I Need Your Opinion

opinion

I was a little disheartened by an email I got from an ‘ex’.

I say ‘ex’ because she’s now an ‘ex-reader’.  She probably has some of her own issues unrelated to me, but it still tends to hurt my feelings when I get this sort of thing.

hate mail

*Read from the bottom up on the string of emails

 

I think it’s a little cowardly to sit behind a keyboard and spew this sort of venom, but that’s just me. I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on the subject. My purpose is to provide helpful tips and advice. My assumption is that’s why you’re here. Any advice you can offer me to support YOU further is much appreciated.

I’ll go ahead and post the tips that I sent in that email despite the fact that I offended that person. In fact, I was flattered that a different reader asked me to post these tips on my Facebook page and on my blog too.  Sometimes I wonder if the info I share is a little TMI, but if anyone can benefit from even one tip, then I’m happy.

Here was the email that I sent out:

I returned from a week in NYC with my almost 20-year-old daughter Hannah. This was a trip that mother’s dream of having with their girl. Further to this, I was happy that Hannah asked me how I manage to stay lean and fit while traveling. I do a lot of it and she realized while traveling with me that it’s not always easy.

Here are a few things off the top of my head that we discussed:
A workout – A short 20 min bodyweight hotel workout is fine in a pinch. Getting a workout done in the NYC Lion Kingmorning is best so that the day doesn’t get away and excuses don’t pop up. It takes NO time at all and keeps the metabolism revved up.

Drink up – Water that is. For me it’s the cure for headaches and dehydration. Although difficult at times I have no liquid calories pretty much EVER (except the odd glass of Malbec).

No bread - This isn’t due to gluten intolerance, it’s just an intolerance to a ‘muffin top’ ;) This really works as hard as it is to do at some places especially, but passing on bread saves massive amounts of calories.

Cut out evening starchy carbs – Keep it to protein and veggies at dinner 99% of the time. Of course being in NYC, my ONE time break in this rule was a treat of cheesecake after the Lion King performance on Thursday. This leads to the next big idea…

Plan a cheat meal – It’s easy to pass on tempting foods when I know I can have them (eventually), Nothing is on the never never list. Here’s how I planned my NYC cheat: we didn’t have dessert all week, we had sushi with no rice and sashimi for dinner (low carb) and I did a metabolic workout with Kate Vidulich mid afternoon (filming for videos). Simple things to set up the perfect storm for a big treat. Oh, and I fasted until after my workout the next morning.
Regular sleep – Going to bed and waking at a similar time daily is key for me. We pretty much stayed on schedule with our own time zone (not always possible I know).

Step out of the comfort zone – Every day was an adventure. Did we know where we were going and what to expect? Not always. We didn’t risk life and limb, but we were definitely out of our element in the big city. Doing something scary makes you feel alive.

NYC times sq H and me

Do a good deed – I found a wallet and could only imagine the panic I’d feel had it been me that lost mine. I turned it into the doorman and was thrilled that I made some strangers day who came back for it 5 minutes later. I never found out who it was but, man, it felt good to know some one had a good day because of that small gesture.

These are only a few things off the top of my head: small things that over time add up to better health.

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Make sure to let me know how you feel about the comments from ‘Barb’. And like my Facebook page here too.

Never Sit Down Never Grow Old

No one really plans on getting old.

Of course we all know it’s a reality, but it’s something that happens to others and it’s difficult to see in ourselves. Often it hits us in the face when we see a photograph or when we see someone that we haven’t seen in years. It’s either a pleasant surprise or a dose of a little too much reality (often served up with a dose of mortality on the side).

I just turned 51.

Fitness008This is a recent photo that I had taken and evidence that years of doing sweaty workouts are definitely time well spent. I’ve been a gym rat for over thirty years. I want to encourage all of you who hit the gym on a regular basis now to NEVER stop or sit down.

Life has a funny way of putting obstacles in the way of training. You might find that you’re super dedicated now, but then you may get a big job, you have a family, you go on holiday or may find any number of valid reasons to have an interruption in your training schedule and then it happens: you get out of your routine and your workouts are shelved. You may think it’s temporarily, but too often it’s longer than you plan.

I know you may say it ‘won’t happen to ME’, but seriously, I tend to be the exception and not the rule when it comes to the ‘super fit and over 50’ category. All my ‘gym buddies’ from past training days have long since found a comfortable chair while I have not. I don’t rely on stories of my ‘glory days’ as an athlete from the past; I continue to live the ‘glory days’ with personal challenges now.

Do you want to have visible abs when you’re 50? Do you want to be able to do pull ups, human flags, and have strength like you do now? I’m here to say it’s not only possible, it’s probable if you play your cards right. I’m as strong as I’ve EVER been and probably even leaner than I was in my 30’s. You can be too.

It’s the 10,000 hour rule: This is the idea that it takes approximately 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master something. The ‘something’ in this case, is your body. Sadly many people spend more time and money on their car than their body.

Here are ten tips to keep in mind so that years will be more of a friend than a foe:

- Consistent short workouts trump longer sporadic ones. Often times I get asked how long I spend training each day; more important is the consistent commitment of a short amount of training time over the long haul.

-Take notes. Training journals are helpful accountability tools. I can compare performance from 20 years ago. I know what my body is capable of and I can push my limits. I can log an ache or pain so I can track what caused it, what things to avoid, when to get treatment when needed and what treatments worked.challenge workout journals

-Small smart nutritional choices add up BIG TIME in the long run. You don’t have to be a total food freak, but making hard choices 80% of the time makes a huge difference in your physique over time.

-Beauty sleep is important. Having consistent sleep patterns help recovery and keep cortisol levels low. We know that a high cortisol level is associated with increased belly fat and adrenal fatigue.

-It may sound too motherly to say ‘moderation in all things’ however that’s what works when it comes to lifestyle.

-Training need not be ‘moderate’ though. In fact, ‘pedal to the metal’ is more like it. Train with passion, intensity and intelligence.

-Train heavy. Lift as much weight as you safely can to increase and maintain as much metabolically active muscle as possible. Muscle is the fountain of youth: it keeps your metabolism fired up and helps staying lean that much easier.

-Continue to setgoals goals and give yourself physical challenges.

-You may require more recovery between workouts. Listen to your body. Sometimes less is more, as long as less is part of a deliberate plan and doesn’t become ‘nothing’ when it comes to intense workouts.

-Pay attention, your body is an incredible machine, learn how it reacts to life: training, eating, stress, sleep, etc. The great thing about aging is it gives you more time in your own skin to really get to know yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hope that you’re passionate about your physique right now. I hope that this is something that only grows in intensity. Your passion for training is hopefully as ingrained in your daily lifestyle as brushing your teeth. The challenge of maintaining a kick ass body as you age is really the epitome of all challenges where YOU become the ultimate winner with great health to live life to the fullest.

aging

I never use age as an excuse and neither should you. I can help you with your fitness through my blog and challenging workout plans. I know some of the workouts I post are a little too aggressive. Some of you may be very intimidated by the workouts I have on the here.

If this is you, I have good news.

I was lucky enough to be included in the videos for a program called Functional Fitness.

 

If you are:

  • new to fitness or at all intimidated by fitness
  • recovering from an injury
  • 50+ and need a ‘gentle’ approach
  • looking for ‘follow along’ videos
  • need ‘coaching’ along the way

This is an at home fitness solution for you.

Here I discuss the program with the creators, Dr. Cody Sipes and Dr. Dan Ritchie:

Here’s a sample workout:

Level 2 Workout #1

Equipment: Tubing anchored chest level, dumbbells

Time: 17 min

  • Split Squat–12 reps each leg
  • Sleeping Dog front and back–3 reps each leg
  • Two arm standing dumbbell lateral raises–12 reps

(repeat)

  • Standing alternating tubing rows–12 reps each arm
  • Sleeping Dog side to side–5 reps
  • Standing alternating chest press–12 reps each arm

(repeat)

  • Standing alternating lat pull down–12 reps each arm
  • Heel Toe Rocks–30 seconds
  • Side Step Ups–12 reps each leg

(repeat)

  • Bridge with arms together–3 reps (5 sec hold)
  • Bird Dog with limb movement to side–2 reps each limb

(repeat)

dan r functional fit 3 Never Too Old

This is a fantastic program to get you moving safely.  If you need a place to get started with your return to fitness, this is the one.

Check out Functional Fitness

dan r functional fit 4 Never Too Old

OR, if you’re ready for more of a challenge, you can check out my various workout programs:

Challenge Fat Loss

Challenge Jump Rope

Challenge Burpee

Challenge Complexes

Pull Up Challenge

Female Fat Loss Over 40

Do YOU have any ‘look and feel young’ strategies? I’d sure like to know. I can use any and all advice since I plan on living to be at least 150 years old ;)

(This is your cue to comment below!)

 

 

Fix Your Kettlebell Clean

Guest Post kb's

By Forest Vance

Level 2 certified Russian KB Instructor

Kettlebell Challenge 2.0

The kettlebell clean is possibly the toughest to MASTER of the basic KB drills (“basic” kettlebell exercises being the swing, squat, Turkish get up, clean, press, and snatch).

The goal is to clean the ‘bell up from the ground in one smooth movement into a perfect rack position at the shoulder. But commonly -

– The starting positon / “set up” for the clean is done wrong

– Folks get TOO MUCH hip drive, and end up whacking / brusing up their forarm in the process

– The KB takes the wrong path on the way up, making the exercise much harder (in a bad way) and causing extra stress on the elbow and shoulder in the process

SO, here’s a video that will show you how to fix the problems listed above – a few more – in about two minutes! Take a pause from whatever you’re doing and check it out below.

And, don’t forget – as part of Forest’s “FVT Baby Sale” going this weekend, he has one of his best-selling kettlebell programs for 50% off:

 kb challenge 2.0

=> Kettlebell Challenge Workouts 2.0

So if you enjoy the video, be sure to check out his program as well ;)

=> Kettlebell Clean Technique Tips

Homemade Chicken Soup

This chicken soup recipe is made without added carbs like noodles or potatoes. It’s filled with fiber, protein and lots of delicious flavor. Enjoy this on a cold winter day.

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cups diced roasted chicken
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 organic apple, chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the onion, carrots and celery. After 5 minutes add the garlic and curry powder.
  2. After a couple minutes add the chicken broth, chicken, bay leaf, apple, pepper, thyme, and lemon zest. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, and some salt if desired, remove the bay leaf and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 166 calories, 5g fat, 175mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 19g protein

I Wish I Were My Dog

I can only aspire to be a dog. sev shoe collection

Particularly my dog, Sev.

Let me explain.

Sev came from humble beginnings. He was likely an ‘oops’ dog. A member of a litter among many litters on the Native Reserve close to Calgary. I’m sure he was homeless and living in a ditch for the better part of his formative years.

Luck would have it that a rescue agency found him in his ditch. Sadly he was full of porcupine quills, likely quilled for 2-3 weeks. He was sweet and gentle and they took him in and provided the care he needed. They proceeded to put him up for adoption, though an unlikely candidate for a home: mangy, scabby, hairless and one eyed. His sweet disposition could not be photographed or quantified.

Somehow my daughter just knew he belonged to us. She said that ‘all the cute puppies will find a home, no one wants Sev, we have to take him’. (Where did this girl come from? I can only hope to be as fabulous as her as well.)

Sev and HannahWhen we met him, he was an easy sell. He was quiet and calm, a real hidden beauty. So he came home with us after the 24 hour ‘cooling off’ period the shelter had (this is to reduce the stupid snap decisions people make regarding pets).

Since he’s been with us, he’s gained 30 lbs, he’s grown a beautiful coat, his scars have healed and he has personality plus.

The point I want to make about Sev, and every dog really, is that there’s a lot to be learned from them.

Sev had every reason to be bitter and mean. The world was cruel to him and he never knew what love and security meant. Yet somehow, he kept his happy disposition and loving nature. He knows how to be vulnerable even when the world chewed him up and spat him out. His ability to love has brought love to him.

Sev loves with his whole heart and then some. This is a dog that sleeps next to my bed, but still finds the need to surround himself with my stinky socks. He puts his life on the line for me by providing home protection and chasing wild coyotes and porcupines (even if it means getting attacked). sev porked 2

I need to be more like Sev.

I need to overlook the disappointments in life and know that there’s always something to look forward to – simple things like a morning off leash walk in the sunshine.

When people close to me disappoint: business partners, friends, family, I need to learn  how to still stay open and vulnerable while not being taken advantage of.

When I disappoint others, I need to come with my tail between my legs with a heart felt apology.

Yes, to me Sev provides a daily lesson on ‘how to be happy’.

I need to be more like him.

Well, all except his annoying habit of rolling in poo. He rolls in stink about once a month…

Seriously Sev, why do you do this?

I like to think it’s his way of keeping me humble. Just when I think I’m ‘all that’, I end up hose in hand scrubbing him down in the backyard.

Thank you Sev, for the life lessons and endless love. I can only hope to be as pure hearted as you. (Although on the whole, I think I smell better.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 4.43.59 PMPS. If you want a fantastic read, I’m currently reading ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein. If you’re a dog lover (and lover of good literature), this should be on your list.

PPS. Are you a dog lover?

Do you want to be like your dog?

Wanna share some awesome-ness about YOUR canine? Feel free to share a comment. If our dogs could read, they’d be really honored.

Gym Rescue – Behind the Scenes

 

You’ll want to make sure you have images enabled for this email ;)

There’s been a lot of talk about the latest episode ‘Gym Rescue’ where I got to be the ‘fitness expert’ that helped a failing ‘sorority’ gym turn itself around and become a viable business.

 

gym rescue pic 2

Many have asked if this reality show is actual ‘reality’.

Strange as it may sound (especially if you saw the episode), the scenes weren’t staged, there was no script, the things in the show really happened as they unfolded on the show.

gym rescue pic 3Watching the show, lots of the action was new and exciting to me because I may have been off the set doing an ‘on the fly’ interview or hanging out in the production area.

A reality show set is an interesting place to be. I have to hand it to anyone that works in the industry. They work LONG hours and there’s lots of ‘hurry up and wait’ times.

Randy Couture is an absolute soft spoken gentleman. Honestly it’s hard to believe that he’s an MMA champion because it would seem he couldn’t hurt a fly. He’d come into the production area every day, greet me by name and ask me how I was. He’s really a sweetheart.

 

Frank Shamrock, on the other hand, is full of energy and is definitely the life of the party. He’s a real character with personality plus.

Frank shamrock

randy couture

As for the actual gym owners, well they had personality plus too ;)

The owner, Toni, was a firecracker, the manager, Erinn did her best to be the voice of reason, Delisa was a great trainer who just wanted to train and Nikki, the receptionist was a sweet girl that was totally untrained for any of her tasks (like being thrown on the floor to train clients) but she did her best. Then there was ‘Pin Girl’ Marsha who’s job was to ‘pull the pin’ on machines for clients in this antiquated circuit and you’ll meet Kit who just walked out and quit on the spot (I never even met her).

There were A LOT of tears. At one point I had to just tell the women to stop crying so we could help them. Randy and Frank were really frustrated since they were really prepared for all the tears.

To begin, the gym was really an eyesore. We joked that it looked like Barney just barfed up all those pinks and purples. In the end, the place looked SPECTACULAR!

mats 2

 

 

mats 1

The out dated ‘circuit training’ system that was being used (with the use of a pre-recorded voice to tell members when to stop and go) was replaced with a full on boot camp style workout system.

And it wasn’t just any boot camp. The gym was given all the systems of Fit Body Boot Camp (of course I’m a huge fan since I run my own FBBC).

In the end, after Coach Bedros Keuilian helped with marketing, I helped with training and Frank and Randy did their thing, the tears dried up, the smiles grew a mile wide and there were hugs all around – oops, did I spoil it for you?

Trust me, if you haven’t tuned in, it’s more than worth it to learn about Toni’s signature move called ‘I dunno’ and to see the tempers flair, the yelling, the crying and the drama.

It was a fun week that I got to spend on the set. I’d love the opportunity to do it all over,
even though I wouldn’t enjoy the TV celebrity lifestyle long term.

As a way to celebrate my TV debut, I thought I’d do a BIG sale for you, my loyal readers.
After all, it’s YOU that allows me to live my passion every day.

I LOVE to help people get fit, whether it’s in their living room at home, in a gym, or in my
beloved Fit Body Boot Camp. I consider myself blessed to be able to do what I do.
I want to share my love of fitness and healthy living with you.

Grab any or ALL my programs HERE.
Let me help you rescue your body and save a little cash too ;)

PS. If you want to watch the entire episode, here you go:

A Different Sort of Challenge

And if you’re up for a new sort of challenge, here was an entirely different one I did:

What a fantastically fun fundraising idea.

Even if no one ‘calls you out’, I highly recommend that you go here to make a donation.  Sadly, I’ve had ALS touch two people in my life, so making any donation, big or small, is money well spent as far as I’m concerned.

And now it’s time for some Q n A’s :)

Challenge workoutsQuestion: I’ve recently heard of something called neotame. What exactly is it?

Answer: Many of you will NOT have heard of this silent killer. It’s a relative to aspartame (nuff said!). It’s used as a table top sweetener and in processed food that are labelled ‘sugar free’.

It’s been linked to a number of health issues like diabetes, cancer, memory loss, fatigue, and more. It also wrecks havoc on any weight loss efforts. Find out some healthy alternatives in this article.

Go to this article and learn the 4 step label decoder solution to help you avoid ingredients like neotame in your food.

 

 Facts found on this page, when applied consistently could mean the difference between getting the body of your dreams and your physique staying the same.

 

Take a few minutes to read and learn here, it could save your health.

 

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hungry sorry for what I saidQuestion: I’ve started to do some intervals which I’ve read are best for fat loss, so why am I starving now??

Answer: Intervals and cardio can spike your hunger.

In a study from the International Journal of Obesity, 35 overweight men and women exercised 5 times a week for 12 weeks. The results varied, but one subject even GAINED 4 pounds. Read the rest of this entry »