Holy Hotness, Batman!

I don’t know about the temperature where you are right now, but here in Baltimore it. is. hot. Like, Norman-read-107-degrees-when-I-go- in-him-to-drive-home-this-afternoon hot. Not so much fun for someone like me who prefers to enjoy the sun rather than shake an angry fist at it for ruining my hair/makeup.  Hopefully, it will cool down for my excursion this weekend.

Anyway, now that my semi-rant is over (for the time being), I wanted to share something with all of you.

I tried some new things this week at the gym.

I tend to play it safe when I work out – sticking to the equipment I know. This includes treadmill, elliptical and the mat. That’s it. I mix it up with Body Pump (a great description of which can be viewed here) once or twice a week, but the rest is fairly boring.

So I decided to make a change this week. Why I chose to do so in one of the hottest weeks of the year…I don’t know. But here’s what I tried and my thoughts:

    • Arc Trainer – Previously, these things scared the bejeesus out of me. It’s not an elliptical so where do I put my hands; how do I balance? I tried this piece of equipment early in the week when the gym was practically empty. Thank heavens, because it took me a good couple minutes to figure our how exactly to move my feet in order to get the dang thing started. Once I got going, though, it was pretty easy to pick up and gave me a better workout than all of my previous elliptical endeavors. It burned more calories and made me sweat. A lot. Definitely an upgrade and it gets easier every time you use it.

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    • BOSU – I don’t know if this class is specific to my gym or not, but I recommend it for those of you interested in cardio with a bit of weight. The BOSU ball is designed to help engage your core.  You can flip it over with the ball on the bottom to perform an advanced push-up, you can use it with the ball side up to get more range on a crunch, or you can do what this class did – use it in a cardio routine. The class called for two sets of weights – one heavier and one lighter. We used them to work biceps, triceps and shoulders while incorporating the ball with squats, lunges and other balance activities. At the end of the class we used it for abdominal work. It was a great workout. A bit hard to follow for my first time, but I introduced myself to the instructor beforehand and she was really great about explaining things as we went along. She even said I did a good job when I spoke with her after class! It was a hard-earned hour of work, but it was a nice change of pace and I’m sure I’ll feel that nice muscle burn tomorrow.

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What do you do to shake up your workout? to you prefer to create routines yourself or join a group exercise class?

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