Great Class with a Fun Playlist!

Tonight’s spin class was amazing! Here is the playlist we used for those of you who want to relive the glory! 🙂


Fit Mommas ROCK

Fit Mommas ROCK

Okay mommas… sometimes it is easy to feel guilty for taking the time to be fit and healthy and work towards your fitness goals… print this… share this…pin this… whatever your need to do!

AMRAP & Tabata Workout for Boot Campers!

AT HOME or BOOT CAMP: AMRAP and Tabata Workout

This is a great workout in less than an hour that can be done individually or in a group setting! Wondering what a tabata is?  Check out “What is Tabata Training.”

AMRAP (As Many Reps (or Rounds) As Possible): 15 MIN

20 of each:

Speed Skaters: Jump to your right, landing on your right foot and stretching your left arm across your body. Quickly transition to the other side, jumping to your left foot and crossing the right arm across the body. Consistently switch back and forth until finished with the reps.

Sumo Squats: squats with your feet wider than hip width and with toes pointing out—require a unique combination of hip flexibility and glute and inner-thigh strength. 

Plie Jacks: Start in a low plié squat. Hop up as high as you can and click your heels in together at the center. Land back in a plié squat. Repeat for reps.

Ski Jumps: Bend your knees slightly, reach your arms back and jump over your object. Land with both feet on the ground and stop for one second, stabilizing yourself. Repeat: Jump, land, stop, jump, land…

3 sets of the dreaded stairs!

Then on to the tabata!… 

TABATA: 16 rounds 20 sec/ 10 rest

weighted russian twists
plank ups

TABATA: 16 rounds 20 sec/ 10 rest

bicep curls
tricep dips
wide arm pushups
globe jumps

Success in Weight Loss… Do the Math and Get Results!

Keeping a Food Diary Can Double Your Weight Loss



If you are taking in more calories, fats, sugars, and carbs than you are burning, weight loss will be a challenge. Period. You can workout 5 times a day, but if you are eating more calories than you are burning, you will not see the scale move (except for maybe up). There are several online apps and programs that can help you record your meals.

My favorite 100% free app & website is MyFitnessPal. It will work on your laptop, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows phone. It has over 2 million foods in the database, provides you with a support community and the ability to “friend” your workout buddies to help each other stay on track. You can also enter your workouts into the system to track input vs. output each day.

Since we are on the topic of the additional importance of tracking your activity and workouts… let’s talk about that for a moment. There are a TON of apps and websites that will track your activities and caloric output like MyFitnessPal, but not all allow you to track nutrition. Here is a list of just a few that I have experience with:

Nike+: This is the program I started with years ago simply because they were sort of the only game in town. Nike+ works both with GPS on your phone or Nike+ watch or you can go old school and use the pod in your Nike shoes (if you don’t have Nike shoes, you can purchase a little pouch for your laces). Nike has improved their Nike+ system quite a bit and their website is interactive with lots of challenges and colorful graphics. The biggest drawback I think for Nike+ is if you are running it off your iPhone or other device it will drain power very quickly as my friend found while training for Grandma’s Marathon. It also can be quirky if you live in a rural area with a lot of dead cellular spots.

Endomondo: This is a website/ app that has both a free and paid version. It acts as a personal trainer and social fitness partner. Endomondo is ideal for running, cycling, walking and any other distance-based activity for which you want GPS. This program too has the ability to participate in challenges with your friends or strangers and tracks your caloric output as well as mileage etc. The paid version is not worth the money as far as I am concerned. The best feature of Endomondo is that it will sync with Garmin and Polar devices and also will connect to your MyFitnessPal account which eliminates duplicate entry!

MapMyRun (or MapMyRide / MapMyWalk): Powered by MapMyFitness, Inc. these apps have been selected as 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards Best Running App and Best App for Walkers, respectively. Bonus part of these applications are that they allow you to seek out new routes if you are in an unfamilar area. Again it has a community, nutrition component called the Nutrition Dashboard to understand your recommended calorie and nutrient intake and track your eating habits. One stop shopping! The mobile app has the same issues as Endomondo and Nike+ however if you live in an area where your workouts may take you in and out of cell service which will affect the GPS. You can also use this on your laptop, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.

Garmin / Polar: These are the most expensive option as you will need to have the GPS watch in order to use their sites. There are a number of huge benefits in investing in a satellite based watch and tracking system in a rural area. Garmin Connect and both allow users access to a community-based website for runners, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts who track their activities with Garmin devices.

I truly cannot stress enough the importance of tracking your food consumption. Every person I have ever worked with who struggles with weight loss is taking in more than they are burning. It is easy to become deluded about the food that you are eating. Something seems healthy because it is whole grains? Or lots of fruit is good for you right? Wrong. A few cookies is no big deal… etc. You will be shocked when you start tracking everything- how quickly it adds up. Oh and don’t forget what you DRINK. Alcohol packs a ridiculously huge punch in terms of calories and sugars. Soft drinks and fancy coffees also count for your daily calories. I have known people who don’t count their drinks at all or who drastically underestimate how much alcohol they have consumed because they don’t want to admit they just slugged back two days worth of calories in beer. DON’T DO THIS. You are only cheating yourself and will become quickly frustrated as to why you don’t see the results that you want. Please don’t set yourself up to fail- you deserve better than that.

I am a huge proponent of WeightWatchers since it is the program I started with and had success on. Whatever website/app/watch you choose – the main goal is to find one that works for you! Find a software or method that works for you – even if it is a plain old notebook. And do not get me wrong… I am the first person to agree that skinny does not mean fit & strong. However, most individuals have fitness and weight loss goals that go hand-in-hand. So get going and start tracking! And stick with it for at least a month… I bet that you will be surprised how the results begin to change!


GET MOVING! Set Your 2013 Fitness Goals Now!

A new year is almost here and this is the time to set your fitness goals for 2013. Why now? If you set your plan in motion now, you’ll have plenty of time to research new gyms, fitness classes, races, and training groups!

There are an abundance of options to kick off the new year in a new frame of mind. If you need inspiration,  13 Hottest Fitness Trends to Try in 2013  is worth a read!  If you still need help narrowing the scope of what you hope to accomplish, talk to a fitness professional or friend.

If you are not sure where to start in your fitness goals, work on setting your goals on a number of levels:

First you create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 4 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.

Then, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your BIG goals. Make these achievable! You want to set small goals for each month and week as you work towards meeting the larger overall goal! For example… Ride 40 or miles each week in June,July, and August (then you’ll be read y for the September Iron Girl and also be working towards overall fitness).

Finally, once you have your plan, GO! There is not any point in “waiting till Monday” or “starting after the holidays”. Once you have your plan, move into action!

Find a supportive friend or group of friends with similar goals and share your plan with them.  You will be amazed at how much a bit of peer support can help you along the way!

Spinning = Toned Shapely Legs and Lots of Fun!

The benefits of spinning are many. Cardiovascular fitness is one of the most obvious bonuses to sweating it out for 60 minutes on the bike, but don’t forget the rockin’ leg workout that you will also receive! Spinning activates large muscle groups in your legs making them stronger and more shapely. Your calves, hamstrings, and quads will find themselves being called to duty in order to climb those hills, sprint, and jump during class. Other muscles such as the gluteus maximus and medius are activated when your push forward at the top of your pedal stroke. This is very good news for gals like myself who are always looking for a way tone (Read: drastically reduce) the size of my bum. 🙂

Obviously leg strength is crucial to success in so many activities and sports and the of benefits of strong legs include:
1. Better support for your whole body
2. Better balance
3. Reduced risk for lower leg and back pain

* If you have never attended a spin class please check out Spin Class: Give it a Whirl! Here’s What You Might Want to Know as a Newbie. It is nothing to worry about or be intimidated by! You will be addicted to the fun!

So what other muscles does a spin class work exactly?

Photo courtesy of

  • It burns an enormous amount of calories in a short time period. A 30-minutes spin workout can burn up to 500 calories. (Of course, it may vary according to a person’s weight and height)
  • Heart and lung health. Spinning involves interval training where your heart rate varies throughout the workout which helps increase your endurance and burn more calories. Also, you learn to control your breathing throughout the workout, therefore your lung capacity increases which can help with coping with stress and anxiety off the bike.
  • It builds muscle. Since your legs are constantly moving throughout the 30 -50 minute workout, it doesn’t take long to notice a difference in muscle tone in the lower half of your body.
  • Work more than just your lower body! Your abs, back, and upper body will also be called into action during a spin class. Read more on this here.
  • Want more reasons to get to a spinning class?Check out 10 Benefits of Spinning Exercises

Winter Workout Tips


The Northern Grrrls may be used to frigid Wisconsin winter temps, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to force ourselves out the door into temperatures in the teens to get that workout in! We have started our Runners World #RWRunStreak challenge and it is truly helping push us all to get outside or on the treadmill for that extra workout! See the blog from greatestwealthishealth below for more tips on how to break those winter blues!

Winter Workout Tips.

via Winter Workout Tips.

You Don’t Need Compression Clothing. You Need Heart & Attitude to Meet Fitness Goals.

Are we obsessed with our running gear?

Are we obsessed with our running gear?

“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.”  ~Lee Mildon

When I started running and hitting the gym I found myself thinking so many times that I was not good enough, or didn’t  have expensive fancy schmancy enough gear, or I was not as “athletic” looking as I needed to be in order to enter a race or show my face in the weight room. I would look around at the expensive shoes and brightly colored wicking shirts and feel extremely intimidated when I first started to race.  I will never forget the first time I saw an older man in cotton cargo shorts, a pair of old shoes, and what appeared to be his wife’s cotton t-shirt at the start line of a marathon.  I was horrified that he was going to run in such attire, but then I really started to think that it is not about the clothes or the gear or how much you money you spent on your shoes.  Fitness, racing, and workouts are about heart and attitude. Period.  If you haven’t made the investment in your training and mental fortitude… well, it doesn’t matter how much you paid for your new compression shorts.

You need a few basic items to workout:

  • comfortable shorts or pants
  • a decent shirt- cotton will work, but wicking is better if you can afford one
  • ladies- get a good sports bra.  Your ta-tas will appreciate it.  Sports bras should be replaced after 75 washes or if you lose a significant amount of weight
  • running / athletic shoes (some will disagree you need these and that is okay too- barefoot running is huge trending change in the sport)

… now let me say a few things about running shoes…

This article by Runner’s World provides some insight into one of the most commonly made mistakes by new runners – get the glittery fun colorful shoes and pay no attention whatsoever to body mechanics.  I completely understand the draw of fancy shoes.  As a pronator, I require stability running shoes and until recently there was very little to choose from in terms of color and style in a functional motion control shoe.  The neutral runners had greater choice in their footwear, but I was relegated to simple boring shoes.  This is no longer the case, but the danger still exists to go for the sparkly or neon shoes.  Go to a running store.  Get fitted and get shoes that are right for you.  Your knees and hips will thank you.

If you want to read a humorous additional take on the subject of what kind of gear you need to get a good workout in, check out Hamilton Nolan’s article here.

Spin Class: Give it a Whirl! Here’s What You Might Want to Know as a Newbie.


If you are one of the many who gather outside my spin class door looking thru the glass, you might be thinking “I wonder if that is fun? Those people are sweating like pigs, but they are smiling… ” OR ” i’d like to try that sometime…”

Well… COME ON IN and give it a spin (pun fully intended).

An indoor cycling, or more commonly known “spin” class is nothing to fear. New spin students may want to check the tips provided in this article and those I have included below. Also, a good spin instructor will spend some time with you helping you get properly fitted to your bike. However depending how many new students there are and how pressed for time the instructor is- it is good to know the basics of how to set up your bike. This video will show you the basics of how to get the bike set up. This blog entry also provides some great background and tips on the vernacular that you will encounter in spin class!

These are the other basic tips that I always provide to my new students…

1. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early and I will help you get your bike set up and go over basic safety and spin instructions. As long as the studio is empty we will be able to get in and get to work!

2. Bring water- a bike water bottle works best but any water bottle will work!

3. If you have bike shorts- your sit bones and nether regions will thank you!. If not no big deal! Just wear something comfortable and cool and tennis shoes. If you have long hair, a head band or ponytail is best to keep sweat out of your eyes.

4. Bring a small towel for wiping off sweat and your hands.

5. My classes are all about fun and getting a great workout so don’t be nervous if you are an indoor cycling newbie! I will help you throughout the class and assist you in maintaining proper form ( and feel free to ask questions). I want you to LOVE coming to class!

6. Class lasts for 60-65 minutes with 4 minutes of warm-up and 4 minutes of cool down.

There really is nothing to fear about trying out an indoor cycling class. Yes. You will sweat buckets. Yes. Your legs will burn. But I think you will find that you like it!

Double the Fun! A Great Paired /Team Boot Camp Workout!

I typically try to alternate between individual and group games each boot camp session.  I have found that the group games foster a positive and encouraging environment for new boot campers, while the individual challenges allow each participant to focus on tackling individual challenges on their own.  The women empower each other and support each other making this a great pair game!

My favorite (and the group’s favorite) partner activity is our Double the Fun activity.  This game is the most fun in the Spring and Summer months when we are able to be outside and run the “stairs”.  The Double the Fun workout is as follows”

Equipment:  Dumbbells (various weights or bands will work, have students bring their yoga mats)

Ask boot campers to partner up! One member of each pair will run the stairs

The dreaded STAIRS!

while the other does the exercise and then they will switch.  When we run the stairs – up and down counts for 1x- as my participants’ fitness ability increased – we went from 1x on the stairs to 2x.

*note that the exercises listed below are just examples.  I switch out different exercises all the time!

Round ONE:

Sumo Squats ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
V-Sits ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Bicep Curl ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Speed Ladder ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner

Round TWO:

Russian Twist ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Plank Ups ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Tricep Dips ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Globe Jumps ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner

Round THREE:

Right Leg Lunge ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Left Leg Lunges ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Bicycles ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner
Burpees ———> other person runs the stairs 2x then switches w/ partner

By the time this workout is completed, each participant will have run the stairs 24 times.  A feat that amazes the ladies every time we do it!  The most rewarding aspect of this activity is how excited and proud each grrrl is when they realize how much they accomplished and how great they feel!