Category Archives: Fitness Training

Staying Fit on Vacation


It’s that time of year again where a lot of people are planning their winter get away. The thought of palm trees, beaches, and slushy drinks is very appealing and so much fun for us all. Relaxing at a tropical paradise is a great way to regroup from a busy year.

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Every person in the world has six-pack abs!

Any time you do movements like sitting down, standing up or twisting, you are engaging your core.

Your abdominals consist of the Transverse and Rectus Abdominals, Internal and External Obliques. The problem is, most people will never see these muscles because of the extra fat that is covering the abdominal wall.

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The Health Benefits of Exercise

I believe that exercise is very important, and has been a big part of my life for 11 years. I have learned that exercise can be done virtually anywhere.

I have exercised in many different places, like the beach, playground, the living room and by my pool. I have even done jump squats and push ups in the bathroom to wake up in the morning (true story).

We all know that exercise has many health benefits, even though a lot of people are in denial about it for one reason or another. I am going to touch on a few different health benefits that come along with exercise.

  • Weight Loss

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss along with proper diet. This is probably the biggest reason why we all exercise. When you engage in physical activity, calories are burned. The more intense the activity, the more calories are burned. Exercise does not have to last for hours at a time, sometimes 45 minutes of intense exercise is more than enough.

  • Increased Energy and Elevates Mood

Regular exercise can increase your strength and endurance, and when your lungs and heart are strengthened with exercise, exercise gets easier to do. Exercise increases the endorphins in your body, which not only increases your energy levels, but elevates your mood as well. Exercise will make you feel happier and more relaxed, and also boosts confidence and improves self-esteem.

  • Helps the Fight Against Disease

No matter your current weight, being active boost the good cholesterol and fights the bad cholesterol (triglycerides). This will keep the blood flowing smoothly, which decreases risk of cardiovascular disease. Regular physical activity can help prevent a wide range of health problems including stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and certain types of cancer.

  • Exercise Increases Sex Drive

Regular physical activity can make you feel energized and feel better about the way you look, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. Exercise can also lead to increased arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have erectile dysfunction than men who don’t exercise. Also just like I stated above, exercise makes us all look and feel better about ourselves, so we feel more comfortable with our bodies. This example alone should make us all want to exercise more!

  • Increases Metabolic Rate

With regular weight training, the body will put on more muscle. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. This means you will burn more fat, add shape to your body and increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of daily energy expended at rest. When your BMR increases, the calories you can eat when at rest increases as well. I am a fan of more food!

There are many more reasons why exercise is beneficial to us all, and I can go on about this topic for a long time. These are the key reasons why we should all include daily exercise in our lives, so stop with the excuses, get off the couch and move your body! Our bodies are meant to move around, so take advantage of this gift and enjoy your body 🙂

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Training and Injuries

I had a heck of a year with injuries. Shoulder injury, lower back injury, ankle injury and my latest a sprained wrist. Seems like one thing after another lately with me!

Setbacks are inevitable to the dedicated athlete or the committed fitness girl!

You simply cannot give 100% all the time, especially when you have an injury. Failing to take time off- whether injured or just need to take a slight break from fitness- can actually adversely affect your ability to reach your goals.

For many of us, myself included, the urge to go to the gym while injured to work the healthy body parts can be quite strong, but sometimes we have to realize when it is time to rest our bodies so we can come back stronger and have a better workout.

Even though training is great for the body, it actually puts major stress on the body as well. Rest days are very beneficial and produce the gains you are after.

If you have injured body parts, sometimes it is important to let your whole body rest so you can speed up recovery time. What may seem like an inconvenience now, training while injured could turn into a major problem down the road.

Now that I am 30-something, my body’s ability to recover is not what it used to be in my 20’s. I used to put my body through the wringer and I would bounce back with no problems. I used to train with weights and do cardio sessions every single day, but now I make sure I take a day off in between weight sessions and also have a full day of rest on Sundays.

Supplementation may also be beneficial during injuries as well. Glutamine is a great supplement for muscle preservation, and taking a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement is known to prevent joint and cartilage breakdown. Fish oil is also a great supplement that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Stretching is a very important step after a workout, and I always recommend stretching to avoid and prevent injuries. Stretching helps lengthen the muscles and return them back to their normal state. I also recommend massage therapy for injuries and have also used acupuncture for treatment, which has worked very well for me and I will continue to use this form of treatment in the future.

Eating a clean, consistent diet every day is just as important to keep the body healthy by providing the proper nutrients needed, which reduces the risk of injury as well. When an injury does occur, it may be necessary to cut back calories in order to prevent weight gain if you cannot do your normal gym routine.

For example, if a knee injury occurs, you may not be able to train legs for a while. Legs are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, and training legs will burn a lot of calories. If you cannot burn as many calories during an injury, cutting your calories back by 200 or 300 per day, eating clean and not skimping on protein for muscle preservation may be a good idea.

I have met a lot of injured people who start a pity party for themselves with food, and the outcome of the extra calories is very damaging and heartbreaking a few months down the road.

Always listen to your body.

If you feel an injury coming along, it is best to deal with it right away instead of pushing through and making it worse. We all want to continue with our training, and if it means taking 2 or 3 days off, it is always better than having to take months off down the road!

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All About Legs

People often ask me how I have such great legs and I think a lot of this has to do with genetics. My father always had muscular legs and my sister always had amazing calves naturally,  so adding weight training along with my genetics was a wonderful combination.

Just recently I decided to wear short shorts to the gym, which I never do. Not only did my clients comment, I had a lot of attention from the men in my gym. I choose to get up on stage half naked allowing people to critic my body, and this attention at the gym made me feel uncomfortable which was so strange!

Women always ask what sort of exercises I do for my legs, and I can go on about my leg training forever because there are so many different exercises I like to do, including lots of lunges and squats. I like to do lunges and squats in so many different ways that I would have any man in the gym limping out like they were hit by a truck(no joke, this happens in my group classes!)

I also like to incorporate plyometrics along with my leg training, which helps keep my legs lean and tight all year around. Plyometrics or “plyos”is a type of training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities. Plyometrics exercises are a great way to add extra cardio in your routine.

Here is an example of what I may do for a leg routine. I perform Tri-sets with little rest for 3 sets. Keep in mind I have been training for 11 years and this routine may not be for everyone.

  1. Walking Lunges: 40 reps holding 25 pound weights in each hand
  2. Straight Legged Dead lifts: 15 reps with 25 pound weights, lowering until a stretch is felt in hamstrings. Keep back straight and shoulders back.
  3. Power Lunges: jump up high landing in a lunge and alternate as fast as possible.


  1. Heavy Squats at the Squat Rack: with 45 pound plates on each end, 6 to 8 reps. Keep head up and shoulders back, weight in
    heels while pressing up.
  2. Jump Squats: perform 10 jumps landing in a squat position, moving fast.
  3. Sumo Squat: holding 30 pound dumbbell with both hands, legs wide with toes pointed out. Squat for 15-20 reps


  1. Bench Step ups with Kick Backs: hold 25 pound weights for 8-10 reps. One foot on the bench, step up and kick opposite leg back keeping it straight.
  2. Lateral Bench Hops: stand on top of bench, hop side to side keeping one foot in middle of bench for 20 reps.
  3. One Leg Glut Kick Back: At glut kick back machine(I use the seated leg press machine), press leg back all the way and bring it back slowly for 10-12 reps.

With proper nutrition along with weight training, anyone can achieve muscular and lean legs. Also remember ladies, you will not get “bulky”.
I have this conversation almost every day and I have yet to see one of my lady clients look bulky after our sessions are done.

Keep focused on your goals and everything will fall into place, maybe in a few months you will be sporting those short shorts in your gym!

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