• SurfSET Fitness

    November 17, 2011

    Even before I ran the New York City Marathon, I was bored with my workouts. I’m not someone who stays in an exercise funk for long, so I switched things up: I tried TRX, looked into CrossFit, and bought a Groupon to Boston Sports Club. I’ll try just about anything to spice-up my workouts, so when Sarah from SurfSET Fitness contacted me about taking a class, I jumped at the chance.

    BOARD of the same old workout? Yep, exactly.

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    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try Surfset Fitness, a new way to workout like a surfer. Obviously, I was intrigued (and excited) by the concept, but I’ve never surfed before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve always wanted to try surfing because it looks like a lot of fun and, from what I’ve heard, it’s a serious workout with awesome muscle sculpting benefits.

    A surfer is lean without looking weak, and muscular without the bulk. Sharp muscle lines are perfectly symmetrical, and overall body balance creates that enviable athletic physique.

    Yes, I would love to have the body of a surfer.

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    SurfSET recently hosted a launch event for bloggers, but I was unable to attend, so Sarah offered to give me a one-on-one intro. We ran through a 30-minute “taster” session that used different moves from each of the six focus classes that make up the SurfSET program:

    Core: Carving, Single Paddle, Double Paddle, Pop Up
    Lower Body: Drop Knees (Lunges), Water Walkers
    Cardio: Sprint Paddles and Wave Runners
    Upper Body: Overhead Kicks, Board Dips, Duckdive Pushups
    Plyo: Surfer Quick Feet, Pop-Up-Downs (Burpees)
    Abs: Shark Kicks, Leg Lifts, Side to Side Paddles, Longboard Planks and Plank Hops, Turtle Crunches

    As you can see, SurfSET is a high-intensity, full body workout. All of the moves mimic what a real surfer does on a board in open water, so the paddling, for example, builds shoulder definition, strengthens the lower back muscles, and increases cardiovascular fitness. It also left my arms screaming for mercy! I could barely hold my iPhone after class! Additionally, all of the up and down movements (pop-up maneuvers) engage the core and chest muscles, which helps to build explosive power. And the actual process of standing and riding “the wave” increases leg strength, flexibility, and engages all of the muscles. Three words: full body workout.

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    The SurfSET board is what really sets this workout apart from anything I have ever tried. It sort of reminded me of a mini Pilates reformer with a surf board strapped on top. The board is really unstable and moves side-to-side, so you’re constantly engaging your core muscles to help you keep your balance.

    Quick SCIENCE lesson: The SurfSet board is an example of a proprioceptively enriched environment, which means it’s unstable (yet controllable). The instability of the board challenges your internal balance and stabilization, which makes your body (and brain) work harder.

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    The handles at the top of the SurfSET machine are pulleys, which mimic what paddling would be like in open water. Those are what killed my arms.

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    After trying SurfSET, I can see how real surfing would be the perfect workout since it pretty much gives you everything (strength training + cardio) you need to build lean muscle and burn fat.

    I’d definitely do this workout again. Obviously, I’m not a diehard surfer, so I’m not sure I’d pay extra money to do it, but if it was a class offered at my gym (which is the goal of SurfSET), I’d be there in a heartbeat. It was a TON of fun and it spiced-up my workout routine!

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    From now until November 19th, SurfSET is offered at Boston Athletic Club (BAC) and you can get tickets online. (SurfSET is independent of BAC, so you don’t need to be a member to try it.) I thought you guys would really enjoy this workout, so I asked Sarah if we could offer a discount on tickets and she she agreed. Just enter “CNC” at checkout for 25% off tickets!

    NYC friends: SuftSET is coming to you next! You can see all of the SuftSET tour dates and locations here.


    I’m not feeling well (damn marathon sniffles!), so I slept in until 7:00 this morning. I woke up thirsty and not very hungry, so I chugged water and waited for my appetite to kick in.

    Around 9:00, I finally felt a little bit hungry, so I made breakfast: Cheerios (generic brand) + Uncle Sam cereal, banana slices, and soy milk. I usually can’t eat cereal for breakfast because it doesn’t satisfy me, but it was the only thing I craved this morning.

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    Be Thankful Challenge

    I’m (very) thankful for being able to work from home. It’s been a real blessing, especially when I am sick.

    Starbucks Buy One, Get One Event

    From now until November 20th, Starbucks is hosting a Buy One, Get One Event!


    Grab a friend and head to a participating Starbucks from 2:00 – 5:00 PM. When you buy one holiday drink, you’ll get another one of equal or lesser value for FREE! Anyone want to get coffee with me?

    Extreme Burn DVD Giveaway

    Thanks to everyone who entered the Extreme Burn: Total Body Interval Training Giveaway! Here’s your winner:

    Adrienne H.

    I love Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred – I have yet to come up with excuse for not exercising 20 minutes! Plus after the 1st set I can say I’m a third of the way through.

    Congrats, Adrienne! Please email me at tina@carrotsncake.com with your full name and mailing address to claim your prize!

    Question of the Day

    Have you ever tried surfing? What do you think of SurfSET? Does it look like a workout you’d want to try?

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    { 55 comments… read them below or add one }

    Cait's Plate November 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

    GAH!! THIS IS SO COOL!! I haven’t ever tried real surfing but I desperately want to one day – it’s on my life list of goals!


    Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

    @Cait’s Plate: Cait! Go to giltcity right now, I just got a pass this morning! It’s in Chelsea!


    Cait's Plate November 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

    @Cat @Breakfast to Bed: Ah! Thank you!!!


    Alison (peaches and football) November 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I’ve never even heard of SurfSET before but holy cow does that look like a riot!!! That would definitely be something I’d love to try. Bring it here!! 🙂


    Heather @ Better With Veggies November 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

    This looks like so much fun! I’ve been having fun trying to new workouts since my Ironman, so I completely understand the need for change. I’m with you, it’s hard for me to pay extra for a workout class, but it would be fun to attend if it was offered at my gym.


    Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe November 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

    That looks SO cool! I’m not too far from Boston, but am so busy this week I won’t be able to get down there before the 19th! D’oh!


    Angela November 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

    SurfSET sounds amazing! Surfing is something I’ve wanted to try for ages now but haven’t had the chance. I hope this comes to Canada soon because I’ll be all over it!


    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Never even heard of it but it sure sounds fun! I love doing Pilates and I love using boards and such that make me test my balance abilities–so this sounds awesome!

    Hope you feel better 🙂


    Chase - the CHASE project November 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I’m totally bored with my workouts too, so this sounds fun!


    Lynn @ the actor's diet November 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I wonder if they have one in la? I’ve always been curious about surfing but hate cold water.


    Sarah @ newlyeverything November 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

    This looks great! I took surfing lessons on a family trip to Hawaii (way..back…when) but had lots of fun trying it. Of course this comes to Boston right after I move! I must look into to surfSET in Atlanta!


    Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I just got a pass this morning!! LOL!! I love this idea. Love. I want to have Cameron Diaz’s body so bad-minus the botox.


    Ashley November 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

    That looks really fun! Sadly, I am nowhere near Boston.


    Sana November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Yeah I need a coffee friend to get a free drink from!!


    Khushboo November 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

    This sounds like a fun way to switch things up- I can imagine how strenuous a workout it is and would love to try out!


    Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I think I’d be afraid to try that workout! I feel like I’d fall off the board! lol


    Amanda November 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I would love to try this workout! It looks like it would leave me very sore, but seems like a lot of fun. I just requested it at my gym.

    Thanks for the Starbucks heads up. I will probably take advantage of that this weekend. 🙂

    Hope you feel better!


    Lindsay @ runningthewindycity November 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

    That workout looks like so much fun! I’ll have to see if there is anything like it in the Chicago area 🙂


    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I’ve been traveling since yesterday and will be in 5 airports in 36 hours. This starbucks thing is PERFECT timing 🙂


    Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) November 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

    That is so fun haha love it! I really want to learn to surf- I’m going to make my native Californian boyfriend teach me. 🙂


    Natalie November 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Yes! I am new to the Boston area and this sounds like so much fun. My husband and I (well, mostly him) surf quite a bit so I’m excited to try this.


    Lena @ Fit on the Rocks November 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This sounds sooooo awesome! I snowboard, but surfing looks so intense and great for your figure. Plus, this class is the closest I would be able to get since I live in CO lol.


    Ashley J November 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    This is slightly off topic, but I thout of you when I found this this morning: http://breannebrown.tumblr.com/post/12797788364/holy-eff-ive-seen-the-first-picture-before-but


    Tina November 17, 2011 at 10:44 am

    @Ashley J: LOL! 🙂


    Jen November 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

    That looks like a super fun workout; I hope they get them somewhere in Toronto eventually!


    Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

    That looks SO COOL!!!! I would love to try that workout, and it sounds like it would be really hard too! I hope your marathon sniffles go away soon!


    Cait @ Beyond Bananas November 17, 2011 at 10:48 am

    That looks like such a fun workout! It is always refreshing to do something unique and out of the ordinary. Surfset matches that description for sure!!!


    Julie November 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

    i tried surfing when i was in hawaii a couple years ago and it was so fun! but my arms were screaming afterward too…that class sounds like it’d be really good. plus there’s no risk of getting bit by a shark 🙂


    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake November 17, 2011 at 10:54 am

    That looks awesome! I’ve never tried surfing, but I really want to!


    Jen @ luck&funny November 17, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I wanted to say I’m really enjoying your little sciency tidbits. I love that stuff.

    I haven’t surfed for years, since I moved inland, but it is challenging. I’m thinking it would be weird to do those movements and be dry at the same time!


    Rachael @ FreshlyMinted November 17, 2011 at 10:59 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve been really bored lately, and dealing with a foot injury that prevents me from my usual running routine. This looks tough, but low-imact. Hopefully it will catch on and come west!…. maybe in like, 10 years 😉


    Wendi @ A Southern Yogi November 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’m curious about your take on Crossfit. Did you write a blog post about it? I’d like to read it!


    Tina November 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @Wendi @ A Southern Yogi: I haven’t tried it yet. I’m still trying to decide if I want to shell out an extra $150/month for it. I think Mal and I might try a class next week or the following week.


    Kristin @ STUFT Mama November 17, 2011 at 11:07 am

    This workout looks so fun! I totally would want to try it! And… I lvoe Starbucks this time of year. All of their specials AND their cool red cups. It just can’t get better. ha!


    Marci November 17, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Oh wow , surfset looks amazing!I wish they had that around me! I am currently doing TRX at my gym which i just recently started and i LOVE it. I have a question for you, since you have done Crossfit.

    I am currently on the fence about starting Crossfit in Janunary(it would be group classes) or going back to a personal trainer i used to work with at my regular gym. I cannot do both for money reasons, and they are both about the same in price. Which would you reccomend?


    Tina November 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @Marci: I haven’t tried CrossFit yet, so I’m not sure. Sorry!


    Cindy @ The Flipping Couple November 17, 2011 at 11:18 am

    You should definitely check out Crossfit if you’re feeling bored with your workout! I do Crossfit 5 days a week and can easily say I’ve never been bored. There’s SO much variety and you just can’t argue with the results, either. Plus, Crossfit New England is out there! One of the best boxes in the country. I’d love to hear what you think of it!


    Julia November 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

    it actually looks like a lot of fun! 🙂


    SkinnyRunner November 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

    that is really weird looking with the surfboard. just weird but hey, whatever works your body out.


    Angela @ The Chicken Scoop November 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

    That is too cool!!! I used to surf in high school but was never very good and would love to get back into it. I’m afraid I would be so awful at it that taking a class like this as prep would be awesome! Love it!


    Diva @ The Swim Diva November 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

    If you like the burn you get from the pulleys you should try to find a place that has a VASA trainer. It supposed to mimick swimming without the water.


    Bonnie November 17, 2011 at 11:48 am

    First off, thank you Starbucks and thank you Tina for sharing this fun news! Glad to hear it! 😀 I will take advantage of this deal for sure.

    Also, I LOVE surfing…love the burn in the shoulders while paddling and the thrill of catching a wave…love popping up from the board and feeling my whole body work! What a fun workout – thanks so much for sharing it with us. I loved reading about it. 😀


    Faith @ For the Health of It November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to surf. Sounds like the perfect full-body workout but also like so much fun. I hope they come to Orlando!


    Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

    That is SO interesting–I never knew simulated surfing workout classes existed! They come up with everything these days! I think I’m too much of a klutz to actually surf in water, so I should try this out haha

    Feel better, Tina!


    Hayley November 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I would LOOOVE to try surfing! I’m hoping to this summer after my BFF moves back to Cali 🙂 SurfSET looks like tons of fun and I’d definitely try it if there was a place offering it nearby! I’m sure it’ll be a while though, I live in the middle of nowhere haha.


    HRCK November 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Well that’s about the coolest workout I’ve ever seen. Seeing things like that make me really appreciate living in a big city with fun options.

    I’m also curious about CrossFit. I’ve heard amazing things.


    Kristy November 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    The surfing thing looks like it would be fun! I love that included the little special Starbucks is doing this weekend 😉


    Melissa H November 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Hey Tina! Love your blog. Ever tried Birkam yoga? I think you should. The Boston Bikram studio does a 10 day intro offer for $20. It is a great addition to runner’s workouts because it focuses on joint health and healing old injuries. Email me if you want to go with me one day! I would love to expose you to the world of Birkam.


    Desiree November 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Wow! This looks So fun!!!! I would totally do this.


    Alyssa November 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I hope it comes out here. Hello, California! OK, yes, I could actually go surfing here, but I’m way too uncoordinated. I DID paddle around on a surfboard once. Thought my arms were gonna fall off, lol!


    Leah November 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    just when i thought i’d heard of everything–a surf workout! love it! i’ve always wanted to try real surfing–if they offered surtSET where i live, i definetly think i’d be addicted!
    thanks for sharing!


    Candice @ Sailing on Paper November 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    This looks awesome! I love dynamic workouts where you use your whole body. It seems like you would stay engaged the whole time and not get bored at all.


    Ellie@fitforthesoul November 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Wowwww that.looks.epic. haha, that’s the only word that comes to mind!! It sounds and looks so good and healthy for the whole body~Maybe I could try this at the gym’s pool? We’ll see if I can pull it off 😛 And I’m sure that with YOUR help, surfset will be able to bring it to places like the regular gym 🙂


    Emily@runningmyliferace November 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I took surfing lessons in Hawaii and LOVED it! I couldn’t catch many waves after the lesson but I love just paddling around in the ocean on the board. If this was offered anywhere in San Antonio (where I live) I would definitely want to make it part of my work out routine.


    katie @ KatieDid November 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I sued to surf throughout middle and high school as I grew up on the north shore of Massachusetts. I never owned a board but I took lessons 1-2x per week in the summers and even went to costa rica on a surfing trip. I haven’t lived at home though since so I haven’t been able to in so long and I miss it terribly. It’s definitely my favorite sport!


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