Getting Out of My Comfort Zone with Trampoline Fitness

Even though I have access to hundreds of different classes in New York City, it is easy to find classes with which I’m comfortable and schedule them on repeat. One of my goals for this year is to challenge my mind and body in new ways. In February, this meant taking four classes at Brooklyn Body Burn, a class which humbles me and leaves my entire body quivering as I do my best to complete the Mega Former class. During March and April, in partnership with the YMCA of Greater New York, I will take four different group fitness classes or workouts that I haven’t tried previously. With 24 locations throughout the boroughs of New York City, there is likely a YMCA location within a few blocks of any locals reading this post.

Dodge YMCA outside

For many people, a YMCA membership can be a great fitness option as it often provides access to childcare, aquatic facilities, group fitness classes and cardio and weight machines. They have classes that are accessible for people with any ability ranging from children focused classes to senior citizen classes and everything in between. They also pride themselves on the sense of community within each YMCA location. Many of the staff members are locals, so they can become rooted in the community, helping ensure that the branch meets the neighborhood needs. Due to the pool access, Bo and I have discussed having a membership to our local YMCA, the Dodge YMCA location, in addition to ClassPass.

Dodge YMCA
The first new to me class was Trampoline Fitness at the Dodge YMCA location. This 30-minute class, taught by Jennifer, one of their lead group fitness instructors, is offered six times each week. Each student uses a mini- trampoline and mat during the low impact aerobic workout.  This trampoline may look innocent but believe me; it will help get your heart pumping and make you sweat in a shockingly short time.

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Jennifer took us through a few moves before starting the class  to make sure we each felt comfortable on the trampoline. She also told me to think about it as rebounding versus bouncing. It wasn’t as much of a downward movement as it was an upward movement, therefore engaging more of my calf and quad muscles. Most of the class would be spent doing compound movements, to get the most out of our 30 minutes. This meant that while I was focusing my lower body on the rebounding, I’d be boxing and punching with our arms to the beat of the music.

dodge ymca trampoline fitness 2

Que the laughter. As you guys know, coordination is not my strong suit.  Therefore I was constantly off-beat or a step behind the entire class. Luckily, Jennifer reminded me just to have fun with it and smile. I loved her supportive nature as without it I probably would have spent the class feeling defeated and embarrassed.

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We started with light jumping followed by rounds of intervals including jumping jacks, jump rope at different speeds, high kicks and sprinting. To control our bounce, we had to keep our cores engaged and focus on the small, tight, controlled movements. After the warm-up, we spent the next 15 minutes doing a series of boxing moves which included squats, punches, upper cuts and side kicks – quickly taking me back to the Tae Bo workouts I did in college. We ended the class with 5 minutes of ab work using our mat and trampoline to make common moves like planks and sit-ups more difficult.

The class was a great low-impact cardio workout that provided an effective workout without leaving me sore. Most of all, I loved the fun factor. Everyone in class, including the instructor, was smiling and laughing the entire time even during the most challenging moves.

Interested in trying this class out for yourself or visiting your local YMCA of Greater New York? Head to their website to try your local YMCA for free!

Have you ever taken a trampoline workout class? 

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored partnership with the YMCA of Greater New York.

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Five Things to Do Before Trying A New Workout

We’ve all had that horrible feeling. It’s the cold sweat or butterflies that start fluttering in our stomach as we walk through the door into a new workout class or studio. You have no idea what to expect, you become intimidated and suddenly forget everything you’ve learned during other workouts. You consider leaving or hiding in the back of the class during the 45-minute workout. You are miserable the entire class and regret the choice you made.

title boxing club pic

Last night as I walked through the doors of Title Boxing Club, I felt all of these emotions and more. The studio was larger than I expected, I was learning to wrap my hands for the first time and I was intimidated by the 60-minute class which was longer than other boxing classes I’ve taken.

Since moving back to New York City, it’s no secret that I love trying new classes and workouts. Thanks to ClassPass, I’ve had the opportunity to try over 65 classes in the past few months. But, trying new workouts and studios can come with a certain level of intimidation and fear. Trying something that you don’t know much about, especially if you’ve heard horror stories from other people about how hard and challenging the class is, can leave you wanting to stick with the studios that you know.

But, getting out side of your comfort zone can help you learn more about your workout style, improve your cross training, challenge your muscles and discover what could be your new favorite studio.

If you’re trying to step outside your comfort zone with a new class or studio, here are a few tips to help ensure you have the best workout possible even when you’re trying somewhere new.

  • Do your research ahead of time. Spend at least a few minutes doing some research on the workout ahead of time. I recommend going to the studio’s website, if one exists, as well as a review site like Yelp or Rate Your Burn. Make sure you can answer these few questions before you leave your home or work for the studio. There is nothing worse than showing up at a studio late because you can’t find it or assuming you can rent a towel or buy a water only to find out that this studio is barebones and doesn’t offer anything other than a water fountain.
    1. What do I need to wear?
    2. What do I need to bring (mat, towel, water, boxing gloves, wraps, etc)?
    3. Do they have showers?
    4. Where is it located? Is it upstairs or on street level?
    5. What time do they close the doors or can I show up a few minutes late?
  • Arrive five to ten minutes early. I know this can be difficult especially if it’s a before work class or directly after work but having time to get acclimated to your surroundings and speak with the instructor will help you feel more comfortable. I always recommend letting the instructor know it is your first time taking the class so they can keep an eye on you and provide you with a higher level of instruction or provide pointers.
  • Be honest with the instructor. There is a time and place for the whole “fake it until you make it” mentality. A workout class that you’re taking for the first time is not that time. Be honest with the instructor when describing your fitness level, experience and any injuries you may have. The last thing you want to do is get injured.
  • Convince a friend to join you! Walking into any new experience is more comfortable with a friend by your side. After signing up for the class, do your best to convince one of your friends or workout buddies to join you. Working out together is a great way to catch up and have new experiences together as well as providing you with someone to grimace or give the side eye to during the hard sets and laugh with during any awkward moments. You’ll set yourself up for even more success if you happen to find a friend who has taken the class or visited the studio before as they can provide you with first hand advice.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay to take a breather, laugh or even skip a move if you’re not comfortable. When last night’s boxing instructor told us to jump on the bags and hang for as long as we could, I looked at Jess and laughed out loud. Trust me, during a hard or intimidating class, laughter can infuse you with the energy you need to push through the rest of class! 

title boxing with classpass

(Picture source)

Luckily, I ended up having a great first experience at Title Boxing last night due in part to the ClassPass friends who helped me push through the class, the instructor who gave me pointers during class and the research I did in advance which let me know that I’d need to buy wraps in advance.

What was the last class that left you feeling this way? Or, is there a class you’re thinking about trying but are too nervous to try? I’m definitely intimidated by the reviews I’ve read about Tone House but have promised myself that I’ll try it this month!

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Savannah Christmas 2015

Greetings from Brooklyn!

christmas glow

Bo and I arrived back in Brooklyn yesterday afternoon after a wonderful holiday week in Savannah with family. We relaxed on the couch with The Martian, the warm glow of our Christmas tree lights, a nice bottle of red wine, and our favorite white chicken chili.

Instead of giving you a play by play recap of our time in Savannah, I’ll give you an overview with pictures. This trip was like many of our other holiday trips to Savannah: we split our time between Bo’s parents house and my parent’s house while also enjoying some of our favorite Savannah activities. The only difference this year was that our family gatherings grew! My aunt and uncle drove down from Chapel Hill for the week and Russel’s family, The Millers, drove down from Milwaukee to join in the holiday festivities and see Savannah for the first time. Bo’s sister Meg is marrying Russell in May so the holiday week provided the perfect opportunity to do some wedding planning as well as celebrate Christmas together as an extended family. While it isn’t always easy blending 15 different people together, while trying to respect each family’s holiday traditions, it ended up being a wonderful holiday.

Two Christmas tree decorating sessions with my mom

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Nine types of cookies baked

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One Fried Turkey on Christmas Eve

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One Beef Tenderloin on Christmas Day 

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One sunset boat ride 

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Two historic homes toured


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One dockside lunch including fresh seafood and afternoon beers

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One afternoon skeet shooting session 

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Six workouts including three with my brother

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