Bootcamping with Trainer Vanacker

People are always asking: what are the best summer workouts in the Hamptons? There’s no question that Sander Vanacker’s Bootcamp in the Vines at Wolffer Estate Vineyard is one of the best kept secrets. If you’re new to Trainer Vanacker’s workouts, it’ll take you all of four minutes to realize that you’re going to get a high-intensity full-body workout with some friendly competition, laughs, and a serious burst of endorphins…in that absolutely irreplaceable setting we all know and love.

image010If you’re in the Hamptons, you should know Sander. Maybe it’s his out-of-the box approach, depth of knowledge about fitness, sense of humor, or all of the above, that sets him apart from the rest. For Sander, it’s not about a trendy reputation or a luxurious experience. It’s about efficiency, getting outside of your comfort zone, and doing your personal best, even if that means grass stains, groans, and lots of sweat. Sander lives and breathes fitness and it’s contagious during his classes.

“I see fitness as a tool to improve someone’s mood, health, performance and quality of life. It’s not just about the workout itself, but also about the experience and how it fits into your lifestyle. If you learn to love the activity, then you will look forward to doing….and you’ll do it more. That’s how I approach fitness. I want clients to enjoy it while getting a good workout. There’s no reason that challenging exercise can’t be fun,” Sander says.

IMG_2007The class is broken up into drills that incorporate high-intensity cardio intervals, strength training, partner exercises, games, and more…starting right away with the warm-up. That’s another thing about Sander, he won’t waste your time…or his. Every single exercise has a purpose and he won’t ask anyone to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself. You bet Sander sure does sweat right along with the rest of the class, partner for the drills, participate in the games, and get his sweat on.

As a former physical education teacher, Sander embraces the benefit of fun and games. Instead of “sprints,” we play tag. Instead of “intervals,” we use a deck of cards. Instead of equipment, we use the body. Instead of holding a plank, we play a game to make the time pass. Sander makes even the worst exercises (burpees, I’m talking ‘bout you) seem fun somewhat fun. He adds just enough distraction to make it doable…and addicting. The beautiful surrounding vines don’t hurt either.

IMG_3940Sander affirms that he “implements partner drills, games, and mental activities into the workout to keep the mind preoccupied and make the time move faster. It’s about creativity and flexibility in the moment, knowing when to change the plan to suit the needs of the class. I also attempt to show people new exercises or new ways to do the same things to prevent boredom. Possibilities are endless; in addition to new exercises to incorporate into their own fitness routine, I also aim to teach people the why behind it. Don’t just do it because I said so, do it because it’s effective.”

Want to learn something new, get a kick-ass workout, and have a little fun? Try Sander’s weekly Bootcamp, 8:30am every Saturday morning at the Wolffer winery. Click here for the full Yoga in the Vines schedule and we’ll surely see you there! In the meantime, click here for more about Trainer Vanacker, who also offers cycling coaching, personal training in the Hamptons, and online training programs for people all over the world. Guess the secret’s out…

One Healthy Breakdown: you won’t regret a Vanacker workout, that’s for sure!

Surf’s Up in the Hamptons

What’s a girl to do when her home gym closes for month?! Learn to surf, of course! Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration…I didn’t actually learn to surf, per se, but I did learn to workout on a surfboard! It’s called Surfset and it’s awesome! If you’re like me, you may have seen this innovative fitness company on Shark Tank years ago. Well, lucky for us, we can hang ten (have to use the surf lingo obviously, get used to it) at Well Within Studio in East Hampton.

IMG_0926Surfset allows you to ride the wave without getting wet! Inspired by the art of surfing, Surfset is designed to strengthen the core, improve balance, burn fat, and be fun! Combining high-intensity interval training with Pilates, resistance training, and constant stabilization, it’s a full-body workout that will get your heart pumping, your arms paddling, your core tight, and your entire body working!

FullSizeRender_2Class begins with a warm-up (‘on shore,’ aka the floor) and immediately transitions into intervals of cardio and head-to-toe conditioning. Anything’s game, from ‘starfish crunches,’ to ‘duck-dive burpees’ (you think burpees are hard? Try doing ’em on a moving surface!) to ‘wave runner’ (aka mountain climbers.) The unsteady surfboard acts as an obstacle to jump over, a surface to squat on, a mat for Pilates and yoga, and even a place for standing arm-work with the built-in resistance band. The board is created to mimic the instability of an actual surf board on the water. In order to stay balanced or perform even the simplest movement on the board, the mid-section is engaged and working hard. By the end of the 45 minute class, (which flies by thanks to the thrill of the surf and hoppin’ music) the glutes, arms, abs, and back have all gotten a full workout!

FullSizeRender_1It’s safe to say that these surfers thought of everything. Emma Field, owner of Well Within and Surfset instructor, explains what made her first fall for this unique fitness program:

“I stumbled upon Surfset a couple of years ago at a fitness convention in Germany and immediately liked what I saw. I kept in touch with the owners and as soon as a space became available, I opened up a studio to accommodate Surfset as well as various other fitness and yoga classes. I’ve worked with personal trainers and done pretty much everything out there, but nothing compared to Surfset. You get cardio, strength-building, muscle-lengthening and, of course, your core whipped into shape in no time! Personally, I love that there are no props, (besides the board, of course), so you get toned, but not bulky. I started my fitness journey as a Pilates instructor, so I appreciate a great workout using just your own body weight!”

FullSizeRenderSo, how do you workout…on a surf board?! It takes a strong mind-body connection, an engaged core, and a balance of concentration and trust to complete the class without shaking profusely or falling off-board. Emma makes it look so damn easy and natural, you may wonder what’s wrong with you, but don’t fret. Emma says not to get discouraged at the first class. “If you keep coming back, your balance will improve and you will instantly start to see the results. I mean…who doesn’t want a toned surfer body?”

One Healthy Breakdown: Join the party wave at Well Within Studio! See you at the pipeline?!

Not Your Average TRX Class, Not Your Average Trainer

I finally got to take Linda Silich’s TRX class at Studio 89 (Claypit Road, Sag Harbor.) This is not your average TRX class, because Linda is not your average trainer. The class is a lot like Linda: a whole lot of goodness packed into one. From kickboxing to dancing, sprinting, and of course tons of TRX strength-training, Linda’s regulars know that anything and everything is fair game.

IMG_1413We warmed up with some cardio and then stretched using the TRX bands. TRX allows for a unique workout, conventional strength-training in an unconventional way. We went through the standard strength-training moves to target different muscle groups; biceps, triceps, squats, etc. The difference with TRX is that you’re really creating more resistance by loading the bands with your own body weight.

Linda pushed us through three levels of intensity for each move, so that we could challenge ourselves and modify accordingly. I’ve noticed with TRX, it doesn’t feel like it gets progressively harder, it’s almost more of an instant discomfort that tells you you’re doing it right. Seems backwards, but it’s effective, that’s for sure. When we pushed into the tougher modifications, my glutes or triceps instantly felt the work. And then we pushed and pushed. And pushed. Linda does the moves right alongside you, keeping an upbeat demeanor and a smile throughout the class that made me want to stay at her level.

You’ll never be bored training with Linda. She brings enough energy for the whole class to feed off of. She’s friendly, upbeat, fast-paced, and funny. Yes, you’ll laugh, but her class is no joke. Did I mention that this particular TRX class included kickboxing, running, and sprinting? Seriously, at one point, we ran on the outdoor track behind Studio 89 and sprinted the last side of the track. Told you this class is non-conventional! I asked Linda how she runs through class with such a variety of ‘tricks’ up her sleeve. Depending on the class and the music, she’ll just feel something and go with it. Sometimes, she’s very musically driven and lets the beat govern the movement, other times, she’ll feed off of the class’ energy and modifications. She clearly has been doing this long enough that it’s second nature.

The music is always catchy, Linda’s vast taste is a pretty perfect compliment to her teaching style – anything goes if it gets the body moving. Linda’s the only trainer that will get Paddle Diva, Gina, off her SUP board…and that, my friends, is no easy task!

Ayayay, the last TRX segment was extreme. I have a feeling this is what the inventors of TRX were envisioning: sheer agony. We ended the class on the mat, feet suspended by TRX bands, doing plank exercises and push-ups. Ok, this is when I finally broke an intense sweat and actually wanted to shed a tear. I felt pretty capable throughout class until this last point, when my core and shoulders began to scream. Best way to whittle your middle? Get those TRX bands around your ankles, get down in plank and just hang out. Dare I say that this one exercise alone may make ‘typical’ planks and push-ups seem…easy? Cringe. Thankfully, the song ended and we moved on to stretching. I survived another one, phew.

On a personal note, Linda goes above and beyond in all walks of life. From running a business, (Groundworks Landscaping) to being a fabulous mom, teaching fitness classes, and being super involved in the community, Linda deserves a shout-out for being a huge inspiration!

One Healthy Breakdown: Linda is truly one-of-a-kind. Take a class with her and you’ll be instantly hooked on Linda and TRX!

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