Do It All: Bootcamp

You want a fit, rockin’ bod that can do anything? Then Do It All. Try everything. Go to yoga, run, jump, skip, lift weights, swing kettlebells, suspend your feet in a TRX, take bootcamp.

Bootcamp! If there’s ever a time to push yourself, it’s during a bootcamp class. Your body can handle way more than you think you can so find a local bootcamp class and sign up. Even if you can’t do the whole bootcamp session (most are 4-8 weeks long) call and see what a drop-in price is and go take a class. Trust me! Bootcamps can be super intimidating so here are some tips to help you get the most out of it… and not die. You’re welcome.
1. Find the right bootcamp for you and recruit a friend!
All bootcamps are different so try a few if you don’t like the first one. Some people prefer to be screamed at like in the military (think An Officer and a Gentleman) but some people don’t. I like to be pushed, definitely, but if you scream in my face, I’ll likely punch you. Or just not come back. Make sure you know what you want and like the motivational level of your instructor. Talking a friend into doing it with you will help too. It’ll keep you both accountable and will serve as built-in hang out time with your buddy. Two birds with one stone!
2. Pick a time of day that you’ll actually attend.
Most bootcamps happen in the morning, before work… and before 6:30am. If you aren’t a morning person, find an after-work bootcamp. If you hate getting up early to go sit at a desk, do you really think you’ll get up earlier to go run around and do pushups? Maybe. Maybe not. So find one you’ll stick to. If you pay for it and miss half your sessions, you’ll be more bummed than you were before. Can’t make it happen during the work week? Find a weekend camp.
3. Go early.
I know I just said to go later if you’re not a morning person. That’s true. BUT if you can suck it up enough to attend the early morning sessions, you’ll be better off. It’ll get it out of the way, you’ll be more energized throughout your day, and you’ll still be burning calories while you work! Multi-tasking is the ish.
4. Recruit help.
Can’t go because you have to take kids to school? Whatev. Get the hubs to take them, find a carpool, ask a family member to help you out. It’s only a couple days a week so bribe them if you have to, but try to find a way to make it work! Remember you have to make yourself a priority too! Don’t let your other responsibilities take ALL your time. If you want to get in better shape, talk to your loved ones and make a plan that will work for everybody.
5. Get competitive.
Keep in mind I didn’t say comparative. There will be all different levels of peeps in your class, but try to pit yourself against others in there! I’m not sayin’ throw down and start talking smack or anything, but push yourself to do as many or more reps, or complete a set faster than the people around you. It’ll make you better and you’ll feel really good about it later when you’re thinkin’ “I’m a beast too, suckas!” But only in your head… not out loud. Don’t be that person at bootcamp.
6. Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of water the day before and bring water with you. Remember: take your body weight, divide it by 2. That’s the number of ounces of water you should be drinking a day. If you’re cramping up a lot in bootcamp, most likely you’re dehydrated. Don’t sabotage your body!
7. Know your energy levels and what you need!
To eat or not to eat… Some people can’t eat early before bootcamp, but I don’t last 15 minutes in class on an empty stomach so I have to have something. Your car doesn’t run without gasoline, your body won’t run without fuel. Eat a banana or half of a protein bar right when you wake up. Passing out in bootcamp is not the ish. If you can’t eat before a morning workout, make sure your dinner was a good one, the night before. Protein! If you’re class is after work, eat a snack an hour or two beforehand. Don’t stop at Starbucks or Mickey D’s on the way to your class. Puking in bootcamp is also not the ish.
8. Don’t stop. (get it, get it.)
You may be fatigued, you may think you can’t go on. But you can. Promise. If something is too hard, slow down, do 1 arm/leg at a time, or reduce your weight/resistance, but KEEP GOING! Stopping before you’re done with a set is a horrible habit to get into. If you don’t push yourself to get two more reps in, or run a little farther, you won’t get better (think if you never did anything harder in math than basic addition, you’d never get smarter). If you don’t know how to keep going, ask. Your instructor will help you out.
9. Listen to your body.
Like my hot-yoga post, if you feel faint, it’s because your body is forcing you to stop because it can’t handle what you’re doing. If you keep going when you feel bad, your body will make the decision to stop for you. The same goes for feeling nauseated. Know the difference between stopping because you’re muscularly fatigued, or stopping because you may pass out. The 2nd one is serious. The first one means you’re being a wuss. ; ) Kidding! Kind of. But seriously, folks: Drink water, eat a snack (banana, almonds) and chill for a moment if you feel bad. You can always start back up after a few minutes. Your instructors really don’t want to perform CPR if they don’t have to.
10. Have FUN!
Yes it’s bootcamp, yes it’ll be hard, but you should like your instructor, like the workouts, and like yourself afterward. Be on time and do what you’re told, but have fun with it! It’s not the military, so don’t get too crazy. Just do it for you. Do it for your body. Do it for your significant other so they’ll want to jump on you even more when you get home with your sexy self. ; )
Be A BEAST!
Questions? Ask away: fitwithflash@gmail.com
Info on my TRX Bootcamp here

image via Barry’sBootcamp

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Do It All: Hot Yoga

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I’m going to start a new series of posts, I’ve decided, called “Do It All.” Why? Because I always get asked “what’s the BEST thing to do, or “I don’t have a lot of time, just tell me one thing I can do all the time that will work.” Usually I’m getting asked this in a grocery store or in line somewhere where people see me in fitness clothes, ask if I’m a trainer, and then proceed to get as much advice as they can out of me in those mere moments. My response: “Do it all.”
They don’t usually like this. They think our convo alone will help them lose ten pounds, but it doesn’t. So I say, “Do all of it. Go run, do TRX, swing kettlebells, take yoga, take kickboxing, go skip around, lift weights, do Pilates, jump, swim, kayak, play kickball, etc. The more different ways you move your body, the better off you’ll be.” So to start this series, I’m gonna give a few tips for one thing, then you go try it. It’ll be fantastic. Promise.
I’ll start with Hot Yoga, because I’m gonna go take a class later and it’s on my mind. Remember, there’s a difference between Bikram yoga and hot yoga. Bikram is a set series, it’s an hour and a half, and it’s typically 110 degrees. Most hot yoga places are a little less hot (100 degrees +/-) and offer lots of different class durations. I go to a hot yoga place because Bikram just isn’t my jam, I’ve found. Here ya go:
Hot Yoga Tips:
1. Hydrate the day before.
If you’re thirsty going in, you’re already de-hydrated and asking for trouble. Bring water with you to class, and put a couple ice cubes in it so it doesn’t get warm while you’re in the heat. The ice will melt and you’ll have nice, moderate temp water.
2. Don’t eat too soon before!
Everybody’s different, but most people need about an hour and a half to digest their meal. Just ate? Take a later class. Haven’t eaten in several hours? Grab something small and light, like a banana, a handful of nuts, or a protein bar an hour before. If you puke up your Starbucks latte, you’ll be bummed. And they might kick you out.
3. Arrive ten minutes early.
This gives you time to fill out necessary paperwork and to inform the instructor if you’ve never taken yoga/hot yoga before. And if you have any injuries. They need to know these things. It’ll make class better for you.
4. Bring your own mat and a towel. And a water.
You can usually rent/buy these items, but who wants to pay for that? And don’t think that you won’t need a towel. You will. And you’ll love it when you can’t open your eyes because there’s sweat in them. Not.
5. Pick the right class level.
So many people jump right into the 1.5 hour Bikram class that’s 110 degrees (when they’ve never done anything like that before) then they puke, then they hate hot yoga forever. Check out the class schedule online first. There’s usually a beginner class or ones that are shorter (1 hour) and a little cooler (85-90 degrees). START WITH THESE.
6. Listen to your body!
Your body has certain responses for a reason. If you’re about to pass out or puke, it’s because you’re doing too much for your body and it’s doing that to make you STOP. So if you feel a little weak/queasy, sit/lay down for a moment. Take a drink of water. When you feel ok, jump back into it. Most yoga places (most) want you to take it at your own pace and they won’t degrade you for taking a small break. If they do, they’re assholes. Go find another place and don’t give them your business. Anybody can do yoga, you just have to go at your own pace.
7. If something hurts, don’t do it!
You know the difference between something being hard to do, and something actually hurting you. If it hurts, wave down the instructor and they’ll give you a modification. Promise. We don’t want you to get hurt. Then you won’t come back : (
8. Don’t stretch too far!
The heat makes your muscles reeeeeally stretchy. This is good. However, if you stretch too far, you’re going to be reeeeally sore for a few days and may injure yourself. That being said: if you can touch your ankles usually but now you can touch your toes, that’s ok. You’ll be able to get a little closer in hot yoga, that’s good. If you can only touch your knees usually and now you can touch your toes, scale it back a little, buddy. You’re going too far and you’ll pay for it the next day (or week).
9. Keep going.
If you feel weird/awkward at first, duh! It’s your first time. Nobody’s great their first time at anything. So try it again. You’ll get better as you go. Promise. And you’ll see the benefits if you go a couple times a week.
10. Don’t wear cotton.
If you wear a huge, cotton t-shirt, you’ll probably regret it 10 minutes into class. You’re going to be hot, you’re going to be sweaty. The less clothes you wear, the better, but if you’re not comfortable only in a sports bra and shorts, make sure the top/bottoms you’re wearing are made of light, breathable fabrics. Your body sweats to release heat, so if you wear clothes that don’t allow that to happen easily, you’ll feel hotter than you should. I’m not just trying to get you naked, I’m serious.
Benefits of hot yoga:
Improved posture
Improved flexibility
Better balance
Sculpted muscles
Time to yourself!
You have time to breathe and chill… and what’s better than that?
Questions? Ask away: fitwithflash@gmail.com
*that photo of me is NOT what I look like taking hot yoga. it was for a shoot with this guy. I usually have a red, sweaty face, with hair in a messy, sweaty bun, looking a HOT mess. : )
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