Tag Archives: Fitness

Boston’s November Project

The November Project Show above is a photo of The November Project Wednesday workouts, taken last summer. This group, which was started by two Northeastern University graduates, organize free, fun ways to work out with others in Boston.

The November Project uses free, public land to exercise.  For example, each Wednesday morning The November Project meet at 6:30am at Harvard’s Stadium to run up the big seats and come down the small steps.  With winter (in theory) concluding later this month, I wanted to write about this amazing group to inspire groups in other cities to emulate their model of using public space and bringing people together to exercise.  With no gym membership required, one only needs the discipline to show up and the appropriate workout gear.

Learn more about this amazing group here.

Spanx for men

SpanksWhile shopping at a department store in Boston I stumbled upon this display. It gave me a good chuckle.  I’d be tempted to see how this works but I immediately realized hiding my body issues won’t eliminate them.  The only cure for that is getting myself to the gym.  However, there appear to be no shortage of rather intriguing products targeting men to help them appear more fit and trim.  The next time I’m flying, I’ll have to see if Sky Mall sells any of these products.

Crotch enhancerOr even worse… the Instaslim, Slimming Tank Top. 

Struggles with the gym

absI’ve been struggling to get to the gym since returning from my Brazil trip in early December.  The colder weather, early sunsets and all the holiday parties made it easy to skip the gym. Fortunately, my trainer has been good about making sure that we regularly meet up… that is until this week when my work schedule left me with no time for gym time.

I half wondered if people would hear the huge thumping sound of my fat ass falling off the proverbial wagon.  I really dislike it when I fall out of my gym routine, but I only have myself to blame for it.  Knowing that I’m heading to Puerto Rico at the end of this month has lit a fire under that fat ass of mine so I’m looking forward to my date with my trainer tomorrow.

Get thee to the gym

runningFor those of you who committed in the New Year to focus on your personal fitness, I wanted to encourage you to stay strong.  Even if you’ve missed days or not been able to maintain the schedule you planned, don’t give up.

I’ll be thinking of you while I’m at the gym today.

The November Project Wednesday workouts

Soldiers Field StadiumI previously wrote about the November Project™ to let you know about the Boston Ninja Race they are hosting on January 23rd.  However, this group of runners do more than hosting one-off crazy races through Boston.  They are focused on motivating each other by hosting a combination of cardio workouts and social interactions.

One such example is their Wednesday morning workouts, which start at 6:30am at Harvard’s Stadium to run up the big seats and come down the small steps.  This crazy group of Bostonians have put together a video from earlier this year from one such work out.  Learn more about this group here.

Abdominal work out from the 80s

1980s work outBlogger, Ajax in the City posted this abdominal work out video from the 80′s on his blog.  I keep expecting Olivia Newton John to come walking out singing “Physical”. The entire clip is totally ridiculous, but I couldn’t help but watch it all the way through. I should ask my personal trainer for his thoughts.  ;-)

Boston Ninja Race

Just when I thought I’d heard of everything I stumbled upon a very interesting group called November Project™.  Apparently this social group of runners are the people behind Boston’s Ninja Race… You read that correctly.

NinjaWhat is the Boston Ninja Race?  

This is an 8 mile night run on Wednesday, January 23rd at 9:00PM through Boston’s Charles River path and parks. Runners are required to dress in a ninja theme.  The registration site is hilarious declaring “Dull swords allowed. Snow ninjas allowed. Complaining about it being “cold” is not permitted at any time.

There is no cost to register and after the race, runners will gather at Crossroads Bar in the Back Bay.  Want to find out more and register for the run? Link here.


Kranzky’s Korner: Unnatural cravings

Kris KranzkyHow many different ways can they spin butter, eggs, and refined sugar? The possibilities are endless and calories limitless, unless you take the initiative to control your appetite and be aware of your body and it’s realistic needs. Now the goal here is to not get swept away in nostalgic emotional eating – it is to realize what your body’s nutritional needs are.  Odds are you won’t find a cupcake with 50 grams of processed sugar just sitting in the middle of nature, and we wonder why diabetes is a growing problem in America.

“Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth” according to Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a  dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokeswoman.  Carbohydrates also make us feel good, releasing serotonin and rewarding us for the choice; the taste of sugar alone releases endorphins and relaxes us, somewhat of a natural high. With so many immediate onset incentives to eating these sweet treats no wonder we get carried away. Let’s go over some good ways to control these cravings, instead of letting the cravings control us.

Eat regularly:  Having a balanced and healthy diet with proper intervals of eating will keep your blood sugar more level and reduce the risk of craving sweets, and over indulging.

Drink water, stay hydrated: If 80% of Americans are dehydrated daily, then odds are you are dehydrated. Which can be mistaken for hunger, even if your needs are fulfilled.   So next time you crave a cupcake or cookie, drink some good old calorie free tap water.

Go natural, eat fruit: If you crave sweets indulge in some chocolate covered strawberries, or have an apple. This will be a lot easier and efficient for your body to break down and will also have some nutrients to go with the calories.

Take a walk: Stop obsessing and get your mind off by getting outside. Change the subject of your mental conversation and often your cravings will subside.

Kranzky’s Korner: Cardio vs strength training

Kris KranzkyMany of you may have taken to the treadmill in an attempt to outrun all of those holiday treats and cocktails. The battle against belly fat has begun, and many of you may be asking yourself should I focus on cardio or strength training? Which will be more effective for me?

According to Wayne Westcott, Ph.D, cardio burns 10-12 calories a minute while strength training burns around 8 calories a minute.  However, consider the following:

  • As soon you stop your cardio workout your calorie burn stops; where as strength training may have an initial lower calorie burn count, but the calorie burn continues as the body works to maintain and replenish your muscles. This spikes your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) for 24-48 hours after the exercise.
  • Strength training also packs on lean mass, which takes calories to maintain – raising your metabolic rate as long as you have that extra muscle using energy.
  • Running for long periods can also damage knee and shoulder joints from the repetitive impact and movement, potentially impacting posture as well. When done properly, strength training will safely burn calories with low impact movements, strengthen tissue, bones and improve posture.

Fitness TrainingWe counsel clients to incorporate both cardio and strength training as part of a balanced work out regimen. Hours on the treadmill are not needed. Generally with proper rest intervals during strength training you can finish your work out in 40 minutes, and reserve 20 minutes for cardio. As you go to the gym through the holiday season, keep in mind the benefits of strength training.

Kranzky’s Korner: building muscle

How do you like the weekly Kransky’s Korner post? I hope it serves as a encouragement to help you eat healthier and get into shape. Think of it as a jump-start on your New Year’s resolutions.

With five weeks until the end of the year it’s time to ask yourself what are your fitness goals? The week prior to Thanksgiving we addressed weight loss so this week we’re focusing on building mass.

To Build Size or Mass
Focus on lifting 8-12 reps
Lift 2-4 sets for each exercise and 3-4 exercises per muscle group
Focus on 1-2 (3 if you’re adventurous) muscle groups
Allow yourelf to rest 1.5 – 3 minutes between your sets

Hypertrophy or size comes through repairing and building broken down and torn muscle fibers.  You should choose weights that are heavy enough that you struggle (nearly fail) to complete 8-12 repetitions. Focus on 1-2 muscle groups per workout so the proper attention is given, allowing the break down of fibers to occur to the maximum extent. Focus on working slowly through the eccentric part of the muscle contraction or the “lengthening phase” to really get a good break down. Your rest should be longer at this point to ensure your muscle are completely replenished before the next set so you can focus on the breakdown of muscle fibers with each set.

About Kranzky’s Korner: Kris is a Master Trainer at the Boston Sports Club in Boston, MA and Kyle is a Top Tier Trainer at Equinox in Pasadena, CA. The brothers have teamed up together to start a Fitness Consulting Group called Realm Fitness to inspire and educate others to reach there full potential.

Westin – New Balance “gear share” program

westin gear share programPhoto from: Sean Howe’s blog Behind the Bean

Last spring while staying at the Westin Copley Place I noticed signs encouraging guests to rent New Balance sneakers and work out clothes for just $5 to make it easier to squeeze in a workout while traveling.  It looks like the program was successful, because the hotel chain has announced it is now available in all 190 Westin Hotels.

The gear lending program will deliver New Balance sneakers and clothing to your room.  The sneakers come with socks that are brand new and yours to keep as well as fresh and clean clothing in your size. Upon departure, guests simply leave the items in their room in the mesh bag everything was delivered.

You may read more about this program at westinnewbalance.com.  I love this idea.  Would you be inclined to try out the program?


Kranzky’s Korner: weight loss

Last week we introduced you to Kransky’s Korner – a regular post to help encourage you to start getting into shape before the masses join the gym in January with their New Year’s resolutions. 

With seven weeks until the end of the year it’s time to ask yourself what are your fitness goals? Is it fat loss? Is it building mass? Fitness regimens should be designed to help you attain your goals. Since most of you fall into one of these categories, this week we’ve focused on weight loss.

Fat Loss Regimen Work Out
3 – 4 sets with 15-20 reps.
Focus on 1-2 exercises per muscle group.
For each workout focus on a full body workout that includes chest, back, shoulders, core (abs), and legs.
Be sure to monitor your rest time allowing for 30 seconds to 1 minute between your sets.

For weight loss a higher number of reps is ideal because more time working, means more calorie burn. When you break down a muscle, your body burns calories to repair the muscle, that makes full body exercise (every muscle group worked in the same day) ideal. Working every muscle group in the same day will yield a higher caloric demand over the next 24-48 hours to repair the torn fibers. What does this mean? FAT LOSS! Keep your rest time short. Don’t worry, your body will be able to replenish quickly from higher rep ranges and it will keep your heart rate up. Over time, your endurance will improve – equating to greater weight loss.

About Kranzky’s Korner: Kris is a Master Trainer at the Boston Sports Club in Boston, MA and Kyle is a Top Tier Trainer at Equinox in Pasadena, CA. The brothers have teamed up together to start a Fitness Consulting Group called Realm Fitness to inspire and educate others to reach there full potential.

Wonder Sauna Hot Pants

I stumbled upon this 1970s advertisement on Retronaut.com. Clearly we’ve been deluding ourselves for a very long time about how to live a healthier life and nothing takes the place of a sensible diet or exercise.  However, few ideas look as strange as “wonder sauna hot pants”.

Straight people are so weird

The video is entitled “Best Calf Workout Ever!” but I disagree.  Having a 90-lbs woman ride you like a Shetland pony at a public gym is odd.

Kranzky’s Korner

What if you had a game plan to set yourself up for success that goes beyond just the first 1 to 2 weeks of the New Year?

Instead of turning your world upside down come January 1st, let’s try a more sane approach by identifying unhealthy habits, and establishing healthier ones starting today.  Together we can weather the holiday season and give you a leg up on the New Year, which is now just 8 weeks away. I’m going to regularly post ideas here so you can hit the ground running come 2013.

We’ve compiled 5 tips to help you implement healthy habits.

1) Start early this year and make a commitment to yourself Believe that you are making an important change and start today. If it helps, write down your personal fitness and health goals (e.g. I don’t want to gain any weight during the holiday season or I want to look fantastic in my new bathing suit for the winter party in Miami this year).

2) Start simple Set realistic and attainable goals to build your confidence – for example, if you are not currently going to the gym – commit to go 2x a week and gradually increase the frequency of your visits.

3) Remove temptation Start today by reducing the sugary and salty drinks, snacks and meals and replace them with healthier options.  If you are smoking or drinking start a plan to curb these.

4) Get a buddy We are social people and together you can keep each other motivated and honest.  Together you can set a schedule and ensure you stick to it.  If you can’t find a buddy near you – reach out to BosGuy and let him know what you are doing and your progress.

5) Remember why you are doing this A healthier you = A happier you.  There are physical benefits like boosting your immune system, sleeping better and obviously looking better, but there are also psychological benefits such as less likely to suffer from depression and less stressed.

By starting today, together we can weather the holiday season and you will be that much further ahead of the game come the New Year.  Living healthier means a happier 2013; BosGuy will be joining you on this journey so won’t you join us?

Kris is a Master Trainer at the Boston Sports Club in Boston, MA and Kyle is a Top Tier Trainer at Equinox in Pasadena, CA. The brothers have teamed up together to start a Fitness Consulting Group called Realm Fitness to inspire and educate others to reach there full potential.