April 19, 2013

Giveaway: SELF Magazine Workout in the Park NYC!

So remember how I decided to do Insanity? It was in part because a friend invited me and in part to save money, but it was also partially because I remembered it being OMGTHEHARDESTWORKOUTEVER and I thought it would whip me into insane shape. Instead, I found out that I’m apparently already in much better shape than I thought I was – and that maybe it’s not right for me after all.

The first workout of Insanity is a fit test. You do eight exercises for one minute each, as fast as you can, counting the reps as you go to a get a score. Let’s compare how I’ve done on this fit test at various points in time:

I’ve highlighted in red where I got my highest scores of all time – and it turns out, three of those were before I started Insanity this go around. You mean I’m in better shape at a few of these specialized exercises now than I was when I completed a two month program designed to make you excel at them? SWEET. (And thank you to Refine Method for helping me to blow my suicide jumps/burpees/jumpbacks score out of the water.) I went into the program all psyched about it. After all, if I had done this well at the start, imagine what I’d be able to do by the end! But instead, I found myself absolutely hating every single workout – and never wanting to do them.

A friend asked me yesterday about doing Insanity himself, and I told him that my biggest piece of advice was that if you decide to do it, you have to really commit, because once you skip one workout, you will probably never finish the program. My first time through, I finished by using momentum and the infamous chain method of motivation. I couldn’t skip today – I’d been doing it perfectly so far! But last weekend, I skipped Pure Cardio on Saturday (time pressure and I was doing a marathon the next day, so it was easy to rationalize that the race would be “Pure Cardio” enough). Then I skipped Cardio Recovery on Wednesday (partially because I wanted to sleep and partially because I find that workout to be kind of a waste of time).

And then this morning, I was supposed to get up at 4:45am to do Cardio Power & Resistance before my flight home to NYC. I woke up when my alarm went off (just like I did yesterday, when I skipped Cardio Recovery), but then found myself dreading the workout so much that I bargained with myself to do it later in the day. Of course, my flight got really delayed and I ended up with only one hour at home (in which to shower and pack for a bachelorette party I’m going to this weekend), so no workout at all happened. Wouldn’t it have been better to do a different workout at 5am, instead of skipping the workout altogether because I didn’t want to do Insanity?

Absolutely, and I’m mad at myself for not choosing to do that. In the last few months, I’ve definitely become an “intuitive exerciser” – in that I still plan my workouts, but not too far ahead, and I’m constantly switching out one class for another based on my mood. I am always in the mood to exercise, but the type of workout I feel like doing can vary quite a bit. There are times that I just want to go for an easy long run, and times I want to do burpees and lift weights and be sweating so much that I think I might pass out at the end (Tread, I’m looking at you). There are times I want to get pumped up by an awesome playlist and great instructor (Mark S of Flywheel Texas!), and times I want to just do yoga by myself in my hotel room.

Today I did not want to do Insanity – and when I think about it, I realize how unhappy the rigid schedule has been making me. The first week, I tried to do it all – Insanity at 5am, Flywheel at 6am; Insanity at 5:30am, VBarre at 6:30am – until I was completely burnt out. Last week, I focused just on Insanity and had relative success with that, but I missed the social aspect of meeting my friends for classes. (It’s a lot easier to get up and get to the gym at the crack of dawn when you know one of your closest friends will be there to greet you!) And this week, I pretty much blew off exercise altogether – I did a few Insanity workouts, but honestly half-assed them by skipping the stretching segments or taking them easy or other little cheats.

Exercise is supposed to be fun, and I’m lucky that for me it usually is. Honestly, the Insanity program isn’t that bad at all, but having to stick to such a rigid schedule is not for me – and I think it’s hurting my fitness more than helping it, because I’m bailing on the workouts I don’t want to do. So while I’ll do the Plyo Cardio Circuit workout tomorrow with the other bridesmaids (and I’m looking forward to doing it with friends!), I think I’m giving up on finishing the scheudled program. I have tons of other DVDs that will still allow me to work out for free (and of course, I can start hitting the free gym in my hotel instead of taking expensive classes when I’m traveling). Life’s too short to do something you hate, and I’d rather spend my time doing the workouts that I love.

Now, as I mentioned earlier in the week, I wanted to post a giveaway for one of you to get to experience a really fun day of workouts with me. SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park is coming to New York City on May 11, and this will be my fourth year attending (2008, 2011, 2012). I’ve had a blast every time, and as with last year, SELF has offered the chance for two lucky readers to win free tickets and join me for a day of fabulous classes. (If you aren’t lucky enough to be selected, tickets are only $20, which is totally cheap considering you also get a one year subscription to SELF Magazine plus tons of freebies at the event.)

Here’s the official spiel from SELF:

Please mark your calendars for the most exciting, high-energy edition of SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park to date.
SELF Magazine’s wildly popular outdoor health, fitness, and wellness festival, Workout in the Park, returns to New York on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Workout in the Park encourages women of all ages to join the fun with a transformative total-body experience that brings the pages of SELF to life and puts attendees in the center of the action! With celebrity host Shay Mitchell (of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars) and a special guest appearance by Skinnygirl Daily founder Bethenny Frankel, Workout in the Park is more than just your typical fitness festival! The 20th annual event inspires healthy, happy lifestyles with high-energy exercises, fashion tips, beauty consultations, and great giveaways.


SELF Workout in the Park is a transformative day of unique experiences, including invigorating classes from CRUNCH gym, beauty and fashion consultations, nutritional know-how, and tons of freebies and giveaways from SELF and additional sponsors. For the past two decades, the well-regarded event, which sells out in New York each year, has inspired tens of thousands of women to re-energize their lives.
What: SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park
Where: Central Park (Rumsey Playfield)
Who: SELF Magazine and thousands of women seeking their best summer selves
Special Celebrity Host: Shay Mitchell, star of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars: Shay will share her fitness tips on how to shape your body, improve self-esteem and look great for summer!
Special Guest Appearance: Bethenny Frankel, founder of Skinnygirl Daily: Join Bethenny for a bit of health, happiness and nutrition; she’ll be hanging out with fans and maybe even joining in on a few yoga moves!
Special Guest Emcee: Danielle Monaro of Z100: Danielle will bring her amazing energy to the event, giving the scoop on what’s happening at WIP throughout the day.
When: Saturday, May 11, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; rain or shine
Cost: $20 in advance only at SELFWorkoutinthePark.com
A one-year SELF Magazine subscription is included with the purchase of every Workout in the Park ticket.

To enter, leave a comment telling me what your favorite workout is that you will always wake up for! Bonus extra entry if you tweet about the entry and tag me (@50by25), and then leave a separate comment letting me know that you did so.

Contest will run through Friday April 26 at 6pm ET, at which time winners will be chosen by random drawing. Winners will be announced on this page (if you leave your email/Twitter handle, I’m also happy to notify you that way), and they will have one week to email me in order to claim their prize. Contest entry is open to all entrants regardless of residence, but you will need to get yourself to NYC in order to attend the event.

Also, for those who are not chosen, I would love for you to still buy a ticket on your own and join! I am planning to use all the extra calories burned from the workouts to fuel me for the (unrelated) Beers & Balls festival in the evening, and would love company for that as well. Please let me know if you’re up for either one.

The random number generator picked comments #4 and #6:

MargaretApril 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM: REFINE! I LOVE it and never dread it. P90X is pretty awesome, too, and when I did it, I always woke up early to get it done!
Beth @RxBethOnTheRunApril 26, 2013 at 2:17 PM: I tweeted about the giveaway!
Please email me to collect your prize, and if you were not chosen, please let me know if you’d still like to meet up at the event 🙂

8 thoughts on “Giveaway: SELF Magazine Workout in the Park NYC!”

  1. Beth @RxBethOnTheRun

    Lately my favorite workout is speedwork. I have no idea who I’ve become but I love feeling fast and trying to accomplish things that initially scare me and I don’t think I can do!

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