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!)

 

 

Challenge Workouts VIP Coaching Q n A

How’s your motivation today? Did you workout? How was your nutrition?

I ask this because you expressed interest in my Challenge Workout VIP coaching program and this is the sort of thing you’d need to report in every day.

No matter if you’ve had a great day or you totally fell off the wagon, the team supports each other:

Tomorrow marks the start of the next 90 days of coaching. If you want to get in, now’s the time. You can do that HERE.

I’m so impressed with the progress the crew made in the last round (you can read about them here) and I’d love for you to join us (many of them will stay on and you’ll love them).

I had a conference call this morning with those that who had questions about the program, I’ll do a quick summary of some of the most common questions here:

What workouts will we do?

The workouts are from my Challenge Fit Club (soon to be released to everyone). They are 21 day challenges – we start with a challenge, do 3 weeks of workouts and then finish with the challenge to test our fitness performance improvement. It’s not about competing with each other, the goal is to make individual improvements. There’s a lot of variety in the workouts, but for the most part they are 20-30 min in length and designed to be done at home with minimal equipment.

What about nutrition?

You’ll get a comprehensive plan with recipes and all you need. In addition, we have a nutritionist stopping by the private group to add content and answer questions. The plan is a simple paleo based plan that’s sustainable for the long term.

I’m going on a holiday in the middle of the 90 days, what about that?

Holidays are a fact of life (if we’re lucky!). We’ll help you find a way to enjoy your holiday while not sabotaging your efforts thus far.  It’s important to have a healthy balance in life, if that means lightening up on the nutrition plan and workouts, that’s understandable; the strategies we suggest will have you feeling motivated and energized and will help you avoid weight gain. We’ll likely switch into a ‘maintenance’ mode if need be. (Remember the last coaching VIP’s got through four holidays together and still lost weight.)

How does the program actually work?

Fair enough! Basically, this is an accountability group. We’ll arm you with the knowledge you need to get in the best shape of your life, but the most important part is the consistent application of this info.

We’ll help you change from an ‘information gatherer’ to an ‘information implementer’. You’ll get online workout programs, (follow along videos will be added this round), you’ll get a nutrition plan and you’ll report in daily with your progress. You’ll get support, motivation and all your questions answered. We’ll hold you accountable so you reach your goals.

Here’s a summary:
  • The purpose of this group is to CHALLENGE and IMPROVE your current fitness level (obviously).
  • We’ll undertake challenging workouts together, but the challenges are totally scalable – you are competing with YOURSELF.
  • You’ll get a NEW program every 21 days.
  • You’ll be ACCOUNTABLE to me and the group for your daily training.
  • You’ll have similar goals with the rest of the group because this is the ‘secret sauce’ to making things work.
  • We’ll address your nutrition needs with a doable plan. (Your physique WILL change – for most of you that means FAT LOSS.)
  • As for nutrition – you’ll get a proven plan, get support and report in daily.
  • I’ve brought on a nutrition coach to help with ALL your nutrition needs.
  • If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat meat, we will NOT be providing a vegetarian nutrition plan. If you can make the necessary substitutions, then you’re welcome to join, however, I don’t have a lot of experience with  people getting super lean on a vegetarian plan so I can only promise some weight loss but I can’t specify how much (sorry, I just need to come clean on this!)
  • You need to be able to commit to this process for 90 days.
  • You need to be SERIOUS about your goals.
  • This coaching plan will get you through holidays, long weekends, and any other excuse you may find to fall off the fitness wagon :)

That’s it!

It sounds simple because it is.

You’ll get results because you’re one of the five percenter’s that’s an action taker by applying for the program.

Go ahead and apply HERE NOW, as space is limited.

Make a commitment to yourself to get in the best shape ever.

VIP Success Stories

Take a look at some of the results from my Challenge Workouts VIP Coaching Crew.

This was a 90 day program that went through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas
and New Years – the time of year when most people GAIN weight.

If you want to get serious about your fitness and get in the best shape of your life -
apply here.

#1 VIP Meryl

Testimonial blog 5

It’s a hard choice, but who do you feel has made the best transformation in the Challenge Workouts VIP Coaching program? Please do NOT only consider weight loss, but consider the lifestyle changes that each coaching crew member has undergone. Also, remember that this challenge took place over 4 holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Each contestant is a winner already, but who will be the GRAND winner? Read their success stories and GO HERE to vote.
“I liked the accountability of having to check in daily. The group members have been awesome, and I felt that if I were to let myself down by falling off the wagon (so to speak), I would be letting the rest of the group down, as well as myself. Shawna would have threatened more burpees. As I started to loss inches and pounds, it made it a lot easier to stay on track.

The group was there for everyone. If you messed up they were there to positively get you back on the right track.

Overall I have lost 10 inches and 7 pounds. My clothes fit better, but most importantly I feel better.

I have never been on a diet program, but I have learnt about changing my nutritional intact, making sound eating habits, while benefiting from excellent, but fun exercise programs. The group becomes your extended family after a while. I wish the whole group continued success in the future months. Embrace life and enjoy each day to its fullest potential.”

~Meryl

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Meryl HERE

#2 VIP Dana

testimonial blog 1

The VIP coaching program by Shawna Kaminski has made a HUGE difference for me over the last 90 days.

This time frame included the tough food holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

I am 48 years old, and every year it gets harder and harder to bounce back from holiday weight gain.

I was able to lose 10 pounds and 12 inches with a combination of effective nutrition counseling and challenge workout modules that changed every 3 weeks.

The initial 21 day Challenge Diet jump start was great for getting the program off and running, and I was able to put what I learned to good use over the holidays.

Probably the most effective part of the program for me was the individualized attention and support I received daily communicating with the Shawna and the VIP group.

I was able to celebrate my successes with people who were going through the same process and had similar goals.

And when I got down, skipped a workout or slipped up in my nutrition (movie popcorn, holiday candy, wine…), I had friends to encourage and support me (sometimes with some tough love!) to get back on the program.

Having to check in with the group EVERY DAY as far as motivation, workouts and nutrition also held me accountable.

It certainly is much easier to get your head out of a bowl of chips if you know you are going to have to confess to it later!

Besides the obvious physical transformation, I gained an understanding of what works well for my own health and well-being.

I feel better mentally, have more energy, and possess a better attitude when I am eating clean, limiting sugar and processed foods and staying active.

Looking forward to the next 90 days with Shawna and the VIP group!

~Dana

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Dana HERE

#3 VIP Marie

Testimonial blog 2

I decided to join Shawna’s coaching group because I had fallen off the health wagon and wanted, mostly, accountability.

Having someone give me a detailed plan to follow made it even easier!

During those 12 weeks of coaching, there was Christmas and New Year; I also had 2 business trips.

The Facebook community was simply awesome. Everyone was super nice and helpful. We always had access to a pat on the back, a kick in the butt (!) or simply answers to our questions – whatever was needed at the time!

My achievements over those 12 weeks:
– I have lost 4.5 lbs. of fat.
– I dropped 5.75″, 2″ at my waist alone.
– Acquiring the discipline to workout 3-4 times a week, no matter what. Shawna’s workouts are very portable, and never longer than 30 minutes, so there was never an excuse to not getting them in. I also really liked that we changed workout modules every 3 weeks. It kept me interested and motivated.
– I have bought and I’m now using “serious” dumbbells! I went from using 7-10 lbs.  db’s
to 20 lbs. in some movements. They make me feel powerful and happy!

I do not think that my changes have been super dramatic; I’m sure most people would not notice a big difference in a before/after picture, because of how much more I have to lose still. But I do notice a difference when I put on clothes in the morning. I feel more comfortable and confident. I do not spill over my waistband like I used to.

I stuck with the nutrition plan about 75% of the time. Usually that meant 1 meal a day which was “off plan” to some level. I wish I would have been a bit stricter at following the nutrition side, because when I did is when I had the best results. But I did gain good habits from the program. Besides adding weekly food prep to my Sunday routine, I learned to like chia seeds and they are now a daily part of my nutrition! It has also become easier to pass the starchy carbs at dinner, it’s almost never a problem!

Even though I think I could have done better, I feel that dropping 4.5 lbs. of fat during that time of holidays and business trips was a success. Overall, I am happy with the last 90 days and Shawna’s program!

~Marie

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Marie HERE

#4 VIP Kate F

Testimonial blog 3

First off, I wanted to thank you for accepting my application into your coaching program. Over the last three months, I’ve been mostly unemployed and dealing with the uncertainty and stress of looking for a job and questioning what I should do next. I’m super glad I had this program to focus on and look forward to during these last few months as it gave me an outlet of positive change and control over my life that I might not have experienced otherwise. I’ve also really enjoyed interacting with you and the other people on the Facebook group – posting our struggles and triumphs. I especially enjoyed the burpee creativity and videos :)

Even though I haven’t lost over 10lbs or lost several inches, I know I have transformed in other ways.
1) I feel motivated and inspired to do or work towards challenging exercise
like the burpee back somersault, handstand, or back handspring (that’s a
work in progress!);
2) I encourage friends and family members to get active and workout with
me (sometimes virtually);
3) I have developed the habit/addiction of working out at least 3 – 4 times per week and a desire to maintain functional mobility for the duration of my life;
4) I have a hunger to try new activities that challenge me both physically and mentally (like the muscle up!);
and
5) I’ve made big improvements in my pull-ups! I can now do 10 pull-ups in a row!

Again, thank you Shawna for your coaching and inspiration to be a better athlete and a better me. You’ve given me the desire and tools necessary to live a healthy and challenging life style.

Sincerely,

Your fellow burpee lover :)

~Kate F

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Kate F HERE

#5 VIP Michelle

Testimonial blog 4

I believe life is about the journey not the destination. And what a journey the last three months have been.

I joined the VIP challenge crew originally because I needed help. I lacked motivation and I needed someone to do the ground work for me. I am on maternity leave, and being at home with a baby full time leaves little time for planning a workout and weekly meals. I needed quick workouts that provided maximum results. Also simple eating plans that I could fit into my busy day.

When I started this journey I was excited but doubtful that a group of people I had never met would be able to support and help me. But I paid my money and decided to commit.

I quickly saw results, lost 8 pounds the first week and was hooked. The group support helped me on my challenging days. Knowing you have to check in made me accountable. I didn’t want to confess that I was elbow deep in an ice cream container, or too lazy to workout.
The Christmas season has always been incredibly challenging for me. Multiple parties and candies, cookies and leftovers have always resulted in a weight gain. This year was different; motivated by an elimination of 15 pounds and 13 inches, I was able to maintain a zero weight gain over the holidays. I never thought that was possible!

I learned that a cheat meal once a week helps keep me on track. I have also learned that no matter how tasty some foods are the feeling afterwards isn’t worth it. I also learned that when you eat the rights foods and the right times you feel good and look good. One of the key factors of success for me was the daily check in. I quickly began to see myself as part of a team and did not want to let my team down. I was surprised at how quickly some of us became online friends and were able to support each other. In summary the VIP Challenge journey was amazing. The team has left me forever changed in size, mind and heart.

~Michelle

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Michelle HERE

#6 VIP Anne

vip testimonial Iyeshka 2

What a journey this has been! First I want to acknowledge Shawna Kaminski and all of my VIP group friends for the incredible support and unflagging belief in each other and our goals. I know I would not have achieved all this without you. You guys are the best and knowing you were here has helped to pull me through some really tough times.

It was a wonderful serendipitous accident that got me here. I had never considered personal training to be a possibility for me as I thought that would need regular times and a gym and all that. But when I came across Shawna’s  No Excuse poster online I just knew if anyone could understand the challenges I faced and help me, it would be her: 50 (I’m turning 49 tomorrow), a mom of busy kids, a multi-business owner…yep, she would have the life experience necessary to help me find a way to my goals.

And what challenges! Even more than I had imagined when I decided to go for the VIP group. I had been struggling with losing and gaining back the same 15-20 lbs. for the past 10 years. A year ago I made a pledge to myself that I would find a way to get in the best shape of my life by my 50th birthday, and there I was almost through the first year…and guess what?…yep, lost and then gained back all of the weight again! And my fitness goals were moving a bit, but not fast enough and I had no idea how I would get where I wanted to go without spending days and days at a gym. And I don’t have days and days to spend. I don’t even have an hour!

I was struggling to find time for myself with a busy full time international private practice, single parenting 3 teen/pre-teen boys, 2 with autism, in start-up (going into year 2) of a new business teaching online workshops, in a fairly new long distance relationship and dealing with aging parents.

This group has been an incredible learning experience. The first lesson was that if I couldn’t find at least 20 min. a day to care for my own health, I really needed to look at what I was doing with my life. I made a commitment to make sure I put on my own oxygen mask first before I headed out to help others. Shawna and the other members of the group were there with support, encouragement, shared frustrations, tears, and hugs when I stumbled.

And stumble I did. I fell down in every way possible. The first hurdle was being intimidated by the exercises. I was a gym rat in my 20’s, but it’s been 20 years since I worked out in any serious way and most of these exercises were completely new to me. And I wasn’t sure I could even do some of them. Shawna was a huge support in coaching me with modifications to help accommodate my bad knees and in finding ways I could start slow and build up. She told me it was possible and wouldn’t let me give up on myself.  When I started I was doing incline push-ups and couldn’t get near a full pushup. Well I just did my first full push up with good form last night!!!

I’ve learned to keep focus on my nutrition. Having the group there for accountability was a key element. Reporting in every day to a small group of other committed folks–who quickly became friends–became a highlight for me. I’d look forward to checking in over the day to see how everyone was doing and was excited to be able to report how things were going for me. Even when I totally blew it–slacked off working out for 10 or 12 days, eating the wrong things, not sleeping, not drinking enough water…sneaking candy or chocolate…yep, I fell face first in all of it. Even when I was down in the dumps and struggling, I could still reach out and lift someone else up. And that in turn, helped me get back up too.

I’ve learned to be more patient with myself, to remember that I can get back up at any time that every choice is an opportunity to do better–that perfection isn’t necessary for success–persistence is.

I’ve involved my kids. My home has been transformed into a kind of fitness playground with lots of interesting objects to lift, stretch on, hang from, and roll–even when we are watching TV. Fitness is becoming integrated into the many moments of our day. So how did I do? Well you can see from the pictures that there have been some real changes. I lost 3.5 lbs. and 8.5 inches. And this was through the shared challenges of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. But for me, what is more remarkable was that I also ended my relationship over Christmas and was dealing with the sudden death of a friend’s son. To have maintained enough to see this kind of progress through all of that grief and heartbreak as well stuns me and is a testament to the effectiveness of the VIP group.

This group is a blessing. I could not have come through all of this in the way I have without you. Reporting in kept me coming up for air in the worst days. Even when I wasn’t reporting, I was reading and keeping up with you all and that helped more than you know. Thank you so much. I look forward to staying in touch either ongoing in the group or over Facebook. Much love to you all <3

~Anne

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Anne HERE

#7 VIP Katie

testimonial blog 4

Over the last 12 weeks I have lost 5 lbs and 5 inches overall. This was incredible for me to see. Finally after 4 children and 10 years my MUFFIN TOP is gone. I have fallen in love with skinny jeans again and feel strong and comfortable in my clothes and body.

As a fitness instructor, it paid to feel the highs and lows of a structured program. I am usually really good about workout but not nutrition. The combination was phenomenal and I learned so many easy, helpful tricks to keep me on track. Through the online peer support, I finally felt understood. In my day to day life, friends and family find me obsessed about health and avoid the conversation. Having challenge workout friends allowed me to feel normal and know that others also share the passion for health and well-being. They even find humour in burpees. That is rare to find.
Shawna Kaminski I have followed you for years on line and feel grateful for being a part of this group. You have taught me lot, challenged me and in turn I have started to challenge my participants in a new way. You have created a great program and I wish you much future success. My goal for 50 is to be a stripped as you.

~Katie

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Katie HERE

 #8 VIP Donna M

Testimonial blog 6

I have always struggled with my weight. In January 2014 I started the Home Workout Revolution program but then I started getting emails from Craig for various workout products and then Shawna Kaminski’s Challenge Diet referral email arrived in my inbox! This seemed like a great addition/alternative….and it was designed by a woman, who seemed to understand the trials and concerns of women like me! I was able to push through my plateau and am slowly losing the remaining weight. My hypothyroidism has required some medication tweaking and I know it will take a little longer for me to achieve my goal. The paleo food plan works best with my thyroid condition. Thanks to Shawna, I am that much closer to my goal today!

The VIP Coaching program was an opportunity to join a group of committed individuals who want to better themselves. I needed a kickstart to break my plateau. The motivation, tips and and experiences from the group have made this journey enjoyable. We have shared each others’ happiness, sadness, frustration and elation….and Shawna has kept us on track and made us accountable to the group, to Shawna and to ourselves. Thank you, Shawna! In 1 year I have lost over 20 lbs. (28 lbs in 2 years) plus many inches.

What helped the most was getting tips and tricks from the group (exercise variations, great food ideas, etc.) and the never-ending supply of  support from Shawna and the members.

Group help – so supportive when I was still at a plateau and getting very frustrated.

My biggest accomplishment was getting a regular workout pattern at home and finding a food plan (paleo) that helps me lose weight and inches while being hypothyroid. And I feel great!

Why would I encourage others to seek this coaching? Because I can prove IT WORKS! And sometimes, everyone needs a helping hand!

So, now the most difficult part…the photos (which I wasn’t going to do but then figured how bad could it be).

~Donna M

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Donna HERE

 #9 VIP Amy M

Testimonial blog 7a

What a journey the past 90 days have been! I have always wanted personal training, but it either was not available or I didn’t know who to trust.  I have been reading and following Shawna for several months, so when this opportunity came along, I was thrilled.

I am 54 years old and the mother of 6 children.  Many people tell me that extra weight is part of getting old and that my stomach will never be flat or not saggy because I have birthed 6 children. I have never believed that, but I also have never experienced any different, so I was about to start believing it.  I am so thankful Shawna accepted me into this program because I know now that those things I have been told are just not true.

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Before I started I would use travel or company (or just about anything) as an excuse to not eat right or to skip a workout.  I have greatly improved in that area by learning that I can often control those situations and I feel so much better physically and about myself when I do make right choices. Even the holidays were controlled because of the support and accountability of this group–not perfect, but more in control than ever.

The workouts change every 3 weeks, which is great!  I have also learned that the body will adapt quickly, so change is good.  I was introduced to workouts that I have never done and that I would not have attempted had it not been for Shawna’s program AND encouragement.
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I also never would have thought that I would connect with this group of strangers who have now become friends.  I wish I could have each of them into my home for tea and talk face-to-face. The accountability and support and tough love have been so valuable.  I look forward every day to checking in with them–even on the days when I had to report a not so good day.  These people are real and have struggles, trials and pain that we have all shared with each other along with some great joy and victories.

I lost 11.8 pounds, 12 inches and 3.8% body fat during the 90-day challenge and that included Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations along with much traveling and hosting out of town family often. Shawna and this group deserve the credit.  Of course, I had to do the work and it was not always easy, but the plan was laid out and the support was always there.

I’m so very thankful for this opportunity and for each one in this group–it has been life-changing.

~Amy M

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Amy M HERE

#10 VIP Suzie

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I have what I think is a good nutrition and exercise knowledge base, but I also have a habit of not doing anything with that information. Then came this challenge…90 days of having my eating and exercise routine handed to me AND having to talk about it everyday? That’s gotta get me to do something different. It’s not easy to eat well and exercise for 90 days…but it’s actually pretty easy to post everyday for 90 days. Logically, if I had to discuss the program everyday, then I would be forced to use the components of the program everyday, right?

The fact about anything in life is that you get what you put in. The beauty in this community is that the more I posted the more I wanted to be there for everyone and for myself because we’re all working towards that same goal. Some days I didn’t post because I was too far off the wagon…and when I dragged myself in to confess, everyone in the group was so strong, supportive and encouraging, I was compelled to be better the next day – I couldn’t let that good energy move me in any other direction. And I loved that people’s good days were a cause for celebration and inspiration.

I didn’t change much in the way of measurements (bad nutrition is tough to break but I’m chipping away at it) but damn does my body feel so much better than it has in years! From this challenge here are some of whats helped me develop new habits:
1) I now have daily habit of reflecting on my health and fitness goals every night and making a plan for the next day
2) I found that having a detailed workout plan that I was tested on each week made me want to maintain that habit. The workouts were seriously fun, short, challenging, most of all – progressive and very do-able. Loved changing it up every three weeks.
3) Shawna is my favourite fitness professional in the whole world for real, and being able to be in a program doing her workouts with her personal encouragement is just awesome. When she super blows up I can say that I was one of the original members of her world famous VIP groups.
4) The most important thing that I got from this program is the knowledge and confidence that I can recommit to better health every single day, and no matter how far I fall I can get back up just as fast.

Thanks for your support everyone, truly inspired by you all!!

~Suzie

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Suzie HERE

#11 VIP Pam

I am disappointed with myself that I didn’t do better with the weight loss but very happy about the fact that I have lost inches and “tightened up” my body.  Usually during the “holidays” I fail miserably with nutrition and exercising.  I can honestly say that the Challenge Group really made me think constantly about what I was eating and whether I was exercising enough.  I listened to my body and when I was “out too far”,  I pulled back and tried to regroup to get back on track.  Reading the groups’ daily posts kept me motivated and when I would start to stray, the posts and the groups’ frankness and honesty would guilt me back into the Challenge.  I can’t say enough about peer pressure–especially when I realized that I wasn’t the only one struggling on a daily basis.vip testimonial Pam

I can definitely say I really enjoy eating “clean” and feel so much better when I eat healthy.  I now look at food as to how it will make me feel after I eat it.    My exercising is also becoming a part of my daily routine, makes me feel so much better and makes it easier to cope with everyday situations.

It is nice to know that we all have our daily ups and downs and each day is a new beginning.  I commend Shawna for her leadership abilities and keeping the group “in line” but also letting the group grow on its own.  I’m looking forward to staying in the group and to keep progressing….I might even start posting on the Facebook page (although I really have an aversion to Facebook!).  Thanks for everything,  Pam

Weight lost:  5 lbs.
Inches lost:   5

Apply HERE to be a team member of my Challenge Workout VIP Coaching Crew

VOTE for Pam HERE

WINNER WINNER!

The votes are counted and we’ve got an ‘official’ winner – although I maintain that EVERYONE in this post is a winner.

It was a tight race, but VIP #8 Donna M took the win with 22% of the vote. VIP #5 Michelle and VIP#8 Amy were tied as the runner up. Donna wins the next round of coaching and $100.

But guess what? Look what Donna did:

vip winner Donna

Donna chose to donate her prize to the charity of my choice and suggested the ‘Heart and Stroke Fund’. She knows that my dear Dad just had a stroke last week.

What a sweet and generous thing to do.

This is not surprising.

This group is simply amazing and Donna represents them perfectly.

Congratulations Donna, our runners up and every VIP here!

I Blame the Lettuce!

Winter is tough for a number of reasons…challenge workouts

Today I sit in my window seat that overlooks my snow covered back yard. While it’s quite beautiful to look at, if you venture out, it doesn’t ‘feel beautiful’ ;)

Sev and I feel a little cooped up – it’s currently -25C with the wind. Ug.

Now the good thing about Calgary is the weather changes on a dime so it could be prime dog walking weather in a day – I keep telling this to Sev, but he just looks at me, shakes his head and continues to chase my feet (we have an ongoing battle for my sheepskin slippers that he sleeps with).

Given the season, I’m quite frustrated with the quality of produce (or lack there of) that I’ve been able to buy. Organic or not, it’s sad and wilty when it comes to any sort of lettuce, spinach, kale – anything I try to get my hands on to create my signature dish – salad ;) (I’m not a great cook, but I can make a mean salad).

(I fully realized my salad making talent when my Dad was here helping to renovate my kitchen. The poor man worked from morning till night and all I could ‘cook’ for dinner was a salad – it was like he was at ‘fat camp’, but he still raves about my salads.)

salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to awesome and satisfying salad making is to have fresh ingredients, ensure that you have a quality protein source involved and add different flavors and textures. I always include some kind of nut or seed, a fruit like sliced grapes or mandarin oranges and I top it off with a healthy balsamic dressing (2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar). There you have it, throw in all manner of fresh veggies and you’ll have a winner.

With the shortage of quality fresh veggies in my area due to winter, I still want the nutrition that my salads provide so I get a little insurance in the form of a ‘greens’ product.

The best one I’ve come across is ‘Athletic Greens‘.

What’s awesome about Athletic Greens is that is covers all of your micro-nutrient needs in one serving. Athletic Greens is sourced from plants, fruits, herbs and mushrooms in their natural form, it’s whole food sourced, in whole food ratios.

And it gets even better.

Each serving provides the antioxidant equivalent of between 10 – 12 servings of fruit and vegetables (ORAC 5000): A nutrient dense punch from real food, the way nature intended.

It also contains a plethora of digestive enzymes and probiotics (7 billion per serving) that helps me improve the absorption of micro-nutrients. It’s improved my digestion because it contains prebiotics and probiotics that all work together to improve gastrointestinal function.

Sadly, even when veggies are fresh, modern farming methods strip much of the nutrients out, which in turn makes you more prone to having a chronic deficiency of one or many nutrients.

The solution is in restoring the body’s basic levels of key micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and co-factors) by eating nutrient dense whole foods.

Athletic Greens is packed full of micro-nutrients, Super Foods, and extracts designed to ensure that nutrient deficiencies never happen.

athletic greens jan promoThe result: much more energy, better immunity and recovery from workouts (and even weight loss).

To top it all off, it tastes pretty yummy when I throw it in my morning smoothie making it something that I really look forward to drinking to start my day.

If you want to fortify your body, health and immunity I strongly suggest checking out Athletic Greens.

Try it out yourself and let me know how it makes you feel and perform better. With their 60 day no questions asked, money back guarantee, it’s a simple no brainer.

And oh by the way, in January, you’ll get 50% off – a great way to get started on something that will improve your overall health.

Go here to try Athletic Greens.

This supplement will never completely replace my delish salads, but I’m guaranteed that I’ll get all the nutrients my body needs to perform better and stay lean.

What’s Your Favorite?

What are YOUR favorite workouts?

I put this to my VIP coaching group because we’ve had opportunity to switch plans every 21 days and I wanted to get their input.

It seems that the Metabolic Resistance Training module was a big hit.

If you’re unsure what a MRT workout is, let me explain…

Anytime you use supersets or circuits and train with an elevated heart rate with insufficient recovery, you’re doing metabolic resistance training.

These workouts in particular, your focus should be to increase the weight that you use in the workouts. Speed isn’t as important as impeccable form and added resistance.

MRT or metabolic resistance workouts are tough! As I said, your goal is go AS HEAVY as you can for each of the exercises, but MAINTAIN PERFECT FORM.

My VIP clients loved (hated!) this one:

The Squat Challenge

Challenge: This is a ladder set. Your goal is to get to 10 reps and return to 1 rep without racking the bar.

The next time you do this workout either increase the weight, decrease your total workout time, or make sure you rack the bar later into the workout (it’s very tough to do the entire workout without racking the bar!)

Choose a barbell squat weight that you can do 15-20 reps with good form. The rest period is a bit of a guess but I’ve found this method the best as opposed to fumbling with a timer.

For each rep, I count ‘1-mississippi’. So after doing rep #1 I’ll count ‘1 mississippi’ and after doing rep #10 I’ll count ’10 mississippi’s’.

  • Do 1 rep, rest 1 count
  • Do 2 reps, rest 2 counts
  • Do 3 reps, rest 3 counts…

Continue until you get to:

  • Do 10 reps, rest 10 counts

Then reverse the order:

  • Do 9 reps, rest 9 counts…

Continue until you get to:

  • Do 2 reps, rest 2 counts
  • Do 1 rep

The VIP’s had each other to lean on to get through this one! They were each others’ best cheer leaders; I loved to see the healthy competition that was born as they went through this workout.

If you think you’d benefit from a like-minded group to help you reach YOUR fitness goals, then you’ll want to consider my VIP coaching group.

I’ll be starting a new coaching program on January 18th. Many of you have already requested to get in so I’ve created an ‘advance notice’ list.

You can go HERE to get on that list and potentially get in the group before I officially open it up. Here’s what two of the members have to say about coaching:

vip fb post from Bob

 

 

 

Each day VIP’s check in with a rating for their W (workout), N (nutrition) and M (motivation):

love the group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a little about what you can expect from the group:

  • The purpose of this group is to CHALLENGE and IMPROVE your current fitness level (obviously).
  • We undertake challenging workouts together, but the challenges are totally scalable – you are competing with YOURSELF.
  • You’ll get a NEW program every 21 days.
  • You’ll be ACCOUNTABLE to me and the group for your daily training.
  • You’ll have similar goals with the rest of the group because this is the ‘secret sauce’ to making things work.
  • We’ll address your nutrition needs with a doable plan. (Your physique WILL change – for most of you that means FAT LOSS.)
  • As for nutrition – you’ll get a proven plan, get support and report in daily.
  • I’ve brought on a nutrition coach to help with ALL your nutrition needs.

Get on the advanced notice list HERE and let me and the VIP’s help you meet your 2015 fitness goals.

Enjoy that workout! And feel free to post YOUR favorite workout in the comment section.

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Count Down to 2015…

How will you finish off 2014? happy new year

Would you say that you’re living a healthy lifestyle? Is there room for improvement?

January 1st is the time most people make resolutions, what do you have planned?

While everyone else is making grand promises that won’t last longer than the New Year’s Eve hangover, why not set yourself up for success?

Too many people I work with decide that on January 1st they will: quit smoking, save more money, go on a diet, start exercising, renovate the house… Wow, so much!

Of course all these things are worthy goals, but this is biting off more than ANYONE can chew.

How about starting off with some small changes that will add up to BIG changes in the long run? It’s amazing how what may seem like an insignificant lifestyle change can make a big difference over time.

Make a small change for 21 days and then add another small change. In the course of the year, that means that by the end of 2015, you’ll have opportunity to make 17 changes in your life. That’s one change every three weeks.

Here are 17 possibilities or ways to improve your life in 2015:

  1. Drink more water. Try to keep a water bottle close at hand and fill it several times a day. It’s darn near impossible to lose weight if you’re dehydrated.
  2. Get your rest. Chances are you’re in need of more sleep than you’re getting regularly. Make a promise to have a regular routine and time to hit the sheets. Cortisol levels (the fat storing hormone) sky rocket when you’re sleep deprived.
  3. Eat more veggies. Easy enough. Try to add a vegetable (or two) with every meal. Here’s a great plan to start your nutrition off on the right foot in 2015. *In our VIP coaching group, we set a goal to try to eat a veggie at every meal and it’s not as hard as you think!
  4. Sweat. Plain and simple. Get a training buddy and workout 4-5 times a week. I’d love to train with you. Try this. Here’s a ‘fun’ workout: Do 1 min of burpees and 1 minute of rest for as many sets as you can. Match the number of burpees each set. Blast some music to keep you going!
  5. Take a break from the ordinary. Do something that you find meaningful and satisfying at least once a week, whether this is a hobby, getting out in nature, talking with a friend.
  6. Get some muscle. One of my favorite ways to train is to use complexes. They boost metabolism, burn fat and build muscle all in about 20 minutes. You’ll get super fit fast with this.
  7. Make a rule not to eat ‘carbs’ after dinner. If you’re really hungry, go for a protein source or more veggies and herbal tea.
  8. Cut back alcohol consumption to one day a week and chase every alcoholic drink with an equal amount of water.
  9. Don’t drink calories in the form of juices, and pop.
  10. Reduce sugar and artificial sweetener intake. ‘Eat sweet – crave sweet’. If you want to get rid of those sugar cravings, the first step is to cut back on how much ‘sweet’ you eat. Natural fruit will taste much sweeter when you’re not accustomed to eating sugar-laden treats.
  11. Increase the amount of lean protein that you eat. This can be in the form of lean meats, fish, Greek yogurt, protein powder if necessary. Aim to eat 10 g of protein with each meal or snack to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings.
  12. Take Vitamin D. Any location north of Los Angeles doesn’t get enough vitamin D from natural sunlight so it’s imperative to supplement.
  13. Forget about doing ‘crunches’. Planking and plank variations are the way to go to strengthen the core. If you want a flat belly you’ll need to boost your metabolism with resistance training and metabolic blasters like burpees too. Use this unconventional method to flatten your tummy. 
  14. There’s no need to be on the treadmill for hours. You can still use your treadmill for short sweaty workouts with THIS. Studies show that more intense short workouts are more effective for fat burning and muscle building.
  15. Cut out the crabs in your life. When you have negative people around you, it can bring you down. Find a way to minimize contact with them. Surround yourself with people that share your goals. (This has been the biggest bonus of those in the VIP coaching program. Whoda’ thunk that ‘virtual friends’ could have such a powerful influence for members to reach their goals?)
  16. Have a positive attitude. Think of what you’re thankful for daily, including those around you and be sure to thank them often. You’ll actually enjoy life more by counting your blessings. The cup is always half full: it’s all in your perspective.
  17. Get a mentor. Don’t re-invent the wheel, hiring a coach for whatever goals you want to reach buys you speed.

Speaking of lifestyle changes, it’s been a wild ride for about 25 VIP coaching clients these past 10 weeks. We change up our workouts every 21 days, we make healthy changes to our nutrition and we check in daily to the group. Man, it’s been cathartic for so many, including me: I have to say that I’ve been as much of a benefactor of the group as a my clients ;)

Get an insider look at what goes on daily from current members here.

Stay tuned for YOUR opportunity to get one of the coveted coaching spots.

If you want to be on the advance notice list for a coaching spot, go HERE.

This has been such a successful and satisfying experience for us all; I’m ready to start again. But the group will likely be half full since many of the current clients will be staying on (in fact, I might not even open the group up to anyone new).

Get on this list if you want a chance to be in the VIP coaching group in 2015.

Right now, think about how you want 2015 to look.

Plan on making some small changes. challenge workouts

Make a list.

Make it happen.

Let the VIP coaching group help you; stay tuned for more info and get on the advanced notice list here.

Happy New Year!