Mar 212011

"Before". Get ready for extreme lift. You'll know me at Rollercon, I'll be the skater with her ass on her shoulders.

In the last few weeks I have changed many aspects of my life for certain fitness goals. My diet, alcohol consumption, nap schedule and workout regiment have all been re-tooled. My goals are vague and generic, I’d like to lose weight, be a better skater, make lots of money and get a kitten. Some things have nothing to do with my fitness. But this isn’t about me or my goals, this is about the bum bum (pronounced boom-boom, you must say to yourself boom boom).

To kick off my promise to spend an additional 30 minutes each day doing something derby productive, I went over to a team mates house for a “Bum Bum” workout. I had no idea what to expect, only that the workout was part of some Brazilian Butt Lift package we had all been harassing her about. What I got was a hilarious tutorial from Leandro Carvalho,  personal trainer to some of the highest paid super models in the industry. I’m an athlete not a model and this isn’t a derby specific workout, but isn’t derby all about the booty? Does our power not come from those glorious muscles stashed between our back and our legs? Do we not covet and praise all the heinys around us? Big, round, beautiful, powerful, brutal and shapely all celebrated in their tiny shorts? Derby girls know a powerful backside when they see one. Apparently so does two time governor of California, Arnold Schwrazenegger.  Anyway, I enjoyed this workout DVD so much that I bought it. And now I am going to tell you how awesome it is.

This is what I have been guaranteed

This is the mastermind behind the Bum Bum

This DVD is heavy on cheese, and I love it. With catch phrases like “Do not settle for less!” (must say with flamboyant Portuguese accent) and “It’s all about the angles!” it’s as quotable as it is worth your while. After my first workout my bum bum was sore for 3 days. I’m getting used to it, Leandro’s right it is all about the angles! You should know that I’ve never been into step classes or anything like that. My gym memberships are used for free weights and sauna time, my cardio comes from riding my bike and skating. When I do go to cardio classes at the gym I get self conscience about all the retired gray hairs who totally kick my ass at the steps. Even when I do the Brazilian Butt Lift cardio work outs, I look more like I’m auditioning for a spot in the “Thriller” video than doing some sexy samba dance. Except now I’m only embarrassing myself in my living room, which I can handle. I’ve always been bad about motivating myself to workout on my own time, but not with Brazilian Butt Lift. It’s fun! I really break a sweat! I can really see results! “I’ve got to do my bum bum” is a legitimate excuse not to fold laundry or do my taxes!

The Brazilian Butt Lift workout package comes with three DVD’s. My favorite workout is titled “High and Tight” which utilizes resistance bands and ankle weights. The positions seem awkward at first and the  ”Suspended Clam” channels some provocative leprechaun maneuvers. While I’m gritting my teeth thinking about how stupid I look there is Leandro shouting at me “Do not settle for less, DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS!!” with campy porn-ish latin music in the background. Leandro promises me “You’re body is gonna change, I guarantee you!” which makes me want to yell at him “I’m fine the way I am!” but he doesn’t know that. He can’t see me. He does offer me lot’s of encouragement. It’s like we’re buddies now.

This may not be for you, but it is totally for me. I’m into cheesiness and fitness. If you like your fitness straight up with no fun, this is not for you.  If you don’t like fitness but still want the cheesiness, I’m sure an episode of Baywatch would suffice.  In fact, as a reward for completing my first 30 days of bum bum, I think I’ll have a Baywatch marathon.


30 Minutes

 Posted by at 1:03 pm  3 Responses »
Feb 282011

I was nervous about what to write for my first post. Does everyone say that? You don’t know me. I’m a relatively new skater. This is only my second season and I am not nearly as over it as many ladies I know. I know that all my feelings of being burdened with derby work are only the beginning. I know that going to practice 4 nights every week and having a meeting the other 3 is my new Normal, and that I had better start to like eating dinner at 5pm. Because I plan on doing this until my body will no longer let me; I accept this as my reality.

In my time so far on my home team, we have not won a single league bout. Which feels pretty crappy. Especially since I’m now  the team captain and a primary jammer, my feelings of responsibility and disappointment have compounded . Our travel team has some pretty high goals for this year, and I have already sort of arranged my life around them being accomplished. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have delusions of grandeur, but I have some big plans for myself (and my teams), and will kick my own ass if they don’t come to fruition.

Last night my coach asked the whole team to give 30 minutes of extra derby “work” everyday outside of practice. For some girls this will mean physical activity. For others it will mean studying the rules, or watching bouts online. Those 30 minutes of derby zen need not be consecutive, and not necessarily consistent from day to day. The point is to make playing roller derby and being a winner a constant thought process. I’ll admit that when I have a non-derby day I’m pretty stoked to hang out on the couch and have a couple extra beers. And in my down time, I waste countless hours surfing the net. But last night I raised my hand in front of all my teammates to say that I would rewire my brain and find a way to apply everything to my skating. Those 30 minutes will not be hard to fill. I’ll read more articles by other skaters, watch more DNN, and hip check every open door and cupboard in my path. I will change my attitude.

This morning, while my coffee brewed, I did 50 sit-ups. At work today, I sifted 150 pounds of flour (I’m a baker), and instead of scraping the flour through the drum, I engaged my core and shook it. When I am done writing this I am going to put on a pair of high heels to vacuum my house (I read in a girly mag that it strengthens your legs). For lunch, I had a salad instead of a muffin. After tonight’s training meeting, I will join a few other skaters for a little “bum-bum” workout. If at the end of the day I feel like I’ve come up short, I will rest my head on my fancy pillow, visualize hitting my opponent off the jam line and go to sleep with a smile.

I was very inspired by the idea of living/breathing derby in a positive way, and not in the overwhelming way it has come to be. Like I said, 4 nights each week are signed over to practice and one of those nights is a back-to-back skate. I condition at the gym in my “free” time”. It seems like it should be enough, but it just isn’t. No matter how much time I think roller derby takes from me, there is time leftover to make myself stronger, smarter and more valuable to my team. Last night I raised my hand to say that I can give more, and now I am telling you (feel free to hassle me you catch me slackin’ off!). I can spend 30 more minutes on top of all my other cross training, on top of all my practices and I can make every decision throughout the day to be a better skater. I will be a better skater.

What can you do?

photo by Kim Lincoln

Jul 132010

Do you go to roller derby practice a few times a week and routinely skip the optional outdoor skating endeavors that your team hosts? Why do you cheat yourself of this great cross training alternative? Outdoor skating is an excellent training option for these reasons.
• You can push your cardiovascular development and speed work.
• You can try different wheels than the usual rink or indoor surface variety.
• You can improve your agility and footwork as you maneuver around obstacles.
• You can find peace and serenity from skating in an environment that you find beautiful.
My favorite outdoor skating venue is Audubon Park in New Orleans, LA and Central Park in New York, NY. As a Louisiana native, I frequent Audubon Park more often. Audubon Park features a paved course for bicycling, walking/jogging, or skating. It is very shaded and features beautiful wildlife and nature. I enjoy choosing a distance and then timing my completion. Since I’m also a runner, I think it is fun to pick a running distance – like a half marathon. I calculate the number of laps that I need to do to reach 13.1 miles, and get after it. Then, the next time I return, I try to beat my previous best. Though I’m very careful of obstacles (especially after breaking my ankle during a rough road outdoor skate earlier this year), I also find myself becoming more and more comfortable jumping sticks, cracks, and acorns with each trip. This improves my agility and confidence. I’m confident that it translates to better performance in the game of roller derby.

Here’s a link to find outdoor roller skating areas across the United States.

photo credit:


Why Sprint?

 Posted by at 12:00 pm  3 Responses »
Jun 292010

We go to roller derby practices and usually incorporate sprint training into the endurance session. Have you ever wondered why this is so beneficial? The benefits of sprinting and the ways to incorporate it into your cross training are numerous.

First, let’s look at the benefits of sprinting. Why sprint?

1. Sprinting assists in the fat loss process more than regular aerobic training. When you sprint, certain types of enzymes become abundant. When these enzymes become abundant, they enable more energy and calorie storage and resist fat storage. It improves your metabolic rate.
2. Sprinting increases bone strength and density. High impact exercise like sprinting enables this tissue development which is very beneficial for long term health.
3. Running sprints enables sculpting of hamstrings. Less cellulite will remain on the on the legs when regular sprints are incorporated.
4. Sprinting increases endurance. With sprinting as a regular activity, the body increases its ability to store oxygen. Cardio and muscle strength training exercises become easier.
5. Sprinting helps manage stress and improve your mood.
6. Sprinting makes your muscles store and release energy efficiently, ultimately causing growth.

Sprinting can be incorporated into most types of cardiovascular training: running, cycling, skating, and even elliptical training. Here are some suggestions for how to incorporate into your running routine.

• Find a track or location with a known short distance such as 50 feet or 100 meters.
• Sprint for the distance. Follow with walking at a brisk pace for twice this distance.
• Complete this cycle ten times. If you’re a beginner, do only six cycles and work your way up to ten.
• Do this twice per week.

The attached photo can be misleading. Be sure not to run on your toes. Stay loose when you run. It is best for your muscles and your recovery  if you do not tense up during the activity.

 photo credit:

Jun 202010

Pull ups are a tough exercise for many of us. I have been working out for years but never considered adding it to my routine until recently because it just seemed impossible to gain meaningful progress quickly. I’ve changed my position on this because I now fully understand the benefits:

• Back pain alleviation. How many teammates have you heard complain about back pain?
• Posture improvements. Slumping just doesn’t look good, and it is not good for derby blocking either.
• Increased strength. Good for giving and taking hits.

The best way to start adding pull ups is to use a pull-up exercise machine at the gym. These machines are designed to help you perform pull-up exercises without having to pull up your entire weight. When you approach the machine, you will need to select a weight for the exercise. Choose a weight that allows you to do three sets of eight reps. Here’s a helpful video to assist you with proper technique.

Another consideration is to do pull downs. This will also help you to develop your lats and improve your ability to do pull ups.

photo credit,; video credit,