Serial Trainer











{September 16, 2012}   Afraid of Commitment?

No, not really. But having done this for awhile I think I got caught up, as most of us do, in the bustle of life. And you know what? It caught up to me. Having always really been healthy and battling weight management for years when I got sick, then getting back on track, only to get sick again. This time, though it was something I never really could’ve seen coming.

Most of us are aware of dangers out there; Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. So I always wanted to avoid that. I already have so many things that are hereditary, I didn’t want to face those things down without a battle as I got older.

Now, though, I am facing something else. Migraines. And not just regular migraines. Complex compound migraines that happen nearly every week. I mean, what the hell right? I realized that they were coming more and more frequently and I thought it was out of control. Went to my Dr. and he thought maybe sinusitis. We weren’t sure. (Maybe he thought I was a hypochondriac? lol)  So with no relief in sight I went to a headache specialist. The MRI confirmed that not only did I have these Monster Migraines which were causing vertigo, memory loss and other nasty things — I had three additional triggers that would spurn them on with a fury.

The anger I felt at the betrayal of my body was/is ridiculous. I worked out, I ate well — what more does it want??  Somewhere down the line I ended up acquiring a cyst in my nasal cavity, and c-1 through c-8 compression/herniated discs? I have NO idea how/when that happened. (Of course I’ll lie at the campfire and say I lived a rockstar life ..hey..I need some compensation!)

So here I am. Depressed (again). Immobile (again). And creeping up in my weight. I had just gotten on track with the Insanity workout and was loving it (still recommend it by the way..go kick your ass with it). Now I am staring at my clothes wondering how I let myself get to this point (again).

You see? Trainers aren’t all perfect. There are some Terminators out there, but honestly, we’re mostly human. I can no more change what happened to me then I could stop the orbit of the earth. If I didn’t have the compressions, I’d still have the cyst in my nasal cavity, the sinusitis, and the migraines.

But I’m not going down without a fight. I licked my wounds long enough. 4 weeks of them telling me “No” to anything strenuous and I’m done. I can’t do it anymore. So WITH my Dr’s approval, I’m getting my life back. I have medicine to help me deal with the migraines and I will not wither away. This is your call out. Whatever is getting you down, deal with it. No, not “deal with it” in a snotty, negative, careless way. DEAL WITH IT in an empowered, take-your-life-back way. Find out what your Dr’s plans are for you and make the most of it. Take advantage of it. Research your ailment and then dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.

I’ve got nothing but time, now. So it’s you and me (again), baby.

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{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!




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 help..you 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!!




J: Your torture methods are effective. If I stay still the pain sets in. If I keep moving it’s bearable but moving hurts. You should work for Black Ops or something.

Me: rofl!!!!!!!

J: I need a butt donut. oi.

I love you girlfriend! LOL



{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. Sometimes..it’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!



{April 6, 2010}   P90X

A lot of people have asked me about this workout. In theory, this workout is pretty close to what a trainer would have you do, except that a trainer will hone in on your weaknesses (like posture deviations) and tailor a workout for you designed to be more personal.

HOWEVER…(there’s always a BIG BUTT in my posts, I swear)..

In order to give you a more personal opinion of it — drumroll please — I’m going to take the P90X Challenge!

I can tell you that I did the CardioX challenge last night and it was great!  I think he could’ve done a few more exercise examples for beginners or let them know what to do if they get fatigued or need to modify the exercise. I will keep everyone updated as I go!



{August 3, 2008}   Weekend Challenge

The weekend challenge is simple: To get out of your comfort zone! Do something spontaneous today. If you’re a runner, find a new trail. If you’re a gym rat, find a new routine for your muscle group today. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone allows you to do several things. You will use muscle groups that you don’t normally use and in turn burn more calories. You may even feel sore the next day!

Taking yourself out of that comfort zone is also a good way to meet new people and stimulate your brain for a more exciting workout. Sometimes we get into a rut and you may even experience hitting plateaus because your body is so used to doing the same thing over and over. There are too many benefits in changing it up for you to pass on it.

Taking a new class at your gym may even humble you. If you think you’re in the elite row of a kick boxing class, switch it up and hit a Pilates class. EVERLAST has a new Shadow Boxing class they have implemented into the health club scene. I took one and was (happily) brought to a humbled, zombie stumble by the time I left.

The idea is simple. Challenge yourself. If you are constantly challenging yourself, you can only get better. Progression is the key to becoming healthier, happier and more fit. And if you take the challenge, don’t forget to let us know!

 



{August 1, 2008}   Workout for Thighs

Walking Lunges are by far my favorite exercise for the lower body and for getting that heart rate up. So here is the exercise, described in detail for you. As always, please consult a physician before performing any exercises.

Body parts worked: Rectus Femoris, Thigh, Hamstrings, Quadricep, Calf, Gastrocnemius, Lower Body

How to perform the exercise: To begin a walking lunge stand upright with or without weights in your hands. Keep your shoulders over your hips and engage your core by drawing your navel toward your spine. Now take a lunge forward while never letting your knee go past the toe of the leg in front. Once at the bottom of the lunge (not touching the floor), push off with the back foot and then approach the standing position. Repeat with the other leg. Make sure to breath out on the way up and breathe in on the actual lunge.

 



{July 31, 2008}   How Much Exercise is Needed?

This has been a very popular blog search/post subject so I thought I’d chime in with my thoughts. It’s a debatable subject. So I’ll pose two scenarios to you.

Scenario Number One:
Miss Jones has not worked out since HS. and she’s currently 40 years old. She is overweight and needs to lose 60lbs.

There is no way that Miss Jones is going to get through an hour cardio regimen. Miss Jones should start out slowly but monitor herself. She should be able to hold a conversation but be slightly breathless. She should complete as much as she can and each day slowly try to add onto that time until she reaches her one hour goal.

Scenario Number Two:
Mister Jones is a cardio freak. He works out everyday except Sunday, walking on the treadmill 30 mins and then 30 min’s weight training.

This is a trick scenario. Mister Jones wants to tone and define his muscles and maintain his physique. Does that mean that he needs an extra 30 min’s of cardio added into his regimen? Not necessarily. If Mister Jones’ heart rate is maintained during his weight training, then that is considered a one hour cardio with weight training.

See how that works? Maximizing your time means that you can do two things and not spend 3 hours in the gym. We’re not talking about athletes here, we’re talking about your every day Joe. Someone who wants to shed some weight or maintain their physique.

The key, though, is consistency. Maintain a heart rate of about 50-60%. As your fitness level progresses, it may take more to get you to that 50-60%. What you need to know is, what is your resting heart rate?

To find your resting heart rate is easy. Take the time of day that you are most relaxed. Make sure that you’ve had no caffeine or stimulants for the day. For one full minute, find your pulse. That is your resting heart rate.

Now here is the formula for finding your optimal workout heart rate:

220 – your age = Your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

Now subtract your RESTING heart rate from your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
Multiply by 50% and that’s your low end
Multiply by 60% and that’s a higher end

THEN add back in that resting heart rate.

Example:
220-34=186 (MHR) – 70 (RHR)116
116×50% = 58 + 70(RHR) = 128
116×60%= 69.6 (round to 70) + 70 (RHR) = 140

Now I have two numbers that I can keep my heart rate between depending on how I feel. I should be able to hold that conversation, being slightly breathless. As you move up the fitness level ladder, you can increase that HR to 60-70% or even to an athlete HR of 75-90% (provided that you can maintain the breath test).

As always, speak to you doctor before attempting any sort of workout regimen. If you have health issues, your doctor will give you a recommended heart rate and you should always follow his/her advice.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t have to be on a treadmill to get cardio. Gardening, House Cleaning, Dancing, Wrestling With Kids, Walking The Neighborhood — these are all fantastic ways of getting up and moving. Enjoy the open air. Get some sunlight and be healthy!



et cetera