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Brett Hoebel’s Short But Sweet Full-Body Workout

Written on February 21, 2013 at 10:22 am , by

Hello, six pack! Add a kick and side crunch shimmy after your typical crunch for a Brett-inspired belly burn. (Photo courtesy of Trae Patton/NBC)

Don’t be fooled by Brett Hoebel’s new 20-Minute Body workout. It may be quick, but this high-intensity routine is no joke. As the Fit or Flop judge and Biggest Loser’s Season 11 trainer recently tweeted, “We can not become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Brett’s routine reflects just that, challenging every muscle group with the Brazilian art form of Capoeira. The fluid technique, rooted by movements invented by African slaves to mask self-defense training, shreds and sculpts for a long, lean look.

We recently got a taste of the speedy (but efficient) cardio-kickboxing session with Brett and trust us when we say our buns have never hurt so good after all of the executed squats, lunges, dance and martial art moves! The best part? All you need is a 4’-by-4’ space and your own bodyweight.

To get the blood pumping, Brett started off by leading us through a cardio series full of crosses, jabs, upper cuts, sidekicks and a bit of fancy footwork. Just when we thought we knew what was coming next, Brett asked the burning (literally!) question, “What time is it?” Throwing our hands in the air, we echoed enthusiastically in unison, “Bootytime!”  before getting low for 60-second rounds of pulsing squats. Our glutes thanked us later…

A circuit with four sets of minute-long explosive isometrics came next, featuring low runner’s lunge-squat combos, crossover walking planks, jump squats and abs. Brett upped the difficulty each round, adding a “shake ‘n bake” shimmy/kick to the ab roll-ups and a mountain climber variation to the planks. Wobbly legs didn’t hold us back from giving Brett our all. His own beading sweat and encouragement helped us finish strong!

Brett’s new routine is expected for release soon with a soft launch of classes offered through March at 24 Hour Fitness locations in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. Until then, be sure to check out his other programs, RevAbs and reVamp, for a revolutionary total body tone.

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Sweatin’ It Out with Old Navy and Richard Simmons!

Written on January 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm , by

Editorial Assistants Lauren and Samantha (from left) strike a pose with Simmons. Fun fact: he chose the pose!

Richard Simmons. Just hearing that name instantly conjures an image of candy-striped shorts, sequin-studded tank tops and neon-colored sweatbands. And that’s exactly what we got when we met the fitness icon himself last week while testing Old Navy’s new activewear collection. As girls who frequently popped in Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS tapes with our moms, this evening was a dream come true; full of smiles, laughter and aerobic dancing. Talk about fitting in a workout without realizing it.

Not one to shy away from the camera, we chatted with Simmons post-workout to find out what’s kept him in the game for 38 years, with hopes he’d randomly burst into song. Spoiler: he definitely did, and we caught it on tape.

First of all, that was so fun! You definitely know how to keep a crowd smiling and laughing through a workout. What makes you love teaching so much?

It’s all about the people. I call about 50 overweight and house-bound people a day and I’ll make them laugh and give them hope. Because with hope you can cope, and without hope you’re in despair and go nowhere.

You’ve been in this industry for 38 years. Any special memories?

So many! Sometimes I’ll call somebody every day for 10 years and one day they finally get it and say, “Richard, I lost five pounds in the last two weeks. I get it now. I threw everything out of my house that doesn’t belong in my body and I’m moving.” I love those moments.

Why did you partner with Old Navy for their activewear collection?

Editor’s note: we’re letting Simmons answer this question via video, so you can witness his fun personality first-hand.

That was fabulous! What advice would you give someone who’s trying to become more active?

I think getting up in the morning with a positive attitude is key. Don’t just wake up and go, “Oh, woe is me. Oh, I’m unhappy. Pain, pain.” Instead, say, “Hey, God, I’m alive! Thanks for another day! I’ll be kind to people in every way!” And that’s what I do, whether I’m saying hello to someone on the street, taking pictures with someone who approached me, or teaching in my studio. Anything you can do to be positive and help others.

Now you tell us: Do you love Richard Simmons? Have you ever sweat to the oldies?

Meet the Trainer: Brynn Jinnett

Written on January 29, 2013 at 9:18 am , by

Train smart, train hard. Brynn’s highly sought-after Refine Method is a total-body workout with custom equipment to help you sculpt muscles you didn’t know you had! (Photo courtesy of Lululemon Athletica)

There’s a reason why The Refine Method is known to be “New York’s Smartest Workout.” The intense circuit-style technique, Metabolic Resistance Training, was created by former New York City Ballet dancer Brynn Jinnett to exercise not only your body, but your mind to think differently about the overall approach to fitness and heath. Instead of a fad-based approach, Refine is founded on principles of facts and a constantly evolving education to help take clients to a whole new, metabolism-boosting level.

In our February Express Workout, Brynn tossed dumbbells for resistance bands in an arm workout fit for the red carpet. Firm and sculpted in six moves? Count us in! Read on to find out Brynn’s best strengthening moves, her favorite workout tunes and the one person Brynn believes could outdo her in a push-up competition.

Most of us are NYC transplants, so tell me how you made your way and landed in the Big Apple?
I am actually a native New Yorker! It’s a little embarrassing, but I still live about 10 blocks from where I was born and raised in! I love the city.

How did you fall in love with ballet and know that you wanted to pursue it professionally? Tell me about your ballet career?
I used to dance around in my diapers, so my Mom put me in ballet class at age 3! I enjoyed my dance classes, so I entered the School of American Ballet (the pre-professional division of New York City Ballet) at age 7. At 16, I was then fortunate to be offered a position with New York City Ballet, where I danced until heading off to Harvard for college. I continued to dance while at school and then returned to dancing professionally after college for another 3 years before retiring. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have performed on some of the world’s greatest stages in the most beautiful ballets and also for ballet giving me the discipline and drive that have helped me in all aspects of my life.

How did you transition from ballet to running your fitness method?
I taught fitness throughout my career part-time and only began to consider it as a full-time profession when I decided to retire. I foolishly thought that as a professional dancer I must know a lot about how the body works, but so many of my clients were working so hard and not seeing significant results which left me questioning things I held as “fact.” I realized that many of the smartest thinkers in fitness worked with professional athletes, so I spent over a year traveling the country learning from professors, athletic trainers and successful business owners. Refine is a product of that journey. I continue to spend a significant amount of my time learning, reading journal articles, attending conferences and speaking with other athletic professionals. We will always adapt our methods to fit the information we know today. Read more

In NYC This Weekend? Come Work the Red Carpet With Kettlebell Kickboxing

Written on January 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by

Smash’s Megan Hilty gets in a Kettlebell Kickboxing workout with creator of the program, Dasha Libin.

Red carpet season is in full swing, so it’s pretty perfect that the Fitness Gala 2013 is this weekend. Come in your best fitness-ready red carpet outfit (our kind of red carpet!) and work up with sweat with a Kettlebell Kickboxing master class, taught by the creator of the program Dasha Libin. After class, treat yourself to cocktails, brunch and a silent auction, with all proceeds, including ticket sales, benefitting Mariska Hargitay’s charity, the Joyful Hearts Foundation. The foundation raises awareness for sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse in addition to helping survivors reclaim their lives.

Aside from supporting a good cause, all attendees will be entered to win a VIP gift bag that includes a 1-year Kettlebell Kickboxing gym membership, at-home training sessions and tons more. Smash star Megan Hilty will be there as well, snapping pics in the photo booth for anyone who loves a camera opp.

Fitness Gala 2013 will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Studio 450 (450 W. 31st St. NY, NY 10001). General admission is $125. To RSVP or make a donation in your absence, click here.

Jackie Warner Shares Resolution Success Secrets & Which Celeb She Wants To Train!

Written on January 23, 2013 at 9:57 am , by

Warner made us sweat, while Wisk helped us clean it up! (Photo courtesy of MarkVon Holden/AP Images for Wisk)

One of the perks of working at FITNESS is getting the opportunity to workout with celebrity trainers. So when we heard Jackie Warner had partnered with Wisk and wanted to personally hand us a sweat-dripping, butt-kicking workout, we just couldn’t say no. After 30 minutes of nonstop circuits that left our thighs burning and core shaking, we took a breather to get the inside scoop from the star.

First of all, what a great workout! And we didn’t use any weights.  If you only had 10 minutes and no equipment, what would be your quick routine?

I love to do a yard workout, something outside. I would tell you to sprint 50 paces, jump down and do sprawls. Here’s how you do it:

  • Start in a standing position. Lower your hands to the ground and quickly jump back into push-up position.
  • Shift your hips to the ground, then return to pushup position.
  • Jump back to standing position.

So that’s a sprawl; it’s the name of my training technique. Do 15 of those in a row, then sprint 50 paces and repeat. Complete four sets – you could likely do that in about five minutes, and it’s really intense. So if you want to go for 10 minutes, do eight sets.

Why would you say that’s such an intense workout?

The sprinting is getting your legs in place and the sprawls are getting your upper body and core in place. Your whole body is being worked in a short amount of time.

For those who are just starting to workout, what tips do you have to help ease themselves into the gym?

You shouldn’t ease yourself into the gym if it isn’t something you like. Don’t force a type of training on yourself that you do not like because you will fail long-term. Go to Google and find something you’ve always secretly wanted to do. There’s a wealth of information and classes out there, as well as trainers, that will find that one thing you like to do, whether it be mat Pilates, bootcamp, Spinning, or Muay Thai. There’s so much out there. So find the thing you secretly want to do and do that.

What advice do you have for those who struggle with morning workouts?

I prefer morning workouts, but we all have an internal strength clock. It’s a biological thing; we’re all built with it and it’s a unique clock that allows us to be stronger through time periods throughout the day. Some of us are stronger first thing in the morning, some mid-morning and others in the afternoon or evening. You need to experiment with it to find out what’s best for you and try to workout within that time. For me, my strength clock is between 9am and noon.

So don’t feel bad if you’re not working out first thing in the morning?

No, absolutely not. The good thing about working out in the morning is that you’re burning all throughout the day, which is fantastic. And you release a lot of hormones in the brain, which can give you more of a balance throughout the day. But if it’s not for you, then it’s not for you.

Keep reading to find out which celebs she’s loved working with, and who she would love to train in the future!

Read more

The Scoop on Jane Fonda’s Latest Workout DVD and Her Stay-Fit Secrets

Written on December 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm , by

Fonda is proof that fitness has no age limits. (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate Entertainment)

Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern

When Jane Fonda released her debut exercise video in 1982, Jane Fonda’s Workout, it became its own genre, leading her to create 20 additional fitness videos and selling over 17 million copies combined, more than any other workout series. Now at 74, she’s looking great and feeling better than ever with her latest DVD Jane Fonda’s AM/PM Yoga for Beginners, which breaks up yoga into a rejuvenating morning session and an unwinding evening one.

We got the chance to chat with Fonda, who is one of our fitness icons about her latest workout routine and how she’s staying in shape these days.
What made you decide to create this new routine?
I started my new brand Prime Time three years ago aimed it at the baby boomer generation and older. I realized that there was a hole the series and yoga was that missing link.

Describe this new workout in one sentence.
It is yoga that has been marinating in Pilates. But it’s not pure yoga; I didn’t want it to be intimidating. Read more

Lose Pounds like a Rockstar with POUND

Written on September 19, 2012 at 9:42 am , by

Become a lean, mean, drumming machine at a POUND class near you! (Photo courtesy of Mark Sacro Photography)

Have a rough day in the office? We recently tried a fun new workout that would make sure to get rid of that bottled up tension. LA rockers Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom turned a sweat-astic idea into reality by revolutionizing their passions for drumming and exercise into a workout unlike any other, POUND. The high-intensity 45-, 30- or 15-minute classes transform cardio interval training into an exhilarating concert with 2.5-lb weighted drumsticks, known as “Ripstix,” and an upbeat playlist.

POUND combines traditional Pilates and barre method-inspired exercises with rapid drummer-based movements. Each jam-sesh is a full body blast, scorching more than 600 calories! We recently embraced our primal aggression with Kirsten and Cristina, sporting a smile and a lot of sweat through each burn-worthy sequence. Crank up the music and rock out with these three moves:

Twists: Start by laying flat on the floor with your feet extended straight. Lift shoulders off the floor until body is at a 45-degree angle and then raise your feet 45 degrees so your body forms a ‘V’. Twist from side to side with your elbows tucked. Lightly tap the ground on either side of the hips with your fingertips. Add Ripstix for an ultimate challenge and make some noise! This move scorches the obliques and your muffin top zone.

Rainbows: In a deep plié squat, begin with your arms over your head. Start by stepping to the right and hinge body forward to tap the ground (or close to it) with your right hand. Return to center and repeat to the left. Again, add Ripstix to turn up the volume and burn.

OH Thrusts: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift your hips and tap the ground on either side of the body with your fingertips. Next, lower yourself to the mat and bring your arms overhead. Bending at the elbow, lower and extend arms. Repeat 20 times or to your favorite up-tempo song. Add some Ripstix for additional resistance and clatter!

In need of a mini POUNDtrack? Get moving with Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of,” Travis Barker’s “Let’s Go (for Rainbows)” and the Bassnectar Remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” To find a class near you, check out the POUND website.

#140Wednesday: If You Could Have Your Own Personal Training Session With Anyone, Who Would It Be?

Written on August 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm , by

We have some brave readers! Trainer Jillian Michaels was one of the top picks to work out with. (Photo courtesy Andrew Southam)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

We know our readers love the workouts that we get from top trainers, but can you imagine having them coach you in a solo session? Talk about a gym rat’s heaven! This week we asked our Twitter followers who they want to sweat with. Some went for athletic hotties, while others chose all-star trainers whose workouts and TV programs inspire millions to get moving.

@Maggie_Garccia: Belly dance instructor Rania, she’s amazing!

@sopherella101: Channing Tatum

@glitteryze: @ryanlochte!

@beauty_edge: @ChaleneJohnson because she has an amazing attitude and great energy! #turbofire #turbo

@DanielleWolfe: I would be honored to have my booty kicked by @JillianMichaels.

@mejessiam: It would have to be Jackie Warner! #strongchick

@FITNESSkarla: No question about it: @MyTrainerBob!

@krmarks05: Only one is unfair! @JillianMichaels, @MyTrainerBob and @TracyAnderson would be my trifecta!

 

 

August DVD Review: Essentrics Class of 2012

Written on August 8, 2012 at 11:05 am , by

Change the way you look and feel with this workout. (Photo courtesy of Essentrics)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

August’s Top Workout DVD: Essentrics Class of 2012

Best for: Anyone who wants to get long and lean muscles and just can’t seem to find their yoga sweet spot.

Why it’s a star: Essentrics is a workout that combines ballet-inspired moves with toning exercises to challenge your body in a unique way. It’s named for the eccentric movement in exercise where you are lengthening and strengthening each muscle. Co-creator and Essentrics expert Sahra Esmonde-White says these movements help slenderize your figure while building strength–what more could you ask for?

Though skeptical at first, wondering how difficult stretching and sashaying could really be. I popped in the DVD on a weeknight after work thinking it’d be a calming workout, but it definitely wasn’t easy. Sahra isolates every muscle, focusing on stretching it out and toning it up. If you like the challenge of power yoga or Pilates, Essentrics is a fun way to mix it up and test your body in new ways. The next morning, my abs were sore, along with my buns and my triceps. Talk about a full-body workout!

You don’t have to don a tutu, but the workout does require a certain degree of grace and coordination. Sometimes I’d be balancing on one leg while reaching forward, getting in touch with my inner ballerina, when all of a sudden I’d lose my footing and snap back to reality. That’s the best part about working out at home–no judgment! Plus, the only equipment you need is a chair. No dumbbells, no stability ball, just your body weight. A mat is helpful if you’ve got hard floors during the ab workout, but a towel would work in a pinch.

Where to get it: essentrics.com, $19.95

#140Wednesdays: What Motivates You to Sweat?

Written on July 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm , by

Start sweating–you owe it to yourself. (Photo courtesy Cheyenne Ellis)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Let’s be honest –working out can be a challenge.

Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves why we love to sweat, and we’re all motivated by different things. For some, it’s that feeling you get when you’ve put in hard work or when you notice you’re getting stronger. For others, it might be the desire to get Brooke Burke-style abs or more energy during the day.

According a recent poll conducted by Eventbrite, 30 percent of women that participate in endurance events are motivated by weight loss. Even more (34 percent) do it for charity. But we’re not all saints! A quarter of women believe that training for a marathon would make them better in bed, and 40 percent believe they’d be more attractive. As for mental benefits, over half of respondents think that running is more effective than therapy.

We posed the question to our Twitter followers to see what brings them to the gym or the track, day in day out. What motivates you?

@LinzFredetPtrsn: Setting a good example for my kids and having the energy to keep up with them!

@jellingson: Honoring my mom’s love to run!

@kerigans: Health!

@aliciabordonaro: It’s that feeling you get after a workout…a huge sense of #accomplishment and #satisfaction.

@Trishquit: To be healthy and keep my blood pressure in check!