The Callanetics Studio

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the callanetics studio

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I enjoy nontraditional exercise.  I’m really not sure what the pull is for me – maybe I just dislike the pounding, the jumping, the mindless sweating.  But I still want to get good workouts – programs that I can feel, that I can see, and that I know from personal experience work – those are programs I am drawn to.  I’m up for trying just about anything.  A few years ago, I came across the original Callanetics videos and started them.  Besides the crazy 80s vibe, the weird music, and Callan’s “perfect little peach” terminology, I did enjoy it.

So when I more recently saw there is an online program – The Callanetics Studio – that offers online classes (some for free on youtube as well), I was very happy to try it out!  While it is still the Callanetics that Callan Pinckney developed, there are little tweaks and improvements as well. I love the focus on proper body alignment, of really listening to every muscle and fiber of your body, or relaxing while at the same time pulsing (which in some ways is easy, yet hard!). The instruction is very detailed, and I never got lost or felt like it was at a pace that wasn’t right.  It’s definitely a program you can grow with, that’s for sure!!! I found myself feeling extremely relaxed and calm, but never tired, after completing a workout.  The owner and co-owner, Sandra and Adelaide, are so sweet and so personable!  The online workout option really makes you feel like you’re a part of a class – the environments are bright and clear, sunny, and high quality. Love their accent too. The only issue whatsoever I had with the online format (and more an issue with my setup and computer, not the concept) was that I could not see the screen well when doing the floor work, and at times my computer would cause the videos to buffer.  But I would just pause the workout and let the entire thing load and then play it through.  I am focusing more heavily on another program this month, but I plan to sign up and start The Callanetics Studio again next month, just make sure to make my environment more conducive to seeing a small computer screen!

Besides the great variety of workouts they offer, from beginning to expert, from very short to very long, they also have a blog and a cafe, which are areas you get to learn more about them, the program, ask questions if you need help, and connect with others who are also doing Callanetics.   HERE is a recent blog article Adelaide wrote that’s definitely worth a read (as are all of the blog posts).

 

The Callanetics Studio FB page

The Callanetics Studio Youtube Channel  (great to get an overview of their workouts!)

Pricing is very affordable, with the first month being $6.95 and then $14.95 a month after, or $145 for a yearly membership.

As amazing as it would be to train with them in Australia, the reality of that happening for most of us would be nonexistent.  But with their online classes, you can feel as if you are with them and do so at a time that’s convenient for you.

Here is a preview for one of their full workouts (emphasis on the butt and thighs, definitely the areas I need the most emphasis on!)

I’d love to know your thoughts on Callanetics!  Have you ever heard of it before – did you try the original Callanetics?  Are you up for trying a month of The Callanetics Studio?  I definitely don’t think you’ll regret it!

** I was given a month free in exchange for my honest review.**

Recent Favorite: Ballet Beautiful

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I have a few different workout routines/programs that through the years I fall back on…  I may try others or do something different for awhile, but these are workouts that for various reasons just “click” with me and my style and are staples through the years.  I have a very very strong feeling that Ballet Beautiful is headed in the same spot as those beloved workout programs.  I was sent 2 of their DVDs and their book to review, and as always, I give my 100% honest opinions.

 

Here’s my takeaway of the program as a whole, and then I will sort of break down the individual DVDs.

The Good

  • Graceful.  So you may not be a ballerina (I’m sure not) and you may not even carry yourself gracefully (but you probably will the more you do this program), but just doing these workouts gives you that feeling that you’re legit.  You’re an actual ballerina, and you are amazing!
  • It Works.  Simple as that, really.  You feel it in your muscles, and you feel it in your heart rate.
  • Even though Mary Helen Bowers is pretty much the complete opposite of me physique wise (she’s very long-limbed and tall) and even though she does the exercises with ease and so many repetitions with a smile on her face, I didn’t feel intimidated by her.  Sure, I’ve mumbled under my breath “What’s wrong with you?!”  “How do you do this and look so calm and happy??!”  She has a very calm presence that’s encouraging while not giving you an easy workout by any means.
  • Beautiful classical music that is calming and helps with keeping on tempo as well.
  • Aesthetically beautiful with a simple set and not much distractions.

The Bad

  • Honestly… can’t think of anything at all bad!

 

The Indifferent

  • Because of my back issues, I don’t do all of the ab exercises.  Some of that may be me just being extra cautious, as in the past when doing similar exercises, it’s flared up my pain.  I’m thinking now that my back is doing a lot better and I am stronger, I can incorporate more ab exercises back in, but I’m going slowly with that.
  • If you hate repetition, these may not be the best exercises for you.  But I personally get bored by things quite easily, and they move fast enough that I’m not getting bored.

The Book

The book is beautiful and full of a lot of the history of Ballet Beautiful, and I found it a very good read.  You can see in the video below how the book is broken up by topic.  I wouldn’t necessarily advise getting the book without the DVDs unless you are dedicated and can do good like that (I need the visual instruction more than just pictures), but as a supplement to the DVDs, I think it’s great!  Also lots of great meal ideas!

Cardio Fat Burn

This workout has 4 15-minute workouts.  However, you can do what I did the first time I put it in – press “play” not realizing they would play through the entire 60-minutes and get an amazingly tough and effective workout!  The arm section especially is wonderful (wonderful in the sense that it must work because your arms burn and cramp and you wonder how in the world doing such small movements that look easy could be so hard!)  I like the mix of cardio plus the targeted exercises.  The Allegra cardio portions really make me feel like I’m dancing.  Oh, I ever have ballet slippers.. yep, I’m really getting into it! (despite the fact that my arches/instep is so high the criss-cross elastic leaves marks, and I need to figure out how to fix that) So you can mix and match whichever segments you want to make your own custom workout – 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes combining whichever of the four segments you like.  I’ve let out many exasperated sighs and “you’ve got to be kidding me” remarks to Mary Helen, but by the end, I’m glad I stuck with it.

Sculpt and Burn Cardio Blasts

The description of this one reads, “Sculpt lean muscles, burn major calories and take your Ballet Beautiful body to the next level with our newest DVD! Two targeted, challenging 30-minute workouts include all new incredible toning exercises, limb lengthening stretches, low impact cardio and light weight work! For best results mix and match with the full BB DVD Library! *1-3llb hand weights recommended.”  I really like this one as well.  The 30 minutes go by fairly fast, and you definitely get your heart rate up with the addition of the hand weights.   The leg portion on this is killer!  If I had to pick a favorite of the two, it would be the Cardio Fat Burn, but this is just another good option so you don’t get bored (I like the variety Ballet Beautiful offers).

Here is a preview clip for these two DVDs:

And then individually, here is for the Cardio Fat Burn:

And the Sculpt and Burn Cardio Blasts:

Oh, and just another amazing-to-me thing about the program?  Mary Helen Bowers had a baby and even created a program for pregnant women who want to ballet themselves (even more) beautifully graceful and fit.  She continued to dance throughout her pregnancy, which I think is an amazing and beautiful thing!

So if you can’t tell by now, I thoroughly and whole-heartedly LOVE this program, and I greatly look up to Mary Helen.  I’m not the only one – if you didn’t realize by now, she is the person who trained Natalie Portman for “Black Swan”; many other celebrities also love her and her program.  I have been seeing good results so far and will continue to keep her workouts in my rotation, and recommend everyone try out her program.

Perception of Progress #2 [Link Up]

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The past few weeks have been crazy, and I just realized how long it’s been since my last post!  But my lack of posts are not a reflection of my effort and my goals for this past month.  I’m a few days later than I wanted to put up the Link Up, but hope you all will still join in!

I want to celebrate your progress – – no matter how big or small, visible or not so visible, even mental shifts and progress are important!

What about you?  Do you take progress pictures?  I challenge each of you to start if you haven’t been.  It really motivates!  I had plans to take monthly progress pictures, and let it slide for a few months, but now I’m back and excited to see the small changes that really add up month after month.

So this past months updated progress pic:

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Some thoughts on this past month:

The scale yesterday said 169, but honestly it’s been flip-flopping between 169-173, one day it’ll be 170, the next 171.8 and so on.  If I didn’t have in my head that I would be taking comparison pics, it would’ve been much easier to get frustrated with the scale being so slow and going up and down.  Each time I do these comparison pictures, it just re-motivates me and makes me excited at the differences I might see the next month!

Being accountable is scary.  Sharing your progress pictures is scary.  But it’s also so rewarding – – – SEEING the change when you don’t feel it.  Being motivated when you want to give up.  Looking back months and saying, “Oh, wow, yes, I can see a change!”

Where you are now is just perfect.  Don’t berate yourself, and in doing, never start your progress.  That happens to all of us at times, I’m sure (I know it’s happened to me).  No, where you are *right at this moment* is where you are.  It just is, and don’t dwell on the negatives of it – just accept it and thank it for the good things it does for you.  But it doesn’t have to be where you’ll be next month.  Just keep making healthy decisions, be more active, and remember that you can do this!

So be brave!  Start your own progress! 

I’ve decided to start a monthly Link Up, and I really hope you’ll consider joining in!  Each month, I will select a few to showcase the following month.  Let’s start a Progression Revolution!  🙂

PerceptionofProgress

To join the linkup

1. Add the link to your specific post, not your main blog page.
2. Grab the button above and add it to your post (a text link is fine too) linking back to www.leafynotbeefy.com.
3. Comment on this post and someone else’s post…the whole point is to encourage and cheer on each other.
4. Follow my blog to be reminded when next month rolls around!


Thursday Thoughts

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It’s April already – how did that happen??  After a surprise snowfall on Sunday, things *seem* to be getting more spring-like.  I don’t want to jinx it or anything, though.  I know once we hit summer, people will complain about the heat, because, … well, we like to have things to complain about I’m convinced.  We say we don’t like to complain, “I don’t like to complaint, BUT….” but we do!

Next week is going to be fun around here (at least I think it will be, hopefully you will too), with a few giveaways, including a copy of Trim Healthy Mama book (yes, it is over 600 pages!), planners, maybe a recipe, maybe a video, just lots of good stuff.

But today, I just wanted to kind of do a general chit-chat post, which I hope to do more of instead of just one post about one thing all the time.  So, on the food front, what have I been enjoying?  Lots of stuff!  I will go into more details of my actual daily meals next week, but besides the normal stuff, I was sent this package of Nakd bars the other week.  While they don’t 100% fit in THM as far as weight-loss goes, if you’re following THM, I think they’d be just fine for a crossover and for athletes, kids, or people who are trying to switch from a sugar-laden, chemical-filled bar to something very clean.  The ingredient lists on these babies are so simple, a first-grader could read it!  🙂  They really are whole food bars.  I shared them with family and friends, but I did personally try at least a small bite of all of them.  They have a lot of flavor and are a good sweet/not too sweet level.  The only one I didn’t care for was the Cocoa Mint.  My favorite was the Caffe Mocha, followed closely by Ginger Bread, Strawberry Crunch, and Apple Crunch.

Nakdbars

On the fitness front, I have been starting some new programs and I’m excited to share with you all about those, some of them next week.  On Monday night, I gave a little presentation on Oxycise to my TOPS group.  I am *not* a speaker, so I was a little nervous, but I was also very excited to share with the ladies and I hope they look more into the program and glean some goodness from what I tried to teach them.  Also at TOPS, we are having a small spring contest.  The winner gets $10, so it’s not a huge prize or anything, but it’s still fun, and I plan to win it.  🙂  This time, the way we earn points (or flowers in this case) is by exercising at least 20-minutes a day, 3 days a week (will definitely earn that one), having a stay-the-same or a loss (will hopefully earn that one), bring in our food log (will earn that one), bring a friend (not sure), bring in a healthy recipe for everyone to try (will definitely plan to earn that one), and I’m thinking that’s it.  I might have missed one or two, but that’s the general idea.  It runs through the end of May.

Moving to faith – I would very much appreciate your prayers for a little boy – his name is Charlie.  He has a rare genetic disease and is critically ill right now.  The family could use so much prayer.  We are praying for a miracle for little Charlie, but know sometimes God doesn’t have that in His plan, so the family needs comfort as well as crazy strength to get through this.  They lost their daughter last May to the same genetic disease that Charlie has.

Fashion.  I am a girly-girl at heart, and what girl doesn’t like a dress she can twirl around in?  In fact, when I was younger, buying an Easter dress with my grandma and great aunt, the dress had to pass my “twirl test” for me to get it.

This dress is my adult version of the twirl dress.  I will have a Sunday Style post specifically about this, but here’s just a preview of its awesomeness:

holyclothing1

And now that the weather is teasing us or hopefully warmer to stay, I’ve found I’ve been reaching for my slightly brighter lip glosses more and more – Been enjoying my Candid lip gloss from Silk Naturals (they no longer sell it, but have a bazillion other choices) – it’s a little bright, but not too bright – just puts me in a good mood!

Something else I’m loving right now – these two Thirty-One gym bags (I just couldn’t help sharing again).  With myself thinking more about my fitness goals and working out, I figure there are plenty of you also – and a bright happy gym bag that’s well made and is designed great, and is on a great special, even better!  **the special for April is for every $35 spent, choose one of the two great gym-style bags for $25 (retails for $80).**

P.S.  Remember you can still link up to #PerceptionOfProgress link up!  Please pit it, share it, get the word out.

The Perception of Progress

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I wanted to take a minute and talk about progress and the perception of progress and introduce a link up!  I have always been one to advocate using the tape measure instead of the scale, or along with the scale if you must.  I belong to TOPS, and they use the scale there, which to be honest, was one of the reasons I waited a while to join – I wasn’t keen on the idea of being rewarded for loss of weight and punished for a gain, when sometimes the body does weird things with body weight like gain water, build muscles, and more oddities that sometimes baffle us and confuse and frustrate us.  But I’ve learned to just use the scale as ONE means of assessing my progress, and a lose one at that.

Something I think is even more powerful than the scale and even measurements are progress pictures.  Measurements are impressive, but really seeing a difference is so much better in my opinion.  It’s even more true when you are losing weight slowly, your clothing still overall fits the same, or maybe your goals are more of tightening up or strength or flexibility – something that isn’t quite as easily measured or weighed.

What about you?  Do you take progress pictures?  I challenge each of you to start if you haven’t been.  It really motivates!  I had plans to take monthly progress pictures, and let it slide for a few months, but now I’m back and excited to see the small changes that really add up month after month.

So my updated progress pics:

Comparisonweighin314

I wanted to also share some fellow fitness/healthy-living bloggers’ progress pictures, because who doesn’t like to be inspired (and they are all very inspiring!)?

Lindsay from Neon Princesses:

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Michelle from BabyBluesToRunningShoes

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Zaneta from Runner’s Luck – progression of flexibility

IMG_20140125_155928

Julie from Half a Julie

10150035_10152295454265781_1904635037_n

Jessica from Fit Mama 4 Life

10150839_10103669027201959_133229786_nAren’t they all amazing?  I am super motivated and inspired by each of these women – they all have slightly different goals and they all started at a different place.  Please please PLEASE don’t ever say to yourself, “I can’t bear to take pictures because I can’t stand to see myself in a picture”.  You know what?  That is fear talking!  I had this little realization this past week when I shared my progress pics on my personal facebook page and someone commented that it was so brave of me to post my weight.  I know what they meant, but you know what?  I don’t think it’s brave to post my weight – I *honestly* could care very little what I actually weigh (within a healthy boundary of course).  If my body ends up feeling great and looking great and I’m 120, that’s fine; if I’m 140, that’s still fine; 150, sure.  Because our bodies are so complex with muscles, bones, and our frames are all different, a height/weight body chart just doesn’t really work for a lot of people.  So, all that to say that sharing your number isn’t that scary to me (I know to many, it is, though, because we’ve been so wrapped up in the numbers and told that’s what matters for our whole lives).  What is scary?  Being accountable.  Sharing your progress pictures.  But it’s also so rewarding – – – SEEING the change when you don’t feel it.  Being motivated when you want to give up.  Looking back months and saying, “Oh, wow, yes, I can see a change!”

Where you are now is just perfect.  Don’t berate yourself, and in doing, never start your progress.  That happens to all of us at times, I’m sure (I know it’s happened to me).  No, where you are *right at this moment* is where you are.  It just is, and don’t dwell on the negatives of it – just accept it and thank it for the good things it does for you.  But it doesn’t have to be where you’ll be next month.  Just keep making healthy decisions, be more active, and remember that you can do this!

So be brave!  Start your own progress! 

I’ve decided to start a monthly Link Up, and I really hope you’ll consider joining in!  Each month, I will select a few to showcase the following month.  Let’s start a Progression Revolution!  🙂

PerceptionofProgress

To join the linkup

1. Add the link to your specific post, not your main blog page.
2. Grab the button above and add it to your post (a text link is fine too) linking back to www.leafynotbeefy.com.
3. Comment on this post and someone else’s post…the whole point is to encourage and cheer on each other.
4. Follow my blog to be reminded when next month rolls around!
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