fitness tips

Burn Fat with Sprint Training

sprint-trainingSo I've been sprinting.  One of my new year's fitness resolutions was to begin sprinting, because it burns fat and encourages muscle growth, so it begun.  Do you sprint?  My new trainer, Jarrett Hahn, Owner of M.O.V.E Fitness & Performance in Hoboken, NJ discusses the benefits to sprint training and lays down some ground rules to ensure you're getting the most out of your workout.  After all, we don't have time to waste.

"One of the main benefits of sprinting is that it gets your nervous system fired up, releases endorphins and growth hormone, and activates muscle fibers that would otherwise be dormant," Hahn explained.

Make Sure Your Form is On Point

Form and technique is just as important in sprinting as in any other exercise or movement. Everything from the start phase, to the acceleration phase, to the maximum speed phase.  Turns out, I wasn't sprinting correctly until I was coached.  Here's a video on the proper form.

Use a Heart Rate Monitor

Wearing a heart rate monitor during sprinting, can be very beneficial if you’re looking to  shed excess body fat and widen your aerobic window.  It helps to get your body into an anaerobic state of exercise, which is short duration, high intensity exercise that lasts anywhere seconds up to around two minutes.  (For example, I've been doing a series of 15 second sprints to increase my heart rate, then allowing it to come down to 120 bpm before doing another.)

After two minutes, the body’s aerobic system kicks in. The anaerobic effect happens in the body when we exert ourselves at 84% of our max heart rate and above. The residual effects include: burning more calories at rest, developing strength, an increased VO2 max, a more lean and defined body, and a more efficient use of time.

Take it Easy

I've been doing a sprint training routine for 10-20 minutes per day three days a week. "You want to get right to the edge of that breaking point and call it a day. It is best to start on the more conservative side to avoid injury or overreaching," Hahn warns.

New Year, New Fitness Goals

fitness-goalsI wonder how many of you have new fitness goals for the new year?  I think it's safe to say 99%.  Whether you're making the commitment to join a new fitness studio or just to be healthier in general, this post is for you.  I was inspired to write it after having dinner with my best friends, Michele and Jarrett Hahn, who own M.O.V.E NJ Fitness & Performance in Hoboken.  The day after our double date (and indulging in a few bottles of wine), I was sprinting for the first time in years.  Here are my new fitness goals (effective immediately) that I'm sure will inspire you, too.

Change it up.  It's been one year since I moved to Hoboken, which makes it one year that I've been doing Local Barre classes about five times a week.  While I dabble in trying new fitness classes all over NYC, my main workout is barre.  "In order to cause change to your body composition you must constantly change up your workout regime," stated Jarrett Hahn, trainer and the owner of M.O.V.E NJ Fitness and Performance.  "The body will only adapt to new stimulus, meaning if you keep doing the same thing, your body will remain the same. Changing up your routine every 4-6 weeks would be ideal." I'm going to begin incorporating sprints and more cardio into my routine.  What are you going to do?

Push past your comfort zone.  It seems like common knowledge, but we don't always go for the extra challenge.  If you're doing something that feels somewhat comfortable, push yourself to the next level.  For example, I used to be able to plank for 20 seconds (comfortably).  Now, I'm proud to say that I can hold a proper plank for a minute and 30 seconds and am trying to get stronger each day.

Track your movement.  I've never worn a device that tracks my steps or how much I sleep, but out of curiosity I'm starting to wear the Tom Tom Runner Cardio GPS.  The heart rate monitor will help me stay on track when sprinting and help me keep my overall fitness goals.

Make a new playlist.  Music drives my movements.  How about you?  Creating a new playlist is just as good, if not better than buying new workout gear.  I love NYC DJ and my friend, David Hamburg's, mixes on Spotify.

Forget excuses.  This is my biggest problem!  I don't like to sweat, I like to glisten, which has kept me from cardio for a while.  Also, if I have a blowout... forget about it.  If we want results, there are no excuses.

Now it's your turn to inspire me!  Share your fitness goals for the new year below. 

*This post is sponsored by Tom Tom, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.

The Best Fitness Apps


fitness-appsYou can consider all of us here at BeautySweetSpot fitness fanatics. From running, to yoga and barre, we've got it all covered, which is why we rounded up the best fitness apps that’ll inspire you to get up and get moving – all while having fun, of course.


This easy-to-use fitness app is great for experienced runners and newbies alike. It features a GPS map that’ll track your every move and a very nice lady-robot (probably related to Siri) who will tell you helpful things like your pace and how long you’ve been running. Once you complete your workout session, Runkeeper gives you the option of bragging about your time and distance on social media, which is awesome for motivational purposes. Never forget that it doesn’t matter how far you go or how fast, you’re still lapping everyone who’s on the couch.

Yoga Studio

Yoga memberships are expensive. A single class can cost upwards of twenty bucks.  Enter the Yoga Studio app. For less than five bucks you get a plethora of awesome routines that are designed to strengthen your muscles through guided workouts and audio cues. More experienced and actually able to touch your toes already? There are plenty of more advanced workouts available, making this the ideal app for yogis of all levels.


Sometimes the hardest part of working out is just showing up. Pact makes that decision significantly easier by offering rewards and penalties for people who break their workout dates, meaning that every time you skip a workout…you lose real money deducted from your credit card. On the other hand if you meet your goals at the end of the week, then you can actually earn money too! Clever, right? The best part is that Pact can be synced with other fitness apps like your FitBit or even Runkeeper to help hold you accountable without having to do too much extra work like logging in your exercise manually.

Zombies, Run!

If Runkeeper is too boring for you to consider running as a real form of exercise, why don't you give Zombies, Run! a try? Suddenly, running to the corner ahead of you means the difference between you surviving the Zombie apocalypse and you getting totally eaten by a crowd of the walking dead. The app has super creative story lines built in that make you think you're running for your life and running certain distances will unlock gear that'll help you survive another day. Definitely better then your average workout class, right?

Charity Miles

While you're out running from Zombies or challenging your friends to work out twice a week in order to earn five dollars, consider also logging your challenges with Charity Miles. For every mile of exercise that you do, a corporate sponsor will donate to a charity on your behalf. That way, not only are you helping yourself live a healthier lifestyle, but you will be helping the lives of others at the same time.


Shaking is Key to A Successful Barre Class

My legs were shaking like I was having an orgasm (sorry mom).  That's when I knew I had to write about it.  It's been a month that this has been happening.  Class after class, move after move and it's not stopping thanks to Local Barre.  Turns out, shaking is a good thing!  Taking any type of barre class?  Read this before your next pulse or squeeze.  It'll make you want to shake, too.

"Shaking means your changing your body and doing it right," explains one of my Local Barre instructors, Meghan Grant.  "You're working your body to exhaustion and changing your muscles by making them nice and lean."

As a fitness enthusiast, you know I've been frequently attending CKO classes and have always tried new classes at my former gym, which have all kept me in shape, but nothing ever made me actually shake.  Since ballet inspired barre classes are focused on the core and help to strengthen, lengthen and tone even the tiniest muscles, shaking at times during class is necessary for change.

In order to shake, you need to figure out the technique and check your alignment on every move.  Once that's in check, continue to challenge yourself.  "Always adjust when your body gets comfortable and don't be afraid to ask your instructor questions," Grant remarked.  To achieve the detailed toning you're looking for, kick things up a notch to continue to shake – get higher on the balls of your feet when doing exercises in relevé and try bending down into a lower chair when it's time to work those thighs.  

Local Barre is located in Hoboken, NJ.

6 Ab Exercises, As Demonstrated in GIFs

Even though we were just counting down to the new year, guess what I'm counting again.  To my wedding you think?  Well, but no.  To Memorial Day weekend!  There are 138 days until Memorial Day, which is my bachelorette party in the Hamptons and bikini time for all of us. If a New Year's resolution wasn't enough motivation, my count down to summer may help. Here are six ab exercises (in GIFs!) that'll help you tone up before the clothes come off. 1. Let's start with basics.