Monday, October 24, 2011

A Workout in My Kitchen: Virtual Training

Hope you had a nice weekend! I want to share with you yet another new workout I tried last week.      
                                     Introducing: Virtual Training! 

Let me assure you, this is a REAL workout... I had the soreness to prove it the following day, too! First, a little background info on how I discovered this type of workout.

A week and a half ago, I attended a Beauties on the Go event at Land Yoga. It was awesome for many reasons:

1) I participated in a free yoga class
2) I received free detox-ing advice from a professional
3) I got to catch up with my friend, G (founder of Beauties on the Go)
4) I was able to network with other fabulous female entrepreneurs
5) I won a FREE virtual training session from Ultimate You Virtual Training!

Now, I'm sure we're all well aware of the workout videos and DVDs that have been around forever... I remember I used to LUV my Mom's "Sweatin' to the Oldies" with Richard Simmons VHS tape when I was younger and I thought the girls in the workout videos and TV programs were so cool and pretty.

Oh, Olivia, you're just too cool for words!

Despite my early fascination with fitness videos you do in your home, it had just never occurred to me, as technology has advanced, that I could do a home workout with a real live person guiding me! Genius!

I expressed my excitement to the founder of Ultimate You Virtual Training, Melissa Pharr, the night of the Beauties on the Go event and we agreed to set up a workout together that weekend. Now, I want to share a few of the things I did during my workout and give you my opinion of the whole experience!

I Skyped Melissa promptly at our scheduled time and we got started right away. On the health intake form she had me fill out prior to our workout, there was a question asking which area, if any, I wanted to focus on and you know I wrote "Core!" - And, boy, did she deliver!

First, of course, we did some stretches. Running and doing a lot of resistance training (and being horrible about stretching) means that I'm extremely tight. Melissa was able to tell right away that I run based on my posture alone so we really focused on stretching my quadriceps (the muscles on the front of the thigh) and my hamstrings (the muscles on the back of the thigh).

We then started working on my core. Oh-mah-goooooodness..... Be careful what you ask for! Initially, Melissa had me lay facedown on my mat then prop myself up on my toes and hands, which were shoulder distance apart. Keeping my back straight and glutes tight, she had me lower down into a plank position (supporting myself on my toes and elbows, body still straight and tight) then back onto my hands ten times in a row. On their own, planks are a SUPERB way to build strength in the abs and back but doing this move ten times in a row was KILLER!

We then moved onto another exercise, still focusing on the core. This time, she had me lie down on my back with my legs at a 90 degree angle (feet facing the ceiling). She then had me alternate dropping my feet about an inch of the ground while at the same time pulling myself up into a crunch and raising the same side's arm towards the foot still in the air. For example, I dropped my right foot towards the ground and "crunched up" with my right hand towards my left foot (which was still hanging in the air). We did multiple sets of 10 for each side. Ouch. But in a good way- Promise!

The third exercise I want to share with you relates back to my legs being so tight! I know a lot of you also run so you'll find this exercise very helpful. Part of the reason my legs are so tight is due to the way that I run. There's nothing wrong with the way that I run but if I strengthen all of the muscles of my butt, particularly those on the sides, I'll depend less on my quads and hamstrings, resulting in less tightness and soreness! Win.
So it's simple. You stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and then lean forward with one hand touching the opposite foot. Come up and repeat nine more times. This requires balance (... so I wasn't spectacular at it...) and you'll feel it in whichever muscles are your strongest. For me, when I was balancing on my left leg, I really felt it in my left calf. However, when I balanced on my right foot, I felt it in my right glute! Melissa said the gluteus muscles on my right side are probably stronger because I've learned to compensate for the weak right knee I have. Aren't our bodies so cool??? By practicing this exercise a few times a week, she says I'll start to notice my left gluteus maximus muscles catching up to my right. I'll be sure to keep you posted on that. ;)

Here's Melissa. :)

BOTTOM LINE: I think virtual training is GREAT and so is Melissa. It's really such a simple concept- a personal trainer straight to you rather than having to go into a gym or studio. Melissa was telling me that a lot of her clients are very busy executives who travel on business often and cannot make it to see a personal trainer often. Instead, they have a standing appointment to "meet" her on Skype a couple times a week from wherever in the world they happen to be! I can see how even people who don't have to hit the road for business often would prefer this method- busy Moms who only have spare time when they put their kid down for a nap or people who may work in an office but go in early and stay late, making stopping by the gym less than appealing. Really, you can be anywhere (as long as there's enough space to move) and you can work out with her- No excuses! :) I intend to schedule workouts with her in the future when I travel.

I especially love that all of my readers, no matter where you are (and I know a lot of you are very far away from my home base of NYC) can take advantage of Melissa's wonderful workout.

Please visit her website for more details, to contact her directly, and to sign up for a FREE fitness breakthru session with her! You'll be hooked, too!

- Ultimate You Virtual Training with Melissa Pharr:
- Beauties on the Go: (Networking in NYC)
- Land Yoga: (Yoga in NYC)
- SohamWellness: (Detoxing)

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