Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Warm Weather Fitness and My UXF Experience

It's finally feeling like spring in Boston!  I've been waiting for this weather for months and SO excited that it's finally here.  A big reason why??

Warmer temps = road race season!

Even though I sucked it up and ran a road race in cold November weather last year, I much prefer running outside in shorts and a tank.  Luckily I was able to this past weekend!

I ran my 2nd 5k of the year on Saturday - the Marine Corps Honor Run 5k - which is a really cool race along Carson Beach in South Boston... made even cooler by the fact that my 14-month old nieces participated in it too.  They carb-loaded with Goldfish and Gerber Puffs before "racing" in their double stroller with my brother and sister-in-law.

Buckled in and ready to run

I'm still after my goal of beating my 5K PR from years ago (23:51), so I've started incorporating more fartleks, sprints and (now that it's warm...) stadium stair workouts in my weekly routine.

Word of advice - running 30 sections worth of stadium stairs the day before a road race is NOT a good idea.  Within the first 1/4 mile of the race, my quads and calves were already fatiguing.  Never a fun time.

I managed to finish at 24:20, which I was happy with, and was able to cheer on my family and boyfriend (also running) as they crossed the finish line.

Remembering fallen Marines at the Marine Corps Honor Run

Another reason why I love warmer weather?  Outdoor boot camps!  I am coordinating a couple of them at work and will be participating in an outdoor blogger boot camp this weekend, courtesy of Blog and Tweet Boston.

So far, I've joined in on a couple of Blog and Tweet Boston's free blogger events... the 1st was at Pure Barre Boston (which I wrote about here) and the 2nd was a UXF class at Boston Sports Club on Boylston St. last month.

According to BSC's website, UXF is a cross-training workout that blends strength training and cardio conditioning to improve flexibility, agility, strength and endurance.  The workouts involve short bursts of high-intensity, timed exercises followed by rest periods.  This is similar to how I've structured total body conditioning classes that I've taught throughout the years, so I was really excited to try it out and see someone else's style.

warming up

In our UXF class, we started with a dynamic warm-up, some core and agility work, then were shown 5 different exercises that we had to do for 60 seconds each with a brief (~15 sec) rest in between each one for transitioning to the next station.  We had to count total number of repetitions performed for all 5 exercises and write down that number on a big, white board at the end of each circuit.

agility ladder drills

We did a total of 3 circuits and had to try and beat our number each time.  It's funny, although I do tend to have a competitive streak, its more so with myself than with other people.  You better believe I wasn't going to let my numbers drop as the circuits went on!

I love this pic... Bloggers in motion...

I really enjoyed the class and thought that the instructors were very motivating (SO helpful for that 3rd circuit!).  The class is offered as part of a 4-week program at BSC, in which registered members meet 2x/week for an hour (there is a fee to join this program).  I like that the class size is limited to a small group, which makes it feel less like a typical group ex class and more like personalized small group training.

My "concentration" face

The website mentioned that "UXF offers a unique set of training tools designed to challenge the status quo of conventional fitness equipment.  TRX, battle ropes and sometimes even truck tires and sleds are used along with plyometric exercises to create a balanced workout where you safely progress at your own pace."

I was a little bummed that we didn't use any of the equipment mentioned but maybe it isn't available at the Boylston St. BSC.  Plus, I'm guessing since this was an introductory class they wanted to keep the exercises, and equipment, to just the basics which I can certainly understand.

Bottom line, I got a great workout and would definitely recommend UXF classes as a way to shake up your normal routine.  Here is a listing of all the Sports Clubs in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. area that offer UXF as part of their programming.

Looking forward to shaking up MY routine this weekend with Boot Camp!

What are some fun, new workouts you've recently experimented with to change up your exercise routine??

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