A 5'3 Perspective


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The Time That Jillian Michaels Kicked My Butt

Last Friday I experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. I worked out with celebrity trainer [and drill sergeant], Jillian Michaels. It is quite uncommon for me to enter big contests because I always get discouraged when I lose, but when I saw a chance to workout with one of the most iconic fitness professionals, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to give it a shot.

Let’s make a long story short. I won – I was going to workout with Jillian Michaels, and I could bring a friend to torture as well! Off I went to Toronto to get my butt seriously kicked by the most intense trainer I know of. a day with jillian michaels body shred with jillian michaelsSince I was only in town for one day, I packed as much into it as possible; registering for the workout bright and early, grabbing some Starbucks [and a banana] for workout fuel, a quick pit stop at Anthropologie [a quite successful one too], and then finally – the moment I had been waiting for –  a Jillian Michaels “ass kicking” [her words, not mine]. JMWith my best friend in tow, we secured spots near the front of the class. I was in for a surprise – I figured that the room would be filled with contest winners like myself. Boy was I wrong. About half of the attendees were actually fitness professionals… and there we were, right near the front. I wish I could have gotten a closer/clear/one on one picture with Michaels, however, just breathing the same air as someone so motivated and influential in the fitness world was unbelievable!

As soon as Jillian Michaels emerged from backstage things got serious. She began to walk us through the exercises we would be using for the class, explaining the structure as she went. If you aren’t familiar with her workout program I’ll give you a quick run down. Body Shred, which is offered through Goodlife Fitness in Canada, is a high intensity interval training class. It follows a 3-2-1 format, with only 24 minutes of work. Sure it sounds easy when you type it out, but in practice, 24 minutes without breaks, while your heart rate is between 90 – 100% of your max is no laughing matter. During the half an hour class you will warm up and cool down [3 minutes each] and complete 4 rounds of circuits in between which are comprised of 3 minutes of resistance, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of active recovery [which actually means intense ab workouts – not break time]. I highly recommend visiting a Goodlife Fitness near you to try this class for yourself. You’ll love me and hate me all at the same time! before and after bodyshredWorking out with such an intense instructor [and a huge group of fitness professionals and enthusiasts] was one of the most motivating experiences I have ever had and it allowed me to push myself harder than I thought possible. Although the workout Jillian Michaels led us through was challenging, I must admit that my Tuesday night Rideau Center instructor Sarah, works her class ten times harder – she is ruthless, but awesome. It didn’t surprise me when I found out that Jillian Michaels was one of her idols – they definitely have that drill sergeant thing in common! I loved that options were given so that first time shredders and veterans could choose their levels to intensify [or not] the workout. canfit pro conferenceMy guest, Sarah, had never tried the class before – you can see our pre workout faces here, she was terrified. I however, was on top of the world! Sarah was an awesome sport and made it through the half hour HIIT workout like a champ, she even admitted to enjoying it afterwards. Unfortunately as soon as the workout ended Jillian ran off the stage leaving no opportunities to get a group photo, let alone individual pictures. Not to worry though, a life-size cut out was waiting outside to pose with after we finished the class. If you look quickly it almost looks real!

Working out with the tiny dynamo only fueled my admiration and appreciation for her even more. The entire experience was something I could only ever dream about and I am still pinching myself to make sure it really happened! Thanks again to Goodlife for hosting this contest and giving fitness enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to meet such an influential trainer in the industry – you better believe my motivation to workout has sky rocketed after this class!

Have you ever tried BodyShred or any other Jillian Michaels workouts?

xo Lauren


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The One Day Of The Week That Is Better Than All The Rest

Friday is always an awesome day, it is the end of the week and the day before the weekend. But for me, today is even better than usual. First of all, I am writing this post from the beautiful Toronto, Ontario [you’ll find out why in a second] and second, I am on vacation from work today! Eager to find out what has been keeping a big smile on my face this week? High Five For Friday

1. After work wine with friends. Might as well make the most of the patio season while it is still warm out.
2. Admiring the beautiful city I live in. This picture doesn’t do the parliament buildings justice, but you can get an idea at least.
3. Surprise deliveries, especially when they contain beauty products! I can’t wait to test out this Ageless Derma lip gloss!
4. Traveling to Toronto in style… Via 1 style. If you’re not familiar with the Canadian railway giant, this is means first class – drinks and meals included.
5. And finally, the reason why I am in Toronto – and on vacation today. I am going to workout with the one and only Jillian Michaels!! Don’t worry, I’ll give you a full recap after – as long as I have any energy left to type. I’m about to get my butt kicked, hard.

Thanks again to Lauren for hosting High Five For Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren


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Friday Appreciation

The Friday before a long weekend always bring some element of chaos, but it is often overshadowed by anticipation and excitement for me. I am someone who preforms best under pressure so I am always trying to tie up any loose ends at work before leaving for any extended period. That being said – I can barely sit still just thinking about having three days off in a row!

In typical Friday fashion, I am linking up with Lauren to reflect on some highlights of the week.High Five For Friday

1. Impromptu dates nights with Neil. We drank more than we ate, but the cocktails at SIDEDOOR are just too delicious to pass up. Oh and the chef just happened to make it to the final four on Canada’s Next Top Chef – you should probably give this restaurant a try!
2. Having the opportunity to spend time appreciating the great outdoors – and live the cottage life with one of my best friends.
3. Another pair of new [and even nerdier] glasses – I swear this is the last new pair I get for a long time.
4. My Quest Bar delivery! The White Chocolate Raspberry flavour is out of this world. I could easily live off these.
5. A brand new fitness studio at one of the Goodlife gyms I frequent. Before the group ex room was dark, dingy and tiny. This new space is such a breathe of fresh air!

That’s all for now friends, enjoy your weekend!

xo Lauren


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A Week of Workouts in the Life of Ellepottsie

Since I started my half marathon training, many of you have asked me what a typical workout week looks like. Before I share the details – remember, everyone is different and every body requires a different amount of rest and intensity. This is a workout schedule that fits my lifestyle and leaves me feeling energized and positive. I must admit, it has taken me quite a while to find the perfect exercise/rest balance. Use my schedule as a guideline [if you wish] but listen to your body and do what feels right for yourself. And don’t forget to push yourself out of your comfort zone, that is when you achieve the best results!

Monday – 5.5km run followed by a CXWORX class.

TuesdayBody Shred class.

Wednesday – Active rest day: baseball.

Thursday – 55 minutes road drills spin class.

Friday – 5km run [before work].

Saturday – Rest!

Sunday – Long run, ranging from 10km – 21km depending on upcoming races.

Since I have completed my half marathon training, I now plan to add some more weight training back into my routine. I found it difficult to get “good” runs in when I was lifting heavy weights. Now my focus is to bring more balance into my workouts. I will probably add some weights after my spin class on Thursday or after work on Friday. I’ll just have to test both out and see how I feel.

In addition to the above workouts, I bike to and from work (6km both ways) on weekdays and I also complete the following quick exercises daily:

10 tricep pushups

10 pushups

1 minute of plank

1 minute wall sit [squatting against a wall with your thighs parallel to the ground.

Now a question for you, what does a typical workout week look like in your life?

xo Lauren