Tag: health

Travel Fitness Log: Workout #4 & #5 (Sri Lanka)

Travel Fitness Log: Workout #4 & #5 (Sri Lanka)

I’ve put workouts 4 & 5 in the same post for a couple of reasons. First of all, they both took place quite a while ago. We’re flying from Chiang Mai to Laos tomorrow, 4th country on our to-do list. Given that I’ve got a backlog of workouts to upload from Sri Lanka and Thailand, I kinda want to get these published!

Secondly, as far as workouts go, 4 and 5 are complete opposites. I thought it might be interesting to put them together so that you’re able to see the range and diversity of workouts you can do, even whilst backpacking and far away from your home gym. (more…)

Class Review: Ninja Warrior at Brooklyn Zoo NY

Class Review: Ninja Warrior at Brooklyn Zoo NY

Those who read my last post will already know that I would much rather spend a bit of money on a fun fitness class on holiday than go on-the-cheap with a few hotel room squats. Part of my itinerary planning will always involve researching nearby gyms and cool classes in the local area. Trust me, it’s totally worth it.

My latest trip to New York was no exception. There are no shortage of funky fitness classes in The Big Apple but with only three days to explore, the difficulty was actually going to be deciding which ones to hit, and which to miss. I stumbled across Brooklyn Zoo NY’s website on a quick google-maps recce of the local area. Not only was it right around the corner to our AirBnB (and a world-famous pizzeria) it was also a specialised gymnastic and parkour gym. Offering a range of classes from contortion & stretch, to house dance, to handstands, Brooklyn Zoo NY sounded ideal for my dancer-self and my free-runner boyfriend.

Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

I immediately got in touch, and they kindly invited both Tom and I to try out one of their classes, and then take part in the open-gym session afterwards.

If there’s anything to beat a boring-old bodyweight session it has to be none other than Brooklyn Zoo NY’s Ninja Warrior class.

Yes. You read that right.

NINJA. WARRIOR. CLASS.

Loosely based on the TV show, the class teaches students how to tackle obstacles such as warp walls, salmon ladders and balance beams. Lots of climbing, jumping, and hanging from things, essentially. Did you ever play the game as a child where the floor was lava and you had to scramble your way across the room without falling in?

Yeah, that.

Anyone who knows me knows that this sort of thing is right down my street. So I sacrificed my hopes of catching a Broadway show in favour of running around like a monkey for a couple of hours.

My thoughts…

The class was mixed ability, which can be difficult enough for instructors to cope with in a regular fitness class, let alone one that uses the principles of parkour and has participants running up walls, flipping off podiums and running on barrels. Ok, maybe the flipping thing is a bit of an exaggeration.

Still, our Ninja Warrior instructor was absolutely amazing. Very patient and able to coach each person through the course regardless of their level. Every step was broken down and everyone managed to tackle each section. Even Tom, who has been free-running since he was a teenager, enjoyed the session and was given a bit of leeway to do his own thing as well. The class was thorough, but fast-paced and we got time at the end to practice on our own.

Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

Although there was a lot of stopping and starting, it was a decent workout. Not one for those who prefer sweaty, breathless cardio-style classes, because it’s not done to time at all (unlike in the TV show). However the class was definitely taxing on the muscles and most of the obstacles required a huge amount of core strength and engagement. Both Tom and I were aching the next day, that’s for sure!

I wish that the class had been longer, because I felt at a bit of a loss during the subsequent open gym session. Having just conquered the Ninja Warrior obstacle course (and feeling like an absolute pro), is was disheartening (albeit very impressive) to then be surrounded by pros; trampolining, climbing and triple-backflipping into the foam pits. I think that if there had been more instructors on hand, perhaps, to help out any timid beginners that would have been a huge help.

Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

As it was, I felt a bit to shy to practice on my own or try out anything that I had just learned because I felt like there was little encouragement from the other open-gymmers and that I would just be in someone’s way. The environment was almost hostile, which was disappointing having just experienced such a great class. According to Tom, this isn’t unusual in the free-running world.

Still, we had a great class and the instructors really know their stuff. It definitely makes for a fun and interesting evening if you want to experience a different side of New York! We left tired, happy and totally ready for pizza.

 Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

 

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Holiday Workouts…the absolute truth

Holiday Workouts…the absolute truth

I’ve got a confession to make.

Working out on holiday is really not my thing.

Sure, I’ve written posts on how to stay active on holiday, and like most fitness bloggers, I’ve got basically a whole encyclopaedia on bodyweight/portable- equipment exercises. So many clients ask me before their own holidays what they should take with them and what exercises they should do in between sightseeing and restaurants and sunbathing.

Full disclosure here;

On the few occasions that I’ve actually bothered to bring my resistance band along for the ride, 99% of the time, it stays buried at the bottom of my suitcase.

I would much, much rather laze about on the beach and lose myself in a good book than muster up the energy to do a “quick hotel-room bodyweight workout”.

Hats off to the people that can do it. But that’s not me.

Holidays are my relaxation time. I work and train super hard at home so that I don’t have to set an alarm at the crack of dawn when I’m on holiday. The only thing I want to get up for is to take my towel and get a good spot at the pool.

Holiday Workouts - The Absolute Truth

The thing is, I have a boyfriend. And he has lots of energy. And so although I would happily bask like a cat in the sun all day, it’s not exactly the same when you’re interrupted by an ice-cream-fuelled Thomas every ten minutes. He finds it bizarre that I can happily sit and read an entire book in one sitting.

I’m writing this in the airport departure lounge. We’re on our way back from our latest holiday- to New York, Virginia and Philadelphia. We had a brilliant time but ‘healthy holiday’ isn’t exactly the best way to describe a trip to the USA… The land of hot dogs, fries and doughnuts galore. But both of us were doing really well with our training at home and Tom has a competition coming up in less than 5 weeks. Neither of us wanted one holiday to ruin months of hard work!

So I made sure to plan ways to work some training into our holiday itinerary without resorting to endless lunges and squats in our airbnb rooms. Which (in case you hadn’t guessed already) is not my idea of fun.

Here’s how we did it:

 

1) Classes

I don’t normally do classes in London, for lack of both time and money. So devoting a portion of our holiday budget to find some cool fitness classes felt a bit like a luxury. You don’t have to think too much (which perfectly fits into my holiday vibe) and with a decent instructor you’ll be pushed much more than if you’re by yourself. Which makes it a worthwhile investment and a much more efficient use of your time than a half-arsed hotel-room workout. Tom and I did a Barry’s bootcamp class in New York which almost killed us both – but made our breakfast pumpkin muffins in Central Park afterwards ten times more satisfying.

2) Rent Things

Sounds a bit vague, I realise. But you know what I mean. it I find that renting something fun, like a pedalo, a bike or even a canoe is the best way to incorporate some fat-burning cardio into your holiday. You’ll find that the minutes whizz by much faster than on a treadmill. It’s exercise that is genuinely fun AND you usually get to explore the area that you’re staying in. Which is the point of going on holiday, no?

Holiday Workouts - The Absolute Truth

3) Get a day pass for the gym

I get that most people might balk at the idea of taking time out of your precious holiday to find a gym of all places, but actually I prefer it so much more than being holed up attempting to workout in your room. Loads of gyms offer a free pass, at least for a day, in exchange for nothing more than an email address. Even if they don’t you can sometimes get a free entrance if you chat to the people on the reception desk and explain the situation. If the area you’re in isn’t too touristy, people are often very happy to welcome visitors free of charge. Which of course means that don’t have to worry about blowing your spending money. Actually going to a gym means that you can use decent equipment, and you can push yourself harder without (again) actually having to think too much.

4) Walk.

Everywhere. Our first night in New York, Tom and I smashed about 15,000 steps walking from one end of Manhattan to the other. On our drive from Virginia to DC we stopped off at a nature reserve and had a spontaneous hike around the most stunning waterfalls and mountain scenery. Walking around is the best way to get to know a place and it does help to soothe your conscience a little bit if you haven’t been to the gym in a while. You can take in the culture of your surroundings without worrying about a bus pass. Easy.

I mean, these are all ideas. Some of them you’ll do naturally without thinking about it… others you might try after a bit of convincing. Sure, some might be an absolute no-no, depending on what you enjoy.

But at the end of the day, if you don’t want spend your time-off googling the closest gym and you want to spend all day at the poolside then, by all means, go ahead. It’s your holiday. So don’t stress too much.

Holiday Workouts - The Absolute Truth