Fit Chic NYC’s Blog

Magazine Recap (in 426 words): Men’s Health March 2010

Working in the magazine industry, I’m all to familiar with the blood, sweat and tears that go into making each issue. That being said, I can also appreciate the sometimes-ridiculous advice that is doled out. So in case you haven’t been able to pick up your March 2010 copy of Men’s Health magazine yet (and please do, my industry needs all the help it can get!), here are some of the issue’s highlights in 426 words:

Paul Walker on Men's Health March 2010

The ideal protein amount for muscle building is 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. Good sources include eggs (19 grams) and Greek yogurt (15 grams). Stand up to annoying coworkers to lower risk of a heart attack. Women find hypermasculine features unfriendly. The BMI scale doesn’t hold much weight for muscular guys. Don’t use your mother’s maiden name as a password. Peanut butter can last 3 months once opened. There’s an ad for the Warrior Dash, which looks like a blast. For recreational cyclers, lower-cadence training is better because of the muscle-building boost in testosterone it provides.  Free weights work your muscles harder (vs. machine assistance). People who train in groups can boost their pain tolerance more than those who work out alone. Front lat pulldowns are better at working back/chest muscle where behind-the-shoulder pulldowns are better for rear shoulder/bicep activation.  Athletes aren’t born; their built – build leg power, size and strength and build NFL muscles with moves like the box jump. Want strong pecs, develop your upper back muscles as well. Frensno, CA is the drunkest city. Upgrade your workout by focusing on details in form. Take a cue from Paul Walker and build an arsenal of training options. First impressions count but it’s the follow-through that really matters – after the first date, sending a text the following day, mid-morning shows interest but allows the girl to reply on her own time (which we like). When deadlifting, imagine shaving your legs with the bar (bruises and cuts on shines is a sign of good form). Roughly half of doctors’ appointments last less than 15 minutes so prioritize your questions. Successful people lack cynicism. The thermic effect of food proves that consuming several small protein meals over the day can help keep your metabolism elevated. The modern gentleman needs at least two watches. Research shows that a single weight-training session can spike your calorie burn for up to 39 hours after you lift. Teriyaki scallops and spiced sweet potato chips are healthy snack options. Want to add some spice to your sex life – kink starts with communication and too much intimacy can de-eroticize your romance. Reduce your risk of prostate cancer by drinking more coffee, having lots of sex (seriously), eating tomatoes and exercising. Guys think Brad Pitt is the luckiest man. When front squatting with a barbell, make sure your upper arms/elbows do not drop, I know someone who broke her wrist when her elbow accidentally slammed into her knee — form is key! Avoid brass buttons on navy blazers.


Hot Off the Bench Press – Bring Your Sexy Back With This Exercise, Use Kettlebells To Blast Calories, Get Jennifer Aniston’s Bikini Body and More!

Hot fitness news you don’t want to miss!

Slimmer Doesn’t Always Mean Fitter – – See how bodyweight affects sport performance.

How to Get Jennifer Aniston’s Bikini Bod
– – Marco Borges (who has whipped Beyonce Knowles and Gwen Stefani into shape) and trainer Joy Di Palma (creator of Core Conditioning Cross Fit) gives the step-by-step.

Motivations, Affirmations and Mantras – Oh My! –  Cranky Fitness –Keep up your New Year resolutions to stay in shape by developing these healthy habits.

Was Bethenny Frankel Wearing Spanx on the Runway? – The StyleList – Marissa Gold gets the skinny on whether the NYC Housewife had extra support during New York Fashion Week.

The Best Back Exercise You’ve Never Done – Men’s Health – Get your sexy back.

Back.the.EFF.up.dude – Fired ‘n’ Fabulous – See what happens when personal trainers creep at the gym.

Kettlebell Workouts Burn Calories Fast – WebMD – Study backs up claims that swinging kettlebells pays fitness dividends

Working Out When Injured – Good or Bad Idea?

Two years ago my ankle brace came off.

At 21 years old I broke my first bone… playing laser tag. Yes, I broke my ankle playing laser tag – I’m just that hardcore.

The first X-ray

The first X-ray

Laser tag is a family past time in my household and we go all-out when we play. The local Laser Quest is a two-story, pitch black playing arena lined with mirrors, secret passages and awesome hideout areas to shoot your target. It’s intense. Plus it’s a fun way to get your heart rate pumping! While I was home over winter break of my senior year in college I was a little too ambitious during a game (can you blame me, Darude’s “Sandstorm” was blasting from the speakers), and I wiped out on the freshly cleaned floors. I think rule number two was no running. Oops. To add to my misery, after I fell, the two random little boys that were in the game with my parents, younger sister and I started shooting me. So not only did I break a bone, I also lost the game. After a day of resting and icing I still wasn’t able to put weight on my foot so I finally went to the hospital. Two X-rays and one specialist later I learned I had a slight fracture. Thankfully not enough of a break to warrant a full foot cast, the removable boot/brace was enough to allow my foot to heal properly.

I broke out in tears. Full-blown bawling, not because of the pain, (I have a pretty high tolerance) but tears of sadness because this injury was seriously going to interrupt my workouts. I workout, that’s what I do, and all of the sudden I couldn’t.

Paparazzi shot

Paparazzi shot

A week later I was in the gym with my boot and crutches hobbling through the weight room trying to see what I could manage. My mother is a physical therapist so she helped me with recovery and also tagged along for my first gym visits to supervise. One thing this experience taught me was to hate (and hate is an understatement) people who don’t re-rack their weights. Do you know how difficult it is to remove 90 lbs. of plates from each side and not drop them on yourself while balancing on one foot?

Luckily I was only out of full commission for just under three months but it was scary not knowing how badly I hurt myself and if my inability to fully allow myself to rest would further aggravate my injury. Everyone around me told me to ‘take it easy, treat your body with respect and allow it to recover,’ but for the week I swore all forms of exercise I was depressed. Being in the gym and working out is more than just staying fit for me, it’s my therapy. It’s how I clear my head and deal with emotions whether it be stress, anger etc. I eventually was able to incorporate the upright bike (slow speed, heavy resistance) and rowing into my weight workout but overcoming injury was one of the most mentally and emotionally painful experiences I’ve had to deal with. Have you worked through injury?

Going out with friends (note the boot!)

Going out with friends (note the boot!)

Magazine Recap (in 375 words): Men’s Fitness February 2010

I recapped SHAPE magazine’s February issue last week so it’s time I show some love for the men’s mags.

Working in the magazine industry, I’m all to familiar with the blood, sweat and tears that go into making each issue. That being said, I can also appreciate the sometimes-ridiculous advice that is doled out.

So in case you haven’t been able to pick up your February 2010 copy of Men’s Fitness magazine yet (and please do, my industry needs all the help it can get!), here are some of the issue’s highlights in 375 words:

36 percent of people under 35 go right onto Facebook and Twitter after having sex and 17 percent of readers polled call in “sick” the Monday after Super Bowl. Build a bigger chest with wide grip dips. Leaning forward slightly on bicep curls should allow you to go heavier and will minimize shoulder pain. Jason Ferruggia’s 4rules for thin guys at the gym: do fewer exercises, do more sets, hit your whole body three times a week and keep your reps low (HUH)? Sports massages loosen tight, fatigued muscles and relieve soreness – Give yourself one at home with a foam roller. Cut calories and incorporate interval training to shed extra lbs., and don’t skip breakfast or swear off favorite foods, you’ll eventually cave. Chili is a man meal. The RX for over boozing – eat fruits with high water content to help restore fluid balance and fat-burning capabilities. Make sure your bucket list includes bringing a muscle car back to life and going to rock star camp. My personal Vancouver-athlete hottie  Zach Parise builds core muscles by twists on a Swiss ball while short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno likes to climb stairs facing sideways while  bent in a low speed skater position to build the glutes, hamstrings and calves. The burpee is the best exercise ever. DUH. When having sex in public, make it a quickie and if you’re doing it in a parking lot, think backseat.  Englishmen are lazy in bed while the Swedes finish too quickly and the best lovers are from Spain, Brazil and Italy according to – Speed skated Allison Baver agrees “Italy has the hottest guys… Plus they’re all about love.” DWYANE WADE in a light gray pinstripe suit – I die – his favorite go-to designers are Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Gucci. Get abs like star of Legion Paul Bettany by doing hanging leg lifts, rope crunches, ab wheel rollouts and back extensions. Tabata intervals. In the MMA abs workout there are three different types of gorilla swings. Mike Torchia (of Operation Fitness) said he once designed a $25,000 home-gym setup for Kevin Spacey, build your own (basic) for as little as $250. Biggest home-gym mistake: don’t buy used equipment without thoroughly checking it out.

Hot Off the Bench Press – Can Weight Loss Help Your Bottom Line, Resistance Training Keeps Your Mind Sharp, The Sports Bra Breakdown and More!

Healthy headlines you don’t want to miss!

Resistance Training Can Save Your Brain – Rodale News – Feel great, look good and stay sharp! New research shows that weigh lifting can improve brain function.

Are Your Weight Loss Costs Tax-Deductible – Fit Tip Daily – It’s time to file taxes, see how staying healthy can save you money.

Actress Tanna Frederick To Run LA Marathon – FitCelebs – Get the skinny on Tanna’s marathon goals.

Find the Best Sports Bra For You – That’s Fit – It’s a sports bra breakdown.

Take it Outdoors – Vitamin G – It may be cold outside but Vitamin G breaks down the three top reasons why taking your workouts outside is a good idea.

Flying the Healthy Skies – Fit Bottomed Girls – Secrets for a healthy flight

Plus: This weekend is Equinox’s Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling fundraiser to benefit cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and you can still donate online.

My Workout With Celeb Trainer Gunnar Peterson

He’s responsible for making some of Hollywood’s sexiest celebs like J-Lo, Matthew McConaughey and Kim Kardashian hot and sweaty – and into red carpet ready shape! And for one steamy NYC morning I had him all to myself… well almost. As one of the lucky few who won an invitation to FITNESS magazine and Silk soy milk’s tweet-up workout with trainer Gunnar Peterson, I (and about 12 other fitness enthusiasts) was put through a 10-exercise workout with one of Hollywood’s most sought after trainers.

Gunnar’s philosophy is to create an exercise program that keeps your heart rate elevated, your body guessing and builds strength. So what did we learn? Well some of the moves can be viewed HERE but the 10-exercise workout program was designed for busy people who can’t spend hours training, but want to have the body that looks like they do! Best way to do that – incorporate total body moves like a plank/push up or my favorite, the advancing side lunge with wood chop, so that you can make the most out of limited time.

Looking for some moves to include in your workout routine? Try the dumbbell squat that goes into an upright row. Always remember proper form when squatting – keep your chest up and don’t lean over your knees. Imagine that there is a string attached at your chest bone and someone is tugging it up as you squat down. Incorporate other upper body moves into the exercise by switching out the upright row for a push press or lateral shoulder raise.

While celebs may fear Gunnar’s workouts (expect to sweat!) I see why they love him! His tongue-in-cheek personality shined during the Q&A session that followed the workout. One girl who is trying to shed a few pounds asked if she should hold off on strength training (and focus on cardio) until she drops the weight? Gunnar’s response, “I see a lot of fat people on the treadmill.” Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Completely! But for those looking to lose weight, the reason why Gunnar stresses that workouts must include resistance/strength training is that it builds lean tissue which is active, and active muscles burn calories faster.

So what does Gunnar keep in his workout toolbox – the rowing machine and stairs! Simple but effective workouts. I like to use the rowing machine on Monday nights when I get to the gym after work and it’s so packed that there is a wait for any cardio machine because more often than not, the row machine is open. Gunnar suggests mixing it up when rowing by including an overhead row or underhand grip.

His other favorite – stairs! He claims they are another underused component in an exercise program, especially considering you don’t even need a gym to use them … and I agree, check out the earlier post I wrote about stair climbing as a great budget workout! Keep your heart rate up and your body challenged by speed intervals, climbing two stairs at a time or even climbing climb sideways.

And his advice if you’re in the market to hire a trainer – the best workout program is one that keeps you challenged and makes you want to come back. Being pushed to the point you want to throw up, not being able to walk the next day or hating yourself and your trainer isn’t motivation to come back for another session.

The only piece of equipment we used during our morning workout with Gunnar was a set of light dumbbells (I used 8lbs.) and a yoga mat. So even if you can’t afford a gym or trainer, Gunnar proves you can still get a body like Hollywood’s hottest celebs!

Embarrassed At The Gym

I’m almost two weeks into my burpee challenge and while I’m not in the lead, I’m proud to say that I’m the most improved and already increased my rpm! But my biggest challenge in participating – overcoming my fear of performing.

What?! Yep, it’s not the thought of being completely and utterly winded in a minute flat, it’s my self-consciousness in performing the exercise. Next time you go to the gym, look around; you don’t really see people throwing themselves onto the ground, doing a push-up and jumping back up again very often; let alone a female breaking a sweat. Hence my dilemma. While I’m proud of my strength I find myself wandering around the gym for a reclusive area, out most gym-goers’ view to perform my burpees. Why? I’m embarrassed.

When I’m at a CrossFit box (CrossFit lingo alert “box” is what you typically call their place of operation/studio) I have no problem dropping chest to deck and whipping out a minute of burpees. No stares, no questions. Rather when I get winded I’ll hear cheers of encouragement to push harder, better, faster stronger! But throw down burpees at a globo gym (CrossFit lingo, any chain/luxury gym) all you get is weird stares and maybe an off-hand comment or two.

And perform a burpee in my apartment?! Out of the question! Besides the limited space that comes in living in a New York apartment with three other girls, I’d prefer not to have their looks of bewilderment or complaints from the downstairs apartment about constant thudding.

This isn’t an isolated occurrence either. I find myself thanking the gym G*Ds that I didn’t join the Equinox in my building when I was looking for a new gym membership because now half of my office belongs. When I workout, I workout – I use weights and I do dead lifts, dips and attempted pull-ups. I get sweaty. And I don’t want my coworkers who use the dumbbells without breaking a sweat see me in such a vulnerable state. Geez, when I picked up a kettlebell at a globo gym, a trainer came over to me to tell me how impressed he was with the weight I was using and my form… thanks, but please let me workout in peace!

In a great article on Gubernatrix, the author said, “When going all-out in an intense circuit you know you are going to look a bit crazy. This is all very well if you are surrounded by people doing the same thing. But if you are the only one, it can feel very exposed.

This also applies to any women who regularly find that they are the only female in the gym. Guys will look, they can’t help it. But it can be hard to block this out and just get on with your workout. It’s not as if we are bouncing along at 5 miles an hour on the treadmill with not a hair out of place. We’re under the bar pushing bodyweight or more and it doesn’t always look pretty!”

Amen sister!