Finding a new gym, part 2: Be your own gym

Yesterday I had intended to try Simply Fit in Uptown, but they never answered their phone so I took it as a sign.  I channeled my inner group fitness instructor and wrote myself a low-impact workout that consisted of a warm up and four circuits.  I had been avoiding this, because it can be hard to get a good cardio workout with low-impact…or so I thought.  This had me sweating all over the floor (I guess it’s a good thing we have no furniture):

I am well aware that half of these exercises have names that mean nothing to anyone, so I’ll attempt to explain:

Bob and weave this is borrowed from kickboxing, check it out here.  To make things more challenging, throw a few nice, hard punches in there.  Always remember to pull your punches back hard and keep everything nice and tight

Side shuffle exactly what it sounds like

Step and knee up kind of like a squat but come up on one foot, kind of like you’re kicking yourself in the butt with the other.  Big movements, kind of bouncy to get the maximum cardio workout while maintaining the low-impact.

Fast squats regular squats, just fast.  Since these are only bodyweight, make sure to really squeeze your butt throughout but especially at the top, keep knees behind the toes as always, and go as fast as you can!

Jump Lunge this one will get your legs burning.  Lunge with one foot in front, and jump to switch the legs.  You’ll have to be careful and feel this one out if you’re going low impact due to injury.  If it’s bothering you, you can switch legs without jumping, but try to keep the speed and intensity up without sacrificing your form.

Pike press with knee tuck see here.  I use a lot of odd exercises from bodyrock, which looks like porn at first glance.  Don’t worry, it’s exercise.  I swear.

Crab toe touch in crab position with your feet and hands on the floor, hips pushed as high up as possible (think crabwalk in elementary school gym), lift opposite leg and arm straight up to touch the toes, nice and controlled.  DO NOT let your butt drop for the sake of touching your toes.  Keep the core nice and tight, the point is to stay nice and strong through the core, if you can’t actually touch your toes due to flexibility issues (that’s me!) or anything else, don’t worry.  Just keep that butt nice and high and control your legs.  No flailing them up or floppin em down!

Squat and kick regular squat (knees behind toes, chest up!) but at the top kick with alternating legs.  Here, you’re kicking like you’re pushing open a door rather than swinging your leg up.  Use your core to make the kick really powerful.

Side lunge, back lunge, kick start with feet together, step out to the side with one leg and do a side lunge.  Come up, bringing that same leg up and go straight into a back lunge – don’t set the leg down in between!  This will challenge your balance as well as your quad strength

Frog burpee thank you bodyrock, for teaching me many of the fun things I know!

Plank jump push up this is basically a variation of the frog burpee.  You’re going to still jump your feet up into pike position from a plank then back out, but when you’re in a plank you’re going to do a push up.  So it goes in, out, push up.  In, out, push up.  It’s tough, especially after the frog burpee, but you can do it!

Sprinters are modified mountain climbers.  Instead of putting weight on both feet, you will only have weight in the back leg.  Make sure you really crunch in that other knee, use your core to get it as close to your chest as you can.

Front kick plank found this one while searching on the internet yesterday.  I’m not sure if I did it right, but I would swing my leg all the way from being back in the plank up to kick and bring it all the way back again, so it was a lot of balance as well.

SSFF stands for shoulder shoulder foot foot.  In a plank position, touch opposite hand to shoulder, other hand to shoulder, opposite hand to foot, other hand to foot

PTT stand up a modification of the plank toe touch vertical leap.  Leave out the jump for the benefit of the broken legs, and instead just stand up.  You’ll still be tired.

Step kick step lunge kick with one leg, bring feet back together, immediately step back into a lunge with the other leg, step back up bringing feet together, immediately kick with the first leg.  I guess technically I could call it “kick step lunge step”, but “kick step” sounds too much like tap class from when I was 4 years old.

Happy monkey hit the floor do happy monkey, but instead of jumping up after three in&outs, hit the floor like a football player doing up-downs.  For some reason any time an exercise incorporates hitting the floor, I can’t help but giggle – it’s just so much fun!  Be sure to get up as fast as possible, use your arms, core, and back to push off the floor with as much force as you can generate, getting yourself back to your feet ASAP.


I cooled down with some pilates, and realized that it’s been since December since I’ve officially taught that class.  Time flies!  It made me really miss teaching.  But something awesome happened.  While I had been searching for a gym to use yesterday, I came across Hour Blast, a small gym that specializes in group fitness.  Their classes are capped at 14 people, half of which start on treadmills, and half of which start on the floor.  The entire class is circuits, the treadmill people varying speed and incline and the floor people doing all sorts of fun exercises.  This reminded me of a class I developed at UMass, except more awesome, so I sent my resume.  You can probably tell where this is going…one of the owners called me back!  I get to go in and take a class on Monday and discuss potential employment.  Life is good =)

My workout was followed immediately with the Fage 0% plain yogurt that I bought on sale the other day.  I’d never tried Fage, mostly because it’s more expensive than Chobani.  It was good!  It had the same creamy texture as Chobani – some Greek yogurts out there today have a weird gelatinous texture provided by thickening agents rather than low water content – but it didn’t have that tang that makes Chobani’s flavor so distinctive.  Would I buy it again?  Probably not.  A few extra dollars add up quickly on my budget, and I like the tanginess of Chobani.  Would I recommend it?  Absolutely!  Especially for people like my dad, who hates the tang.

Dinner came  few hours later, and was really good.  I found a 50/50 blend of arugala and baby spinach at Winn-Dixie, which I’d never seen before and obviously had to buy.  Into a big bowl of the greens went an entire (small) heirloom tomato, some asparagus that I roasted with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and an over-easy egg.  All were dressed with a squeeze of a lemon wedge, a dash of olive oil, a lot of pepper, and a little salt.  It was great!  Salads with an egg on top are a go-to for when I’m alone and want something quick but satisfying and healthy, and this was was especially tasty.


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3 Responses to Finding a new gym, part 2: Be your own gym

  1. Christy says:

    Hi! I found your blog through your comment on pbfingers. I saw that you mentioned you had moved to Louisiana. I moved to NOLA in Feb 2011 and it took me a while to find a good gym too. I started out at Anytime Fitness in Lakeview which is decent. I hear a lot of good things about the gym in the same complex called “The Parks” too. Right now, I go to East Jefferson YMCA which I am super pleased with. They are all a small drive from Uptown but are the best and cheapest I’ve found here.

    • Lauren @ Powered by Oatmeal says:

      Thank you so much, I’ll check it out! I have to wait until the 15th to get a student membership at the Reily Center at Tulane – have you ever been there or heard about it?

  2. Christy says:

    I haven’t been there but I’ve heard that they have great exercise classes. I think you’ll be happy there.
    You will enjoy living here. There is always something to do around here. You must experience a Mardi Gras if you haven’t already. Never a dull moment in the Big Easy!

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