Tag Archives: YMCA


Time for a much needed post about my current Group Ex obsession, ZUMBA!

So, you walk into your local gym…peer in the studio, and see people from wall to wall dancing like maniacs to awesome music and sweating like there is some sort of an indoor shower on.  This is a workout?!?!?   You bet.

What exactly IS Zumba?

Are you ready to party yourself into shape? That’s exactly what the Zumba® program is all about. It’s an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health.

Who We Are

Zumba Fitness® is the only Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music, created by Grammy Award-winning producers, and contagious steps to form a “fitness-party” that is downright addictive.

Since its inception in 2001, Zumba Fitness has grown to become the world’s largest – and most successful – dance-fitness program with more than 10 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking weekly Zumba classes in over 90,000 locations across more than 110 countries.


I, like many other people, was very skeptical of this class.  From personal experience of being an outright clutz….I was worried that my two left feet would leave me feeling overwhelmed, off beat, and embarrassed.  That being said, you have to suck it up…and GO!  Zumba, like any other workout class, can seem completely overwhelming and scary.  Sure, you may not know the moves right away…but I can almost guarantee that you won’t be in it alone.   I felt totally out of place and un-coordinated the first time I took a Zumba class.  The next time was a little better, the next…slightly better…etc.  Point is, the more you come back, the more you actually LEARN the moves.

There are songs now that I actually *know* and look forward to.  That is a great feeling!

Aside from dancing like a fool and having a downright blast…I leave COVERED in sweat.  This is a workout like no other.  This uses the entire body.  After your first class, let me know how those calves are feeling when you wake up.  Mine felt like I had been walking on tip toes for 2 1/2 weeks. Oucccccccch (in a good way!)

So lets get right to the nitty gritty.

Lets start with my personal favorite.  Not really sure WHY I am obsessed with this song, but I get downright gitty when I hear this one starting…

Check out these other fun songs!

(I’m a big fan of the “octopus arms” in that one)

Fun, right?!?!

You need to try this class.  All instructors are different, with various styles and music choices.  Our instructor, Holly, also choreographs alot of her own moves to current songs (of which we couldn’t upload, sorry guys!) but trust me when I say….you will feel like you are breaking it down…club style.

Now lets get to the best part…the calorie burn!

The “average” person can burn up to 500-800 calories in an hour of Zumba (!!)  Sweet!

One other important aspect I want to talk about is shoe selection.  The first couple of times I mistakingly wore my ultra stiff running shoes to Zumba.  Now, while these shoes are great for running, they were not so good for all the lateral movements required for shaking my groove thing.

Straight from the Zumba site.

What are the best shoes to wear in a Zumba class?

Zumba Fitness recommends that you wear “cross training” or “aerobic” style shoes. They provide the cushion and medial lateral support needed for side-to-side movements. They also have low traction rubber for easy sliding and turning. Please be careful with “running shoes” since they use a heavy tread on the bottom and are designed for forward movement.

So now it’s time to find a class, and shake your groove thing.

If you have questions, ask away!  I will try my best to answer or find someone who can.



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Sunny Monday!

…..with the prerequisite “sunny” that automatically bumps up the depression that is typically Monday, right?

Check out the view from my office…it’s SUN!

After yesterdays tragic weather of snow and rain, the sun was a welcome sight.

Lets rewind a bit, where the day started with some nice coffee.  Gotta love the Keurig!  Check out my Vlog dedicated to the Keurig here!

Donuts.  What else?!  🙂

Breakfast was comprised of a random mixing of objects after I found this sad guy on the verge of biting the dust…

Now I am a firm believer that you need to scrape each and EVERY morsel of nut butter out of a jar, hence…it was time for a parfait!

Go ahead, laugh it up.  I eat Clifford cereal!  Try it, and I dare you not to become obsessed! 🙂

Layered the Oikos, Cereal, and berries in the PB jar…

All together with the berries on top…

This was great!  You have to get creative with your food, it’s half the fun!

At work I snacked on an apple the size of a 4th grader….

The size comparison to a co-workers pathetic apple attempt was humorous at best…

…..I think she had apple envy.

The rest of this day has been spent attempting to form some sort of an order to my office.  I literally have things going everywhere and it is starting to drive me a little insane.  It sneaks up on me until eventually I can no longer even see or make out where my desk is.  Problem?!?!  Yes.

I think I am slowly becoming a night owl when it comes to actually buckling down and getting some major stuff accomplished.  Sometimes during the day I am so easily distracted, it seems that on the nights when I am here alone, I can get a mountain of stuff done in half the time it would have taken me during the day.

Are you a day person or night person when it comes to being productive?

In terms of working out, tonight is Monday night Spin which is always one of my very favorite nights to teach!  Gyms seem to follow a pattern.  PACKED house on Monday….little slower on Tuesday….little slower on Wednesday…etc.  I think people over indulge on the weekend, and are extra motivated come Monday.  Somehow that enthusiasm never quite seems to make it the entire week.  😉  That being said, I should have a great group of people to night extra willing to burn off some calories….and I am in desperate need of NEW MUSIC.  I need suggestions!  What new jams are currently rocking your world?  Please help, I am having group ex music block!

Lunch today was awesome as always…

(you can always tell when I am in desperate need of a grocery run…I eat out far too much!)

Yes, please.  Sauce on the side and with Broc and Carrots!

The mushrooms are my favorite part!  Yummm.


Christie had seen my Fish Tacos from last week, and decided for those!  Good choice. 🙂

There also may have been some chocolate involved.  I cannot resist Almond Joys! (which were purchased at Office Depot of all places.)

On that sweet note, I am signing off.

Remember, I need those song suggestions!  Fast paced, fun, energetic.  I am in a music slump and need your help!  I am counting on you, bloggies!


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Best. Nachos. Ever.

Yep, those are what are currently cooking up in my crock pot.  This morning before breakfast I decided some slow cooking nachos were gonna be just what the doctor ordered after a long day at work, and teaching class tonight.

(please excuse the DIRTINESS of the Crock Pot!  She wasnt washed very well after her last use on the outside!  Sigh.  I’m a boy, cut me some slack.)

A couple of weeks ago when I got my new crock pot, I immediately called Emily for some inspiration.  She is my go to gal when it comes to recipes.  She gave me a super easy recipe for Chicken Nachos…and the best part was…3 ingredients!  Chicken was the star of the show…

Boneless/Skinless Chicken breasts went in, along with a small jar of Rotel, and a container of salsa..

(this is where I deviated slightly.  Emily had suggested I use black beans…but I didnt have any.  I simply substituted the Rotel because frankly, I had some handy!  I have made the nachos before, and the beans are fantastic in it!)

Added that plus the salsa…and had a hot tub full of yum.

Before I left for the day, had a quick breakfast with my favorite new cereal combination!

See the Keurig popping his little head up in the pic?  I will be blogging about him soon.  He and I are dear, dear friends.

Something about the warm weather.  I consistently wake up craving cold cereal!  Bananas in my cereal have pretty much become a staple in my cereal.  I need to switch back to blueberries next grocery round! (mental note)

Soooo, as the nachos stewed at home I headed for work.  Lunch today was at another local favorite

Today I tried a new item on the menu, because…who can turn down fun items such as these:

I got the grilled variety, and a heaping helping of broccoli! 😀

These bad boys were great!  The slaw and spicey tarter sauce made a great combination.

Fish Tacos make this blogger boy extremely happy…

I clearly hated it…right?

Didnt your mama ever tell you to clean your plate???  😛

When coming back to work I had surprises!  Who doesn’t like surprises???  Especially when they are of the edible variety!

What can I say, the girl KNOWS me!  Needless to say I have been snacking on these bad boys all.day.long.

Mmmmmmm, I ❤ PB Bumpers.  Maybe a bit too much. 🙂

Well…almost time for class bloggies!  I am teaching Total Body tonight, and it is muscle burnout time!  Gotta plan and get it done.  Can’t wait for my nachos tonight!  Take it easy!






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Guess Who’s An Uncle?


Ok, well not in the technical sense of the word….but my Kim (friend/workout buddy/co-worker/fellow icing enthusiast) finally had her baby!  Blog world, meet Emma…

Yep.  She is the cutest baby on the planet.  Contest is OVER.  Thanks to those of you who lost. 😉

I.  Want.  One.        Heck, I want 14!  *sigh*  Someday!

In between baby craziness I was somehow able to fit in lunch today at my favorite local spot…

Now, aside from AMAZING pizza…this place has the greatest salad bar known to mankind.

I loooove their lettuce.  It isn’t your traditional ice berg lettuce (puke) like most places.  This is the real deal!  I make my salad the same every time I come, and pile it as high as the bowl will hold…

Fresh mozz, navy beans, cranberries, and peas.  Recipe for deliciousness!

Gotta love a salad the size of a small car.  🙂

You may be seeing alot of these pics, I am pretty sure I should own stock in the company the amount of salads/pizza I have consumed from this place.

Zumba tonight was an epic FAIL!  We got 25 minutes into class and the stereo failed!!!!!  Ugh.  I promise, on Friday there will be pics and video.  Holly has decided to do a Zumba battle and split up the class half and half.  She wants me to LEAD one half of the class.  Can you say Oh Em Gee?!?!? hahah  This could be disastrous…so definitely stay tuned.

Dinner was simple, as I opened my freezer and got just the inspiration I was lacking…

Kashi to the rescue when I am being lazy for dinner!  Paired it with my favorite extra lean turkey sausage….  (extra crispy, of course!)

And a drizzle of syrup!  Check it outtttt…

Gotta love some breakfast for dinner!

Topped off with a spoonful of peanut butter goodness for desert.

I TBSP Natural PB + Chocolate Chunks = heaven in my mouth.  Justtttt Sayin’.

To close tonight….Steph, the bff and fellow pizza companion:

Is helping raise money for Relay For Life in the fight against cancer.  I am sure every single reader/blogger out there has been effected by this deadly disease.  It is up to US to stop it.  Together we can raise the money to defeat cancer, and celebrate more birthdays all over the world.  $1, $2, whatever you can donate would be so appreciated.  Think of how much money we waste each day on simple luxuries such as coffee, food, CDs, etc…   For more information on the Relay For Life, check here.

To donate directly to Stephs team, click here.

Have a great night, bloggies!



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Circuit & OIAJ!

So what do you do when you teach a class with a constantly changing class that expects something different each week?

Circuit Class!

A Circuit Class uses “stations” set up in a large space where the participants slowly make their way through each one at a designated time interval.  This particular class had 9 stations, which they would be at for 1 minute each.  In between each station, participants would do 30 seconds of HIGH intensity cardio.  These short bursts of cardio spike the heart rate briefly, getting that extra calorie burn.  Once the participants go through the circuit completely, I did a 7 minute ab section in the middle….then they did the circuit again.  Fun times!

Action clip…

This type of class allows a variety of exercises, including strength based…cardio…abs, or a combination of two or three!  This class had 9 stations:

  • Chest Flys on Inverted Risers
  • Lunges with Overhead Press on Tubing
  • Tricep Pushups
  • Agility Cone Drills (Suicides/Sprints)
  • Corkscrew Abs
  • Step Jumps
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Squats (Taken slightly deeper)
  • Bicep Curls (Lower/Upper/Full Range)

We also hit abs in the middle with crunches, planks, oblique twists, etc.  Anything to get those abs burning!

Sweaty good times! 🙂

My light nights at the YMCA teaching classes usually mean dinner pulled together quick!  Thats when my bestest pal oatmeal always comes into play. 😉

Oats In A Jar!  The dangerously low level of PB hanging around in this jar was just begging to be turned into the perfect container for my oats!

(notice Steph trying to sneak her way into the blog world…)

Last year for Lent (which coincidentally is now!) I gave up ALL meat….and actually ended up going completely vegetarian for almost 8 months!  It was an awesome experience, and although I have slowly started integrating meat back into my diet…I could easily go vegetarian with meals like these.  As I incorporated more weight training into my workouts, meat was necessary…and I love it on occasion (chicken/turkey etc.) however I could leave it just as easy!

Oaty/Peanut Buttery goodness. *drool*

Since oats and group ex. have been the two main focus points of this blog…I have 2 questions….

  • Whats your FAVORITE Group Ex class?  Why?
  • Whats you FAVORITE way to make oats?

Have a great hump day everyone!  Zumba tonight…..gonna SHAKE it out!  Hopefully getting some good video clips for you guys!


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Glazy Daze!

Welcome to Tuesday, people!  How in the world are you?  I am fine and dandy, and full of energy!

Call me a grandfather, no life, whatever name you want….but going to bed at 9pm and getting up at 5am with ENERGY is pretty much my favorite thing in the world!

My day started bright and early as I headed to the gym for RIPPED class.  This class is all weights, and no cardio.  Perfect way to start the day.  Did you know that weight training for 30 minutes can burn just as many calories as running for 30 minutes at a lightning fast 6 min/mile pace!  Check out this article I found.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a cardio king through and through…but I think it is important to balance just as much weight training with your cardio schedule!  Mix it up!

After class, I took two fitness instructors to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  Crazy, right?  Read all about our crazy blog challenge here!

Meet Holly, our FABULOUS Zumba instructor (check back later in the week for my Zumba post with an interview/video clips with our instructor) needless to say I am now obsessed with Zumba!  Holly is a fantastic instructor.

I had half of a blueberry donut, and some fantastic coffee to start my day off!  (thankful that I had taken that class considering I was having a donut for breakfast!)

Always practice moderation!  Probably not the best idea to go and eat 3/4 donuts….but 1/2 of one every once in a while is not going to kill anyone.  Trust me, I am living proof. 😉

The donut was fantastic, and the coffee…as always…was amazing.  I love DD coffee.  Who’s with me?

I headed to my first KidFit class of the day where we took advantage of this wonderful weather and ran outside!  It was so great, and the kids loved being outdoors.  We have been trapped inside due to cold weather for far too long!

Speaking of weather…talk about a night and day difference.  It was cold and rainy yesterday..and check out todays view!

Headed into the office, which is in a desperate need of an organization MAKEOVER!  Check out my system of “to-do’s”:


I need help, people!!!!  How do you organize your stuff?  Do you stay neat and clean, or are you all over the place?

I headed to yet another KidFit class, where my adorable kiddos have to cross the street in this huge line.  Considering I have the entire school…the line is quite large.  I always think my view of the kids is hilarious.

Pretty cute, eh?

I pretty much grazed over the course of the day when it came to snacks…

How did those sneak in there?!?!  😉  Darn you, lingering Valentines Day candy…..

Lunch was leftover TurkeyLoaf, with some added veggie pow.

My coworker Jess sampled it, and it got the stamp-o-approval!

Thats about all she wrote folks, for 2:30pm anyway!  Pretty productive day so far if you ask me.

Coming back to work tonight to teach Spin and Total Body HIIT…we are doing circuits in TBH, and I hope to get some good pics/videos!  Stay tuned…

Until next time here are some die hard Spinners from last nights class!  Total rock stars in my class!




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Annnnnnd, we’re back.

Wow….spare time….to blog!!!  Where was this hour of opportunity yesterday?!?!  Oh thats right…I don’t even think I had time to exhale…let alone blog!!!!  Depressing!  From teaching my normal classes, to subbing for someone for 3 weeks and picking up all her classes….it’s insane!  Did I mention that our city’s version of Biggest Loser aka “Eight To The Eight’s” kicks off FRIDAY?!?!?!  I am about at max capacity in terms of time limits here.  Shew.  It’s a darn good thing I love my job more than life.  😉

Started off the day with a 5:45am “Insanity” inspired Circuit Class.  Emily and Kim have been doing Insanity on a regular basis, and I wish I had the time to do it with them!  It is full of awesomeness in every sense of the word…..assuming that is an actual word.  😉  Instead of joining them, I have been adding the moves to my classes…which is going swimmingly!  Today’s Circuit Class used absolutely no equipment, and had 12 stations.  We went through each station once, at one minute…and then repeated the circuit.  The last circuit was comprised of 12-1 minute ab workouts.  KILLER!  Also, theres nothing like ending a class with a full out 2 minute suicide drill using the whole gym.  😉  They love to hate me.

Walked back home (loving the fact that I am in walking distance) and met my favorite guy for breakfast.

Ain’t he cute?

Went very random with today’s mix-ins.  They included:

  • Agave Maple Syrup Blend
  • Chia Seeds
  • Dried Bananas
  • Mocha Madness Trail Mix
  • Almond Butter

Totally random.  Totally delicious.

Have I mentioned my un-dying love for my precious trail mix?!?!


At this point, it was back to the YMC-izzle to teach “Total Body Low Impact” which is basically a strength/cardio full body workout, minus the intense plyometric/jumping movements that I feature in my other classes.  Again, another sweat sesh!

Seemed to have developed a pattern for today.  Teach…eat…teach…eat.  Therefore…it was time for lunch.

New to me flavor of Veggie Burger…this time, Earth Fizzle brand!  This bad boy was sooooo good!  I put it on an Arnold’s Thin with some Light Swiss Laughing Cow, Spinach…and then pressed the whole thing on the George Foreman…

Melty, cheesy, yum.  Also had some Veggie Booty, and a chopped Honey Crisp!

Well.  It is almost 3:00.  You know what that means, right?!?!?!

I have been having them put my protein powder in the Frap when they blend it!  For half price, you can’t beat it.  Plus they are fully customizable now!  I higgggghly recommend the new Mocha Lite.

Well.  Time for a coffee/protein buzz…and then to my other gym for KidFit…and back to the YMCA for Total Body HIIT.  Man, my body is hating me this week! Do as I say, not as I do people! All these high intense workouts (especially weight workouts) should not be done back to back…and definitely not on the same day!  Give your body a rest.

What is your favorite Frappuccino/Starbucks beverage?!  How often do you hit up the Bizzle each week?  If you could invent any flavor of Frapp, what would it be?  I would want some sort of Almond Milk/Protein Powder/Carmel creation….Mmmmm…..


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