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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great hair vs. Great abs - when life challenges your workout

     Sometimes life tries to challenge your workout schedule.  For example, I called a few weeks ago and made a hair appointment for today.  I didn't think much of it because I just wanted a cut and color done by my hair stylist on a day that I didn't have work.  But then I was asked out to dinner for tomorrow night.  I tried to reschedule my hair appointment, but Jorge is not available tomorrow.  So now, I have awesome hair tonight, but I need awesome hair tomorrow.
     "But why won't your hair look awesome tomorrow?" you might ask.  Any good blowout should last two or even three days, and Jorge's blowouts are the best, but this means I'll have to skip tomorrow morning's workout.  I just don't think I have it in me to do that.  I like to eat too much and I like my abs a lot too.  And don't even get me started on women who don't have to shower after working out.  What they do is called walking around in spandex.  Real workouts leave you, and the floor around you, drenched in sweat.  I have to get an extra towel to mop up the floor during class so that I don't slip in my own puddle.
     I am not allowed to wash my hair for twenty-four hours or the color will wash out.  I REALLY want to go to Bonne's cardio class tomorrow so I'm trying to experiment with ways to keep my hair completely off my skin.  That way I can "wash" it with dry shampoo and then shower with a cap on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Triple

Today I took 3 classes at the Roslyn Equinox.  I was pissed that the rain shut down the road I usually take and caused me to miss the first 10 minutes of my first class.

Cardio Sculpt - Taught by my favorite instructor, Bonne Marcus (formerly Marano), this class mixes intense cardio drills with sculpting intervals.  Bonne always mixes it up and she has awesome moves for ab work.  I HATE doing traditional crunches and Bonne's ab exercises get real results quickly.  One thing we do is squat and rotate with a medicine ball.  Every third rotation, we pick up our leg and stick it.  This is great for creating a flat midsection!  I'm also a big fan of the rocking horse and we tend to do a lot of those.

Athletic Flex - I tried this class for the first time today and I loved it.  A lot of shoulder and back work, which I tend to shy away from if I'm working out on my own.  What can I say?  My legs are much more powerful than my arms and I like to show off.  We used the body bar quite a bit and we used 8 lb weights for the duration of the class.  The thing I liked the most about this class was the instructor's use of dynamic deadlifts.  I am definitely going to feel it later today/tomorrow.

CARDIO Burn! - I am obsessed with Yves Maco's group fitness classes.  He is the reason I was able to lose 20 pounds.  I also lost 6% body fat.  His kickboxing classes are insane, but this class is also awesome.  I love when I have Tuesdays off from work and get to go.  CARDIO Burn! is spent on a bench and incorporates light weights.  I use 3 lb weights.  I have tried 5 lbs and I thought I was going to die.  The choreography was really hard for me at first, but I started taking Yves' dance classes and now I can fake my way through the cha chas and the turns.  The intensity of Yves' classes deliver the almost unbelievable results.  My HRM said I spent most of the class between 175 and 190.

I did 13 minutes of the PRECOR afterwards because I wanted to read the new SELF and cool down a little bit.  Overall, my HRM tells me I burned 1,764 calories while at the gym (including the 15 minutes between Cardio Sculpt and Athletic Flex that I spent socializing and drinking a protein shake.)  Not bad for a Spring Break morning.

Monday, March 29, 2010


     Today I went to Impact! at the Roslyn Equinox.  I have been eyeing this class for quite some time, but I wanted to go to Pam's class, which is only offered on Mondays when I am usually at work.  I picked up a pair of white Everlast 12 ounce gloves (so hot) at Dick's Sporting Goods yesterday so that I could attend today's class.  These were definitely a good investment because most of this class is spent working with the bags.
     Impact! allowed me to practice the skills I have learned in cardio kickboxing and work on my form.  My arms were killing me and kicks are totally different when you are actually kicking something.  Two people work on each bag to keep it from moving around, and I must apologize to my partner.  I was all over the place.  I think we started a little late, but we got in a solid 50 minutes and I was dying at this point.  I really didn't believe that 12 ounce gloves would make that much of a difference, but even jumping jacks were more difficult.
     My one issue with wearing boxing gloves is that I am a fidgeter, and they make it extremely difficult to fidget.   I am always tightening my ponytail, readjusting my sports bra, and now that I have a heart rate monitor, I find that I'm playing with that thing too.  I had to keep taking off my gloves to readjust everything.  Next time I will make sure to be completely set before I put those things on.  My HRM said I burned just under 500 calories during the class.  I know I wasn't working at my full intensity because I was trying to figure out what to do and I was busy messing with the gloves.  The class level would probably burn more than 500 calories if I worked hard the entire time.

When, if ever, is it acceptable to wear a HRM during sexual activity?

Some websites allow you to estimate calories burned during different physical activities. I am fairly familiar with many of these websites, as well as similar iPhone apps, and I regularly see "sexual activity" as an activity option. Now this didn't really strike me as odd until I purchased my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor.

You cannot truly know how many calories you burned during a particular activity unless you wear a heart rate monitor programmed to your settings. These estimation websites are based off of other people's data and mathematical formulas. I understand how a website could ask 10 different people to run a 9 minute mile while wearing a chest strap and HRM, and then use this data to generate a formula, but has anyone been asked to wear a chest strap and HRM during sexual activity?

This brings me to my true question: Is it socially acceptable to wear a heart rate monitor while having sex?  I think I would genuinely like to know how many calories I burn in let's say, 20 minutes. There was a point in my life when sexual activity was my main (okay, only) form of exercise, and it would have been nice to know if I was making any significant impact in burning the fat off my thighs.

I first thought that you could probably get away with wearing a HRM while having sex with someone you probably won't be having sex with again, (what do you care if they think you're weird? it's not like you're planning on eating breakfast with them) but then I realized you want to use this with the person you sleep with most frequently so that you can consider the calories burned as standard for the duration of the relationship. I'm not sure what to tell you if you're not practicing monogamy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor

Today I finally purchased a heart rate monitor!  I am so excited to start using it for my group class workouts.  I have been using the Tap&Track iPhone app to estimate my calories burned during exercise, and I have decided that it is just not accurate enough.  What does intense/moderate/low really mean?  My moderate effort might be someone else's low or intense.  I originally wanted an F6 or an F11, but the knowledgeable salesguy at Dick's Sporting Goods convinced me that the FT7 chest band was the most comfortable.  Dick's doesn't carry the F11, so that wasn't an option.

I tested the FT7 while working out to The Biggest Loser Cardio Max.  I picked the DVD up at the library today while checking out Stephen King's The Stand.  I do not recommend this video for anything besides a warm-up.  Regardless, the HRM is awesome.  I am going to try it again this evening for an abs video and then bring it to the gym with me tomorrow.

Thank you Trevor

Thank you Trevor for coming up with this title.
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