Category: Workouts

Rocycle Adventure in Amsterdam

11/04/2017 | 0 Comments

I can scratch something off my to-do list. Rocycle class in Amsterdam: check! Joining a class has been on my to-do list ever since I first heard about it a few months back, and, yesterday I experienced what it’s like to join one of their rides! I have one word for you to describe my entire experience: intense!

Firtst things first, what is Rocycle?

It’s a 45 & 60-minute full body workout on a bike. You train your core and your upper body with light hand weights and handlebar pushups, and your heart rate will go all the way up. Each class has a unique playlist handpicked by your instructor to fit their style.

So, what was my Rocycle experience like?

I reserved a bike for my friend Manouk (bikes 18 & 19, just in case you were wondering where we sweated our butts off) for Monday 10 April at 18.00 and we arrived fashionably early. Almost an hour early. As we arrived I was mostly excited, but if I’m very honest with myself I’ll admit that I was beginning to feel a bit nervous. From what I’d heard Rocycle was a lot like spinning, but ‘more’ intense, and my past experiences with spinning combined with my asthma had been less than pleasant. We were shown around and explained how to set up our bikes and that’s when the fun began.

I had about 5 seconds to be nervous before all my nerves were replaced with sweat. The music was good. Our instructor, Isabella, was awesome. It was on from the very first minute and you have no choice but to let the music take you and let your instructor guide you through it. There’s a quote on the wall that says “music on, world off” and it couldn’t be more accurate. It is so easy to get swept along with the music and the vibe in the studio that I had to remind myself sometimes to take it a bit slower. I took a breather every now and then when my breathing got a bit too rough, but it was so much awesomeness in just 45 minutes and it’s over before you know it.

How a workout can be so brutal and so much fun at the same time is beyond me, but I’m not complaining. I repeat: it was SO MUCH FUN. My legs felt a bit wobbly once I got off the bike, but the energy you get from that workout is insane!

The verdict

One thing is for certain: I’ll be back! If you’re in Amsterdam and you want a little something different for your workout, go join a Rocycle class! You can book your ride online, there’s a first-time offer that I promise you won’t regret!

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Weekend Special #1: BBG Meetup & 24k Walk

13/06/2016 | 1 Comment

Weekend Special numero uno! That’s right, I’m introducing a new feature! We all have those weekends that are more fun than normal weekends (because let’s face it, some weekends we just don’t really do anything special), and the weekend of 4 and 5 June was definitely a memorable one for me. I’ll admit, it’s a bit late (after this first attempt at recapping the weekend I’ll start posting them in between Mondays and Wednesdays, pinky promise), but better late than never!

Saturday: #BBGDUTCHIES

Dutch BBG meetup time! This was only the second BBG meetup ever, but ever since that first meetup back in March I’ve been wanting June to arrive faster. I stayed the weekend with a friend who lived closer to the city we were meeting up in and on Saturday morning we got up around 8 to get ready for the day. The meetup started at 11.15 am and we were early, which left me plenty of time to catch up with everyone! It’s so crazy to realize that I’ve only met these girls once of twice before. We’re always talking and supporting each other online and this makes it feel like I’ve known them for so much longer already. Anyway, I’m getting off-track here. After some quick hugs and catching up it was time for the actual workout and to get sweaty!

Ik

The warming-up consisted of some partner exercises, which were so much fun! Now, Kayla’s BBG workouts are never easy, but I can tell you that they become even harder when you do them when it’s 24 degrees outside and the sun is shining. It was ridiculously hot outside and the water in my bottle more or less resembled lukewarm tea water after only a few minutes. You wouldn’t believe how red-faced I was when the workout was done. I pretty much flopped down on my belly and stayed down for a while.

Ik (groep kayla pose)

Djanne, who organized this meetup, pretty much anticipated us being totally overheated after the workout and arranged for some ice lollies. Best. Decision. Ever! After some stretching and some group pictures, it was time for the picknick. Everyone made something and brought it to the meetup, so we had a huge amount of food to choose from, it was perfect and my tummy was totally happy (which it always is when good food is involved haha). It was crazy fun catching up with everyone, loooooots of pictures were taken, and at the end of the day I was crazy sore from the workout, which is just how I like it! A Saturday well spent in my opinion!

Sunday: 24k walk baby!

The plan was to take it slow on Saturday during the workout because I was going to walk a 20k the next day with 7kg in my backpack as a part of my training for the Camino I’m walking this summer… Of course, taking it slow totally went down the drain when it was actually time to do the workout, so when I woke up on Sunday my quadriceps were terribly sore. No time to whine, we (my friend and I) wanted to beat the heat and get an early start so we got our butts out of bed and left the house around 8am.

Walking went pretty well, although the downhill parts of the tracks brought out the soreness of my muscles. Around the 15k mark, the heat was starting to get to me a bit. We might’ve missed a turn and realized that only about 1k later (so had to go back), plus, at that point we should’ve passed the second rest stop already and we still hadn’t… Turns out they had to make some changes to the route and it ended up being a 24k walk instead of a 20k walk.

No biggie, except I ran out of water at 20k… and they had no point to refill our bottles. Even when we finally got to that second rest stop (which was at the 20k point) there was no possibility of refilling and for an event this big, and with temperatures running so high, that just can’t happen. Frankly, it got me a little cranky. I was pretty happy once we finished the walk, and boy was I feeling my legs.

Weekend Special #1

All and all it wasn’t the best walk ever, but I only had myself to blame by pushing myself a little too hard the day before. At the end of the day, we finished that 24k and it was a very good training walk for the Camino. And don’t you think I look adorable in my walking gear? Totally sexy if I do say so myself *cough* haha.

I’ll just leave out how CRAZY sore I woke up on Monday… haha. I think we can all agree it was a very active weekend for me. I gave my body some well-deserved rest on Monday and did some extra stretching and yoga to get rid of the soreness of my muscles.

 

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What’s up with all those Workouts

22/02/2016 | 1 Comment

Some of you might have seen me mention my workouts on Twitter or Instagram. Now, I know that IrisjeXx is a book blog (in case all the book related content didn’t give it away already), but it’s also my blog, and there’s simply more to me then just my love for books. So I thought it was time to tell you all what’s up with all the workouts I’ve been doing!  I’ve wanted to share for a while now, and figured it was time to do just that!

Where did all this craziness get started?

A year ago I started running. I set the goal for myself to run a 5k, but never really thought beyond that. At the time I just thought being able to run a 5k would be really cool and a great way to get a bit more fit. It wasn’t always fun: lungs burning, legs hurting, cussing at myself for being crazy enough to do this. But that feeling after completing a run: that feeling of accomplishment, of being proud of yourself for grabbing your running gear and just go, of feeling like you’re on top of the world; that feeling got to me. I caught the running bug. That feeling is what motivated to keep me going, and THAT feeling is what’s so addictive about exercising.

What happened when I accomplished that goal?

So I could run a 5k, what now? Well, I just ran a 5k distances for a while. Running outside, and not always running the same round will keep you interested for quite a while, but after a while I pushed myself to run a little longer and a little harder. My average pace started improving, and before I knew it I was running up to 10k! I ran in the Rotterdam marathon (1/4 marathon, let’s be realistic here) with my sister and my dad and everything was going great!

Then, I fell off the bandwagon…

Even though I loved running, before I knew it I hadn’t run ANY distance in a whole month. One month became one month and a few days, and I was REALLY disappointed with myself. I have asthma, and not training in such a long time meant that I basically had to start from rock-bottom again, which kept me from finding that motivation again and getting off my ass and back to training. I had a major exercise rut and had a hard time getting my motivation back. I’ve often heard that it’s not hard to start exercising (and this is so true), however, what IS hard is finding the motivation to keep going when you’re sore, or tired, or just don’t feel like doing anything.

Changing up the routine

So I decided it was time for some change. I started looking for ways to make training fun again and add some variety to my routine, and by searching online I happened upon Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide. I talked to some girls who were doing the BBG program and their excitement was so palpable that I decided to purchase the guide. The combination of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) turned out to be a golden combination for me.

Six weeks ago (January 11th) I joined in on The Kayla Movement 2016 together with TONS of other women all over the world. I started a separate Instagram account (for those of you who’d like to follow that account: iris.does.bbg) to keep in contact with others doing the same program as me (which was a golden move! Motivation to find in abundance!). Six weeks of 3 HIIT workouts, 3 LISS workouts, and one rest day a week and I feel great. I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard work, really hard work and my muscles were SO SORE after that first week, but it’s so worth it.

penguin-waddle

I have a LOT of energy, I am happier than I’ve been in a long time, and I’ve never been more comfortable in my own body than I am now. I’m improving in all fields: I’m running faster than ever and I’m getting stronger and stronger each day. I can see my body changing; my muscles are developing and I love how strong I’m looking.

What does a week in workout-land look like?

I’ve got quite a happy workout schedule going on right now. Warning: you might think I’m crazy.

Monday: 4 x 7 minutes Legs & Cardio (HIIT)

Tuesday: 5 to 10k run (LISS)

Wednesday: 4 x 7 minutes Arms & Abs (HIIT)

Thursday: 5k run (LISS) in the morning and Abs workout (HIIT) at the gym later that day

Friday: 4 x 7 minutes Full Body workout (HIIT)

Saturday: 5 to 10k run (LISS)

Sunday: Rest day (or, when I’m feeling like it, a 5k run)

That probably looks crazy to you, but if you do the math, besides Thursday (and the days I run more than a 5k), you’ll see that I only spend 30 minutes on my workouts every day , and 30 minutes really is such a small proportion of the day, almost everyone can miss 30 minutes. I just to spend 30 minutes of my day, that someone else might spend in front of the tv, working out. I have all the equipment I need at home: dumbbells, medicine ball, and workout mats. So there’s no need to do my workouts at the gym (I just love to do so every now and then, especially when I go with a friend). If it’s raining outside, I can always switch around, and if I feel like having a rest day, I’ll just have a rest day.

I don’t force myself to train, I want to. I get restless and have too much spare energy when I don’t. At a certain point I started to crave those workouts, I crave exercise, they clear my head and make me feel strong. I push myself every day to become a stronger version of myself and I am SO proud of how far I’ve come!

What am I working towards?

March 6th I am running a 10k in during the CPC (City Pier City run) in The Hague with my father. I’ve been working hard on improving my average pace over the last two months. I run a 5k under 30 minutes quite easily, and I’m a bit afraid to set a time goal for myself for the 10k, but I’m hoping it’ll at least be under 1 hour and 10 minutes (taking in account how many runners there’ll be and how swarmed the road will be with them).

Recently, I was chosen for the most awesome project EVER! Glamour magazine (sponsored by Maybelline) set up a program to work towards half a marathon. Together with 29 others, we’re going to train, under guidance of professional trainers, towards 1/2 marathon. Our starting ticket will be paid for by Maybelline New York and we’ll get a ticket for the Glamour Health Challenge (last year THE Kayla Itsines gave a bootcamp, so I can’t wait what this year will hold!), we’re all getting a personalised training schedule, and a package from Maybelline New York. I literally CANNOT contain my excitement about this and I cannot wait to share all about it with you on my journey to 1/2 marathon! #Makeithappen

So, how crazy do you guys think I am? Haha

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