Spring Shape Up Circuit: Running & Strength Interval Workout

Hello friends!  Spring has officially sprung here in Dallas, TX.  We enjoyed a gorgeous weekend of sunshine and 75 degree weather.  Some of my friends even enjoyed time by the pool.  I’m so glad that Winter is over and cannot wait to spend more time outside, especially partaking in outdoor workouts.  This week I plan to hit up the Katy Trail and knock out this running and strength training circuit.  I made the perfect 40 minute playlist to energize my sweat session – you should too!

In addition, my friends from Studio Hop and Lorna Jane NorthPark and I just finished planning the premier fitness event of the season!  We are hosting a free outdoor workout at NorthPark center on Saturday, April 11th at 10:30am.  If you live in Dallas, you should DEFINITELY join the party!  There will be a lot of sweat, a lot of shopping and a lot of smiles!  What’s not to like?  So grab your yoga mat and a friend and join the party.  CLICK HERE to RSVP at the Facebook event page.

Spring into shape!  xoxo, Brit 

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Total Body Tabata Workout

Hey guys!  I hope you’re staying warm and dry!  It seems like 80% of the US is covered in ice and snow – even us Texans!  However, we are still bringing the heat at GRIT Fitness!  Yesterday, we kicked off the week on a positive note by NOT canceling our scheduled classes despite the rain/ice storm.  That turned out to be a great decision because several of our clients popped in the studio ready to sweat.  We had an awesome time and definitely brought some heat to the his cold weather!

Our member, Kelli, showed her GRIT by rolling to Turbo Kick class during yesterday’s ice storm in her hubby’s big body truck!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so here’s a quick run down of what happened over the weekend…

On Friday, I taught my usual noon Turbo Kick class.  Shout out to my friend from the Junior League of Dallas, Emily, who’s also a fierce member of our fit family at GRIT fitness (in the middle of the photo below).  She took her first Turbo Kick class last Friday and loved it.  In her own words, “This is what is must feel like at a rave…with music blasting and lights flashing”…she also suggested we start using glow sticks during Turbo Kick classes and turn the lights off.  haha.  I like it!

My Turbo Kick rock stars! From left to right: Lew, Jenny, Emily, Me, Kelli

On Friday night I enjoyed a fun yet healthy dinner with my girlfriends at Dodie’s Cajun restaurant in Dallas.  I had a decision blacked salmon salad and several glasses of Pinot Grigio.  Perfect way to wind down after a long week!

My yummy blackened salmon salad from Dodie’s on lower Greenville, Dallas, TX

On Saturday I taught my usual spin class at BEYOND Pedaling and PiYO (now “Flexin’Flow”) class at GRIT Fitness.  My friend Jackie, fellow instructor from my days at 24 Hour Fitness, did the honors of guest teaching our Dance Cardio class – it was a hit!  Here’s a link to a little video clip of the fun: Post by GRIT Fitness.

Midday I did a little dance of excitement because the new business cards I ordered finally arrived – yay!  What do you think?

My new biz cards with my fitness photo on them! Not sure if photos on biz cards are tacky, but whatever, I like it!

Later I stopped by Dallas North Park Mall because THE Lorna Jane, founder of Lorna Jane Active, made a pit stop in Texas.  It was great to chat with her and get a little photo op.  I loving meeting fellow girl BO$$’s – very inspiring!

Me and THE Lorna Jane posing with my LJ Diary at Dallas North Park mall

I wrapped up my Saturday by doing absolutely nothing.  Sometimes going on chill mode is a great thing, right?  On Sunday I slept in, went to brunch with some friends and then get back to work making playlist, writing our weekly newsletter and preparing for the awesome week that I’m now enjoying.

Before I go, I want to share this new Tabata workout I created!  At Fossil corporate HQ, I recently started teaching a Tabata bootcamp and I LOVE IT!  Tabata is a form of High Intensity Internal Training (HIIT) created by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata.  You can CLICK HERE to read more about the history of Tabata.  1 Tabata circuit lasts 4 minutes, but it’s super intense.   The structure of the 4 minutes is as follows:

  • Workout hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete eight rounds
Brit’s Total Body Tabata Workout

I highly encourage you to give my Total Body Tabata workout a whirl.  It consists of 5 Tabata rounds and can be completed in 30 minutes.  Expect to burn up to 500 calories – woo hoo!  Enjoy! xoxo, Brit

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Indoor Body Sculpting – My Favorite Winter Workout

Now that the hype of the holidays has died down, I hope you’re ready to gear up for happier healthier 2015! To help you shake up your gym routine, I want to share my all-time favorite Winter Workout. I LOVE heading to my local gym, plugging in my headphones and moving through these body-sculpting exercises.

There are 3 key reasons I love to the do this workout in the winter as opposed to warmer seasons:

  1. Build Lean Muscle Mass – It’s critical to strength train in the winter. Lean muscle mass increases the metabolism to maintain a healthy body temperature and help prevent winter weight gain.
  2. Show off my workout clothes – Since the workout requires a wide variety of equipment, it needs to be done at a gym. If your gym is anything like mine, it can be a bit of a fashion show. I once got annoyed by the “see and be seen” vibe, but now I don’t mind because I rock my super cute activewear from Target® C9. Better yet, I don’t have to go broke to look fierce and fabulous!
  3. No worries about bad weather – Snowstorm? No problem! This workout should be completed indoors since it has several stabilizing exercises.

I designed this workout to sculpt the entire body, so it consists of 9 sets of exercises (3 Core, 3 Lower Body, 3 Upper Body).

Complete each exercise in a set for 1 minute and then repeat. This means each set of exercises takes 4 minutes. With transition time and a little rest, the entire Body Sculpting workout takes 45 minutes. When done correctly, your entire body will feel tight, toned and very sore the next day – trust me! If you have any questions, post a comment below.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9 all opinions are my own.
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Hardcore HIIT Workout

Good afternoon friends!  Here’s a HIIT workout I designed to really kick our butts into gear.  HIIT stands for high intensity interval training – it’s the most efficient way to burn calories and strength train at the same it.  This workout is quick and effective.  No equipment required so you can do it in your living room, just like I did.  It’s the perfect solution for days like today when my schedule is completely full with teaching classes, making playlists, meetings and writing blog posts.

As an added bonus, my mom came over this morning and helped me make this instructional video. Yay!  Now we can sweat together 🙂  I hope you enjoy the workout.  Let me know how it goes!

Here are some more of my HIIT workouts:

Last but not least, the winner of my Lorna Jane product giveaway is Lisa!  She works hard as full time as a nurse and a single mom of 4 and plays hard by incorporating extra time playing with her kids. Congrats Lisa!  Email me your mailing address to brit@gritbybrit.com and your prize is on it’s way.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of your week!  Lots luv, Brit

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Power Bell Workout = Kettlebell + Dumbbell Circuit

Hello Friends!  Hope your day is off to a good start.  I taught my very first cycling class at Beyond Pedaling in Dallas this morning – it went great!  I’m so glad that the jitters are out and now I can go full speed ahead.  Even though I’ve been teaching fitness classes for over 3 years, every time I join a new studio or start teaching a new format, I get major butterflies in my stomach.  Are you taking on any new challenges this Fall?  I hope so!

Anyway, here’s a workout that I created a few weeks ago while I was traveling for work.  I did it in my hotel gym because they had dumbbells and kettle bells, which was a nice change-up from the usual half-broken stationary bike.  I enjoyed my workout so wanted to share with you.  Obviously, you need a kettlebell and a pair of dumbbells to complete the circuit.  If you don’t have a kettelbell, you can use one dumbbell in place of the kettlebell for certain exercises.  The circuit is designed to keep your heart rate elevated and blast calories.  This means you should get a good sweat going!  However, if you want some extra cardio, I suggest warming up with 10-15 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill.  The total workout can be done in less than 30 minutes. Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!  I also included some action shots below of me doing the workout (please be merciful as it was 5:30am and I had no make up and a messy top not).

ENJOY!  Lots of luv, Brit

Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell Plie’ Squats
Squat w/ shoulder press (Thrusters)
Push Ups
Berry Pickers / Russian Twist
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Power Pumpin’ Outdoor Bootcamp Workout

So this week I’ve been working all over the place traveling to Chicago, Dallas and NYC.  In all three locations I’ve been shocked by the sudden decrease in temperature.  50 degree weather in Dallas in September is unheard of!  That said I have a sense of urgency to get a few more outdoor workouts in before it’s too cold.  As I shared last week, working out at my local park is one of my favorite End of Summer/Early Fall Activities so I made up a special workout to do this weekend.  To complete the workout, all you need is an open space, a 50 yard hill and a park bench or sturdy chair (no weights or other equipment required).  I designed the workout as a total body HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuit so you can repeat the series below as many times as you’d like.  I recommend doing it 2-3 times for a full cardio and strength training workout.  It should take you ~30 minutes to complete…

 What are your favorite outdoor exercises? Enjoy the workout!

Lots of luv, Brit

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Start Stretching! My 5 Favorite Super Stretches to Increase Flexibility

Image: Me and 4 of of my favorite students after one of  my Summer PiYo classes!

Hello friends!  Hope your day is going well.  As I sit at my desk, hunched over my lap tap, the striking pain in my back inspired me to write a well-needed blog post about STRETCHING!  Back when I was getting my group fitness instructor certification with AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) our course leaders constantly stressed the fact that there are 3, equally important, elements of physical fitness:

  1. Muscular Strength – “Your muscle’s ability to generate force against physical objects. In the fitness world, this typically refers to how much weight you can lift” – About Health
  2. Cardiovascular Endurance – “The ability of the heart to deliver oxygen to the working muscles, and the muscles ability to use that oxygen.” – Healthline
  3. Flexibility – “The ability of your joints to move through a full range of motion. Having flexibility in your muscles allows for more movement around the joints.” – About Health

If you’re like me, you often focus on the first 2 and neglect the 3rd – skip the stretching.  I have a severe “Exercise ADD” (attention deficit disorder).  I can hardly make it through a traditional yoga class without totally zoning out and I never stretch on my own, which is really bad.  HOWEVER, I can get down with more dynamic stretching (i.e. stretching with movement, like Vinyasa flow yoga and PiYo) because I find it more engaging and even break a sweat once in a while.

Flexibility is SO important not only for out fitness, but for out overall well-being.  Being flexible reduces risk of injury,  improves posture (which makes you look slimmer), minimizes muscle aches and decreases stress through relaxation.  That said, I wanted to share my 5 favorite stretches that are both effective and engaging.  Try doing each of these exercises for 2 minutes at least 3 days per week. Move through each movement dynamically, keeping your body in constant motion instead of a holding the pose and straining.  In doing so, your 10 minute stretch session will fly by! (Instructional photos from to stretchify.com)

Deep Kneeling Lunge (hips)

The hips are super strong – especially if you run often and do a lot of squats.  Also Yogis believe that emotional tension is stored in our hips.  This means that our hips are usually super tight, so we really need to focus on keeping them flexible.  I recommend this deep lunging stretch to improve hip range of motion.  Move forward and back slowly in this pose to keep it dynamic.

Hip flexor stretch from stretchify.com

Standing Hamstring Stretch (back of leg/lower back)

The hamstring and lower back muscles are directly connected so if you have lower back pain, it’s likely that you also have really tight hamstrings.  This stretch is pretty simple so shift your hips back far enough that you feel a nice stretch in the back of your leg and even a little in your booty.

Standing Hamstring Stretch for Sciatica from stretchify.com

Doorway Stretch (chest)

If you’re like me you sit at a desk all day (with horrible posture) hunched over a computer.  This means that your chest is always contracting and you back is always expanded.  Chest opening stretches help reverse that bad, hunch-back posture.  To compete this stretch just a find a doorway, put your arm up and lean forward feeling a good stretch in your chest and little bit in the front of your shoulder.

Doorway Chest Stretch from stretchify.com

Cat Stretch (back)

I don’t know why, but my back is always sore.  I think when I get stressed I hold a lot of tension in my back.  Fortunately, I find a lot of relief by kneeling on all fours and doing cat/cow stretches.  To do this stretch, alternate cat pose (shown below, rounding your back) with “cow pose” in which you push your chest and tail bone up (arch your back).

Cat stretch from stretchify.com

Head Tilt (neck)

So, I have a bad habit of hunching my shoulders up to my ears when I’m tired.  This feels good at the moment, but then I get terrible neck pain.  Simply tilting my head from side to side or downward towards my chest helps relieve tension.  For a little extra sensation, I use my hands to add some pressure.

Neck Stretch from stretchify.com

How often do you stretch?  What are your favorite stretches and why?

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Brit’s Beach Bikini Workout

As we savor the last few days of Summer, I wanted to share a workout my friends and I did last weekend in Miami.  The workout is fun, simple and effective (instructional photos are below).  Give it a whirl this Labor Day weekend and let me know how it goes.  Lots of love, Brit

Alternating Forward Lunges
Standing Abductor Leg Raises
Chair Pose Hold w/ Heel Raise
High Push Up Plank Hold
Dolphin Pose w/ Toe Raises
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10X10 CrossFit-inspired Calorie Blasting Workout

 

Hey Gang!  Hope your week is going well.  I’ve been working away in Chicago and still attending regular CrossFit sessions with my team.  I’ve always had mixed feelings about CrossFit (seemed a little “meatheadish”) but over the past few weeks I’m becoming more of a fan. In fact, I actually created my own “CrossFit-Inspired” workout to do this Friday when I get back home.  I wanted to share it with you guys so you can give it a whirl on your own.  A few things to note:

  • Duration = 15-20 minutes
  • Calorie Burn = ~ 250 calories
  • Rest for 1 minute between each round
  • The workout requires a kettle bell.  If you don’t have a kettle bell, feel free to use a 10-20 pound dumbbell instead
  • Be sure to do full sit ups (not crunches) keeping your feet flat on the ground

 

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WOD: Endurance Pyramid Dumbbell Circuit

Hey Gang!  Hope your week is going well.  I started a new project in Chicago this week.  My team is full of CrossFit junkies and this morning they hit up a 5:30am CrossFit session.  Unfortunately, I overslept and missed it 🙁  But on the bright side, I made a back up “Endurance Pyramid Dumbbell Circuit”  workout and did it in my hotel gym.  After the circuit, I got a quick 30 minutes in on the elliptical.  My entire workout took 45 minutes (so I’m guessing the circuit only takes ~15 minutes).  Try to power through it with minimal rest to focus on building your endurance and to get a good sweat going – post a comment if you have questions.  Enjoy!  xoxo, Brit

Endurance Pyramid

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