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The Power of a Good Gym Buddy (Or 10) [How do you workout - alone or in a group?]

Posted Jan 06 2011 10:16pm

Tuesday was a very special day here at the Great Fitness Experiment. I got to do my second-ever blogger meet up! (Kara of Mama Sweat was my first.) Katie of Making Food and Stuff was up here in the arctic wasteland visiting family and she generously (naively?) offered to come do a workout with the Gym Buddies and I. I should have warned her: we love an audience! The girls and I pulled out our best party tricks and put her through one the strangest - yet still crazy tough - mashup of a workout we've ever done.

We started out the day by me throwing myself around her neck for a sweaty hug (I start sweating waaay before my workout starts). Not a hugger? Too bad -you are when you meet me! Then I took her upstairs and introduced her to about 20 people in 20 seconds who then further confused her by trading treadmills. Follow the birdie!

This is how we initiate new gym buddies: by forcing them to perform cheerleading stunts with no safety mats. How come two of our "bases" only have one hand on the floor?!

First up: Tabata sprints on the treadmill . As our warm-up. (Dear Charlotte, next time maybe actually warm up before sprinting, ok? Kicks and hugs, your calves.) Katie was a Tabata virgin but she took the 4 minutes of hell like a champ.

Second: We had day 2 of Lindsey's workout which was some stair running and rope jumping... which of course I had to amp up by tacking on Zuzana's "suicide workout". (What? We had a guest to impress!)

After getting good and sweaty and vowing to never do another ninja tuck jump again (P.S. Katie and Gym Buddies? Um, I got that first interval backwards. We weren't supposed to be doing 15 rounds of 3 jumps and 3 slow-mo pushups. Just 1 jump per round. My bad.) we decided to do a little TRX ab work . Katie was also a TRX virgin so we showed her all the many ways it can smack you into the wall if you're not careful. Supa fly!

And just when we thought we were going to get to sit, stretch and discuss things totally inappropriate for the gym, Allison decided we needed to do towel-pull races. Which we did. Over and over and over. Girlfriend loves her towel pulls. Probably because she always wins!

You like my water skiing maneuver? And then how I totally cheat on the way back? In my defense, this was like the 10th round of these we'd done and my quads were toast. (Reading this in a reader? Click through to see the video.)

After this we finally got to sit down and stretch for a few minutes before scattering to do the preschool rounds. And since Katie missed out on our weird gym convo, here's one of my personal faves in which Daria instructs the rest of the Gym Buddies in the art of The Epilady! Yes, we are actually in the gym and not in the locker room.

All that screaming? I'm such a wuss. You guys that told me to try this thing must have legs of steel because it felt like getting shocked with an electric cattle prod over and over again. How do you ever use that thing on your armpits?! Yeowch.

Speaking of bloggers I'd love to meet, Averie of Loves Veggies and Yoga reviewed my book today and not only said a bunch of totally sweet things that made my whole week but included lots of fun pictures - including one of her "keeping it real" with her hair in foils. Gotta love a girl who blogs through a plague of rain and a hole in her ceiling!

Thanks for the great time Katie - come visit us again! And that offer extends to any of you as well - if you're ever in the Minneapolis area, you're always welcome to come workout with us! Now I'm going to take a page from Katie's book and ask you guys: do you normally prefer to workout alone or in a group? Do you have a beauty routine that's painful but worth the results?

Written with love by Charlotte Hilton Andersen for The Great Fitness Experiment (c) 2011. If you enjoyed this, please check out my new book for more of my crazy antics and uncomfortable over-shares!
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