Isometric (No Noise!) Workout

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)One of the most frequent requests I get when it comes to at-home workouts is for them to be quiet. Maybe you’re in an apartment unit on the fourth floor and want to respect your downstairs neighbor. Maybe you’ve got a little one at home taking a nap and want to squeeze in a workout without waking her. Whatever the reason, thuds and creaking floorboards from jumping around can be a nuisance and hindrance to working out at home. I ran into this problem all the time when I lived in an apartment building in the North End—I felt terrible working out before and after work because I knew it would bother the people below me (I did it anyway though because, well, I’m selfish).

So how do you exercise without the noise associated with moving your body? Well, you could simply not move it. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this! Today’s workout is a series of isometric holds. Your muscles will burn, and your neighbors/roommates will thank you.

This is also a great one to do if you’re trying to workout on a lunch break or another occasion when you don’t want to get drenched in sweat. No shower required after this workout (well, this is coming from someone who will use any excuse not to shower haha).

Isometric Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • A pair of 5-lb hand weights (optional—you can just use bodyweight)
  • Exercise mat

You’ll hold each position for 30 seconds and then move right onto the next without taking a break. After you’ve held each one for 30 seconds, do the same thing, holding each for 60 seconds. Once you’ve completed the 30-sec round and 60-sec round, take a one minute break. Repeat for a total of 3 times through (6 total rounds). This workout will take you just under 40 minutes to complete. If you’re short on time or a beginner, eliminate a round, going through twice instead of three times.

You can hold a pair of hand weights as you go through these for an added challenge or simply use your bodyweight. These are basic exercises, so I haven’t included written descriptions, but leave a comment should any questions arise!

  • Lunge (right foot forward)
  • Lunge (left foot forward)
  • Squat
  • Side Plank (right)
  • Side Plank (left)
  • Plank
  • Superman Hold
  • Lateral Raise Hold

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) // tank: Athleta

During the last 60-second rounds, I had to drop the weight during the superman hold. Oh man, it was brutal.

P.S. If you constantly find yourself with the workout noise issue, my number one recommendation is to invest in a kettlebell. KB swings are the BEST way to silently get cardio and strength benefits from an exercise. Your heart rate will rise and your muscles will burn, all while keeping your feet planted firmly (and quietly) on the ground.


The Ripe Stuff 3-Day Juice Cleanse (My Experience)

The Ripe Stuff jucie cleanseIf you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I did a three-day juice cleanse last week. My friend Rebecca from The Ripe Stuff asked if I wanted to try one out, and since (as you’ve probably noticed) I’m a huge fan of juice, I was eager to take her up on the offer. Every once in a while, it’s nice to give your digestive system a break, hit the reset button, and let your body balance itself out. I’ve done a few juice cleanses and always feel amazing afterwards—this one was no exception!

In addition to their signature cleanses, The Ripe Stuff offers a seasonal cleanse that incorporates some in-season produce and changes every three months. For summer, they have the Beet the Heat cleanse, and as soon as I saw watermelon-mint juice on the menu I was sold!

Here’s what the six juices each day were:

The Ripe Stuff jucie cleanse

All the juices were delicious! Green juice is my jam so those two were probably my favorite, but the watermelon-mint was a real treat, too. And I loved that there was so much variety—two green, an earthy beet juice, a sweet watermelon drink, a fiery cayenne lemonade, and a satisfying cashew drink to finish the day.

How I Felt during the Cleanse

I had a ton of energy throughout the cleanse and was able to workout each day. A few days prior, I stopped drinking coffee so that I could get the caffeine withdrawal headaches/sluggishness out of the way—something I highly recommend you do before any cleanse. On day one I went for a short run and did a 15-minute HIIT workout in my living room (I’m posting it to the blog later this week!). On day two, I took it easier and hit up a yoga class. On day three, I did a class at Btone in the morning and then was invited to a free indoor cycling class at SoulCycle that night on behalf of Women’s Health Magazine and Birchbox. I was surprised I had enough energy for a double-session workout day, but I felt great!

I was only hungry for a little while the first day, and I think it was probably because I ate a big dinner the night before my cleanse—something I wouldn’t recommend. It was a healthy dinner, but I ate a lot. Whoopsies. Other than that, I wasn’t hungry, and the heavier cashew drink helped me go to bed satisfied each night.

How I Felt after the Cleanse

The Ripe Stuff jucie cleanseMy favorite thing about juice cleanses is how any cravings for unhealthy foods I may have had are totally gone by the end. You wake up the next morning and just want more juice! There’s a heightened awareness of what you’re putting into your body, and the next couple days, I pretty much just wanted smoothies, juice, veggies, fruits and nuts. When the weekend hit, I added in eggs and some bread…and, ok, beer…but all in all, I’m still eating super healthy. And I haven’t had any coffee since before the cleanse! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with coffee necessarily, but I don’t think you should be dependant on something to feel awake in the morning. I go through no-coffee phases a lot, so we’ll see how long this one lasts.

As a result of no coffee and habitually drinking a ton of liquids for three days, I’ve found myself drinking a ton of water since the cleanse, which is great because it’s something I often neglect. Three days of juice + lots of water = clearer skin! The little bumps around my chin look so much better.

The number one question I get asked about juice cleanses is weight loss. I don’t weight myself, but I definitely looked a little thinner after the juice cleanse. How much of it is “real” weight and how much of it is water weight and bloat? I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter to me—that’s not why I do juice cleanses. When you take three days off from digestion, your body can direct its energy to repair. Cleanses flush out and repair the bad, while helping you kickstart a healthy routine. It’s like hitting the reset button. And anyone who ever owned a Nintendo64 knows how essential a reset button can be from time to time.

More About The Ripe Stuff

The Ripe Stuff is a local company, and is delivered throughout the Boston area Sunday through Tuesday. I decided on a Sunday delivery so that I could start my cleanse on Monday morning. The produce used is locally sourced and hydraulically pressed. For any Boston readers, I’d highly recommend The Ripe Stuff! You can get 1, 2 or 3-day cleanses, as well as a-la-carte juices. Check The Ripe Stuff out online HERE to order and see their other juice and cleanse options. :)


How My Workout Routine Has Changed: 9 to 5 vs. Work from Home

9-to-5-vs-work-from-homeYesterday, as I was signing up for the group fitness classes I want to take throughout the week (Btone, Barry’s, a yoga class, spinning), it dawned on me how completely different this is from what I was doing a year or so ago. It was last June when the company I worked for laid off a bunch of employees (what an AMAZING blessing in disguise!), and I made the transition into blogging full time and pursuing a career in fitness.

While some things have stayed the same—I still don’t have a gym membership and try to spend as little money as possible on working out—the career change has had a huge affect on my workout routine. Ultimately, I think the best workout routine is simply one that you stick to—there is no wrong or right. I think switching it up as my life has changed has helped me hold on to this crazy love I have for fitness.

My Workout Routine while Working a 9-to-5 Office Job

how-my-workout-routine-has-changedWhile I definitely relate to the struggle of finding time to workout while holding down a 9-to-5 office job, I have to admit I was spoiled at my old company. We had a small gym space in the building complete with machines, kettlebells, med balls, jump ropes (all the things I love!) that we could use at any time, and a group HIIT class was offered in the cafeteria twice a week for employees.

Every morning, I would wake up at 5:30AM and go for a run—nothing crazy, just 3-6 miles around Castle Island or the Charles River (depending on where I was living). I’d make myself breakfast, do a little work on the blog, then I’d commute to work. On my lunch break, I’d make up a workout for myself and head to the office gym for a sweat (most of the P&I workouts posted in the first year of the blog were made up on these lunch breaks!). If it was a group HIIT day, I’d skip my lunch break workout and do the class after work if I didn’t have any plans that night.

On the weekends, I’d run and workout in my apartment one day, or maybe just run. And on busy work days when I couldn’t take a gym lunch break, I’d do P&I workouts in my apartment after work. I really tried to limit the post-work workouts though because I had such a hard time motivating myself to do much of anything after working all day and commuting back to my apartment through Boston traffic. The best way to make sure I got a workout in was to do it all before work or on my lunch break (or, as was usually the case, a little of both).

And that was it! Running and P&I workouts. I honestly couldn’t afford to do anything else. I would take the occasional class at fitness studios if they were running a special on Groupon or Gilt, but that was rare. And back then, this totally worked for me!

My Workout Routine Now while Blogging from Home & Teaching Fitness Classes

btone-wellesley-selfieFast-forward to today and I work from home/coffee shops/libraries as a blogger and teach nine Lagree Fitness classes at Btone throughout the week. Talk about a 180! It has impacted my weekly workout routine in several ways:

I take a Lagree Fitness class at Btone 3(ish) times a week.

I do teach there, after all! I am so passionate about this workout, and in addition to instructing nine classes each week, I try to take three or four classes. Not just because it’s an amazing class and free for me, but also because I really do think it makes me a better instructor. Knowing how different exercises and combinations make your body feel, helps when planning classes for others.

And I should probably clarify that I’m not actually doing the workout when I teach—just demonstrating and then walking around the studio helping/adjusting/torturing/etc. :)

I take more group classes in general.

When I spend the day at home working on the blog, the last thing I want to do is also workout there—get me out of the apartment! And as a fitness instructor, it’s nice to be told what to do for a change. Instead of focusing on motivating other people, I can let someone else push me through the workout. Similar to what I mentioned about Btone, I also think taking other instructors’ classes (regardless of the mode of fitness) makes you a better instructor—you pick up on techniques you like and don’t like and incorporate them into your own classes.

The workouts I post to P&I are less frequent, but more effective.

I am still such a huge believer in high-intensity training and the short-but-sweet workouts I post to the blog each week, but I’m not doing them every day like I used to last year. I’d say I do them two-three times a week, and I think the smaller quantity is balanced by improved quality.

I remember when I was making up P&I workouts on my lunch break, maaaaaybe one or two out of five would be keepers and make it onto the blog. The others would, well, suck. I’d finish them and feel like I didn’t get a good workout in at all. So sure, I was doing these types of workouts 5-6 days a week, but I was probably only benefiting from them a couple times a week.

After years of practice and fitness certification courses, I am so much better at putting together a workout routine that will kick my (and your) ass. I can’t remember the last time I made up a workout, did it, and then thought eh, that’s not good enough to post on the blog.

Working out is now, literally, my job. So I do it…a lot.

When you get paid to do what you love, you do a lot of it—whether that’s painting, managing stocks or working out. For years, working out has been my favorite part of every day, and now I (directly and indirectly) get paid to do it. “Blessing” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Every morning I wake up excited for all I’m going to do that day, and I’m filled with so much happiness and gratitude.

I, of course, listen to my body and still take rest days and don’t overdo it, but I definitely workout more now than I used to. Between my flexible self-employed schedule, frequent free classes (a perk of blogging and being an instructor!), and an ever-growing motivation to reach new professional and personal fitness goals, I am more active than I’ve ever been.

Dangit I always do this!! I intended this to be a fun, quick post, and instead I’ve written a novel.

Has your workout routine changed over the last couple years? How so?