Diving into the world of quickies

Not that kind of quickie – get your mind out of the gutter. 🙂

With our constant lack of time and the need to get more and more done in the same amount of time – we have begun skipping workouts.

So – in an effort to get a good workout in AND get everything else done, I have begun planning out some quickie workouts. They will likely need a few tweaks as we go – bet here are the first 2 that we will start with.

Leg day:

No rest between supersets. 45 seconds of rest  between sets.
Ie: perform 1 set of back squats immediately followed by jump squats then rest for 45 seconds and repeat.

Warm up with:
High Knees 30 sec superset with Squat Jacks for 30 sec x 3

Back squats heavy – 5 x 3-5 super set with jump squats 5 x 10
Weighted lunges 3 x 8-10 super set with jumping lunges
Deadlifts heavy – 5 x 3-5 super set with Heisman

Cool down with lots of stretching – really focusing on your baby cows

Chest and shoulders

No rest between superset. 45 seconds of rest  between sets.
Ie: perform 1 set of bench press immediately followed by jumping pushups then rest for 45 seconds and repeat.
(P) marks your power exercise. Do these with intensity. As fast and powerful as can be controlled.

Warm up with:
Ropes 30 sec superset with pushups for 30 sec x 3

Bench press 5 x5 superset with (P) jumping pushups 5 x 8-10
(P) Hang clean and press 5 x 5 superset with strait arm front raise  5 x 10
Chest flys 3 x 8 superset with shoulder cable pulls 3 x 8

Plank to side plank in 30 second increments:
Left side plank for 30 seconds straight to plank for 30 seconds straight to right side plank for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times

Cool down with a few minutes of stretching.

Do you have a go to quickie to share? I would love to hear about it.

Handstands – a step by step guide

Handstands require a decent amount of upper body strength. I learned this first hand as I worked my way through 5 min of hand stand work – in 30 second increments. I used the standard lap timer that comes on an iPhone to do this. That way I could just keep a running tab through the day.

We all have different degrees of upper body strength, so here are a few different positions that you can start building on. Try to hold whichever position you feel is fitting for your amount of upper body strength for as long as you can. And be sure to keep your core tight through the exercise.

Eventually as you become stronger through practicing this daily, you will want to start moving your hands closer and closer to the wall. The end goal (aside from the freestanding handstand) being hands 12” away from the wall. I really like practicing the handstand in this (facing the wall) position as opposed to the standard (back to the wall position) for 2 reasons.

  1. It really works your back/shoulder muscles and builds strength
  2. It is a much safer/easier position to get into – especially if you are just beginning your handstand quest. Simply walk your feet up a wall and move your hands as close as you can to that wall.

I can’t wait to see what the next 28 days brings.

February’s 28 day challenge

Its not a handstand - but,  it works. :)

Its not a handstand – but, it works. 🙂

Handstands are awesome!

People doing handstands are even awesomer!

I want to be one of those people.

So – I present – February’s 28 day Challenge – THE HANDSTAND!!!!

Here is how it will work. Every single one of the 28 days of February, plan to spend 5 minutes – that’s it – just 5 minutes practicing your handstand. I will give you daily exercises to practice in those 5 minutes whether you are trying the handstand out for the first time – or improving your current handstand.

Tips and articles will also be included.

So – write your goal down – Mine: I will do a 15 second handstand without any wall assistance by the end of February. Post it on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, anywhere you will see it regularly – and get working.

Our quest to eat healthy, organic, grass fed foods – Do M&Ms count?


I would be WINNING if they did! I had a bit of a rough week and a half last week. I wanted sweets and salty’s and breads….I took a pregnancy test – it was that bad! (not pregnant) I don’t know what my deal was. This Monday – after having a stern talk with myself while drowning in cookies – I put a stop to it. There is no way my 6 pack will pop back out while eating everything. 🙂

The rest of the week went better. I had a little slip up yesterday – some jerk kind person brought pizza into the office. I had a slice. But, no biggie in the greater scheme of things. Everything else has been healthy, home cooked meals.

I feel the difference in the gym for sure. My body is stronger and more capable when I have fueled it well. Plus my stomach feels a hell of a lot better too. And my skin really benefits from clean, healthy food.

My quest to find inexpensive, organic, grass fed food has been pretty successful. Loving Frazier Farms on Fridays. They have great deals and a big selection. Plus, my friends family owns the place! Double win.

Maybe Sawyer and I will hit the Farmers Market tomorrow.

Does 3500 calories really equal 1 lb of fat? Part 3







Great article by my old trainer Cody Bishop over at 181 Fitness. He really gets into some very key reasons why – even though you feel like you are eating healthy and exercising hard – you may not be losing the weight you think you should be. Give it a read.


In the previous 2 installments I discussed how 1) the idea that 1lb of fat equals 3500 calories could be off so much that it might just neutralize your entire weight loss effort, and 2) that the caloric deficit you start with may not be the caloric deficit you finish with. In today’s final installment I will discuss yet another reason why a 3500 calorie deficit may not result in a 1lb fat loss, because you’re human.

Duh duh duh!!

What do I mean?

Well, we, as humans, are prone to error and bias, and the likelihood of making some of these errors actually increases when we’re motivated to do/perform well towards a goal. We cut ourselves breaks and give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.

For instance, we might consider a particular food to have less calories than it actually has just because we categorize it as a “healthy” food. The tendency to make this error is known as the health halo effect. It’s like a halo that looks like a donut, sort of.

Folks who eat foods that are “organic” are more likely to eat more of that food, which in the case of the study I’m referencing is cookies, than if it were not labeled organic. This happened even when IDENTICAL nutritional information was put on the organic and non-organic boxes. This study also showed that forgoing exercise was more acceptable when one was eating organic than when the were not eating organic.

Similarly, in this study,  folks who ate a 1000 calorie meal from Subway underestimated its calories by 21.3% when compared to a same-calorie McDonald’s meal. Furthermore, given the choice to order a “healthy” Subway sandwich or a “unhealthy” McDonald sandwich (BTW the Subway sandwich had 50% more calories in this portion of the study), participants were more likely to order high-calorie side dishes like cookies and sodas.

These studies tell us that although we think we’re eating sparingly enough to create a 3500 calorie deficit, we might actually be underestimating the amount of calories in these foods simply because we consider them “healthier” options. Furthermore, we might actually complete destroy whatever deficit we created because we feel become more lenient on account of the healthier choice and give into a high-calorie side. Shit!

It’s important to acknowledge the mindset of a person who’s choosing healthier options and how it’s different from the mindset of someone who “just don’t give a f*ck.” Someone choosing healthier options may be in what’s known as a restrained eating mindset. Whenever I read “restrained eater” I always remember back to a Facebook conversation I saw between a client and her friend that read:

Friend: You on a diet?

Client: Always. =)

The interesting thing about a dieting mindset is the tendency to focus on activity, and not results (One of our client success principles). That is, the client in this case was focused on the activity of dieting and not the results it wasn’t bringing them.

According to this study, restrained eater rate healthy food as poorer tasting than unrestrained eaters. And according to this study restrained eaters also tend to underestimate the amount their eating and tend to eat more than unrestrained eaters without having felt they had eaten very much, let alone TOO much.

I’ve also seen this on the exercise front. Client are upset with their lack of results because of how much “work” they’ve been putting in. We’re all pretty bad judges of our own efforts, this is why we need coaches and objective measurements. Again, we want to focus on results and not activity. There’s a difference between showing up to the gym, and putting some serious, hang-your-head-and-almost-puke, work in.

Well, I hope this series has been helpful and if you want to learn why we’re the number 1 gym in North County San Diego for getting results, give us a ring at 760-415-8291.

Organic? Grass fed? All natural? What does it all mean? on Eggs

In our never-ending quest to eat as healthy as we can – we have started putting a bit more thought into grass fed/organic food.

The mass amounts of different ways foods are labeled is CONFUSING!!! Let’s take eggs as the first example. We eat a lot of eggs – to the tune of 5 dozen a week between the 3 of us…so, I figured – start where it will have the most impact…after looking at the cage free, organic, pesticide and GMO free, vegetarian fed $8 a dozen – eggs…I began to question my decision. There is NO way we can afford to spend $40 on our eggs every week…I mean – that is our entire weekly food budget. Plus – why the heck are those eggs so much more expensive? This got me wondering about all the labels that are put on food…I saw “vegetarian fed” on quite a few of the egg choices…Like – the other chickens are eating cows? (was my first thought…don’t judge me – I was overwhelmed) And then I remembered worms…Aren’t chickens supposed to be eating worms and bugs? And if they are free range vegetarian fed chickens how does that work….it went on like this in my head for a while. I probably spent about 15 min in front of the egg area… Like I said – there was some confusion involved. I ended up grabbing the $4 a dozen eggs titled “The Safest Choice Eggs” ha….and carried on my way. But, I still continued to wonder – what is it that REALLY matters when it comes down to it?

So I will begin to break the organic, grass fed, all natural food mystery down (or at least try to)…1 at a time…starting with eggs…

Oh – and a little tip for anyone trying to go towards the organic grass fed foods, but afraid of the impact it will have on your wallet….Don’t feel like you have to go all or nothing. Our grocery budget does not allow us to do that – but, I figured – If I can get one of our dinners as grass fed organic beef – that is one less hormone packed, pesticide ridden meal. So – WIN!

On to eggs…

I’m going to start with Vegetarian fed – because it boggled my mind the most….

Vegetarian fed chickens and eggs are essentially just fed grains…since chickens are naturally omnivores and require protein, their source of protein comes largely from soy. Obviously they would not be able to be free range (but, this doesn’t actually appear to be regulated) if they are certified vegetarian fed, because what is to stop them from eating bugs and worms….In my opinion, vegetarian fed does not make for a more nutritious egg. One perk, however – your vegetarian chickens and eggs are not fed ground up chicken…Which is pretty gross – but it seems to be the norm.

Organic: This means the chicken has only eaten organic food through its life span. Which means it will not have the pesticides, antibiotic or arsenic that can be found in traditional chicken feed.

All Natural: um – useless

Omega 3 fortified: This means the chickens were fed a diet rich in Omega 3s. What does that mean to you? Not as much as you would think. These Omega 3s come from Flax seed – which isn’t the greatest source. Although – Omega 3 eggs generally tend to come from Organic, free range chickens, so they are better than your conventional egg.

Cage free…This means the chicken can run free through fields and do all sorts of chicken-y things – right? Wrong…These chickens are still kept inside a warehouse or barn, but are allowed space to move about freely. From a nutrition standpoint – these eggs are the same as your caged chicken…They just live a slightly more normal life than their caged sisters.

Free range – This is a lot like the cage free chickens – however these little guys get to go outside (The specific environment and amount of time they spend outdoors is not regulated though). These types of eggs could have a difference nutritionally speaking. Since they are allowed outside they can eat grass, worms, bugs (even mice and snakes)…and are not necessarily raised on grain alone. However – just the phrase free range isn’t enough since as I said earlier – the type of “range” is not regulated. For health benefits look for….

Pasture fed flocks. Now we are getting somewhere – just when I thought it was a bleak and hopeless situation…Some interesting statistics from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/health-benefits-freerange-hens-eggs-79219.html  :  “Testing by “Mother Earth News” found that eggs from pasture-fed free-range hens, on average, contained:

  • 1/3 less cholesterol and 1/4 of the saturated fat
    “Mother Earth News” found that eggs from pasture-fed free-range hens, on average, contained one-third of the cholesterol and one-fourth of the saturated fat as conventional eggs. A Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education study yielded similar results, with pastured hens producing eggs with 10 percent less fat and 34 percent less cholesterol
  • 2/3 more vitamin A and 3 times more vitamin E
    “Mother Earth News” and SARE studies found that free-range eggs contained 67 percent and 40 percent more vitamin A and found triple the vitamin E in the eggs they tested, and Pennsylvania State University research found double the vitamin E in the eggs of grass-fed hens
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids and 7 times more beta carotene
    “Mother Earth News” reported the most modest differences, with the free-range eggs they tested containing only twice the omega-3s as conventional eggs, while the Penn State study found 2 1/2 times more. Free-range hens in the SARE study, however, produced eggs with four times the omega-3s as their caged sisters”

In conclusion – nutritionally speaking  look for Pasture raised eggs and chicken. Your next best bet would be organic or Omega 3 fortified…



Egg Purchasing Guide

http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2010/07/27/what-the-heck-is-up-with-vegetarian-fed-chicken/, http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2011/06/whats-up-with-vegetarian-fed-chickens.html

Will 2015 be your year?

Being healthy is about being happy, fulfilled, feeling good….and people forget that sometimes.

They trudge through horrible workouts that they hate because they think they have to.

They deprive themselves of everything their body wants to eat because they think they have to.

I, by no means am saying that – if it’s too hard and you don’t want to do it – just don’t do it…Lay on the couch and eat chips and cookies because that makes you feel good –


I do think that people can become much too obsessed with healthy/clean/primal/organic eating to the point that it is negatively impacting their quality of life. When you focus that much attention on making sure every single thing you eat every moment of every day is absolutely under the guidelines of your new diet…

You are asking for an overload.

You are unnecessarily stressing every part of your body – and I am sure every person around you out.

Moderation is key. Strive to be healthy but don’t freak out and beat yourself up for every “non-diet” food that may come across your lips.

And do a workout that makes you happy. One that lowers your stress and invigorates your soul.

Make 2015 the year you learned that you truly can love living a healthy life. 🙂

2 Myths About Women and Weight Lifting Debunked

What a great article!

There is so much information out there regarding women and lifting! I think that is really fantastic! This is just another one of those well written articles.

Get out there and lift your weights ladies!

Posted from: http://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/2-myths-about-women-and-weight-lifting-debunked – by Andrew Read

If you lift big, you get big, right? Well, maybe, but then again, maybe not.

It’s long been female gym folklore that to get lean you do high repetitions with a light load to “tone and shape,” while at the same time telling those looking to get bigger that they need to lift heavy. Let’s look at a few misconceptions around this advice.

Myth #1: Tone and Shape

women's fitness, women and lifting, women and strength training, bulky womenFirst, that whole “tone and shape” thing needs to be put to bed once and for all. Despite what any piece of marketing tells you there is no training system, method, or tool that will change the shape of a muscle. That is genetically determined. Pilates won’t do it, nor yoga, kettlebells, weightlifting, swimming, or any other thing you care to name. Your parents ultimately have more to do with your possible physique than just about anything else does.

So while muscle size and body fat levels can be changed with training, ultimately the shape you end up with is a genetic lottery. What people really mean, in my experience, when they say “tone and shape” is that they want to lose some body fat and make their muscles firmer. They hope that by doing so they change the shape of their body from couch potato round to more muscular and athletic.

Ultimately, when it comes to losing body fat the most important thing is diet. So if you’re looking to shed body fat – and let’s make that distinction over senseless worrying what the scales say, because remember, your shape is what it is, so best just to be as lean as you can be – then you need to worry first and foremost about what goes in your mouth. The number one exercise to help you stay lean is not eating crap in the first place. A typical cheeseburger has 308 calories in it – that equates to about 45 minutes on a rower for most women, or half an hour running at 13km/h (8.1mp/h). Easier to just not eat that in the first place. As the saying goes – you can’t out run a bad diet.

Myth #2: High Reps and Light Weights

But there’s still that myth out there that to get lean you need high reps and light weights. Women often comment that they’re worried about bulking up, and that they “put on muscle if they look at a weight.” Uh huh. Let’s talk some simple math for a moment. A single kilogram of muscle takes a calorie surplus of 9000 calories to be created. That’s thirty cheeseburgers extra you need to eat above your maintenance calories to even think about growing some extra muscle.

And not only do you need to eat those extra burgers, but you need to train specifically to put on size. While you can make muscles bigger from weight training, that’s not a necessary side effect. My entire life has been dedicated to making myself as strong as possible while staying as light as possible. For evidence think of rock climbers, gymnasts, track and field athletes like sprinters and jumpers, and dancers who all possess incredible levels of strength while staying light. So how do they do that?

women's fitness, women and lifting, women and strength training, bulky womenWeight training has two different types of effect. One is on what we can call the neural component of training and the other is on what we could call the metabolic effect. The short version is that the neural effects are those that improve the connection of the mind to the muscle. They increase both the size and strength of the message from the brain to the muscle allowing it to contract harder and faster. Think of this like upgrading your muscle software from dial-up to cable Internet. It’s entirely possible to enhance this capacity and not see any increases in muscle size. The opposite is true for the metabolic changes. At certain rep ranges you will see increases in muscle size brought about via an array of mechanisms.

The funny part to me is that it is low rep training that changes the neural component and higher rep training that has more of an effect on the metabolic changes. In other words, lifting weights only for a few reps is less likely to cause size gains than lifting weights for more reps. Please note there are other factors here, such as eating all those burgers and how many total sets you do, as it is still possible to lift for only a few reps at a time, but do many, many sets and still cause metabolic changes to the muscle. So if you do many total sets and overeat you will likely still grow.

Strong and Lean

The funny thing is that out of the females I know it’s the ones who are the strongest who are also the leanest. My buddy, female fat loss guru Josh Hillis, shared with me the following that he’s witnessed in his fat loss training, “When girls can do three chin ups and deadlift body weight for three reps they are usually around the 19-21% body fat range.” Despite what most people will tell you, a female at the 19% range is in rock star shape. (And given sixty percent of the world is overweight or obese these women will really stand out as having fantastic bodies.) He even added that, “Vanessa Hudgens has deadlifted 180lbs as well as using kettlebells in her training and Jena Malone has done 235.”

Clearly how much weight you lift doesn’t make you big and bulky, and it’s about time that women stopped fearing that it will. The main things to focus on, if looking to get lean, are the following:

  1. Don’t over eat. If you’re not keeping a food diary that is your biggest problem with losing weight.
  2. Lift heavy for a few reps. A sample deadlift workout might be three sets of three reps with a two to three minute rest between sets. These need to be hard, near all-out sets for them to be useful.
  3. For the rest of your workout do only whole-body exercises such as loaded carries and sled pushing, and bodyweight exercises such as burpees, lunges, squats, and pull-ups.
  4. Ignore the “friends” who try to derail you by telling you that despite all evidence to the contrary you’re training incorrectly. You paid for a trainer for his or her expert help, don’t go off reservation and start listening to someone who gets workout advice off Biggest Loser.

Why do you give your kids â€śtreats?”

Better yet – why do you try to shame me for trying to feed my kid healthy?

This is a question that has been on my mind a lot – especially recently as we go into the holiday season. Family gatherings, pies, desserts and all the fixins…these events always bring at least one person to say something to the effect of – poor Sawyer…Which is a bummer. Especially when it is accompanied by some comment that implies I am depriving her.

What is the driving force behind this? Sawyer is more than happy with what we provide her as an alternative to whatever sugary item might be getting eaten by everyone else – in fact on several occasions, the children whose parents had given them the sugary item, end up over with Sawyer wanting some of whatever fresh fruit I brought for her. So, why would someone want to make Sawyer feel like she is getting left out – when she doesn’t feel that way?

What is it that drives parents or just people in general to want to give a child a cookie or an ice-cream cone or some pie?

Do you feel like you are giving them a reward for doing something? Finish your dinner and you can have dessert. Behave at the grocery store and you can have a cookie when we check out. Why couldn’t fruit be used as that dessert treat?

Or it can be used as a punishment – If you don’t finish dinner you don’t get dessert….

As babies – dessert could just as easily be a piece of fruit, raisins even sweet potato. We instead feel like we need to give them cookies and cake. Why then – when you can give them a healthy treat that has nutrients for their rapidly growing brains and body’s that they would be more than satisfied with, why do we want to give them cake and cookies? It is at this very young age that you are conditioning their little taste buds to crave sweets. To not be satisfied with natural healthy sweetness, to require an overstimulation of their taste buds in order to be satisfied. From this very young age we are setting our babies up for obesity, diabetes, sugar cravings…take a look at all the chronic conditions that we have as a culture now. A large majority of them can be avoided completely by choosing a healthy diet. Who is more influential than you as a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle in helping raising strong healthy babies who will turn into strong, healthy adults?

Keep this in mind during this holiday season. I know a lot of kids have already been conditioned to expect an overwhelming amount of sugar to be happy with desserts, but, you can slowly reverse that. Be creative and think of your babies favorite fruit. How can you make that fruit a dessert that they will be stoked to get (of course avoiding adding sugar – or at least add much less than would normally be associated with dessert).

Sawyer’s dessert has already been planned out for our family get togethers…and I will be bringing enough to share with all the other babies. Apples slices and raisins sautéed in butter and cinnamon.

With a little forethought – you can do it!

Spend the time.

Make the effort.

Your babies are worth it.

And for gods sake – stop giving me crap for feeding my baby well.

A bump in the road

It is always a bummer to hit a bump in the road.

I thought I had a good solid plan – but, now I am not so sure.

My plan after getting my certification was to instruct for Stroller Strides and train clients at 24 hour fitness.

Looks like the Stroller Strides plan is not going to work out as it is looking like it would require me to quit my current job – which I need.

Such a bummer – helping mommas and their kids in leading a healthy, active life is what I want to do and Stroller Strides seemed so perfect.

They always say – where one door closes, another opens. Just gotta keep my eyes open for that new door that is ajar.