Chicago Trip, Part One: The NASM Live Workshop

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of participating in an NASM Live Workshop, taught by Cindy Powell. The class was held at John Hall Studios in Chicago. Cindy was an amazing instructor. She was very hands-on, informed, passionate, and interested throughout the whole session. I give her an A+.

The trainers that were working at John Hall Studios on Saturday, Saddi and Sherwood, were also super helpful and informative. While we were practicing moves, they came around and gave us tips and pointers. We also had a great discussion about nutrition and overall wellness with Sherwood on our lunch break. I tried to soak up ever morsel of their experienced wisdom that I could. It was like we were fortunate enough to be given three teachers for the price of one.

I'll share one tidbit I learned from Sherwood: You can do the plank or you can really DO the plank. Try keeping your feet fully flexed. Squeeze squeeze, squeeze and remind yourself to squeeze your glute muscles the entire time. Keep the tummy tight (navel to spine) and make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Now try and hold that for 2 minutes. It makes a world of difference when you're actually doing the move correctly.



The drive of all the students attending was truly energizing in itself. Like Cindy said after we all gave our introductions, none of us stood up and said we were there because we wanted to make millions. Every one of us had a virtuous reason for being there, whether it was because we had lost weight and wanted to help others do the same or we were chasing our passions or we had a desire to bring health awareness to places where it isn't accessible.
I have to admit, I did have a moment where I wondered if I had taken the wrong class. Yes, I signed up for this particular class, my name was on the list and everything, but I learned that there was also a test prep class in Chicago that same day. In the short term, I feel like a test prep class may have been beneficial. After all, I'm anxious about the upcoming multiple choice I have to face. In the long term however, I know that this workshop will be invaluable. There's a ginormous difference between reading about an exercise in a textbook while practicing it in your bedroom and having an instructor guide you through the moves with all the proper cues that they don't teach. Not only that, but I'm sure this workshop will help on the test as well. Actually performing the moves, performing the overhead squat assessment, and reviewing the progressive stages of training can't hurt my test score.

I'm so glad I purchased the workshop with my NASM package. I'm glad we got a good workout in at the studio too. Since Thursday was a rest day, Friday and Sunday were spent travelling, and the treadmill at the hotel was out of order, I needed a little sweatiness to make me feel like myself again.

The workshop got out just a tad early, and Hubster hadn't left the hotel yet, so I took that opportunity to run over to the two-story Target store a block away. Sure, we have Target stores in my town, but not ginormous two-story ones. I was going to buy a foam roller due to my renewed faith in them (after foam rolling in class, my achy hips stopped aching), but I passed them up for two new workout DVD's and three new shirts. Those are my Chicago souvenirs, ok? Ha! I'll ask for the foam roller for my birthday;)



With my new Target purchases, I was also able to sneak in some Tracy Anderson workouts in the hotel room. When I got home on Sunday, I also busted through a new Jillian Michaels workout I bought at Target. That way, I only took two rest days instead of four in a row (heaven forbid!). I'll have to post some video reviews of those soon.

Later in the week, I will be back with Part Two of our Chicago trip to take you through our sightseeing adventures and local food experiences.

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