This week in preparation to take Northern Grrrls to the next level (more to come 🙂 ) I asked some of the current grrrls to give testimonials and their thoughts on what the Northern Grrrls group means to them and to describe what they have accomplished due to participation in the group. The testimonials I received back were heart warming, uplifting, and inspiring. Most of their comments had similar themes – They could now do things they never thought possible and the support of a peer group of women has kept them inspired and on track. I know that everyone seeks a little inspiration now and then and for me all these testimonials remind and affirm the importance of the group and our little fitness family. I have so MANY other testimonials other than these that I am saving for future motivation and support of our Grrrls! Read on and find your inspiration!“…my entire attitude and outlook on physical fitness was changed. I went from believing everything was beyond my ability, to believing no goal is beyond my reach. Her attitude and motivation filtered through to all aspects of my life and I couldn’t be more grateful!” – L. G., Ashland
“I want to get up and go to boot camp and spin class. I have never liked working out before, but now I cant wait to go. Mari shows each and everyone of us how great we all are, and what we are capable of doing.” – K. P., Ashland
“…bootcamp has changed my life. I am stronger person both body and soul. Mari motivates, inspires, and brings everyone together as a team and works her hardest to help everyone achieve their personal goals.” – A. A., Ashland “I am learning how to make lifetime changes to my health and fitness goals. Mari is always well informed and will stress the importance of not only exercise but also proper nutrition. The Northern Grrrrls bootcamp has had a huge impact on so many women in our community, for me personally Mari leaves me feeling like there is nothing I can’t achieve!” – J. O., Ashland
“I have been working out with Mari for about eight months now through Bootcamp, Running and Bike training and soon to be training for a triathlon! Mari is always a positive source of inspiration, reinforcement and a great source of health and fitness information! In this short time, I have seen positive changes in the shape of my body and I have improved times on my running and endurance. I look forward to my own continued successes, as well as others in our group!” – J. M., Ashland
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
TABATA: 16 rounds 20 sec/ 10 rest
wide arm pushups
I had to re-post this. This is the time of year when I like to remind you fellow fitness fanatics that while the New Year’s resolution gym crowd can be frustrating, those very people need encouragement and support- not your attitude of superiority. When you encounter newbies out there in the coming days at the gym or the pool or wherever… Be patient with them and the people who are clueless in your workout classes. Each of these individuals are starting a new scary journey and have their own challenges to overcome. Show them how to use the treadmill. Tell them what equipment they need for class if the instructor is busy. Smile at them. Make them feel welcome in your gym so that they want to return the next day. Become inspired by them!
Yes, you. The one feigning to not see me when we cross paths on the running track. The one not even wearing sports gear, breathing heavy. You’re slow, you breathe hard and your efforts at moving forward make you cringe.
You cling shyly to the furthest corridor, sometimes making larger loops on the gravel ring by the track just so you’re not on it. You sweat so much that your hair is all wet. You rarely stay for more than 20 minutes at a time, and you look exhausted when you leave to go back home. You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you.
You are awesome.
If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence and to a brand new kind of freedom. The gifts you will receive from running will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others.
You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept this physical state of numbness and passivity. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every hard breath you take is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every step is ever so slightly lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible.
You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d take off the blaring headphones and put your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other runners you cross, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up running and improve their health, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who runs alongside, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again.
You are a runner, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are stronger than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own body, you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration.
I bow to you.
See original post on Flintland…
I’ve previously noted in other posts that I LOVE any excuse to have a themed spin class. I had a ton of fun with our Spooky Halloween Spin Classes in October and have been anxiously awaiting the need for another cheesy holiday themed playlist. Enter… Christmas & Hanukkah!
I have had the playlist under construction for the past three weeks and I have to say I am thrilled with the final Ho Ho Ho Ho-liday Playlist! I get to teach this class three times this week! Thankfully I HEART Christmas music so I won’t want to scratch my eyes out after listening to these songs three times in four days.
Last night was the first of the three classes and I hung Christmas lights around the room s and took the Mr. Christmas projector temporarily out of our front yard (these are amazing and it makes it look like snowflakes are falling throughout the room). The whole environment was very festive and all the students even came in their own festive attire. My own Santa hat only lasted through the warm-up, but it was fun for those couple of songs! We had a lot of fun and it really got the class into the holiday spirit!
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!
via Winter Workout Tips.
“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.
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
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!
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
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
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!
I recently posted about my entry into the Fitness Magazine Face of Fitness contest. The response from friends, family, blog followers, and long-forgotten high school friends has been amazing.
Yesterday I was in fourth place and today I find myself in sixth place. For me the #FaceofFitness contest is not really about winning, but about a collection of strong and amazing women who represent what it means to be fit- both physically and mentally. I must say I am dismayed at the current lead contestants. My own opinion is that many of these ladies do not truly represent the same fitness values that I do. I have always believed that no matter the body type, weight, or chest size of a woman the true fitness value is how she feels about herself and her own body image. Fitness is about goals and improvement; It is a personal journey that isn’t measured by the size of your dress, but rather the improvements and life changes made every day. It is also about how you make other people feel and supporting and encouraging others as they make their own journey.
That being said- i’m okay with not winning this contest. I know who I am and I have an entire contingent of women who I get to inspire, coach, and be inspired by every single day. But I really would like to see a woman who TRULY represents the Face of Fitness win instead of a stereotypical model-esque woman.
If you want to vote for me please do and you can do so here: Vote for me!!!
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!”
I have some pretty amazing women in my life and am blessed. I was reminded of this today when I was encouraged to enter in the Fitness Magazine Face of Fitness contest and then supported by so many of my fitness friends, spin class members, and boot campers! UPDATE! Be sure to go vote because if the current #1 is the “face of fitness” then I am very concerned about what some consider the definition of fitness!