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bebold1kettlebell training will help you meet your fitness goals! compound exercises work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, developing strength and muscular endurance and efficient caloric expenditure. the workout puts the focus on integrating breathing, movement and alignment with your ability to control balance and weight. working with the kettlebell is combined with body weight exercises for an all around heart-pumping workout.

**if you have not previously worked with kettlebells, dropping in is not safe or suitable. please get in touch so we can give you a proper introduction before you join the class.

classes are on mondays and fridays at 12pm

in the upton room at west royalty community centre

begins on  march 1 and ends on april 29

**no classes on march 8, april 12, 22

15 classes $120

any 10 classes $85 

any 7/8 classes $63/$72

*add’l drop in for package participants $10
general drop in $12 **must have previous kettlebell training experience

join us for fun, sweat, change.

LeBarre-Logo-Lime-webLeBARRE™ classes are new and fun!

designed by world-renowned dance choreographer Jenn Hall, LeBARRE classes make creative and challenging use of the portable LEBERT EQUALIZER™.

these classes combine balance, agility, resistance, working recovery and eloquence into a holy-wow! full-body workout with no dance experience or tights necessary!

unlike other popular and trending Barre classes, LeBarre offers options fully suitable to fitness enthusiasts as well as dancers and provides variety in resistance and floor work which a fixed barre cannot.

you’ll find fun and hard work in a LeBARRE class. you’ll find balance and challenge. you’ll find sweat and perhaps you’ll let loose your inner dancer.

LeBARRE classes in the studio are at 12pm on mondays and begin on january 13th.

lebarre certit was an awesome certification course in mississauga in september, with Jenn Hall, Marc Lebert and Sharon Mann.

we`ve used the Lebert Equalizers and Lebert Buddy in the studio for quite some time; we already know the brilliance of Marc Lebert. chase him with the talent, energy and creativity of Jenn Hall, and it is all going to bust loose!

 

kbell jam banner

this dance with kettlebells began with an interview and photo spread of Andrea DuCane in Oxygen Magazine in 2005. it has whirled me through a half dozen training workshops and certifications. it has dervished me into opening a training studio.

and still, it cartwheels and sashays me in all sorts of fascinating and interesting and exciting directions.

like kbell jam.

cool.

one of this country’s finer providers of  kettlebell certification is the kbell training academy, run under the thoughtful and skilled tutelage of ajamu bernard. i took ajamu’s kbell trainer specialist cert a while back and have had some contact with him sporadically over the last few years.

about 2.5 months ago i decided to check out his kbell jam group trainer specialist certification. admittedly, it did not, on the surface, really seem like my kind of thing. i mean, he mentioned using music in a group kettlebell class. in my mind there isn’t much of a place, let alone need, for music when you’ve got a kettlebell in your hand.

besides, for no good reason, i have an aversion to shortening ‘kettlebell’ to ‘kbell’. did he have to call this whatever-it-was-program kbell jam? i never find myself saying dbell (dumbbell) or bbell (barbell) or cbell (clubbell). really? kbell? there is only one additional syllable to stumble over if you were to say kettlebell. really.

of course, i couldn’t allow such an insignificant issue to influence me. with a bit of mental tap dancing, i shoved myself past the kbell induced glottal balking. i wanted to remain open and i was intrigued.

off to toronto i jetted.

it was a weekend without regrets.

kbell_jam_ad_flatkbell jam, the world’s #1 group kettlebell training program, is about to launch in pei!

so, what the heck is kbell jam?

  • it is a 12 week pre-formatted program
  • 4 weeks focus on edurance
  • 4 weeks focus on strength
  • 4 weeks focus on power
  • regression and progression sequences make it suitable for most fitness levels
  • music may be used (i’m still debating this!)
  • it is a group, a community, of like-minded folks getting together to dance their lives in healthy directions
  • and, in the studio, it is an exciting 8 or 12 week event; a shared experience where personal awarenesses may shift and shake and shimmy

and, from the kbell jam website:

kbell jam is a functional fitness program based on the principles used to develop young athletes. participants will develop the skill to successfully perform kettlebell lifting techniques in a fun group environment. in kbell jam, performance and body transformation go hand-in-hand. as you master the skill of using your entire body to move a kbell weight, you will see tremendous improvements in your core strength. as you develop the stamina to complete a kbell jam workout, body fat will melt away.

the result is a sleekier, sexier you with more energy and more strength.

i am really excited to be launching kbell jam in two and a half weeks. i got so psyched by the potential of this group kettlebell format that i rolled out a broadly-based health & wellness challenge as part of the launch.

you can find program details on the facebook event page: kbell jam transformation – 8 or 12 week challenge programs for 2013

the 6:00am spaces are filled. but there are still a few spots open in the 6:00pm group.

this may be the place where your wellness needs and goals find partnership with healthful habits, fitness and fun to trip the light fantastic.

Until this week, all my city runs have begun and ended on the boardwalk in Victoria Park with only small curious ventures beyond.

On Tuesday of this week, for the first time, I stepped out the door of the studio for a run.  Instead of driving to the park, the simplicity of just walking out the door, pulling it shut behind me, and being good to go was immensely satisfying.

It was just about 10:oo am.  I had already shouted a 6:00am Boot Camp in Victoria Park and worked two private training clients in the studio.  I hadn’t yet had a full breakfast, but felt sufficiently fueled for a short slow run.

I headed toward downtown, running along side and back streets I rarely have reason of, wishing to explore a bit.  I was immediately struck by the exhaust fumes of the vehicles, the sounds of idling engines, the startle of auto horns.  This was in stark contrast to my usual running routes.

There is lovely architecture in the older homes of Charlottetown and I was a bit surprised by the number of Inns and Bed & Breakfasts which line the streets, beautifully trimmed and manicured homesteads whispering my passing into their history.  I would love to tour the insides of these lovelies; I wondered briefly if I would be permitted to pad barefoot along hardwood hallways and across heirloom carpets to a sitting room of overstuffed chairs aching to snuggle me.

I made my way through Victoria Park, enjoying the company of other boardwalkers and boardrunners along the waterfront.  The day was hot, the midmorning sun already throwing off heat, and the air was heavy, as it has been of late.  There was a slumberous scent in the air, floral and important, where pleasant sidled cloying. I thought how pleasant the boardwalk would be, how very much more inviting, if it were occasionally punctuated with bowers and arbors  arching over head, small patches of leafy shade from which to ponder bobbing sailboats.

The shady streets of photo ready neighbourhoods were pleasant after the baldness of the boardwalk. I noticed the coolness under my feet and the gauzy patterns of the leafing canopy spilling off the sidewalks into the streets.  I dodged crumbly remains of roadwork and soldierly garbage bins, running amidst the full bodied ripe aging smells of discard and decay.

I was sweat laden and content when I returned to the studio, pleased to have run a dog day city adventure barefooted.  Even on concrete and asphalt I felt more fully connected to my experience, sure footed, aware of the strength and stability in my ankles and their responsiveness to my needs as a runner.  The city run had flora and fauna, earthskywater, a dizzying variety of underfoot textures and temperatures, new smells to capture my imagination, people and cars and dogs and people and people.  A richness different from the solitude and splendor of my rural road runs.

Today, Thursday, the rain came down.  Steady and for hours.  Sometimes as a soft insistent sprinkle looking for surfaces on which to make interesting spatterings.  Other times it was in great arrogant straight down pourings.  Puddles formed and grew in size, imperious bodies of water at least in attitude.  Water gathered along the edges of the roads, pooling along curbs into ever expanding enthusiastic gushings reaching into the lane of traffic.

I had spent an hour in the rain at 6:00am with an amazing group of highly motivated fitness freaks.  Soaked through and happy for it.  I secretly wished for the rain to continue so I could, after a lunch time class, run.

I got what I wished for.  I got so much more than what I wished for.

Out the studio door into the rain!  It was, from the very first moment, gloriously fun and freeing.  The wet sidewalks, the splash of passing cars, the rush of pedestrians huddled under umbrellas or hunched into collars, the freshness of the cool rain on my face and the cool wet sidewalk beneath my feet.  I was giddy with delight.

I ran along the commercial interests of University Avenue, shifting across Belvedere to Queen where I was challenged by a psychosis of city sidewalks, hard pressed as they were to decide on which side of the road to be.  The at first frustrating crisscrossing of Queen Street and North River Road to follow the sidewalk passed into frivolity; it became a game I played with some degree of fervour.  I raced through puddles, reflecting on how I’d be hedging them were I in runners.  The splashes I created were joyous and I have to admit to occasionally throwing my arms in the air, lifting my face skyward, and spinning crazy careening dancing in some fit of sublime bliss.  ‘Cause I did.

At some point early on I let go of my quick-to-judge-as-mindless (though they are, my mindset having returned as I write this) drivers who could neither slow nor skirt the pedestrian-soaking (or runner-soaking, as the case may be) deluge on the road.  Their mindlessness is, in fact, their mindlessness.  I came to enjoy the extra soaking they afforded me – I am blessed with good fortune.

Two encounters made today’s run especially heartful.

As I stood at the corner of Euston and Queen waiting for a crossing light, resplendently wet and bedraggled, my bare feet shuffling side to side in active waiting, I became aware of an insistent “Excuse me M’am” coming from over my left shoulder.  A young woman, wearing dry clothes and seated in a sparkling clean rental vehicle was leaning across the passenger seat in a parking lot.  “Excuse me M’am” she said through the open window, ” Would you like a ride somewhere?”   Loving compassion. As big as lifeRight there in a black sedan.

Thank you for this kindness whoever you are young woman.  I’ll be wearing your smile for a long, long while yet.

This encounter put even more buoyancy into my stride, if that was possible.  I fairly jigged and reeled, cavorting and capering, loose limbed and foolishly grinned to the end of my route.  Along the last block of my run I was on an approach pattern with two women.  They were ‘of my generation’ I might say and were each tucked under an umbrella.  Clearly they were observing my ‘condition’ as we neared each other.  Upon passing one another, one of the women called out “I’d love to be doing that!”

I’d love to be doing that.

I used to think those words too.

You are the sky.  Everything else . . . is just the weather.  ~Pema Chodron

Wednesday night passed was the closing celebration, at week 10,  of Community School at Charlottetown Rural High School.  I had the privilege of teaching yoga to a friendly and enthusiastic group of mostly new-to-yoga students.

If you missed my earlier post on this, I’ll bring you up to date.  Community School is this fabulous concept offered across the province: instructors volunteer their services and students, for a truly minimal price, get to experience or participate in an educational experience, usually hobby-based or basic skills.

The yoga class I instructed was challenging.  More than 30 students, at least half of whom were entirely new to yoga, in a school cafeteria.  Yes.  Unyielding floor below too thin mats, overhead fluorescent bulbs, a loud heating system which revved into our poses on a regular basis, and cafeteria tables, tilted on end, providing an all-too-inadequate barrier to the busy-ness of half time coffee and snack prep at the back of the room.

Oh, but it was fun.  And fulfilling.

The closing celebrations were attended by…

The Spanish Class singing Amazing Grace in Spanish, displays by the rug hookers, painters,  and scrapbookers, the guitar students (taught by two high school students) playing Dark Side of The Moon (loved that), swedish embroidery, computer literacy, personal financial management, line dancing, and more.  I’d say 150+ folks turned out for this grand finale…a lovely cold cut and salad meal, camaraderie, presentations, applause and laughter.  This was a fabulous Community School!

I was the recipient of much joy and gratitude.  Imagine!  Community School presented me  with a certificate, a gift card to a local grocery store, and an appreciated cheque to cover my weekly travel expenses (it was a 40 minute drive in each direction for me).  My class participants took up a collection and I humbly accepted a gift certificate at a local soap manufacturing business (how did they know?) and a gift card to the book store (they admitted to creeping my facebook site to get ideas).

Best yet, one of the participants, Margot of Line Dancing Fame, wrote a poem and it was put in a card with loads of lovely signatures.  I want to share that poem with you:

Yoga is divine

It helped align our spine

We stretched those abs

And toned those flabs

A BIG THANK YOU to Wendy!

Yoga is so fun

Salutation to the sun

The mountain pose

And yoga clothes

A BIG THANK YOU to Wendy!

Yoga is so bendy

We strive to be like Wendy

We moaned and giggled

While our bodies jiggled

A BIG THANK YOU to Wendy!

Yoga is the best

Especially when we rest 🙂

From your CS (community school) crew

Na-ma-ste to you

A BIG THANK YOU to Wendy!

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made this such a wonderful Wednesday night experience.  I had the time of my life.

Namaste.

Susan, Tracy, Anne Gymsticking

Susan, Tracy, Anne gymsticking their abs

gymstick1

rear fly

I have been working with Gymsticks for the better part of this year, but only this weekend was able to avail myself of the opportunity to participate in a Gymstick Instructor Certification course.  Tracy Cipryk is the Canadian Master Trainer for Gymstick International Oy and I attended a 6 hour workshop with her.  It was 6 hours of muscle activation – working up a sweat and creating muscle burn, and I am feeling the fall out of those hours today.

The Gymstick lends itself well to most components of fitness: cardiovascular training, strength training, core training and balance training.

On a one-on-one basis in  Personal Training sessions or in a group class setting, this fitness tool can provide a great workout.

Performing simple but challenging post-rehabilitation exercises or executing combinations of functional movements, the Gymstick is great for working muscles in patterns which will augment activities of daily living or sport specific muscle recruitment patterns.

Using lighter resistance in cardiovascular training regimes or adding resistance for strength conditioning, the Gymstick provides for fun, versatility and a surprisingly intense workout. Because the Gymstick provides differential resistance on each side of the body, neurological responses are evoked and challenged, ensuring a whole body-mind workout.

gymstick_indoors_1_sm

gymstick glutes & hamstrings

the whole way health & fitness studio is the only certified provider in Charlottetown, PE!

Check out Gymstick training – it will shape your body and your mind!

jump ropes 003

jump rope variety

I like to jump rope though this has not always been the case, at least in my adult life.

A few years ago I was fortunate to spend time with Buddy Lee earning a Jump Rope Specialty Certification.  Among other issues the biomechanics of jumping rope, techniques, training programs, drills and progressions were covered.  Buddy is a very likable guy, totally full of himself in kind of an endearing way, and a jump rope phenom, despite his age. I was not a natural with the rope and many hours later I came out of that workshop with new knowledge, new skills and very achy hips.  Oh, and an autographed photo of Buddy.

I use jumping rope in my own workouts now and I often use ropes when I’m instructing classes.

Jumping is easy to incorporate as part of the warm up for a kettlebell class or to insert as cardio intervals throughout the class.  With private clients jumping drills can be tailored to sport-specific needs or used to keep their heart rates high during peripheral heart action programs in the weight room.  Jumping rope also provides a fantastic option for tabata training.

There is a long list of goodness associated with jumping rope:

  • heart and lung health improvements, notching up cardiovascular endurance
  • balance, coordination and rhythm training
  • speed, agility and quickness
  • an inexpensive piece of equipment, easy to purchase just about anywhere
  • minimum space requirement and highly portable – I put a jump rope in my back when I trekked around Morocco
  • easy to learn with a whole lot of opportunity for progression and variation
  • fun, fun, fun
  • anaerobic conditioning
  • accessible during bad weather
  • improve posture and reflex time
  • make you smarter, no kidding
  • burn calories – always a doubtful calculation at best, ignore those crazy claims of 1000 calories an hour!  But 10 minutes of jumping rope at a working speed is about equivalent to the aerobic work of 30 minutes of jogging.

Jean Blaydes, an educational consultant (actionbasedlearning.com), writes:

…researchers are learning that physical activity like jumping rope also prepares the brain for optimal learning.

Here are just a few ways that jumping rope may help prepare the brain for learning.

  • Raising heart rate gets more blood to the brain, feeding it needed nutrients and oxygen for heightened alertness and mental focus.
  • Aerobic exercise grows new brain cells in rodents, and promising research suggests that may also apply to humans. In short, jumping rope is an exercise that allows both brain hemispheres to perform parallel.
  • The vestibular system that creates spatial awareness and mental alertness is strengthened through activities such as jumping rope. Balance and jumping activities provide the student with a framework for reading and other academic skills.
  • Rhythmic aspects of jumping rope can develop the internal dialogue needed to establish basic reading skills. Beat awareness and beat competency simulate the basic rhythm patterns of our language that need to be established for better language acquisition.
  • Physical activity reduces stress.  Cardiovascular exercise places the brain into homeostasis and contributes to balancing the body’s chemistry, electrical and organ systems. Exercise can have similar benefits as some anti-depressant medications.

So, go now and get yourself a rope.

  • Start off with an adjustable speed rope, made of lightweight plastic. Step on the center of the rope with one foot and pull both handles up until the tips reach your shoulders – this is a good starting length. You can shorten the rope for advanced speed as you become more proficient.
  • Most folks will advise you to wear decent cross trainers on your feet.  There is merit to that.  I prefer to jump rope barefoot.  This, too, is good.
  • Jump only high enough to clear the rope (about 1 inch off the ground) while landing lightly on the balls of the feet. Make your jump as quiet as possible.  This makes jumping rope a low impact activity.
  • Keep your torso upright and focused straight ahead, along with a straight ahead gaze.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides (at a 45-degree angle). While turning the rope, make small circles with your wrists. Learn to coordinate the rope swing with each jump.
  • Maintain a relaxed upper body and shoulders.
  • Progress slowly, and always take breaks as needed.  Stretch your calves regularly, especially in the beginning.
  • Count the number of jumps you complete in 30 seconds and double the number to find your rotations per minute.  When you can jump at a speed of 120 – 140 rpm and can complete about 500 rotations, you’ll be ready to incorporate varying jump techniques and drills.
  • Most of all, enjoy!

And, when you get really good with your rope, try some of the advanced skills.  Here’s Buddy Lee, with his special style, to show you how:

The Whole Way logo_aug09

Marco Polo Land is hosting its 3rd annual Woman Only Weekend on September 18, 19 and 20.

As part of this year’s activities, the whole way health & fitness studio will be introducing these women to the fabulously addictive kettlebell.

This promises to be a fun-filled weekend.  You ought to check it out.  I’ll be there with bells on — kettlebells, that is!

August 1, 2009 sunrise, North Cape PEI

August 1, 2009 sunrise, North Cape PEI

Each year, a group of avid bicyclists travel Prince Edward Island from ‘tip to tip’ as a fundraiser for school breakfast programs.  This year, for the first time, I joined the event as a support vehicle volunteer.  And it was an amazing ride!

The Biking For Breakfast Challenge is the brainchild of one high energy, incredibly affable man by the name of Ken Trenholm.  Ken also is a founding member and one of the driving forces of the Summerside Cycling Club.

The Challenge begins bright and early at North Cape and concludes in the evening at East Point.  This year’s route, with refueling station placements, was 284.7 kilometres in length.  117 riders were registered; 97 of them took the challenge.  Lots of money was raised.

North Cape to East Point bike route, Prince Edward Island

North Cape to East Point bike route, Prince Edward Island

Photo Op at the Starting Line

Photo Op at the Starting Line

Support Vehicle Volunteers worked in pairs to provide any support needed by the riders — moral support and encouragement, tire tubes, water, directions, rubs and stretches, and just about any other request they threw at us.

Collection of blown tubes

Collection of blown tubes

There were quite a few tire repairs en route, a detour due to a motor vehicle accident, a water shortage during the heat of early afternoon, and at one point I had a rider on her back roadside while I stretched her aching backside muscles.  It was a demanding job but it was so much fun; the riders were incredibly courteous and appreciative, making it a total pleasure to  assist them.

Four of the participants were doing the ride for the second day in a row! Uh huh, yes.  On Friday they rode East Point to North Cape — ten hours of cycling time — and completed the return trip on Saturday.  Their heart rate monitors were registering over 11,000 calories expended each day.

Twisted Shifter Team Jersey

Twisted Shifter Team Jersey, John MacQuarrie

Finbar's Irish Pub, in the first finishing group. Zuska Ecerova, Cameron Thorne, Geoff Murray

Finbar's Irish Pub Team at the Start. They were in the first group of 7 at the Finish Line. Zuska Ecerova, Cameron Thorne, Geoff Murray

Leaving Portage Refueling Stop

Leaving Portage Refueling Stop

St Peter's Refueling Stop

St Peter's Refueling Stop

Rob Chambers approaching the East Point finish.  Amazing energy in those legs!

#52 Rob Chambers of Halifax approaching the East Point finish. Amazing energy in those legs still!

Each and every one of the cyclists on that course was an inspiration.  Determination and courage, stamina married with generous spirits, personal bars raised high and minds sharply focused on propelling themselves beyond personal limits.

I spent a phenomenal Saturday among people who are the embodiment of fitness; cyclists and volunteers shiny and bright in the quality of their humanity.

Am I not I blessed?

Finish Line Jubilation

Finish Line Jubilation

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

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