Monday, May 5, 2014


Initially I began strength training to get out of pain. Before learning to strength train all I ever did was run and I ran a lot.  My quads did all the work and eventually my knees just couldn't take it anymore. Learning to strengthen my glutes and posterior chain with single single leg exercises like step ups, single leg deadlifts and lunging variations eventually allowed me to run again. Bottom line: getting stronger fixes everything.

Now that I was no longer in pain I realized what lifting was doing for my body aesthetically.  I no longer had a pancake ass and I could see new muscles in my back. I had curves for the first time in my life! I had never seen results like this with running or traditional cardio. Eventually I explored the big lifts i.e. squats, bench + deadlift and the results kept coming. The heavy lifting got my core even stronger than before and my body kept on changing for the better.  I was exercising less than I ever had previously believed could yield such amazing results.

The strength I have gained has made my day to day life easier.  I no longer need multiple trips when I go grocery shopping (can we say farmers carries),  moving furniture is easier, I can put my suitcase in the overhead compartment with ease and sprint to catch the train without feeling like I'm about to die!

Ok so strength training can keep you out of pain, it can shape your body like you never thought possible AND make your day to day life easier! Are you sold on getting stronger yet?

I have one more benefit for you and in my opinion it far outweighs all the rest.  The best possible reason to start strength training is the fact that it genuinely makes life better.  All the things that make life amazing, the adventures and explorations are all more accessible. Whether its surfing, stand up paddleboarding, hiking, sprinting with your dog or snowboarding. The more you can get out there and enjoy life the better I promise!

Friday, May 2, 2014


Your warmup is the most important part of your workout - when done right it activates the central nervous system, getting your your muscles ready for what's to come and, ultimately, prevents injury.

The best kind of warmup is sequenced and performed dynamically.

Here is a basic warmup sequence that I recommend to undo habitual patterning in the body (sitting, sleeping, hunching ) and to elevate the heart-rate. Think of it as peeling back the layers + getting your body warm so you can access your core and glutes... which goes a long way in helping you move better.

After foam rolling your tight areas...
Give this sequence a go before your next workout:

Want to get your heart rate up just a bit more? Give this 3 min total body kettlebell circuit a go to feel connected and ready to lift! Just set your timer for 25 seconds work and 5 seconds rest and get going.

Give it a try this weekend and let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The BEST Kettlebell Exercise!

Everything we do we must undo! This includes the ridiculous amount of sitting we do on a daily basis. As a personal trainer, thoracic and shoulder mobility are high on my list of issues to address within my clients' training sessions.

By simply addressing these issues posture is better, pain can be eliminated, and strength increases due to improved biomechanics.

Give the kettlebell arm bar a try this week within your warmup or as active rest during your strength session!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Food versus Exercise

Which will provide the most benefit first: 
Changing how you eat or increasing the number of times you exercise?
HINT: It's NOT exercise!

Think about it... 
The average person eats MORE THAN 3 TIMES A DAY.
That's at least 21 chances you have to change the way your body feels each week.
You can ALSO get AMAZING results by simply strength training 3 TIMES A WEEK.

But 3 vs. 21.
Therefore what you are eating is FAR more important than what you are doing for exercise.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

The problem is you are overanalyzing all the diets that worked for so and so instead of LEARNING TO FEEL what works for YOU. 
I have heard all the excuses in the book. 
I hate to cook. I'm not hungry. I'm single and cooking for one is a pain in the ass.

If you learn "which foods represent which macronutrients" the excuses disappear.

For the most part our  food choices can be broken down into 3 main categories

I want to you eating something from each category with each meal you consume. 
Make it a game... think PLUG AND PLAY. 

Whether that means you are doing some food preparation at home or you are eating on the run 
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND which foods represent which macronutrients in different situations. You can either be prepared or you can have faith in your ability to make the right educated decision if you yourself unprepared. 

These are the following sources of PROTEIN currently in my fridge, and ready to go.

Chicken sausage, whole eggs, tuna, grass fed beef, greek yogurt, egg whites, cottage cheese, + sun warrior protein powder.

Moving along to FAT
Avocados, dry roasted unsalted almonds, cashew butter, coconut oil, flax meal, olive oil.

broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes, kale, healthy 8 mix, plantain chips, grapefruit, bananas, wild frozen fruit, brown rice bread, quest bars, sweet potatoes, + white rice.

As you can see the MAJORITY are real whole foods.  I adhere to the 80/20 rule. I practice eating "real food" 80% of the time and save room for my favorite "cheats" 20% of the time.  

What are examples of meals and snacks YOU love that follow this macronutrient PLUG and PLAY rule?

What are your favorite 20% foods?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's not WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it

I love the basics... because they work!
With the use of effective cues and techniques the basics can give you more results than you ever thought possible.

Mountain climbers are used in every bootcamp and DVD you have ever seen. This is because they are a great bodyweight conditioning drill that hit the core and upper body with little to no equipment. 

The problem with mountain climbers is the fact that most peoples' asses are bouncing up in the air, hips are swaying and the exercise becomes a shoulder blaster more than anything else.

Here are 2 easy ways Stacey Schaedler Strength has changed up the mountain climber to give you more bang for your buck.  Progression 2 promises to make your core nice and sore tomorrow ;)

Progression 1- All you really need are rags on a smooth surface/ plastic plates on a rug; valsides or a slideboard.  
                                                       (Note: perform one side at a time i.e. 15 left side followed by 15 right side.)

Progression 2- A variety of different bands work well here and can be attached beneath a bench, door frame or squat rack.
                                                    (Note: wrists and shoulders in a line. Contract straight leg glute to extend the hip as you                                                      flex opposite knee into chest. Perform one side for 15 reps and then 15 on the other side.)

Give these a shot and let me know how it goes! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Squat Prep

I like squats because they work my entire body. However, sometimes when I do them, they just don't feel as good as I know they can.

Here are 4 exercises that I've sequenced (in a specific order) to make my squats feel better. They help me engage the right muscles, ultimately making me stronger and allowing me to get into the proper position!

(This can work for body weight squats, goblet squats, or barbell back squats.)

1. Release the glutes with this.

2. Release the calves and increase ankle mobility with this.
for those of you who love Tater and want to laugh watch THIS blooper video.

3. Increase thoracic mobility and warm-up the legs with these.

4. Tie it all together with your core and upper back with these!

As always let me know if you have any questions :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Steer clear of the bullshit to get a better booty

These days there are all sorts of "squat challenges" and high repetition bodyweight programming promising to "tone and sculpt" DAT ASS.  Don't believe everything you hear! Many of these ads and challenges aren't based on FACTS. Not only are a great set of glutes easy on the eyes, did you know it can also increase performance and prevent low back pain?!
photo courtesy of Jay Sullivan

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