Current faves: POP Pilates instructor training, the best sweatshirt, strength training and workouts

Hello, hello, lovelies! How are you? (See, I didn’t start the post with “Hi, friends!) What happened in your week? It was pretty much business as usual over here. Brady had preschool two mornings, I taught three classes and did a lot of work on the blog, my freelance projects and my nutrition certification. 

We have a busy weekend ahead, with a birthday party, a Friendsgiving party and a hair appointment for me too (thank goodness, the roots are out of control). Let’s do the faves …

Current faves


POP Pilates instructor training

So I went to POP Pilates instructor training last weekend! I considered writing a separate post about this experience, but because I haven’t even told you what POP Pilates is yet, figured we’d just do a mention for now.

We’ll start with this: What is it? POP Pilates is a cardio and strength group fitness program inspired by classical Pilates, but it’s faster, set to music and more fun too — you are mostly on the mat for all 55 minutes, and you don’t need any equipment. I had taken the class a handful of times years ago and then decided to go to instructor training this past weekend, because it was offered nearby and my gym sponsored me, as they are hoping to expand the program around here.

POP Pilates training by A Lady Goes West -- November 2019

The instructor training was one day, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and we covered quite a bit of material in that time-frame, with a few short breaks in between for eating and resting. There were 13 ladies in my training, with one trainer, who came up from Southern California to bring the POP Pilates love to the Bay Area. 

About a week ahead of the training we were given materials to review the release (set of moves and music) that we were learning, and each person was assigned one track to memorize and present to the group at the end of the day.

The run-down went like this: master class taught by the trainer, break, going over the history of POP Pilates and the difference between classical Pilates and POP Pilates, breaking down the technique of moves in the release, break, learning about musicality and how to sequence moves to music, doing some partner and small group work, with the presentations at the end in a small group setting.

I’ve done quite a few instructor trainings and workshops over my 10 years in the fitness world, and this one was different because even though it was about learning how to teach POP Pilates, it was also mostly about learning how to make everyone feel welcome and included and oozing positivity. I actually came away from the training with some little things I want to do differently in all the classes that I teach to make everyone feel more welcome, even when the workout of the day will be really hard (like BODYATTACK or BODYPUMP). 

I didn’t find the POP Pilates instructor training very difficult or demanding at all. It was an informal and open environment, with zero pressure, which is MUCH different from the Les Mills trainings I’ve attended in the past. And I think that laid-back approach fits perfectly with the whole theme of POP Pilates in general.

POP Pilates manual by A Lady Goes West -- November 2019

I would say about half of the ladies in my training are currently instructors of other programs, and then half were totally new to the fitness world. For them, I’m sure the training was a lot (just thinking back to when I got started, anything like this would have been totally scary and overwhelming). 

I wasn’t totally sold on POP Pilates when I first showed up to the training, but after spending the day learning from my sweet trainer and seeing the happiness that this program brought so many of the ladies there — it made me excited to get to know it better and to teach it as well. Regular Pilates is expensive, and POP Pilates is giving the masses a chance to experience it.

We did one full POP Pilates class this day, then did a lot of technique practicing and another half of a class, so it was a lot of movement — but very much doable. I did have a sore tailbone the next day, because my yoga mat is not thick enough for all that spinal rolling you do in POP Pilates — so I will be double matting or getting a new mat in the future.

I’m going to be practicing my release (POP 18) for the next couple of weeks and shooting my video to send into the POP Pilates organization soon, so I can become fully certified. I’ll keep you updated, but please ask any questions you’d like about the program and process in the meantime! I’ll do a full class review in the next few weeks.

Simple Strength Training for Women

This one is for all of you ladies who have gone through hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), just like I have — sending you LOTS of love for such a difficult and confusing condition. My friend, Kersten Kimura, an amazing personal trainer and an HA warrior has created a very unique resource for women who want to get moving again in a slow and safe way, once you’ve regained your period. Kersten is a true inspiration, and if you’re not yet following her on Instagram, you can find her here. She shares super real and raw information on how you can navigate your recovery to get your cycle back and keep it. Boy I wish she was out there sharing this stuff when I was looking for answers years ago. 

Simple Strength for Women

Her new program, called Simple Strength for Women, is a 16-week strength training (and nutrition) program for women after they’ve recovered from HA, and it’s designed especially for women who stopped working out in order to recover their hormones and get their cycle back (I don’t know of any other program catered to women in this situation, so this is so innovative). The goal is to safely begin regular movement again, avoid injuries, build strength, all the while keeping your period (which is a must)!

While I haven’t done the workouts myself, I reviewed Kersten’s plan and workouts, and she is so skilled — I loved the mobility warm-ups she includes and the simple progressive exercises, which are about 20 to 40 minutes long. She provides written instructions as well as video demos. And, she offers up this awesome “red, yellow, green” readiness factor to know what type of workout your body needs for the day so you can better read your mental/emotional/physical state, as well as nutritional support to keep you well-nourished and hormonally healthy. Because as all of us hypothalamic amenorrhea survivors know — at least 50 percent of the game is your mental state — and Kersten provides plenty of info to support that, in addition to the fitness and food.

If you know someone who could benefit from this program, send them this post. And you can find Simple Strength for Women here. Nice work, Kersten!


The very best sweatshirt

Switching gears like … Every time I order something from Everlane, I declare it to be the best ever. Same goes for this soft light yellow sweatshirt, because it’s now my favorite top in my closet. I also ordered some black skinny jeans, which I’ll share more about soon.

Everlane sweatshirt by A Lady Goes West -- November 2019

This sweatshirt is called the lightweight terry crew, and it comes in other colors, but I was totally drawn to the pale yellow. I didn’t wear anything underneath it, but I think it would be cute to have a denim or white button-up under it for an additional style. Here’s my Everlane referral link if you want to look around! Love that this brand has ethical manufacturing too.


Weekly workout recap

Here are my workouts from last week … and this week was NOT the norm.

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: Practiced BODYATTACK 30 minutes and BODYPUMP 15 minutes, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX, 10 a.m., taught 45-minute BODYATTACK, 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 15 minutes of POP Pilates practice, taught 1-hour barre, 4:45 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute barre, 12:15 p.m.
  • Friday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 12 p.m., 15 minutes of POP Pilates practice, 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: POP Pilates training day, lots of movement throughout the day!
  • Sunday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 8:30 a.m.

This past week was WOW — way too much — and not a good example! I subbed a couple of extra classes and practiced and went through POP Pilates training, so I didn’t end up taking a day off, which is not good. But, I took two days off this week to make up for it. My body was pretty tight and sore on Sunday after all that working out, so I foam rolled, took a light walk and even used a percussive massage tool, which I’ll tell you more about soon. Nonetheless, I had a lot of variety this week, and I’m loving that! More rest days on the agenda moving forward. 🙂 

Best reads

A few things from around the web …

  • Influencers! I was honored that one of the big blog platforms interviewed me for this piece on micro-influencers. If you want to see what I said about working with brands, check out the article here. Also, how funny is the term micro-influencer? It’s me!
  • Entrepreneurism and clean beauty. I haven’t loved a podcast episode as much as I loved this one in a long time. This is an interview with the CEO and creator of Beautycounter, Gregg Renfrew, a mom who saw a need in the industry to create safer and better nontoxic skincare and makeup. Renfrew talks about being a working mom, making small changes in your life to eliminate toxic products and all about why Beautycounter is impacting the beauty industry as a whole. Check out the episode here.
  • Pumpkin everything. All of these healthy pumpkin-based meals sound delicious, and the base is just a can of pumpkin. Mmmmm! I literally can’t get enough pumpkin. Can you?

Here’s the quote of the week from my morning meditations …

Life is a choice by A Lady Goes West -- November 2019

A Lady Goes West favorite archives

Super short resistance workouts you can do in less than 30 minutes by A Lady Goes West

Career real-talk: What it's like to work for yourself vs. someone else by A Lady Goes West blog

I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend, my lovely friends! See you soon! 🙂 

P.S. I have a giveaway for collagen creamer going on over on Instagram. It ends tomorrow, so head on over to this post to enter, if you want to be considered!

P.S. again. There will definitely be some big Beautycounter news coming up this month. If you haven’t signed up for my Beautycounter email list, you can do that here. Also, if you need some help figuring out what your skin needs, fill out this skincare questionnaire, and I’ll get back to you with some customized recommendations. 🙂 xoxo

Questions of the day

What was the best thing that you did this week?

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

By the way, if you need a workout over the weekend, you can give Les Mills On Demand a try using my special referral link that provides you with 21 days for free. Just do it!

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  1. I had never heard of POP Pilates but this sounds really interesting! I’ve been wanting to get certified to teach Pilates and this sounds like a great place to start. A lot of the more traditional Pilates certification programs can be weeks long and super expensive, so it’s cool to know that there are other options out there!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the training and can’t wait to see the full class review!

    1. Hi Dominique! Yes, the cool thing about POP Pilates is that once you get certified, you can teach it anywhere — and unlike Les Mills — your gym or studio doesn’t need to own the license. It’s more informal and laid back, so it’s accessible to everyone, which is pretty cool. More info coming soon. Happy Friday to you!!

  2. Do you have any advice on how a newbie can get in good shape for the POP pilates trainer session? I have been following blogilates on and off for years and I want to take the next step. Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily! Yessss, I would say practice doing POP Pilates a lot! You want to be able to do all the moves before training. Lots of roll-ups, planks and such, so a strong core is important. You don’t have to be perfect though. It’s not super physically demanding, because you get a lot of breaks. I’d just recommend being able to do a full one-hour POP Pilates workout with all the high options. Good luck to you! You will NOT regret going to the training, even if you are nervous and not totally sure of your fitness level. Go for it!

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