Monday Motivation: Fenom

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 6.30.30 PM.pngHappy Monday Motivation y’all. You know what that means, another one of my fav workout classes in Toronto!

Walking up the stairs was a challenge today, my legs still feel like jello. The signs of a damn good workout if you ask me. I have fallen madly, deeply, and truly in love with Fenom training, despite the sore muscles that are sure to follow the next morning.

What is fenom training you may ask? Well it is a strength and conditioning training camp held at King West Club. Basically they offer elevated small group circuit training designed for women.

More like personal training, the small group allows the instructor to really focus on technique and personalized nutrition coaching.IMG_0387

So how does the class work? Well the group consists of about 5-10 girls. A perfect size class because the trainer can ensure that you are doing all the exercises correctly. With smaller classes, the trainer has more opportunity to focus on your form to make sure  you work the right muscles, but also helps avoid injury.

Jen, our totally awesome trainer, first goes through the different exercises. Each circuit has about 3-4 different ones that we do that each target a specific muscle. Usually starting with squats or lunges for lower body, we will then move to arm raises or pull ups, and finish off with  some really difficult ab burning exercises.

You would do 10 reps of each exercise before moving on to the next, and you would repeat those 3 to 4 times before moving on to the next circuit.

It had been a long time since I had worked with a personal trainer, and I realized quickly what I missed so much about it. When you have that instructor pushing you, motivating you, telling you that you can work that much harder, you believe it and you do it.

With Jen is  in my ear telling me to add that one extra weight, to push up to the bar one more time, to keep my plank a little longer, it is almost like I don’t want to let her down so I do it. I push myself that little bit harder than even I thought possible.

And it isn’t just Jen pushing me, but the other girls in the class too. When I first stepped into the class, everyone was a stranger. By the end of the class we were all friends. There was constant encouragement to push a little higher, lift a little heavier, get one more rep. IMG_0374

Each class is different, different exercises, different circuits, different movements, but yet the same goal, to strengthen your body, your mind, your soul.

To sum it all up this class is perfect for anyone who is;

  • Looking for training specific to the female body
  • not ready to splurge on one-on-one classes but doesn’t want to get lost in a big group class
  • looking to strengthen your overall body
  • looking to do more weight training
  • looking for a kick ass full body workout

For more info on the Fenom training classes check out their website; fenomtraining.ca 

you won’t regret it!

xo

Mia

Monday Motivation: F45

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As I am writing this blog, my abs are aching, my legs are sore, and my arms feel like they are being weighed down by bricks, and the truth is I love it. So why am I feeling like this? Well I would bet it has everything to do with completing my first week of f45 Liberty Village.

Ok so you might have heard of f45 but not entirely sure what it is? Yeah that was me about a week ago, so let’s break it down.

Back in 2012 in Australia the F45 CEO wanted to create a group training facility that featured dynamic and effective training. He wanted to create the best workouts that could reach the masses. A structured system that could be implemented across the world.

Now F45 is breaking ground across the world by combining three times of leading edge fitness training styles into one. It incorporates high intensity interval training, circuit training, and functional training. The fusion of these training concepts has created 27 different 45-minute workout experiences, so you never get the same workout twice.

Now that you know a bit of F45’s background, here is a bit of my own background. From the age of 8-21 I played professional tennis. That meant 5 am wake up calls to go and train, three hours on the court, and then more fitness pretty much seven days a week.

From 21 until now, I have taken things a bit lighter. I still love to work out, but my workouts have been more cardio based as of late, so the idea of circuit training that involves weights made me a little nervous.IMG_0846

What I found out is that there are two main kinds of workouts, ones that are weight focused and ones that are more cardio focused.

The first class that I took was Renegade. More of a weight focused class where you focus more on heavy lifting and proper form that helps burn away fat. I was definitely sore after this class

Next up was Firestorm. The hardest of all the classes in my opinion. 54 stations and no time for breaks (except during your giving hydration period). With so many different stations, you are guaranteed a full body workout with cardio and speed training combined in there as well. After this class I couldn’t make it up or down stairs. Not for the faint at heart.

Then we were back to weight focused workout with Angry Birds. As they say Angry Birds plot revenge, and this workout was insuring I was ready for revenge. Again plenty of weights that targeted my whole body.

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Thursday was Wingman. Sure I may have been doing this solo, but that is the great thing about f45, you are never doing this workout alone. There are 20 other people in the room who are fighting through these workouts just as hard as you are. You are pushing each other to work harder, better, faster, stronger, or some other Kanye West quote. “believe and squeeze” is the motto in this class, and your glutes are definitely going to get formed here.

And alas my first week of amazing, incredible, feel good torture was Romans (who doesn’t want to have a body of a Roman God right?) with this workout resistance meets functional movement patters and it is definitely a full body burn. Weights, squats, lunges, you name it you do it in this class.

One week was not enough that is for sure. I am actually addicted to these classes for a few reasons;

  • As someone who I am pretty sure has undiagnosed ADD, I really like the idea of changing up the workouts. Not only do you do a bunch of different activities each day, but every day you have a different class, a different challenge
  • The instructors are amazing and will really help make sure you are doing the exercises correctly to get the most of your workout
  • You get to do it as a group, which at least for me pushes me to work harder. When I am in the gym by myself I spend most the time finding the right playlist for the day, at f45, you have a whole team working hard together
  • You know you are changing your body and your life. I am not going to lie to you, these workouts aren’t easy. They hurt but they also build, strengthen, and improve.

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F45 has not just changed my body, but has also changed my mind. I used to be afraid of weight training. Afraid to bulk up as they call it, but these classes have taught me that lifting weights actually burns just as much if not more calories than cardio, and the harder you push your muscles, the longer they burn.

F45 has taught me that working hard is rewarding, it is life changing, it makes you not just physical stronger but mentally, it showed me what a community can do when they come together, and it proved the saying that strong is beautiful.

If you haven’t tried f45 yet, sign up right now (well finish reading this blog and then go sign up). Plus, the first two weeks are free, that is a win win!

 

Myodetox is my kind of detox

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I started playing tennis at a competitive level at the age of 8, it was at that same time I started to wear and tear at my body. The constant back and forth motions on the court really took a toll on my knees and ankles. The constant serving really took a toll on my shoulders. The constant training really took a toll on my back. Now at 28 I find my muscles stiff and sore more regularly.

Another issue for me was that the lifestyle that I lead, I am constantly on the go. In fact, I think I have completely erased the word relax from my vocabulary all together. I am carrying heavy camera equipment for work. I am constantly driving to stories, I am attending events, I am always on the go. I don’t have time to give my body a much needed break.

I would see a massage therapist but no deep tissue was deep enough and no sports massage actually targeted my sore muscles. I thought finally feeling great was a lot cause. That is until I was introduced to Myodetox.

So what is Myodetox? It is a unique manual therapy system that is designed for proactive and reactive care of the body. It is basically a really, really intense massage that targets problem areas not just to relieve pain, but to cure your bodies structure that could be causing the pain in the first place.screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-4-49-20-pm

Step 1: The Body Scan 

On my first visit the team started with a Body Scan. Through this scan, they can find the root of the issue. Mine happened to be my unbalanced hip and really tight glute muscles. The uneven hips were hurting my posture.

Step 2: The Massage

I am not going to lie, it hurt, it hurt like hell. But I could actually feel the muscles loosened in ways I have never felt from regular massage. The manual therapy they use is a hands on treatment that incorporates different techniques and mobilizations.

During the massage they focused on alignment, articulation of how my joints move and how I control them, and then comes the action part. A game plan to maintain the changes that they make.

Step 3: The Plan 

I was given a series of stretches and moves on the foam roll to do at home on my own time to ensure the work we were putting in at the clinic would stick.

What I love about Myodetox is it isn’t just a show up get a massage and leave, only to feel sore the very next day, and need another massage the following week. It is a show up, assess, evaluate, work, and plan appointment to make sure your body is actually getting better.

You are actually teaching your body how it should sit, how it should move, how it should be in order to avoid future pain.

Now I cannot get enough of it. I see my therapist Ethan twice a month, where he fixes any new problems I have from my workouts or my work or just my life, and he reassess the areas that we have already worked on to make sure they are still improving in a positive direction.

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Since starting with Myodetox, I am able to lift heavier weights, run for longer, sleep better at night, I am more balanced, and my posture is better. It has actually been a life saver.

For anyone who leads a busy life, who is constantly in pain, who feels like a regular massage just isn’t enough anymore, I highly recommend Myodetox. Maybe it will just change your life to.

 

Toronto Gets Soul

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 10.53.03 AM.pngSoul Cycle has been a spinning phenomenon in New York for years, and now the six is getting their very own Soul Cycle this week on King St. West. I had a chance to check out this high intensity low impact workout, and had to share my experience.

If you follow me you know two things, 1) I love working out and fitness and 2) I have a new found love for spin classes. I always used to find them repetitive and boring, but recently my opinion has changed. And as you will find out if you keep reading, there is nothing boring about Soul Cycle.

Ok so you have heard about this Soul Cycle everyone is speaking of, but what is it? Basically it is a 45 minute spin class that combines fat burning cardio, a full body workout (arm weight track included), and choreography that forces your core to stay engaged all class long. Spinning and dancing all at once, sounds fun right?

My first impression was that they have really put thought and effort into their set up. The moment I stepped into the candle lit room I was impressed with the ambiance.

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We were told by our instructor Jenna to put our cell phones away and get ready to let loose. I loved this idea because it really forced me to focus on my mind and body for the full workout as oppose to worrying about work calls and emails.

As soon as the first song started, I found myself singing and spinning along to the beat. The class combined springs, hills, and heavy legs ensuring that I was working different muscles and getting my heart rate up.

What I really loved was the added choreography of arm pulls and pushes. They distracted me from how much my legs were burning from pushing myself harder each song.

About five songs into the class and a 10 sprints later, we were told to pick up the weights for the arm track. Although I was lifting 3 pound weights it was such an intense workout. For an entire 6 minutes you have your arms up and out doing all exercises from bicep curls to triceps, my arms were definitely burning.

Alas all good things must come to an end. The last track was us letting go of all of our stress and anxiety and instead focusing on our breathing until the last note of the last song.

I really loved the class from start to finish. From the music, to the workout, to the amazing instructor the entire workout was amazing. Speaking of workout, despite the low intensity of the spin class, I was drenched in sweat walking out.

Now mind you, I may be a little biased, because throughout the entire class I felt like I was cheating on the Spokehaus. Spokehaus was the first spin class I fell in love with, the first spin class I got my groove on at, the first spin class I learned figure eights. I love washing my face down with their cold Eucalyptus towel after a hard ride on the bike.

Both of these studios are fun, hard, and a workout party and I would recommend trying both of them out!

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Also make sure to come back and check out my blog, because I will be sharing some of my fav Toronto workouts. As they say Summer bodies are made in the winter, and we don’t have much winter left!

xo

Mia

 

Spin in Your Skin

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I hate my jiggly arm fat. I hate my wide shoulders. I hate my thunder thighs from years of professional sports. I hate that my six pack is forever hiding under layers of skin. Just like most people in this world, I have my insecurities, my doubts, my concerns, and working in a profession where your physical appearance is an important element, it just puts all those insecurities under a microscope.

I go to the gym at least 4 times a week, I try and eat healthy but my chocolate addiction sometimes gets in the way of that. Yet no matter what I do, or diet I try, or work out trend I kill myself at, I am forever a size 6.

A few days ago I was invited to partake in Spin in Your Skin. An event put on by Spokehaus spin studio and Knixwear in support of CAMH. For every woman that took part in this spin class, Knixwear would donate a sports bra to women who have been affected by abuse and mental illness. The catch, you had to spin in a sports bra and boy “shorts” and I use the term shorts very lightly.

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I was a little nervous to say the least. I mean it is rare you will find a picture of me in a bathing suit at the beach let alone at a fitness class in downtown Toronto wearing just my underwear, but it was for a good cause and I love the Spokehaus classes so I decided to give it a try.

When we got there, we were given some bright body paint and told to write one word that we were hoping to get rid of this year, one word we would sweat off and out of our lives in this class. My word was self-doubt. For so many years I had doubted myself and my abilities. Doubted whether I was a good enough tennis player to get a scholarship, doubted if I was a good enough journalist to land a job. While I doubted myself, it seemed the world was showing me signs to stop all along since I did land a full NCAA division 1 scholarship, and since I work for a national sports league as a lead reporter. Today was the day that I was finally going to start believing in myself like the rest of the world already seemed to.

It was incredible to walk into the class with 30 other women, all with body paint, all with their words. A lot of “insecurities” written, and “fear” a few other “self-doubts” along with mine. Before the class started we had a very special guest of honour talk to us. Elly Mayday is a model and a public speaker. She isn’t your typical model, she has a full, beautiful figure. As she started to share her story, her voice started to break. Recalling the time, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and had to fight for her life. Recalling how it had come back and she had to battle this terrible disease again. Telling us that despite what she had gone through, she loves and embraces every scare, every imperfection. It was in this moment that I realized it is my imperfections that make me who I am, that make me unique, that make me perfect in my very own imperfect way so thank you Elly for that lesson.

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The class was led by Melissa, who worked us hard for 45 minutes. Continuing to inspire us throughout the entire class, pushing me to peddle faster and work harder than I had ever worked before because I was strong and I was capable. When the class came to an end I looked down at my arm, and the word self-doubt was indeed gone, replaced by a messy paint circle of blues and purples.

As the class ended and I looked around at everyone it was an incredible realization. Everyone was a different shape, a different size, different fitness level, all one mission. To learn to accept themselves, appreciate themselves, and love themselves for exactly who they are. It was in that moment that I realized it was truly time to shed the self-doubt, not just in the form of the writing on my arm, but in how I feel about myself.

I realized it is ok to sneak a chocolate when it isn’t cheat day, do have a few extra pounds, to not have perfectly white teeth or curled hair. What is most important is that I am healthy, and take care of myself. That I am happy and honour myself. That I am loved, and that I love myself.

Life isn’t measured by the number on the scale, but rather by your experiences, your moments, your happiness. Life is measured by how loud you laugh, how big you smile, and how much you feel.

To think, it took just one simple spin class in my undies to realize this life lesson! You are beautiful, you are special, you are unique, you are loved and don’t you ever forget that

Xo

Mia