50 Million Lb Challenge

If your workout has become stagnant and uninspiring, if you feel like a hamster stuck inside a wheel, if you are just plain bored with your regular routine — switch it up! You’re as limited as your mind allows. It’s up to you to find something you like to do.

In continuing the 50 Million Pound Challenge, I’ve had my moments of struggle, reluctance, and frustration. The hardest thing to do is get back on that saddle. But I realized that switching up my workout routine, finding new motivation and inspiration is of paramount importance.


So I’m gonna start reviewing new exercise experiences and workout options here, to let you know what’s worked and hasn’t worked for me!

First up, Hoopnotica!

The hula hooping workout has gotten press EVERYWHERE. Vogue, Time, E!, MSNBC, US Weekly, People, In Style… you name it. It’s trendy, sexy and unique, so all the hottest celebrities have been jumping into the hoop craze.

That’s not why I wanted to try it.

From what I’ve read, you can actually lose weight while hooping. And also, more superficially, I love the hippie hoop girls that you see at big music festivals. These chicks are amazing. They hoop in time to the music and do all sorts of amazing tricks, and by nightfall, they use glow in the dark hoops. So. Cool.

They inspired me to learn how to hoop.

I’ve never exactly been what you’d call coordinated, and I definitely lack the skills to hoop. So I knew this would be a challenge. But armed with the Deluxe Hoopnotica Starter Kit, I was determined to learn.

The Hoopnotica starter kit comes with a travel hoop, which you click together. It is GINORMOUS. Way bigger than a regular hula hoop. And it’s super pretty too (I got the blue and silver hoop). The kit comes with two DVDs, beginning level 1 and 2. I desperately needed beginning level 1.

Here’s what I learned about Hoopnotica.

1. It’s got a very new agey zen vibe about it. I watched the DVD with my mom in law and she commented at one point, “this must be what yoga is like,” as the beautiful, lithe women of Hoopnotica slowly demonstrated their warm up (which involves holding the hoop above you, around you, and getting a feel for the hoop in general).

2. You need a mighty big living room to effectively get your Hoopnotica on. I noticed the women of the DVD doing it in open fields and enormous, empty spaces. GREAT idea. Doing Hoopnotica in a regular living room could well lead you to break a lamp, knock over picture frames, possibly break your computer screen, and unsnap your snappable hoop if you’re a clutz like I am. Note to self, clear living space completely clear living space before hooping.

Having said all that, this is super fun. The DVD is slow in pace so it’s ideal for people like me who are new to hooping in general. For my mom in law who’s been good at it since hula hoops became popular children’s toys, the DVD was a bit too slow but she still admired parts of it. Like halos, where the hoop is twirled above your head.

Either way, it looks cool and the DVD is slow and cautious enough that you can totally learn what you’re doing with time and practice. My goal is to master the fundamentals, then do my own hoopdance workout to dubstep, or Bob Marley, or whatever music I’m feeling at the moment!

Would I recommend Hoopnotica to you? If you don’t live in a teeny apartment, most definitely. This workout requires space and the ability to watch on DVD at the same time, and depending on the size of your place that may be a tall order. But once you’ve mastered the basics, this is the kind of thing you could do in your backyard with ease. And it only gets more fun with more effort — and it DOES require effort. It’s not a child’s game, you can break a good sweat hoopdancing. But I could totally see how you can lose weight and enjoy yourself while doing this. And if you’re well practiced it looks pretty sexy, too. Score!

How can you be down? Visit the website and get the Deluxe Hoopnotica Starter Kit. Hoopnotica recommends getting one of their large, weighted hoops…but if you already have a hoop, you can get the DVDs and try it with what you already have, to start out.

Have you tried Hoopnotica? Tell me what you think! Or do you have any workouts you’re intrigued by and you’d like me to review? Let me know!

Filed Under:
Tagged With:


Los Angelista says:
August 14, 2009, 5:59 am
Neat idea. I've seen a hula hoop workout class at my local park, but since I've been known as the Worlds Worst Hula Hooper since childhood, I've never tried it. I'll bet you do get great abs from it though!
marilyn says:
August 14, 2009, 8:28 am
I love Hula, when I went to Spain with my girlfriends we had a Hoopa competition to 'Soca' music (big in the uk, participants were from Dominica, St Vincent and Jamaica). I have never seen or experience anything so funny in my life it was great fun. The next day our abs were so tight but sore. Try it to some 'Soca' it's amazing.
Lovelyrett says:
August 14, 2009, 8:33 am
This sounds really good. Have you tried Belly dancing? I think it may work the same muscles, it's just another workout to try. I love it!
b. says:
August 14, 2009, 9:00 am
After reading this, I searched and found a YT from Hoopnotica where the woman is hooping to Beyonce. Fierce! I read about hooping as exercise a few months ago and entertained the thought. I'll have to consider a little harder now!
Christine says:
August 14, 2009, 9:16 am
Man do I actively suck at hula hooping, although you've inspired me to maybe give it another go. Probably not with the DVD though, as I totally suffer from a way too small living room/den to get this on. How is your biking/bike hunt going? I just upgraded my cruiser to a touring bike at a great vintage bike shop in my neighborhood and am so so excited. (The upgrade was necessary as I wanted to do an MS ride that is literally 75 miles (!). Insane, I am totally going to have to work my tush off to get to inshape enough to do it, but it's for a good cause, and that's inspiration, now I just have to put the sweat into it.) Good luck Bella! Hope Chicago is treating you well.
Nina says:
August 17, 2009, 8:20 am
So glad that my favorite blogger is now adding exercise program reviews to the Afrobella mix! Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your journey. Hoopnotica looks like fun. May have to check that one out myself.
Curlychronicles says:
August 17, 2009, 6:29 pm
I love hooping, I just wish I had more room in the apartment ..but I'm clearing out things I don't need so soon I'll be good to go! I'm so frugal minded I made my own hoop..there's tutorials on youtube and on the web regarding how to do it..super cheap and super easy! :)
Chiao says:
September 2, 2009, 11:48 am
Oh, in Taiwan, girls grew up hula hooping cuz it really helped shaping up the waist line. When I was in college, what we did everynight is hula hooping and talking at the same time lol I love hula hooping and my husband enjoyed watching me doing that :p
Man Fugere says:
November 23, 2010, 5:53 pm
Just came across cool joke - A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *