Body Under Maintenance, Week Four! What A Shame!

If week three passed with working out only the legs, week four passed by without any extra workouts.

During week four i was horribly tired, and I started having a stabbing pain in my chest, armpits, under armpits, and upper back. It was stinging and burning, I really don’t know what that is and doctors weren’t sure. The pain went down to my lower ribs, it was so annoying, it did affect the power in my arms, I felt week in my elbows. And that had its negative effect on my classes!

So week four passed without extra training! Let’s see how week five goes!

Cheers!

BODYPUMP™ 89, My Personal Review!

BODYPUMP™ 89

BODYPUMP™ is the fastest way in the universe to get in shape; muscular tension, metabolic stress combined together to build strength, tones and shapes and burns body fat

This how Glen presented the new release; a great brief defention of what BODYPUMP™ is.

Let’s check the Warm Up: (Dane Rumble featuring Jupiter Project- Not Alone)

I like warm ups that hit with back and hamstrings; it’s too many muscles there that need to be taken care of before an actual great workout.  There is a very interesting thing here; triple rows twice then slowly going up with the lyrics : you are not alone! That moves to the shoulders, down to the legs, back to shoulders, then back again and shoulders. BODYPUMP™ family are making sure you are warm this time by adding push presses at the end of the warm up.

Squats: (R3hab featuring Bassjackers- Raise Those Hands)

Oh yeah! The music is absolute madness! Lovely Lovely choice! This sounds like engineering and creating new muscles.

We’ve got bottom halves, top halves, big singles, down and holds. The track is quite tough, controlling breathing is essential, and if you are the type of people who gets so invovled and taken away by music, this track will take care of you when you think you can’t go on anymore, the music is uplifting it’s all good.

Chest: (Fall Out Boy- Where Did The Party Go)

Important?

The A press is becoming the main subject here regarding the chest track, we are seeing this frequently recently. Besides that quality is over quantity.

Bar and plates: results, isolation, results, isolation and more results.

The music is not my type, but it’s okay, at least it’s a positive track 🙂 , I liked the track used in squats better.

Back: (Nero- Me & You)

Let’s work our posterior-chain; the gluts, hips and the hamstrings. high intensity interval training. NO CLEAN AND PRESSES?? That is cool! New is always cool!

Wide grip dead lifts, wide grip dead rows are perfect for your middle back, heavy single plates: squats and push presses (HIIT) will allow all your body to work, and changing the grip to under-hand grip activates your upper back.

There is some interesting change here, not doing any clean and presses doesn’t mean you are not working your back, in this track you are allowed to challenge yourself with heavier weight than usual. Glen while designing this track did focus on mixing the mechanical tension with the metabolic stress, please do check your choreography notes for more details, or watch the DVD where he explains it.

Triceps: (Lady Gaga-Applause)

four sets of work, very amusing and challenging. How does it start and finish? Triceps push ups, kneeling over head extensions, that applies to the first two sets. In set three the exercise changes to dips and we finish with seated over head extensions.

I generally like triceps tracks, since they exercises chosen usually hit the muscles right, isolates them and they are usually fun.

Biceps: (The Killers- When You Were Young)

New move?? Yeah! The open arm curl! 

So hammer curls, open arm curls, then using light bars to continue the work.

Honestly I didn’t like the song chosen! But the workout is a killer!

Lunges: (Ellie Goulding- Burn)

More and more changes, everyone love change, right?

In the lunges track this time BODYPUMP™ brings to us new tempos which introduces isometric holds, the holds at the end of each move brings the burn to the muscles, causing them to fatigue and eventually change. The holds here are so important and they are the core of the workout!

Shoulders: (Brooklyn Bounce & DJ Zealot- True Hardstyler)

Brooklyn Bounce became the band for our shoulders! I love that! Bring it down to the floor and get two sets of push ups! All the crazy upright rows, the top halves, over head presses, push presses, rotator raises, and rotator overhead presses to kill your shoulders! This one is certainly crazy and demanding! Good luck to those of you like me with relatively weak shoulders 😛

Good luck teaching it, and good luck attending the class!

Katia

LES MILLS™ BodyPump™ 88!

BP88
BP88

BODYPUMP™ 88 has been in the house for a while now, although we received it a little bit late, which is the case most of the time in Jordan. I was lucky enough to experience it before it was launched in Jordan, where I live, since I was visiting Dubai in December last year, for a vacation, and I have been invited by Amir Behforooz (AKA KING KONG), a presenter at Les Mills and the Group Fitness Manager at the Aviation Club in Dubai/UAE, to the Aviation Club to attend a BODYPUMP class and lucky enough he did teach release 88, as myself and my friend Mahmoud Salamony, a cool instructor, enjoyed it twice with Amir, Once Mahmoud did team teach with him fully, and next time I was again invited by Amir and at some point the three of us were on stage and enjoyed the thrill of it. Hello Amir and Mahmoud! Thanks for the great times! 🙂

Left to Right: Mahmoud, Myself and Amir

Left to Right: Mahmoud, Myself and Amir

So let’s talk about BODYPUMP™ 88 in more details, I personally think it’s so far the best among releases 83-87!

Warning! This release came to test your stamina! If you doubt your own, try and do 88 with lighter weights. It is physically demanding and challenging. But if you like to push yourself to the edge this release will make you feel great!

What’s Cool in this release?

Music:

The music selection came very successful in this release, I believe Mr. c does spend enough time not only choreographing the program but also picking inspirational music to keep us motivated and carried away. Here’s a hint of the playlist in the release if you still didn’t get the chance to hear it:

  • Killer (Crush  Remix)- SKsim feat. DC Breaks & Dee Freer
  • A little Party Never Killed Nobody- Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock
  • Up in the Air- Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • only you- Ellie Goulding

And others of course. I’m frequently on the run of listening to playlists of other programs, but this program has the best music, although some programs share the same music tracks, but nothing compares to how BODYPUMP™ uses the tracks, if you teach BODYPUMP™ you can easily find the words from the lyrics itself to motivate your team, how cool is that?! And if you are experienced enough the music alone leads you into the choreography.

Smooth, precise and Strong?

The warm up:

I was never impressed by warm up tracks, they have been always annoying to me, not only in BODYPUMP™ but in all programs’ releases. This one is smooth, precise and yet strong. It does actually warm you up fast, it has been designed right, and if you have difficulties remembering warm ups, this one will not be a problem, the sequence kinda makes sense, from warming up the back it moves to the top of your body downwards, finishing with small muscles. So back, shoulders, legs the biceps, the whole thing is over, and once it starts it does feel short, it feels quick although it’s not it’s 5 minutes long. So no confusions, no crazy shifting not so many boring repetitions. It did make me happpyyyyyyyyy! 😀

Are you looking for madness when you workout?

Contrast Training:

which is a mix between speed and pressure can be experienced in tracks 2 (Squats) and 3 (Chest).  For actual results in these tracks I’d say follow the weight recommendation mentioned in your booklets and expose that to your members. In the chest tracks some people go heavy in the chest press then go super light in the fly, as we did fly for a while now, and I totally understand because the typical plates grip is not comfortable when trying to go heavy. Those of you who have the chance to use the LES MILLS™  SMARTBAR™ enjoy the heavy plates performing the awesome “A PRESSES” here, since the grip on the plates is absolutely solid and fantastic. The A PRESS is an excellent workout to isolate the chest muscles, please read more about the execution and techniques in the choreography notes.

Explosions?

Some of you already know the answer! And yes it’s the Back Track:

I’d say there is nothing new in this track, but trust me it does feel fresh and new, it’s very explosive and demanding, and here I insist to try and be a bit tough and go a bit heavier than usual. In my personal opinion the music track is beautiful, it makes you wanna do more than you are supposed to, and every time the music is over at the back of my head I have a silent objection “Oh no! I want more”

Off the Record?

Triceps & Shoulders:

These 2 came off the records this time, I would say shoulders more than triceps, but some people say the opposite. I guess it depends on which you have stronger.

Both tracks were made to do 4 things to your muscles:

  • Confuse them
  • Drain them
  • Strengthen them
  • And certainly shape them

I can’t be thankful enough here! BUT please do not go crazy carrying crazy weights in shoulders tracks because it hasn’t been designed for big weights. No, No, No! But in triceps  yes you can 🙂

Good news? Bad news?

Lunges:

For a while now lunges tracks aren’t coming to please us or give us a break, they have been tough. It’s good new for those who want to maintain stronger legs and glutes, and bad news for people with knee injuries since they can’t lung sometimes. The track is relatively long 5:19 minutes. Fatigue hits the calves at the end. I generally enjoy legs tracks, despite my weak left knee, I still believe strong legs are a reasonable survival.

I know I didn’t talk about Biceps, Core and Cool down. I keep those three to you to explore.

Have fun with it for now, and If you have never tried BODYPUMP™  I guess it’s time for you to go for it, this is a program that does give you results, I promise you that!

FYI no one pays me to write about any of LES MILLS™  programs, I do find this one precisely effective, since I have seen results on myself at least 🙂

Katia 🙂

C4 Extreme, Pre-workout Supplement, Personal Review!

C4 Extreme
C4 Extreme

Happy new year to all of you out there! I hope this year brings all good to all of us.

As I said earlier, I have been experimenting different diets, supplements and exercises since early 2013. There is no better way to know what’s best for you other than trying, right?

Being a group exercise instructor (GXI) means teaching lots of classes. My classes vary in between cardio and resistance training. It is possible to live without pre-workout supplements, yes it is! But let’s face it, on days when I have 5-6 classes where am I supposed to bring energy from? And I’m not big on coffee or energy drinks like Redbull, etc. So I’ve decided to ask my friend, who happens to be an excellent personal trainer, him advice on a good supplement and he said “C4 Extreme, It Is!” and honestly I can’t wait to see him, since I was away during Holidays, to thank him for this great suggestion.

Here I’m attaching for you a picture where you can see facts about C4 Extreme, the product is brought to us by CELLUCOR.

C4 Extreme Facts

C4 Extreme Facts

What does it do?

This supplement boosts your energy physically and mentally for a long time after taking it. This supplement is made to last in your system for a good while, helping you to finish your workout steadily, It not only amplifies your energy but it also makes you mentally focused and it pumps your muscles in a nice way.

When I first took it, I still remember that day, when I was already fatigued and I had two classes back to back(120 minutes) plus I was stubborn enough to think about doing my own weight lifting training afterwards, and I thought to myself: “This thing should work! Other wise I’m dead!” And it did! My body and mind were wide awake, I didn’t feel any sorts of imbalances, as other pre-workout supplements might cause. I was even surprised that not only I didn’t feel fatigued but I also felt powerful and my performance was better than usual. Due to the power I had the members during those classes obviously received some vibes and energy, they all went crazy as we all motivated each other to finish each and every track. I also did my own training later and it all went well.

I hear people saying pre-workout supplements cause their hearts to pump too fast and it bothered them. So far I didn’t feel that way, yes it beats faster but It didn’t knock me out, not even close.

It takes a few minutes after taking it to feel it, the feeling is describable but it makes you feel ready to crush!

So think about it, a scoop of C4 Extreme enhances your power and gets you going helping you perform and beat your personal records, and of course it does take your heart rate up so the blood flows faster in your body, if that means anything here then it means you will be able to burn  fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat…

What is NO3?

NO3 is Nitrate, an advanced compound that promotes unbelievable muscle pumps and amplifies the effectiveness of C4 Extreme. CELLUCOR is utilizing a new compound where NO3 has been fused to create Creatine Nitrate. Increased water solubility promotes better absorption and reduces the chance of the traditional side effects of Creatine supplementation.

Is it that good?

C4 Extreme has received the highest honors in the supplement industry, including last year’s (2013) Pre-Workout Supplement of the Year and Best Product Innovation from the top retailers in the world, including Bodybuilding.com and GNC.

Taste and Flavor?

I really don’t usually care much about taste, since first diets make you just eat whatever you have to eat without the need to enjoy your food, second who cares anyway? It’s just a supplement. Do you agree? I don’t think so! some of you want the taste first then everything else!

So the one that I have says “Orange” on it, it does taste like many orange juices you get to buy from supermarkets, I think the taste is good, good enough to make someone forget they are taking a supplement. CELLUCOR made sure to make a variety of flavors; Icy Blue Razz, Watermelon and Green Apple,  Pink Lemonade, or Pineapple and Orange. So what more could you ask for? I’m personally looking forwards to try the Watermelon and Green apple.

Any Side effects?

I started using C4 Extreme few weeks ago and I don’t take it on daily basis because I don’t want to depend on it. The only thing I noticed, although I’m not pretty sure it is a side effect of C4 Extreme, is some small red spots on my arm right under my shoulder, they don’t look like pimples but rather red spots. It could be something else, it could be an allergic reaction to the supplement. They don’t ache, they don’t itch, so to me whatever.

How do I rate it?

Well, well, well! Excellent is the word to use to rate this!

Important Notes?

Yes please, before you consider buying one, make sure to consult your physician, because I’m not one. And make sure whatever ingredients this supplement has don’t stimulate or contradict with medications and other supplements you might be taking. Don’t risk your health please. SAFETY FIRST and on top of everything else.

If you chose to try this make sure to drink lots and lots of water since it makes you sweat and you need to compensate the loss of water and minerals in your body.

Enjoy your workouts, stay fit and fight to be a new you!

Katia 🙂

BODYPUMP™ 87, my personal review

BODYPUMP™ 87 is in the house!

I know that many of you out there don’t know anything about BODYPUMP™, so here’s a quick introduction:

BODYPUMP™ is a barbell group exercise fitness program. The creator of this program is an international company based in New Zealand called Les Mills International, they have other fitness programs that you can check out by yourself:

http://www.lesmills.com/global/about-les-mills/about-les-mills.aspx

What is actually unique about BODYPUMP™ program is  THE REP EFFECT™; high repetitions low weight training, which simply means fast and trusted results.

I’m myself a certified BODYPUMP™ instructor, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be subjective here, I’m going to be as objective as possible.

I started teaching BODYPUMP™ a few months ago this year, yes! I’m fresh and brand new, what actually amazed me about BODYPUMP™ program is the quick transition that it brought and still bringing to my body inside out. So how? back to THE REP EFFECT™!

THE REP EFFECT™ gives us all the benefits we look for in resistance training without lifting heavy weights, it’s the key to developing long lean muscles, you no longer have to body build in order to get beautifully toned muscles and you no longer need to get bulky! I assume this is every girl’s nightmare! bulk! With BODYPUMP™ you won’t bulk at all, trust me! In fact, high repetitions/low weight exercise fatigues the muscles, and it is what actually tones them, not muscle loading as many people think, also it increases the strength endurance. During the class your heart rate will be pushed into a cardiovascular training zone, so you not only toned and strengthened your muscles but also burned fat, and of course it’s fun with all the music tracks and the crazy energy during the class!

what usually matters to gym members is the music! BODYPUMP™ 87 came out with a great track list, a variation of artists and music genres are to be found here. Here’s an idea of what’s playing during BODYPUMP™ 87:

  • Christina Aguilera- Let there be love
  • Scooter- Black betty
  • Nick Skitz & Basslouder feat. Brooklyn Bounce- Again & Again (club remix)
  • Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch- Sweet Nothing
  • Fall Out Boy- My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark

and of course others. We are talking about 10 tracks in each BODYPUMP™ release.

What’s attractive in BODYPUMP™ 87? THE SQUATS! 3 different stances for squats; mid stance, wide stance and wider squats stance, there is no recovery in between, your legs and gluteus muscles are going to be on fire! It’s a great track to condition the lower body, the heart rate goes up and your legs are going to tremble and you are going to sweat, and guess what you won’t stop because the music takes you away as the exercise tempo changes and changes and the range of motion as well!

What’s challenging? The explosive power you get in THE BACK track! It works your back muscles, your hamstrings and your gluteus! The amount of focus needed here is high, there is nothing but you and your barbell, while your muscles explode each and every move. The music vibrates the atmosphere taking care of your determination. After you finish this track you will feel like an earthquake!

What’s multicolored? The many transitions in THE TRICEPS track! we have triceps dips, kickback rows, triceps push ups and triceps over head extensions! Oh yeah! So many exercises happening  within 4 minutes time. Your triceps are insured to get the best shape and strength.

What’s crazy? THE BICEPS track! 3 sets of work without serious recoveries, alternating between biceps curls and hummers , you will end up shouting out of pain! The music chosen is as crazy as the pain itself! it all in all burns!

What’s hot? THE SHOULDERS track! are you a dub-step music fan? This track is going to make you move like a robot. For me personally i few times criticized dub-step music, as in not finding it interesting at first, but i would say, obviously the first few tracks i was offered to listen to weren’t the best. Dub-step became part of our workouts with Les Mills International, and since not everyone likes Dub-Step, it comes only once in the releases, and sometimes not. But in track 8 which is the shoulders track, dub-step is dominating besides the fatigue your muscles are going to encounter, i emphasize a lot on the music in this track, as it throws you in some kind of a magical atmosphere, maybe some sort of LaLa-Land!

Here i didn’t talk about the warm up, the chest, the lunges, the ABS and the cool down tracks, because I didn’t want to bore you with lots of details, and because I wanted to leave you excited and curious.

As for now I will be preparing myself for my next BODYPUMP™ class!