Last week we shared with you Michelle and Susan’s go to workouts to get in shape. Working out isn’t just about looking good (although that is 95% of the reason why we work out, let’s stop kidding ourselves), but it is also for your personal well-being. The endorphins released after a workout session gives you that boost of feel good energy, as you know you did something good to your body. Not to mention a less guilty feeling when you are about to indulge that delicious plate of pasta.
This week we have for you Molly and Renee’s go to workouts to get in shape. Hope we have provided you some workout inspirations, as a fun workout makes the torture “this” much more bearable!
As a former athlete in high school and college, it has always been tough for me to find exercises that I enjoy and find challenging. Let’s face it, a former basketball player isn’t going to all of a sudden pick up yoga and think it will replace the intensity of basketball. At the same time running on a treadmill for an hour also isn’t going to keep my attention. I’ve tried a bunch of different workouts, and still do like to switch up my routine, but what I’ve really fallen in love with is Zumba.
One of my good friends is a former dancer and she suggested we try a class at our gym, Equinox. We had just joined and were trying all the different classes. I almost laughed in her face that she would even suggest it. How could I get a real workout in a dance class?! Plus I thought, I’m going to look like an idiot. I’ve never taken a dance class in my life, not even ballet or jazz or whatever mothers sign their kids up for as babies. Buttttt I’m always down for something new so I figured I’d give it a try.
I remember our first class after about 2 songs I turned to my friend and said “holy shit, I’m dying!!” Much to my surprise Zumba turned out to be an amazing cardio workout and actually is a lot of fun. As soon as you walk into class they turn down the lights so it’s almost dark in the studio, then the music starts, which in my opinion is the best part of the class. Usually a mix of hip hop, Latin and Reggae, it makes you feel as though you’re at a party on vacation somewhere. The actual moves are relatively easy to pick up since there is a lot of repetition, and after a few classes you’ll be going through the routines like a pro!
I think the most important thing about Zumba is trying a few classes to find a place or instructor you like. At this point I’ve taken many classes with different instructors and realized not all Zumba classes are created equal. Some are super intense and you leave feeling like you just won a dance battle, while others are a little more chill which is awesome if you’re just starting a workout regimen and want to get into it gradually. Either way they are all a lot more fun than the dreaded treadmill!!!
My go to Zumba outfit?? Bright colors are necessity. I usually go for a printed pair of Nike pants, Nike Frees (super light weight and perfect for dancing) and a light weight tank.
The Upside Tara Printed Jersey Tank | Nike Pro Hypercool Tidal Multi | Nike Free TR 5 Print Mesh
The Upside Behati Printed Stretch-Jersey Sports Bra | Nike Printed Engineered Tights | Nike Free TR 5 Print
I hate working out. Needless to say, I also hate the gym. It is to me the most boring and depressing place – indoor, no sunlight, smells like sweat, packed with rows of machines… I also have very short attention span, so doing the same thing on an elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes is just torture. I couldn’t stick with one workout long enough either, my longest run was yoga for 6 months.
Then I got engaged, and realized I need to look good in my wedding pictures, which required the losing of a some pounds and toning of some muscles. The girls at work kept talking about Barre, so I gave it a try, and it was the best thing ever! Barre focuses on isometric strength training. It combines ballet, yoga, and pilates to help sculpt your body and elongate your muscles. It uses high reps of small movements until you reach muscle fatigue, aka the barre shake, when your limbs just shake uncontrollably. Many barre studios also incorporate cardio, strength resistance, even HIIT, into the curriculum for a more wholesome workout.
I love it as it switches from movement to movement, targeting each body section. Time passes by so quickly as you are too busy focusing on your trembling legs to realize half the class has gone by. I never weighed myself, but I could clearly tell the difference after just 3 months from how my clothes fit. I went only once a week, so it was definitely effective. Even after the wedding I keep taking my weekly class as I weirdly enjoy that one hour of torture, especially the day-after sore.
It is very important to pick the right studio that suits your style. There are so many out there, be it boutique studios or chains, and the perfect match can make a huge difference. I was lucky to find an amazing studio in downtown LA called The Main Barre when I first started. I have tried a few other studios, but they did not do the same for me. I do have to say, Pure Barre is the hardest out of all the ones I’ve tried, I almost died! I also subscribe to the online workouts on Barre3. They are perfect for those rainy days in Seattle when I don’t want to go out, or days when I’m in a rush and don’t have time to go to a studio. For only $15 a month you get unlimited access to all the videos, and there are A LOT!
When it comes to my workout clothes, as a Vancouver native I do love my Lululemon’s. Shoes are where I go for colors, and my go to is Nike. My favorite is the Flyknit line, and I love customizing my own pair! You also need grippy socks for stability, especially when you are trying to balance on one trembling leg while tucking at the same time. Most barre studios sell their own branded ones, but you can buy some fun ones from Sticky Be Socks too!