Monday, October 31, 2011


NOTE: I started this post on Saturday, got as far as adding 2 lines of text and 3 pictures, then lost power. Bear with me.

Saturday: This morning it was raw and cold and cloudy...the precursor of the snow that's falling outside my window right now. Sigh.

But this morning's sort of washed away 99% of those nagging doubts I was having earlier this week. My favorite rider came this morning, and we spent a good half an hour after class talking.

Monday: The zombie ride was fun. The members had fun, I had fun, and everyone left happy.

I also spoke with one of the group ex managers here today, and got the low down on my evening turns out it's not me, it's everyone else. I guess this gym is very much a morning gym, and the evenings are nearly always dead. So by 6:30, the place is a ghost town, and I'm Venkman.


So there's that.

Also, I've made a command decision. I'm aiming to take the ASCM personal trainer certification exam at the end of December, to be a personal trainer by January. I'm also going to aim to take the AFAA/ACE group ex exam around then too, since it's the same basic info but less of it. So watch out world, I'm about to get certified!

Howdy from the Gym

So this is what NH looks like right now:
The colors go from yellow to red highest to lowest...number of people who still have power. Without getting too specific, suffice it to say, I live in a red zone. I also work in a red zone. The gym is in a light orange zone, and right next to the airport, so they have power. So that's where I am right now. At the gym, chillin' and mooching off the wifi. w00t.
This has been hanging out over our street for 2 days as well:
Except now it's low enough to scrape my car's roof. Not that I've tried, but I can speculate. Frightening.

In related news, I spent a couple hours at the mall this morning and splurged on a pair of super comfy "roll down lounge pants".  Maybe it's just because I'm retaining water, but I feel like the label should have said "now with 20% more jiggle!" Seriously, I've never had a pair of pants make me feel fatter...and these aren't even tight! Go figure.

I'm wondering how tonight's class is going to go...I figure it's either going to be completely empty or completely packed. I'm obviously hoping for the latter, but I'm not sure. We'll see. Leanne asked me to sub her class tomorrow night (I subbed her Wednesday night class last week, you may recall), so I guess none of her regulars called her to tell her how awful I was or anything. So that's good. I'll bring my Jillian DVDs with me to the gym tomorrow to come up with a new class. Tonight, I'm using the same workout I did last week, but with another 2 sets of stuff. Or maybe I'll just go through everything twice. Or maybe I'll tell everyone we're having an imagination class, turn out the lights, lay down on my mat, and guide them through a walk on the beach. Who knows.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Self Conscious

I'm going to put this out there in hopes that it will stop coming out in class.
You guys...I get stage fright. Crazy, damn near black out in front of the class because I can't stop my heart racing, stage fright. It's awful.

It's way worse when I'm subbing for someone who I know has a solid reputation. It gets exponentially worse when a) people walk out before class is over and b) only 2 people show up to my regularly scheduled classes. It's also not helped when I have to be the person to tell people to shut up so we can get class started.

Seriously, it's hard not to take this crap personally.

Wednesday night, I subbed for Leanne. She's a crazy person, but her FIT class is always packed. Always. They like the beatings. I was pretty sure the class I put together was hard enough, and I know it wasn't "too hard" because the ones who left were the ones who notoriously make the workouts harder than they need to be. Maybe it was just an off night, I dunno.

But then, my regular spin class...only 2 people showed up! 2! I know 6:45 is a weird time, but this is not a new class - usually there are at least 5 in there. It was a cold and nasty night, but still...I was there! And if I can drag my butt to the gym on a cold and nasty night, anyone can.

I dunno. I think I'm just moping over this for no reason.

I think I just need to get over it and stop thinking so hard about it. I'm still sore today, so at least I got a good workout out of it...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So I've been stumped for like 3 weeks about how I managed to lose half a dozen pairs of socks inside a month.

Turns out I'm just always thinking ahead. Each color is at least 1 sock.

Wednesday Night Strength Plan and Spin Playlist

Good news is, since none of the Wednesday night regulars have come to my Monday night class (except one I guess...5 weeks ago), I can reuse the best moves from previous weeks. I'm only picking the hardest ones because that's what they expect when they come to Leanne's class...gotta live up to that reputation! :-)

So to that end, we're going to be doing sets of 3 exercises tonight, with sets of 5 push ups at the end of each set. Should be awful.

Equipment needed:

Medicine ball, mat, 2x body bar, heavy weights, resistance band, light/medium weights

Single leg squats
4 squats w/arm lifts
Twist & touch balance
Side planks w/dumbbells

Windshield wipers

Donkey kicks w/resistance bands
Warrior lift with body bar
Body bar side lunge w/bicep curl (touch body bar to floor w/each lunge)
Medicine ball or body bar surrenders
Medicine ball throws (onto mat)
Static squat w/dumbbell halo
Hollow man w/scissor kicks
Russian twists w/medicine ball

Anyway, that's tonight's workout. 20 or so of each, per set, depending on how I'm feeling and how everyone else looks.

The playlist for the spin class is this:

Fela Kuti - Zombie   
She's Not There - The Zombies
Disturbia - Rihanna
Shake Senora - Pitbull Ft. T-Pain
Living Dead Girl - Rob Zombie
The Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Candyman - Christina Aguilera
Beautiful Monster - Ne-Yo
Kernkraft 400 - Zombie Nation
Paint It Black - Vanessa Carlton
Glee - Thriller-Heads Will Roll HQ   
No More Gas - DJ Earworm
Arrogant Worms - The Last Saskatchewan Pirate
Pink Elephants - Daladubz
Somebodys Watching Me - Rockwell
Monster - Paramore

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Awkward Turtle, Or: Calling My Bluff

Just borrowing that one from Cardiogirl. Love the idea and bonus, I just found a new blog to get hooked on. :-)


I tried last night you guys, I really did. I actually don't really like walking up to people and asking them to come to my class. I hate it. It adds so much more pressure than it needs to, which makes me that much more prone to workout-induced stupidity, among other things.

About 15 minutes before class, I wandered around the weights area and talked to some women about coming to class. No dice. About 5 minutes after class was supposed to start, Liz walked by with a new member and I poked my head out the door to harass her. I ended up convincing him to come to my, right then.

He was the only one who came.

Bless Deb's heart, she stayed too, so it wouldn't be completely awkward. I love that girl, she's so sweet. I should do something nice for her.

I had my mat set up at the front of the room as usual, and this guy decided  the best place for his mat was literally 6 inches from mine.

At least he smelled good. And I guess that's better than setting up camp in the back of the room like I smell funny (do I??) I ended up doing a half hour class so he could get back to signing his soul away to Executive, and it was...ok. I was thrown off because he was clearly very new to group ex, so I wanted it to be a positive my previous class plan got a little mushed up and I wound up paying a lot more attention to how much he was grunting than I probably should have. Oh well. I'm sore today, so I guess that's what matters.

Wednesday night I'm teaching strength again, before teaching the Zombie Ride. I'm super excited about the Zombie Ride. I've waited all year to revive this little gem. I'll be teaching it again on Saturday morning as well.

What's a Zombie Ride? Well, since you asked...

The premise is that the zombie apocalypse has come and we're all survivors. The problem is, we're all out of food and need to get to the grocery store (the only one that hasn't been looted into oblivion). Naturally, the roads are clogged and we're out of gas anyway, so we need to take our bikes. Now, the nature of the zombie virus is that it causes a slightly elevated metabolism, so the infecteds' heart rates are in the 75-80% (or 80-85, if you want to make it a strength ride) range. In order to get to the grocery store safely, we need to make sure our heart rates stay strictly within that range - if they go lower, the zombies will know we're uninfected and will eat us; if they go higher, they'll think we're infected but in the "dying" stage of the disease, and again...they'll come to eat us.

It's easy to have fun with this one - there's a big gang of zombies coming towards you, pick up the cadence; we need to take a detour through someone's yard, add resistance; they left the sprinklers on, add even more resistance. At the grocery store, take the resistance off, but pick up the cadence to 90-100 RPM to simulate running through and grabbing our supplies as quickly as possible. Then on the way home, make sure resistance is slightly higher than on the way back - this time we've got a load on our bikes, so we're slower.

I'm super excited. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Strength

I'm not sure who's coming tonight, but it's COLD today, so hopefully there'll be more than just me and Deb in there this week. Here's the list of stuff I'm hoping to work into some kind of reasonable order to do tonight:

Plank with row
Hollow man with scissors
Figure 4 bridge
Side plank dynamic
Side plank leg lift
Inner thigh lift
Donkey kicks
Fire hydrant with kicks
Surrender - hold weights above head, step back, onto knees, step back up. Alternate legs
Static lunge w/triceps presses
Chair squat w/triceps presses
Plank twists
Plank side taps
Windshield washers
Up/up down/down planks
Plie squat jumps
Pike crunch
Dumbbell cleans

Lotta mat work tonight.

I won't lie, I'm still a little sore about how last week's staff meeting went down, but I won't get into it here. Grumble grumble bygones.

This weekend was productive to the nth degree. We replaced ALL the siding on the backyard side of the house, which was no trivial task. Here's the before picture:

The color on the left is the new color. Notice all the vertical siding (seriously, who does that??) and rotted boards. Super fun.
Got to the bathroom window and the trim was attached to the siding. Went to remove the trim and took THE WHOLE WINDOW OUT OF THE WALL. My bad. Turns out it was nailed into the trim as well. Special.
A better look at some of the rot. It turned out there was a lot of rotted sheathing under the rotted siding, so hubs ended up having to do a lot more prep work than anticipated, which wasn't fun on Friday night.
All the siding off (95% of it removed by yours truly!), waiting for rot repairs.
My awesome husband working his butt off the night before our "replace our siding" party to get things ready.
Who needs blinds with a view like this??
They decided windows are overrated, so they just covered them up. Yeah yeah, it's upside down. :-P
DONE!! I couldn't believe they got the whole side done in one day! My friend and I went out to get our hair did, and when we came back they had maybe 3 more rows to do! Amazing!
Before and after. I'll be painting it this coming weekend (fingers crossed we won't get snow before then...ugh). 

How was your weekend??

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Strength Class

So this is what I came up with for a flyer for my class. We'll see if my manager will go for it.

Staff Meeting and Whatnot

So my new Monday night class is still pretty slow, and I'd like to blame it on lack of advertising rather than personality flaws and/or funky odor of the instructor. To that end, I'm going to ask my manager if I can put a couple of flyers up in the entrance to advertise that on Halloween (which, conveniently, falls on a Monday) folks are encouraged to come dressed up. Most of the towns around here do the candy part of Halloween on the Saturday before, so I'm hoping folks will actually show up for this.

However, the only clever thing I've thought to put on it is "Exercise the Demons".  I'm a freaking riot.

So any slogans (bearing in mind that this is a relatively conservative gym), pictures, etc that you guys might have...send em over!

Actually, this one might work. Maybe. Is religious wordplay still offensive if it's not referring to anything the clergy did or didn't do?

Monday, October 17, 2011


Not that Monday's are my favorite day of the week or anything, but today in particular I just can't seem to get my head in gear. Naturally, it's 4 hours before class tonight and I have no idea what I'm doing. I wish I had the enthusiasm to recruit people like I want to, but today...I'm pretty sure I'm sick, so that's fun. I think I'm going to have a circuit night - I'm not sure I can survive a full workout in this condition, so I'm going to take the slacker route and set up stations and have people go through them a minute at a time. Maybe. Or if no one from the last 3 weeks shows up, maybe I'll just run through a previous workout. I dunno.

So far, these are the "stations" I've come up with (thanks in no small part to Rose's training logs):

Exercise Body Part Worked Equipment needed
Dumbbell halo Upper back, triceps, chest Heavy dumbbell (8,10,12,15)
Waiter's carry w/walking lunges across gym Upper body, lower body Space, 2 x heavy dumbbell
Cobra Back, hamstrings, glutes Mat
Medicine ball slam Upper body Heavy medicine ball, mat
Skull crushers (or "supine tricep extensions") Triceps 2 x Medium dummbbells (5,8,10)
Russian twists w/medicine ball, on stability ball Core Medicine ball, stability ball
Back flies on stability ball Back, core 2 x medium dumbbells, stability ball
Squat curls Upper body, lower body 2 x heavy weights
Body bar skiers (these were fun 2 weeks ago) Everything 2 x body bars
Single leg squats - right only Quads, glutes None or light/medium weights
Single leg squats - left only Quads, glutes None or light/medium weights
Pushups Upper body Mat
Plank Upper body Mat

And then a rest station in there too.
I'm thinking we go through that 4 times total, which gives 12 minutes for warmup/cooldown/extra abs if desired.  Maybe we'll only make it through 3 times, I dunno.

In other news, it was a productive weekend. Yesterday I got the second coat of paint up on the front of the house...YAY! I couldn't get a pic this morning because the light made it look like I'd missed spots, but here's an American Gothic style one from last week with just one coat:
Saturday I went through the Spintensity periodization class, which was great and I can't wait to put to use...the Strength class was good as well, but I'd just done a strength class in June, so it was less exciting.
However, right now I'm at 29 Star points...11 away from level 3, which is one step closer to possibly becoming an Master Instructor someday. Boston Balance is in a couple of weeks as well, and I just impulse bought myself 14 more star points' worth of classes. So by the end of the year I'm going to be a level 3 instructor...which rocks.

I'm also debating making it my new year's goal to be a certified personal trainer by the end of January. It depends a little bit on whether I'm going to need to keep taking classes in the spring, but fingers crossed I don't think that's going to be a necessity. The more cool things I see available (TRX, CrossFit, etc) in the fitness realm, the more time/money I wish I had to devote to getting certified and acting on this stuff. If I had a sugar daddy (or momma, I'm not picky) who'd pay for school for the next 3 years for me, I'd probably be less careful about where/how I spend my money. That said, certification now is sort of an investment in the future...these kinds of things could be helping me pay for school. We'll see.

Anyway, now that I've completely derailed this post, I need to go make some signs for the circuits for tonight. w00t!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rest Week

Sorry it's been quiet around here this week. Work got busy again, classes are still going (in fact, it's midterms week), and my knee's been bugging me so I've been resting. I had to be in Cambridge for work so I didn't teach Wednesday. Monday night no one showed up (a blessing - I spent 8+ hours painting the house on Monday, so I was WHOOPED).

I stayed at Hotel Marlowe on Tuesday night, and I have to say...I'm a fan.
 They had hula hoops as part of the gym equipment!
And then there was this contraption. It was insane. Apparently it's an Adaptive Motion Trainer. LOVE. Watch the video, but start after 0:35 or so. I wouldn't return this if it were gifted to me. :-D

I used it to to Tabata intervals during Biggest Loser...basically during commercials (almost exactly 3 minutes every long...) I'd do "fast feet" with resistance. It was pretty great. I think I'm going to suggest it to my boss that we get a couple of these when the renovations start. mmmm....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Holy crap you gys, I'm totally going to run tonight! And maybe even tomorrow morning! The hotel I'm abusing tonight has HULA HOOPS in the gym and yoga on demand in my room...they'll even deliver me a free tote full of yoga gear for use while I'm here. Kimpton hotels, you have a follower for life.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tabata Saturday

I won't lie, I was a little bit hoping not to have to teach today. It's low 70s and not a cloud in the sky, and my class was at 10 am. No one was going to come. But as it turned out, 5 people were crazy enough to come anyway, so we did a pretty great ride that ended with one of the participants telling me "usually I have some reserves left at the end of class...not today."

So this awesome ride (which I'm sad to say I won't be able to ride again until next week since I'm not teaching Wednesday night...stupid day job) went like this:

5 minutes warm up
3 minutes 30s in saddle/30 s out
3 minutes 15 in 15 out
1 minute contemplate the Tabata
2 minutes TABATA
2 minutes recovery

3 minutes 30s in saddle/30 s out
3 minutes 15 in 15 out
1 minute contemplate the Tabata
3 minutes TABATA
2 minutes recovery

3 minutes 30s in saddle/30 s out
3 minutes 15 in 15 out
1 minute contemplate the Tabata
4 minutes TABATA
5 minutes cool down

In case you haven't heard of them, Tabata intervals go like this: 8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Sounds simple enough right? You can do them using any exercise you want, you just need to make sure you're out of breath by the end of each 20 seconds.

It's crazy hard. By the end of the last 4 minutes, we were all dying, but it was WONDERFUL.

I'm gonna go eat now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday Spin

Saturday morning was finally The dad came to spin class, and as far as I'm told, he enjoyed it! Yay! I did a modified (read: longer) version of the princess ride, this time with a troll bridge (complete with riddles) and a patch of enchanted mud that got deeper every time that Duck Sauce song said "Barbara Streisand". Good times.

Tha's ma daddy. :-)

After that, we got brunch, then went to the local airport, where some WWII planes were there for poking around. Then we got lunch. Then we got ice cream. Then we had dinner. Lotta food on Saturday. :-)

The planes were very cramped inside.
Very cramped. That's my gorgeous momma. :-D

Anyway, I'm off to screw around until class time tonight. I don't think I'm going to double up on strength classes knee's been bugging me and Deb's classes tend to be really jumpy so I'm going to lay off it and see if that doesn't help some.

Body Bar Workout

Tonight I'm going to play with the body bars a lot I think. And the balance balls. We'll do some of this:

And this:
And a little of this:
Umm...not this: 

Because I can't balance on a ball like that. Not yet anyway.
Is totally doable, as is this:

In that last position, we might also do chest presses. Might also add in some kind of sit up/crunch with a twist thing, with the bar behind our heads.

I really like the moves this guy has too:
That skier position may be making an appearance tonight. The mopping one too. That's beautiful. I'll have to see how many people there are and if we can snag some plates from the outside area.

This looks like a good move for the end of class maybe:

I love that this guy is clearly working out near a playground at recess, and somehow that's not creepy at all:

But I'm also thinking about throwing in a couple of tabatta segments tonight...anyone done these before? Maybe I'll have the skiers be dynamic (moving legs back and forth) and make that the cardio. And I'll be immune because someone has to time it, right? :-D

So yeah. That's tonight.