Week two of ‘tour de Austin’ fitness is in full swing.
As part of my core belief that variety is the spice of life (despite being a routine-lover), I am on a mission to explore various different fitness options in the Mecca of Fitness itself (Austin).
Last week’s travels took me to the yoga class (“YoStrong”) at Wanderlust Yoga in downtown Austin.
This week, I found myself in South Austin at the new Onnit Academy: a 10,000 square-foot one-stop shop for functional and holistic fitness.
From a strength and conditioning gym, to functional fitness group classes, athletic performance training, cryotherapy treatment room, an infra-red sauna, a smoothie bar, and included access to yoga classes at one of the four Black Swan Yoga studio locations throughout the city, Onnit exudes “professional globo gym” (i.e. no smell of sweaty gym socks and B.O. from pits; waiting for equipment; or blaring top-pop music and fluorescent lights here) with one focus: pure fitness.
Walking into the gym, I had no idea what to expect from my 30-minute group class at 12:45 p.m.
Psh…how ‘bad’ (or, ‘good’ rather) could the class really be?
A ‘pro’ at bodyweight movements and functional fitness here, much like my yoga excursion last week, I was still rather skeptical of ‘how much better’ something different (outside my usual strength and conditioning routine) could be?
I was greeted by Coach Erik—a dude who looked like he knew a thing or two about becoming a man of steel.
Long hair, rock hard abs, and an air of assertiveness that smelled like ‘he means business’—you know, just that confidence you can sense from a person who knows how to kick some booty.
“Welcome to Onnit. Great to have you. Today we are going to be doing some Mace training!”
Mace…what? The only type of ‘mace’ I really knew was the kind of pepper spray you carry on your key ring (mine is pink).
I would soon find out moments later as Coach Erik kicked off the 30-minute ‘quickie’ session, wasting no time for small talk.
The warm up essentially included all the movements of our workout, as Coach led the class of us seven students through a progressive series of movements with this small steel club and lots of squats and lunges.
5 squats with the mace facing the right, 5 squats, facing the left. Rotate the steel bar towards the rear room, and 5 lunges on the right, 5 lunges on the left. Rest. Repeat.
Despite my ‘skills’ in gross motor planning, coordination and organization (skills ingrained in my head throughout occupational therapy school), I struggled to coordinate the appropriate timing and direction of the steel mace barbell—and Erik’s eyes were definitely on me to ensure I didn’t develop any “bad” habits.
“Other foot!”…. “Turn the bar the other way” … “No, not like that!”
He kindly encouraged, while assertively guiding me to ‘get it down’—no room for error by class end.
Five minutes into our workout demo and explanation, it was off to the races:
“20 minutes of work, every minute on the minute, you will complete 10 total squats and 10 total lunges with the mace—resting the remainder of the minute. It may seem easy at first, but it’s going to catch up to you.”
And at the…we were off.
By the end?
There was definitely sweat on my brow and while I didn’t necessarily feel a ‘flat on my back’ feeling, by day two…my butt and my legs were screaming.
I LOVE DOING NEW THINGS.
New challenges that inspire you that variety is the spice of life.
While I STILL love my CrossFit-inspired fitness training (it’s what ‘moves me’—just like running, or yoga, or bootcamps, or hiking, or sports, or rock climbing, or rowing, or surfing may move YOU)…it’s definitely great to mix things up to, if anything:
- Discover new possibilities, capabilities and appreciate the amazingness that your body can do!
Honor your body—don’t hate on it!
It’s ultimately a vessel to doing the GREATER things in life you were meant to do (i.e. YOUR purpose and living out your passions).
On a side note…as I mentioned my booty was definitely feeling the ‘variety’ I added to my routine this week.
Here are a few great moves to add to YOUR routine to change things up. The best part? You can do these practically anywhere with MINIMAL EQUIPMENT. Get it girl!
THRIVE’s BEST BUTT Circuits & Moves
100 m row (or 5 Burpees if no rowing machine)
Max reps of dumbbell or barbell thruster (front squat to push press)
-Rest 1 minute between rounds (20-minute total workout)
Front Rack Step-ups
(10/10 reps each leg; hold dumbbells at chest/collarbone, complete all reps on one leg and then the other; no rebounding or momentum to push off)
1-Leg Glute Bridges
(10/10 reps each leg; lie flat on your back; one foot is grounded on the floor with your knee bent, the other leg is parallel to your bent-leg’s thigh and toe is pointed straight to wall in front of you; raise your hips up high through the foot that is grounded on the ground; pause for 2 seconds at the top)
Jump split lunges (10/10 each leg)
15 Goblet Squats (hold dumbbell or kettlebell at chest and squat below parallel)
12 Dumbbell Deadlifts
Paused backsquats with barbell (5 reps; lower slowly for a 3-count; pause at the bottom for 5 seconds; shoot up back to the top)
Walking Lunges with dumbbells (20 reps total, back knee kisses or barely hovers above ground; do not let your lunging knee track out over your toe).
Hi yah! And now for your weekly workouts. For general health and fitness, try incorporating a handful of these workouts into your gym or home routine (modifications for home suggested). Vary your routine daily, add some weight, and always aim to perfect your technique and form. If you ever have any questions about “how to do” an exercise, check out this video library for a host of exercise demos!
Box Jumps (or step-ups)
15 Minute AMRAP:
10 Hang Cleans (barbell or dumbbells)
30 Double Unders (60 Single Unders)
1000m Row (1000 m run)
100 AbMat Sit-ups
50 Russian KB Swings
20 Front Squats
10 minute AMRAP:
5 Dumbbell Man-Makers
100 Meter Run
3 Rounds: 1-Minute Max Effort:
Lunges with weight
Sumo deadlift high-pulls
Bicycle Crunches (rep each side=1)