Posts Tagged ‘columbia university’
What do you get when you mix beauty queens, ab machines and a whole lot of drama?
Welcome to Wellesley’s miss Fit Club, a pinkalicious gym that caters to the pageant crowd and is the star of the new reality show “Wicked Fit” (debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Style Network).
Former beauty queen — and official miss America pageant gym trainer — Katie Boyd has been getting girls “pageant ready” for the past year. that means high-intensity interval training mixing plyometrics, Pilates and cardio with customized nutrition plans. The swimsuit competition is televised to millions, after all. “Yummy mummies” — well-to-do stay-at-home moms hailing from the posh ’burbs — make up the other sixty percent of Boyd’s clientele. She designed the gym to have the feel of old Hollywood glamour. Make that very girly glamour. The walls are pink and black with scroll detail, and most of the workout equipment is a shade of blush as well.
Miss Massachusetts 2010 Loren Galler-Rabinowitz worked out with Boyd earlier this year while training for the 2011 miss America competition and laughed through every ab rep.
“Katie brought her unique sense of humor, style and fun to every day at the gym,” said Galler-Rabinowitz, now a medical student at Columbia University in new York. “as she says, ‘At the miss Fit Gym, we sweat glitter.’”
Julianna Strout, who is currently training for miss Maine USA, said Boyd’s all women’s environment “brings out the inner princess in you. She was able to help me take it to a whole new level.” Strout previously worked with Boyd while competing as miss Rhode Island in the 2009-2010 miss America pageant.
But as “Wicked Fit” will show, getting ladies to look good is a dirty business — at least as far as language is concerned.
“We talk smack about everyone,” said Boyd, referring to the show’s cast: competing Boyd BFFs Monique Jones and Monica Pietrzak (Miss Connecticut USA 2009), personal assistant Markus Ricci (second runner-up mr. USA 2008) and mom Teresa.
Creating most of the oversized drama are Boyd and her childhood friend Monique. Describing herself as the “Susan Lucci of pageants” because she always was first runner-up, Monique helps Boyd interview for a new personal assistant in the first episode.
“I’m not kidding. I have to throw away my underwear,” Monique tells Boyd after interviewing hunky Markus.
“you guys are sloppy and slow — just like my grandma having sex,” she tells clients on camera.
The show started shooting during the summer, and captures Boyd’s signature pageant boot camp. Client dramas range from young pageant hopefuls who don’t take the program seriously to longtime regular folk who are struggling with serious weight gain. Boyd puts them both through boot camps and cardio programs and compares the scene to an old TV show that helped put Boston on the map.
“It’s ‘Cheers’ with dumbbells, and I’m Sam Malone,” she said. Boyd, who was miss Taunton 1999, miss Fall River 2000 and miss new Bedford 2004, said pageant girls still suffer from the glitzy, ditsy stereotype, and she hopes the show serves as motivation for a new generation of girls.
“There’s drama and we get into fights,” she said. “But I inspire young girls.”
The miss Fit Club, 873 Worcester St., Wellesley, 617-750-0999, missfitco.com. $600 yearly membership, $200 per hour for personal training sessions. “Wicked Fit” debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Style Network.
In the digital iTunes era, most of us are familiar with making playlists even if only — as in my family — to separate one person’s downloads from another’s. (My kids don’t want their father’s Bruce Springsteen or Meat Loaf on their iPods.)
But how many of us have separate playlists for waking up the morning, driving to work, getting revved for a public speech, or winding down at night?
That’s something we should all be doing to “launch our brain into its most optimal mind-set” throughout the day, said Dr. Galina Mindlin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who also runs the Brain Music Therapy Center in New York City.
Music changes brain waves, she explained, with faster music beats increasing the frequency of brain waves from slow, reflective alpha waves to energized, alert beta waves. “You can actually shift your mind to a desired state.”
In her practice, Mindlin uses music therapy to help those with insomnia learn to switch to slower brain waves at night to get into a relaxed state; she uses faster beat playlists to help those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder achieve better focus.
“I find the Mozart Sonata in D Major increases focus and concentration for most people even those without ADHD,” Mindlin said. “But you really have to find what works for yourself,” she added, based on your own personal preferences and whatever emotions and memories are triggered by certain tunes — like a song sung to you by your grandmother.
Mindlin recalled a Russian boxer who geared up for his matches by listening to a popular Russian song with a slow beat — that would normally evoke slow brain waves and relaxation. “Every time he heard it, though, it stirred him and helped him focus.”
General rules of thumb for playlists? if you’re tired and need to rev up, choose tunes with faster beats. if you’re feeling anxious before a big event like a work presentation or exam, music with a slower beat can help slow brain waves to bring you to a maximum state of alertness. as Mindlin explained, being overly anxious can actually reduce mentally performance. “Maximum focus occurs when you can balance relaxation with the activation state.”
To arrange playlists for various states of alertness from sleepy relaxation up to maximum energy and alertness, Mindlin recommends choosing songs based on their “beats per minute” or BPM and putting them on separate playlists. Songs under 100 BPM are good for relaxing you, and you might want to have a playlist with only slow-beat songs at night.
Those songs paced at 100 to 130 BPM get you on what Mindlin calls “high alert” which may be good when you’re driving home from work and looking to unwind a bit without falling asleep at the wheel. Those with 135 to 155 BPM put you on higher alert and may be good for driving to work to get yourself geared up for the day. Those with 160 or above BPM will get you to the highest alert state — especially if you play them loudly.
You can calculate beats per minute using this software tool or just googling the song’s title and artist along with BPM.
Check out our readers’ ultimate workout songs playlist and rank your workout songs.
Deborah Kotz can be reached at . Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.