Current faves: Brady’s big week, Les Mills BODYATTACK 106, fun and workouts

Hi, friends! Welcome to October, and boy what a week it was for us! We celebrated Brady’s second birthday, he started preschool, we went to his 2-year doctor’s appointment check-up (he’s as healthy as can be), I taught my three usual classes, did some work, had a conference call and we definitely enjoyed the amazing cooler fall weather as a welcome change to the heat. And today, I’ve got a selection of favorites for you, so let’s get right to it …

Current faves

Family and fun

Brady’s 2nd birthday

Over the weekend, we had a very small celebration for Brady at our house, and it was just perfect. We had balloons, a delicious cake, brunch food and a few friends, as well as Dave’s sister, Gwena, and Brady had the chance to run around outside and party hard — as a 2-year-old toddler boy often does.

Brady's 2nd birthday party September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady's party food spread September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady's party food September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady's 2nd birthday cake September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

He was very pleased with the whole event, except for when we asked him to stop playing and sit in his high chair for us to sing to him, and when we asked him to stop playing and keep still so we could take some pictures …

Brady's 2nd birthday singing September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady's 2nd birthday party family pic September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady's birthday party family September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

We had a big birthday for Brady last year and so decided to keep it smaller this year, which I think worked out awesome, because there wasn’t much to plan or prepare for — during an already very busy season of life for us right now, with Dave’s work. I ordered the cake and balloons two days before the party and picked up the food the night before — easy as can be. And I’m positive that Brady thought it was about as fun as he could have ever hoped for, especially when he got to open this brand new basketball hoop, which our friends bought for him. He is already obsessed with it and now has to play basketball during every free moment we are at home.

After Brady’s nap and once we had cleaned up the party that day, we went over to the Tilden Park Steam Train in Berkeley for a ride, which is another one of his favorite activities — and he had a ball there too. And just like that, he’s two!

Brady’s first day of preschool

The big stuff doesn’t stop there. I’m very excited to say that Brady is officially a preschooler. We had to wait until his 2nd birthday to take him for his first day of school, so he started this week. He’ll be going on Monday and Wednesday mornings for three hours each time, and I have no doubt he’ll love it. He loves to be around other kids, loves all sorts of activities and seems to do quite well when dropped off — which he has probably learned from doing gym daycare from such a young age, as well as a few weeks of summer camp too.

Brady's first day of 2-year-old preschool September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Brady's first day of preschool September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

On the first day, Dave and I both went to take Brady, and once we got inside the school, he immediately started playing with the toys with the other kids and barely said goodbye to us. He was not even slightly worried about being left in a place that he’d only visited a couple times. You definitely couldn’t tell it was his first day at all.

Brady's first day of 2-year-old preschool with mommy September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

(By the way, I’m wearing a brand new outfit from Fabletics that I just ordered. The pants, sports bra, tank top and sweatshirt — from the SculptKnit camo pattern line. I highly recommend this line for fit and function — perhaps my favorite Fabletics outfit ever. Here’s my link to shop.)

Of course, I cried a little inside the school and when leaving, but it wasn’t necessarily because I was sad — I was just emotional to know that my baby boy was big enough to be in a preschool. But I know this will be an amazing change for the both of us each week, throughout the whole school year. After dropping him, I headed off to a coffee shop and opened up my computer and got to work, and yeah, that felt GOOD — the tears were long gone by then.

Later that morning, when I picked him up, he was so excited that he just wanted to run around in the grass outside the building. I had to get him into a football hold to make it back to the car to go home, kicking and screaming. Guess that’s the sign of a successful first day.

Brady after his first day of preschool September 2019 by A Lady Goes West


Review of Les Mills BODYATTACK 106 

It makes me happy that some of you still like to see my reviews on the latest Les Mills group fitness releases. I don’t dedicate full blog posts to these anymore, but didn’t want to miss a chance to share about this one.

I’ve now taught Les Mills BODYATTACK 106 three times, and I’m happy to say that I LOVE it. I think this is the best release in a very long time, certainly since I’ve been back to teaching the program the last seven months. My favorite part is that because I teach the 45-minute BODYATTACK Express version, we can now do the interval track as part of the workout, whereas it used to be one of the tracks we had to leave out. And the interval track has ALWAYS been my favorite — it’s the essence of BODYATTACK fun and movement, if you ask me.

(By the way, BODYATTACK is a sports cardio group fitness program, and you can read more about the class in this post.)

Les Mills BODYATTACK 106 review by A Lady Goes West

Here are my thoughts on all the tracks that I teach …

  • Warm-up: This song is the best, perhaps the perfect welcoming warm-up, with the words “I’m So Excited” streaming through the room over and over. What’s different about this warm-up is the squat/plank/tricep push-up combination is introduced very early on in the first set and then is repeated across all three warm-up sets. I like that the sets are quite similar, the moves are simple (running, bouncing, step touching, etc.), and we stay with each move for long enough to get the technique down. Overall, this is sort’ve a laid back warm-up in the best way. Thumbs up.
  • Mixed impact: This remix of Ariana Grande’s popular “7 Rings” song is fun and fits the moves so well in this track. There are three sets, and a lot of side-step runs, bounces, gallops and step curls. I absolutely love the new arm lat-pulldown pattern with the step curls, because it turns on the back muscles and feels great. The third set of this track gets into some pulsing squat-to-lunge moves, which have a little jump and definitely get the heart-rate up while opening the hips. This track has the perfect difficulty level and is fun to teach and to do. Thumbs up.
  • Plyometric: This plyometric track is quite challenging, but the moves are simple, with a focus on lateral and vertical jumping. Set one is all about plyometric lunges, set two is all about skaters, and set three, an extended set, puts both moves together. I’m really glad that the tuck jumps weren’t introduced until the final set and there are only four of them, otherwise this track would be a bit too hard. You definitely have to stay alert in this track to count down your six lunges or six skaters with the 3-step run, and that keeps people engaged. The addition of shuffles during the working set is new, but is a welcome change. And then the final 40 seconds of this track are killer, with all those lunges and skaters with reaches to the floor. Overall, an awesome plyometric track, and even though the song doesn’t have any words, the beat drives the moves well. Thumbs up.
  • Conditioning: Maybe one of my favorite upper- and lower-body conditioning tracks ever, because the moves are so straightforward, and yet they are effective and you get a great burn all over. I love it when the track is made up of two identical sets too. We do a few lunges, then a lot of squat pulses, tricep push-ups and chest push-ups, and that’s it. The 16-bottom pulses for the push-ups are intense, but doable. Thumbs up all the way for this one. Oh and the song is by one of my favorite former “Voice” winners, Chloe Kohanski.
  • Agility: I have to admit that agility is always my least favorite track of the class, because oftentimes the moves are complicated and too fast, and I just don’t like all the side to side. This agility track is split into three sets, yet we switch sides of the room within the sets, in addition to between them, so participants really have to stay on their toes. The track starts with really fast side-step runs, and those are fun, because we get to move really quickly with a lot of repetition to perfect the technique. The new move in this track is the hurdler run, which is sort’ve like a ladder, but you lift your knees up and over — it’s tough, but it works. There’s also a squat pulse/snowboard combo which is really quick, but I like it. Once again, this track has just the right difficultly level. Thumbs up, which I rarely say for agility. Catchy song too.
  • Interval: This one is all about the BODYATTACK love, with a great song to guide us through. We do kicks, side flicks, an arm reaching pattern and all of that good stuff in three sets. There’s a new move in this track, which is the double kick, and it’s rather challenging to keep your legs nice and straight with the fast repetition. I like it a lot. The interval track is the best part of the workout for me. Thumbs up.
  • Power: This power track is four sets long and is sooooo hard, but there are plenty of options to get participants through, and you can choose your options along the way and even mix it up. Lots of high-knee square pattern running, knee lifts, jumping jacks, burpees, burpees to tuck jumps and air jacks too. By the end, I see everyone mixing it up and trying everything, which is just how it should be. I like the freedom in this track for participants to do what they want in the working sets to max out in their own way — that’s important, because everyone is at a different level. The song is good, the drive is good, and this is a challenging and crazy end to a great workout. WAY better than BODYATTACK 105 and that strange “Purple People Eater” song. Thumbs up.
  • Core: Nothing too exciting here. The track starts out with some knee drops to work the waistline, followed by pulsing crunches, scoops and some mountain climbers in three total sets. It’s just right.
  • Cool-down: Strong cool-down for sure. We do a downward dog calf stretch and dynamic hip to hamstring stretch, which is a nice change. I love the song too and wish I didn’t always have to cut it short for the next class to come in when I teach. An excellent ending to an excellent group fitness workout.

I’m not going to comment on tracks 3 or 6 (aerobics or running), because I only took them and didn’t teach them. They seemed fine. 🙂 

Overall, this release is awesome and is definitely one that I’ll go back to over the next few months. It’s hard, but doable, the moves are fun, the music is great, and the vibe is 100 percent upbeat, positive and motivating. It was very easy to learn as an instructor too, because of the repetition, which is always fine by me. All of the participants I’ve talked to love it too, so it’s unanimous! Well done, Lisa Osborne and team. 

If you want to try Les Mills BODYATTACK for yourself, you can get a FREE 21-day trial to Les Mills On Demand by clicking here! 🙂

Weekly workout recap

Let’s move into a look at my latest week of workouts from last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 45-minute BODYATTACK, 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 30-minute weights workout (shown below), 10 a.m., taught 1-hour barre, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 45 minutes, 10 a.m.
  • Saturday: 45-minute BODYATTACK, 9 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week of workouts much much lighter than the week before, and I expect this to be more of the norm moving forward. I taught three classes, took two classes, did a solo weights workout and practiced BODYPUMP, which I’m subbing this weekend. This was a good mixture of weights and cardio, with a full off day, and I felt good. 

Here’s the short weights workout that I completed at the gym … (and you can find more of these on Instagram under my workout story highlight or in this blog post, Gym inspo: A selection of short resistance workouts that I’ve been doing.) 

Short weights workout September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

Best reads

A few things from around the web …

  • Serum love. I had never used a facial serum until I switched to Beautycounter, now I can’t get enough of this work-horse of a product that penetrates and treats the skin, which you put on before your moisturizer. This is awesome praise on Bloomberg for Beautycounter’s Countertime serum, which I use every night. Get it here.
  • Pelvic floor. Did you know that both men and women can have issues with their pelvic floor health? It’s a very important thing! Here are three simple exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor.
  • Period products. I love that you can get organic tampons at Target now, but there’s a whole slew of other helpful products and services to help women with their monthly cycle. Here’s a round-up.

Here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app …

Vulnerable quote September 2019 by A Lady Goes West

A Lady Goes West favorite archives …

Brady's 2-year update by A Lady Goes West

The creamiest warm almond butter oatmeal breakfast bowl by A Lady Goes West

Have a wonderful day and weekend. Stay hydrated too! 🙂 xoxo

P.S. I’m going to send out another newsletter next week, so make sure you are signed up for the list here. If you didn’t get the first newsletter and want to see it, send me an Instagram DM or email, and I’ll forward it! Also, congrats to Brenda, who won the book giveaway.

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

What was the best thing that happened in your week?

Have you ever done BODYATTACK? If you want to give it a try at home this weekend, sign up for a free trial of Les Mills On Demand for 21 days.

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  1. Happy belated birthday Brady!! And preschool too, what a week!!! That’s so great he was so excited to go to preschool, I bet he made loads of friends :). Your backyard looks amazing, looks like a lovely place to have a casual party. This weekend we will probably work on staining our fence, I power-washed it over the last few weekends , woo! Maybe see a movie with friends.

    1. Hi Jessie! We need to redo our fences hahha — but it’s not in the plans right now. Yes, we have a nice big backyard, but it needs some work. Hope you enjoy your weekend! I haven’t been to a movie in forever. JEALOUS! 🙂

  2. Hi Ashley. I wonder how Brady’s first day at school went. That’s good Brady seems to be able to be away from his parents for a short time and not be upset. This weekend besides watching the#10 Gators play #7 Auburn Iwill be watching Rays in playoffs in Houston and Cardinals in Atlanta. But since in different leagues I don’t have to worry about them playing each other till they meet in the World Series. We are going to Ray’s third playoff game Monday.

  3. Having now participated in release BA 106 around 5 times now, I have to say that this is my all time favourite release, now superseding my previous number one which was 85 (when modern day Attack became fully realised). The interval is my all time favourite track EVER and is the best advertisement for BodyAttack. I agree that the warmup is fantastic and although I cannot perform all the lunges in the plyo track due to my sustained knee problems, I was able to finish 24 burpee tucks in the power track which I was proud of. This release is the one time I truly considered teaching, but I just love participating too much! 😉

    1. Salvador! YESSSS! This is an amazing comment and great feedback, I must say I agree with you that BODYATTACK 106 NAILS it totally. That’s impressive you can do 24 burpee tucks — VERY nice work. I don’t think I’ve done them all while teaching actually ahhaha. Let’s hope we see more great releases like this in the future. Oh, and you should be an instructor. 🙂

      1. I went to the filming for 108 in Sydney so I can assure you that things are still looking very solid indeed 🙂 To participate with 600 other like minded fanatics was a glorious experience. Also, I’m finding the 24 burpee tucks quite do-able now, that’s a sign the instructors need to mix it up again 😉 One day I may become an instructor, never too late I guess even if I just turned 44!

        1. That’s amazing, Salvador!! One day I want to go to a filming — bucket list experience for sure! 🙂 YESSSS you should become an instructor, it’s never too late to get started! Find a training and go for it!

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