Indo-Rowing with B-Tone Fitness & A call for Help

I decided to be a little bit silly recently and participating in something that is so not my style. A runner’s world cover contest. Do I think I’ll win? Of course not, I cannot compare to the legions of more popular internet personalities and then there’s the runners with cancer, I really can’t compete with cancer nor do I want to. In the grand scheme of things, my personal struggles are simple and small. None the less, I entered for a chance to be on an issue of Runner’s World because why not. And while I know, I won’t win, I would still love to make it to the leadership board! If you can take a second and vote for me a day or 2 or every day? I would appreciate it. The website requires a verification through twitter or facebook, but you can close out when it asks for your email.

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VOTE VOTE VOTE <333 Free candy for all who vote, free hugs for those that vote twice! 

I struggle with putting myself out there daily since unfortunately these contests always allow multiple votes, but you can’t win if you don’t try, even if it’s last place ;).

So while I’ve been struggling with my plantar fasciitis, I’ve been trying to look at alternative forms of exercise. Truth is, I can’t love anything as much as the feeling of air in my lungs and full body movement of running. I’m not very coordinating, so running is my best hope. However, as they say you can’t alway get what you want, but you can get what you need. Other workouts, might just be what I need until I resolve my chronic drama. And making a great effort today with PT! Hopefully, I’ll like this one!

So one of the things I got to try last weekend was Indo-rowing at B-Tone Fitness on Newbury street. What is Indo-rowing? Think of a spin class only with a rowing machine! And the machines they use are the wooden water rowers style like in the opening scene of House of Cards (if you watch, I only watched the start of first episode).

What is Indo-Rowing?

The unique format of Indo-Row® (yes, just like Spinning, its a registered trademark, go capitalism!) captures all the elements of competitive, on-water rowing, creating a class that is fast-paced and engaging from the first minute. From “Skills and Drills” to “Waves and Recoveries,” and the final build up to a friendly but competitive “Race,” Indo-Row® quickly converts first-timers to devoted team members.

And to be honest, after trying the class with a bunch of Boston Bloggers on Saturday, it really lives up to the description.

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I can’t vouch for the results as I only tried one class but I can tell you that it was intensely heart thumping for me! Maybe being an ultra-runner last made me incredible weak in quick cardio workouts, but I struggled with some panting as I tried to get into a rhythm.

Our instructor Jody was great.  For those of us like me who are terrible listeners she had this diagram.

Indow Rowing 1

Photo credit to ParkerthePrepster

And for those of us who can’t handle the whole workout on a level of 8 out of 10 crap, there’s metrics, beautiful metrics to help guide your improvements and efforts.

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The monitor displays time, distance, stroke rate, speed/intensity and total calories. Really everything you need for feedback on efficiency and workout level.

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We started with a mix of workout styles from a warm up to a pace test. We followed by some endurance workouts and intervals and concluded with a relay competition with our competitors across from us. For the fun video, check out my instagram and see which side won!

For more on the studio and class check out B-Tone Fitness. The studio is located at 30 Newbury Street on the forth floor in a side room facing the front of the street.  Currently btone is featuring an Introductory Special (3 classes for $30). Indo-Row is just one of their classes. They also offer Tone and Barre Blast. For those of you who followed me for a while, know that I tried Tone and personally the workout itself is just not my style. I am uncoordinated and terrible at listening to instructions, but something like Indo-Row was perfect for me and even with my terrible ability to follow directions, I still felt like I was able to follow and get a great sweatfest out of it!

5 Home Gym Essentials

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by LG Electronics. I am also using Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

5 Home Gym Essentials

As the weather is getting colder, wetter, and snowy, I can no longer enjoy the beautiful long runs on the trails or the roads. Instead, I end up taking my workout inside. While, my living room isn’t yet the dream gym I want it to be, I am slowly working my way there. Let me share with you some of my must haves and wants of the perfect home gym.

Hand Weights – I like to keep a set of 3, 5, and 8 pound dumbells

Workout Videos – Jillian Michaels is my go to favorite. I have her on DVD but you can also access a ton of videos on HULU, Netflix, and YouTube.

Yoga Mat – As much as I love rolling around on my hardwood floors, using a yoga mat is a bit more pleasant for core and weights.

Bike Trainer – This one is on the more pricey side, but it’s the one I have. It’s a more silent fluid model and I love it. Also keeps my roommates from getting too annoyed.

LG OLED TV – I won’t lie, this isn’t the cheapest TV model out there. I also don’t have one yet, but after previewing one last week, I would really love one. This would not only make my dream home gym, this would complete my dream home as well.

What makes this TV so great?

OLED; stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode which describes the material that creates the unique light source in these next-generation TVs.  OLED TV is a major breakthrough in display technology that offers stunning picture quality, colors that are more accurate than ever before, and more vibrant images that really pop. For those seeking the highest level of contrast and color performance, whether it’s for watching Monday Night Football or your favorite sitcom, no other TV can compete with the unprecedented contrast and stunning color of LG’s OLED TV. Simply put, the best thing in television viewing that the electronics industry has always been looking to find is finally here. Before I get more technical, let me demonstrate the picture quality alone that I got to witness. Even on my iphone photos, you can spot the difference.

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Right TV is LGOLED

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Left TV is LGOLED

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Left TV is LGOLED

The one thing that I really like is that you can truly see the colors including the black background. The concise and true colors would improve my TV experience, especially when I’m doing a three hour trainer ride and trying to watch Lord of the Rings trying my best to forget that I am literally biking on a hamster wheel. Sometimes getting through the mental barrier is the hardest part of an indoor cardio workout. A killer TV, would help over come that obstacle!

The one thing that you’ll notice about this TV is that it’s a little more curvy than a regular LCD and that curve, just like the on in the IMAX theater will improve your viewing experience, no matter what angle you’re watching from. This helps as I’m jumping around my room, or in the corner where my bike trainer has been shunned to.

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LGOLED on the right

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Slightly different angle with the LGOLED on the right. I really wish my camera didn’t blast out some of the colors so you could see the difference even more.

And the TV is so thin, it’s even smaller than a cell phone!

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How does the technology work?

  • By eliminating the needs for a backlight, OLED offers an incomparable picture quality and design potential to conventional LCD(LED) TVs

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The slide above shows how OLED TV just knocks all the other compeittion out with 160 degree viewing angle, and .001 response time.

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We’ve come a long way through the technology of TVs and LG electronics is at the front of their game being the winner of EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) Award for 3 consecutive years! In 2014-2015, LG is broadening its OLED assortment with FOUR new series and FOUR OLED TVs overall, with 55-, 65- and 77-inch class sizes! With TVs this large with amazing picture quality, one might never have to go to the movie theatres again.

In addition to being a great overall TV, the LG OLED TV is also a smart TV that you can connect to the web via remote or voice activated. That way, I can also use my HULU and Netflix accounts.

With all these great features, you can see why this is at the top of my TV and homegym wish list! So Santa…. can I get this for my birthday which is in 2 weeks? 😉

QOTD – What’s on your home gym wish list? What’s your number 1 essential?

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How I made the treadmill tolerable + Pretty Muddy Giveaway!

How I learned to love the treadmill

Okay, so love may be too strong of a word, but it’s no lie that I spend a lot of time on the treadmill. It’s convenient and reliable way to run when the outside looks a little like this:

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I thought I would share some tips on how you too can learn to love, or at least become buddies with this “evil” device.

How to Love the treadmill

Make a mental change – If you keep talking/thinking negative thoughts about the treadmill, you will hate the workout. Instead, stop calling it the dreadmill and thinking about how much you hate winter and the treadmill and yada, yada, yada. Just tell yourself you love the treadmill, and you can’t wait for your treadmill date. Say it enough times and you might believe it. Hey every change starts with a change of thought.

Give yourself something to look forward to – The treadmill is a great time to catch up on plenty of guilty pleasures. Have a new album you want to listen to? Perfect time to do it while running. Save your favorite podcast or audiobook for your run. That way, when it’s time to get busy on the treadmill, you can focus more on the audiobook and less on how boring your run is. My personal favorite thing to do on the treadmill is to watch TV teen dramas. Vampire diaries, Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and anything in between are perfect for the treadmill where you can listen and partially watch, but if you zoned out, you really didn’t miss too much. I have Hulu Plus for that main reason. Netflix also works, and even xfinity cable works on ipads/iphones but not as well.

Give your workout meaning I still haven’t found the trick to doing long runs on the treadmill without dying of boredom. Running continuously and steady in one place is absolutely boring to me. Instead I save my speed workouts for the treadmill. Pushing yourself to hit speed targets on the road can be difficult with people, lights, cars and if you say the running 400s on the track is more exciting you are cray cray. Instead, I find that pushing yourself after setting the speed on a treadmill is much easier. Tempo runs, interval runs, progressive runs and any other speed play is my game.

Recognize the treadmill benefits – I think realizing the benefits of the treadmill vs. the road can make you appreciate this evil device a little more. For one, it’s a lot more forgiving than the road. I don’t know how the roads are in the rest of the country, but in Boston/NYC they are old, cracked, bumpy, uneven and concrete in general is purely unforgiving. I’ve been running 50-70 weekly miles for 2 years now with no injuries (knock on wood) and I think a large portion of that is that 50% or more of my miles are on the treadmill. There’s also the fact that you don’t have to worry about snow, rain, heat, coldness, cars, people, dogs and just the annoyance of the outside world in front of you. You can focus purely on your miles and form without those distractions.

I hope those few tips will get you started on appreciated the lonely treadmill just a tiny bit more.

Pretty Muddy Giveaway

As I hinted in my Pretty muddy against cancer post, I have some goodies. I have four entries ( 2 regular and 2 family edition) for the following cities/dates to giveaway

  • Dallas, April 26th
  • Sacramento, May 3rd
  • Chicago, August 16th
  • Richmond, September 20th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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2014 Olympic Opening Ceremony Workout!

I don’t normally do this, but I had some extra time on the train today as it performed it usual “scheduled adjustment” stop with doors wide open in the freezing cold routine. Does anyone know why the MBTA does that? To torture us?

Anyways, extra time and I came up with this little gem as I played around with some apps on my phone!

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I normally take it easy on Fridays, but I think this workout will be anything but. Feel free to modify to your liking!

BTone Fitness – SPX Review

Now when you see this what comes to mind?

No Tony and I did not join some S&M club… The girls I work with and I decided to try something new for a workout. B We wereB intrigued, confused, scared and excited as we kept hearing about thisB PilatesB type of workout. B Well we finally got our schedules in check and made our appointment at BTone Fitness. B Making a 6:30 class took more planning than it looks since each class only has 11 people.

What is BTone we wondered? B Even upon getting there, I still had no clue so I did some research on their site. B It usesB Lagree Fitnessb” which is an innovative workout specifically designed to “strengthen, tighten, and tone the body quickly and safely. This workout is largely based on the holistic principles of Pilates, but also emphasizes the strength training and cardio elements not inherent to Pilates to achieve muscle definition faster than traditional Pilates and/or weight training alone.”

Not bad promises for just 45 minutes of my time. B Yoga takes over 90 minutes for these kind of promised results so I figured it was worth a shot. B After all, time is money and at $30 per class this was some pricey time.

Basically for the next 45 minutes I attempted to incorporate the “key principles of core stability and blending them with the fusion of muscle dynamics.” When you do things correctly, it should look like this:

This photo was taken from their website and let me tell you, I did not look like that for a second. B Majority of my 45 minutes was spent praying that I would not fall. B In fact I was wondering why they didn’t make me sign a waiver!

We spent about 15 minutes working our core with crunches and different plank-like exercises. B The next 15 minutes we did leg things that were probably equivalent of leg press type machines. B We wrapped it up with arms that I will probably be feeling soon. B Overall I don’t think this reformer machine provided anything special that some free weights or a giant ball can’t do. B My otherB critiqueB was the way the class was taught there was no adjustment for individual level of fitness. B Our instructor only explained each move once which left me scrambling trying to figure out where to put which limb where without falling over. B She did instruct us which resistance level to use for each move. B However, she didn’t give a range. B Had I been more experienced I would have used a level lower resistance for arms (I’m weak) and a level higher resistance for legs; however, no such option was explained.

BTone FitnessB B is one of two only SPX studios offered in New England. B The studio is located in Boston’s Back Bay and its super easy to get to by the T. B The first class is only $5 and is totally worth trying out. B After that each class is $30 which to me seems a little overpriced.