Say YES to Weights

When most people hear the words “strength training” they immediately think of body building, power lifting or strenuous workouts. To the average person or someone newly into fitness, strength training and using weights can be intimidating. A lot of people think that strength training is only associated with athletes and experienced individuals. Although I believe any form of exercise or movement is beneficial, incorporating weight in some or all of workouts is crucial.

As we age, we face an inevitable decline in bone density and muscle strength. It has been scientifically proven that aerobic exercise alone is not enough to sustain bone health, muscle tone, posture and an all-around functional body. Stronger muscles lead to stronger bones which can prevent injuries and osteoporosis. Strength training can involve dumbbells, stationary machines, weighted bars, suspension training and resistance bands. The intensity of strength training routines can vary and can be suitable for any level of fitness. For individuals who are trying to lose weight, weight bearing exercise is needed for fat loss.

Being a female in the fitness industry, I am constantly being asked by other women about my views on lifting weights. Not only am I in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, but I also teach barre which is known for little to low weight and high repetition exercises. The idea that weight will make someone look “bulky” versus “long and lean” is a common misconception and could not be further from the truth. I have often heard well-known trainers discourage women from using challenging amounts of weight and I am constantly encouraging my female clients to eliminate this mentality. With proper form, a great workout routine and a balanced diet, weight training can take your body to the next level of awesome.

With clearance from a doctor and expert advice from a fitness professional, anyone can start a safe and effective workout program which incorporates strength training. If you are still not convinced, the fact that you don’t technically need a gym membership to maintain a routine should seal the deal. All you need is a set of dumbbells to get started in your home, garage or outdoors. Eventually, a beginner starting with minimal time and equipment can progress into more advanced movements and longer workouts. Aside from the physical benefits of strength training, it increases cognitive performance, mood and confidence for both men and women of all fitness levels.

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LivFitness On Deck

One of the most amazing things about being in South Florida is that you can pretty much always take your workout outdoors. Anything from running, bootcamp, suspension training, barre and yoga can be done outside during almost any time of the year. My personal training sessions and classes are typically done in a private gym, in-home or in a studio setting. But sometimes I have to “think outside the barre” and get creative for effective on-sight training. I’ve trained on the beach, in hotel courtyards, on polo fields and with stand up paddle boards just to name a few. In this case, I’m talking a luxury yacht called the Top Five. Anchored seasonally in downtown WPB at the waterfront, this mega yacht was the location for Thursday’s sunny, barre-inspired workout. We set up the space so it was fully equipped with mats, small weights, towels and music. There was plenty of deck space for floor work and big movements. We used the rails of the yacht as a barre and also for stretching. The weather was absolutely perfect for a group fitness session, bright and breezy with an incredible view. This was the second year I’ve taken this same deck and turned it into a space to sweat for a bachelorette celebration group. These girls came to visit at the perfect time and had big plans for their stay in West Palm Beach. What’s even better is that this awesome group chose to make fitness a part of their fun-filled party weekend (serious bachelorette party goals!). So excited to be back on board again this year and looking forward to more LivFitness on the water.

 

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 2015 Workout

2015 Workout

LivFitness Meets Hilton WPB

Over the last ten years, West Palm Beach has definitely seen some serious growth! Being an influencer in the community, it's been both exciting and rewarding to watch local businesses thrive around town - I'd even say they're booming! One new development I am currently pumped about is the new Hilton Hotel on Okeechobee boulevard. This twelve-story gem opened this past week and it sits in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Artwork, flowers, food and coffee are a few of my favorite staples you'll find there, and i'm totally thrilled it's all local talent giving the hotel a true WPB feel. The atmosphere is bright and welcoming, with a sophisticated lobby space and a sleek outdoor pool area. Even better, the staff goes above and beyond to meet the needs of each hotel guest. 

Why am I so excited? On Tuesday and Thursday of this week I had the opportunity to lead two 5:30am workouts on the event lawn for a corporate group of hotel guests. The hotel provided mats, towels and water for the multi-level bootcamp style class. The space was perfect for an early morning workout by the pool - lunges, planks, ladder drills to name a few. The guests were so great to work with and super enthusiastic, despite the early morning wakeup call. 

The BEST way to start a long day filled with meetings and work events is to get up and get your body moving. Looking forward to working with more groups and hotel guests in the future.

Saturday morning barre & Jüce

This morning we had Chris from Raw Jüce Palm Beach Gardens come by the studio after meeting him at a Lululemon community event a few weeks ago. He brought some amazing juices to share with all our clients and was able to stick around to take my class. Being a former pro baseball player and now coach, a barre class wasn’t a familiar workout to him. Needless to say, it was a fun (and sweaty!) new challenge that I’m sure he’ll be feeling tomorrow. It’s always great to meet new people in the community and have the opportunity to mix fitness with nutrition! So excited to have a Raw Jüce closer to the WPB area. Be sure to check them out in the PGA Plaza.

 

Total Body Fit - Gym to Barre

Aside from personal training, I teach classes at a fabulous studio called Xtend Barre West Palm Beach. It’s where I began my career as an instructor and it’s where my love for training really blossomed. I was teaching a ton of weekly Xtend Barre classes, a couple spin and abs classes, and had so many dedicated girls who took classes regularly. After a while, I knew some of the girls had the potential to take their fitness goals to another level and really tone their bodies by adding weight and circuit training. A few of them expressed that while they felt strong, they were starting to feel a bit stagnant and were willing to be pushed farther. I obviously LOVE barre classes (as do most of the clients who take TBF) but I am definitely a gym lover and a firm believer that weight bearing exercise is crucial for women. In order to really burn fat, it’s important to combine weights with cardio and a healthy diet. To me, giving clients the opportunity to incorporate weight and circuit training into their fitness regimens seemed like the perfect idea. So, almost two years ago, a small group training class was added to the schedule and Total Body Fit was born.

It’s a fifty minute class that begins with a 2.5 mile run from the studio down Flagler drive. Using the intracoastal wall for pushups, step ups and other exercises to really amp up the cardio. After the run, I give them a circuit: three rounds of eight-ten exercises. Fat blasting exercises that use the whole body for a total body workout. Weighted balls and bars, gliders, resistance bands are used for lunging, squatting, pressing, pushing and pulling. I also give body weight exercises and plyometrics to challenge the body using body weight only. Classes are high-energy, fun and effective to ensure a challenging workout for both men and women. 

Join me Monday nights at 7:15 and Wednesday nights at 6:15. Remember to bring h2o, a towel and a positive attitude! 

 Make it a great week!

Liv