivating and supportive. She didn’t scream or yell, which is common at other boot camp like classes. Instead, she constantly reminded us of how long we had in each set so we could push ourselves just a little bit harder.  She also made every part of the workout, from warm-up to kettlebells clear and easy to understand.

I finished the class feeling challenged not only from a running standpoint but also from the short kettlebell session! In fact, if they’d asked me right then to buy a package, I would on the spot. If only I lived in NYC! The workout is not easy but dang is it fun and I bet that going on a monthly basis, just to see how many miles you can finish in the amount of time, would be a great way to build it into your routine. I also love classes like this because they help inspire me to change things up when I’m on solo on the treadmill.

Cost: $34 though packages can reduce prices – Address: 28 East 4th Street, New York City – What to wear: Your favorite running gear is perfect for this class.

Thank you Mile High Run Club for the opportunity to sweat with you guys when I was in NYC!

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Sweaty Highlights: BodyAttack

Hey guys!

I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday night. I just walked through the door and while the only thing I’m craving is a glass of wine and this week’s episode of Nashville, I couldn’t lie down on the couch without saying hello.

As you know, Theodora is here this week, and I couldn’t be happier. Hosting someone who is more like family than a friend is so simple. Thus far, our nights have been relaxed, filled with lots of laughter and conversations while eating and drinking in the comfort of our home. Since she wants to get a feel for what our life is like here, she even joined us for an early morning swim workout today!

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I am thankful she and Bo get along so well as he is showing her around the region today and tomorrow while I’m stuck at work. Based on her Instagram feed, I think they’re having plenty of fun without me!

As I’m not training for anything in particular right now, I was a bit lost in regards to recapping my weekly workouts. Based on Twitter and comments, about half of you love following along while others prefer to hear more about one specific workout. In order to please both crowds, I’m going to kick off a weekly post called Sweaty Highlights.

I’ll recap the past week’s workouts, but focus on one workout that was either new, especially challenging, or a Pinterest worthy workout that you can do on your own.

The Week in Sweat

Monday: After Sunday’s half marathon trail race my body needed some stretching. Luckily our offices hour long lunchtime yoga class focused on hip openers and lots of downward dogs to stretch out my calves!

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: A quick 30 minute workout at the hotel gym and in my hotel room was better than nothing! I did 25 minutes of incline walking followed by 10 minutes of high knees, jumping jakes, push-ups and planks!

Thursday: Our Thursday swim practice included lots of endurance sets that resulted in a 1.2 mile swim! I’m still getting back into swim shape but after just three practices the early morning practices are getting easier.

Friday: Body Attack

Saturday: A 13 mile hiking adventure in Chamonix that left my glutes and calves sore for days!

Sunday: A 90-minute walk along the lake was the perfect way to show Theodora more of Geneva while also shaking out our sore legs.

Sweaty Highlight

The highlight of last week’s workouts was BodyAttack! Sure I’ve heard about Body Attack and the numerous other Les Mills workouts but until Friday, Body Pump was the only one I’d tried. Since I’m training for life right now, I get to enjoy taking as many classes as I want since I don’t have to fear being sore the next morning and messing up a training run. This new found freedom has inspired me to take advantage of my office gym’s classes which include an array of Les Mills classes – Body Pump, Body Combat, BodyAttack, and CXWorx.

When my co-worker and friend invited me to join her for Friday’s lunchtime BodyAttack class,  I couldn’t find an excuse fast enough. I was intimidated to try a new to me class which, based on the website included at least some choreography and lots of jumping. What if I hurt myself? What if I couldn’t follow along? She convinced me to give it a try, reminding me that I could always walk out.

There were seven other women in attendance; the perfect class size to ensure I didn’t run into anyone and could safely place myself in the back corner. They were a range of shapes, sizes and fitness abilities but what I noticed immediately was how excited each one was to spend their lunch hour in this class.

After the typical introductions and injury questions the instructor turned up the music promising a fun and sweaty hour long class. Leah was so right! I LOVED every single second! BodyAttack is a high energy class which brings together lots of cardio (jumping jacks, high knees, high kicks, speed skater, etc.) with strength work in the form of lunges, squats and pushups. How can I not love a class whose motto is “training for the sport of life?” The BodyAttack 86 music was a mix of new and old hits including two of my favorites, Timber and Dark Horse.

 

Overall, the class brought together the fun and music of a Zumba or spin class with the sweat and workout of a Barry’s Bootcamp or other high-intensity class. I couldn’t stop smiling during the class, even when I messed up the brief choreographed section. I highly recommend giving this class a try if your gym offers it or checking it out online! I will be going back for sure!

Your turn: Have you tried BodyAttack before or any of the other LesMills classes? Which one is your favorite?

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