2015 was a massive year for me.
I did more workouts in the past 12 months than I’d done for the rest of my entire life. Actually that’s not too hard, given until I turned 40 a few years ago I’d done zero zip zilch exercise.
Zero to Hero because now I work out 6 days a week, sometimes even more than one workout in a day. Cray cray. But fun.
I’ve tried lots of different ways to move my body, met some amazing people doing it and had an absolute blast.
So what were my favourite workouts of the year? Well, in no particular order…
JAGGAD at The Woodshed
In November, the good people of JAGGAD invited around 30 women to come and sweat it out for a morning at Melbourne’s newest training destination, The Woodshed.
Oh and did I mention that our head coach was The Bachelor, Sam Wood (creator and owner of the place)?
All the laughs, great people, full-on high intensity training… AND post workout smoothies, protein balls, a photo booth and a personalised JAGGAD/The Woodshed truckers hat.
Such a fun fun morning, it’s impossible to think about it and not smile.
Read more about my morning at The Woodshed <<<here.
On Fridays We Flow
Yoga by a rooftop pool followed by a delicious light breakfast with some of the city’s biggest babes? Well, why not?
The Fit Foodie Blog’s Fit Mixes and Matcha Maiden came together to host this memorable event a few Fridays ago. The weather held out, the instructor (Thy from Modoyoga) led such a beautiful practice with warmth and humour, and the food (yummy concoctions made from Fit Mixes and Matcha Maiden) was a delectable feast.
Sally (The Fit Foodie) and Sarah (from Matcha Maiden) were perfect hosts, so welcoming and down to earth. And they had put together a bumper goodie bag for us all, which sweetened the blow of actually having to leave.
I loved participating in this month-long running extravaganza for charity. Basically you had to set yourself a goal for the month and then clock up those kms day by day to get there. You updated your distances as you went on the website and got friends and family to sponsor you along the way.
I loved so much about it. I got to run by myself, run with friends and (best of all by a long shot) chasing my little boy on his bike around the lake. I did short runs, long runs.
I ran sooooo much, heaps more than I ever have before or since. And most importantly, I helped to raise a lot of money for The Cancer Council.
It was so easy to take part – no entry fees either. Already looking forward to next year.
Read all about my March Charge.
This was a workout of epic proportions. Epic.
A couple of thousand women gathered in Sydney (all wearing the same tank, belonging to the same adrenalin-seeking cult haha) to experience workouts lead by global Nike Master Trainers like Kirsty Godso and Marie Purvis, plus some local top notch Nike coaches like Bec Wilcock and Phoebe Di Tommaso.
We came, we sweated, we conquered. And next year we’re going back for more, and taking more girlfriends.
5 workouts in total, hair-braiding, temporary tattoos, make-up, massages, food, Nike shopping, insta opps a-plenty… and most importantly a buzz that’d be hard to beat, what an adventure, what a day.
I had done a couple of 10km runs the previous year but this was my first Bridge Run (a little over 9kms) that takes in Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge, the City and Botanical Gardens. It’s part of the Blackmores Running Festival that also includes a 3km, Half and Full Marathon. The Bridge is closed to traffic for the race, and running over it with no cars was both surreal and exhilarating.
Such a lovely run, I enjoyed it so much that as I crossed the finish line I thought ‘next year I’ll do the half marathon for sure!!’
A few days later I remembered (after a 10k run) that my poor old damaged knees are definitely not up to that distance, or training haha, but I will do the Bridge Run again, and this time I’ll hopefully be a little better prepared for that hill past the art gallery where I seriously felt like I was going backwards.
If you want to pick a first mid-distance run, pick this one. If you already run long distances, well do this as a ‘recovery’ run, and enjoy the free yoga, fruit and newspaper at the end.
I first went to Scenic Cycle in the City (Sydney) with the crew from lululemon athletica, filled with anticipation and excitement, given spin is one of my favourite ways to cardio.
There are two major differences between my regular spin class (which I love, and is an ongoing fave) and a class at Scenic Cycle…
First, there are two massive screens at the front of the spin room, and as you RPM your way into sweaty oblivion, you are actually taking a virtual tour of somewhere else in the world… Queenstown, Hong Kong, San Francisco… amazing footage shot by the owner Tom, that transports you to another place (and yes, there are always hills!).
The second difference is that at the back of the room there are bikes that track your power output so you can see how you are going not only in this class but also over repeated visits. And, of course, have a secret competition with the person next to you. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t!
I had never heard of these before my PT (Sarah at Energize gym) introduced them into my workout a couple of months ago (told you I was new to this).
For anyone else who’s uninitiated… basically you do a set exercise, say bench press or leg curl, increasing the reps as you decrease the weight. Starting off at a really heavy weight, finishing off on a comfortable one (although after what you’ve just done, nothing much feels comfortable).
The combined effect should mean that you feel just as knackered at the end of the first set of 4 as you do at the end of the last set of 10 or 12.
So for example, for a chest press, I might start with a 12.5kg dumbbell in each hand and do 4 reps, then immediately go down to 10kg for 6 reps, then 9kg for 8 reps, then 8kg for 10 reps… with no breaks… make sense?
In my 3 years of doing weights at the gym, I have never ever felt my muscles burn like they do when I do drop sets. So now I do them each time! I love drop sets! Well, love/hate, you know what I mean 😉
Manly Bike Tours
This may have been too much fun and not sweaty enough to technically be a workout haha. But I’m including it anyway. I was #inmyactivewear so it counts 😉
I had the bike for two hours. Two hours of re-living childhood, cycling carefree by the beach, salty breeze in my hair, zooming along the ocean path as the sun lowered in the sky, with my little monkey, having the times of our lives.
Saturday Morning Outdoors with CFA FFIT
When you get the right programming, the right locations, the right coach and the right like-minded women all together at the same time, it’s like magic.
For most of the year, I was part of a Female FIT program at a local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Athletic. Two mornings a week, plus a yoga lesson and a Saturday morning outdoors session provided a great variety of movement and exercise for my body, but most of all, belonging to this program fed my soul.
I discovered, for the first time, that maybe I COULD enjoy Group Exercise after all (I had tried it in the past, hated it and avoided it like the plague). I met and made friends with some gorgeous ladies.
From a workout perspective, the Saturday morning outdoor ones were my favourite. Living on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, we’re blessed with awesome locations to get busy outside.
Soft sand runs, stairs, sand dune sprints, circuits by the sea, a lap of the lake and even water workouts in ocean pools…. These sessions were hands-down the highlight of my workout week. All that fresh air, fun and feminine vibes – loved it.
Afterburn at 38X Fitness
I discovered this gym via ClassPass and I’m so glad I did. The gym itself has a lovely interior, the owners (and head trainers) are friendly experts in their field, and the workout? Well…. Sweaty doesn’t even come close.
I did the Afterburn class. It’s a high intensity interval training style of workout. Each time is a bit different, doing intervals on different cardio machines (they have treadmills, bikes, rowers and cross-trainers – you pick your poison) then you go and do some strength work, then back to cardio… all the time wearing a special heart rate monitor linked to TV screens on the wall of the gym, so you can see how hard you are actually working.
When you’re working at the high intensity, the aim is to get into the ‘red zone’, over 85% of your max working heartrate. No slacking, no excuses, you just have to get down to business. I love it because it keeps you honest.
And despite being freaking hard, it’s actually loads of fun too.
38X is a local gym in Manly but google the myzone heartrate monitors/HIIT and maybe there’s somewhere near you that does something similar.
Read more about my Afterburn Class at 38X <<<here.
I feel exhausted and uplifted at the same time, re-living these workouts.
What have been your fitness highlights of the year? Leave a comment below.