Studio Review: Barry’s Bootcamp in NYC

While I travel to NYC to check out other yoga studios/teachers/workshops, it’s also helpful to try other types of workouts to see the set up of the studio, what is offered, the type of motivation, exercises, etc. Although I generally stick to running, yoga, & BBG, I do love me some intense circuit training. If you’ve ever heard of Orange Theory Fitness

Barry’s Bootcamp is essentially the same workout. Except, 5 times harder.

The workout is described as “hour-long workouts.. [which] include 25-30 minutes of interval cardiovascular treadmill routines and 25-30 minutes of strength training utilizing free weights, resistance bands, medicine balls and other equipment. Instructors, muscle groups and even workout segments vary throughout the week so that no one class is ever the same.” (website)

Frid-Sun is designated for overall-body conditioning… So, as the 12th and final class of the weekend, I was a little scared if my body could keep up. Luckily, something inside of me kicked in, and I had the energy + much more to push through the class. It ended up being my favorite workout of the weekend! Also bonus: You can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour. Yep.

Following Soul Cycle, we went back to our hotel & showered, then headed to the NOHO location. barrys bootcamp noho

We walked in, and were greeted by employees at the smoothie bar – which, btw, you can order a smoothie for post-workout BEFORE class even begins. So, your ice cold smoothie is waiting for you as soon as you are finished with your workout. How awesome is that??

Noho-Lobby1

Anyways, we walked to the back of the entryway, checked in, and were told where the locker rooms were & what to expect. After putting our items in the lockers, we headed to the room to find our assigned spots. I was a bit confused when we first walked in, as there are mirrors EVERYWHERE. It was almost like a fun house, and I wasn’t quite sure where the room began and ended.

barrys noho

photo credit: http://www.jeanninemorris.com/the-jm-edit/2015/5/2/barrys-boot-camp

Since the class was so small, we all started on the treadmills. Following 1 yoga class & 2 cycling classes (Cyc Fitness & Soul Cycle), my body was obviously ready for more cardio :p

The class format was:

8 minutes on the treadmill w/sprints
8 minutes strength training w/weights (8-15 lbs for me!)
8 minutes on treadmill (incline sprints)
8 minutes strength training w/weights
8 minutes on the treadmill w/ even faster sprints
8 minutes strength training w/even heavier weights
cooldown/stretch

There was about 30 seconds-2 minutes of recovery in between sets, which didn’t seem nearly enough… however, it didn’t give my mind time to think about stopping, and only pushed me to go harder.By the time I was doing my final 1-minute sprint on the treadmill, I was past the 11 speed, and my body felt amazing (11 speed is about a 5:25/minute mile, to give you an idea of what torture was happening to my legs).

Our instructor, Shannon, was seriously awesome – I loved the circuit she put together, and she pushed me past any limit I thought I had. I mean, 11 on the treadmill at the end of an intense workout?! I need to start giving myself some pep talks, because I can obviously do better than my 30-second 9.5 speed sprints during my own workouts.

locker-rooms-women

Following the workout, we showered at the gym & got ready. The showers were huge, and included shampoo/conditioner/face wash/body wash. Towels were also included, as well as hair dryers & toiletries for women. I could have left half my gym bag at home and been ok!

Summary: Awesome workout that kicks your butt – can I move to NYC just so I can take all these amazing workout classes all the time??

Pros: Free towels. Lockers. Endless supply of toiletries. Huge showers. Burn up to 1,000 calories/class. Workouts are always different, every time. Instructors are well-trained. Staff is welcoming & helpful.

Cons: a little pricey, but worth it for what you get! Water filter is behind the smoothie bar, so every time you need a water refill, you have to have someone get it for you.

Cost: $34 for a 1 hour single-class drop-in

Studio Review: Soul Cycle in NYC

Following a 45 minute class at Cyc Fitness in Chelsea, me and the 3 other women I was traveling with raced to Soul Cycle to get to class on time (30 minutes in between classes in not enough time!). 1 protein bar, a few wrong turns & some serious speed walking later, we arrived at the Union Square Location in time for our 11:45 am class.

While I took my first-ever Soul Cycle class in San Francisco earlier this year, every instructor & location is going to be different. With that being said, Danny was the instructor, and he was a lot of fun! Even though my legs were a little burned out from the 45 minute Cyc Fitness Class, I was able to keep up, and the energy in the room was incredible.

ssus

photo cred: https://www.yelp.com/biz/soulcycle-union-square-new-york

Compared to the previous cycle class we had just taken, the room was smaller, and the bikes were very.very.close. You had to weave in and out of the bikes to get out of the room! Insert: Minor claustrophobic panic attack. I had to talk myself down from a ledge, so I focused on the instructor and ended up being fine. Note to self: next time, choose bike near exit.

The workout itself was great – legs were burning, although the arm workout with small weights wasn’t too challenging. Danny’s playlist was awesome, and he even ended up doing done high-kick dancer moves on the stage for the class… definitely kept us entertained the entire class!

soul cycle union square

post-sweaty cycle

Summary: While I don’t normally like cycling, the energy of the class & instructors is what pulls me in. I personally like Cyc Fitness better for various reasons, but Soul Cycle is still a great workout.

Pros: Towel set up on bike when you arrive. Showers at the Union Square location. Toiletries provided in the bathroom. Filtered water station.

Cons: Long line to the bathrooms, showers were dirty & gross at the union square location. Bathrooms/lockers were in the basement, which was super crammed & the air smelled & felt pretty gross. Pricey for a 45 minute workout class

Cost: $34 for a 45 minute single class pass

I Hate Running

Wait, what?

Yes, that’s correct. Don’t get me wrong – I love how I feel during & after a good, slow, short run – but a long, tough run?  All. Mental.  Running is not something that I am a natural at – which, if you know me, makes me really, really mad. Being super competitive by nature, if I’m not good at something, I am going to practice it and do it over, and over and over again… pushing myself until I’ve gotten to a place where I think I am good at it, or have mastered it to the level that satisfies me.

runslowmeme

Unfortunately, running is something that I never feel satisfied with. Whether I’m running a 10 minute easy training pace, or a 7:30 minute race pace, it never feels “easy.” There are people who rarely workout and can just get up and run an easy 7 minute pace (especially men.. do you guys have hidden springs in your legs or something??), and there are people like me, and maybe you, who try and try and can’t get past a certain point unless an immense amount of time is dedicated to getting better.

So why do I run? I run because it’s a challenge. I run because I want to improve myself. And because mentally, it’s a battle I have won once I have completed a race. I also run because others can’t – and as I’ve been physically limited & unable to walk, I am grateful that I have the ability to do so now.

You are probably asking… where the heck is she going with this? While the title of this post is “I hate Running,” I wanted to use this as a gateway to speak to a few deeper thoughts about pushing ourselves, and the motives behind our decisions & actions.

___________________________________________________

I stumbled upon a video about a man named David Goggins – maybe his name rings a bell? He is a Navy SEAL, former USAF Tactical Air Control Party member (served in Iraq and Afghanistan), an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, and triathlete. I watched a video of him on Runners World (also see below), explaining his mindset and the motivation behind his active life. [Read his story here – you will seriously be left wondering WTF HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE?? And also want to try to run a 100 mile race. Almost.]

davidgoggins

While he hates running, he does it to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which gives full college grants to children of Special Ops personnel killed in the line of fire. He runs for others. And not only that, he runs  because it’s hard. He doesn’t race because he wants to finish – he does it because there is no end. He is constantly looking for ways to push himself past the edge, and his only limitation is himself.

He speaks of the 40% rule – something the Navy Seals live by – meaning, when you think you are done, you are only 40% done. So after you think you’ve reached your limit, you have another 60% of reserves to keep going. Shit – right?!  But not unheard of.

runhardermeme

99% of people who start a marathon, finish. Seems crazy, but it’s true! So for anyone that has ever run a full, or a half, or is even just beginning to run – understands the mental limits they have to push past in order to keep going. When your muscles are burning, your legs feel like lead, and your lungs are on fire, you don’t stop. Why? Because you know, deep down, you are capable of so. much. more. There is something inside of us, that when taken out of our comfort zone, we can tear down our limitations and do things that seem impossible – mentally, emotionally, and physically.

If you aren’t inspired after reading/watching David Goggins story, I don’t know what else will. There are people that come into this world to break down barriers & help others realize their greatness when so much of us seem to forget it, and he is definitely one of them. So next time, when you are out on a run, or doing something that seems uncomfortable or hard, remember to ask yourself – “Am I really at my limit, or can I push myself – even just a little bit – more?” Before you know it, you’ll be running faster, doing things you have only ever dreamed of, evolving into a more bad-ass version of your current self, AND inspiring others along the way.

Feel that fire inside of you, and light the way.

XoXo Neens

 

Marathoners in Training

Hi all!

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I had joined MIT – Marathoners in Training, a local running group that was highly recommended by my boss & one of my favorite bloggers, Nikki at Will Run for Pizza. The cold and the cost ($120) has always deterred me from signing up – but, since it’s been a fairly mild winter, and I felt like running 20+ miles a week on top of my already busy schedule, I decided to join!

So far, the community has been great! My holidays were not the greatest, and I have been grumpy gills for basically the past month. Top that with getting up at 6:30 am on Saturday morning to run 7+ miles in the 15 degree cold on my only day to sleep in, you would think that I might hurt someone that early in the morning. Fortunately, I’m not that awake that early, and everyone in MIT is so welcoming! I ran the first half of my run listening to music, and trying not to focus on my frozen legs (NOTE: I went out and spent a few $$$ on warm running clothes after my run!!). The second half, I started chatting with another member in my pace group, which made the run much more enjoyable AND go by quicker.

Nina Elise Running

By the time I finished my run, there were bagels & water waiting for everyone, and I was able to chat with one of the running coaches about training afterwards. Overall, I feel pretty confident about running my upcoming half in 2 months, although not so much about PR’ing. Ideally, I want to break 1:45, but I am completely ok with just breaking my last half time – 1:53. However, if not, totally OK – it’s all for charity, and I am going to enjoy my run through the 5 boroughs of NYC!

(Side note – if you would like to support my run by donating to St Jude, you can find my fund page here. Every cent helps, and your support is so much appreciated!!)

Anyways – a few things I have learned so far:

  • Always go slower, as you don’t want to wear your body out
  • Save fast runs for interval training days (I normally like to sprint at the end of my runs – I guess it’s better to just keep going slow & let your body rest!)
  • Get your miles in! The more miles, the more your body will be accustomed to long-distance runs
  • Run 14-16 miles before my half marathon – this will build confidence, and your body will be better prepared to run the 13 miles (coming from a yoga student & fellow MITer)
  • Test out drinking water/when to eat/different types of food to eat when training a few months out (I am awful at this! I eat a feast AND gu before my long races and get burnt out by mile 5… I am considering bringing a burrito with me to eat during my race ;))

I’ll be in California in less than 2 weeks, so I am going to have to figure how to get my miles in before or after my 10-hour yoga training days while traveling! With that being said – are there any good running spots I should know about in San Francisco? I have 3 entire days to roam about and do whatever I want, and running is the best place to explore & get to know the area!

For all you runners out there – have you ever trained with a group like MIT? If so, what have you learned from it? I’d love to hear from you!

Weekend Update, Impromptu Travel & 5K Recap

Sooooo where to begin? Things have been absolutely crazy the last month, and I have barely been able to keep up! A few things:

New job – yep, after 2 (LONG) years of working in ecommerce, I quit my job. New job = a new chapter in my life, advance in my career, and less stress. Besides the longer commute to work, I couldn’t have asked for anything better! Well, unless I was traveling for my job, but that might be in the not-too-far-away future 😉

Running – I decided to run a 5k on Thanksgiving – so lately, I’ve been making time to run 2-4 miles a few times a week, as well as signing up for a 5k this past weekend as a preparatory race. The race was called “The Donut 5k” – you get to eat donut holes every mile, then are handed a half a dozen donuts once you cross the finish line. Of course it was a no brainer to sign up! Unfortunately, I didn’t feel so good from going out Thursday and Friday night… but, fortunately, my body magically decided it was fast – and I ended up running the race in under 24 minutes! First place in my age group, 7:41 pace. Considering I had major knee surgery last year, I am incredibly grateful for the progress I have made in running – the body is capable of amazing things!

donut run nina elise

Travel – I took an impromtu trip to the beach in FL on Monday this week – yep, for 1 day. I needed some time to relax before starting my job, and even though I only had 1 day to do it, I did it right! After teaching my Sunday yoga class, I booked a flight 6 hours before take-off – went to a yoga workshop for 2 hours – then hurried to the airport to catch my flight. I arrived in Florida around 1 am, slept, then went to the beach from 11 am to 5:30 pm at night. I read, napped, and swam in the ocean. At night, I hung out with family. It was the most perfect day trip I could have asked for! Tuesday I flew back to Columbus at 4 pm, managing to somehow run errands, go shopping, and meet friends for dinner. Travel is awesome, but sometimes it lacks in the sleep department. But – that’s what the weekends are for, right??

west palm beach yoga

jupiter florida

fit blonde yogi beach

Yoga Teacher training – only 2 more 10-hour Saturday classes before I am DONE! This 200 hour training has taken quite a toll on me mentally – but in a good way! I have been learning so much, and there just are not enough hours in the day to study. Also – I will be putting on my first ever workshop next Friday! Update to come on how this goes/possible future handstand workshops in Columbus!

One More Thing…
body building warehouse protein powder
My friends over at body building warehouse were kind enough to send me some samples of their products – whey protein from happy European, grass-fed cows. I finally was able to give their protein shakes a try – the hot chocolate (YES, a hot chocolate drink that’s good for you!!) and Banana Peanut Butter. I consider myself pretty smart, so I decided to mix the 2 together – banana + chocolate + peanut butter = Gods gift to humankind.. so basically, this was an amazing shake. I recommend mixing with ice/a frozen banana + milk (I used almond). You can find a huge range of products at their site – check them out here, it’s hard to find good quality protein mixes these days! There are also non-dairy flavors too, so there is something for everyone!

protein shake body building warehouse

That’s it… for now! I’ll be posting a recap in the coming weeks of finishing up my yoga teacher training, more races, and moving! Also – where will I be traveling next?? More to come on this 🙂 Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

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