Getting Off The Couch: Nike, Michi NY & Ash Footwear

Nike UK StyleOnTheCouch Fitness Running Fashion William Williams Photography

Nike running jacket Michi New York leggings StyleOnTheCouch William Williams Photography

Michi New York fitness nike uk styleonthecouch by William Williams Photography

Nike UK running jacket Gucci sunglasses Styleonthecouch William Williams Photography

Nike UK running jacket Michi New York Leggings on styleonthecouch by William Williams Photography

Gucci sunglasses Nike running jacket Styleonthecouch William Williams Photography

Photos: The fabulous William Williams. Wearing: Nike Swoosh Vest and Nike Windrunner Jacket both from ASOS. Illusion pant, Michi New York. Trainers, ASH Footwear. Sunglasses; Gucci (the boyfriend’s).

When it comes to fitness and working out, Blog Reader, I’m never one to shy away from the hard work required to get my heart pumping and my muscles moving.  Until fairly recently I was a huge fan of Pilates reformer classes, but I haven’t been able to find a studio near my new home just yet so I’m back at the gym trying out some new methods to stay in shape.  I recently discovered TRX; a training system that leverages your body weight along with gravity to help you work out with different levels of resistance. It’s quite  a challenge and this, along with the boyfriend’s help (it’s pretty handy going out with someone who used to be a personal trainer*) I’m probably the fittest I’ve been for a while.

One thing guaranteed to get me exercising regularly is having some great kit to work out in.  I’m a huge fan of MICHI New York for some of the most fashionable work out gear I have ever set my eyes on – here I am (still) wearing designer Michelle Watson’s Illusion Legging with my new Nike ’windrunner’ and vest from ASOS.  The gym is one of the rare times I do colour, it spurs me on – this jacket is lightweight and perfect for running inside and out this spring.  I confess I am cheating a little here wearing my ASH wedge trainers in this post. I revert to my ASICS for working out but I wanted to show the ASH sneakers because I wear them constantly – if you don’t yet own a pair of ASH check out the full range here.

A little bit of fitness inspiration for you today, to start your week!

I’ve got a little break coming up this weekend, Blog Reader – I’m heading to one of the islands off the coast of England on Wednesday so stay tuned to my Instagram to see pictures.  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

*As you might imagine there are pros and cons to this when I’m not motivated lol.

Fashion and Fitness.

Summer is just around the corner.  I always enjoy working out more in the summer months, I find it easier to get to the gym when it’s not snowing (yes NYC, I mean you) and take part in my favourite classes as well as exercise outdoors.

I’ve had a few requests for a fitness post, something I am by no means an expert in but there are certain things I love, that I wanted to share.  First up, Pilates.  Back in London I took reformer classes at my local studio and I love the challenge of working with the reformer machines. The exercise is gentle but intense, an intensity that can increase as your body conditioning improves.  It’s great for developing a strong ‘core’ (muscles at the centre of your body) which can protect your back and spine. I think Pilates helps you to become in tune with your body, through breathing, alignment and focus on movement*.

Second up, Tracy Anderson.  Tracy is somewhat of a guru to the stars – Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Shakira have all trained using her method:

“Based on over a decade of research on different muscular structure groups, Tracy Anderson has created a fitness method that can transform any body type. Tracy has created and patented over 3,000 fitness movements and her varying moves target every muscle in your body. The sequences strategically exhaust the muscles in a way that does not create bulk, and that strengthens the connection to the body.”  ~ From the Tracy Anderson website.

You can read a (somewhat comedy) review I wrote about Tracy’s mat work DVD for my friend Milla’s blog here along with other people’s thoughts on her method.  I wouldn’t touch the diet part of Tracy Anderson’s programme (there feels like hardly enough fuel to get you through the day let along her work outs**) but I’ve used both the mat work DVD and the Metamorphosis routine and I enjoy the challenge of these work outs too.

Finally, cycling.  I am by no means a speed cyclist but I love to cycle around the tip of Manhattan, east to west, and up the west coast path to the George Washington Bridge. In comparison to London there are so many more cycle routes here in NYC which is amazing.

How do you keep fit, Blog Reader? Do you feel passionate about Pilates like me? Or tried Tracy?

Wearing: (top image) Michi NY Illusion Pant;  Nike trainers, Reiss ballet wrap (old season).  (bottom image) As before plus: Skunkfunk women’s tee (similar here); Michi NY Feline Bra (just seen). Mesh gym bag, YakPak, gifted by The Accessories Council at their wonderful Breast Cancer Awareness event.

I borrowed this title from my gorgeous and uber fit blogger friend Lynzy whose website contains a separate section on exercise and includes an excellent feature on blogger fitness. Go check it out here!

Pilates image: Fat Bottom Slim.

*My opinions, but I am not an expert.  **Um… still not an expert.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves (all over again!): MICHI Athletic Wear

I discovered the amazing athletic wear from Michi New York earlier this year (you can read the post here) and I’m super excited to show you these photos from the new spring summer collection.  Designer Michelle Watson’s aim to combine her love of high fashion with sport and dance results in the most stylish work out gear I have ever come across.  Last season I invested in two bras and one pair of workout pants for pilates and the gym and I can tell I will soon be putting in a second order.

Even though I can’t quite believe I am posting myself sandwiched in between her gorgeous models, I do want to show you that Michi designs really do work outside of the shiny editorial context – the lioness bra is a favourite piece from her autumn / winter collection that I wear regularly

I’ve also worn her designs layered as everyday wear which is where I think her new collection excels.  We see more statement pieces in the form of tanks and panelled leggings.  For 2012 Michi also brings different colour combinations to core pieces which I love

I also think there is greater attention to detail, for example in her mesh panelling, the cheeky lace up detail and the bold cut outs

Inspiration for the spring summer collection comes from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and the colourful birds of the Amazon.  This is revealed in the structure and colour of the new pieces.  If you’re looking for stylish work out gear that combines fashion and function, you can find Michi at Oak NYC.  Soon Journelle will join the list of stockists.

You can also buy from the online store. To follow Michelle and her adventures in design on Twitter, click here. What do you think of the new collection, Blog Reader?