Monthly Archives: June 2010

My Favorite Things, Part I – Octane Elliptical Trainer

I have spent many hours in gyms throughout my years. For the last 3.5 years, they have been in my own studio. During that time I have found some equipment that I really like and some that I don’t so much. I am going to talk about one of my favorite pieces today and do my next few posts on some  of my other favorite (I can’t live without) pieces.

Today’s favorite is my Octane Elliptical. The following are a few reasons why:

  1. Converging handle bars – the natural range of motion for the arms this provides is priceless. I don’t feel as if my arms are way outside my body and I can put my hands in several places to get different parts of my upper body a good workout.
  2. Rear entry – If you don’t know what I am talking about, think about all the ellipticals as the gym. Think of the ones you have to step into, or trip over trying to get where you want to go. With the Octane you don’t have to step over anything like that. I find that it is easier for my older clients as well.
  3. Angle of the foot pedals – this is a big one for me. I always had the problem of my feet falling asleep. The angle of the foot pedals decreases this problem. If my clients do start to feel the tingling, I have them move their feet toward the back of the pedal and this helps.
  4. The programs! – Anyone can jump on an elliptical and hit quick start, but the Octane provides many different programs. A few of my favorite are the 10k and the 30/30. The 10k counts down from the 6.2 miles changing levels every 10th of a mile. The 30/30 can be an intense interval workout that I will use either for a killer warm up or interval during mid workout.
  5. Xmode and Glute Kicker– If you want some variety and to challenge the lower body, these modes put you in different positions (squatting, backwards, slow, etc) to give your body a new challenge, not to mention an excellent calorie burn
  6. Arm Blaster – The elliptical does not just have to be about your legs and cardio. The Octane provides some great upper body strength training when in this mode. It will up the tension and has you do 10 rotations with the upper body to get the strength up top and also revs the heart rate.

I also use my Octane in my training sessions as part of a cardio interval. With this, I will have my clients start in the upward position and then every 15 seconds I will have them squat and then return to standing after 15 seconds. I up the intensity to get the calorie burn up and we do this for 1-2 minutes. TRY IT! You might just be surprised how hard it is and how good of a workout you can get. We know the importance of cardio and I like to try to get the most out of my time. Adding resistance will do just that.

Bottom line – I love my Octane!

What’s on your radar?

Do you remember the movie “The Rookie ” when Dennis Quaid is standing in front radar sign and he throws the fast ball to get the ball to register the mph of the ball. Well, I had one of those moments on one of my runs last week . My friend and I were running and we were determined to see if we could get the radar to go off. Now, I am not the biggest of people, so I wasn’t sure I could make it happen, but my training partner is about 100 pounds more than me and he was confident we could. So we started running faster and faster waving our arms and guess what happened – boom the number 7 popped up on the sign. I must say that was pretty cool.

If you’re wondering where this is going, I’m about to tell you. It got me thinking about what is on my radar. For instance, my upcoming race, my kids events, my family reunion….

Most of us have a reason why we exercise, try to eat right, etc. There are the typical;

  • I need to lose this last 5 pounds
  • I don’t want my arms to wave
  • My thighs jiggle (come on, you know you have said it)
  • I have my class reunion and I want to look really good

But, have you examined the bigger picture

  • I want to live a long healthy life
  • I have a family history of heart disease
  • I am not at my ideal BMI
  • I have no energy and I want more

We all know that our health and wellness is very important and we each take different steps to make sure we stay around for a long time. So what is on your radar? What number do you want to pop up on that sign? Is it a healthy weight? Is it a good blood pressure? Is it a healthy cholesterol number? Is it a race time?

Find the number you want and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Get Outside this Summer!

Summer is here – a big YEAH for that. Now that it is nice outside, nobody really wants to go inside to get their workout. I have a few ideas that anybody can do outside and burn calories

  1. Go for a walk!! This is a great way to reconnect with a loved one, an old friend or get to and from that favorite ice cream place you like to visit in the summer (and burn calories at the same time).
  2. Organize a game with family/neighbors – Most of us live close enough to baseball fields, sand volleyball courts or a pool. Schedule a time for adults and kids to go play a little mini tournament or a few games.
  3. Enter a race – whether it is a bike race, road race or tri – try something out of your comfort zone – the benefits will be priceless!
  4. Make up your own 5k – I say this one because I have a big family reunion coming up next month and many of us are active, so I decided we needed our own 5k race. Everyone can be involved whether they are walking, running, water stop, or just course supports. This sets great examples for our kids and may just inspire that sedentary family member to get moving.
  5. Go to the park – I will have more on this in my next post as I was taped for a segment of a local newscasts’ Workout of the Week. Going to the park doesn’t have to be watching your kids – use your imagination and get some exercise.
  6. Dust that bike off – If your bike is still hanging from the ceiling in the garage – take it down! Bike places that are too far to walk, but close enough to bike!

We all know in the Midwest that this weather doesn’t last long – so TAKE ADVANTAGE!! Now go get moving!!!

Dam to Dam 10

So yesterday I ran one of my not so favorite races, Dam to Dam. For those of you not from Des Moines, this is a race that begins at the Saylorville dam and runs to downtown for a total of 12.4 miles (20K). Well, let me tell you about one thing that is always changing in Iowa – the WEATHER!

I got dropped off about an hour and 45 minutes before the race and it was just starting to rain. By the time I made it over the bridge, there was the announcement of “If it begins to thunder and lightning, stay low to the ground and do not touch the rails on the bridge” – serious! My shoes were soaked, I was shaking with goosebumps, and just laughing, because what else do you do in a moment like that!

Once the race started, I had the opportunity to run with a good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in 18 months. It was such a pleasure. We decided to use the Jeff Galloway method of running where we run for 5 minutes and then walk for a minute. My friend has been recovering from a stress fracture and I knew this would help her to hit her goal and finish the race.

The race began at 7am. It was rainy, windy and warm all at once. But I really didn’t care because I was running with a great friend. Many times she told me to just go, but I was not leaving my friend. At one point we ran up on a man who was 76 years old. He started singing and everyone around him sang with him. (I told her we couldn’t get beat by him, and we didn’t).

The last half mile the sun was beating on us. Cathy wanted to walk and I wouldn’t let her. She may have yelled at me. I may have ran backwards to encourage her, the Isiserettes were beating on their drums, I was dancing and waving my arms. And guess what? She didn’t walk – she ran – finished strong – hugged me at the end and told me she was sorry for yelling at me. I didn’t care.

Then, the reason I run was shouted out by another person – this gal said (and I’m sure I don’t have it 100% correct, but close) ‘We all need somebody like you to run with. You are so motivating.” I looked at her and told her “That’s what I do.”

  • I’ll never be the fastest
  • I’ll never be the slowest
  • But I can certainly keep on going!!!