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.

*****************************************************************

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!)

 

 

VIP CLIENT SUCCESS – April 2015

be a better personLifestyle changes aren’t always easy, but it’s the consistent application of a little hard work every day, baby steps forward that take you miles in the long run. I’ve very proud of all my coaching clients, but especially proud of these ladies that are willing to share their story. In sharing, my hope is that they will inspire others to get off the bench and into the game.

A big thank you to each one.

Feel free to leave a comment of encouragement to Fran, Carina, Pam and Kate – they will appreciate it I’m sure.

‘Fran’

The one tip that helped me make the most improvement to my overall fitness was to keep a close eye on your progress, to log it daily & really try to do better the next time working out. You see, I have always logged my workouts on My Fitness Pal, but I was really just going through the motions, occasionally I would pay attention & make some improvements, but for the most part I was content to just workout hard. Now, before I start I have a logged record of what I did the last time with the Work Out & I try to match it or do better….. Remembering of coarse 1st Degree & maintaining proper form, always. It is a very empowering to exercise & always try to do better. I like it a lot!

The group really helped me to stay accountable, especially with my struggle to stay on track with my nutrition. Just knowing I had to post my nutrition daily & make all my good & bad choices public helped me to make healthier choices. I tried to be brutally honest in my daily posts regarding my Workouts, my Motivation & particularly with my Nutrition. I was grateful for everyone’s comments & especially the recommendations given by the VIP Coaching Crew: they were most helpful, especially Suzie Salmon’s healthy choice postings for breakfast lunch, dinner & snacks.

My biggest accomplishment was seeing my fitness level sky rocket into the next stratosphere. When I started this challenge I could do 8 regular Push Ups, now I can knock off 16 of them on a STABILITY BALL, I could  do 14 Burpees, now I can knock off 8 of them with a PUSH UP, my Jump Rope skills were very limited…. I could never Jump Rope for 1 minute, now I can do multiple sets of Complex Exercises which include Jump Rope for a minute & I do the Jump Rope section NON STOP. My overall strength training has also improved, when I started I could Squat 50lbs, I can now do 90lbs, I could only Deadlift 50lbs, now I can do 100lbs, all while maintaining proper form.
I am very proud of these accomplishments, I have worked very hard at my improvement.

I would encourage anyone to join this VIP Challenge Club with Shawna Kaminski. Her Work Outs offered within the Challenge are killer. I had been working out to some of them prior to joining the VIP Group, so I was very familiar with her work out routines and I have even purchased more of her Work Out Library since joining. That’s how much I like them. The VIP Support Crew are very knowledgeable & most helpful. I found their feedback quite useful & I’ve put a lot of their recommendations into practice. I also simply love sharing my Weekly triumphs regarding all of the measurements Shawna wanted us to comment & track. I found it very Empowering being able to share this part of my life with other  people who are struggling, just like I am. I think I have finally figured out how to incorporate fabulous nutrition into my life…. (because I think I’ve already figured out the Work Outs & the Motivation Aspect of this Challenge).
I would certainly love the opportunity to close this chapter of my Fat Loss journey with the support of this team of like minded people. Three more months & I could figure it out for sure. I also think I have proven my commitment, I poFran before after April 2015 2 anonsted every day of the 3 months & I loved reading & sharing with all the participants. Fingers crossed.
My total weight lost was 6 LBS and my total inches lost were 12 inches.

My Fitness Tests Look Like This: # Of Reps Per Minute
February 28th                                                        April 14th
Push Up Regular  8 Reps                                     Push Up Regular 16 Reps
Modified 12 Reps                                                  Modified 8 Reps
Full Squats 25 Reps.                                             Full Squats 28 Reps
Wall Stick Ups 7LBS 17 Reps                               Assisted Pull Ups (machine) 16 Reps
Paused    8 Reps More
Burpees Regular 14 Reps.                                     Burpees With A Push Up 8 Reps
I’m pretty proud of these stats ….. Now I’m looking forward to doing Shawna’s Pull Up Challenge….I’m gonna figure out how to do them.
It was a pleasure spending the last 3 months together, I must say I enjoyed every minute of it.

‘Carina’

What helped you the MOST during this process and how did the group help you overcome a struggle?
The ongoing support from the group helped me to overcome my sugar addiction and to stay on track because I would have had to post my failures I decided not to eat the wrong things. vip carina apr 15 anon

What was your biggest accomplishment?
I committed myself to stay on Track and to quit eating sugar and carbs. I thought I was already eating well but I did not realize that nutrition is 80% of the deal. I always thought that working out would count more. But it is only 10 % as I have learned from you.

Why would you encourage others to seek out this coaching?
For me it was very important that I was able to do my workout at home but to have someone holding my back and to have a group hold me accountable for what I do. The workouts are great and the changes of the them after 3 Weeks is also very helpful.

How much weight and how many inches did you lose?
I lost 4kg and 27cm

 

 

Pam

It’s been great being in the group even though I am not very vocal on the Facebook page.  I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and seeing what they have been doing to keep up their health and fitness goals.  Please let me know when you decide to start another group, it really keeps me on track!

The most helpful part of the program are the daily reminders that healthy eating and some kind of movement is important in every aspect of life.  At the very fundamental level, it makes you feel better and everything progresses from that point.  I also like meeting people from all over the world who are also in the VIP group.Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 7.29.10 PM

My biggest struggle everyday is finding the time and motivation to work out.  It is best for me to do this first thing in the morning but I have a family of early risers for work, school, etc. and that disrupts my schedule as I need to get them off for their day. Nevertheless, the workouts are manageable and I can fit them into my schedule.

My biggest accomplishment has been keeping a healthy, clean diet.  It’s been baby steps but I have made the transition to where I only want to eat healthy foods and I’m not tempted by the sugary, processed foods that used to be attractive to me.  It’s taken awhile to get to this point, but I’ve done a lot of research and as they say “knowledge is power.”  Eating healthy keeps me feeling great and I know that eventually the extra weight will disappear if I keep up the good nutrition and exercise program. I make it a point to work out 4-5 days per week.

I would encourage others to seek out this coaching as we all need a little push at times and accountability.  This coaching does exactly that…it challenges you to eat healthy and to get moving!

During this session, I lost 11 pounds and 8 inches.  I will continue to “chip away” at the weight and inches using the principles I’ve learned from Shawna.  She inspired me to challenge myself on a daily basis.  Thank you Shawna.

Editor’s note: Pam lost 5 lbs and 5 inches in the previous coaching session. Proof positive that Pam has embraced a healthy lifestyle. Congratulations Pam :)

Kate

I found that the accountability and support from you and the group were the most helpful aspects of this program for keeping me on track and motivated to stick with the program. Team building at its finest.

The consistency of having to check in with you and the group helped me to get through the boredom and stress of my unemployment time. It gave me something constructive and positive to focus on.

My biggest accomplishment was developing good lifestyle habits and a long term desire to maintain my health and mobility. I also gained muscle and definition and improved my performance on a regularly basis because of the workout programming. I found daily life and my other activities, like trail running, became so much easier to do because of the workouts.

I would encourage others to seek out this coaching as Shawna provides excellent tough love :) and it’s so much easier to stay on track when you know you have to report in to someone. Kate Fremlin Oct 2014-Apr 2015

I maintained my weight of 140-145 lbs throughout both 90 day terms because I gained some muscle, but my inches went down about 2-3 inches. I didn’t have huge changes in my numbers but I definitely saw improvements in my strength and performance. I also know that Shawna has given me the tools I need to go farther with my transformation in the future.

Shawna, thank you so much for being you! I love your programming :) and your coaching was super helpful to me. If I’m ever I’m Calgary, I will definitely come to one of your bootcamps!

 

I’m so proud of  these four ladies for their hard work and for sharing. My hope is that by reading their transformation of body and lifestyle, you’ll be inspired to look at your own life and make some small changes. Please feel free to leave an encouraging comment :)

If you’d like to learn more about VIP coaching, go here.

I AM ENOUGH (And so are you!)

stopStop it.

If you’re making baby steps towards your goal, you’ll be miles ahead in no time. But you’ll never feel like you’ve gotten anywhere by comparing yourself to others.

Don’t compare your chapter 1 with chapter 20 of someone else’s book. (Thank you to my friend Betty Rocker for this!)

Measure yourself against who YOU were yesterday, not who someone else IS today.

You’ve got your OWN story, your own struggles, and you’re going to have your own triumphs, too.

Let others stories inspire you and not weigh you down.

Keep in mind that you’re being watched. It’s quite likely that your actions and the pursuit of YOUR dreams is inspiring someone else and you might not even realize it.

Too often people (especially those new to fitness) get discouraged by making comparisons to what they see others doing or how they look. It’s a good reminder to work at our own pace, make our own progress and celebrate our own victories.

I get upset when I see people (especially women) compare themselves to others.

To that end, I posted an unedited 6 am pre-workout selfie on Facebook and Instagram and the same pic using a filter:

me and the filter

You can also see the horrible picture and all the support I got on my Facebook wall here (you’ll have to scroll down to April 12th, 2015 – Feel free to like or comment).

Basically, I wanted to get the message out that it everyone seems to compare themselves to what they see as ‘real’ (which is often the ‘unreal’) and when they do, they always comes up short.

My unedited pic was atrocious, but it was real. It made me feel a little horrible about myself, but it likely gave hope to others who also wake up looking like a train wreck.

It was worth it to me to demonstrate that what we see online isn’t necessarily reality and that peeps should stop comparing themselves to others.

This was a demonstration of the physical, but it applies to all aspects of life.

Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for low self esteem.

It’s liberating and better for me to look at how far I’ve come versus where I need to go or where others are. I feel better about myself knowing that I’m creating my OWN story at my own pace and as long as I’m making progress this is good enough.

I AM GOOD ENOUGH. And so are you.

Okay, off my soap box now and it’s time to take some of those baby steps forward where fitness is concerned.

Here are a few awesome things that you may have missed this week:

If you want abs like a fighter => Go here.

If you want an amazing cookbook => Go here.

If you want a nice bum => Go here.

If you want a killer burpee workout => Go here.

And here was my early morning back focused workout for you:

Back It Up!

Count Down 10 to 1 for these exercises:

  • Burpee pull up (or burpee and then pull up alternative)
  • DB renegade row
  • DB pull over
  • DB bicep curls (I rarely do these, but I needed a rest!)
  • Ab wheel roll out

Try to finish in under 25 minutes.

That’s it for me today – Go look in the mirror and remind yourself that you’re an amazing person. I’ll do the same – and let’s just forget all about that 6 am pre-workout photo of me shall we?

Take This Happiness Test

mirror happy sad faceTake off your clothes.

Stand in front of a full-length mirror and look at your body – your chest and arms, midsection, thighs, and lower back where the love handles and muffin top start building up…
Are satisfied with the results that you’ve gotten so far with your current fitness routine?

Wouldn’t you like a leaner, more muscular and have an athletic body?

Let me tell you why you may have failed with your fat loss efforts in the past, and why it’s NOT your fault. There’s a boatload of MISINFORMATION floating around regarding the BEST method of fat loss and most of the information out there is pure garbage.

It’s Time To Break The Myths…

Fat Loss Myth #1: You gotta train in the ‘fat burning’ zone. Truth is, there isn’t one. Like we talked about a moment ago cardio on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine is a total waste of time. Study after study has proven that steady state cardio at your “target heart rate zone” is a total waste of time.

Fat Loss Myth #2: Training LONGER means MORE calories are burned. Studies once tried to ‘prove’ that you use more energy from fat when in the ‘fat burning’ zone. Theoretically, it takes up to 15 minutes of steady state cardio to get into the ‘zone’. In this first 15 minutes you burn mostly carbohydrates for energy.

Then you need to stay in the ‘fat burning’ zone doing mind numbingly boring steady state cardio for an additional 25-30 minutes to begin to burn fat as an energy source and get maximum benefit.

Do you really have that kind of time spare?

Fat Loss Myth #3: You can burn calories strictly from fat stores. More recent studies have shown that although you burn LESS calories DIRECTLY from fat when you train at an increased intensity, you BURN MORE CALORIES OVERALL in a SHORTER amount of time. So, you’ll use a COMBINATION of carbohydrate and fat as energy sources, but your overall caloric out put will be greater when you do HIIT, or high intensity intervals.

Fat Loss Myth #4: You MUST ‘do cardio’ after your strength training. By now you know that’s the biggest myth of all. Sure traditional steady state ‘cardio’ burns calories, but it’s the most inefficient way to burn calories; once you stop your cardio session, the calorie burning stops too. The best and most lasting way to get lean is to build muscle tone – metabolically active tissue that burns calories around the clock and to blast your body into Afterburn, which will boost your metabolism and turn up your fat burning furnace for up to 36 hours.

Fat Loss Myth #5: Aerobic training is the ONLY way to get lean. In fact, some studies show that aerobic training has been shown to be counter-productive to your ability to get lean. Appetite is increased with aerobic training, but you won’t get the benefit of ‘Afterburn’ if you’re in the so-called ‘fat burning zone’. Often you’ll eat more, but not burn more calories, there by negating the benefit of your aerobic workout.

Fat Loss Myth #6: The Treadmill and other ‘cardio’ machines are the best for fat loss. Wrong. Even if you’re doing intervals on these cardio machines, they’re boring and it’s difficult to maintain any intensity or enthusiasm on them for any length of time. Usually you’ll drop down into steady state cardio on cardio machines. In addition, you’ll open yourself up to overuse.

Fat Loss Myth #7: Anaerobic training can’t be used for fat loss. The latest research is showing that fat loss is related to hormones. As we age we produce less growth hormone in our bodies. One of the best ways to fight aging and reduce belly fat is to increase GH (growth hormone).

• Increased GH production can lead to…

• Increases in muscle tone

• Increased lipolysis (fat-burning)

• Increased protein synthesis (i.e. absorption and utilization)

• Efficient gluconeogenesis in the liver, which increases insulin sensitivity and enhances your body’s ability to use glucose (sugar) as fuel

• Stronger bones by increasing calcium retention

• Strengthens the immune system

How do we get more of this naturally occurring growth hormone? We can increase GH through anaerobic training.

You know that burning feeling you get in your muscles when you train with intensity? That’s your body switching into the anaerobic energy system and creating a by-product called ‘lactic acid’. What’s great about lactate, or lactic acid is that it’s a precursor to GH.

allthebenefits

 

 

Believe it or not, this can be done in as little as 5 minutes. In other words, anaerobic training is by far the most time efficient method of training for fat loss in comparison to long slow steady state cardio.

Now, how does this relate to you?

Think back to your last workout. It was good, right?

Weight training, some cardio, or maybe even some interval training… fast pace, lots of sweat, you felt good. But was it your best workout?

Be honest… because if you aren’t, trust me, your abs and belly fat won’t lie. The truth is in the mirror. Every morning you see the truth looking back at you.

burn fatYou workout hard… you give it your all, but what separates you from that person who’s got better muscle definition, chiseled abs, and is sporting a beach ready body twelve months out of the year?

What separates THEM from YOU is a whole other level of ‘Afterburn’.

It’s something you can’t get on your own.

You need to take it to M²A level.

You need a coach to up the intensity and help you take it to the next level.

That’s what’s missing…

Be honest with yourself for a moment… If I asked you to lift up your shirt just enough to show me your abs – would you have the confidence to do it?

Most people wouldn’t because of that last ten to twenty pounds of fat that’s stuck to their waist.

Maybe that’s you.

Challenge Fat Loss

Want to know the secret to an amazing physique?

It’s certainly not about spending hour on end in the gym… or subjecting yourself to ridiculous diet programs that starve and deprive you and still leave you feeling fat and with no sign of true muscle definition or fat loss.

See, everything you think you know about fat loss is wrong or otherwise old and outdated information.

…so they’re feeding you a bunch of lies, keeping you fat, and getting you to buy more of their stuff.

But in this report you’ll finally get the truth about fat loss, backed by science, and proven in the trenches by people “in the know” and on the cutting edge of fitness – not by people who want to sell you the newest fad diets, weight loss pills, or home workout gadgets.

Hi, my name is Shawna Kaminski, and I’m a two-time winner of the “Toughest Calgarian Alive” competition, bodybuilding champion, author and researcher, and I’m considered one of the top authorities on fat loss.

I also happen to be a 52-year-old mother of two and I’m as lean today, with defined abs and all, as I’ve ever been. (This is a untouched photo of me here.)

I’m not an anomaly… I’ve simply discovered a better and much faster way to burn fat while maintaining a muscular and athletic body.

A little bit about me: I’ve spent the last 25 years studying and researching the science of fat loss… NOT WEIGHT LOSS, but actual physique enhancing, muscle defining fat loss… the kind that turns heads and gets people’s attention when they see you coming.

Believe it or not it’s simple to burn fat, even the most stubborn fat can fall right off IF you’re ready to put in 20 minutes at a time, for the next few six weeks and follow my challenge fat loss program that I’ve created for you.

You can read more about it HERE.

Build a Better Butt – Here’s How

My biggest fear….not spiders, not heights, not even death…

It’s this ====================>butt pancake

Yes, the pancake butt is a frightening thing – and totally avoidable if you get off yours :)

My dear mother, God rest her, had the flattest bum around. She was too busy raising us on her own to be concerned with this first world problem that I fear. Clearly I probably have too much time on my hands to seriously have a flat bum phobia.

Butt (pun intended), since training is a big part of my life, I may as well do what I can to avoid my genetic predisposition.

I want to share some of my favorite butt enhancing moves.

Obviously, the best bum is built under a squat bar.

Squats need to be heavy and deep. I know there’s the age old philosophical debate as to the proper depth of squats. My theory, that’s helped me keep my butt from sliding down my legs is ‘ass to grass’ depth. Of course, impeccable form is imperative. The load must be congruent with form, as soon as form falls apart (even in the slightest way) the load must be lessened.

The beauty of the squat is that there’s so much variety, take a look at a few (oh, the ‘diddly squat’ doesn’t count ;) ):

squats - diddly

 

  • plain old bodyweight squats (don’t discount the value of bodyweight moves!)
  • squat jumps
  • back squat
  • front squat
  • overhead squat
  • goblet squat

Then there’s the lunge. My preference is a reverse lunge hold. This can be done with bodyweight, a barbell or dumbell. I prefer to do one leg at a time and hold my balance at the top of the move for a few seconds. Of course, you can hold at the bottom and adjust rep speed in a number of ways to hit your hinny. In addition to the reverse lunge, here are a few more varieties:

  • forward lunges
  • walking lungesbums
  • Bulgarian split squats from the floor/with the foot elevated
  • swing lunges
  • jumping lunges
  • lateral lunges
  • goblet lunges
  • single RDL to single reverse lunge
  • weighted donkey kick back (check out the video for this – make sure NOT to weight your arms and your bum with thank you)

Man, I could go on, but I’ll stop there and tell you about my new favorite: the weighted glute bridge. This one is a bit awkward and it’s best if you have a pad of sorts to put on your hips. I’ve been moving a significant amount of weight with this move. Another thing I love about it is that when my knee is acting up, this is a brilliant move for targeting the glutes and hamstrings without aggravating my knees.

Speaking of a hip hinge move – the KB swing is another favorite. Many newbies are surprised that the KB swing targets the hips and not the upper body. In fact, if you feel your arms or shoulders when doing this move, you know you’re doing it incorrectly. Another tip is to ensure your abs are engaged as the KB rises (as if someone were going to punch you in the belly). This will prevent over extension at the hip and will protect the back. This is another fantastic move to hit your bum if your knees are sore.

Now I must not discount the benefits of deadlifts for the posterior. Regular, stiff legged, barbell, dumb bell – all good moves for your rear.

Get out your leg warmers Jane Fonda, the fire hydrant is an awesome move for working the glute med. I’ve noticed that some of my knee pain has been lessened significantly by strengthening my glute med’s. The key with this move is to ensure that there’s no weight transfer to the opposite arm. It will help engage your obliques and really target the glute med if you raise the opposite arm off the floor – so if you’re balancing on the right leg, elevate the left hand so that you can’t put any weight on it.

Bands are brilliant for engaging the glute med too. One move that I’ll throw in is a skater with a band around the knees. Often my fitness boot camp clients will grab a heavy band and allow their knees to roll inward as they step to the side – this is no buenos! Make sure to keep the knees over the toes; the hip action is outward rotation so don’t let the knees cave inward.

I love to train legs and I often get women in particular asking what they can do to keep their legs and butt’s perky. These are the moves that do the trick. Here’s a video summary with demonstrations of some of the moves:

Here’s a fun leg/bum workout for you that incorporates a few of these moves:

  • 30 second KB swing
  • 10 reps KB goblet squat
  • reverse lunge 10 steps each leg (optional load)
  • 10 reps BB glute bridge

Do 5 rounds. Rest as little as possible or as needed.

Finish with:

Tabata 20/10 x 4 sets:

  • Squat jump/static hold or pulse (no rest) for as many sets as possible

No rest and finish with 20/10 4 sets:

  • Skaters (band optional)

Workout variety is the KEY to success and continuous improvement. The BEST Challenge Workouts program for including variety is the 21 Day Challenge Fit Club. You’ll be emailed a different module every 21 days for 7 rounds. Modules include:

1-Bodyweight
2-Jump Rope CFC_Bundle
3-MRT – Metabolic Resistance Training
4-Sprints
5-Trouble Spot Training
6- Suspension Training
7- KB Training

Modules include all follow along videos so you can check your form and stay on track.

Get off your bum and avoid the dreaded pancake butt look. Pancakes are okay to eat on occasion, they are NOT okay as an appendage :)

The 21 Day Challenge Fit Club will get your butt in gear.

Pull Ups Anyone?

We called it the  ‘Canuck Vs Oz Throwdown’ Lisa B n me winter walkwhen my biz partner from Australian visited Canada.

It sounds adversarial, but really, the weather seemed to be the worst enemy for my publishing partner and good friend, Lisa Bullock.

It was a long time coming, but Lisa finally made her way to Canada from Australia and Calgary’s weather did it’s best to chew her up and spit her out. It was absolutely horrible.

She combated it with a smile and was actually thrilled to see snow. She questioned the beautiful ‘blossoms’ on the trees, but I had to burst her bubble telling her that the blossoms were actually icicles ;)

Here was our finisher for a fantastic back workout:

  • 10 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 10 push ups
  • 9 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 9 push ups
  • 8 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 8 push ups…….continue to count down to…
  • 1 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 1 push ups
Here’s a short video of set 7:

This was a ‘ripper’ as Lisa would say.

Need to work on your pull ups? I sometimes forget to tell you about one of my first Challenge Workout programs called Pull Up Challenge where you can discover how to do your first pull up or add ten more to your personal best.

ch wo grp pic

Here are a few tips to help you maximize your pull up if you’re a TOTAL beginner:

Tip #1 – To lead up to an assisted pull up, just grab a bar and hang. You’ll be surprised at the stretch that you’ll get through the back and even the abdominals. Ensure that you can easily touch the ground without too much effort. Do this hang for up to 30 seconds and it will stretch and lengthen those muscles of the back, and it will also improve your grip strength.

Tip#2 – As you hang, think about inwardly rotating your scapula, or squeezing your shoulder blades together. You should start to feel a slight elevation of your body, even if you can’t move your entire body up to the bar.

This is called scapular retraction. Follow this with arching the back, looking upwards and slightly bending the arms, see if you can lift the body slightly. Your body cannot be too vertical. Imagine bringing your breast bone up to the bar. This isn’t possible if you’re hanging completely perpendicular.

Tip #3 – The most effective way to improve the pull up is to perform ‘negative’ reps. This means that you can assist yourself on the concentric portion of the movement, or the ‘pull up’ part, but then during the eccentric or lowering portion of the movement, you will take your full body weight and lower to a count of four seconds. If you can’t lift ANY of your own body weight, make this a FULLY assisted pull up by stepping up to the bar from a chair and then take your full body weight on the descent.

Just for fun, here are a few of my favorite pull up workouts:

Workout #1

Warm up – Full body warm up including jump rope, modified push ups, wall stick ups, scapular retractions from the bar (about 3-5 min)

Do 5 total rounds:

  • 1 minute of jump rope
  • 8-10 pull ups (assisted if necessary)
  • 8-10 heavy DB, BB or cable rows (last rep should be hard!)
  • 10 cable or DB pull overs
  • plank recovery (30 seconds)
  • Rest as needed

 

Workout #2 – This one uses traditional gym equipment.

Warm up – Full body warm up including jump rope, modified push ups, wall stick ups, scapular retractions from the bar (about 3-5 min)

  • 1a – 8 Pull up negatives (6 second decent, feel free to use an assist on the way up to the bar)
  • 1b – 10 Lat pull downs

Repeat for 3 total sets

  • 2a – 8-10 cable rows
  • 2b – 10 burpees

Repeat for 3 total sets

  • 3a – 10 Single arm DB rows per side
  • 3b – 10 hanging leg raise variation

Repeat for 3 total sets

 

Workout #3 – This one is tough!

Warm up – Full body warm up including jump rope, modified push ups, wall stick ups, scapular retractions from the bar (about 3-5 min)

  • 1a – 10 burpee pull ups (do an assisted pull up like a jump pull up, if that’s not possible, so this in a tri-set with the burpees first, assisted pull ups second)
  • 1b – 10 per leg spider crawls

Repeat for two total sets

  • 2a – 8-10 heavy BB deadlifts
  • 2b – 8-10 hanging leg raises

Repeat for three total sets

  • 3a – 10 Single arm DB rows per side
  • 3b – jump rope 1 min

Repeat for 3 total sets

Get more tips and workouts guaranteed to improve your pull up HERE.