Thursday, December 5, 2013

Resolution 2014 ~ For YOUR Health!

Have you thought about your fitness goals for 2014 yet?  

Here are my top three bits of advice to move forward and really commit to your health in 2014 and beyond....

1.  Set goals now.  I find that when I have a tangible goal it works.  Goals can be as simple as 'I want to be able to hold a perfect plank for 2 mins' or less simple, but more ambitious:  'I want to run a half marathon.'  The second step after defining a goal is to set a timeline for this to happen.  If its an event, its often easier.  Then set-up a training regimen and schedule to follow.  Other goals, like 'I want to lose 10 pounds' become less "empty" if defined; so better to set a realistic date for these as well.   Like 'I will lose this weight before my brother's wedding on July 5th';  then you can effectively work backwards from there and establish a program to meet (or even beat!) your goal.  I recommend setting 3 realistic fitness goals before each new year and writing them down. Mine are:  
-  Complete a 2 day century + bike ride
-  Loose that 10 pounds by July 4th  
-  To do at least 1 unasssisted full pull-up

2. Commit already!  After you write them down, stick them in place you see them every day. I prefer a spot next to my desktop computer above the monitor.  That way when I'm 'jonesing' for another snack I have another obstacle;-)  Another good tactic is to tell your friends and family (if your comfortable).  I find its tougher to get derailed (i.e. be lazy) if others are watching you.  Perhaps by doing this you will inspire them as well! Having a workout buddy works well if you are one of the many folks that are not as self-motivating when it comes to exercise.  I find that the partner/buddy teaming works great for those who are new to having an established regular regimen, or are getting back in shape after a period of less activity (for whatever reason).  Pick a partner that has similar goals and time constraints.  Then set up a schedule and sync your calendars!

3. Don't beat yourself up.  I'm always reminded of my yoga instructor's saying:  'Be gentle with yourself'.  I like that mantra.  In most physical endeavors, if you are too overzealous there is a great risk of either injury or serious stress; which we all know can lead to more serious complications and illnesses.  So please 'listen to your body'.  However, pushing yourself a bit harder each time your workout is necessary.  For example:  I row on the rowing machine 800 meters to warm up before strength training, each time I try to beat my previous time.  It works and keeps me motivated and energized.  This along with having a solid, realistic program aimed at achieving a goal will get you there.  Jumping back into running and opting for an aggressive schedule like 5 runs a week in a month before a marathon will likely not get you there.  
Likewise, being too restrictive is detrimental.  For instance, if you slip on your healthy eating plan (I hate the word diet),  acknowledge it; say you ca do better and move on! You'll do better taking it day by day. I've also learned that if you really, really lust after something; say... chocolate cake; make it a part of your weekly indulgence and eat a healthy portion (i.e.small slice).  

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays!  Celebrate your 2013 accomplishments and remember:  Another day is another chance to be healthy!   


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Get Ready to SHRED IT!

Ski Conditioning!

Join us for the next class:  Saturday November 16th @ 8 AM for a comprehensive ski conditioning workout featuring:

+  Warm-up exercises (BYO coffee & water) 
+  Core muscle strengthening routines using resistance and body weight
+  Isolation exercises to help improve your balance
+  Agility challenges 
+  Endurance drills 
+  Proper stretching techniques and tips for post slope recovery

Meet in the Phinney Neighborhood Center's lower parking lot.  
Please plan to be outdoors, but we'll head inside if pouring rain.  

Easy registration:  prior to your first class simply sign up via Fresh Air Fitness then print & sign the waiver.   

Come to all six sessions for only $75 + tax (best deal!) 
Or $15 per class ($16.42 with tax)
Payment methods accepted: cash, check, or online via pay-pal 

*  Please bring:  water, mats, hand weights, and ski poles (optional).  There will be limited loaner equipment available on a first come, first served basis.  

You need not be a skier or snowboarder to get the benefits of this class.  This is for anyone wanting to strengthen their large muscle groups, gain power, improve stamina, and have fun while getting a great workout outdoors.  
Come out and play! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running into Fall!

Happy first day of Autumn!
I'm back up and running again, beginning with today's Oktoberfest 5K. I admit after yesterday's training run around Lake Union (about 10 miles) I am feeling worked (as in sore). with any luck I will be fully recovered and ready for a slow and steady trot next week in Quilcene at the Oyster Half Marathon. Actually I'm more excited about the scenery, time with friends, and of course the after party. My personal performance is secondary. However that's not how I've felt about endurance challenges in the past. I've always been more of a competitor; though mostly with myself and therefore have pushed hard to reach new distance goals. Now I focus more on safe, effective goals; incorporating more variety in how I exercise and less running time. I'm happy with the half marathon distance and think it works for me personally. Especially since I'm more interested in exploring other challenging activities such as long distance bike touring.

Fall, being the season change means time to change my routine at the gym and think more about winter offerings for personal training and something I have always wanted to try teaching: ski conditioning! 


NOW OFFERING: Fall Personal & Small Group Training!  Sessions begin Monday October 14th and end the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 27th.   
*Winter sessions will begin the week after new year's day. 

I have an online sign-up site set up, so please email me and I'll give you the link.  
Punch cards will be available for purchase soon. Stay tuned!

West Seattle ride. Photo by SP

After a delayed 5 minute start!  Photo by SP

Ski-Core! The latest Fit Studio AB offering; featuring proven ski-conditioning drills that incorporate balance, agility, and strength challenges that are sure to prepare you for the slopes!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Post Triathlon Bliss

I did it!  Last Sunday was my very first ever triathlon (the Sea-fair Sprint).  I'm satisfied to have placed in the the top 50% for my age group.  Honestly, I was overjoyed just to make it through a half mile of open water swimming without drowning.  A small feat for some, but without much training and no real swimming lessons ever in my life nor experience in open water it was one of the toughest thing I've done to date.  I would argue that running the 50K a few years back was indeed more draining and a much harder endurance feat (especially for the legs), but the 'fear factor' of open water swimming was an uncomfortable mental hurdle for me.  
waiting to swim at 7:35am...the toughest part!
Practice, practice, practice....really the formula for training for these things is so simple.  Go swim in the lake then run or bike after!  It is much easier when you have a partner and a friend that are in the same boat (training for a tri too).  If it weren't for them, and my slick new wet-suit, I would not have been able to overcome my discomfort of swimming for sport/ competition. Admittedly,  I swam like a turtle; relaxed, slow and steady, careful to make way for the fast heat coming up behind me (fearful of getting kicked or punched).  Getting out of the water was the best part of the race.  Then, as I flew past seemingly hundreds of riders on my bike, I felt like an athlete again.  In fact I think I was only passed by five guys (all big, athletic types); definitely cycling is my strong suit.  
last mile of the run
Running after riding was a bit weird.  My legs were quite stiff and I was starting to get fatigued a bit, but the adrenaline was still pumping and I felt amazing all the way to the last mile, not pushing it too hard until I was on the very last half mile, then sprinted to the finish line; feeling strong!
I highly recommend trying a triathlon.  I will continue to do them once a year or so as sort of fitness test, trying to always beat m last time.  The Seafair,  Danskin, and Escape the Rock are great for beginners.  A big thanks to both my dear friend, Aeron Hansen; the owner of the studio that I occasionally train in, and my sweet, super fit and loving boyfriend, Sean who encouraged and motivated me by training alongside (especially the lake swimming).  They both rock and I'm happy to report also finished strong in the race! 
all triathletes are winners!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Training

Come out, come out...wherever you are and get moving!  
'slopez' loop ride

Join me Saturday, April 13th at 8:30 am for a *Special triathlon training workshop* featuring three 25 minute segments. This is a great was to kick-off your training regimen and get on track to compete for that endurance summer event (or if you just want a fun challenge).  Featuring:
- Plyometrics 101: Learn how to build power & strengthen your joints. Proper form and safety will be emphasized along with getting a killer cardio workout!

- Enduro-Core: Build endurance by strengthening your power center- your core! Learn new fun core exercises to keep stable and combat fatigue.

- Restoration: Find out how best to stretch your muscles, how to perform myo-fascial release techniques, plus how long and when to implement them.

The focus will be on endurance event & triathlon training; as I just signed up for the Sea-Fair in July!!! Suggested donation $10. Space is limited so please SIGN-UP HERE now (or email me)!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Yo! What up?  This is 'Dre'!  I'm super stoked to announce that there will be an open house happening on Saturday, March 23rd from 10-noon.  This is the place I've been training folks...i.e. a boutique training studio!  This new, 'neato' back-yard gym in the heart of Ballard is owned and operated by my friend and fellow fitness junkie + guru, Aeron Hansen.  She is an amazing, gracious, AND fit-as-a fiddle mom. Together we are co-hosting and invite you to stop by.  Come check out the studio and find out more about what we have in store for our upcoming spring & summer group workshops. 
Throughout the two hours I will be demonstrating some of my favorite concepts in the fitness industry such as:  tabata, and H.I.I.T., the basics of how to use the TRX system, and myo-fascial release techniques. Volunteer participation is welcome, but not required. Everyone is welcome to observe, enjoy some snacks, and enter to win our drawing for some surprise prizes. Please come on down if you're curious, want to learn a thing or two, or if you are all fired up to get in shape this spring and looking for some new ideas.  We look forward to see you there!  

*Link here for a map and look for the gate off the alley to enter.

Here is a snippet of our current offerings....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

quick raps on the haps

Okay...I know its mid 'Febreweary', but get off your arse!  Come out to my Ski-Con workshop THIS SATURDAY @ 9AM at your friendly neighborhood backyard fitness studio.  This week we will be focusing on agility and working the core and glutes (butt) simultaneously. Doesn't that sound fun?  Please sign-up online prior to class.  First timers are free.
Back country in the Wallowas
Another hot option to beat the mid-winter blues:  Fresh Air Fitness Bootcamps- every Tuesday and Thursday at 6AM.  C'mon all you early birdies!  This is a great group of dedicated (mostly gals) that meet at Phinney Neighborhood Center (switching to Greenlake in April).  The first class is complimentary.  I am currently a substitute teacher in training for FAF and would love to see some familiar faces.  We guarantee good times and amazing metabolic results. 
COMING SOON:  Open Studio at Aeron Hansen's fabulous fitness boutique.  I'm very excited to be a part of this special spring event. We will be showcasing our equipment and talent for personal training and group fitness instruction. If you are considering personal training of even if your just curious, please join us.  There will be hands-on group fitness demos, complimentary refreshments, prizes, and more!  So mark your calendars for the morning of March 23rd so you don't miss out.  More details coming soon!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

the run must go on!

I'm a bit bummed that I will not be participating in the Birch Bay Half Marathon tomorrow.  I was looking forward to a lovely trek around the northern coast in mostly sunny 45 degree Fahrenheit weather.  Alas, my friend, super-runner woman and would-be ride up there (its a 3-hour haul) has been given doctor's orders not to run.  These things happen.  

I feel worse for her due to her injuries and the fact that she loves running more than I do.  In lieu of not being bound for Blaine, I am instead doing my own 'home skillet half' (here in Seattle) which will consist of a loop from Ballard on the Burke-Gilman through Fremont, around Lake Union clockwise and back via the North ship canal trail, through Fisherman's terminal and back over the locks. That should be close to 13+ miles.  No aid stations though, so I'll have to pack some vittles...& beer will follow;-)
I'm stoked!  

Home Skillet Half marathon route (more or less)
In prep, today I am taking it relatively easy and drinking lots of water.  I've run this distance and further several times though not recently.  So I will need to 'listen' to my body.  

After a great yoga class this morning at my favorite local studio, Aditi (balance focused) I am again reminded how beneficial deep stretching and proper breathing is for all of us; at any age and fitness level. There are many benefits to yoga.  My primary motivation for practicing  is to work inward and 'slow myself down'.  This proves to be challenging for me at times, since I am one of those 'kinetic' types...always on the go-go-go and tending to over plan.   Yoga helps me regain focus and a deeper sense of peace and I am continuously grateful for it. So props to Aditi, definitely check them out if you have the opportunity.  

This spring, along with a spring training workshop (targeted at blasting your butt and love-handles), I will be offering a special session on proper stretching and myofascial (MFR) release techniques with foam rollers and rubber stay tuned!  
These special events will be listed online and take place at a new boutique studio here in Ballard. This is where I teach Ski-Conditioning: two more sessions left!  For those that want to sign-up. No need to be a skier, and first-timers are always free!  
 Peace & Namaste:-)
dancin' Shiva @ Rabbit Lake in Alaska

Sunday, February 3, 2013

X marks the spot

Cross-training I've come to believe is the key to injury and boredom prevention.  Even the disciplined, hard-core gym goers need to mix it up.  Endurance athletes should especially take note.  As a long distance runner, cyclist, and Nordic skier I have  developed a strong lower body over the years, but not by doing these activities alone have I felt my strength and stability increase.  
Yard sale at Trillium Lake near Mt. Hood
Starting a resistance exercised-based cross training routine is fairly simple and effective.  Take a runner for example; after a period of regular, safe (injury-free)  running training adaptation occurs.  This is an excellent time to build on the base of those running muscles.  A good sport-specific routine would benefit most regular runners.  My current top five recommendations for those who love to run and want to keep running are:  

1.  One leg dead-lifts 
with a single dumbbell.  This not only gains you core stability, it works to correct balance inconsistencies, and strengthens the hamstrings, gluts, and lower back more effectively by isolating each side (whether you are right dominant or left). 
2.  Plyometric lunges
Not only are these fast-paced jumping lunges a great way to get the heart rate up (try them as a tabata!) the move strengthens the needs and gets the fast twitch (type 2) muscle fibers firing which is especially beneficial to runners that wish to  increase speed. 
3.  Core work
Its no surprise that core strength is essential to running posture and to everyday life.  By effectively activating the abdominal muscles, the back, hips, and head alignment will improve.  
4.  Bridge
One of my faves since it opens up a plane (the frontal) that often is pulled in the opposite direction (due to gravity).  Also it gets the glutes and hip flexors, the big gun that propel you forward and stabilize when running. 
5. Alphabet Plank
Gotta love that fit ball!  So good for so many fun moves.  This one really gets me. I love doing it after a run, just before foam rolling.   

One of the best tid-bits of advice I can give anyone who feels stagnant in their exercise 'routine' is to simply try something new.  If there is a specific goal, think of ways you can achieve it with a different activity; for example, if running is getting boring (I'm there now!) but you want to keep up the caloric burn go drop in for a spin class or two for a quick cardio blast, or jog/ bike up hills for intervals. 

If your knees and legs need a break, perhaps a pilates class or yoga is an option.  As for me, my 'MO' lately has been a fun melange of bike commuting (as I am still car-less), running with my BAR group, and yoga at Aditi  This keeps me occupied during the week and weekends I don't have skiing or a long ride/ run in the calendar.

 'Team B' Whidbey Island ride
Winter, particularly February; after the resolution period begins to wain is a tough time for most to stay motivated.  Focus on letting yourself have fun and feel privileged that you have the opportunity to exercise.  I know I do.  Whether finding motivation through social or group activity participation, seeking solace and an endurance challenge with a new running loop, or finding restoration through yoga practice; get out there and try something new AND start a cross training program you can build on.  I guarantee it will improve your fitness level, enhance weight loss, and help prevent injury.  Oh...and don't forget to stretch! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration of Fit Studio AB

Welcome to my virtual gym!  
Besides being a garden designer with tendencies to morph into more of a studio artist, I’m also very much an outdoor enthusiast that thoroughly enjoys the fitness challenges of endurance activities such as long distance cycling, ultra-trail running, and all types of snow skiing.   
Since moving to Seattle over ten years ago I have successfully completed training programs and finished strong in several local cycling and running events.  After being laid off from a design firm back in 2009 and subsequently enduring a break-up, I found myself finding refuge in long lonely runs, hikes, or even just spending time working out and practicing yoga at my neighborhood gym.  It was then I really felt the power of exercise to heal emotional wounds, dissolve stress, and build confidence.  Then it dawned on me that I had felt this way before.  When I was thirteen I underwent major reconstructive spine surgery to correct my severe scoliosis.  Four of my thoracic vertebrae were reset and fused.  To this day I feel very fortunate that I am now, after nearly twenty-five years feeling strong & fit. 
I didn’t always feel this way however.  I grew up as a teenager extremely self conscious (as most girls are), compound that with being introverted, and having to wear a back brace.  Suffice to say I could not participate in any sports of any kind and by the time I was out of the brace I didn't want to try to 'catch up' physically so I was more of less sedentary until I went to college.  That is something that typically surprises people to learn; then sometime I show them the scar.  I suppose this is what in essence has made me ‘me.’  I grew up feeling very bashful and ultra body conscious and went through a long period of complete immobility….all of which has rendered me stronger both in character and body in the end (I believe).  I never take it for granted- the ability to move, to work your body, to feel healthy.  Every day we get that chance! 
After the positive experience of being a personal trainer at the Ballard Health Club, I now look forward to branching out to independently teach and encouraging others to set healthy goals, train efficiently, and prevent injury so that they may enjoy the rewarding experience of outdoor adventure as much as I do.  

I'm happy to announce that I am currently team teach boot-camp group fitness classes at the Phinney neighborhood association (community center) via Fresh Air Fitness and will be once again offering four more ski-conditioning workshops at this local boutique studio in Ballard.  Come on out if you're curious!  The first class is always complimentary.  
In addition to group fitness I will begin individual personal training sessions beginning in February.  Please feel free to contact me for more information.  

For more details and upcoming haps and new classes…stay tuned!  Or if you have a great idea for a class or group workshop, please drop me a message, or come on out and try a casual fun run every Wednesday night with the Ballard AreaRunners (aka BAR!)