Category Archives: Fitness

Rounds Workout

Good morning! Today I’m spending lots of time cooking and getting ready to head to the mountains this weekend for “ski weekend” with my friends! Sadly the temperatures look frigid and I’m not sure how much snow there actually is to ski on. I’m sure we’re in for a fun weekend either way!

 I’m sharing an awesome workout with you today. I had my class at the YMCA do it last Friday and it looked so much fun I decided to do it with my friend and gym buddy Sarah on Sunday. I actually have two friends named Sarah that I often workout with (not usually at the same time) and it confuses the heck out of Angus. I also have two friends named Emily who I often drink wine with. Also a confusing situation. Here you go!

Rounds Workout

How to Get Better at Push Ups

I think one of the things that I hear most often in classes and training is “push ups are so hard” or “I never get better at push ups”. Push ups are a basic exercise that lots of people wish they could perform better. One giant problem with push ups and never seeing any improvement? The knee push up. 

While push ups and knee push ups are known to target the chest, there is a lot that the knee push up is missing out on.

  • Huge jump in weight lifted. Legs are heavy! Think about it this way: Maybe you can do 15-20+ reps of a bench press EASILY with just the bar (45 lbs) but can you really expect the same amount of reps with the same ease if you add 50+ more pounds to the bar? Nope. It’s going to be a lot harder! Same with Push ups. Take the legs out, less weight lifted, add the legs back, huge (impossible) jump! 
  • With a knee push up you’re not properly training many of the muscles involved with normal on your feet push ups. A big one is your core. Many times the failure to complete push ups results not from lack of upper body strength- but from lack of core strength. 

So What Can You Do? 

If you want to get better at push ups the single best thing you can do is to do push ups. The real ones. On your feet. If you are not able to do a single push up on your feet here is a progression that will get you there. Start with the wall push ups, once you are able to do 3 sets of 15 wall push ups move onto the incline bench push ups. Don’t go back to wall push ups now! Work your way up to 3 sets of 15 incline bench push ups and then move on to 

Beginner: Wall Push Up

Start with wall push ups. Work your way up to being able to do 3 sets of 15 wall push ups. Once you have mastered the wall push up, move onto the incline bench push up.

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Intermediate: Incline Push Up on Bench

Work your way up to 3 sets of 15 incline bench push ups. Once you have mastered these move on to push ups on your feet! 

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Advanced: Push Up on Feet

At this point DON’T TURN BACK! Don’t do them on the wall, don’t do them on a bench, do them on your FEET. Start by seeing how many you can do while maintaining good form. This number may only be one, two, or three and that’s totally okay! Once you have done that first set and established how many you are able to do, take a long rest (around 2 minutes) and try to repeat that same number of repetitions for two more sets. If you are getting tired and your form is suffering call it quits and try again next time to reach that number of reps you started with. 

 

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This is just the beginning! Keep building on your new foundation. Add another push up when you can do three sets with ease and keep going from there. Stay tuned for another post about how you can keep improving from here!

 

Balls, Bells, and Boxes Workout

Good morning! It is hard to believe that Christmas is only 9 days away. Naturally it also means that it is time for some themed workouts! This workout you just need a medicine ball (the big cloth ones work the best),  a Kettlebell, and a box! Some of the exercises might be new to you or maybe I just called them something weird so I’ve provided you with a handy little guide of the exercises in this workout. Let me know if you give it a try!

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100 Reps Workout

Happy Wednesday! This week has felt like it has gone on and on since I worked Sunday which I normally don’t do. Looking forward to a fun weekend with guests and going to a wedding and enjoying this beautiful Maine summer. But first! A workout. I did this workout with my class at the YMCA a month or so ago and it was a big hit. So much so that one of the members recreated it themselves while they were on vacation last week. Sounds to me like you can use a kitty litter box instead of a kettlebell if you don’t have one. Now, I’m not sure I would recommend this but apparently it worked. HAH! So anyway, it’s quick (About 20-25 minutes) and you don’t need much equipment. A kettlebell (maybe two 😉 ) is all you need! Enjoy!

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Spin Saturday Playlist

Good morning! Soaking up all of this summer weather here in Portland. I can’t get enough of it and will be so sad when it ends. Friday was spent enjoying a delicious dinner out at the East Ender followed by drinks outdoors and listening to the Weezer concert for free with some friends. Saturday started out with teaching a class at Quest followed by my favorite Saturday morning tradition: iced coffee and a donut from the holy donut and then shopping at the farmers market. Whenever I tell people that is what I like to do on Saturday mornings they always seem surprised that it happens every Saturday. Well, yes it does!! Today will be a kayak/canoe trip to Higgins beach! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and enjoy some new tunes! 

 

Spin Saturday Playlist

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. This was my weekend to teach at Quest cycle so I have a playlist to share with you this morning. After teaching Saturday morning it was finally time to relax after teaching a boatload (14!!!) of classes this week. I was able to watch the parade of tall ships on Saturday afternoon at my parents place on the water which was excellent! I Also got to spend some time with my grandparents who were in town for the weekend hanging out, eating good food, drinking good drinks, and petting the cutest dog in the entire world.
 

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And here is your playlist! Have a great week!! 😀 

Spin Saturday Playlist

Good morning! Here are some new tunes coming your way ( a couple days late)! This weekend was a fun and busy one. Angus’ dad and his girlfriend came down for the Barenaked Ladies Concert on Friday and it was a blast. Now, if a song from the Barenaked Ladies popped up on my spotify radio I would probably just hit “next”. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the concert. They were very entertaining and fantastic to hear live. Saturday was teaching class, and then meeting up with our guests down in the Old Port for some snacks and shopping. 

Sunday was a lazy, rainy day and Angus and I enjoyed brunch at the Treehouse Cafe right here in our neighborhood. I can’t believe we had not been there before and I already can’t wait to go back! (The crab omelet was fabulous!) In the afternoon we did a quick kettle bell workout at the Y and then headed out for my friend Sarah’s surprise birthday party! 

 

Spin Instructors- How to Organize Your Spotify Music

I’m writing this post because organizing my music for the spin classes I teach is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of teaching. In the winter I teach about 6 cycling classes a week so it is so important for me to keep my music organized. This way I can quickly make new playlists, and I won’t get too bored with my music. I’m sure there are lots of other spin instructors out there who would agree that when they can’t find new music they just end up more or less playing the same songs over and over and that gets BORING. Okay, so here’s what I do to stay organized and keep those playlists fresh and fun.

1. First off, you can’t find new music unless you look for it. If you teach many classes a week listening to the radio and playing those hits you hear is going to get real old real fast. You’re not going to find new music on the radio. Well, maybe you will… like once a month. Where do I find my music? I look on blogs for playlists, search spin studios in larger cities on Facebook and they’ll usually have a playlist posted every so often, you can also search for spin studios on Spotify, Spotify top 100 playlist. Like I said, it’s a process! I’ll find a playlist from somewhere else, listen to all of it, and end up choosing a song or two to add to my library. Like I said, it’s a very time consuming process. We don’t all have the same taste in music!

2. Okay so now you’ve found some new songs you like… what do you do with them? I’ve created playlists labeled with the current month. So if I found some songs that I liked today, I would add them right to my “June” playlist. 

3. From there, you have all your current favorite songs in one location ready to make your playlists. But what about those old songs you might want to revisit? I put all my older music into 6 playlists: warm up, flat roads, sprints, hills, games, and cool down. 

4. When June is over, I will go through the June music and add the songs to the appropriate playlist. This way they’re ready and waiting to get used again and I can find them quickly and easily. 

5. I will date each of my playlists and keep them around for a week or so, incase I want to reuse a playlist. Then they get deleted, but all the songs are still saved in either the current month’s playlist or one of the categories. 

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So there you go, a great way to organize your music. This works really well for me and saves me a lot of time and keeps me from getting too bored listening to the same song over and over again! 

Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival

Good morning! My legs are a little tired this morning after running the 10k in the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival yesterday! This was a great race and event and I’m already excited to do it again next year. (It’s funny how running works, if you asked me in the last mile of the course if I was ever going to do it again I would say no way… now that it’s over I can’t wait)

The 10k course has lots of rolling hills but the first half of the course is mostly downhill, while the last half of the course is mostly uphill. Then the last kilometer of the race is ALL uphill. It was hard. Since I’ve spent many days at Pineland skiing and racing there (on skis) the trails were really familiar to me and I knew all the twist and turns and upcoming hills. It was nice knowing the course so well but there were many times where I was dreading a hard section that was coming up. 

Here’s my coworker, Joanne, and I waiting at the start of the race!17693_10204587686231698_4730102087563766090_nThere are lots of different options for race distances and the festival spreads over two days. There is everything from 5k to 50 miles to a dog race. I loved this corgi and weener dog running together.IMG_2192This adorable little bundle of chub wanted to play with Angus instead of race.IMG_2196Here I am coming up one of the hills!IMG_2184

photoI was really happy with my results! It was one of my fastest 10ks on the hardest course I’ve done. Something about a race though and PAYING to run makes me want to try a little harder. See you again next year, Pineland! 🙂

Stadium Workout

Greetings from my patio. Spring has definitely sprung and maybe we’ve just skipped spring all together and moved right on to summer. I am very okay with that. Today started with a spin class at IDEXX and I’m getting ready to head back over to teach some more classes. THEN I will be spending some time outside this afternoon! This workout is an awesome workout that my friend Sarah and I have been doing once a week or so. Get ready for your calves to be sore!! 

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