A Yogi’s Journey

 

AMANDA MURDOCK, DECEMBER 2017

I belong to Pure Yoga in NYC, a popular members-only yoga studio on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There is one on the Upper West Side as well. As I have discussed before on STYLE of SPORT, I really don’t like yoga, but force myself to go as a counterpart to all the running and spinning I do. Like any fitness class you take, it’s about finding an instructor you like, and one of the first yoga teachers I found at Pure, whose class enjoyed, was Amanda Murdock. For me, that’s saying a lot.

I first took Amanda’s class back in 2013 during my annual 31 Days of Fitness feature. I remember thinking then that she was very skinny. With a ballerina’s physique and muscle definition, my assumption was she was or had been a dancer. I didn’t presume the other explanation. It was only a couple of years ago, when I noticed her body started to change and become much healthier looking, that I wondered if she might have had an eating disorder. The Pure community is fairly tight knit, and when I asked another instructor, a friend of both of ours, she told me that had been the case.

Amanda has gone from about 90lbs. to 120lbs. since I have been a member of Pure. As a fitness instructor Amanda’s transformation has been very public. I started thinking about what it must be like to have a classroom of eyes staring at you every day — going through such a challenging and emotional journey while on display. I wanted to know her story and tell her story. Although Amanda and I were friendly, our only contact was in class, and I was very hesitant to ask her about something so personal. Read More

 

Rapid Fire Relief

 

THERAGUN G2PRO

From professional athletes to celebrities to everyday fitness enthusiasts like you and I, the secret weapon in everyone’s training arsenal these days is the TheraGun. Utilizing high frequency percussive massage, the TheraGun is a handheld, battery operated, professional grade, vibration therapy tool designed to reduce muscle and joint pain, improve mobility, and enhance performance.

Designed by Dr. Jason Wersland, D.C., a chiropractor and the founder/inventor of TheraGun, this power drill like tool uses vibration therapy to provide high frequency percussion massage to targeted areas. According to Wersland, vibration therapy works on the nervous system, in addition to the muscular system, to reset the body’s response to pain and immobility from overuse or an injury. It literally shakes it all back into place.
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3 Minutes to A Healthy Back!

 

 

Photographs by Casey Steffens

If you’re an athlete, being sidelined with an injury sucks. So many of us (myself included) don’t take simple preventative measures to keep them from happening, particularly when it comes to the spine. According to Dr. Scott Duke of Duke Chiropractic, our go-to resource for all things sports medicine, 80% of the walking population will eventually have some kind of back injury. We asked Dr.Duke for a quick, no-excuses routine anybody could do to keep their back healthy and ready for action!

The 3 X 3 Back to Back routine is 3 part series of moves that takes just 3 minutes!  This is an easy everyday workout designed to mobilize, stretch, and strengthen the spine without spending a lot of time. It’s a perfect warm up before working out that preps the body for activity and keeps us doing all those crazy workouts we love. Each section below is 1 minute.

 

PART 1: MOBILITY

This is your warm up, designed to loosen up and lubricate the spine. Each exercise is 20 seconds of continuous movement at your own pace.

 

1. Cat-Cow

On all fours, flex and extend spine. Head should move in line with spine.

 

2. Pelvic Release

Lie flat on back with left foot crossed on right. Arms flat at 90 degree angle. Drop left knee out to the side while turning head to right. Switch legs and repeat.

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Use The Force!

 

STAR WARS KETTLEBELLS

While the internet lights up with the release of the trailer for the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, fitness company Onnit has gone to the Dark Side with the release of a new series of Star Wars themed kettlebells, a slam ball, and a yoga mat.

Meticulously sculpted into 50, 60, and 70 lb. black cast iron kettlebells are a bounty hunter, Imperial Stormtrooper, and Darth Vadar himself, ready to wreak havoc with your workouts. Not to be mistaken for toy souvenirs, these soon to be collector’s items are high quality and chip resistant, built to withstand the most ominous workouts.
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W.O.W! Working Out With Bob Harper

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL WILLIAMS 

On January 31st of last year, day 31 of my 31 Days of Fitness challenge, I worked out with Bob Harper for the grand finale. Bob is one of the most famous trainers and personalities in the fitness industry, having starred on “The Biggest Loser” for 17 seasons. The workout did not disappoint. Bob lived up to his all-star billing, pushing my body beyond what I thought it was capable of in a high intensity circuit workout that kicked my butt after 1 round. Relentless but nurturing he kept me going for 3 more — dropping my time with each round.

12 days later Bob suffered a massive heart attack on the floor of that very same gym.

Bob calls it “the heart attack heard round the world”. It was the top story on every entertainment program, morning television, and the evening news. The last thing you ever expect is for one of the world’s most famous trainers to have a heart attack. Bob had what is known as a “widow maker”, which usually has about a 6% rate of survival. He credits the doctors who happened to be at the gym that day. and the AED (defibrillator) on the premises, for saving his life. He has since said he won’t ever work out at a gym that doesn’t have one.

When Bob woke up from a coma in the hospital two days later, he had no recollection of what had happened, nor anything about that day. He confessed recently he didn’t remember our workout or how we had met, as his short term memory was affected by the heart attack. Since then, however, he has been making steady progress, documenting on social media what has been both a physical and emotional journey back to health. Confronting his mortality and the realization that despite his physical fitness he could not avoid his family history of heart disease has been extremely challenging. His mother died of a heart attack and his priorities have shifted dramatically. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and he doesn’t sweat the big stuff either.
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Double Vision. One Focus.

 

 

“On 4/3/15 I woke up like the picture on the left. I’d had a stroke in my sleep which caused a palsy in the 3rd nerve of my brain, causing my right eye to swing out. I saw two of everything and could only see straight if I closed one eye. It’s taken over a year and a half, 3 surgeries, an ocean of tears, and the desperate need to regain my life to get ME back. I took the pic on the right just after taking my new SoulCycle instructor photos — hence the incredible and very fake lashes. I never imagined having the courage to share the ‘before’ pic, but think it’s important to recognize and celebrate the journey, no matter how painful. Unlike so many stories, this one has a happy ending, one that will hopefully inspire determination and hope!”

-Emma Zaks, Facebook post, November 18, 2016

This is the story of Emma Zaks, a bubbly, energetic, and very popular SoulCycle instructor. Those who ride with Emma watched this healthy and fit 33-year old woman go through an unimaginable two-year journey — becoming increasingly ill with debilitating symptoms, both gastro-intestinal and neurological, that ultimately resulted in a stroke.

On and off the SoulCycle schedule at first, Emma began subbing out her classes for other instructors. Then followed a long absence. She would later return to teach — a patch on one eye and face swollen from the steroids doctors had prescribed for devastating symptoms no one really could explain. An autoimmune disease of some sort was the rumor. As is her nature, Emma remained her upbeat self through it all, or so it appeared, never letting her riders see the pain and fear going on inside.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending. After her illness was finally diagnosed and treated, Emma started posting little bits of her journey on Facebook. So moved and overwhelmed by her strength and bravery, we asked her to tell us what happened from beginning to end. This is her story in her own words…. and her Facebook posts.
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X-Trainers: HIIT It With Style

 

 

Image Map

CLICK ABOVE TO SHOP

CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: ASICS FUZEX RUSHNEW BALANCE VAZEE AGILITY V2ADIDAS PURE BOOST XUNDER ARMOUR CHARGED 2.0NIKE FREE RN DISTANCEPUMA FIERCE LOW LACE 

 
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), CrossFit, and Boot Camps have become some of the most popular workouts, providing maximal results in minimal time, and proven to offer continual calorie and fat burning benefits even after the workout is done. Based on the concept of interval training, periods of highly strenuous activity are alternated with easier recovery periods. The cardiovascular benefits are the heart rate is kept high as the body stays in motion, rotating exercises and targeting different muscle groups throughout the workout. 

Classes at favorite studios like Barry’s Bootcamp, Orange Theory and others we reviewed in the 31 Days of Fitness, combine treadmill and rowing intervals with explosive plyometric and power moves, multi-directional floorwork, and weight bearing exercises. They require the agility and support of a training shoe with the cushioning and traction of a running shoe.

Here are 6 versatile hybrids, for men and women, we think hit the mark for all your training needs — ready to take on any workout with style!

CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: ASICS FUZEX RUSH $100. For both men and women, the new fuzeX Rush is a lightweight and flexible performance running shoe. It features Asic’s fuzeGEL™ technology, providing responsive cushioning from heel to toe, for any type of impact, on a range of training and running surfaces.
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The 31 Days of Fitness 2017!

 
ROW 1: CITY ROW; RUNNING; DANCEBODY; ROW 2: DOGPOUND; PURE YOGA; SWTICH PLAYGROUND; ROW 3: EXHALE CFX; RUMBLE; DEUCE GYM

 
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to The 31 Days of Fitness! Every January your editor embarks on a crazy adventure, and does a different workout or takes a different fitness class everyday all month long. My objective? To show our readers how many different exercise options are out there and that there are no excuses not to get in shape this 2017! The holidays have been fun but it’s time to get our butts back in gear as this new year begins. There is a workout for everyone out there — running, spinning, boxing, rowing, Crossfit, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), pole dancing, yoga, pilates, and more — and I’m going to sample them all this month! I’m determined to find the workout for you — not just one you’ll do, but one you will actually enjoy!
 

January 31: BODY BY BOB. That’s it folks… the 31 Days of Fitness are officially a wrap! Back in NYC, we went out with a bang on Day 31, with a grand finale featuring none other than super trainer Bob Harper! Yes, “Biggest Loser” fans, THE Bob Harper, and let me tell you something… believe the hype! This guy gets star billing for a reason. He is a super motivator. Sampling some of the flavors of workouts I’ve done so far, with a few I hadn’t tasted yet, Bob whipped up an all-out, full-blast circuit of high intensity moves that kicked my butt after one round. Then he kept me going for 3 more rounds, coaching and inspiring me to drop my time too! Borrowing from Gymnastics, CrossFit, and HIIT workouts, the stations went from the Woodway Curve (cool to run on that self propelled treadmill again after Speedplay on Day 29); to Parallette Shoot Thrus (parallel bars on floor with leg swings to front and back); to the Schwinn Airdyne bike (told you it was back); to Thrusters (barbell squats with overhead press); to Sprawlers (burpees without the push-up); to Kettlebell swings.
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