get educated. why knowledge is more powerful than how much you can bench press.

It’s chill, guys, I’ve only had the most epic weekend ever.  Honestly, what an awesome time all around.  On Saturday, I got to teach my first Spinning® Class and it was everything.  It felt completely natural up there on the bike and I had a great time rocking out with the class.  The energy was great, the ride was challenging, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  I got a lot of positive feedback following as well, which really was awesome to hear because being a sub ain’t easy.  I’ve got three more classes coming up in the next two weeks, so if you’re in the Central Jersey area, let me know and I’ll hook ya up!

On Sunday, after getting to spend an amazing Saturday night in Philly with some of my BBG girlfriends, it was up and at em for the BBG Philly Meet-up.  The BBG Philly Meet-up happens once a month and it’s epic.  This month was especially amazing for me because I got a chance to lead the workout alongside some of the best ladies.  The workout was difficult for sure and the 90 degree heat added a little extra struggle, but there were smiles on every single persons face through the pain and it made it fly by.  I wouldn’t have traded Sunday for the world.

Planning the workout for Sunday was a bit of a challenge.  I knew that I wanted to do something that was tough, but modify-able to suit all fitness levels.  I also knew that in meet-ups past, the workouts had been a little more haphazard and I wanted to keep it true to what I know makes for an effective workout.  I think education is extremely important in fitness and often overlooked.

These days, image is everything.  We are inundated with pictures on Facebook, Instagram and the like with some fitness-celeb-want-to-be hocking the workout they just did promising you’ll get their results too if you just follow what they’re doing.  They are spewing information left and right, but they’ve got no substance to back it up.  Just because someone looks the part does not mean you should take their word as gospel.

There’s a reason I became a NASM certified personal trainer and I went out and got my Spinning® certification before I taught a class, I never wanted to give someone an answer to a question without knowing with confidence that I was correct.  I studied hard for both of those exams and passed them easily my first time through because learning is important to me.  You can tell the difference between people who know what they’re talking about and those who don’t.  That’s why I get irritated when people teach classes or create workout plans when they don’t have the certifications to back it up.

You wouldn’t hire a doctor without an MD or a lawyer without a JD, but you’ll willingly go to someone’s class who you’ve only seen pictures of on the Internet because they have a lot of followers?  That’s silly.  Chances are, they’re just doing what they think is good and it very well might be, but they could be missing out on crucial aspects that could prevent you from maximizing your workout or could lead to injury.

Take for instance a very prominent Soul Cycle trainer that’s often touted as a semi-god on Instagram.  Well, I attended one of his classes a couple of weeks ago and was shocked to see how uneducated he was.  He had us doing extremely risky moves on the bike like one armed push-ups while standing, which is a hugeee nono if you’re a good instructor.  One false move and you’ve got a liability lawsuit on your hands.  He also went around and upped people’s resistance, another huge no.  Too much resistance at a fast pace can easily blow out your knees and you never know anyone’s limits.

Don’t get me wrong, there are Instagram famous fitness celebs that are certified and you can tell.  Kayla Itsines, Lauren Gliesberg, and others have the knowledge to create quality plans and lead workouts based on science.  You can read the NASM textbook and compare it to either one of their guides and they fit to a T.  The same cannot be said for others.  There is a lot of information on the internet that makes people think that because they’ve read a series of articles, they have the qualifications to make recommendations to others.

I don’t think everyone has to get certified to educate themselves, but if you are truly interested in leading others and giving your opinion, you should have the credentials to back it up.  If you are just someone who enjoys working out and going to classes, there’s no need to dole out the cash for a certification, just make sure you are getting reliable information from credible sources when you need questions asked.  If you in anyway want to teach a class or offer personal training services, you best believe a certification should be in your future, I don’t care how many followers you have.

the sweatiest full-body circuit I’ve ever done and some exciting news!

Wow.  What hasn’t happened since my last post?  It hasn’t even been a week and I’ve been all over the place and then some.  So let’s start it off with some awesome news.  As of Wednesday, I’m officially a NASM Certified Personal Trainer!!

This is something I really wanted to do for myself.  I have loved working out for years, but I knew if I wanted to get serious, I needed to get smart about it.  People had been coming to me time and time again for advice and I decided if I wanted to give advice, I needed to give smart, well-informed advice.  So I did some research and found the NASM program which is one of the most accredited in the biz.  (You can read more about my decision to do the NASM exam here)  The test was not as easy as I expected to be honest (I mean there was 700 pages of material to cover), but I am elated that I passed.  Almost as elated as this nugget who tried to eat the paper that said I passed:


So what’s the first thing I did when I got my certification?  Hop on the plane and head down to Houston.  I went to college there and lived there for over 5 years, so it has a special place in my heart.  There was an alumni event this weekend and, as always, it was the perfect time getting together with some of my favorite people.

I took Friday off from work and enjoyed some girl time which included hitting the gym with one of my friends who dared to try one of my circuit workouts.  This one left us absolutely drenched in sweat.  45 seconds doing the moves and then we spent 15 seconds doing either jumping jacks, high knees, or resting.  Believe me, by the second time through of the last circuit we were resting more than I care to admit, but boy was my heart rate up there.  Try this one out:

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The workout was a perfect way to prep for the next day which was full of fun, food, drinks, and a lot of walking around.  The Houston sun was a perfect accompaniment to good times with friends.  Good thing it was my rest day though because my legs were shot from an almost 30 mile running week and some pretty killer extra workouts.image3

Want to know the best way to recover from hanging out with friends and eating and drinking all day?  Hop on a plane and head home for some sports.  My parents had let me know that they had tickets to the Blackhawks game on Sunday night and the Bulls game on Monday and that was just something I couldn’t pass up.  I’m a huge Chicago sports fan and wasn’t missing this.

So happy to be able to spend some time with my awesome parents.  Please note that is not the face my dad had when we ran before the game.
just a picture of my future husband/one true love Jonathon Toews

The only issue with all this traveling and friend time?  It was hard to schedule my workouts in.  But, you know what, I got them all done.  Whether it was awesome friends offering to workout with me or my dad getting a kick out of the workout plan I wrote for him, I did it.

Pre-hockey game was a 6 mile run and some weights.  I took over 27,000 steps on Sunday between walking around the airport, working out, and stepping around the United Center.  I’m really proud of myself for sticking to my workout schedule and sweating it out.  For anyone who thinks that they don’t have time to workout, you do have time if you make time.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to workout and odd hours just to make sure I got it done.  It could be 5am.  It could be my lunch break.  It could even be after dinner.  I do it because it makes me feel good and I NEVER regret a workout.  If you make it a priority, you’ll get it schedule.  If you don’t, it won’t.  It’s that simple.