Funky Fitness Friday – ZRH

So I had orientation yesterday! I was quite surprised by how well my friends helped me prepare for university these last 2 weeks, as I actually already knew most of the info they told us and had done most of the things on their checklist. I was really relieved they showed us around the various university buildings as the Media and Communications campus is spread all over town… so it will definitely be an adventure getting from one class to the next! Among the people I had met, I felt like the super nerdy girl who was way too prepared, for whenever I asked the others about the books we had to buy or the courses they were taking, I received loads of confused glances, eye-rolling or pleas for help. Honestly, that gave me a slight boost of confidence, I guess 🙂 (don’t want to jinx it though!) Oh and also, I am not too worried about getting “distracted” from my studies as there were like 5 guys among the 600 girls….. some of the girls were really nice, and I already know who I can go to class with next week! Always good to have a study buddy for the first week 🙂 Workout-wise I’ve been trying to fit in as many classes as possible these last few days. I still didn’t make it to my favourite dance classes at Tanzwerk, but I plan on going tonight. I was going to go yesterday, but chose to spend time with some of the girls from my classes and later with my best friend instead. Also, I definitely need to cut back on partying, as my body really has not recuperated at all from this last half-year, and I don’t seem to be able to bounce back as quickly the next day anymore… weird development as I never used to have this problem, but I am taking it as a sign that I need more sleep and general “me-time”. Good thing school is starting on Monday 😉


Thursday:

Bauchtraining (yawn) and MAX. After falling in love with Les Mills CX Works, the standard for a good ab session has been set pretty high. I went to a class here titled “Bauchtraining” (ab work) but it was full of crunches with no breaks for 30 minutes. Les Mills taught me that there are so many other ways to train your core, and I frankly found the class to be very “behind the times”. I was very disappointed. The MAX class afterwards was fun though. It was basically a 30 min HIIT incorporating the step and various different muscle groups. There wasn’t much strength involved though, like as a cool-down as in Body Step, but it was good to do cardio for a change.

Friday:

Rest day from one night out. I was shocked how tired and weak I was feeling..

Saturday:

Stretching class: making mega improvements with my splits IMG_1654 Sunday:

Rest day, travelling back from Geneva

Monday:

I had all the best intentions in the world to start going to dance today, but just couldn’t muster up enough motivation… I made a pre-workout snack of egg whites and cottage cheese, but my stomach felt uneasy after and I just didn’t feel energetic. I went to town and bought protein powder and Kabocha instead. I’ve pinned a few recipes for protein energy bites and hope to make them this Sunday. I know that oatmeal is a great pre-workout snack, but I’m trying to find higher-protein and less filling alternatives for when I just need a boost.

Tuesday:

After not falling asleep until 3 am (apparently there was a full moon) I was still able to get up at 8 and go to Body Pump. We got to do quite a few tracks out of release 91! It is deadly with a capital D! In release 90 I was at a point in my training where I was able to increase the weights to 12.5 kg (either side) during squats. Now my legs were on fire with all the “bottom-half” squat-repetitions and had to decrease the weights again. Also, the triceps track is a killer… push ups, dips and using the overhead disk…. This release should definitely take my training to the next level! In the evening I went to a fixed-schedule dance class. I’ll be trying to go to this class (and Saturday’s stretch) as much as I can, and have marked it in my calendar throughout the semester, so that I have a bit of a fixed workout schedule. I will also try to always go to at least one Bodypump class, but will pretty much wing when exactly. Also I plan on spontaneously choosing dance classes (on either Monday, Wednesday or Thursday) and trying to go to crossfit twice a month with friends.

Wednesday:

Bodypump (release 90 again, so increased my weights as I know this release by heart). I wanted to go to dance today, but saw my favourite teacher wasn’t there. She won’t be there today either sadly, but there are more classes I enjoy going to today than on Wednesday so I plan on going anyways.

Thursday:

I had wanted to go to modern, but didn’t take my dance clothes with me to orientation (I’m “special” enough as it is with all my hyper-active, totally open talking…didn’t need to be a pack mule as well 😉 ). By the time it was over, I didn’t have enough travel time to go home, eat, pick up my clothes and go to dance by 5.30 pm, so I decided to hang out with some friends instead.

Friday:

Today I plan on going to Barre a Terre, jazz, and possibly urban contemporary. Let’s see if I actually finally make it for a change. I really wonder what is holding me back… Now I am off into town to buy some last-minute school supplies and more kabocha squash (I just roasted the second one I had bought and have eaten too much already) and bananas, as I am planning on doing another smoothie-packed day tomorrow.

Have a beautiful day and go check out Sam’s blog for more fitness fun 🙂 !

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Funky Fitness Friday

The countdown has started: One more week until I finish my internship, leave Munich and return home, one more week until I get to go to my favourite dance classes, and slightly over 3 weeks until University starts.

Exciting times people, exciting times 🙂

Now since I haven’t been able to go to any dance classes in the time I spent here (I couldn’t find any schools near the office and any classes after 7 pm), I really upped my workouts and discovered a new-found passion for weight-lifting and Les Mills. I also set a goal to join CrossFit in September, which I am currently not sure about as it is making me feel slightly overwhelmed.

Every single time I have mentioned my fitness journey on here, I told myself I would write a more substantial, weekly workout post and mention how my body, strength and endurance have changed… but I kept on pushing it back. Weekends were cherished with time spent with my friends and less devotion to the blog, and before I knew it, it was Manicure Monday again and I still hadn’t shared my excitement for Body Step or Body Pump (let alone actually posting my manicure on Monday 😉 ).

Well, now is the time that will change. Better late than never, right? And I figured, while I am still not spending time twirling away at dance class, I would revamp “Funky Friday” and change it to “Fitness Friday” for the time being. (And seeing as I have fallen in LUUURV with the gym, you will probably be seeing a few posts along with dance posts when I am back in Zürich as well, with emphasis on university/fitness/life balance.) I am so glad Sam from Pancake Warriors decided to host a Fitness Friday link up! Great minds think alike: the timing couldn’t be more perfect! So after reading my week of fitness, head on over to her blog for more sporty fun 🙂

Fun fact: I told my favourite Les Mills instructor that I was leaving in 4 weeks, and he said he can’t believe the “happy sunshine girl” was not going to be there every Monday and Thursday motivating the class with smiles despite the intense cardio hour…. #sadface, yet it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Going to the gym 3 times a week and staying true to your favourite classes really gives you that “home away from home” feel… I mean even the frequent class-goers are talking to me and asking me about my weekend now, and have invited me to their post-BodyPump hangout with protein shakes and Prosecco (too much fun by the way.. these people are a hoot and a half and have the best stories)!! It took 4 months for friendships to form and now I have to leave… 😦 But it’s nice to know that my happy and smiley personality doesn’t go unnoticed and that most of them are planning on visiting my fav gym in Zürich soon too 🙂

Mmmkay, lengthy, explanatory intro is down.. so without further ado, here is this week’s workouts:

Monday

Fueled by a banana and peanut butter I powered through two amazing workouts: First I found my “chi” in Body Balance before pumping my heart rate up in the Athletic version of Les Mills Body Step.

The athletic version is shorter and has 3 High Intensity “athletic” full-body circuit tracks instead of the more dancey “party” tracks of the usual class. I actually really prefer the athletic version of the latest release and hope I get to do it again before I leave.

I opted out of the Body Pump class after because I managed to make it to the early-ish Balance class. In lieu of the weight-training based class I decided to quickly work my inner- and outer thigh muscles, shoulders, biceps and back on the machines. I chose the machines that trained as many muscle groups as possible, so only had to switch 3 times! 🙂

Sidenote: my heart rate monitor died on me during the class 😦 But I think this could be a great experiment for me to learn to work out “just for fun” and to meet my goals – not for “burning calories”!

Tuesday

Les Mills CX Works, followed by the last 30 minutes of Body Attack (both classes start at the same time, but I like the extra emphasis CX Works puts on core and lower-back strength).

If I am really feeling dedicated, I use the 30 minutes before the next class (see below) to do a HIIT run on the treadmill. This would normally involve a very short warm-up jog, as I had just done an intense class and wouldn’t need much more, followed by intervals of extremely fast sprints and recovery jogs. Sometimes I also throw in a steep walk in between the sprints. Since I only mildly enjoy treadmill work, I always search for an excuse not to do it… so when a workout buddy asked me to join her for the last part of Body Attack I was all in 🙂

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Then I did Body Pump. I love the trainer on Tuesdays – he is so much fun and pushes me to work harder each and every time because I am there quite frequently. This means he will sometimes give me this look when we are putting weights on the bar, as if to say: “You can do better than that”. This time for example he came up next to me during the squat track and laughed at my attempt to attach as many 2.5 kg plates to my bar. He suggested to just go for 20 kg next time… yeah right, since when does 5 + 2.5 + 1 + 1 add up to 20? I might get there eventually, but squatting for 5 minutes with 20 kilos on both shoulders is definitely no joke, so I am currently happy with my “total” of 20 kg (FYI you are meant to increase your weight to double or triple of your warm-up weight)

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This time I also increased chest, shoulders and triceps by 1.5 kg 🙂 Slowly making progress!

I also increased the squat weight to 12.5 kg on both sides, but immediately regretted that because our trainer mixed up the songs…so it wasn’t the track I had been doing for the last 6 weeks (which I totally knew I could increase on because 10 kg were getting too easy). Nope, it was a really tough track with quite a few ultra-low squats… my legs were on FIRE! FYI: Trainers might start mixing the tracks after 6 weeks because new training plans are only released every three months! This keeps things more interesting, but also slightly tricky from a weight-selecting point of view…

After class one of the girls who always takes the same classes with me on Tuesday asked if I wanted to do some CX Works Core with her, as she had missed the class.. I was more or less dead, but was honored she asked me to be her “trainer”. I knew most of the moves, as I seemed to have picked them up quickly after years and years of learning choreography as a dancer, and used fun songs on my phone. She said I was really motivational and INTENSE and that I should definitely look into teaching because she would without a doubt take my courses… so I had yet another “warm fuzzy feeling” moment… question is: when should I train to become a teacher and when would I teach…? decisions… decisions…

Wednesday

After eating my dinner of peas, carrots and kidney beans at my desk at work, I head to my dance class. The first hour was an open class, where you could work on anything you found needed more attention. The second hour was a strength class, specifically created for dancers – it was tough, despite my improvements in BodyPump. This just goes to show that dancers don’t really need to go to the gym… they’ve got enough strength training in their daily routine. It also showed me that it is time to return to the dance studio and start cross training more 😉

Thursday

I took a rest day for 3 reasons. 1) my monthly membership had just expired and I didn’t see a point in renewing it for 1.5 weeks. 2) I absolutely had to go to town one last time before leaving Munich. This led me to find a Froyo place 5 minutes from my apartment… I am kind of glad I only just discovered that 😉 3) I finally wanted to actually get some sleep (didn’t work…at all.. ended up watching Weeds and getting hungry at around 10.30)

Friday

A sort of forced rest day, as I will be spending the afternoon in the train back to Zurich munching on my favourite Mango Curry one last time…

(last) Saturday

Stretching class designed for dancers. I am making MEGA improvements with my splits and back bends! Must remember to take progress pics! I am now using a block to get >180 degree angle in the splits… crazy, but doable and not as painful as I thought!

(last) Sunday

Rest day. Loads of much-needed sleep and replenishing my rice-cravings 🙂

This weekend I will be going to the stretching class again, a body weight strength class and Body Pump!

Have a great Friday! I’m just about to leave the office and schlepp my über-heavy, laundry-filled suitcase to the train station. ONE MORE WEEK TO GO!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

Thinking out Loud Thursday

1. FINALLY I have figured out an (albeit excruciatingly time-consuming) way to upload my longish party videos from the 2 nights in Ibiza that were monumentally worth documenting. Now that’s a sentence. WOW. But I digress.. you wanted Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris – not me and my random babbling…But Thursdays are for random babbling and out-loud thinking, so, well, uhm… I give you both 😉

This was CREAM at Amnesia (Calvin Harris)

I have too many videos. I filmed the whole night. Yup. And you wanna know why I stood there with my phone in the air waving it like I just don’t care?  (Sidenote: I very much did care…). Well there were sooooooooo many people there, my friend and I could barely move! It was terrible… I couldn’t dance. I was devastated. At least all the videos enabled a rocking dance session away at home…#notthesame

 

And here is Steve Aoki (by the way I keep on wanting to write Aoiki. Annoying!) Both parties were fantastic and our clubs at home are nothing in comparison. I did feel slightly less “safe” at the big club Amnesia, but mainly because it was full of drugged up drunks and you never know what they might decide to do… I generally stay away from clubs with that reputation in Zürich, but in Ibiza you can’t avoid it everywhere. I ended up not indulging in cocktails to make sure I could safely enjoy my evening (my parents should be proud ;))

2. Can we take a minute to talk about the weather? One minute it is warm, the next it starts to rain, and then it gets so hot I want to stick my head out of a moving vehicle on the highway to cool myself down. Very frustrating.. especially since this weekend should be full of parties that are meant to be held outside (but more on that next week 😉 )

3. You know how I was on a roll, and didn’t purchase any new things for a while? Well I caved… IMG_1417 I needed eye make-up remover for back home in Zürich, as I had run out of my favourite, and while I was there I picked up some chapsticks for good measure. I have gone so long without, I am so happy to have my favourite colour back in my life 🙂

4.  This napkin is from my favourite bar in Zürich IMG_1930 Dante makes the BEST amaretto sour. The first time I went there was for my best friend’s birthday, and I asked the waiter to surprise me. He mixed up an amaretto sour WITH almond oil, and it is now the only thing I will ever drink there. Oh and, the waiters are super cute! They wear bow ties and could easily be models. My best friend may or may not have pushed me into the one I wanted to inconspicuously flirt with…(I was so embarrassed by it, that I for once in my life could not utter a single word – yup, fail!) IMG_1931 5.   Can we talk about my new favourite snack for a minute? IMG_1407Medjool dates smothered in homemade almond butter are seriously my new go to EVERYTHING. Pre-workout snack when I am not too hungry? Have a few. Need a dessert? Have a few. Don’t know what you want for breakfast? Have a few. IMG_1415 I even have a stash at the office… you know for those times you really need a date, but can’t seem to get asked out on one. (Pun intended 😉 they are a wiser choice than ice cream as comfort food and go well with Sex and the City reruns. )

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6. I got in trouble at Body Pump last week. IMG_1933 I was building up my warm-up weight of 8.5 kg when the trainer said that if I started that heavy, I would need to go up to 20 kg for my squats, which lasts 5 + minutes. Errrrrrrm, no – not gonna happen. I know I want to start CrossFit, and you squat heavy there, but you don’t squat in a cardio-ish way like in Body Pump, i.e. so much more doable with heavier weights. So, lesson learned: I now warm up with 4.5 kg

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7. I have 2 new favourite songs that I am listening to on repeat:

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I love Ed Sheeran. I adore his entire new album – cannot wait to see him in concert!!

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Klangkarussel – always awesome

8. Check out my new screen saver at work

IMG_1441I got it here, and LOVE looking at it every morning when I start up my computer. Thank you Catherine, for the beautiful wallpaper 🙂

9.  I’ve got a new favourite pre-workout snack, and the recipe will be coming your way veeeeeeery soon. For now, here is a picture to drool over:

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I’ve actually also got a post-workout recipe to share with you soon too!

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Do you sense a pattern? 😉

10. Hope you all had as fabulous a Thursday as I had. I went to my favourite Les Mills Bodystep class and had so much energy from my snack that I was jumping for joy 🙂 I’m also finally seeing some results in terms of fitness and strength, so stay tuned to find out more about my pursuit of health and eternal happiness!

Thank you Amanda for hosting!

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With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Pump, pump, pump it UUUUUP

Yellow. How are you today? The weather in Munich is miserable with a capital EHM. Where is the gorgeous Summer we’ve long been waiting for? Talk about Summertime Sadness, people…

“The Queen is (most likely) not amused”

The only thing keeping me going during this dreary, rainy day is knowing that I will be going to my favourite BodyPump class this evening. I mean, not even tofu curry (and rice) made me happy – the HORROR! (I am now also craving chocolate.. carbo-loading…. I guess? )

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Ever since slowly seeing some results in terms of strength and how my clothes fit (no big differences yet but slowly seeing some changes), I’ve been better with a) my food choices (about 80% of the time, especially when not in Munich) and b) being disciplined and powerful at the gym. BodyPump is the class I try to never, ever miss. I aim to go 2-3 times per week, definitely on Tuesdays and Sundays, and if I can also Monday or Friday. It really depends on where I am and what my week looks like (and how much my legs hurt from squatting too low with too much weight 😉 ). Of course I could just do my own weight training, but I try to do those only once a week to work on technique.. I tend to not push my self as much in solo training sessions.

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*Must be the little diva inside me wanting to be noticed ALL THE TIME. Limelight, centre stage, the one with the massive smile and talkative personality to match: That’s where you will find me 😉 *

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It’s funny really. I was at a stretch class a few weeks ago working on my splits, when the instructor put my feet up on blocks and said: Work harder. She helped by pushing me down lightly… the pain was atrocious but all I could do was smile.. it’s like the 8th World Wonder or something..what is wrong with me? I guess I smile through pain? Is that… good? Hmm…

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Fun fact: my name means happiness (sort of) and yesterday I learned that my last name could be some sort of derivative of people dancing with scarves. Interesting how names can unconsciously describe people…

Back to Pump.

My addiction has become so extreme that I have even shlepped my father to the class.

Post workout selfie

Post workout selfie

He isn’t as convinced… yet 😉

Oh and guess what: I have learned to embrace my round behind: It helps me squat 16 kg and is the perfect “accessory” on the dance floor. If that isn’t reason enough to love it, I wouldn’t know what is. My name on Instagram isn’t anoushaykin_it for nothing 😉

Sidenote: Does dancing like a mad-woman at a club count as a workout? I think it should… Oh and did you know that Vodka is vegan (love this by the way – I want the shirt!)

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I’ve managed to go:

  • Right after coming back from my vacation
  • after sleeping 3 hours and partying all night
  • with only 5 minutes to spare and missing the warmup

…now that is dedication

And I have not just fallen in love with BodyPump.. I absolutely adore all of Les Mills’ repertoire. For cardio I go to Step, for 6-pack abs I go to CX-works, for HIIT I hope to go to Grits (it hasn’t been released here yet)… I’ve even been to their yoga/tai chi/pilates class a few times.

I am HOOKED.. and even thinking about training to be an instructor. You know while also wanting to take up CrossFit, go back to yoga, be a choreographer, finish my BA, write a book….. – yeah we’ve discussed that.

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Stay tuned for some progress reports on my training sessions and life in general.. as you can tell there will probably be a few posts and recaps with my growing fascination of it all 🙂

Have a beautiful, yet rainy day! I am still craving chocolate!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Makeup Forever Aqua Liner

My legs are KILLING me from yesterday’s Les Mills workout session! I wasn’t feeling particularly fit and energetic, but I am so head over heels in love with Step that I pushed through. What’s more, the trainer included some salsa-ey steps and told us to work it like Beyoncé – FIERCE! Made my day 😀

Love BodyPump

Love BodyPump

Although my legs were burning after, I stayed and pumped my way through BodyPump, and guess what: I increased the weights and barely took any breaks! Weighted lunges are still a tad bit too painful, but my arms are finally getting stronger! Woop Woop 😀

Now doing two classes back to back – each telling you beforehand that you should be prepared to REALLY sweat – could lead to blotchy makeup and streaked eyeliner. My Makeup Forever Aqua Liner didn’t let me down though!

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This was at the office, before heading out to the class…

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And this was 2 h and 25 minutes later!

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The colour was still there, albeit not as winged… I remained streak and smudge free throughout the sweat sesh! 🙂

Verdict: This eyeliner definitely did not let me down! And after doing a little research, I learned that Makeup Forever is also Cirque du Soleil’s brand of choice! So if it’s good enough for all those amazing gymnasts and performers then it is definitely good enough for a (in comparison) “short” gym visit!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo