Amazon In Training

Only Superman owns more spandex.

Item of the Week: Exersion M3 Shirred Woven Pant

I’ve really, really, really got to hand it to JC Penny. A lot of people have tried really hard to emulate Lululemon’s designs, but JC Penny’s Exersion line does it well. I know, the quality isn’t the same, but if you just can’t justify $50 for a tank top and $98 for a pant, these would do great.

Behold! The M3 Shirred Pant.

Looks just like Lululemon’s Unlined Studio Pant. Made from a nice, stretchy, woven fabric. Makes your legs look super long. I ad to but it tonight. I might even go back for a second pair in grey.
Here’s two tanks I saw in the store tonight:


Again, both of these are cute Lulu styles but these Xersion versions clock in at about $20.
Yeah, knock offs are nothing new, but the Groove Pant knock offs have been done to death. It is nice to see a retailer getting, ahem, inspired by great design. And, in fairness, they do have some cute designs that look original to me, also (there is also some questionable stuff, too).

Take a look for yourself.

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Book Review: Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit by Drew Manning

As a bookstore manager I see a lot of fitness books come into my store. When I saw this one I was immediately intrigued- what the heck? This guy purposefully gains 75 pounds to prove a point? The concept of the book was born out of frustration on Manning’s part- a personal trainer who had never battled his weight, who always made good food choices and couldn’t understand why other people couldn’t make those same great choices.

His trip to “Fat” is full of Mountain Dew and Captain Crunch. In 6 months he gained 75 pounds. He talks about the shame he felt, the sadness and frustration, understanding that people judge based on the outside all to frequently and the snap conclusions they make about overweight people are very damaging. His 6 month trip back to “Fit” is likewise insightful as he talks about things he never “got” before, like how it feels to walk into a gym with a far-less-than-perfect-physique, how hard it is to give up the food that gave you so much comfort (his beloved Mountain Dew) and most importantly, the need of a strong social support group to encourage you on.

There is also a very candid chapter from his wife about her perspective on his journey. Very candid.

The last third of the book is exercises and diet plans, oops, I mean lifestyle plans (because no one calls it a “diet” anymore, now everyone calls it a “lifestyle change”), but those aren’t very unique to this book. There were a lot of protein shake recipes, however, so of you are looking for more of those read all the way to the end of the book.

I thought the book was inspirational, some parts seemed a little repetitive and slow, and the big breakthrough (“people need people who understand!”) seems kind of like a “duh”. But it was entertaining and there is a “hey if he did it so can I” factor that is infectious.

Here is his Spinach Shake recipe that he raves and raves about in his book:

1 scoop of Protein2Fit Vanilla Whey Protein
3 cups spinach
½ banana
2 Tbsp of natural peanut butter
2/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk
approximately 3 handfuls of ice

Reported from his website:

BTW- I borrowed this book from work and received no remuneration for my review. Nothing. Not a drop.

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Item of the Week: Lululemon Cool Racerback in Bordeaux Drama Tonka Stripe

Oh, cuteness. I love this color. There was a rumor that this was going to be a strategic partner only piece (meaning that it would only be sold at yoga studios that carry Lulu) but it showed up on today’s upload. I went into a Lululemon in Canada on my business trip hoping they would have this in, they didn’t, but I did get to try on the Define Jacket in Bordeaux Drama- it is even cuter in person. The color is so rich and the tailoring is beautiful. Sigh. I already have enough “workout” jackets so I passed on the Define, but I pulled the trigger on the tank this morning. Can’t wait until it gets here!


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Week 2 Down- Long Live Week 3!

I am really surprised I got all my workouts in this week- I was gone for 5 days at a conference for work. We didn’t even spend the night in the same hotel twice! But I got up early, went into strange gyms with my portable DVD player, lay on the floor of my hotel room and did Stretch 40, did HiiT workouts in front of my co-workers as they exercised on the treadmills and ellipticals… Anyway, I did it!

This week is a full load as far as workouts go- there are no “short” days (under 40 minutes). If I could just have the discipline I had on the road I’d be fine. I went to bed early and was up at 5:30 each day.

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Week One, Day 6

I hate to say it, but here it is, week 1, and I’ve already missed a day. Last night just got away from me (curse you, Internet!). I was even all dressed, ready to go, and… Yeah.

So, in anticipation of next week when I’ll be on the road for work, I decided to square up this week and double up in order to get all the workouts in. So I did Fire 55 EZ tonight with Core 20 (from Sunday’s workout) and tomorrow I’ll do Fire 30 and Stretch 40 to be all caught up.

Looking ahead to next week a couple of key things need to happen: Monday’s workout needs to go down without a hitch, and Tuesday’s needs to happen in the am before I get on the plane (so I gotta get up early!). Then, Wed-Fri I need to squeeze three in at the hotel (bringing a little DVD player) so I have Sat as my day off (long travel day- getting in late late late).

So far, it has not been like completely starting from scratch- some conditioning remains, not much but some, from my last attempt back in June.

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Zumba burns 800-1,000 Calories…ish

I’ve seen this floating around and something about it just doesn’t sit right…


I mean, you all know me, I LOVE Zumba, really. But I work out with a heart rate monitor, and I have done Turbo Kick at full intensity with sweat just bucketing down my face and burned 450 calories (for 45 minutes of Cardio that ain’t bad). So when I saw this… 800 to 1,000 calories? Really? OK, you’re the meme, you must know what you’re talking about. I guess those cha-chas were working bigger muscle groups than I thought.

But ACE came out with a recent report… about Zumba and how it is fun, sure, but how great of a workout is it. Their consensus was that it is a great workout, more effective for calorie burning than quite a few other types:

So yeah, it is great. And this quote from the article emphasizes my favorite part:
““The surprising thing is that it doesn’t matter what fitness level you’re at—our research shows that in Zumba classes everyone is working out at the zone that’s recommended for improving cardio health,” says Luettgen. “Both fit people and less-fit people are going to get an equally good workout.”

But back to my question. 800-1,000 calories? ACE lays down a number. The average participant burns 369 calories. Certainly not shabby, but I just can’t believe the Internet would lie like this.

(This meme also commits the sin of using the word ‘tone’. A word I hate slightly more than I do the word ‘buns’)

ETA I found this picture on the internet and realized that I was wrong- maybe the original meme was using She-Hulk as a test sample? I bet with her muscle mass she burns 800-1,000 calories.


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Week One, Day One

Day One down. Some stats: Calories burned: 278. Heart Rate high: 181. Average: 150. Time to accomplish Fire 30: 38 minutes.

Drank all my water today. 4/5 fruits & veggies.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong

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Pick It Back Up and Start It All Over Again!

So I start the Turbo Fire rotation tomorrow. Again.

I made it through 6 weeks, then I went on vacation and just… stopped. I’m really disappointed with myself. It has been since the end of June. I had made a lot of ground, especially in terms of conditioning, and I am basically going to start from scratch.

But this is a new opportunity. I have learned something from my last attempt.

1. You have to make it fit into your life. I was working out late at night and it felt like I never had any down time- I just came home from work (9pm), worked out, and went to bed. If this is going to work I am going to have to get up and do it first thing in the am.

2. Taking the marathon approach- dedicating a week to special people- was an effective motivator for me. I am going to do that again this round.

3. Give yourself the rewards you have promised yourself. I justified NOT rewarding myself because my ‘eating was bad’, or ‘I didn’t drink enough water’ or whatever.

4. All or Nothing behavior and thought is crippling! I need to have a plan for when things don’t go according to plan. What is my ‘Plan B’? My ‘Good Enough’?

5. I’ve got to keep a food journal to keep my eating in line. Nutrition is 80% of the equation: I don’t want to toss all my hard work.

That’s it! Now I’ve got to lay out my clothes for tomorrow. I’ll see you in the am!

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Item of the week: Lululemon Define jacket in Bordeaux Drama

Look at this color! (there is a lot of discrepancy in color between the model and the close up. On my monitor the jacket on the model is a beautiful, rich, deep purple-red).


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In Case You Were Wondering, The Answer is Six Weeks

That is how long it has taken me to get my conditioning to the point where I can do the toughest workout (Fire 45) without taking an extra break to catch my breath.

I actually felt strong and energized through most of the workout. There were points when I started to fade but I told myself, “You’re not tired!”


Although my clothes aren’t fitting much differently, and I haven’t lost a whole slew of pounds, (see: poor eating) I feel fantastic. I’ve got much more energy and just the sense of accomplishment at being able to “work out this hard” is worth a lot.

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