Sunday, September 11, 2016

September Challenge week 1-Let's do this!

Things got a little crazy with kids going back to school which forced me to postpone this challenge a bit.  I did try it on the facebook page but decided to wait and get a fresh start here. Tomorrow can be day one for everyone.

Why short duration exercises?
Well, mainly because we don't all have time to travel to the gym or motivation to exercise alone for an hour so I thought, 10-15 minutes is doable and certainly better than nothing at all.  Then as I research more information I found that...

"In fact, some research has suggested that a short blast of intense exercise can boost metabolism for the entire day more effectively than a workout that’s slow and steady. And other doctors stress that a regular exercise practice, even if it’s just 10 minutes, can have a lasting impact on heart health and mental acuity, NPR reports." (Huffington Post)

Well that's a great thing to know.  So whether you exercise at a gym, on your own or not at all, get on board with these short duration exercises, increasing the rounds as time allows.  Have fun!

Choose day 1 and go from there:

Day 1 AM (download the Tabata timer app or set a timer to 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest)

Tabata - work 20sec/rest 10sec (8 rounds total)
1. Jumping Jax 2. Step up/step down (use stairs, sidewalk,etc) 3. Jog in place 4. Squat + Knee lift Right/Left *complete each exercise 2X = 4 minutes Repeat Tabata Round 2-3 times (8-12 minutes total work)
Day 1 PM

10X Each (4 exercises=1 round) - repeat round 2-3 times
1. Push Ups (knees, toes, against a table, chair, kitchen counter) 2. Crunches (lift only chest to ceiling, slow and controlled) 3. Leg Raise (hands under hips, lift legs straight up then slowly drop to 6 inches from floor) 4. Plank Hold 20 Seconds
-------------- ------------- ------------ -------------
Day 2 AM

Deep Core Strength 15X Each - Repeat 2-3 Times 1. Squat 2. Right Lunge 3. Left Lunge 4. Plie Squat

Day 2 PM

Deep Core Strength 15X Each - Repeat 2-3 Times 1. Plank Hold 20 seconds 2. Plank to Pike 3. Right side plank 20 sec 4. Left side plank 20 sec
-------------- ------------- ------------ -------------
Day 3 AM

Tabata - work 20sec/rest 10sec (8 rounds total) 1. High Knee Jog in place 2. Right Knee repeater 3. Jump Rope 4. Left Knee repeater *complete each exercise 2X = 4 minutes Repeat Tabata Round 2-3 times (8-12 minutes total work)

Day 3 PM

10X Each (4 exercises=1 round)- repeat round 2-3 times 1. Tricep Dips (use step, chair, floor) 2. Crunches (lift only chest to ceiling, slow and controlled) 3. Hip Bridge w/both feet on the floor 4. Plank Hold 20 Seconds
-------------- ------------- ------------ -------------

Day 4 AM/PM

Cardio Day --- You choose.  Brisk walk, jog, run, sprints, swim, bike.  Try to get in 20-30 minutes twice today or do it all at the same time.  The goal is to get out and do something you enjoy.
-------------- ------------- ------------ -------------

Day 5 AM

Deep Core Strength 15X Each - Repeat 2-3 Times 1. Right Lunge Pulse 2. Left Lunge Pulse 3. Calf Raise 4. Alternating Lunges

Day 5 PM

Deep Core Strength 15X Each - Repeat 2-3 Times 1. Plank with Knee pull Right/Left 30 total 2. Criss Cross Abs (bicycle) count only one knee 3. Heel Reach right and left 4. plank 20 sec
-------------- ------------- ------------ -------------

Day 6 AM

Tabata - work 20sec/rest 10sec (8 rounds total) 1. Jumping Jax 2. Step up/step down (use stairs, sidewalk,etc) 3. Jog in place 4. Squat + Knee lift Right/Left *complete each exercise 2X = 4 minutes Repeat Tabata Round 2-3 times (8-12 minutes total work)

Day 6 PM

10X Each (4 exercises=1 round)- repeat round 2-3 times 1. Push Ups (knees, toes, against a table, chair, kitchen counter) 2. Crunches (lift only chest to ceiling, slow and controlled) 3. Leg Raise (hands under hips, lift legs straight up then slowly drop to 6 inches from floor) 4. Plank Hold 20 Seconds
-------------- ------------- ------------ -------------

Day 7 

REST DAY!!! Well Deserved! Time to recharge and prepare for the week ahead.

Stay Motivated!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

What will you give up to improve your health?

Yes, this is airplane food and I love it.
Have you started thinking about your upcoming week with the POWER UP September Challenge? What are you willing to give up in terms of food and drinks? You already know that what you eat will impact your goals in a big way.
Story time:
About 20 years ago (when I was 12 ha ha) I was working at a pharmaceutical company which meant me sitting a lot, eating and drinking the worst foods... i.e. those lunch time meetings were great for providing me with a free lunch and the 7 am Venti chocolate and caramel swirl Vanilla Latte with whip I thought I deserved for getting up early and taking my boy to day care on time. These were my "sanity keepers" and my weight was climbing, my heart racing, sugar levels reaching new heights.
Then one day a friend said to me try this for one month and only this, give up your 7 am treat. That's it? I asked. That's it she said. I want you to drink water on the way to work, have your coffee at home, just for a month. OK I can do this. I took $5 and put it in an envelope in my car every day that I did not have my treat. At the end of the month I had gained $100 and lost 12 lbs.
I started to learn; more about losing weight than about savings, sadly...anyway, I digress. I started to really pay attention at what else I was eating that I really did not need and I dropped the mid afternoon candy bar, the left over lunch unless it was the vegetables and fruit platter. I learned that I really did not need a lot of the things I craved because I wasn't really craving them, I was just thirsty, very thirsty.
I did not give up some occasional favorites like ice cream and weekend pancakes and of course, my glass of wine. I mean let's be reasonable, I am a mom and one must find inner peace and the inner child all in the same day.
So let's think about this for the next few days. Let's figure out what one or two things we can give up and/or replace with something healthier. Let's see if we indeed are drinking enough water. What are putting in our coffee and do we really need to have it? I'm on it.
Let's do this!


September Challenge-Let's Do This!

September Challenge

I think we all need a little push once in a while and why not when the kids go back to school...yay moms and dads and all of you who are caregivers of people and everyone really.  I have not done a challenge in a while, so we're due.

I like challenges because they can be used as a starter after having had a long break from working out and helps you to focus on small attainable goals without feeling overwhelmed. The more you exercise the stronger you'll feel the faster you'll start to see results.  This format can be a springboard to get you moving into other longer formats weather at home or in the gym.

What you need?  A timer such as Gymboss - it's a free app that allows you to set up your own intervals. I'm sure there are others out there, this is the one I use.  A mat or thick towel (unless you're on carpet), WATER...even if you don't feel thirsty.

Exercise Format:  
Each day you will have two separate workout sessions, ideally one for the morning and one for the evening.  You can do both at once and you can multiply the number of times you do each one.  Everyone is at different level of fitness and I want you to start where you are now.

1: AM Tabata Cardio/PM Strength
2: AM/PM Core Strength
3: AM Tabata Cardio/PM Strength
4: Walk/Run/Bike/Swim - you choose your cardio workout
5: AM/PM Core Strength
6: AM Tabata/PM Strength
7: Take a break!! This means stretching, light walks, plan your week, rehydrate and wash your workout clothes, it's time ;-)

Nutrition Format:
I'm not a nutritionist or dietician, but it doesn't take an expert to know what needs to change.  It's easy and hard all at once... choose whole foods, avoid processed and fast foods, more water and less soda or sweetened drinks; eat more fruits and veggies you eat, lean protein, healthy carbs and choose healthy snacks.

Journaling either on paper or using an app such as myfitnesspal ( is also a great way to record your food, fitness, and hydration. Again, I'm sure there are other similar apps, this is just the one I use.

Tip: It is a good idea to record your accomplishments for each exercise, no matter how small, because having a baseline will show how much you have improved even when you don't think you have. On a piece of paper write how many push ups or squats you completed, weather you marched or jogged for 20 seconds, how long was your plank, did you do it on your knees or full plank, etc. Have a baseline and keep track. You can record it daily, once a week or every few days.  It's motivating to see even the smallest changes.

Same applies to your body composition if your goal is weight loss...measure yourself once when you start and weigh in once a week.

Any questions before we begin? I will post the exercises for the week, it is up to you to follow through and keep up with your day.  I love when people report back and discuss their workouts and any questions, let's be accountable for each other.

This challenge will begin September 6th.

Let's do this!!


Monday, June 20, 2016

What was I doing?

Mindfulness was described in Mindfulness Training Best Meditation Course as follows:

 The moment you pay attention to every little thing that happens to you and just experience these without judgment; means you are being mindful of your present.
We all have a little of what we like to call ADD (attention deficit disorder) and it is seen everyday in everything we do.  This post, for example, was started yesterday and while reading other blogs and facebook I found a bunch of other distractions. Needless to say, I never came back, lost my mojo... in reality I'm not sure I got it back but I'm determined to finish what I start.

One thing I have to do, many of us have to do, is to not schedule quiet times when we know a distraction is likely to happen.  I'm so good at this.  Kids are home from school at 3 pm and it never fails at 2:45 I sit with my water or coffee or wine, whatever and try to enjoy a few minutes of silence out back, knowing quite well that it will not last and then I get irritated that my time of solitude lasted only a few minutes and it was my fault....ugh!!

Same thing happens when I begin to do any chore...most of you will agree with me here. We begin to load the dishwasher and realize that the kitchen towels are dirty so why not take them to the laundry room now, SERIOUSLY? RIGHT THIS SECOND? Yes, now. OK on the way there I realize there's a small pile of laundry on the couch so hey let's get that up to the bedrooms and put away, YES NOW! On the way up to the bedroom I drop a sock, go to pick it up and notice  how filthy the carpet and baseboards are, wow someone should really get that cleaned up... NO, NO, NO... UGH OK doing it NOW, in fact using dropped sock to get it done or I'll forget if I put it off... I'm going to stop there and just say that 2 hours later and what I started is still not finished, WOW, what the heck happened?

I'll tell you what goes through my mind.  I'm afraid that if I put it off I'll forget.  I think it will not take so long, just a quick job (not true, ever), I say well no one else is going to see it and do it so I might as well.

You know what? This is a major workout of walking around, picking up things, putting away things, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing just to do the dishes.

How does this relate to fitness? Well mental health is important and all too often we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by chores (especially the ones we never finished due to other distractions), we claim OCD and ADD and then we end up with WINE because it was all too much.  If I was OCD I wouldn't be concerned with finding things along the way while doing other chores because everything would be done on the spot. Yeah, no I do not have OCD.

What I don't like is how I feel at the end of a long day "doing dishes".  Exercise is supposed to make that feeling go away, but as the one who has to plan and execute the fitness classes in happy, motivating, and super energizing format, this plan does not work for me because if it did I would be the most chilled person on the planet, I mean I teach a lot so what gives.  A lot of responsibility to do things right for the hundreds of people I see each week.  So I have to do something for me. No plans, no special music, just for me.

Walk, run, sit in the patio or backyard, by a pool or the ocean with a good book preferably with at least an hour to spare before any distractions, or better yet take the quiet time somewhere else so that I have time to complete the ME process and truly be mindful and thankful.  Running is definitely at the top of the list of activities that give me a sense of calm, takes away the urgency of doing chores and helps me feel centered.  Sitting and resting with a good book or better yet, just the sounds of nature help me to really pay attention to the world around me and refocus on what matters most.  When I take the time for me I am less ADD, more calm and everyone is happier.

Mindfulness is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives. -, Mindful:Taking time for what matters

What do you do to find that peace within you?

Enjoy another beautiful day, beautiful because you are in it not because of the weather.

Stay Well,

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Success story in the making

As a trainer I often hear from people who WANT to lose weight, get in shape, most WANT to target one are over another, you know, spot training. Many expect miracles to happen without putting in the hours of work it takes to make the changes necessary to see that miracle happen.

Mandi started attending my classes and I call her brave and crazy because, unlike many who are getting started, she came and planted her mat and weights right behind me.  Honestly, she would have been on the stage if I let her, ha!! Crazy because she challenged even me many times, she had to bring in her own beach towel to keep the floors dry because this girl worked hard.  I saw her transformation happening and every class she attended, which was just about every class I taught, she challenged herself and those around her...probably the most annoying energy within ear shot because once she knew your name, watch out she was going to challenge you not only in class but she was going to make sure you attended class by calling you out. Actually, everyone needs a Mandi to keep them honest and accountable.

No one can tell her story better, so here is Mandi...

Over the last 5.5 years I've been on a journey to find a Fit and Healthy person. When I started the journey I was over 300lb and I didn't know what exactly I was looking for or how I was going to get there. Little did I know all the places I would be and where this journey would take me. 
To start my journey I was alone, it was just me, and so I found a couch to 5K program and just started moving. Soon I found a friend at work that ran and liked to do 5K races so she started to invite me to come and run the races with her. Before I knew it I was a runner... Well or at least I was out there giving it my all. After 2 years of running (very slowly) I put together a team and ran the Ragnar Relay. It was amazing! I felt like I was finally getting the hang of this "being Fit" thing! Little did I know I had a lot to learn and a lot more to do. While I had been running I still was concerned about what others thought of me and I had issues accepting who I was. 
The next chapter in my life came about 4 months after I ran the Ragnar relay, my work offered me a 4 month rotation over in Afghanistan and I took it. While I thought this would be GREAT for my fitness because what else would I have to do besides work and workout, right.... WRONG!! the food over there is NOT healthy, most people have been over there for years and they don't really worry about their healthy (or unhealthy) lifestyle. So I stopped eating well, I didn't workout much and the weight came back on like CRAZY! You truly don't learn how quickly it comes back until its too little too late. Or at least that's what I thought. 
So after returning from Afghanistan it took me a few months to settle back in. But then I got a gym membership and started taking classes. I thought, what better way to get motivated and back on track then take some classes. I tried all kinds of classes until I found my niche. Bootcamp! That's the class for me, strength, cardio, friends, and most important for me, COMPETITION! I have always been an athlete and competition I found is my best motivator and driving force! While taking bootcamp classes at the gym I have met an AMAZING group of friends who I taken me this rest of this amazing journey! At the gym I meet Terie (the instructor) who ended up introducing me to Laura (Thank you very much for that)! But while taking the classes I have meet some of the most amazing, encouraging and motivating women every! Eileen, little does she know, but she was always the person I tried so hard to catch up to and hoped to one day be able to keep up with. Well I think that day is pretty much here (almost ;-), so thank you Eileen, for always being there in class. Little did you know I was competing with you this whole time ;-) You were great to workout next to and you were one of the biggest motivators to help me get down to where I am now!! Thanks for always looking out for me, motivating and encouraging me to get one more rep in, or push for those last 5 sec, you have no idea how much it meant... 
At this point in my journey I've lost almost 85 lb, I've ran 2 Ragnar Relays, 2 Half marathons, multiple warrior dashes, Spartan races, and so many 10K and 5K's I can't even count them. I got to multiple bootcamps every week (some on my own with my own small army of Fit ladies), I've become a "morning" person (gasp), and I LOVE being part of this #Specialkindofcrazy group! Powerful Fitness has changed my life and my view on fitness!! I've probably lost about 15% or more body fat and I have lost over 85 lb since Jan 2011. This road to a fit and healthy life is ever changing, and will ALWAYS change. 
At this point in my journey I hope to find a way to help other women out there find their motivation, their drive and their desire to get Fit and Healthy! Being Fit and Healthy is different for every single one of us. I have realized and fully accepted that I will NEVER be an 8, at least not if I want to be the happy and fun person that I am now. I always want to be able to enjoy life, and being on a STRICT diet and cutting everything fun and enjoyable out of my life isn't going to do it. So instead I focus on what makes me happy, and finding the balance of Health, Happiness and Living life to its fullest! Powerful Fitness has given me something I didn't even know I was missing and thank you for that!!
With the encouragement of all my instructors and friends I've decided to get my group teaching certification and hopefully soon I might be able to help grow this #specialkindofcrazy army!  
Every single one of you are amazing and capable of so much more than you think you are, you just have to put your mind to and be stronger than any of the fears or doubts you have. No matter how big your goals seem today, take them one step at a time, one small goal after another. You can reach any goal you set, the plan may change along the way, or maybe even the goal might change, but that's the fun part right!! 
See you all out there, as we travel this journey together! 👸

Moral of the story - nothing is ever going to be easy, what you want takes hard work, discipline, dedication, and YOU deserve to give yourself the time and attention to get on a path to living a healthy lifestyle, not for an outfit or party or summer vacation, but for life.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Hit me up.

Stay Well,

Friday, January 22, 2016

Storm Day Fitness

Stormy days can contribute to a lot of eating and drinking of all the wrong things. It also makes for a great time to binge watch TV. You know it's true even if you decide to play and shovel snow, you can only do that for so long. 

Snow days have the potential for great workouts unless the wind and icy conditions get in the way. I have a few short workouts for you to try this weekend. Do them together with your family, have a competition to see who does more in the time given and while you're working out let the crock pot do the slow cooking for you. 

Ok here's the workout:


Equipment- mat or towel and 2 items heavier than your hands (cans, wine bottles...)

STRENGTH- 3 minutes total with 20 seconds between sets. Do each for one minute.

1. Alternating RIGHT/LEFT reverse Lunge and Shoulder Press Up 

2. Squat and Deltoid Row (Like pulling up your pants)

3. Plié Squat and Bicep Curls, add heel lift for more power in the legs

CARDIO- 2 minutes with 15 second rest. Pick 2 and do for one minute each or do four - 30 seconds each

Jumping Jax
Mountain Climb
High Knee run
Jump rope 
Knee up & press up (lower impact)

CORE- do one for a minute or 2 for 30 sec each

V- sit
Leg lift
Cross cross Abs
V sit toe touch
Plank Knee Pull

10 minutes tops including rest times. Repeat and work harder maybe faster the next time around, then come back and post your experience and results!! 

Here's one of my favorite stormy day recipes - please share one if yours!