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5 Things to Never Do During Indoor Cycling Class

Written on May 7, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Show up early to class for a smooth ride. (Photo courtesy of Fuse/Getty Images)

Indoor cycling classes are an amazing cardio workout, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll walk away frustrated, or, even worse — injured. Compared to other group fitness classes, indoor cardio cycling is also a little harder to pick up on when trying it for the first time. After getting the lowdown on what to expect from your first class, follow these rules on things you should never do in an indoor cycling class.

  1. Arrive to class late: As a rule, be on time for any fitness class, but more so if you plan on riding. Since there is a cap on the amount of bikes in a class, most gyms require students to register ahead of time (either online or using a sign-up sheet). A few minutes before or after class starts, instructors often release unclaimed bikes to those on the waiting list. Show up late, and chances are the bike you registered for will be taken, or, if you didn’t sign up at all, the class will be full.
  2. Hop on the bike as-is: This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all scenario — the person who was on the bike previously may have a good 10 inches on you. To avoid injury and ensure a comfortable ride, adjust the bike to suit your body. You’ll also want to make sure the handlebars and seat are firmly secure to avoid any wobbling during class. Watch this video to learn the proper way to set up an indoor cycling bike.

Keep reading to find out three more things you should never do during an indoor cycling class.

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#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Favorite Way to Sweat and Chill Out?

Written on May 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm , by

Elle's must-have travel item? Her running shoes! (Photo courtesy of Naomi Kaltman)

In our May issue (on newsstands now!) cover girl Elle Macpherson told us she starts every day with some sort of physical activity, and running has come to be her moving meditation. We couldn’t agree more–between the endorphins, body benefits and stress-relieving perks, heading out for a jog is the perfect way to get centered. But it’s not the only way. See what our Twitter followers lean to for their moving meditation.

@nanderson61: Running. No better way to connect with my body than with a great run!

@LynetteNicole07: Running, spin and yoga. My favorites!

@ReNewedMe: Running is great! But swimming would be my moving meditation. It’s the only workout I do without music, so it’s me and my thoughts.

@makeupbylay: My favorite way to sweat is kickboxing and hot yoga! Then a nice shower and massage after.

Now tell us: What’s your moving meditation?

More from FITNESS: Elle Macpherson’s Body Rules

5 Muscle Myths You Should Stop Believing

Written on April 24, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Show off your muscles, you earned them! (Photo courtesy Ericka McConnell)

Muscle building is an important component of any exercise routine, but are you strength training the right way? Here are five common myths about muscles, and why they aren’t true.

1. Heavy weights make you bulk up: It’s a common belief: lifting heavy weights will have you looking more bodybuilder than long and lean. But in reality, your muscles won’t get Ms. Olympia-sized from lifting a 20-pound kettlebell; the size of your muscles is related to your genes and strength-training routine, not the size of your weights. Using heavier weights actually saves you time — studies show that you will get the same results when lifting heavier weights for fewer reps as you do with lifting lighter weights for longer. But no matter what size weight you use, make sure you choose one that is challenging your body the right way. The American Council on Exercise recommends that you choose a weight that fatigues your muscles within 90 seconds (aka makes you unable to perform another rep correctly), since that’s within the limit of your muscles’ supply of anaerobic energy.

2. Soreness comes from lactic acid buildup: It’s an often-quoted principle that the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) you feel in the days after your workout is from lactic acid in your body. In fact, DOMS is a symptom of micro tears in the muscles that happen when you work out. Lactic acid does play a part in your workout, however, since it is the cause of that burning sensation you feel when working your muscles. It actually fuels muscles to help you work out longer, so pushing past that burning sensation will help you increase your strength and endurance.

3. If you stop exercising, your muscle turns into fat: Once you’ve got your workout routine down, you’ll be surprised at how toned you feel. But something like a vacation or sickness can set your regimen back, sometimes leading to weight gain. While many people believe the weight gain is from muscles turning into fat, both tissues are completely different and can’t convert from one to the other (similarly, there’s no way to make muscles leaner, since they are already fat-free). Instead, building muscle helps burn fat, so when you have less of it, your metabolism rate will be lower.

Keep reading for two more muscle myths.

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ESPN Broadcaster Jenn Brown’s Wedding Workout and Dress Fitting Diet Tips

Written on April 23, 2012 at 11:30 am , by

Brown glows with her new hubby on their wedding day. (Photo courtesy of Raw Photo Design)

As the reporter of ESPN’s College GameDay for football and basketball Jenn Brown travels almost 70 percent of the year. That might sound like a dream job, but when your dream wedding is coming up, all those late night drive-thru dinners and wonky work hours can take a toll on your shape! We caught up with Brown just days before her wedding, where she gave us her secrets to how she stayed slim on the road and prepped for her big day.

What have you been doing differently to get ready for your wedding?

I took a different approach to working out than I usually do. I am typically a cardio junkie; I’m always running on the treadmill and follow it with 45 minutes of lifting. For my wedding, I really wanted to focus on looking lean and tone. I had just come off of covering football, where I gained my usual footfall five [pounds] from eating on the road in all these towns with delicious food, so I had three months to get into shape. I started doing Pilates three to four times a week. It was weird to me that you could go and work out for an hour and not be dripping in sweat, but I’ve seen an amazing transformation because of it.

I also started taking vitamins. I had a physical last year and realized that I wasn’t taking any supplements. Since then, I became a GNC ambassador and started taking GNC WELLbeing be-WholesomeHealth and Beauty Vitapacks. I’ve been taking them for about five months and have seen the biggest difference with my hair–it grows so fast! Last, I finally went to a dermatologist for my adult acne. It’s been such a massively frustrating issue for me, especially since I am always on camera, so I started a routine to get that in order.

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How U.S. Sailor Paige Railey Is Gearing Up for the Olympic Games

Written on April 13, 2012 at 11:30 am , by

Paige spends an average of eight hours a day training for the summer Games. (Photo courtesy of Sperry Top-Sider)

As one might expect, becoming part of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team is no easy feat. The squad was picked in nine of 10 events based on combined performance at two selection events in the U.K. and Australia in 2011. But 25-year-old Paige Railey made the cut, and now she and her brother Zach will be the first brother and sister to compete at the same Olympics (though in separate races). We chatted with Railey, who is being sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider to see how she’s getting ready for the Games. (Hint: It involves a lot of eating!)

How did you get your start in sailing?

Our family dentist suggested my mom take Zach (her older brother) to a sailing program at our local club in Florida. Zach fell in love with it from the first day, and when I was little he used to sail my twin sister and I. The thought of being free on the water, controlling a boat on my own and being outside all day just seemed like perfection to me.

Sailing requires serious muscle strength. How do you stay in shape?

My family has always been very active. We were never allowed to stay inside and play video games or watch TV when we were younger. My brother, sister and I would go for three-mile runs just for fun. Zach was 9 and my sister and I were 6! I began training to sail when I was ten years old. I did a lot of abs, push-ups and cardio. Once I was 15 I started weight training. My favorite exercises are deadlifts, cleans (the first part of a clean and jerk), stability ball work, biking and Jacob’s ladder work. Google it if you’ve never heard of it–it’s really hard!

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#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Quickie Go-To Workout Move?

Written on April 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm , by

Tweeps agree: Jumping jacks are a fast way to get your heart rate up and torch calories! (Photo courtesy of Jay Sullivan)

Unless you are a personal trainer (oh, you lucky folks who get to work out all day!) squeezing in a gym session can get tricky on a time crunch. We’ve all pulled out a living room plank once or twice and were probably pretty surprised with how effective on-the-go moves like this can be. So we’re curious– if you only had five minutes to exercise, how would you do it? Read below to see what our Twitter followers said and get the most sweat for your seconds!

@anji_rae: Burpees! As long as I have time to clean up after since I’ll be sweaty!

@conformistdiary: Mountain climbers!

@Jensosinfull: Jumping jacks, and lots of them! Maybe some jump rope, too.

@caityrogo: Planks are always a good way to go. A 5-minute plank would hit multiple parts of your body.

@_ChaCha_love: Spiderman push-ups and crunches.

@FITNESSkarla: Can I have five? One minute each of jumping jacks, jumping lunges, burpees (as hard as they are), push-ups and a plank hold!

@Stina_NY: If I only had five minutes I would do squats and lunges!

@stacysbootcamp: Jump squats, burpees, side-to-side push-ups, high knees and pull-ups. Ouch!

@Fab_ByNature: Two minutes of jumping jacks, two minutes jumping rope and one minute of abs.  #WORK

6 Moves to Feel Super Light From New Balance Fitness Ambassador Holly Perkins

Written on March 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm , by

Holly gets in a deep quad stretch while showing off the new 895 New Balance SuperLight/SuperFresh collection. (Photo courtesy of New Balance)

Last week I got the chance to enlighten my mind and my feet while testing New Balance’s latest walking shoe (featured in our 2012 FITNESS Sneaker Guide!) with a tour of the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. While I enjoyed soaking in the art, my feet were pretty pleased as well. The 895 SuperFresh/SuperLight collection is made with REVLite cushioning technology in the midsole. That paired with an egg crate-like design on the outsole makes slipping on these sneaks feel like a tiny massage for your toes.

As a special bonus, New Balance Fitness Ambassador Holly Perkins led our walking tour and shared six exercises every woman should be doing. Since only a few of these make a regular appearance in my gym routine, I shared them below so you can add the moves you are missing.

1. Sumo squat: Start with feet wider than shoulders width apart, toes pointed out and knees over toes. Sink into a deep squat, thighs parallel to the ground and your back straight. Push off with your heels, squeezing your glutes and inner thighs back into starting position. Try 3 reps of 10.

2. Single leg deadlift: Balancing on right leg with left leg slightly behind you and off the ground, reach down and touch the ground with your fingers. Return to starting position and repeat. Try 3 reps of 10 for each leg.

3. Calf raises: Holding onto a chair or other steady surface, raise your heels until you are on your tiptoes. Balance weight at the balls of your feet and pause. Lower slowly and repeat. Try 3 reps of 15.

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A Day in the Life of Olympic Alum Rebecca Soni

Written on March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm , by

Just another day at practice? Soni steps up on the starting block to film a commercial for Kellogg's. (Photo courtesy of Kellogg's)

Here at FITNESS, we start bubbling with Olympic excitement a little earlier than the average fan. With only three months to go we’ve hit the point where it is perfectly acceptable to start decorating our cubes in red, white and blue. And we’re sure we aren’t the only ones that feel this way. Athletes are competing now to swim, run and vault their way into the London Games come June as they compete for a chance to represent their country. To get a glimpse into the schedule of a hard working Olympian, we got U.S. swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist Rebecca Soni to break down an average day for us on behalf of Kellogg’s. Warning: Just reading her hectic schedule may cause exhaustion!

5:30 a.m. – I wake up, walk my dog and eat a bowl of cereal. I’ll usually have Raisin Bran or mix some of my favorite Kellogg’s cereals together with some fruit. I can’t get through a workout unless I eat breakfast first. It wakes me up and fuels me for my first practice.

7:30 a.m. – It’s time to hit the water for a two-hour pool workout. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll start a little earlier to lead a spinning class with the USC college team.

9:30 a.m. – Hop out of the pool and use my break to run errands, rest and refuel!

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Time for a supplemental workout, which is either a session with my trainer doing body weight exercises, TRX suspension exercises, plyometrics or an additional pool workout. My third workout also happens in this time block. For this one, I like to incorporate Pilates and yoga into my routine at least three times a week. Pilates is great for toning smaller muscles I don’t get a chance to work on regularly and yoga is my time to work on breathing, strengthening my muscles, stretching and relaxing my mind. I also take my dog for a walk every day when I get home. Some people may not consider this exercise, but I think it’s a great way to recover from all the workouts I’ve done earlier in the day.

6:30 p.m. – I cook a healthy dinner and wind down so I can get to sleep by 10 p.m. Then it’s back at it for another day of workouts!

Read more to get Soni’s spinning playlist!

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#140Wednesdays: Which Celeb Would You Love to Work Out With?

Written on March 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm , by

How many calories does ogling burn? (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

They have access to the cream-of-the-crop trainers, nutritionists and gyms, and we want to know their secrets! Celebrities take fitness pretty seriously; after all looking good is basically one of their job requirements. And while we may not get to snag one as our fitness buddy, we can always dream! This week we asked you which celebrity you’d want to sweat with. The results surprised us, especially since not one person said Jennifer Aniston!

@JdorothygailW: Dolvett Quince. Celeb and trainer, right? (She’s not the only one! Dolvett was one of the most popular celebs our tweeters want to work out with.)

@NATAgneiD: @KELLYROWLAND—she looks healthy and fit!

@lil_ms_lovely: I’d love to get my fitness on with @ashleytisdale!

@Carter_Aubrey: Bob Harper, Tommy Europe, Tosca Reno, Dolvett, Jillian Michaels, Gina Carano, Gabrielle Reece, I could go on and on!

@JesicaLeaRD: Debra Messing and Lauren Graham.

@ChristieGriffin: Michael Jordan!

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4 Expert Tips For Getting Back Into a Healthy Routine

Written on February 21, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

A little bit of sweat every day goes a long way. (Photo courtesy of FitSugar)

Spring is around the corner, which means warmer weather and shedding clothes. But you don’t have to panic if the workout clothes you got for Christmas haven’t exactly been worn out. If you’ve been on a Winter hiatus, start anew with these tips for getting back into a healthy routine.

It’s common sense: The thing about living healthfully is that a lot of it is just common sense, says celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak (he’s responsible for Rihanna’s amazing Grammy body). When you can make a few healthy changes, do it. It doesn’t take much thought to know that moving around more burns more calories than sitting all day, or that you can get your exercise for the day by walking to the store instead of driving.

Every little bit counts: Harley also says that remembering this can also help you make the common sense decision. Instead of thinking of exercise as a huge daunting, boring task, think of your goals in smaller increments. When you walk around, every step or healthy food choice helps you to your goal.

Don’t overdo it: Going all out for it after not exercising for awhile can take its toll on your mind as well as your body. To prevent injury and a discouraged feeling, start small and work your way up slowly when you’re ready. “Take it slowly, bite off sizable aspects of your fitness routine that you can complete, don’t underdo but don’t overdo,” celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson recently told us. “Overdoing it is going to kill it. You can’t overhaul your entire fitness and health regimen in one day.”


Read on for more ways to get back into your workout routine.


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