Lifting Weights For Women

When I tell people about my workout scheme, most women have a negative comment about the weight lifting part. Something about not wanting to look like the Incredible Hulk in a bikini….just trying to picture that gives me the creeps. Trust me, I totally understand that no girl ever wants to look like the incredible hulk, least of all me. Trust me again when I say the choice of whether or not to lift weights isn’t a choice between bat wings and incredible hulk arms. There is a solid middle ground that means toned, beautiful arms as well as a healthy cardiovascular system and happy body. If for some reason you want incredible hulk arms, I hear steroids are the way to go.

With this weight lifting dilemma in mind, I found this interesting tidbit by Chalene Johnson (posted on her FaceBook like page this month), in one of the fitness groups I am a part of:

“How often? As little as 1x per week (lifting heavy) was shown to make a noticeable difference in body composition! With 3x a week, results were SIGNIFICANT!

Trying to lose weight and and reduce body fat-then lifting weights or body weight training may be your missing piece!

In a recent study, 10 weeks of strength training was shown to increase resting metabolic rate by 7 percent, and an average of 4 more pounds of fat loss in those who strength train 3x per week vs those who solely did cardio.

So if your goal is to get lean-you need to lift  it may be time to ditch the treadmill , and say hello to weights,”

Some BeachBody workouts that are great for reducing bat wings and building a little bit of muscle are: Chalene Extreme, Body Beast (yes, even women are doing this workout), P90X, P90X2, P90X3, and the newest BeachBody workout that was released in December Hammer and Chisel.

I am currently using Insanity: Max 30 workout, and have also completed cycles of P90X/3, while also using Body Beast: Lucky 7 and my arms aren’t ripping out of even my tightest shirts (even when I get REALLY MAD).

These are my arm results back in January/Febraury 2013 while doing TurboFire and adding in Body Beast-Lucky 7 once a week.

The other, long term advantage of including weight lifting in a workout (especially as we get older) is fighting osteoporosis. The best way to fight osteoporosis is to be proactive (don’t wait until bones start breaking) and participate in regular weight bearing activity. Unless you are really good at hand stands, activities like lifting weights or yoga are the best way I know of to provide weight bearing activity for arms.

If anybody has any questions about lifting weights as part of an overall body workout, I would be happy to answer them!


Welcome 2016

It’s that time of year again where the Christmas tree and decorations come down, weight loss goals come into play and the gym is full of people wanting to lose weight for their New Years resolutions. Welcome 2016! Yes, I’m sounding cliche, but what can I say, it’s true about the beginning of the year.

I know how it goes, I’ve been there with the best of intentions, blowing dust off of long unused gym memberships, treadmills (even workout DVDs), eyes bright with resolutions and hope for the new year. Those extra few pounds didn’t stand a chance this year!

Then life steps in (or is it just the end of January that signals the end of motivation), and, like the Swallows leaving Capistrano, the gym empties….at least that’s how it looks when I would drive by, promising to go again tomorrow.

The last couple years I have been able to keep motivated through January, and I think it is mostly because I can work out at home when it is convenient and takes way less time than going to the gym.

So, if that list of standard cliches isn’t motivation enough, I will share my resolution with all my loyal readers in hopes that it will motivate me… It looks a lot like last year; workout regularly, but also make each workout count! No point in wasting time doing a half assed workout!

What are your New Year’s resolutions/goals for 2016?


It’s been a while since I’ve posted and wanted to give y’all an update on my current workout and healthy eating scheme….

First, I have been trying to be extra diligent about eating well, because everybody knows that this is the time of year where, held gallantly held in check for 11 months, temptation rears its fat head, and those pesky lbs can sneak up and stick in all the wrong places. My main goal to counter this well-publicized phenomenon has been to avoid having sweets (or other empty calorie goodness) around where I can just grab one or two as I walk by. This seems to be cutting down on the temptation, as well as the unwanted aftermath.

Our Thanksgiving was a certain victory over temptation, even though we had two separate family Thanksgiving dinners (on different days of course). First, a big thanks to my brother in law Tom for suggesting and preparing a fantastic middle eastern feast! I don’t actually remember the names of the delicious courses, but there was cardamom rice, lamb tart, squash something-or-other, and pumpkin pie. All the credit for the second round of Thanksgiving goes to my sister Page, who prepared two different wonderful soups and all the extra goodies to go with it. I’m not sure how I didn’t overeat since both meals were fantastic, but somehow I managed to end up feeling satisfied without bursting.

Thanksgiving is sort of a warm up for the indulgence that is December. With shortbread cookies and See’s candy lurking, I have been staying strong for the most part, so far…..

As for my workouts…I have been mixing up the sweating between bouts of PiYo, the HIIT workouts from TurboFire, P90X3, Body Beast Lucky 7 and especially chasing around a toddler (is there such thing as a runn-ler? She isn’t toddling as much as running). That counts right?

Not that anybody asked, but my second piece of advice is to practice moderation in the face of overindulgence (that See’s candy isn’t going to eat itself, plus everybody else is doing it!), and have that occasional sweet to cut down on the craving and hopefully avoid the shame that comes with an empty shortbread cookie tin and nobody to blame it on but the dog.

How are you staying healthy this time of year?

BeachBody on Demand

It happens to the best of us, just dont feel up to doing same workout from the same DVD. Probably tomorrow I will be back in the groove, but this morning I decided to try out one of Beachbody’s new workouts I have been reading about called Master’s Hammer and Chisel. But h
ow am I going to do that you ask? It wont be available until December you say…I say quit living in the past and check out Beachbody’s new streaming service-BeachBody on Demand (BOD)! Just in case you skipped my last post, BOD is a great perk available to anybody who opts to save money by buying a challenge pack!

I think of BOD like my most favorite 21st invention: Netflix, except for workouts. It’s great because it allows me to try out different workouts without any waiting or commitment required. Just be quick because Hammer and Chisel is only available for a limited time.

Two workouts are available-Iso Speed Hammer (taught by Sagi Kalev, known for Body Beast) and Total Body Chisel (taught by Autumn Calbrese, known for 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme). After trying it, I think Hammer and Chisel will live up to its name and be an amazing program. It is more intense than P90X/X3, and it is certainly enjoyable in a massochistic, slightly twisted way.

I’m also excited about BOD so I can try other workouts like Body Beast, Asylum, Tony Horton’s One on One, Turbo Jam by Chalene Johnson, even one of Tony’s newer workouts P90. So many variations, so little time. Of course I will still use my DVDs, but plan on streaming the workouts I don’t have, especially when a one day change up is what I need to add some pep to my workout.


Other workouts available by the trainers.

Other workouts available by the trainers.

Where I set up my BOD workouts.

Where I set up my BOD workouts.

CIZE Review

Believe me when I say I cannot dance. I’m not talking about slow dancing where you just shuffle your feet, but actual dancing to music with tempo and beat. You know, the kind where it is really easy to make a fool of yourself….The times in my life when I gave into peer pressure and forced onto the dance floor (weddings, going out with friends etc) have been some of the most uncomfortable of my life. I am sure nobody notices or cares that I look like an complete spaz, but I have always wanted to improve my dancing skills.
Wondering what my point is? Well, there’s a new dance workout called CIZE that makes dancing into a workout. CIZE is by Shaun T (creator of Insanity, Insanity: Max 30, Hip Hop Abs, Asylum Volume 1 and 2 and T25). It’s a choreographed dance workout and Shaun walks through the moves and then the dance is performed at the end to popular songs by Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Missy Elliot to name a few.
It starts with simple moves; practice those a few times then Shaun will add another move, until even I can perform the whole dance at the end. Concentrating on the moves makes the workout pass quickly, and takes my mind off of the burn, but believe me when I say this is a top notch workout and I feel spent when the session is over.


One of the things I love about this workout is that it’s done in the privacy of my living room, with only the baby for an audience. I’m not sure if it is a good thing that my 2-year old thinks my dance moves are funny, but I am sure she will change her mind when I start showing up at her school dances and busting a move. I can go at my own pace and rewind and do the moves again if I want too. I’m still not the best dancer, but this has made me feel a little more comfortable when it comes to dancing. Just don’t hold your breath for me to post my dance video to social media….


What is a Challenge Pack?

I don’t think anybody would deny that BeachBody workouts and Shakeology are an extremely important part of a healthy lifestyle, especially for busy people who need to wedge workouts and healthy eating into a packed schedule. I have been a coach for a while, and want to guess what the number reason most people don’t want to at least try BeachBody? The COST!! (and this isn’t even close, the next highest reason for not wanting to try a BeachBody product is something about a government conspiracy…).
So, with that in mind, I thought I would share a great way to save on initial costs of starting BeachBody as well as monthly costs: a “challenge pack” (cue trumpets!). A challenge pack comes with the workout of your choice, Shakeology (your choice of flavor(s) and packets/bag (how many packets???? One months worth), 30 day trial for the team BeachBody club membership (Club membership-receive 10% discount, meal plans, VIP access, coach guidance, super gym, and message boards), a coach to support you on your journey and a 30 day trial to BOD-BeachBody on Demand. The best part about that long list is the on Demand part, which means workouts are streamed (no need to haul around a DVD player and TV), and it lets you try out new workouts while on the go with your mobile device. Think of it as having a Netflix membership, except no regrets for binge watching, or funny looks from your significant other for pre-watching.

Here is the cost breakdown to get PiYo (my personal most favorite workout) and one month of shakeology:
– no challenge pack: PiYo for $59.85 plus shakeology for $130. Total is $189.85, plus round up to $200 including shipping/tax.
– with challenge pack: total is $160 which includes all the great perks listed above, including PiYo.
Total savings = $40, plus the 10% discount if you decide to buy another month of Shakeology while you are at it.

Breaking it down, a challenge pack is the way to go instead of buying the items separately! Unless you are still convinced that challenge packs are a government conspiracy…..



Barefoot Workouts

Every time I start a new workout program, the trainers always mention what type of shoe to wear, usually a cross trainer due to a lot of lateral movement. Personally, I don’t wear shoes for a number of reasons:
– we inside workout types dont have to show off our $200 sneakers to our gym buddies.
– among all the random stuff on our living room floor I’m pretty confident there are no sharp rocks or thorns waiting to injure my feet
– tying shoes is tough first thing in the morning
– studies have shown the benefits of walking (or running) barefoot to be substantial for both strengthening foot and leg muscles and injury prevention. I figured that has to do with any workout, right?

My feelings towards shoes have changed as I got more into home workouts – as new, impressionable P90x user I wore shoes (mainly the plyo workout) because I always do what I’m told, but when I started Insanity: Max 30, I went without and never missed them!

I was out and about one day and saw some guy wearing those Vibram 5 finger shoes in the grocery store (not even Walmart!), and while they may be ergonomic, they looked so odd to me I don’t know why anyone would want to wear them for a workout let alone, around town.
There are many websites out there that discuss this topic. Pros and cons to wearing shoes during a workout, why it’s good for your feet etc. but I will let you make your own decision about wearing shoes or going barefoot during a workout.

Do you prefer to workout with shoes or no shoes?