Now is your chance to get your butt into amazing shape! Beastanetics is giving away a slot in an upcoming Boot Camp (begins next week) to one lucky Greenpointers reader. This 12 Session/6 Week Program that meets in McCarren Park will get you into amazing shape! (Retail value: $180!)
To enter: In the comments below, answer the following question:
What is your favorite time of the day to work out?
Deadline: Thursday 9/6/2012 at 11:59pm.
One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday 9/7.
Tonight and every Wednesday at 8pm, a very fun and talented friend of mine is teaching a new class called IntenSati at Human@Ease. Elina is passionate about IntenSati, a this new workout method that combines “high-energy aerobics, martial arts, yoga and strength conditioning,” along with “spoken affirmations.”
Elina has been raving about Intensati for the past two years and said that one of her goals was to teach it. So I did what I do best, plantonic and professional matchmaking (I don’t touch the romantic stuff).
I introduced Elina to Dishan, owner and trainer/life coach at Human@Ease, where I work out weekly. I knew that if I put these two ladies together, their boat would sail off into fitness/self-improvement heaven.
I am so proud and happy that Elina is in Greenpoint, doing what she does best, which in her professional life is enabling people to discover and pursue their dreams through a company called Dream Careers, Inc. Now time it’s for Elina’s dream to come true and share the benefits of fitness and wellness with you.
Join IntenSati with Elina tonight at 8pm, which promises “you will leave class feeling stronger, uplifted and inspired.” For $10, that is a steal!
** Use code “GREENPOINTERS” to get $30 off your registration fee **
With a 5-star rating on Yelp and rave reviews in local press and from our students, Beastanetics is your ticket to getting in the best shape of your life. Even the honey badger will cower at the sight of you after you’ve completed the 6-week, 12-session program, which, by the way, culminates in a celebration at a local watering hole.
What’s the secret? Created by certified (and uber friendly) personal
trainers, Tim Haft and Shana Brady, Beastanetics offers a unique spin
on high-intensity, interval training, which will incinerate your fat,
boost your metabolism, and improve your stamina, speed, strength,
power, agility, and mental toughness. All the while, you’ll be
supported and encouraged by Tim and Shana, as well as by your fellow
Beasts, who range in age from 20s to 40s and include artists,
musicians, photographers, writers, journalists, comedians, designers,
and other cool folks that you’ll want to meet.
Class meets on the artificial turf field in McCarren Park, the perfect
surface for high-intensity training. Choose one of the following three
times slots: Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:45am, Tuesdays and Thursdays
at 8am, or Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9am. Slots are going fast so act
I ran into Liz, a fellow Greenpointer yesterday while working out at Human@Ease. She said, “you’re the reason why I came here!” That makes me feel all sweet and mushy inside. You know how I feel about Human@Ease. The place rocks, my workout routine rocks, and I feel great working out for only one half hour per week. Plus I am able to give my boyfriend a piggyback ride, now! Human@Ease has a sweet deal going on now. Like one in which you can save over $100! Choose from Three Options:
$25 for two 30-minute personal-training sessions (a $130 value)
$45 for four 30-minute personal-training sessions (a $260 value)
$65 for six 30-minute personal-training sessions (a $390 value)
Personal trainers acquaint guests with strength-training machines and guide muscles through fluid conditioning exercises during 30-minute sessions.
One of the not-so-hidden treasures of Greenpoint is the YMCA, which provides a slew of workout options in addition to community services for a fraction of the cost of most commercial gyms or private centers. The true strength – and occasional weakness, depending on the skill of the instructor and the mix of participants – of the facility are the classes. We’ve recently covered Punk Rope, and today I’m going to let you know what’s going on in the gym with the odd music every Sunday at 1:15: Tai Chi.
The instructor, “Joan” Zhou Xiaoying (周晓瑛） is a soft-spoken woman with an incredibly calm presence who comes to us from Ningbo, a city located in China’s Zhejiang province near Shanghai. Although she would never brag about it herself and would probably maim me with a crutch (she can do that)for saying so, she is a master of the art with over 30 years experience and numerous competition wins, including six gold medals from the American International Martial Arts Competition. In class at the YMCA, she is incredibly welcoming and patient with new students, and while her skills often surpass her English, her thorough knowledge of the forms she teaches allows her to work through any confusion. She teaches two sessions: the first, at 1:15 on Sundays, begins with opening light exercises that are very meditative, transitions into walking exercises, and then primarily focuses on teaching and practicing the 24-form chuan-style Tai Chi sequence. This form has a fascinating history in that it was designed by the Chinese government in 1956 to simplify the more complex styles to retain the positive health benefits while being easier to perform, allowing it to be practiced more widely in the country. In the second session, which begins directly following the first at 2:15, meditation, more complex forms, and the partner exercise called pushing hands are taught.
The class is comprised of an interesting mix of mostly local participants. One, Lorraine Salles, grew up in Greenpoint and has been practicing Tai Chi at the YMCA since 2003. Another, Jean Baptiste Boclé, has been at it for five years and has competed in several competitions. Both report benefits that I, at five months of practice, can echo: a pervasive sense of calm following the classes, increased strength and improved muscle condition overall, and a greatly enhanced sense of balance and of one’s own body. I’ll note that I mean balance in the purely physical sense: I can stand on one leg or hold myself upright on a shifting subway much better than I could a few months ago, and I’ve noticed that this has greatly improved other aspects of my workout, most notably the weight lifting.
The class is incredibly welcoming, and I have only one piece of advice for the interested newcomer: plan on leaving your first class totally bewildered. It will take at least 3-5 sessions before the motions begin to make sense to you on a physical level, and it’s imperative to work through it the first couple times until you start to understand the whole. I promise it is worth the time once you do, and you’ll be hard pressed to ever find another chance to work with a master like Zhou Xiaoying in such a direct and inexpensive setting.
There is an absurd tradition in my Sicilian American family to precede a giant holiday meal, like Thanksgiving, with a giant pasta dish. This year it was my Nonna’s so called “last lasagna.” A doom and gloom mentality is a typical trait in any old Sicilian woman. So is making a lasagna that somehow bypasses the “brain tells stomach to stop eating” mechanism.
For most of us, Thanksgiving is the first of many upcoming family force feeding sessions and I am already doing the cram dance to get into my jeans. Instead of buying a size up and letting the holiday feeding frenzy rule me, I am taking charge and for the next twelve weeks am getting my butt (literally – it’s huge) into major shape with the help of fitness trainer and life coach Dishan at Human@Ease.
My version of working out is a warm up walk to the cafe, an espresso, run for a couples of miles, then forget to stretch or hydrate. I need professional help!
On my first day Dishan took my weight (120 lbs) and my body fat (17.4% – Can you guess where all the fat is stored?) and these embarrassing BEFORE photos of me, which after 12 weeks will hopefully reveal a toner, stronger and less junk-in-the-trunk Jen.
It will be as much of a challenge for Dishan, who has over 15 years of experience training, as it will be for me, given that I’m not in horrendous shape. It’s much easier to see dramatic results in someone who needs to lose a lot of poundage. Our goal is to keep my body fat stable and increase my lean muscle mass. I don’t want to lose weight but rather build muscle.
Did you see the ladies arm wrestling video? I am a wimp, especially in my upper body, and my goal is to rule bitches and wimpy dudes during the next competition.
Problem: I hate gyms! But Human@Ease is different. It’s a zen gym, no annoying house music and no muscle heads. With no more than four people using the machines at a time and a staff member there help, it’s very peaceful. Plus there are loads of classes like yoga and zumba.
Dishan introduced me to Introversion Strength Training, her own meditative approach. It’s done for 30 minutes once or twice a week. That’s it! It strengthens and tones by doing high intensity weight training on machines with ultra slow repetitions until just before muscle fatigue. And it’s a self-training method, which means you learn how to do it yourself.
But what about the cardio? After each set I was profusely sweating, my heart rate was elevated and I was majorly out of breath. Dishan explained that your heart and lungs support your muscles, so the cardiovascular systems has no choice but to get stronger to accommodate the improvements of the muscular system. And by increasing the intensity of your workout you can decrease the frequency, which is perfect for me because I need time to write for this blog!
My first few workouts have been tough but very energizing and motivating and I hope to be able to do at least one chin up by the end of my twelve weeks.
The whole workout was a mini life coaching session wrapped up in a high intensity workout delivered by the most adorable, lively and fun person, who can do chin ups like a champ!
Lately I have been so busy and overwhelmed and feeling like, “I can’t go on!” That is the same way I felt on my last repetitions.
“Just one more,” Dishan said.
“I can’t!” I said while horribly contorting my face and grunting. (against the rules!)
“Yes you can, Jen. Just try.”
But I could! When I accomplished what seemed to be the last impossible rep, it was like jumping over a mini life hurdle that left me buzzing and inspired to accomplish other things I think I can’t do.
When it was all over I relaxed in the infrared detoxifying sauna. Try it! It improves your complexion, helps fight off colds and is supposedly a good hangover cure. The price is right at $15 for 30 minutes, too.
Check back in 12 weeks for what I hope are not as extremely embarrassing AFTER photos, and I will be wearing neon yellow bike shorts instead.