Category Archives: Local

NSH Lady Project, Strength in Balance & Andrea Quigley Maynard Teaming Up for Active Night

NSH LadyNext Friday, October 17th, 2014, the NSH Lady Project is hosting their first Active night at Strength in Balance.  The event starts at 7pm. For just $5 (all of which is being donated to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Nashua), you’ll get to mingle with some new ladies you haven’t met before, take an introductory Booty Barre class with Becki Somers and you’ll get to hear me talk!

I’ll be teaching a class on Eating for Energy & Vitality (something many of us could use some help with).   I’m so excited about it!  We’ll talk about some of the most common culprits that sap our energy throughout the day, natural ways you can boost your energy and some of the best foods for keeping energy levels strong.  I’ll also be sending folks home with some delicious recipes they can make themselves.

Those of you who follow me on facebook or read my blog regularly know that I’m a huge fan of the classes at Strength in Balance – I’ve been going to classes there at least 4 days a week for almost a whole year now.  It’s an amazing workout and Becki is a great instructor.  This event really is a great chance for you to try it! It’s challenging but also a lot of fun!

You can purchase your ticket here.  Hurry though, space is limited (due to the size of the studio)! See you Friday October 17!

Let’s Go to the Barre!


Coaching Blog Photos1If you knew me when I was in my 20’s, it would probably be not too far of a stretch to say that I was addicted to going to the bar.  Now, in my 30’s, I’m also addicted to going to the Barre.  I never thought I’d enjoy going to a fitness class so much that I would drive 40 minutes to it, each way.  But I do.  In case you’ve never heard of Barre, the classes are fitness classes that are based on ballet, pilates and yoga.  I’ve had such a good experience with the classes that I wanted to share about them here.  I love sharing things that I love because I think you will love them too!

I started taking Barre classes at Strength in Balance NH (the first barre-only studio in NH) last November.  I bought a groupon/living social deal with a friend and settled in to enjoy what I thought would be a handful of reasonably priced fitness classes.  I’d workout and move on to something else when I used up all of my classes . . .because that’s what I usually do with trying something new (BECAUSE I HAVE ADD AND GET BORED EASILY. WHY AM I YELLING?).

I enjoyed my first classes.  I thought they were challenging but still doable no matter what your fitness level with modifications. I enjoyed the classes so much that I signed up for a 90 day 50 class challenge in January when I used up my deal classes. I knew it was going to be tough for me to make it to 50 classes in winter (when I live in a town that thinks snow plowing is optional) but I was determined to do it.  It was tough!  Towards the end of the challenge, I had to double up on classes just to get them all in but it was totally worth it.  I lost 8.6 lbs and 23 inches over the 90 days!

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of exercises – running, cycling, Body Pump, yoga, heavy weights – you name it. My body changed with those things for sure, but Barre hits spots that no other exercise gets to in the same way.  For the first time in my life I’m wearing skinny jeans.  Even when I weighed 30 lbs less than I do now you would never have caught me in a pair of skinny jeans because they just didn’t look right on me. I’m not a tiny girl but I now look fab in my skinny jeans.  I’m noticing definition in places that have never had definition before (hello abs? I have some under there?) and changes in places that have historically been impossible to change (for me at least), my inner thighs!   I can even now zip up knee high boots over my calves . . .something that was pretty tough even when I was my thinnest 5 years ago.  Barre can be crazy hard but it’s also crazy effective.

The instructors constantly change up the workouts so I’m not getting bored and my muscles continue to be challenged.  Just when I think I’ve got a certain move mastered or that something should be getting “easy”, we do something else and I feel like I’m at square one.  It never gets “easy”.  You’d think that would be unmotivating, but it’s not!  I keep coming back because I’m getting results (results I wasn’t getting even when I used to run 25 miles a week).

It’s not just a great workout.  It’s also a positive and warm environment. The instructors, Becki Somers (owner), and Julia LeFebvre make it a point to learn everyone’s name who comes to class. I’m always impressed at the effort they put into making newcomers feel welcome and comfortable.  There’s nothing worse than going to a new class for the first time and having it feel like a big high school clique. I’ve been to some straight up snotty & superficial classes before. That’s definitely not the case here.  Everyone is too busy trying not to slip on the floor in their own sweat puddle to spend a moment judging you.  There’s a lot of laughter and joking among the women who come to class. It’s a great group of women. Everyone is super friendly and welcoming.  We may not know each other’s names (in some cases) but if I’m sweating alongside you for months while we both curse the little blue sponge ball that we’re squeezing between our thighs (while on our toes and in a pulsing plié) I feel like we’ve bonded.  Sweaty sisterhood.

If you live in the Nashua or Hudson, NH area and are tired of your current workout or looking for something to help you get through a plateau, you should come check it out!  Strength in Balance NH is right on the Nashua/Hudson border on Bridge St.  There’s a fabulous deal/challenge going on right now. It’s the Bikini Challenge (no bikini involved) and it’s $99 for UNLIMITED classes for 6 weeks.  You can sign up between now and May 25th.  It’s a ridiculous deal and I’ve already signed myself up for it.  If you’re interested and thinking of checking it out but feeling intimidated, let me know when you’re going and I’ll come with you if I can!

A couple of things you might want to know before going:

  • Your first class is free!  And you can sign up online for it.
  • Class is done barefoot or in socks (if it’s cold)
  • Yoga mats, weights, thera-bands, and any other equipment you’ll need is provided
  • You don’t have to have a dance background or be graceful to take these classes
  • You’ll probably be really sore after your first class (even if you workout already). My calves were so tight after my first class that I almost fell getting out of bed the next morning.  Husband thought that was hilarious.

Oh and the studio just moved to a new location on Bridge St and they may not have signs up when you go, so check out my little dorky picture spread below to give you hints about how to get there.  It’s like fitness and a treasure hunt all in one.  Aren’t you lucky?!

The new studio is a little tricky to find if you've never been in this area before so I made you dorky OCD picture directions!

The new studio is a little tricky to find if you’ve never been in this area before so I made you dorky OCD picture directions!

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How Ninjas Spend Their Sunday Mornings in Manchester, NH

Photos courtesy of Karen Gagnon

Photos courtesy of Karen Gagnon

Last Sunday, I took an Introduction to Aerial Fitness Circus Workshop with my friend Karen.  She bought a groupon for the workshop earlier this winter and asked if I would go with her. I love trying out new ways to get and stay fit so I jumped at the chance to try it even though the idea of me doing “Aerial Circus” conjured up not very graceful images in my head.  Willing, yes.  Graceful, no (but working on that!).

The workshop was through Go Ninja which is a part of Bareknuckle Murphy’s Boxing Gym in Manchester, NH.  When you first walk in to the gym, there are colorful silks hanging down from wooden beams on the ceiling and a boxing ring in the background.  Our instructor, Heather Murphy, was super welcoming and made us feel comfortable with her sense of humor and no bs attitude.  She ran our group through a warm up that included jumping jacks, downward dogs, planks and a few different stretches for our hip flexors and wrists and had us introduce ourselves. Once we were warmed up, she showed us how to tie a knot in the silks that would be supporting our bodies while we were in the air.  If you are afraid of heights, have no fear (or not too many) we made our knots low to the ground since we were all beginners.  Heather told us they have a “no falling” rule and none of us wanted to break it!  She stressed that we needed to learn the foundation of each move and how to activate our core before we could go on to crazy complicated stuff.  She made the moves look so easy but some require a ton of strength and all require trusting in yourself (and in the silks) for support.

We had a blast!  I got sweaty palms just watching Heather do some tricks on the silks but once I got on it and felt how strong it was (the silks are rated for supporting 2000lbs) and could feel how close the floor was, it became a lot less scary to lift my legs up over my head and go into an inversion or stand on the rope with both legs.  It was a little difficult to get comfortable with how the silks felt pressing in to my back/waist but they had little foam “noodles” you could use to pad the area – it helped a lot!

Photo courtesy of Karen Gagnon

Photo courtesy of Karen Gagnon

I definitely plan to take more aerial classes.  I actually can’t wait!  It was super fun and challenging!

In addition to the Aerial Fitness Circus classes, Go Ninja also offers Modern Dance, Pilates, Aerial Yoga, Mixed Martial Arts and workshops for kids and moms.   They also offer private sessions and can host parties.  This workshop would make a great alternative for a healthy bachelorette party or girls night out.  If you want to try something new and build confidence – check them out!  The best way to make exercise a consistent part of your life is to find something you really enjoy doing.  Don’t be afraid to try new things!  Everyone was a beginner once!

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