Greetings from a jet plane!
As I’m writing up this blog post I’m sitting on a Southwest flight home digesting all of the information I’ve learned in the past three days at FitSocial 2013. I’ve met so many great people, learned a lot about SEO and of course my favorite part of the conference- the workouts.
I’d been looking forward to some kickass group sweat sessions since the day I signed up to join everyone in Boulder and Denver. I loved the idea of meeting a community of like-minded people in the fittest state in the country so when I heard about a blogging conference nearish to where I hoped I’d be living now, I jumped at the chance to sign up. More on that later.
Sessions were held at the Millenium Hotel in Boulder and the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado in Aurora where they’re currently filming ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Season 4.
The conference actually started on Thursday but the only thing scheduled was a canceled then rescheduled hike. I was a little bummed to be missing it, but chose to fly in on Friday instead. For my purposes then, Friday will be Day 1, k?
I’d connected with Christina from FitScholar.com on Facebook and we met near baggage claim to carpool to Boulder for the first session of the day, a Vinyasa yoga class.
You all know how I feel about yoga. Feel great afterwards but hate it during? Yeah. I’ve been working hard at my Nashville Half Marathon training plan all week and was tons of sore. I hoped yoga would work out all those kinks for me on a scheduled rest day.
Even though I knew we were cutting it close getting into Denver about an hour before the AM class I crossed my fingers and brought a yoga mat through security hoping to save some time.Sadly, we didn’t make it. Boo.
I also didn’t get a picture with Christina the entire conference. Double boo.
We headed to breakfast instead and I had one of many cups of coffee flavored with Nestle Natural Bliss Vanilla Liquid Creamer. They provided the coffee for the conference and also had pumpkin spice and sweet cream flavors that PSL lovers seemed to enjoy. I’m not a fan of pumpkin spiced things but I loved the vanilla!
Anyway, since I missed yoga I told myself I couldn’t pass up Chris Freytag’s PM HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. I’ve run sprints before and figured the class would be similar to that. Working at high intensity with periods of rest and that sort of thing (sort of like CrossFit).This was way harder than I thought it would be and I finished the class looking like I’d gone for a swim. Not cute but effective.Chris made us sweat with a combination of plyometric exercises, cardio and body resistance strength training. No equipment. Tabata-style. There were eight sets of three exercises at a time done for four minutes each. Twenty seconds on and 10 seconds off.
I’ve seen Tabata offered at gyms before, but had never experienced it myself. Now I know why everyone says it’s so brutal! But it gets the job done. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, squat jumps. You name it we did it.I left the class feeling strong and ready for dinner. It really didn’t seem like an hour because of the breaks. This was definitely something I would incorporate into my cross-training in the future.
Saturday we were given the choice of three sessions: Tabata Cycle, Zumba and Barre Conditioning. I chose Barre because we only had 15 minutes to change for dinner after class and I sweat like a man. I’ve taken Barre before here and here so the class was just as hard as I expected. The little pulses and micro movements get you just like in Pilates. It’s intense.
I heard Tabata Cycle was pretty fun too. Their instructor had them do similar HIIT to what we did the night before but on a spin bike.
This morning we all got to demo Pound. I’d spent the night chatting it up with Angel (@brownawell) the night before in the hotel lobby (wedding planning is still fascinating even after my hurricane disaster vows) and went to bed pretty late. I made myself sleep in my gym clothes to make sure I’d get up in the morning but man, was it a rough start.
But that’s what coffee is for.
Once caffeinated I was ready to go!Melissa, an instructor from New Jersey led us in the relatively new class.Pound started in LA and combines cardio, strength training and drumming in an “easy to follow workout”. Melissa’s class had a heavy emphasis on squats and lunges while standing and leg lifts while on the mat.
The quarter-pound plastic drumsticks (called Ripstix) are all you really need but we used a mat for our floor exercises as well.Overall it was a great workout and would be fun when you’re looking for something different to do for cross-training. It did feel a little gimmicky so I don’t know how that will play out? Right now Pound is available in some major cities but I haven’t found any information about existing classes in the Nashville area. New Yorkers and those of you from Jersey, D.C., Miami and LA, give it a shot!
Last night we stayed at the SpringHill Suites Denver and they had a pretty decent hotel gym. I didn’t get to use it since we were so active this weekend but it’s one of the reasons I would book there in the future. Kudos, Marriott!