Working out has become the new "hot" segment lately and I'm jumping on the bandwagon, big time. Between barre classes and interval training, boutique workouts are the new goto mysticism cult for people and they are all gaining tons of hype and popularity in several cities across the USA. There is also a rise in this healthy food craze that promotes clean eating and many new product startups have become the beacon of the market's interest. But, before you gobble up all of this workout talk, you really need to consider what you are really sinking your hard earned dollars into, as this health-crazed life is not a cheap one, but if done correctly, it's worth every penny.
Let's start at the basics- I returned from Paris over the summer and didn't eat for about a month and a half. I lost upwards of fifteen pounds and looked like an unhealthy, ugly skeleton. Don't ever get like this! It's gross and not worth it; plus, food is awesome. Then out of the blue, I got this random bug bite in The Hampton's that I talked about here making me highly allergic to meat and dairy; there goes my protein and there comes a weight gain due to medicine. Meanwhile, I was on a full-fledging cardio quest that was not doing anything for my muscles. Also negative.
I finally decided to take control of my life. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and back in December, I announced a revamped workout plan that included an early retirement for my McChickens. I must confess that prior to a few months ago, I was completely unaware of my body fat percentage. Me, being generally the same size my entire life, has been fortunate enough to have small bones and good genes. However, I decided that December was the time to join a proper gym and I discovered the truth; the truth that puts me in the category of being obese- starting at 32% obese, according to Web MD. So I trained hardcore for a little over a month and I dropped 5% body fat just through weights and light cardio; I've gained 4 pounds and I've been loading up on muscle. Sadly, my work schedule has me living on airplanes and I've been neglecting my exercise the past few months and I've been spoiled by my lovely chef friends in NYC. But now it's Spring and I'm more determined than ever to get back into the swing of things.
Consider that 1) working out may seem tough, but once in a routine, you'll receive a whole new energy level. You'll have a rush of new energy that you never even knew existed. 2) if your work-outs did not exist before today, that's okay! Now is the time to start. 3) we are talking about transforming your life here people - transformation that will make you look good, feel good and be good. Buy and behold.
These things are incontrovertibly good. The things people tell you about working out, once you get into a routine, ACTUALLY happen. I hate it when people write it all caps; it seems like they are screaming at the top of their lungs and don't know how to actually write proper sentences, but this deserves some capitalization. It really, for reals, ACTUALLY happens. Anyone that is slightly interested in training should have a few basic understandings though- your workouts will be different based on what outcome you are looking for. There are several different types of machines, weights, and workouts for certain parts of your body and you utilize different muscles with each of them; it's extremely important to know how to use these machines and weights so you are not being counter-productive or hurting yourself along the way- hence my need for a trainer.
I train 3-5x a week.
- 3 days of weights
- 1 day of stretching
- 1 day of cardio (with a heart rate monitor to measure intensity)
- 2 days of rest and recovery
During my weight training, I alternate between legs, back + core, and arms + chest, with a heavy focus on leg training. I spend one day a week with my trainer and the other two days I am on a strict weight lifting routine that I use as a guide. This includes the TRX workouts that are mainly for toning up.
I use this day as my relax day and try to pick up a yoga class (Jivamukti), barre class (Pure Barre) or pilates class (SLT NYC), usually in the middle of my week to break up the soreness and stretch out my body. This helps not only to relax the muscles, but also free the mind. I am extremely into reformer machines.
I'm being extremely cautious to not do too much high-intensity cardio. Right now, the most important thing for me is to build muscle and too much cardio utilizes my reserve energy and eats my muscle. Usually I try and use this day to do some sort of class; whether it be a spin class (Soul Cycle, Fly Wheel) or Boxing (Gotham). Cross-fit works in this area too, since its a mix between cardio and weights and a lot of interval training, but unless you know how to properly use the weights, you could potentially be working the wrong muscles or hurt yourself, which will effect your training in the long-run.
My girlfriend that I work with put me onto this foam roller to help with muscle release and it's awesome and I'm suggesting it to you too. I usually have my trainer roll out my muscles on a table, but I don't always get to see him due to work. Also, if you're training, it may be good to invest in a sports massage every few weeks; they make the world of a difference! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss your workouts too, or if you'd like to join in my Central Park interval training.
Coco wears a Nike Neon Sportsbra, Nike Dryfit Pants (great for training), Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Running Shoes (do not train in these shoes; these are made for cardio, wear the flattest shoes possible for weights), Nike Racerbrack Tribal Print Top (Oversized, XL)