We Tried It for You: SweatBox

It was only a matter of time before wearables entered the group fitness world. While you won’t find tons of classes using fitness trackers yet, one studio is daring to give it a shot. Enter SweatBox, a new boutique fitness studio in Washington, D.C. I tried it to see how tracking my heart rate and power affected my workout.


SweatBox is basically a 50-minute workout that uses heart-rate training and high-intensity intervals to whip its students in shape. You’ll switch quickly between 6–8-minute strength circuits working every muscle group and 3–6-minute high-intensity cardio circuits and active recovery sessions on spin bikes. The class sizes are small — mine had 5 students — so that the SweatBoss (their term for “instructor”) can offer personal attention to each person.

Before co-creating the programs at SweatBox, Isiah Munoz, who’s also SweatBox  studio manager and trainer, tried different interval-based classes in New York and the D.C. area to suss out the market. “Many places advertise that they offer interval training when in fact they have their clients at a steady 80%-plus of their max heart rate for the entire class,” he explains. “This is not an interval; this is aerobic or excessive anaerobic training. Intervals require bursts of super-intense work followed by recovery.

The American College of Sport Medicine defines high-intensity interval training as “repeated bouts of high-intensity effort,” often at 80–95% of your maximum heart rate, “followed by varied recovery times.” Your heart rate is supposed to dip down in these recovery times. Like many people, I didn’t even realize I was doing interval workouts wrong by failing to vary my exertion level.


The bikes are the Matrix IC7 Coach by Color, which calculate your functional threshold wattage based on your age, weight and frequency of working out. Your FTW is fitness-speak for the max amount of power you produce over time (typically an hour) when pedalling on your bike. The bike has color-coded effort levels that help instructors see your intensity.

For the workout circuit, each student has their own area stocked with dumbbells (the lightest was 12.5 pounds, instead of the lighter 2 pounds at other bar and spin classes I’ve taken), XT trainers and a mat. Your FTW and heartbeat are displayed for all to see on the big screens on the walls  — which, along with the bike’s color-coded effort levels — help instructors get a sense of how hard people are working at a glance.


We started on the bikes, which are programmed to determine our individualized exertion levels by displaying colored lights that also flash on the leaderboards next to our names. This totally brought out my competitive side — and it made me push even harder to match or beat my sister, whom I pressured into coming.

With only five students, our instructor gave me tons of one-on-one attention, telling me to speed up when I was not keeping pace. (“Get in the green!” she shouted, pushing me to dial up the intensity.) At one point, she even surprised me by telling me to slow down, as I was exerting too much during my recovery.

After a few grueling minutes on the bike, it was time to switch things up. We moved to the floor, doing a series of exercises with our body weight. I started seriously regretting my lunch when I held that first plank. Then came lunges with resistance bands, then we planked again, with both feet hooked into the resistance band this time. At that point, I was shaking like a sweaty pendulum as I hovered above the floor and struggled to find my balance.

As soon as I started to get exhausted — or accustomed to — the workout circuit, we moved to the next surprise circuit. At the time, it didn’t feel like the happy kind of surprise. At one point, we were doing squat jumps on and off the raised platform, and my legs felt ready to give out. Of course I was in the red zone — maxed out. But we were not done yet, because then we did partner workout where I did a variation of burpees while my sister held planks until I was done. At that point, I was toast. But being accountable to my sister prompted me to hustle out of some sort of older sibling obligation — a tactic that turned out to work for me.


“By monitoring every minute and second of our program in real-time, we can ensure that our clients have peaks and valleys during the entire workout,” says Munoz. The key to SweatBox is individualization: “I don’t want to put 23 people in a room and have them do what I’m doing, at my tempo, at my pace,” says Munoz. Instead, he wants to give people the tools to “quantify their own output and then make active decisions about when they need to work harder and when they want to recover.”

Munoz encouraged us to switch things up by integrating different interval sequences each time, and he stresses the importance of combining strength and cardio training in the same session: “If you just do cardio or just take a cycle class, you’re not going to burn as many fat calories all day, and during that class, as when you combine strength training and cardio,” he says.

His workout advice is grounded in science. According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Obesity, when you do aerobic workouts at a constant exertion level, the effect on body fat is “negligible.” But embracing a “high-intensity intermittent exercise routine” — which can feature high energy bursts on a spin bike, followed by lower-energy exercises like planks and short periods of rest — “may be more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal body fat than other types of exercise.”

For the competitive among us, hitting your target numbers can be a reward in itself. After class, I checked in with Munoz to see if the quantified effort level I saw on the screen at the end of class — 84% of my max — is what I should have been aiming for.

“That’s high. That’s good,” he says, making my inner nerd swell with pride as if I just aced a major exam.


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Shivratri Meal Plan for Dieters

Check Out The Shivratri Meal Plan for Dieters!

Hey every one,

Are you all gearing up for Shivratri fast tomorrow? What are your plans for the day?

It indeed is a great feeling to stay in touch with all of you through IWB. Every year I post meal plans for Navratri Vrat but this time I thought why not suggest an interesting meal plan for all those who are fasting on Shivratri.

As you all know we at IWB started a weight loss support group on Facebook Indian Weight Loss Coach in the month of September last year and since then we have supported so many people during their weight loss journey with wonderful results.  You can read the success stories here and here :)

To assist all of you fasting on this pious Shivratri day here is a simple meal plan for the day which will not let you fall out of your healthy way of eating.

Shivratri Meal Plan for Dieters

Early Morning

As you wake up, two glasses of warm water

Cup of green tea with cinnamon, lemon and honey.


Apple Shake

apple shake

Blend an apple with a cup of cold milk.

Mid Morning

An orange


Paneer Salad with fruits

paneer fruit chaat

Mix chopped Papaya, apple, cucumber, guava, kiwi and strawberries and a few grapes in a bowl. Add a spoonful of thick curd/yogurt and some crushed paneer (cottage cheese). Sprinkle Sendha Namak / Himalayan pink salt and black pepper. Mix together and serve.


Green tea or Hibiscus Tea with six almonds

Hibiscus Basil Tea with lemon


Lauki Palak Soup  (Skip oats from the recipe)

lauki palak soup for weight loss 5

or Cold cucumber Soup

ColdCucumber Soup For Weight Loss

Stuffed Jalapeno


or Paneer Capsicum quick sabzi


In a pan crackle jeera in a teaspoon of  desi ghee. Add capsicum, salt, black pepper and tomato. Mix well and finally add in paneer chunks. Mix again and Cover for a few minutes.

Kuttu or Singhada Cheela (Just roll Stuffed Jalapeno in this cheela and have with dhaniya pudina chutney)

kuttu cheela

Doda Burfi 

Low carb Doda burfi 1

On Shivratri the dinner is had before sunset so you will have enough time to digest the dinner.

And yes please do not forget to go for half an hour long after dinner walk.

Hope you liked reading this post on Shivratri Meal Plan for Dieters!

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Convenient Cooking Hack: Rice Cooker Oatmeal

Oatmeal isn’t the hardest thing in the world to make, but, some mornings, those few extra minutes of stirring and attention that it requires are the difference between having a warm breakfast or not. So we’re letting you in on a little secret: Your rice cooker can double as an exceptional tool for making oatmeal and porridge. That means a power-packed breakfast is within reach, no matter how busy your day.


A rice cooker is handy because it automates everything for you — simply combine the water or milk, grains and any additions into the nonstick bowl, place it in the rice cooker and push the button. The rice cooker will rapidly warm the liquid to a boil, then a sensor inside is triggered that immediately shuts off the heat and allows the contents of the cooker to continue steaming and resting. Fancier models even have a sensor that will let you know when all of the liquid has been absorbed for a specific kind of grain, and will adjust the cooking times for you. Voilà! A satisfying meal!


While a rice cooker doesn’t necessarily speed up the process of cooking oats or porridge, it does offer a foolproof way for you to cook your grains — just push the button and walk away. The rice cooker will cook your oats or porridge and keep them warm for you until you return to open the lid and enjoy. With a rice cooker, you can cook smaller quantities of grains (whereas most slow cookers have very large capacities and don’t intuit moisture as sensitively, sometimes resulting in burned grains at the bottom of your cooker.)

But you’re not limited to oats. A rice cooker can make multi-grain meals a snap. Whole grains such as quinoa, farro, barley, amaranth and millet all require different ratios of water to grain. But cooking them with ample amounts of water in a rice cooker guarantees that steam is an agent in the cooking process. If the rice cooker has a porridge or whole-grain function, it will let you know when all of the water has been absorbed, and you’ll never find yourself with some grains swimming in water, while others are still solidly al dente.


Every rice cooker will be a little bit different, so making oatmeal or porridge in your machine may take a little trial and error. The following formula is a great place to start:

For oatmeal: Combine 1 cup of whole oats or old-fashioned oats with 3/4 cups of water or milk, or 1 cup of steel-cut oats with 2 1/2 cups of water or milk. Add a pinch of salt. Close the lid, and hit the start button. Walk away. When the cooker beeps, the oatmeal is done!

For multi-grain porridge: Combine 1 cup of grains (a combination of oats, quinoa, amaranth, millet, barley, etc.) with 2 1/2 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt, give the mixture a stir, close the lid and hit the start button. Walk away, and, when the cooker beeps, the porridge is done!

Optional: Adorn your bowl of oats or porridge with crunchy nuts, fruits and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, and you’ve got a great, comforting start to a busy day.

The post Convenient Cooking Hack: Rice Cooker Oatmeal appeared first on Under Armour.

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10 Great #TransformationTuesday Successes on Instagram

Ask anyone who has lost weight: There’s nothing more empowering than seeing how far you’ve come compared with where you started. That’s what makes the Progress Photo so inspiring for so many people — especially on Instagram. We’ve seen hundreds of folks hashtag #myfitnesspal on Tuesdays, so we’ve compiled a few of our favorites that make #transformationtuesday a cause for celebration any day of the week. (If you’re new to MyFitnessPal, check out our rundown of how to celebrate your success through the Progress Photo feature.)

Check out MyFitnessPal on Instagram for motivation on living a healthier life each day, every day.


Instagram Photo

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