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Train With an Olympian at Home…For Free!

Written on May 23, 2012 at 9:24 am , by

Picture yourself getting fit in the family room! (Photo by Steve Giralt)

Eight years ago Samantha Clayton was lacing up her track spikes during her final preparations for the Sydney Olympic Games. Four kids, multiple careers and countless personal training clients later, she is helping you get fitter than ever with her BeFit in 90 program.

“I decided to hang up my racing shoes after I had my son, since I didn’t want to travel so much with him. My hairdresser asked me to teach her what I knew about fitness in exchange for free haircuts,” Clayton says. Realizing that she had a strong knowledge base in fitness already, Clayton made it official by getting certified as a trainer and her following quickly grew. Soon, she was hosting workout DVDs and helping “clients” across the globe.

Her latest project is the free, YouTube-based BeFit in 90 program, which Clayton describes as “a match made in heaven with my athletic background.” You won’t need to bring too much coordination or any dance skills, but will need a towel. “The Fat-Burning Cardio Workout is my personal favorite since it requires no equipment and includes track moves like lateral jumps and high knees,” Clayton says. “But the most fun thing about the program is that there is so much variety so you shock your body and never get bored.”

Today, Clayton is keeping her own routine from getting stale by gearing for her first triathlon. “All of my running before was very sprint-based and I never ran more than a lap [quarter mile] at a time before I started training for this race. I did my first 10-mile run a few weeks ago and I thought I was going to die for the next three or four days! It’s all about building up endurance slowly,” Clayton says.

So with the Olympics coming up on her home turf in London, who does Clayton (who is also a coach for the women’s track team at Pepperdine University) expect to make waves? Record breaker Usain Bolt, her friend Joice Maduaka and American sprinter Alyson Felix.

We Survived The Hunger Games!

Written on March 22, 2012 at 10:12 am , by

Instructors demonstrate the "Peeta Press" and "Katniss Killers." (Photo courtesy of My Sports Clubs)

I tried to resist The Hunger Games trend for months, but finally caved and quickly devoured all three books in a matter of weeks last summer. So as soon as I heard about the new Train Like A Tribute workout offered at My Sports Clubs, inspired by the soon-to-be released movie, I knew I wanted my name to be drawn! (Thank goodness this wasn’t the real games—fat cells were the only things being killed.)

After being assigned to district three, I entered the “arena” with about 10 other tributes. We did a quick warm-up, then prepared for the mad dash to the cornucopia filled with the tools necessary to complete the workouts (a mat, dumbbells and archery bow) as well as other helpful items like bottles of water and towels. From there, the trainers gave us a CrossFit-inspired workout that would improve our skills for the arena. Our goal: Finish the most rounds in the allotted time.

AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of the following moves:

Katniss Killers: Archery

  • Using a bow, take an archer’s stance with right foot staggered in front of left.
  • Pull back the bow until taut. Instead of releasing bow string, slowly return to start controlling the resistance.
  • Do 10 reps.
  • (You can sub in the Single Arm Row with Rotation from our other Hunger Games workout if you don’t have a bow handy.)

Capitol Crunches: Tree Climbing

  • Lying flat on your back with a 2.5- or 5-pound weight overhead and arms straight, use your core to lift your upper body to a seated position with arms overhead. Keep legs straight throughout the move.
  • Slowly lower back to starting position and repeat. Do 10 reps.

Jabber Jay Jacks: Speed/Agility

  • Perform a jumping jack, crossing right foot in front of left when you jump feet to the “in” position. During the next rep, jump left foot in front of right.
  • Continue performing jacks and alternating feet for 20 reps.

Peeta Presses: Strength

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with elbows bent 90 degrees out at shoulder level, palms facing toward face.
  • Quickly press dumbbells directly overhead, arms extended, while rotating palms forward. Lower to start position. Do 10 reps

I was able to complete about eight rounds and finished just a few reps behind the victor. But whether our districts came is first or last, we experienced a great strength and cardio workout set to some very fun Hunger Games-themed music.

Want to try it yourself? The class is offered FREE to members and non-members until the end of April at the following My Sports Clubs locations:

  • New York: 86th Street and Lexington Avenue NYSC; Tuesdays at 12 p.m.
  • Philadelphia: Market Street PSC; Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Boston: Davis Square BSC; Thursday at 7 a.m.
  • Washington, D.C.: Chevy Chase WSC; Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: Barry’s Bootcamp in NYC—Free Classes & Discounts NOW!

Written on June 1, 2011 at 11:59 am , by

Straight from the West Coast comes Barry’s Bootcamp, a popular and celebrity-followed workout trend that’s sure to scorch some major calories off our East Coast behinds. (Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears are fans.) Described as not-your-average bootcamp class, each one-hour session takes place in a nightclub party environment (how much do I love this kind of stuff?). Some classes are split into 30-minutes of high-intensity cardio workouts and 30-minutes of free weight and equipment strength-training routines. Have a shorter attention span? Others fuse together four 15-minute segments, or even keep you moving between the treadmill for cardio and floor free-weight workouts every five minutes. That sounds intense—and majorly results-driven—to me. I’m sooo in. Word on the street is that you can burn 1,000 calories in an hour of Barry’s Bootcamp. Let’s see how close to true that is!

Barry's Bootcamp NYC studio! Looks like fun!

Barry's Bootcamp NYC studio. Looks like fun! (Photo courtesy of Barry's Bootcamp)

I’m signed up for a Saturday afternoon class in their new, hip Chelsea location here in New York City. Is anyone with me? If so, jump on this bandwagon now! The weekend-long event includes free classes and DJs spinning live—what’s more exciting than loud music and lots of pumped up personalities that want to help you get in top-notch shape? (I’ll take some pictures and show you after class via Twitter—@FITNESSjenna!)

And if you register for classes at the NYC location online today through Sunday, June 5th, you’ll receive 25% off. You only have a few more days, so hurry up and stock up on classes—this is a great deal! Enter promo code “VIPNYC” after you’ve gone through the online ordering process at www.barrysbootcamp.com —and then let me know your thoughts after you take your first class.

I’m excited to test this out and I hope to see you there!

More from FITNESS: Can’t make it to a class? Try this do-anywhere butt boot camp.

Fun Weekend Event: Free Fitness Classes at Nordstrom

Written on May 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm , by

The Zella Movement

The Zella Movement (Photo courtesy of Nordstrom)

Shopaholics like myself probably consider shopping their cardio (one hour actually burns about 150 calories for a 140-pound woman), but this weekend, going to a mall can actually give you a real workout! This Saturday, Nordstrom stores nationwide are hosting The Zella Movement, a day of free fitness activities, from yoga to boot camp classes to celebrate the Zella women’s activewear line.

Visit Nordstrom.com today to find the Nordstrom nearest you and RSVP for some fun, fit classes this weekend!

Now tell us: Planning ahead is a great way to ensure that you squeeze in activity into your schedule. What fun, fit plans do you have for your days off?