Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Cross Training for Dummies: A review of “UFX Ripped” March 3, 2013

Filed under: Fitness — Stephanie @ 9:32 pm
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I’m a sucker for free stuff.  So when my gym was raffling off some training classes toward the end of December, I put my name in the mix.

Naturally, I forgot about this raffle.  So when January rolled around, and I got a call from the gym, I wasn’t sure what was going on.  They called everyone who entered the raffle to say that they would have a free trial class for everyone interested in winning.  We were invited to take the class, then at the end, they’d draw a name from the hat.  You had to be present to win.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect.  I wasn’t even sure what I had entered to win.  But I went to the class to see what it was all about.

OHMYGOODNESS it was intense.  We did a high-intensity warm up to get our heart rates going.  Then we had a circuit of activities including multiple weight lifting motions, push ups, jumping, etc.  Everyone was supposed to count how many reps they could do in the time limit.  And then we did the circuit AGAIN to see if we could do even more reps the second time around.  By the end of the class, I was mildly worried that my heart would give out.  Yikes!

Then they went around asking everyone to say one word describing how they felt.  My word?  “Shaky”.  Then when they pulled names out of the hat, the first name was for someone who wasn’t there.  But then the next name?  Mine.  WHAT.

I had just won a month of the UFX Ripped class for free.  The usual cost for the month-long class is $200.  The class included 8 sessions of small-group high-intensity cross training led by a personal trainer. (Some consider these classes the sports club’s version of CrossFit). Also included in the class was access to an online “Nutrition Coach” (website with customized meal plans and other food guidance based on your body type, fitness goals, etc.).

So, I took the class.  Why not?  I wanted to expand my workouts beyond runs on the treadmill and yoga classes.

Guys, these classes were tough.  They had high intensity workouts that made me sometimes want to give up.  But the trainer pushed us (us= me and just one other person!) and we made it through!

There were four weeks total.  There were themes for each week, but I don’t remember what it was for all of them.

I wrote up what I did at each class on my training log at DailyMile.  I didn’t always recall exactly what we did (or what they were called) but you can get an idea of each class.  Check them out in the links that follow:

Week 1:  Day 1  Day 2
Week 2:  “Maximum Effort” Day 1  Day 2
Week 3:  Nothing for me.  I skipped both classes that week because of my never-ending cold (my decision to take things easy reported in a blog post)
Week 4:  “Teamwork”  Day 1 (Second class was cancelled because the trainer was really sick.  Did I give her my horrible cold?  Let’s assume no.)

Had I actually paid for the class, I probably would have tried to go to the Week 3 sessions.  Which would probably have been a horrible idea for everyone involved.  I probably would have also wanted a makeup session for the second day of week 2.


This was a really good experience.  It was difficult, but I felt like I was getting a full body workout compared to what I usually do.  I worked harder than I would have had I been on my own.  It was really good to have a trainer there to guide me and help me learn new exercises and make sure I was doing everything right.  And she was there to push me when I wanted to give up.

I didn’t really use their “nutrition coach” because I’ve already sort of figured out what to eat over the past year (more fruits and veggies, lean protein, lots of water, etc.) with the help of LoseIt and lots of trial and error.

Because I’m not keen on spending more money than I have to, I probably wouldn’t have signed up if I hadn’t gotten the classes for free.  Especially since the gym offers a similar class free for members called UFX Burn, which is like Ripped but there’s more people in the class (less special attention) and you don’t get the nutrition coach.  I haven’t gone to any of those yet, but I think I’ll try to fit them into my schedule, since I did like this program.

Now that I’m done with it, I find myself incorporating some of the activities I learned in the class into my own workouts (especially certain weights/kettle bell exercises and lunges).  I do think the program got me on a good path, and helped me realize what sorts of activities I’m good at and what I need to improve on.

Have you ever signed up for a small group class?  Did you find the benefits outweighed the cost?  Or do you find your training inspiration from other sources (larger classes, online sources, friends).  What sort of classes or training have you tried?


First day at the gym February 8, 2009

Filed under: Fitness — Stephanie @ 7:36 pm
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I went to the gym for the first time on Thursday evening.  Signed my paperwork, got my pass.

One of the trainers took me around and showed me some of the equipment.  I got a rundown of how to use the different cardio equipment (hey, we’re starting at the basics, here!).  Treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper, stationery bike, and, as I like to call it, “like an elliptical, but not an elliptical”.  (my coworker who goes there knew exactly what I was talking about, but couldn’t name it either!  I’ll ask next time what it’s called.  It’s across between an elliptical and a Nordic Track)  I did a few minutes on each piece of equipment, just to know how it works.  He also explained how I should have ~2 minutes warm up and cool down to let my heart rate adjust.  Most of the equipment have handles that read your pulse, which I think is pretty cool.

After he showed me how to use the different cardio equipment, he let me just go and use it.  So I went on the “not-elliptical” (circular?  haha!) on an interval setting for about 20 minutes.  Maybe a bit more.  My heart rate got pretty high.  It read out at 180 bpm at one point!  I’m not sure if that’s dangerous or not.  The instructor told me that it’s okay to go that high as long as you don’t feel dizzy or anything like that.

I then went on a quick tour of the strength training equipment in the XpressLine.  It’s a bunch of different machines that help you to work on different muscle groups.  I tried each of them just once, and was pretty worn out by the end!

Then I went for a quick ~10 minute jog on the treadmill.

So, that’s that for my first trip to the gym.  I haven’t been there since, but I intend to go on Monday!

I have to say, I felt pretty good after my workout.  I guess that’s what I’ve heard about for a while:  it makes you feel better, releases endorphins, etc.  So I’m psyched to go again!


I joined a gym! January 31, 2009

Filed under: Fitness — Stephanie @ 7:04 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, I did it.  It was a bit of a guilt trip, and good salesmanship on their part, but I joined a gym.  I was tired of being all talk and (literally!) no action.

I actually still haven’t gone for my trial run of the place (that I mentioned last time), but today was the last day of waiving the joining fee.  And they promised I could cancel within 15 days if I decide it’s not for me.

The membership guy went over all the costs, and combining the discounted fees (thanks to my company) and the supposed $150 reimbursement I get from my health insurance company (according to the membership guy), I’m getting a really good deal.  Not including the reimbursement, I’m paying $27 per month.  Including the reimbursement, that rounds out to $14.50 per month.  I’m figuring that’s probably the best deal I’m going to get anywhere.  And now that I’ve signed up, the fact that I’m paying for membership will definitely get me going there (I’ve got to get my money’s worth!)

Most of the people at my company that work at other locations use gyms that are at their facility, and you only have to pay a small fee each month to use it.  But our specific facility doesn’t have one, so that’s part of the reason there’s a discount to go to a nearby gym (its a Boston Sports Club).  Luckily, there’s also a BSC near my house, so I can go there at non-peak hours (which, awesomely, includes weekends).  So I can work out near work during the week and near home on the weekends.

Have any of you used Boston Sports Club (or any of their related gyms in Washington D.C., NYC, or Philly)?  Do you like it there?  What do you recommend as good pieces of equipment/classes?  I’m hoping that when I go in for my trial run, they’ll show me what there is to do and how to use the equipment.  Because I’m pretty much hopeless when it comes to knowing how to use exercise equipment.

I’m excited.  It’s another step towards being healthier (one of my goals).  I’m not sure if I need to get special workout clothes or something like that (I’ve got a few sports bras, a techwick shirt, and some “yoga” pants), though I’m guessing I should download some podcasts or something to listen to while I’m working out.  Any recommended music or podcasts ideal for exercise?

And for my other goals:  still making progress on my networth, started changing my portfolio, and my sister helped me clean my room (though it’s already a horrible mess….)

Woo!  I also walked a lot yesterday and today, so I’m getting on track!


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