My husband is a very supportive one. He’s supportive, but also very critical. Before your eyes get huge and you raise your eyebrows, let me explain…
He gives me positive criticism and honest feedback on my dancing, blogging, cooking, whatever I do really. He wants me to continue to improve and be the best at whatever I do, so I can’t get mad at him for it.
I used to think he didn’t even read my blog. For a while, he didn’t. Occasionally, I would read posts to him to see what he thought. Ha! That literally just made me laugh out loud. Don’t worry, I haven’t done that in a long while.
These days, I know he clicks over to read a post every now and then. How? Because he points things out that only a reader would know. Like how I like to take pictures of my shoes.
It’s true. I do it a lot, and it’s just one of my “things”. Sometimes it is to show you a shoe, but most times it is to create a picture to go with what I am writing about, like a workout or a run for example.
Well, get ready for a collection! And I can’tttttttt stop… and I won’tttttttt stop. (A little Miley reference, just in case it wasn’t clear.)
Set In My Fitness Pilates Ways
If you frequent the blog, then you already know I have a favorite group fitness class at my gym called Fitness Pilates. As a former barre instructor, it is the closest thing I have found to take regularly (outside of a barre studio) that is already included in my gym membership.
Since my first class last December, I have become absolutely hooked. In an effort to describe it to you, I am going to say it is an hour long fast paced workout that focuses on toning your entire body (with a special emphasis on core), one muscle group at a time using the fundamentals of Pilates, all to upbeat music.
The results and exercises are very similar to barre workouts, just without using the ballet barre. Instead, the majority of the class is spent on a yoga mat and each one incorporates different exercises with an occasional use of the medicine ball, resistance band, body bar, and/or set of dumbbell weights.
I swear, I could eat a few slices of pizza the night before, take Fitness Pilates class the next day, run a few miles on the treadmill, and feel completely back to normal when I leave. It’s that amazing.
(And I say “normal” meaning “like myself.” I certainly eat pizza, but it never comes without the price of feeling super bloated and weighed down after.)
Anyways, I think you get the point. I have found a class I love, and have been taking the same one from the same instructor 2-3 times a week for over six months now. I have for sure been set in my Fitness Pilates ways.
When I showed up right on time for a Noon class Monday, I noticed someone else was teaching. She was about to start, and instead of scrambling to get everything I needed and on my way to find a spot like I normally would, I casually turned around and exited the studio.
The teacher I really like also teaches Monday nights at a different gym location, so I figured I could go to that one instead. Is that snobby?
Before leaving, I went ahead and knocked out my cardio for the day with my 30 Minute Hill Climber Elliptical Workout.
It’s still a good one! By the way, I shared a version of this photo on Monday and a lot of you liked my pants. Here, I am wearing the PWR legging from the ReebokONE collection I reviewed back in May! The all-terrain running shoes weren’t necessary for this trip to the gym, but I grabbed them since they were by the door on the way out.
Regardless of what I am doing, bot pieces are ridiculously comfortable to wear.
Since I wasn’t crazy sweaty, I kept the pants on and changed my sports bra and shirt when I got home. Before I knew it, the day got past me and it was time to head to Life Time for my second attempt to take class.
(Here, I am wearing Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0 Shoes. I like to throw these on anytime I know I am not going to be running. They too are ridiculously comfortable.)
I walked into class fifteen minutes early this time, to make sure I got a spot and everything settled before start time. To my surprise, yet another sub introduced herself as soon as I set up my station. Dang. By this time I realized my instructor of choice was probably out of town, and decided to hang around for the new class.
Instead of Pilates, this one was called Strictly Strength. The instructor was not certified to teach Pilates, so instead we had an hour of strength exercises using tubing and dumbbell weights. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed taking something new, and we spent the majority of the class doing lunges, pushups, squats, and core exercises.
After class, I went to the lobby cafe for dinner. Scott has been traveling a lot this month (but finally returned home last night!), so I deemed a green smoothie the perfect dinner choice.
While waiting, I noticed this quote about snacking on my order number.
I have always been a big snacker, and try my best to stick to the five small meals a day plan. Although my body has been acting odd with eating lately, I have returned to my normal snacking ways this week after taking a short hiatus.
Dinner for one was an Almond Delight Smoothie that included almond milk, spinach, strawberries, VeganMax protein, and Dynamic Greens.
The spinach and strawberries were my choice of produce add-ins, but overall the taste was good enough to recreate at home. I just love green smoothies!
Third Time’s a Charm?
By the time Tuesday night rolled around, I had my mind set on taking Fitness Pilates the next afternoon. I even called the gym to make sure my favorite teacher was planning on being there, and received confirmation that she would. I invited a few girls from my dance team come with me, and one joined a few minutes before class time!
Set up and ready to go, I was excited for her to finally experience the class I have been raving about for so long. Thennnn, a new face walked up to the stage a put on the microphone. Bummer!
Just like Monday, the class turned into another version of Strictly Strength with an emphasis on core exercises.
I am open to taking new classes at the gym, and you can in fact find me hopping around from time to time. I became frustrated this week because all I wanted to do was take Fitness Pilates. I never realized how set in my ways I was!
Every Monday, Wednesday, and the occasional Thursday night I take my class with my instructor and that’s when I get the most workouts into my week. I love the motivation, I love the style of teaching, I love the exercises, and I love the feeling I get when I leave after every class.
Unable to take any Pilates classes this week, it has forced me out of my comfort zone and into trying new things. Although I liked the Strictly Strength classes, I did not like the instructors as much. The exercises were good, but the class seemed to drag on and seemed a bit slow. To me, the instructor is a make or break for me attending group fitness classes.
Instead, I have been running outside and even created a few new workouts on my own at home this week. Whether I liked it or not, I was forced to get out of my Fitness Pilates ways.
Questions of the Day
• Have you found that group fitness class or type of workout you have to take at least once a week?
• What are the characteristics that separates a good group fitness instructor from a great one?
As a former barre instructor, I got both positive and negative feedback about my classes as well as my co-worker’s classes. It seems as though you can never please everyone (the music is too loud, the music is too soft… there aren’t enough ab exercises, there’s too much core and not enough arms… etc.) but there are a few consistent characteristics my clients raved about. For me, an instructor has to be motivating, able to count and stay on the music (as a dancer, I can’t take when they aren’t on the beat), and able to tell you corrections and modifications for more advanced exercises.
While teaching my classes, I kept these factors in mind and tried my best to improve my teaching style with every class. The hardest thing I had to get over was speaking up! When I first started, I was always told I have to talk louder. By the end, I was practically yelling and blasted the music. It was so much fun!