Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I admire the hell out of this girl

Jess took part in her annual 3- Day Breast Cancer walk this past weekend!!!!!!!

Here is a little note she sent to all of us here at the gym :)

Thanks to all of you for your support for this year's 3-Day Breast Cancer walk!!! Enthusiasm, training and donations are what makes it a successful walk and I got all three from all three of you.

The weather was all over the place... raining all day on Friday, nice on Saturday and really really hot on Sunday. The rain wasn't so bad - I'll take a day of rain over three hot humid days anytime. Our final lunch on Day Three was in Stacey's neighborhood...Southie! That is when I first spied the walking Borats!! You'll see them in my photo set linked below. They are a perfect example of the people who walk and crew - great spirited people!!!

Overall there were appx. 1,600 walkers and over $4 million dollars were raised by walkers and crew!!!!!!!

Here is the whole set of photos if you want to see what three days of walking looks like ;P

Thank you again for all your support!!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You Walk Wrong
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • JULY 27, 2009

Organic Foods Get on Private-Label Wagon

As More Shoppers Pinch Pennies, Grocery Chains See 'Natural' Expansion of Store Brands


Organic farmers and grocery retailers are embracing the idea of lower-cost, private-label products to retain newly budget-conscious consumers.

Supervalu Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. food retailer by sales, expanded its Wild Harvest organic brand to 312 items, from 150 last spring. Safeway Inc., the third-largest U.S. food retailer , last fall began selling its organic food brands to other retailers.

Private-label organics have "broken some price barriers for shoppers, and everyone is price sensitive these days," said Mike Gilliland, chief executive of Newflower Market Inc., a natural-grocery chain based in Boulder, Colo., with 25 stores.

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organic foods

McFadden/Gavender Advertising

Sunflower Farmers Market, a chain operated by Newflower Market Inc., offers both organic and conventional private-label foods.

organic foods

organic foods

At a Newflower Market store in Tucson, Ariz., a 16 oz. jar of a name brand organic peanut butter costs $ 4.79 while the store's private label was $2.99, putting it in line with conventional peanut butter prices.

These store-brand goods accounted for 22.7% of organic food sales for the 52-weeks ended June 13, up from 13.6% for the same period in 2007, according to market tracker Nielsen Co. In all, private-label organic food sales rose 34% to $1.1 billion. In 2005, organic private-label sales totaled just $166 million, said Nielsen.

For years, the organic-foods segment logged annual sales gains of 20%-plus, but that growth has slowed. Sales of natural and organic grocery products rose 4.6%, to $18.3 billion, for the 52 weeks ended June 13 from a year earlier, according to SPINS Inc., a market researcher.

Slowing demand has pushed even reluctant name-branded organic food companies to offer private-label products. Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, which produces organic spices, teas and oils, began selling private-label products last year as retailer requests piled up.

"It's not an easy decision," said Clint Landis, chief marketing officer of the Norway, Iowa, co-operative. "We are competing with ourselves." But persistent demand by retailers such Sprouts Farmers Market LLC convinced the co-op to drop its reservations.

The lower prices afforded by private-label organics are helping grocers cater to more price-conscious shoppers. "When the economy started slowing, we noticed our (same-store) sales really picked up," said Shon Boney, CEO of Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, which has significantly expanded its store-brand offerings.

Mr. Boney said the closely held Southwest chain this year is posting high single-digit to low double-digit same-store-sales gains and plans to expand by 20 stores in the next 18 months. Private-label products now account for 12% of total sales, doubling in the past year.

While some people have cut back on organics, the growth is being fueled by shoppers such as Mari Nevar, a self-employed accountant in Boulder, Colo. Ms. Nevar and her family changed monthly cellphone plans, dropped premium cable channels and adjusted the thermostat to save money.

The lower prices afforded by private-label organics are helping grocers cater to more price-conscious shoppers.

"You can drive less, you can scale back on entertainment, lots of things," said Ms. Nevar, 42 years old, who estimates the monthly food bill for her family of four reaches $1,200. "But why would anyone, unless in absolute desperation, scale down on what you consume every day to fuel yourself?"

Deflation for conventional dairy products is undercutting retailers' efforts to reduce organic prices. Loretta Jaus, an organic dairy farmer from Gibbon, Minn., wanted to add livestock to have her son join the family farm. But with falling prices on conventional milk, she put the plan on hold.

This month, a half gallon of reduced fat 2% organic milk costs $3.78, compared to $2.96 for a gallon of conventional milk, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A year ago, prices were within six cents of each other.

"Now is not a good time," said Ms. Jaus, whose 70-cow farm is a member of the Organic Valley Family of Farms co-operative. The co-op has instructed her recently to reduce her milk supply by 7%.

Whole Foods Market Inc., a pioneer in private-label organic foods, is also feeling the price heat. The Austin, Texas, grocer, whose $8 billion in annual sales represents more than a third of the organic industry, has posted consecutive quarters of declining same-store sales and flat overall sales in its latest quarter.

Save $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

IF you are already motivated and want to change things up, come check us out. Semi-private training is definitely the way to go!

Thx JFinn :)

Monday, July 27, 2009


Thanks to all who came and showed their support!

Saturday it was confirmed that we have created a community here at the studio :) It was awesome to see our clients, puppies and babies running around!

The Prana Café Sneak Preview Event

Remember RAWBERT'S?

Well Newton, is finally getting it's own Raw Food Cafe :))))

A few of us from the studio are going next Sunday night August 9th! The more the merrier!!

The Prana Café Sneak Preview Event

with Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes-Monarch

Join us for a greatly anticipated evening of good friends and good food in Newton Corner.

Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes-Monarch will share their wisdom and ways of their vibrant RAW lifestyle. They are full of energy and vitality and they want you to experience this too! Check out,, and/or to learn more about Matt and Angela.

Sunday August 9th, 6-9:30pm*
Investment: $35
Includes the best dinner ever prepared by Prana Café's fabulous Chef, Stuart Reiter.
Seating will be Asian-style, so you are encouraged to bring a cushion to sit on.

The Prana Café
292 Centre Street
Newton Corner, MA 02458

**Click HERE to sign up now!

Space is limited. This event WILL SELL OUT.

*The Prana Cafe's GRAND OPENING is Wednesday August 26th.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My First Legitimate Interview

2 weeks ago I met up with my buddy Aaron Brooks at his Perfect Postures office in Woburn, MA. If you have ever been to our studio then you have heard Kevin and I talk, talk, talk, about Aaron. We love the guy and send countless clients his way BECAUSE HE IS AN EXPERT, oh and it doesn't hurt that he's good looking too :0

When I met Aaron, he changed the way I thought about training.

Currently Aaron is working on the launch of MYOFORCE and his product VERSUS.


If you have come to the studio lately, you have been one of the lucky few to experience it. And if you have watched our recent videos then you have seen VERSUS in action. Trust us, there is NOTHING on the market that is going to activate the core like this!

Now onto the interview. (It's a little all over the place, but there is so much to talk about, I couldn't help it!)

Me: What brought you into the industry?

Aaron: When I was a kid I used to look through my mom’s medical encyclopedias. They had these clear overlays that built up layers of the human body. The encyclopedias had a skeleton layer, a muscle layer, a nerves layer and so on. I would constantly look at these pictures and quite honestly found them fascinating. Looking back it amazes me to think that at such an early age I found my passion - working with the human body. I had always played sports and eventually went to school for Exercise Science.

After graduating college I went to work at a small personal training studio as an independent contractor. I loved to help people and I consider myself a people person so it was a perfect start. After a couple of years I moved to San Diego with a good friend of mine. While in San Diego I met my soon to be business partner at the local gym. He told me about this facility, the Egoscue clinic, where he worked and told me that they developed corrective exercise routines for people to correct muscle imbalances. I was very intrigued so I asked if there were any job openings. Here I began looking at the body in a different way, looking for the cause rather than just trying to treat the symptoms. I worked there for about a year. I am grateful for that opportunity but I knew that I could take this philosophy to a new level. So Anthony and I formed Function First in 1995-96. In 2004 Anthony and myself parted ways and I formed Perfect Postures, Inc. I know you are probably thinking are you and Anthony still friends. Yes we are still very good friends. We just took different paths. In 2005 I moved back to the east coast to be closer to family and to enjoy the changing of the seasons. No I am not crazy moving from San Diego to New England but thanks for asking. I still travel back to San Diego about every six weeks to work on clients. So here I am in Massachusetts continuing my passion, which is helping people live pain free and more productive, lives.

Me: Other than the individual’s mentioned above, who do you credit for being your biggest influences at the start of your career?

Aaron: Dr. Janda and Elizabeth Kendall McCreary

Me: How important is Posture in injury prevention?

Aaron: Posture is of the utmost importance. It is an unconscious state of being. Your mom or teacher can tell you to sit up straight or stand up tall but nothing will change. Say for example there is a deviation from left shoulder to right shoulder, the muscle tension in both sides cannot be the same. Therefore the individual is not moving equally when in motion. This imbalance is setting them up for premature injury. When people get into extreme workouts they are in fact strengthening the problem. Their bodies are becoming STRONGER in the WRONG position.

Me: How do you fix this?

Aaron: Implement specific corrective exercise and strengthen the positive. Practitioners cannot change stress, work habits etc. But we can continuously change the stimulus to keep getting clients better. The goal is to get people closer to what they should be, NOT PERFECT.

(Dare I say Progress not Perfection ;)

You have to remember that these issues did not pop up overnight, so they will not disappear right away either.

Me: Do you have a particular clientele?

Aaron: I see everyone from kids to the senior adult population; anyone from the weekend warrior to the professional athlete. Although I have a growing number of young clients and this concerns me.

Me: Why do you think this is?

Aaron: Kids nowadays have a crazy sedentary lifestyle and then are expected to be really really good at one sport. They play it all year long summer league, travel team and then indoors as well. When I was a kid I would climb trees and run through the woods and crawl on the ground, and do all kinds of activities other than just one sport.

Me: Does it have a lot to do with diet as well?

Aaron: I think it is more the activity level. I used to eat poorly as a kid but I was active, but now kids eat poorly and are sedentary to boot. This causes TONS of problems.

Me: On to something more positive :)

Who do you hope to help with your newest product, VERSUS?

Aaron: Everyone from the general population in a rehab setting to hardcore athletes. I imagine strength training clients and adding corrective exercises with VERSUS in between. VERSUS brings a whole new dynamic to Partner Training; I can see it becoming an International Trend in the Fitness Industry.

I can say for certain that if you like kettlebell training, you will LOVE the dynamic that VERSUS brings to the table.

Simply ingenious.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This is why I love waking up before 5am!

In case you didn't believe me from the cute pic I posted last week!

My Newest Supermom

This morning Emily's parents were in town (GRADY my fav baby stayed at home with them) so I got to really get down to business ;)  We started of with band walks, and a full body versus circuit (included overhead flutter, deep squat to row, lunge with chest opener, glut bridge and plank)

We did some med ball drills as well as Gray Cook Chop work to prepare for SNATCHES ;)

She did awesome with her 5 sets, getting more and more power each set.

Assisted pull up along with an upside down version of the bird dog followed for several sets

We finished with the mini circuit you watched above!  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Barefoot Training

When it comes to lifting/weight training, yoga and dance...I HATE SHOES :) Me and my little stump toes have always gone barefoot! I like to feel the floor beneath my feet and grip when I need to. Yoga has taught me so much about awareness in my feet and gotten me in the habit of spreading my toes just as I spread my fingers during poses.
People have warned me about dropping a weight on my foot or said that it is unsanitary to put my sweaty feet all over the gym floor. I ignored them, until a few months ago.

Vibram Five Fingers KSO model are great for kettlebell training. They might look ugly but they get the job done, in fact more and more of our members are wearing them and seeing great improvement in their movement patterns. They can lunge and squat and swing and snatch with more awareness and best of all....with more GLUTES. Have I mentioned I love bums?

If you decide to pick a pair up, go to City Sports,($75-80). Start off slowly, wearing them for 1-2 hrs/day and see how they feel. Even a barefoot gal like me took my time getting used to them. Let me know how it goes!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stand Up Paddle Boarding :)

Tonight I went to Hingham Harbor and tried out paddle boarding :0
My friend's Shannon and Casey saw an ad a few months ago for a stand up paddle lesson. I had NO IDEA what it was!

John Furey and Peter Sleight run Maui Standup Paddle Boa
rding all around Boston :)
John is an encyclopedia when it comes to Biomechanics and Exercises Physiology, as well as a jack of all trades. Whether he is running the Fitcorp Boston Marathon Training program or taking athletes through agility ladder drills in his back yard, he's your go-to guy.

Heather Regan and I met up with John a little before 7pm. Being typical women, we were nervous about what to wear and thinking that we might not be so good at this whole standing up on a surf board thing :0

Boy were we wrong.



First of all you are standing up. You aren't sitting on your butt, like in a kayak. You have much better views of the horizon as well as core engagement ;) You have to balance and in order to paddle and you work the HELL out of your obliques. Heather and I wore rash guards for OBVIOUS reasons and they were sweat soaked within 15 minutes ;) John even took us through how to stand up as if we were surfing and catching a wave!

You can go through interval sprints on the paddle board just like if you were running, except there is no impact on your joints and you are USING YOUR CORE! Sounds like something I could get used to ;)

I found this website!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Good old 6am

I can remember a year ago when Kevin and I would train ONE client each, everyday at 6am.

Then we started doing some semi-private group training.

Now we have anywhere from 6-12 people in the studio at 6am.

The people that are at the door waiting at 5:45am are the hardcore people :) They don't need motivation and they love swingin' those bells. In fact they could run a class without me :) If anything they need to learn how to listen to their bodies and rest when they feel tired!

Kettlebell Training is taxing on the Central Nervous System, so rest is a MUST.
Kevin and I (as of a year ago) truly believe in the LESS IS MORE, way of training. I think we might have finally got the importance of rest across to the 6am crowd, because they took days off this week and came back this morning refreshed and ready to go!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


FMS for Dummies

As trainers and physical therapists in the fitness industry we have all heard of and maybe even been certified in Gray Cook's Functional Movement Screen. Kevin and I have been through the program and find it extremely useful. Clients must be screened so there are no surprises down the line. Gray Cook has teamed up with PAVEL and created the CK-FMS (Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist) I, myself have not been through the CK-FMS but know several instructors who have and LOVE the new dimension it has added to their training.

I think the industry is really taking a turn for the better :) People are realizing how important nutrition, exercise and overal wellness is for longevity! People are living longer and wanting to enjoy their time here comfortably.

This month in OUTSIDE Magazine there is a very exciting through it!

Take the quiz! I know you will recognize ALL the exercises ;) if you come to our studio that is :0

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bodyweight Cardio Routine REVISED

Here in Massachusetts it's finally starting to feel like SUMMER! Lot's of clients are going away and need some guidance while they are away from the studio. Some are in Europe, others in South America, others camping right here in MA. Regardless of where you are going, your fitness routine doesn't have to disappear completely :)

ALWAYS perform a dynamic warmup:
could be as easy as...

Walking calf raise pulling knee into chest- 6/side
Walking butt kicks- 6/side
Reverse lunges- 6/side
Lateral lunges-6/side
Transverse lunges- 6/side
Inchworms- 6 total
Spidermans with twist and hamstring stretch-3/side
10 pushups

Body Weight Intervals

Bear Crawls ;) :30
Jumping Jacks :30
Mt. Climbers/T- Stand open up :30
Body weight speed squats/alt. reverse lunges :20
Rest :60
Repeat 3-5 times

Jumping Rope, lateral hops, plank holds, and bird dogs also work for those who do not feel comfortable with any of the above exercises.

Stay Tuned for more!

Protein Powder

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about supplementation, protein, vitamins and things of that nature. Revolutionary Technology Nutrition Bionic Edge Whey is the protein that I use. I also take Nordic Naturals Omega 3's. In addition I take JuicePlus (if you want to know more just ask). I make a HUGE effort to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can and eat 90% whole foods on a daily basis.

P.S. I hate wasting food and my friends and family probably think I'm crazy because of the length's I'll go to use all the fresh food that I buy!

This Sunday I made another great smoothie. I froze 3 bananas earlier in the week (instead of using them for banana bread...bc that is where they were heading) I peeled and broke them into pieces as big as large ice cubes. When I opened the container on Sunday and tried to get them out a piece actually flew up and hit me right between the eyes OUCH be careful ;)

I added the 3 bananas and used them as my ice
a generous squirt of lemon flax oil
some coconut milk
RNT Strawberry Protein Powder (Bionic Edge Whey)


To be honest sometimes bananas make me wanna puke because of their texture, but it smoothies they are the ultimate ingredient!

Back to Basics

The basic plank hold and its variations are simply the best core stabilization and strength exercises you can start with!
Upper push up position starts with the shoulders and wrists aligned, abs braced, ass squeezed and neither too high nor too low.
I like to think of the floor pushing against me and me pushing back against the floor with my fingers spread. I also reach through my heels ;)

The mountain climber is also a great core exercise! It is so versatile that it can be used as a metabolic exercise as well :0 In the photos I am performing mt. climbers on a slide board.
A slide board is a great tool to have on hand. If you have wooden floors you can put hand towels underneath your feet, or use a valside, if you have a carpeted area.
Instead of bumping up and down with your bum in the air, the slide board mt. climber forces you to really stabilize and engage your lower abs as you bring your knees into your chest one at a time.
Once you perfect this move you can bring your knee to opposite elbow or bring both knees into a pike position :)

Monday, July 13, 2009


I have told you that my clients take care of me, right?

Today one of my client's, Angus sent me this link and I wanted to share it with you.

I'll say it again, Nutrition is where it's at folks.


It wasn't until I started getting sick pretty much EVERY TIME I ate, that I started reading the ingredients on everything I put in my mouth. That was a crazy realization. A handy rule to follow, is that if the food has any more than 5 ingredients DON'T eat it on a regular basis (oh and if you can't pronounce the ingredients that's a red flag).

Friday, July 10, 2009

I love Grady

This little guy makes my day! Check out the onesie mommy and daddy put him in today :0

Another Hardworking Happy Client :)

Hey Stacey,

This is the photo from my Colombia trip that pleasantly surprised me when I saw it (Alex's mother and sisters are in the photo with me). I love how my arms look and it is ALL thanks to KB's. I still have more strengthening and toning to do but I'm pretty happy with this photo. Progress, not Perfection

(Maria is in the purple dress)

Damn Good Form

Are you certifiable? If you like to play with KB's you probably are ;)

After completing both the RKC and AOS certifications and loving every minute of it, I can tell you that there was a lot of preparation and hard work put into this video :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A study to read FOR SURE

Check out the Wednesday, July 08, 2009 Post

8 weeks with AC, JB and the TRX (Guest Blog) @


This week I have been unveiling some photos of the ladies who took part in the Unlimited Strength program we ran last month. The following is yet another Gina who saw phenomenal results. Check out her arms and ripped back.... I LOVE IT :)
Her body composition was at an all time low and she looked smokin hot walking down the isle she was clearly happy and her husband to be was too ;)

THANKS for sharing the pics!!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I have found that people either find the push up too challenging and give up on it all together or they think that they are too good for an exercise as "easy" as the push up.

Don't be so quick to dismiss this staple exercise.

Doing a proper push up is amazing for the shoulder stabilizers. Granted it works SO MANY other muscles but with this particular version I want to emphasize the stabilization required through the shoulders.

There are so many variations, progressions and regressions on the push up that you cannot go wrong by adding it into your routine.

To start place your hands directly beneath your shoulders, possibly a littler wider so you can initiate the movement with your back. Make sure you spread widely through all the fingers. Press firmly into the surface beneath you. Create the sensation that the floor is pushing against you and you are pushing yourself right through the floor.

This total body tension is necessary through all body weight exercises and continues to be vital as load is added.

Brace through the core making sure the butt is tight and neither too high or too low.

As with all exercise, breathing is MOST important. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.

As you begin your decent towards the ground retract and engage the shoulder blades while keeping the core braced and stable.

For those of on your way to conquering the push up do them at an incline on a bench or wall but follow the same instructions.

For those of you who have a good push up, slow it down. Count down 4,3,2,1 hold at the bottom for a 3 count and explode upwards.

In the photos from the lovely Jess, you see I have added blocks, this helps me to really engage through my back as I descend toward the floor and lets me get closer to the floor at the bottom of the exercise.


A body row is essentially a push up turned upside down.
It can be done by virtually ANYONE, as it achieves a strong rowing action without any stress to the lower back.
You can set the handles high, and position the feet so you are more upright, so the row is easy. Or you could set up so your arms hang straight down from the handles, and elevate your feet on a plyo box, and the row is much more difficult.
Some crazy folks can even keep their feet in the air, so that their entire body weight is in their hands....I consider that to be one of the hardest pulling exercises!

Whether you have access to a Smith Machine, a Squat Rack, some Bandit Loops, a TRX or a VERSUS, you can easily incorporate this into your routine.

Don't worry about "out growing" this exercise, as you can imagine are PLENTY of ways to make it more difficult ;)

Seeing as your strength training workouts HOPEFULLY consist of a push, a pull, a squat or a lunge and a core exercise.... the body row can add variety to your pull choices!

Another important reason to incorporate the row is the fact that you probably sit at a desk or in a car for SEVERAL hours a day, 5 days a week, so strengthening the awareness in your upper back
while improving your posture might just be what you need :)

There are also different ways to grip the bar or the handles while you are performing your body row. Whether its underhand, overhand, mixed grip, internal or external rotational as you pull in...I promise new muscles will be worked.

How to create the "Perfect Pushup"

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