20 Minute Toning: Ignite Fitness Review

Admit it.  Sometimes, during tough workout videos, you lie there huffing and puffing hoping your virtual teacher won’t catch you slacking.  That feeling is slightly guilty/awesome because you know this workout is challenging you.

It may seem that 20 minutes of fitness won’t do squat (HA!) but high intensity workouts can pack a punch for more energy and toning.  We received a complementary Blu-Ray copy of the Women’s Health Ignite workout starring Next Fitness Star winner Nikki Metzger to test its fit factor.  Nikki Metzger isn’t just some gym rat of the street.  She’s a Master Trainer and owner of BODI gym in Scottsdale, Arizona.  She’s not afraid to slap you with a bad @#s fitness routine.

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Ignite fires you up with 3 x20 minute stand alone (or get crazy and plow through all 3) workouts.  Bonus: An 8 minute bananas ab sequence in case you didn’t feel sore enough.

Workout Chapters:

BUILD

More of a traditional weights workout, but still maintains an interval format. Nikki demos the moves and sets before each change.  Free weight usage is optional, removing intimidation for the recently sedentary.

BURN

Guacs, this is a doozy.  Plyometrics take center stage for this cardio heavy chapter with crazy hard moves like the evil planky bear or real move name: Lateral Bear Crawl.

SWEAT

Your muscles will get HIIT from the front and the back with this 360 high speed interval routine.  Expect 45 second sets with 3 sets in each rotation.  Moves include modified burpees with a row added, plank walk outs and our Snapchat favsie: The Starfish Crunch.

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Workout Cheers

  • These 20 minute speed workouts torch calories and slow time.  You can fit this into a busy life!
  • Nikki’s lady crew each demo-ed a different move level for beginners up to bodybuilder lost your mind mode.
  • As a trainer, Nikki is approachable and encouraging.  Also, we like her fitanista style with 3 on fleek fit outfits to choose.

Workout Woes

  • 8 minute abs was like 8 minutes confused.  Transitions were too too fast so it was hard to follow where to move next.
  • Closed caption anyone?  This is 2016 so I am sure the fitness industry would want people with hearing issues to be able to follow along with verbal cues too.
  • Why do all workout videos have drum kit music created on a Casio keyboard for their background?  We suppose it’s necessary to appease a majority of viewers (?) but we think even keyboard cat could do better.

Final (Get) Cut

Extra Extra!  Get your 20 minute toning with Ignite here.  Not ready to commit? Check out a preview of Nikki’s training here.

Looking for other workouts?  Check out some suggestions from previous posts here.

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Conquer your Core at the 3rd Annual Free FusionFest!

Free Core Fusion Classes on May 19th!

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WHO: Women’s Health & Exhale’s Core Fusion

WHAT: Women’s Health magazine and Exhale Spa are proud to celebrate the 3rd annual FusionFest.  Open to the public, the event will include complimentary evening Core Fusion classes, lite bites, goodie bags, giveaways, DJ’s and more at 18 exhale locations nationwide.

In conjunction with the FusionFest events, Women’s Health is kicking off its 3rd annual “Next Fitness Star” (thenextfitnessstar.com) competition with its July/August issue.  After vetting thousands of submissions, Women’s Health has selected the top five finalists who are competing to star in their own DVD series and become a fitness industry leader.  In select cities, the finalists will be in attendance at FusionFest to participate in the Core Fusion workouts and offer health consultations with attendees.

Exhale leads the barre fitness industry with a full suite of transformational classes including Core Fusion Barre, Core Fusion Barre+Cardio, Core Fusion Boot Camp, Core Fusion Cardio, Core Fusion Extreme, Core Fusion Sport and Core Fusion Yoga.  All classes focus on core strength for the ultimate full body workout. Using weights, balls, bands, and your own body weight as resistance, each class keeps you burning calories long after the class is over. Prepare to sweat, shake and melt the fat away as you lengthen and tone your body, and revive and refocus the mind.

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WHERE: Exhale Chicago 945 North State St., Chicago, IL 60610

PRICE: FREE!

BONUS: Anyone attending the complimentary FusionFest classes will receive a free month subscription to WH Fit Club, the online fitness center that gives access to the hottest, most coveted workout studios and leading fitness experts across the country—including exclusive workouts from exhale co-founders Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp and exhale’s National Yoga Director Stefanie Eris.

RSVP: To book your complimentary Core Fusion class at FusionFest, visit info.exhalespa.com/fusionfest.

*Above content and pictures are utilized courtesy of Rodale Publishing*

Our Take: Going to exhale spa makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical vacation.  The lighting and decor of the studio space are smooth and inviting.  Before or after class, you can pamper yourself with exhale blended hot teas. Classes are challenging, mats are cushy and nice to the wrists, and teachers are hands on, supporting and pushing you at the same time.  Women’s Health Magazine is a leader in the fitness mag industry and we love their unabashed covering of “taboo” women’s health topics and up to date research on nutrition and workout topics.  We hope we snag a free mag in our swag bags (yup, rhyming is too cool)!  Come join us next Tuesday for a free fabulous workout class and more at Fusionfest!

Pure Barre Lincoln Park: Fit Review

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10 brave women made it out in the cold after a appetizer, sides, and pie holiday to get their fitness on this past Sunday at our first ever private Chiorganic Girls class at Pure Barre Lincoln Park, an admirable feet given the tendency to want to sleep off the lingering food coma.  We were grateful for our motivation to attend as we got a kick a*@ workout that toned and tightened to reset the good habits and prepare us for the back to work grind.

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Lincoln Park Pure Barre is a brand new workout hot spot that just opened November 4th.  Ashley Gertz, owner of the newly opened Pure Barre in Lincoln Park, opened the location because of her personal love of barre classes and keen business sense.  She welcomed our group with a tour and an overview of what Pure Barre has to offer.  Ashley, a former marathoner and avid runner, found that cardio didn’t promote toning and strength so she joined the River North Pure Barre and was hooked.

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Marguerite, our teacher, gave us the overview of common moves of Pure Barre and then we got cracking with an immediate plank set (WHYYY??).  Bubbly pop music as well as giggles from class participants offset the strenuousness of the miniscule muscle movements.  We rolled through abs, arms, legs and ended with (sigh*) more abs and a bridge set to tense up the tush.

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After class, we took our shaky legs to the lobby area for complimentary Kashi and Luna snack bars as well as raffle for 2 lucky participants.

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And now, we are sore…very pleasantly “can’t walk up the stairs so well” sore, evidence of a real workout.  Wanna check it out?  Pure Barre Lincoln Park offers new students a very affordable unlimited month of classes for $99.  If you join now, you can also compete in the Jingle Tuck challenge (15 classes in 30 days) for prizes and the ultimate win, a retreat at a spa in Arizona.

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#Run10Feed10 First 10k Run Recap!

This past Sunday, I ran my first 10k with Run 10 Feed 10 and Women’s Health…and boy are my gams tired!  I did it!  And next time, I’m dragging Monica to run with me.  My popular co-blogger had yet another wedding to attend that day.

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And what did I learn from the fab event?  For those of you moving from 5ks to the next step up, know that it is possible to be ready in 4 weeks!  This is coming from someone who used to hate running.

Amateur 10K tips:

1) Don’t stress!  There was plenty of people walking and taking breaks.  Your first 10k should be enjoyable and don’t feel guilty if you have to pause to catch your breath.

2) Get enough sleep.

Ya’ll know Halloween is coming, yeah?  So I had a lil pumpkin carving party the Saturday eve before and maaaybe stayed up a bit too late.  You need your full body strength to be at optimal performance so go to bed on time!

3) But not too much sleep.

Ok, so rookie mistake.  My anxiety got away with me and while I woke up at 5:30 am, I went back to sleep until 7:30 and then had to pull a Ferris Beuller’s day off and ramp myself into my workout clothes and on to the highway to get to the start line 5 minutes after the race started.

4) Take in the scenery

Running outside in Chicago is a treat (no tricks here).  Other than dodging goose poo in a small section, the race jaunted along the picturesque Chicago lakefront.  The continually varied foliage and fauna…oh and the Grub Hub running team with their hotdogs and turkey shaped hats…is way more interesting than staring at the wall while on the treadmill.

5) Revel in your results (and the after party)!

My time wasn’t super fast but I have gained about 2 minutes of speed since I first started running.  Women’s Health put together a sweet after event with a post race yoga, free post race fuel (Nestle Choco Milk, Bagels and fruit), athletic massages and beauty touch ups from Panasonic.  I was surprised to see Allison Sweeney of Biggest Loser there as well.  She gave out the post race awards, none of which I won.  Maybe some day!

Thanks to Women’s Health for allowing me to contribute to this spectacular event.

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#RUN10FEED10: Help End Hunger AND Shape Your Booty

It’s not hard to love such a beautiful city like Chicago in fall.  The leaves are changing and the weather is cooling. Not everyone gets to stay cozy warm, however.  The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates there was about 138,575 Chicagoans who were homeless in August of this year. It can be overwhelming to figure out how we can best help people who are in need. One way, however, is very simple! Stretch your legs and run to provide meals to people who are hungry.  Join Kate as she tests her speed at the RUN10, FEED10 race on October 19th, 2014.

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Women’s Health and FEED are partnering for the RUN10 FEED10 10K race series to motivate consumers nationwide to help fight domestic hunger. RUN10 FEED10 has raised over 2.5 million meals to support the cause, and in 2014 the bar is set even higher. The concept behind RUN10 FEED10 is simple: run a 10K and feed 10 hungry people in your community. Timed 10K races will take place in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Those living in Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C. can participate in one of the Women’s Health “Fun Runs,” and if runners don’t live in one of the RUN10 FEED10 host cities, they can still participate by registering at RUN10FEED10.com to run a 10K in their hometown.

The series kicked off in New York City on September 21, 2014 with thousands of participants running down the West Side Highway for the timed race ending at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park. In the Chi, we will jaunt down Belmont harbor along our gorgeous lakefront and be greeted at the end with a post-race wellness festival. This post race celebration will feature yoga sessions, nutrition, beauty consultations and great giveaways from sponsors.

Feeling intimidated?  Kate has only run 2 5Ks before so she googled to figure out if she could make it through the entire race without yelling uncle and lying down on the pavement.  Self.com has an awesome 4 week training plan to get your booty in gear or you can sign up for training plans with Women’s Health and Run10 Feed10.  Doing a 10k will also flex those glute muscles and burn an odd 600+ calories (about 9 snack size Halloween packs of M&Ms, yup!). Good prep to don that sexy Pumpkin Spice Latte costume (or sexy wizard or sexy sexy…whatevs your wearing).

Not ready to run? You can still help by donating or even shopping at popular retailers like Nike and Gap from the comfort of your sexy couch.

Ready to join Kate and register or share your cash?

Sign up today at www.run10feed10.com!

 

Image from Run 10 Feed 10 Website

Image from Run10 Feed10 Website

Girl’s Fit Night: Exhale and Women’s Health Core Fusion Party

We don’t know about ya’ll, but we love spending quality time with our best pals and quality time is even better when you can get fit together!   Exhale Spa Chicago, one of our fave luxurious spa and workout joints, is hosting a free event this coming Tuesday.

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The event includes complimentary evening Core Fusion classes, lite bites, goodie bags, giveaways, DJ’s and more!  The illustrious and well known, Women’s Health magazine, will also be kicking off their “Next Fitness Star” competition with guest star contender, Emily Scrhomm, during the party.  

Core Fusion Barre+Cardio, Exhale’s newest class will be one of the featured workouts for attendees to try during FusionFest.  If you haven’t tried an Exhale class, their instructors are impeccably skilled at merging ab wrenching exercises with toning Barre tricks and sweat inducing bursts of heart pumping moves.  

Anyone who attends the complimentary FusionFest classes will also be the recipient of a free month subscription to WH Fit Club (https://fitclub.womenshealthmag.com/), the online fitness center that gives access to the hottest, most coveted workout studios and leading fitness experts across the country—including exclusive workouts from Exhale co-founders Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp and Exhale’s National Yoga Director Stefanie Eris.

We would love you to join us in a fit and fun girl’s night!  Sign up here, grab your sticky grip socks, cute fitness gear and we’ll meet you at the Barre.

Final Details

Date: Exhale FusionFest, Tuesday May 20th

Class times: 5:25pm, 5:45pm, 6:35pm, 7:45pm

Location: 945 N. State, Chicago, IL 60610