Just like Tina Arena and Jo Dee Messina, "I want you to burn" and that's just what I've been doing in Melissa Chisolm's "Burn" class at BFX Studio in NYC. This great cardio based weight class gets me melting the fat away while building up my muscles. Melissa's enthusiastic pushes keep me focused and working even harder. Love taking her classes! Thank You Melissa for helping me burn my way to improving my life by #onepercentbettereveryday!
We are a group of people dedicated to improving our lives by 1% everyday.
One of the best things about working out at Barry's Bootcamp is when you get to see your friends after an intensely hard workout. I am thrilled my friend Dan Gutierrez is part of the Barry's family! He's definitely an inspiration with all the hard work he has been doing on his own body. So glad to have Dan in my corner cheering me on to do my best to improve my life by #onepercentbettereveryday!
It’s been a little over a year since I started my One Percent Better campaign, always saying, how my fitness regime is improving my life by #onepercentbettereveryday. Well, what does that mean exactly? How can I measure my changes?
For the most part, the biggest daily change I’ve seen is in my stamina. I am able to get through each exercise with a bit more breath and ease. I have increased the amount of weight I use for some of the exercises I do. I’ve gone from using 12lb kettlebells to 18lbs to 25lbs to 36lbs, and sometimes higher, but that is still a struggle for me. When I use a heaveir weight, do I get through the whole set with the heavier kettlebell, hardly, most times I have to drop down to a lighter weight. But the #onepercentbetter improvement is the fact I can do some reps at this heavier weight. I still struggle with 25lb kettlebells, but I push myself to stay at that weight and some days I really push myself to a heavier weight. But the use of these multiple weights has allowed me to experiment with different routines and show myself what I can do and what I still have to work for. While I’m doing 25lbs or higher kettlebell work, at a studio like Barry’s Bootcamp, I still need to use 15lb weights for most of the exercises there. Sometimes, I can get away with a 20lb weight, but that is a real challenge for me, but I make the #onepercentbetter improvement by doing a few reps or some days, just one rep with that heavier weight because eventually, I’ll get stronger, and be able to do more reps with a heavier weight. It just takes time.
I’ve been doing yoga at Crunch and Exhale for this past year and a bit. The combination of these two classes, plus all the other workouts I do has made me visibly stronger in class. The most noticeable difference happened just last month when for the first time ever, I was able to get into crow pose and hold it for a second. Yes, it was one very quick second, but prior to that, I was not able to hold it all, so this #onepercentbetter is a great feat for me. I was so proud of myself. Now my goal is to hold it for two seconds and eventually, I’ll be able to hold it as long as they do in class. At Exhale’s yoga, with Isaac Peña, he has us do a lot of wall work. Well, I have to do modified handstands because I don’t have the core/shoulder strength to do a straight up handstand. So, what I do is put my feet on the wall and do a reverse handstand. Well, last month, with Isaac’s assistance, I was able to do a regular handstand against the wall without having to modify. Yes, I was only able to hold the handstand for a few seconds, but considering, where I came from of not being able to get up at all, that’s a vast improvement.
Another big improvement I’ve seen with #onepercentbettereveryday is how much stronger my legs have gotten over the past few months. There was quite a while where I had knee issues that prevented me from doing a lot of the workouts as is. I needed modifications a lot. But it was those modifications that allowed my knees to heal yet continue to work and get stronger. Now, I may still need to modify certain moves, but I’m doing more of the instructed workouts over modified exercises. It’s nice to see. I’ve also been able to go back to spin on a regular basis and get to a point where I could re-introduce running again. What an incredible feeling to be able to do exercises I never thought I’d be able to do again. It’s very important for me to do these cardio only classes because towards the end of last year, I hit a plateau in my working out and for as much as I was working out, very little change was happening with my body. Lucky for me, I had, my "navy seals" (a term coined by Mile High Run Club trainer Laura Cozik. Your "navy seal" is someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone) Paul Focazio and Joe Chillemi on my side who encouraged me to get back to spin and do more classes that offer running like Mile High Run Club, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Brick. So, I slowly started returning to these studios. With in a few months, I have noticed a change in my body. I’m slimming down more and getting more fit. It’s so exciting! When I run on the treadmill during these classes, I sprint anywhere between a speed of 8.5 and 9.5, which for me, is incredible. As I feel my body getting stronger, I try to increase my speed, even if it’s just by .1 for as little as 10 seconds. Eventually, these small changes, will make me stronger and faster.
Now, don’t get me wrong, when I’m not in class, I have to take care of my body, especially my legs, meaning, I have to stretch everyday and use my foam roller to roll out my leg muscles. Do I do this every single day as I’m supposed to? No, because I’m human. I do it more often than I used to. When I don’t do it regularly, my leg muscles are much tighter and often hurt when I walk. So, in this regard, I continue to have a goal of #onepercentbettereveryday to include taking care of myself in between classes. It’s such a daily struggle, but I’m working on it.
My #onepercentbettereveryday campaign has been a smashing success. It’s nice to see all the changes in my body, the moves/poses I’m able to do now that I couldn’t do even just a few months ago. All the classes I take compliment each other and allow me to do things in each class I wasn’t able to do prior. By taking this obtainable number, I am making positive improvements in my life. I can’t take all the credit myself. I have all the trainers, studios, ClassPass, and most of all, my navy seals who are constantly encouraging me to push myself more. All that pushing has helped me see I can be #onepercentbettereveryday and you can too! So, come on this journey with improve your life by #onepercentbettereveryday!
One Percent Better: Wellthily + CYC Fitness Challenged Athletes Foundation #IRideFor at Gurney's Montauk
It felt great to do my first workout of 2016 doing a benefit ride for Challenged Athletes Foundation via Wellthily, CYC Fitness, and Gurney's Montauk! Challenged Athletes Foundation supports athlete's with disabilities. Everyone rode for a different reason...some rode for confidence, some for sanity, & others for fun, but whatever our personal reasons were, we all rode together as a team for a wonderful organization! This ride reminded me of what's important in life! I'm glad to have done this ride with my "navy seal" Paul! Hunter Jay was a terrific instructor & I can't wait to take his class in the city! Thank you Lizzy Wein for putting this fantastic event together and helping me improve my life by #onepercenterbettereveryday!
Prior to joining ClassPass, I, like so many out there, belonged to a gym, in my case it was New York Sports Club. I would come up with any excuse not to go to the gym...from it's raining to I'm tired to I have to work on my website to any other excuse I could think of. Well, that mentality, got me nothing but becoming fat. It was October 2014 when I saw firsthand just how big I had become. I was doing an interview with Stephen Land about his calendar, Real Men Wear Pink. When I saw the picture of he and I, I was so embarrassed. I couldn't believe I let myself go like that. Here I was doing an interview with a really attractive guy and I couldn't believe he had to look at my fat self. Well, it was then that I vowed to myself, I would do something about it.
I started talking with my roommate, who was much more dedicated about going to the gym, and he encouraged me to come to a class at New York Sports club. So, finally in November 2014, I went with him and I really liked the class format, plus the fact, that it was at a dedicated time, so I had to be there. We took Fahahd Khiani's Spin Class and it was great! His style of teaching and music choices made the time fly by. All the soreness I felt afterward was well worth it. Then, my roommate encouraged me to come to Bernadette Sullivan's Burn class. Whoa, was that class tough! I was sore for two days after and wasn't sure I'd ever go back, but thanks to the encouragement of my roommate, I continued to go back. We also took Charlene Lite's Yoga class, which was a great help in stretching me out and building up my flexability.
After we did classes for a few weeks at New York Sports Club, he suggested we try a week at Barry's Bootcamp. We went to five classes that week (might as well get the most of what we were paying for) and I thought I was going to throw-up every time, but I didn't. But, man, those Barry classes were intense, however, I loved the challenge! We then continued to go back to New York Sports club classes...switching between spin, burn, and body pump (strength building). I was really getting into working out and then my roommate told me about this program he heard of called ClassPass where they partner with various studios all around the city and you can go to as many studios as you'd like, but you can only go to three classes per studio per month. Well, this seemed like a great idea and we both joined!
December 20, 2014 was my very first class via ClassPass. The great thing about ClassPass is that they partner with studios who employ knowledgeable and skilled instructors. Granted there are some studios and instructors I avoid, but all in all, I have been learning from some expert teachers! When I started ClassPass, I was averaging 3-4 classes a week and then a few months in I was averaging 4-5 classes per week, then upped it to 5-6 classes a week, then after some knee issues, I scaled it back to 4-5 classes again. After several months of modifying my workouts at the suggestion of my instructors, I am finally strong enough to up my workouts to 5-6 times a week again! I am so excited about this!
It has taken me a while to figure out which studios I want to make sure I go to every month, but I've gotten into a pretty good groove now. My favorite studios have been (in alphabetical order) Aqua, Barry's Bootcamp, Body Space Fitness (watch my interview with Andy Wegman), BFX, Brick, Crunch (for their Yoga with Charlene Lite), EVF, Exhale Spa, FIT RxN, Flywheel, Mile High Run Club, Solace, Swerve, Title Boxing NYC (watch my interview with Title Boxing NYC founder Michael Tosto). I certainly have my go-to instructors at each studio, but aside from one or two instructors, I have not had a bad instructor at any of these studios if my go-to is not available. Plus, it's always good to switch up instructors as each one's teaching style is slightly different.
One thing I did throughout my year of ClassPass was taking pictures with my instructors and posting them on social media. Well, all those posts, lead to ClassPass contacting me about becoming a #ClassPassAmbassador, where I would get swag and attend events, in exchange for me continuing to post about my ClassPass experience. A month into the Ambassador program, it's been a wonderful experience and a joy to get to know the other ambassadors and learning about their favorite studios.
In a year of ClassPass, I have taken 234 classes, gone from only being able to lift 10lb weights to lifting upwards of 32lbs, sometimes heavier, having more endurance, more flexibility, and most importantly being able to look in the mirror and watch me on video in my interviews and be happy with what I see! With the variety of classes and studios offered by ClassPass, I have been able to stick to an exercise regimine that I enjoy and always challenges me. Now, I don't have those thoughts of wanting to miss class. In fact, I have put my fitness classes above just about everything else in my life. If I don't love myself, how will I ever love anybody else!
Follow my life as a #ClassPassAmbassador here and on Instagram @CallMeAdamNYC!