ADD GEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 18th 2010

how many times do i have to say this?!?!

if your hips are bouncing up and down on your saddle…. you don’t have enough resistance on that bike!!!!!

this is what you look like.

more gear please.

splish splash i was NOT taking a bath………

January 15th 2010

it’s a new year. it’s a good time to explore new classes, routines, and exercises you’ve never tried before. to really get results you need to shake things up with your fitness program. when people ask me to recommend a fun, unique, and most important, effective workout, i never hesitate: aqua aerobics.

aqua aerobics you ask?! as in rehab? as in what they do at spas and foo foo hotels for people who can’t do “REAL” exercise. aqua aerobics like in the movie Cocoon?!?!

well, that’s exactly the jackass attitude i carried into aquafit: hands down, the most difficult class i’ve ever taken in my life. i “dived” into aquafit expecting to be served a strawberry daiquiri and maybe get a tan. rather, i was served my ass, and begot a lesson in the importance of cross-training, and leaving the ego at the door.

although aqua aerobics is low-impact it’s not low intensity. the resistance of the water as one kicks, squats, jumps, and in my case merely tries to keep her hair dry tread her own body weight, can be exhausting. my instructor knew it was my first time in the pool. as a test she gave me a heart rate monitor to observe my performance during the workout (and then to compare it to my typical daily spin bike madness).  um, let’s just say 10 minutes into our underwater jog/march, my heart rate was busting over 180. within the next 20 minutes i was asking for a priest. everyone else in class fluttered and flowed seamlessly like esther williams, meanwhile i looked like this………

my first experience could have benefited with a little more respect for the pool, and less ego on my part. water aerobics/sculpting requires a specific type of balance, coordination and form. one does not merely jump in and immediately get to be the best in class. i severely underestimated how hard moving through water would be. i had grand illusions of marco polo and chicken fights. i know that just because i can spin for days it doesn’t give me a green light at a bench press or in crow pose. same with in the pool. movements tend to be done at a slower speed because of the water, a resistance which helps prevent injury because the gravity pull is less stressful on joints. but it’s that resistance which burns a ton of calories. it feels nice because you ARE in the water which has a cooling, calming, refreshing effect. i loved it, even though it was gnarly hard. i eventually got the hang of it.

you don’t necessarily need to attend a class to get the same benefits. when i’ve been on vacation, and in a pool i’ll often do my own version of aqua sculpting. below is a workout i like to do on my own. a lot of it is just stuff i do in coreplay, only under water. it makes for a very challenging regime. it feels amazing though, and definitely gets you sore in all the right places.

xo, katie

quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes: stand with your feet hip-width apart in ribcage high water, arms at your side. sit back on an imaginary chair as if your stomach is pulling your hips back. stick your bottom out, scoop your abs away from your thighs, reach your arms shoulder height with cupped palms. squeeze hamstrings, glutes, and pull your waist longer as you stand back up straight, arms to your side. be very careful to maintain perfect form throughout this exercise. repeat until fatigue. i also like to alternate lifting legs for extra balance.

hips and glutes: facing the edge of the pool, hold on with both hands and slowly bring one leg out to your side, keeping your back neutral (not arched, not rounded). feel the outside of your waist, the outside of your glute (muffin top, saddle bag area) as you lift it up to your highest point without losing the shape of your spine. resist the inner thigh down as you lower. at least 25 reps each leg. for added waist work take arm (same side as working leg) alongside your ear. as you lift leg to side, laterally crunch arm and rib cage over to side lifted leg. stay on one side. repeat on the other.

glutes: scissors!!! kick!! kick!! kick!!!  you can motor around on a kick-board or hold onto the side of the pool, but the scissoring motion is great for the glutes and hamstrings. keep the spine in a nice strong, neutral position. don’t let the kicking of the legs arch the spine.

back, shoulders and arms: good old fashioned pull ups!! grab the side of the pool and lower your body as far as your arms will allow. keeping your knees bent and heavy, exhale and pull yourself up as high as you can engaging your latissimus dorsi or lats. your muscles running down the length of your back. this also gets into the biceps, and shoulders.

abdominals: stand with your back against the pool wall, hold onto the edge with both hands. keeping your knees soft, slowly curl both knees into your chest and hold for ten seconds. breathing rhythmically the whole time. control the lowering of your knees (with your abs) just as precisely as the lift. repeat until fatigue.

heavy hearts for haiti

January 13th 2010

I measure every grief…

I measure every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.

I wonder if when years have piled–
Some thousands–on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;

Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.

The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies,–
Death is but one and comes but once
And only nails the eyes.

There’s grief of want, and grief of cold,–
A sort they call ‘despair,’
There’s banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.

And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly yet to me
A piercing comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,

To note the fashions of the cross
Of those that stand alone
Still fascinated to presume
That some are like my own.

– Emily Dickinson

let me hear ya body talk!!!

January 12th 2010

you ever feel like class is just one giant, pink, bubble gum blowing party?

you sure you’re working to your edge? or are you going through the motions, moving in the same “direction” as everyone else, but while their legs, abs, and arms are shaking like amy winehouse needing her noontime fix, you’re cruising like the newest bachelorette in a hot tub full of loot gentleman callers.

your time and money are precious. make every single second count. LISTEN to your teacher. what does he/she want you to change/intensify/move? when i’m teaching i’m calling out cues because i see something/someone that needs correcting. obviously, if it’s dangerous i will personally correct them. and if they just don’t get my 20th heels together, toes apart message, i will come and make it happen physically for them.

when i take class, i ALWAYS assume the instructor is focused on me and my form (i’m THAT insecure i’m doing things wrong and don’t belong). paying attention to every prompt makes for a much stronger, efficient workout. which translates into RESULTS!!!! ding!! ding!! ding!!! ding!!! ding!!!

what are your favorite classes to take?

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