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14 Mar

Workout Wednesdays: Aqua Cycling

The next workout on my list was the latest trend: Aqua Cycling.

Alright so this was a whole new ball game for me... and most people. For me aqua cycling or anything resembling to it was more a picture of elderly people working out in the pool. It's not exactly far fetched since aqua cycling is spinning in the pool. It might sound a little harder, trust me I thought the resistance would be too much for me to handle but it is the opposite. The resistance is almost welcoming and therapeutic. This is because it reduces the stress on your joints and muscles that you often may feel in a regular spinning class. I know when I got there I was like "am I going to be dead the next day" ... again completely the opposite. I felt amazing!

I went to this small studio in Miami called Element Aqua. It is one of the very few, since aqua cycling is still a pretty new and upcoming trend. The instructor, a very charismatic Italian named Fabio, is one of the sweetest and may I add happiest instructors ever. I mean if this man doesn't make you smile while you're in a pool playing happy music then I don't know what will. Along with it being fun, aqua cycling definitely builds up endurance and helps your circulation; again I remind you that the next day you feel great and not sore at all. A major plus! That and it is so much fun. 

Everyone's experience is different but for me, I felt the workout mostly on my arms, lower abdomen and back. He combines spinning with a lot of arms and back exercises that you can literally feel those muscles being worked out. The fact that you're in a pool also makes you push yourself a little more than you may in a regular spinning bike especially if you're a beginner like me. As far as attire, I wore a bikini bottom with short workout leggings on top and a sports bra (ladies, yes you hair will get wet) - this seem to be the uniform attire for most of us there or a wet suit. Splish-Splash!

I would recommend everyone to try out this class even more so if you are someone who doesn't like the after sore feeling that some workout routines come with or you have problems sleeping. You leave the class, take a lukewarm shower and sleep like a baby!

07 Mar

Workout Wednesdays: Pilates Time

It's another #WorkoutWednesday with my next must-try workout class.... Pilates.

On my journey to discover which workout would be most suitable for my body goals, it was a MUST to try a Pilates class. For a very long time, I wanted to try this class that originated all the way back to the early 1900s when Joseph Pilates decided he didn't want to succumb to his ailments or any medical conditions that can make him weak and instead conditioned his mind and body. 

Like I mentioned in my other #workoutwednesday blog post, I am literally going in blind to these workouts, not knowing what to expect. This was no different or easier. I decided to give a try to this pilates fitness studio in the Fort Lauderdale Beach area called Zoeli Fitness. I knew nothing about her, the studio or the routine to follow.

This workout, while hard, quickly became a "must return" class because it really is all about the "core". I noticed in other workouts where you may need to use all of your muscles to get your desired strength, here you hone it all in the core. It comes all from there. There is a lot of breathing in and out, which if you take yoga it comes as an advantage. The better your breathing, the better you slowly start to stretch it out a little more every new position.

Like I said, I was a complete first timer and didn't realize that Pilates is not just using my body but it comes with bars and springs! Here is where you may need to be a little coordinated with your body's balance and form. This is so big! The minute you are doing it right, you can feel your whole body feeling it to the core. The kind of toning you get from this exercise isn't the same as you would get from let's say maybe squats - it's more the ballerina toning, it defines your body's muscles but doesn't give it that bulky look (everyone has their own preference). What I liked about this class and not sure if all of them are the same, is that a small studio allows you to interact a lot more with the instructor and for her (in this case, Zoeli) help you out with your form. Trust me, I needed help when it came to holding a bar yet keeping my composure so that I didn't hurt myself.

One of my my biggest tips in this particular workout class is to let go of the intimidation that sometimes comes with trying Pilates for the first time. Yes, there were some people in that class that had the spring grabbing, leg stretching, position on check but there were also rookies like me who are not flexible and a straight leg means a bent one. It's all about trying and the people in class, I had two girls besides me, were encouraging and having some giggles in between while trying to keep it all together. For me, I know Pilates is a workout I will keep, even if I have a long way to perfect my form. It meets my goals of wanting to focus on my core strength and tone up as oppose to bulk up aka more Wonderwoman, not the Hulk. 

I will say this, for all those who love the acrobatic Christian Grey, it is not as easy as he makes it look to hold it. Give it a try ladies, you will see for yourself!