Fit Chic NYC’s Blog


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!

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The Ultimate Total Body Exercise – Join The Burpee Challenge

No matter how fit you think you are, allow the burpee to humble you in less than one minute.

Also affectionately known as the jumping squat thrust, the prison workout or just plain workout hell, this famously miserable exercise can be considered the ultimate total body exercise that serves both strength training and cardio purposes.

How to do you do a burpee? Check out this video for a great visual:

1.    Squat and jump back into a plank position
2.    Perform a pushup with your CHEST TOUCHING THE GROUND (besides being proper form, it’ll make your life easier)
3.    Jump to squat landing on your HEELS
4.    Jump up (and if you want, clap your hands over head to ensure your getting your hands up)

What are you working? Well everything! You are firing your legs with the squat, your using your triceps and shoulders with the pushup, your abdominal is engaged helping to stabilize your plank and I promise these will have your heart pumping and leave you breathless after just a few.

Best part about burpees (said with tongue-in-cheek since there are no “best” parts about burpees)? This exercise can be performed anywhere, doesn’t require equipment and uses your own body weight. So NO EXCUSES (burpee like a champ)!

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see the reemergence of burpee popularity; it incorporates a few of the predicted 2009 fitness trends – back to basics/primal, bootcamp and budget-friendly workouts – plus they are repeat offender in CrossFit WODs (workout of the day).

So fellow fitness fanatics I invite you to join my one-minute burpee challenge. I’ve engaged in a little friendly competition with a friend where for 5 days/week we will each perform as many burpee reps as possible in ONE minute. We record our daily numbers as well as a weekly average and winner gets street cred and bragging rights.

Think you can handle one minute of burpees? Join the challenge. Post your daily one-minute burpee totals in the comment section of the daily post and see how you measure up.



Hot Off the Bench Press – Make Your Workouts Work For You, A Dose Of Veggie Reality, Kim Kardashian Muscles Up and More!

Hot fitness news you don’t want to miss!

What’s the deal with interval training? – Loveandblueberries.com – Not seeing results? Rev up your workout by including intervals, here’s why!

A 3-in-1 exercise – Fittipdaily.com – Trim your workout time (and your upper body!) with this move that targets your biceps, shoulders and triceps.

The carrot train to crazytown –  Byersgetsdisel.com – Avoiding carrots because of their sugar count? Get some sense smacked into you by this witty blog from one fit chick!

The 10 fat loss mistakes you’re making at the gym – staleytraining.com – Make sure your workouts are working for you!

Sneak preview of Kim Kardashian’s Muscle and Fitness Her’s cover – Kim’s fitness transformation is inspiring especially since she keeps her curves!



Back With My (Fitness) Ex

No no, I’m not back with an ex-boyfriend of mine, but rather my true fitness love, CrossFit. After a 6-month separation, not of mutual consent, I’m proud to say that CrossFit and I are giving it another go.

My relationship started about a year ago, Memorial Day 2008 to be exact, at CrossFit Hardcore in Boca Raton, Florida. After an intense workout, unlike anything I’ve ever tried before, I was hooked. I continued seeing him through the end of October, sometimes up  to 6 days/week. Then I moved to New York City. The relationship got a bit abusive at the end, I suffered a fractured wrist so that, coupled with the move and change in location/work, I thought it was time for a break. NOTE to new CrossFitters, the injury was my own fault – big ego mixed with poor form!

If you’re not familiar with CrossFit it’s hard to fully explain how incredible it truly is. One affiliate owner tried to tackle the concept of a CrossFit elevator pitch here. In it’s most simple form, CrossFit workouts are functional, varied and intense and scale to any ability level. They incorporate and combine kettlebell training (i.e. KB swings) with cardiovascular elements (i.e. rowing, running, jump roping), body weight/primal exercises (i.e. push ups, pull ups, squats), gymnastics moves (i.e. handstand push ups) and Olympic weightlifting (i.e. thrusters, clean and jerks) to produce a quick, varied workout that prepares your body to handle anything. Check out the main site at CrossFit.com.

But now, after a hiatus, I’m prepared to allow CrossFit back into my life. While back on Florida on vacation – sorry, for the lack of posts, I was enjoying the weather! – I stopped by my old affiliate for some workouts and realized how much I miss the feeling of utter exhaustion and pushing my body past all expectations. CrossFit has stolen my heart all over again. The addition of the late evening classes at CrossFit NYC’s Black Box location fits into my schedule and I’ll be hitting today’s WOD (workout of the day) of as many rounds of 5 thrusters/10 burpees as I can in 12 minutes.

What can I say, I think we’re meant for each other!



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



Budget workout: Stair climbing

Bouncing off my last post – this year fitness is going primal (use what’s around you) and budget-friendly – and here’s a perfect example: STAIRS.

Yeah you’ve heard it before, take the stairs instead of the elevator and park your car further away from the front door so you have to walk that extra bit. It all seems minuscule but it really does add up! And in their recent revisions of exercise recommendations, the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommend these short bursts of exercise to help in maintaining/losing weight and staying physically fit.

But why stairs? Well first of all they are everywhere – do you live in a two story home, walk up apartment (or one that’s below the 10th floor)? Great, consider this a free workout. If you live in NYC there are not only events such as the annual Empire State Building run up, but I hear some of the subway station entrances can be pretty brutal climbs as well (such as the Lexington and 59th Street stop). If you live on the coast, climb the lighthouses, I’ve climbed two in Florida so far! Using natural stairs not only budget-friendly, but environmentally-friendly as well! But if the climate and/or terrain doesn’t allow, incorporate the stair climber at your local gym into your weekly cardio routine.

Incorporating stair climbing into your daily routine will help whip you into shape. As opposed to other types of cardio, stair climbing not only gets your heart rate up but it’s great for toning the quads. WORKOUT TIP: When I stair climb I work in intervals. I’ll alternate between one minute at a faster pace taking one stair at a time, and one minute at a slower pace, taking the stairs two at a time and adding a kickback with the opposite leg to target my glutes.

In a great article written by The New York Times, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise Cedric Bryant was quoted saying that “Stair climbing will give you a little more bang for your buck because of the vertical component,” and that it  “will be a bit more challenging and therefore allow you to burn more calories for that same amount of time” (as opposed to running or the elliptical).

Tips for the perfect climb:

  • Use proper posture – a comfortable upright position with minimal upper body involvement. Arm support should be used for stability and balance purposes only, not to  support your trunk. Basically, don’t slouch.
  • Place your entire foot on the stair with each step, unless you’re trying to tip-toe up. 
  • If you’re using stairs outside of the gym be smart and safe about your location. Don’t climb the stairs of an empty garage late at night.