Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Race against yourself....

This is the workout I did with my client this morning....(after our warm-up and core work)

25 Kettle Bell swings
20 Bridges
15 Step-ups (each leg)
10 squat jumps
5 hill sprints (used my front lawn...only takes about 10 seconds to sprint to the top)

We set the stopwatch and recorded her time for round 1.  This was our base time....the goal was to be quicker on the following rounds (while keeping good form).  Beating the clock was great motivation to push harder even when she wanted to quit!  I was so very impressed!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Relay Triathlon

So today I completed an Olympic distance triathlon as part of a relay team.  I have wanted to do this longer triathlon(1 mile swim, 20+mile bike, 10K run) for about a year and almost signed up ....but then decided I didn't have time to train properly and it would be good to try it as a team first.  I volunteered to do the swim, Noelia (my first ever client!) did the bike ride and our chiropractor Chantel Brooks did the run.  She had a baby 4 months ago and used this event as a motivator to get back in shape.

my team was the lady in red and black.  Carla did each event.  

When we woke up it was storming-lightning and rain....but thankfully it stopped and only caused a 1 hour delay.  I was nervous swimming in the river but it turned out to be better than a lake.  It was a narrow river and not a huge body of water like the lakes in my other triathlons.  And the river provided a nice current to help push you along.  1000m was downstream and then we had to finish the last 500m upstream....very tough.  As we were waiting to start I got in the water to warm up....that is when I realized just how strong the current was... Advantageous on the way down-problematic on the way up....but I finished.  And with a time of 32 minutes!  I was expecting 45-60 minutes so i was very pleased.  

 before the race.  i sure wish I had taken a picture of the river!  you can kinda see it behind us.  the man is John who takes my Pump class on Mondays at 5:15...and then that is Carla-who is a very strong athlete!  

After I came out of the water I passed the timing chip to Noelia and she took off on the bike for the 24 mile course.  She was nervous with the roads being wet but she averaged 17.4 mph....VERY impressive! It took her 1 hr. and 15 minutes.  Chantel also had a very impressive time with the 10K coming in 1:24!  I did feel like I cheated as I watched the other athletes complete each event....just inspired me more to do the whole thing next year!  If I had the money and time to train properly I would find one to do next month...but I really would like to do this one since I am kinda familiar with the course.  We all were inspired to do it next year.  

our "After" shot.  I really felt bad for Chantel and Noelia....they exercised for over an hour....mine was only 32 minutes...and I had help from the current!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Want to run?

A couple of months ago my new client indicated she wanted to try running.  In the past she has tried but didn't get far.  She would start out too fast and her legs would hurt for days afterwards.

My solution?  Start a run:walk program and go slow.  We are making great progress and no sore legs!

I looked at a couple of run:walk programs (see links below) but they weren't working for us so I created one to suit our needs.  We started with the ratio of 30:30 run:walk.  Each week we would tweak our times as we felt stronger.  We moved it up to 45:30 but decided this week we needed a little more walk time so we are going to see how  45:45 feels.  Our first 5K is this month and our only goal is to finish strong...which I know we can!  And our legs will feel great.

Here are some links to other run:walk programs.

Couch to 5K

Jeff Galloway training programs

Sore muscles?

Try foam rolling...

When I get sore muscles I usually stretch....isn't that what we have all done?  Well...sometimes stretching is not enough.  During my workout on Friday I did  some one-leg deadlifts with a heavy kettlebell and that evening I could feel the soreness kicking in.  I knew this weekend was going to be filled with some "ooowww" moments when I sat down or bent over.  I decided to start foam rolling that night before the soreness reached its peak.    I did about 10 minutes each night and it reduced the soreness by 75%.  I won't lie....foam rolling doesn't feel great...but the effects are worth the discomfort.  It is like a deep tissue massage.  Hurts so bad but afterwards feels so good.

Foam rolling has many benefits and I am trying to make it a regular part of my fitness routine...not just when i am sore!

Here is an article with many links to other excellent articles on this subject.

I Can Do This

Read this quote on this morning and had to share it.  

A new member started coming to my classes after the New Year.  She was going hard core and coming at 5:15am.  We all welcomed her.  She told us that she is usually good for 2 weeks and then she quits.  "Well you won't do that this time", we told her...we encouraged her every morning.  What I wish I had said was this:

"You must change your thoughts.  You have already allowed yourself to quit after 2 weeks.  If you want to change that cycle you must change your thoughts...create a new mantra.  You don't have to quit after 2 weeks."

Sure enough we didn't see her again after those 2 weeks.  I bet she loved the way she felt when she was working out.  I bet she hates seeing her bank account each month when $40 is deducted for the gym membership.  I bet she wishes she was still coming.

I have moments when I want to quit.  I struggle to get out of bed some mornings.  My mantra is "I can do this".  When the "i can't" messages start flooding my mind I replace them with "I Can Do This".  

And you can do it too.  Write down all the negative phrases that are keeping you from your goals/dreams and replace them with phrases that will push you forward.  Thoughts lead to action....let's make sure we are going in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spartan Race

Earlier I posted about having a goal.  Something you are training for.  Something to keep your routine changing so your body keeps progressing.  
 Back in November 2011 my client Noelia and I signed up for the Spartan Race.  This gave our workouts a focus.  I based our training on having to pull up, lift heavy objects, crawl, run uphill, etc.
Another benefit was getting our friends and family involved.  If you can get the whole family involved it helps keep you on track.
Here we are after the race....covered in mud and feeling exhilarated! We loved it so much we have already signed up for next year!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I love this article.  I love reading about women who lift VERY heavy (think 2x their body weight) and aren't bulky.  When I am not teaching extra classes I try to fit in a heavy lifting day once a week.  It was so exhilarating when I was able to deadlift made me want to lift more!  In a few days I will post other links where you can read about other women who lift heavy...and aren't bulky(gasp!)

I'm a Woman and I Love Powerlifting.

By Dana McMahan for
I spend four days per week in a gym; on days off, I pine to be there. I lift hundreds of pounds, sport smeary chalk prints on my sweat-soaked clothes and listen to cacophonous music at dangerously loud levels when I train. I attack large, bloody-rare steaks like a caveman. Am I a 275-pound shaved-headed dude with my bench total dangling as a charm from a gold chain around my thick neck?
Nope. I’m a 100-pound, 30-something female food writer who has fallen in love with powerlifting.

keep reading....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Core conditioning and Back pain

My family has a history of back pain....genetically speaking.  My dad and sister are disabled due to spinal it is always in the back of my mind(no pun intended).  I strive to keep my back 'healthy' with the exercises I choose and activities I pursue.

Lately I have been reading about strengthening the core region and found this article and video very educational.  I don't believe I will be doing anymore crunches with my clients!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I recently put some information on the bulletin board outside the group fitness room about different cardio options.  Every week I see the same people slaving away on the ellipticals...watching the calorie counter....feeling like the 'must' burn a certain amount of calories or their workout won't count.  Some people take Body Pump and then spend time on the elliptical.  Research has shown that although you will burn more calories overall doing the elliptical at a steady pace(steady state cardio)-  a shorter workout consisting of high intensity intervals will burn more calories AFTER the workout is over.   With our busy lives we don't have 60-90 minutes to spend in the why not maximize our time with some HIIT training!  Keep reading to find out more

Don’t have an hour for cardio?  Good!  
by Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT
When most people think of cardio, they think of long, boring jogs, or endless hours on the elliptical. I’ve got good news for you: there’s a method of cardio that takes much less time and is far superior to jogging to help you burn fat. It’s called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and this article will give you the basics so you can take your body to a new fitness level.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
High Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking for 60 seconds is high intensity interval training. HIIT can be used both anaerobically (in the gym with weights) and aerobically with cardio.
Why Is HIIT the Best Cardio to Burn Fat?
Exercise physiologists used to believe that “steady state” cardio was superior for fat loss because relatively more fat is used by the body as fuel at lower exercise intensities than at higher intensities. The “Fat Burning Zone” shown on most cardio equipment as only 60%-65% of max heart rate is really a myth and is NOT optimal for burning fat. Yes, you burn more fat relative to glycogen when going for a walk, but what we care about is total fat burn. At higher intensities, you are burning far more fat, even though the fat/glycogen ratio is lower. In addition, Interval training allows you to exercise at very high intensities for a much longer period of time than steady state, so you burn more fat.
As an added bonus, there’s also an afterburn effect known as EPOC (excess-post exercise oxygen consumption). You burn more calories for up to 24 hours after interval training, whereas going for a jog burns almost NO calories after.

Sample HIIT workout CARDIO
  1. Pick your work:rest ratio.  Beginner?  Start with a lower work time and a longer rest....20:60.  As you get stronger increase your work and decrease your rest. 30:45 
  2. Pick your exercise.  Elliptical, treadmill, bike, running, jump rope, box jumps,  jump squats, burpees,etc.
  3. Set your timer and GO!  Repeat for 6-10 cycles.  Beginner? start with 3-5 cycles.   
As you get stronger be sure to introduce changes into your routine to keep your body progressing.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What are you training for?

I think it is important to have goals in life.  Especially fitness goals.

Do you want to have more endurance in your everyday activities?  Pick up your children without straining?  Carry 3 bags of groceries in one hand and a gallon of milk in the other...all the way to your front door....without stopping?  Do you want to complete a race (5K, 10K, etc)?  Or an event like a triathlon?  Or squat your bodyweight?

I have noticed I need a goal.  I need something to train for. Something to keep me moving forward.  Something to keep my body guessing.

So what are your goals?  They can be as small as lifting heavier during one track of Body Pump. Or signing up for a race/event.  Or trying a new class.  Or striving to do a pull-up.  Keep them small and achievable.  Confidence will grow and so will your goals.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Welcome to my personal training blog.   I hope you find some information that will be helpful to you as you take your journey to a stronger you.

If you have any questions or would like to train with me please send me a message!

Always remember you are STRONGER than you think!

Mary Kate

Real women lift heavy weights...

Here are a couple of great articles on 
why women should lift heavy weights.....