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Happy Monday, Everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I sure did. I spent some time in NYC this weekend at a place called the Frying Pan – what an awesome bar that is on an old boat, and what a beautiful weekend weather-wise. Has anyone ever been to this place? I highly suggest it. The line was long to get in, but worth it. I also had two awesome Zumba® classes Saturday and Sunday at LA Fitness, so I was a very happy girl.

Our view from waiting in line to get on to the “Frying Pan” – beers and food on a boat overlooking the skyline of NYC.. not too shabby. My iPhone took this picture, can you believe it? I love it.

Buckets of Corona’s…went down like water. oops?

Here I am, a sweaty mess, with some fantastic Zumba students. Thanks for taking pictures with me, ladies! I forewarned them that any pictures they take with me were going on my blog 😉

We were actually wearing the same work out carpi’s.. love her!

Moving on. So obviously, my passion is teaching Zumba®, and that is really the only thing I do in terms of working out. With that said, I do still believe weight training is crucial to anyone’s work out regimen. Zumba® is quite a lot of cardio, and I have said this before, that before I was an Instructor, I only believed in 20-30 minute cardio INTERVAL (high intensity aka HIIT) sessions. I did not think 60 minutes was necessary. I am totally contradicting myself now that I teach 60 minute-intense-cardio-dance-classes, but I am also a firm believer that you have to find what you love to do, you have to find what works for you, and you have to find what you can make a life style change and basically sustain forever. For me that is Zumba® and a day or two of weight training (when I remember, ha).

So this leads me to my favorite weights work-out video: ChaLEAN Extreme. Chalene Johnson is the creator of this and she is a huge fitness buff for a company known as BeachBody. This set comes with a huge box set of DVD’s for different phases of work outs: Lean, Burn, and Push phases, and then a Burn Intervals DVD. I won’t bore you with all the phases, especially since I don’t really follow those, but I do love one specific DVD in the series: Burn Intervals. Like I have mentioned, I am a huge believer and supporter of intervals, or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training HIIT). This DVD combines both weight training and cardio intervals all in about 46 minutes, which is inclusive of a warm-up and cool-down. I tend to get bored with weights very quickly – I don’t really enjoy doing 3 sets of 15 reps of each specific exercise for whatever-targeted-area-I-am-doing, at the gym. I get antsy and just want to get the heck out of there, to be honest. What I have also always believed in is lighter weights with more reps. Some will definitely disagree with me on this, but this is what I have found works for ME and my body type. Or maybe it is just what I enjoy doing more… or it is both.

The full box of DVD’s. Chalene is one ripped Chica.

This Burn Intervals DVD does all of the above for me: lighter weights with a lot of reps, and then cardio intervals which are short but you push yourself hard. Each cardio interval is 1 minute and 20 seconds to no more than 2 minutes long. I find getting through that cardio burst is do-able since I know it is short-lived and at max, two minutes. BOOM..done. Then the weight part is usually 2-3 minutes for each exercise, but again I like this because I am using only 5lb weights, I am doing a bazillion reps, and my arms are totally screaming by the end. The tricep interval is by far the hardest, and I still have yet to get through it without stopping, and I have been doing this video series off and on since 2009. I feel like my arms immediately feel more toned by doing so many reps and I love that feeling, and I am always sore the next 1 to 2 days later. Actually, sometimes my arms feel “shaky” from doing so many accumulated minutes of those 5lb’ers, (I would never do this long of a weights work-out at the gym) and I swear my biceps pulsate! Putting on make-up tomorrow morning should be interesting, ha.  I have to mention, too, that Chalene Johnson is awesome. She is easy to follow, explains form, smiles, is upbeat, and overall just a fun instructor to watch. She walks around to each person and engages with them, and I dunno, I just like that. She keeps me motivated, and I think that is crucial to a home work-out DVD series since it is too easy to just turn the thing off and quit the work-out!

Lastly, I like that she has a clock running during the work out. As you can see from the pic below, there is a timer on the screen that counts down the minutes of each exercise, and the whole work-out as a whole. I am so OCD with time that I LOVE this feature on the video. I love knowing how much time I not only have left for whatever exercise we are on, but that I know how much time is left in the video as a whole. This is so Eva-Friendly it is not even funny. I am seriously way too much of a planner… oh well.

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I snapped this pic in the midst of my work-out this morning. 29 minutes to go! This was the hardest part too, TRICEPS.

So, this, my friends, is my go-to weights routine. I feel like I am missing a lot of info, but don’t really know what else to say except for the fact that this works for me – it is short, sweet, and to the point. I like doing lighter weights and more reps, and I like short bursts of cardio when I am doing something other than teaching the beloved Zumba. I definitely feel with teaching so much Zumba which is so heavily cardio-based, I need to balance it out with weights. I mean, that is pretty much a MUST. Can’t let this sacred DVD burn out on me now 😉

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