Archive | May, 2012

Pump it up!

31 May

 

80s music always manages to brighten my day. Technically I’m a child of the 80s, seeing as I was born in 1987, but obviously I don’t actually remember anything about the 80s. But I still like to pretend that I am a true 80s kid – I love rockin out to some good old 80s classics!

The 90s however, were the golden days. Don’t lie – snap bracelets and Clarissa Explains It All were the bomb diggity, and you know it!

ANYWAY – Today has been a really insane day. I had to spend most of my day in court for a client, which definitely ended up being a little more stressful than it needed to be. But I made it through, and we’re almost at the weekend, right? I did get to dress like a real adult today though, which was exciting!

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This is a nice change from my usual jeans and flip flops look at work. When you work with babies and sticky toddlers all day, comfort clothes are definitely a must. But my coworkers called this look my “please take me seriously as a professional even though I look like I’m 18” outfit. Sad, but true!

After work I headed to my usual Thursday night BodyPump class. After catching up on all of my usual blogs (things have been so crazy at work that I’ve gotten SUPER behind – no time for a lunch break to read blogs!), I have realized that some people might not know what BodyPump is! So I thought I’d do a really quick review of BodyPump for anyone who is not familiar with it!

BodyPump Review

BodyPump is a weight-based Les Mills group fitness program that focuses on low-weight, high-rep resistance training that sculpts and tones all muscle groups. It typically lasts 55-60 minutes (although some gyms apparently offers express classes), and dedicates 1 track per muscle group for a very focused workout.

The tracks include a warmup, squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, abs, and a cool-down. Each track lasts approximately 3-6 minutes, and the instructors walk you through a variety of moves that target each muscle group, using the upbeat music as a guide.

There are a lot of great videos on youtube if you’re interested in checking out what a class might look like in real life. Here is one example of what a class might look like:

Pros:

  • Truly an all around strength workout. It targets all of the major muscle groups in multiple ways, so you will definitely feel it afterwards in all areas of the body.
  • The music is usually upbeat and can really helps to push your workout, since the movements tend to match the beat of the music.
  • Weight lifting in a group session is definitely helpful because not only does the instructor push you to go beyond your usual limits, but they can also keep an eye out for form.
  • While it seems like solely a weight class, there are definitely some peak tracks that really increase the heart rate. I would not use it to replace another form of cardio, but I like that afterwards I definitely feel like I got some cardio in there as well!

Cons:

  • There obviously not as much flexibility in movements as when you are lifting by yourself. Depending on the instructor, you can often do the same tracks for weeks in a row, which can get pretty boring sometimes!
  • Each track follows a specific routine of movements, which can sometimes be hard to follow at first for newbies. BodyPumpers also use a lot of terms like “in the basement” which can be hard to pick up on if you don’t know the routines!
  • Sometimes the come up with the most random songs! As a musical person, if the song just doesn’t speak to me, I’m not as likely to push myself super hard.
  • Watch out if you’re a competitive person! There are people who use all sorts of different weights based on their own strengths and experiences in the class. I know that for me, biceps are my weakest track, so my weights tend to be WAY lighter. But I can’t help but look around and see everyone else’s weights too!

So there you have it – a quick and dirty review on BodyPump.

After work I headed home and made the most random dinner (when do I not?) that was made up of my version of comfort foods. After my crazy day, I definitely needed them!

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That would be leftover “fish sticks” from yesterday with ketsup, some broiled asparagus, and a small cheese and salsa quesadilla on a whole wheat tortilla, with some greek yogurt on top. Yup, definitely hit the spot!

Now I’m off to try and catch up on some blog reading! AH, I’m so behind!!

 

Have any of you tried BodyPump before? What do you think?

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WIAW: Teacher Addition

30 May

So in case you missed it (because I just posted it about an hour ago), check out my review for Julie’s Book Club on Still Missing!

Now I’m back for this week’s addition of everyone’s favorite hump day treat (ok, that just sounded awkward…) What I Ate Wednesday!

If you’re not already familiar with the WIAW phenomenon, please check out Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons, because she has a way more eloquent description than I could ever give!

Breakfast Part 1:

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Welcome back yogurt mess bowl! Today’s bowl included vanilla chobani yogurt, some farmers market strawberries, some pineapple (because I’m obsessed!), and some vanilla almond granola. Eaten in a tupperware container when I got to work.

Breakfast Part 2:

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A poor, beaten up nanner. Yes, I still call them nanners. I do work with toddlers, people! I ate this about 9:30am, because I have been on a total fruit kick lately, and I knew I wasn’t going to get lunch for awhile!

Lunch:

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So work has been REALLY crazy lately. We had a coworker announce that she was moving, so this entire week has kind of been in a state of panic for everyone while we try and reorganize everything to cover all of her kids until we can hire a newbie. So my lunch was scarfed in about 10 minutes flat in a Starbucks in the middle of two of my afternoon appointments. I really only chose Starbucks because I knew I could sit in a corner and eat my food like I was never going to see a meal again. But it also gave me an excuse to get a grande skim iced coffee. I need an IV of this stuff right now!

Lunch also consisted of the same wrap combo as yesterday, because I’m in love: whole wheat wrap with pine nut hummus, low sodium honey roasted turkey, cheddar cheese, and spinach/arugula mix. Paired with some pineapple. Did I mention I’m obsessed??

After work I did head to BodyCombat to get some out some of my frustrations from the day. I have to say, I’ve come to LOVE BodyCombat every week – it’s so cathartic! During the last track our teacher jumped off the stage to “punch with us”, but once she got on the floor, she sent me and a fellow combater up to the stage to lead the rest of the track! It was basically just punches until the end, but it was still pretty cool. Just call me teacher Stephanie today!

Dinner:

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Totally a random meal, but I had some cod filets in my freezer that desperately needed to be used. After such a long and crazy day I was really just craving some comfort food, and the first thing I thought of was fish sticks! Anyone remember those??

I covered my cod filets in flour, then egg whites, and then seasoned panko breadcrumbs. I then grilled them on my George Foreman for a few minutes until they flaked. I paired with with a farmers market salad with spinach/arugula, mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, goat cheese and cranberry balsamic.

And don’t let the picture fool you – I doused the bad boy in natural ketsup after I took the picture, I’m not going to lie!

Well that wraps up this edition of WIAW! Now I’m off to watch So You Think You Can Dance and wish that I had that kind of talent!

Any other SYTYCD fans out there??

Have you ever taught or thought about teaching a fitness class? I really enjoyed my brief stint in teaching today (HA, if you could even call it that!), I definitely would consider getting certified to teach a class in the future!

Book Review: Still Missing

30 May

So here is something a little different for you this evening: a book review!

Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers hosts a monthly blogger book club, and this is my first time participating! This month the book was Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.

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About the Book:

Still Missing is written from the perspective of Annie Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor who is abducted by “The Freak” and forced to live by his strict and sometimes insane rules in a secluded cabin in the woods. For a year she eats and uses the bathroom when he tells her to, never fully understanding why he is forcing her to live this way. Told through sessions with her psychologist, and mixed with stories from the past and the present, Annie describes how she managed to escape his captivity and how she she is dealing with the present reality now that she is back to a “normal” life.

Review – The Plot:

This story is thrilling, psychologically challenging, and at times, scary. But at the same time, you can’t help but keep reading. The plot is full of twists and turns as you do your best to try and understand WHY these things are happening to Annie, and what The Freak is going to do next. The author did a great job of throwing some total curve balls with very little foreshadowing, so they really catch you completely off guard. In fact, I felt very off kilter while reading the entire book, because so little about it was predictable. The only thing that I really disliked was that the book ended as abruptly as it started – there was no real intro (which I liked), but there was also no real closure. By the end, you’re so engrossed in Annie’s story that you want to continue to find out what happens to her. I am a “happy ending” kind of person, so I really wish that there was some sort of epilogue to let us know what happens with Annie, Gary, Luke, Christina, and all of the other characters that you come to love.

Review – The Writing Style:

I am someone who really appreciates when the story telling enhances the book, and in this case, I really think that it does. Told through disjointed sessions with her psychologist, the narrative bounces back and forth from past to present in a somewhat chaotic way at the beginning. But as the book unfolds and present Annie begins to deal with her situation and talk through her past, the narrative becomes less and less disjointed and more descriptive. I love that even subconsciously, through the writing style, you can tell Annie is beginning to accept her life and work through the pain. I thought it was extremely well written, especially for those who love psychological thrillers!

 

So I hope you enjoyed my brief review of Still Missing, and I encourage you to check it out too!

Stay tuned in a little bit for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday!