Tonight, we had the second Biggest Loser workout at the J.  This is the 3rd year that the J has had the contest, but this is the first year that more departments other than the Total Fitness Center are involved.  This workout was in the pool.

27 participants showed up for the workout.  I thought that was a great number to have.  There were two instructors, Bobbie and Adam who are both trained water aerobics instructors.  There were 3 lanes open and I felt like we had plenty of room.

The water was super cold.  On Tuesday, it was warm, so I was quite surprised with the temperature.  We started with a few announcements and introductions and quickly moved into the warm up.  The warm up was all done in a big circle.  I hated that part.  We tossed a few balls around, jogged in a circle, skipped in a circle, etc.  It was challenging to get caught in the current in the deep end.  For the most part, I felt crammed and didn’t like that we couldn’t see or hear the instructor for much of the warm up part.

Once the warm up was complete, we received the heavier water dumbbells and began a circuit workout.  The circuit included about 10 different exercises.  We did each of them for 1 minute and then repeated the circuit 2 additional times.

The circuit included exercises such as jumping jacks, frog jumps, cross-country skiing, seal jumps, rocking horse, etc..

One challenge that I have is knowing the modifications to make the exercises harder.  For the most part, I know that it’s more challenging to do them faster, without touching the bottom, etc..  I’m thinking of doing a personal training session in the pool to learn more about intensity when using the water.  When I workout in the water, I am tired when I am done, but I don’t feel sore or fatigued in the same manner as a land workout.  I’m glad that I include it in my weekly workout mix.

Back in college, I used to swim laps.  I have swam a mile before.  I’d love to get back into lap swimming.  I’m not sure the best way to approach it since the pool at the J is usually pretty busy and I’m sure I’ll need to brush up on my strokes and pool etiquette.

I had about 2 hours of workout out today, and I’m beat.  I’ll be sore tomorrow, but in a good way.


I signed up for the Biggest Loser contest at our gym again this year.  There’s a discount on personal training packages if you participate in the contest, so it was a no-brainer.  I was planning on attending all of the workouts, but needed to miss the first one due to Grandpa’s death.

My friend offered to guest post by giving  me her thoughts.  In addition, the  J sent out a copy of the workout, but I haven’t had a chance to review it in detail.

Biggest Loser workout numero uno

Hey gang! It is your resident vegan blogger come to bring you the first Biggest loser workout. I thought it was a big loser, but that is due to the fact that there were too many people in the gym, the trainers did not all yell loud enough to be heard over the basketball being played.  I was able to slack off if I wanted to since the group was so large (seriously, I need someone riding my butt if I’m going to get a really great workout. Although Rich did come around and pick on me bunches. Especially during the hard-for-me stuff. Thanks Rich). They were great about offering modifications for everything but that meant that some people just did the modification because it was easier (I know at least one person who did at least, ahem hubby).

The breakdown:
Five minutes of warm ups: walking/jogging around the gym and some shuffling.

It was hard for me to slow my pace enough as there were  fifty people trying to circle the gym together, but it was a good reminder that warming up is a good idea.

Fifteen minutes of fifteen exercises:
We did each exercise for 30 seconds and then repeated the circuit.
Some were harder than others. I recall cherry pickers, twist jumps, grapevines, jumping jacks,  heel kicks, butt kicks, basketball jumps and flip jumps as well as plank walks. I’ll be honest, the others ellude me right now.

Arms and legs:
They split us up into groups of twenty five and each group did fifteen minutes of arms or legs and then we switched. For arms we did pushups on the BOSU, oblique twists, lifts with the BOSU, presses with the BOSU, bicep curls with a band, and more jumping jacks. For legs there were squats, jumping jacks, split leg squats, and plie squats.

I skipped the cooldown as my kids were watching me over the partition and just wanted to go home.

For a first workout it was not bad. (I was expecting worse based on last year’s first workout). I’m not sure I should have missed my beloved 20/20/20 class for it, but I look forward to the workouts getting harder as they learn better what we are all capable of. Here’s hopin’ I hurt after next week’s workout.

Thanks for filling us in.  I’m excited for the pool workout this week.



 Posted by at 10:10 PM

For a couple of months, I’ve been taking a “high intensity” water aerobics class.  The class meets on Tuesday and Thursday.  Due to my personal workout scheduling, I attend only on Tuesdays.  Our regular instructor is good.  It’s a great class with a nice core group of participants.  Most classes we have about 8 people.  Our regular instructor came from another gym and she had followers come with her.  A few weeks ago, there was a sub.  It was on Thursday, so I wasn’t there, but I heard all about how terrible the class was.

Today, I walked in and it was obvious that Adam was substituting.  Adam is one of our personal trainers in the fitness center and he also teaches two of the evening water classes.

At first, people were complaining because he didn’t want us to use the weights and was having us have our arms out of the water, etc.  It really boiled down to people complaining because he wasn’t the regular instructor.  Different doesn’t equal bad.  Once everyone got a little used to his style, it was an amazing class.  Instead of counting 8, 7, 6, 5, etc., Adam would have us do an exercise for a minute.  At the end of the day, we are working all of the same muscles and moving.  To me, that’s the point of exercise.

I really liked that Adam used a different piece of equipment.  About 1/2 way through the class, he gave us Water Fan Paddles.  I had never used them before.  It was so different and hard compared to using the weights.  I really can feel that I worked out my arms today.

I think that everyone gets in their comfort zone, especially at the gym.  We take the same classes, talk to the same people, like the same instructors, etc.  We forget that it’s good to get out of our comfort zone and try something new.  I’d be lying if I said that I always like it when we have a substitute, but I always give them a chance.   I strive  embrace the differences and try to take something new away from each experience.  It’s how we grow.

One of my principals used to make the morning PA announcements.  He always ended with “make today a good day for learning”.


Between my MCL class two tear in May, physical therapy, a busy summer and more recent knee injury, I haven’t worked out with a trainer in a few months.

Now that my knee is better, I decided that I needed to step it up with regard to my workouts.  I’ve become rather lazy with them lately.  It turns out that I had 3 trainer sessions left, so I scheduled them for the next three weeks.  There’s no reason to wait until January!

Today, I worked out with Pauline.  She has a great personality and I’m hoping that this is the beginning of many great workouts.

I’m not going to stress about my weight during the next couple of weeks.  I feel good about making exercise a priority and feel that the weight loss will follow.

I’m excited to get a good workout plan in place and raise the bar!

 Posted by at 9:54 PM

I’ve been playing around with the same 10-15 pounds all year.  I’ll be down for a few weeks, up a couple of weeks, up a lot, down a lot, etc.  I’m so tired of it.  While I’ve been still going to the J on a regular basis, I have not been following a consistent plan.  I need to get back on track and workouts are a great place to start.

Here’s my plan for this week:

Monday – spin

Tuesday – try out the new higher intensity water aerobics class

Wednesday – cardio warm up (45 minutes on the elliptical), then weights

  • Chest press
  • Fly
  • Shoulder press
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Leg curl
  • Leg extension
  • Lunges
  • Push ups (using bench or Smith bar)
  • Plank
  • Abs machine
  • Abs floor exercises

Thursday – Pilates mat class

Friday – repeat of Wed with similar exercises

I hope to make this a weekly plan with a short review at the end of each week.

 Posted by at 9:56 PM

It’s been a while since I posted about workouts.  It’s odd since we’ve been to the J often lately.  I’ve been busy writing about CSAs and picking, but I’ve managed to get some solid workouts in also.

I’ve opted to stop working out with a trainer for the time being.  I love working out with Chelsea and I have 2 sessions left, but our schedules weren’t meshing.  Also, my outside of the gym schedule is out of control.

So, I contacted my friend Shayna and asked her if she wanted to work out together.  She’s a member of the J also and has been MIA lately between having 3 kids home for the summer and a broken foot.  The kids are in school and her foot is better (not 100%).  She was excited for the extra motivation of meeting someone for working out.  I was also excited to have a workout partner.  I am pretty good at working out on my own, but I feel like I get a much better, longer, stronger workout when I have a trainer or a partner.

For September, we are just getting into the groove.  She’s still recuperating and getting in the habit of working out again and I’m going to be out of town for almost 2 weeks during the month.

We plan to be well organized and in the groove at the beginning of October.  We’ll be making up our own routines based in knowledge we’ve learned from trainers, books and the internet.  I know it will be GREAT!


I began my workout with some back extensions, ab work and bicep curls in the fitness center.  Then, I went off  to the cycle room for spinning.

Today’s SPIN class was hard.  We had a substitute for Beth, since she’s on spring break in Costa Rica.  Caroline was the instructor.  She was awesome, in a Beth sort of way.  She had lots of standing and running and sprinting.  I did a little more sitting than prescribed, but pushed myself throughout the entire class.  It was a great workout and I was tired when I left the class.  I’m not sure if Caroline usually teaches any other classes at the J.  I’ve never noticed her on the spinning schedule.  I’d love to take a class from her again sometime.  Oh, and Caroline is 36 weeks pregnant.  SWEET!

Next up: trainer workout with Chelsea in the morning and another C25K workout.  I’m still debating the 5K in May.  I was a little sore today and will probably decide for sure in a week or so.

 Posted by at 10:04 PM

Today, I had a great cardio workout.  I don’t usually do the treadmill since I don’t care for inclines, and I need incline changes to get my heart rate up.  Today, I chose to run jog/walk on the treadmill.  The first few minutes, I was chatting with my friend Barbara.  Once she finished up her walk, I began 30-45 sec of slow jogging mixed with walking.  I think my walking parts were slower than they needed to be.  I’m considering the C25K to prepare for a 5K run in May at Fit Bloggin’ conference.  I’m a bit undecided, so I am testing the waters.  I’ve done long distance 1/2 marathon and full marathon events (almost all walking) before, but I’m really slow.  Somehow, I never really worked on running shorter distances like 5K.  So, the jury is still out.

Today, I ended up with 1.6 miles in 36 min which is a 22.30 minute per mile pace.  (that included my slow chatting time as well).  Then, I hopped on an elliptical for 24 minutes to round out a full hour of cardio.  I’m curious how my bad knee will feel in the morning.  I’m hoping that I don’t even remember to check on it.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a crazy coupon/deal shopper.  Well, I’m not too crazy when compared to many of my coupon friends, but to the average shopper, I am crazy.  This week, I found a crazy cereal deal.  It involves my husband’s favorite cereal (which we recently ran out of – OOPS) and lots of milk.  I spent a bit of time this evening researching some recipes that will use up a TON of milk quickly.  I’m not sure how many gallons will fit in our fridge, but our fridge is full and I’ll probably want to pick up 3-4 more gallons before the sale ends on Wednesday.  I’m hoping to have some great ideas and experiments to share with you soon.

Next up: spinning class in the AM with Caroline (scheduled sub for Beth who is in Costa Rica enjoying spring break)

 Posted by at 10:15 PM

My husband traveled for work all week.  He was due home around 1am this morning.  The kids and I were ready for him to come back.  Around 11pm last night, I found out that the flight (which was delayed several times for “maintenance”) was canceled and he would be spending the night at a hotel, courtesy of Delta, without his luggage.  So, after staying up late waiting, I found myself exhausted with no energy to workout.

But, I had a trainer appointment scheduled and I have to pay for missed sessions.  So, the kids and I rushed around this morning and off we went to the J.

My trainer Emily asked me how I was today.  I told her I was grumpy.  She said, “Let’s work the grumps all out”.  We began with an exercise or two following by a plank (on the BOSU)…. ONE FULL MINUTE.  SCORE!  I told her that I was singing nursery rhymes (Twinkle, Twinkle and Pat a Cake to be exact) in my head to keep my mind off of it.  My goal is still two minutes on the ground, but we are making progress.

The workout:

  • 8 min warm up on the elliptical
  • lat pull down: 2 sets of 7 one arm, 7 other arm, 7 both arms at 80lbs
  • row: same as above at 50lbs
  • PLANK: one minute on the BOSU
  • back extension: 2 sets of 20 reps holding a 10lb plate
  • triceps v-bar: 2 sets of 20 reps at 60lbs
  • rear delt: 7 reps each at 60, 45, 30 lbs
  • foot on BOSU lunges: 2 sets of 15 on each side, 1 set of 10 on each side
  • abs machine: 2 sets of 30 at 110lbs

After my workout with Emily, I ran into my friend Shayna.  She was finishing up on the step mill.  She always ROCKS the step mill.  I chatted with her for a few minutes.

As I left the gym, I felt rejuvenated from the great workout and friendly chat.

My husband made it home around 4pm (only 16 hours later than the original plan) and was just in time to help with the kids during their crabby time and the extra pair of hands was nice.

Next up: cardio TBD Sat or Sun

 Posted by at 7:56 PM

About and hour ago, I received an email from Roni saying that I had won a ticket to Fit Bloggin‘.  I’m excited for the opportunity to attend.  She also announced the winners here.  The drawing was supposed to take place a few days ago, but Roni’s son decided to come early and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Thursday.

I’m new to blogging and have some plans for my blog.  I’m hoping to get more ideas at the conference.  I’m also looking forward to meeting other bloggers.  I feel like I know so many of them already, so live and in person will be fun!

I’ve been eating well for several days now.  Junk food is even a bit unappealing.  I’m hoping that the upcoming conference will help keep me motivated.

Today’s workout:

12 min warm up following by a training session with Chelsea

  • lunge and press (overhead shoulder) w/10lb dumbbells – down the room and back
  • woodchops w/10lb core ball – 2 sets of 20ish in between hack squats
  • hack squat – 3 sets of 12 reps w/70lbs
  • push ups on the smith bar (at a lower angle) – 1 set of 10, 1 set of 8 (that almost killed me)
  • abdominal machine – 3 sets of 30 at 105lbs
  • bicep curl machine – 2 sets of 12 at 30lbs
  • row – 3 sets of 12 at 60lbs
  • regular squats with arms out – 2 sets of 15 (in between row)
  • dips off bench (for triceps) – kind of 3 sloppy ones.  I’ll be practicing these for sure.
  • plank-30 sec at the end of the workout
  • ended w/versa-cuffs on my ankles as I squatted down and side stepped across the room and back.  I’m sure there’s a more technical way to describe it.  :-)

I’m a bit stiff tonight.  I’m exhausted from being up with the kids 4 times total last night.  Hubby is out of town, so I am on my own.

Next up: cardio surprise in the morning.

 Posted by at 9:06 PM