Favorite Workouts of 2011

Getting over the hump! Is it just me, or does this week seem extra strange with two weekend holidays in a row? It’s definitely taken me a couple of days to get into the swing of things.

Switching up the usual eggs and toast with some almond butter and jelly waffles


+ half-caf coffee with almond milk, Stevia and cinnamon

So as you guys know, I’m a big fan of trying new workouts. I’ll try pretty much everything once –it’s helpful to be able to know what guests or clients are taking about if they ask about a certain workout- and never know when I’ll find a new workout love. I tried a lot of a fun new-to-me forms of exercise in 2011 (hoop dancing, anyone?) and thought it would be fun to re-cap my favorite workouts of the year. There are a couple in here that were new to me this year, a few that are tried and true standbys.

fave workouts

Many of these require you to be free of joint or health considerations, so check with a doc before trying anything new. And guess what? They can all be done at home!

5. Insanity

I completed the Insanity workouts with my friend Ashley, in our upstairs Valdosta yoga room, two springs ago. These workouts made us work extremely hard, I loved having a buddy, and you could do them anywhere. We even took the DVDs with us to Vegas and did one in the hotel room before starting out the day. I’ve used some of the techniques for my bootcamp classes, and the only con I found from Insanity was that it didn’t involve a lot of strength training, so I added my own weight routine into the mix and saw great results. Throughout the year, I’d pop in an Insanity DVD when I didn’t have time to make it to the gym and managed to get in an excellent workout at home.

Bonus: Shaun T is very, very nice to look at 😉

shaun t Source

Oh, hey.

(Has anyone tried the Asylum? It looks pretty crazyawesome)

4. BodyRock

I first discovered the BodyRock.tv workouts after my twinnie friends raved about them- instantly, I was hooked. I loved the fact that you could do most of the exercises at home –sometimes I’d take it to the gym to use the assisted pull-up machine since I didn’t have a pull-up bar- and couldn’t believe how short they were. It definitely goes to show that quality of workouts matter so much more than quantity. HIIT didn’t feel comfortable to me when I found out we were expecting, so the BodyRock workouts have been put on the backburner since then. I’m excited to get back into them, though 🙂

Hotel Bodyrock:


3. TurboFire

turbofire (3)

TurboFire is one of the workout DVDs that I’m always recommending. Chalene’s energy is amazing, the choreography and music are fantastic, and I love the incorporation of HIIT drills with steady-state cardio, toning and flexibility. It also comes with a well-rounded diet plan in addition to the workout schedule. My favorite thing about these workouts was that I could go balls to the wall if I wanted to, and then when I needed lower-impact, they were easy for me to modify by watching Allie, as she demonstrates the low-impact modifications next to Chalene. I plan on ordering the extra TurboFire DVDs to have here at the house during naptime and when I can’t make it to the gym.

2. Physique 57


I’ve said it so many times before, but if we had a Physique 57 studio here in Tucson, it would be in my regular workout rotation. The order of the series, burn potential (this had made my muscles beg for mercy unlike anything I’ve tried) and the fact that it doesn’t involve ballistic movements or crazy pounding is pretty amazing. The company sent me the DVD set, which I really enjoyed, but there’s something to be said about the ability to take a live class. If you’re ever in LA or NYC, definitely see if it’s something you’d be interested in trying.

1. Zumba

zumba dance

You knew this would be #1, huh? 😉 You guys know I love my Zumba. Anything that makes you feel like you’re partying instead of working out is definitely a winner, and the music is my favorite. Of course, the instructor makes all the difference in the world, but if it’s something you’ve been wanting to try, there are a ton of YouTube videos posted with full routines. One of my goals for 2012 is to post Zumba dance videos more often because I love them so much.


What was your favorite workout of 2011? Anything new that you tried that you fell in love with or decided wasn’t for you?

Something to read:

Insanity vs. Bodyrock

6 tips from your future self

Keeping pets safe during the cold winter

Healthy cocktail recipes

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  1. Anna @ The Guiltless life on December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Such great advice – thanks for the round up as I’ve wanted to try a few of these so having a review of them in one place is super helpful! Tho Insanity still scares me a bit 😉

  2. Katie on December 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    YES! pleeeeeease post more zumba vids! those are my favorite 🙂

    • Amber L on December 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      I second that!!!!

  3. mi-an d. on December 28, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I actually fell in love with HIIT! i realized i lose weight faster when HIIT is incorporated in my workouts…along with steady cardio, strength, and yoga… i’m here in NY now…i have to try physique!!

  4. kara on December 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

    whoa, you did insanity spring 2010? where does time go?? i could have sworn that was just a few months ago!
    you’ve definitely inspired me to try new workouts. love your reviews! i am officially obsessed with turbofire and am gonna attempt chalean extreme soon.

  5. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on December 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I fell in love with Zumba again. I found an instructor who just kicks ass with energy and fun dances. 😉 Zumba tonight! woot woot.

  6. Jen G on December 28, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I have a copy of P90X that i just haven’t gotten around to trying. Every day I say I’m going to bust that out my car goes into auto pilot mode and goes straight to jazzerice. I just can’t get enough of the 60 minute workout that combines everything…cardio, strength, stretch and super fun music! not to mention great workout buddies! I have been going to Pure Barre on some lunch breaks and really like it for something different. It is no cardio, but you do work up a sweat.

  7. Tricia on December 28, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Have you tried the new Zumba 2 for the Wii? I’ve really been enjoying it. MUCH better than the first one. I’m trying to figure out how to extract the audio to use some of the songs in class. Tricky!

  8. meredith on December 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I am so obsessed with Physique 57 and Pure Barre videos! I attend PUre Barre classes alot in a nearby town, but I pop in the P57 videos several times a week. volume 2 is the best. Barre classes seriously can change your body! Thanks for the great ideas of other workouts. After our baby arrives in June, I will definitley need some easy at home workout options to get back into shape!

  9. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on December 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Yeah I totally new zumba would be number one! Still haven’t tried it but hopefully I will in the new year!

  10. Dede on December 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Asylum is way harder than Insanity. I could muddle through Insanity okay but Asylum was killer. I have to modify quite a bit.

    Are you holding a foam roller in the pic? I just got P90X2 and it came with the rumble roller. Yowza! If you think regular foam rolling hurts, try the rumble roller. It gets in there deeeeep.

  11. Shannon on December 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I would definitely love to try physique 57, but I live in Philadelphia and sadly no studio here as well. I can’t wait to try out some of your suggestions. I definitely think in general I do better at gyms on machines or in classes because they are more involved and focused, but DVDs are a great for when you are too busy to get to the gym, and want to feel a good burn. No excuses 🙂

  12. Sarah on December 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    These are great recommendations! I’d love to try a pure barre class/DVD in 2012, it just seems different and like it would work muscles I didn’t realize I have, since I dont’ have a dance background.

  13. Claudia on December 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Gina! Never commented before until now but I’ve been reading your blog for a while… and totally trying recipes 🙂 I totally agree with all of these, especially Insanity and Bodyrock, both are killer! And actually I did do Asylum this summer and am currently doing it again, I think you would love it (after baby of course)! It’s in a lot of ways similar to Insanity, and in a lot of ways different– Shaun is less “nice” in some of the workouts and really makes you push way harder than before. Insanity is, to me, a lot of just straight cardio and I think the workouts can get a little old since it’s a lot of the same moves, but Asylum’s are pretty much all different and I like that you get to focus on different things like Speed & Agility and Strength. Plus, Shaun T is even MORE ripped in this one! Haha 😉

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      you’ve just convinced me 🙂

  14. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on December 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I am dying to try TurboFire! I’m a sucker for anything with good choreography and music!

  15. Ali on December 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I love all of your top five! I have to add P90x to my fav’s, because I LOVE Tony Horton so so much. So funny.

  16. Katie on December 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I am so in love with Zumba! Any type of workout that doesn’t feel like a workout is stellar in my book. After decades of traditional workouts, I need something more fun. 🙂

  17. Colleen on December 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I got the At-Home 6-pack of MyTrainer (www.mytrainerfitness.com) cards for Christmas, and I have been really really impressed with them! They pack a lot into 30 minutes, the time goes really fast, and there are so many ways to modify to your time/fitness needs. They actually remind me a lot of the monthly circuit workouts you post, Gina, that’s probably why I like them so much!

  18. Felicia on December 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    bodyrock was new to me this year too.. and totally changed everything 🙂

  19. Sara on December 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    LOVE P90X…it’s the only workout that I get very visable results.

  20. michele on December 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I have recently discovered POP pilates and love it!

  21. Laura on December 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm


    I drank the kool-aid. And I love the kool-aid. I want more kool-aid.

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      i have yet to try the kool aid 🙂

  22. Lena @Fit on the Rocks on December 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I fell in love with BodyPump and TRX boot camps this year because I’ve never been one to lift much, but I love the feeling I get after an intense class!

  23. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I love this recap…you just listed the 5 workouts that everyone seems to talk about…but that I never seem to do. Lol. It reminds me what I need to try in the future and your endorsement of Physique57 and that if there were live classes in Tuscon, you’d be all over it. Good to know.

    I just do my yoga at home and go for a run. It’s so basic, so easy, and a return to a simpler approach that I’ve been doing for about a year. Doing my fitness show and learning how to lift in the gym was nice, but not really me, and not a lifelong thing whereas yoga + little bit of running is me. I always return to that combo because I feel best, mentally and physically, with that combo.

    Nice to know of all these DVD options though…for that rainy day…


  24. Army Amy* on December 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    This makes me realize that I didn’t do any new work outs this year! I guess that will have to be a goal for 2012.*

  25. Nancy on December 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I’m new to your site, as in two days. Very fun stuff. And this is the first time I’ve ever posted on anything.
    I’m a certified yoga teacher, I run, and do daily workouts in between chasing my 5yr old little man, but am needing to shake things up. I’m thinking about the turbo fire! I recently let go of the gym …. not providing me well. A yogi to the core I suppose.
    Do you feel the gym is better motivation then at home?
    nice food options you have going. I like it. Thanks for the reccomendations!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      thank you for saying hi and for reading, nancy!
      chasing a 5 year old definitely counts as a workout 😉
      i think it’s totally possible to get an awesome workout at home, but there’s something about the class and group fitness atmosphere that i really enjoy. it all comes down to motivation 🙂

  26. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on December 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I STILL haven’t tried zumba yet, and I know it’d be right up my alley, gotta get on that!

  27. sarah @ sarah learns on December 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    trying zumba is on my list of workout goals for 2012! my sister raves about it and it looks like so much fun!

  28. Sable@SquatLikeALady on December 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    In 2011 I swapped bodybuilding for powerlifting! I really prefer powerlifting workouts because I feel so…well, powerful! 🙂

    I am totally with you on this week. We’ve worked three half-days this week, tomorrow is a super long day, and Friday is another half-day — next week is going to be PAINFUL!

  29. Tessa on December 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Hi this is my first comment to your blog. I just wanted to let you know that your exercise and baby posts are VERY inspiring to me. My hubby & I just found out we are expecting too. So I will be checking in more often to get some good tips from you for sure. I did have one question, I noticed that you’re drinking coffee (or as you called it in this post “half caf”) and I have quit cold turkey … I went from having a Venti Vanilla Latte daily to NOTHING … kinda drastic for me. So I wanted to know if you drink this daily, and what your comments are on that topic. Thanks a ton!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      hi tessa! congratulations!! so excited for you 🙂
      i didn’t drink coffee very often during the pregnancy, but found that in the end of my first trimester/beg of second, i started to get bad headaches in the afternoon. one cup was all i needed to make it go away. the headaches eventually went away and i now very rarely have coffee- maybe a cup every week or so. i like the taste of it, but try to stay away since it’s easy for me to get hooked!

  30. Laury on December 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Love your roundup!

    Body Rock has been my fav for a few years now, although I don’t eally do her workouts as much regularly, I kind of make up my own HIIT workouts using the interval timer and some moves from BR site. It was my fav post baby though when you’re in a time crunch between constant feedings and not busy being exhausted lol.

    I really want to try ITurbofire. Have heard great things from you and a few others. I hae no space but have brought my laptop over to my condo gym’s big open room to do P90X a few times.

    Hope you’re feeling well!

  31. Lori on December 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    You should try CrossFit, it’s awesome!!!!!

  32. Whitney on December 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I just started Insanity last week and am LOVING IT! My only thought is what do I do after this is over? I do not want to venture into P90x land, and I am terrible at strength training by my lonesome. Great recap lady!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      come live in tucson so we can strength train together. problem solved 😉

  33. Pure2raw twins on December 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    love them all 🙂 love Bodyrock then Insanity and Physique 57 all great ways to get the body moving 🙂

  34. Jennifer on December 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I’m so excited to see TurboFire listed here! I just got my DVDs last week and want to start working out to them tomorrow. Along with that, I signed up to become a Team Beachbody coach. Can’t wait for it all to come together for me and be a living example so I can help to inspire others! My coach told me I’d love TurboFire because it’s kind of similar to Zumba, which is my favorite workout ever besides yoga, but which I haven’t done in forever!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      if you love zumba, you’ll love turbofire. there’s some booty shaking involved 🙂

      • Jennifer on December 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

        Awesome, can’t wait! Thanks! 🙂

  35. Mai on December 28, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I tried Insanity this year, but definitely prefer P90X over it. Love love Zumba–it’s so fun and doesn’t even feel like exercise!

  36. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on December 29, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I haven’t tried any of these before! I’m not really a big workout video person, but maybe I just haven’t found the right one yet. I’d love to try Insanity or Turbofire!

    My favourite workout of 2011 was running, like always! But my favourite NEW workout was swimming. I just started swimming laps this year and I’ve been really enjoying it.

  37. Katy Widrick on December 29, 2011 at 8:13 am

    My fave is Dance Trance (duh) although your Insanity kicked my BUTT! I am a loyal P90X fan, but agree that BodyRock and Physique are pretty sweet.

  38. Julie S on December 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Have you ever tried Jazzercise?

    • Fitnessista on December 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      no, but i’m sure i’d love it

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