On this Motivation Monday, I find myself amazed once again about the passing of time. Here we are marching toward the end of April. It feels like just yesterday I was posting tips about setting realistic goals for those New Year’s Resolutions. Meanwhile, I’m gearing up for projects in my production world that I worked on one year ago and catching up with clients I met as many as five years ago.
Then one morning last week, as my jelly-like legs struggled to take me back home after a Physique57® workout, I was zapped with another time check: it was three years ago this month when I started the fitness program that changed my body -and my mental health! – for the better. In April 2013, my longtime gal pal Amy brought me to my very first Physique57 class, and I’ve been hooked every since. After hundreds of classes, I’ve never gotten bored thanks to an amazing group of instructors who never serve up the same workout twice. Despite being comfortable with the class format, my body is still sore as hell after a 57-minute barre workout that combines interval training, isometric exercises and stretches.
While I’d encourage everyone to try a Physique57 workout at a studio or online, the true purpose of sharing this “anniversary” is to offer proof that finding an activity you love is crucial to sticking with a fitness routine. Equally important is realizing your likes, dislikes and needs may change through the different stages of your life. During my Northwestern years and the ones that followed as I entered the working world, I had no problem working out solo and pushing myself to extremes in the weight room. As work and life grew more complicated over the years, I started gravitating toward group exercise classes. While I still do my own thing on certain days, I feed off the energy of a group dynamic. There’s something about being surrounded by the power of my fellow workout warriors pushing through seemingly never-ending planks and squats along with the positive vibes from my instructors and high-energy music.
I hope sharing my Physique57 journey to date encourages you to take stock of your own fitness routine. If you find yourself going through the motions this spring, it’s time to mix things up. If you’ve been ignoring certain muscle groups, now’s the time to get back into total body training. Sign up for a few personal training sessions so a pro can check your form and take your routine to the next level. Or do what I did and find a class that makes you feel like you can take on whatever the world throws at you. Sometimes, taking a moment to realize where you’ve been and how far you’ve come is all the motivation you need to take the next steps in your journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
You know that old saying “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it”? Well, that’s exactly what’s happened to me when it comes to my fitness routine.
As a lifelong fitness lover, I’ve known about the benefits of traditional exercises like squats, lunges and crunches for years. While I’m not knocking the strength and conditioning benefits of these exercises, let’s face it. You do the same thing all the time and it’s bound to get boring. That makes it too easy to fly through the exercises with poor form or worse, simply skip them altogether. That’s exactly what was happening to me. While I hate to admit it, my glutes and legs haven’t been pushed to their maximum capacity for quite some time. That all changed thanks to three workouts during the past seven days.
For months, my friend Amy has been raving about some amazing workouts courtesy of Physique57®. Considering Amy lives a mere three blocks away and the classes are offered in her building, scheduling conflicts were the only thing keeping me from getting there. I finally had a free morning last Sunday and met Amy for a beginner class. Fifty-seven minutes later, I was 100% exhilarated and 100% hooked.
The workout is based on classical ballet and the Lotte Method and combines interval training, isometric exercises and stretches. This doesn’t mean you have to be a dancer to get hooked on this intense workout. Believe me, ballet was never my thing. (I’ve always said there’s a reason why Grace isn’t my middle name.) All you need is a desire to focus on your body movements while listening to great music and the motivational cues from instructors who push you to work each muscle to failure. Those exercises include everything from never-ending reps with free weights for your arms; leg and glute work at the bar; “thigh dancing” on the floor; hard-core core work; and plenty of push-ups, planks and tricep dips. They also incorporate stretching throughout the class to help the muscles recover after each leg-trembling set of moves.
I realize there may not be a Physique57 in your hometown and you may not even be interested in the idea of this kind of fitness-fusion class. The real point of writing this post was to offer a Motivation Monday nudge to take stock of your fitness routine. If you’re just going through the motions, it’s time to mix things up. If you’ve been ignoring certain muscle groups, now’s the time to remember the importance of total body training. Sign up for a few personal training sessions so a pro can check your form and take your routine to the next level. Or do what I did and find a class that takes you outside your “comfort zone” and pushes you to put all your energy into each and every rep.
During this past week, I’ve actually been happy about being sore in places that haven’t been sore in far too long. I’m excited to see how incorporating this workout into my routine can make my body stronger and leaner for the summer. Another buzz about Physique57 and similar programs that use the “Bar Method” concept is that they’re designed to improve your posture. As one of the millions of Americans who spend too many hours each day at a computer, anything I can do to stand taller and feel better about it is a huge plus! Stay tuned…and remember, it’s never too late in the game to introduce your body to new challenges to help you have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!