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Workouts

Sweat with Your Sweetie at SoulCycle This Valentine’s Day

Written on February 11, 2013 at 10:55 am , by

We love a good ride at Soul, then relaxing in their comfy clothes post-sweat! (Photo courtesy of SoulCycle)

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.

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Staffers Spill: What We Learned From CrossFit

Written on January 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm , by

There’s nothing like fitting in a hardcore workout at lunch!

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!

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Extra’s Maria Menounos Talks Food and Fitness

Written on August 15, 2012 at 9:30 am , by

Maria laces up to fit in some healthy doses of sweat! (Photo courtesy of Reebok)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Maria Menounos is always challenging herself in new ways. She danced her way through painful injuries on season 14 of Dancing with the Stars, and runs her own charity, Take Action Hollywood!, which raises awareness for causes like diabetes and AIDS. If that isn’t enough, she often travels from L.A. to New York for her role as host on popular entertainment show EXTRA!, and produces AfterBuzz TV, a network devoted to giving “post-game” wrap-ups of the most popular shows.

Now, as a longtime fan of Crocs, she helped them celebrate their 10-year anniversary by ringing the opening bell for NASDAQ on July 31. We caught up with her right before to find out how she stays fit and keeps her energy up through the long work hours.

How did you get involved with Crocs?

I’ve been a fan for a while. I’m actually sporting the Carlisa style right now and got a ton of compliments! I like them a lot because they’re comfy and cute, and I can fit in my orthotics.

Tell me about your injuries on Dancing with the Stars.

I had multiple stress fractures in my feet. I was looking back at a video of our doble paso, and though I remember being in so much pain, I’m not showing it. I never complained! I just kept doing it. I was kind of impressed with myself, I have to say! Now I’m just trying to heal from the show.

What was your favorite part about competing?

It didn’t feel like a competition. I was having way too much fun to compete with anybody. We set the tone by being friendly and helping each other. I made so many good friends, like instructors Derek Hough and Peta Murgatroyd. We all still keep in touch.

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London 2012 Olympics: Meet The Trainer of Our Summer Games Workout!

Written on August 2, 2012 at 10:19 am , by

Puma Trainer, Angela Parker, founder of Body Inspired Fitness in LA! (Photo courtesy of Body Inspired Fitness)

Can’t be at the games this year (okay, perhaps some of us won’t ever get there!), but go for the gold in your own backyard with our hardcore Summer Games circuit workout featured in our July/August 2012 issue! I met trainer, Angela Parker, founder of Body Inspired Fitness in Los Angeles, while we were in Miami for Puma’s BodyTrain girl’s getaway weekend. During Angela’s workout, her upbeat personality and can-do attitude was enough to make me do my best to impress, and her bootcamp training style meant I was being told to work harder every single step of the way. I knew this lady would be loved by you guys, even if you can’t experience her one-on-one like I did. Her backyard bootcamp, created exclusively for FITNESS readers, has you competing against yourself (or the clock) to eke out more reps. Meet the trainer behind this kick-butt routine:

What was the most surprising thing you learned about your training style from watching yourself on Chelsea Settles?

What was surprising is that it captured the emotion and the connection that comes from working so closely with someone over such a long period of time. How you saw me on TV is exactly how I am in real life. I am passionate, I am focused, and I don’t let anything get in the way of others’ success. I am learning how to not want it more than my clients want it.

What’s your favorite workout outfit? Head to toe:
I’m an ambassador for Puma so I’m a big fan of their workout gear. Of course I love my new Puma BodyTrain Slim Capris, especially the gray ones with blue and green stripes. I like how they give me an extra super flat tummy. I love pairing it with an oversized puma tank like this one. I love the cheap sports bras from Target. I always wear colored socks, which is a great way to add flash to a boring workout ensemble. Anytime I workout outside I am always wearing a visor. There is nothing sexy about wrinkles or skin cancer. And my favorite funky workout accessories are crazy nail polish and colored leather bands around my workout watch.

Favorite pre- and post-workout snacks?

My favorite pre-workout snack is Paleta’s 100 calorie bar. A great post workout snack I enjoy is my banana coconut smoothie. 1 cup coconut milk, 1 banana, 3/4 cups frozen pineapple, 1 tbsp almond butter. It’s cold, it’s refreshing, it’s hydrating and it’s the perfect snack to replenish and refuel me!

What’s the one or two best nutrition tips you tell your clients?

Don’t deprive yourself. Load up on veggies. Drink lots of water. Read more

Chelsea Piers Takes Its Success to Connecticut

Written on July 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm , by

The new sports complex has an array of activities, some taught by former Olympians! Go big or go home, right? (Photo courtesy of CPCT)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

One of the very cool parts of working at FITNESS is the ability to try out a lot of up and coming fitness classes. With that said, we were more than stoked when we were granted a sneak peek at the brand new Chelsea Piers complex in Stamford, Connecticut (open now)! As one of the largest exercise and training centers on the east coast, we felt like we died and went to fitness heaven!

Drawing on the success of the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in Manhattan, developers wanted the space in Connecticut to take sports training to the next level. With an Olympic-sized pool, seven tennis courts, two NHL-regulation ice rinks and huge turf fields for soccer, lacrosse and football – it’s easy to see that they accomplished their goal!

If you visit the center, get your tennis game in competition shape with private lessons, or pick up a new sport like lacrosse or squash, taught by a former pro. If your daughter loves to play on the monkey bars, let her explore on the balance beam, vault and uneven bars at the gym’s state-of-the-art gymnastics center. Or maybe you want to brush up on your field hockey skills? Let the experts at the complex show you how to kick it up a notch. Each floor of the multilevel facility is jam-packed with fun stuff for the whole family to do. Plus, Chelsea Piers Connecticut has hired former Olympians, like two-time tennis gold-medalist Gigi Fernandez, and professional athletes to head up the programs! Talk about star treatment.

So if you happen to live in or near the Tri-State area, check out all that Chelsea Piers Connecticut has to offer. Their mission is to have each member be able to “relax, play, learn and compete,” so it shouldn’t be hard to find what you’re looking for!

Hot Topic Tuesday: Should Gyms Be Allowed to Ban Skinny People?

Written on June 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm , by

Should gyms be allowed to ban fit people? (Photo by Jay Sullivan)

We’ve heard about the latest trends in the fitness world: bachelorette workout parties, obstacle mud runs and CrossFit, among others. But a new craze has popped up and we’re not quite sure how to feel about it: skinny people being banned from certain gyms.

Yes, you heard that right. More gyms are catering to plus-sized people and screening applicants before allowing entry. When do you get turned away? If your weight or BMI doesn’t qualify as “plus-sized.”

On one hand, this tactic makes sense because it creates a safe space for heavier people to work out without being worried about the super-fit person next to them judging their every move. Let’s admit it: many turn treadmill running into a competition with the person next to them. Some call that motivation, but others might feel like the constant sideways glances are discouraging.

But on the other hand, is this fair to those who have worked hard to maintain their fitness? Should they feel the sting of rejection from an establishment just because they’re already at a healthy body weight and want to work to stay that way? We think banning them from the gym may be a little harsh, and a happy medium may be reached if it’s instead marketed in a way that makes it clear that the fitness center caters toward those who struggle with their weight.

Finally, it begs the question of what happens to those who sign up for the gym membership initially overweight, but then drop the weight (hooray!). Do they lose their membership? This, again, may be unfair because a gym environment can foster relationships and friendships between members, and ripping them away from that after reaching a successful milestone may put their journey in jeopardy.

Now tell us: What do you think? Should gyms be allowed to ban skinny people?

Fit Blogger We Love: Run To The Finish

Written on June 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm , by

Amanda laces up her sneaks often, but isn't afraid to branch out!

Amanda from Run To The Finish sure loves pounding the pavement, but we dig her passion for all things athletic. Although running is her true fitness passion, her experiences with yoga, kickboxing and stand up paddle boarding prove that she’s willing to share the love! To return the favor, we found out which sport she’d be aiming for gold in if she hopped over to London, and what running gear she simply can’t live without.

I’m happiest when I’m: In the middle of a long run, having found a rhythm that allows me to simply move while sorting through my thoughts and visualizing an amazing future.

My motivation comes from: A sense of pride that I feel each time I accomplish a new speed, distance or workout. It’s a reminder that in life I can do more if I move past my perceived limitations.

My gym bag must-have: Oakley sunglasses. I didn’t realize how much energy I was wasting squinting during every run here in Miami, and they’ve stopped my headaches!

Olympic sport I’d love to try: Beach volleyball! If I could have picked a sport to do for a job it would have been this. I love being outdoors and these women are serious athletes.

My fave fit snack: Dessert hummus has become my go-to because I love sweets, but need protein. Here’s how I make it:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (sometimes I swap for zucchini!)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 dropper vanilla stevia

Blend the above ingredients in a food processor and then stir in some fruit! I love cherries, blueberries, peaches or whatever else is in season.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Scents to Spice Up Your Workout

Written on February 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm , by

Certain fragrances can encourage you to slide into yoga poses like downward dog. (Photo courtesy of Chris Fanning)

We all know music can pump you up for a workout, but what about smells? Even though it’s one of the most important of the five senses, it’s often forgotten, says Michael Papas, Executive Perfumer at Givaudan Fragrances and creator of more than 100 scents. “Fragrance plays a huge role in the way one wants to feel,” he says. “Different smells can motivate, relax or help reboot to put you in a frame of mind that will make you want to do something healthy, like working out.”

If you’re taking exercise outside, try working out without music and focus on taking in the smells around you, like blooming flowers or freshly fallen snow, Papas suggests. If you’re gearing up for some indoor sweat, try setting these scents throughout your office or house to set you up for a day filled with happy sweating.

Yoga

Aroma is a very important aspect of yoga practice, so it’s key to tap into the part of your brain that relaxes you and relieves tension that may have built up from a stressful day, Papas says. Some scents that will having you gliding into downward dog include:

  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Sandalwood
  • Sage
  • Juniper
  • Rosemary

Try Glade Expressions Lavender and Juniper Berry for a comforting, tension-relieving effect or Glade’s Cashmere Woods for a more warm and aromatic infusion into your om-session.

Cardio

Fruity, citrus scents help wake you up and give the senses a shot of energy to power up for an intense Spinning class or running workout. For a very invigorating effect, reach for candles, incense sticks or other items with these notes:

  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Tangerine
  • Grapefruit
  • Melon
  • Pear

Citrus scents help boost you into a workout state of mind. (Photo courtesy of SC Johnson)

We’re fans of the Glade Expressions Pineapple Mangosteen to put us in a sweat-tastic state of mind.

Strength Training

When it’s time to lift weights, energy-boosting scents are your best bet to get the juices flowing. Try these vibrant notes to give you a fresh experience with scents of power, says Papas:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Peppermint

Give Glade’s Peppermint Crush a try, or snack on an orange pre-workout.

More from FITNESS:

 QUIZ: Find Scents to Satisfy Your Soul

Scent-Sational: 8 Fresh, Portable Fragrances

Scents & Sensibility: Fragrances to Match Your Personality

Life as a Stuntwoman: A Sneak Peek into Luci Romberg’s Fit Career

Written on November 22, 2011 at 10:08 am , by

Photo courtesy of Levine Communications.

(Photo courtesy of Levine Communications)

Whenever the latest blockbuster hits theaters, we rush to our seats to watch stars pounce from vehicle to vehicle, race through a collapsing building or barrel under a semi-truck. With all this action, we often forget that someone other than the superstar is actually performing these stunts. Sometimes celebs, like Tom Cruise, are fit enough to do their own moves, but most often a professional is called in for the job. Enter Luci “Steel” Romberg, a professional stuntwoman and freerunner, who has been in top films like Green Lantern, Zombieland and Terminator. We caught up with the super-fit daredevil to find out how you get into a less-than-mainstream career and what keeps her always coming back for more.

Most people don’t think of “stuntwoman” when plotting out future careers. What made you pursue this path? 

I was a gymnast all through college, and a national champion my senior year at Texas Woman’s University. I was a kinesiology major, but there just wasn’t really anything else I wanted to do. I could have been a professor, a physical therapist, a coach or a handful of other things with my degree, but none of them appealed to me. One day one of my teammates came back from acting in L.A., and she just convinced me to give it a shot. When I first got there, I had no idea what being a stuntwoman actually entailed. I was just so pumped on the idea of it that I knew I had to at least give it a try. I’ve been lucky enough to stick around.

What’s a typical day like when you’re hired for a film?

There is no typical day. Sometimes it’s really exciting and you’re working right away, doing anything from falling down a flight of stairs to rolling under a semi-truck, and other days you spend the day waiting around to see if they’re going to get to your segments. It’s definitely exciting though, I love that I don’t know what to expect when I go into work.

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We Have a Situation: The Jersey Shore Workout

Written on August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm , by

Get a beach-ready body. (Photo courtesy of MTV)

Starting tonight, the drama is headed to Italy for season four, along with the GTL-toned bodies (that’s gym, tan, laundry, the daily routine of the Jersey Shore stars, for those who aren’t fans)! Earlier this week, New York Sports Club (NYSC) gave us a sneak peek at their new “Jersey Floor” class, which aims to help you strengthen your lower half to feel confident strolling on the boardwalk in skimpy shorts like “J-Woww.”

“We think fast, talk fast and move fast—hence the high-energy, high-intensity workout,” says class developer, Raed Jarrar, who is a master trainer and group exercise instructor for NYSC. The circuit-style workout—which alternated between strength moves like lunges and deadlifts and cardio bursts including squat thrusts and high knees—certainly had us sweating!

Just in time for the Shore premiere, you too can try the Jersey Floor class at the Marlboro, New Jersey NYSC location on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. or Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. Or steal this must-do move straight from Jarrar.

Jenkinson Jump Squat (named after a popular Jersey Shore night club)

  • With feet shoulder-width apart, lower into squat position, sinking butt behind you as you bend your knees.
  • As knees near 90 degrees, explode upwards and jump, letting feet leave the floor.
  • Land as softly as possible, letting muscles absorb the impact as you lower back into squat position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Make it harder: Carefully jump up forward onto a stair or step bench while performing the move, then jump back to the floor, landing softly back in squat position.

Now tell us: What TV show-inspired workout would you like to see next?