Tip-top shape

coreMy arms are burning.

Yes, I know I disappeared again. The good news is (as you can guess by the above statement) I’ve been keeping up with regular workouts usually one or two times a week. This week I had three solid ones and as a result, I can barely lift my arms up without feeling sore. Since the new year, I’ve bumped up my body bar weight to 12 lbs, am trying power moves during the aerobics, and can literally feel myself getting stronger in the core area the more I go. It’s an amazing feeling and I hope you’re all on track with your own personal fitness goals! Did I mention I only have 34 days until my wedding? Yes, the pressure is on to be in tip top shape!

I’ve been mainly sticking to 30/20/10 classes through the Leisure Guide and the odd yoga class at Yoga Public. I’ve also been dropping in at Total Body Conditioning (TBC) classes through the Leisure Guide, but it has been hard on Thursdays with all the wedding planning appointments that seem to crop up on that day of the week. TBC are the classes I should be attending the most since they focus on building strength, which is probably my weakest area (although my flexibility stinks too). The class is an hour, where you’ll work with weights, a step, dynabands, body bars and your own body weight to tone those muscles (and leave you sore the next day!)

The teacher is super friendly and smiley, and has admirable muscles, so I think she serves as a good inspiration for the attendees. The class is usually pretty full since she does a good job and makes it a fun, welcoming environment. Case in point: at the end of the last session she gave all participants a 30-minute workout DVD for us to work on until the next Leisure Guide sessions started.

With all the fitness activity this week it got me thinking about this neglected blog. How are your fitness goals going? Any plans to power up your workout as we head into swimsuit season? (Dun dun dun…)

Cheap ways to get fit

Hot deal on Barre class at Moksha Yoga Waverley.

Hot deal on Barre class at Moksha Yoga Waverley.

Here’s my weekly round-up of some of the low-cost fitness options out there. I love how they offer a way to try a fitness activity out before committing big dollars.

Groupon has a $20 pass for 30 yoga and fitness classes through MetaBody Yoga & Fitness (Reg $350). It appears the pass can be used at a number of studios around the city, making it a great option for ‘Peggers everywhere!

There’s also a SUPER tempting offer for two months of unlimited Barre method classes for $59 at Moksha Yoga Waverley. It’s a really nice studio but I haven’t profiled it yet in the blog. I’ve wanted to try this hotter-than-hot fitness trend that has finally reached our city. The Groupon site says, “Barre method strengthens and sculpts bodies with elements of Pilates, yoga, ballet, and high-energy cardio exercise.” Hmmm, must think about this one a bit more. Anyway, here’s the link to purchase this sweet offer (Reg $300).

Finally, if you’re into Zumba and live in the south-east area of the city, you can pick up a 10-class pass of “Zumba Fitness with Karla” for $20 on WagJag, or a 15-class pass with the same woman on Teambuy (why you would have two deals at different price points running at the same time is beyond me.) The pass is reg. $120.

So there you have–three great ways to get in shape for a steal of a deal. I’m off to a hot detox yoga class this afternoon at Yoga Public. You can read about my thrilling “Yoga Wall Therapy” class I experienced earlier this week, here.

 

Flipped my life right upside down

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Yes, you too can do an inversion during a Yoga Wall Therapy class at Yoga Public. Photo credit: Yoga Public.

Well, this week has just been gangbusters in terms of new material to write about for the blog! Now I remember why I started in the first place, to vary up my workouts (so they don’t get boring) by exploring the city. I went to four different classes this week, so I’ll space about posts about them out over the next few days.

The most recent class I took is the one I’m most excited to blog about. It was a “yoga wall therapy class” at Yoga Public. I took it over lunch hour while at work, not really knowing what to expect. I thought it might be the type of class where you use the straps on the wall to deepen a stretch.

Never in my wildest dreams did I feel like I would or could be able to do “Cirque du Soliel” type tricks. I know they aren’t actually tricks, but that’s what it felt like!

Basically you use a padded harness around your mid-section/thighs/bum (it slides around your body depending on your pose) to help you “climb” the wall, which is outfitted with several silver metal “hooks” called P1, P2, P3 etc. (the names indicate where they are on the wall.)

A lot of people in the class were new, so the instructor spent lots of time explaining the basics and did a great job demo’ing poses, explaining how to use the straps etc.

Warning to motion sensitive folks (such as myself), you spend a good chunk of this class with your head toward the ground. The teacher leads the class out of poses to offer some relief from the slightly dizzying sensation, and also provides tips on how to deal with it if is really bothering you.

There are a number of times where downward dog takes place (with heels on the wall, toes on the ground), which acts as a starting place to climb up the wall. I literally did some poses where my feet were planted on the wall and I shot out at 90 degrees, and then from there had to use my core to root up and out in cobra position. I felt like I was floating; it was so cool! At the same time, it was challenging as my feet were getting sweaty. I slipped off the wall (oops) but no harm done. I just got right back into it again.

The other highlight was my first-ever inversion. I always thought I’d NEVER be able to do one (I still find regular beginner yoga classes challenging) and then the next thing you know I’ve got my bum on the wall, legs in butterfly pose and head upside down, floating above the floor. It was comfier then I imagined as I hung out there for a couple of minutes. I let gravity do its thang as it str-e-e-e-tched out my poor compressed spine (from too much desk work). The class finished with a gentle neck stretch as the harness cradled my neck and lifted it just off the ground.

Word to the wise: drink lots of water before and after this workout. I felt a bit funny for a bit in the afternoon (again, I’m motion sickness sensitive) and the water seemed to help. Also, my hands and feet go surprisingly slippery and sweaty, so I’d recommend bringing a towel.

Aside from the uniqueness of this class, here is why I got REALLY excited. After only one 45-minute session, I noticed a significant difference in not only my flexibility but particularly in my lower back. Afterward, my back felt like jelly and so loose–I could lean back so much further and with ease as I’m sure my spine was lengthened from the stretches and inversion. It was so worth the strange dizzy feeling to feel that in my back. I can definitely see myself incorporating this into my workout routine at LEAST once a month for my lower back’s sake.

It is worth the $22 drop-in fee (and I know this is a budget fitness blog, but I’m looking at it as a cheaper version of a back massage!) My fiance wants to join me in the near future. Stay tuned!

Save lots of $$$ on local fitness classes

There are lots of gyms offering great deals right now to meet your new year's resolution fitness goals.

As promised, here’s my handy dandy round up of local fitness specials taking place right now. There seems to be quite a few–perhaps they are anticipating lots of people hitting the gym in the new year post holidays and want to cash in the ol’ ny resolution.

So I spotted the yoga public folks (I wrote about them before here) in Winnipeg Square the other day selling gift cards for their brand new chi chi studio. It’s a stone’s throw from my work, so I’m going to pick one up. Why now? Well, if you purchase a $35 gift card before Dec 24, you will receive will receive three weeks of introductory classes, including towel service. Sounds like a great deal to me and who doesn’t love a little hot yoga in chilly winter months? They also offer TRX classes, which is something I tried earlier in the year and enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to doing some more of those.

Also, the old Blockbuster in Osborne Village is now a Snap Fitness Centre. Another location is also opening in St. Boniface on St. Mary’s. Right now you can get a 20-class pass for $20 on dealfind–amazing! Downside? Classes must be used within 30 days, so you either become super dedicated to visiting the gym, or you won’t get the $1 per class potential.

Yet another new gym–MORfit at 277 Tache Ave is offering a one-month gym membership for $19 on teambuy. Pretty good deal if you are in the area. Here’s a little description as to what the gym offers: a full gym; including free weights, a cardio section, machines, and a fitness studio. Equipment includes: 6x treadmills, 3x ellipticals, 2x rowers, 1x bike (more to be added soon), 5x free weight benches, 2x squat racks, 9 station cable crossover unit
Barbell Bench Press, pec dec, leg press, hamstring curl, chest press machine, hip abd/adduction, and others. They are also offering 20% off a one-year membership if you’re keen on commitment!

Last but not least, if you’re looking to spend a little more moolah on an intense eight-week program, wagjag is offering an eight-week pilates or circuit training program from Donna Sarna Physiotherapy for $49 (Reg $105). The studio is located on Corydon and here are some deets about this circuit program: Donna Sarna’s classes are limit to only 10 people, allowing instructors to provide you with all the attention and guidance necessary, but with at least eight class times per cycle to accommodate many students.

Phew! So as you can see, there’s no excuse right now to find an affordable fitness option and get active in these bone-chilling winter months. Now get out there!

Back on the saddle

Boost your strength with an easy-to-follow weight training circuit at Goodlife Fitness.

I did it! I went back to the gym and worked out for a full hour! It felt pretty good I must say and overall, I was quite pleased with the experience at Goodlife Fitness on Sargent (on the upper level of Superstore). Some cardio on the elliptical, a good chunk of weight training and a bit of stretching got my body up and moving again. I’m sure I’m going to be quite sore tomorrow, so I’m going to hop in the bath now.

On a side note, I just wanted to post that Fantasy Pole Dancing (747 Talbot) is offering a 20-class pass for $20 throughdealfind. That’s just $1 a class–pretty awesome if you ask me. Here’s the link if you want to find out more.

Have a great night!

Groupon yoga

Work on your triangle pose at Yoga North.

Just thought I’d sneak it in there quickly that Groupon is offering an awesome deal at one of the city’s most respected yoga studios: Yoga North. I attended a class there through Passport to Prana and was quite pleased with the instruction, my only gripe being that you can’t bring water into the studio. Hydration is part of the exercising process and it’s the only studio I’ve encountered thus far where water bottles are banned (I don’t remember seeing a water fountain in there either), so it baffles me slightly. I wish there was a little nook where you could sneak over to your water bottle for a drink away from the practice area, as I understand the studio’s efforts to avoid spills and accidents. Aside from that small blip, it’s top notch. There are two affordable options on Groupon: snag one month of unlimited yoga for $59 or a ten-class pass for $59. You save $5 more off the ten-class pass deal, plus it’s a more flexible option so naturally it’s the more popular choice. The deal is on for two days so there is lots of times to snap up a pass if you need to sleep on it.

I drove by the Zumba/Good Life Fitness folks at the cube stage on the way to a carb-happy Ukrainian lunch (oh, the irony!) and noticed the workout group was pretty small. The instructor was pretty lively and the folks who participated get brave points for essentially being the lunchtime entertainment for a small crowd that watched on as they ate their yummy lunches, like poutine from Smoke’s Poutinerie.

But I digress!

I didn’t swim at the lake this weekend, but I did squeeze in some tennis with family on Sunday evening and attended yoga in the park yet again last Thursday. Tomorrow I’ve got a tennis lesson and Wednesday I’m going rollerblading, so at least I’m getting SOME regular exercise, just not enough in my humble opinion. But I won’t beat myself up about and I’ll keep trying my best!

Summer fitness

In-line skating is just one of the many outdoor activities perfect for the summertime!

Apologies readers, as I’ve neglected this blog as of late. It doesn’t mean I haven’t been active. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! With summer comes a flurry of activity, and in my case this has included many sessions of yoga in the park, a couple of tennis matches, swimming at the beach, in-line skating at Assiniboine Park, biking and lots of walking during my lunch breaks. The longer the better, just don’t forget to put on sunscreen!

My fitness regime this week is pretty unstructured. I’ve got plans to attend yoga in the park on Thursday at lunch and then I’d like to visit Grand Beach on Sunday, where walking along the boardwalk and swimming in the lake are always a given. What are some of your favourite fitness activities in summer?

I just thought I’d post that there is yet ANOTHER daily deals site. I’m feeling like this part of the discount market is over saturated and some of these companies are going to start to fall. Anyway, kijiji daily deals is offering six zumba classes for $19 at Ted Motyka Dance Studio on Main St. I used to take salsa there and the instruction is good. The space is even grander. I’d bet the zumba is a pretty fun bet and the price/class commitment would give you a good taste of the program.

On a final note, I have one more class to take at Sustainable Fitness TRX training. Once I complete that, I will enter a full review!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Boot Camp Nerves & More Fitness Promos

Getting prepared to tone and shape up at Brickhouse Gym fitness boot camp.

First off, I’ve been slacking in the fitness department. And it’s been bugging me. A lot.

I bit the bullet and signed up for my first fitness boot camp EVER tomorrow at Brickhouse Gym using my teambuy voucher that I purchased awhile back. No time like the present to use it!

I keep envisioning a svelte Giselle-like body that could be mine post-workout as a way to block out all the pain and soreness I’m about to experience. I know I’m going to get my arse whipped into shape. Expect some ridiculous posts on this series of classes in the future.

On top of all that, the website looks like it’s for beefy types. I think I’m going to make sure they know I’m a newbie so that I don’t get too discouraged or take on too much at the start. Everyone knows that is the #1 way to derail any sort of fitness plan. Fingers crossed it works out! On the plus side, the guy on the phone sounded really nice. He explained I could use the voucher on boxing boot camps or regular circuit style. I chose the latter.

Switching gears, there are a few deals out there for fitness buffs. This one’s for morning types at Sweatmarks Fitness Boot Camp through SwarmJam. Nice name! You get one month of boot camps for $55 (reg $197) during morning classes between 6 am-8 am Mon, Wed and Fri. I guess you’d get to go as many times as you want during the month, so that’s kind of motivating to get the most bang for your buck. There are also two locations according to the SwarmJam site, but I couldn’t seem to find the addresses on the website. One nice feature about this boot camp, should you choose to go long-term, is a money-back guarantee. That’s one thing that always makes me nervous about plopping down huge sums of money for a gym membership and the like — what if you hate it and want to back out? At least this company claims to have a money-back guarantee.

Yogis, there’s a deal for you too. Body Logic Wellness Centre in Charleswood (3684 Robin Blvd) is offering five or ten class passes at half price (10 for $50, reg $100 or 5 for $25, reg $50) through Groupon. It’s a warm yoga studio, which I personally like better than hot since it’s not too uncomfortable, yet you’re still bendy. There’s not a whole lot of classes up on the schedule (and it’s unclear if the groupon can be used for pilates classes) but I imagine they will have to run some more to accommodate all the new clients.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more fitness deals and keep you all posted. I know I promised a blog on Peg City Yoga, but between yoga and moving (so I haven’t been completely sedentary!) I haven’t had time to fully jot down my thoughts.