Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Problem with "Turbo Kick" Classes and Why I Now Teach Them

Wow - that was interesting. And Fun! :)

So, some of you know that I'm a HapKiDo Instructor at the World Martial Arts Center. I love my art form, I love my school. I have been doing it for long enough to feel quite comfortable up there, leading class. So when someone approached me about teaching a "Turbo Kick" class at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, I *immediately* signed on. And then I realized that this Turbo Kick thing is actually very different than teaching the art of HapKiDo. I was going to need to keep the energy up. I had never done that for more than 20 minutes at a time. Especially because I normally teach the lunchtime class at my dojang (Korean for "dojo" or "school"), which is only 45 minutes, versus the regular classes which are one hour long. So as opposed to 10 minutes of warming up and stretching, followed by 15-20 minutes of heart pumping kicks, punches and partner work and 15-20 minutes of technique which, let's face it, brings the heart rate right down; I was going to have to keep heart rates up for at least a solid 30 minutes (leaving 10 minutes to warm up, 10 minutes of abs/core and 5-10 minutes to cool down).

Here's another thing. I've taken classes like this before in gyms. I have even done the Kenpo workout in P90X, which was designed by a very high ranking martial artist. But there's generally something about them that I find wholly dissatisfying. It usually moves faster than it takes to really get the moves right. And also, sometimes the movements make no sense to me (like why would you follow a powerful punch or, worse, a front kick with an uppercut when an uppercut requires your opponent to be close to you?). So the challenge to me is: how do I put together a workout that could actually be useful as well as have it be challenging in a cardio sort of way?

I signed on and then started to panic: how can I do that? Is it even possible? Well, over the following days (I only had 4 days between the time I said "yes" and the time my first class started to figure out what I was gonna do!), I realized that, yes, it can be done. I threw together a routine. It definitely could use more refining, which I will do over the coming weeks but it was a start. I'm keeping all of this stuff in mind and I think it'll end up being a really good class.

I have often thought I could be a pretty good group fitness leader and now I have an opportunity to give it a shot. This will be a great learning experience and I'm looking forward to making it as thoughtful, challenging and as FUN a class as possible.

If you take classes like these, what do you like about them? What do you NOT like about them? Any input from you would be greatly appreciated!


Oh - and P.S. - I think I'm gonna have to change the name. To SwiftKick. You heard it here first...




Friday, August 27, 2010

A Shakeology Cleanse

So I have been experimenting with this 3-day Shakeology cleanse which Traci Morrow (my coach's coach) sent my husband a little while back. Here's just a little breakdown of what the cleanse is all about - feel free to email me (mazzmlani [at] hotmail [dot] com) for the full program (For more info on Shakeology, check out what I've written about it HERE) :


The basics are as follows:

3 SHAKEOLOGY Shakes a day
2 Cups of Green Tea a day
1 piece of fruit a day
1 salad for dinner
Only white grilled protein in salad (chicken or fish) NO
dairy or extra sugars
Only Low Fat dressings.


Like I said, I am just starting to experiment with it: I did a partial version of it last week for three days and then today is the second day of another somewhat modified version of it that I am doing. Here a few things I have noticed:

>More Energy. Some combination of eating less, yet getting more actual nutrition has gotten my energy level way up.

>Better Mood. While I can be pretty high strung, and can definitely switch to grumpy on a dime (!) I actually feel a better mood bubbling up underneath it all. It's hard to explain but I actually feel a little giddy.

> More Regularity. With the different sleeping and eating patterns inherent to traveling overseas on a frequent basis, I tend to have digestive issues. Constipation and bloating are a constant in my life. I found that doing the cleanse
(even modified versions of it) after this last trip helped to restore my digestive function much faster than my previous experiences; in a matter of days.

>Reduced Sugar Cravings. Believe it or not, I just don't crave sugar that much anymore. And even when I have it, I don't feel like I'm getting my fix anymore. In fact, it's not something I actually *need* to have anymore. Even more surprising: I think I actually don't really even *like* it that much! This is pretty astonishing to me actually.

So that's really it for now. I'll be continuing this particular fast that I'm on right now for today and tomorrow. One thing I will say: definitely PLAN for your cleanse if you would like to do it to a tee. While it's a very simple one, it still poses some challenges if you're like me - either traveling a lot, or your work is also mixed in with your play (I'm a musician so the line is constantly blurry!). Another thing to note is that if you're doing any sort of intense power workout, you'll want to try and get a few extra calories in. There are healthy ways to do that without sabotaging the cleanse. Again - just pop me an email if you're interested in trying it out. I can forward you the full information on the cleanse!

That's it for now.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where to Start??!

I guess I'll start with my favorite topic: FOOD! :)

Thought you all would be interested in a healthful snack that's full of protein, that's not too sweet but is also oh so rich!

I bring you...


* 1/2 medium-size banana
* 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (organic minus hydrogenated oils, preferably)
* 1 cup unsweetened granola

Mix and mash all three ingredients into a bowl. Spoon onto a sheet of wax paper. Roll up the contents into hot dog/cigar shape. Stick in the freezer. Ready in about 90 minutes. Cut off little bites or eat the whole thing. Eat it frozen or throw it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Serves 2.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 90 minutes

Nutritional Information: (per serving)
Calories: 389
Protein: 14 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbs: 47 g
Fat Total: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g