Moving Day + No Equipment Workouts

Peachland moving day workout

Sometimes you’re just stuck with your body weight. I was out in Kelowna moving my Dad into a retirement home. Before the day got started and the weather got too hot, I busted out a workout each morning.

You can always fit 20 minutes of fitness in if you really want.

Here were my workouts that you can feel free to use if you’re ever in a similar situation:

Do It Dock Workout

45 seconds of work/10 seconds recovery

  • Jump rope
  • Push ups
  • Prisoner Squat
  • Burpee
  • Plank
  • 5 rounds

2015-07-04 09.06.37









Here was my second workout:

Hella Hills

(Find a good hill) Sprint up hill, walk/jog return – 10 rounds

*I did 10 pull ups on the edge of a walkway at the bottom between hill sprints, but you can do anything – a 30 sec plank, 10 push ups, whatever your space allows or your heart desires 😉

hella hill workout









*Side Note #1: Whenever I put pull ups in a workout, I often get questions like this one from Christina:

I recently ordered the 21 Day Fat Loss Challenge Program and so far, I absolutely love it.  Do you have any suggested substitutions for the pull-up or assisted pull-up as I don’t have anywhere in my home to do pull ups..  I would say that I am on the advanced fitness level so any recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks. (Christina)

Here’s what I have to say to that:
As for exercise substitutions for the pull up, I mention lots of options in the follow along videos that I’ve created for you, but here are your best bets:
–>inverted row
–>suspension row (TRX or suspension trainer)
–>lat pull down (if you have access to a gym, which would likely mean they have a pull up bar)
–>bent over dumb bell row
–>bent over bar bell row
–>wall stick up (less intense but if you have no DB/BB’s of any sort, these will help, also prisoner style squats/lunges etc)
–>chest supported dumb bell row

*Check out this blog post for more back training options. This blog post has lots of links to actual back exercises that you can use instead of pull ups if you need options.

*Side Note #2: I get asked all the time how to stay strong and lean even though I’m 52 years old. Truth is, I use the science of muscle metabolism acceleration (M2A) to make this happen.

Here are the basic principles of my workouts:

  • I pair strength training paired with ANAEROBIC SHORT BURST training to burn MORE calories.21DFL_group
  • I train to create lactic acid and growth hormone production which increases fat loss and promotes lean muscle tone.
  • The result is that this builds shapely, sexy muscle tone that will burn MORE calories EVEN AT REST.

I can help you with training videos that:

  • Are scientifically based 20-minute (or less) video follow along workouts that can be done at home or on holiday.
  • Are suitable for you if you enjoy a challenge (but workouts can be modified or intensified).
  • Avoid ‘steady state’ cardio at all costs.

If you want more workouts, ones you can follow along with me and use these principles, then check the 21 Day Fat Loss Challenge.

As for me, I’ll be happy to return home feeling satisfied that my Dad and his wife are feeling more settled in their new digs. My Dad is a trooper and has come a long way to recover from his stroke from six months ago. I really want him to fully enjoy this new place. They’re situated right outside a huge deck where he’s already planted a vegetable garden. He’s excited that he can go to the gym and to the wood shop. My step mom went and bought a new swim suit for the pool. I’m so proud of them for making this move. It was a pleasure to be able to help them. It’s never an issue to find 20 minutes to train where ever I am, but I must admit I miss the kids and Sev (who I hear ate 3 lbs of sausages off the counter at the place he was staying and had explosive diarrhea as a result – I’m not sad to miss those good times 🙂 )

Dad + 3 kids <===Here we are, myself, my Dad, my brother Terry and my sister Shannon. It was nice to work as a team to help him out.

Adventures and Lessons from Costa Rica

rooftop all of usI distinctly recall returning to school in the fall of my fifth grade year and was asked to write ‘What I did on my summer vacation’…

(Knowing me, I have that paper somewhere in a journal – I tend to keep all kinds of embarrassing written things that I hope someone will burn when I die.)

My teacher at the time may have wanted to instill reflective writing skills in her students, but more likely, she just wanted some peace and quiet for an hour so she could plan the next lesson (I know this to be true having used this tactic on students before myself).

In any case, I did manage to take to writing as a means of reflection. In fact, there are days when I can’t even think straight until I write. Writing clears my head in a way that nothing else can.

I got to thinking about our Costa Rica holiday and here’s what I’ve come up with…

As always, I try to swing things around to fitness because that’s just what I do.

You may find some interesting tidbits and I have three workouts in here if you take the time to read this blog.

The beauty of travel is that it provides a mirror in which to compare things. Lifestyle habits are one of those things I pay close attention to. To be honest, most of my travel is within North America, so it was a real pleasure to hit Central America to see what life is like in Costa Rica.

First off, my intention is not to offend anyone. My experiences and observations are my own from being in Costa Rica for a very limited time. Living for one week in a different area hardly makes me an authority on anything. I just feel blessed and a little more enlightened than I did before I arrived.

Heat changes everything.

Holy balls, hot. I have to hand it to those that live in this climate; I’m just not accustomed to heat. I suppose others would say the same about the Canadian cold.

me surfing costa rica

One of the reasons we went to Costa Rica was to surf.

There are always profound lessons in the surf (when I’m not getting pummeled by waves and have time to think…).

One of the nice things about surfing is that there’s always another wave – it means there’s always a new chance to start over. No matter if I stood up on the previous wave or got schooled into the bottom of the sea, it’s like a ‘reset’ button when I see that new wave cresting.

This can be applied to your nutrition or fitness plan. If things go sideways, there’s always a chance to just hit ‘reset’ – no need to start on Monday or make a big deal about it. RESET!

After all, everyone fails; it’s the people that fall down and recover the quickest that actually get the best results.

I learned with surfing that it’s best just to jump right in. If I’m tentative on a wave, it passes me by. I need to paddle with passion and purpose; I can’t just paddle aimlessly without a plan of attack.

me and sam surfing costa rica

This is much like your training. When you have a goal, you’re much more likely to achieve it when you have a plan.

Get a plan, work your plan, and get results.

Surfing is fair. There’s no luck involved. If I do things right, I stand up and ride the wave, when I don’t do things correctly, I get dumped.

Your training and diet is the same. This is one of the things I like best about training. My physique is a direct reflection of the effort that I put into it over time. I can’t get anyone to do the training or to make the healthy food choices for me. When I ‘do the work’ I reap the benefits. Plain and simple.

Some would say, ‘I’m too old’ to start a new adventure like surfing – but it’s never too late.

It’s never too late to make improvements to your health either.


Hannah heading to surf…

Costa Rica is a beautiful country.

We wanted to see more of it so we rented scooters and to have a better look around, to see authentic Costa Rican towns, not just the touristy places. We enjoyed the ride tremendously even though our adventure was cut a little short by having a close encounter with a ditch when my daughter and her boyfriend took a corner and hit gravel. They got up close and personal with the grassy-gravelly side of the road resulting in a medical visit, x-rays and seven stitches. That was it’s own adventure and we’re happy to report a positive experience with a tiny town’s non-English speaking medical center.


It was cool to see the way folks live in Central America. These were just a few random observations…


It seems that everyone is ‘connected’… I was amazed to see the smallest of ‘shacks’ (some being very run down and almost looked inhabitable) but they all had a satellite dish attached. We passed no less than three cyclists (all with no helmet) talking on their cell phones. We passed school kids hanging out under a tree by the side of the road, all on their phones.

Safety standards seem to be much different from what I saw. In the small towns we passed, parents had kids on their bicycles getting them to school – based on the similar uniforms the children were wearing. Some parents had three kids on the bike: one on the back, one on the handlebars and one on cross bar. Fascinating.

local on bike

We rented a condo and my daughter’s boyfriend loves cooking so we went to the grocery store to get food. We enjoyed lots of fresh fruit; we’d never seen some of the produce before and signs were in Spanish so we didn’t know what they were or what to do with them. We saw lots of big North American brands that have made their way to the small towns of Costa Rica. We had tacos and burritos and pulled pork, steak and chicken buns with mango coleslaw.

And beer. Lots of beer. Honestly I’m not a beer fan myself, but you see beer on the beaches, on the streets, people driving motorcycles drinking beer. It’s almost as inexpensive as water.

The street vendors are relentless in the pursuit of a sale. I marveled at the Canadian politeness of Sam talking to them. He soon realized that they didn’t speak much English and they didn’t much care that he didn’t have his wallet or that he’d return later and soon learned to say ‘No gracias’. Hannah, a well-seasoned traveler, was polite but knew better to engage anyone unless she wanted to buy anything.

The bank was an experience. I needed to change $100 USD to the local currency. There was a guard at the door and two tellers. It took about 10 minutes, my passport, signatures and much speaking in hushed tones. I guess I look pretty shady and God forbid Hannah tried to come to the wicket to speak Spanish for me, she was asked to go sit down.

We experienced a bit of a drought during our stay. Typically this time of year (June/July) is the rainy season, but not one drop fell. That explained why our upscale condo rental turned off the water (without a word of explanation). We had three days of no running water, on the third day other residents told us that we’d have water from 7:30-9 am, noon to 1 pm and 6 -8 pm. I laughed to the kids that the one complaint I had about our beautiful condo rental was that we didn’t have enough towels. Turned out with no water, we had no use for the few towels we had anyway.

cards vs humanity 1

Nights were spent walking the little town exploring, sitting on the roof top watching the sunsets and playing ‘Cards Against Humanity’. Turns out we’re all horrible people based on this game – if you get a chance, make sure you play it and be prepared to be laugh until you cry.

And then the week was done. Just like that.

It went much too fast. I can only hope that I can round up the kids again for another family holiday soon.

Oh, just so you know, I only did three bodyweight workouts the entire week. I surfed twice a day (only once on the day we rented scooters). I didn’t go hog wild with treat meals, but I didn’t stay on a strict meal plan either. I didn’t gain an ounce…consistent training and good nutrition will allow you to take breaks like this.

Here were my workouts, I did one on the beach in the early morning cool and two in our AC condo because I would surely expire in the heat if I were to try them outside:

Costa Rica Bodyweight

1 min of each exercise

  • sunset last night 2Band squat walk
  • Push up
  • Skater with band
  • Prisoner plié squat
  • Spider crawl

3-4 rounds or 15-20 minutes

*I brought a small band with me


Pura Vida AMRAP

Do 7 of each exercise for 15-20 minbeach sunset

  • Jacks
  • Prisoner squats
  • Burpees
  • Alt side lunges (per side)
  • Push ups
  • Skaters (per side)
  • Spider crawl (per side)


Hola Jump Rope

Do the following AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) set in 15-20 minutes:

  • 50 jump ropes (any kind)
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 prisoner squats
  • 10 spider crawls (5 per side)airport
  • 10 prisoner reverse lunges (5 per side)

*You know I always travel with my jump rope =)

If you don’t have any of my programs, well then of course you need to pick up a few to take on vacation with you. You’ll see ALL of my programs here.

My Challenge Burpee and Challenge Jump Rope programs are very portable, and if you want full follow along workouts (with bodyweight options), my 21 Day Fat Loss Challenge program is a great pick too.

But just like surfing – make a plan and attack it and then thoroughly enjoy all the downtime you can.

I’m happily back in my bubble at home now, still on a natural high from a lot of adventures to look back on.

Pura vida!











Ps. What’s up for YOUR summer plans? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section.

Pps. Join me on Facebook here.














Pilates Finisher

shawna+lisaWant to strengthen your core and back and get a toned stomach? Forget crunches and sit-ups. They not only won’t get you the results you’re after, you’re quite likely to hurt your back and damage your spine.

<===Meet my publishing partner, Lisa Bullock.

Lisa and I have been working together for a couple years. She’s a down to earth, ‘kick in the pants’ funny fit pro that really knows her stuff.

What I like best about Lisa (well, it’s hard to pick exactly), but one of the things is that she truly understands the plight of women, particularly women in their 40’s and 50’s and she has sensible solutions.

This is no exception. Keep reading and she’ll share an awesome (horrible) workout that she put me through that you’ll love (hate).

Here’s what she has to say about your core:

We want to build a strong core – that’s all the muscles, not just your “six pack” muscles (rectus abdominis) and we want all those core muscles to work together to stabilize the spine and provide strength and stability as the body moves and rotates around it.

We need to exercise the important core muscles that wrap around the torso, lie alongside the spine, and to the sides of the core. And that’s what you’ll get with this ab finisher – a smarter way to train your abs as part of a full body workout.

Here’s a quick but comprehensive Pilates inspired core workout you can use at the end of your workout or for an off-day short workout.

Set your timer for 45 seconds of work with 10 secs transition time.

Side Hover Right
Side Hover Left
Side Raise with Pulse Left
Side Raise with Pulse Right
Leg Raises
Lying Alternating Single Leg Extensions
Rotating Plank

Check your set up and technique and ensure there is no twisting at the lumbar spine – rotation comes from the feet or upper back, not the lower back.

Try and maintain a neutral spine with all exercises. Imagine that you are standing tall through the crown of your head, ears directly above your shoulders and shoulder blades pulled gently down your back. You’ll maintain a gentle abdominal bracing and that means you can breathe comfortably while pulling your belly button towards your spine. Your hips should be ever so slightly tucked (don’t stick your tail out).

If you’re looking for some more follow along Pilates inspired workouts,


check this out.

This program is from Lisa and our Female Fat Loss Solution line up.

You’ll love (hate!) these workouts as you follow along with Lisa in the videos. Use them alone or at the end of any other workout to tighten and tone your mid-section.

As a seasoned vet of exercise, you know that a strong core is not JUST about a six-pack, it’s also about pain free moving and functional fitness. A strong core will ensure that you can do EVERYTHING, from lifting heavy things to carrying groceries to your favorite sports better.


Ahoy Matey! Sailing and Your Fitness


sailing jun 2105‘Man the jib.’

‘Pinch to the mark.’

‘Time to tack.’

‘Launch the spinnaker.’

‘We’ve got dirty air’….




I could go on and on about this foreign sailing language that I’m trying to learn.

I have the good fortune of being BFF’s with an experienced sailor who’s invited me to be crew with her on a 21 foot sailboat.

We sail every Wednesday night. The BEST part is that it’s a RACE!

(To be honest, I’d be bored silly if we just went out on the reservoir and floated around. Yes, it’s be peaceful and relaxing, but after 15 minutes, I’d be ready to jump ship.)

Instead, there are about 15-20 boats that race several  pre-set courses. I’m on a winning team with super Skipper Colin and BFF, Rowena. Last week we came in first place overall and other weeks we’ve been in the top three.

How can I not love sailing when it’s a competition and we win too? barge race start

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about sailing that you can apply to your fitness journey…

For Sailing => I do as I’m told. – As a member of the crew, I have very specific jobs that need to be done in order for us to move ahead. I concentrate on these things and let other things go.

For You => In your fitness journey, you can get overwhelmed with trying to do a bit of this and a bit of that, sort of like a rudderless ship. Pick a plan and follow it, don’t let other things distract you.

For Sailing => A hand for me and one for the boat. When ever I’m moving on the boat, I’ve been instructed to keep a hand on the boat to keep my balance and I use the other hand to do my job.

For You => As for your fitness… if you don’t want to fall off the wagon (or overboard), get a hand from an expert and then follow through to do your part applying the knowledge.

For Sailing => Do the opposite but stay the course – At the end of the night, when all the races are done, we race to the dock to see who can get their boats out of the water (and to the watering hole!) first.

I get tasked with the tiller. I’ve been trusted with steering the boat in (both an exhilarating/terrifying experience). For this, I need to steer the tiller in the opposite direction of where I want to go in order to get to the dock.

For You => Where fat loss is concerned you need to just keep going even when the results aren’t coming as expected. For example, you may lose a pound but then gain it right back.

Just ‘stay the course’ even when results are the opposite of what you want. Often times this is just a temporary situation and if you keep at it, the results you desire will follow.

barge flagFor Sailing => Keep it balanced – On the first night, I nearly had heart failure the way the boat would keel to each side. I had to learn how to keep my balance (not to mention my cool). The boat has stability that I can trust and I just need to move with it.

For You => You need to develop core stability in order to move safely and keep your balance. Without a stable core, it’s like shooting a cannon from a row boat. You’re likely to ‘sink your ship’ with injuries and you’ll definitely not hit any targets.

If you want to enjoy cool new adventures like sailing (or slack lining – like I did last weekend) you need to have balance and that starts with a strong core.

Let me talk strictly fitness for just a bit…

Did you know that the first group of muscles to fire during ANY movement are your core muscles? And that if these muscles aren’t working properly, it doesn’t matter how many ab exercises you do because you’ll never have the strength you want or get the waist shrinking results you desire.

The problem is that most people don’t understand the role your ab muscles are supposed to play in ANY movement pattern.

The solution is to learn how to reactivate your core. By turning to simple but effective exercises that not only shrink your waist and build toned or even 6-pack abs, you can also help fix old injuries, improve your posture and make your daily life easier and more enjoyable.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to do the hardest ab move on the planet thinking that you’re strengthening your core. It’s really the basics that are needed.

Here’s a great resource (text page) and if you have time to watch a video: this is an interview with an experienced doctor of physical therapy.

Click here if you want to watch a SHORT video from Dr. James Vegher where he talks about:

  • How he discovered unique ab exercises
  • What NOT to do when training your abs
  • Why the “mainstream” advice about ab training is WRONG
  • The best exercises you need to do daily to shrink your waist
  • How baby’s hold the key to flat abs FAST
  • And a TON more…

This is actually a 3 part series (each segment is just over 5 minutes).

Take a look at this page or this video to discover new ways to strengthen your core and flatten your belly – and who doesn’t want to do that with summer upon us?

barge with Row 2Okay, back to me now 😉

Rowena and I were on the ‘barge’  last night. This is a small covered raft afloat in the middle of the reservoir.

This was a new experience for me. We were conducting the races, waving flags, blowing whistles, determining winners…man, it was so cool to see the races from this perspective.

As you can see, sailing isn’t a glamorous sport and it’s not always fair weather conditions. I did my best NOT to fall overboard in the freezing water….;)

No Impact? No Problem – A Challenge for Everyone

I often get asked why my whole workout series and blog is incorporates the word ‘CHALLENGE’.

After all, it’s not that inviting is it? Maybe I should have challenge workoutscalled it ‘EASY workouts’ or something easier to swallow…

Instead, I like the whole idea of ‘challenge’ because to me it means that you can constantly be competing with YOURSELF to better your fitness. You don’t necessarily have to compete with anyone else, you can just continually push your own boundaries no matter what fitness level you may be at.

In addition for me, through working out, I’ve found a direct transfer of physical strength to mental toughness and emotional strength.

Being physically strong empowers me to be stronger in all areas of life.

I don’t see an end to my love for challenging workouts any time soon. There will always be those stronger, faster, tougher than me. I don’t care. It’s not a competition with anybody else. I compete with me to challenge myself to push past previous barriers, both physically and mentally.

To me, this is what life is all about. (You can read more about how my love affair with challenge workouts here.)

What’s your story? Why do you do what you do? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section 😉

no jumpNow, if you want a challenge, but you have some physical limitations, it’s NOT a problem. We can work around pretty much anything 😉




For example, if impact is an issue for you, I’ve got you covered. My publishing partner, Lisa Bullock and I created a video full of options for you here:

The point is, I don’t want you to use the excuse like ‘I can’t jump around’ to avoid training….I can always provide a ‘work around’ for you. If you want me right in your living room, why not train with me?

Follow along videos are the immediate answer to learning great ways to intensify or modify any exercise so that you train safely. In my video workouts, I’ll give you all that instruction as we go so there’s no need to avoid training or go research safe exercises for yourself.

I’ve got 21 days of ‘done for you’ workouts that I know you’re going to LOVE.

We’ll work together to challenge you AT YOUR LEVEL – no matter what that level is. In these workouts, I incorporate the ‘challenge idea’ whether you’re rocking out pull ups or doing every exercise in a modified fashion. The cool thing is, before you know it, you’ll have increased your workout intensity and improved on each individual exercise in no time. I’ll show you the progressions of each move so you can safely go from ‘beginner’ to ‘advanced’.

Okay, so here’s a workout for you:

This is a challenging workout that includes:
–>one legged burpee
–>ab roller or plank reach
–>hanging oblique leg lifts
–>sit out or mountain climber
–>shoe touch

Do each exercise for 40 seconds with a 7 second transition to switch.

This is a great way to burn fat and focus on abdominal strength.

If you’re looking for a challenge and want to make it YOURS, check out the new 21 Day Fat Loss Challenge. Let’s train together to work around any limitations you may have. 21DFL_followalongvideos