Quickie Workout #69

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.  Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)

Warm  up- 1 min stationary lunges, 1 min side squats, 1 min jumping jacks/star jumps
1 min- Stand in door frame and push hands away from you against frame 
1 min- Tricep kickbacks (either one at a time or both arms at the same time)
1 min- Wall sit
1 min- Squat thrusts
1 min- Boat pose
1 min- Leg lifts
1 min- Back hyper-extensions on the ground
1 min- Hop over a cone, pair of shoes, bottle of water. Be careful not to trip!
1 min each leg- Lunge and raise knee up of back leg with each rep.
1 min each side- Teapot standing ab exercises- hold weight in on hand and have other hand on hip.  Lower weighted hand done while keep body in same plane.  Slowly stand up straight.
1 min- Prisoner squats

Get 'Back On Track' with the Virtual Training Group

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It is that time of year again.  The next cycle of the (newly named) 'Back On Track' virtual training group is Monday 7 October.  This is a 8 week program conducted over email to help you reach your goals while providing support and accountability.

Simple details:

WHO:  Open to anyone who has an email account, limit 12 members

WHAT:  8 week program in which you set and achieve SMART goals by checking in over email on Mondays (Note: I will not be providing workouts to participants.  See my quickie workouts if you are interested in exercise routines)

WHEN:  Starts Monday 7 October and last check in is Monday 9 December

WHY: Your virtual cheering squad will be looking forward hearing about your victories and able to offer advice when you need it.  It is about the community and relationships formed with group members.

HOW: Email me (mollie@ptmollie.com) with any questions you have or to register.

COST:  It is free to new members and £10 to returning participants (payable through PayPal in my shop).

What are you waiting for?

Testimonials from previous participants:

"Mollie is an amazing, positive motivator, just what you need when you are trying to become more active. She is super supportive, and really wants you to succeed. I was part of her virtual training group, and she gave us great ideas for workouts, and checked in to make sure we were all staying focused on our goals. She has found her calling!"

-Sarah B., virtual training group member, Malden, Massachusetts, USA

"I am a 32 year old working Mom to a 16 month old and wife. I want it all... but feel it is really tough. I struggle with finding the balance and I usually am last on my own list, never taking time for something I would like to do.

During the last VTG I was going through a tough time in my life and quiet depressed, going to bed at 8:30 often times, eating whatever was easy and not really working out. By the end of the VTG I was exercising regularly and feeling SO much better about myself, my relationships and life in general. I really believe that working out saved me in so many ways. I am doing this because I want to keep going and feeling better and better every day.

I love the positive encouragement and support of the women on VTG."

-Giovanna, virtual training group member, New Hampshire USA

Quickie Workout #68: Which way is the beach?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lucy on the Lookout asked for an arms workout.  So here it is!  Remember that quickies are meant to be easy to do with little or no kit.  Feel free to use weights instead of water bottles if you are up to the challenge and have some handy.

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.  Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)

Warm  up- 1 min Skip rope, 1 min run with high knees, 20m bear crawl, 20m crab walk
1 min- Walking lunges
1 min- Tricep dip
1 min- Wall sit with bicep curls holding water bottle
1 min- Deadlift with upright row
1 min- Side squats- 30 sec each direction, keep low the entire time
1 min- Pec fly
1 min- Bent over row 
1 min each leg- One legged squat
1 min- Push/Press ups (or if your name is Lucy, make them decline by elevating your feet)
1 min- Tripod plank- only use 1 arm and be sure to keep your hips parallel to the ground (don't twist hips!)
1 min- Hip raises
1 min- Abdominal crunch

Let me know what you think, Lucy!  :)

Weekend Challenge: Hugs and Hip Flexors

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pretty simple.  Please give out 10 genuine hugs this weekend.  And also stretch your hip flexors every day.

Product Review: Dr. Weil Rhythm walking shoes

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Simply Feet contacted me early this summer to try out Dr. Weil's Rhythm walking shoes.  For those that don't know, I have suffered from Achilles tendinitis for years, and this year was lucky enough to add on plantar fascitis.  Now I have never been one to really chose fashion over function (I will always wear waterproof shoes when it is raining) but sometimes in London you want to look nice.  With all the walking and cycling to the Tube, most shoes really aren't practical.  In America, I would be the first one to show up at the bar in heels and dance the night away (of course, I was single then).

Dr. Weil is one of the contributors to my health coaching course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  He also consulted on my friend's diagnosis of Lyme Disease when she was little. I have read (and highly recommend) his book Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-Being. I knew he would not disappoint me with shoes that actually take away my pain while walking.

I paired the silver/coral colored shoes (one of 5 combos available) with black shorts, a glittery wolf t-shirt from Dorthy Perkins, and my lululemon Vinyasa to Vino tote.  The coral color really pops and is almost luminescent.  Because it is an accent color, it isn't too overbearing.  Just enough to add some 'pop.'  I walked from Sloane Square tube station to lululemon Chelsea Showroom and then met my husband for lunch and a photography exhibit at the Natural History Museum.  Charlie at lululemon even commented on my street wear combination, saying how it looked great
.  Score 1 for me!

The shoes were comfortable from the cycle to the tube to the walk downs Kings Road to time in the museum.  They have a bit of a lift in the heel which I think either cushions you if you heel strike (which I do) or changes your foot strike to be more forward.  The insole is even removable if you don't need/want that much support.  Other features of the shoe include:

  • Restore your feet to their natural alignment with this versatile lace-up leisure and fitness walker.
  • Podiatrist-designed, removable bio-mechanical orthotic footbed, features a deep heel cup and arch support. that stabilizes, supports and naturally re-aligns the feet.
  • Rebound mid-sole to provide long-lasting cushioning and shock absorption.
  • Lightweight breathable mesh uppers.
  • Soft padded collar and tongue for increased comfort.
  • Slip resistant rubber outsole.
I haven't tried running in these shoes as they are a walking shoe and I have invested in a pair of really good running shoes.  My Weil Rhythms will be my comfy shoe for holidays now when I need to do walking around but don't totally want to look like a tourist.  They are light and airy, which is good for suitcases and hotter temps.  My only worry is that I will get them dirty!

Simply Feet were kind enough to give me a pair of Weil Rhythm shoes to review. All opinions are my own.

Product Review: lululemon athletica Vinyasa to Vino Bag

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The bag goes perfect with my
Weil Rhythm walking shoes
Since last year, I have been coveting the Zara leather tote bag.  I loved the shape, the simplicity, and the large capacity.  But alas, when I finally got the courage up to have a look in the store, I realized it wouldn't work for a cycling commuter and there was only 1 internal pocket.  This means it would have quickly become Mary Poppin's magic carpet bag and I wouldn't have been able to find anything in it.  It also didn't zip shut, which means I would have been worrying about pick pockets.

So since then I have been on the lookout for the perfect tote.  Something that would hold my laptop, lunch, some gym kit, and a book.  I finally found it with lululemon's Vinyasa to Vino bag.  It comes in 4 color combinations, as well as canvas. Mine is polyurethane and in dune/black. It also comes in all black, neon/pea green, and orange/pink.

The inside is amazing because there is so much internal organization.  Several zippered pockets on the inside and outside, as well as a removable laundry bag.  You can also clip your yoga mat on top.  The handles are padded so when it is stuffed full (up to 22kg/50lbs), it won't hurt your shoulders or hands.

Usually, I wear a rucksack to work.  But the Vinyasa to Vino bag has proven useful for business meetings and short trips out of town.  I also used it as my carry on on my last flight to the States.  Once again the internal pockets made my life so much for organized.  It was easy to keep my paperwork separate, my I-pod handy, and my snacks close by.  The only feature I would like to see in the bag is a water bottle holder.  I am always worried my bottle will tip over and ruin my laptop.  Other than that, the bag is 'spot on' and I highly recommend it as the staple investment piece for the girl who faithfully goes from office to gym.

lululemon generously gave me this bag to try.  All opinions are my own.

Product Review: Salomon XR Crossman 2 W

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Salomon recently contacted me to try out their new trail shoes from the Crossmax series.  I was thrilled as I am a big fan of Salomon's GTX range of winter shoes (which saved me from cold wet feet for many winters in Michigan and New York).  My running doesn't usually take me on trails too much as I live in London, but I do a lot of walking and cycling which can require a good sturdy shoe.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make their event as my bike decided to break on the way there but Salomon was nice enough to send me the shoes in the post.

The Salomon XR Crossmax 2 W with women's specific support are available in two colors.  I went for a bright reddish/pink (other is grey and blue).  From the first time I tried these shoes on, they were instantly comfortable. They have superb cushioning (which was very useful for my plantar fascitisis) and are therefore great for high mileage training. Because of the trail-running design, these shoes are a little bit heavier (270g) and stiffer than my normal running shoes.  I didn't need to break them in at all and took them for a quick run around the docks near my flat.  These are a trail-running shoe but stylish enough for urban streets too.

The corded lace system (Quicklace) is a bit tricky but the website says there is a lace pocket (I found it on the tongue I think. Sweet!).  The soles are non-marking which makes them gym-floor approved.

These are so versatile I have also been wearing them to commute in, as well as an alternative to my SPD clips on days when I don't have room for my cycling shoes in my bag.

The color is amazing and always makes me smile.  It makes a polo shirt I got off of Sport Pursuit (see photo to the right but please ignore my cycling tan) and my lululemon Run: Speed short in red.

Salomon generously gave me these shoes to try.  All opinions are my own.

London Fashion Week has arrived! #LFW

Monday, September 16, 2013

Natasha and I
Toni & Guy invited me to their Blow Out Bar this year at Somerset House for London Fashion Week.  #LFW is something I never thought I would be able to attend.  I had always assumed you needed to be fashionable and/or famous to attend.  I learned the general public can buy tickets to shows and anyone can enter the courtyard at Somerset House to see what all the buzz is about.

The Blow Out Bar was a place where the Toni & Guy team provide complimentary haircuts or a style.  Here I learned a bunch about the label.m professional hair care range by Toni & Guy.  My hairdresser, Natasha (from the award-winning Southend-on-Sea location), washed my hair with the Orange Blossom shampoo and conditioner from the Organics range.  They smelled amazing, are certified organic, and do not contain any sodium laureth sulphates (which are horrible for your hair, but why the shampoo foams).  

Scavi & Ray Elderflower Prosecco was delish!
My hair is fine and naturally wavy.  I am lucky in that it holds curl well, but also stays straight if blown out and flat-ironed.  Unless of course it is raining.  As it was the night I had my hair done.  To help keep my hair in place (hopefully) Natasha applied Relaxing Balm to help control the curl in the rain and Volume Foam to add some body.  She gave my layered cut a nice shape up and then applied Toni & Guy's brand new product, Powder Pink Spray.  I have been wanting to dip-dye (ombre for those in the US) my hair pink and this is the perfect non-committed solution.  It sprays onto the hair and has very strong fumes.  You can brush or comb it out to reach the perfect shade of pink.

To add icing to the cake, I was able to sip on the delicious Scavi & Ray prosecco in Elderflower.  It was light and refreshing, the perfect way to end a work week.  My husband and I booked our 3rd anniversary date for after my visit to the Blow Out Bar as I was excited to show off my new 'do.  However, London weather had something different in mind.  By the time we got to Brick Lane, my hair was a bit wavy.  But the pink lasted until I washed it the next day.

Toni & Guy also were offering backstage access to a few shows, but unfortunately the only one I could manage had changes last minute which meant I was unable to go.  I hope to make it backstage next year.  The Blow Out Bar is something I will never forget and I appreciate the opportunity to take part of.

I am looking forward to trying out the organic range again and will be picking up the Powder Pink Spray as soon as it is available in the salon.

With London Fashion Week in full swing, this week I will be posting reviews on fitness fashion.  Enjoy!

Quickie Workout #67

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This week you will need access to a set of stairs.  Please be careful and hold on to the railing if you need to.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)

Warm  up- walk up and down stairs for 2 min, 1 min jumping jacks/star jumps
1 min- Box jumps on lowest step
1 min- Squat thrust
1 min- Tricep dips on stairs
1 min- Walk up steps 2 at a time.Walk down.
1 min- Incline push/press ups.  If you are more advanced, try decline.
1 min- Spiderman crunch- Start in press up position on toes. Bring knee to outside of elbow.  Alternate sides.  If this is too difficult, bring knee to chest.
1 min- Leap forward on 2 feet as far as you can for 30 seconds.  Then turn around and repeat back to starting point.
1 min-  Side step lunges- Start in standing position.  Step out to the right, keeping toes pointed forward and lunge to the right by bending the knee.  Step back to center.  Repeat on the left side.
1 min- Reverse lunges- Start in standing position.  Step right foot back and lower knee to lunge. Step back to center.  Repeat with left leg.
30 sec- Small arm circles forwards.
30 sec- Small arm circles backwards.
1 min-  Jumping jacks/star jumps

Weekend Challenge- Multi-sport say whaaat?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Big things are happening in London this weekend.  It is the ITU World Triathlon Final with lots happening in Trafalgar Square.  On the other side of town, the London Duathlon is taking over Richmond Park on Sunday.  More and more people are turning to multi-sport events over the plain old 5K to help combat boredom during training, to offer injured joints a mix of impact levels, and also to be smug in the office when wearing new race bling.

Before you say 'I could never do a tri' let me say- yes you can.  There are many races of different levels and distances out there.  You just need to find the one suited for you.

This weekend, I challenge you to either:
- watch a multi-sport event on TV (or come cheer us on in person!)
- research a race in your local area for 2014
-'tri' your weakest discipline (for most people, swimming puts them off a triathlon)
-and/or do a brick session (two disciplines back to back. For example go for a bike ride in the park, then lock up bike and go for a run)

Remember- even the person who finishes last is still called a triathlete.  Go for the gold and let me know how you do this weekend!

Taking the plunge

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello out there!  Thank you for your patience with the lack of posts this month.  My holiday was amazing and brought along with it lots of changes.  As I have been trying to get back into the swing of things, as well prepare for Run To The Beat and the London Duathlon, one of the gyms I work at was looking for a full-time staff member.  This position would be 20 hours a week teaching classes and 20 hours a week doing admin tasks.  I interviewed with all of my fingers and toes crossed. The owners thought I would be suited for a similar role, just different tasks in the office.

So I handed in my notice at my 'real' job.  Which means my 'fun' job is about to become my real job.


This moment I have been building up to for years.  Now that it has finally arrived, of course it is scary. But it is also wonderful in that I can put my money where my mouth is and show the world how powerful exercise and happiness can be.  I can train/exercise during the week (I will have to).  There will be time to continue to build the PT Mollie brand.  I will learn new management skills as well as develop further group exercise class knowledge.  I am sad to be leaving the fish behind, but I hope this helps my eczema clear up and gets my body back into shape.

What does this mean for you?

More content on ptmollie.com as I am able to focus on fitness 100% of the time now.

I am accepting health coaching clients from around the world for a fantastic 6-month program conducted over Skype, phone, or in person if you are in London.

Sign up for personal training as there are additional time slots available in the London area.  You will get fit in you local park or in your home!

The next round of 'Back on Track' virtual training group starts up 7 October.  Nine weeks of emails support and accountability from a group of people all trying to be happy and healthy.

If you would like to meet for a complementary consultation, we can discuss your goals, do baseline fitness testing and put together a tailored program just for you.  Just shoot me an email: mollie@ptmollie.com.

Thank you so much to all of you for your continued support over the last year and a half.  I can't believe I am really doing this fitness thing full-time.  As I said to my husband, the only thing I have left to complain about now is not having a dog. (But I said I would give that a rest until 2014).

Weekend Challenge

Friday, September 6, 2013

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw me moaning a bit about my DOMS this week.  Last weekend, while jet-lagged, I took a 2 day instructor course with Kick Fitness*.  This program was developed by Christian Thomson, a kickboxing world champion.  I can attest to the fact that it is hard work!  My bum was officially whooped after being on holiday for  2 weeks and the full weekend of intense training.  Only today (5 days later) have I been able to walk like a normal person and not a zombie.

I am nearly certified and hope to be leading some kickboxing classes in London soon (ninja fitness anyone?). In the meantime, I challenge you to attend a martial arts-inspired class this weekend.  It can be a boxing class at the gym, judo down at the community center, or I will even allow Tae Bo at home.  Have fun and try something new!

Send me a photo of you either training or post-workout and I will add it to this post.

*To the best of my knowledge, Kick Fitness does not incorporate samurai swords.  However, if Uma Thurman wants to attend one of my classes I will find a sword for her to demo with.

'What I See' project- Get involved!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I was honored to be approached as a woman in the fitness industry to take part as one of 100 communicators in a revolutionary campaign for women' voices to be heard.  The 'What I See' project is meant to serve as platform for women to be heard about what they see when they look at themselves. Women are often their harshest critics, so it is revealing to watch each video and hear about each woman's experience, thoughts, struggles, and successes.  You can see my video, as well as scroll through others here.

There are women of all ages, nationalities, careers that have taken part in the project so far. Any woman in the world can submit their own video to share what they see.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend a London filming day.  It is pretty daunting to figure out what little old me was going to say for 2 minutes about, well, me.  I don't really think of myself as a 'woman' but would more likely use the words girl or lady (as evidenced in my clip).  (Does that give me Peter Pan snydrome?) Should I stick to fitness-related experiences?  Or talk about how I love to bake and walk dogs? Elaborate about my passion to help people be healthy? Discuss how I wish I was more confident when working with others and be able to confidently trust my judgment? Be a stereotypical girl and point out which bits of my body I don't like and why?  And how these flaws are especially frustrating when it is your job to make people look and feel good about their bodies?

Turns out under pressure, I am very concise and only had 30 seconds of my vision to share.  Even though I was openly invited to take part, I still found it hard to talk about me (which my husband will probably find hard to believe).  Sometimes I wish I had the power to touch a person's arm and they could just 'get' me in a wave of emotions.  In case I wasn't clear, my passion is leading women (especially those who might be obese or have diabetes and think it is too late) on a pathway to good health and happiness.  My coaching looks at career, spirituality, and relationships, as well as eating and exercise.  These are all important in how you see yourself when you look in the mirror.

At the filming, I was lucky enough to bump into Bangs of Bangs and a Bun/Spike and Heels.  We also were able to meet @shoebird, Lorna (funny how these days, I only know people by their Twitter handle).  This lovely lady has had a massive weight loss journey and is hoping to complete a marathon on each continent (including Antarctica) in the next year or so.  It is easy to forget that many women out there share my love and passion for fitness and new challenges.  I am happy we were all able to take part in this empowering initiative.  Hopefully we can inspire more women to take control of their health and starting moving a bit more.

Has the 'What I See' project stirred anything in you to share?  If you submit a video of your own within the next 5 weeks, there is a chance you will be invited to our launch party at the Museum of Science in London. Watch the trailer about the project and then get filming!

Finally, I am happy to share with you the next contributor, Jo Gifford, The Dexterous Diva, who believes we need to be embrace creativity to be innovative.  Here video will be posted tomorrow. Take it away, Jo!

What did you think of my video? If were to submit a clip, what would you say?

The What I See Project is a global online platform that recognises and amplifies women’s voices. Through each person’s unique and honest answer to the universal question, “What do you see when you look in the mirror?”, women from all over the world can be empowered by relating to each other’s words.

The Aims
The project aims to provide a safe environment where women can share their struggles, achievements and inner thoughts, and express themselves freely through a website that appreciates them for who they really are. Throughout a year, The What I See Project aims to reach out to as many women as possible, from as diverse a range of locations and walks of life as possible.

Through both ambassadors and communicators, the campaign will highlight real female role models, the everyday heroines whom other women can relate to and admire, and amplify voices that would otherwise go unheard.