Work It Out!

Well the lovely holidays that center around eating delicious food are over for 2011.  I guess that means it’s time for everyone at The Blonde and the Brunette to really get back to the gym.  In that vein, Jadan and Kate have developed our personal lists of cool, odd (and sometimes painful) work out routines that aren’t at all traditional.  If you want to spice it up, this is a great way to do just that.  We review our own lists of recommendations below.

Jadan: Cardio Barre, Krav Maga, Polistic, Barry’s Bootcamp and Yoga Shelter

  • Cardio Barre – A unique, high energy, no impact exercise that combines ballet barre work and light weights with continual motion. Best known to sculpt your muscles, and elongate the appearance of your body.
  • Krav Maga – The official self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. It is a simple, effective self defense system that emphasizes practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios. (I tried this a couple months ago, and although it was NOT for me, I have a few good friends who swear by this self-defense based workout).
  • Barry’s Bootcamp – Known as “The Best Workout In The World” and I can’t deny that!  I did Barry’s Bootcamp for about 4 months/3 days a week, and I can say without doubt, I was in the best shape of my life!  With 30 min cardio & 30 min strength training focusing on a different body part 7 days a week, you can’t go wrong.  In fact, my New Year’s resolution is to get back to it!  Our readers will be my inspiration!
  • Yoga Shelter – With “Soft Flow” to “Yoga Rocks” routines, they have a little something for everyone.  I have never been so at peace and comfortable in any other studio. To top it all off?  Many a times, you will be serenaded with live music played as you travel through your Vinyasa.  How can you beat that?
  • Polistic – A favorite amongst the workouts I have tried this year, would definitely have to be Polistic.  I have always been been very into Yoga, and had a good stint of time where I was showing up to Barry’s Bootcamp 3x a week (which I loved), but at times, it was just too much!  Throughout the year, I felt that either Yoga was too mellow, or Bootcamp was too agressive. I couldn’t find a good median, and this led to me not wanting to go back. Then, I found Polistic, also known as pole dancing class.  Not only is it such a great workout for your body, but the confidence & mental relaxation it gives you is beyond any workout I have ever experienced.  For anyone wanting to change it up in 2012, I would DEFINITELY consider taking a pole class.  Hey, at least just do it to say you did.  I’m sure your hubby wont mind.

Kate – Bikram Yoga, Cross Fit, Sexy Pilates and TRX Training

  • Bikram Yoga (pronounced BEEK rum or Bick rim depending on who you ask) – This is certainly not for the faint of heart!  Brought to the US by Bikram Choudhury in the 70’s, this practice of 26 different postures is said to allow for deeper stretch levels (due large in part to the room conditions) and claims to have stronger healing properties than regular yoga.  This room has a temperature of 105 degrees and a humidity level of 40% creating some of the most punishing and mind expanding conditions for any athlete.  Do not be surprised if you have to take breaks during the postures!  Here’s the biggest frustration that I experienced – even in the beginner level class, there isn’t a lot of instruction and there is no pausing.   Also, because you are literally drenched in sweat, holding the poses (particularly the standing postures) is almost humorous as you slip and slide off of yourself.  Overall, I would say this is a great way to cure a hangover since you sweat out the night before, but overall, this was not for me.
  • Cross Fit – It’s the most challenging craze I’ve done yet!  Started in Santa Cruz, CA around 1995, this craze involves everything from lifting tires, to one-handed handstands, to throwing kettle bells across the room.  Basically, the idea behind Cross Fit Training is to push your mind to its limit and to change the metabolic responses and behaviors in your body permanently.  Each Cross Fit Training Center is different, but you can almost always find Kettle Bells and at least one huge tire.  Make sure you look up the gym online before going.  Not all gyms are Cross Fit Certified and even the certified gyms can have less than experienced instructors.  Overall, it’s a fun once a month exercise, but, for me, it exacerbated my already hurt ankle and left me feeling depleted.
  • Sexy Pilates – This is exactly what you think it is.  Sexy movements combined with Pilates postures and breathing.   I definitely found the poses challenging, but the poses on the floor were somewhat painful and the focus is less on structure and more on how much you can move your hips in a circle.  I enjoy Pilates generally, but I did not enjoy this.  That said, if you are feeling a little low on self confidence and wanting to reconnect with yourself, Sexy Pilates is worth trying.
  • TRX Training – This training can be found at any newer gyms.  It is two, yellow, hanging bands that can support a variety of movements.  Also, the bands are adjustable, so you are able to work every part of your body.  I LOVE TRX bands!  They make you feel powerful and, while I consider myself to be in great shape, I am constantly out of breath and out of energy after just a few minutes on these.  Plus, my back has never looked better and that is the hardest area for me to hit with regular lifting and cardio.  Definitely try this out!

Hey, it’s 2012.  We are in control of our workouts at least for the next few weeks.  Why not try these weird, new workouts and get out of your rut.  This year, we won’t break our resolutions.  Promise…

Xx. Jadan & Kate