Live Young, Get Fit Event with Jackie Warner & evian water

On Saturday, evian water sponsored an event as part of their “Live Young, Get Fit” campaign that brought Jackie Warner to NYC as part of a multi-city tour. From the moment I heard she was going to be in town leading a workout, I knew I had to go. What can I say? I loved her show on Bravo “Workout” and had seen her kick a lot of people’s asses in the gym and wanted to experience it first hand.

I was so excited about getting the chance to ask Jackie a few questions before the main event so I left really early to get there in time to meet with her before everyone else started to show up.  I arrived at South Street Seaport with plenty of time, settled onto one of the decks and just took in the amazing view of Brooklyn across the river. I never get down there so getting the chance to chill, to just marvel in the view before the hustle of being at the event, was a treat.

It was really interesting to get a chance to talk to Jackie Warner one on one about her 15 years of experience and the process of putting together the home based workouts that she teaches in her books and in her online platform Jackiewarner.com. Apparently, over the years, she has compiled a notebook of over a 1000 different exercise to pull from, which makes it easy for her to put together her effective home programs. I have to say, I would LOVE to see that masterlog of exercises that she has collect over her time working with different trainers and owning two separate gyms! Since classes are really my focus though, I asked Jackie about what kind of classes she recommends for people.

Jackie: “ No doubt about it, Barry’s Bootcamp – because Barry’s Bootcamp involves high intensity interval training with resistance training. If someone likes classes and they really want to lose weight, want to do it quickly, I ALWAYS put them on Barry’s Bootcamp. I believe it is a very sound program.”

Before I let her go though, I had to find out why she is so anti the modified pushup because after watching the first of the evian water events stream, that was the one thing I was really curious about. Her answer was pretty straightforward.  The pushup is about core strength and she would rather you do 5 regular ones than 20 modified ones to gain strength in your core. Interestingly, you are supposed to round your back slightly so that your core engages. Pretty sure I never do that normally but I certainly tried to when I finally got out the workout!

After my quick chat with Jackie, I join everyone else who had begun to show up for the day’s awesome event. It was such a kickass crew of people who where there and it was so fun to catch up with so many fitness friends. I swear, NYC has such an inspiring group of workout fanatics! The outdoor event was held in the sand at the beer garden and I had assumed that there would be mats on top of that. So I  was sort of surprised that there weren’t any mats out when I arrived but really, it hardly even mattered.  We were there to workout with Jackie. A little sand never killed anyone. Jackie, on the other hand, once she took the stage, was a little more blunt about it “Wait, there are no mats for them? Oh, you are going to get so dirty and you are going to HATE me. The first set called “The 300”, is 10 push ups, 20 situps and 10 squats, NOW GO!!” It was after that first set that we all knew just exactly how dirty were where going to get and we just had to go with it and have fun – at least that is what SINworkouts and I tried to do. We were distinctly the rowdy girls of the group, hooting and hollering and just having fun.

The workout was basically sets comprised of two different but complimenting movements, done twice. Jackie would explain & demonstrate the movement, then watch us as we did it – which made for a stop and go feeling in the class. SIN and I had way too much fun trying to sync our movements, though, and more than a few times, Jackie shot us a comical look. I don’t think she knew what to do with two people who were having so much fun while still doing the exercises. I think she is used to people looking like she is trying to kill them! Jackie’s style of instructing is very serious and really, there is a portion of the workout that felt more like a group personal training session than a group class – which isn’t a bad thing at all,  just different.

The workout was, at its core, a bootcamp style workout, which I always like. Working out in the sand was HARD though and it made a lot of the exercises and combos feel much harder than they should have. I seriously felt that workout the next day!  By the end, we were all really sweaty and the sand was plastered to our backs, arms and legs – we were also starting to dig little trenches around ourselves, turning up weird things in the sand – drinking straws, bottle caps, even a lemon at one point – but by the time that happened, it all just seemed funny. It was a great, challenging workout and I loved getting to finally workout with Jackie Warner, even if it was more than a little dirty!

After the workout, there was a Q&A with Jackie where she answered the audience questions about working out, food choices and supplements. A  couple of interesting facts came up – if you drink 3 liters of water a day, you burn 33% more calories a day (good to know!) and Jackie works out 6 times a week with one day of active rest. I wasn’t taking notes, though, because at that point, I was just sitting in the sand basking in the sun that had finally come out and had just completed a great workout!  Although, I do know no one asked my final question in the one on one: “what is your drink of choice?” Jackie’s answer, by the way, is a “Grey Goose Dirty Martini”.  So, if you see her out, you now know what to order! You can’t be healthy ALL of the time…

Photos taken by Eric C Stafford for the FBS blog.

Miami Is Getting A Rockstar: Aleah Stander & The Celebration Ride

On Wednesday night at 7:30pm, almost all of the Flywheel instructors gathered to ride in Aleah Stander’s class, since this is her last week before she heads down to Miami to spearhead the new Flywheel opening down there.  She is beloved by the Fly family – and they came in full force to celebrate that fact and yet, somehow, managed to keep it a secret. Included in that evening’s packed house were Ruth Zukerman, Kate Hickle, Chris Tracey, Jesse Alexander, Danielle Devine, Ryan Makey, Alison Cohen, John Wellmann, Carrie Green and Shay Kostabi and some of the awesome back office staffers. They had gone all out to make the ride feel like a party, sporting glow-in-the dark bands, glowsticks, a few of the guys rocked big afro wigs, Danielle had a cute pair of sparkly horns, and Ryan sported the headgear of the night – a wildly funny pair of bunny ears. The rest of the room was filled to the brim with Aleah fans.

It was nice to see the sweet, endearing Aleah that she is off the bike up there, just basking in the love of her friends hooting and hollering for her, packing the house. Then, she grinned a big grin and went right back to being the kick-ass, hard instructor that we love. The room was never quiet. I don’t know that I have ever been in a room that was AS loud as this one was and it was so much fun. I am notoriously loud in class and it was fun to not remotely be the loudest in the room. Aleah’s playlists are always awesome but the one that night was just ridiculously good… and filled with lots of songs that were straight up fun, but distinctly not the “clean” versions! It was the kind of soundtrack that just made you go faster and inspired you to work harder. I don’t know that I have ever been to a class with Aleah were I am not blown away by how hard she can get you to work – I almost always best any number I’ve done before. She is just motivating like that! The energy of the room was like a wave and it just made me want to try a little bit harder. As a rider, to be surrounded with people who inspire me was a huge treat.  The Flywheel instructors are an insanely strong group and there is nothing like being surrounded by the best to make you better.

I was in the second row, smack in the middle, and directly in front of me was Kate and Ruth. Talk about feeling like I need to step my game up! From the angle I was at I could see Ruth’s little board, and all I have to say is damn. That woman is a powerhouse! She crushed me from right out of the gate. I had my best 45-minute ride and she beat me by almost a 100 points -totally and utterly inspiring. Aleah made us all work hard and pushed that room to do their best -it was electrifying to see everyone in that room rise to the occasion.

The 45 minutes FLEW by. When she called out that it was the last song I was shocked, I so didn’t want it to be over just yet. As the stretch song played, it was awesome to see her take in the room before her, filled with people who love and totally support her. I think it was the only time I have ever seen Aleah slightly flustered and it was totally endearing. The cheers were deafening and the towels whipped over everyone’s head as the class ended – it was an amazing thing to witness that kind of pure love pouring out at the end of her amazing class. The thing about Aleah is that she is just so consistently great, that I sometimes forget just HOW great she really is but seriously, Aleah really is a rockstar. I hope Miami knows what a treasure they are getting.

Top picture from Aleah’s Facebook profile, middle picture from the Flywheel website and bottom image my hope for what Miami has in store for the amazing Aleah Stander….

FLY for Fisher House with Steven Little & Aleah Stander

After taking an awesome class with Steven Little at Flywheel on Monday evening, I came home and found in my mail box a note from running coach extraordinaire, Abby Bales, about an event she is hosting at Flywheel this weekend, May 5th at 3pm with Steven and Aleah Stander. The ride is a fundraiser for the Fisher House and as Abby wrote:

Fisher House builds houses near military hospitals for the families of injured soldiers to stay for free while their soldier is recovering in the hospital. It is a 501c(3) charity with a 5-star ranking by charitynavigator.org, meaning 97% of the money raised goes directly to the houses and needs of the families and not to advertising and administration costs.”

I don’t normally write about events before they happen, but an event that supports such an important cause and lead by 3 amazing people is worthy of an exception to that rule.

As I read the mail about the mission of the Fisher House to the Fella (a former Navy man) he just looked at me and said, “You know you have to go right? We’ll figure out how to come up with the money for it, but you HAVE to go support that.”  That is totally true. With a partner who used to serve and as the daughter of a retired Naval Officer, the mission of the Fisher House is something that I think is very special and important to support. The fact that the event is at one of my favorite places in NYC, Flywheel, is just an extra sweet bonus.

For more information about the ride, check out the FB page for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/364397176940125/

Check out my original review of Steven here.

Abby and Aleah led one of my favorite workouts of 2011, an inspiring “Brick” workout that made me feel like a true athlete.  Check it out here. I love them both for that moment and can’t wait to see what they bring to this new event…

Hopefully, I will see you there!