DC Fit Crasher is only a few months old, but it’s been a busy year and I am so excited to bring you more crazy, zany, sweaty crashes in 2013. Before we ring in the new year, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable fit crash moments of 2012, shall we?
Without further ado, in no particular order, I present to you five of the crashes my muscles (or pride) will never forget.
Waking Up at Zero Dark Thirty to Train Like a SEAL: SEAL Team PT
Silly Looks Be Damned, I Elliptical Where I Want: Testing the Elliptigo
What was your favorite crash of 2013? Let me hear it!
Happy weekend, everyone! I wanted to pop in quickly with exciting news…
How cool is that? A big thank you to the Post for their fun story about why DCers are ditching gym memberships and taking up fit crashing full time. Be sure to check out the article and let me know what you think!
After three cancelled flights out of Ohio, I decided to make the best of my gifted extra time and do what fit crashers do best: head to the gym. Nothing like a sweaty workout to release some of that pent up airport frustration, right?
I kicked things off with a warm up on one of my favorite pieces of equipment: the rowing machine. I was never a rower, and I don’t pretend to be one, but something about that machine always calls my name when I step into a gym. Maybe it’s the awesome full-body workout it delivers, or the fact that it’s a sure fire way to get my heart rate up in just a few minutes. But if there’s a rowing machine around, you can bet I’ll find my way to it. For my warm up today, I began with five minutes of steady state rowing followed by two rounds of tabata. Funny how just a few minutes of pushing and pulling can really take it out of you. Gasping for air, sweat pouring into my eyeballs, I was now ready for the main event.
I don’t go to the gym to make the rounds on the weight machines. To me, that’s about as boring as watching paint dry. So you’ll typically find me with a note card in hand, surrounded by a few equipment odds and ends, working my way through a HIIT series. There’s nothing better than fitting gut-busting cardio, weights, and a few coordination exercises into one 20 minute burst of activity. Today’s was inspired by something I saw on The Daily HIIT. Here’s the breakdown:
After each element, complete 100 rounds with a jump rope.
- 30 burpees with calf raises instead of jumps
- 30 elevated push ups, alternating leg
- 30 switch jump lunges
- 30 V push ups
- 30 squats with alternating single-leg front kick
- 30 tricep dips
- 30 side to side lunges
- 30 V abs each side
- 30 mountain climbers (one set = two steps)
- 30 toe touches each side
This sequence killed me – after a few stretches I was absolutely ready to go home. The original workout called for 60 reps of each exercise, but that was taking way too long. So I estimated what one minute of effort would be and it came out to around 30 reps. Not a very scientific process, but hey, it worked for today.
My favorite part of this workout, though, was when someone at the gym stopped me half way through and asked me, “So, what are you training for?” Training for? I had to pause for a minute and think of any upcoming races or events that might suffice for an answer. While I have the March Rock ‘n Roll half marathon on my schedule, I haven’t technically started training for it yet. But I couldn’t answer with “nothing,” could I? Wouldn’t that make all of this huffing and puffing and sweating and groaning and gritting-of-teeth seem silly?
“I’m just training for…life,” I replied with an awkward smile and a shrug of my shoulders, standing in a pool of my own sweat. It sounded absolutely ludicrous, but it was absolutely true. Fitness for me isn’t always about an event, or a goal, or getting my body over a finish line. Sometimes, it’s just fun to push my limits and see what kinds of things I can do from day to day. The giddy astonishment of finishing 30 reps of elevated push ups, for example, was enough to make me feel like I had accomplished great things, even without a finisher’s medal to prove it. So, whether someone asks you that same question or not, remember to stand up for the simple joy of training for fun, of training for yourself, and of training for…life.
What are you training for?
Crash Course: Moksha Hot Yoga is a method developed by a Canadian couple in 2004. There are only a handful of affiliated studios in the US – one of which is in my hometown of Cincinnati. The practice consists of about 40 poses done in a room heated to 95 – 100 degrees. It’s not quite bikram, not quite heated vinyasa flow; but if you like either you’ll feel at home here. Click here for the full Cincinnati schedule.
where: 3527 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati OH
bring: towel, water bottle, mat
perks: showers, mat and towel rental
sweat score: 8.5 out of 10
wear: less is more
cost: $17 drop in rate
According to their website:
Moksha Yoga is a green, clean, hot yoga series that stretches, strengthens and tones the muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind. While all classes are rooted in the Moksha Yoga series, teachers are encouraged to bring their own unique knowledge and experience every time they enter the room to teach.
After trying bikram and practicing hot vinyasa yoga at Down Dog for years, here are the things that struck me as unique about the Moksha practice:
- The class starts in savasana, has one mid way through, and ends in savasana
- There are no sun salutations
- You have one shot at wheel – make it count
- Hydration is encouraged throughout class
- No chanting ohms
- There are two breathing exercises, including the short breathing done at the end of bikram
I really loved the 75 minute class. It was different enough from what I had done before to keep me constantly guessing, but none of the poses were new to me. It’s funny how just shaking up the sequence of poses can make a yoga practice entirely new. I also didn’t find it as athletic a practice as what is offered at Down Dog or bikram, but then again, yoga is what you make of it. That said, if you have never done hot yoga before and are interested in dabbling, I’d recommend making this studio your first stop. It’s a gentle introduction for first timers, and a comforting challenge for those with more experience.
Also, can we talk about this locker room? It was absolutely gorgeous. DC yoga studios take note, please! Two beautiful, clean, large showers, cubbies for storage, hair dryers, and all the fixings to get ready after class. There was a hamper for wet towels, plenty of changing room, and a water fountain to fill up before and after the sweaty flow.
I’m also a sucker for studios that remember to go big with little details. Moksha Yoga Cincinnati had cotton hand towels, organic soap products, extra hair ties and bobby pins, and local art on the walls. They offer mats and towels for rent, and not just any towels…anyone recognize this slice of hot yoga heaven?
That’s right – yogitoes! I was so thrilled to borrow one of these for class. I have never been to a studio where these are on loan and have to tip my hat to Moksha Cincinnati for making sure visitors like me have a comfy hot yoga experience. I will definitely be back next time I come home for a visit.
Have you tried the Moksha yoga method?
Crash Course: This 60-minute spin class at Studio S is high-energy and upbeat with an emphasis on going at your own pace. You won’t feel pushed beyond your limits, but if you want a challenge, it’s there for the taking. The complimentary use of heart rate monitors is a fun plus for those who want to quantify their effort without forking over for their own device. Great class for first timers and experienced spinsters alike. Click here for the full schedule.
where: 3456 Michigan Ave., Cincinnati OH
bring: water bottle
perks: heart rate monitors available
sweat score: 8 out of 10
wear: recommend spandex bottoms
cost: $15 drop in rate, first class free
This bright studio is tucked away in Cincinnati’s picturesque Hyde Park Square. It’s surrounded by a few of my favorite spots: Greater’s Ice Cream, Lululemon, Unwind Wine Bar, Awakenings Coffee, Khakis clothing boutique, Move Your Hyde yoga studio, and Patty’s Old Fashioned Popcorn. Talk about prime real estate!
Studio S offers a fun mix of personal and group training options. You can sign up for a one-on-one with a personal trainer, get together a small bunch of friends for a sweat session, join their running group, or sign up for a spinning or mat Pilates class. Since we planned to spend Christmas day hanging around the house, the Original Fit Crasher and I popped in to try their 9 a.m. spinning class.
I am so glad Mom came with me to this upbeat and fun class, because the one we tried over Thanksgiving break was a little too serious for the casual indoor cyclist. Susie, the instructor at Studio S, had a great music selection that complimented each segment of the class. We started with a series of climbs, flew into some speed work, and ended with jumps. There was no upper body workout, so if you hate going to spin classes where you are asked to do push ups or juggle free weights, this is the class for you.
I was extremely impressed with the customer service and personalized attention we received from start to finish. We were welcomed warmly and showed to our bikes, which had fresh towels waiting on them. This woman helped us with every little detail of the bike set up, handing us our loaner heart rate monitors, explaining how to use them, and she even wrote down our bike settings to file away at the studio for next time. I love that! And during class, the instructor would walk around to refill our water bottles for us. It was a total first class operation.
This is my one blurry photo from class. I’m not sure if you can tell from this shot, but the students were a mix of ages and abilities. We were finishing up with hops to the beat of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas tunes. I was enjoying it so much I didn’t want to take the time to steady my camera – hope you’ll forgive me! At the end of class, we were treated to a free tshirt giveaway courtesy of a local bike shop called Element Cycles.
It’s a super soft blue American Apparel shirt with a cool bike graphic printed on the front. Great for spin classes or just hanging around. What a fun Christmas eve surprise!
I’m loving my crashes and workouts at home this Christmas. It’s been so much fun comparing the studios in Cincinnati with what we’ve got going on in DC. Both cities are experiencing a sort of boutique studio renaissance, with new places popping up all the time. Pilates, spinning, yoga, pole dancing, kettle bells…you name it. Folks seem to be moving away from the bigger all-in-one gyms and toward these smaller, focused businesses. As a fit crasher, I’m giving this trend two thumbs up!
Do you prefer studios over bigger gyms?