Fit Chic NYC’s Blog

Are You Intimidated by the Gym?

Last night I was at a wine tasting event with a bunch of my girlfriends and everyone seemed to be talking about three things – wine (duh!), summer beach house shares and FITNESS! It was my ideal night!

But a lot of the girls talked about being scared of the gym. Well, not scared, but timid to weight train because of the their lack of knowledge of exercises, proper form and how to set up and use the machine. And apparently this is a common fear: Check out this post from Fit Sugar about intimidating gym equipment.

Trust me, I understand how the weight and circuit room can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Not only do you need to know which exercises target which muscles, but you need to understand form, proper settings and alignment (if you’re on a machine), how many repetitions, how heavy of weight etc.. But women of the world take control of your workouts!

First, understand that proper training incorporates cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training. And ‘unfamiliarity with’ is a lame excuse to ignore any of the components. While I would love to take all my friends to the gym and explain everything myself (I can’t help it, it’s the trainer in me), with everyone’s hectic schedules and different gym memberships, matters become a bit complicated. So what’s a girl to do – get educated!

No one is born with the knowledge of how to use the machines, everyone had to start somewhere. Maybe you can’t afford to hire a personal trainer these days, but if you’re unfamiliar with how to work a certain machine, ask the trainers for help. Catch them between sessions and ask them to explain an exercise or how to set up a machine. Use them as your resource.

Other options?  Watch others. This can be risky since not everyone knows what they are doing, but look at exercisers who seem competent, it will at least give you a starting point. Also, try to peak a glimpse at someone’s training session and try to emulate their position, posture and form on your own. Read up. There are plenty of weight training resources out there in both print and online. Just as you learn follow a recipe when you cook, follow instructions for equipment when you train. I see plenty of people (girls and guys!) bring books, manuals and logs to the gym. But remember safety first, when you’re first starting out, use lighter weights until you nail down the technique.

I’d love to know, are there machines that you shy away from? Or what have you done to overcome your fear?


Get Fit Without Breaking the Bank

A great resource for staying on shape while on a budget!

Weekend Fitness Round-Up : April 24-26

Enjoy the warm weather and some spice to your weekend fitness routine with these fun events going on around NYC!

Friday, April 24th

Saturday, April 25th

What: Run for the Wild

Where: Bronx Zoo

When: Race starts a 9am

Why: For starters, I’ll be there, but it’s also a great way to get fit for a cause! The Wildlife Conservation Society’s is hosting its first Wild5K run/walk to help save the gorillas. There will be post-race festivities and Earth Expo showcasing eco-friendly products and information. Plus, Run for the Wild entry fees include complimentary Bronx Zoo entry and a free Congo Gorilla Forest ticket.

More info: click here

What: Extreme Stiletto (Defense) Workshop

Where: World Martial Arts Center (14th and 6th)

When: 10:30am-12pm

Why: As a follow up to the popular Stilettos and Self Defense workshop, this class promises to cover more in-depth techniques like how to get out of grabs and off the floor. It also includes a bonus segment of learning how to design a “complete 20 minute workout that you can take with you on the road or use without having to leave your home. No equipment, no gimmicks, no bull.”

More info: For women only! $40, RSVP at and for more information, click here

What: Fierce Yoga

Where: The Fierce Club, 269 Elizabeth Street just south of Houston

When: Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga classes schedule to every hour, on the hour, between 10am-6 pm

Why: A day of complimentary yoga, massage, music and more!

More info: No reservations necessary, check out event details here

Sunday, April 26th

What: Earth Day at Central Park

Where: Central Park, at the Bandshell

When: 12-4pm

Why: It will be beautiful outside and you’ll more than likely all ready be at Central Park! The activities are designed for you to learn about the Park’s Conservancy environmental initiatives through live performances, projects, demonstrations and crafts.

More info: click here

What: MORE / FITNESS Marathon and half marathon

Where: Central Park, the marathon will start on East Drive near 92nd Street, the half-marathon will start on East Drive near 71st Street

When:  Marathon starts 7:40am, Half-marathon starts 8am

Why: Update on the NYRR website says: “Due to popular demand, the 6th annual More® Magazine | Fitness® Magazine Marathon + Half-Marathon has reached capacity and is now closed” so if you haven’t already registered, sorry, looks like you’ll be on the sidelines soaking up the sun and cheering!

More info: For more information click here

What: Mimosas and Massages for MORE Marathoners

Where: lululemon athletica, East 66th Street location

When: 11am-4pm

Why: Lululemon Athletica is celebrating all of the marathoners and half-marathoners with “lulu-style” mimosas and massages. They say that whether you ran the race or cheered on a friend, come by the store for a drink and a dose of relaxation. Store front neighbors, Molton Brown will be in the store offering complimentary mini-spa treatments from their new Body Therapies collection.

More info: For more information visit the lululemon athletica website

*Update: Sadly, due to the extremely intense workout I did on Wednesday night, (which has left me sore and unable to straighten my arms even two days later!), it looks like I will be unable to attend the Run for the Wild 5k which I’ve already registered for. But it looks like fun and would still recommend anyone in the NYC area to go!

Hot Off the Bench Press – Lessons learned from Jillian Michaels, Top 5 Core Exercises, a Summer Swim Routine and More!

Hot fitness news you don’t want to miss!

Do you have problems taking a break from exercising? – – Some fitness enthusiasts (me included!) know that it can be just as hard to know when to take a break from the gym as it is to get there in the first place.

Brendan Hansen’s summer swim fitness program – That’ – Swimming is the quintessential summer workout, check out this swim routine designed by Brendan Hansens, Olympic gold medalist, captain of the 2008 Beijing Olympics U.S. Swim Team.

3 Fitness do’s and dont’s I learned from my workout with Jillian Michaels –  VitaminG, – I WISH I had the chance to workout with Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser trainer and overall superstar), but here are the lessons Glamour’s health department learned from their experience.

Core Esstentials – – Getting to the core of ab training (okay, I know what was corny) and the top 5 core exercises.

Get ready for your better body breakthrough – – Get to the root of your fitness frustrations and learn how to solve them!

An Earth Day Workout

Attention New Yorkers, if you’ve looked at the forecast for this weekend, we’re finally going to see temperatures in the 80’s and this means I’m breaking out of the gym and heading outside! (I can’t help it, getting a workout while getting a tan … it’s in my Floridian blood to be drawn to the sun!)

But since today is Earth Day, why don’t you jump the gun and celebrate by taking your workout outside today! From a jog around Central Park, or jump roping in your apartment complex’s courtyard, take a moment to welcome the warmer weather and appreciate the outdoors – which can sometimes feel like a scare resource in the concrete jungle.

Incorporate your day’s strength training outside as well. Break up your cardio with one minute intervals of push ups, calf raises, walking lunges, sit-ups and squats (one exercise per interval – complete as many repetitions as you can for a full minute).

Now you’re not only appreciating the outdoors, but you’re saving power and electricity as well by using your own body weight and energy to fuel your workouts. No better way to celebrate Earth Day than with an environmentally-friendly workout!

Here are some other great links with Earth Day workout suggestions:
Strength training in the park from Fit Sugar
Bike to work, play at the park and other ways to celebrate from That’s Fit
The Central Park circuit from NY Running Fitness Examiner

Take Your Spin Class to the Next Level

Hi, my name is Fitchic and I’m a fitness junkie.

Maybe it’s for the adrenaline rush, or maybe it’s an addiction, but I’m constantly seeking out new classes to satisfy my fitness cravings. Recently I tried Bikram Yoga and this weekend I got my “fix” with Ride the Zone.

About a year ago I got into spinning; it was a nice departure from the elliptical/treadmill and I enjoyed the group mentality of the class. And while each class can be just as challenging as my first, I decided to up the ante this weekend with the RealRyder® – the indoor bike that moves.

Oh yes, it moves. Not forwards or backwards, it’s still a stationary bike. Rather, it tilts and turns and was created to “simulate the experience and the benefits of riding a bike in the real world. Not just the pedaling; the steering, the leaning, the balancing, the mental involvement and the emotional excitement,” the product’s website claims. The result? “A 5-in-1 workout for the whole body – not simply legs and cardio, but also upper body, core muscle groups, and balance.” It’s a revolutionary piece of equipment to the spin world.

While you can purchase these bikes from the website, they carry a hefty prices (and well if you live in Manhattan, good luck finding a place in your apartment for it), so I suggest checking out their list of partnered facilities for a class near you. That’s how I stumbled upon Ride The Zone – I went to their Upper East Side location. Check out their website for a video of what the bike looks like in action. And your first class is free! (Although you will need cycling shoes,  you can rent them for $3.)

After having one of the instructors help set up my bike, I gave the class a shot. Maneuvering the bike while sitting down (position one for you spinners out there) was fine, kind of exciting. The standing run in position two and three was a different story. My bike was moving left to right causing the seat to ram into my thighs; I just couldn’t control it as well as the more experienced riders in the class. It took almost the full 45 minutes of class to get used to the bike’s swaying and sadly my cadence never picked up, even with minimal resistance, but it’ll just take some getting used to. It didn’t help that I also got side stitches halfway through the class. The instructor said I needed to breathe a little more – it’s a common problem for first timers. Apparently I was holding onto the handlebars so tightly that I forgot to breathe normally.

Overall, I loved it! My entire body felt the class (especially my obliques) and the cardio component was much more intense than what I’ve experienced from a normal spin class; but, that could be because it’s still new to my body. I can’t wait to try it again and work on increasing my stability and speed while standing.

I looked nowhere near as graceful as this, but check out this Youtube video that demonstrates the bike:

Weekend Fitness Update – Arm wrestling competition
April 17, 2009, 3:07 PM
Filed under: NYC life, Weekend Workouts, Weight lifting

Another fitness event/competition for this weekend:

Prove your right to bear arms at this Saturday’s 2009 New York Arm Wrestling Association’s Big Apple Grapple. More info: