Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Get bruises in new and exciting places!

I decided to switch from Taekwondo to Krav Maga at the same school. It's much more intense, and you get cool new bruises every class! And best of all, NO TEENAGERS!

Seriously though, it's an awesome class, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes headbutting and groin kicking.

Friday, April 6, 2012

On to chapter 2!

Chapter 2: Within this chapter, you do need to take away some of the key points in exercise physiology. 

This includes the fitness components,

  • Muscular Strength- This is the maximum force that a muscle or muscle group can exert during a contraction. Just yesterday, I realized that I finally had the muscular strength to close the lid on my GNC shaker bottle! Why is that thing so difficult to close?       This also includes Muscular Endurance. Reps! How many reps can you do before before that muscle is fatigued? The other day I did 100 push-ups to complete the "Century Push" quest on http://www.fitocracy.com. I never would have attempted such a feat without that extra motivation. Fitocracy is awesome. 
  • Cardiorespiratory Endurance- The better your  cardiorespiratory endurance, the more physical work you can do before becoming fatigued. Feel like you are going to die after 30 seconds on the treadmill? You need to work on your cardiorespiratory endurance.
  • Flexibility- The ability to move joints through their normal range of motion (ROM).
  • Body Composition- Proportion of lean body mass and body fat. Fat is not just for fat people. Skinny bitches can also be "fat" by having crappy body composition.

 when each energy system is used, 

  • Stored ATP- Can be used immediately, but quantities are very limited. Like only last a few seconds limited.
  • The Phosphagen System- Quickly creates ATP from the breakdown of Creatine Phosphate (CP). Quantities are still limited. Good for short-term, high intensity activities. Last about 10 seconds.
  • Anaerobic Production of ATP from Carbohydrate (Anaerobic Glycolysis)- Lasts about 3 minutes during high-intensity activities.
  • Aerobic Glycolysis- Used for sustained activities.

ventilatory threshold

  • The point of transition from Aerobic energy production to Anaerobic energy production.

exercising in the heat and cold


  • Take time to acclimate to the heat. Increase duration over 7-10 days.
  • Don't overdress. No parkas if it's over 80 degrees.
  • Don't wear one of those stupid sauna suits. You look like an idiot running around in a black trash bag. 
  • Drink small amounts regularly.


  • Dress in layers
  • Don't get so sweaty that you clothes are dripping wet. Wear ventilated clothing.
  • Cotton bad. Wool, poly fleece, and Gore Tex Good.
  • You still need to stay hydrated. You loose a lot of fluid breathing in cold air.

and an understanding of the environmental considerations.

  • High Altitude- Take time to acclimate to the altitude, as it is more difficult to get enough oxygen at higher altitudes.
  • Air Pollution- Exercise early in the morning before there is a ton of car exhaust in the air. Work out indoors when air quality is especially bad. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Too much information.

The Essentials of Exercise Science is the OTHER book used when studying for the ACE GFI test. The first time I cracked it open, I seriously had second thoughts about this whole certification thing. There is just no way my brain will ever retain all this information. The anatomy section is the killer for me. I just SUCK at memorization. I mean SUCK! It doesn't help that all the muscle names are 500 letters long.

ACE actually has a blog with tips for people studying for their exams. This post saved my sanity. It's also nice to know I'm not the only one feeling like a friggin' genius, trying to memorize the names of muscles they can't even spell. The post lists exactly what we need to know from each chapter. THANK YOU!

Lets start at the beginning:

Chapter 1: The most important aspects of this chapter are the anatomical positions

  • Anterior: Toward the front
  • Posterior: Toward the back 
  • Inferior: Away from the head
  • Medial: Toward the midline of the body
  • Lateral: Away from the midline of the body
  • Proximal: Toward the attached end of the limb
  • Distal: Away from the attached end of the limb

  • Sagittal: Vertical, Divides left from right.
  • Frontal: Vertical, Divides front from back.
  • Transverse: Horizontal, Divides top from bottom.

 the segmental movements in the three planes;

  • Flexion
  • Extension
  • Dorsiflextion
  • Plantarflexion

  • Abduction
  • Adduction
  • Elevation
  • Depression
  • Inversion
  • Eversion

  • Rotation
  • Supination
  • Horizontal Flexion
  • Horizontal Extension

So that's it. Easy, right...lol...

Friday, March 23, 2012

And God was like "You need to work on your core..."

For months, I've been thinking I need to buy a new stability ball. For some reason, I kept putting it off.

I walked outside on the other day, to discover a stability ball chilling in the planter right in front of my condo. Finders keepers! I'm pretty sure God was like, "Your abs are busted, and you have a muffin top. Here, take this."

Women's Health has loads of ball exercises, and full workouts. It's a great place to start if you are new to working out with a stability ball.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I was going to do something important, but I wrote this pointless post instead.

I am sick as a dog. In one month I have had food poisoning, pink eye, and now some bronchitis type crap. So, last night while I was chugging Robitussin, the song "Bottoms Up" popped into my head...

Put your tiny measuring cup in the AyeRRRR!

Ok, that had absolutely nothing to do with anything. I just had to share that strange moment in my life.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What to do?

At some point, I may actually finish studying, and take my ACE GFI test. Then I will have to figure out what classes I am actually going to teach. Since today's topic is class formats, I thought I would actually sit down and make a list of the classes I am interested in getting certified to teach. Saying "Ohhhhhh, I wanna do that!" every time I see a cool class, does not qualify as planning.

Belly dance fitness- There are two belly dance fitness programs available. I don't think I will be getting certified in either! There is Shar Qui, which I really like. But, it is so expensive! It's about $500 to get certified. Then there is Brancee, it seems like they never do instructor training over here on the left coast.

I've got quite a bit of belly dance experience under my jingly coin belt, and I don't think I would have any problem teaching a belly dance fitness class. So why don't I just skip the certification all together? Street cred.

Street Cred: I have none.

You rarely see a belly dance teacher with less than 10 years of professional dance experience. I have six years of dance experience, with a few amateur performances here and there. Not super impressive, but the average fitness class attendee wont care. The local "only game in town" BD teacher might though. Since that's a class she could be teaching. I just don't want people hating on me, ya know. Ok, enough rambling about that.

Fit2Cheer- A cheerleading fitness class using weighted pom poms! Awesome lvl.- over 9000. Everything is more fun with pom poms.

Oh Baby Fitness- This seems like a pretty fun/ easy class to teach. Plus I noticed none of our local gyms were offering preggo classes. And yeah, I've been there..

My child probably has Shimmied Baby Syndrome.

I would love to do cardio burlesque, but I can't find instructor training in the US. How is it possible that the UK and Canada have these classes, but we don't?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My first Tae Kwon Do class, and the basic components of a fitness class.

At age 14, I was kicked off my high school's cheerleading squad for sucking at algebra, and having a "bad attitude" in said algebra class. Because you know, math is one of the most important skills in cheerleading.

Needing a new activity, and an attitude adjustment, I took up karate. I loved it! I especially loved that within the magical boundaries of the karate studio, it was ok to kick and punch people to my hearts content.

Fast forward about one hundred years, to last Saturday: I had my first Tae Kwon Do class. Since my ACE study guide says I should have knowledge of the basic components of  a fitness class. I thought I would walk through my first class by component. Here it goes:

Warm-up: I show up to class, and I am the only no0b-ass white belt there, with a bunch of black belts. To make matters worse, they are almost all frigin' teenagers! So now, not only do I have no idea what I am doing, I am also old. I start my warm-up by hauling my geriatric ass around the room for a few laps. Then, the instructor tells us to side step around the room. Everyone else in the class is like eleven feet tall, and making one stride to my three. Gawd I'm slow. "Stop, now run backwards." And I'm like:
I suck even more at running backwards. After that humiliation, we line up for a series of mountain climbers and jumping over stuff. One of the things we had to jump over was a classmate's legs. I stepped on that girls legs three times. Sorry girl.

Conditioning: Lots of kicking drills, not too bad. Then we did some partner work with bags, AKA: "hold this while I kick the shit out of it, and I might miss a few times and damn near take your head off." The girl I stepped on was once again my partner, and I'm pretty sure she was getting her revenge.

Cool Down: I learned a bit of my first form. I only had to be shown like a thousand times. It was early and I hadn't had any coffee.

Flexibility: Pwned. Not a single one of those young whippersnappers could do the splits! Not even close. 

I used to be a cheerleader.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hi! I'm Inappropriate!

Part of a Group Fitness Instructor's job is selecting appropriate music for each workout session. Does this mean I can't just play "Low" by Flo Rida, fifteen times in a row, like I do for my own workouts?

Well timed booty slaps raise aerobic intensity by 14%.*

According to the exam content outline, I should know something about music licensing laws. Group fitness classes in a for-profit situation, are considered public performance. Playing my legally-downloaded copy of "Low" in class is a copyright violation! Luckily most fitness centers have a blanket license, covering the music played by their instructors.

Another option would be to purchase music that is specially licensed for use in fitness classes. Pre-fab programs like Zumba, often come with their own licensed music.

The book also mentions using a drum machine or synthesizer to create your own music. WAY too much work! WAIT, would that give me an excuse to buy one of those awesome 80's keyboard-guitar thingies? Please say yes.

Other considerations besides not getting sued:


I must bump "Low" at a volume below 85 decibels. That's slightly louder than an alarm clock (80 dB), but much quieter than a chainsaw (100 dB).


Music slower than 100 beats per minute (BPM) should be used for yoga, Pilates and stretching.

Beginner step training, low impact aerobics and hip-hop classes should use music with 100-122bpm.

122-129bpm is appropriate for conditioning, advanced step, low-mid impact aerobics, dance and aquatic exercise.

Mid-High impact aerobics, trampoline and martial arts classes should use music that has 130-160bpm.

'Low' is 130bpm, and would only be acceptable for strip-aerobics. (You can use this handy free Iphone app to figure out the BPM of any song.)

Lyrics and Content:

Any song that discusses giving a woman $3000 for adult activities, is probably not appropriate. Lyrics such as "All you alcoholics, where you at?" should also be avoided. That pretty much rules out all my favorite songs.

*Yeah, not really.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The ACE GFI Test, and Other Ways to Lose Your Mind

After almost seven years of stay-at-home-motherhood. I have decided to pursue a career as a group fitness instructor. If feel like it's the perfect job for me:

1. It has flexible hours.

2. I get to wear comfortable shoes.

3. I can avoid the slow descent into madness associated with working in a cubicle.

4. I don't want gain back all the weight I have fought tooth and nail to lose.

I've been studying for the ACE group fitness instructor certification test for a few months now. I've been through the anatomy and physiology book, and I'm about 3/4 of the way through the "Fundamentals of Group Exercise."

Conclusion: This shit is bananas.

It is a huge amount of information. Not only that, apparently the test is focused on real life application of said information. Crap. I feel like I'm really just floundering, taking notes out of the book. So I've started this blog in an attempt to organize my own thoughts and try to make sense of all these gems of knowledge being hurled at my brain.

Along the way I will include some fitness goodies and healthy recipes as a reward for anyone brave enough to read through my rambling and whining. Oh, and I am a low carber, so by "healthy recipes" I mean there is going to cream cheese, lots and lots of cream cheese. Get over it.