During last week’s inauguration we got a glance at Michelle Obama‘s toned, fit arms in that gorgeous sleeveless gown she wore to the ball. The first lady has always had an admirable figure, but her arms truly speak to the dedication she has to her fitness regimen. They don’t come easy, but if you follow my guidance here, we can start working on a set of strong arms of your own.
We want to see the curves of the bicep and the nice little cap of the deltoids. We absolutely do not want to see the tricep waddle! A lot of curls and kickbacks may create some shape in your arms but they are not the most efficient way to build muscle and burn fat. So how does a girl build fabulous arms and shoulders?
First, I will tell you how it’s not accomplished.
Not with infomercial gadgets that promise you fantastic muscles in only 10 minutes a day.
Not with endless curls with soup cans or water bottles.
Not with starvation diets.
Here are my top five tips to get fantastic arms you want to show off in your tank tops and shoulder-baring dresses. (more…)
Would it surprise you to learn I was once an unfit mess? Not that I am perfect today, but about 14 years ago I started a journey to fitness and a quest to reclaim my life and health.
I was a poor college student who didn’t even know what a personal trainer was, much less had the spare cash to afford one. I started with a very inexpensive gym membership and two books: Weight Training for Dummies and Body For Life. Both are great books and I still recommend them today. But they leave a lot of room for interpretation, especially for someone as headstrong as I am.
Needless to say, I made quiet a few mistakes in the beginning of my journey. Let me share a few examples of my early missteps in hopes of saving you the time I wasted and the frustration I experienced.
1. Lifting weights like a guy. I had no idea how to train for fat loss vs. muscle gain. There is nothing wrong with a body part or upper/lower split, like the workout plan in Body for Life, it just isn’t the most effective for ladies trying to lose fat. This is especially true in the beginning. It took me quite a while to learn the value of a well-designed full body workout full of multi-joint compound movements like push ups and squats. (more…)
We all have that one person in our life who refuses to take no for an answer. Perhaps it’s the office baker who simply can’t understand why you turn down her famous chocolate peanut butter pie. Or maybe it’s Great Aunt Helen who ends every visit with a care package of cinnamon rolls, somehow still warm yet you never saw her turn on the oven.
We all have a food pusher in our lives. They love us but don’t understand us. For them, food is the ultimate expression of love. For us it’s fuel, nothing more and nothing less.
This conflict is never as pronounced as it is during this festive time of year. Not only is food love, it’s tradition. It’s a gift. And it’s not easy to say no to a gift.
But to stay true to who we are and to keep our hard-earned fitness we have to learn to say no. You need to have a holiday defense strategy that includes ways to say no politely but firmly. Here are my top 5 ways to say no to food:
No, thank you. Simple and quick. No need for a detailed reason on why you refuse cake, just move on to the next topic of conversation. (more…)
Let me start this post with a disclaimer:
I am not perfect.
I am, however, a professional. I take what I do, as a personal trainer, very seriously. If someone has trusted you with his or her health, fitness and general well being you absolutely should take it seriously.
The problem is many personal trainers do not.
I can’t speak for every gym, but I know the big gyms where I live don’t treat or pay trainers well. When you’re not treated well it doesn’t translate to the best experience for your client. Or many personal trainers are training while they learn to be something else. This isn’t a bad thing, however, it can affect the trainer’s focus. And then there are athletes and body builders who train to support their sport, using their training techniques on clients who have very different goals.
If you’re currently working with a personal trainer, or are considering working with one, here are the things you need to know that a personal trainer SHOULDN’T be doing. (more…)
When I first started as a personal trainer I didn’t have a studio. I worked in my clients’ homes. I had many clients with rather impressive selections of exercise equipment. However, they needed me to hold them accountable to actually use the equipment.
Others had nothing. I brought with me any tools we might need. I quickly learned how to design programs using body weight, bands and other simple pieces of equipment. One of my favorites was the medicine ball.
A medicine ball can be used in many exercises like a dumbbell, but also provides a new level of versatility because of their shape and their ability to be thrown or bounced. You can use them for strength or cardio. Check out my favorite medicine ball exercises to see what I mean. (more…)