I love weekends, as do most people, but I love how healthy I get on the weekends. I get to spend extra time exercising, taking my time to make or grab healthy meals, spending quality time with girlfriends & my husband, and getting extra rest. Last weekend was especially nice with 3-days off for President’s Day.
On Saturday, I taught 3 classes at Xtend Barre Mission Viejo and got the most wonderful endorphin high from teaching. I LOVE being a fitness instructor! 3 hours of teaching is pretty exhausting and I start to fumble/mix up my words by the 3rd class, “bring your knee to your seat” instead of “ bring your heel to your seat”. But regardless of how tired I am, I get energy from the students challenging themselves, feeling beautiful and smiling after a hard workout.
And who wouldn’t love working out in a studio like this?
Bowl of Heaven
From the Bowl of Heaven Website . . . . .
World famous açaí bowls. Voted best frozen treat by reader’s choice poll at Patch news! Each bowl is loaded with anti-oxidants, highly nutritious, and delicious fruits. Every Bowl of Heaven™ is custom made with FRESH, FROZEN, and EXOTIC SUPER-FRUITS.
On Saturday, we also got to meet the owner of the shop and he explained the whole menu and why acai bowls are so good for your body. I decided to get Dan’s Peanut Butter Bowl because it had more umph (exhausted after the 3 classes) with acai, bananas, strawberries, natural peanut butter, chocolate almond milk, and their signature Gac superfruit blend. Then its topped with more bananas, organic granola, and honey. Dan’s Peanut Butter Bowl was delicious!!!! I’ve been craving another one it was so good. Only downside to Bowl of Heaven is the price, $6.50-$7.00 for a regular bowl or $9.00 for a large. The treat is well worth it though!
Bowl of Heaven in RSM also promotes community wellness and has 30-day challenges to not only lose weight but to improve your health from the inside out. Check out this sample of 5-lbs of fat. Ewwww, so gross!!!
The number on the scale doesn’t always reflect how healthy you are. You could be “skinny fat” or “thick & fit”. It’s more important to have a healthy body composition than a lower number on the scale. And muscle weighs more than fat! After 4 months of taking barre classes, I lost about 4 inches off my body but my weight didn’t change. I’ll take the smaller size any day!
UC Irvine Gym & Foam Rolling
On Sunday I taught a yoga class and then took the rest of the day off from exercise. On Monday, I got up early to enjoy a long workout session a the UCI rec center.
Got in a good sweat with 50 minutes on the elliptical, 5.76 miles, burned 630 calories.
Ended my workout with some abs and a very important foam rolling session with these 3 rolls – Quadriceps, IT band, and Piriformis
And when I got home, the UPS guy delivered our Ravens Championship Gear!!!!
Do you foam roll?
What’s your favorite foam rolling move?
Ever fall off?
Are you healthier on the weekends or weekdays??
Hi! I’m finally back to blogging! My last post in November was a little rough about my knee injury and I didn’t want to continue complaining about my knee or modified workouts in my blog so I decided to take a little break. Good news though! My knee has taken a turn for the better!
Having a partially torn quad tendon has been frustrating. Surgery isn’t recommended for a partial tear because it’s a very invasive surgery with a long recovery time. Time and rest are the way to healing. With me being a fitness fanatic and instructor, rest wasn’t easy!!! After 6 months of rest, modified workouts, and physical therapy, I’m feeling better with minimal pain during & post workout. And to celebrate my come-back, I’m teaching Piloxing this Monday!! Wahoo! Get ready girls!
I’ve learned my lesson about having a balanced workout routine and allowing for rest days. I’m going to listen to my body!
Now that I’m back to blogging. . . .
Here’s what happened in the past two and a half months:
Christmas at Saddleback Church:
Jacuzzi Christmas Party:
New Years Eve in Corona del Mar:
Knee Recovery Workouts
One of the key workouts that helped me during my knee recovery was swimming. But, as the warm weather of the summer and fall disappeared with the daylight, I didn’t enjoy swimming outdoors when the temp dropped below 70 degrees. Yeah, I’m SoCal whimp. So, to keep up my modified workouts and strengthen my knee carefully, I have spent many nights at the UCI gym doing elliptical workouts (4-5 miles) and TRX workouts.
Yoga has also been a great help with my knee. I’m able to move slowly in and out of poses with control, and gain strength with my own body weight.
Hiking and walking has also been fun. I love being outdoors and feeling the sun on my skin.
One of my favorite hikes was when Mike and I went out on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the University Hills. The day was beautiful!
But, all of a sudden, the winds picked up and a nasty storm cloud rolled in.
At this point of the walk/hike, we were about 2 miles from home so we started to quickly walk back home. We made it about 1 mile when the rain and wind hit HARD and we got absolutely drenched!
It was hilarious though. . . .we couldn’t stop laughing as we jogged all the way home in complete shock at how the weather turned so quickly.
Other hiking days were as beautiful as this (soaking in the sun with my new BIC Band):
Teaching at Xtend Barre
Even though I haven’t been able to take a barre class in about 6 months, I didn’t stop teaching it. To protect my knee, I modified my teaching style to be more interactive with the students and less demonstrative. Plus, we added a couple new instructors to team so I was able to reduce my classes to 2-4 classes per week.
Here are some fun photos of me and my Xtend Barre friends:
Speaking of workout gear. . . . this Christmas my family and friends hooked me up with new gear and generous gift cards!
Love my new tote bag from Lululemon:
And I got a few more BIC Bands. Love them!!
AND. . . . . we had a blast celebrating our RAVENS Super Bowl win!!!
Finally caught you up to this week. . . . had a fabulous Valentine’s Day with my Love:
I’m excited to be back to blogging!
Have you been thru a long injury recovery? What helped you get thru the frustrating times?
What’s your favorite workout gear brand??
Good news. . . .I’m almost done with rest & physical therapy on my knee! It’s been an interesting 5 weeks so far with lots physical and mental battles. Not going to lie, it’s been tough on me. My first battle was fighting the urge to exercise. I went from 40 hours of exercise per month (teaching/taking classes & working out) to about 4 hours per week of extremely modified exercise. I am very thankful I can do modified workouts with Pilates and swimming, but I still long for that intense burn in the muscles, sweat dripping down my face, and a heart pumping workout.
I’ve also been impacted physically with quad muscle atrophy. I can grab a wad of skin on my thigh where my quads used to be! It’s tough seeing my toned muscles, that I worked so hard for, just fade away. I have to remember, this is just temporary, they will come back. . . . . . the flip side (literally) is that my hamstrings and glutes are much stronger now.
The other mental battle I faced was discouragement. I know my knee getting better because I can walk down stairs without wincing in pain, but I still have pain. I question, why does it still hurt? Will the healing take longer than 6 weeks? Will it ever heal? The physical therapist said the important thing is that I don’t have sharp pain any more and the dull, achy pain will diminish over time. I have to keep reminding myself that this is just a temporary setback in my life and fitness career, and that I will learn from the injury and come out better in the end. Have FAITH!
The Rest of October. . . . .
I finally got my hard-earned “free” Lorna Jane outfit from the Xtend Barre challenge! LOVE it!!
The tank hangs well on my body and the tights are snug but very flexible. My favorite part about the outfit is the sports bra. I like the thin straps, X back, and best of all, the padded PUSH UP cups. Never thought I’d wear a push-up bra to workout in! I liked it so much I went and bought a second bra!
Swimming, lots of swimming
Since swimming gives me the best workout while I’m resting my knee, I’ve been going about 3 times per week. I either meet with my friend Sam for a swim or go to this beautiful pool at the Anteater Rec Center (ARC) on UC Irvine’s campus:
These were 2 different Sunday afternoons and almost had the whole pool to myself. . . when I started that is. About half way into my workouts, the lanes filled up with minimum 2 people per lane.
There’s something about this pool that makes me want to keep swimming and swimming, but I can’t figure out why. Is it the super clean water? Lots of lanes? Competition with other swimmers? I mean. . . . I would never compete with the girl/guy next to me to see who can get to the wall first. Haha, you can take the girl out of competition, but you can’t take the competition out of the girl!
This fall my husband coached football at Mater Dei High School and I got to watch a lot of games. Friday nights were the varsity football games and Saturday mornings were the freshman games, which he coached. So proud of him for leading his team to a 9-1 season!
New Hair Style
Non-fitness related, but a big change for me. . . .I chopped my hair off! I love it!
Halloween at Xtend Barre
My friend Sarah, aka SkinnyRunner, and I were the only 2 that dressed up for Xtend Barre class on Halloween, but we had fun and looked cute!
And, my catwoman costume was so good, I got this reaction out of my cat. . . . HAHAHAHA!!!!
What was the best costume you saw this Halloween?
I thought the Kardashian group had the most elaborate and well-coordinated outfits (source)
It’s been about a week since I learned about my knee injury and got the order to rest. My initial reaction was frustration with “I can’t do this, I can’t do that. . . What am I going to do?. . . I’m going to get so out of shape!” I love exercising and being told not to was a huge disappointment.
But, I’m happy to say I have a new frame of mind. Like my aunt told me, “when one door closes, another door opens.” I also believe that everything happens for a reason and God has a better plan for me. I don’t understand why I’m side lined with an injury, but I’m trust that I will come out better in the end.
There are many different ways to exercise and a small injury or physical limitation shouldn’t stop you completely. With your doctor or therapist’s permission, you can find something that works for you. For me, I have to avoid weight-bearing knee bends like squats or lunges, and no fast movements with knee bends like running or biking. That sure cuts out a lot of classes and cardio for me! I can however, bear weight on my leg with a straight or slightly bent leg so I can still do balance exercises. I can also do upper body and core work all day long.
The positive outlook. . . I now have the opportunity to focus on other forms of fitness while rehabbing my knee.
Refocus on Pilates
After getting certified to teach mat Pilates, I got so caught up in training for Xtend Barre that I stopped practicing Pilates. Pilates is the foundation of Xtend Barre and I still teach it in my classes, but I let my attention slip away from the core principles. Now is my opportunity to refocus of Pilates to help myself get better, deepen my own practice, and to improve my teaching skills.
I’m so thankful I can still do Pilates, it’s one of the best forms of exercise to rehab your body. My favorite Pilates classes are on PilatesAnytime.com so I renewed my membership for only $18/month for unlimited online Pilates classes.
This week I did Courtney Miller’s mat class and LOVED IT! Courtney is my friend from Xtend Barre who trained me to teach Xtend Barre and she is one of my favorite instructors. Her classes are always challenging with a good flow of exercises and pace, but what sets her apart from other instructors is her ability to help you get deeper into the pose or exercise. As you work through each exercise, she explains what you should be feeling, which muscles should be working, the proper body alignment and how to bring your breath into the movement.
Here are some of my favorite exercises from the class:
Bottoms Up with Straight Leg Lifts – burning booty! From a strong bridge, you send one leg straight up. Keeping your hips elevated, lower the straight leg with a flexed foot down to about 6 inches off the floor and then briskly return the straight leg up with a pointed toe. The pace is quick but controlled. 8 reps each leg.
Pilates Teaser – love this one, very challenging to hold your balance while lowering and lifting your legs. It’s all about control.
Side Leg Series in a Side Plank – The side leg series is usually done lying on your side on the mat. You do leg lifts, leg kicks forward and back, and leg circles. But, Courtney combined it with a side plank, which amped up the intensity. Not only was my hip feeling the burn but also my obliques and shoulder.
After the 50 minute workout, I felt stronger, refreshed, and more balanced. In regards to my knee, I could do all of the exercises but one so I’m definitely doing this workout again! Thanks Courtney & PilatesAnytime!
Cardio Workout – Swimming
Cardio was the biggest puzzle for me. How can I get my heart rate up without using my legs? Swim! With modifications of course. This week I did a swim workout with my friend Sam and for the most part I was pain-free. And I got my heart rate up!
The 2 modifications for swimming are a lightened kick and no pushing off the wall after a flip turn. I also realized that if I focus my attention on my butt to power the movement, instead of the quads, I have a smoother stroke. Felt like the more efficient way to kick. Another way to avoid over kicking is to use a pull buoy between your thighs. My workout was alternating 100s with and without the buoy for 1200 total yards.
And a big thanks to my friend Sam for working out with me!
Have you discovered a new type of fitness because of an injury or set back?
Unfortunately, I got some worse news about my knee injury. The MRI showed that I’ve partially torn my quadricep tendon.
Basically, my quad tendon looks like a frayed rope and on the MRI image, the tendon shows as white and black lines. A healthy tendon should be completely black. This isn’t my MRI photo, but similar to what mine looked like: (black arrows pointing to the quad tendon)
Tendons are some of the most difficult areas of our body to heal because they get minimal blood supply. Blood brings the healing agents in, so no blood = longer recovery. At first my doctor and physical therapists thought I strained the tendon and it was just irritated. But, with actual tears I have a completely different game plan for recovery.
This has got to be the hardest thing for me. Exercise is a huge part of my life and one of my favorite things to do. And I’m a fitness instructor! I love teaching high intensity classes and getting down with the students. UGH!!!! No more running, biking, or taking classes for me. I’m now limited to light & restorative yoga, Pilates, and swimming with a pull buoy between my legs. I also cut out teaching Piloxing (so sad!), but I’m going to try to continue teaching barre, yoga & Pilates. In those classes I do minimal demonstration and mostly instruct with verbal cues and hands on guidance. One of my students actually told me this weekend that she likes that method of teaching better. We’ll see how it goes. If I’m still in pain, I’ll stop teaching completely.
6 more weeks of Physical Therapy (minimum)
While I was waiting on my MRI results I went to 6 PT sessions and actually saw some improvement with knee pain. Now I’m scheduled for 6 more weeks (12 sessions). I’m also very thankful for the awesome PT facility I go to, ProSport in Newport Beach. They have very knowledgable therapists who know how to treat athletes and help them get back to their sport. I don’t get a wussy, barely-do-anything PT session. I feel refreshed and challenged after each session. I was actually sore after Friday’s PT session! My typical PT routine is heat, deep tissue massage, stretching, exercises to strengthen my hamstrings & glutes, foam rolling and electrical muscle stimulation while icing.
Kinesiology “KT” Tape
On Friday, the therapists also put Kinesiology “KT” tape on my quad & knee:
Did you see the KT tape on the Olympic athletes this summer?
Image Source (Women Talk Sports)
Here’s a great article about KT tape and how it works from Fiterature blog.
When they first put the KT tape on my knee, I was skeptical that it was going to work. I did my normal PT exercises and it felt better than normal, but I still assumed that’s because my knee is getting better. Then, while I was doing side steps with the theraband, the KT tape peeled off my knee and pain instantly flooded my knee. Whoa, it WAS working! They put on another piece of KT tape after wiping down my leg with more alcohol (too much lotion on my leg) and added more sticky spray to help the tape stick. This time the tape stuck and after 3 days of PT exercises and showering, the tape is still there.
The KT tape assists my quad tendon by pulling my leg back to straight and prevents my knee from bending too far. Even going down stairs feel better. The only tough part is not being able to sit in a chair with my leg at 90 degrees. And, it’s not the most fashionable accessory. When I first told my mom she said, “cool, does it help? should be interesting how you dress around it.” Haha, mom is always looking out for me! (Thanks Mom!)
Maybe I should get the tape in pink:
Have you tried KT Tape?
I’ve learned a big lesson recently about the importance of recovery days and recovery workouts.
After 4 months of intense training, teaching, and working out, my knee pain has become so bad I can barely walk downstairs without wincing in great pain. I’ve had knee pain while exercising for over a year but the pain was tolerable and I could manage it by icing and taking Advil after workouts. But, slowly the pain progressed to a constant painful ache while sitting and sharp pain while bending my knee and supporting my weight. Plies were killing me.
My husband finally convinced me to go see a doctor and I found out I have Quadricep Tendonosis. It’s an overuse injury that has caused the quadricep tendon, which connects the quadricep muscle to the patella (kneecap), to become irritated, painful and weak. Any time I flex my quads while walking, running, squating, lifting up my leg, sitting, standing, etc, I have pain above my knee.
How did it happen?
From www.concordortho.com. . . . ..
“There are extrinsic (outside) factors that are linked with overuse tendon injuries of the knee. These include inappropriate footwear, training errors (frequency, intensity, duration), and surface or ground (hard surface, cement) being used for the sport or event (such as running). Training errors are summed up by the rule of toos. This refers to training too much, too far, too fast, or too long. Advancing the training schedule forward too quickly is a major cause of quadriceps tendonitis.
Intrinsic (internal) factors such as age, flexibility, and joint laxity are also important. Malalignment of the foot, ankle, and leg can play a key role in tendonitis. Flat foot position, tracking abnormalities of the patella, rotation of the tibia, and a leg length difference can create increased and often uneven load on the quadriceps mechanism. Any muscle imbalance of the lower extremity (from the hip down to the toes) can impact the quadriceps muscle and affect the joint.”
Check, check, and check, sadly that’s me
I’ve had 4 physical therapy sessions and found out my quads and IT band are extremely tight and are pulling the quadricep tendon like crazy. Bottom line, I overtrained my quadriceps and didn’t balance my intense training with intense recovery. The good news is that the pain should subside with physical therapy, reduced training and muscle rebalancing.
Now I’m going to physical therapy twice per week for about 1.5 hours per session. In physical therapy they heat up the muscles with a heating pad and then give me a DEEP (painful deep) tissue massage on my quads, IT band, hips and glutes. One therapist found the tightest spot on my IT band and when he dug into it I started to sweat. After the massage, I go through a series of leg, hip and butt stretches. And finally, to rebalance my leg muscles, I’m doing exercises to strengthen my hamstring and glutes, which is also retraining my body to be less quad dominant.
More Recovery Days and Workouts
Rest is another key factor to my recovery so I’ve reduced my own personal workouts during the week and have modified my teaching. I’m doing a lot less demonstration and reducing the intensity of the movements. Thankfully I have some awesome regular students who show the advanced and high intensity options on my behalf.
For recovery “workouts” I’m doing lots of foam rolling, yoga and stretching. My Flexible Warrior DVD has been a huge help too:
Once I get back to health and the pain has diminished in my knee, I will return to my workout routine but will change one thing. . . .
For every increase in exercise, I have to increase my recovery.
Last Thursday, I had the privilege of taking an awesome, butt-kicking class called Boogie Box with the creator, Dede Barbanti. What a fun class! It’s a 1-hour cardio/strength training class that gets your heart pumping, sweat dripping down your face, and muscles burning. My core and legs were completely exhausted! To summarize the class, it’s a fusion of hip hop dance, sports agility moves, martial arts and resistance exercises. Take Zumba (which is kinda boring & barely a workout for me) and multiply it by 100 for the intensity. It’s even more intense than Piloxing. Boogie Box kicked my booty!
Want to see Boogie Box in action? Check out this YouTube video: Boogie Box Sizzle Reel
LOVE this! Check out this flash mob Boogie Box routine at a mall in Utah:
Click on image for the YouTube link or click here.
Doesn’t it make you want to get up and dance??
What exactly is Boogie Box?? Here’s what Dede says. . .
Boogie Box perfectly combines cardio and strength training under the guise of groove! It’s an innovative fusion of sports endurance drills, martial arts, Latin and Hip Hop dance, plyometrics and resistance training all rolled into one ultra-effective hour! By using new ground breaking methods of applied muscle resistance (AMR) and RSL (Rotational, Swivel, Lateral) patterns, you are able to use muscle confusion to continually push your body further, avoid those dreaded plateaus, burn more calories and sculpt lean muscle without the use of equipment! Created by world renowned fitness coach and sports nutritionist, Dede Barbanti, she has appropriately labled this new style…POWER ENDURANCE TRAINING! It’s effectiveness is proven! Boogie Box has been University tested and proven to burn up to 1,100 calories an hour – more than any other workout available today! The “After-Burn” is amazing too – Your body will continue to burn calories like a machine up to a full 24 hours after a Boogie Box workout!
Finally, there is a workout that delivers twice the results in half the time and is actually fun to do! Let’s face it, machines are boring and who has time to spend two hours a day working out? With Boogie Box, you’ll have a blast all while working up an intense sweat moving & grooving to the hottest dance music around! We promise you’ll get ADDICTED!
So you say it works, does it REALLY work?
Dede Barbanti is an inspiring fitness instructor and is living proof that her workout changes your body. Check out her own transformation:
She lost just under 70 lbs in less than 7 months! Whoa, that’s amazing!!
I know you’ve probably seen lots of weight loss before and after shots, and think “yeah, yeah, just another professional fitness person,” but hearing her students talk about their own weight loss stories was incredible. Not only do other students and instructors believe in the workout, Dede had the workout tested multiple times at USC by the Professor of Biokiniseology and they have scientific evidence that it works.
Check out the full YouTube video of the study here: Boogie Box Fitness USC Testing
Boogie Box Fitness Class
Thursday night’s class was held at Club One Studio in Costa Mesa in a large ballroom dance studio (not the photo above, but similar). The place was packed! I’d estimate 25+ women. The funny part was that everyone kept saying, “where is everyone? this is the smallest class we’ve ever had!” I was shocked! The typical Boogie Box class in Costa Mesa averages about 40 people per class. Wow! This must be a good workout! Not only that, but most people I talked to had been coming to class for 1-3 years. Talk about an addicting workout!
Immediately the fast pumping music blasts through the studio and everyone gets down to business. The workout is choreographed to music and is broken down into multiple rounds. Within each round, there are about 4 different exercises that get repeated. It took me a minute to learn each dance move/exercise and you could definitely tell I was the newbie in the class, tripping over my feet trying to keep up. But, thankfully Dede teaches one move at a time then puts them together into combos. By the 2nd or 3rd time we repeated the combo, I caught on.
We did a wide variety of muscles burning moves like staying in a low squat, pivoting our knees side to side, and then holding the squat while boxing with 2 jabs and 2 upper cuts or hooks.
The sports performance and agility moves include high knees, tuck jumps, squat jumps, and lunge kicks.
I loved how we would grind hard in a low squat position, do lateral skater jumps, and then get funky with a dance move like “double mint” or “The Janet”, my favorite move of the night.
In addition to killer agility exercises and funky dance moves, Dede also works in resistance training by flexing muscles in different directions. Imagine that gym guy flexing his muscles in the mirror. . . . . . so fun!
And there’s no slacking in Boogie Box, Dede is watching you. . . . .
What I liked about the workout
- A complete workout in 1 hour with cardio and muscle toning
- Fun & entertaining workout with great music
- Challenging, no slacking in Boogie Box!
- Great way to work on coordination
- Fantastic & encouraging people to workout with
What I didn’t like about the workout
- High impact, not for everyone. My poor knee can’t handle a lot of jumping and plyos anymore, but that’s my issue.
- Not easy to jump into for you first time. It’ll take about 5 classes to get the moves down before you can really get grinding.
- Long break in the middle to rest. I’d rather keep moving and do a slower paced dance routine for a break.
- No cool down. We were crunched for time because the space was being used, but I’d rather do one less workout song, slowly bring my heart rate back down and stretch my exhausted muscles.
Locations & Cost
Boogie Box Fitness classes are in California, Oregon, Utah, New Jersey and all the way in Holland. Here are the locations. The cost breakdown is $99/month for unlimited classes, 10 classes for $89, 5 classes for $49, or a single class for $12. Great prices for a great workout!
Boogie Box on DVD
If you don’t live near a Boogie Box class location, they also have a 90-day Boogie Box Hardcore DVD program. For only $90 you get 3 DVDs (Levels 1, 2, &3) with 3 workouts each (9 total workouts) and a nutritional guide. Not a bad deal in my opinion. Dede gave me the Level 3 DVD and I did the 30 minute “Burn” workout this weekend. Another fantastic workout! I was dripping sweat and felt challenged to my limit in only 25 min and then got a 5 min cool down.
Lastly, Dede also offers personal coaching online for $15.99/month. Check out BBX Premium. Dede is incredibly sweet and has a huge passion for people and helping them lead healthier lives. She’s the type of person you want to be around everyday to be inspired, uplifted and encouraged.
Thanks Dede for inviting me to Boogie Box and making a difference in people’s lives!