Body-blasting Bootcamp

 

Plie squat to bicep curlAnyone still alive in this Manila heat??  In our bootcamp classes, we’re tending to run & jump rope less, and just let the heat index do our cardio work for us.  It’s true, when the temperatures soar, especially in the face of  high humidity, your body has to fight hard to stay cool during exercise.  Obviously, that means it takes less overall work to generate the same heart rate than in cooler temps.  This might be discouraging, except for the good news that you’re burning the same number of calories even considering this reduction in work output.  Phew!…

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Fitness Friday- Body Part Bootcamp

Dumbbell Squat (starting position)

Hi folks! Wanna have fun with a little body-part bootcamp we did in class last week?

It focusses on one major muscle group at a time:

  1. The “PUSH” muscles: chest, shoulders, and triceps
  2. The “PULL” muscles: lats, rhomboids, and biceps
  3. LEGS (There are technically PUSH and PULL muscles in the legs as well, but for an outdoor bootcamp without machines, it’s better to not try to isolate the muscles of the legs… we’ll just do ’em all together.)

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Full-Body Bootcamp

Full-body bootcamp

Happy Friday, folks!  It’s been awhile since I posted a workout for you, and this one’s a keeper…

I don’t normally get sore from my bootcamp workouts anymore, but I did from this one.  Maybe it was the workout… or maybe the 2-week Christmas break???  But whatever!  I intentionally paired up 2 exercises that fatigue the same muscle group (for example, pushups followed by overhead press,) and it really worked.  There are only 5 pairings (10 exercises total,) 3 for the lower body and 2 for the upper, and I found it to be a very efficient full-body workout that you can complete in 40-45 minutes including warm-up and cool-down….

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The Fit Ladies of Alabang Bootcamp

The Fit Ladies of Alabang Bootcamp

Just a few of the fit & fab ladies of Alabang bootcamp

When I moved to Asia in 2004, I had no idea we would be staying THIS LONG.  I figured, like many ex-pats do, that we would do our 2 or 3 years and come “home” in time for our eldest daughter Theda to go to kindergarten in the U.S.  Wrong!  She’s now in Grade 8.  Yet I always do a double-take when I consider the following…

I’ve lived more than a quarter of my life overseas.

I’ve lived in Manila longer than in any other city, ever.

Two-thirds of Mark’s & my marriage has been in Asia.

These statistics are hardly uncommon for ex-pats; in fact, many “foreigners” have been away much longer than I have.  However, one thing that we all have to face is the question of how we will connect here, so far away from our families and loved ones.

The Fit Ladies of Alabang Bootcamp

For me, three groups have kept me connected here in Manila: my church, my Bible study group, and The Fit Ladies of Alabang Bootcamp.  What began as an exercise group has developed into so much more.  It’s a friendship group, a support group, a sisterhood of fabulous wives living this real ex-pat life that is sometimes “easy” but sometimes so not easy.  We talk.  We laugh.  We sweat.  We cry.  We curse over pull-ups and burpees and Turkish get-ups.  There’s just something about pushing ourselves physically that’s so bonding.

The Fit Ladies of Alabang Bootcamp

We meet after bus-stop drop-off, the first of which occurs at the ridiculous hour of 6:15am… I mean, what else are we gonna do at that time of day???  Shops don’t open around here until 11am and that is too many hours to sit and drink coffee.

So let’s exercise, girls!  And let’s exercise together!  There are just so many reasons to exercise in a group: accountability, compliance, safety, and let’s face it- it’s just plain FUN to work out together!!  I know because I hear everyone laughing and carrying on in the back row… don’t think I don’t!!!

The Fit Ladies of Alabang Bootcamp

So we had our Christmas party last night and it was SO nice to see us all dressed up and not in workout clothes.  To be able to hug each other without apologising for being all stinky.  To have no agenda like “today we’re doing 85 million burpees and 200 pushups”… but instead to just relax with good friends, yummy food and a glass (or 2!) of champagne.

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I feel so privileged to work out with these beautiful and fit ladies.  Each one is gorgeous inside and out.  These girls keep me motivated in my own fitness, always challenging myself to take it to the next level.  But even more beautiful than that, these lovely ladies keep me connected in this crazy ex-pat life.  Here’s to The Fit Ladies of Alabang!

 

 

 

 

Out of My Element

I went to a yoga class the other day… for the first time in 10 years!

I used to practice regularly, in the home of a beautiful friend who used to live here.  Her calming voice and professional instruction moulded my body into every pose under the sun (salutation.)  Over the course of 2 years under her tutelage, I went from complete yoga novice, to not only knowing the poses, but being able to do them, and hold them-even the inverted ones!  Yoga became an integral part of my exercise routine.  And after every session, I left feeling calm, peaceful, and strong.

Not so last Thursday.  …

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5 Reasons Why You Should Train Your Legs

As everyone was packing up to leave after a rather intense bootcamp today, I asked the two remaining ladies, “If I were to blog about today’s workout, what type of picture would sum it up?  I knew I should have just figured it out on my own, because their responses, though highly amusing, were also a bit inappropriate for my G-rated audience…. I adore my bootcamp girls for many reasons, and this is one of them!!

We laughed for a few minutes, and then decided that any quad-glute exercise would be just the ticket, because this workout was very leg-heavy… on purpose!

Make sure your knees are behind your toes throughout your squat

Make sure your knees are behind your toes throughout your squat

Engage your abs at the top of your squat and squeeze your glutes & quads

Engage your abs at the top of your squat and squeeze your glutes & quads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why emphasise legs in a workout?  Well, not to neglect our upper bodies… you know I’m a big fan of upper body strength, especially for women.  That said, however, there are several excellent reasons to work your legs:

1. The large muscles in your legs & hips (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors) are responsible for most of your functional movements throughout your day: walking, sitting/standing, climbing stairs, etc.  Think about being able to get up out of a chair when you’re 80!!  If you’re 25, or even 45, that seems pretty far away to think about, but I believe functional fitness declines faster than we think, and at an increasing rate after age 40……

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Workout Wednesday [Getting into a Routine]

My morning playtime!

My morning playtime!

It’s back to school time! We wave our children goodbye at 6:25 am, the day stretching out in front of us… Shops here in Manila typically don’t open until 11… what to do… what to do???

Yes, yes, yes, going back to bed is an option, but by the time I’ve had coffee (and I need it at 4:45 in the morning!), there is no more sleeping for me.  Might as well work out, right?  It fills up at least part of that long morning gap…

My bootcamps started up as well this week… and no matter how much I worked out this summer, there is nothing like getting back to group exercise to kick my motivation into high gear!  (And to make me realise that it’s possible I didn’t push myself quite as hard as I thought I did during my summer workouts!)

Fortunately, I’m not alone……

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