Powering Your Run and Yoga Practice Through Strength Training

WorkshopsHeather6Over the past couple of months I’ve had the honour to team up with YYoga to bring YFit, their HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) strength training class, to Toronto. This class is perfect for runners, yogis, or cyclists, who are looking to build strength in a fun and dynamic group training setting.

On October 25th I will be leading a 2 hour YFit101 workshop which will focus on strength training safety, core exercises for major muscle groups, and will contain a 60 minute YFit master class.  I hope you’ll join me!

Workshop Details

Workshop Description: Interested in functional fitness? Complement your yoga practice with dynamic and strengthening movements for total body health. In this introductory workshop, you’ll learn the fundamentals for excellent form in order to make the most of your workouts and power yourself to the next level of fitness. Improve endurance, cardio, and functional strength in this dynamic, fun, and vigorous workout! All levels welcome.
Cost: $30
Location: YYoga Queen Street West
Date: October 25, 2015
Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

For more information and to register, click here.

Wild About It: Make Every Workout Count with Jabra Sport Coach

Push ups, planks, and squats – oh my! This past week I had the pleasure of testing out the hottest new fitness earbud from Jabra, the Jabra Sport Coach. This portable in-ear training coach is the world’s first wireless cross training solution with in-ear audio coaching and integrated TrackFit™ motion sensor, and amazing Dolby® sound. Read my previous review of the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds here.

What Is It?

Red_Jabra_Sport_Coach_Pack_ENJabra Sport Coach is an app and BlueTooth wireless earbud system that helps you plan, track and analyze your cross training workouts, and gives you personalized in-ear coaching as you workout. You pick the focus of the workout from their variety of set programs, or create you own, and Jabra Sport Coach will help you keep track of repetitions and time, and coach you throughout the workout. And if circuit training wasn’t enough, you can combine your workout with walking, running, and cycling, and it also measures your distance, pace, number of steps and cadence, and not to forget calories burnt. Jabra Sport Coach allows you to set clear targets for your every workout session and for what matters to you – making every workout moment count, anywhere, anytime.

What I’m Wild About.

photo 1What I loved in the original Jabra Sport is here in the Jabra Sport Coach as well, the amazing Dolby® sound, again, think epic movie theatre sound, but coming from an earbud. If you’ve ever been to my indoor cycling or yoga class, you know that music is vital to what I do, conscious movement to music. A great tune can push your workout to the next level, and the Jabra Sport Coach, with Dolby® sound, helps to do that. So with up to 5.5 hours of wireless music time you can get fired up by your favorite songs and hear them your way  without wires and cables getting in your way.

Something new is the included with the Jabra Sport Coach is the Jabra Sound app, which is a music player that plays your stored music and streamed YouTube content in full Dolby® sound. You can create and browse playlists, share music and optimize the graphic equalizer so you can listen to your tracks the way you want to, in crazy clear base dropping Dolby® sound.

But Won’t They Fall Out?

photo(1)Prior to using the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds, I had never had any luck running with earbuds in – at all. When I run with music (which is typically at the gym), I always use sport headphones that hook around the ear to hold them in place, and prior to doing my original Jabra review I was definitely skeptical about how these would work. Similar to the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds, the Jabra Sport Coach come with four interchangeable pieces  for both parts of the earbuds (the actual in ear piece, yellow and clear in the photo, and the surrounding capsule, yellow in the photo)  which really lets you get a custom fit. You should also notice the little spike on the earbud, this hooks in your ear crease so it stays in place.

Final Thoughts.

photo 2The Jabra Sport Coach are a great earbud, perfect for cross-training. They have epic sound and take the guess work away from your strength training workout. The in-ear coach prompts you with what you’re doing and what’s coming next and being wireless you have the freedom to move without the restrictions of being attached to your device. The price point is less than the Jabra Sport Pulse (which contain an in-ear pulse monitoring system) at $169 retail price and can be purchased in Best Buy stores and http://www.bestbuy.ca and at www.jabra.ca. The Jabra Sport Coach is an all-in-one training solution with planning and coaching, and a killer sound, so if that’s what you’re looking for, look no further and get yourself this summers hottest training tool.

Fitness Trends from CanFitPro Toronto

CanFitPro is one of my favourite weekends in Toronto. Thousands of fitness professionals from around North American invade the Metro Toronto Convention Centre sweating, and laughing, and having a fatiguing good time all in the name of healthy, active living. An epic star studded line up including Jillian Michaels, Tosca Reno, and Hayley Wickenheiser helped kick of the rad weekend and keep the energy high all conference long.

The convention centre was buzzing, and the trade show was hopping – or Zumbaing. Here are my top 5 trends from this years CanFitPro.

1. Dance Fitness: Barre was huge this year. I’ve blogged previously about Barre workouts and moves you can do in the comfort of your own home, now many new (and American) brands are sharing their version of barre and making it more mainstream. Want to try it at home? Check out my post with the leaders in Toronto Barre, Barreworks, here.

Zumba continues to hold a significant place in the professional learning at CanFitPro. This year they offered a certification courses on their Zumba Step (think 90s step aerobics with a Zumba flair) so I’m sure those classes will be shaking their way into a studio near you soon.

2. Technology: Metrics matter and most manufacturers of fitness equipment have figured that out. The hottest metric is the new Schwinn MPower Echelon Console which takes your traditional indoor cycling bike to the next level by allowing the users to monitor calories, distance, revolutions per minute, and watts. Watts is a significant metric as it allows the user to monitor their intensity through the technology by putting numbers to their perceived levels of exertion.

Apps also continue to be popular with many free apps becoming available through big name brands such as Nike, Strava, and Schwinn, as well as other independent apps including Tabata Timers which allow the user to complete intervals (see trend 5) in an easier way.

3. Bright Colours and Bold Patterns: Fashion is always a key part of the CanFitPro expo with many big brands showcasing their gear. This year a common theme between big athletic brands like New Balance, Asics, Sketchers, and Zumba, as well as many small independent retailers was neon brights and funky bold patterns. Pants, tanks, tees, and shoes of every colour of the rainbow were available – A trend I personally love and hope continues. What am I loving now? Check out these Oakley Printed Strength Tights, available online for $90.

tights24. Functional Fitness: Strength training that uses your own body weight continues to lead the strength and conditioning field. This is great news for people wanting to get fit from home (or in the park) without needing lots of equipment to do so. I believe much of this comes from the added interest of obstacle races. These mass fitness events are challenging the “average Joe” to get after it and they are doing so on their own, at home, and these functional moves are giving them the results they need to rock their race (and live a healthy lifestyle), without a significant financial investment. Looking for moves you can try at home? Check out my Fit From Home Tab for ideas to get you moving and building strength in the comfort of your own home.

5. Interval Training: Whether you’re out on a run, in the pool, on a bike, or integrating strength training, intervals (including Tabata timing) is hot! Two styles of intervals were all over the conference this year and those included the ever famous Tabata, and the Copenhagen.

  • Tabata includes :20 seconds of hard breathless effort, followed by :10 seconds of easy recovery. This is completed for 8 rounds which takes a total of 4 minutes. In it’s authentic form it is so challenging (hard & breathless will do that to you) that it should only be completed once, so can be book ended by a 15 minute warm up and 15 minute cool down to give you a solid 30 minute sweat session.
  • Copenhagen includes :10 seconds of hard breathless effort, :20 seconds of hard effort, and :30 seconds of moderate effort repeated 5 times for a total of 5 minutes. This interval is followed by a two minute recovery and then repeated in it’s entirety for another 5 minutes. Add a 10-15 minute warm up and cool down and you’re set!

As above, these intervals can consist of either a single exercise, such as a run, or bike, or can be alternated with various  activities including a Tabata of burpees and squats or a Copenhagen of burpees, jump squats, and regular squats.

Tune in to CHCH Morning Live Monday August 11th at 9:15 am to see the Copenhagen interval and hear me chat about my favourite fitness trends.

Have a funky interval set you love? Leave it in the comments!