Written on February 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm , by Samantha Shelton
It’s mid-February, and I don’t know about you, but this girl is ready for a new challenge. The New Year’s resolution hype has all but died, winter is burying us East Coasters under piles of snow, and stir-crazy frenzies are settling in. So what’s a girl to do?
Enter New York Road Runners Empire State Building Run-Up. What’s that, you ask? Simple: run into the narrow stairwells of New York’s most iconic building, and get your butt up those 86 floors as fast as humanly possible. Easy enough, right? Heh.
After running 10 half-marathons, I decided to take on the challenge because there’s nothing like climbing stairs to get out of my distance-running comfort zone. After all, I live in New York City and, even though I can run 13.1 miles with relative ease (relative being the key word here), just getting to the top of the subway stairs can rob me of breath from time to time.
While I was fortunate enough to have words of advice from those who have run before me (our fitness editor, Jenna, climbed that stairwell in 2013!), I did my research. If this girl – you know, the one who avoids the stairmaster, lives on the first floor of a building and takes the elevator to the 25th floor of her office – was going to survive, I had to at least have my head in the game. And I’m proud to say that I made it to the top of New York’s most iconic building in just over 23 minutes. While I certainly wasn’t the fastest out there (seriously, some were finishing sub-10 – crazy!), I put my whole effort into it. Here’s what I learned along the way – hopefully it’ll inspire you to step (see what I did there?) outside your comfort zone. Maybe not 1,576 steps worth of discomfort, but if you skip the elevator just once, then I’ll consider my job done.
Chew gum and suck on cough drops. This tip from associate beauty editor, Molly, saved me. Chewing gum prevents your ears from popping as you quickly ascend to the top, thus increasing your elevation. The cough drops keep your mouth moist in an otherwise-dry environment. Remember, you’re in a small, dusty stairwell that doesn’t get a lot of use on the reg, so there isn’t a ton of air flow. Both helped me keep up a fast (for me) pace.
Mix up your movement. When sprinting so many stairs, your body quickly switches from an aerobic state over to an anaerobic state, and lactic acid starts to build in your muscles when you pass your anaerobic threshold. To keep pain at bay (and your legs moving), alternate how you get up those stairs. In the beginning, everyone’s in a mad dash, so a moderate sprint will keep you in the group without tuckering you out too quickly. After about eight flights of that, I switched between running up every single step and every other to ensure I was using different muscles.
Written on February 13, 2014 at 9:13 am , by Samantha Shelton
Let’s be real for a minute, guys: dinner and a movie for Valentine’s Day is not fun. The restaurants are going to be jam-packed, and well, you’ve probably seen all the good movies already. Instead, grab your special someone for one of these hot-and-sweaty adventures (you never know where it may lead after you get back home). And we won’t have any qualms with you digging into that box of chocolates post-workout, either. After all, you earned it!
Ride with Your Crush at Cyc
NYC-ers, if you’re already set on plans for the 14th, head to Cyc Fitness for their 7:30pm “Crush Ride” on February 13th. They’ll be playing cupid for you and your crush with a themed playlist, special Valentine’s treats and a sweaty kissing booth in case you two really hit it off while pumping your legs (and heart). But they can’t do all the work – you’ll need to purchase two bikes, and email email@example.com with your crush’s name and address. Cyc takes it from there, shooting your hottie an invite and reserving side-by-side bikes. ($25 per class, cyfitness.com)
Reach New Heights at Brooklyn Boulders
Climb to new heights – in the gym and in your relationship – with BKB’s “It Takes Two” bouldering competition. Two teammates are required to enter the February 15th competition, and you’ll each work together to master routes of all levels. So gear up and see how well you two really work together ($20 per person, brooklynboulders.com). But if you’re not quite ready for a competition, sign up for the “Learn the Ropes” course for a special price, and score some sweet gifts both of you can enjoy. ($99, brooklynboulders.com)
Smile While you Sweat with SoulCycle
At all Soul locations, ride on February 14th with your SOULmate for a major party-on-a-bike calorie burn, and document the memory with the SOUL kiss cam. Can’t make it to class that day? For the entire month of February, bring a date to select classes – free! These classes don’t come cheap, giving you reason enough to drag your partner along or muster the guts to finally ask that cutie you’ve been eyeing on a date. (price and schedule varies; soul-cycle.com)
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Written on January 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
You may remember Natalie Uhling from her days as an enthusiastic trainer at Barry’s Boot Camp or even recognize her from those strong and sexy ads for Under Armour Women. She has sweated her way through New York City’s fitness scene throughout the last decade, and at the age of 29, we think it’s safe to say that she’s officially made it to the top.
Last fall this fitness instructor decided to channel her entrepreneurial spirit and endless drive into designing a killer workout program of her own. The result, called NUFit, combines dance cardio, kickboxing and toning in one high-intensity, music-blasting class for a workout that makes you feel nothing shy of empowered. Embodying Uhling’s fit philosophy, “a strong core makes you lethal,” NUFit will push you to new heights you never imagined possible. Not to mention her contagious energy will keep you motivated and moving down the last second!
KiwiSweat, a fitness company dedicated to discovering the newest and most exciting ways to work out, named Uhling’s NUFit workout the winner of their “Coolest, Most Awesomest Workout Ever” contest Wednesday. Judged by FITNESS’ very own fitness editor Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Well+Good editorial director Melisse Gelula, MizzFit founder Bianca Jade and celebrity trainer Lacey Stone, the contest sorted through dozens of kickass entries from the industry’s top trainers in search of the hottest new class in town.
Dare to give NUFit a try? Join Uhling and her Under Armour teammates this weekend at Grand Central Terminal for the biggest fitness party the Super Bowl has ever seen! Check out the sweat-filled schedule for details on when NUFit classes will be held. You can also find Uhling teaching NUFit at Pearl Studios at various times throughout the week.
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- 12 Workout Secrets from Celebrity Trainers
- Celeb Trainer Tips: Get Your Sexiest Body
- How to Pick the Perfect Personal Trainer
Written on January 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Growing up in the south, I can safely say that I’ve hopped onto a pair of skis a mere three times in my life. I can also say that those three times started with a fair amount of trembling, anxiety and general fear that I would lose control and go flying off the mountainside. But if I had met Anne Anderson back then, I’m sure my skiing experiences would have turned out a little differently.
A yoga and snow sports enthusiast, Anderson began teaching yoga classes and ski lessons in 2000, and by 2008, she discovered the organic connection between the two practices. “It was magical; it worked beautifully,” she says. “The breath is the greatest tool we have to calm the mind and body.” Since coining the term “snowga” and successfully launching the hybrid class at Connecticut’s Mohawk Mountain in 2012, Anderson has watched the mindful practice help transform the way newcomers and veterans alike experience snow sports.
Each class is structured similarly to Kripalu yoga. “The mountain becomes the yoga studio; the slope becomes the yoga mat,” says Anderson. Beginning in a circle at the base of the mountain (no skis strapped on at this point), she begins class with a relaxation breath and centering mediation lesson to calm the minds of her students. After setting a positive intention for the day, the group warms up and moves through asanas to relieve tension and stretch the body (in other words, make sure you bring gloves). The actual ski lesson follows, incorporating a few yoga postures while clipped in, like Mountain, Eagle and Chair pose, which creates an experience similar to Vinyasa flow. “Everyone loves to ski with this natural rhythm,” says Anderson. “It’s like dancing on the snow and lots of fun!” The class ends off the skis with her teaching the importance of deep-relaxation pose Savasana, or the always-popular corpse pose. It may not be conventional, but we wouldn’t be opposed to tossing in a few snow angels at the end. After all, you are already in position.
The one question on our minds: why hasn’t someone thought of this before? “Students told me that practicing snowga helped them break through to a new level of skiing, and they experienced a new sense of serenity and connection… they could relax and enjoy skiing,” she says. So basically, we’re sold.
Although classes aren’t offered across the nation yet, there’s no reason you can’t give it a go on your own. “Take time to warm-up and get centered before heading off to the chair lift. Notice the surroundings; get in touch with your breath, your body and all of the senses,” she says. “While on the mountain, think flow instead of force. Keep calm through conscious breathing,” and if you need to take a few minutes for yourself, go for it.
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Written on January 22, 2014 at 9:32 am , by Christie Griffin
ICYMI: Our week 2 #GetFitParty Instagram challenge was to show us your pics of working out with a buddy. Studies have shown that working out with a partner improves weight-loss results, which could be because you push yourself harder, have more fun, and have the all-important accountability factor influencing you.
But if scheduling a workout sesh with a bud or even just getting to the gym creates a problem, we’ve got a stellar recommendation for you: Skypercise. Whether you’re partnering up with a pal to workout over the world wide web or enlisting a professional trainer to help you out virtually, it’s an excellent way to ditch the excuses so that you can stick to your resolutions.
Which is why we’re thrilled to offer a lucky reader a fabulous Skype prize package, courtesy of Skype!
One lucky FITNESS reader will score a $100 Skype gift card and two one-on-one sessions with Marc D. Thompson, a fitness trainer, personal coach, owner of Virtufit.net, and Skypercise pro. All you have to do is enter here by January 31, 2014. [Official Rules]
Good luck! Now get to work, #GetFitParty crowd!
Written on January 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever wonder if you’ve got the same taste in music as the girl on the treadmill next to you? If she’s busting a move to Katy Perry’s “Roar” or rapping in her head to Eminem’s “‘TIll I Collapse?” Turns out both of those songs are likely beating through your gym pal’s ear buds as often as they stream through yours – despite being released more than 10 years apart, both are on the latest list of top workout songs. Spotify decided to satisfy your curiosity about other songs, too: below are the top 10 songs people across the U.S. are sweating to. Might we suggest adding them to your #GetFitParty playlist?
Written on January 13, 2014 at 9:55 am , by Guest Blogger
Paige climbed in India to support Apne Aap Women Worldwide, which works to combat sexual exploitation of women and girls. Help Paige raise $10,000 for Apne Aap on her Crowdrise page and don’t miss this bonus video from Louder Than 11 about the three million women currently trapped in prostitution.
By Paige Claassen
In our society, we strive towards a similar ideal. Whether that comes in the form of a high ranking, high paying job, a slender waist, or elegant clothes, the model women of magazines all look much the same. We’re praised for creating our own paths and for defining ourselves as individuals; but if we step too far outside the box, our motives might be questioned. I, for example, am currently traveling around the world to rock climb. I’m not earning a salary, I haven’t worn makeup or fixed my hair in months, and I don’t have a permanent home. The path I’m taking is not straight, it’s not predictable, and I don’t know what’s around the next bend.
I spent the month of December in India, and my goal was to climb the hardest route in India, called Ganesh and graded 5.14a. Unfortunately, the hot Indian sun beat down on Ganesh all day, making it nearly impossible to climb. I woke up at 5 a.m. each day to put in my attempts before the sun rose at 7 a.m. My day ended at 9 a.m., when I walked away from the cliff, dripping in sweat, hair disheveled, and frustrated with my efforts. This route lent itself better to a male’s strengths. The moves were long and powerful and I would need to channel all my strength and motivation to complete this climb.
Meanwhile, India offered a few additional obstacles of its own. The small, dusty town I visited had a reputation for inflicting the dreaded traveller’s diarrhea on visiting foreigners (which I did not avoid). A high risk of malaria in the region also had me taking preventative medication, rumored to have a variety of unpleasant side effects. Oily food, few fresh fruits and vegetables, and no opportunities to run or cross train provided further fitness challenges.
But I had traveled all this way for one route, which was one of the best in the world. I knew I was capable. So with that determination, the matter was settled. I punched through the long moves that a girl isn’t supposed to be capable of doing. I finished the route, and I finished it before the boys. A little extra icing on the cake!
I realized that my path, with all its turns and unknowns and new challenges each month, is a path of choices. Sure, India wasn’t the most comfortable month of travel, but it was a month I’ll never forget. The sites I saw, the people, and the colors each left their own special imprint in my mind and opened my eyes to a new world.
Part of that world is beautiful, but deep scars lay behind the beauty. Lead Now’s non-profit partner in India, Apne Aap, offered a glimpse into the struggles many women in India face. Apne Aap says that “every year, nearly two million people are trafficked for sexual exploitation; of these, the vast majority are female, and half are aged 12-16.” This is a statistic I can’t even begin to grasp, but I want to do what I can in reducing that figure so that other women can have the choices that I enjoy day to day. Join me by donating online at http://www.crowdrise.com/leadnowtourindia
To get involved and donate online to help combat sexual exploitation, visit Crowdrise.
Check back next month for a video and update about Paige’s next location. And stay tuned for the video of Paige’s time in India! FitnessMagazine.com, with thanks to Marmot and Louder Than 11, will have the first-look exclusive video .
Written on January 10, 2014 at 9:37 am , by Christie Griffin
It’s a #GetFitParty all month long for our FITNESS followers and we’ve got the perfect motivation for your workouts this weekend: Hot music videos that are fun to sweat to!
Our Instagram challenge this week has been for you to show us your “workout view,” i.e. what you see while you exercise…and we noticed quite a lot of you are working out at home. We teamed up with Vevo, the world’s leading music video platform, to create this playlist of FITNESS editor-selected videos to watch while you’re planking, squatting, or just going nuts on the treadmill. Enjoy!
Watch the full playlist here: FITNESS Magazine on Vevo
Or cherry pick which one(s) you’d like to watch:
- Feel like a rockstar with Beyoncé’s End of Time
- Distract yourself with Lady Gaga’s Applause
- Get fired up with Katy Perry’s Roar
- Give your cardio a kick with Pitbull’s Timber featuring Ke$ha
- Get sassy with Robin Thicke’s Give It 2 U
- Pump things up with Jennifer Lopez’s Goin’ In featuring Flo Rida
- Work a little harder with Britney Spears’ Work, B**ch
- Get psyched for Saturday night with Fergie’s A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
- Put some inspiration in your perspiration with Sara Bareilles’ Brave
- End your workout with a smile with Pharell Williams’ Happy
Written on January 7, 2014 at 10:38 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
If one of your New Year resolutions is to get lean, toned or strong (and let’s face it, that includes most of us), then it’s about time you download the updated version of the Nike+ Training Club app. We liked it so much that we included it on our must-have list for maintaining a fit lifestyle in the February issue (along with 17 other free apps we’re obsessed with – so grab your copy stat!).
The new version allows you to work through four-week exercise programs guided by a virtual personal trainer in your pocket. It translates your fitness level, exercise preferences and goals into workouts that motivate you to sweat (even on the days you don’t want to) and whip you into shape with varied routines.
If you’re not feeling the four-week design, you can also customize sweat sessions and download individual workouts from a library of more than 100 different routines. One of our faves: tennis superstar Maria Sharapova’s 15-minute New Year’s Crush Workout, which was designed by her strength and conditioning coach Yutaka Nakamura and added to the library last week.
And if you come across moves in a workout that you’re not a fan of, no sweat! The app lets you swap them out for ones you love to keep things tough and interesting. It also provides a data storage option that only holds onto the workouts you’ve designed or downloaded, making it lighter and faster than the previous version. Available for iPhone and Android phones, the app seamlessly connects with the Nike+ Running and Nike Fuel programs to make data measuring an afterthought. Now if that’s not motivation to get working on your 2014 sweat resolution, we don’t know what is. Happy downloading!
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- Reboot Your Life: 18 Apps That Make Life Easier
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- Sticking to a New Year’s Resolution: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Written on January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Fit moms, triathletes, power lifters and gym-goers looking for functional training have all benefited from the recent surge of small group workout classes tailored specifically to their goals and needs. And now, it’s the runner’s turn! Ultra-marathoner Robin Arzon knows first-hand about the proper training regimen required for a powerful runner. She’s also aware that plenty of people pounding the pavement aren’t always getting what they need. That’s why she teamed with celebrity trainer and founder of the new, New York-based S10 Training club, Stephen Cheuk, to create RUN STRONG, a series of strength and conditioning classes designed with the runner in mind.
Now you might be thinking, running only requires being in good cardiovascular shape and a little leg muscle to keep moving, right? Not quite. Core, quad and glute strength is critical for any runner looking to cover substantial distance with power and protect the body from injury at the same time.
“Too many runners can’t even do a single push-up. That’s about to change,” says Arzon, who recently ran five marathons in five days for MS Run the US. “RUN STRONG is about challenging a runner’s body with weight-bearing exercises that don’t add bulk, and VO2 Max drills that can’t even be replicated on the track.”
As the spring race season approaches, there is no better time to take your training to the next level (especially if you’re giving the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon a go on April 13!). Each class is limited to eight people, which helps inspire an encouraging yet competitive environment, and ensures individualized assistance from Arzon herself. Visit the S10 Training website for available class times at the downtown Manhattan studio.
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