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Bored on the treadmill? Not for long!

April 21st, 2014 No Comments

For me running on the treadmill is like eating carrots.  I know it’s good for me, but I just won’t do it, unless it’s mixed in with other stuff.  Like my BLAST900 classes in Atlanta.  They made the treadmill challenging and even fun.

In this #Burn100 episode from SELF magazine (see my faves here), David Siik “The Treadmill Guy” from Equinox WEHO, shows you a few ways you can change up your treadmill routine.  Remember, it’s the change in the exercise that’s challenging, and it’s the challenge that causes physical, mental, and emotional change.

I love his first move in particular because the movement of your arms really focuses on working your delts and rhomboids, contracting the muscle groups in a way you normally wouldn’t.  Totally stealing that one for my class :)


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“I always think about the cupcakes I’m going to eat at this moment”

April 14th, 2014 No Comments

It’s true…and I actually say that in the video…

My latest video for the SELF magazine #Burn100 series: a total body workout circuit without equipment.

It’s funny, the other day I was telling my friend that during my recent travels I have yet to do one of these workouts. Even though I plead with you to stay focused while you’re away from your routine. She then reminded me I also encourage you to rest your body when your muscles are tired. After 10 SoulCycle classes this week, tired is a bit of an understatement.

This circuit is probably the hardiest to complete but the easiest to execute because you know most of the moves. You just refuse to do them. (Burpees, ehem.)  The challenge is to maintain your form when you get winded, as you will see I am for most of the video.

See my other favorite SELF workouts here.  All are great to do alone or incorporate into your normal workout routine.

P.S. I’m back on the blog this week.  Apologies for being MIA.

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Biggest Loser Pyramid Workout

March 24th, 2014 No Comments

Brett Hoebel is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser.  In this episode of Burn100 (100 calories in 10 minute circuits), he creates a circuit by adding one exercise each round.  It’s a tough one!!  Don’t worry, he gives you an active rest.

For more #BURN100 episodes, click here.  They’re all different and easy to incorporate into your normal routine or do when you travel.

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1 bench, 10 minutes, 100 calories.

March 17th, 2014 No Comments

In my second episode of #BURN100 for SELF Magazine, I put together a dynamic circuit workout to hit every muscle group in your body.  All you need to do it?  A bench, step, or high curb.  And of course the ability to overcome  your unwillingness to workout.  I’ll admit, this weekend, I drowned out any voice of reason with sauvignon blanc.  Oops!

Burn100 is a new web series in which every workout is 10 minutes long and guarantees you’ll burn 100 calories.  The key to hitting the calorie count is to keep moving.  You’ll see how I modify at times to catch my breath.  Push yourself to your breaking point and then take it down a level.  The important part is that you get your heart rate up to its max.  If you simply go through the motions, you might burn about 50 calories.

I’m posting the SELF episodes I think you’ll find the most useful, so check in every Monday for a new one.

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10 minute lower body cardio circuit to #BURN100 calories

March 3rd, 2014 No Comments

Lacey Stone is one bad ass chick.  I hung out with her on set, and she is a killer trainer.  In her episode of Burn100 she takes you through a series of fairly simple moves that combined as a circuit will get your heart rate sky-high.

There’s no equipment involved so you can do this ANYWHERE.

At this moment in my fitness regimen, any cardio that isn’t SOULCYCLE is always a challenge. I’m starting to sweat just watching the video.




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BURN100 – my circuit to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes!

February 10th, 2014 1 Comment

Last week SELF magazine launched the SELF video channel online to offer a variety of fitness web series to help you get your burn on.  I shot 4 episodes of BURN100 where I do a circuit of exercises to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes using only equipment you would have at home.  In this first episode, I created a yoga-inspired series:

  • Yoga burpee
  • Crescent lunges
  • Yoga wave (warrior 2 to reverse warrior)
  • Build a bridge

You’ll see as I go I get out of breath.  The constant movement really gets your heart rate up and builds heat in your muscles WITHOUT having to kill yourself.

It’s a great workout to wake up your body and start the day.  The flow is easy to do in a hotel room or when you’re on vacation (and know you need to do SOMETHING physical).

Every Monday I’ll be posting a new killer workout.  There were four other trainers who participated like Brett Hoebel from the Biggest Loser.  So no more excuses to NOT exercise.


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This week’s challenge: Sweat x2

October 14th, 2013 No Comments



Yesterday, 57 minutes through a 90 minute power yoga class, totally worked over already, I laid down in a pool of my own sweat that covered my mat from end to end.  Not exaggerating.

It felt AWESOME.

I’ve been on a yoga kick for the last two weeks so I welcomed the challenge to deepen my practice. What ended up happening was the stretching of my patience to stay not just focused, but in the room. I made it through, and stumbled out of there with a great senses of satisfaction!

When I teach at SoulCycle, I sweat a lot.  In fact, I find it fun to watch it fling around as I ride or move the weights.  But my body is so accustomed to the work that the exercise isn’t mentally challenging for me.  On the other hand, the ride is absolutely provocative and spiritual when I put my issues on the wheel and grind them out.

This week I’m challenging you to do a workout to the point you are TOTALLY drenched.  Push your mind to the limit.  So I’m not talking pit sweat or a little circle on the middle of your t-shirt.  Drenched as in I-can’t-leave-the building-with-these-wet-clothes-on situation.

What workouts are going to get to that point?  Mostly cardio and high intensity interval training.

  • Spinning
  • Kickboxing
  • Running
  • Stairmaster
  • Rowing
  • Step (do gyms still offer this?!)
  • Crossfit
  • Circuit training (BLAST900 in Atlanta, Level10 in Manhattan beach are my faves)
  • Yoga (Hot8 in Santa Monica, Equinox in WeHo, Joy Yoga in Houston, Atlanta Hot Yoga)

And I want you to do it twice.  In one week.  See if you can distinguish a change in the first and second time.  How do you feel about the workout and effort you put forth?  Take the time to sit with your accomplishment and feel the power it can have over your body and mind.

There are so many benefits to sweating and getting your heart rate up.

  1. Ignites endorphins 
  2. Revs up your metabolism
  3. Detoxes your organs quickly
  4. Controls your body’s chemical balance
  5. Burns more calories
  6. Allows fat to become water soluble and leave body
  7. Opens pores and helps get rid of acne
  8. Prevents kidney stones
  9. Strengthens your heart

In doing research for this post (also see this article), I ran across this familiar face on FitnessMagazine.com:

Charlee in Fitness Magazine


That’s my girl Charlee (SAMO, BWOOD, BVHL studios).  She’s a killer instructor and obviously stunning.

(High On Sweet via SoulCycle Instagram)


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Will I burn more calories exercising in the heat?

July 8th, 2013 No Comments



The general consensus among the experts – Livestrong and others - is NO.  All that sweat is just your body’s way of cooling down.  And detoxing, which we all need in the summer months.

You might be surprised to hear exercising in extreme cold weather helps you burn more calories.  Shivering is the action of your muscles contracting.  I didn’t know that. As someone who can’t stand being outside when it’s cold,  any exercise apart from skiing is torture.  For some reason, running when it’s cold makes my inner ears hurt.

Heat is my jam.  I’m a born and bred Texan!

So here’s the deal with the heat:

High temperature gets our heart rate up faster.  The heat expedites the muscles warming up period as well.  Unfortunately the heat tires our bodies quickly so we can’t physically DO as much.  This means, our bodies get exhausted quickly and our muscles don’t get their full workout.  I think this is why hot yoga is efficient: increased heart rate without a lot of movement plus strength and flexibility training.

To me it sounds like the ideal scenario would be to do cardio warm up outside in the heat and then move inside to do a lifting workout. Your heart and muscles are ready to rock after a little heat wave workout.

This is rare for me.  I either workout out inside or outside.

What’s the most effective outdoor workout?

If you’re wearing a heart rate monitor, you know the answer because the watch will tell you (if you have it set up for you specifically).  Cardio days will only require you move outside until your heart gets into zone 4 (anaerobic zone).  If you’re looking for a fat burning day or strength training, get your heart to zone 3  and then slow down, find some shade, and put your muscles to work.


Check out my outdoor Runyon Canyon workout here.  You have options all round you if you keep your eyes open.  If you just go on a walk, you can tone up your arms with weights or rocks.  See my video for movements.

Mary Rambin and Terry Rambin hiking


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