Every January I start the year off by going on a cleanse. After all the little extra treats during December and over the holidays, my body and my mind are ready for a good cleanse! This January I'm going to be working with Lisa Cummings (Certified Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach) who I've been working with throughout 2015 on my Lean Body program. It takes a little willpower to do this but cutting out red wine and coffee are my two big sacrifices during the cleanse. My regular eating program has been very clean this year so I'm feeling good about taking it a step even further. I aim to get started on my cleanse on January 11th and I was wondering if 4 other people would like to join me? We could do this cleanse together as a group and support each other and share our challenges & our experiences. We can meet with Lisa Cummings at INTENSITY on January 11th to kick off the cleanse. We will start that day and continue for the last 3 weeks of January with a final meeting on February 1st. The cost per person for the cleanse program is $375. You will get all the food and juicing info you need for the duration of the cleanse, 3 private one-on-one sessions by phone, plus unlimited text/email support with Lisa. You will look and feel amazing and you will be given recipes and information on how to choose nutrient rich foods that will create new habits for a lifetime. Please email me with any questions or for more information. Clairmason@intensityclub.com Here's to looking fabulous!!
Lasts week's Grim Challenge was cancelled last minute. The Grim was due to be held at an Army Training ground in Aldershot, U.K. We believe the ground may have been required for some urgent Army training due to all the trouble going on in the world. Bit scary isn't it!! I did actually do some training for the Grim over the past few weeks. On the day of the Grim, instead of showing up in the wet & windy mud in Aldershot as planned, with my beautiful friend Danielle, I went for a run along the tow paths of the Thames River - my old stomping ground where I trained for many half marathons and the London marathon. On Saturday, I devised my own Grim!! I ran for 5 minutes then I stopped and did 50 push-ups, 50 triceps dips and a 2 minute plank. I repeated this 10 times in all and then I sprinted home. It was a great workout which took me about an hour and a half door to door. Not too Grim!! Anyone want to join me next time? Maybe I'll add it as a new class on the schedule?
So I've found it really easy since May this year to maintain my Lean Eating program be that self will or ease of this program to follow continuously. I've traveled extensively in the last 7 months to the UK & Portugal and all the while I've kept on the program. The holidays present a challenge to the most committed healthy eating people including moi!! I actually kept with the program over Thanksgiving. My only downfall was to have cheese. I haven't had any cheese since May. I decided I could have one thing that I didn't normally have on the program. I chose I lovely wedge of a rich creamy Brie. I thoroughly enjoyed it with a few grapes. No crackers!! I was actually happy to get back to the Lean Eating program the very next day. I think the message here is that you can ween yourself off things and after a short while you have no real desire for them. Christmas is next!!
I watched a great documentary on the plane over to London this weekend that confirmed everything to me!! Not that I needed any further confirmation. My results speak for themselves. It's incredible the amount of sugar you can consume without even realizing it!! Can you believe - The average American person consumes 42 teaspoons of sugar a day! The average American family consumes 20lbs of sugar per week. The guy in the documentary had a lean eating program very similar to mine. Lean clean and simple. He went on an experiment for two months - he consumed the same food as the Average American. Foods such as: Pasta Sauce, Fruit flavored Yoghurt, Smoothies, Bread, Bagels, Muffins and pre made Salad Dressing, Granola, Granola Bars of various kinds, Cereals, and flavored Coffees Etc,. He did not pig out at all - he really just ate what an average person eats on a typical day. In two months he gained over 20lbs and put on 7 inches around his waist. Shocker!! When I started my Lean eating program, the main foods I removed were Granola - granola and protein bars - Pasta - Cheese - all the starchy carbohydrates, Pulses and Beans and Chips. I lost 10lbs and 7% body fat in 2 months. My eating plan is quite simply, clean. There are no hidden ingredients in what I eat. More details about what I do eat in my next blog!!
10 years ago, when I became an owner of INTENSITY, I met Oxana, our Method instructor. Oxana was one of the original & rare Lotte Berk instructors who worked at the Barre Method studio on Riverside Avenue. The studio closed and Oxana came to see me about teaching classes at INTENSITY. We decided on the spot to call it Method! Until this week, when we felt like changing it up and now we call it Barre! I took Oxana’s class a couple of times, back then, but was informed that it was best to take it 3 times a week to get results. I was so busy running the club and teaching my own classes and progressing my tennis to a 3.5 level, there was simply no time to do Method three times a week as well. Around the time I started my new Leaner Body project one of our members asked me “what would happen if I took the Method every day”?… my response “Let’s do it, and see”? On top of all my other classes and personal training I decided to layer on the Method at least 4-5 days a week. I mostly take with Oxana as it suits my schedule. Some of us in the class call it Military Method ! (Military Barre now?) Some of the exercises are so intense you are shaking and almost crying (with laughter). The other night, on the ballet bar, Oxana had us in a “water ski” position. We were shaking and sweating and breathing and squeezing so hard and Oxana said “don’t waste all of the class by giving up now, just remember that by next summer you will look like someone took a knife [...]
When I first started out with my “Leaner Body Project” back in April, I signed up for semi private personal training sessions with Meline Bohrer, one of our head personal trainers, and with my friend Erika. I’ve lost 10lbs and Erika has lost 17lbs! We have also lost a high percentage of body fat due to leaner and more precise eating plans. Training with Meline: This has been the key for me - Meline has me working a lot on the squat rack (for my butt) and last week I was able to squat 85lbs for 45 reps. She has pushed me harder and has me lifting more weight than ever before which has made me a lot stronger in all the other group exercise classes. Every training session is challenging and different and Meline makes sure we are doing everything correctly to get the maximum results. Some sessions we do a lot of lifting, others we do a lot of plyo work, others we are working as a team against each other (this is fun!!) and in other sessions it’s pure strength training, working to fatigue, until we drop! It’s always different and always satisfying. My food intake has been the biggest game changer of all. I’ll blog more about that in the coming weeks. Want to schedule a personal training session with Meline? Find out more here!
My Leaner Body project has continued to fascinate not just me but other people. I’ve been sharing what I’ve been doing over the past few months with quite a few people. My focus right now is on my butt – isn’t that every woman’s main focus when it comes to her body? I have been doing some very specific butt training with Kris-Anne. (one of the personal trainers at INTENSITY that I’ve been working with). If there was a way to take before and after butt measurements, I think we should have done it – for now I’ll settle for how my two sizes smaller jeans look and feel! Kris-Anne has some very peculiar but very effective butt toning exercises. Many that I’ve never seen or heard of before! But, she’s definitely not making them up! One of the keys to obtaining a butt-lift non- surgically is training your butt intensely and attacking the glute muscles from all angles. One of my favorite butt training exercises is squats – I like to use a lot of weights and squat really low. KA likes to think of herself as a bit of a butt guru and I’m happy to be her student – because it’s working! Interested in trying some of the butt exercises seen below with Kris-Anne? Schedule a personal training session with her today by clicking here. If you're new, the first ones on us!
I started taking Bodypump in London, at the Hogarth Health Club 18 years ago. I was addicted from the very first class (release 1). I was in London a few weeks ago and walked into my old Sunday morning class with Dean – the same instructor from 18 years ago. He was as happy to see me as I was to see him. This past Sunday I was back in London and showed up at Dean’s class again – this time with 8 friends in tow! (release 95). We rocked the class and everyone loved it! I have definitely converted some pumpers on the other side of the pond!! The beauty of Bodypump is that you can show up at any club around the world (over 10,000 clubs) and pick up that barbell and know exactly what you are doing! The benefit of Bodypump is the quick results you see in the major muscle groups – improving muscle mass and bone density with around 100 reps to each track of music. The music is always motivating and perfectly set to the choreography and the ability to add weight incrementally allows you to get stronger very quickly! And, you can burn around 600-700 calories in one class. Join us for release 95 at INTENSITY on October 10th at 830am with the INTENSITY pumpettes! Sign Up Here!
The power of TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) is a critical component of every person’s development. We are collectivistic beings, and as such, we depend on each other to grow, learn and develop. This can be seen across various fields, at home, in school, on a team, or at work. Relationships that we create can take us a long way and can last a lifetime. Whether they are romantic relationships (a team of two), or a working relationship (a team of however many members), we need each other in order for our skills and knowledge to surface. In competition, it is critical that we develop a healthy respectful relationship with our opponent. We actually need the other person to play on a high level, so we can become aware of where we stand with our game and how we handle both good and poor performances. This insight is valuable in providing us with the information on what we need to work on to improve and grow. This notion is tightly linked to practice and training. The number one most important element of practice is improvement, and how we become better week to week, even by the smallest margin. Certain perceptual habits we create in practice are the exact habits we will fall back on in competition. Let us, for a second, consider Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer and how they perceive their own performance. They both talk about pushing each other in matches. They very well know each other’s game, and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They are both very good at using their strengths against the other player’s weakness. In other words, if we wish to be successful competitors, we need to [...]
“I want to look toned. I want to look fit.” I probably heard this statement 1000 times while setting goals with clients. You may look fit but are you fit? What does being fit mean? To be fit is to demonstrate power output across as many skills and tasks as possible. If you can take classes back to back but can’t row 1000m without feeling like you’re having a heart attack or you can’t do full range of motion push ups, you have a hole in your fitness. Training different skills like strength, flexibility, speed, coordination and balance is important because these skills are required on a daily basis. Playing tennis, running around with your kids, grocery shopping, hiking on the weekend are all examples of how you can use your fitness. Increased fitness helps with injury prevention, bone density, better cardiovascular capacity, greater body composition and more. Lifting 3lb dumbbells and doing some cardio twice a week just won’t do it. It’s not enough. You need variety, progression and structure. Come try and test your fitness with me, I will help you reach your goals and get you the body you've always wanted. You can schedule an assessment emailing me here. Don’t just look fit. Be fit.