Serial Trainer

{January 5, 2011}   Kettle Calling the Pot..belly?

Some of you have read my “Poor Man’s Gym” and I wanted to update some exercises for those of you that don’t have access to a home gym and want to tear it up at home. I cannot stress the importance of kettle balls and bands enough. If you want a nice, toned look..these two items will help you obtain it and even more so if you combine them with calisthenics.

Now, some of you are sitting there with that “deer in the headlight” look and wondering what the heck that big word, calisthenics, means:

calisthenics: are a form of dynamic exercise consisting of a variety of simple, often rhythmical, movements, generally using minimal equipment or apparatus. They are intended to increase body strength and flexibility with movements such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking, using only one’s body weight for resistance. [from the ever famous Wikipedia!]

I’m including a picture that will give you some ideas for kettle ball exercises. You can YOUTUBE them and find tons of them. I guarantee that they will kick your butt!


{December 31, 2010}   A New Year, A New You!

Everyone does it. The New Year’s resolution. “I will get into shape” or “I will lose xxlbs”. It’s easy to get a good start and lose momentum. So how do you keep it going for 12 months?

1. Keep your goals realistic.
Take a big goal and break it down to smaller parts. My recommendation is to break it into 4 parts. That gives you 3 month increments to work with. It keeps you motivated and gives you time to correct slip ups. A safe weight loss is 2lbs per week. So if your goal is to lose 75lbs in 2 months…it might be a good idea to re-evalutate that goal. Besides, the smaller the goal, the easier it is to attain. And if you exceed the goal, it makes you even happier, right?

2. Keep it fresh and fun!
No one said fitness had to be boring. Finding something that keeps you healthy and that you enjoy doing is the key element to sticking with the program. Martial arts, Golf, Aerobics, Biking, Hiking, Tennis..nearly anything can be a good workout if you apply yourself.

3. Get a buddy.
Working out with a buddy is tricky and let me give you some crucial advice about this. It’s one thing to want to have someone to talk to while you workout however, your buddy should be chosen by the following criteria if you’re serious about meeting your goal.

a. Have the same goals in mind.
b. Have the same or nearly the same fitness level.
c. Zero tolerance for excuses. — I usually give my workout buddy “excuse coupons”. They get ONE per MONTH. If you don’t “feel like working out today” or have habitual excuses (that same grandma that passed three times) then you either need to find a new workout buddy or they buy lunch..or do extra crunches!! Now, if they are genuinely sick, that’s not an excuse, that’s a good reason..don’t hold that against them.

4. Be human.
Know that people make mistakes. If you slip up or if you quit for a little bit..dust yourself off and get on track again. Muscle recovery is a wonderful thing. It won’t take long for your body to get back to where it was.

So this New Year, be good to yourself. You deserve it more than anyone! 🙂

Warmest Regards from the Serial Trainer….SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

{December 22, 2010}   Ch’Arms…? Seriously!?

So..Ch’arms. I sat down one morning and heard Rod Ryan of the Buzz (94.5 in Houston) and he was ranting about these things. I couldn’t help but go and look into this. They are Spanx..for your arms. I’m *almost* speechless.


But that would be like asking me not to breathe..and well..that’s not gonna happen anytime soon!

If you have 29.99 to buy Ch’arms, you have dues for a health club membership or a payment on some kind of exercise equipment. It will certainly buy you a kettle ball or fitness ball. And guess what? Push ups are free, ladies.

Have we seriously entered into the realm of DENIAL? Stuffing yourself into spanx and ch’arms like a sausage is nearly ridiculous. Now, ladies, we’ve all bought “control top” pantyhose..what happens?  Everything gets held in there and ….drumroll….gets muffin topped elsewhere. Honestly, what is the point!? Body Spanx?


Accept that you’re beautiful. You’re real. You’re working on issues, don’t try to hide them in stretchy body trampolines. At least carry some scissors in case your blood stops flowing.

I stopped picking up a lot of the fitness magazines that I used to love. Let me tell you why:

My first reason is that they are cutting back on the quality of information and recycling it in future issues. I remember picking up a magazine that I won’t name (not so much into slander these days, sorry) and seeing beautiful depicted anatomy pictures. You have to know what you’re working on in order to know what you’re doing, folks. I don’t expect you to know all the “big names” of muscles but it’s nice to physically see how that anatomy works.

Is it just me or are people too trusting these days? Let me get on a little soap box about this before I continue ..

You go to a health club. You decide you need some ask for a personal trainer. You walk in for your first session and your personal trainer shows up and is maybe 19. Maybe. Male or female, they have a great body. Pause.

How many 19 year olds DON’T have a great body??  Ask them what THEY ate for lunch and it’ll probably be something like “Subway 6 inch sub with chips and a diet coke” or..even worse…”Pizza”. Now ..before panties get in a bunch, this is not the BIBLE of scenarios but this is typical. I’m 37 years old. If I eat a subway sandwhich with chips and a coke everyday for lunch, I’m gaining at least 5lbs by the end of the week.

Let’s also point out that they work in a health club. They train people all day. That’s moving around, demonstrating exercises and running back and forth between protein bars. It’s the same concept as The Biggest Loser. Those people spend their day being active in a controlled environment with cooked meals. It’s an amazing transformation and they work VERY hard, but the average person doesn’t achieve those kinds of results for a reason. Note that you shouldn’t be discouraged by this NOR should you use it as an excuse. It’s just a reality check.

Now back to my beef :

I understand that in order to stay in business, there has to be advertisers. But when I’m paying $4 for a magazine, I don’t want to have more than half of it be advertising …and most of all, for things that aren’t related to health! There has to be a better idea than posting 12 full page advertising ads in between “Building better abs” and “Gorgeous Glutes”.

I don’t care what the latest sexual stimulant is. I don’t care about Bat-dung based supplements. I want to see REAL people, in real fitness gear, in real life situations coming out on top. I’m tired of seeing celebrities who have money for the luxuries of 5 day a week personal trainers, on call chefs, swimming pools in their bedrooms and liposuction on “bad months” when they couldn’t do it themselves. I want to see real struggles. Fall on your face for us, but get the hell back up and show us we can too.

And for the love of all things holy, stop putting the “Increase Breast Size Cream” ads in your magazine!!

{November 22, 2010}   Monday Challenge

Most people start off their Monday’s doing the “Chest Workout”. If you look on my site, it’s probably the most popular post I have on this blog. My challenge today is to break out of the routine. Our bodies are amazing and can adapt to nearly any condition, routine, workout that you give it. Variety is the key to breaking boundaries. Whether it be to get over a plateau or to just bust out of the monotony.

Who’s up for the challenge? Post here and let me know what you did today to boycott National Chest Day!

{November 17, 2010}   Put away the Winter Bulk!

Here I am again! This year has gone by so quickly but it’s been full of events. In addition to my years as a trainer, I’ve expanded my resume a bit and tried a new line of work. Why am I telling you this? Because I think it’s important that you relate to your trainer, even if they are online. How many of you have looked at your trainer, or overheard them talk about how they’ve never been overweight?

Even though that is not always the case, it’s frustrating to those of us that have jobs that don’t allow us to move around all day or have free gym memberships. It’s increasingly frustrated, if on top of that, we’ve always struggled with a weight problem.

Some of our weight problems can be due to illness but it’s up to us to take responsibility where it’s due.’s because we want to eat a Big Mac instead of a salad with grilled chicken. Sometimes, it’s because we want a chocolate milk shake from Burger King instead of a protein meal replacement shake.

Without dragging it out further, I’m going to give you insight to my year in hopes that it will inspire you and encourage you to never give up your goals.

As I previously mentioned, I changed my line of work. I started June of 2009 as a Leasing Consultant. I love this job. However, it does have it’s challenges. It can be very stressful and there’s not a lot of “labor” involved other than walking. Thank goodness for that because if I had to sit at a desk like some of you are forced to do, I don’t know what I’d do with myself. I really feel for anyone that has to be chained in their seat and I can see how that puts more challenge into your weight loss/fitness plans.

In addition to that, I’ve been doing promoting and bookings in my area. So I work 9-6, get off work, go to my Martial Arts class, go to my “night job” come home, spend a few minutes with the spawnlings, then collapse into bed. I feel like a Gerbil in a Ball on some days. My sleeping had become sporatic and I was looking as tired as I felt.

On top of the job change, I also ran into some health issues. Normally, I wouldn’t be so personal but that’s what this blog is all about; Making me a real person to you.

I found out that I had severe endometriosis..again. On top of that, I had what they call a “frozen pelvis”. Scary name huh? I thought so. I was in a great deal of pain and I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I continued to go to my gynecologist for these arcane, medieval type tests and was getting nowhere with them. I decided to get a second opinion and was advised that maybe it was time to just tie my tubes or explore what was going on through a laparoscopy. Thank goodness I opted for that. Upon starting the procedure, my doctor told me he couldn’t even get in there! He told me that if there was anything wrong, I may have to have a complete hysterectomy before the surgery, so it was something I was prepared for. I’m 37 and have four boys..I’m not opposed to the idea of being unable to have anymore!

To make a long story short, my doctor told me that it was the worst thing he’s seen in 20 years of practice and that he was surprised I could even function. I had the hysterectomy done with the mental preparation that I may in fact gain weight..weight that took me so long to lose. The first time that I had the endometriosis, I climed the scale to 180lbs. I’m 5’3 so I looked about twice that weight.

I’m happy to say that through the stress of my job (we had 1/2 the staff we normally have so I was working double hours with double work) and the surgery, I’m very happy with the results. I’m happier. I’m more active. I’m no longer in pain. And I feel like a million dollars.

I’m down to about 130-132 lbs. Still some work to go, but it’s been much easier since my surgery. Being bed-ridden for 6 weeks was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. I’ve never been sedentary to that degree. Gaining the stamina back was rough but my body remembered soon enough.

The point in all this is that you have to stand back up every time you fall off the horse. Everytime. Do not let it get you down. Learn why you fell, fix it, forgive yourself and move on. It’s okay to stumble, but if you stay down, it’s called defeat. You have to fight for what you want. It sounds cheesy and cliche but it’s the truth. Cue the Rocky Music and get your butt motivated.

In other good news: I’ve started training live people again! 😀 Hopefully, they will let me post some before and after pics as well as results. I will be sure to post them if I get their permission! Keep your eyes peeled and remember that all it takes is an email to get some help from me, online…or post your comments/questions to the blog! Chances are..if you have a question, someone else has been wondering the same thing!

{November 16, 2008}   On Your Mark…

I wanted to start this post out by saying that we all need a kick in the ass. Right? Right. So let’s do it. Our goal will be the New Year!

Everyone on board for a little inspiration raise your hand. I need to get back on track and so do you guys..or maybe you’ve hit a plateau or maybe you just need a new twist in your routine.  What I’m proposing is that we get on the ball..whether it’s the bosu or dynadisk!

Here’s the catch: You all have to participate, be active and be accountable, just like me..

So I’ll be posting my bodybugg results again, probably on a weekly basis and you guys can do the same if you have a bodybugg or any other results you can come up with. It can be a spreadsheet, powerpoint, notepad, etc.  Pick a goal and we’ll all work toward our own goal. The other part of participating will be that you all have to either give me a topic to address for the week or a question. 

So who is all in on this? Leave a comment and let me know!

{November 12, 2008}   Even the Mighty Can Fall

So with school I wasn’t doing too bad in keeping up with my workouts. However..(grumble), add in an entire move to another house just after a hurricane and you get ..well, you get bad things.

I haven’t been able to workout because immediately following school, I had to go home and wait for deliveries or run to the store to buy something, go to an office to sign something or just collapse from sheer lack of energy.  It’s also been a month of my birthday, my son’s birthday, followed by the beginning of November which is my mother’s birthday and my father’s birthday..oh and don’t forget the house warming party. (takes a breath)

So I called Lorenzo and I begged and pleaded for him to change my schedule because I used to live in a straight line from school to gym to home and could easily make it from one to the other with little problem. Now I live about 18 miles from school/gym and that poses a problem when my class ends at 9:30 and my training session was at 2 or 5.

Being my wonderful trainer, he was able to accomodate that and so starting today, I will be getting my butt kicked once more.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gained at least 2-4 lbs and to those of you gawking at why that’s such a big deal, let’s remember I’m also 5’4 and 5lbs to me is like 10-15lbs to someone who isn’t vertically challenged.

I’ve had 2 papers due, one final exam, 2 biology tests, one math test — all due from the beginning of October until current place and time (November…and I’m pretty sure it’s something like the 12th, but I could be off by like..oh, say..a year?!). 

Time is like a distant memory.  I would not be so bold as to ask for another few hours in the day, that would only mean I’d have more to do.  As it stands right now, I shut down like clockwork at 10pm.  So that means there’s a mad rush between the hours of 6:30 AM and 10 to get -everything- done.  School, kids, laundry, housework, dinner, study, homework, solve world hunger…

I’m sure mom’s everywhere relate.

I’ve found that I look at this site and long for the time to write but what about?  I am working on a schedule of things and some research I can do, then picking one day a week when I can just focus on that issue.  Thank you for everyone that continues to come and peek at the page.  I haven’t forgotten you guys!  I’ll keep you posted on how bad — erm — how good my session goes today! 😉

{August 6, 2008}   Recipe: Turkey Wraps

Cupcake asked what she could take to work with her for lunch since she didn’t always have access to a microwave. I know this is a very common question among my clients, friends and family. So here’s a recipe to help alleviate that problem. Turkey Wraps! This was obtained from

Whole Wheat Tortillas:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup applesauce
1 cup water

  1. In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, white flour, salt and baking powder. Use whisk to combine dry ingredients.
  2. Add the apple sauce and mix together.
  3. Add enough water to pull the mass into a soft dough. Knead for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 12 pieces.
  6. On medium-high, pre-heat a large flat-bottomed non-stick skillet on the stove.
  7. On a floured surface, roll each piece out to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  8. Cook each side of the tortilla in the skillet until it begins to turn brown. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.

4 three-ounce portions of sliced, roasted turkey breast*
2 tomatoes, sliced thin
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup spinach leaves, washed and dried
Fat-free mayo
Dijon mustard
Lightly salt and pepper to taste

  1. Lay out four freshly-made tortillas.
  2. Spread one Tbsp fat-free mayo and 1 tsp mustard on each tortilla.
  3. Divide remaining sandwich ingredients between each tortilla.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roll turkey wraps and serve with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size – 1 filled tortilla wrap
Calories 370
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 75mg
Sodium 700mg*
Carbohydrate 40g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 4g
Protein 36g

Diabetic Exchanges
Protein 5
Carbohydrates 2.5
Fat 2

*Processed deli turkey will have a much greater amount of sodium

For those of you who aren’t so “Betty Crocker” you can buy the tortillas in any grocery store. Try to opt for the whole wheat versions, but they also carry the flavored ones which are very good, as well. Sun dried tomato, guacamole and other awesome tasty combos have been popping up everywhere.

There are even low-carb versions of tortillas. Personally, I didn’t find them very tasty but if you’re carb conscious it is definitely an option for you.

APEX also has some meal replacements bars that you can carry when you’re not able to get a full meal in or are trying to cut down on some calories. My favorite, to date is the Iced Latte Java Delight. I think they need to be illegal. But if you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is definitely a sinful little treat to keep hidden away for when you’re on the go. You can also try meal replacement shakes. You carry just some skim milk (or soymilk, especially the chocolate kind!) and your powder. If you can’t carry milk, everyone has access to water and some shakes taste pretty good with either option.

I’ll be trying some other snacks from APEX soon so I’ll let you know how they taste. At just 230 Calories it’s a healthier option than cookies or candy bars and they’re actually good for you..and your kids! Because I have four boys, I would go through a box a day and that’s just not gonna work for my budget so I hide them. All for myself. Mwhahaha!

So I hope this helps in giving you options on the go. As always if you have any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll get to them as soon as I can!

{July 30, 2008}   supplements

Supplements have been a long argued debate among the health and fitness field professions. I’m going to give you my point of view on it and everyone is welcome to post their opinions on it. Hopefully, a hockey-fight won’t break out in the middle of it!

In this day and age, it is my opinion that we don’t have the nutrients in the soil that we once had. There are more pesticides, more chemicals added to our food than we know what to do with. I could scream and flail that you should be eating organic food but not even I have gone totally organic.

So what do we do? Well, the first thing I always recommend is a vitamin. Why? I recommend the vitamin because if you’re trying to lose weight, what’s the first thing you do? You cut calories. If you cut calories, how do you possibly get all your nutrients from your food everyday? It’s nearly impossible. More so if you’re in a job environment that doesn’t allow you to break every 2-3 hours to eat a small portion of food. Some of us are even shackled to our desks without being able to have water at our side.

Secondly, you’re working out (hopefully, right!?) and you’re losing nutrients through sweat, electrolytes, etc. Vitamins help to ensure that you’re OK. That’s as simple as I can put it.

Onto protein shakes, creatine, and other goodies; I’m of the opinion that these are optional. It’s not a necessity. If you’re someone that has to maintain 4k calories a day, try eating that. I think the funniest thing is talking to someone that’s sitting there at the end of the day, shoving a banana in their mouth and a peanut butter sandwich and just looking at their face.

I worked with such a person. At the end of our shift at 9pm we’d be sitting in the employee break room and he’d just stare at his lunch bag. 4k Calories folks. That’s usually twice as much as most of us eat. He was miserable. He looked at me one day with a mouth full of food and said, “I’m just so sick of eating”.

In those cases, a calorie packed protein shake can help. Of course most of us wanted to kick him because we’d really love to help eat some of his calories for the day, but do you see how having a “shake” could be beneficial? Some shakes pack on 900 calories, that would help with 3 regular meals in some situations.

Onto the other supplements. If you’re a regular Joe Shmoe and you’re just working out to look and feel better, again, it’s not a necessity to pack in all the pills. If you do however, want the boost, please for the love of all things spandex research your product.

If you call your product’s manufacturer and ask serious questions that they cannot answer. Put the product down! Ask for purity. Ask for potency. Ask if they’d let their mother take it! If they cannot answer questions to your satisfaction, get rid of it.

I hate nothing more than for a client to come in, beaming with pride telling me that they’re taking some new hot product that their neighbor is taking and they have no idea what it is. Why would you put it into your body?? Even more distressing is when women take the same supplements as their boyfriend (and same workouts!). Hello? Do you want to look like him? Are you trying to gain beefy arms? Are you trying to pack on the pecs? If not? What the hell are you doing?

I’m all about educating yourself. Get to know your product outside of the advertisements. Be able to explain, in detail, why you’re taking that supplement, how it benefits you, etc.

If you’re going to a gym and the trainers and the staff are pushing supplements on you, ask them to come over and explain each item to you. If they can’t give you a more detailed explanation other than maybe two sentences, I’d pass. At least from buying it from that individual.

I hope that this gave you some insight and answered some questions. I’ll go into more individual products and/or answer questions about supplements the best I can if you post questions.

Have a great workout!

et cetera