My #BlogFest Buddies!

I’m very excited to be a part of #BlogFest this year as a Lightning Round speaker, and I’m even more excited now that I’ve been “buddied” up with two AMAZING ladies.

The BlogFest organizers have put together a program that pairs up a returning BlogFest attendee with two new attendees. I just wanted to have the opportunity to show off my awesome new buddies – I can’t wait to spend BlogFest hanging out with them!

Jennifer Hellickson, KineticFix.com; Fit Approach; SweatGuru

1. Who are you? Tell us in a brief paragraph who you are / what city you live in / what you blog about?

Hey, guys! Jennifer Hellickson here – PR person by day and blogger over at KineticFix.com. I’m the marketing director for Fit Approach and SweatGuru, working alongside founders Jamie and Alyse to build the Sweat Pink and SweatGuru communities online. I’m a runner, (wannabe) triathlete and workout junkie  who lives in Portland and loves geeking out over fitness trends, bodyhacks and healthy food, along with the latest and greatest gear.

2. What was your favorite part about BlogFest last year?

Hands down, the people! From the informative panel discussions, incredible guest speakers (Jillian Michaels = #girlcrush), high-energy workout leaders and time spent sweating, chatting, eating and laughing with new fit friends…I walked away from the weekend feeling so thankful to have been a part of such a positive, uplifting event.

3. What’s your ultimate workout must-have?

I have a lot of ‘em! I tend to be a gear junkie (likely the result of my early-adopter father), so I’m usually testing out some gadget, piece of clothing or new accessory. Other than that? Comfortable clothing, quality footwear and good music. 

4. If money was no object, where would you travel for vacation and what would you do there?

I’d go straight back to Italy. Travel all around the country, then set up shop in Tuscany in a villa for a month straight and spend my time cooking, walking, eating, shopping and hiking. Not that I’ve put much thought into this or anything 🙂 

5.  What is your spirit animal?

Definitely a meerkat. That was my nickname at my last job because I’d pop my head up over the cubicle walls and crack jokes with my office-mates. I’m a firm believer that you’re a thousand times more productive – and creative – when you’re having fun!

6.  And what makes you blog? And why fitness?

I believe that being active is the key to health and happiness, challenging yourself can take you to places you never dreamed possible, and exercise should be anything but boring! My mission, which I hope I’m accomplishing through my blog, is to inspire, be inspired and ignite a passion for health & fitness in others.

Carleeh, @mamarazza on Instagram;  MamaRazzaOnAMission

1. Who are you? Tell us in a brief paragraph who you are / what city you live in / what you blog about?

My name is Carlia, though I have gone by Carleeh since I was about 10 yrs old. I am the mother of 3, one 14 yr old boy, and two girls; a 12 yr old, and a 5 yrs old redhead!I am 34 and have been married for 15 yrs in June. My husband is a combat wounded veteran with PTSD from multiple deployments to Iraq. Currently,  I am his VA caregiver. I am 30 miles North of Seattle, in a small community called Smokey Point. When my blog is up and running it will be focused on my fitness journey while juggling VA paperwork, kids, and staying centered in Faith and yoga. I am currently studying to be a CPT with NASM and a pound fitness instructor. 

2.  What are you hoping to get out of BlogFest 2015? 

I hope to make friendships and meet with girls I have known on IG for years. I am going to absorb all the bloggy goodness I can to make a legit blog and sweat buckets with the industry’s best.

3. Anything you’re really excited / nervous / anxious about the conference?

I have been dying to get to take a piloxing class especially with my friend Tasha! Nervous about being a newbie in a field and lifestyle that everyone there is accustomed to. I just got into fitness as a passion almost 2 yrs ago to lose weight and just decided to look into it as a lifestyle about 6 months ago. I am so social I am anxious that I will be overly excited and embarrass myself. Lol  

4. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

I am addicted to beverages. I love love love Kevita and I also love infused waters. I typically have a water bottle with fruit or herbs at all times. I do really love to eat chocolate covered strawberries,  fresh mango, and watermelon. I love trail mixes and chia pudding.

5. What type of workout could you not live without? 

Deadlifting and Agility/bootcamp . I love ladders, muscle ropes, lifting weights, and flipping tires. But I adore yoga too. I need them all or I would freak out, I like to mix up my workouts (ClassPass is my dream ticket)

6. If you could close one fast food chain, due to disgusting food, what would you pick?

 I would love to close burger king, just the thought of their food grosses me out. 

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I registered for the 2015 IDEA World Fitness BlogFest with Sweat Pink and received a $40 discount to share with my friends!

You have to join me for 4 career-changing days of advanced blogging sessions, celebrity workouts, and exclusive access to the largest fitness event in the world! Register using my personalized link and save!

Plus… I’ll be speaking during this years Lightning Round!

What are you waiting for? Register now!

http://www.ideafit.com/friend/552ec150bf1c740e178b4630

Title Boston – Getting Fit One Punch & Kick at a time

(Note: First class is free, but I was not given a free class, or paid, or incentivized to write this review) 

Title Boston at North Station recently opened it’s doors… and now that I’ve gone there for 4 classes, I feel like I can write a well rounded review of the newest boxing gym in town.

My friend Shannon heard about this gym opening, since her office is a few floors above it, so we decided one day to check it out. They have a ton of classes, that are PERFECT for people that work a 9-5, so they get 5 stars for that!

So we showed up a little before 5:30 PM on a Tuesday, got wrapped up, and went straight to a bag. There are TONS of bags, and usually that means there is one per person, which means you can hit the bag as hard as you want, without worrying about blowing your partner out with the bag. 

You will pretty much workout up a vicious sweat during the warm up. That first class, I was already out of breath by the time we were half way through the warm up, and was really wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Title offers both boxing and kickboxing classes. Both will kick your butt. 

Take my word for it – I’ve done both. 

I finished up my first Title class looking like I had jumped into a pool, and feeling like I had been through the wringer. But it was SUCH a great butt kicking, and the endorphin high was SO GOOD, that I found myself signing up for their two week unlimited card. Now, at the end of my two weeks – I’m finding myself considering their membership and their class cards. 

And so, two days later, I found myself in their 7:00AM class. Ready to get my butt kicked again. Two weeks later, I think I’ve formed a habit

I also want to make this clear, ANYONE at ANY fitness can join in the class… and everyone will get an amazing workout, and everyone will feel like they are welcome. It’s like walking into a little friends and family gathering. 

Mike Musto, the owner, seems to always be there – and I love the fact that he joins in on workouts, motivates people and is generally a friendly face. All of the trainers encourage you to push yourself beyond your limit. The 15 minute core blast at the end of class will have your inner monologue firing, and you’ll start bargaining with yourself in ways you never have before. 

Plus, they claim that you will burn up to 1,000 calories a class. I haven’t worn my heart rate monitor yet – but I know I’m getting a great workout, because at the end of each class I have this feeling of exhaustion and exhilaration. That combo has me reaching for my planner to see when I can fit in my next class.

Even though I wake up ridiculously sore the next day, I can quickly start to feel myself getting stronger after just 4 classes. If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you may remember I did a boxing bootcamp at Peter Welch’s Gym in Southie a couple years ago. I quickly remembered a) that I was sore constantly for the 8 weeks that I did the bootcamp and b) I was probably in the best shape of my life.

So don’t wait. Go and take your Free “First Hit” and I’m 99.99999% sure that you’ll be back. The Musto’s have built an amazing atmosphere at the gym, and each instructor will give you a run for your money. It’s an amazing workout, and I look forward to working this into my routine for Ragnar Trail Relay, Reach the Beach and a fall half marathon!

Force – The Future of Training Apparel

I had the awesome opportunity to chat with the mastermind behind Force, Derek Anderson. Their Kickstarter just launched, so before heading over there, read what Derek has to say, and why you should be interested in adding Force to your workout wardrobe (I know I will be!) 

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(photo credit to Seraphin Creatives (seraphincreatives.com))

1) What is Force?

Force is an athletic apparel company founded around the idea that our apparel should provide customers with benefits to reach their fitness goals.  Our initial launch product is called “Resistance Apparel” and it provides lightweight resistance to our natural way of moving.  By wearing Resistance Apparel we aim to help our customers become fitter without altering current exercise routines.

2) How did the idea of Force come around?

Force is an idea born from a compilation of personal experiences in my life.  As a former internationally ranked track and field athlete I’ve experienced some great competitive highs, and as a stroke patient I’ve also experienced lows.  Through it all exercise and the competitive mentality kept me going.  I was so immersed in training for a period of time that training by itself wasn’t enough…I tried to find the training techniques that would be the most helpful for competition.  Since athletics are based in movement I tailored my training to maximize the amount of Force I could apply in a given movement.  Elastic resistance was a big part of that training regimen, but when I used elastic bands I had to affix them to a stationary object.  It was this problem that sparked the thought which would eventually become Resistance Apparel.

3) Can the “Weekend Warrior” or the recreational athlete benefit from this?

The weekend warrior or recreational athlete can absolutely benefit from Resistance Apparel.  While wearing resistance apparel you have to apply more force to complete normal movement.  For this reason Resistance Apparel can be used as a tool to push cardiovascular threshold, strengthen muscle groups, and increase power in certain movements.  Because Resistance Apparel utilizes elastic resistance rather than free weight the wearer isn’t reliant upon gravity to provide the added resistance they need.  Resistance apparel won’t change the wearer’s center of mass and it provides resistance in multiple directions!

4) How did you find yourself in the middle of Force?

I found myself in the middle of Force by happenstance and will.  The idea for Resistance Apparel came to me almost out of the blue, but my passion for improving our training techniques and the effectiveness of this concept pushed me to where I am now with Force.

5) Were you always an athlete? Can you tell us a little bit about how your work fitness into your lifestyle?

I’ve been an “athlete” as long as I can remember.  My father brought a baseball glove with him to the delivery room when my mother was in labor.  I played sports my entire life, and still do to this day.  Although I sadly didn’t turn out to be Lebron James or Tom Brady I enjoyed every sport I ever played, and still play rec sports to this day.  Being a “weekend warrior” now with real world responsibilities it’s not as easy to focus on fitness because the rest of my life no longer revolves around my training, but I still make a point to exercise and I think it’s important to try new forms of exercise.  I still lift weights and run, but I’ve also gotten into other forms of exercise like yoga, paddle boarding, mountain biking, etc. to broaden my horizons and see fitness from a different perspective than the “athlete” always did.

6) What is your goal for Force?

I believe Force can be the company that provides it’s customers with products that assist them train harder and more effectively.  We want to show the world what activewear should be…active!

7) In an ideal world, what athlete would you love to see wearing Force?

In an ideal world I’d love to see a lot of athletes wearing Force!  Sorry if this is a bit of a cop out, but I don’t believe that our initial product line, Resistance Apparel, is exclusive to any one group.  Anyone who moves in a linear fashion (i.e. if you don’t shuffle laterally everywhere you go) can experience benefits through wearing Resistance Apparel.  It’s nice to think some international athlete may get behind our cause and promote our message, but I refuse to lose focus on the millions of Americans like myself who are focused on being fit through movement!

8) What’s your mantra? What gets your motivated when the going gets tough?

My mantra…this is a tough one solely because I’m a huge fan of Philosophy and like to really force myself to think of situations differently than my natural reaction urges me to.  If I had to pick two of my favorites they’d be a quote from Bruce Lee and one from a dear friend/coach of mine who passed away a few years ago.

“We do not rise to the level of our expectations.  We fall to the level of our training.” – Bruce Lee

“Keep your dream alive.  It’s your dream that provides the engine to power your success.” – Joe Donahue

Given the amount of blood, sweat, and tears I’ve sacrificed to achieve certain goals I identify with Bruce’s quote, but at the same time Joe reminds me that our time in this plane of reality is finite and it’s important to dream and enjoy the pursuit of those dreams!

9) What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to break through into the fitness world?

Advice for someone trying to start a fitness journey: “Don’t listen to the negative voices, both external and internal.  It’s difficult to make radical changes in your life, but once those changes become habit the reward is truly priceless."Advice for someone trying to break into the fitness business: "Check back with me in a year!”

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