Friday, March 29, 2013

Foam Roller Fairy & Barre Workout

I woke up at 4:30pm or so today, so I got a good 8-8.5 hrs of sleep.  Feels much better than yesterday!  I decided I'd check the Vie fitness website and maybe go to one of their classes and get started on that Groupon.  I got lucky and there was a 5:30pm Barre Intensity class that only had 2 people registered and 7 slots open, so I decided to go.  I had to hurry out and got there just in time to make the class.  Good thing, because if I had time to think about it I probably wouldn't have gone.

On my way out the door I saw this in the driveway:
Curious, indeed. 
Although I do get packages delivered most days, they usually aren't out by the trash, and they are in more shipping-friendly packaging.  Turns out it was the foam roller fairy!

My friend Reed offered to let me borrow his foam roller to try it out and see if I liked it before I dropped the $$ to get one of my own.  Apparently he dropped it off today.  There was a surprise in there too:

They're like brownies with cookie dough on top!  Great, just what I needed.  I have no willpower.  They were good, but luckily, they weren't super sweet (believe it or not!), so I managed to have just one.  Time will tell if I can make it through the night without whipping up some chocolate frosting, sweetening them up, and eating all of them.  MOAR SUGAR.

As much as I hate to admit it, @DetroitRunner1 was right, the TP Grid foam roller is pretty pimp.  It feels really good, like a massage, because of the bumps on it.  It is much softer than either of the two I have been using (the homemade one and the plain high-density foam one I bought).  At $40 for the small version, I still think it is obscenely overpriced though.  Especially because the foam seems a little soft/fragile, judging by the nicks in it (Reed, did your cat attack it?) and how easily it compresses.   I thought it felt especially good to align it parellel to my thigh and roll/rotate over it side to side to get a transverse quad and IT band massage, versus the usual longitudinal rolling method.

Speaking of massage, I got one of those two days ago from a coworker who is also a massage therapist.  She only charges $35 per hour, which is pretty good.  The normal around here is $60 an hour.  It felt good, but it was more of a relaxation massage than a sports massage I think.  I don't really know though, it's only the 2nd massage I've ever had in my life.

So, Barre Intensity at Vie Fitness.  I've been avoiding going to these studio fitness classes because I was nervous and self-conscious.  I didn't even know what to wear.  All the people I know that go to these are way younger than me and wear like "gourmet" clothes.  (For some reason I can't think of the word for the fashion equivalent of gourmet.  Gourmet is to food as _______ is to clothing?  Help a girl out.)  Plus, I didn't really look forward to being the weakest person in the class, and staring at myself in the mirror for an hour.  I was kind of right and kind of wrong.  The workout was solid.  I picked a good day to go because the focus was inner/outer thighs, so it involved a lot of hip abductor and glute exercises, similar to what is recommended for ITB rehab.  It started with arms with dumbbells and a resistance band, then we moved to the bar (barre?) for stretching and leg strengthening.  There were some exercises with a ball between the legs, and some others with a circle of resistance band around the outside of the thighs.  Last was some core work...some standing and some on the mat.  It was 55 minutes total.  I felt the burn on all the exercises and had to modify or cheat on some of them to get through.

The class was really small, there were only 3 of us plus the instructor.  Two of us were first timers, and the other was clearly a regular.  The instructor was nice and helpful.  I did have a few complaints.  For one thing, the way the room was laid out and where I was relative to the instructor was really awkward for the bar exercises.  I couldn't see what I was supposed to be doing.  Plus, with the music and no microphone, it was hard to hear her too.  Also, there really weren't many modifications provided for the beginners.  For example, during a side plank series she didn't even mention the option of dropping down to your knees to make it easier, despite the fact that one of the people in the class wasn't able to maintain good form and was falling down.   In that case, I knew how to modify it, but there were some leg exercises later that I could have used a modification on but none were offered.  I guess I'm spoiled by my workout videos.  They always offer modifications.  Not that I use them all the time, but there is usually at least one exercise per video that I opt to modify.  I'd rather modify the exercise and maintain good form than force through the advanced method with bad form/cheating.

I'm glad that I went.  I wasn't as self-conscious as I thought I'd be.  It helped that I was probably the oldest person in the room.  I guess I'm kind of getting past the point of caring about whether I'm being judged.  I'm also okay now with the fact that I'm new to it, and not going to be able to keep up with the people that have been doing it a while.  I liked that all the equipment is provided.  They have towels and mats, water, and everything you need there for you to use.  And the lockers (with lock) are complimentary.  It was definitely better than doing a workout video in my basement.  Sometimes that is just a drag.

The studio itself was a little yuppie for my taste.  They had pitchers of water with orange slices floating in it.  It is a fitness studio, spa, and juice bar.  They also sold $60 "gourmet" tank tops in the lobby :P.  Although the workout was good (I'll be sore tomorrow!), I didn't really like the vibe.  It's "nice", it's just not my scene.  I don't know if I'll go back after I use my 5-class Groupon.  (It was $35 for 5 classes.  I think it's normally $20 per class, although if you want to try it, the first class is free).  With my groupon I can also do NY Mat Pilates, Yoga, Spinning, or Arms & Abs.  They also have pole dancing classes, but it's not an option with the Groupon.  Bummer, because I would otherwise be all over that class.  (That was sarcasm, in case that wasn't obvious.)  I'll probably try all but the spinning (I still have spinning classes paid for at RydeOn), and then use the 5th class on whichever of the 4 I liked best.  I have a feeling it will be the Barre one honestly.  I like that it was a good strengthening workout that covered arms, abs, and legs.  While I might not go back to this studio at their regular prices, I will keep an eye out for deals like this at other studios, now that I've lost my group fitness class virginity.  (I don't really count spinning, it's kind of's not a big room full of mirrors with everybody staring at each other.  You just look at the instructor.)
This is photo is from the spinning place I actually go to.

This photo is from a random google image search.  If the Vie room was laid out like this maybe I could've actually seen the instructor.  

One problem is that some people from work go to these barre classes at another studio and have been trying to get me to join them.  One of them wants to come to Vie with me for barre, and to RydeOn for spinning.  I don't want that!  I like her, but if it's people I know in there I will definitely be self-conscious.  Plus she's like a barre pro and super buff.  She can do pull-ups.  I'm still at zero pull-ups.  Although she never does cardio, so I guess I'll out-spin her and she can out-barre me and we'll be even. But that doesn't fix the fact that I have to wear workout clothes in front of her.  Rargh.  So much for not caring what people think, huh?   Baby steps I guess.

Until today, I hadn't been on the scale since my last official weigh-in March 14th.  Mostly because I was afraid to.  Since then I had my week of absolutely no leg bending (very minimal exercise that week) and I had a couple of really bad eating days (where I went over what I burned by 1500 to 3500 calories), and the rest of the days were neutral or slightly over.  Definitely no net deficit.  Even the neutral or negative days were pretty bad food choices (like yesterday, I was net negative by a few calories despite eating 950 calories worth of cookies and a pre-bed snack of peanut butter mixed with chocolate chips).  My last weigh-in was abnormally low (to the point where I thought it was a fluke), so I was expecting a big gain.  I finally decided to "check-in" today and see how bad the damage was, and there wasn't any.  (Still 146 point something.)  Weird.  But woo-hoo.

I am a lazy slacker and took on-call instead of going to work tonight since they were overstaffed.  That, paired with one vacation day this week from the half, and I only worked 2 days this week.  I didn't want to use vacation time, so I asked for no-pay with my on-call tonight, so I'm only making something less than $5 an hour tonight.  Not bad for sitting around blogging and watching TV, but I'll definitely see the hit on my paycheck.  Considering my online shopping habits, I should probably try to make money.  Next time I'll go to work.  Hopefully.  I feel like I've been spending more and more recently.  The gym membership, the swimming lessons, the fitness classes, swimsuits, running shoes (I found some 2170s so I bought 2 pair last night), and now I'm probably going to cave in and buy that stupid foam roller.  I need to win the lottery.  At least a tax refund is on the way shortly.  With that I should be able to pay off my nursing degree.  Then there's just that pesky engineering degree to finish paying for.

Do you remember when this used to be a running blog, and I actually wrote funny, interesting, or useful posts?  I do.  Now, instead, you get to listen to every single thing that happens to me, and my overanalysis of said events.  You're welcome.  Honestly though, I like reading other people's blogs that are like that.  I hope you don't mind too much.

1 comment:

  1. I love when you admit I'm right. Of course, I'm rarely wrong. Ok, maybe in regards to Martian. :)

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