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If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.

— Katharine Hepburn, winner of four Academy Awards
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got a superstar Australian, tips for toned triceps, and a supplement that quells the common cold. Read on...

Wouldn’t you love to “inspire cultish levels of devotion”? That’s how Vogue describes New York-based fitness instructor Taryn Toomey. She created The Class,  a “spiritual fitness experience” that combines yoga, high-intensity interval training, and cardio.

The Class is energetic, yet restorative, and more free-form than typical workouts. Want to experience it for yourself? For a recent pandemic fundraiser, Toomey streamed a 25-minute version you can try at home. Or experience this 10-minute version, The Class for Caregivers, a meditative movement practice that includes energetic vocalizations (warning: may startle the neighbours!) Stretching & centering can be the ideal reset for end-of-workday stress.

Wishing you restorative energy for your week to come, Katherine & Linda
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Kayla Itsines

Working as a personal trainer in 2009 (when she was just 18 years old), Kayla Itsines started an Instagram account to post client transformation photos. Fast-forward to today and she now has 12.6 million followers, sells out global tours, and has appeared on the covers of Glamour and Cosmo.

Itsines became well-known online for her branded “Bikini Body Guide” workouts, but her mission goes further than looking hot on the beach. In an interview with Vogue from her hometown of Adelaide, Australia, Itsines explained: “I have a dream to end confusion within the health and fitness industry. Fads and scams in this industry have created so much distrust and insecurity around weight-loss programs. I want all people to understand their body, have a place to learn about health and fitness and in turn feel confident & happy.”

Try this: Itsines stays fit with three to four resistance training sessions per week, plus some cardio. Try her 30-minute Cardio Abs Workout to get your heart rate up and work your core. If you’re ready to amp up the challenge level with a full-body no-equipment workout, take on her 28-minute Intermediate No-Kit Strength Workout.
We tried this, and it had us sweating!
Explainer: Exercises to Firm Up Your Arms
Glutes and abs get the most attention in women’s fitness, but building bi’s and tri’s isn’t just for the guys. While you can’t spot-reduce fat on your arms—that requires losing overall body fat—you can deploy targeted moves to get more aesthetic arms by building muscle. One area we like to hone in on is the triceps, which bring stability to shoulders and arms.

Exercises like kickbacks and dips are ideal for triceps-building. This 2-minute video from Livestrong demonstrates some effective upper-body exercises that target the triceps, including lateral lifts and overhead triceps extension.

Working out with bodyweight only? Research shows that triangle pushups are the #1 most effective exercise in targeting the triceps. To perform them, do a push-up with your thumb and forefingers together on the mat to form a triangle. For specifics on this and other arm moves, check out this set of how-tos from the American Council on Exercise.
Careers in fitness: becoming a group fitness instructor
Have you ever been sweating it out doing burpees in your group fitness class, egged on by an instructor who’s half perky cheerleader and half drill sergeant, and thought to yourself: “I could do that!” 

If so, getting certified as a group fitness instructor is an achievable first step. In the US, the top 5 certifiers for group fitness certifications are granted by five organizations: ACE, ACSM  AFAA, ISSA and  NETA. Each certification has different emphases and curriculum, so compare costs and content before you pick which to pursue.

All these certificates require you to be over 18 and have training in CPR—skills that are a good idea to learn anyway, and which you can most easily pick up from an in-person class hosted by your local branch of Red Cross.

To learn more on what to do (and what not to do) as a fitness instructor, check out this video by barre and pilates instructor Justina Ercole listing her pet peeves. Ercole teaches 20 classes a week in New York City, so she’s an expert in teaching group fitness.
 Healthy-eating hacks to ramp up the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet—have you tried adding white beans to smoothies, or spinach to soups? (Pick Up Limes, YouTube)

 Ten Tabata workout ideas to design your own intense, effective workout (SHAPE)

 A gluten-free and keto-friendly Chicken Tagine with cinnamon, turmeric, and apricots from The Heritage Cookbook (The Domestic Man)

 Thought-provoking podcast: Brene Brown interviews the author of The Body is Not an Apology in a conversation on body shame, radical self-love, and social justice (Brene Brown)

 Perfect your push-up: a progression to do push-ups with proper form by certified personal trainer Massy Arias (Massy Arias, YouTube)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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