Friday Favorites October 13 2017

Happy Friday! As usual I’m sharing my Friday Favorites from the last week.

Friday Favorites

Long weekends // This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means that Monday was a holiday. Having that extra day off makes all the difference sometimes. And the short work week the follows is always kind of nice too. I don’t know why a 4 day work week makes such a dig difference compared to the usual 5 day one, but it totally does.

 7 Shores Apple Cider

7 Shores Cider // My boyfriend found this for me last week. He knows that I’m a huge fan of ciders and figured that I would enjoy it. It turns out that it was delicious. I even bought another one the last time that I was at the liquor store. It’s currently in my fridge waiting for this weekend. It’s not as sweet as I thought it would be with the strawberry and lime in it. It’s definitely more on the dry side.

Kings of Leon concert // Tomorrow night I’m really looking forward to the Kings of Leon concert. I bought my ticket a couple months ago and had kind of forgotten about it. This will be my third time seeing them live and I’m so excited about it. They put on a great show and clearly love making music.

Zulily // If you’ve never heard of Zulily before, you need to check it out. They have amazing deals on everything from decor to clothes. I’ve bought a pair of runners and an Erin Condren planner and I’ve gotten great deals on both of them. The shipping usually takes a few weeks, but for the price I paid I think it’s worth it. In addition for fellow Canadian readers, Zulily has a Canadian version of the site and prices are in Canadian dollars!

What was a favorite of yours from the last week? Leave a comment about it below. 

Upper Body Workout Roundup

Today I’m sharing a roundup of my favorite upper body workouts that I’ve shared on my blog over the years.

 Upper Body Workout Roundup

I tend to favor lower body workouts over upper body ones. I think it’s because I feel stronger lifting heavier weights (obviously), which I can do better with my lower body rather than my upper body. An 85 pound deadlift sounds a lot more impressive than a 40 pound chest press. Some of these workouts also include a cardio component. Sometimes you just don’t have room in your schedule for dedicated strength training and cardio days, so it’s okay to combine the two into one workout if that’s the case.

I thought it would be easier to find my upper body strength training workouts if I put them all together in one post. You can find my lower body workout roundup here. I’m planning on doing more of these roundup posts so make sure to keep an eye out for them.

Upper Body Strength Training Workout

This upper body strength training workout is perfect for days at the gym when you’re not sure what to do.

Upper Body and Cardio Workout

This circuit workout incorporates both upper body exercises as well as cardio intervals.

Upper Body Strength Workout

This three circuit workout includes both strength training exercises for the upper body along with cardio moves.

Upper Body Workout

This at home workout is four circuits, each of which have three strength moves followed by a cardio exercises.

Upper Body and Cardio Workout

This gym workout is perfect for getting in both some strength training and cardio. Swap in your favorite form of cardio for the bike if the bike isn’t your thing (think elliptical or treadmill).

Interested in workouts that aren’t just upper body ones? Check out my workouts page for more variety.

As always, remember to check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Always honor your body and modify these workouts for you. 

My Favorite Group Fitness Classes

Today I’m sharing my favorite group fitness classes. It can be intimidating walking into a brand new class or studio, so I’m going to hopefully take the guess work out of which class you should try.

My Favorite Group Fitness Classes

Picking a new group fitness class to try can be intimidating. Most gyms offer a large variety to try. It seems like a new studio is popping up every month here in Calgary offering Pilates, spin, or barre classes. It can be tough knowing which class to sign up for. Walking into a studio you’ve never been to before can be a bit scary. Today I’m sharing my favorite group fitness classes. Although classes will be a bit different depending on where you take them, I think most of them will be pretty similar.

Barre // When I walked into my very first barre class I was expecting it to be relatively easy. I was sorely mistaken (literally). Although the movements might not be very big, you do a ton of reps. All the exercises are done with either very light weights (2 or 5 lbs) or bodyweight.

Body Pump // While I went to my first class last week (read about my experience here), it’s quickly become a favorite. If you’ve never been to a class before, arrive a few minutes early and ask your instructor what you need to get started. It’s typically a mat, step, barbell, and a couple different sized plates. Although it’s a strength training class, you’re using less weight than you typically would outside of the gym. Because you’re using less weight, that means that you’ll be doing more reps. Between the high energy music and mixing up exercises, classes go by really quick, and 60 minutes feels more like 20.

Yoga // While there’s a huge variety in the different yoga classes you can take, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a class that I didn’t enjoy. If you’re new to yoga ask friends for recommendations to pop into your local yoga studio to ask what they would suggest for your first few classes. One thing that I absolutely love about yoga is that there’s always a modification. Let your instructor know before class about any issues or injuries and they’ll be able to help with modifications to make sure you get the most out of class without causing anymore problems.

Zumba // If you’re a music lover and like to dance, be sure to try out a Zumba class. Before my first class I thought that all the music was going to be Latin inspired. While there are definitely classes like that, there’s a lot more variety than I was expecting. Another thing that I expected was that everyone in the class would be an amazing dancer. That was definitely not the case. Most participants were your average person and every once in awhile went left when you were supposed to go right, started with the wrong foot, or used the wrong arm. All the classes I’ve been to have been very relaxed and the instructors have always made fun the biggest priority over getting every single move perfect.

What’s your favorite group fitness class to go to? 

Weekly Workouts October 1 to 7 2017

Weekly Workouts

Sunday // I started off the week with my very first Body Pump-ish class. While it wasn’t officially Body Pump, there were barbells, steps, and songs that worked specific body parts. My gym calls it something else, but it was essentially Body Pump. I don’t know why it took me so long to try it. I’ve always thought that I would like it, but for some reason I just never took a class. I’m so glad that I finally did though, because I ended up loving it. I loved being able to get back into strength training for the first time in a long time. The music was great and kept the energy of the class high. The instructor was seriously amazing. Since it was my first class I talked to her a bit at the beginning, asking what I would need and she was very welcoming and showed me exactly what equipment I needed. She was also great at demonstrating more complicated moves and her cuing was right on. I’ll definitely be back to her class!

Monday // Apparently the weights I used for Sunday’s class were too heavy. I guess I wasn’t expecting as many reps and sets as there were, so I was pretty sore today. Think Frankenstein going up and down the stairs. Needless to say, I took Monday off and used it as a rest day.

Tuesday // I still sore again on Tuesday, so I took another rest day. Next time I’ll definitely be using lighter weights when I go to a Body Pump class!

Wednesday // I did an interval workout on the elliptical. As usual, the 30 minutes flew by. I spent about 10 minutes stretching before I left the gym. I’ve been feeling extra tight lately, so I’m trying to work on that a bit.

Walk Bow River

Thursday // I didn’t have time to get to the gym before work so I did an at home workout on YouTube. I went for a walk in my favorite park by the river once I was done at work. It’s an absolutely beautiful park that follows the river, so I was more than happy to enjoy it.

Friday // I spent my cardio session on Friday at the gym on the bike. Steady state cardio was on my schedule. It honestly felt kind of good to just zone out and pedal away.

Saturday // My plan this afternoon is to take another group fitness class. I haven’t decided which one yet.

Friday Favorites October 6 2017

Welcome to another Friday Favorites post! Today I’m sharing my favorites from the last week.

Friday Favorites

 

Beef stroganoff leftovers // Over the weekend I made some and I’ve been eating the leftovers throughout the week. I’m pretty sure beef stroganoff tastes better the day after it was made. The recipe turned out to be seriously delicious. This is the recipe that I used. I changed it up a bit by adding a little extra sour cream for some added creaminess and also put in two cups of mushrooms. It’s not beef stroganoff without mushrooms, right? I know have this recipe bookmarked to print later because I know I’ll be using it again the next time I’m craving beef stroganoff.

Body Pump class // I know that I’ve already posted about this Body Pump class on Instagram (you can find my account here), but I wanted to write about it here too. If you haven’t had the chance to try it yet, get yourself to a class! I don’t know why it took me so long to give it a try, but I’m so glad that I finally did. I can see now why people rave about it. In 60 minutes you get in an amazing full body strength training workout. The music was awesome and kept the energy high throughout the entire class – even towards the end when I was getting tired. The instructor was phenomenal – her cuing was right on and she brought a lot of positivity and enthusiasm to the class. I will definitely be back next week.

Walk in Baker Park

Fall weather // Fall is definitely here in Calgary. The air is cool and crisp in the mornings. The days are getting shorter. The leaves are changing color and falling. I went for a walk this week in one of my favorite parks by the river and it was just so pretty. Fall is my favorite season, so I love this time of year.

Stranger Things // Last summer, just like a lot of people, I got sucked into Stranger Things on Netflix. Now that the second season is coming out at the end of the month (which I’m super excited about), I’ve been re-watching it to remind myself of what happened. I have to admit that I think it’s better the second time around. I’m picking up on little things that I didn’t notice the first time around. If you haven’t watched the first season yet, I highly recommend it. I know there was a lot of hype around it, but Stranger Things definitely lives up to it.

A Secret Kept

A Secret Kept // I started this book on Wednesday while I was waiting for a family member to have some medical tests done. Since I was going to be in the waiting room for a few hours, I figured a book would be the best way to pass the time. Although I’m still reading It, I thought A Secret Kept (affiliate link) would be easier to bring to the hospital (It is almost 1200 pages and therefore weighs a ton. It’s also kind of awkward to hold while reading because it’s so big.) I’ve read Sarah’s Key (also by the same author) which I really liked, so I was looking forward to starting this one. It started off with an exciting event, so I was hooked after the first chapter. I’ll share my thoughts after I’ve finished reading it, but so far I’m really enjoying it.

What’s a favorite of yours from the last week?

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