All Articles Tagged "fitness"

You Can Save A Lot On Your Gym Membership, But Most Gyms Are Hoping You Don’t Workout

January 6th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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If you vowed to join a gym and lose weight for your 2015 New Year’s resolution, here is some advice that could save you a few dollars when joining a gym.

First, play hard to get. There are a ton of gyms around to choose from, so when you go in and hear the sales pitch don’t act interested. In fact, walk away. The gym will most likely call or email you with a better deal, reports Business Insider.

Ask for the gym to let you forgo the initiation fee. Paying in advance for the entire year will also save you a few dollars.

If you’re a student, see if they have a special rate for you. And some will offer a military discount as well.

And don’t be in such a rush. Usually the spring and summer months have lower rates. If you don’t want to wait, Business Insider suggests you “sign up in the middle of the month, as for the remaining weeks free and have your membership start the following month.”

Lastly, if you can’t get any sort of discount from the gym, ask them for a few perks such as a personal trainer or massages for free.

Given the time of year, you’re probably hearing a lot about gym memberships these days. It’s a big business, with lots of people paying lots of money to gain access. And there is a new gym trend emerging, sending prices through the roof. But luckily there is a counter gym movement going on as well — gyms that cost just about $120 a year are also seeing an increase.

For example, the high-end CrossFit has gone from 13 affiliate gyms in 2005 to a whopping 10,000 today. In Manhattan, CrossFit will run you about $2,500 annually. “High-end gyms catering to individuals with intensity and ample disposable incomes are proliferating, particularly in urban markets. The infamous and fast-growing SoulCycle costs an eye-watering $34 a class,” reports New York magazine. If you worked out four times a week for a year, this would cost you an incredible $6,000 annually.

On the opposite end of the pricing spectrum, Planet Fitness has more than tripled its number of locations nationwide.  According to an industry report by IBISWorld, “From 2010 to 2014, many small, low-cost gyms with few amenities and month-by-month contracts have fared well. Poor economic conditions, coupled with many consumers continuing to be budget conscious over the period, have caused new trends to emerge.”

Most experts say to skip the middle-market gyms, where monthly fees were about $80 and drop-in fees about $10. Mainly because most gym goers at these gyms don’t go consistently enough to make the price worth their while. According to one study, gym goers went “so infrequently that 80 percent of the monthly members would have spent less if they’d just paid for dropping in. Only 1 in 10 or 20 went three times a week; about 1 in 4 people on a monthly or annual contract only went once a month,” reports New York.

If you skip from going to Planet Fitness, where you’re only shelling out $10 a month, it won’t be as much of a financial loss.

In fact, most gyms have built their business model around the fact that most people pay but don’t go. “Gyms have way more members than they can actually accommodate. Low-priced gyms are the most extreme example of this. Planet Fitness, which charges between $10 and $20 per month, has, on average, 6,500 members per gym. Most of its gyms can hold around 300 people. Planet Fitness can do this because it knows that members won’t show up,” reports NPR.

From less intimidating designs to annual contracts that make us feel better about making the commitment to go to the gyum (even if we don’t actually show up), health clubs have become experts on member behavior and use all that knowledge to get you to sign up. Even if showing up becomes the problem.

And when we finally realize that hey, we’re wasting money, the gym will offer an incentive to keep you. “Planet Fitness has bagel breakfasts once a month and pizza dinners. Those are its busiest times. It also has massage chairs. Other gyms have mixers and movie nights and spa treatments,” reports NPR. And get this, those who sign up but don’t go to the gym are actually helping keep te costs down for everyone. “People who don’t go are subsidizing the membership of people who do. So, if you don’t work out, you are making gyms affordable for everyone,” reports NPR.

So have you hit the gym yet in 2015?

Do You Have To Workout To Keep A Man?

December 16th, 2014 - By jade
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In this episode of One Bold Move, we show a few series extras that didn’t make the final cut. Curly Nikki gives tips on maintaining natural hair for kids, YouTuber Missy Lynn gives advice for makeup newcomers, The Curvy Fashionista addresses plus-size fashion misconceptions, Mother/Daughter fitness duo Ellen and Lana Ector share their fitness inspiration and the co-founders of Black Girls Run! discuss whether you have to workout to stay in a relationship. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.


Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 3 – Black Girls Run!

Episode 4 – Black Girls Workout Too

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista


14 Things That Occur When You Start Back Working Out

December 2nd, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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For anyone who used to work out consistently, but then took a long hiatus, getting back into the swing of things can be a little… interesting.  Some things are harder than you anticipated, and you realize that your mind has to catch up with your current body (not the one you used to have or, the one you’re delusional to think that you still have.  No shade, I have to remind myself I’m not as small as I used to be every time I go jean shopping, but that’s a different post).

Here are 14 things that tend to occur when you get back to your gym rat ways.  Let me know if you can relate, or what you noticed when you start back working out.

Here’s Why Black Girls Workout Too!

December 1st, 2014 - By jade
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In this new series, One Bold Move, MadameNoire profiled four popular bloggers in the categories of Hair, Makeup, Style, and Fitness. These bloggers discussed the one bold decision that placed their life on a completely different trajectory. In this episode, mother and daughter duo Ellen and Lana Ector discuss their motivation for working out and why it’s important for black women to workout.


To join their gym, purchase workout DVD’s or workout gear visit their website.


Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 3 – Black Girls Run!

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista

Episode 6 – Series Extras

Black Girls Run! Founders Give Advice On Hair and Working Out

November 24th, 2014 - By jade
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In this new series, One Bold Move, MadameNoire profiled four popular bloggers in the categories of Hair, Makeup, Style, and Fitness. These bloggers discussed the one bold decision that placed their life on a completely different trajectory. In this episode, the founders of Black Girls Run! Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey talk about their journey to get more African American women active and to not let your hair get in the way.


To sign up for a running group, visit their website.

Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 4 – Black Girls Workout Too! 

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista

Episode 6 – Series Extras


Working It Out: That Time I Was Told Go To The Back Of A Zumba Class

October 22nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a new health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Deputy Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.

Working It Out: I Was Told Go To The Back Of Workout Class

Source: Shutterstock

When you begin a new workout regimen to lose weight — or even think about beginning one — there are lots of things you can become anxious about. Can I really do this? Do I have time to do this? Do I have the money for this? Are there going to be creepy men at the gym staring at me? Are the skinny chicks who do this on a regular going to judge me? The latter actually wasn’t even a concern of mine when I got back into a Zumba routine several months ago at a studio not far from my office. I live for Zumba because the moves are ones I can actually do for a whole hour, I love Latin music, and I work up a crazy sweat. Plus the classes tend to be full of women — 90% of which are rhythmically challenged yet still doing their thing and having fun — so it’s always felt like a no judgement zone. Until the one day I met #ThisBish.

I always like to get to classes early so I can save up my energy for the actual workout, rather than running to grab a spot before the instructor begins. And because I’m one of those people who likes to workout toward the middle, if not the back, of the class. At this point in my journey, I’m just not interested in seeing belly flat flap all around in those gigantic jazzercise mirrors. The particular day I met #ThisBish though, I’d been running late and once I got to the class there were only a couple of spots left — one of which was second row left, right in front of those dag on mirrors. Though not my preferred spot, I wasn’t going to not workout because of that so I popped a squat for two minutes and began stretching when a voice not far from me said “This is kinda hard. You might wanna go to the back of the class.”

In my naivety,  which I still can’t account for because once I come into contact with people on the streets of New York City I tend to be overcome with the worst of attitudes, I simply smiled and replied “Oh, I’m okay here,” low-key thinking the woman was being sympathetic to the packed class struggle and trying to point out free space. When she returned my comment with an annoyed expression on her face I was confused, and almost as soon as the instructor turned on “Suavemente,” the light bulb went off in my head and I realized she was suggesting I go to the back of the class because there’s no way I’d be able to keep up or keep from embarrassing myself in the front of the class. “This Bish!”

When I tell you I have never pushed myself in a class so hard before I am not lying. For one thing, I’ve taken a Zumba class at least 75-plus times in my life. This wasn’t my first Latin rodeo so I wasn’t worried about keeping up. But just to prove little Halle the Hater wrong over there, I made sure I went from zero to a hundred real quick (in my Drake voice) and cut my eyes at her every time there was a break in the song to make sure she knew I caught on to her hateration. I also decided when the class was over, and my heart rate returned to a normal level, I was going to give her a piece of my mind for trying to play me. But low and behold, little miss I-do-this left the class early and I never got a chance to redeem myself.

As someone who writes about other people’s business all the time, I can’t exactly say with a straight face: why are people so concerned with what other people do? But, being overweight is always one of those conditions that, for some reason, always tends to lend itself to public scrutiny and suggestiveness as the expense of said plus-size person’s mental state. If my weight is that much of a personal affront to you, why not encourage me to push harder from wherever I am (like my Crunch instructor last week who ironically asked me why I keep going to the back of the class) or congratulate me for trying to get my life together (OK maybe not because that would be awkward to me).

Anyway, I know when some folks see me all they see is a walking burden on the health care system, but until I show up at your door with a doctor’s bill and a laundry list of comorbidities — or unless I stand right in front of you in a kickboxing class and block your view from the mirror, please let me live! I have enough stuff going on on my journey to Snatchedville. Trust me, I’m working it out. Has this ever happened to you?

9 Ways To Add More Years To Your Life

August 6th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Life can be one stressful journey, especially on the job. There are days when we’re excited and others that make us want to cry. And let’s not forget about how our actions that have an impact on our health. Like stress poor choices can zap our bodies and even cause medical issues down the road. The time has come to make a few changes. Here are some interesting ways how you can add more years to your life.

Lexy Panterra Talks About The Highs & Lows Of Her Celebrity-Filled Twerking Fitness Class, LexTwerkout

June 9th, 2014 - By Rana Campbell
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Panterra with Christina Milian via @Twerkout on IG

Panterra with Christina Milian via @Twerkout on IG

Based in California but with pop-up classes all over the country, LexTwerkOut is not your average workout. Having amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram and a celebrity clientele like Tiny, Tamar Braxton, Christina Milian, and Mel B, LexTwerkOut is is a fun and sexy way to burn hundreds of calories. MadameNoire caught up with LexTwerkOut founder Lexy Panterra to chat about the vision behind LexTwerkOut and some of the challenges she faces as an entrepreneur, including comments (and assumptions) about her race.

Madame Noire (MN) What inspired you to start LexTwerkOut?
Lexy Panterra (LP): I’ve been a dancer and a singer my whole life and I was watching some twerking choreography on YouTube that had six million views. It popped in my head that it would cool to do classes, but to make it more about fitness so that there would be more longevity to the classes. I sat on it for a couple of months and didn’t do anything. New Year’s came around and I told myself to just do it, and from there I had my first class [in late January 2014] and it grew from there.

MN: What’s a LexTwerkOut class like?
LP: We do a 15-minute warm up [that includes stretching and cardio.] For a beginner class, I go through all the moves and teach them. After that, we freestyle to one song and I have the girls show me all the moves they learned. Then we do a “twerk train line”  or have a “twerkle” so the girls can show off all the moves they’ve learned. Then, we cool down.  For the advanced class, since they already know the moves, we just get into the workout.

MN: How did you go about getting that celebrity clientele and exposure? How have they have been a factor in the growth of your business?
LP: I know Christina Milian. She took  the first class that I ever had. She has an amazing following and she posted [about the class] on Instagram. That caught the attention of Karreuche. Then [came] Tiny Harris, which is her friend as well. Next, came Tamar Braxton. They all come right after the other. They build it because they post it, so it  goes out to a whole different crowd and their fans. Celebrity exposure is a great factor for any business. Things get out faster if you have celebrities involved because they can reach out to way more people.

MN: What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned these past few months about growing a fitness business?
LP: Make sure you get your branding right. Don’t make hasty decisions.  Plan ahead. Make sure you write down your income and what you spend. You have to keep track. You can’t learn everything all at once.

‘You’ve Got To Embrace What You’ve Got:’ Garcelle Beauvais Encourages Women To Love Themselves At Any Size

April 24th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Garcelle Beauvais is absolutely gorgeous and in my opinion, epitomizes what it means to age gracefully. So it’s not surprising that the 47-year-old beauty snagged a spot on People’s 2014 World’s Most Beautiful People list. While chatting with the publication, the mother of three revealed how she manages to keep it all together.

“You know, I think a lot of it has to do with the genes I was born into,” she explained. “I think it’s 80% that and the rest is that I maintain it.”

While she admits that she does watch what she eats, the former “Jamie Foxx Show” actress says that she doesn’t deprive herself.

“I try to eat healthy, but I don’t go crazy or anything. I really do believe that it’s a balance. If I’m with my kids and it’s pizza night, I am having a couple of slices of pizza, for sure. And then the next day I’ll have something a little healthier. I really think it’s a balance and also, it comes from within.”

According to Garcelle, beauty is also about establishing emotional wellness.

“I have to say that I think I’m at peace right now in my life. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve come out on the other side of it. I think it’s how I’ve been able to forgive and grow and empower and be aware. I think all of that stuff has got to help inside somehow.”

She also touched on women and the increasing pressure that they face to be thin.

“I think you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. I think that’s really a lot of it. We stress out over what size is on the label. I think if it fits, I don’t care if it’s a 10 or if it’s a 6 or if it’s an 8. No one is going to see that but me. So if it fits well, I think it’s all about tailoring and wearing something that suits your body—whether it makes you look thinner, younger, happier.

As for how she maintains her weight as she gets older:

“As you get older, the weight thing becomes a little harder to maintain. I eat well, but I also have Oreo cookies. That’s like my weakness. I think it’s a balance and I work out. I’ll do Pilates. I’ll do the treadmill.”

Whatever she’s doing, she’s doing it well.

Watch Garcelle’s interview below.

Grand Slam! Serena Williams Shows Off Her Fabulous Fit Figure In Miami [Photos]

April 17th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Serena Williams’ body makes me want to get my life together…but in the meantime, I’ll just appreciate her rock hard abs, toned arms, and of course, her perfectly perched bottom (Note to self: get back on those squats!).

The tennis star took some time out of her busy schedule to relax with friends on the beach in Miami. The 32-year-old had fun in the sun in a bikini showing off a body that she recently told Fitness magazine she once struggled to accept. That’s right, at one time, she thought her body wouldn’t be a good look for an athlete hoping to play tennis for a living. However, the words of her fans helped her be more accepting:

“When I was young I thought I should be built more like an athlete — long and lean — not with a womanly figure. But then people my age started coming up to me, saying, ‘I love you because of the way you look.’ They could relate to me. That was really motivating. So I learned to be proud of my curves and to embrace my large boobs and my butt. It’s all about loving who you are and realizing that you’re beautiful.”

And embrace she has. Work, Serena! Check out more pictures of the beauty and her friend frolicking on the beach in Miami and get some gym inspiration.