Break down into 30/20/10

Step right up and take a 30/20/10 class through the Leisure Guide.

Step right up and take a 30/20/10 class through the Leisure Guide.

Hello readers! I took a week-long break there as it was filled with after-work appointments and the like related to wedding and my regularly scheduled non-wedding activities. It feels nice to take a Sunday afternoon off to just sit back, write and reflect.

I thought I’d theme this post around a wonderful fitness class I am taking through the City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide. It’s called 30/20/10. Before I used to take all my Leisure Guide classes at Pan Am Pool, but now that I’m quite close to St. James Civic Centre, it has opened up some new class possibilities. After perusing the guide last fall, I decided to pick one weekly class (wanted to leave the rest of the week free for other activities) on Monday evenings right after work. The 30/20/10 class really appealed to me because it breaks down an hour into a full-body, complete physical workout.

For the first 30 minutes, you do a short cardio warm up & cool down, along with some step and/or ground aerobics. Then, for the next 20 minutes you do weights using either the body bar or free weights. Twenty minutes isn’t a lot of time, so you don’t get to hit every muscle or target one area in-depth, but the instructor does a good job trying to get you through the major ones. Finally, there is a 10-minute stretching session at the end, an area in fitness that is often ignored, yet so crucial to overall health. The instructor plays lots of upbeat music and she has an energetic, friendly disposition. And of course, she always demonstrates low-impact/power moves and mods of exercises for all levels. Love that!

I took this class for 10 weeks last fall and only missed one where I was on holiday. So far I’m 2/2 for this year and still love it. It’s not a particularly advanced class, but if you’re looking for an affordable, all-over body and fitness workout then I highly suggest keeping an eye out for this class in the Leisure Guide at a centre near you!  P.S. This class isn’t on the drop-in list, but the instructor does allow drop-ins if you have one of those city passes you’d like to use.

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Back in fitness business!

Kettlebell swings are just one of the fitness boot camp activities at Brick House Gym.

My bad, I abandoned the blog during the move and any semblance of a fitness routine. To make up for it though, I looked up how many calories burned while moving boxes, cleaning, unpacking etc. here. So I haven’t been totally sedentary. I’ve just been subbing in housework for exercise. But that’s slowing down, the weather is heating up and I’m feeling motivated to get back out there and explore more fitness options!

I mentioned before that I did my first boot camp at Brick House Gym a couple of weeks ago. I’ll reserve full judgement until I return (and I will!) but let’s just say it kicked my butt. The class consisted of a bunch of bursts/running on an elliptical for five minutes (was tired by that point). Each 1-minute station in the circuit consisted of:

• bouncing and catching a 4 lbs ball off the wall as fast as I could in one minute per hand

• swinging a tug of war rope back and forth with both hands (it was wrapped around a pole and felt really heavy!)

• crunches while holding a 25 lb weight over my head

• walking across the room there and back twice with 20 lb free weights in each hand

• side seated twists while holding a 4 lb ball

• jump rope

• leg curls using an exercise ball

• jabs using three lbs weight

•half pull ups with a bar from a lying down position

•deep push ups (arms were on raised steps and you had to dip your torso below them and push yourself back up, so hard!)

•lateral jumps using a bosu

kettle bell swings

And repeat for a second round. I was toast by the end and felt like puking the middle. Ah yes, good times. I haven’t been back but I plan on it now that I feel like things are settling down at home. I’ve only got a few boxes left to unpack.

As for future fitness goals this week? I’ve made plans with my mom to bat around the tennis ball at Tuxedo Tennis Club, where I have been a member for the past few years with my family. It’s where I had my first job way back when I was a teeny bopper 17-year-old (and had never swung a tennis racket in my life) and where I first tried the sport two summers ago. I’ve been in love ever since! I’ve also put out a call amongst friends to bat around the ball casually, so hopefully that pans out with all this nice sunshine we’re enjoying. I’ll post more about this great affordable sport in the future.

As for fitness deals, this one on dealfind is hotter than hot. $20 for 20 classes at Shapes (reg. $180)! There are three great locations and Shapes is renowned for having top notch fitness instructors. I have heard the odd bad story about trying to cancel contracts with them, but since this pass comes with no strings attached then it shouldn’t be a problem.

There is also five hours left to snag a 10-class pass to Yoga, Pilates and More for $35 through Teambuy (reg $130). I’ve blogged about this cute little studio a bit here. Again, I find it a little strange that this deal was already offered through Teambuy but I guess the deal works for both businesses. As a consumer, I’d like to see some new deals appear!

On a somewhat related fitness note, you can skate ’round the roller rink at Wheelies with four family members and/or friends for $12 (reg. $24) (roller discos are huge in the UK, not sure if it’s got the same trendoid factor in Winnipeg) from a newly discovered group buying site called StealtheDeal.com. You know you want to relive those old patrol* days!

(*Former school patrols in the 90s will know what I’m talking about).

Three visits to YMCA downtown

Take a spin at the YMCA downtown.

Whew, long time no post! That’s because I’ve been busy sweating up a storm at YMCA downtown. I’m currently taking advantage of a free two-week trial as part of CBC’s Live Right Now promotion.

To sign up, all you have to do is print out your profile page (register on cbc.ca), present it to your Y location of choice and the YMCA staff hand over an application form to fill out. The card printer was broken when I went, but they were good about lending me a temporary card so that I could use the lockers.

My first visit was last Friday, where I did some work with weights. Navigating the massive three-floor gym & change room was a bit intimidating at first, but at least there’s lots to look at and it gives you a pretty awesome idea about all the activities available at this location.

Visit #1: I did my usual three laps of brisk walking around the track to get my heart rate up. It overlooks the rows of equipment on the second floor and the uber busy gym full of adolescent boys playing basketball. Next, I ventured into the male-dominated weights area (I think I was the only female there at the time!) and found a set of 5 lb weights, nice. I tucked myself into a little corner under the stairs where I found my old faithful, the bosu, and did a short series of exercises that left me quite sore the next day (my own fault for not stretching properly!) It was all fine and good, if a little cramped, except some of the people pumping iron around me were a little odd (ie. one guy making LOUD grunting noises  every time he lifted the barbell, and another guy who didn’t understand the concept of deodorant). As a car owner, I had to cut my workout short and rush back to the car before my parking expired, one downside to visiting the downtown Y…unless the Y offers free parking somewhere and I’m oblivious. Enlighten me!

Visit #2: Despite my extreme lack of motivation from “springing forward,” I bit the bullet and opted for some stretching and cardio on one of the elliptical machines last Sunday. They were really clean, modern and easy to use. I *LOVE* that most of them had a personal tv set attached to each machine. The time seemed to fly by as I indulged in Slice, CBC’s doc zone and the Food Network. The treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, arc trainers etc. are all clumped together, which is a little uncomfortable at first (if you’re sensitive about personal space!), but once you get into your own zone it’s all good from there. When I was stretching before & after, I noticed there is a large supply of exercise balls, bosus and tubing that looked like they were in good condition. I think the gym could use a wee bit more space for stretching and some more mats, since it seems to be a popular area.

Visit #3: I decided to challenge myself and take a spin class (an instructor-led workout on a stationary bike where you pedal standing up/sitting down at various intensities) for my first time ever yesterday. I’ve heard they are murder and have always shied away from the sweaty, cardio-heavy workout, but this blog is all about exploring different fitness avenues. The Y staff were really friendly about pointing me in the direction of the class and suggested I chat to the teacher before starting. The instructor went through proper bike set up before cranking up the music to this invigorating workout. I’m used to taking classes in a separate studio at the gym, but here, it’s held in the main equipment area. There were definitely a lot of curious exercisers watching our class as we went. I took it easy on the tension at first, unsure of my personal cardio stamina. I lasted the whole class (a number of people clock out before the finish) and toward the end started really cranking up the intensity to match the teacher’s pace. She followed up with me again after the class to see what I thought, which was awesome. I quite enjoyed it (even though my rear is super sore today!) and would go again just to mix it up! I highly recommend trying it for some variety and if you want to sculpt your pins for the not-so-far-away shorts & swimsuit season.

Overall? Loving the Y so far! I’d like to try the pool this weekend. There is so much to do and membership is only $39 a month for adults. I’m also told the rate can be reduced if you’re a low income-earner, making it an excellent affordable fitness option in Winnipeg.

WagJag yoga classes & free YMCA pass

All set to try out YMCA Downtown through CBC's Live Right Now program

Unlike other group buying sites, WagJag appears to let their deals run for a number of days. There’s one for 10 yoga classes for $49 (Reg $130) at Winnipeg Yoga Shala that ends in a few days. It’s a studio I am unfamiliar with but am curious about trying. Has anyone ever been there? They’ve got a unique “MySore” program that encourages individual practice with teacher assistance and supervision.

If you’re hesitant to part with $49 off the hop, check the studio out for a mere $5 first class. There are new student specials (not sure if they literally mean student of a university or if they are calling members students…) that are pretty decent: $50 for one month unlimited (including MySore) and $150 for three months for the MySore program (Reg $375). Unfortunately, the $5 first time class does not apply to the MySore program–one month is $135.

My goal for March was to work out a dozen times this month. I failed last week by only going once (blaming a particularly annoying visit from Aunt Flo for that).

However, I filled in the paper work for a two-week free trial of the YMCA downtown through CBC’s Live Right Now program after work today. The pool looks great and I can’t wait to try some classes as well! It looks like there are lots of different cardio and weight machine options should I feel like mixing up my routine. Generally, I’m not a machine person but throwing them in the mix here and there works fine. I plan on heading for my first session tomorrow after work and then again sometime on the weekend to make up for last week’s laziness.

Hey, we’re all human so I won’t beat myself too much about skimping on the exercise this month. I’m determined to beat the never-ending winter blahs and this blog is just the motivation I need to make sure I keep to it!