Friday, October 29, 2010

Bodypump Basics

I have been going to BODYPUMP class for a little over a year. I have gotten into a pretty good routine that has allowed me to go at least once a week, sometimes once every 5 days or so.

Facts about BODYPUMP:
(taken from Les Mills BODYPUMP Website)

  • 60 minute barbell class that strengthens the entire body.
  • includes squats, presses, lunges, lifts, and curls.
  • every workout is choreographed with upbeat music. There is a new workout every 3 months.
  • class is designed to improve strength and endurance in the major muscle groups, and burning calories - up to 600 calories per class for fat loss.
  • improves bone density.

Our BODYPUMP Classes:

  • We have some great instructors that really make the class fun.
  • Every session starts with a warmup, working all muscles. Then each song throughout the class works a different muscle group, quads, hamstrings, glutes, triceps, biceps, shoulders, etc.
  • At the end of every class, it slows down with some ab/core work and planks, which sometimes includes walking and rocking planks.

Things I have noticed:

  • This class has been a fun way for me to corporate strength training (and more endurance) into my workout routine.
  • Being a runner, swimmer, and biker, I thought I was working many different muscles across these disciplines - but have realized that my legs (particularly quads/hamstrings), glutes, and hip flexors are still my "weakest link". If I go more than a week without taking this class, I find my hamstrings, glutes, and sometimes groin muscles to be extremely sore after a workout - mostly from the lunges and squats.
  • By incorporating this into my workout routine, I have noticed huge dividends in my running and biking. I have been able to run pain free (for the most part) for the past 6 months at least, by strengthening all of these muscles!
  • The music is usually pretty cool and the time flies by super fast!

Tips for Newbies:

  • Start out with minimal weights. I would even advise with some of the routines to just focus on doing them without weights, as your body may not be used to them (such as squats and lunges).
  • If you start taking a BODYPUMP class, try to get into a routine of going once a week. I find that this works best for me. Before increasing the amount of weight you put on your barbell, I think it would be more beneficial to try and go more often, but remember to rest between workouts. I would love to be able to go every 4 or 5 days if I could plan it into my schedule better. (LesMills recommends no more than 2-3 times per week.)
  • In addition to starting out with minimal weights, don't try and be "That Guy". You know, the guy that lifts daily, sometimes twice a day and then decides to take BODYPUMP class and use more weight than any regular in the class. This class is different from regular weight lifting and trainers have commented how it is more challenging than P90X.
  • If you can't keep up with the reps through the 3-5 minute song, then you have TOO much weight.
  • If you can't lift the weights appropriately, then you have too much weight. Example - if you are rocking your body or swinging your arms while doing bicep curls, you have too much weight.
  • Posture and doing each routine accurately is very important. Anytime you stray away from this, you are putting yourself in a position where you might injure yourself. The instructors are very good about reminding you of where your elbows need to be when doing bicep curls, how your wrists should be locked when doing shoulder presses, and where your knees should be when doing squats, etc.
  • Talking through the entire class with your friend or texting between routines is highly frowned upon. This is more a personal note of mine, but I know that it not only irritates others taking the class but the instructor as well. If you can carry on a conversation the entire time you are doing walking lunges and then between routines, you probably aren't working hard enough or don't have enough weight - just my personal opinion.

Have you ever tried a BODYPUMP class?
Do you like it?
What kind of strength training routine do you do?

(Note: I am not a personal trainer and I am not trained to teach BODYPUMP class. This post consists mostly of my personal opinions)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Bullets

Sorry so long since my last post. I guess living life is just getting in the way a bit! I have tried to sit down and write a cohesive post at least a half dozen times in the past week or so, but no luck. So, all you are getting bullets in typical-Teacherwoman-catch-up-style:
  • Even though I am not training for anything specific right now (but thinking WAY too much about 2011), my running is going really well. Really well. *knock on wood*. On the flip side, I haven't been in the pool yet this month. Actually I have only been in the pool ONCE since August 24th. I guess I just haven't had the desire to swim. Don't know exactly what the deal is.
  • Last weekend while back home visiting the BF and family, I got to experience two things for the first time - jelly and summer sausage sandwhiches and UFC. The BF was talking about those sandwhiches and how his family would eat them while working on the farm, so I had to try them. Very interesting combination, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! Saturday night we watched some UFC fighting at a friend's house. I was a little leary because I have never really watched it before and it was actually pretty fun. Brock Lesnar got his booty kicked in the first round - probably deserved it for all the smack talk he did.
  • Work is going well. I have a great group of kiddos this year, all very unique, but I love working with each and every one of them. With that, I am learning to read 6 year old body language a lot better and don'tt ell me you don't have to go to the bathroom when I ask three times while you are wiggling in your chair like fish out of water and proceed to grab your rear while running for the bathroom after I demanded that you atleast try. Thank goodness I have my own bathroom in my classroom. However, we are still working on remember to close the door behind you, flushing when you are done, and washing your hands. *smiles*
  • I want to shout out to my baby sister Susie who is working hard on losing weight. She joined LA Weightloss 9 weeks ago and has lost just a little over 26 pounds already! She is a determined woman!! I couldn't be more proud of her.
  • How many of you are thinking about 2011 already? Asside from potential races, I am just looking forward to what the year may bring. I turn 30 in about 7 weeks and I am excited for a new era!
  • Update: Forgot to mention that we are gearing up for some nasty winter weather here in North Dakota tonight and tomorrow. It's raining now, but wind gusts are between 26 and 39 mph. It's supposed to turn to snow tonight and tomorrow... with a possibility of 4 to 8 inches. WTH?! Have I mention that our days are getting even shorter by the minute? We currenlty only have about 10 hours of daylight here and I am at work for most of it! grrrrr...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Running Diva Mom's Virtual 10k
I woke at 430am a little tired but knew that if I didn't get this virtual 10K done this morning I probably wouldn't get it in tomorrow - especially since I have plans to swim tomorrow morning!

So, I flew out of bed, changed, and was to the gym and on the treadmill by 445am. It's nice to live so close to the gym and now have 24-hour access to the cardio and weight machines. Before 24-hour access was available, I wouldn't be able to get on the treadmill until after 5 and there was no way I would be able to run this distance and get ready in time for work.

I will admit, doing long runs on the treadmill is not ideal and I do not recommend it to anyone. I know that I run faster on the treadmill then I do outside, so I crank up the incline to "try" to give myself a more similar workout to running outside. Today I had it set on between 1.5 and 2.0 for the entire run. This also helps with my knees.

Breaking the run down - The treadmills are set to shut down after 30 minutes, so I broke my run down into 2 30 minute sessions, and then completed the rest of the 10K. (Unlike some of you, I need more than an hour to run a 10K.) Here's how it looks:

First 30 min = 2.56 mi(11:42 pace)
Second 30 min = 2.64 mi(11:21 pace)
+ 11:34 min = 1.1 mi (10:30 pace)
Total = 6.3 miles

For some reason, I always have this habit of adding a .1 or .2 to my runs. Don't ask. I just do it.

Overall, it was a good run and faster than I expected. My last long run left my right groin feeling a bit twinged, but today all was good. My left knee was a little tight, but I know that with a little extra stretching throughout the day and using the foam roller tonight, I will be golden.

Love, love, LOVE, these virtual races! Did you participate?

2. Brad Paisley Concert
This past Saturday, the BF and I and another couple, went to the Brad Paisley Concert at the Ralph Englestad Arena (Fighting Sioux Hockey arena) as part of the BF's birthday celebration. Even though we were up pretty high, our seats were perfect - just off the corner of the stage.

Justin Moore was the first opening act and even though I didn't know many of his songs, he did a wonderful job and I really enjoyed his music. Then Darius Rucker (Hootie) performed and did an AWESOME job. I would love to see that man in concert if he started his own tour. What an amazing musician he is! Brad Paisely did awesome as well. The music was a little loud for his concert and all of his mad-guitar skills, but overall it was a wonderful show! We definitely got our moneys worth with 3+ hours of music!

3. A Well-Needed Break
Next week we have Thursday and Friday off for NDEA conference. It used to be required that teachers go, or stay back and work in their classrooms, but now it's not part of our contract hours, so many don't go. Sometimes I miss how it was my first couple years of teaching and choosing to stay back to do grades, progress reports, prepare lessons, etc. However, I look forward to having these two days off. It will make for a nice long weekend ... to get some grad school homework done.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three (+1) Things Thursday

1. Changing the "Lable" - Yesterday I came to work to find this message in my inbox from our special education director ....

Granted, this is not exactly the terminology I would have chosen - was thinking something more along the longs of "Severely Cognitively Delayed" - but this is much better than MR and music to a special educator's ears. I know some states have changed from MR to something more easy to swallow, persay, but ND is a bit behind. Hopefully it won't take them years to change it.

Click HERE for the full article.

2. November 5K - I just signed up for the Full Moon 5K Run/Walk on November 11th. This run starts at our middle school (which is about a half a mile from my place). It's an evenign race - starting at 7pm, so it will be interesting to see what the weather is like then...

3. Flu shot - I can count how many times I have gotten the flu shot on one hand - 1. the year I student taught, 2. two years ago, 3. last year (but not the H1N1 shot), and now 4. YESTERDAY. I had heard from others that this shot was a bit more painful than the regular flu shot because it has the H1N1 in it. The actual shot itself wasn't too bad, but about an hour later I was in pain. After my shot I came home, did some laundry, vaccuumed a bit and then parked it on the couch to watch some news. When I would move my arm it would hurt so bad from my fingers to my jaw. I popped a couple Tylenol and felt a bit better. This morning it's a bit sore, and my upper arm and neck is tender to the touch. Crazy.

4. Minnesota Twins - When the Twins built their outdoor stadium, leaving the inclosed Metrodome behind, many were worried that the bonus of the noise factor in the metrodome would be lost. After watching Liriano strike out Derek Jeter in the 1st inning, and having a hard time hearing the announcers over the crowd, I quickly realized that the noise was still there. I could only imagine what the atmosphere was like last night. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pull through with a win (I think our relief pitchers suck). Odds are against us, but maybe it's time to put an end to this pattern?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Catch Up Post

Yesterday I woke with nasty sore throat. Just on the left side. Asside from that I didn't really feel crummy. However, as the day went on, I realized how tired I had felt for the past couple of days and went home to sleep. Plus, I was hot one minute and cold the next. I ended up sleeping 2 hours and skipping my run. Boo.

Today is the BF's birthday! Just want to give a quick shout out to him - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you have a great day and can't wait to celebrate this weeekend with friends and the Brad Paisley Concert (w/Dairus Rucker and Justin Moore)! It will be a great time!

This morning I got up, felt a bit rested, and hit the gym for a run/Bodypump combo. It was just what I needed to jump start this hump day. I ran 2.55 miles with many intervals (at speeds some of you consider slow) and off to an hour of pumping iron. Actually, I was pretty excited because I upped some of my weights today (on squats, triceps, and biceps)! However, before doing that again, I am going to focus on going to class more regularly - ever 3-5 days instead of every 7 days. I topped my workout off with a nice protein smoothie for breakfast!

Tonight I look forward to curling up on the couch to watch the first game of the ALDS between my Twins and those Yankees. The Twins have to win this first one, for sure!

Tomorrow I was hoping to get to the pool or bike. I need to take a day or two off from running, as I am starting to feel it in my shins. Maybe this is a sign that I need new shoes. I haven't bought new shoes since May and even though I haven't put A LOT of running miles in them, I have worn them on the bike and at Bodypump class. Anyone looking to get rid of a SIZE 8 BROOKS TRANCE?? Sure would have been nice to win those in one of the giveaways out there, but oh well!

Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Virtual Non-Race 10K

Yesterday I participated in James' Virtual non-race. As part of this virtual non-race, you could choose from a 5K, 10K, or 10-miler. I chose to do the 10K.

He called this a non-race just for that reason. There was no racing and no worries about time. The goal was to just get out there and run, remembering why it is we enjoy running in the first place.

When: Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 @ 5pm

This non-race couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me. I haven't done this kind of distance since the 10K in May and didn't know what I would be capable of accomplishing but looking forward to going the distance!

Where: I chose to do it on the treadmill for a few reasons:
1. I wanted to distract myself with some good Sunday football,
2. I wanted to focus on a good run/walk method, and
3. Even though it was 64 degrees outside, it was extremely windy and the wind hurts my ears.

1. To enjoy the run and listen to my body.
2. Stay true to the run/walk method and increase my speed as the run goes on and my body feels strong.

I started this run with a nice 5 minute warm-up walk to get the legs moving. From there, I did a run 3ish/walk 1 minute method at a pretty slow pace (around 12:00 miles). The first 5K of this 10K was done in approximately 37:30 - averaging around 12:05/mile. I was feeling pretty strong when going into the second 5K and decided to pick up the pace a bit. I was able to finish the 2nd 5K in about 34:00 - averaging my pace right around 10:58/mile.

After reaching 6.2 miles, I walked a quarter of a mile to finish off my distance for the day at 6.45 miles.

After Thoughts:
My right groin muscles was starting to feel a bit tight and I knew it was from my form and the fact that my body was not used to lifting my legs for that long. I focused on changing my form a bit and the tightness in the groin subsided a bit.

I thought about goals for the coming year and what I might accomplish come 2011. Obviously these thoughts will be left for a later post.

This was a great run and I am not really sore this morning. It did wipe me out completely and I was able to sleep like a baby last night.

It's a run like this that makes me keep coming back for more... looking forward to my next long run!

I will leave you with a quote that I got in my email this weekend and absolutely loved:

"I think I get used to, even addicted to, the feelings associated with the end of a long training run. I love feeling empty, clean, worn out, starving, and sweat-purged. I love the good ache of muscles that have done me proud. I love the way a cold beer tastes later that afternoon. I love the way my body feels light and sinewy."

~ Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It was a good one!

... September, that is.

I can't believe the month has come and gone. It started with a bang - less than a week into school and I felt some sort of illness creeping up on me. I took a couple days off from the gym, slept a lot, drank a lot of hot lemon tea with honey, and did I mention that I slept a lot? In a matter of a few days, I was feeling fine and managed to keep the a full blown cold or whatever-it-was at bay.

I managed to fall into a routine with work, kept up with grad class, enjoyed my regular workouts - even though I wasn't training for anything in particular, and had time to enjoy my weekends: a weekend of camping over Labor Day weekend, a housewarming party with friends here in Fargo, a weekend back in the Bismarck/Mandan area, and a weekend in Brainerd, MN for a couple of friends wedding!

Let's look at the numbers.

Month in Review: September 2010

Swim - 2,000 yds .......... 6,200 yds in August
Bike - 126.81 miles ...... 95.05 miles in August
Run - 30.08 miles ......... 26.30 miles in August

Total Number of:
Swims - 1
Bikes - 8
Runs - 13 (including runs off the bike)
BodyPump Class - 5!
Pilates Class - 0
Yoga Class - 1!
REST Days - 10 (16 in August)

Highlights of the Month:

  • Busy weekends with the BF, family, and friends!
  • Working out regularly, but not having to follow a training plan!
  • Getting in some longer runs!
  • Getting to BodyPump Class weekly!
  • Enjoying a good yoga class! Hope to do it more in the future.

Lows of the Month:

  • Only swimming once - but, to be honest, I just wasn't feeling it much this month. Not until this last week. October may be different, tho.
  • Yeah, that's about it.

Goals for the Month of October:

  • Train smart.
  • Get used to weekly long runs - between 5 and 8 miles
  • Try to have more purpose behind my workouts - ie. speed work, long runs, short/long rides, strengthening, stretching, core, etc.
  • Try to run outside more, even with the weather getting cooler - this is something I am horrible with!
  • Stay healthy and get the flu shot!

Year-to-Date Stats:
Swim - 61,100 Yds
Bike - 886.66 miles
Run - 284.43 miles

What are your goals for October? Only 3 months of 2010 left - is there something you are hoping to accomplish before December 31st?