Tag Archives: workout classes

3 Workouts In A Row (or Using Fitness To Beat A Cold)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one. First, I had only 3 workouts in the week. Plus those 3 workouts were 3 days in a row. I don’t usually do 3 days in a row, but it was the only way I could do 3 workouts this past week. But it also ended up being a week where I was working out while not feeling my best. I was hanging out with a friend on Saturday night who ended up having a cold on Sunday. I think I caught it from them and was fighting a cold all week. But I knew I couldn’t be sick last week because of everything I had, so I was determined to sweat the cold out of me!

Monday’s workout was an endurance 3 group workout. That was the first morning I was feeling a bit sick, but I was mainly contagious and didn’t feel light-headed or anything. So I knew it might be tough to workout, but I could do it. There was no way for me to run, so I walked everything. It was a bit annoying to walk because this endurance workout was actually pretty ideal for me to work on my running. The first block was 1 minute intervals so that’s something I’m used to running. And the second block was all 45 second intervals. But I was just focused on being a good power walker and taking the breaks to catch my breath that I needed to.

Next I was over on the rower. The first block started with a 500 meter row with 20 bicep curls using the rower handles. Then each block the rowing went down 100 meters. I was very focused on keeping my rowing steady and not too fast. It means my rowing doesn’t get as high in wattage as I’m used to, but my form is better. And my coach even noticed that my rowing was improved and commented on how much better it was looking! That made me feel a lot better considering that I was not feeling my best that day. And the second block on the rower followed the treadmill block with 45 second intervals and again I just tried to focus on keeping my rowing speed lower than I used to and steady. The goal was to get 1300 meters in that block, but I only got about 1100 because my wattage was low. But I’m ok with that since my form was better and I was working on what my coach wanted me to work on.

Once I got to the floor, I was feeling better and worse at the same time. My congestion was better, but I was feeling a bit exhausted from all the other work I already had done. But I just told myself to take it easy and do what I can with taking breaks when necessary. The first floor block was rows with weights, squats, strap work, and plank crunches. And the second block was high row on the straps, plank leg lifts, and situps. It was a bit tough to do plank work or work where I was on my back because of the congestion, but I pushed through.

On Tuesday I was feeling a bit better and was thinking that maybe my workouts would help me beat the cold. But I was still not feeling like I had beat it completely so it ended up being another walking day for me. And again I was frustrated because it was a run/row day. I really wanted to try to run, but I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to keep having good form on the rower. The run/row started with a .25 mile walk at 6% incline for me and then a 500 meter row. Next was a .05 mile walk at 10% and a 250 meter row. Then .2 miles at 7% and 400 meters on the rower and .05 miles at 10% and 250 meters on the rower again. I was just working on the .15 mile walk on the treadmill at 8% when time was called. I kept my speed on both the treadmill and rower pretty steady although nothing was as much as I could normally do.

After the run/row we had 4 blocks on the floor. And again I had the same problem I had on Monday with the congestion affecting when I was doing some of the work. The first floor block was squats, row with weights, and plank work. The second block was lunge and tricep work and this was the block I did the best in. Despite feeling off, I was using 25lb weights instead of 20lb weights. It helped that both moves were upright moves so the congestion didn’t bug me as much. The third block was lunges, pullovers on the Bosu, and situps on the Bosu. And we ended with a core blast which was the toughest part because my nose felt so clogged and I was coughing a lot. But again, I was so proud of myself for working out when I didn’t feel great and I was continuing to be optimistic that working out would get the cold out of my system.

I continued to feel a bit better on Wednesday, but I still wasn’t totally back to normal. Plus having it as my third workout in a row made it a tough workout even if I was feeling awesome. So it was another power walking day for me and again I was sad because it was a power day and I really like to work on running those. We had 4 blocks and every block was 4.5 minutes. Every block was a mix of 1 minute and 45 second intervals and I just has to focus on walking. I did all my push paces at 6% and all my all out paces at 8%. I didn’t bump up my speed or incline really at all but to me it was most important to just keep going.

The floor was also 4 blocks that were 4.5 minutes each. The first block was a rowing block. We had 150 meter rows with medicine ball work between each row. I knew I only had 1 good row in me (even though we were encouraged to improve on our time each time we rowed), so I told my coach I was going to go all out on the first one. Because I can be pretty powerful on sprint rows, she stood on the end of my rower to keep it steady and I went for it. I didn’t worry about form, I just wanted to go as quickly and as hard as I could. And it paid off because I got a new 150 meter row PR! I did it in 27.8 seconds which is pretty impressive (you know I wasn’t feeling 100% myself because I forgot to take a photo of my row time with my phone). After that first row, I went pretty easy on all the other times I rowed.

The second block on the floor was shoulder work with weights and push ups. The third block was more 150 meter rowing with squats and plank jacks. I didn’t worry about speed with that row because I knew I was exhausted. And the last block on the floor was pull ups on the straps and more plank work. Even though I was still feeling a bit sick, Wednesday was the day I felt the most like myself and that was an accomplishment.

I went into this past week thinking I would just have an awesome 3 workout week with 3 days in a row. And it ended up being a week that I had to put my mind over what my body was saying and trying to do my best. If I was really sick, I would have skipped the workout. I’ve done that before. But I knew that I could fight this cold and it seems I might have actually done that with this past week of workouts!

Feeling Better About My Progress (or Coming Back From The Dri-Tri)

After my Dri-Tri, I was feeling pretty low about myself. I lost so much confidence in myself and my abilities in the workouts. It’s really a bad place to be in and I know that I need to believe that I can do better. But it’s tough to take myself out of a slump when I’m in it.

Monday’s workout was a strength 3 group class. There was a weird amount of traffic that morning and I ended up starting on the floor, which I never do. We had 2 blocks at each station and we rotated after each block so I didn’t stay on the floor for too long. The first round was all 8 minute blocks for us. On the floor we did goblet lunges, goblet squats, pull overs, and knee tucks. And then on the rower we started with a 200 meter row and 20 lunges and each time we went up 50 meters on the rower and down 2 lunges.

Then it was time for the treadmill. I was pretty grateful that it was a strength day so that I didn’t even try to run. I was still feeling awful about the Dri-Tri and I know I would have pushed myself to try to run even if I shouldn’t. It was all 90 second hills and I was more than happy to walk everything.

Then we had the second round and everything was 5 minute blocks. On the floor we had sumo squats, tricep extensions, and crunches. And then on the rower and treadmill we had the same pattern with a 2 minute push, 1 minute base, 1 minute push, and 1 minute all out. I just tried my best to row for 5 minutes without stopping and on the treadmill I just walked it all even though it wasn’t hill work. I wasn’t feeling so great about myself after the workout, but I knew that I was there and I did the work so I couldn’t be too upset.

Wednesday was the day that I think turned things around for me. It was an endurance day and I was feeling pretty awesome going into the class. I was still a bit down about my workout progress after the Dri-Tri, but I was more optimistic about things. And this ended up being the perfect workout for me when I was feeling like that.

I started on the treadmill and we had 3 blocks. Each block on the treadmill had a similar pattern with a push, a base, a push, an all out. The push paces changed times from block to block, but the pattern was consistent. I decided to see how much I could run of the push and all out paces but wasn’t expecting to be able to run them all. But somehow, I did manage to run all of them with walking my base paces. I noticed toward the end of the 3rd block that I was going to be very close to doing 2 miles in 30 minutes. So for the last all out pace, I ran at 6mph for the entire minute and I was able to hit that goal!

That totally proved to me that my performance at the Dri-Tri was just a bad day and not a real setback. Even though I had been telling myself that, I needed the proof that it was true and this totally proved it to me.

After that awesome running, I was a bit tired when I got to the floor. I took a bunch of breaks during each block, but I was able to get everything done. The first block was lunges with presses, hammer curls, and plank hip dips. The second block was all strap work with Ys and roll outs. And the last block was back extensions, crunches, and squats. It wasn’t the toughest floor work I’ve done, but I needed it to be a bit easier to recover from my cardio.

Friday was a strength day so it was another day of walking for me. I could have tried to run the all out paces because they were on a flat incline, but I ended up walking it all. Most of the inclines for me were at 6 and 8% but I tried doing some of the work at 10%. That’s still a bit too high of an incline for me but I need to keep testing myself and seeing what I can do.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was a long one and we did deadlifts, lateral lunges, front raises, and plank rows before going to the rower. The rowing started at 400 meters and then went down 100 meters each time. I didn’t get spectacular times on my rowing, but I was always under the goal time which I was happy with. The second block was pushups to side planks, squat rows, and crunches. By the end of the floor work, I was feeling a bit off but fortunately that was at the end of the workout and not at the beginning.

And even though I didn’t feel like doing a Saturday workout this past week, I made myself do it. The next 2 weeks are going to be 3 workout weeks due to scheduling issues, so I knew I needed to have a 4 workout week this week. It was a power workout with 3 groups. We had 3 rotations around the room and every block was 4 minutes (so 12 blocks total).

On the treadmill, it was mainly push to all out paces. I tried running the first push pace on the first block and realized that running wasn’t going to be happening for me. I was disappointed because I usually am able to run the power days, but my body wasn’t feeling right and I’m working on listening to my body more. I did all my inclines at 6 and 8% and it was ok but I didn’t feel like I worked hard enough.

On the floor, it was tough to keep going for the 4 minutes but I did my best. One block had shoulder and pop jacks. Another block was lunges using the straps with more squats. And the last block had some plank work which was nice for being toward the end of the workout. And the rower was interesting. The first block was a 4 minute row for distance and I did get over 800 meters. The second block was seeing how few pulls you could do to get to 200 meters and I got it down to 16. And the last block was the same pattern as the treadmill with push and all out paces. While I was not feeling like going to the workout before being there, I’m glad I went because I did feel pretty decent when it was all done.

Now I’ve got 2 weeks of weird workouts. I’m still going to fit my workouts in, but it will not be when I’m used to going and I’ll have more time off between workouts from this week to next week than I’m used to. I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much, but at least now I’ve proven to myself that I have made progress and even if I have an off day I can get back there.

Lots Of Running (or Dri-Tri Prep Week)

This past week of workouts was one that I was taking a bit more seriously than other weeks. I knew I’d be doing the Dri-Tri on Saturday (that’s going to be a post for another day) and I also knew that I probably hadn’t been training as much for it as I had in the past. I wasn’t super worried about how I would do in the Dri-Tri, but I also didn’t want to feel horrible when I was done. So I spent this past week of workouts trying to do the best that I could every day in the hopes that the training would get me ready for Saturday.

Monday’s workout was the 3 group workout that focused on power. On the treadmill, we pretty much did 90 second intervals the entire time that were push to all out paces with variations on how long each push or all out was (but they all added up to 90 seconds combined). I was able to run all of the 90 second intervals which made me happy. I do want to get my running intervals up a bit and the last 5K I did was with 2 minute running intervals. I’d love to be at 3 minute running intervals for my next race (which I’m not totally sure when that will be), so 90 second intervals was good practice and something that shouldn’t be too tough for me.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was lunges, chest presses on the straps, and squats. I knew I’d have lunges and squats during the Dri-Tri and that we would have push ups so chest presses are close. And the second block was more lunges, squats using the Bosu, and plank work. And when I was on the rowers is was mainly sprint rowing work. The first block started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time with squats to bicep curls in-between. And the second block started at 100 meters and went up 50 meters each round with squats in-between. I wish I had a long row that day because I was nervous about the 2,000 meter row, but there wasn’t one that day.

Wednesday was a run/row day that focused on endurance, strength, and power. It was an interesting run/row because we had weight work between everything so it felt almost like a full workout just in the run/row. It started with a 500 meter row, then 10 front raises with weights, then a .1 mile run, and the round finished with 5 arm snatches on each side. Then the next round had the row go down 100 meters and the run go up .05 miles.

I told myself that I would try to run the run segments in full as long as I could. I figured that I probably would need to take a walking break when I got to the .25 mile run but I’d try to run the earlier segments in full. Fortunately (I guess) for me, I never made it to the .25 mile run so I did manage to run all the run segments that I had. And for the rowing, the 500 meter one was a bit tough because I went a bit too hard in the beginning. But the other rowing segments weren’t too bad and I was able to take it easy since I was tired from the running.

The floor had 3 blocks. The first block was squats with the Bosu, lateral lunges with medicine ball presses, kneeling wood choppers, and sit ups with rotations. This block was pretty hard for me and I was taking a bunch of breaks. The wood choppers were especially hard and I think it’s because we haven’t done them for a while and I’m out of practice. The second block had plank jack to pop jacks (which I had to end up doing as plank jacks only due to hip pain), crunches, and hip raises. And the last block was lunges using the straps and swimmers. I felt pretty strong during those last 2 floor blocks so that made up for feeling so off during the first one.

And Friday’s workout also ended up being a run/row day and it was focused on power. I knew I didn’t want to overdo things because of the Dri-Tri the next day. Fortunately this format actually worked well for taking it easier than normal. Our class was small so we ended up working in 1 group that all started on cardio instead of splitting up and having half of us start on cardio and half of us start on the floor.

The first block of the run/row started with rowing. We rowed 200 meters and then however long that took on the rower was the time that we ran on the treadmill. Each round we went up 50 meters on the rower and used that time for the treadmill. All of the times for me were under 2 minutes so I knew I could run it all. I kept my running at my usual push pace which is the pace I’ve been able to use for some of my distance running.

After that block we all moved to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block was a timed block with 30 seconds for each thing. We had bicep curls, squats, and skaters. We did the series of moves for 3 rounds and then moved on to the next floor block which was by the number of reps (not timed). That block had lunges, running man, and side plank rotations. And then it was back to the run/row.

The second block of the run/row was similar, but flipped. We started on the treadmill for a .1 mile run and then went to the rower and rowed for however long it took us to do the run. Each time on the treadmill went up by .05 miles and then we used that time for the rowing that round. I had a similar idea with the running as I had on Wednesday. I knew running .25 miles was probably going to be a run/walk but I could run the shorter ones in full. And again, I never made it to the .25 mile run so I was running them all in full. The rowing was all pretty much sprint rows since they weren’t too long so again I was a bit nervous about my lack of endurance row training. But the key was just trying to not go too hard in the beginning and to stay steady since that’s what I’d need to do with a 2,000 meter row.

The floor in the end was similar to the other floor blocks. We had one block that was timed and one block that was by reps. For the timed block, it was 3 rounds of 3 exercises for 30 seconds each. This time we had bicep curls on the straps, sumo squats, and skaters before moving on to the last block. The final block was squats, plank shoulder taps, and abs. That last block was a bit tough because I was tired and feeling a bit off that afternoon (I think I was dehydrated), but I made it through.

Even though I did a ton of running, I still know I haven’t been doing as much running as I should. Part of the reason has been that I’m not clear on when my next 5K will be so I don’t feel like I’m training for something. I usually have a 5K in November. This year it was supposed to be in October but nothing has been officially announced and there are no sign ups. And my race that I do in April seems to be changing and there might not be a 5K anymore. I’m still waiting on seeing what happens, but knowing that April might be my next race isn’t that much motivation. I need to find something other than a 5K to push me to work on my running so that when I have the Dry-Tris I will feel more prepared.

Being Patient With Myself (or Being Ok With A 3 Workout Week)

I originally planned this past week to be a 4 workout week because I knew that this week was likely to be a 3 workout week. I’m now having 4 workout weeks be the norm and 3 workout weeks to be rarer instead of how it used to be the other way around. But this week was another one where my body was telling me stuff and I just had to listen. So I had 3 workouts and they weren’t all up to my normal abilities.

Monday was a strength day. I knew I’d be going to Disneyland that day, plus I was dealing with some hip pain and nausea, so I decided to walk the entire workout. It was probably a smart choice for me because a lot of the work was longer segments on the hills. I can do running on hills for short bursts, but I definitely can’t really do longer running on hills just yet. Most of my walking was at 6, 8, or 10% and it was tough to feel like I was getting a good workout in because I’m so used to running.

We also had one cardio block on the rower and it was a pretty fun challenge. The goal was doing 100 meters in as few pulls on the rower as possible. Doing as few pulls is tough because your brain is telling you to go super fast to get it done. But really you have to take your time and take long pauses at the beginning and end of each stroke. It’s an exercise in patience and I’m getting better at it. The goal was to be able to do 100 meters in under 10 pulls and I knew I could do that since on these pull challenges I usually average 10 meters a pull. In the time we had on the rower, I had time to do 4 attempts. 2 of those attempts were at 8 pulls and the other 2 were at 7 pulls. I’m pretty happy with myself with that effort.

Once on the floor, I focuses on heavier weights since my cardio wasn’t as good as normal. We did have rowing on the first block with 200 meter rows (I did them between 40-42 seconds each time). The second and third block on the floor was mainly arm work like pull overs, triceps, upper cuts, and raises. And the last block was all ab work like planks, crunches, and toe reaches. Even though I felt disappointed with my cardio, I knew I’d be doing a ton of steps at Disneyland and I feel pretty happy with what I was able to do on the floor.

Wednesday was a run/row day and I was pretty excited about it. I knew it was going to be a very difficult run/row, but it was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I’ve made some really great progress. On the running part, it started with .25 miles, then .5 miles, then 1 mile. And the rowing was 1600 meters, 800 meters, and 400 meters. I had a feeling I wouldn’t get through the mile so I put my energy toward the first 2 segments. I was able to run the .25 mile run pretty easily (it’s still so crazy to me that running that has become easy to me now) and then I headed to the rower.

I checked my records, and my previous PR for 1600 meters was almost 2 years ago and it was 8:15.2. I had a feeling I could do it in under 8 minutes flat and set that as my goal. Distance rowing is still tough, but I’m getting better at it since we’ve had some more opportunities for it. And I think the endurance I’ve been building with my running is helping my rowing too. I tried to not focus on the rower while I was rowing because I knew I’d be on there for a while. I finally looked down at around 6 minutes thinking I would be close and I was much closer than I thought I could be to being done! So I decided my new goal would be to go all out for the end and maybe be able to take a full minute off my 1600 meter row. I think I was in a bit of shock when I was done.

I did just over 1:02 faster than my old PR! That’s pretty insane and I think that it was a really great time for me. I knew I’d PR on my row, but to think I could PR by that much is mind-boggling. I was pretty exhausted after that row, but I still wanted to do my best on the next running segment. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to run the entire .5 mile run too. I did the 800 meter row in 3:27.5 which is less than half the time it took me to do double the distance so that was pretty great too. And I only got started on the mile run by the time it was time to switch.

The floor work had an interesting set up. There were 4 blocks and the first 3 blocks all started with a minute of timed work like squats, pushups, and rowing on the straps). After that, we had about 4 minutes to do 2 different moves. The moves after the timed work was mainly arm work and a lot of it was rowing (which seemed mean after doing so much rowing during the run/row). The very last block on the floor was timed ab work like crunches and leg lifts. We also had a 90 second plank hold to finish which felt pretty easy considering all the plank work I did in my challenge last month. I’m happy that planks have gotten so much easier for me and I’m excited to see what other plank progress I’m going to make soon.

Friday was another run/row day but it was also a strength day so that meant hills. I originally planned to do all the running as running and it started off great with a .5 mile run which was at a flat road treadmill (which is 1%). I actually was able to get my speed up and did it at 4.7 mph instead of my usual 4.5 mph. Next was a 450 meter row which I wasn’t too worried about since I was focusing on the next run segment.

Next was supposed to be .4 miles at 2% and I assumed I’d be able to do it. But my body was saying otherwise and after less than a minute I had to switch to power walking. It was disappointing because I was so set on running, but I’m really learning to be patient with myself and knew it would be best to not run. My body was hurting from some hip pain plus I had eaten too much the night before (more on that in a future post), but I was hoping that I could overcome that. But once I started walking I was feeling better so I know I made the right choice. I did the 350 meter row, the next run segment (as a walk again), and just had enough time to finish a 250 meter row when time was called. I didn’t get all the way down the run/row assignment, but I got almost done which is pretty good for me.

Once on the floor, I again wanted to do heavier weights because I felt like I had to make up for what I didn’t do on the treadmill. We started with lateral lunges and I was able to use 20 pound weights in each hand. It wasn’t easy and I had to take breaks, but I got through the entire set. I did my front raises with 15 pound weights (usually I use 12 pounds) and I even used weights for my hip bridges and scissor kicks which I usually do without weights. In the second block, I wasn’t using much heavier weights than normal, but I didn’t go easy on myself either. And we ended with a core blast with a medicine ball and I went for the 10 pound one instead of 8 pounds. I felt like I really made up for my lack of running with weights.

Leaving Friday’s workout, I had every intention of making it on Saturday. So I probably didn’t go as hard for that workout than I would have if I had known I was going to skip Saturday. But Saturday morning things changed and I knew it would be best for me to not work out that day. It’s not easy for me to listen to my body because I’m always trying to push myself, but I’m trying and I’m seeing the results when I do pay attention.

I’m a bit paranoid about not hitting my workout goal for the year, so I might try to see if I can fit in another workout this week. It might not be possible and I might have to be ok with 3 workouts for 2 weeks in a row. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m so set in my plan that it can be hard to deviate from it. But this is all a lesson in patience, listening to my body, and not being too hard on myself. It’s just tough for me to do that sometimes.

A Fitness Girls Night Out (or Yoga Time)

Most of my fitness things are all about Orangetheory. I love my workouts at Orangetheory and they are my main fitness thing. But it’s always awesome when I get to try something different and especially when that involves some of my friends! So when I heard that some of my friends were going to be attending an upcoming Girls Night Out event by New Balance, I knew I had to join in!

This event was being held at the New Balance in Santa Monica, so it was pretty close to my house. And I carpooled with my friend Elizabeth so I wasn’t alone. I’m always nervous going to events like this because I don’t want to be by myself and unable to find my friends. So knowing that Elizabeth and I would arrive together eased my nerves. And then when we arrived we immediately saw my friend Elisa (who is a part of my Pantages group). So I guess I didn’t need to worry at all!

We took a look at everything around the store since we were told that anything we purchased while we were at the event was 20% off. I would love to get some new shoes, but I don’t have the money to spend on them right now. But looking at all the awesome stuff there was fun and hopefully when I need some new shoes there will be a sale or something. There were also a bunch of different food samples out and I tried out some beef jerky and bacon jerky which was pretty good.

The fitness thing of this event was going to be yoga with Elisa Joan. I was reminded by a friend to bring my yoga mat, but I totally forgot. Elizabeth offered to share her mat with me, but I decided to look in my car to see if I had a beach towel or something. I didn’t have one, but I found my big beach blanket so I grabbed that and brought it with me. We were doing yoga outside the store so I didn’t want to have nothing to protect me from the ground. The blanket was a bit slippery, but it was better than the ground.

The class was pretty awesome! There were a few things that I couldn’t do because of my hip, but most of it is stuff that I’ve been doing in my yoga practice at home. It’s nice that so many of the poses are things that I’m feeling more familiar with since it was an unfamiliar situation. But having something feel like I’m used to really helped me out. It was a bit warm doing yoga outside when the sun was in our faces, but it cooled down quickly once the sun dipped behind the buildings.

There was also a live DJ there for the class and that was a new exciting thing. She played some really great songs and I think that it added to how much I enjoyed the class. And Elise is an amazing yoga teacher and really knew how to make everyone at every yoga level feel comfortable and feel like they had options they could use to challenge themselves.

The class was about an hour and when it was done Elizabeth and I got a chance to chat with Elise a bit. She’s such an inspiring person and I loved getting to talk with her! We talked about our mutual love of theme parks (she’s a Universal and Disney person too!) and some of the health struggles that we both have had. It was so nice that she didn’t try to talk down to me like some fitness instructors have done in the past. I’ve been very lucky with not encountering someone who looks at me and assumes I don’t work out, but it’s always a fear that I’ll deal with that again.

We all headed back inside the store where they were doing a raffle for various things. None of my group had won anything, but that’s ok. The only thing I think I would have wanted would have been the shoes, but I don’t need new shoes right now. But it till would have been fun to win. Elizabeth and I were ready to head out after the raffle was done and we were given a bit of swag (a nice fun new water bottle) as we walked out.

I’m so glad that I was able to attend this event and that I was able to go with some friends. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much without having friends with me because I would have been overwhelmed at it all. I need a buddy with me to keep me calm. And I’m so glad I got to meet Elise and I’m hoping that I can do another yoga class with her again soon! I have been a bit on the fence about doing more yoga classes that aren’t at home since I’ve had some not-so-great experiences, but I think I just need to find the right teacher. And someone like Elise would probably be perfect for me!

I guess I’ll have to look more into classes now and keep seeing where Elise might be teaching next!

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Slimmons Is Closing (or Maybe I Should Do One More Workout)

Even though I haven’t worked out at Richard Simmons’ studio Slimmons in years, I was still pretty upset when I heard that the studio would be closing down next month. I know I’ve written about Slimmons before, but I feel this is important and I’m going to share a lot of my story there again.

I first went to Slimmons because of my friend Alex. She told me how much she loved going to workouts there and I decided that it could be something fun to check out. I never expected to go there regularly, I just thought I could have it as a fun story to tell people. Not everyone gets to work out with the one and only Richard Simmons, so I wanted to do it! I had no idea what to expect but went into the workout with an open mind.

And I was surprised to discover that I really liked it! This was right after I had regained a lot of weight that I had lost, so my confidence was very low. I didn’t want to return to the gym that I belonged to because I didn’t want people to stare at me (or worse, remember that I was recently thin and judge me for gaining back the weight). But at Slimmons, nobody is looking at you. Yes, part of that is because Richard is just so ridiculous that you can’t take your eyes off of him. But another part is that he made it such an accepting environment that you wouldn’t dare to think negatively about anyone else and you are very focused on bettering yourself.

Alex and I would go to Slimmons on a somewhat regular basis. I tried to do at least one of Richard’s classes each week. And I started to make friends in class pretty quickly. One of those friends is one of my current day job bosses (she actually got me a job shortly after we met at Slimmons). And one of my favorite bloggers (who is more of an acquaintance) was someone I met because he also went to Slimmons. I had a lot of people I saw each week, and it was nice to have people who expected to see me each week in class.

And of course, I had to share my love of Slimmons with other people. I brought a bunch of friends there (including having one friend celebrate his birthday there).

justins-birthday-at-slimmons friends-at-slimmons

And because my dad is always interested in trying whatever workout craze I’m loving, he had to come with me to Slimmons. I didn’t get a picture when just my dad and I went, but the next trip my parents had to LA got my mom to join us! My mom loves tennis and hiking, but I don’t know if exercise classes are really something she loves. But she had fun at Slimmons and I had to get a picture of her with Richard.

mom-and-richard

And as soon as Richard found out that our dog Dante was in the car, he wanted us to get Dante so he could meet him and get a picture with him too!

richard-and-dante

The time at Slimmons with my parents and dog was my last time working out there. I had something happen that made me not want to work out there anymore. And until I found Orangetheory, I never found another workout place that was as accepting and welcoming as Slimmons was.

As soon as I heard the news that Slimmons was closing, I was had a bit of a pit in my stomach. Slimmons was so important to Richard and it’s making me worried that there are more health issues that he’s dealing with than are known right now. While I don’t work out at Slimmons anymore, that doesn’t mean I want it to close. It’s an amazing home for so many people to work out in. There are people who wouldn’t think they could work out until they went to Slimmons. And to know that place won’t exist again soon is depressing.

There’s a few more weeks until Slimmons closes down. I’m thinking I’ll have to go back for at least one more workout before it’s gone forever. I know some people I know will be going for the last class ever, but I think that might be too crowded to go to. And while I wish that Richard would come back for everyone to work out with, I really doubt he will be returning again.

Like I said in my last post about Richard, I really do hope that he is doing ok. I hope that he posts more things on social media that are current and show that he is alright. And maybe he will make an appearance at Slimmons again before it closes, but that would be pretty surprising since he’s pretty much disappeared from public.

Even though Slimmons is closing, I’m so glad that so many people have happy memories there. Almost all my memories are very positive ones and I share stories from my time at Slimmons quite often with friends when they find out I worked out there. Hopefully I get the chance to be there again so I can make sure my last memory of Slimmons is another great one.

Remembering My Time At Slimmons (or I’m Glad Richard Simmons Is Ok)

I haven’t really talked too much about what workouts I did before I started this blog. So I pretty much only have talked about my races, SoulCycle, and Orangetheory. But I had done workouts before those. I used to belong to a couple of different gyms around LA. At one of them, I had a personal trainer so that was what got me to the gym (it’s also why I think I connected with Orangetheory so much). At the other gym, I just had a membership and I would go and do some cardio, but nothing special. But there was one other workout place that was special to me in my past.

Back in 2008 when I met my friend Alex, she was telling me about her favorite workout in LA. And that place happened to be Slimmons Studio, the fitness Studio that Richard Simmons started. It sounded cool to me on its own, but then I found out that you get to work out with Richard himself! So soon after Alex and I met, I joined her for a workout at Slimmons with Richard.

It wasn’t an easy class, but I didn’t feel awkward or weird at all. Richard was so great about offering modifications for all fitness levels and abilities. I had so much fun in the class listening to Richard be ridiculous and yelling at us. The music was great and everyone in class had fun.

The class was $12, but I got a membership for $50 that let me go to classes for only $10. I wasn’t going super regularly, but I tried to go once a week to class. Richard was teaching on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (with Saturday being the most crowded), so I usually could find a night that fit into my schedule. And when Richard wasn’t there teaching, one of his other teachers would teach and they were just as amazing as he was.

Besides having my friend Alex in class with me, I started making friends because I would see the same people each week. One of my current bosses (who was also my boss at another job) is someone I met at Slimmons. In fact, I started working for her because after class I had mentioned I was looking for work. The company she was with then had an opening, I got an interview, and then I got a job! I even met a blogger who had lost 150 pounds when he recorded a video in class for the Ellen DeGeneres show (yes, you can see me in the background in the video).

And once I started sharing online that I was working out with Richard Simmons each week, my friends wanted to come with me.

Richard Simmons Justin's Birthday Richard Simmons

I even convinced my parents to come to a class. My dad came with me alone first. I don’t think he believed me when I said it could be a tough class, but he’s not really a dance person. So he had to focus a ton on the choreography and I think he believed me afterward that it’s not a joke class. After my dad came with me, the next time my parents were in town we convinced my mom to come too. My parents were talking with Richard after class when my mom mentioned that our dog, Dante, was waiting in the car for us. As soon as Richard heard we had a dog, he made my mom go out to get him so he could meet Dante.

Richard Simmons With Mom and Dante

I did stop working out with Richard Simmons shortly after that photo with Dante was taken. It had nothing to do with the workout, but someone happened that upset me. The basic details was I was told that I won a scholarship to work out at Slimmons and when I tried to claim my prize, I was told I didn’t win it. That was before my parents were in class with me. Then when my parents were in class, Richard said something about how I wasn’t taking advantage of the scholarship he had given me. I told him that there must have been a misunderstanding because I was told I didn’t get it. Then I called the next day to find out about the scholarship and was told that I didn’t win it and would have to keep paying for class. It’s not a big deal, but I was upset and didn’t really feel like going back.

While I wasn’t in class regularly, I always saw updates from my friends about Richard and the antics from his class. And then I started seeing posts about how he hadn’t been teaching lately. Then I saw posts about how nobody had really heard from him in a while. People assumed that he was dealing with health issues and would eventually appear again, but eventually over 2 years had passed and nobody had really seen him.

Even though I had been hurt by what happened, I was hoping that Richard would make an epic return to Slimmons and he would be ok. Then this past weekend an article came out claiming that Richard was being held hostage by his housekeeper. People who knew Richard well were saying how this was very unlikely and the person claiming this story was also trying to promote an e-book, so it seemed like maybe he just wanted publicity.

Fortunately, Richard did do a phone interview yesterday saying that he’s fine and not being held hostage. He didn’t really sound like the same Richard to me. He seemed very subdued and not as vibrant as he was in class. But he didn’t sound in distress or in harm. So I’m thinking that maybe he took a break from teaching 3 days a week (and usually traveling and teaching the other 4 days a week) and needed some time to himself. He might be enjoying the calm or using it to recover from something, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

I know that so many people had their lives changed by Richards Simmons. Lots of friends lost weight, regained confidence, and improved their lives by meeting with him and going to his class. Even though I had my negative experience the last time I was there, I benefitted a lot from him too. From making friends to finding a day job, from feeling like I can work out at any size to trying to do a regular fitness routine; all of these things were made possible because of my time at Richard’s class.

I do hope that he will return to teaching in the future. I have a bunch of friends who want to check out the class and I want to go back too because I want to see how I do with all the training I’ve been doing at Orangetheory. I bet I’ll be stronger than I was last time (but I might not do as well with the choreography). Hopefully I’ll have the chance to take his class again one day, but for now I’m just glad that he did that interview to prove that he’s ok.

Yoga Again (or Take Two)

After my first yoga class with my Living Social deal, I was a little hesitant to try another class. But I knew that I couldn’t judge the entire studio by one bad class.

So yesterday, my friend and I went to another class to see if we would like it. It was one of their signature yoga classes. And it was a level 1/2 class.

I’ve taken yoga in the past and use my Wii Fit for yoga, so I’m not a total beginner. And at other studios, I’ve taken the level 1 class and it was more like a lecture about yoga poses then a workout class. So we figured that if it was too tough, we’d do our best and try a level 1 class next.

We got there early enough to get a decent space, and good thing because the class was crowded! Even after the class started, people were coming in late and the teacher was asking people to move their mats to make room for the later comers.

The class was good, but it was a little too hard for me. I’m flexible and able to do most poses. But the problem was that when the teacher was instructing us, sometimes she would only say the name of the pose and not what to do with your body. So I had to look around the room to see what everyone else was doing.

What I did love about the class was the teacher. I’ve had issues with group workout classes where the teachers are nervous to have an overweight student. They don’t know if they should ignore you or focus on you and trying to adjust the class to your ability. This teacher was amazing! She didn’t focus on me more than any other student, but she did give me some great pointers with using yoga blocks for many of the poses. And she did mention that I might always need to use the yoga blocks because my arms are a bit short for my body. I’ve always known this because when I was in middle school and did the fingertip test for skirts, my skirts could always be shorter than everyone else’s.

I’m probably going to go and try the level 1 class next. I enjoyed being pushed, but I didn’t like the confusion I felt in class. And I don’t know if I’ll continue with this studio after the Living Social deal is done (it’s an expensive studio and parking kind of stinks), but I’m fully taking advantage of this month.