Hi Fitness & Feta readers!  My name is Monique, and I blog over at Burpees to Bubbly.  I first met Athena back in my days living in Oak Square and going to her 6am Thursday class (oh, how I miss that class!) and she is the one to thank for me starting my own blog!  I am so excited that she asked me to post for her while she is away in Atlanta because it finally gave me the push to finish my Dynamax post.  Dynamax?, you may ask?  What is that all about?  Well, for one thing, it is my FAVORITE gym tool (well, that and TRX bands and BOSU balls… what can I say?  I have fun when I workout!).  And, if you’ve never used one, you might have a better idea of what Dynamax is if I say it’s the big black and grey “soft” medicine balls.  Know what I am talking about now?

Me & Monique - Dynamax Bootcamp

Anyways, I was totally new to the Dynamax world too, up until September when Athena asked if I would be interested in teaching a fee-based class at the Oak Square Y.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I did a little research and then got creative with ways that I could teach a class with just these six pound balls and body weight.  It didn’t take me long to realize how incredibly versatile these Dynamax balls were!  They added a really unique aspect to lots of typical moves: squats, pushups, lunges, sit ups, burpees, etc., and I was loving how receptive my class members were to this format.

Dynamax with Monique

Recently, though, I decided I should do a little more research to try to use these balls for how they were intended:  partner work, throws, and agility.  Athena turned me on to watching YouTube videos of the different Wheel of the Week (WOW), and I was instantly hooked!  These people were so fast, efficient, and powerful and I realized that while my drills with using the balls as added intensity (squats with holding the ball overhead, pushups with the ball under your hand, jumping jacks with an overhead press with the ball, etc.) were challenging and productive in building strength, they were not really using the Dynamax balls in the real way that they were intended.  I decided it was time to change that.


For the past two sessions, I decided to create a benchmark workout to be performed at the first class, midway through, and the last class, so the members could measure their progress.  On top of this, I would use the Dynamax ball in the way that it was designed to be used.  We would be doing a WOW every week and lots of passing drills.  I was not sure how this would go over at first, but everyone still seems to love the class and the workout, so I guess it was a good decision.

Athena comes to class sometimes too, and is my go-to sub when I’m away!

Dynamax Workout

Here is the benchmark workout we did last session.  It was awesome to see how they progressed each week, but I am even more excited to see how they progress this session since they are all more familiar with the format and WOW’s and working with partners.

Dynamax Benchmark Workout

If you have never used a Dynamax ball, I HIGHLY suggest that you pick one up the next time you’re at the gym.  You may be thinking “we don’t have those at my gym,” which could be right, but I’ve been to a lot of gyms and always seem to spot them, so I urge you to take a second look.

Dynamax Medicine Balls

Anyways, I could go on and on about how much I love these balls (yeah, there’s no way around making that NOT sound dirty), but what I am trying to say is go out and try adding these to your normal workout.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with all the neat moves you do with them.

Again, big thanks to Athena for letting me share my latest gym passion with all of you wonderful readers.  I hope you’ll swing over to Burpees to Bubbly and check out what I’ve got going on over there!

Questions for you:  Ever heard of a Dynamax ball?  What’s your favorite workout “tool?”

Thanks, Monique, for your guest post while I’m away!  One more thing — if any local readers are intrigued and want to sign up for Monique’s Dynamax Bootcamp class, you still can!  She teaches at the Oak Square Y where I coordinate group exercise from 7-8pm on Monday nights.  We offer pro-rated rates for this fee-based specialty class, so you can definitely sign up mid-session if you want.  Email me at akaralekas@ymcaboston.org if you are interested, and I will get you in touch with the right people.