Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Sessions Starting

New sessions start May 3rd, spaces are limited so make sure you sign up in advance by emailing register@juliemacfitness.com

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pushing Limits

As I sit here (glass of shiraz in hand) thinking about the last 3 weeks I'm pretty proud of this little business that I've started. My first class has gone extremely well, I'm taking on clients for private sessions, and my free intro sessions are packed! I've also received great feedback from everyone that I've worked with so far which has encouraged me to branch out and start more classes. The beginner class in May already has 3 people signed up for it (all clients that attended my free sessions) and I've had an inquiry about a Bedford class. To think, none of this would be possible if I didn't push myself to take a chance on doing something that makes me happy.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the last week for my very first kettlebell class. It's been a great 3 weeks so far, the weather may have been a bit chilly but we only got rained on for about 15minutes - not too shabby for April! We've had a lot of laughs, a little bit of yelling, and a whole lot of fun. I plan on ending this session off by testing some limits - let's see just how far this "Advanced" group is willing to push themselves. (insert evil laugh) It will be fun of course and maybe a little painful.....we'll just have to see what they think.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A beautiful day in the park!

There was a great turnout for Saturday's two Intro to Kettlebell Sessions! It was a little chilly when we arrived but everyone warmed up pretty quickly - especially once we picked up the bells. Today I taught the windmill & woodchopper (bodyweight only), the swing, around the body, stall, bootstrap, mountain climber, and of course burpees. Everyone caught on pretty quickly and we were able to get in a tabata and a 5 minute superset in each session! I think good times were had by all, I received some great feedback and took on some new clients as a result.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Free Intro Sessions!

I will be holding two more free sessions this weekend to make up for half cancelling the last session due to weather. Hopefully those of you that missed out last time will get a chance to come out this weekend and see what kettlebells are all about!

Please sign up in advance through eventbrite so I know how many people to expect.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trying new things

Since I've stopped taking kettlebell classes (at the end of March) and started teaching them I've found it difficult to push myself during workouts on my own. I've also noticed a plateau in my weight over the last few weeks. To give myself a kick start I tried two new things this week - hot yoga and a running group.

The hot yoga class was at Moksha Yoga a friend told me about the class, she had gone the previous week and enjoyed it plus it was only $5! A great price when you're just trying something out. It was my first time doing yoga in about 5 years and I found it a little odd at first that everyone set up their mats, laid down and didn't talk to each other. I guess I'm just used to working out with a chatty bunch of people. But there were going for a serene environment here - a little different then getting ready to throw around some iron cannonballs! The instructor was really great, she described each pose thoroughly so everyone was able to follow what was happening - I really appreciated that with my lack of experience. The heat of the room combined with the yoga poses made me sweat like never before! The poses were challenging with modifications depending on your level - I tried to do some of the harder stuff just to see if I could - I'm competitive that way. It was a tough workout, I'll definitely go back and try it again.

The running group that I went out with tonight was an event put on through lululemon. They have lots of events put on every month, all of them free. Our leader Stacy Chesnutt took us on a 8km loop through Point Pleasant Park. For some reason, I'm not sure why, I thought we were going to run & walk to prepare us for eventually running a 5km or 10km race. I was wrong. We did walk for a few minutes to warm up and then started the run. I was ok in the beginning keeping up with the front of the pack then I slowly moved to the back - I started out a little faster than I'm used to and ended up short of breath immediately. Once we were in the park I need to walk a few steps to catch my breath. Stacy fell back to check on me and let me know what loop the run would cover so I could catch up, which I did.....right before we started intervals - run of a speed of 8 out of 10 for 30 sec then drop to a slow run for 2min and repeat. I wasn't able to do the repeat part in the first loop or the second but I didn't get too far behind. Then the run back to the store....I fell way behind here but, I continued running at a slow pace the entire way back and didn't stop to walk. I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing but I probably should have tried to run a little more before joining a group. The furthest I've gone before is about 6km at a slow pace and I haven't been out running much at all lately. I'd like to join the group again but I may go out for a couple runs on my own first and work on my breathing and endurance.

It was a great start to my week trying a few new things and seeing how different types of classes are lead. Maybe some of the people I met this week will be out to try my kettlebell class next :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The snow can't stop us!

About 45min before today's free Intro to Kettlebell session was scheduled to start, rain and snow started to fall from the sky. We scrambled to get the message out the the class would be rescheduled but continued to the Garrison Grounds just in case a few people showed up.

Apparently a little snow and rain isn't enough to scare off the ten people that showed up to participate and learn about basic kettlebell moves. We went over the fundamentals (swings, cleans, active rest) and went over some bodyweight excercises (burpees, bootstrap, and mountian climbers). Then when everyone had the exercises down we went through a tabata and a superset.

The class was awesome! They caught on to everything really quickly and the weather even cleared up through most of the hour.

Thanks to those who came out despite the weather and for those of you that did see the cancellation notices in time - not to worry, I will be putting on another class in the near future. If you'd like to receive notifications for our upcoming event make sure you join the mailing list.

Free class weather isn't looking good

In true Nova Scotia fashion. About 45 minutes before the class was supposed to start, it began to rain/snow. We will be postponing the free session, so watch the blog for a re-scheduled event.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Free Intro Class

Interested in trying out kettlebells but you're not prepared to commit to a whole month without knowing what you're getting into? I'm giving a free intro kettlebell class at the Garrison Grounds (Corner of Sackville St and Bell Rd) Saturday, April 17th at 11am.

Make sure to dress for the weather and bring plenty of water, you're definitely going to get a sweat on! Please do not wear and rings, watches, or bracelets as they can be damaged during the exercises. In case of rain we will postpone so if the weather looks iffy check the website before heading out.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What the heck is a "kettlebell"?

Simply put, a kettlebell is a weight. It looks like a cannonball with a handle. Curiously enough, it kind of resembles a kettle. Kettlebells range in weight from the ridiculously-light 5 lbs. to you'll-never-need-one-this-heavy. They are a powerful tool in your fitness arsenal, not only because they're versatile and portable (I keep mine in the trunk of my car), but because a session with kettlebells can combine cardio and resistance training into one incredible workout.

Kettlebell workouts use more muscle groups than just about any other form of training and they are one of the most effective ways to build up the smaller, stabilization muscles that aren't (or can't) be targeted by traditional weights. Training with kettlebells emphasizes explosive power and builds long, lean muscle.

For you cardio junkies, there is no better cardio than a kettlebell workout. If you can throw down a long-cycle set of snatches and come out the other side not panting like a St. Bernard in Dubai, I would certainly like to meet you.

Most people that have trained with weights have only used barbells or dumbbells. The obvious difference between either of those and kettlebells is symmetry. Barbells and dumbbells are balanced; they have equal weight on both sides. A kettlebell is an asymmetrical weight and because of this, it can be used safely in completely different ways. You can hold a kettlebell above your head with an open hand and have no fear that it's going to roll off your palm and fall onto your head; the mass below the handle keeps it stabilized. Sure, some of the same exercises can be performed with a dumbbell, but the stability of a kettlebell allows you to focus on form and technique.

But for me, the number one reason to use kettlebells is the results. Using kettlebells has dramatically increased my cardiovascular endurance and functional strength. My muscle tone has improved substantially and fat has been dropping faster than a sub-prime mortgage. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Contact julie@juliemacfitness.com to see how kettlebells can help you reach your fitness goals, or check out the Upcoming Classes page and find a class that works for you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

End of Week 1

Week 1 ended on a windy and cold note this morning. We were happy to stay dry but not so pleased with the cold handles on the kettlebells. The weather should only get better from here on out (fingers crossed) but I'd like to remind everyone to dress in layers for class so you're ready for anything.

We started out today with some core exercises - 2 sets of windmills & woodchoppers, a quick jog, followed by a high pull/snatch tabata to get warm, 3 sets of lunges/burpees/swings, and ended with a relay of bodyweight exercises - high knees, push ups, bootstrap, burpees, mountain climber, and butt kicks. I think they were pretty warm by the end but next time I'm bringing mittens - I was fa-rozen!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The weather didn't quite hold out....

Class started out great today with a few jogs up the hill to warm up, a couple sets of windmills, front & backs, swings, max rows, and planks and then I felt a few rain drops. We quickly ditched our bags into our cars and continued with a swing/burpee tabata before the bells got too wet. To be on the safe side we ended up finishing the class with a bunch of body weight exercises - relay runs, push ups, and planks - we wouldn't want kettlebells flying through the air due to slippery hands!

Even though the rain started early we still got a great workout in and (I hope) everyone enjoyed themselves.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Looks like the weather is holding out

Just checked the weather, and it looks like the rain on Wednesday won't start until the afternoon, so our class should be dry. Environment Canada is calling for only cloudy skies on Friday too. Looks like we lucked out this week!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 1 On The Hill

Day 1 went pretty well, the sun was out and there was a cool breeze so no one got overheated. We stuck to kettlebell fundamentals - swings, clean & press, lunges with press, swing flip squat, around the body, and stall - giving everyone an opportunity to get used to the new environment. I also threw in some bodyweight exercises - jogs up the hill, mountain climbers (up the hill), burpees (of course), and push ups. It was a pretty varied workout as I wanted to get a few different things in for the first class just to see what it was like doing it on the grass. I got some good feedback at the end of the class which makes me pretty happy and really excited to plan for Day 2!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Can't wait to be on the Hill!

As I sit here thinking about what the workout will be for tomorrows Citadel Hill class, I can't stop smiling! I'm really excited that we're going to be outdoors and it looks like the weather is going to be nice. The class is going to be tough, we're going to stick to fundamentals until we get used to being outside and there will be lots of bodyweight exercises. I can't wait!!