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An Insomniac’s Guide to Opus!


Do you have sensitivity to caffeine or other stimulants? Do you work out in the evenings? Do you find it difficult to fall asleep after a workout because your pre-workouts keep you alert? Do you dread the pre-workout inevitable crash? Are you looking for something that will help you stay hydrated and healthy while you perform the best workouts of your life?


As an extreme insomniac with a serious sensitivity to stimulant products, I have always avoided pre-workouts, for fear they would send me up the wall on a week-long insomniac stints where my health, my energy and my overall wellbeing would suffer. So when Magnum Opus, a stimulant free pre-workout promising all the strength and intensity of a traditional preworkout, came into my life, I was eager to try it out.

Immediately after taking Opus, I was consumed with energy and power, like nothing I had ever experienced before! My workouts reached new intensity, without heart palpitations, without feeling dizzy, without crash, and without the inability to sleep!

Opus is now an absolute staple in my every-day stack, and heres why:

Without stimulants, Opus provides a wild rush of natural energy that you will feel in minutes (not waiting around for anything to ‘kick in’), to enhance the endurance and longevity of your workouts, while also dialing up the intensity and increasing your body’s ability to recover. Opus also increases blood flow in the body with signature ingredients such as L-Citruline Malate, which improves your overall energy levels, and ability to transport BCAAs throughout the body for protein synthesis.

Most importantly, Opus keeps your body anabolic while training, which allows for explosive gains in muscular growth, and the delay of fatigue and muscular catabolism (muscle wasting) which is common in long, intense workout sessions. Opus’s feature ingredient, Carnosyn Beta-Alanine, and L-Leucine is responsible for providing this incredible anabolic fuel and muscle building environment, as well as the bonus of harder, longer muscular contraction for spectacular growth.

Whats more, Opus has 17 grams of  ingredients designed to balance and raise your body’s pH levels, which is not only crucial to your athletic performance, it is crucial to your overall health! When the body pH is acidic, it provides the perfect environmental conditions for disease to thrive and prosper, negatively affecting every aspect of your health and wellbeing. The pH raising ingredients in Opus prevent these acidic conditions, raising the body atmosphere to an alkaline state where strength, growth and health can flourish instead.

Opus will push your workouts harder, longer and more intense than they have ever been before, but that is not all this wonder product has to over. Utilizing Krebs-Cycle Acids, Opus helps the user stay hydrated, oxygenated, and primed for recovery. These compounds prevent the buildup or lasting effects of lactic acid, which causes fatigue and burning in the muscles, and reduces ammonia toxicity.

For all that Opus has to offer, it is the perfect pre-workout regardless of an athlete’s preferred activity. Opus will make weight lifting sessions more intense, make long distance runs longer, make sprints more explosive, and even benefit athletes who love yoga or dance. Opus is the perfect pre-workout for any activity, and due to its lack of stimulants, it also makes for the perfect pre-workout for any workout time! Whether you work out first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, Opus’s rush of natural, unstimulated energy will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and most importantly, able to sleep as soundly as possible.

Oh, did I mention it tastes absolutely amazing too? See for yourself!


Why you should be taking DNA (Even if you take nothing else!)

Magnum DNA

If I was restricted to taking only one supplement for the rest of my life, my choice would undoubtedly be Magnum DNA. DNA is my absolute favourite supplement I have ever taken, and one that I believe provides the most benefit to my strength, endurance, and my overall aesthetic physique. This product is my personal godsend for a myriad of reasons, and I’d like to tell you why.

(Learn about Magnum DNA here)

When I first read that DNA provides a 3 day strength gain guarantee, I was extremely sceptical; however the integrity behind the Magnum brand encouraged me to try. I added this product into my stack immediately, and I was absolutely blown away by the results! Within three days, I was able to increase my weights by a minimum of 5 lbs in every exercise I attempted! I felt amazing. Not only could I measure these results concretely, I could feel the difference in my lifting ability; I felt stronger, bearing weight was easier, and I had far more energy to give to my workouts! I out-performed every personal best in lifting that I had ever set, and that was only just the beginning. It only took three days for Magnum DNA to convert me from a sceptic to a devout believer, and it has been a beloved addition to my stack ever since. However, it is not enough to simply provide my personal experience to explain the attractive qualities of this product, for the pharmaceutical grade ingredients of DNA and their functionality that are responsible for these amazing results deserve fair attention.

The foundation of Magnum DNA is a Brain Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) formula, which are the fundamental building blocks of protein synthesis and muscle building within the body. DNA’s BCAA mix is provided with Ethyl-Esther technology, which is the first compound within the body to pass through the blood-brain barrier. This allows more effective dosage, as there is a much greater, faster absorption of the BCAAs within the body’s cells. This formula also includes Glycine and Arginine, which reduces fatigue, enhances vasodilation, and further aids muscle growth. This ensures that when the burn of muscle fatigue grows mid-reps, the body is able to endure, push through, and better cope with the stress! Additionally, the Keoiscaproate Calcium (KIC) prevents the body from muscle wasting catabolism by maintaining an anabolic, muscle building body state.

The result of this incredible formula is a promise of not only enhanced strength, but increased endurance and performance that exceeds expectations. DNA increases protein synthesis, increases the growth of muscle mass and also hardens and densifies existing muscle for an overall harder, more defined look. If that was not enough to entice, the anabolic formula also improves recovery! It truly is the full package.

Magnum DNA is an essential addition to a stack for anyone who is lifting weights in their athletic routine; no matter what your fitness focus is, this product has guaranteed benefits. If you are looking for a supplement to do more than just aid your performance, but to TRULY change your life, this is the one!

(Learn about Magnum DNA here)


Bry Jensen Island Connoisseur Bio! #60days


My name is Bry, and travel is in my blood.

From a very early age, my parents instilled a sense of wanderlust in me. They taught me the value of travel, not only for the experiences that would become treasured memories, but for the exposure to other cultures, differing world views, lifestyles and perspectives that would shape who I am. As a result, my passion for travel is unparalleled and has guided many major decisions, such as the life-defining backpacking trip across Europe I took as a fresh high school graduate, not one week after graduation. This was a goal I had set with many friends in our first high school year, but I was the only one to follow through and actually go – and at 17, this trip absolutely shaped my values, my views on the world, my independence, and my unquenchable desire to see every place I can see on this earth…

I have been lucky to visit over 20 countries in my life thus far, and therefore have a wealth of experience in traveling, foreign cultures, personal safety, and the value of interacting with locals. I feel very comfortable being away from home, and immersing myself in a world I have never known. I am a very responsible adult with good moral character; I do not drink or do drugs, and never have in my entire life!

lngwknd 515I am a fitness model and personal trainer, so I am in very good physical condition and love to be active. I am up for any type of excursion or physical activity, and I will try anything! I love to surf, I love to climb, I love to swim, and I certainly love to dance, but it can be an amusing sight. I am also very passionate about history and culture; I have a bachelor’s degree in history, and consider a location’s past to be fundamental to its character. Understanding local history enriches any traveler’s journey, and allows them to truly appreciate the wonder and magnitude of their surroundings, anywhere. For this reason, I am a dedicated and diligent traveling historian, always sure to uncover the most fascinating aspects of any place I visit, and to share them. Due to my academic background, I have become an experienced reviewer and writer. I have been a contributing author to a successful book called Real Talk Real Women, had articles published in several fitness magazines, and have had many of my academic papers nominated for awards and scholarships. I also currently review books on a new popular book-blog.

I am very familiar with social media. I currently have over 9,000 fans on my Facebook fan page, near 1000 on Twitter, I have managed brand presence for a social media company, I am active on nearly every social media platform, and am always willing to expand to new ones. Additionally, I have experience with presenting myself publicly, both over social media and to large crowds.

Though by now it may not need to be said, I am an intensely passionate person, and I love to share my enthusiasm with the world. I am very sociable and love meeting new people, and every new place I am able to visit in my lifetime is a blessing. To say this opportunity would be a dream come true would be a grievous understatement, and not do justice to the immense excitement this project inspires in me. If I were chosen to be the Island Connoisseur, I would represent with my heart and soul!

I hope you’ll vote for me!


What makes ROCKET SCIENCE Unique?

In today’s supplement world, pre-workouts reign supreme. Everyone is looking for the best product for increased energy and strength to gain the most out of their dedicated time in the gym. But with so many choices, so many ingredients and so many doses, it can feel near impossible to find the perfect compound for their goals and their stimulant threshold, without the negative side effects of a post-workout crash! How can you find what best works for you?

Magnum already established itself as a brand that is concerned with providing the best for all pre-workout desires when they produced OPUS, a stimulant free pre-workout designed for the stimulant-sensitive, the endurance oriented or the late night workout crowd. Now, with their newest pre-workout launch, Magnum once again brings massive innovation to the pre-workout market with ROCKET SCIENCE – a preworkout designed to provide explosive energy, intensity, and focus! What makes Rocket Science different?

First, the ingredients set ROCKET SCIENCE apart. Every Magnum Nutraceuticals product is made with only the highest quality pharmaceutical grade ingredients, and ROCKET SCIENCE is no exception. ROCKET SCIENCE is comprised of two major component blends, referred to as JavaShock and BrainStim Serum, which when combined, allow for unreal bursts of energy, and crystal clear mental focus. Javashock contains both Caffeine anhydrous and Dicaffeine malate, designed to stimulate the central nervous system for an increase in mental alertness, body coordination and a reduction in physical fatigue, while calming the digestive system and ensuring energy replenishment for no post-product crash. Additionally, the Brainstim Serum is a potent formula including Beta-Phenylethymine, amino acids, dendrobium and several psychostimluants for elevated mood, mental focus, concentration and increased blood circulation. These ingredients allow for enhanced mental clarity while training, without fatigue or lapses in endurance. PREPARE FOR LIFTOFF!

Aside from the quality of the ingredients, ROCKET SCIENCE is also unique in that it is an encapsulated pre-workout, allowing for a much more personal approach to dosage. Because the product is not overloaded with stimulants or filler, each capsule is efficiently tailored in dosage, and can be taken in the amount required for any individual with any stimulant threshold. Additionally, because ROCKET SCIENCE does not rely on one single stimulant source, users will experience an all-over increase of mental awareness, positive mood, and energy, no matter what their previous stimulant experience!

And yet, ROCKET SCIENCE continues to break the stereotypical barriers of traditional pre-workouts, by being useful for more than just the gym! Although ROCKET SCIENCE will increase exercise performance, endurance and energy by 13%, 65% and 67% respectively, this is not the extent of its gifts. ROCKET SCIENCE will also increase mental focus and memory retention by 22%, as demonstrated in a double blind placebo study on humans at the Windgate School of Pharmacy. For this reason, ROCKET SCIENCE has proven to be effective in aiding individuals for study or academic research, or anything that requires concentration up to and including video gaming. Considering this, ROCKET SCIENCE’s utility cannot be overstated, as it can benefit users in various aspects of their lives, not just in the weight room.


Competition Supplement Stack Part II: Catalysts

Here goes Part II of my Competition Supplement Stack, focusing on the elements that add fat-burning fuel to my workouts!

MAGNUM ACID: Combined with HEAT, Acid is my fat-burning secret weapon! Acid is a Pharmaceutical grade Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a natural fatty acid that increases muscle tissue and metabolizes body fat – particularly in the abdominal and glute region. What sets Acid apart from other CLA supplements, however, is that Magnum only invests in the two isomers of CLA (of three) that are proven to burn body fat, leaving you with no 30% filler! This increases the potency of every serving! As a competitor, I focus on keeping my abs and butt tight, so this product is a godsend. This is also the first product I would recommend to someone looking to try a fat-burning supplement if they have not had experience with fat-burners before.

MAGNUM HEAT: Combined with ACID, Heat is my fat-burning secret weapon! Now, just like most pre-workouts, I find that most fat-burners do very undesirable things to my body, especially with my heart and sleep patterns. Heat, however, is a STIMULANT FREE thermogenic fat incinerator which stimulates energy without the jitters! The key to Heat is its natural ingredient thermogenesis. The blend of raspberry ketones, ginger root, green tea leaf, black pepper extract, capsaicin, and others, will increase your basal metabolic rate, and make you SWEAT when you work! No joke, I have taken thermogenics before, but I have never actually sweat as much as I have with Heat! Whats more, not only are you not facing the jitters, Heat also has adaptogens, to help balance your hormones, so drastic fat burning results are done without overhauling how you feel — this means there will be no yo-yo effect or crash when cycling off, and you will not gain the weight back (if maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise.) Note: For those who like their fat-burner stimulants, HEAT ACCELERATED is the option for you!

L-Carntine: L-Carntine is a staple and a standard of the competitor supplement stack. Magnum does not produce an L-Carnitine supplement, therefore I am not discerning over brand preference. Synthesized from amino acids, L-carnitine is essential in the transport and breakdown of lipids (fat) in the body’s metabolic reactions, which then helps to produce metabolic energy.  When paired with Acid (CLA) and a natural based fat burner such as Heat, L-Carnitine is a great addition to any stack focused on reducing body fat and promoting leanness.

Green Tea Extract: Also known as Green Tea Catechins and Polyphenols, are found in any brewed tea, but are stronger when extracted directly from the source.  Though green tea extract is included in the HEAT formula, this added green tea extract supplement is a great addition to my stack for a touch more thermogenesis and an antioxidant boost in the last few weeks of preparation, particularly when we are no longer able to drink tea due to water cutting or distilled water conumption. This green tea extract pill mixes well with the L-Carnitine, as well as Heat and Acid.

Not Pictured: Just wanted to include a quick blurb about two supplements that didn’t get included in the photo, but will be included in a later ‘every day supplements’ post.

MAGNUM G: G is a Pharmaceutical grade beet-sourced glutamine, perfect for enhancing recovery, diminishing soreness, and preventing muscle catabolism. This, along with its ability to boost immune function and remove lactic acid for better blood and nutrient flows, this is a must in every protein shake. 

MAGNUM LOADED: A multi-vitamin loaded with minerals, greens, antioxidants, metabolic boosters, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, and anti-aging components: this is not your grandmother’s multi-vitamin!

To prevent TL;DR, I’ve broken this up into 2 posts.



Competition Supplement Stack Part I: Foundation

It has been quite a while since I’ve written a new blog post, and since we’re so close to competition time (4 weeks out) I thought the best way to jump back in would be to write a post about something I am often asked about: my supplements!  First, a few words about my sponsors in general. MAGNUM is one of the only supplement companies than can attest to having 100% pharmaceutical grade ingredients in all their supplement blends, and their dedication to quality and high-end performance is admirable. Their supplement line is extensive, yet not over-extended, to make sure you receive the best. I am very blessed to be a part of the Magnum family!

MAGNUM QuattroAnyone doing anything in the fitness world needs a great source of protein to promote muscle growth as well as to refuel and recover after intense physical endurance. Quattro is a time-release 4 isolate blend with 30g per scoop that also includes CLA and Flaxseed — which makes Quattro an ideal protein source for any time during the day, particularly in the mornings, post-workout or before bed. Additionally, because Quattro is lactose and gluten-free, it is easy even on the most sensitive of digestive systems. A bonus for me, being slightly lactose intolerant.  I use the Chocolate Love flavor for every day use, and Vanilla Ice Cream for recipes.

MAGNUM OPUS: Before Opus came into my life, I missed it so bad. That is to say that I -never- used pre-workout supplements. Being extremely sensitive to caffeine and NO, among other things, taking a pre-workout only made me feel dangerously out of control of my body, particularly my heart and my ability to sleep. Opus changed all that by being a STIMULANT-FREE (Yes, you read that right) beta-alanine based pre-workout, dedicated to anabolic fuel, longevity and endurance, as opposed to jacking you up on a jitter-ride. Opus works to balance your body’s pH and enhance your cellular performance, which ultimately results in an explosive workout (that will bring out your mini-gladiator), without the downsides of traditional preworkouts. And because its stimulant free, Opus is a pre-workout that is safe to take for every workout, even when you train late at night, as well as combined with other supplements.  Also, the Blue Yazberry flavor is to die for. 

MAGNUM Performance Greens: Many people underestimate the benefits of a good greens powder, and with Magnum’s performance greens, I’ve certainly learned this lesson personally. With its organic green and phytonutrient blend, this greens powder detoxifies and cleanses my system every morning, leaving me with a balanced pH, natural clean energy, and no drawbacks from anything that I might have eaten before. I mix this with ice and Quattro for a smoothie that tastes exactly like a tootsie roll! This is my morning kick-in-the-pants.

MAGNUM DNA: DNA is hands down, by far, my favourite supplement I have ever taken. Without a doubt, I have never -felt- the results of a single supplement as strongly as I have with DNA. Branch-Chain-Amino-Acids (BCAAs) are fundamental to muscle and strength gains, and yet normally, they are a pain to take – instantized powders that mix with nothing and taste horrible, or pills where you feel no results… this is not the case with DNA. Because it is a pharmaceutical grade BCAA mix with L-Leucine Alpha KIC, and an ammonia scavenger to remove ammonia from muscles and prevent fatigue, the guarantee on DNA that you will see strength gains in 3 days is 100% absolutely legitimate. With DNA, I went up a minimum of 5 lbs on all my major exercises within 3 days, most upwards of 10-20 lb increases in a matter of a week. I am lifting heavier, and capable of performing more reps than ever before, and it truly is thanks to DNA. I couldn’t say enough about it!


To prevent TL;DR, I’ve broken this up into 2 posts.



Embrace FIRE! Clean Eating Tangy Hot Sauce!

There is one thing you must know about my eating habits: I love spicy food. No, I really love spicy food. My fridge is famous for being the home of a myriad of hot sauces and hot peppers, and I am literally that person who will put hot sauce on everything. I’m even known around town for it – all the restaurants I go to do my food custom to make it hot enough!

However, now that I am in competition prep, I am cutting down on my consumption of condiments, salt, and sugar, and I don’t know if you’ve read hot sauce labels, but it is nearly impossible to find hot sauce without salt as a main ingredient! Knowing full well that I wouldn’t survive without spice in my life, I had to do something.


I present to you, my first clean eating EMBRACEFIRE hot sauce! 

*Please note this recipe is made according to my spice preferences – I find it to be the hotter side of mild, but please adjust the ingredients to your own spice levels.


  • 1 to 1 and a half cups of white vinegar
  • Mrs. Dash or other salt-free seasoning mix in Roasted Garlic/Garlic and Herb
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large slices of lime
  • 1 tbsp crushed and dried cayenne chilies WITH seeds
  • 2 handfuls sliced yellow banana peppers


  • Slice your chilies and peel your garlic.
    (Pro-tip: smashing garlic cloves with the flat edge of a knife makes them easier to peel)
  • Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups white vinegar to your Magic Bullet or blender
  • Add dried ingredients (cayenne and Mrs. Dash) and blend. Pieces of the spice do not have to disappear, but the goal is to make them smaller.
  • Add garlic, lime and banana peppers, and blend again until desired consistency. Mixture will blend pale orange, but as the cayenne blends down further, it will darken slightly. Because the sauce is fairly thin, I left mine with some pulp and garlic pieces still within the mixture.
  • Store, and enjoy! The vinegar as a base will continue to cure the cayenne, making it stronger as time goes on.

This hot sauce is perfect for any dish! Chicken, rice, beans, as an addition to a salsa dip, or, because its made with limes, as a base for ceviche! (I don’t eat seafood, someone will have to let me how that tastes.) Heck, I would even put this in my oatmeal, or if I was not eating clean, on my ice cream! Yummm! It can also be doubled, tripled or modified at will – I know as soon as I tasted it, I made another batch right away!

Check back for more hot sauce recipes in the future!

Published on:
April 10, 2012 5:00 pm
Diet, Recipes

Journey to the Western Canadians: Motivations

This post covers my prep from 12-6 weeks out.

When I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in December, I had a minimum of 9 months off before I could continue with my Masters program, and I knew without doubt that this was likely the only true ‘time off’ to occur in my life for a very long time. With this in mind, I made the decision to compete.

To be honest, I did not expect to enjoy competing, but I still had several motivations for choosing to compete this year. First, there are areas of my physique that are weak (shoulders and glutes), and I wanted an intensive goal to help me drastically change those attributes into greater strengths for my overall aesthetic. Second, I wanted to experience competing at least once in my life, to be able to give insight and opinions as it is an oft-discussed fitness topic. However, most importantly, I wanted to do something that would help kick down the doors to my fitness modeling career. Building my online presence has been tremendously helpful, however, what better way to have major fitness companies, magazines and photographers take notice of you than to compete? I wanted to put myself out there, at the next level.

Having no experiential knowledge on how to prepare for a competition, I decided to hire trainers who would guide me through a full and proper 12-week body overhaul. And with regard to my trainers, I have put myself into the best hands available. Working with Dean and Leigh Brandt of BodybyBrandt has been an exceptionally enjoyable experience, as well as a learning and growing process. Not only are Dean and Leigh incredibly knowledgeable and creative with their training, they each bring their personal and unique passion to the table which when combined, is an unstoppable force. Whats more, I feel I have made wonderful connections that will last beyond the competition and continue to be a mutual pleasure throughout my fitness career.

There has also been a lot of questions as to why I chose bikini, so I want to address that here as well. I chose bikini over figure because aesthetically, the bikini bodies appeal to me more, and realistically, I feel the shape and build of a bikini class suits my personal frame best. Beyond that there are no hidden motivations behind this choice, I just felt it was the class in which I fit best.

In short, the grueling and unenjoyable process that I was expecting never materialized, and I have been pleasantly surprised. I am enjoying the process and the challenge, I am seeing very real and dramatic results in my body and my capabilities (particularly with cardio), and I am looking forward to the improvements yet to come in the next six weeks.

So far, the biggest (and truly only) downfall of this process is the sheer fact that competing is expensive! Training, supplementation, custom suits, shoes, registration and membership fees, tanning, makeup, hair AND travel expenses… it adds up in a fairly daunting sort of way. As someone who does not often spend a lot of money on themselves and does not have much expendable income to begin with, this has been a challenge for me. This is the largest obstacle I foresee when asked, “will you compete again?”

Ultimately I hope that if the next 6 weeks go well, I end up with a sponsor, or at least some very serious interest. I already feel that bigger names are starting to take notice and bigger things are coming my way, so I can only continue to work hard, and hope for the best outcome. Should things go as I hope, then competing again will very likely be in my future, and perhaps you’ll be looking at the next Canadian IFBB Pro!

More posts detailing my competing experiences to come!


25 Ways to Make Chicken!

  1. Peri-Peri pepper sauce or crushed peri-peri peppers
  2. Cinnamon, sliced cold over salad
  3. marinated in organic salsa. (Great for the slowcooker)
  4. Jerk Chicken! Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle, Cayenne, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Cloves, Allspice, Cinnamon and Mustard
  5. Citrus! Lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit all make amazing marinades, and help increase flavor when baked.
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar. Though it might not smell wonderful while cooking, ACV adds a real zest and moistness to chicken, and increases your fat burning potential!
  7. Lemon-Pepper chicken. marinated in lemon juice, baked with a dry rub of crushed peppercorns
  8. Pineapple, need I say more?
  9. Curry powder. Chicken curry is delicious, but often no where near clean, so adding curry powder gives you that excellent taste, without the extra calories.
  10. Garlic! Whether marinated, dress rubbed as powder, stuffed with diced cloves or used as a garnish, you cannot go wrong with garlic as an ingredient!
  11. Tandoori Chicken – cayenne, red chili, turmeric, ginger root, garlic, vinegar, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cloves and greek yogurt (0% plain). Must marinate well before being cooked!
  12. Sautéed with julienne bell peppers and balsamic vinegar, yum!
  13. Honey with Dijon and Spicy Mustards. Perfect on its own, or in a wrap!
  14. Baked in a coating of crushed almonds or pecans – healthier chicken fingers!
  15. Shredded with brown rice and beans – healthy burrito, without the tortilla! Top with pico de gallo
  16. Grilled, topped with Bruschetta (Chopped tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil and vinegar) – a healthy way to indulge in an Italian favourite while maintaining portion control
  17. Peanut and Tahini make a wonderful Thai chicken!
  18. Dry rubbed and BBQ’d with Tarragon and onion powder – and a little citrus to keep it moist!
  19. Roasted Sesame seeds with onion and garlic powder
  20. Clean Eating Chicken Chili!
  21. Stuffed with zucchini and baked
  22. Spiced Maple Ginger Chicken: pure maple syrup, lemon, garlic, ginger, pepper, cloves and cayenne
  23. Chicken and Quinoa veggie soup: onion, garlic, celery, whole kernel corn, black beans, carrots, quinoa, vinegar, onion powder, chili powder, Mrs. Dash Extra spicy and more! [Recipe coming soon]
  24. Lime & cilantro with cumin and Spanish paprika
  25. In a slow cooker with apricot, peaches or nectarines

Bonus: Baked with Turmeric, coriander, pepper, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with sliced red onions

Published on:
March 17, 2012 9:49 am
Diet, Health, Recipes

Welcome to the Circus! Aerial Silks as a Workout

There is something particularly mesmerizing about an aerial silk performance–the aesthetic grace, the defiance of gravity, and the incredible body strength of the acrobats make for an amazing spectacle.

Aerial silks is a form of aerial acrobatics that takes its style from contortion, suspension, and trapeze, and applies them to long lengths of silky fabric for a breathtaking aesthetic. Aerial silks have made their mark in the famed Cirque de Soliel, and, much like pole fitness, has recently opened itself to the market of alternative fitness classes. Recently, I had the opportunity to take aerial silk classes and I fell in love with it! So, if you’re looking to explore a fun, new alternative as part of your fitness routine, give it a go!

What to Expect:

When you first start, you’ll be working with a knot, rather than loose silks. This will allow you to build the strength and skill sets to complete forms and poses properly, without the risk of letting go and falling to the ground. However, unlike some other skill-oriented classes, you can expect to learn a lot in your first few classes–several poses and techniques per class, as opposed to one. This keeps things fresh, exciting, and dynamic. As a result, you will progress quickly and truly get the value of your lessons.

You should expect bruises; as you are using your body in new ways, you may find yourself sore or sporting some “signs” of your new work. Also, as you will be hanging by your armpits, hips, and back, red and purple markings on the skin at points of pressure is practically inevitable. Own these marks as a sign of your progress!

The majority of aerial silk classes are either taught in circus schools or pole fitness studios, so you can expect your instructors to be fun, positive, and even kind of quirky. This is a huge benefit to your learning–their enthusiasm will encourage you to feel confident, sexy, and graceful, even when out of your element. Embrace the energy and reap the rewards.

Tips to Prepare:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! At some point, you will be spending a lot of time upside down and not being properly hydrated when you are suddenly inverted may lead to a colossal head rush and wave of nausea. Bringing a bottle of water to sip on will help clear your head and settle your stomach, if you happen to feel this way.

Wear a loose fitting top or at least something with sleeves. Normally, when you go to an exercise class, a form-fitting top over a good sports bra is the way to go. Not with aerial silks. Without good sleeves, you will burn your armpits. In my first few classes I heard plenty of horror stories about this one! I also recommend a comfortable, supportive sports bra to keep your girls in place as you bounce, hang, drop, and swing through the air.

It is very important to warm up and stretch, particularly in your hands and wrists! Wrists are the most commonly injured body part when it comes to circus training and, when you’re holding your body weight entirely in your grasp, you’ll understand why. Roll those wrists, stretch your forearms, and make sure after your class they receive some TLC.

Soon we’ll see you flying through the air with the greatest of ease!

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