Serial Trainer

{January 5, 2011}   Clarification..Serial Trainer

Some people have said that there is copycat “serial trainer” out there ..

just to clarify …I’ve looked the other one up and be still your hearts, that person is not me and they have nothing to do with this site or working out for that matter. However!…we both love martial arts! So that’s a good thing..I think.

Every serial k…er..trainer..;D must have a copy cat..but they never quite live up to the original.

Happy Training!


{January 3, 2011}   For Women Only!

So my most popular post is “Happy National Chest Day” and I thought I’d expand on this one because there are so many people interested in it, but I don’t think there’s enough information out there for women that want to tone up and have no real guidance. The common scenario I get is: “I’ve just been doing my boyfriend/husband/brother’s routine” and I ask, “How’s that going for you?” and they say, “I don’t know, I don’t like it too much” to which I respond, “So are your goals to look like your husband/boyfriend/brother?”

I get the oddest looks to that question. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Anyone that doesn’t ask what your goals are before designing or suggesting a workout regimen for you needs to NOT be designing your workout regimen.

Most women want a lean, sexy look so that they can fit into their tops and feel confident. They don’t want “big guns” and a “chiseled chest” in most cases. So why on earth are they doing chest presses at max weight for 5-10 reps? It doesn’t even take the stand six weeks to see that you’re looking more bulky and your scale numbers are going up.

One thing I like to recommend to my female clients is Pilates. Integrating Pilates moves into your workouts helps strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture. I also suggest some Yoga moves or classes. Stretching the muscles and improving your balance is also very important. If you mix up your routine to include a little of those two types of exercises, you’ll find that your body will take on some very nice results.

Now, let’s hone in on key problem areas for women and address them!

“The Bra Stuff” — The floppy skin that hangs over your bra. Oh c’mon let’s keep it real! How many times have you gone to put on your bra and a form fitting shirt only to see what didn’t fit, muffin out a little?

How to fix it: Cardio. 30-45 mins and lat pull. A good way to find your right weight is to do a few reps. The last five should be the hardest ones and give you just a little struggle. It’s best to have a trainer (if you belong to a gym) do an orientation with you so we can watch your posture and form. In most cases this is a free service offered by your health club. The purpose of the orientation is to tell us if you’re using the right muscle groups, if you’re compensating with another and most importantly, it helps us protect you from pulling muscles or injuring yourself.

If you don’t have a trainer it’s best to invest in a mirror. Watch your form and be sure that you do your research into exactly how that exercise should be done.

“Soft Fluffy Shoulders” — If your neck slopes down in an hourglass form into your shoulders, this is you.
Some people naturally carry their weight differently than others. That’s just the way it is. Nothing to be ashamed of. How your shaped is your own special look and you cannot change your body shape, only how it looks. If you’re curvaceous, that’s ok! If you’ve got narrow hips, that’s OK too! You can accent different areas of your body to draw attention to where you want it. In this case the “Fluffy Shoulders” is frustrating to females that feel like their built like a football player…gear and all.

How to fix it: Cardio. (some of you are starting to get the hint that there’s a pattern to this by now) In order to accentuate the beautiful line of the neck and sexy shoulders. There are a few exercises that can enhance the look but the key is to be careful that you do them correctly or else you’ll end up with an even bulkier look.

Shoulder Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You should have two light dumbbells in your hands with palms facing down. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly as you raise your arms in front of you to chest level, inhale again as you bring them down and then repeat but bring your arms out to either side (again, to shoulder level). A good hint is to do this exercise slowly..count 1-1000, 2-2000, 3-3000 etc..up to 5-5000. Do a set of 12-15, rest and repeat 2 more times. Be careful not to use your neck!

“Gravity” — Does this need further explanation? In order to give you a lifted look, doing chest presses in a slightly angled position works the chest to give you your own “wonder bra” effect. You can do this on a bench or on a fitness ball. If you this is your first time, start on a bench because the fitness ball will throw off your balance. You can use your dumbbells, bands or barbell. I usually prefer to train female (and male) clients with bands because there is equal resistance throughout the motion and it’s harder to cheat.

Start with your hands at chest level, take a deep breath and exhale as you push upward. Your arms should make a large arc, hugging motion as you bring them upward, then meet in the middle above your chest. Give an extra squeeze and then release to repeat. If you’re trying to tone the muscles and not bulk up, do the same repetitions/sets as the previous exercise.

“Got Cleavage?”Who doesn’t want a nice cleavage when wearing V-Neck shirts or the cute babydoll tops that are all the fashion?

How to fix it: Push-ups!..and Cardio. (did you think you were getting away with it??)

Push ups can be done several ways. Arms wide for more chest isolation and arms closer to work them triceps! Try changing it up and do three sets, working up to 20. Once you get more advanced, try doing them at an incline by raising your feet on a chair or bench, you can also do them with your hands on a dynadisk or fitness ball (be careful!). I also throw in a change here and there by having clients keep one hand on an elevated surface (like a book or small ball) then alternate each rep from side to side. Get creative and challenge yourself. Push-ups work more than your chest and triceps, so you’ll start seeing the difference in your posture as well.

There’s a lot more I can put in here but I’ve decided to break it up. Stay tuned for part 2 and give me some feedback or questions!

{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!

People ask me all the time about diet fads. Those fads don’t necessarily have “names” attached to them. There’s always someone who will ask me about the diets they find on the internet like the “Lemonade Diet”. If you refer to my previous post about these diet fads, you’ll see that I point out that the one thing all diets have in common (and consequently it works, go figure). They all cut your calories. Check it out for yourself. I’ll wait…

Are you back with me? You can see that the calorie count is probably near the same. I can say that you should get a varied diet. Veggies, carbs, fats, proteins — all of them!  You can put as much healthy food into your food basket and if you’re not aware of how many calories you’re consuming, or how many you’re burning, you’re skating uphill.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this but here it goes again. It’s really not that hard. If you carry a small notepad around with you, you can sign online and enter all your food when you get home, or do it right after you finish eating (like I do).

What you’ll start seeing is that you remember how many calories something contains and you learn proper portions. While you’re learning that, your mind is actively aware and you’re not eating what I call “zombie calories”.

Zombie Calories are calories consumed while you zone out on the computer, watching television, chat on the phone, etc. You have no idea what you ate because you weren’t paying attention. Give yourself a quiet place to eat and pay attention to what you’re putting in your face.

I’m not one to sugar coat things, as many of you know. If you want to continue to eat the foods that have gotten you to where you are now, then eat them. Just don’t make excuses. Thyroid problems account for maybe 10-15lbs of weight, not 75 (in most cases, I won’t claim to be an expert). Donuts from Shipley’s accounts for a helluva lot more.

If you can’t devote your time to eating better or eating less, get off your butt and move. Take charge of your life, your mouth, your impulses, your health. A walk is not something that cannot be done every night by 90% of you. ALL of you have 15-30 min’s a day to give yourself..and if you don’t then make the time. Not tomorrow, not next week on Monday. Right now. Don’t wait until you’ve gained another five pounds. Don’t wait until you cannot fit into those favorite jeans. Do it now.

Get your life on track because if you don’t, you’re derailing yourself. You’re setting yourself up for failure. The lower you go, the harder it is for you to get back up. You owe it to yourself. Lift up your self-esteem a few notches and take your belt down a few. If it’s not weight you need to lose, do something to strengthen your heart. Tone up so you can carry more groceries or your kids around. Feel better every morning instead of waking up and feeling like you’re in the body of someone 20 years your senior.

I can only do so much from this webpage. The rest has to be you. Take tonight to sit down and write about what motivates you. Actively put sticky-notes around the house to remind you.

When I was taking my Intro to Health Sciences Class, I took the bus every day to the school. It was a two hour bus ride and the only thing that made it worth while was the second bus I took. The bus driver was this awesome guy who was very social and friendly and always talked to me until I got off the bus in front of the school.

So my bus driver, I’ll call him R, tells me that he used to be an accountant. One day he was listening to the radio and he heard a show talking about the two top professions that had the highest suicide rate. Accountants and Psychologists. He said it was shortly after that, that he had an picture of himself taken and he was pale and he had a gruff, overgrown beard and was growing around the waist.

That was enough for him. He shaved down the beard, bought himself a bike and even put a little note on it that said “Play with me” so that when he passed it, it reminded him of his goals. He started riding every day, miles and miles, eventually.

The best thing about this was that he looked great for being in his 30’s! He reminded me a lot of those wrestlers you see on TV. Flashy sunglasses, nice tan, groomed goatee. I nearly fell over when he told me he was 50..not 30.

But he’s a prime example of people taking the time to make small changes in their life which turn out to be monumental events before they even knew it. Whatever motivates you, find it. Exploit it until you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. It doesn’t take long to get into a positive routine rather than a bad habitual routine.

If you find yourself flipping through channels, Zombie-stare and drool in place, going through them over and over and still finding nothing to watch until that time slot is over and a new bunch of shows begin? Turn. Off. The. Television.

My all time favorite? If you’re sitting on the couch and are watching an exercise show? May your face get stuck in the ice cream carton. Get up and move!

{August 8, 2008}   BodyBugg Results: Aug 7, 2008

For everyone who is tracking or paying attention to my BodyBugg results, I had to edit the first entry because..yep. I put the wrong date. Sorry ’bout that!

Also, for the nutrition portion, I’ll be more careful next time. I usually forget to sort the meals out in breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack so it looks like I only ate twice in the day. I didn’t get to eat as much as I should’ve and I felt drained by the end of the day. As you can see, I burned 1700+ calories and I was walking most of the day. On a 2,000 calorie diet, I would’ve been way over my calorie allowance. Instead, I’m way under but I feel crappy.


{August 7, 2008}   BodyBugg Results: Aug 6, 2008

As promised, here are my BodyBugg results for Aug. 6, 2008.

{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!

et cetera