Thursday, December 30, 2010

Metro Fitness Gets its Groupon

If you haven't heard, Metro Fitness is featured on Groupon TODAY (Thursday, December 30) with a special of $40 for a one month membership (usually $69 per month for a single). For those of you who do not know what Groupon is, go to their website at  They offer daily deals at your local area businesses (they just recently came to Montgomery) and you can sign up to get on their e-mail to receive an em-mail of their daily deals.  It's genius!

Some might think I am writing this as a PR move for Metro, and know I have a bias to the place since my mother is Metro's general manager.  Well this presumption is somewhat true, but I also have a love and loyalty for this place and WANT to toot its horn. And it felt like an appropriate time to do so.

My mother has been with Metro Fitness since it opened in 1999, which means I've been there for the same amount of time.  I've grown up there, and it's hard to imagine my life without it.  Aside from my family, Metro Fitness will be one of the main things I will miss when or IF I ever leave Montgomery.  It is not only a place to work out, but it is like a family-the staff and the members.  Great friendships have started here.  Relationships have sprung into marriage from this house of fitness.  It's more than just a place to come work out.

Instructors and Metro members gather for the Metro Christmas Party!

"Metro Fitness has some of the most talented staff and instructors in the country." I will swear by that statement! I have heard people who have been to gyms all over the country say that Metro is one of the greatest gyms they have ever been to.  Though we're not in a "big" city, I believe our classes are some of the most creative and challenging out there.  Every instructor and personal trainer strives to give you your money's worth for every class and give you the best work out possible. They are never satisfied with status quo and are constantly researching to find new work outs to mix it up.

Some of the fabulous instructors & staff!

Do you push yourself when you work out on your own? I know I let myself off the hook too easy when a work out I'm doing is challenging.  This is where instructors and personal trainers strive to push the member and clients, giving them the confidence to go further than they thought they could. This might mean an instructor will be hated during the class for pushing the members, but I assure you that she will be loved  afterwords when the results can be seen! Ok, maybe I'm saying this from personal experience :)

That's me having some Turboween fun! Every year for Halloween, instructors and members dress up for Halloween. 

I spoke with someone who just started coming to Metro and she said, "This place just feels homie to me, and I love that. There are so many classes throughout the day which is great for my schedule." Even though I do not work for Metro, I still felt a sense of pride when I heard that. 

With 2011 fast approaching, resolutions will be in full force with many of them including to "lose weight." Without sounding too cliche, Metro is a place where you can feel comfortable and develop not only healthy habits, but friendships as well.  I encourage anyone who is reading this and who is not a member to at least try it out. My New Year's resolution is to continue to get healthy and stick with it! I hope to see you at Metro Fitness!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Pilates intrigues me. It always has. As a person who follows celebrities entirely too closely, I noticed that most of them would answer the question of "how they stay in shape" with "pilates."  I also noticed many of the people who took pilates at Metro Fitness, and especially those who were pilates instructors, had these long, lean bodies that I was envious of!

One of my  mom's dear friends, Denise Swann, has always been in shape and had a great figure, but I noticed she was starting to get that long, lean look about her too.  Come to find out, she started doing pilates and raved about the Sweatilates class that Pam Carson taught at Metro Fitness on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Because it was pilates class and I didn't have to pay extra for the class,  I was all about trying it out!

What an experience that first class was!  Sweatilates really did make me sweat! As an onlooker, the pilates moves appear so easy.  Yet, my legs had never burned like they did in that first class. I was so sore the next day and decided I needed to keep going back for more! Give me that long, lean look, please!

Side Note: I have literally been trying to write this blog about Sweatilates for about 3 weeks now.  I kept trying to explain things through words, but felt it was boring and couldn't illustrate what we do only through my writing.  After tons of writing, erasing and re-writing, I decided to go with pictures and illustrations. Please also note that I do not know the names of any of these exercises, but try to explain them as best as possible :)

Here is an exercise that lifts your butt, works your core and gets those pesky inner thighs.  As you might notice, form is key! No matter what you do in pilates, you must always check that your shoulders are back and relaxed, you back is straight, and your tummy and butt are tucked. (This can be incorporated in other workouts and applied in your every day life ,whether you are sitting at your desk or putting up the dishes)

This exercise looks so simple, but it isn't! You must keep that tummy tucked to protect that lower back! This is another great move for your core, butt and inner thighs.  That standing leg (the one not off to the side) also gets a good work out.

Here we look like ballerinas.  The bar is there for our stability, but if you notice, this exercise is performed on our tippy toes, which really burns those quads and calves.  Even keeping your arms up in this exercise is challenging!

I love this move! It works on your stability as well as working your core (especially obliques), legs and especially those saddle bags!

Well there I am in all my glory with no make up at 5:30 a.m. We  use these 1 lbs. weights for working our upper body.  Don't let their tiny size fool you...when done with a lot of repititions, you can feel the burn! 
For this particular exercise, I simply keep my upper arms aligned with my shoulders and move the weights back and forth from underneath my arm pit and then make my arms straight (palms facing down).  This really works my shoulders and biceps.

This is another example of  a time when you must be aware of your posture. (back straight, core is tight, my shoulders are down and relaxed so not to hurt my neck). 

So you've seen a few shots from our Sweatilates class.  I love our little class, and I can see results in every single person who has taken this class.  We can complain at times, but Pam pushes us and we get the job done.  If you are looking for something different to do in your workout routine, I encourage you to try Pilates! It will not only help give you that long lean look, but it will help you in your other work outs and your posture.  

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Epiphany from Being Locked IN: No Excuses

As many of you saw on my Facebook status, I was locked IN my apartment this past Wednesday morning. And yes, that would be IN, not out (Do I see an inquisitive look on your face?) My roomie and I were having troubles with our doorknob, and we had called maintenance a couple of times to come to our apartment and fix it.  Well they didn't show up in time...

A Broken Door Knob...

I awoke at 5:15 a.m. and dragged myself out of bed to head to Cardio Knockout.  I had psyched myself up for this class and knew I had to go since I would not have time to go to the gym after work.  I headed for the door and gave a little smile when I looked at the clock and realized I was going to be a little early. (I am almost NEVER early to a 5:30 a.m. class) As I grabbed the door knob and unlocked it, nothing happened. The door knob simply turned, but the door did not open.  I continued to try for the next 10 minutes as my hands turned red and blisters emerged from the constant twisting.  It was official...I was locked IN my apartment. 

To Work Out or Not To Work Out: That is the Question

So I was stuck in my apartment. I had two options here: Either I would get a work out in that day or I would not.  With the amount of food I knew I would consume that day (office Christmas party) and the coming days of Christmas and lack of exercising, I knew I must get some form of work out in.  I decided to do my own form of Cardio Knockout in my room and add a few moves I learned in Sweatilates. 

I moved my bed to make room, put my iPod on and went to town.  I surprised myself with how much I could make myself sweat while just running in place! My cardio came from jumping jacks, mountain climbers and jumproping (without the rope). I did push-ups, wall sits, the Pilates sit-up, lunges and planks for my "toning" sections.  I even took some heavy candles and turned them into "free weights" to work my triceps, shoulders and lats. (All of these ideas came from the multiple classes I have taken at Metro Fitness)

The Epiphany:

After I did these moves for about 40 minutes, I was tired and sweaty.  It's amazing what can be done from your home! This made me realize that there should never be an excuse for not working out-even when I am traveling or the gym is closed, or in my case when you cannot get out of your apartment.  There is always a way to get some form of exercise, whether it be 10 minutes to an hour.  SOMETHING is better than NOTHING. 

I would like to say that this epiphany will make me do something every day, but it won't.  However, when I find myself making excuses to not work out, I will simply remember that morning of being forced to work out in my room and realize I must do something physical, whether it be at the gym, outside or in my house.

My Investments...

Since being locked in my house, there are a few things I've decided to invest in whenever I feel like working out from home...

1. Free Weights-These are easy to store and can be used for a variety of work outs.  You can even lift these while watching TV!
Small Free Weights (I will probably purchase 3 & 5 lbs. free weights)

2. Resistance Bands- These also are easy to store and can be used for more resistance work outs.  This can also be used while watching TV!

Bicep curls using resistance bands. (Hot shorts and camel toe, I know)
3. Push Ups- Ok I know this isn't something you can purchase, but I do think you should invest your time into these.  Push-ups can work every part of your body: your chest, shoulders, abs, back, legs, butt, etc.  If you are pushed for time, I would recommend to do a few sets of these. 
*I would challenge you to see how many "boy" push ups you can do before you start with the "girl" push ups.  My max when I first started was 15 in a row. Now I'm up to 25!

How the story ends....

After waking up my roomie at 6:30 a.m. and calling the 24-hour maintenance line, I talked to someone on the phone who taught me how to "jimmy rig" my door open.  It worked. We were free!  The maintenance man finally showed up about 15 minutes until I had to go to work.  We now have a new door knob and all is well at the Sims/Richards household!

Do you have any suggestions for anymore at home work outs?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Betty White Inspiration

This post has nothing to do with food, working out or losing weight. I do have some in the works though that I will be posting soon!

 Last night, the roomie (Miss Lucy Sims) and I curled up on the couch with our glass(es) of wine and leopard snuggie and watched Barbara Walter's Oprah interview and The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2010.  What riveting television! :)

Through the two hours of intriguing celebrity interviews, Betty White stood out to me the most.  Now I am biased because I absolutely adore her and I love the Golden Girls. Can you believe she is 88 1/2 years old and still going strong?  How amazing is that!?

Thank you for being friend.

Side Note: As a little girl, I had to secretly watch The Golden Girls. My parents forbade me to watch the show because of the many sexual inuendos coming from Blanche Devereaux.  These sexual references went right over my head, and I still thought it was entertaining!

Sophia: By far one of the best characters.

In Betty's interview, Babs asked if she had a philosophy about life.  She responded, "Well I hate to be square, but I try to get the most out of what I'm living now.  My beloved mother and father always said 'I never want to hear you say oh that was so wonderful. I didn't appreciate it at the time.' Realize right now when it's special as it's happening."

When I heard her wonderful, yet simple philosphy, I started thinking about my life and those "I didn't appreciate it at the time" moments.  I realized that I quite often have these moments!  So often I catch myself saying, "Once I do this, things will get better..." or "If I can just get out of Montgomery, things will be better."  I also often look back at my days at Auburn and wish I would have realized how wonderful it was there. I wish I would have soaked in so much more than I did. 

I carry my purse like Sophia.

To learn from that, I've got to focus on the NOW. Right now, at 23, my life is not perfect.  I am at a beginner level in my job and still sometimes do the duties of an intern, yet I am working for a great company, learning a new industry and am so blessed to even have a job. I am still in Montgomery, though I said I would be long gone from this town after college. However, God has put me close to my family and with new friends that have truly blessed my life. I don't make as much money as I would like, but I still live comfortably and usually don't go without.

There is SO much to enjoy in my life at this time. This is probably the most care-free time of my life, and a time to take opportunities and truly enjoy what God has given me-the good AND the bad. 

My challenge to myself and to you is to enjoy the NOW, despite if this is a low time in your life or the happiest you have ever been.  The low times are when we look to God, dig deep and learn what we are truly made of. It will only make you stronger. In the highs, we realize how God truly blesses us, and we must remember to be thankful for them. 

Happy Friday to everyone!!