Circuit Training with David

David Hill (@DavidKHill) is a good friend of mine at work, and a fellow endorphin junkie; he recently got into running over the past year, and recently completed his first half marathon–congrats David! David is a big dude, and really knows a thing or two about weight training, so I’ve been wanting to pick his brain on the best weight training for running. As a football player in high school, he carried the football player training mentality with him to the gym throughout college and his first few years in the “real world.” He told me that the real game changer was when he moved to New Hampshire and started attending the prestigious Tuck Business school at Dartmouth College and he started seeing a trainer once a week. He had muscle, but he said he was bulky with a great deal of extra weight, and he wanted to change up his plan and drop a few pounds. He said he immediately dropped significant weight and now does a mix of the work out below 3 times a week, interspersed with running and bootcamp class.

This work out is a good mix of cardio and weight training, which helps keep workouts fresh and combat boredom. Mixing up your workouts into short bursts and hitting different muscle groups also increases the rate of your metabolism, what’s not to love?

Circuit workout with David 60 Minutes

Watch out for a second installment full of great action shots! 🙂

Class Review: Gravity Bootcamp

I’ve always wanted to get in a better routine of working out in the morning before work, but I rarely can execute this task. I’m usually too tired, comfortable in bed, or just plain lazy to do so. However, since I’ve moved to a different neighborhood that is a little bit of a longer commute, I told myself I had to start going in the mornings in order to insure a faster, and safer commute home at the end of the day. So, when I was heading out of the gym on Monday night and noticed a sign up for a new class called Gravity Bootcamp at 7am, I decided, why not? My logic was if I signed up for a class, then I would be that much more apt to actually get my butt to the gym and follow through with my goal of transitioning to morning work outs.

The next day my alarm went off at 5:45am, and total shocker, I actually got up! I walked to the T, got on and arrived at Boston Sports Club with enough time to stretch and wake up before indulging in the fun of Gravity Bootcamp. The class was comprised of eight people, and four GTS machines, which essentially looked like souped up Pilates reformer machines. Before we got going the trainer had all of us make specific changes to the machines so we knew all of the settings and didn’t injure ourselves, this was key!

An advanced move that I certainly didn't attempt!

He organized us into two groups of four people, when one group was using the four machines, the other group would be doing static exercises on training mats. Directly following the instruction we launched into our lower body work outs on the Gravity Machine: a series of squats, squat jumps, one legged squats, all intertwined with a variety of static exercises, which were essentially repeating the aforementioned exercises. At first I thought, Hmm, this isn’t THAT bad. Then I got to the one legged squats, HOLY HECK! I did three and struggled to make it to ten of each side.

Once we finished lower body, we went directly into upper body work outs, which consisted of bicep curls, seated rows, pull ups, skull crushers and over the head pull-downs. The static mat exercises were a series of planks, side crunches, bicycle abs, push ups, etc. Since I’ve always had shoulder issues, I was a bit leery of this portion, but I actually felt great. I think that all of my hard work in Core Fusion has paid off in terms of upper body strength 🙂

I found this promotional video that highlights most of the moves we did in the demo class. Not only does it show everything, it’s accompanied by some rockin’ tracks to really get you in the mood to try this gravity machine! (or..NOT)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqIZAB7x4sw&feature=related]

At the end of the class the trainer gave us a hand out to enroll in the 8 week class, which met once a week and cost $189. Whoa, $189?! On top of a $72/month membership, no thanks! However, after thinking more about it, I think I might pursue this post marathon training and really dedicate time to trying to increase my strength training. I think this class would be an amazing way to kick yourself into great shape when you have a goal in mind, brides to be, take note! The class does come with a hefty price tag, but it holds true to my theory on spending money on working out. If it’s good for your health and wellbeing, and it might cost a little extra, it’s probably worth sacrificing a few nights out at a bar or fatty dinners!

Today’s Lesson: Running in the cold isn’t so bad, afterall.

I work in strange ways. Why? Because, when January 1st 2009 hit, my membership to the Boston Sports Club network was officially canceled. Yup. Me, the work out-aholic, quit the gym. My reasons are three fold. One, I really didn’t like the gym I was going to. I don’t know about you, but no one likes to feel like a caged rat. Secondly, I am finally getting my act together and joining the Cambridge Masters Swim Club, something I have talked about doing since the very moment I moved a box to my first Boston apartment in 2006. Lastly, I want to concentrate on getting back into yoga and of course keeping up with running, when the weather permits. 

The problem is, I haven’t taken any action on obtaining a membership to the swim team or my yoga studio due to my extreme lack of funds after the holiday season-whoops. A few days pass by and like clock work, cue cabin fever. One day at work, my antsy-ness reached an all time high and I knew I just had to go for a run, even if it killed me in the process. Of course the day I decide this, it is below freezing and an ice storm is looming in the not so distant future. A perfect example of the weather not permitting, but we were hell bent on running. Kate, the loyal running partner that she is, obliged and accepted my invitation. 

January 6th 2009

As we suited up in our work place locker room my mind was running a mile a minute, “what the heck am I doing?” Alas, I put on a happy face and took a photo to capture the sheer excitement, hope and fear we were exuding. Well, maybe the fear was just from me. 

The moment we stepped outside a cold burst of wind hit my face, “Crap. It’s COLD.” I couldn’t turn back now! As we got going, another thought crossed my mind, “you know what, I needed this to remind myself that I am alive.” I know, it sounds cliche, but it’s true. It felt amazing to stretch my legs, get the blood flowing and nod to other hardcore runners. The rest of the run consisted of an excessive amount of chatting and joking in-between labored breaths as well as the occasional tip toe through an icy path to prevent ourselves from falling victim to every New Englander’s nemesis, black ice. 

This run might not be particularly exciting or ground breaking for the common runner, but for me, it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. One with my gloves, ear warmers and ultra thick spandex. That night I learned, running outside in the cold didn’t suck. It was actually pretty fun! And sometimes, during difficult times, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered to help you remember how to live.