Fitness Adventures: 6 Reasons Why Pole Fitness Is Awesome

Pole Fitness

 

I am a part of a wonderful Facebook group called The Fit Girlz Clique. If you don’t know about it, go  to Facebook and getchu some! It is a wonderful community of women who encourage and motivate either through pictures, words or both.  The page always has great challenges and fitness events that are always changing and seem fun.  For my first event with this group, I decided to join a Pole Fitness class.  It was held at 8 am on a Saturday at Good Gyrrl Studios in the Bridgeport Arts Center on the South Side of Chicago.  The instructor, Coach Robin of Alpha To Omega Wholistic Therapeutic Services is fantastic and I want to tell you why this pole fitness class was awesome.

1. This class was located in the Bridgeport Arts Center which is a huge warehouse/loft style building on the South Side of Chicago near US Cellular Field/The Cell/Comiskey Park. It mostly houses artist lofts, but also hosts another gym and a poetry lounge to name a few.  The outside has a really nice courtyard area with a mosaic lined walkway and a big silver horse which goes along with the courtyard. I’m not gonna lie, me and a few others got a little turned around finding the actual studio but when we got there, we found the Good Gyrrl Studio to be cute, not too girly and sensually decorated with leopard print, velvet covered seats and four poles in the middle of the room for the pole fitness class.  I also saw some hula hoops and weights so I am sure that other interesting courses are taught there and since a few of us (yes, me too) forgot our mats, there were several mats available for our use.

2. Some of us were a little late, but once we got there, we found Coach Robin ready to go. She got us warmed up, was detailed and informative in her instruction and made the workout accessible for everyone. On another note, girlfriend has some serious pole skills. I was in awe and quite impressed. i learned quite a bit in that one class, such as the use of a product called “tack” that you can rub on your hands and in my case, on my inner thighs to keep from slipping on the pole.

3. I love a challenge which is why I chose this class.  The challenge of pole fitness is first a test of your body weight strength. We worked our core, upper body, inner thighs..outer thighs..every.thing. No weights, only using the pole for support. We learned a few basic spins, one was called The Cradle, as well as how to a Handstand. This workout was fun and no joke!

4. The ladies that participated in this class were wonderful, open minded and even though I had never met any of them before, were some of the friendliest women I have ever met.  We all had varying levels of fitness ability, but we all were there to exercise and experience something new.  Because of the different things taught in this class, some people found some new found ability, others found flexibility and we all caught a little sexy cuz, well, frankly we all were to begin with.

5. I loved the music!  I am a huge Prince friend and one of the warmup songs was “Sexy Dancer”. From the first few bars of that song, I was all in for the rest of the class.  We also took a musical interlude break when Sugar Hill Gangs Apache (Jump On It) came on.  If you know that song, you know the dance that Will and Carlton from the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” did. Yes we did it. And it was glorious.

6. The pole is your friend.  If you take a class like this, you must remember that. It is there to support you and help you do fun, amazing spins that you did not think you could do. And don’t think that because you are not your ideal weight that this is out of reach for you.  If you want to do it, go for it.  You might find something that you didn’t know was there.

There you have it. Despite some light inner thigh chafing and some soreness the next day, I am totally and completely in love with Pole Fitness and will enthusiastically do this again.

Feel fitty!

XO,  Amber

So You Think You Can Move: Fitness to Maintain Sanity While Moving

ImageEvery time I get ready to move, I swear that I am going to get movers. And every time I move, I think “Well..we can do this on our own!” and off to U-Haul I go.

Big mistake. I swear. I will be using movers next time. It was exhausting, frustrating and just over all a pain in the a!$. But, of course I did not waste my moving experience! No! I used it as an opportunity to get a full body workout so that I could enjoy that all important pizza break when you are done moving! I also came up with a workout to prepare for my move and thought I would share with those of you who are moving soon  or are just looking for ways to do some quad, hamstring and lower and upper back strengthening.

Warm Up:

20 Jumping Jacks

15 (each side) Dirty Dogs (on all fours, lift leg to the side like a dog doing a #1)

15 Wall Slides (Back on the wall, slide arms up and down)

15 (each side) Lunge and Twists

Workout:

15-20 Squats

15-20 Deadlifts (with or without weight)

15-20 Push Ups

Repeat 2x

15-20 Scorpions (All Fours, lift leg in the back, squeeze glutes)

15-20 (each side) Russian Twists (Seated, with out without medicine ball or weight, cross ankles, lift legs and rotate core from side to side)

15-20 (each side) Opposite Arm/Leg Supermans- (Lying on stomach, arms and legs straight, lift one arm and opposite leg off the floor, repeat)

Repeat 2x

Cooldown with a few stretches and try to fit in some meditation time. Trust me it will help get your mind right for horror that is moving on your own. Don’t get me wrong, I love my new place. But, next time, I getting movers.

Feel Fitty!

XO, Amber

Bandz A Make Her….Run?

beyonce-ratchet

Let me start this off by saying I consider myself a feminist. A feminist who thinks that a woman should be able to make her own choices, do what she wants to do professionally, whether it is CEO or stay-at-home mom. I am also a proud woman who seeks to uplift women in whatever way my talents and skills will allow me to. But, for some reason, I LOVE listening to some of the most ratchet music when I work out, mostly when I run.  I love music and typically have classic, old school tastes when it comes to music.  I mean, I would sooner pluck my eyelashes out, one by one, than to sit and listen to “R.I.P” or “I Love Them Strippers” in the car. I’m not kidding.

In my opinion, there is a lot of crap out there on the radio today. But one day, a friend of mine wrote a Facebook post on how she loved A$AP Rocky’s song “Problems” I listened to it online…I was not impressed..NEXXXTTTTT! But then, when I was training for a race, it came on Fit Radio and I was like “Heeeeeyyyy!” The beat was hot and it got me going! So I listed to more and now all of my favorites on Fit Radio feature some of today’s Top Ratchet songs out there.  It keeps me motivated I guess.

Now the flip side. Some of the lyrics are distracting. Rappers are very impressed by their themselves and their man parts. That earns the song and eye roll and a laugh while I run. (I’m sure Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz  are soo upset my by reaction, comforted only by their millions of dollars and video vixens to keep them warm at night) And I am saddened by the thought that these are the people who are influencing young males how to treat females and young females on how to be treated and viewed.

Lesson learned here is that motivation can come from everywhere and that its okay to step outside of your norm and embrace it. Because honestly, as hard as it is for me to admit it, I really do like working out to a lot of those songs.  But, with that being said, please know that Janelle Monet and Doug E Fresh are still in hot rotation on my IPod.

So what do you think? Do you like ratchet music when you work out? I can’t be the only one!

The Coupled Up Bubble Up? Why People In Love Gain Weight.

Fat-Kim-Kardashian-Kanye-West

You ever wonder why when people hook up long term, they tend to gain some weight? I do. Is it contentment? Laziness? What is it? Of course the picture we see above is not true to life-and it is not an insensitive commentary on the now pregnant Kim, but I think it gets a point across.

Typically, when a person is in a newly committed relationship, they are happy, right? So what do you do when you are happy? You celebrate! What goes along with celebrating? Eating and drinking.  When you are happy, people can overindulge to kind of keep those feelings of euphoria going.

For the ladies-when you eat out with your man and you both order relatively the same thing say, a sandwich, chips and a drink.  Do you eat it all? The same portion of a grown man? Think about it. His eating habits could be rubbing off on you.

Who loves spending times with your significant other all hugged up and stuff?  I do! Who has kids and dogs and jobs and a spouse/partner? I have three out of four and my job involves exercise and it can be tough for me to schedule time after all of that stuff.  Busy adults have busy lives-even when they are single. But add another that you want to spend more time with? That makes it even tougher.

Fortunately, there are some solutions. If you see your signficant other gaining weight or engaging in unhealthy habits, schedule of healthy couple/family time! Go on walks together, sign up for a 5K and run that together, workout together!  Another great couple activity? Sex. It can burn up to 250 calories per hour!  And of course, you could always sign up for couples training with a personal trainer 😉 (Call me! I love coming up with partner exercises!).

The Warmup: Motivational Music Mondays- How You Like Me Now

running reflection

Its back! I’m back! Here is some motivational music for your Monday! Now, Kool Moe Dee had a hit by the same name, which is just as hot when it comes to motivating me during a workout or run. But I just love this song by The Heavy.  Enjoy!

How You Like Me Now-The Heavy

Thanksgiving Insipred Workout Moves

Thanksgiving is next week and I love this holiday! What’s not to love about family, food and being grateful for all of the abundance in our lives. As we all know, this is the start of the season of overeating and due to the weather, a decreased desire to get moving. So to help you stay active and celebrate, I came up with this Thanksgiving inspired workout. You know we couldn’t just let you eat all that turkey and stuffing and not give you a chance to work it out in the sprint of the season! The best part is that they are all bodyweight exercises so even grandma can get in on the action. Try it!

Push Away From the Table Push Ups 15 reps – Yep, a traditional push up folks! Plank position, hands shoulder width apart, feet at hip width and engage those abs. Bend elbows until the chest reaches the floor and push up. You can also modify this with your knees on the floor.

Turkey Trot Lunges 15 reps-Walking Lunges.  Stand with your hands on your hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and slowly lower your body until the left knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Then lift the left leg and continue in a walking pattern. You can also do stationery lunges by instead of walking the lunge by standing in one spot and switch legs. To maintain balance, engage your core throughout the exercise and when returning to starting position, push off of your heel.

Count Your Blessings Bicycles 15 reps- Start on your back with your hand behind your head and your legs lifted  and bent at the knees. Engage your abs,lift up, crunch and rotate. Rotate the left side of your body toward the right, keeping your right knee bent and extend the left leg. Rotate to the other side-your legs should move as if you are riding a bicycle. The goal of the rotation is to engage the obliques, so don’t get hung up on touching your elbow to your knee, just make sure you get a good rotation.

Black Friday High Knees 2 minutes– Get ready for those doorbusters on Black Friday with some stationary high knees.  Run in place with your knees lifted high for 2 minutes.

Repeat these moves two more times for Thanksgiving themed calorie burn!