10 Tools for Reviving a Workout Routine
In partnership with our friends at PUMA
We’ve been rethinking our workout routines lately. Not just because gyms and studios have been closed, but because gyms and studios being closed has forced us to open up to both new innovations and old, forgotten routines. That’s meant doing what we can with what we have while tapping into the expertise of those who know what they’re doing.
To propel us through the summer, we asked trainer Isaac Calpito, the founder of Torch’d, and Leah Bedrosian, a colleague who happens to also be an athlete turned yogi, for the tips and tricks that keep them motivated and engaged.
What gets goop staffer, former competitive athlete, and yoga teacher Leah Bedrosian off the couch and on the mat these days? Gear that is both pretty and high-performance. “I’ve been eyeing these PUMA trainers,” she says. “They’re sleek and cool and a little bit out-there, which is fun at home and will be even more so once I’m back in the gym.” The PUMA Provoke XT is made with an airy, breathable knit; a lightweight inner cushion that keeps you feeling nimble; and grippy rubber outsoles that help prevent slippage no matter what kind of floor or terrain you’re working on. (And in edgy, gold-trimmed black, they look like business.)
Isaac Calpito, the founder of Torch’d, came up with his method for anytime, anywhere strength and conditioning when he was dancing on Broadway. He didn’t have time to make it to classes, and he didn’t have much equipment on hand, but he had to keep his body in condition for optimal performance. So Torch’d was born: Calpito’s forty-five minute flow of targeted body-resistance exercises. Calpito notes that you can get a solid strength workout without much equipment. But he does recommend a finding a comfortable, flat surface where you won’t slip. The GRP yoga mat from Manduka is a top choice: Barring a period of breaking in (trust the process—GRP gets better with time), it’s the grippiest mat on the market and a favorite of yogis everywhere. Other than that, Calpito recommends small weights, if you have them, to take things to the next level as you curl, row, and press. If you don’t happen to have a pair on hand, anything that’s easy to hold—canned food, full water bottles, your pet—will do.
HEAD IN THE GAME
Whether you run, lift, dance, spin, or something else entirely, here’s a little something extra until the endorphins kick in: Nerd Alert is our soft chew made for dialing in. It contains caffeine and L-theanine—two nootropics that support mental energy and focus. Which means they can help you get you in the zone. They’re also a real treat: They taste like café au lait candies. We look forward to snacking (responsibly).
Generally, a little day-after soreness is a sign you’ve challenged your body and gotten a good workout. But sometimes—let’s say that workout was really good—it can be a little much. When that’s the case, we reach for Genexa’s Arnica Advantage: chewable tablets formulated with homeopathic ingredients that target soreness, stiffness, and pain in the muscles and joints.
As Calpito tells us, real physical strength takes mental clarity. And when mind and body are aligned, you start to feel your own power. That, he says, is the impetus behind real change. Right now, Calpito is using our collective drive for personal change to energize community initiatives, streaming Torch’d classes live through Instagram to raise money for No Kid Hungry, which provides meals to children in need and advocates at the federal level for robust safety nets for America’s families. Think about it: If every time you worked to make yourself stronger, you gave ten dollars to charity, could you make your community stronger, too?
ON A ROLL
Two things absolutely essential to healthy workout prep: hydration and muscle care. Big Bertha’s got you on both counts. This water-bottle-slash-foam-roller holds forty ounces of water (plenty to get you from warm-up to cooldown), is made of resilient stainless steel (which supports up to 350 pounds, so you can really lean into it), and is wrapped in high-density EVA foam that feels great for a pre- or postworkout massage. Because this roller is built with a hard inner shell, it’s especially good if you foam roll regularly or like things on the intense side. If you’d prefer to go a little lighter, you might try the LoRox aligned roller instead.
There are tons of great ways to refuel postworkout, from chocolate milk to protein bars to overnight oats decked out with fruit and nuts. After a serious sweat session, Bedrosian opts for a smoothie she calls “life juice.” It calls for half a banana, spinach, frozen broccoli, almond butter, cacao nibs, plant-based milk, a smidge of maple syrup, and a scoop of protein powder. Bedrosian uses Four Sigmatic’s protein blend because it’s creamy and loaded with functional ingredients: eighteen grams of plant-based protein from peas, hemp, chia, coconut, and pumpkin seed, plus 1,000 milligrams of functional mushrooms from lion’s mane, chaga, cordyceps, and turkey tail and 500 milligrams of adaptogens from ashwagandha, reishi, and eleuthero. (Got all that?)
FORCE OF HABIT
Whatever your training routine, the key to success isn’t having a specific piece of equipment or abiding by a certain workout philosophy. It’s consistency. Calpito notes that he doesn’t care whether the clients he trains through Torch’d complete every move or even make it through the whole workout. He cares only that they show up. “If you’ve done five minutes, that’s five minutes you’ve done,” Calpito says. “And that’s great.”
Bedrosian uses the habit-tracking app Done to make sure she gets moving five days a week, regardless of intensity. “I love a sweaty, forty-five-minute P.volve class,” Bedrosian says. “But there’s also so much value in some light yoga or meeting up with a friend for a walk.”
Technical fabrics that stretch, ventilate, and wick away sweat keep you comfortable and cool so you can stay focused on whatever it is you’re here for. Take this set from PUMA: The leggings and bra hold up well in low-impact settings from hot yoga to gentle hikes, and the grey-and-cantaloupe blocking feels both futuristic and retro—like stepping into The Jetsons. We’re getting our hands on this one because it’s functional: Take note of the lightweight, breathable fabrics, which use dryCELL technology to keep you comfortable, and the mesh inserts in the leggings, which keep air flowing freely when things heat up.