Review: Femme Fitale Kickboxing Classes

boxingThe lovely ladies at Femme Fitale asked me to come in and check out a month’s worth of classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and give them an honest review.  I was delighted to do this and felt honoured that they asked me to join their lovely ladies in some kick-butt kickboxing classes.

I have taken boxing classes before that mainly focused on sparring, overall conditioning and punching combos, but I have never had kickboxing integrated in there.  It was nice to be able to add that extra element to the experience.

Being familiar with boxing I was a little worried that the combos would be too simplistic or that the classes might not be as challenging as I needed them to be to whip my butt back into shape after taking it easy for a month-ish 😉  However, I was pleasantly surprised that we jumped right into things day one.  I was impressed with the different combos of kicking and sparring drills that we were asked to do, and I could tell from the reactions around me that the other girls felt the same way.

what doesn't kill you makes you hotter

Week 1:  I admit that I was a little intimidated going into the first class because I didn’t know anyone, but as soon as I arrived I felt welcomed by the other fellow Femme ladies.

I was lucky enough to have Sammie Kennedy, the creator and CEO of Femme Fitale, as my instructor.  When you first meet Sammie you realize she is a super sweetheart, but you soon learn that not far below the surface is a drill sergeant that you learn to also love!  She is nice, but she is also not afraid to kick your butt if you are slacking – ultimately she wants you to get the most out of your workouts, and her classes never fall short of that.

The class began with a cardio circuit warm-up, followed by some simple combos, which allowed everyone to have some time to gain confidence in their boxing stances, and positioning.    The second class of week one, Sammie knew that we were more comfortable with the combos, so she increased the pace of the class and she warned us that there was no going back!  We most definitely believed her and by Friday I could still feel that burn in my muscles that I knew had come from Wednesdays class.

We were given a DVD when we started the class (along with some awesome hand-wraps, and weekly email challenges) with extra at home workouts on it that we were encouraged to do on the weekends, in between classes.  This was a great bonus and is something that you can most definitely use to your benefit.

Week 2:  Upping the ante once again with jump rope, suicide running drills, and burpees in between tricky combos sets that included both kicking and sparring drills, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was doing and how much farther I was able to push myself after just a week and a half of these classes.

Week 3:   Running drills and suicides are always a fan favourite *groan*… (okay, I’m learning to love them, almost as much as burpees;)) Burn-out rounds were added to this week, which I was quite impressed with.  Burn-out round consists of a number of different combos that you do for a minute each.  Sammie gives you the 4-5 different combos at the beginning and you don’t stop in between the rounds at all.  You spend each minute really isolating different muscles until you pretty much feel like jello (in a good way!)

Week 4:  I was only able to make Monday of this week and unfortunately I have to miss Wednesday.  The great thing about this is that Femme has a great policy that allows me to take a make-up class to replace missed classes.

During tonight’s class my partner Sarah commented that she hadn’t seen me sweat as much as I did tonight and she was proud of me for working so hard.  Being with a partner for four-weeks you get to know their strengths and weaknesses.  You get to help them perfect their skills and encourage them when they want to quit.  In a sense you get to work out, and also coach at the same time, which is a great experience in itself.  At the end of the day it is awesome watching your partner get stronger and improve, and knowing that you too are doing the same.

I won’t tell you every single thing that we did in the classes, because I think you really truly should find out for yourself.  I’ve merely given you a snapshot.

femme fitale

Overall, I enjoyed these classes.  Although I seemingly went through the 4 weeks of my experiences in these classes, I can guarantee that your experience with the classes will be different.  None of the classes are ever the same, and this is a great thing.

When you come to class, you are able to catch up with the ladies that you just met, but feel like you’ve known for a really long time.  You each have a few things in common.  You’re all there to workout and become stronger, but you also hear the encouragement of each other’s partners as the times get longer and the drills get harder, and you kind of just smile because you know that your turn is next.  You all have beads of sweat rolling down your brow, and your partners yelling words of encouragement and slapping the pads together, as you scramble to catch your breath.  You don’t know what the next combo is going to be, or if you’re going to love it or hate it, but that is part of the fun.  You are challenged beyond thresholds that you didn’t know you’d ever cross.  This workout is a great one.  In the end, you get out of it, what you put in.

And so, I signed myself up for February classes.  Bring it on!

-Bexx

For more information you can click on the Femme Fitale link at the top of the page or go to www.femmefitale.com.  You can also follow them on Twitter: @Femme_Fitale  🙂

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free month at Femme Fitale for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

World’s Biggest Juice Detox: Juice.. not so… Master

drink up

This sounds weird insane to the average person, but after a full seven days of drinking juice, the mere pleasure one experiences from being able to have solid foods that require them to chew, is pretty much like offering them (read: me) a piece of chocolate cake.  The first thing that I ate post- “World’s Biggest Juice Detox” was a bowl full of watermelon and some yogurt.  Now you may laugh at that, but it was probably THE best watermelon I’ve ever had in LIFE.  Now, this watermelon was no ripper, no more organic, no more awesomer than the rest in the grocery produce section…. you may ask yourself, where the heck did she find this magical watermelon? HAH!  Not in the juice aisle let me tell you.

Let me start this off by saying, I’ve always wanted to do a detox or cleanse of some sort, and after some debate with myself and a friend, I was still no closer to coming up with reasoning that leaned toward one detox or cleanse over the other.  Then, my friend Kim suggested that we do this Juice Master cleanse.

Now I have no affiliation with Jason Vale, or the World’s Biggest Juice Detox, nor have they asked me to do this review for them.  These of course are all my own opinions.

Red rectangle showing that we made the press release and facebook page for the detox! *famous* ;)
Red rectangle showing that we (me, Andrea, Kim) made the press release and Facebook page for the detox! *famous* 😉

The World’s Biggest Juice Detox is where 20,000 people from more than 40 countries have pledged to follow Jason Vale’s Juice Master (7lbs in 7 days) juice detox to lose over 100, 000 lbs collectively.  This happened the second week of January for Kim, Andrea and I, but the detox has been extended for others to join until the end of this week.  (You can click the link for more information on the detox if you feel so inclined :))

We started on Monday January 7th, and continued through until Monday January 14th at 8 am.

Losing weight was not my main premise for trying this, and as I mentioned before Kim had brought this detox to our attention after watching the movie Hunger for Change, and I have to admit that I was intrigued.  (I have still yet to watch this movie, but it’s on my list :))  I am not a healthy juice bar or smoothie type person to begin with, so I knew this was going to be quite the challenge for me already.  I ended up losing 11lbs in the end, which was quite the feat.  I also survived a bachelorette party on the Saturday, where my self-restraint was put to the test being around so many chocolate chips cookies, alcohol and many other wonderful temptations.

How did I feel during the juice detox?  Let me take you through my thought process:

Day 1–  Pumped up and raring to go!!!  *high-fives self, and runs around yelling WOOOO HOOO I’m a juicing queen and does a juice dance*  I don’t even care that I’m waking up the neighbours with my loud juicer/blender combo juices because I’m so juicified. (this may contain a bit of sarcasm, but I really was excited to see if I could do this for a week.)  I also learned on this day how to properly put the juicer together, after some of the pulp spewed out at me only to leave a nice horizontal line of pulp emblazoned across my chest branding me as Super Juicer extraordinaire.

Day 2–  mmmmm juice.   I wonder which of the juices will be my favourite? …… ewh… not that one that tastes like dirt.

Day 3–  I have so much energy.  I’m like a bunny.  Nothing can get me down now *high-kicks*  Who needs food to chew?? NOT ME! *chews juice to trick my body into feeling like I’m eating*  This was also the third workout night of the week with my Femme Fitale boxing ladies and they were pretty excited for me and surprised that I wasn’t lying on the floor in a permanent yoga savasana.

Day 4–  Holy heck, I cannot find anything SUPER about the ‘Super Juice’ recipe, no matter how hard I try *squints at the juice*.  I’m having a hard time this day in particular.  I’m not feeling hungry, but I do not feel that burst of energy that I need to finish my 6k running clinic this evening.  I manage to finish and suffer some awesome queasy feelings, and cannot finish my post-run juice for the evening.  The smell of juice makes me feel more ill.  I go to bed hungry, and disappointed in the run.

Day 5–  FRIDAY!! We’ve made it… what’s for dinner? More, JUICE!  I stay in with a friend and make her also have some juice so that I am sharing and spreading the awesome trend of juicing.  I want to eat anything at this point, maybe even a pine cone.

Day 6–  I sleep in late, and miss a morning juice, probably on purpose subconsciously.  I head to a movie with a friend, avoid the popcorn at the theatre, and then mosey on over to my friend’s house who is planning the bachelorette party.  I help her make chocolate chip cookies, and almost forget that I’m juicing and go to lick stray cookie dough off of my finger.  Instead I examine the finger, and question why it’s so automatic that I did that, and wash it off my hands.

I go home, make more juice for dinner, and even go the restaurant to meet everyone else after they’re almost done their meals.  This part surprisingly doesn’t bother me at all.

Later on in the evening, I want to do jello shots and have fun with everyone else,  unfortunately that type of ‘juice’ is not in the recipe for my evening juice.

At the bar a guy offers to get the bartender to put kale in the tequila shot he is trying to offer me, thereby making it ‘juice’.  My friend tells another group of guys I’m on a cleanse and one guy starts telling me about this whole food cleanse he did once, and some bodily functionalities that resulted because of said cleanse, so I politely excuse myself, while wanting to yell “TOO SOON!” as I feel our brief 2 minute friendship has clearly crossed so many lines it’s not even funny.  I go home a little hungry, most definitely tempted to cheat, but proud of myself.  I had known this would be the hardest day of all, and I was right.

Day 7–  The end is nigh.  I do not want to drink anymore juice.  I do not remember the feelings  I had on Day 3, those feelings of lightness and happiness about juice.  I actually HATE juice.  My mom always told me growing up that ‘hate’ is a strong word, but in this case I really mean it.  I drink about 3.5 of the 5 juices I’m supposed to drink on this day.  I’m grumpy about juice and have little energy.  This could be because of the lack of nutrients that I am being stubborn about drinking 😉

What this has taught meSometimes things will not be ‘for you’ but they will teach you things about yourself that you did not previously know.  I’m always trying to gain more confidence when it comes to healthy eating and fitness and doing this detox has definitely helped me realize that I have a lot more will-power and dedication (when I really put my mind to it) than what I give myself credit for.

Surrounding myself with like-minded people (like my friends Kim and Andrea) definitely helped and I recommend this ‘strength in numbers’ tactic for anyone trying this detox or any detox for that matter.  We would get together at work for our 2pm juice and we even had a Juicing group chat on WhatsApp to talk things out, and to encourage each other.  Support is key and having people around you encouraging your goals amidst the ‘food terrorists’ ( who leave treats on your desk, or who try to sabotage you in any other way) is always a nice breath of fresh air.

Overall –  I would have to say that it’s obvious that the juicing lifestyle isn’t for me.  I think that it does help a lot of people and definitely does change the way that you look at food and nutrients.  It makes you a lot more conscious of what your body needs and actually requires to function at it’s best.  It helps you realize that half the time you’re eating way too much, and polluting your body with not so great foods sometimes.  Now I’m not saying for me that my eating habits will always be 100% more awesome than before, because we all slip up sometimes, but it definitely will remind me to at least think before I chew.

-Bexx