Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sassy Girl Takes A Stand



I thought I was getting sick. My symptoms were nausea, headaches and restlessness. When the shakes first started, I thought it was probably too little sleep.
The symptoms came and went, off and on over the course of many months.
It took a while before I noticed that I'd start feeling sick as I was heading into work.

As a freelance fitness instructor I teach at about a half dozen fitness centers, and gyms each week.  Some are very high scale and some are very prestigious.  After many years teaching fitness I’ve learned how to command a room and be good at my job.  I can teach as many as fifty people simultaneously and still give each client individual attention.  In short I am good at what I do and as a result I am sought after.

A few years ago a new gym opened close to my apartment and the owner asked me to teach for him. They couldn't afford to pay what some of the other gyms could but it was appealing to teach somewhere in the neighborhood.  I was also able to come in on the ground floor and start a barre program to my own specifications.

Things started out relatively well.  Local clients followed me to the new gym and soon new students began to fill the room. I was creating new classes and feeling good about myself.
Flash forward a year later, and things started to change.  A man who I will call “Joseph”, a co-worker began making unwanted remarks and comments to me and to clients. I was uncomfortable with the way he was treating many of the women who he came in contact with. Being that his job was as a receptionist he came in contact with everyone.

I heard from multiple sources that he had been spreading a rumor that he and I were having an affair.
He was unprofessional and intrusive.  He was making me look bad and was turning off the people I had been working so hard to bring in.  

I complained to the owner right away.  I pointed out that this man was causing a hostile work environment.  I complained to the owner a short time later that after a series of encounters with “Joseph” I was beginning to fear for my safety.  
Nothing was done. In fact after complaining often times I found myself alone in the gym with only “Joseph”.

Not only have my complaints fallen on deaf ears I have watched time and again as fireable offenses have gone unpunished.  He has been caught training his own clients at the gym without permission, effectively stealing revenue from the gym.  He was caught on camera bringing a woman to the gym after hours and having sex with her.  

He has flirted with clients and I know at least one or two who have complained.  
This is a small gym with no security.  I have complained and have offered written accounts of what I have seen and experienced.  Yet time and time again the owner has given me myriad excuses as to why he can’t let this man go.  
“Work with me, Jessica. What can I do?”  
“I have no one to replace him.”
I tried reasoning with the owner and giving him simple suggestions for fixing this problem. I didn't want to give an ultimatum because I know they never work. Basically it came down to him or me.  He works at the reception desk.  That job can be filled a dozen times over with little more effort than posting an ad online or even posting a flier at the front desk.

But nothing has been done.  Month after month. I am so angry at myself that I let myself be disrespected and so unappreciated.  That I let myself feel threatened and intimidated.  That I waited so long.  

I have come to realize that I am in a hostile workplace.  The fitness industry is by and large progressive when it comes to women in the workplace. Look at any gym and you see girl power on display.

I think that is why this bothers me so much, because a gym I helped build has chosen to side with a male employee over a female teacher.


 photo http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-239-06A197BE6CA5E9915545882CEA3E5FBD_zpspy4sxr4u.png I don’t think that in locker rooms men talk as grotesquely as Donald Trump would have us believe.  But I have experienced first hand the boys club mentality and it angers me to the point that I have begun to tremble all over again. To sum it all up, just this last week, I quit...finally!

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Burn 100 extra Calories!



It is fall and the busiest time of the year is approaching. You might be getting a little concerned about your fitness calendar.  Candy and calorie filled cocktails are all around and the cold, dark weather makes exercise much less exciting. The good news is, small things can make a big difference. Burning just 100 extra calories each day adds up to 700 calories a week! This has inspired me to blog about 4 ways you can burn 100 calories. Read on for my ideas.
1) Bike
If you own a bike take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and bike to work or just bike to meet your friends for brunch.  If you do not own a bike then try cycling on the exercise bikes at the gym or sign up for a spin class.
Here are some reasons to cycle: Light cycling (between 10 miles per hour (mph) and 12mph) can burn 100 calories in 15 minutes while more intense cycling (between 14 mph and 16mph) can burn the same amount of calories in 10 minutes.  If you are super fit then cycling at over 20mph for just 6 minutes can burn 100 calories.
2) LIFT WEIGHTS
No, you won't get "bulky" if you weight train. You will get lean in life and I'm all about that. Weight lifting is actually quite a good calorie burner. Weight lifting could actually prevent you from piling on the extra pounds.  Just 30 minutes of moderate weight lifting burns 100 calories.  It gets even better if you have an intense workout with 15 minutes of vigorous weight lifting burning 100 calories.
3) Jog
Jogging is an excellent exercise all year round.  Jogging can help you reduce your blood pressure, prevent cancers and help you sleep. It is also a great way to burn calories with 13 minutes of jogging burning 100 calories.
Need to "spice" up jogging because you find it dull? Try adding some excitement by mixing up the pace (sprint for 1 minute then jog for 5 minutes), adding some resistance (jog with a heavy backpack or weighted vest) or even turning your jog into a circuit training session (jog for 5 minutes, stop and do 1 minute of push ups, jog for 5 minutes, stop and do 1 minute of crunches and so on).
4)ICE SKATE
You can channel your inner Nancy Kerrigan in the winter. Because ice skating is popular a lot of places have an ice rink where you can practice your "moves."  Ice skating for 17 minutes at 9mph or less burns off 100 calories!
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These 4 ways of burning 100 calories are pretty straight forward and very attainable.


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Plan To Succeed!



In this post I'm talking about kick starting a fun fitness plan


1) Don’t do anything you don’t enjoy!

Don't do anything you don't enjoy. That is VERY important when it comes to your fitness. That's been my mantra for years now. I've seen people give up on their fitness plans way to often, try not to see it as a burden but rather try do something you enjoy and in turn exercise won't feel like a burden. Your fitness should not feel like you are just going through the motions, don't do an activity that really doesn't inspire you. That is a good way to lose enthusiasm and end up quitting.
My two cents: BEFORE you start any new fitness program, if you don't already exercise, before you actually start exercising, think about what you enjoy doing fitness wise and then choose your workouts around that. This will help you stick to your fitness plan and have more fun as you do so!

2) Cardiovascular & Resistance Training are important so do both!

Resistance and cardio are musts. Your exercise plan should include both. If this doesn't happen figure out a way to make it happen. The great news? Most any exercise can be modified so that it improves both your cardiovascular fitness and your strength. This is what I mean:  jogging is a cardiovascular exercise but by stopping at regular intervals and performing push ups, squats, lunges, squat-hold, plank, etc, you can build strength in all your muscles. If you are more of a weightlifting fan try performing some lighter sets at a faster pace with more repetitions, you can target your cardiovascular fitness.
The main thing is to make sure you include cardiovascular and resistance in your workouts.

3) Decide On Your Best Times To Workout

Ok, so just coming up with a workout is not enough! You must figure out when you’re actually going to do the workout. Liking your fitness routine isn't all you have do, if you don’t make it part of your schedule, you’re much less likely to follow through with it.
You are a priority. If you don't take care of you, you won't be able to take care of others. To fit your workout into your schedule, start by deciding how many times per week you can realistically workout. Set a realistic goal. Maybe 3-4xs a week. Don't go hog wild and start by telling yourself you are gonna workout 6 days every week. You need to give yourself some flexibility if something comes up during the week.
Conclusion
You have to plan to succeed in improving your fitness. Without a plan many people will fail. If you just copy what someone else is doing that is a recipe for failure. So, you do what is best for you and put together a workout plan that makes you excited!
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Sunday, October 9, 2016

PINKtober! YG PINK Party

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This is a very special event as YG is raising funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness month! The charity YG has partnered with is Keep A Breast, which I am very excited about because they, like myself, understand the implications of leading a healthy, active life and it's ability to prevent and fight cancer.
The YG Pink Party brings together New York City's top fitness consumers and instructors for a night of fun, dance and celebration in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Brought to you by YG Studios, Keep A Breast Foundation and featuring the incomparable Tasha Blank on the tracks, this hip hop dance fest promises to be the event of the season ... and it's all towards a great cause!

Time & Date: 8:00 PM, October 13th
Cost: SWEAT *see details below*
Location: 33 W. 17th St.
DJ: Tasha Blank

Details: Your cost for entry into the event will be SWEAT!

You must purchase two classes from YG Studios ($56) for use with any class. (follow the link to purchase)

After you purchase both classes you will receive a ticket for entry and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Keep A Breast Foundation!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Can you change your metabolism?


Sadly, it is not possible to alter the metabolism you were born with. If you have a slow metabolism you can't just "wish" your metabolism would accelerate. The good news is regular exercise can help boost your metabolism. This post is just about that!
Obviously, working out for 30 minutes will burn more calories than sitting watching TV. However, exercise is also significant in boosting your body’s overall natural ability to burn fat. The answer is not just cardio. You have to do weight training as well to achieve maximum benefits.
First, regular cardio exercise, think spinning, running, dancing, gets your body used to burning fat that is already present in the body. Secondly, weight training increases your body’s muscle mass. Muscles require calories to be maintained and so the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn. Follow me so far? Increasing your muscle mass will increase the amount of calories that your body burns each day. You should combine your weight training with aerobic exercise to achieve optimal results.
So what are some good exercises to achieve the desired effects? Anything you love and will do over and over again. For me that is spinning but you can try running, walking or any vigorous sport. The key is consistency!
If you want to get injured then by all means go into a gym and start with a weight you aren't sure you can handle. You should start slowly and exercise with weights that you are comfortable with and then gradually increase them to build muscle mass. If you are unsure of where to start then seek the advice of a fitness trainer at the gym. Ask the front desk to introduce you to a trainer if you are uncomfortable approaching a trainer. They will be happy to help! A good trainer should be able to create a weight training plan that is suitable for you.
Changing your metabolic rate takes hard work and commitment. It can not be done in a day. Adding weight training and cardio into your lifestyle you can increase the amount of calories you burn on a day to day basis.




You can find my workouts on my YouTube Channel or you can follow me on Instagram for all things Sassy Girl Fitness!

xoxo
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