5 Reasons You Should Come to PiYo at CustomFit

As I walked in to teach PiYo this morning, (offered at CustomFit on Mondays at 5:30pm and Wednesdays at 7:00pm) my muscles were aching and I was wondering how on earth I was going to make it through leading the class. I’ve taught a few hard classes this week and have gotten back to my own workouts so the soreness today was a bit more than usual.

During the warm-up my legs screamed at me, on to heat building and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep up with the lunges, but by the time I hit lower body I was in full stride for a great workout.

Try my PiYo class at CustomFit on Monday at 5:30pm or Wednesday at 7:00pm for FREE!

Try my PiYo class at CustomFit on Monday at 5:30pm or Wednesday at 7:00pm for FREE!

This got me thinking…I need to share the benefits of PiYo on my blog! Here’s why you should take the time to come to a PiYo class:

One: PiYo is a great compliment to other types of workouts

It doesn’t matter if you are a runner or a BootCamper, a weight lifter or a swimmer, PiYo offers an excellent workout to compliment what you are already doing. As I mentioned, I was very sore heading into this workout, however, the stretching helped me tremendously. By the time I left class I felt far less sore and my muscles were much less tight.

Many of us don’t take the proper time to stretch following a hard workout. Failing to stretch can lead to additional soreness, muscle tightness and increased inflexibility. PiYo is an excellent way to get in a great workout while stretching and toning your muscles.

Two: PiYo is an excellent full-body workout

If you are unfamiliar with PiYo you might think, how could it really be a tough workout? So let me tell you more about the format:

  • Warm-Up – the warm up takes you through a few upper body and lower body moves to do just that – warm you up.
  • Heat Building – this is where you really start moving; from chaturangas to lunges your heart rate increases and your entire body will be ready for the workout.
  • Lower Body – can you say squats and lunges? But it’s all choreographed to fun music so before you know it you have really worked your legs and are ready to move on.
  • Full Body Fusion – in this section you combine both upper and lower body exercises, maximizing your workout efforts. Between tricep push-ups and variations of downward dog you’re certain to be challenged.
  • Power – this is the ‘cardio’ section of PiYo, and believe me your heart rate is going to rise! There are always low impact options for those who need them.
  • Flow – this is my very favorite part of class. Everything slows down a bit and you get an opportunity to hold some really great stretches.
  • Core and More – we all know what ‘core’ work is, but PiYo offers the ‘more.’ The moves are challenging and at times you won’t even be thinking about your abs because other muscle groups are being challenged just as much.
  • Strength and Stretch – this portion of the workout incorporates deep stretching with a final strength move like push-ups.
  • Cool Down – just like the warm-up you get the idea…we cool down and do some more stretching.

Believe me, PiYo is not a joke workout – it’s challenging, while giving your muscles a great stretch, strengthening your core and toning your body.

Three: There is a new routine every month

We do the same routine for a month. This offers you time to get to know the moves and become more comfortable with them which in turn helps to increase your strength and flexibility.

So that means if you start at the beginning of the month you are at the same level of everyone else – everyone is new to the routine. But every week we have newcomers so don’t feel intimidated if you miss the first week.

Rest assured I take time to preview moves when necessary so that no one feels lost in class.

Four: It’s FUN

Seriously one of my favorite formats to teach! I love the music and I love the choreography. Believe me, I am not your ‘dancy’ type instructor but I totally get the moves in PiYo. Everything is timed perfectly to the music (all hits you know) so before you know it you’ve made it through the entire hour.

Five: It’s offered twice a weeek

PiYo classes meet at 5:30pm on Mondays and 7:00pm on Wednesdays. Some of my class members attend once a week as a compliment to their BootCamp classes, while others come both days to maximize their work on toning and flexibility. Either way, you surely can make one of the classes work with your schedule.

Interested in giving PiYo a try? Contact me by emailing jenn@customfitpt.net. Your first class is FREE so you have nothing to lose!

Check out our full list of classes!

 

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Personal Training By Jenn Market Research

I recently finished reading the book called, ‘Do the Work,’ by Steven Pressfield and my mind hasn’t stopped reeling ever since.

In some ways, the book put me on blast. If fitness is truly my passion, and helping others discover healthy living is my mission, then it’s time to ‘Do the Work’ to start helping and serving more people.

So in moving forward, and discovering how I can better serve both those in my community and beyond, I want to strategically plan my next moves so that they match the needs of the people I want to help most.

Two hands

Take a few moments to tell me how I can better help you.

In looking at my target audience I have to be true to myself and to those I can best serve which are busy women. After all, am a busy woman! I know what it’s like to run out of the house for work and look back only to see dishes piled high and laundry needing to be put away. I know what it’s like to try and get in a workout between helping with homework and diffusing sibling disagreements. I know what it’s like to realize I haven’t planned a single thing for dinner and it’s already 6pm.

And while I can identify with women on so many levels, we are all unique individuals and we all have different priorities and roadblocks that keep us from our goals.

I’ve worked with a partner to design this survey in the hopes that it will help gather the important information beyond just the fitness. True health involves so much more than just being able to put in time at the gym.

This survey contains some quick questions about you and your health priorities. It will only take a few moments to complete and will greatly help me in determining next steps for helping women become stronger in all aspects of their lives.

Click here to complete the survey.

If this survey sparks something in you and you want to talk personally about your goals and roadblocks, drop me an email or give me a call. I’d love to chat with you about your unique needs and desires and what the first steps might be in helping you achieve them.

Fitness and Finding the Right Fit

While I’m not a huge fan of moving, I am thankful of all of the great people that I have met in the various places we’ve lived. Cori Johnson is definitely one of those people. While we haven’t lived in Indianapolis for many years now, Cori and I have kept in touch over the years and have most recently been challenging each other with building our businesses. Each week we try and set goals and make each other accountable for accomplishing them.

You might wonder why I would want to promote someone else’s business on my blog and the answer is easy, we both want better health for those around us. Ultimately, I think that can be accomplished better by promoting the good things out there because as I have said, I don’t believe that fitness is a one size fits all deal. The more resources that people have available, the more likely they are to find what works for them.

There are so many things that I respect about her and her business: her counseling background enables her to coach women through the tough times to empower them in her journey, she knows the challenge of feeding a family with a healthy diet (sign up for her weekly menus), she has overcome injury setbacks to find programs that work for her, and overall, she is just one of the most positive people I know.

Image of Cori Johnson

I’m not letting “getting older” be my excuse for slowing down.

Stronger Than you Think

Cori Johnson

To be honest, I didn’t realize I had a “fitness story.” I have loved being active and moving ever since I was a kid. My parents weren’t exactly elite athletes, but I grew up in a household that valued good health in the most organic, natural way: we essentially were taught to eat right and enjoy the outdoors. We camped a lot. We hiked, went skiing, canoeing, white water rafting. I’m eternally grateful for what they taught me about the magic of just being outdoors and all that it has to offer.
My parents also supported our endeavors into sports. I began playing soccer at age five, and played through freshman year of high school. My high school didn’t have a girls’ team at that time, so I played freshman year with the boys. When I was told, “You’ll never play varsity because you might get hurt,” I suppose I could have put up a fight, for the betterment of all future female athletes. I wish I could say I did, but I didn’t. I quit and put more energy into running.

I first ran track in middle school and fell in love with running. I have always loved that running is available to everyone. I once saw a great quote that read something along the lines of, “There are country clubs you can’t get into, there are gyms you can’t afford, but the road is always open.” I love that. All you need to be a runner is a pair of shoes (and really, shoes are technically optional, we’ve since learned).

So, you may be thinking, “She’s been active since she was a kid. Fitness comes easily to her and she’s certainly never struggled with her weight.” You’d be wrong.

I am here to tell you, the phrase, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet” is something I’ve had to learn the hard way. College shenanigans taught me that. I put on the dreaded freshman 25 (I’m an overachiever, I went for 25 instead of 15), and from age 18 until just a few years ago, maintaining a weight that I felt good about was a huge struggle.

I do pursue the rush of exercise. I love to move and be active. I love to try new forms of exercise- not because it’s trendy and I think it will be the answer to my weight issue, but because I love to see how my body will respond.

Nutritionally, I’ve been a train wreck. Although my parents planted a huge garden every summer, and we’d eat fresh fruits and vegetables from July through August, then canned and frozen the remainder of the year, I still am a child of the 80’s. What that means: processed garbage and horrible information about nutrition. Right when I was hitting puberty, we were suddenly given access to vast amounts of ‘fake food’ in our grocery stores, and being told that fat was bad. My passion for sports kept me ahead of the game through high school- I didn’t gain weight, but I also didn’t feel great. In college, I still worked out, but just ate much more of the fake food, plus my share of beer, plus the off-hours college kids keep, and the pounds came on.

Without going too far into my nutrition, which really is a story for another day, I’ll just simply share where I am now where fitness is concerned.

At 42, I can say with total honesty that I have never been fitter and healthier. I attribute that to Beachbody programs, Shakeology, and sharing this journey with like-minded people.

Here’s the deal… I ran for 25+ years. I ran more half marathons that I can count. I spent three summers training to run a marathon. Each summer I went out with an injury prior to getting to the start line of the marathon. I have spent more time in physical therapy and sports medicine offices than I care to remember… all from running injuries. Hamstring injuries, knee injuries, ankle injuries.

Three years ago, when I was playing soccer with my oldest and in my third attempt to train for a marathon, we connected ankle to ankle, and I suffered the most damage. For a full year afterwards, I couldn’t run without pain. But I knew I had to do something to stay active, and I was 100% certain nothing would fulfill the rush I got from running. I was totally wrong.
At that time, I decided to “retire” from running and try something new. I began with P90X. That was over three years ago, and since that time, I have never NOT been doing a Beachbody program of some sort. And here’s the really amazing thing: I am more flexible, leaner, and stronger than I have ever been before.

I won’t list all the programs… I’ll just say, if Beachbody produced it, I’ve probably done it.

I do the workouts, follow the training plan, in the comfort and privacy of my own home, on my own schedule. Then the magic happens online. I share my journey in what’s known as a challenge group, which is a private group on Facebook. There, I lead other moms just like me through these programs. They do the workouts in their homes, on their schedules, but we come together daily to share how we’re doing. Some days we vent, “That was SO hard.” Other days we celebrate, “Nailed it! And lost two pounds this week!” We share recipes, ideas, and accountability, and all support one another without judgment and with tons of love and humor.

But wait. There’s more.

Recently my 12-year-old, whose chosen sports as of now are running and soccer, has decided he would like to complete the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon this coming May. If you’re not from Indy, you may not be familiar with The Mini, as we call it. But those in Indy know it to be an important part of our city’s culture, and even an important part of the history and culture of Indiana. It was my first half marathon, and I’ve run it every single May from high school until three years ago, taking off only those years when I was pregnant or had just had a baby. So, when my son said he wanted to run it, my first instinct was: “I want to be there with him the first time he runs it.”

I recently began running again to train to run The Mini with my son. I retired over three years ago because I was tired of being injured. Since then it’s been almost exclusively Beachbody programs. What is amazing…. I am running strong, able to hang with my 12-year-old, who is one of the top runners in his middle school and recently went to Nationals for Junior Olympics Cross Country, and so far, my legs feel great with no sign of injury (knock on wood).

I am constantly amazed at our bodies. I am one who loves fitness, yes. But here’s the thing about fitness: you have absolutely no idea how strong you are. I don’t think most of us will ever push ourselves hard enough to realize that. But I do know that I am not backing down. I’m not letting “getting older” be my excuse for slowing down. If I can push, and it feels great, and it keeps my heart healthy and my lungs strong, and my clothes fitting, well, I’m going to.

My dream is that other moms will realize that they are far stronger than they have ever realized, and enjoy all the rewards of good health and fitness: confidence, empowerment, and yep, clothes fitting well. I love to use my counseling background to help moms figure out what’s got them stuck and unable to achieve their goals, and set them on a path to enjoying great health and feeling amazing. And I love to bring together moms from all over the country, in our little corner of Facebook-land, getting to know one another as we share our journey, trying to balance the demands of our busy lives as moms and wives while still pursuing great health.


I truly encourage you to check out Cori’s site and sign up for her newsletter. She’s of course also available on FaceBook and I know she would welcome new members to her private groups.

Fitness is truly about finding what works for you. If you haven’t found the ‘right fit’ yet, drop me a line. Let’s talk about your goals and what type of program would work best for you. Just because personal training might not be the right path for you doesn’t mean I don’t want to help lead you to better health.

The New Power Lunch

I know firsthand how challenging it can be to fit a workout in with a busy schedule. For many people getting to the gym early morning is difficult because of work and school schedules. Even for those with more flexible schedules, mornings can be packed with errands and household tasks after getting everyone on their way.

Fast forward to the end of the day and between after school activities, helping with homework, late meetings, dinner and housework, the gym is often an afterthought. That’s not even considering that energy levels may be at their lowest from the pressures of the day.

So my thought is to change the definition of a ‘Power Lunch’ from a working lunch to a workout lunch!

By just taking a half hour out of your day you can build muscle, burn fat and lose the guilt about another day passing without making it to the gym.

To maximize the benefits of the 30 minute class, each day will focus on targeting a specific area of the body.

Monday: Chest and back

Tuesday: Biceps and triceps

Wednesday: Legs and glutes

Thursday: CORE

Friday: Pilates and flexibility

Classes will offer challenging strength training exercises coupled with minimal cardio to ensure you can return to the office or head right back to running errands without feeling like a hot, sweaty, mess.

Classes will start November 17th and will meet 12:15 – 12:45pm Monday through Friday at CustomFit located at 218. E St. Charles in Lombard.

Start making the most of your lunch and come in for a true POWER Lunch. For more information call me at 574-387-1344 or email jenn@customfitpt.com.

A Week of Reminders

So after a summer of sporadic workouts and more unhealthy meals than healthy ones, I spent the past week getting back to the ‘old me.’ The me who chooses to run or walk to the gym rather than driving, the me who looks past the diet coke and refills her water bottle, the me who would rather sweat from a workout than sitting in the sun, the me who chose a salad over pizza for lunch.

Was it easy? I’m not going to lie…at times it was pretty difficult. But was it worth it? Without a doubt!

Let me share with you some of the things I was reminded of this week…

Monday

I was reminded of:

  • How nice it was to have the kiddos back in school and the time to get to the gym.
  • How silly I think I look when I kickbox.
  • How exhausted my legs can get from a series of squats against a wall with an exercise ball.
  • How important it is to fuel after a tough workout.

Tuesday

I was reminded of:

  • How difficult it is to run in the sweltering heat.
  • How much I missed Pilates, and how much my core strength has depleted since I stopped. 
  • How effective exercise can be in reducing stress.
  • How it is possible to resist over-eating even when attending a shrimp boil with friends.

Wednesday

I was reminded of:

  • How much progress I had lost in both endurance and strength.
  • How much I hate spin class but how it is a great cardio workout.
  • How sore muscles can get and how good soaking in an Epsom salt bath can feel.
  • How important it is to accompany your spouse to the gym (even if it’s only to walk while they workout).
  • How much better I sleep when I exercise.

Thursday

I was reminded of:

  • How important it is to take a day of rest.
  • How hard it is to choose a salad over pizza for lunch.
  • How important it is to walk to a destination if possible.

Friday

I was reminded of:

  • How important it is to still workout even when you are on vacation.
  • How hard it is to stick to speed work on the dreadmill, oh, I mean treadmill but how good it feels to stick to my workout plan.
  • How much of an appetite can be worked up after doing said speed work on the treadmill.

Saturday

I was reminded of:

  • How good it feels to kick the weekend off with a morning workout.
  • How much I appreciated making and extra large salad the night before so I could easily fill my bowl for lunch.
  • How important it is to set weekly goals and stick to them.
  • How good it feels to follow through and accomplish goals.
  • How good it feels to see the numbers go down on the scale.

I was reminded of a lot of great things this week. But most of all I was reminded of how good it feels to be getting back to the ‘old me,’ the healthier me, the stronger me, the happier me.

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The Power of Pilates

I just returned from an excellent training weekend for a Pilates Mat Certification. Two 10-hour days filled with practice and drills, followed by more practice more and drills was both mentally and physically exhausting and it was worth every minute!

I discovered Pilates last fall when I was looking for a noontime class that wouldn’t leave me a hot, sweaty mess for returning to work. And after years of countless crunches and ab work I finally found something that helped to reduce my midsection.

Pilates seeks to increase the strength and flexibility of the body through controlled breathing and movements.

If you have not tried Pilates here I’d like to share with you some reasons you may want to consider it:

  • Body awareness and control: each Pilates move has a very specific purpose. As you become familiar with the exercises you increases awareness of the mind/body connection. As you become aware of the muscles used for the movements you learn how to best control your body for maximized results.
  • Increased core strength: throughout the Pilates routine you are reminded to keep your navel buttoned up to your spine. Once you become accustomed to engaging your core during the exercises it begins to become natural to “button up” during every day activities.
  • Adaptable to fitness levels and needs: regardless of age, gender, fitness level or size you can participate in Pilates. Almost every exercise that has a modification for special considerations. There aren’t a whole lot of exercise programs out there that offer this wide of accessibility to participants. Pilates is a gentle conditioning for those new to a fitness program and an increasing challenge to the physically fit.
  • Creates strength without bulk: so many women avoid strength training because of the fear of “bulking up.” Pilates is an excellent way to build strength with natural body resistance. (As a side note, lifting weights does not mean you will bulk up – it is possible to build long lean muscles with strength training.)
  • Increases flexibility: as we age we lose flexibility. Pilates movements help to increase range of motion and as a result increases flexibility – something we all can use.
  • Improves posture and a lean appearance: the Pilates stance promotes a lengthening of your body. You learn to pull your shoulders down and away from your ears and to pull them back. Drawing your navel up and into your spine helps to support your lower back. Just those things alone improve will help you to stand taller, appear more confident and lean all at the same time.

I encourage you to find a Pilates class near you and to give it a try. If you like it half as much as me you will be hooked!

Note: My experience with Pilates is limited to Mat work but there are also a number of specialized pieces of equipment that can be used for Pilates exercises.

 

Something is Better Than Nothing

When I was strictly a stay-at-home mom I was able to carve out plenty of time for my workouts. I took full advantage of the time the kiddos were napping or at school. When the weather got warmer I moved my workouts outdoors while they played in the backyard.

It wasn’t until everyone went to school and I went back to work that I had a true understanding for the challenges of fitting in a workout along with everything else. Between my training sessions, office responsibilities and mom and wife duties I found myself missing workouts more and more often.

I came to the realization that I had to shift my approach to working out. I no longer had the freedom for extended sessions, but what I did have was smaller chunks of time throughout the day.

I began maximizing the smaller chunks of time by increasing the intensity of my exercises. For strength training I increased the weight and dropped my repetitions and sets. When possible I combined legs and arms to get the most from the amount of time I had to spend. When it comes to cardio I’ve started running intervals, meaning I increase and decrease my pace throughout my run.

By taking advantage of smaller chunks of time I was able to get my workouts back on track. The lesson I take from this experience that I want to share with you is this:

Something truly is better than nothing. Adapt your exercise program to make the most of the time you DO have.

On the days I’m fortunate enough to have the time for a longer workout I take full advantage of that time and put in a long run or a full body strength-training workout.

Take a look at your schedule for the next week and set appointments with yourself for workouts. Even if you only have time for 20-minute sessions make exercise a priority and you will feel the difference.