A ‘Must-Try’ Workout: POUNDfit

Have you heard of the POUNDfit workout? If not, you probably will soon.  This new workout began when two girls, Kirsten & Christina, blended their lifestyles and passions together to create this unique and incredible workout.

I first caught wind of the POUND workout via Social Media and was waiting for a studio nearby to become part of the “POUND Posse.” I was so excited when I found out that DanceFit Studio in Natick, MA was in the process of training their fitness instructors to teach the Pound Workout. They just released the workout class a few weeks ago and I was finally able to make it to a class this past week.

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The workout is so much fun and really works your whole body! My instructor, Lindy, made the class even better with her upbeat and fun attitude. She was laughing, cheering us on, and throwing in some spontaneous dance moves as we pounded through the class.

POUND is a full-body cardio workout, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming of the Ripstix™; which are small weighted drumsticks. The workout brings together cardio, pilates, isometric movements, plyometric and Isometric poses into a 45-minute class. The workout is said to burn between 600 and 900+ calories while strengthening and sculpting a lot of infrequently used muscles.

You might read this post, then decide to watch a YouTube video of a class, and immediately think you need to be extremely coordinated to complete this workout…but you really do not have to be! It is super easy to follow and not complicated at all. Your heart rate sky rockets and your movements become synced to each beat in the specially created playlists. Each 2-4 minute song is created with interval peaks and extended fat burning sequences, providing you with the best workout in the shortest span of time.

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As if you thought this workout couldn’t get better, it can. The drumming and rhythmic technique incorporated into this entire class has a proven science of health benefits behind it. The Pound Website states the numerous benefits:

  • Significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  • Substantially increase the level of natural killer cells (immune stem cells)
  • Boost the immune system
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Synchronize the cerebral hemispheres
  • Stimulate the release if endogenous opioids (endorphins)!
  • Increase alpha waves, associated with relaxation and stress relief
  • Decrease chronic pain, anxiety, fatigue and trauma-related discomfort
  • Increase IQ in children and young adults
  • RHYTHM permeates the entire brain, mobilizing structures used for motor skills, coordination, feedback, listening and memorization. This improves focus, skills and higher level thinking and decision-making skills.

I strongly encourage everyone to see if a studio near them has a POUND workout and for those local in MA, definitely make a stop by DanceFit Studio to try this amazing class! Check out the official Pound Website to find studios in your area.

For anyone nearby: Lindy is hosting POUND & Pour event (POUND
followed by a happy hour) at DanceFIT on Sunday, January 25 at 6pm.
It’s a donations only class, and all money raised will go directly
toward the American Liver Foundation and will help her achieve my
fundraising goal for the Boston Marathon.  If you plan on attending please bring a cash donation to class or donate directly to Lindy’s Run for Research donation page:
http://go.liverfoundation.org/site/TR/RunforResearch/NewEngland?px=1913082&pg=personal&fr_id=4420

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

Going All Natural with Skin Care

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around skin care products and the harsh chemicals that many of us scrub all over our face everyday. Did you know that we absorb 60% of what is put on our skin? Most women put 5 to 10 different products on their face daily; think about the amount of chemicals entering our bodies…it certainly adds up over time. Our skin is a reflection of what we absorb into our bodies both nutritionally as well as topically. After reading a few articles and doing some research I made the decision to switch over to all natural skin care products.

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My boyfriend helped me kick off the switch by filling my Christmas stocking with a skin care line called, S.W Basics, a small start up out of Brooklyn, NY that has really taken off. Their products are all made with natural oils and herb extracts that are scientifically combined to bring you the best results for your skin. These products are especially great for anyone who has sensitive or acne prone skin like I do. S.W. Basics makes their products from scratch using only whole, high-potency, organic and fair trade ingredients. Each product contains 5 ingredients or less, because their motto is fewer ingredients means more potent skincare. S.W. Basics also supports local small farms to source their products; just another great perk.

Not convinced yet? Here is a great info graphic that shows just some of the harsh chemicals that are in almost all of your skin care and cosmetics.

(via:naturalhealthyconcepts.com)

S.W Basics can be purchased on their website and now can be found online only at Target. S.W. Basics can also be found in many small local beauty boutiques. In the South End of Boston, MA & Wellesley, MA it is sold in the Follain boutique. Follain also carries many other all natural cosmetics and skin care lines.

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

The Power & Influence of Fitness Instructors

Do you jump out of bed in the early hours of the morning or sneak out of work a little before five to get to a fitness class? Do you book out your classes weeks or months in advance to ensure you get a spot? This enthusiasm to work out is hard to find and a big reason most “fitness obsessed” people have this drive is partially because of their instructors.

Anyone who takes group fitness classes knows how crucial having a great instructor is to your workout. Everyone has experienced an instructor who is lacking energy, speaking softly, and just seems to be going through the motions of class, which causes you to have a not- so-awesome workout. Fitness instructors to most become like family; they are the people you see every day, probably more often than most of your actual family of friends. These women and men start or end your day on a high note with energy and self-confidence. Instructors have the ability to turn your bad day into a good one and it is so important to find a studio where you know you can always depend on this. Good instructors deserve so much more credit than they receive because they always find a way to put their life stresses and bad moods off to the side to make their clients experience the best it can be.

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For me, at Pure Barre Wellesley, I never have to worry about having a bad instructor or a lack luster workout. This group of ladies is amazing, and they always show up to teach a class with 100% enthusiasm. These women are what make it so easy to get up out of bed each morning for 5:45 am class. One of my favorite instructors, Ang, has a way of pushing me to my limits in every single one of her classes. She is known to keep you performing your “A-game” all class and never lets anyone give up. She has a way of making you move your body in ways you didn’t know it could and always makes sure to give you a shout out in class when she notices your extra push. I leave her classes feeling as strong and confident as ever. I look forward to the classes she teaches because I know I will be challenged both physically and mentally. Being  a member for almost a year now, and taking at least two to three classes with Ang a week, I have never had a mediocre experience with her so I had to find out how she and many other great fitness instructors do it..

How do you stay motivated and energetic for every class, especially days when you teach 3 or 4 in a row?

Without a doubt my motivation comes from the energy that our clients bring to class every day. When I see a client push themselves out of their comfort zone, it always gives me the fuel to keep things challenging! Physically, it’s important to eat small healthy snacks in between classes and stay hydrated as well.

What is your favorite way to keep the clients pushing for their best during class?

My favorite thing to do to keep clients motivated is to give a few name shout outs and say what they are doing well. When people want to break out of a position, I think specific positive reinforcement can really help!

What do you love most about being a Pure Barre instructor?

My favorite thing about being a Pure Barre instructor is when a client tells me that they are seeing results in their body that they’ve never been able to attain before. When clients begin to experience positive changes, they become even more confident in class and in themselves.

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I hope everyone is able to find a place where they can experience great instructors, and for those that do, remember to thank these amazing people for the crucial role they play in your everyday life!

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

Exploring New Studios: Title Boxing Club

Title Boxing Club

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My boyfriend, Justin, has been counting down the days until this new boxing studio, Title Boxing Club Framingham, opened (which was this past Monday). Of course, we were there for the grand opening night in one of the first classes. I had no idea what to expect going into this type of class. The description of the class seemed intense and I did not have any boxing and/or kickboxing experience, but I was up for the challenge and so was Justin!

We arrived to the studio early and were greeted kindly and given a tour of the beautiful space filled with many hanging 100 lb bags and a small boxing ring. We were given gloves to use for our first visit and some of the trainers helped wrap our hands for extra protection and then we were ready for class to start.

The class started off “slow” with a 15 minute warm up consisting of multiple body weight movements with high energy and no breaks. Then we quickly switched pace into eight three minute rounds of punching the bags. During these rounds the trainers walked around to check in with all of the clients to make sure they had proper form and were hitting the bag correctly. In between each three minute round we had an “active rest” which consisted of various types of lunges, squats, jumping jacks, and other body weight exercises. Once we completed the eight rounds it was time for a quick gulp of water and on to abs, 15 minutes of abs! We did every type of crunch and twist you could think of while holding a medicine ball. We finished with a cool down stretch and finally an hour later we had survived.

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This workout was so different and challenging. It is supposed to burn up to 1,000 calories an hour and really gets your heart rate up! Title Boxing is a great way to unleash anger or stress during a workout as well. I would highly recommend anyone giving this a try. The trainers are extremely nice and cater to all fitness levels, yes, even beginners! You have no reason to be intimidated, it is fun and refreshing change from many typical workouts and studios! Title Boxing Club has locations all over the United States so keep a look out for one near you.