Tag Archives: strength

On Healing : 5 Things I Picked Up from Hitting an All-Time Low

I have just gone through what could be the most painful couple of weeks of my life to date. On February 13, I lost Madie, my 7-year old Chow Spitz. I never thought it would take me this long to grieve over her passing. I’ve lost family pets in the past and although it hurt each time, there has never been anything that has affected me as much as this. Continue reading On Healing : 5 Things I Picked Up from Hitting an All-Time Low

Woman We Love: Yoga with Sanya Lopez

Just last week, I published the first instalment of a series of posts featuring beautiful women who spark inspiration. We started out with Gabbi Garcia who nailed the NT Sweat Sesh we did together. If you weren’t able to catch that one, you can read it here.

This week, we’re focusing on Sanya Lopez, who tried her first yoga class with me. Sanya didn’t know what to expect but ended up feeling ecstatic when she started to break some serious sweat during our class. Continue reading Woman We Love: Yoga with Sanya Lopez

The Gym that Moves with You: Fitness Mobil

As I write this, I am still trying to settle from the crazy rush hour traffic I have just gotten myself out of. Around us, you’ll notice, things get busier and busier each day as we all struggle to keep up with the pace of how things flow here in the Metro.

I wanted to catch a group exercise class in one of the fitness clubs I like to go to, but at 6:30 PM, it seemed traveling from BGC to Makati was not an option. I just told myself I’ll make up for it tomorrow morning. This has got me thinking, if I already experience difficulty in catching a fitness class squeezing a workout in after a long day, I’m sure others go through it too–and probably even more than I do. Continue reading The Gym that Moves with You: Fitness Mobil

Sweat Sesh: 360 Pro

I probably mentioned in my previous entry that I am a 360 Fitness baby. I began working out and following their programs back when its second branch, 360 Makati, was only starting out in 2011. Under the guidance of the young, well-trained and friendly coaches, I found my path towards a stronger, healthier version of myself. And with my regular yoga practice, I continued on that trail and thankfully haven’t fallen off ever since.

This is why I was so excited when they announced the opening of 360 Pro, a new facility that caters to a different market using a program specifically designed for athletes and active people alike.

Continue reading Sweat Sesh: 360 Pro

Open Heart, Nourished Soul: How Yoga has Gifted me with Both (Part I)

My partner, Nic, and I decided to book a trip for our sixth anniversary. We decided to go to Bali, Indonesia because we both agree that their culture is still strongly reflected in their architecture, food and lifestyle—things we both wanted to experience. I, personally, looked forward to the slow pace of living in the Indonesian province, immersing myself in the Hindu culture, and practicing yoga without having to worry about teaching a class afterwards. In short, I left to quickly recharge and check-in with myself in the process. I took a very quick break from teaching and writing too. I’m on the eighth day of my vacation, and I couldn’t help but flip my laptop open and just allow all the thoughts I have collected from this trip to freely pour out.

Uluwatu, Bali
Uluwatu, Bali

Continue reading Open Heart, Nourished Soul: How Yoga has Gifted me with Both (Part I)

Nikki on Women’s Health September 2014 [Photo Diary]

It’s out! Check out the September Issue of Women’s Health PH. I was fortunate enough to be asked to share my journey towards health and fitness in the article “Pounds Off” the You Lose You Win Special. Read about my struggles as a teen, how I got over it and what I did to sustain it.

Special thanks to my dear friend, M.Yu for being with me during the shoot. She took wonderful outtakes, some of which are posted below. Check out more BTS photos on her blog.

5 Exercises to Love and Hate at the Same Time

We all have it–that exercise that makes your eyes go wide whenever your coach tells you its up on today’s list. I’m pretty sure you don’t have just one name at the top of your head right now. I whipped up a list of the most commonly practiced and dreaded moves for any fitness level. See if any of these make it to your list too.

5. Plank

“If you think time flies, you haven’t held a plank recently.”

Whether you’re on your forearms, on your hands, or balancing on the blade of your bottom foot to work the obliques, holding a plank is more challenging than it looks. If held with proper form and alignment, you’ll be sweating in under two minutes. Find two minutes too easy? Try holding it for four or even five and do it every day to condition the core.

Jazz up your planks but keep that mid-section engaged the whole time.
Jazz up your planks but keep that mid-section engaged the whole time.

4. Pushups

As if the regular pushup isn’t difficult enough, there are tons of variations to this monster exercise. Once you’ve mastered the regular wide-elbowed pushup, you can move on to the tricep pushup and probably the one-hand pushup. If  you get bored, go play around with it. The possibilites are endless, and sometimes, even close to impossible.

3. Plyometric Jumps

I think it’s fun jumping on boxes landing as lightly as you can on your feet. But as soon as your heart starts racing and the legs begin to burn, the cute kind of fun goes away. It’s still fun but then you start to feel that this workout means serious business. I love box jumps and the reason why I love it is probably why I also hate it so much. Plyometric workouts are no joke. The explosive moves build muscular power. You become strong without feeling bulky or heavy.

No gym membership? No problem. Use that stone bench at the park to get some plyo jumps in your workout.
No gym membership? No problem. Use that stone bench at the park to get some plyo jumps in your workout.

2. Pull-ups and Chin-ups

I used to think the horizontal bar is the enemy. I couldn’t do one pull-up to save my life. Now, I think I have a chance. I can pull up once and that’s it. LOL. For most women, pulling up without jumping is a feat. Most of us don’t have the upper body strength for it especially when starting out. And sometimes, even when you do have upper body strength, you realize that it’s not the same set of muscles required to pull that bar below your chin. I learned to love the horizontal bar because it gave me something to work for and look forward to. When you find something you can’t do, you’ve found yourself a starting point to what could be an awesome journey. So track it and work towards that goal. Oh, and have you seen that viral video of American Ninja Warrior, Kacy Catanzaro? If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.

1. Burpees

At the top of the list is the ultimate calorie torcher. When I first tried doing burpees I seriously wondered why they weren’t called “Barfees”. Burpees is actually the name of the person who developed this exercise in the 80’s. It was used during military drills to see how fast army men could drop (to dodge a bullet) and get up again to shoot. It’s a total body workout that involves nearly every major muscle group and challenges your endurance. While it looks pretty simple, it’s guaranteed to get your heart racing, and your lungs gasping for air.

Here’s a breakdown to doing burpees from Joshuaspodek.com If you haven’t tried this before, do it slowly at first to familiarize yourself. There’s no need to rush if it means sacrificing form and doing it without much awareness.

I hate burpees because they’re tough. But I learned to love them (but still hate them) because they really work. I teach dance fitness classes once or twice everyday and Burpees help me survive them without feeling zapped. The fact that you can do them anywhere is an added bonus.

Which exercises have made it to your “love-hate” list? Holler at me and let’s compare notes. <3

Headstand 101: 5 Things You’ll Need to Get Upside Down

I think we can all agree that  getting up on your head and standing upside down can be considered a milestone, bringing your level of physical fitness a notch higher. But what does it really take to do a supported headstand and how do you know when your body is ready to come into the pose safely? Here’s my take on progressing into it. Continue reading Headstand 101: 5 Things You’ll Need to Get Upside Down

5-minute Workout: Heart Breaker

Whether you’re just starting out or starting over, the pocket workout series will help you get onto the road to fitness. This is also perfect for when you don’t have time to hit the gym or when you have no equipment with you.

I put together this pocket workout because it’s very easy to follow and isn’t time consuming. I recommend doing as many reps as you can without losing your form and your breath.