Written on March 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern
If you think Zumba is fun, you’ve got to try Doonya. This Bollywood-inspired dance workout made me sweat – and smile – a crazy amount (smiling has to burn a certain number of cals, right?). And when you feel like it’s one big party, like I did last week when I attended their first-ever fitness dance party, the culturally-inspired moves will have you grooving like it’s your job.
Co-founded by Priya Pandya and Kajal Desai in 2011, Doonya (which means “world” in Hindi/Urdu) is a cardio and strength-building fitness class matched to the beats of the latest Bollywood-inspired music. It’s totally taking the fitness world by storm, and got its first big push into the spotlight back in 2008 thanks to the hit song “Jai Ho” in Slumdog Millionaire. My class was two hours long – definitely plenty of time to get a hefty burn in – but I consider that a consolation prize (not a bad one, mind you) because it was So. Much. Fun.
On my way into class, admittedly, I was a little nervous. I grew up taking dance classes, so I knew I was coordinated enough. I’d also taken my fair share of Zumba classes, meaning I’m pretty familiar with dancing for fitness, rather than style and grace. But I had never taken on something quite like this. It wasn’t a genre I was at all familiar with. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to catch on quick enough or if I was about to make a complete fool of myself.
But as I joined about 40 other Doonya-goers at DANY Studios in downtown New York City for an all-out dance-a-thon, I realized it was just about having fun and getting fit. We started off with a quick warm-up to get our heart rates going and then the dancing began. Bollywood dance features a lot of high-energy movements. It’s not just leg lifts and shoulder twists, but hand gestures and arm movements too. You’re working your core, arms and quads, all at the same time. It’s a great way to get a full body workout and have some fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love hitting the gym as much as the next fitness fanatic, but sometimes it can get old. It’s nice to switch it up with a fitness class like Zumba, and now Doonya, too!
Interested in trying it out yourself? They have classes in New York, Washington D.C. and Houston. They’ve also held events in Los Angeles and hope to head over to India in the near future. Keep your eye out!
Photo courtesy of Al Chan.
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Written on February 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm , by Samantha Shelton
All day on Instagram, we’ve been sharing partner exercises you and your loved one – whether that’s romantic or bestie status – can do together to break a sweat. After all, those who sweat together stay together, and saying, “See ya, I’m off to the gym” is no way to spend your Valentine’s Day. Head there together (the obvious solution) and bust out these exercises from some of our favorite trainers. Then be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fun, fit updates your heart could ever desire!
Lovers Lunges and Passion Push-Ups: Extreme Weight Loss’ Chris and Heidi Powell
Follow them on Instagram: @realchrispowell, @realheidipowell
The married trainers challenge you to get physical with your partner. With a running clock, do as many rounds of 14 lunges, followed by 14 push-ups, as you can in 9 minutes. A kiss at the bottom of those push-ups is optional, but totally recommended.
Lovers Lunges: Stand facing each other with right hands clasped together. Step back with left leg into a lunge, keeping hands clasped. Drive through your front leg to return to starting position, then switch to clasp left hands and lunge back with right leg.
Passion Push-Ups: The stronger partner (1) should lay on the ground facing up with feet together. The other partner (2) will straddle partner 1′s legs and clasp hands. Partner 2 performs a push-up as partner 1 lowers and presses partner 2 back to starting position.
Couple Planks: 20-Minute Body Trainer Brett Hoebel and FlyBarre Instructor Shay Kostabi
Follow them on Instagram: @bretthoebel, @shaykostabi
Partner 1 starts in plank position, the other on hands and knees perpendicular to first partner. Partner 2 brings one leg up to tailbone area (avoid lower back!), then the other leg, until both are up and extended straight. Hold for 1 minute. For an extra sizzle, partner 2 lifts one leg up (shown).
Ain’t No Mountain (Climbers) High Enough: Barry’s Bootcamp Besties Rebecca Kennedy and Patrick Frost
Follow them on Instagram: @barrysbootcamp, @rksolidnyc, @patrickfrost2
Partner 1 lays on bench with soles of feet on bench, hands behind head, chin neutral. Do a sit-up, reaching hands forward. At the same time, partner 2 holds top of partner 1′s feet and does incline mountain climbers. Repeat for one minute; switch positions. And don’t forget a sweaty smooch at the top of your sit-up!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 August 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm , by Christie Griffin
Written on June 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
If you’re like many of us over here at FITNESS, you probably don’t need to be poked or prodded to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement. Running is what gets many of us up in the morning to sweat; the thing that keeps us (relatively) sane during our hectic weeks. We do it because we want to—and on Wednesday, June 5th, we’ll celebrate National Running Day as we do most days: with running.
The running community is a tight-knit one (how else could anyone stay motivated to finish a 26.2-mile marathon?), but we’re not the only ones who are excited about tomorrow—Timex is in on the fun, too. The watch company launched its “I Am A Runner” campaign last month to celebrate runners of all levels and to provide a place for people to share their most inspirational and motivational reasons for why they run.
To get in on the conversation, tweet your tale or Instagram a picture with the campaign’s #IMARUNNER hashtag by June 5th. Your story will show up on Timex’s Facebook page, and they’ll donate $5 to One Fund Boston, a relief fund for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Bonus: You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win one of the 60 Timex Ironman watches the company is giving away!
To find out more about the “I Am A Runner” campaign, or to directly submit your photo or story, check out the Timex Sports Facebook page. We’ll be reading through the stories for an extra dose of inspiration ourselves, so start tagging those posts!
Now you tell us: How will you celebrate the sporty holiday?
Written on June 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever since we chatted with Sheryl Crow, we can’t stop listening to her rockin’ tunes. So why keep the music sharing to ourselves? We put together a playlist of Crow’s top hits, including her latest single, “Easy.” Plug into her current songs with a healthy dose of the classics, and get ready for a totally blissed-out Monday.
Written on May 28, 2013 at 10:04 am , by Samantha Shelton
If you’re looking for a charismatic personal trainer who knows how to turn into a drill sergeant the second it’s time to work, look no further than Dolvett Quince. He makes up one-third of the trainer team on hit reality show The Biggest Loser, and now that we’ve met the man, we see why so many of the contestants love him. In NYC to promote Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Insoles, Quince put us through a quickie circuit full of step-ups, squats and burpees, convincing us to keep pushing with his mega-watt smile shining after every set. We chatted with him in between gulps of water afterward to find out his favorite part of being on Loser.
Why did you choose the moves that you did for us in this workout?
Everything that I do is a combination movement. I love combinations. Why? Because I don’t have a lot of time. Most people that I train don’t have a lot of time. So what can I do to work the glutes, the legs, the shoulders and the core all at the same time? Do more than one movement in more than one way.
Do you like to do a lot of workouts just using body weight?
I love weights personally. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have them in their homes or offices. I like to show people they don’t need a gym or weights to get in a great workout. You can still do amazing things using just your body weight.
What are some of your favorite workouts personally?
The combination movements. I’m a huge fan of squats, lunges, core stuff, chest. I love doing both cardio and strength training every time I workout. Commit the same time frame – 10 minutes here, 8 minutes there – to maximize my time; maximize my results.
Written on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm , by Samantha Shelton
After a tough workout, the first place we tend to head isn’t the shower, but the kitchen – gotta squeeze in that recovery fuel within a half hour! As someone who loves food just as much as we do, it’s safe to say Gina of Running to the Kitchen does the same thing. After all, it’s in her blog name! This CrossFit junkie makes us drool with all of her beautiful recipe images, and she’ll make you do the same. Go ahead and check it out – we bet you can’t prove us wrong.
My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I know, I know, it’s all the rage right now and that’s a totally predictable answer, but I started CrossFit when it opened in my town last July and have been hooked ever since. It’s efficient, effective (hello, muscles I’ve never seen before) and an absolute blast. I think every box (read: gym) has different vibe, but something that seems pretty consistent across the board is the rapport among members. It’s not only my workout for the day, but a time I get to hang out with like-minded people and have fun. An hour of endorphins pumping, music blasting and people cheering each other on beats any other workout I can think of.
On my fit life list: A strict unassisted pull-up. No marathons, no triathlons. Just one darn pull-up without a band or kipping.
My “I Did It” moment: Finishing my first half-marathon in less than two hours. 2010 was a year of a lot of change for me. I lost 20 pounds, revamped the way I ate (slowly) and started running. Having played sports all my life as a kid, running was always something I was “forced” to do, not a sport I enjoyed. When I decided to pick it up as an adult in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, I had no idea I’d grow to love it as much as I do. What started as a little competitive bet with myself to run my first 5K ended with my first half-marathon seven months later. Finishing it in under two hours, when I couldn’t even run one mile eight months prior, was pretty awesome.
I’m happiest when I’m: Doing anything with food. Eating it, cooking it, photographing it – anything. As cliche as it may sound, food is definitely my life passion. I contemplated going to culinary school in my mid-twenties, and while that didn’t actually happen, my blog has become the perfect creative outlet for that passion.
Olympic sport I’d love to try: While I think I’d be horrendous at it, I would pick gymnastics! Considering I can stay in an unassisted handstand for about three seconds, at best, and still haven’t come close to mastering the muscle-up in CrossFit (both gymnastic-type skills), it would be interesting.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com
Categories: Fitness, Motivation, The Fit Stop, Weight Loss, Workouts | Tags: cooking, CrossFit, fit blogger we love, half marathon, Healthy Eating, running, running to the kitchen, Workouts
Written on February 11, 2013 at 10:55 am , by Samantha Shelton
Looking for a way to work up a sweat with your main squeeze this Valentine’s Day? Have we got a treat for you. SoulCycle, the Spinning studio taking the country by storm, is cranking the heat with tons of themed rides on the day of love. It’s a great way to catch up on the day and bond with your partner – our fitness editor, Jenna, has a regular weekend SoulCycle date with her hubby!
So grab your sweetheart and get ready to register Monday at noon to nab a bike! If you’re single, no worries – you just might find your soulmate on the bike next to you. Getting active is a great way to find someone with interests similar to yours, and if they’re working out, well, they may be a nice piece of eye candy this holiday.
Wondering which ride you want to raise your heart rate in? These studios are offering plenty to get your blood pumping:
- East 63rd Street, New York, NY: Grab a seat in the 10:30am ride and indulge in complimentary blowouts from Fix Beauty Bar!
- ROS, SCA, GWICH, New York, NY: Head over after work for the 7:30pm ride and sweat next to your special someone in the couples date night ride.
- NOHO, New York, NY: Getting over a breakup? This studio has your back in the Achy Breaky Heart ride at 7:30pm.
- East 83rd Street, New York, NY: Channel your inner vixen with the Moulin Rouge ride at 7:30pm. Bonus! There’s another ride on Saturday, February 16 at 2:30pm.
- WEHO, CA: Single but ready to mingle? Hit up the post-valentine’s day singles ride in Cali on February 15 at 7pm.
Written on January 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm , by Samantha Shelton
This week the FITNESS crew took a little midday field trip. In lieu of a lunch break, we headed over to Reebok on 5th Ave to hit up their CrossFit box!
By now, many of you know about CrossFit and how it works – or you’ve at least heard about it. And like you, many of the staffers had learned about the craze that has taken the world by storm, but hadn’t tried it for themselves. Since that just isn’t acceptable, we banded together to get down and dirty with those who know the sport like the back of their hand.
After a refresher crash course on how to properly perform an air squat, box jump, burpee and ring row, it was time to move! Our trainers, Megan and Bobby, split our crew of 15 into five teams of three and asked us to create names. The winners?
- Blue-Eyed B*tches
- Team ACK
- Fit Wits
- Brunette Bruisers
- Blonde Ambition
Before we knew it, the clock was running and as a team we all worked to complete 1 minute each of:
- Box Jumps
- Ring Rows & Planks (one teammate rows for 20 seconds while the other two plank, then switch!)
- Sit-ups (high-five your teammates at the top!)
- Burpees & Ball Slams (one teammate performs a ball slam while the other two burpee, then switch!)
- Air Squats
Repeat 3 times for a total of 15 minutes, squeezing in as many reps as you possibly can while maintaining proper form. Talk about a speedy workout! Each team kept track of their reps throughout the circuit, and then added the scores after three rounds for the grand total to determine the winner. With 613 reps, Blue-Eyed B*tches came out on top!
Keep reading to find out what the staffers learned about their hardcore quickie workout!