Cycle Obsession

March 25, 2016

After a near death cardio heart exploding experience in college I had it in my head that I was not an indoor spinning kind of gal. Although I love to run and even bike outside there was something about being in a loud dark room and having my heart pounding out of my chest did not interest me at all. 

I will admit though for the past 6 months or so I have been considering trying it; call it a combination of the popularity and buzz on places like soul cycle (and the results), getting older and having to really strategically workout to stay my current size (and eat what I want for the most part) and a new desire to really mix up my workouts, but it had me thinking. So, after much research and hemming and hawing about when to start I finally pulled the trigger last month and I can officially say that I am hooked. Like put an IV in me and strap me to the bike hooked. I love it, and the calorie burn and cardio high is completely the reason for my addiction. That and the great music, motivating instructors and excuse to shop a new section at Lululemon & VS (don't tell the husband about that last part). 

That being said, here are some of my top picks for cycle class and if you are in the Portland Maine area definitely check out Reve Cycling - it's a game changer if you are looking to add something new to your fitness deck.

 

 

Cycle Gear

What's your favorite workout? 

 

xo - margaret

 

 

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My Other Loves

July 24, 2015

Other than my usual love suspects, the hus & the fur babes, there are two other loves in my life; running & yoga/pilates. Both of which I have been in an ongoing relationship with for years. 

I couldn't imagine my life without either of them, they give me a place to recharge and are my first choice when it's time to blow off a little steam (well that and weight lifting). For me fitness is an outlet for some many things, and in order to stay motivated (which is hard for everyone including me!) I like to get new gear and always have a running list of new favorites. Here are some pieces I have my eye on...

 

Running Tanks - I am loving these cute racer backs with fun sayings, this #beast tank is my new love

Colorful sports bras - One of my favorite things to run in is a plain cotton racer back, so I love layering up with a fun bra like this one from Under Armour

Nike Wraps - I have been eyeing these for years, literally, years. I think it's finally time to buy!

New Kicks - Change your running shoes at least once a year, and if you run a lot like me, every 6 months. I personally always go for pink, black or gray.

Accessories - I love a good running watch to track my distance & time as well as a headband to keep my hair & sweat out of my eyes (plus it hides all the curly hair flyaways). I have also been seeing a lot of gals with these adorable yoga beads in class, and I have total yoga envy for them...I just need to find the perfect set. 

Fitness Tote-This is an essential item, especially when you are on the go as much as I am. 

Bottoms-I am the most picky when it comes to workout bottoms; biggest it factor - a wide waistband. It's a must for me. I hate thin waistbands that dig into your hips and belly, wide and high is how I like em.

Yoga Mat w/ Tote- Often when I run to a yoga class I don't bring much with me so I love the mats that come with their own tote. Two in ones have always been my thing.

 

 

 

Fitness Must Haves

 

 

What's your go-to workout gear? Your motivation?

xo - margaret

 

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I like to workout, so much so that if I go a few days without working out I am down right grouchy. Plus, I honestly feel like my skin is streching out...I know it sounds crazy but you know that feeling after a goodworkout when you feel toned and great about yourself? When I don't work out for just a few days I feel the complete opposite of that and it's awful, I literally feel my body telling me to get my butt back in the gym. And yes, I am well aware that it's a complex I have, thank you.

As for workouts, I love to lift weights, run and do treadmill & stair climber interval training. In addition I practice at least 15 minutes of at home yoga or pilates every other day to focus on my abs & buns and take a one hour yoga class once a week for toning. On average I work out 5-6 days a week for about an hour at a time, when traveling this is sometimes broken into two shorter workouts depending on my schedule. When I am really lucky, I get in two workouts a day with a 1 hour class whether it be Pilates Reformer, Daily Method or Yoga plus my normal gym routine. Sadly those two-a-days with my crazy schedule are few and far between.

For my weight routine I try to group muscles together and do supersets, typically that means Chest, Back & Bis, Shoulders & Tris and Legs. I will go into my weight lifting routine next week because this week I want to focus on my HITT training routines. I have been a runner for years, and in the past have trained mainly for distance clocking upwards of 25-35 miles a week, but given the fact that it's winter I have been confined to the indoor treadmill. Which I know you can distance train on, but I personally have a long list of things I would rather do; like organizing my sock drawer and going to the dentist, rather than running on thing for an hour. That said, I started doing what I like to call HITT (High Intensity Treadmill Training) in October and I have seen some excellent results. I vary between three routines, depending on my energy level, and try to do a HITT routine every other day or 4 days a week. In between I mix in the stair climber and a hot yoga class for my cardio as to save my knee from self destruction.

Here are my three favorite routines, and please keep in mind these can easily be altered to a speed set that you are comfortable with. The timing and the incline I would suggest keeping the same, but if you find the speed too difficult/easy you can decrease/increase accordingly (if you can incrase I am jealous). If you are a beginner I highly suggest knocking a few minutes off these times listed below and if you are an experienced runner I challenge you to try this.

I also enjoy adding some agility at the end of these routines; such as running backwards and side stepping on an incline. For this I set the treadmill to a 9.0 or 10.0 incline and the speed to 4.0-4.2. I start running backwards for about 30 seconds and then run backwards and criss-cross my feet for 30 seconds. Then I turn to each side for 20 side steps each side and then repeat the entire sequence another 1-2 times. It's a great way to semi-cool down after all of your sprints and to change it up on your muscles so that they don't give out on you. Just use caution with this final routine - treadmill faceplants are not pretty...but they are funny see for yourself here.

 

HITT ROUTINES

 

 

What's your favorite routine? If you give one of these routines a try I would love to hear what you think...and please feel free to share yours! I also welcome any HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) routines that can be done without equipment - I have some travel coming up this week and those workouts are great for hotel rooms.

 

xo - margaret