I was excited about Jenn’s session on this night, because I still so proud of her for wanting to make this such a public journey. She was even MORE excited, which blew me away. Since I started training her, she has always been consistent and worked her ass off in our sessions. I know I definitely pushed her. But like most trainers, we can only know and really control what happens during those hours a week we are training our clients. When they are not with us, who knows that they are up to. I knew from conversations that Jenn was half assing it when we weren’t together. I say this not in a mean way, because Jenn knows I think she’s great and I truly love training her.

I have been doing this a long time, and I know who is half assing it when I am not around and who isn’t. I can tell just by LOOKING at you. If someone isn’t eating right( and that doesn’t mean just avoiding junk, but actually EATING when they are supposed to instead of skipping meals) if someone isn’t drinking enough water, if someone isn’t doing their cardio sessions like I suggest. I know. And here’s why I love Jenn so much, she is honest and admits it. She would admit she didn’t sleep, skipped meals, and only did cardio 2 times instead of say, 4.  Her job is super demanding, I respect that and understand it. But until recently, she never was ready to really make the time she needed to to balance everything in her life and achieve her weight loss goals. She was halfway there, but something inside her clicked and made her walk in on that Saturday am and request we do this. I can’t speak for Jenn so I can’t say what it was, but I will encourage her to post and answer that because even I want to know.

That being said, her big cheese grin while we were taking her measurements still makes me laugh. I never heard someone so happy to hear the things I am going to post. But her reaction was the right one. She was happy because she saw where she was starting and happy because she knew this was the LAST TIME in her life these numbers would belong to her. They would become a thing of the past that she looked back on and laughed at because she changed them all. Here we go:

Jenn S.



Weight: 199 lbs

Blood pressure: 123/89

Body fat %: 37.3

Fat Mass: 74 lbs

Lean body Mass: 125

Chest: 43.5 in.

Arm: 14 in

Waist; 37.25 in

Abdomen:  41.5 in

Hips: 48 in

Thigh: 27 in.

Our goals, aside from overall weight loss, is to also get her blood pressure down ( it is only slightly high and correctable with exercise) and to get her sleeping at night.

The Plan:

We meet 3 times a week. For the first few weeks our big concentration is to keep her heart rate up during our sessions and maximize her caloric expenditure. To do this, we will be incorporating a lot of multi- joint movements and movements focusing on larger muscle groups. ( think lots of squats, lots of push ups, etc). Squats (every type) are far and away my favorite exercise and any one of my clients will tell you that. 🙂 I also want Jenn doing cardio 5 days a week, twice a day. That means DOUBLE SESSIONS. I know some may read this and think its too much. First, this is only for the first few weeks. I want to jump start her metabolism and give it as much help as possible to be burning as much as possible. Second, this is her little version of boot camp. I want to see that her heart and mind is in this. I want her to show her dedication and learn that a little hard work and ass kicking will get her amazing results. She’s a tough girl, she can do this and is doing it.

As for her nutrition, Jenn is following a food combining plan which has her eating her protein, carbs, and high starch foods separately from each other but any of them can be eaten with low starch foods. She can have fruit, though only one type at a sitting. She can also eat nuts, also by themselves. She is eating 5-6 times a day, every 3 hrs.

It’s been one week today since we started, and not only is she working her usual crazy schedule, but she is moving on Thursday. I will see if she can post from work and let us know how she is doing with everything.




I mentioned in another word that I hate the word diet. everything about that word, to me, has such a temporary sound to it. Like people will go on a quick “diet” to drop whatever amount of weight they are looking to shed and once they do, they go back to the same eating habits that made them gain that weight to begin with.

The longer I have been in this industry, the more fad diets I have seen gain and lose, and sometimes regain, popularity. And the reason the majority of them don’t work is usually the same: they do not realistic fit into a persons lifestyle longterm. Don’t get me wrong, some are just complete crap and bs ( and that can be another post). Yet some do work. So one of the most common questions people ask, is how should they be eating?

The answer is really to find what works for you. I know there are a lot of philosophies out there, and to most people it’s too much to sift through to find your holy grail. But here are a couple tips that can help you find what works for you:

1- Keep  food diary for at least a week. Write down not just what you are eating or when you are eating it, but make little notes about how you felt within a half hour to an hour after eating. Pay attention to if your stomach was at all uneasy or if you were gassy, or even if you felt more or less energetic. Also, try to make notice to your mood; if you polished off a bag of chips ahoy and it happened to be a rainy Sunday where you were stuck inside and bored, write that down. That right there is a huge indication of your eating habits.

2- Make sure you are not missing any nutrients. Despite what some diets may try to push, we all need carbs, protein, and fat as well as a water, vitamins, and minerals. If you have specific food requirements or needs for health, religious, or personal reasons, speak to your Doctor or consult a nutritionist for alternatives to ensure you are receiving the nutrients you need.

3- Know your surroundings. Many of us spend the majority of our time at work. Look online to see what food options you have around your job so you know in advance where the healthier choices are. Most times, we make bad food decisions when we are rushed for time and beyond the point of hungry. That’s when we grab the quick, easy, and usually portable foods that are anything BUT a smart choice.

4- Do not skip a meal. Whatever food plan you are following, your metabolism will slow down if you are skipping meals frequently. Remember this?You will also never have a true understanding of something is working for you if you are not actually eating, now will you? On the flip, if you find that you are often skipping meals because of preparation issues, then that in itself is a sign that whatever food choices you are making does not fit into your lifestyle and ultimately this “diet” will fail.

Those are just a few quick pointers to help guide you towards finding out what works for you. As always, if you are unsure about something or feel that you need more guidance, consult a professional. Speak to your doctor, nutritionist, or a certified personal trainer who is well versed in nutrition. Whatever you do choose, make sure it is something that becomes part of your lifestyle and is overall a way of eating that you truly believe in. You want your long term relationship with food to change and be a healthier one. 🙂



I didn’t forget to post about Jenn’s measurements or my plan for her. In truth, the picture I thought I took of her that day was nowhere to be found on the camera when I looked for it. So, in short, I basically made her stand there and pose for no reason whatsoever.

I will post her measurements tonight ( I PROMISE) as well as a look into the programming i did for her for the first few weeks and her diet (I HATE that word,so when I say “diet” please know I am referring to a persons overall relationship with food from this point forward. It is something that should become a permanent part of their lifestyle, not just a temporary plan).

I know I haven’t posted in a few days, my schedules been a little hectic and I think the summer has finally caught up with me making me want to have lazy moments when I’d usually fill the time working. Anyway, on a rainy day like today, where my last client is basically trapped in the gym until the rain lets up ( she walked here) I figured I would post some of the gym “must haves” that can make those long work outs seem a little shorter.

– I already posted about my love for the Polar F11 Activity Watch. Well, it grows by the day. I will actually pay more attention to my caloric expenditure then the time I am training, which before I know it, 2 hrs have passed and I wasn’t focused on a single minute of counting down when I am finally done.

– Apple iPod Touch. I never really wanted an iPhone. I am strictly a verizon wireless/ blackberry person now. So getting the iPod Touch gave me all the things I thought sounded cool about the iPhone yet wouldn’t ever switch to AT&T to have. I have already installed several applications, my favorite right now being  Pandora Radio.In addition to being an iPod, I can also update my blog from the Touch and get my email. I LOVE it!

– Glaceau Smart Water. According to the company:  Smartwater is developed through a simulation of the hydrologic cycle, the process by which all fresh water in nature is developed. It is evaporated, molecularly separated and then condensed through vapor distillation, which removes what you don’t want dissolved solids, heavy inorganic minerals and other elements typically found in spring water. This results in the purest form of water. It’s so pure you can actually taste the difference. But we don’t stop there. We then team up with mother nature by adding a purposeful combination of natural electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and potassium) for faster hydration. Hydration you can feel. It is this unique combination of vapor distillation + electrolytes that results in a water that works harder for you, making it the smart choice. hydro= water and logic= smart. And hence, Smartwater (pretty clever, huh?). I for one definitely feel the difference when I drink Smartwater vs other bottled water.

Call me crazy, dispute it if you want, but I am a fan.

– Nike Shox. I am strictly a Nike wearer, and Shox are far and away my favorite. I have high arches, so the fit is perfect for me and being on my feet all day, these have been the most comfortable kicks I have worn. Plus, knowing I can go onto nikeid.com and make some outlandish looking pairs makes my monotonous all black work ensemble a little more fun.

_ Dentyne Cool Lime gum. I probably have 4 packs in my bag right now, between other trainers at work asking for gum and myself going through so much of it a day. Of course, I am talking to people all day so I have to have nice breath. 🙂 When I am doing a long cardio session though, I actually prefer to have gum for some odd reason. Maybe there’s some explanation for this. Maybe when I am chewing I am actually chewing to whatever cadence I am running/spinning, stepping to. Who knows. But this flavor replaced my previous love for Orbit Mojito Mint which still remains in my gum flavor rotation along with Spearmint. Yes, I put this much thought into my gum. At least you know I won’t have bad breath when you talk to me.

What are some of your gym”must haves”?

Let me preface this by saying I do respect the medical profession. I have clients that are doctors, and we have some great conversations about the human body and how it works. That being said, doctors are very rarely paid to think. They are , however, paid to follow protocal. And unfortunately, they are also very much controlled by insurance companies and policies. That being said…


One of my clients came to me with a knee issue. Her knee commonly “buckles out” from underneath her while she is walking down the stairs or sometimes just walking in general. She went to her orthopedist and he told her that she needs to strengthen the muscles around her knee and to stay away from things like squats. He also recommeded she walk on the treadmill as opposed to doing a recumbent bike for cardio.


Let me start with the first glaringly, painfully, annoying thing he told her: DO NOT DO SQUATS

I am sure many people who have had knee injuries have been told by a doctor not to do a squat or to avoid squatting. So you read that advice above and thought” Sounds right”. WRONG! Let me ask you a simple question, how do you sit on the toilet? How do you sit in a chair? In most peoples situations, both of those things are LOWER than your average squat.

You are squatting throughout the day. For a doctor to recommend you not to squat in your training is not only impractical, but unrealistic. Squats are one of the best overall leg exercises. Nevermind the amount of calories you are burning from performing it, but you are also improving strength, balance, coordination, and muscle stabilty by doing so.


Let’s now move to the second word of advice, for my client to use the treadmill instead of the recumbent bike. This is an individual who has such instabilty in her leg, that while walking, she has had her knee buckle out. That happening on a sidewalk, or the ground, which itself is not moving. When a person is walking or running on a treadmill, they are not actually walking or running. You are walking or jogging in place, while the belt beneath you is moving. A couple of things:

1: Your gait , whether walking or running, is not proper while on the treadmill. You are limited to the size and width of the belt and platform of the machine. If a person is walking or running outside, they have more freedom and movement in their gait, often a slightly wider one than occurs on the machine.

2: While the impact on the treadmill is less than what one would encounter outside, the pace is usually slightly faster. Again, because the machine is dictacting the pace whereas if you were running or walking outside for the same amount of time, your pace would naturally vary faster and slower.

I am not discounting the treadmill as a means of exercise overall. I am greatly disputing the advice my client received from their doctor. I am also suggesting they get a second opinion. I have told her to seek out someone who practices Sports Medicine. You want someone who is currently in the trenches,so to speak, versus someone who merely did some work in sports medicine a couple years ago to receive the designation.

I know knee injuries are very common, so I hope this helps some of you out there who may have a similar issue. As always, if there is somethinn you have a question about, please feel free to email me!




How many of you stretch as often as you need to? I can tell you just from a select amount of people that I know, not often enough.  Most people spend a considerable amount of time in front of a computer nowadays, whether it be at work, school, or at home. Also add in the time many people spend sitting in general, and it’s no wonder I hear some  many people complain about lower back pain and tight hamstrings ( which, one directly is responsible for the other). Aside from the daily need to stretch, those work outs are only giving you MORE of a need for it.

Your muscles are like a rubber band. If you pull a rubber band back too far, what happens? It breaks. If you pull it back just to the right point, then release it..it snaps hard. Sam concept with your muscles. If you OVER STRETCH a muscle, it becomes , sprained, or torn. If, however, you give it just the right amount of stretching, it will increase the muscles strength and power much like that release and snap in the rubber band. I have listed some other benefits and info on stretching:

Benefits of stretching

Regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program.

  • Stretching increases flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring.
  • Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls — especially as you age.
  • Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
  • Stretching promotes better posture. Frequent stretching keeps your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture and minimize aches and pains.
  • Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
  • Stretching may help prevent injury. Preparing your muscles and joints for activity can protect you from injury, especially if your muscles or joints are tight.

Stretching essentials

Ready, set, stretch!

  • Target major muscle groups. When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play.
  • Warm up first. Stretching muscles when they’re cold increases your risk of injury, including pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching.

    One caveat: If you plan to stretch only after your workout, increase the intensity of the activity more slowly than you would if you had stretched your muscles before exercising.

  • Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. That can seem like a long time, so keep an eye on the clock or your watch. Then repeat the stretch on the other side. For most muscle groups, a single stretch is often enough if you hold it long enough.
  • Don’t bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further — making you less flexible and more prone to pain.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching. If it hurts, you’ve gone too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Relax and breathe freely. Don’t hold your breath while you’re stretching.

Now that you understand how and why to stretch, I will be posting selected stretched for you to do yourself at home. I also highly highly recommend you book at deep tissue or sports massage as often as your budget allows. Also, most reputable health clubs sell what’s called a “Stretch Session”, usually it is 30-45 minutes of you being stretched out by a trainer. Just be sure this trainer has received either a stretch certification or enough training in stretching someone out to perform this on you.

– Cher


Client Profile


I have somewhat of a captive audience with this blog when it comes to my clients. Like pretty much everything else with them, I don’t so much give them a choice if they do or don’t want to do something, but really as to when they are going to do it. So reading this, falls into one of those” WHEN you do” as opposed to if you do.

Since i have launched this and subsequently hounded people to read it, I have actually gotten AMAZING feedback from people. One such was at 10am yesterday morning.

My client Jenn, an admitted insomniac who manages to pull it together twice a week for our 6:30am sessions as well as 10:00 am on Saturdays, met me for our session and went right into it,” I have an idea for your blog.” Ok, I am all ears… let’s have it girl……

She then proceeds to tell me how great it would be to retake her measurements, take before pictures, tell her exactly what to eat and do for the times when she isn’t with me and to track it all on this blog. I love the idea of client profiles and tracking on fitness websites. I think it’s amazing for people to put themselves out there like that. Further more, it can benefit so many other people it countless ways. I would never ask anyone to do that because I feel like that is such a personal decision. To have someone come up to me and request it though…. show me just how serious and determined Jenn is. I not only applaud her for wanting to do this, but am so eager to see the story unfold as we write it. Even more so, am so thankful that she is doing this! :

Tuesday am we are starting it… so check between Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening for posts.