Monday, December 29, 2014

Check Yo' Self January Clean Eating & Fitness Challenge!

Starting January 5th you can wipe 2014 clean from all the holiday festivities and non-stop feeding frenzy - "Check Yo Self" and get back in the game! 

The challenge is $129.95 for 4 weeks and includes meal ideas & recipes, grocery lists, daily accountability from me and private forum group members, and 4-Plateau Busting workout videos with yours truly, and more! 

We won't eliminate food groups as part of this challenge - that's just not realistic or healthy, and your inner athlete knows this! - however here's what each week will look like, including 4-Plateau Busting workout videos:

Week 1: No processed foods, no sugar, no alcohol whatsoever! I think we've gotten enough over the holidays. Don't you? I know I did.

Week 2: We will allow ourselves a balance of 2 2 treats a week (anything unhealthy such as, pizza, fries, baked goods, etc), 2 healthy grains per day, 2 nights to drink alcohol.

Week 3: We will take our balance from 2:1. Vice grip.

Week 4: We will bump it back to a balance of 2.

You will discover that you can live without sweets and processed foods, and see that by eating 
by eating natural, whole foods (lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and minimal whole grains) will curb your cravings, increase your energy and any digestive issues, and blast fat! And if you're not already doing so, you may find yourself paying particular attention to the ingredients in your food.

Leave a comment below or message me at with questions & receive a link to sign-up! Space is limited to 12 people. #CheckYoSelf #IgniteYourInnerAthlete #TheASHFitness #BlastFat #CleanEating #PlateauBustingWorkouts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Holidays Are Hectic: How Can You Fit It All In?

People often tell me they are "busy" and this often means they "don't find it possible" to make any sort of change in their daily routine. They don't even have time "think" about it! Funny thing is... CHANGE is exactly what they need!!! I understand the feeling of overwhelm and believing you can't fit one more thing in your day, even if it's small. Often times we feel this way because our sympathetic nervous system is running the show, which means cortisol - a stress hormone - is coursing through our bodies. Allowing our fast-paced, always busy and stressed lifestyle rule us can effect our weight, immune function and increase our risk for chronic disease. So how can you reduce anxiety and stress without relying on delicious holiday desserts as your coping strategy, and fit it all in?

Of course diet, exercise and meditation are very powerful tools, however I'm going to give you another exercise that can be added to the mix. This tip can be especially helpful if you find yourself pushing workouts, healthy eating, meditation and self-care to the side when things get hectic. One very simple self-care task I complete nightly is pre-planning my day. Sounds boring and nerdy, I know, but it's a game changer. I call it my List of Absolutes! It's a list of all the tasks that absolutely need to be completed the next day, and includes work and personal/self-care tasks. Why the list of absolutes? Well... we all have never ending TO-DO Lists that leave us feeling overwhelmed, never caught up, always behind - there is no success in a never ending TO-DO List. And... there's always something to do! No fun. So yeah, planning may be boring and nerdy, but it leaves me feeling AWESOME & ACCOMPLISHED EVERY DAMN DAY! Being realistic with myself also helps me from creating extreme expectations for the day. This list prioritizes tasks and self-care, and also helps maintain balance and focus when things pop up out of nowhere, like they so often do. I always stick to my list of absolutes unless it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to put out a fire. 

A very smart and successful business coach I look up to said, "All success starts with looking within, understanding your priorities and setting the right intention." I invite you to spend some down time each evening to create your list of absolutes or list for success - whatever you want to call it! Take a look at Ben Franklin's list, it includes work, self-care, dining, reflection and sleep. Leave a comment below - share your list or tell me if you want to start planning your days!
Here's another short blog sharing a self-care tool that can increase your happiness quotient - Gratitude Practice 

Friday, December 12, 2014

T.G.I.F Gratitude Practice

Right now I'm reading Brene Brown's, Gifts of Imperfection, and she has a gratitude practice that I am trying out and sharing with you!

T = What I'm Trusting

G = What' I'm Grateful For
I = What Inspires Me
F = How I'm Practicing Faith

So this week... 

  • I'm Trusting my Intuition about an opportunity that came about this week.
  • I'm Grateful for Living In My Purpose. I no longer question what I should be doing because I'm doing what I love. However, that doesn't mean that I never question how to allow my practice to play out. 
  • I'm Inspired by Commitment. I like seeing it in others and in myself. Commitment isn't always easy, but once you're in the options are limitless. 
  • I'm practicing Faith by Sharing my journey with others in the hopes that it helps one, if not many, people. 

If you haven't signed up for the REAL Life Book Club Newsletter, you should! It will keep you in the loop about book clubs near you and other fun stuff.  I'll be leading my own book club in 2015! It's a space where we read books that inspire us into action!

If you liked this post, please comment below and share your T.G.I.F.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Here! The Defy 5 Holiday Par-TAYYY!!!

Stay in the game this holiday season so you're not a statistic! Don't play catch up in 2015 with another BORING resolution to lose weight & get fit. Instead, let's set a goal to MAINTAIN, NOT GAIN with DEFY 5! With all the pre-holiday festivities and advertising to get us in the spirit, extra calories and stress are lurking everywhere.

Weight gain during the holiday season is common with many Americans gaining between one-five pounds. To boot, too often the weight is not lost and is the main contributor to the gradual increase most people see year-to-year. -Mayo Clinic

Join me and your inner athlete this holiday season! He/she knows the holidays are coming and it's not a time to go into deep hiding, it's also not a time to be rigid with our goals.  The holidays are social and should be relaxing and fun!  To get a little flavor for what Defy 5 and coaching by me looks like, catch me on The Mia Connect power chat reply where Lisa Lynn and I discuss, Staying Fit & Healthy During The Holidays. We get honest and have fun doing so!

In the video I share that your inner athlete will 
Defy 5 by remaining  flexibleintuitive and resilient, even in the face of pressures brought on by the season. 

With Defy 5 Your Inner Athlete Will Experience:
  • 5 Weekly Newsletters With Fitness & Movement Party Videos - no longer than 30-min (lifetime access to videos and information)
  • Key Tips For Scripting Setbacks To Survive Parties & Gatherings
  • Healthy Holiday Recipes 
  • Self-Care Tips to De-Stress & Remain In Touch With Your Inner Athlete
  • Motivation & Personal Accountability From Me & Defy 5 Participants In A Private Forum
  • An AWESOME Resolution For 2015! #InspiredActionIn2015
Master this holiday season with practice and consistency, not perfection. How far can you go this season to feel alive, healthy & joyful? Ask your inner athlete and see what they have to say! #Finish2014Strong
Client Praise - Online Programs14-Day Two-A-Day Challenge
  • Pushing myself with your workouts for as little as 15-30mins a day has big payoff in fitness gains and is very realistic to commit to.
  • My inner athlete is totally ignited in that my drive to be the fit person I once was has been sparked again.
  • The variety you provided in your workouts was really fun; I was never quite sure what to expect except that it would for sure be challenging!
  • The videos were very helpful and it was motivating having you 'do' the workout with me in that way.
  • Checking in through the forum was great for accountability.
  • By having the videos accessible, I am confident that when I travel or miss a day at the gym, I will still be able to get in a workout.  I have already accessed a workout when I was unable to stick to my usual schedule. Having this at my fingertips really takes away any excuse I can conjure as to whey I can't workout, as well as the stress I feel when I think I won't be able to workout.  How about those diametrically opposed emotions!
  • I'm 3.5 pounds lighter in 2-weeks! Unreal!
30-Day January PowerFit Challenge
  • I don't need an expensive gym membership!  I can get a good workout at home, in the park, etc., etc.  
  • Body weight workouts are total killers!  In just 4 short weeks I can see changes to my body and I feel stronger!  
  • If I commit to something, I can and will do it!  Especially with good guidance and support!  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Don't Dive Off A Ledge This Holiday Season!

Catch me as a guest on The Mia Connect power chat this Friday where we'll be discussing fitness tips to keep everyone from starting 2015 with the OLD and BORING resolution to lose weight or get fit! I'll be joined by Lisa Lynn who has made appearances on Dr. Oz and was Martha Stewart's trainer for 13 years. Join us! Click here to watch LIVE on Friday at 10am MT: Staying Fit & Healthy During The Holidays & Beyond! 

Don't Be Left Making This Face!
Weight gain during the holiday season is common with many Americans gaining between one-five pounds. To boot, too often these pounds are not lost and are the reason for the gradual increase in weight year after year - Mayo Clinic. 
I know you want to stay in the game this holiday season because you DON'T want to be a statistic, that's why you'll want to be on the lookout for details about my upcoming HOLIDAY CHALLENGE - ANTI 5 - that starts Monday, Dec. 1, 2014!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm Sleeping With....

REAL Life Book Club. Here's a short ditty about what I believe to be true. If I leave a stack of REAL Life Book Club approved books next to my bed - as seen in the picture to the left - I am able to retain all the juicy truths contained in the pages through osmosis. It's really quite spectacular. And it's a superpower I've been using since my school days. This is no joke, I used to study until I couldn't keep my eyes open - this should not lead you to believe that I spent long hours studying. If I didn't make it through all the material, I'd leave the book next to my bed and tell myself I could study while I sleep. Little did I know I was flexing my receiving muscles and I did graduate with honors. 

Here's How It Actually Goes...
My truth. I've been trying to kick post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD - to the curb in a real big way. First off, I didn't even realize I had it, but as I received therapy following a car accident in August 2013, I learned that I've been living with it for 14 years!  Um yeah. I couldn't believe it either and it's still strange for me to say I experience(d) PTSD. *14 years because I was in a major car accident when I was 19 years old and apparently trauma can live inside us - even small ones too.

I also learned that there are different levels of processing PTSD and one tool for "recovery" is to seek community connection, a higher purpose, etc.  Definitely more touchy feel-y than I was used to being in life, however I also learned that I was living very detached from myself and my experiences. It can be best described as living with white noise in the background - and that white noise constantly comes from within, it never turns off until released.


Joining REAL Life Book Club has been a great way for me to open up my feminine side a little more and begin taking small steps to gain more freedom in my life. 

What better way to do this than with a book called, The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen. Amanda's book promotes and values receiving as much as giving and is for anyone who does too much, loves too much or multitasks to exhaustion. Work on your receiving muscles if you:
  • Ignore real emotions and put on a happy face to appear perfect
  • Fill the desires of others at the expense of your own
  • Push beyond reasonable limits
  • Deflect compliments
  • Avoid time alone and turn to unhealthy substances, food or other activities as a way to "let go or escape" to meet needs
  • Try to do it all alone and never ask for help
  • Feel resentful or angry
"When we push away or do not receive willingly, people notice! A lack of acceptance and acknowledgement sends the message loud and clear that we don't want to be given to. And life cooperates by being less giving." - Power of Receiving

Now I don't know about you, BUT that makes me say, "Wait - hold the phone - I'm the one holding myself back from rich experiences?! F*K!" This catapulted me into action; #inspiraction to be exact! Now don't get me wrong - change doesn't happen overnight - AND I had been embracing the notion of #One and being a #HotMess prior to getting my hands on this juicy material. BUT I wasn't implementing these changes without running in circles with questions. This book put everything into context for me. I fully understand what giving and receiving is and what it isn't, and how to ROCK IT like Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out.

By shifting your perspective and building your receive muscles, you can take control too. To make sure we are on the same page - the definition of receive is: "to accept willingly." To become a better steward of receiving one must embrace all feelings - the good, bad and ugly by acknowledging them. I now allow myself to feel these emotions fully. That way they don't get stuck in some holding pattern that ultimately keeps me stuck. Let me be clear though - complaining is not the same as acknowledging your feelings. See this book is a must read because I can tell you that repressed emotions find a way of manifesting themselves as little monsters. And these little monsters tend to take a toll on our health and relationships. So be bold, be honest with yourself and others, feel sh*t, and give and receive with reckless abandon!

"The Moment You Own It, You Better Never Let It Go. You Only Get One Shot, Do Not Miss Your Chance To Blow This Opportunity Only Comes Once In A Lifetime" - Eminem

Below are a few nuggets of Amanda's wisdom that really provided a shift in perspective for me, not only pertaining to my situation, but friend's and loved ones too. It has allowed me to see where people are coming from or may even be stuck in unhealthy behavior patterns.

Nugget 1: Are you busy trying to control every outcome?
"When we are not adept receivers, we try to control everything through our own efforts. Not only is this counterproductive but such a strategy does not take anything else or anybody's desires into account." 

Nugget 2: Do you believe that if you accept help you'll owe the person? Are you always keeping score?
"An experienced receiver does not fear being indebted to a Giver because the gate of giving and receiving swings both ways - receiving sometimes and giving at other times. It is only when you don't have practice at both that it is easy to be confused about what your needs and rights are."

Nugget 3: Do you ignore or suppress your emotions?"Can you imagine being praised for expressing feelings of weakness, vulnerability, jealousy or hate? Emotions need acknowledgement - to be received. We pay a high price when we ignore or suppress them." 

Do you find it easier to relate to someone who has it totally “together” or someone who reveals themselves as human?
To truly connect with others you have to reveal yourself – be authentic rather than give an impression of the person you think you should be. Over the course of this book my ability to share about myself has increased 10 fold. I've stepped out of my comfort zone a little more and will continue to do so. The white noise I once experienced is no longer present. It's important that you know that I was not aware of this noise until it disappeared - it's sneaky and it steals from you at every turn. Over the course of the 14 years, I did know that my brain had a hard time processing feelings and emotions, and I often felt stuck in an undesirable space. However, it was so embedded in my being that I had no physical way of releasing it. Very strange for someone as physical as me.

Join me as I begin my journey as a REAL Life Book Club leader in 2015. You can subscribe here to stay in the loop - book clubs are in-person and virtual - you can pick your poison!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Go Live With Anti-5

#LiveEvent Stay in the game this holiday season! Did you know half of all annual weight gain in the U.S. occurs during the holiday period? And to boot... weight gained during the holiday season is rarely lost. -Mayo Clinic & Prospective Study About Holiday Weight Gain, published by the New England Journal of Medicine. JOIN ME because you don't want to be a statistic! #Anti5#IgniteYourInnerAthlete

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Athlete's Kitchen: Fuel For The Casual & Competitive

You've heard it all before - do this, not that - to lose fat more quickly, increase energy and/or perform better. Eating shouldn't be complicated and I'm a firm believer that food is meant to be enjoyed. Many times people ask what I eat and it's often face-to-face in the grocery store. I'm pretty creative in the kitchen when I take the time, and I can also be very boring. Regardless, I don't skip meals and I'm not afraid to eat, even clean my plate and go back for more. I recently read and reviewed a great article, Sports Nutrition: What's Old, What's New? published in American Fitness by Nancy Clark MS, RD, CSSD, who provided a run down with expert advice.  

Whether you consider yourself an athlete or not is beside the point. If you participate in any form of physical activity and are looking to change your body composition, or even enter some sort of race challenge, you're an athlete. Now that I verified this, you can keep reading!  

Here we will resolve any confusion about how you should fuel your body for success! Warning: Don't let the headings fool you.

Thin at any cost. When elite female swimmers restricted calories in the pursuit of thinness, they lost speed. You're now thinking... wait, I'm not an elite athlete and I don't care to be one, but you told me to read ahead?  Here's why you should care: the research also showed that these elite swimmers also DIDN'T lose ANY body fat. All that training and they didn't improve their speed or lose body fat over a 12-week training cycle. Hmmmm??? Now you should ask yourself, am I sabotaging my efforts by not eating enough? Thin at any cost comes with a high price tag.

Eat fat, get fat. Yes & No. Yes, excess calories will easily convert to body fat. However, healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, olive oil and salmon are an important part of a sport diet (any diet) because they help reduce inflammation. Athletes -YOU!- also need dietary fats to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats' benefits don't stop there, it fuels muscles; small amounts get stored within the muscles and have been shown to improve stamina and endurance. According to research, runners who switched from a very low-fat to a moderate-fat diet enhanced their endurance. Choosing healthy fats is key!

If you want to lose weight, you need to go on a diet.  Diets usually DON'T WORK! If they did, everyone who has ever gone on a diet would be lean.  We know this not to be the case.  Next time you think it's a good idea to diet, try these basic changes instead: 

  1. Choose fewer processed snacks in wrappers and instead enjoy more fruits, nuts or veggies.
  2. Get more sleep. Yes, I said it. Rest is important and lack of sleep contributes to weight gain and poor performance.  
Don't drink coffee before exercise, it's dehydrating. A study published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that pre-exercise coffee is not de-hydrating and can actually enhance performance. Caffeine boosts alertness and reaction time, and can make the effort you're putting in seem easier, allowing you to work harder. However, if you are caffeine sensitive, it's best to skip the Cup of Joe.  

Don't eat before or during exercise. Your body can digest food during exercise as long as you are able to maintain your working pace for more than 30-minutes. Casual athletes (fitness exercisers) can benefit from a light pre-exercise snack, such as a banana, granola bar or packet of oatmeal to get their blood sugar level on the upswing, according to Clark.  

Endurance athletes who exercise for more than 90-minutes can benefit from both a pre-exercise snack and carbs during an extended workout session. Clark suggests that your target is ~250-350 calories of carbs per hour. It takes practice to learn what sources of fuel work for you prior to and during exercise.  

Refuel right after your workout. If you do two exhausting workouts per day, you will benefit from eating soon after your first exercise session to help fuel up for the next. Casual athletes can simply back workouts into the next meal. 

Energy drinks contain magical ingredients that make you soar like a unicorn.  The only magical ingredients in energy drinks are caffeine and sugar. You can save money by adding a tablespoon of sugar to your coffee, you'll get the same boost. You can even eat well and get enough sleep and you won't need an energy drink. Most of us can perform just fine with real food and rest - orange slices,-weren't those the best?!-pretzels and water provide more nutrients and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) than sports drinks.  

Did you learn something new? Or did you just like the unicorn pic? Stop daydreaming about unicorns and orange slices and comment below about a small change you can make and as always, sharing is caring.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

14-Day Two-A-Day Challenge

August marked the return of football and a time when players suit up for two separate practices per day, it's a tradition known as "two-a-days."

Has summer separated you from your inner athlete? Let's spend time recapturing YOUR drive and discipline!  There are no excuses - the kids are back in school, Labor Day is past, and the perfect time is now.  Live Powerfully!

*This challenge is for all fitness levels, and low impact exercises will be provided.  

This online training will be divided into two sessions:
One workout and a healthy eating challenge each day.  The program will be well balanced to allow recovery time over the two weeks.
  1. High intensity interval training that incorporates yoga and Pilates principles to improve overall fitness and refine core conditioning.
    • You will receive 30-minute guided workout videos that can be done anytime, anywhere and don't require equipment. These workouts progress every 3-days and will help IMPROVE overall STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY and FITNESS!
  2. Teaching strategies and tactics needed to make healthy eating choices.
    • A certified clinical nutritionist will be your daily guide to building healthy eating habits.  For example: day one may be - eating your last meal of the day 3-4 hours before bedtime.  Day two-three will build upon day one... implementing the 3-hour before bedtime rule and let's say, adding in a green smoothie (recipes provided for meals and snacks).  By the end of the two weeks, you will have NEW TOOLS, a new PERSPECTIVE on healthy eating and some new HABITS!
Just like football players you will learn to execute "plays" effectively, efficiently and reflexively without needing time for conscious thought or cognitive processing.  

To get you ready for the fall season, this kick start program will provide accountability, daily guidance & motivation! It will require you to post daily in the private challenge forum once you complete the challenge and the percent you completed.  The workouts will be progressive, and the food challenge will be cumulative, allowing you to implement 4-5 new and simple practices within two weeks.    

You will RECAPTURE the DRIVE and DISCIPLINE needed to live POWERFULLY and RELIEVE habitual ACHES & PAINS.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do You Suffer From WBS?

Let's talk about butts!  Jordan Metzl, M.D., says, "a strong butt is the key to a happy life."  I hands down agree for a number of reasons.  Metzl is an author, marathoner and sports medicine specialist who has seen many patients with what he calls, weak butt syndrome. I'm constantly emphasizing to my clients and class participants that glutes are the powerhouse.  You can have great quads, but with weak glutes you lack engine power. Metzl says that weak glutes not only make runners more injury prone - they also hamper performance, and that's with any activity.  If you suffer from WBS or simply want buns of steel, here's what you can do:

Try these 3 moves twice a week to build a butt that won't lie.  In about a month, you'll feel stronger and will not experience fatigue as quickly.  This routine will also help relieve aches and pains in your knees and hamstrings.  

Lunges - alternate legs for 3 sets of 12 reps
How to do'em: lunge one leg fwd while keeping your trunk upright, your front knee over your ankle and your back shin parallel to the ground.  Push through the heel of the front foot to return to standing.
Plyometric lunges - perform five sets of 15 reps on each leg (30-sec rest between sets)
How to do'em: lunge forward as described above, however instead of stepping back to standing, spring into the air to switch legs using controlled motion and landing lightly as possible (you don't want to hear a loud thud on the ground ;). 

Squats from a chair - work up to 6 sets of 15 reps, then try up to 3 sets of 15 reps of single-leg squats (my classes hate these). 
How to do'em: stand in front of a chair with feet slightly wider than hip-width.  Keeping your back as straight as possible, slowly squat to sitting, then return to standing. 

I challenge you to do these exercises as recommended over the next month.  Before, during and after - share the changes you experience below.  Do you currently suffer from WBS?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Amp Up Your Workout!

Tired of doing the same workout routine? Kick it up a notch!  Here I demonstrate 5 combination moves that will target your arms, abs and legs: 5 Combination Moves to Amp Up Your Workout (Step-by-Step Video Included)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Accountability Is The Name Of The Game

We all have our reasons for wanting to be in great shape. Some people love the feeling of slipping into a smaller pair of jeans, other people love being super confident all the time, and some people want to run races and win.

Whatever your reason, every single person I know has days where they just don’t want to work out. It’s human nature to forget our initial motivation and want to stay on the sofa instead of putting on our gym shoes and heading out the door.
In order to head off this quitting mentality, it’s important to put some accountability structure in place. Here are some ideas of how to make sure you’ll stay on track even when you reeeally don’t want to.
Group Activities
It’s a lot more fun to work out in a group than on your own. In fact, I recently wrote an entire blog post about it! Check it out HERE.

In the post, I specifically talk about the social aspect of group exercise. When feeling like you just don’t have it in you, you’re way more likely to show up if you know your best friend is waiting for you.

Normally group classes tend to be the same people on the same days, so you’ll get to know other participants in class and it can be a lot of fun. I know clients who have become close friends through their work out classes and depend on one another to stay in the zone.

Work With A Trainer
When you’re further along in your exercise journey and preparing for a race, whether it be running, swimming, biking or some other form of competition, a trainer can be really helpful.

You have a set time to be there and you know that they will be waiting for you if you don’t show up. And it can annoy your trainer if you continually cancel. It may get you fired as a client.

Trainers are really imperative when it comes to pushing yourself to improve your time or lift more weight. They will always push you outside your comfort zone so you can truly be your best competitor.

Accountability Buddy
Sometimes, it’s just nice to have another person to exercise with. One of my mom’s coworkers is on a weight loss regime, and asked my mom to walk with her during their lunch break.

It works out perfectly because my mom wants to get away from the computer at least once during her day. I always remind her how important it is to move her body and breathe outside air!

Now, when one buddy doesn’t want to go, the other comes along as a reminder why they started in the first place. What a great system!

My Accountability
Sure I'm capable of working out on my own, but I usually choose not to. I love doing one-on-one sessions with my Pilates trainer. It keeps me accountable and she pushes me (and I also prepaid, so I’m not going to ditch out on that!). I love showing up knowing she’s already planned out our hour. All I have to do is be a good sport and follow instructions. Plus, I learn a lot about myself and ways to challenge others!

How do you stay accountable? Need help getting on track? Contact me today and we can figure out a way to help you work out smarter and more consistently.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Exercises You'll Love to Hate

Don’t have time to hit the gym? Try these 5 exercises that my clients hate because they’re so hard (but they also love them because they get the job done). Efficiency is key when time is limited. And don't stop reading further if you think these exercises will be too hard, I provide modifications. Gotta start somewhere!

Burpee Tuck Jump
People love to hate burpees, and to make sure my clients don’t get too set in a burpee routine, I constantly change them up. People complain that I’m making it worse, but when I hear that, I just smile and remind them that they’re paying me to challenge their limits and keep them engaged.

How to do it: Just like a regular burpee, start in a squat position with your hands on the floor, jump your feet to plank position, do a push-up, jump your feet back to squat position, jump up off the ground, but then add a tuck jump after that. This extra jump will make your heart pound through your chest. It’s terrible!

What it works: This movement will work your entire body. When you jump into plank, you activate your core, chest, back, arms, glutes, quads and hammies. When you jump straight up, you’re using power from your quads, glutes and hammies. The extra tuck-jump uses core power and builds agility.

Lateral Jump with Weights
People sometimes think I’m evil, but I’m not. I remind them if they do what I tell them, they will see results and live a healthier life.

How to do it: Place moderately heavy weights on your shoulders, I like 8 lbs. You can choose 5 lbs. or no weights to start. Do a narrow squat with your legs hip distance apart. Staying low, jump to the right and then to the left without standing in the middle, so you’re holding the squat position. It’s killer.

What it works: This exercise blasts your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. It’s also going to get your heart rate up too.

Bad Ass Crawl (aka Total Body Torture)
I’ve been using this movement in class with gliders so you can easily slide your feet across the floor, but you can also walk your feet forward if you don’t have them. You can use paper plates or towels too as a gliding device.

How to do it: Start in a high plank position with your arms straight. If you have gliders, set them right under the ball of your feet. If you’re using a mat, start with your hands at the end of the mat and walk forward, gliding your feet behind. When you get your feet to the end of the mat, come onto your forearms and walk back in reverse. When you get back to your starting point, come onto your hands once again and repeat.

What it works: The bad ass crawl is full-body and really works your core, along with spinal stability and balance. Be careful not to stick your butt in the air because that shifts all your weight into your shoulders and puts undue pressure on your front delts (they really shouldn’t be bearing your body weight).

The Cross Donkey-Kick
This one is a lot of fun and has a great name. It's like break dancing! Maybe.

How to do it: Come into a pike position, so your body creates a triangle. Your butt should be pointed up to the air and forms the point of the triangle (the other two points are your hands on the floor in front of you and your feet on the floor behind you). Do a little hop up with your feet to kick your booty. When you come down, take your right leg across your body and then your left leg across your body - dropping your hip toward the floor. Hop to center again, and repeat.

What it works: This movement will work into your back, chest, shoulders and arms, as well as your core muscles.

Side Plank, Side Leg Lift, Front Kick

How to do it: Come onto one forearm with your elbow under your shoulder, lying on your side with your feet, knees and hips stacked. You'll lift from your hips and side body up off the ground doing a leg lift, then a front leg kick. So if you’re on your left arm, lift your right leg and lower it down, then lift and kick it out to the front.

Add an optional hip dip when you’re in the side plank to make it a little tougher.

What it works: This move will get your core, outer thigh and glutes. When you kick your leg to the front, you’ll zap your quad and your abdominal muscles, not to mention that the plank works into your obliques as well.

For a heart pounding & time efficient workout: Try these moves as a Tabata set - 4 minutes total for each exercise, with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 rounds.

So, which exercises do you love to hate? Leave a note in the comments below to join the conversation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Greatest Breakthroughs Happen When You Want to Quit

Why do we sometimes want to give up or stay in our comfort 
zones? Learn 5 practical tips that will help you create lasting
change in any area of your life! 
Latest Parade Magazine Blog Post: 
The Greatest Breakthroughs Happen When You Want to Quit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's OK to Change Up Your Workout Routine

I talk to a lot of people who think that they’re supposed to stick with the same workout routine. Forever. When people are not flexible with their routine, what usually happens is they end up bored and become inconsistent with exercise or quit all together.

I’m here to remind you that if you get bored with your workout routine, do something else! It’s important to keep your brain interested as well as your body, and you don’t have to stick to the same routine for years. In fact, I’ve changed up my routine a lot in the last year for a few reasons.

I Needed To Box
A couple years ago, I was stuck in a job that wasn’t a great fit. It lacked opportunity for growth or change, and that left me frustrated day-to-day.

At the time I decided to take a boxing class. I can’t even remember why, but I do recall being intimidated because I assumed that boxing was for dudes. Despite the fear, I grabbed my sneakers and thought to myself, “Well, maybe I’ll meet some cool people!”

I went ahead and took the class, and I fell in love with it. Boxing is great because you get a high intensity workout and punching provides stress release, so I had a way to vent all my frustration from work. I kept going back and stuck with it for over a year.

It’s Okay To Transition
As it turned out, I did meet a lot of very cool people! The boxing class supported me as I transitioned out of the job I felt trapped in, and it helped me feel more confident in myself.

It's necessary to change up your exercise routine, especially if you become injured. Although I love boxing, I no longer feel the drive to punch as often. I was also forced to try something new because I was dealing with a neck and back injury due to a car accident. Because Pilates was part of my physical therapy, I’m now more focused on strengthening my small stabilizer muscles and core. Pilates has made a world of difference in my athletic performance and overall strength. I'm a huge fan and highly recommend it.

Sure, I go back to the boxing class every now and then, and I always enjoy it. But I don’t feel the same motivation as I did a year ago. In fact, I feel just as satisfied with Pilates these days as I did with boxing a year ago because it’s the right fit for what I need now.

Examine Your Routine
Take a look at your work out routine. Are you bored? Do you find yourself resisting a class you used to love? It might be time for a change. And you know what? Change is good, and may be an even better fit for what you need now.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Join me starting June 7th for a group outdoor fitness class that includes plyometrics, strength & core conditioning - your first class is FREE to try. Follow this LINK for more details and to sign up. Please email if you have any issues with MindBody Online.