Tag Archives: Training

Childhood Favorite Brings You Fitness Fast FXP Hula Hoop

261888_10151278243135962_103699219_nI recently received a FXP Hula Hoop Fitness Set for review, I was not compensated in any way and my opinions are freely expressed.

That’s me top left in the fuchsia shirt with hoodie, right after completing my second hooping certification.  I am an average hooper – I can keep my hoop up for a prolonged time, can do fitness moves, travel, etc. I am far from hoop dancing on a stage, but I enjoy the workout and that was why I jumped at the chance to review a new fitness system that involved hooping.

Niece’s video has a high production quality and the travel hoop is the best I have experienced.  My former travel hoop has tiny screws that were constantly coming loose after use making assembly and disassembly a nightmare without a screwdriver.  The FXP hoop pieces are solid molded plastic and have no hitches. The weight of the hoop is nice too, better than my former travel hoop. Its only downfall is the very bland appearance which honestly travels through to the workout video as well.

To be fair, the workout itself is fast paced, but it really misses the fun and whimsy that drew me to hooping.  I know hooping can be over the top, hoopers are up there with bellydancers for pageantry, costumes, etc.  I wasn’t expecting that but it would have been nice to have some more uplifting music or a more interesting set.  The feel was middle aged pilates class.  Before you say “hey now!”, that is my personal demographic too, but I don’t want to feel like I’ve come to a geriatric fitness class – I want a bit of fun. With hooping I want a little over the top, it doesn’t have to be over the edge, just make me feel alive and relevant.

Personal feel aside, the only other problem I had with the video is that there was never reverse hooping, and important skill and necessity to keep the body in balance.  The legs were switched periodically but in my training there were horror stories of hoopers who never switched directions and caused them selves some pelvic and muscular issues.

My kit came with a hoop, carry bag, DVD, and quick exercise poster.  It also included a small piece of matting that was labeled “non slip hoop surface” but beats me how it would help, being approximately a 4 x 4 inch square – literally my toes fit on it. FXP offers an array of Hula Hoop Kits – These specially designed kits come equipped with everything needed to help women reach their specific goals.  Choose from five kits including: FXP Starter Kit, FXP Cardio Sculpt, Total Body Makeover, Total Body Makeover Plus, and Create Your Own. Each kit comes with retractable hoop, carry bag, DVDs, guides and more! Kits start at an affordable $49.94.

Other ways to connect to fitness through FXP include:

Hula Hoop Level 1 Teacher Training – Designed for trainers by trainers, it’s the first step in teaching FXP Fitness classes. Trainers receive the highest level of individual support in the industry, from business tools and webinars to lesson plans and troubleshooting support. Training is $250 with discounts for groups and military.. More Info here.

Hula Hoop Life Diet Nutrition Program – Provides access to expert nutritionists, meal planning guides, recipes, support, and more.

Mobile App – The perfect way to access FXP programs while away from home. Provides free workout guides and optional premium content. Available on iOS and Android devices.

FXP Fitness was programmed by internationally respected fitness leader, Niece Pecenka, to help users shed pounds, lose inches from their waistlines, and sculpt their bodies all while having fun!

For more information, please visit www.fxpfitness.com

I leave you with an explantation of the fitness system’s development “FXP Fitness was born from the idea that fitness should be an enjoyable, accessible experience that yields great results. It is a low to no impact program inspired by proven methods such as pilates, barre, and yoga, and combines them into a high intensity interval training system…all while using the specially designed fitness hula hoop. Perfect for toning arms, strengthening legs, and slimming middles, FXP is designed for ”all ages and all stages” and is backed by a recent metabolic study on the effectiveness of the FXP hula hoop and workout DCDs. Plus, its curriculum is easily modifiable to fit tight schedules, tight spaces, and lifestyles continuously on-the-go.”

Remember, any fitness program can work if you stick with it!

Ultimate Obstacle Race Training is Available Crush the Competition

image Does scaling a wall entice you? Ever wanted to be on TV? Well, you may not be the next hero in an action movie but the chance to finish an obstacle race is within your grasp.  I was recently sent Brett Stewart’s Ultimate Obstacle Race Training and did a little research online.  Obstacle races are becoming the trendiest new training craze and you can take the challenge to television with Hard Charge Televised Obstacle Mission.  So how can you assure yourself a victory and possibly the limelight?  Pick up Stewart’s new book that will give you the tips and training to crush the world’s toughest courses.

Included in this well outlined book are Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Savage Race to name a few. Get registered soon and grab a copy of the training guide, these races are become very popular and the So Cal January race, the Super Spartan, is 90% full.  Just like Stewart’s book, these races are not limited to adults only.  Spartan lures in the whole family with SpartanKids.com and there is a section in Ultimate Obstacle Race Training geared towards the knee biter set.

Among the topics covered are a gear guide to let you know what you need most to compete, a list of the most well known races and pertinent information about them, course descriptions, and the CRUSH IT Program.  There is also a training guide complete with photos of major obstacles to get you ready to leap over walls, slosh up mud slopes and zig zag from zombies. I have reviewed several of Stewart’s other books and training guides and this one is true to his no nonsense approach to organizing and writing.  It is clear and concise and if you are up to the task, you can tackle any obstacle race. Looking for some of the best races? Look no further than this article that has compiled some of the top races, many are featured in the book. http://www.obstacleracers.com/rankings/


I received no compensation for this review and the opinions expressed are my own

#Yoga #Injuries Avoidable Wrist and Hand Tips @skyyogastudio .com

I have always been a strong believer that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to instruction.  As a certified and registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance Registry I have proven that I have training by credentialed and respected individuals, exposure to teaching in front of other seasoned teachers and continuing credits.  You should always look for a well trained instructor – ask questions about where their training came from – keep in mind anyone can open up their own training school – Yoga Alliance Registry makes sure that qualifying schools meet requirements for anatomy and physiology, and other components of competency for an instructor.  Of course, use your own good judgment and remember you are there to learn from your teacher not learn about your teacher – the class should focus on proper alignment and modifications when needed.   Here’s more info (if you take classes with me, much of the same info) on how to stay injury free….

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Hausman Offers Commentary on Avoiding Hand and Wrist Compression Injuries Caused by Yoga

New York, NY – November 19, 2012: Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Hausman, Chief of Hand and Elbow Surgery at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, is available to comment on avoiding specific hand and wrist injuries caused by yoga. Dr. Hausman has seen an increase in wrist nerve injuries caused by improper yoga form.

Performed properly and under supervision by trained teachers, yoga’s benefits include improvement in posture, flexibility and stress relief. However, if practiced incorrectly, common yoga poses such as downward facing dog may compress nerves and lead to repetitive strain and nerve injuries to the hand and wrist such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Improper positioning of the hands, can lead to compression injuries, strains, sprains, tears to hand and wrist tendons and ligaments.

Dr. Hausman can discuss simple solutions to prevent hand and wrist injuries such as:

• Spread the fingers wide when setting up a pose.

• Ensure the middle fingers are parallel to one another.

• Change hand position to help alleviate pain.

• Bring pressure into each of the fingers, to ensure that the leg muscles are engaged for proper weight distribution.

• If pain is present during the hand-supported poses, maneuver your hands into fists to distribute weight to the knuckles.

• Use props such as wedges, the rolled-up edge of a yoga mat or a thick blanket and hand barbells with square ends can help keep the wrists straight.

Dr. Hausman extolls the benefits of yoga to help people live a healthy lifestyle. “The important thing is to be aware of your body, pay attention to form and do only the poses that your body will allow you to,” said Dr. Hausman.

Dr. Hausman has been interviewed extensively in national and local print, TV and radio outlets such as USA Today, Bloomberg, ESPN, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.

About Dr. Michael R. Hausman

Dr. Michael R. Hausman is an orthopaedic surgeon and the Chief of Hand and Elbow Surgery at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at Mount Sinai. He is an internationally recognized upper extremity surgeon who treats disorders of the hand, elbow, shoulder and peripheral nerves. He has pioneered the use of arthroscopy for treating pediatric elbow deformities and adult fractures and dislocations and has been invited to lecture on these topics throughout the world.

About The Mount Sinai Department of Orthopaedics

Mount Sinai’s Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics stands out for its depth of expertise and individualized patient care. Faculty and staff invest the time to learn about their patients, ensuring that each receives the appropriate care from subspecialty-trained orthopaedists. Our expertise includes surgery of the foot and ankle, knee, hip, hand, elbow, shoulder, and spine; total joint replacement for knee, hip, foot, ankle, and shoulder; microvascular surgery; cancer surgery; minimally invasive surgery.

7 Weeks to a #Triathlon Must Have Training Book @skyyogastudio .com

image Triathlons aren’t just for Olympic athletes. You, too, can have what it takes to cross the finish line: physical strength, race-readiness, gear, and the right mindset. While you’re gearing up to watch top athletes compete for gold this summer, meet your own fitness goals and get triathlon-ready in just 7 weeks!
Introducing “7 Weeks to a Triathlon,” a comprehensive fitness guide featuring daily training programs to help you finish your first—or fastest—triathlon in under two months.
“7 Weeks to a Triathlon” features the history of the sport, FAQs, and beginner and advanced training programs—with cross-training exercises, stretches and drills—that will get your body and mind into top shape.

I was contacted to review 7 Weeks to a Triathlon and received no compensation, the opinions expressed are my own.

Honestly,  I was unhappy when I did not find “floating around in your bathtub” as a mentioned training technique.  Seriously though, I had hoped to attempt 7 weeks of training, but I just can’t at this time with work and kids, so floating in the bathtub may be as close to the swim training as I get these days.  Of course I did enjoy reading this book and found a great deal of useful information, even just general info in the Q & A section.  A particularly interesting note regarding training and illness: it is suggested that anything from the neck up is fine to train with, but neck down requires rest, ie: a head cold is fine to train with, but a lung infection is a no-go. There are tips on how to get ready for a triathlon on a budget, etiquette for cyclists, and imageeven how to start if you are like me and can’t yet run a mile!

When cross training is suggested, in later chapters there are cross training programs given and wonderful photos to accompany the exercises. Each week is broken up into blocks of continuous days and each section has a side bar “notes” area for the reader to jot down ideas, times, reactions, etc.This book is truly a tiny gem.  You can easily travel with it and definitely train for a triathlon or train to improve your time.  Sections include tips on shaving time, how to streamline your transitions and whether or not you should invest in high end gear.

So what can you train for? Well, there’s the Iron Man Wisconsin coming up in 7 Weeks http://ironmanwisconsin.com/ and one answered question included Which Iron Man course should an athlete choose – you’ll have to read page 23 to see the answer!

Author Brett Stewart (and his editor I am sure) organized a very easy to navigate, no nonsense book that is truly an accessible training guide to completing a triathlon at a very wallet friendly price of $14.99.  This book is a must have for those looking to train.

8 Tips for Marathon Race Day #running #fitness #tips @skyyogastudio

We gave away an entry to the half marathon, now its time! Marathon season is upon us! June is swiftly approaching and so is the Allstate Life Insurance? Chicago 13.1 Marathon® which takes place on Saturday, June 9, 2012.  First time running a half marathon, not to worry! Jenny Hadfield, best-selling author, running coach and endurance athlete offer these 8 basic tips for dominating the track on race day!

1. Start off on the right foot – Find a training plan that suits you. The key to building endurance is to start from where you are rather than where you want to be. If you jump into a program that requires a large jump in mileage, frequency or intensity, you will be on a fast track to burn out. The body is able to adapt and improve at an efficient rate so long as you make small changes along the way. Hadfield offers this advice for those just starting their training regime, “The first week of the training plan should closely match that of your current training plan. Think of this like an education and take it one grade at a time.  Your body will pay you back in dividends by recovering from the workouts so you can progress along the way.  Less is more when you’re first getting started. Hold back the reigns of excitement and take it one step at a time.”

2. Listen to Your Body – We are told that it’s good to feel sore the next day, but be mindful of what your body is telling you. Although aches and pains can arise along the training journey, most can be easily resolved by a rest day or cross-training to allow adequate recovery. It is best to keep a journal and monitor how you are progressing and feeling throughout the training process. By tracking your progress you will begin to unlock the mysteries to your personal training recipe and further understand ways to improve your workout.

3. Train outside the box – Strength training, flexibility work and cross-training activities are equally important when it comes to preparing for the big day! Workouts such as foam rolling, weight lifting and cycling will improve running efficacy, muscle balance and reduce mental fatigue and muscle tension.  “Think of it like making a tasty bowl of chili.  It’s the balance of the ingredients that makes the meal,” says Hadfield.   See video for a tutorial on the foam rolling exercise for endurance runners: http://www.youtube.com/user/jennyhadfield#p/u/3/69S-dTdjL8Q

4. Dress Rehearsals: Your long training sessions are dress rehearsals for race day and the perfect opportunity to practice everything from hydration to pace and pre/post race nutrition. Use your training schedule as a log and keep track of shoe mileage, mood, pace, effort level and what you eat before, during and after. The more details you dial in now, the less you have to worry about during race week when the nerves start to set in.

5. Taper Madness – Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Taper Madness, is a condition induced by less training, increased race nerves and more time on our hands. “When taper madness strikes, take a deep breath, stay calm, and have faith in your preparation. You are well trained and adding anything to the schedule will only take away from your performance on race day!  Take the time to rest, eat well and spend a little more time with the folks in your life you may have ignored due to training.  Rest the body.  Stimulate the mind,” says Hadfield. 

6. Go With What You Know – Remember, don’t try anything new race week. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement and begin to make drastic changes in your diet, training and equipment.  The time to make changes and adjustments is during the season.  For example you’ll want to avoid drinking tons more water. When you get tempted to make a change, remember this golden rule and stick to what your body knows.

7. Bring Your Mental Game Plan- Review the course map and break it up into smaller, more digestible pieces It’s easier to stay focused and engaged for shorter periods of time than for several hours. Pack power words and positive mantra’s to carry you through the race.  Words like “slow and easy early in the race will remind you to avoid going out too fast and later in the race go with empowering words like "strong and steady" to keep your mind focused.

8. Pace Yourself – The number one thing you can control on race day is your pace.  It is very easy to get caught up in all the excitement at the start of the race. Just remember, racing is all about energy management.

The Allstate Life Insurance? Chicago 13.1 Marathon® will take place on Saturday, June 9, 2012, starting and finishing at the historic South Shore Cultural Center with a race path highlighting the Lake Front Trail, Osaka Japanese Garden and the Museum of Science and Industry.  For more information, please visit www.131Chicago.com.  

US Road Sports & Entertainment Group

US Road Sports & Entertainment Group is a health and wellness company dedicated to the production of world-class endurance events.  The mission of US Road Sports is to offer an unparalleled participant sports experience that showcases host communities and endures as a deeply valued local asset through events that are a part of the city’s culture, identity and brand.  For each participant, US Road Sports strives to offer events that allow participants of all skill levels the opportunity to improve their physical and mental health and accomplish life-altering goals while having fun.  US Road Sports provides sponsors and municipalities highly effective exposure to help maximize their presence and message in the community.

Truly Extreme Burn Workout DVD, No Joke!

Extreme Burn is a six-week full body program, consisting for three workouts designed to dramatically drop pounds and enhance muscular performance. Each routine is jam-packed with dynamic compound strength moves and intense bursts of cardio that will fire up the metabolism, quickly shed unwanted fat, and build lean muscle to deliver maximum results.

ExtremeBurn_Back Cover I received an email to review another new interval training DVD on the market, I have received no compensation and the opinions expressed are freely my own.  Having reviewed several interval training DVDs in the last few months and being a fitness professional who runs bootcamp and interval training classes I feel confident commenting on the Extreme Burn: Total Interval Training DVD.

Let me start by saying I loved the simplicity of the set and music, though the constant panning of the camera was a bit distracting.  As expected all of the participants on the DVD were in excellent condition, something that should be noted because the DVD is truly extreme.  At 42 weeks pregnant I gave up teaching bootcamp 3 weeks ago so could not actually perform these high intensity moves at this time but can tell you that the exercises themselves were a combination of strength and cardio – which differentiates this DVD from others on the market.  There were no reps to count and honestly I have to question whether or not the average individual picking up this DVD could safely complete even workout 1, especially with the weight loads it appeared the participants were using.  The moves were rapid and included compound exercises performed for set times.

I watched all workouts and only once saw a modification between the two females in donkey kicks – one was almost kicking to handstand and the other only kicking to glutes.  The first warm up started with deep squats with a push to full range of motion – something many of my own clients with joint issues could not complete and probably most of those individuals considering losing weight and getting in shape would have safety concerns attempting.

This being said I think this DVD offers a very challenging workout, something I rarely find, for athletes and exercise enthusiasts who need a home workout or a change from regular training, but not for those new to exercise or those with any physical limitations.

I can’t wait for my post-partum period having taught 30 hours a week for the 9 months of pregnancy I am sure that this DVD could whip me back into pre-pregnancy shape in 3-4 months. Definitely recommended for those looking for an extreme challenge, who have experience with free weights and know correct form and alignment.

The DVD is exclusively available for $19.95 on www.mikedfitness.com.

Here is a quick DVD trailer of Extreme Burn: Total Interval Training – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtBJXk6RcRg&feature=related

Also, here is an example of Mike’s work on FitPerez – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWAyDvw0rjo



Available at Target and other Major Retailers –

Introduced at Showstoppers NY 2011

October 18, 2011 – NY, NY — Velocomp www.iBikeDash.com, a leading sports technology company and creator of the iBike Dash CC Cycling Computer introduced today iBike Coach, which transforms your iPhone into an amazing bike computer. Available at Target and other major retailers, iBike Coach includes a water and shock resistant case that works with any iPhone and a universal mount that securely attaches the case to any bike.

Also included with iBike Coach is the iBike Coach app that tracks cycling speed, distance, time, and displays maps while you are riding! And after your ride, share your ride exploits with friends and other cyclists with a free, six-month premium subscription to Strava.com.

iBike Coach will be showcased tomorrow, October 19th, at Showstoppers NY.

iBike Coach System Features:

· iBike Case & Mount:  The Protection Your Phone Deserves

-Works with iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S

-Fully enclosed, water-resistant and weather-proof

-Total touch screen functionality

-Rugged construction for protection and stability


-Easy-to-install and remove

  • iBike Coach App: A Ground-Breaking Way to Display Cycling Data

-Downloadable from iTunes

-Large, full-color touch display gives you a whole new way to enjoy the ride

-Screens show speed, distance, time, calorie measurements and more

-GPS maps

-Built-in calendar keeps track of cycling and fitness stats

-App controls music play lists (requires Bluetooth headset, not included)

-App works in 10 languages:  English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese

-Upload ride information to STRAVA social media site with just a single touch of a button.

  • Strava: Online Social Fitness at Your Fingertips

-www.strava.com online social fitness site lets cyclists all over the world log, share, compare and compete with each other’s personal fitness data.

-Lets you track your rides and runs via your iPhone to analyze and quantify your performance.

-Makes getting fit a social experience, providing motivation and camaraderie even if you’re exercising alone.

-6 Months Premium membership FREE to iBike Coach owners

iBike Coach includes the iBike case & mount, iBike Coach app, and 6 Months Free Strava Premium Membership! iBike Coach is priced at $69.95.

See www.ibike-coach.com for info.

How To Train For A Marathon – Don’t Be An Idiot

imageI recently received a copy of the The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Marathon Training which provides readers with a comprehensive marathon-training program that covers everything from stretching to dieting and motivating marathoners for race day. With marathon season just a few months away, readers can learn about:
•       What to expect on race day and how to manage any anxiety
•       The right clothing, footwear, and other gear
•       Proper nutrition and hydration during the run

There are some wonderful facts given in the first chapter about the history and roots of the Marathon.  I knew its origins were Greek no biggie but I was not aware that women were not allowed to run in marathons and that the first woman to run was almost physically assaulted during the race and had entered under her initials – her time was not recorded.

Some other great factoids include the unfounded myth that you can sweat out a cold or flu by running. It is recommended that you rest when you are under the weather and simply should not run what dealing with sinus and chest infections among other things. The more stress you put your system under the longer you stay ill and greater possibility for more serious developments.

The main premise is a 6 month training schedule that anyone can follow. The book demystifies the marathon and makes it accessible to even nonrunners. It had me jazzed up about running and I am 6 months pregnant and not a running fan. Everything from special considerations to meal planning is covered including sock choices, different training techniques and how to stay motivated.

Authors David A. Levine, a certified coach through subsidiaries of the US Olympic Committee, 3 imagetime Ironman and 13-time marathoner and Paula Petrella, writer, photographer and runner who has trained in the Galloway Method and with the LA Roadrunners, provide a well written simple to  follow guide that is reasonably priced at $18.95. If you aren’t sure where to start to train for a marathon this is a great jump off point before you invest in coaches, shoes and entry fees.