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“Bring It” This Holiday Season with Tony Horton and P90X3

Written on December 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm , by

Running is outside of the gym junkie’s comfort zone. That’s why he hopes finish a sub 24:30 5k in 2014. Cheers to speed! (Photo courtesy of Beachbody)

Shape up your 2014 slimdown in half the time—yes, seriously! The highly anticipated third installment of P90X is here so you can continue to “do your best and forget the rest,” as fitness guru Tony Horton always says, in just 30 minutes.

Beachbody’s new 90-day program cuts the killer 60-minute routines down without sacrificing intensity. “A lot of people were saving themselves during the first half to get through the second, so we thought, ‘Let’s eliminate all of that and sequence things just right,” says Horton. “There’s 16 workouts, four more than P90X and two more than P90X2. They’re shorter; have a lot more variety with all new moves. It’s not P90X shorter—it’s brand new, on its own.”

So what can you expect from the plateau-busting sweat sesh? For the first time, Horton introduces Pilates into the mix, as well as a separate warm-up/stretch DVD, Cold Start. “What I’m trying to do is introduce Pilates and yoga to men and more resistance training to women,” he says. “Exercise science shows that if both sexes begin to understand how the other half lives, then they will ultimately be stronger, more flexible, leaner, more cardiovascularly fit and well-rounded. There’s a little warm-up [in each routine], but we get right into it to jam-pack as much as we can.” Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Horton’s notorious muscle-confusion is also taken up a notch in X3 by introducing his breakthrough “Acceleration System” and different ways of approaching the program overall. “There’s a lean option for people who want to burn more calories and do less resistance,” explains Horton. Don’t be fooled, though—this is not a graduate program. “It’s for everybody and anybody that just wants to get in shape, maybe for the first time, and be able to sustain it.”

Shipping and handling is free if you order in December! Place your order before Sunday to get it in time for the holidays. (Photo courtesy of Beachbody)

With the holidays quickly approaching, P90X3 is the perfect gift for both yourself and fit friends looking for big changes in the new year. Just remember, your dream body won’t happen over night, says Horton. But your results will be “off the chain” if you put in the time, eat right and stick with it long-term. “If your purpose and your plan are aligned, then it doesn’t become this short-term goal of losing weight or shaping a body part to look good in clothing. Ultimately, the goal here is more of a bigger picture, focusing on the things that you can control today so you’re more consistent.”

What does the 55-year-old former stand-up comedian have on his resolutions list for 2014? “I’d like to hold a handstand for a minute—a free handstand without a wall,” he says. Get this: He’s held one for 59 seconds before – twice. So close! But setting achievable goals are the key to success, Horton advises, adding that 40 pull-ups in a row is another thing he’s working on. “I’ve done 37. I think I was a monkey in a past life!” We’ll stick with a goal of one…maybe two.

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L.L. Cool J Brings His “A” Game to New Passion Project

Written on October 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm , by

The Hip-Hop Station on Pandora is L.L.’s go-to when it comes to workouts beats. So is it strange when one of his own songs come on mid-sweatfest? “Only when I hear things I should have done better.” (Photo courtesy of Marion Curtis/StarPix)

Dedication. That’s the name of the game for Grammy-winning rapper, entrepreneur and actor L.L. Cool J. Whether he’s memorizing lines for his Navy SEAL turned NCIS operative character (Sam Hanna) on NCIS: Los Angeles or hitting the gym, L.L. is committed to giving it his all—and then some.

Finding the time for a healthy balance is his secret. “You just have to be willing to get [to the gym] when you can fit it,” says Cool J. With long-time trainer Dave “Scooter” Honig, one of Hollywood’s fittest musician sticks to a rigorous routine bursting with burpees, sprints, pushups, hanging abs, running mans and more. Hello, tank top-ready guns! And according to the multi-talented artist, there’s no excuse for skipping a sweat sesh. “It could be late at night when I get home around midnight, or early in the morning, like 3 or 4 a.m. I just try to figure it out,” he explains, adding that he couldn’t live without protein shakes, oatmeal, tuna and chicken breasts when it comes to refueling.

It certainly helps that fitness is a family affair. “Everyone loves getting to the gym and understands the importance of it, without a doubt,” the father of four shares. “[My kids] grew up seeing me work out like a maniac!” But many children aren’t nearly as lucky to have such a fit and fabulous role model, which is why Cool J teamed up with After-School All-Stars (ASAS).

The organization, which provides youth the tools they need for success through skill development programs coupled with athletic and academic competitions, struck a chord. “It’s great because when I think about how I grew up and where I come from, you know, after-school programs are super duper important,” he explains, hinting at his personal childhood struggles. “ACE Brand Sports Medicine Products just launched the ‘A’ Game Challenge. They’re paying it forward.”

In celebration of youth athletics, the trio created this video entry contest to inspire youngsters to showcase their outstanding athletic skills for a $10,000 scholarship. Learn more about the initiative with ASAS here and if you know any interested participants, be sure to submit their all-star moment by November 15.

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How to Pick the Perfect Personal Trainer

Written on September 10, 2013 at 10:12 am , by

Maybe it’s the slew of emails and pitches editors get a day, but lately it seems like everyone is an expert at something. That’s far from the case, says Paul Juris, ED. D., executive director of the Cybex Research Institute. Even if the person is certified, there are some critical checkpoints you should look out for when choosing a trainer for your own fitness goals. See what he has to say below.

Oh, and did we mention that Juris used to be the strength coach for the Dallas Mavericks? If there is anyone who knows a thing or two about using personal training to reach your goals, it’s him!

More from FITNESS: What’s Your Fitness Motivation?

Busting the Ballet Myths with Breaking Pointe’s Allison DeBona

Written on July 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm , by

DeBona flies through the air during one of her many performances. (Photo courtesy of Erik Ostling/The CW)

Can you imagine working out nine hours a day? Me neither. But that’s what professional ballerinas do Monday through Friday, in addition to strength training, conditioning and technique workshops. Whoa. We got a glimpse of the life of a dancer in the first season of Breaking Pointe, a reality series that follows a group of dancers at Ballet West, a professional ballet company in Salt Lake City, Utah. To kick off the start of the second season on the CW, we chatted with Allison DeBona, one of the dancers featured on the show about what it takes to become a professional dancer and what putting your life on TV is really like.

How did you get started dancing?

When I was three years old, my mom put me in gymnastics and dancing. I gravitated more toward dancing and that was that!

Was there ever a point that you got sick of it?

Yes, I actually quit for a while from 8th grade until junior year of high school.

Wow, that’s a big gap. How did you get back into the scene?

I had always loved ballet and the reasons I walked away from it wasn’t because I didn’t like it, I just had a lot of other stuff going on at that moment. When I went back I was just really determined. I did go to college though–most ballet dancers who try to go professional do it right after high school. My parents and I discussed it and we thought it was best if I went to college since I had taken so much time off. I went to Indiana University and they have a ballet program so I worked hard there and then got a job at 24 years old at Ballet West, which is pretty late age-wise for a ballerina. Read more

Talking Waves and Wipe Outs with Roxy Pro Surfer Lee Ann Curren

Written on July 1, 2013 at 10:18 am , by

Just another day at the office. (Photo courtesy of Roxy)

Anytime a surfer comes into the office for a meeting, I’m immediately jealous. The tan, the sun-streaked hair and the overall free-spirited attitude they all seem to encompass has me tempted to trade in my cubicle for a surfboard (except for the tiny issue of having absolutely no idea, nor the courage to learn how to surf). But though she may seem laid back, Roxy pro Lee Ann Curren is a busy lady! Between competing in the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour at the Roxy Pro Biarritz this month in addition to rehearsing with her band Betty the Shark in her free time; Curren’s fearless spirit is completely contagious. Below, Curren chats about her workouts, favorite places to surf and more.

Your dad is surf legend Tom Curren. Did you feel pressured to surf growing up?

There really wasn’t any pressure, because I loved surfing when I was younger. It was cool having my dad always there and looking after us and it was something we could share with him. I have four brothers and we all surf, so it’s kind of like family bonding time. Read more

Sit and Sweat: TechnoGym’s New Wellness Ball

Written on June 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm , by

Editors planking on the Wellness Ball. Hello, sore abs!

One of the many perks of working here at FITNESS is the ability to test out new workouts and routines often. And while as a staff we work up a sweat quite a bit, we have our fair share of standard 9-to-5 days too, which of course means sitting all day long. But now thanks to the new TechnoGym Wellness Ball, anyone can get a workout at their desk by using it for what trainer Josh Holland calls, “active sitting.” The ball is composed of two different densities, so that bottom half is heavier than the top half (so no rogue ball rolling down the hall!). It also comes with a QR code on the handle, which gives you the ability to scan with your smartphone to grab additional exercises.

To correct your posture, strengthen your core and improve your flexibility on those days when you can’t make it to yoga or even a quick lunchtime walk, sneak into a conference room and try a few of these moves below using the Wellness Ball.

First, start with a stretch. Wrap your arms as far around the ball as you can then do the inverse, lie with your back on the ball and roll it slightly to elongate your back and open up your chest and shoulders.

Plank and Pike (Core): Start with a plank, forearms on the ball and feet on the floor (for additional support put the ball against a wall). Hold for 10 seconds and go into a Pike and Level–from plank position pop your butt into the air, then back down to level for 10 reps.

Chair and Squats (Legs): Place the ball between you and a wall at waist height with your back to the ball. Squat into a seated position for 10 seconds and hold. Next, squat up and down, rolling the ball against the wall with your back from the seated position for 10 reps. End back in Chair position and lift one knee at a time for 10 reps.

Even if you can’t bust out a squat in the middle of your busy day, just sitting on the ball gives you a slow and steady burn if sitting correctly. Holland says to make sure you are always engaging your core. To give yourself a quick self-check, place your hands behind your back and lengthen the chest to straighten out your posture.

For more information on the TechnoGym Wellness Ball, visit technogym.com.

Getting Hitched Near NYC? Join the Fit to Be Bride Bootcamp!

Written on April 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm , by

Molly Winter Stewart knows how to get you in tip-top wedding dress shape! (Photo courtesy Molly Winter Fitness)

As someone who is feverishly planning her own nuptials, I came to a realization I’m sure many brides arrived at much quicker than I did: Weddings are expensive! To then even think about shelling out beaucoup bucks on a pricey boot camp tailored toward brides made me want to curl up in a ball (or elope, though I’m not sure Mom would be too pleased about that).

Luckily, The White Gown, a bridal boutique in Dumbo, Brooklyn understands that brides want to look great despite their budget and are setting up a series of public workout sessions this summer in NYC at Pier 46 in Greenwich Village. Workouts will be led my Molly Winter Stewart of Molly Winter Fitness, and will be designed to hit the spots most visible on your wedding day based on your dress shape–mermaid, halter, strapless and backless. The best part? You can cross “find fitness plan” off your very long wedding to-do list without spending a single penny.

Fit to Be Bride Bootcamp starts Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m., at Pier 46 in Manhattan. Sign up by emailing info@thewhitegown.com.

More from FITNESS: Vow to Stress Less: Wedding Day Tips from Brides


Give These Races a Tri

Written on April 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm , by

No matter what distance you choose, you’ll never forget your first tri! (Photo courtesy Kevin Steele)

Written by Alyssa Shaffer

Has our 10-week triathlon training guide in our May issue got you itching to sign up for a race? We don’t blame you! Whether it’s near your own backyard or across the country, these beginner-friendly sprint races will transform you into a true triathlete.

If you want…

An urban experience

TriRock Philadelphia: Swim, bike and run in the City of Brotherly Love, starting with a dip in the Schuylkill River and finishing with a ride and run through scenic Fairmount Park. There’s also an Olympic-distance race the next day. (June 22, trirock.competitor.com/philadelphia)

Life Time Tri Chicago: One of the largest tris in the world begins with a swim in Lake Michigan then follows Lake Shore Drive past such scenic landmarks as Buckingham Fountain and the Shedd Aquarium. There’s also a super sprint distance and an Olympic course if you want to go shorter or longer. (August 25, chicagotriathlon.com)

Something scenic

Mini-Mussel Sprint Triathlon: Spend the weekend in upstate New York’s popular Finger Lakes region. The 10th annual race includes a swim in a canal, a bike ride along vineyard-dotted roads, and a fast, flat run through a lakefront park. For hearty types, there’s also a half Ironman the next day. (July 13, musselmantri.com)

Coeur d’Alene Triathlon: The new Scenic Sprint in Idaho lives up to its name as one of the most picturesque courses in the Pacific Northwest, with a placid lake swim, a winding bike course and a triumphant finish inside Coeur d’Alene City Park. (August 10, cdatriathlon.com)

Nautica Malibu Triathlon: Race alongside celebs (last year’s finishers included Claire Holt, Jillian Michaels and Alison Sweeney) on a course that’s a little longer than your usual sprint—a half-mile ocean swim, an 18-mile bike ride and a four-mile run—with amazing views of both the mountains and the Pacific along the way. (September 8, nauticamalibutri.com)

To celebrate girl power

Athleta Iron Girl: With a shorter-than-usual swim leg (in some cases, just one-third of a mile) and lots of festivities before, during and after, this series of women-only sprint tris are for newbies of all abilities. Eighteen races take place nationwide, from April through September. (Dates vary; irongirl.com)

More from FITNESS: Sign Up for a Triathlon in Your Area

SpaFinder Wellness Week is Here!

Written on March 13, 2013 at 11:05 am , by

SpaFinder Yoga Girl

Image courtesy of SpaFinder

Who doesn’t love a good deal on fitness classes and spa treatments, right? Which is why we’re pretty psyched it’s Wellness Week over at SpaFinder Wellness *right now.* What this means: Well, what’s most enticing is that if you buy a $25 gift card, you get an extra one to use this week. (Sounds like a good girls’ date to us!)

But it also means that throughout the week, leading wellness experts, chefs, and celeb trainers from the nation’s top gyms, spas, and wellness providers have been sharing their tips, tricks, recipes, and tools. If you check out the SpaFinder Wellness site, you can find some of the free events, open houses, workshops, consultations, and more.

FITNESS is headed to a special event in NYC tonight to check out product demos from some of the nation’s top beauty, skin-care, and wellness companies. Click on over to @FITNESSColleen’s Twitter feed later tonight or tomorrow to see how it went! 

ZICO Latte: Your New Workout Beverage

Written on March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by

Editorial intern Carrie gets an early morning adrenaline rush as she climbs her way to the top at Chelsea Piers!

Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

Rise and shine—it’s workout time! This morning, FITNESS headed to The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers for a little rock climbing to celebrate the launch of ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water’s latest beverage, ZICO Latte. Coffee and coconut water together at last? This is too good to be true.

After summiting about 35 feet and completing two climbs (hello, full-body workout!), we tested ZICO’s non-dairy, coffee-infused concoction. Billed as “The Official Sponsor of Early Risers,” ZICO Latte contains five electrolytes, provides 45-59mg of natural caffeine and packs as much potassium as a banana.  Thanks to its unique flavor fusion—the latte taste takes the forefront and masks the notes of coconut—the drink can both jumpstart your morning and keep you hydrated during your workout.

For more information, visit www.zico.com, check out the ZICO Facebook page or follow @ZICO on Twitter.

More from FITNESS: Q&A: When Should I Drink Coconut Water?