All Posts By

Jess Calderon

All You Need Is A Partner To Do This Workout

Hey you!

Yes you! Have a little too much free time over the summer? Or are all those barbecues starting to add up and your workouts falling to the wayside…? Grab a buddy and beat the summer slumps with this awesome partner workout (description below, video above).

Studies show that working out with a partner results in a greater increase in athletic performance and exertion. Want to hear something even cooler? Working out with a partner also induces the release of a ‘bonding’ hormone called oxytocin that makes you feel closer to the other person.

This all happens because way back in the caveman days, conquering challenges with fellow homo sapiens meant that they were reliable for future challenges. But now we have evolved to bros. So, go do some #yolo stuff with your #bros especially if you guys just had a #fight…. Ok, enough hashtags, go workout!

Also, shout out to my sister Michelle for being an awesome workout buddy! Can’t believe she didn’t kill me after making her do all those burpees…. Oxytocin y’all!

The Recipe:

  • There is a ‘Sprinter’ and a ‘Builder’. Don’t worry though, you get to be both.
  • The Sprinter does the sprint exercise to the finish line and back to the ‘start line’, while the Builder stays at the ‘start line’ and repeats the designated strength exercise.
  • As soon as the Sprinter returns to the start line, they switch roles. Once you have BOTH completed each exercise in the Round 1, move on to Round 2 and so on until you’ve done all 5.
  • Have fun, and GET FIT!
Round Number Sprint Tone
Round 1 Sprint Run Pushups
Round 2 Grapevines Burpees
Round 3 Butt Kicks Lunges
Round 4 Power Skips Squat Jumps
Round 5 Side Shuffles Mountain Climbers

Check out these workouts too:

What You Should Do When You’re in a Slump at the Gym

slump in the gym

Alright guys, I have a confession to make… I have literally been cursing my workout time lately.

I set my alarm to go to the gym in the early morning, but inevitably end up hitting the snooze button until its too late to make it. On the good days, when I actually haul myself out of bed and into the gym, I find that I can’t take my eyes off the clock as I count down to the moment I can finally step into freedom and out of the gym!

Not going to lie, this scared me a little. Fitness is a big part of my life: I work as a group fitness instructor, and I plan on making this my career. But why have I suddenly begun hating the very thing that usually makes me happiest?

So I got to thinking…

March has been busy. I started a new job in the midst of midterms, and the tundra temperature outdoors is definitely not helping me want to leave my apartment for anything, let alone the gym. I’ve also been taking a look at the workouts I’ve been doing, and my mentality towards them. Lately, I have been forcing myself to spend time in the gym doing things I don’t love, just because I am too lazy to look for a new and exciting type of workout that I actually like. I’ve also been working out alone, which takes a LOT of the fun out of it.

You know the biggest factor in my slump was, though? My mentality. I would tell myself that I have to workout. Not that I get to workout. Because I was doing this alone, and doing things I didn’t enjoy, I wasn’t excited about it. So I decided to change my mentality. And you know what else changed with it? EVERYTHING!

Step 1: Write a List of Your Favorite Forms of MOVING

Okay, okay. I fully understand that your answer to “what do you like to do in the gym,” might be “nothing”, but there is an option for everyone, I promise!

Love to dance? Try Zumba or barre to satisfy your inner ballerina, Latin dancer, or just straight up club moves!

Do you have way too much pent up energy? Can you think of someone you would gladly punch in the face right now? Kickboxing. Do it. There will be no regrets.

Do you want to feel like Hercules? Weightlifting!

Love bike riding? Try cycle.

Always dreamed of being in the military minus the uniform? Take a boot camp class. Believe me, the name is much scarier than what actually goes on in there…

Identified the source yet? OK, now were ready for step two…

Step 2: Grab a Friend!

Seriously. This is so much more key to success than it may seem. If you have someone to go with, you have to go even on days when you want to back out, because you don’t want to be that flaky friend – am I right? I guess peer pressure CAN be a good thing sometimes.

Plus, there are multiple scientific studies proving the correlation between improved relationships and exercise, as well as improved exercise performance and satisfaction when performing with a friend or partner. So use science to your benefit, y’all.

Plus, it’s a way to squeeze working out and hanging out into one slot in your schedule. Double whammy!

Step 3: Set and Remember Your Goal

Why are you doing this to yourself, anyways? This is why goal setting is so important, you guys. How can you possibly expect to be motivated to do something that’s

a) physically uncomfortable

b) for a full hour, and

c) at an awkward time of day

d) in clothes that seem way too tight for anyone to be wearing 6 am?

Answer: You need a goal!

That will give purpose to not hitting the snooze button. That will give purpose to taking that extra shower, walking out into the cold, and kicking ass in order to burn out all the stress that’s been keeping you from working out!

So why are you here? Is it to become stronger? Is it to alleviate your anxiety?

Accomplish something you thought you never could? Whatever it is, you’ve got this!


An Important Letter for All Girls: Do it For You

Dear girl,

I want you to know that you’re beautiful. I want you to know that you’re strong, and I want you to be confident in the fact that you’re powerful. I know that you may not believe me no matter how many times I tell you this, but you also didn’t believe you would ever learn how to read like the other kids in your class, and you’re reading this letter like a pro right now.

Dear girl, please stop looking in the mirror with disgust. You’re too fat, you say? You’re too thin? You could never have the motivation to work out like her, so why even try? Haha, well you have quite the imagination girl— whoever said that someone emerges from the womb fit? Who decides what “fat” is or what “skinny” is? Even if they were definitive exact terms that could box people into categories as if we were supplies in a factory, do we really want to be defined by our bodies? I have a question for you, girl: would you rather be loved for your body, or for you? Because you know what? There are billions of bodies in this world, and after the age of 29 our bodies begin the slow and inevitable decline. And then what?

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: if you’re only working out and trying to eat healthy to be sexy and skinny, stop. Why are you placing your value on something so arbitrary and fleeting? Put your energy into the parts of you that last—the parts that become more and more beautiful with each passing day, memory, struggle and success. The little bits and pieces of life that only you experience, making up your unique and inimitable story—making you you.

And in this process, take care of yourself! YOU ARE AWESOME! You deserve to feel awesome by moving! By grabbing a friend and dancing away like a crazy person at a Zumba class! You deserve to feel awesome after enjoying a delicious healthy meal that you know will make you feel better- not just look better.

Because that’s what health and fitness is all about.

Stop doing it so you can be an ideal object/ decoration for people just to look at and not know, love, and respect.

Do it because exercise is one of the most underused anti-depressants out there.

Do it because exercise is known to reduce the onset of disease by over 40%.

Do it because studies show that regular exercisers are more confident and daring than non-exercisers.

Do it to challenge yourself, and I promise you the endorphins released after conquering a new goal will make your mood shoot through the roof!

But most of all, do it for you, girl! You deserve nothing but the best.

Take care of yourself.

With love from your friend,