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Showing posts from 2013

Adult Fitness at the Pinnacle

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This week I tried Adult Fitness, a class that combines cardiovascular conditioning with strength and core training and flexibility. The class is held around the base of the climbing pinnacle at Buchanan Rec Center.

John Krane was the teacher (filling in for Susan Wescott). He had us each set up with a mat, a couple sets of dumbbells (light and heavy) and a step. He explained that this week we were going to do Tabata, which apparently means 20 seconds of intensity interspersed with ten seconds of recovery, four sets for each activity.
And then he started right in. The class moved quickly and I didn’t have a great view from the other side of the Pinnacle. He mixed u it up: squats, box jumps, jumping jacks, lunges with weights, push-ups, crunches, planks (which is holding the top of a pushup), side-to-side using the steps (which I imagine is great for downhill skiing), jogging in place, and more.
The woman next to me told me that Susan, the usual teacher, has been doing a “Plank Challenge” …

Guest Blogger: Barbara Binder on Ashtanga Yoga with Griffin Litwin

Ashtanga Yoga with Griffin Litwin

I walked into my first ever yoga class at the Buchanan Rec Center in September of 2013. All I wanted to do was add a little stretching into my exercise routine. Instead, I was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga by Evergreen’s newest certified instructor, Griffin Litwin. Yes, there’s plenty of stretching in Griffin's classes, but there’s so much more. I was completely surprised by what a great workout one can have in an Ashtanga class, and by how fabulous I felt walking out of every session.

When I attended that class in September, I was still recovering from several leg surgeries (most recently an ACL replacement) and dealing with a significant amount of pain. Griffin brings a solid understanding of anatomy to his yoga classes, and was able to help me increase my strength and flexibility while keeping my knee protected. It was quite a surprise that just a month after I began practicing, I was able to walk comfortably with scuba tanks and weights strapped o…

Indoor Cycling with Yesim

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Wow. Hours later, I’m still sweating.
I finally got up the courage to try indoor spinning recently. Despite the fact that I am a cyclist, I was really intimidated. I didn’t know what to wear, what to bring, what the equipment was like, or if I could even keep up! I was afraid everyone else in the class would be a hard-core rider who has completed six Triple Bypasses and eats nails for breakfast – or at least raw eggs.
But it’s cold, and it’s icy, and I can’t ride outside, so I decided to give Indoor Cycling a try. I took Yesim Petty’s class, Tuesday mornings at 9:15 am at Buchanan.

I showed up in bike shorts and bike shoes, which was a good move. Yesim fitted me to the seat of the bike, but as I looked around, I noticed that most of the bikes had cages on the pedals, which means anyone with a stiff-soled athletic shoe can do it. The seats were nicely padded, so you don’t even need padded shorts, but I would recommend them.
A slim, fit blonde woman who arrived early to warm up on the …

ZUMBA! -- Booty shaking with Mary Ann Goldstein

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I confess: I have never had so much fun exercising in my life, as I did during Mary Ann Goldstein's ZUMBA! class this past Monday (9:15 am at Buchanan Rec).

The movement is fast and exotic, the music is loud, the floor is shaking, the ponytails are swinging. I walked in feeling like I had two left feet (fortunately, Liz Cohen joined me on the wooden floor  - thanks, Liz!), terrified I would not be able to keep up. And you know what? I couldn't! Mary Ann couldn't call out what to do because the music was driving the movement, but I noticed that she did provide cues with her arms and hands so that I knew how to start a dance step or movement. She also did movements in patterns so that if I didn't quite get it the first time, I had the opportunity to try a couple more times.

I sweated like a pig. I drank huge gulps between every song. I messed up a lot, but it didn't matter, because as long as I kept my body moving, I figured I was getting a great workout. Besides, ev…

Adult Modern/Jazz Dance with Liz DeVille

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This week, the EPRD Fitness Blogger tried Adult Modern/Jazz Dance, taught by Liz DeVille. In the interest of full disclosure, let me start off by saying I am NOT a dancer. I took one tap class decades ago, and I have hoofed it a little in shows at Center/Stage (which required hours and hours and HOURS of drilling in my bedroom because of my 2-left-feet tendencies). 

I am a cyclist and a runner, NOT a dancer. 

So I entered this class (3-4 pm Tuesdays at Wulf  Rec Center -- the wooden-floored dance studio is upstairs, right off the weight room) with more than a little trepidation. Heck, I didn't even know what to wear! I showed up in bike shorts and running shoes, and no one made fun of me.  Liz welcomed me with a big smile, and suggested I may want to do the first class in just socks, so I shed the shoes. (She said if I decide I love it, I could eventually invest in dance sneakers.)

Liz  describes the class as "for the adult wanna-be dancer," and told me, "There are …

Griffin's Ashtanga/Vinyasa Yoga Class

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Griffin makes me feel like a true yogi
This week I tried +C. Griffin Litwin's  Ashtanga/Vinyasa Yoga class (Tuesdays at 8 am at Buchanan Park Rec Center).  The time was perfect -- right after school dropoff. I brought a mat, but it's OK if you don't have one -- there is a closet full of mats, blocks, blankets, anything you need. Of course, I didn't know what I would need, but that was OK -- someone else gave me a blanket (Sue, who works at the Wulf Front Desk) to sit on and another woman gave me a block for when I couldn't quite reach the floor.


Griffin is a lanky, quiet young guy with a ponytail and a really relaxed, serene vibe. I met him just after he started with EPRD this past summer, when he gave free yoga class after the Mt. Falcons Trail Run in Morrison. The race winner, Lonnie Cruz, spent a good half hour stretching with Griffin afterward, even though he had never done yoga in his life.


Intimate class and friendly people
The class was small and intimate, and e…

Getting fit this winter

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I'm an avid cyclist and runner, but now that the days are getting shorter, it's getting harder to fit my outdoor workouts in before the sun goes down. I don't mind cold weather -- once I get used to it -- but not being a fan of mountain lions, and with no desire to become anyone's dinner, I choose not to  exercise outside after dusk. But now that dusk arrives closer to 5 than 6, and is coming a little earlier every day -- in addition to the fact that I work for a living and have school pickups and other obligations to contend with -- it's time to get creative!  


Well rounded? Uh ... yes and no

The ugly truth is, running and riding do not a well-rounded workout make. Yes, I'm great on the cardiovascular front. My resting heart rate is 48, my veins are big, the optometrist recently raved about the circulation in my eyeballs. (Didn't explain why I still need glasses, though.) 

But my upper arm muscles are pretty weenie, my tummy is soft, and my hamstrings are tig…