March 5, 2020
Written By Abbey Hayes, Group Exercise Instructor
Hi, my name is Abbey Hayes and I love to run. This is a phrase I never thought I would write. Like ever.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to three years ago. I was unmotivated, unhappy, and couldn’t run to the end of my block without wanting to give up. I had been over-weight my entire life and saw running as something that would cause humiliation, rather than something that could change my life.
However, I was sick of feeling like this! I wanted to stop dreaming about changing my life AND ACTUALLY DO IT! I began to train for the Virginia 10 Miler and was absolutely terrified. Long story short, I ran the race. I’ve run it three times since and been in the top 10% of women the past two years. After discovering a passion for running, I developed a passion for all things fitness—especially running and HIIT. Now, I teach fitness classes and love working out.
Did you think this blog post was going to tell you the best places to run on Liberty’s campus?
I have something far more important to share with you: the lessons that God taught me as I’ve ran around Liberty’s campus over the past three years. Although, I would be happy to share with you that running from East Campus to Chili’s and back is exactly 2.5 miles, and there’s a phenomenal 5K loop starting at LaHaye, going around Thomas Road, running by the Circle, and running all the way back to LaHaye. But, we are here to talk about something far more important. Endurance.
If you hate running, that’s okay. I did too! But guess what? God created it, and that means He can teach us things through it. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s pretty exciting. So, open your Bible, put on your running shoes, and let’s dive in.
Endurance Brings us Closer to Jesus
Hebrews 12:1b-2a: And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (NLT)
This is pretty much the reason I work out. Now, why is this so important to me? Well, I realized that first-world countries have very little need for endurance. Everything is at our fingertips. Pain can be temporarily escaped with ease, and we never really have to force ourselves to endure anything. I believe that God gave us running, or any type of physical activity, to practice endurance. He gave us this gift to learn what it is like to power through something that feels impossible, and to realize that there must be something or someone bigger than ourselves to carry us through the unsurmountable. And that someone is Jesus. I know it may sound silly to think that you can find Jesus on a one-mile run starting from Commons 2 and ending at the gym, but He’s there.
With Every Mountain Comes a Valley
Hebrews 10:36: Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)
Have you ever noticed how long and awful the hills are when you run? Three minutes uphill feels like hours of torture. We result to walking 30 seconds in, feeling absolutely incapable of making it up the mountain. But I have good news for you! Every time you get to the top of a hill, there is a downhill!
So, you may be asking, how does this apply to my life as a Christian? Creation shows us that if there is a mountain, there must be a valley. As you run, keep this in mind. Don’t run up the mountain in fear of stopping, or worrying that it will never end, but knowing that relief is coming. The Lord is preparing you and developing your endurance for the future AND because it is so hard in the moment, you will enjoy the downhill that much more.
When You Feel as Though You Have Nothing Left, God Created You to Glorify Him
Psalm 150: 6: Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! (NLT)
We have all had those moments on a run where everything in us wants to give-up. Even though I try to focus on worshipping and praying as I run, sometimes I have nothing left in me. I become frustrated with my exhaustion, which can turn into becoming frustrated with God. This typically happens when I’m unhappy with circumstances in my life. I think to myself, “How can I worship God right now? Everything in me is tired and I can barely take a step forward.” And that is when I am reminded that I don’t have to do anything, God created my body to worship him. That truth gives me so much relief and freedom. Even when I am at the end of my rope, God still created my body for worship. He is so kind to us. He will carry us when we can’t continue. When we are weak his is strong.
With these three concepts in mind, I have completely changed the music that I listen to when I run. Instead of pumping trap music through my ears, I choose to listen to worship music. I know it may sound crazy, but it has made my running time faster. There is nothing more motivating than the truth that Christ has set me free! I hope to see you running around campus. Remember, this is beyond burning a couple hundred calories (even though that is an awesome benefit). This is worship.
February 27, 2020
Written by Maria Campanella
I have been working for Hydaway almost four years now. During my time here, I have had many opportunities to work our trail race events. Every time I am able to do this, I always be sure to hang out at the Finish Line and watch all the runners at that pinnacle moment. Since working my first race I have always wanted to experience that accomplishment. However, it just felt like a pipe dream and I never actually thought I would be here now, writing a blog about how I ran the Arctic 5K. But here we are…
I always felt inspired the day of these races to start running, but when it came time to actually do something about it, I never did. Until last November when my friend and roommate, Naomi, came home one day and asked if I wanted to run the Arctic 5K with her. I immediately said YES! We started “training” pretty soon after deciding to run the race. We ran in our neighborhood or in local parks mostly, starting with small distances and built up to the 5K. Neither of us started the process really excited to run, but as we did it more and more, we both knew it was growing on us! I always wanted to love running and although I wouldn’t go as far to say that yet, this was a good first step.
After a few months, we finally made it to February 1st, RACE DAY!! The atmosphere of the races is upbeat and exciting, we were ready to go. It was nice to be with Naomi and my work friends to help me with my morning jitters. They made me feel encouraged and excited for the run. The actual race was really hard, I won’t lie. Even though it felt like we ran and prepared well, there was rough terrain and the majority of the first half of the race is uphill. We definitely walked a bit and I fell on the way down about four times, lol embarrassing. BUT, we crossed the finish line and WE DID IT!
If you are thinking about running and don’t know where to start, here is what I have to say. These are what helped to encourage me and hope they will help you get there as well:
Find a running partner! I mean it when I say I probably would not have been able to run this race if I didn’t have someone who was willing to make time and run with me. It is so much easier to be motivated when you have someone holding you accountable and doing it with you! This was the most important part for me personally!
Sign up for the race early. Register as soon as you know you want to do it. This is another small way to hold yourself accountable. Not to mention you get a shirt out of it if you do this step ?
Be aware that it will be challenging, but the racing community is so encouraging. Multiple times on the course I had positive interactions with the other people running around me. One even helped me after falling; it was a small thing but really helped me feel reinvigorated! Everyone seems to look out for each other. You start the race as strangers, though you feel closer to them after the race. A difficult and exhausting experience like the Arctic 5k really brings people together.
You will feel really accomplished once it is over. I was as happy to cross the finish line as I had always hoped I would be after witnessing it so many times. It was worth the process!
If you’re interested in running one of our races, check out the Outdoor Recreation website to get started. You won’t regret it!
February 26, 2020
Written By Whitney Rumpca, Group Exercise Instructor
I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has looked to Pinterest for workout routines. I mean, you’re bound to find a workout when there’s millions of pins to choose from! But, wouldn’t it be nice to know if the workout you chose was more than just aesthetically pleasing but also effective?
Many of us probably have no idea who’s behind the makeup of that routine. While the convenience of Pinterest is great, it may not be the most qualified personal trainer. Let’s be honest with ourselves—have you actually gotten rid of the stubborn belly fat that full body workout promised would fall off after only 2 weeks? Before you blame yourself for doing something wrong, maybe the workout just wasn’t put together by someone who actually knew what they were talking about.
The truth is, Pinterest workouts aren’t as effective as you think.
Recreation Centers Professionals
The best way to get a workout tailored to you is to first, stop trying to fit the mold of Pinterest workouts, and second, to seek a consultation with the Recreation Centers’ fitness professionals. We’re here to help you cut the nonsense and start seeing the results you’re looking for.
Women on Weights
For example, are you into weightlifting or interested in learning more? Women on Weights is an upcoming workshop we offer to help you learn from our female professionals. If you’re interested in weightlifting but don’t know where to start, come to us as your first resort! Attending the Women on Weights workshop will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about lifting and receive guidance that will help you demystify weightlifting. We promise we won’t just hand you an outline we found on Pinterest and then leave you to your own devices.
We Want to Help You!
We are here to equip you with effective workouts and explain the scientifically proven mechanics behind them. We want you to find success in your fitness goals. Adding weightlifting into your weekly fitness plan may just be the secret sauce to success! If you’re interested in attending the workshop or other fitness events, you can find more information here. If you’re interested in a personal training package, you can find that here!
February 14, 2020
Written By Cricket Jurgovan, Personal Trainer and Alivia Chenoweth, Marketing Manager
Spring Break season is upon us, and whether you’re going on a trip or enjoying a “stay-cation,” everyone wants to look fabulous from head to toe. Here are a few 30-day workout challenges to incorporate into your everyday routine until we reach the sweet time of Spring Break.
For each day on until Day 30, increase each workout set by 5 and making sure to rest every 4th day.
- Day 1
- 10 situps
- 12 bicycle crunches
- 10 reverse crunches
- 20 sec plank
- Day 2
- 10 situps
- 15 bicycle crunches
- 15 reverse crunches
- 25 second plank
- Day 3
- 15 situps
- 20 bicycle crunches
- 15 reverse crunches
- 30 sec plank
- Day 4
- Rest Day
- Day 5
- 20 situps
- 20 bicycle crunches
- 20 reverse crunches
- 30 sec plank
Make sure to also increase these increments as you do it throughout the next 30 days.
- 2 Minute Intervals
- 60 seconds: jumping jacks
- 60 seconds: side to side leaps
- Rest 60 seconds
- 60 seconds: run in place
- 60 seconds: side shuffles
- Rest One Minute
- 1 Minute Intervals
- 60 second: mountain climbers
- 30 second: rest
- 60 second: burpees
- 30 second: rest
- 60 second: knee high run
- 30 second: rest
- 60 second: squat jumps side to side
- Rest One Minute
- 30 Second Intervals
- 30 second: air jacks
- 15 second: rest
- 30 second: squat jumps
- 15 second: rest
- 30 second: jumping lunges
- 15 second: rest
- 30 second: jumping lunges
Other Workout Options
Run through each workout a total of 3 times, set a timer and aim for 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. At the end of the circuit take one minute of rest and then start on the next round!
- Russian twists
- Plank walk out
- Oblique crunches
- Straight leg sit ups
- Side-to-side heels taps
- Walking lunges
- Step ups
- Kettle bell thrusts
- Alternating side-steps with squat
- Box jumps
- Rogue wall ball toss
- Bicep twist curl
- Push up from knees
- Rogue ball slam
- Skull crushers
Get 30 minutes of exercise in every day! Out of the 1,440 minutes in a day, this is just 2% of your day! Working out can give you so many benefits and doesn’t need to be as time consuming as some make it seem.
- Get outside or even in your living room and move your muscles!
- Check out the Liberty Today App for handy workout videos created by Recreation Centers! Tap on one you think you would enjoy!
- If you are a bit more experienced and want to up your game, perhaps set a goal of hitting the gym 3-4 times a week and focus on lower or upper body!
- Trying the stair stepper or walk at an incline on a treadmill for 45 minutes can be an alternative, and the key here is setting a pace that breaks a sweat but will not leave you winded 10 minutes in.
January 16, 2020
Written By Karah Rushing, Group Exercise Instructor
Feeling the need to relieve stress, burn calories, and have a great time? Come try a dancercise Group Ex class at LaHaye! Dancercise classes offered range from high intensity cardio classes, such as Zumba, Hip-Hop, and MixxedFit to classes more focused on building muscular strength, such as Barre Above. Here are some benefits shared by all Dancercise classes:
They feature fun, upbeat music
Here are some songs you will work out to if you come to my Barre Above class this semester:
- “Year 3,000” and “Burnin’ Up” by the Jonas Brothers
- “Turn Up the Music” from Lemonade Mouth
- “Best Friend’s Brother” from Victorious
- “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts
They build great friendships
I know this from experience as my relationship with one of my best college friends began freshman year in Zumba classes. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bring your friends so you can do the classes together!
It’s a lot more relaxing than you might think
Most Dancercise movements are simple and repetitive, allowing the mind to relax and focus on the previously mentioned music and friends instead of only concentrating on the workout.
Each class benefits your body differently
In Zumba you will be introduced to a variety of Latin styles and burn over 500 calories! In Barre Above you will be taught basic ballet movements and notice significant increases in full-body strength if you consistently attend and challenge yourself. Consistent attendance at MixxedFit and Hip-Hop classes is sure to increase your movement credibility the next time you find yourself having a dance-party with friends!
So many benefits and nothing to lose! Check out our Group Ex Schedule to see which Dancercise classes work for you.
January 10, 2020
Written By Erica Stogner, Fitness Coordinator
My fitness journey began my sophomore year of high school when I was introduced to Beachbody’s P90X. This program instilled in me a love for exercise as I experienced increases in my health and fitness over that 90 day period. However, my at home workouts eventually became repetitive, boring, and unsuccessful in delivering results. I had to find something new. I eventually started going to the gym with my dad and joined him in his “old school” body building styled workouts. Let’s just say—this wasn’t my cup of tea. I was stuck with a love for exercise and how it made me feel, but I had no direction. That was enough for me to seek the help of a personal trainer, and I am so glad I did! You may already be motivated to exercise like I was but don’t know where to start. You might have a general idea of how to work out but have hit a plateau. Maybe you know all about fitness but lack the motivation to embark on or to continue in your fitness journey.
No matter where you are at, a personal trainer may be just what you are looking for, and here is why:
Personal Trainers are personally invested in your health and wellbeing.
A good trainer is someone who not only has a passion for health and fitness but also has a passion for helping people! Becoming a qualified trainer requires individuals to sacrifice ample amounts of their time, money, and energy. Yet they easily make these sacrifices because YOU matter them. If you have a good trainer, you can be confident that you are receiving quality programming and advice because they put in the work necessary to provide the best service possible. They will pour their energy into each and every session to make sure you stay motivated every step of the way.
Personal Trainers can help you do much more than just reach your fitness goals.
While goal setting is a valuable and critical part of any training program, your fitness goals are not the only thing that your trainer cares about. A good trainer will also spend time helping you to frame a healthy mindset, create well-rounded and sustainable habits, and coach healthy behaviors both inside and outside of the gym. They have a desire to get you to the point where you no longer need them. They will educate you about form, technique, the why behind your workouts, and any other important information that will help you to feel confident about taking charge of your health and fitness even after your package has ended.
Personal Trainers tailor a program just for YOU.
There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” exercise program. A personal trainer will work with you to design a program that aligns with your goals, the way you respond to exercise, your likes, your dislikes, your schedule, and any other preferences and/or concerns you may have. You may have an end goal, but your trainer knows exactly how to design the map to get you there. Online programs, workout DVDs, and group exercise all have their place and benefits. However, nothing can beat a program that is designed with only you in mind.
Interested in signing up? For January 14-17 we have a 20% discount on our Tier 1 Training Packages! For more information on our offerings, visit our website.
December 5, 2019
Written By Alivia Chenoweth, Marketing Manager
Let’s Admit It…
Going home for the holidays means you don’t have access to LaHaye. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose your routine! Doing simple, short workouts from the comfort of home can be very effective in attaining your goals—no gym necessary. Here are some exercises you can complete at home over winter break.
No Equipment Body Weight Workout
Surprisingly, it is easy to achieve a full-body workout with a handful of equipment-free workouts. After stretching, we recommend beginning with your upper body and working your way down. To start, pushups are great upper body workouts that work the shoulders, chest, triceps and ab muscles. Next, sit ups, crunches, and planks are all very effective core and ab workouts. Finally, strengthen your legs by performing lunge holds, alternating lunges, squats, and calf raises. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of body weight workouts, so feel free to expand your arsenal by researching more!
Under 15 Minute Workout
(20-30 second breaks between each exercise)
- 10-12 pushups
- 8-10 diamond pushups
- 10-12 declined pushups (put feet on a chair or bench)
- 30 sit ups with hands behind head
- 30 cross-arm crunches
- 60 second plank
- 45 second left leg lunge hold
- 45 second right leg lunge hold
- Alternating lunges (15 for each leg)
- 20 squats
- 20 calf raises
- Repeat workouts 2x
Feel free to adjust reps, times, and workouts to suit your own fitness level and specific focus. If you stay consistent with these workouts 5-6 days a week, results will be visible within a month or two. The best part is, it should take no more than 15-20 minutes of your time each day! Also, for more workout inspiration or encouragement, check out our Workout Wednesday videos which are available on our Facebook page.
November 7, 2019
Written By Katrina Burgess, Aquatics Coordinator
The days are starting to get busy and the weather is getting cold—and let’s be honest, classes and work are beginning to fill the longest days we have seen all year. What better way to get through the day than with a podcast?
So let’s grab our earphones and begin the search for the best podcast for you. Here are 5 podcasts to make the whole week feel like the weekend.
To start your podcast search off, here is my all-time favorite: The Ken Coleman Show. In each of the episodes within this podcast, the host, Ken Coleman (did anyone else guess that?), establishes the key points to become the person who you want to be in the place where you want to be. On the show, Ken takes calls from people all over the world and listens as they pour their confusion, frustration, and dreams onto his lap. The cool thing about Ken is that he never simply gives the answer to the question, but through the 35-45 minute episodes, he allows the caller with the question to answer their own question!
- If you are in the mood for professional life guidance – e.g. preparing for the perfect interview or how to recognize key producers within your field of study or interest, this is the podcast for you!
- If you are in the mood for personal life discussion – e.g. learning how your passions and natural talents can translate into your dream job, this is the podcast for you as well!
Also, if you’re into reading, Ken Coleman published a book called The Proximity Principle which is currently selling for just $11 on Amazon!
The host, Guy Raz, engages in conversations with innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists to highlight the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. Have you ever heard of the Milk Bar or AirBnb? Good—because he has a few episodes where the journey behind these movements they built are discussed! Whether you love milk and cookies or tiny homes, you will love this podcast!
Put your hand up if you are currently experiencing college debt! Ladies and gentleman, this podcast was created for you whether you are experiencing debt or are totally debt-free. Between September 2019 and October 2019, Anthony O’Neal created his podcast and published his book Debt Free Degree ($14 on Amazon) with the goal to teach parents how to send their child to college completely debt-free. His podcast highlights the lies about student loans, the ways you can pay for college without debt, and how to decide if college is worth it. While you could send it on over to your parents, I believe this podcast is vital and educational for you as a student, too!
Alright, who enjoys a good dad-joke? The co-hosts of this show are award-winning dads filled with humor and the intention of making you laugh by answering the most difficult questions and engaging in ridiculous conversations. Each episode will give you 45 minutes to 1 hour of non-stop fun. *Pro-tip: you should never take their advice.
If you enjoy serious topics on discipline and leadership, Jocko Willink will blow your mind. The Jocko Podcast releases 1-3 hour episodes each week to discuss the principles that form business, war, relationships, and everyday life. If you follow @jockowillink on Instagram, you will see that he consistently starts his day around 4:30am (Shout out to our Recreation Centers morning shift employees!) Let this podcast encourage you, from the moment you open your eyes, to get work done!
If one of these podcasts interests your mind, start listening! If not, I encourage you to find one that challenges you to become productive with your talents, increases your mindfulness during all aspects of life, and benefits your professional development.
November 1, 2019
Written By Britta Solle, Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor
The gym can be an intimidating place for many different reasons. Whether it’s the people, the noise, the equipment, or something else, it’s never fun to feel anxious in a place that should be for reaching goals and bettering yourself. As someone who has been lifting for a few years, I know exactly what that feels like, and it’s totally normal—we all have to start somewhere. When I first started working out it took months for me to find the courage to try a new machine or exercise. I didn’t even touch a barbell for almost a year of being in the gym! From someone who’s worked through all the uncertainty, self-conscious thoughts, and confusion, here are my best tips & advice for overcoming gym anxiety:
Write down your workout on your phone or in a notebook, and make it specific. Ask yourself these questions to help build your workout: What body parts do I want to work? What exercises do I want to do? What machines do I need to use? How many sets and reps of each exercise am I going to do? Write it all down. The more you get accustomed to the gym, the less specific you will probably have to be. But, this is my best piece of advice when starting out. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly, trying a few random things, and then leaving after 15 minutes. A planned workout is a productive workout!
Really, no one is watching you
It’s important to know that even if it feels like everyone is staring/judging you, they’re not. The gym is very self-centered, meaning everyone is there for themselves and to better themselves. I promise they’re more focused on their own workouts (or how they look in the mirror) than what anyone else is doing.
Don’t compare yourself
You are there to work towards YOUR goals and better YOURSELF—it doesn’t matter what the person next to you is doing, how heavy they’re lifting, or what they look like. It’s okay to look up to certain people in the gym, but don’t get caught up in wishing you looked like them or make it your goal to look like them. Everybody is supposed to be different. You are your own amazing person; work on being the best version of YOU.
The experienced lifters had to start somewhere, too!
They had gym fears of their own, were unsure of themselves, and should be happy for you that you’re here working hard as well.
Look up certain things you’re unsure about on Google or Youtube. If possible, I recommend trying a bodyweight version in the comfort of your home or dorm, first! If you have a general idea of how to do the exercise, you’ll feel more confident trying it with weight at the gym.
Wear something you feel confident in
Sometimes all it takes is a new workout outfit that you feel good in for that extra boost of confidence and motivation.
Bring a friend
Having someone to go with you to the gym can help both of you feel more confident. Even if you’re confused, at least you can be confused together. Then, you can figure it out together, too! It’s also a great way to receive feedback about your form and have some accountability.
Don’t go during the peak hours
Ask the front desk when the gym is quiet, and then workout around those times. With less people there, you can do your own thing without gym bro next to you grunting through his reps or feeling watched. When you feel more confident, you can always switch to a different or more convenient time.
I hope that some of these tips can help you gain some confidence to start working out or to try something new in the gym! There are so many ways to exercise, and these tips can apply to any type of workout. Don’t get discouraged—it’s a process, but with time and consistency you can gain confidence and reach your fitness goals. Remember, the gym is not just for “fit” people; it is for anyone and everyone who wants to make a change. Now take a friend, write yourselves a fun workout, and go reach those goals!
October 28, 2019
Written By Lindsey Johnson, Marketing Employee
Starting a new exercise can seem intimidating. Not only does switching up your fitness routine keep it exciting—it is also often rewarding. CrossFit is one of those intimidating, exciting, and rewarding exercises.
So, what is CrossFit?
CrossFit training consists of varied and high-intensity functional movements. According to the CrossFit site the program is “designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience.” CrossFit is a training philosophy that coaches people of all shapes and sizes to improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness in a hardcore, yet accepting environment.
Official Definition of CrossFit
Found on their website, “CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone—people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years.”
What to Expect
You’ll work hard
You won’t be doing the most advanced moves in your first few classes, but hard work is what gets the best results. So, don’t expect it to be too easy. It’s like the first week at a new job—everything is tiring because everything is new, and you don’t even know where to start. You’ll be tired and sore, and those are important reminders that you put your body through something new and will need some time to recover.
CrossFit gyms are called boxes
The training spaces are not your typical amenity-filled gyms. There are no fancy bathrooms or showers, TVs, or treadmills— there’s just a lot of equipment. Think large tires, handing ropes, weights, pull up bars, gymnastic rings, etc.
Wear comfy clothes
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important you can move in what you’re wearing. Also, a flatter sneaker or training shoe is best, and your feet will thank you for it later.
Anyone can do it
It may not be for everyone, but anyone can do it. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, there are CrossFit classes just about every day at LaHaye that are built for all levels. You can look for a time that best suits your schedule and sign up here. You can also learn more from David Antonio, our CrossFit instructor, here. Good luck!