Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The good ole #DIRTYTHIRTY

For the past few months I have been using the hashtag #dirtythirty and no it's not some killer Crossfit workout! It was me preparing for my thirtieth birthday which is exactly ONE WEEK away! I always love when people come up with lists of lessons learned in life on their birthdays and I was definitely excited to create mine for this big year!

I would like to think of the following list as lessons learned, mantras I follow, and things I know to be true... all at the ripe young age of thirty! Hope you enjoy :D
                                        photo courtesy of www.jessmcdougallcreative.com 

30 Things I know to be True

1. Practice Yoga. It's good for you and for everyone around you.

2. Strength Train. Your body will thank you. ( Preferably with a kettlebell: its an efficient, total body tool and can be done ANYWHERE)

3. Happiness is a choice.  Life is too short to be anything but HAPPY.

4. Meet yourself, LOVE yourself---> then you will attract that.

5. LESS is MORE. (Especially when it comes to exercise and how much you tell someone the first time you meet them)

6. If weight loss is your main goal, IT IS ALL ABOUT NUTRITION!

7. Go to bed early...wake up early. ( Morning people are more successful and driven and in my experience more pleasant to be around.)

8.  Dreams come true. Know what you want and stick to it. Have goals and follow through.


10.  Don't be so hard on yourself.

11.  Surround yourself with people who believe you can succeed...perhaps more than you do :)

12.  Cook your own food and learn to like doing it.  Food is the medicine of the future. ( Look into a farm share)

13.  Move your body and your heart will follow. ( favorite old school lululemon manifesto)

14.  Spend time outside everyday. Vitamin D, fresh air, and nature are all very calming.

15. It's all about the GLUTES baby.


17.  Make training for LONGEVITY your #1 priority. Whether you are training for weight loss, general strength gains or competitions, you don't want to get hurt in the process!

18.  The pain you feel in your body is most likely a result of MISALIGNMENT ELSEWHERE.  Don't shoot the messenger... find the source.

19.  Online dating isn't just for creeps.  With the amount of hours people work these days, MATCH.COM could actually be the way you meet "THE ONE."

20.  Appreciate your body everyday. No matter what shape, size, or strength.  It houses your soul and does MUCH more than what it looks like on the outside. You are NOT your body.


22.  Never stop learning. Consider it investing in yourself.

23. Lacrosse balls/ Foam Rollers are your best friend. OR they should be.  Unless you can afford a weekly massage ( then your therapist can be your bestie)

24. Learn what makes you feel good.  Do those things daily. Learn what makes you feel bad. Eliminate those things from your daily life as much as possible. Many people have no idea how good they can actually feel or that a lot of it is well within their control.

25. No one is an expert at everything, but there are plenty of experts in each field. If you need help with something seek out a coach or a mentor.  Don't struggle unnecessarily.  The fact of the matter is you will teach THEM something too... I guarantee it.

26.  Learn from your pets.  Not only has having a puppy taught me a lot about patience and love it has made me enjoy the little things more and has made me less self centered.  I worry less about my appearance and more about his happiness.  I watch him relax, enjoy sunshine as well as each and every complete stranger we encounter on our walks.

27.  Consider renaming your workouts to "training sessions."  Training is just like practice, there is a plan involved and you are there to get better and better each time. After training you should be able about your day afterwards as opposed to laying on the floor seeing stars. It shouldn't take everything in your power to finish the session each time, and it shouldn't be this monotonous boring chore to complete everyday. Do something that makes you happy and makes your body feel good, and strive to do better each time!

28.  Live within your means.

29. MAKE YOURSELF YOUR PRIORITY. Spend time and money NOW on healthy food and exercise.  People are living way longer than they used to.  You want to enjoy every moment of this life as opposed to taking pills, having surgeries and just being plain uncomfortable right?!

30. LIFE IS CRAZY AMAZING!!!! If you allow these lessons to sink in I believe that you too will THRIVE



Monday, September 30, 2013

Yoga and Strength Training: the ultimate complement!

Long time no see! Wanted to let you know that I have not been slacking off and that LIFE IS GOOD!

Business is great, love is in the air and I could not be happier than I am right now :D  I am turning 30 in just one week so look for some exciting stuff to be coming your way! Website and newsletter updates, Progress not perfection baseball tees and more! I have been A LOT more active on social media these days so come follow me here if you want to know what I have been up to!

Wanted to share with you a few articles I have written over the past few months for Girls Gone Strong and Juggernaut Training Systems if you have not yet hopped on to the YOGA and STRENGTH TRAINING band wagon!

Here's an excerpt from my 3 Types of Yoga for the GIRL GONE STRONG

One of my favorite things to say is, “everything you do, you must undo.”
I like to think of my strength training as doing and my yoga as undoing.  I seek balance when comes to strength and flexibility.  When our strength overpowers our flexibility, tension is the result, and when our flexibility surpasses our strength, instability remains. Both tension and instability are weak links, which limit your ultimate potential.
When I was first introduced to yoga almost 10 years ago, it was a Power Vinyasa flow, full of intensity.  I loved every second of it.  As a kettlebell girl, I instantly saw the way the two schools of thought could complement one another; moving through my full range of motion, developing flexibility, mobility and isometric strength.
I saw how my yoga practice could actually cut down on my warm up time at the gym. This newly found ankle and thoracic mobility, shoulder stability, as well as hip flexibility was definitely a win-win.  I dove into practicing this vigorous yoga 3 days a week and strength trained 3-4 days a week.  Unfortunately this combination wreaked havoc on my adrenals.  Not exactly what you want when your goal is to get stronger!
What I really needed was something to BALANCE me out, a practice that would complement my lifting and make me stronger than ever, something to further connect my breath and body and allow me to relax instead of always going, going, going!
Remember, yoga should complement, not compete with, your existing training.
Read the rest here!

Yoga for Athletes Part 1 was another  attempt to get more MEN and strong ladies to give yoga a try!  

Again here's a little piece of the article


Yoga is a tool used by the self to identify deficiencies. The more you are aware of your asymmetries from left to right within your body, the more aware you will be underneath the bar. Next time you go to squat you’ll be spreading your feet beneath you, using your breath to back your lifts and hitting PR’s you never thought possible!
Oh and there are FEW things that feels better the day after an intense training session than active recovery with YOGA. It just feels so DAMN good.
Mobility and flexibility are often lumped together but in reality are two very different things.  And then stability comes in and really complicates things.
Mobility pertains to the motion we are able to CONTROL around a joint.
Flexibility is the movement that is POSSIBLE around a joint.
Stability is established with both active and passive influences.
As an athlete you need something to balance out your strength and explosive power. Yoga does just that.
It boosts flexibility while challenging stability at the same time. Take your hamstrings for example.  They may feel tight, simply because your body is attempting to create stability where it’s missing. Doing just a static stretch will not engage the core and will actually cause more instability and possibly injure you.
Are you seeing a common trend here?
TRUST ME GIVE this combo a try!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Smarter Training for Longevity

When will this be the "IN" thing?

With Crossfit, Spartan Races and Tough Mudders all the rage;
what total body crushing, leave you breathless phenomenon will come next?

I have nothing against any of these I just need those of you partaking in them to understand the importance of RECOVERY.

We all have ONE body in this life and we don't want to damage it to the point of no return!
Here are TWO easy ways to train smarter starting NOW.

1. Whether it be yoga, foam rolling and self myofascial release, regular massage, or meditation.

These tools all enable your body restore. 
This is not being lazy. It’s called being SMART.
If you don't already have one get yourself a FOAM ROLLER, and get started with this
Position yourself with front of thighs on the roller. Make sure you keep your  core and glutes tight, as to protect the lower back. You may be on hands or forearms. Roll down and up the entirety of the thigh, stopping along points that seem especially tight.
Roll from pelvic bone to knee, emphasizing the lateral aspect of the thigh. When you find a point that is especially tight ( could be the whole thing) hang out there and breathe.

2. In order to stay progressive with your strength be sure to program a de-load week into your routine. 

Again this is not being lazy it's called being SMART. 
Use this to get stronger each block, not plateau or get injured!
Take PLANNED time off and get stronger OR train hard all the time, get sick and be FORCED to take time off and steps backwards. 
Hmm sounds like a no brainer to me.

Whether or not you choose to think of it this way 
When you have work stress, financial stress, kid stress…. 
Ever think you might need some restoration to balance out your body?!?!

This goes for both males and females but I want to strongly emphasize this for my LADIES.
FORGET GETTING LEAN in a constant state of stress.
Those daily killer workouts with no end in sight will eventually cause adrenal fatigue. 
Which means no matter how "clean you eat" or how"hard you train"  you will not see the results you are working so hard/suffering for.

For almost a decade I have deemed kettlebells and yoga the ultimate compliment to each other.  Any sort of intense strength training needs to be balanced out.
Something as simple as 2-4 days of strength and 1-2 days of yoga. 
Throughout the years my style of training has evolved but ONE thing has remained the same.
The body needs BALANCE in order to THRIVE on this LONG HAUL called life.

Not sure how to get started with yoga? Still not thoroughly convinced?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Less is MORE: Part 2

Sleep, stress and food are all under control?
Okay now its time to move on to EXERCISE.  
WHY are you exercising?

A sequenced strength training session can set you up for an amazing day.  You feel tall and light, yet grounded and strong.  It’s not the same feeling as getting your ASS handed to you. (There’s nothing wrong with that 1-2 times a week in short duration)

I find that focusing on symmetry and posture makes your strength training more efficient and turns more heads! Seriously though there are few people out there with decent posture these days!!!

When it comes to the majority of my clientele and the way I have come to run my business LONGEVITY is the common thread that gets new clients in the door.  Training with me allows avid lifters to keep lifting, runners to keep running and people who sit at a desk for 8 hrs to go home and play with their kids without pain.

First off,  GET ASSESSED.  Every body is different. Having a trainer who knows the FMS to a decent degree will help you if you are experiencing difficulty with certain exercises.  Most of us have a good relationship with physical and manual therapists on the same wavelength as us. This allows YOU (the client) to have a team backing you; we can work together to get you moving in the right direction.

Secondly, learn what a FOAMROLLER is and consider buying a few LACROSSEBALLS.

Meet your new besties.

If your hip flexors are tight and your shoulders are hunched from sitting you won't be able to engage your back body properly if you move right into strength work! You also don't want your tight muscles acting as stabilizers and compensating for other areas of your body
It only makes sense to open certain areas up first before moving along to stability and strength.
Once the necessary muscles are open it is time to get the glutes and core going.  The glutes and core connect the upper body and the lower body and enable you to complete single leg and arm exercises successfully.
You know the feeling you get when you say "Oh yeah my BALANCE is horrible."
Its not your BALANCE. It's most likely your stability.
The majority of low back, knee and shoulder pain I see is a result of lack of mobility and or stability. 

 *Foam roll and self myofascial first, then necessary mobility and stability work, then on to strength.  Remember you do not want to strengthen movements that are not functioning efficiently! 

To me strength training is like art. Your body is the canvas and with the proper instruction you can create what you want.  Obviously genetics are HUGE.  
I am telling you strength training can actually CHANGE YOUR BODY.... for the better!
Gaining strength allows you to be more in control of your body two major ways.
  • The more lean muscle you have the easier it is to maintain the physique you have worked so hard for if you happen to “fall off” for a bit.
  • Strength and a keen sense of body awareness enables you to keep your body feeling its best. If carrying kids and groceries, or toting around camera’s while shooting a wedding is a part of your day to day; you NEED strength in order to make it through your days with ease.

That was probably a lot more info than you had bargained for. If you follow these simple steps I guarantee you will see results! 
Don't forget:
All  you really need is 3 days of total body strength training.
Once this baseline is established for a few months MAYBE you end up building from here.
Perhaps you don’t.
Either way it will work…TRUST ME!
You want something that’s livable. After all you are in this for the long haul right?!

***Stay tuned for some examples of total body strength training days!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Less is MORE : Part 1

Memorial Day has passed and we are on our way to another summer!
Today I had clients come in and say how much they indulged this weekend and how bloated and shitty they felt.  This happens every year during the holiday season and the start of the summer months.  

I'm not here to judge. I'm here to encourage and motivate. I'm going to ask how much fun they had with friends and family and simply advise them to drink their water and get back on track with their food. TODAY.

Why? Because there was a time in my not so distant past that I allowed EXERCISE and FOOD to rule my life. Whether it was exercising to make up for my poor food choices, or being so strict with my nutrition that it bordered CRAZYTOWN.

Guess what? It's not fun. And its not the way it has to be.

You don't need to workout every single day of the week to see the results you want.  In fact doing so might just get you no where but tired and fat.
Before we even broach the subject of exercise I am going to tell you something shocking.
I am a "trainer" and I DO NOT believe that exercise or more exercise is the solution. In some cases its part of the problem. I will discuss this later.


As women we have a complex balance of hormones. It is important that stress (whether it be physical or mental) is balanced. This is of the UTMOST importance. 
-Some sort of meditation or a regular yoga practice can assist you with this.
-Perhaps its even a long walk to clear your head and be with nature.

Make sure that you are getting ADEQUATE, QUALITY sleep.
For some this could mean 6 hours, for others 8. Find out what works for you and get in ya bed!
TRUST ME. It makes all the difference in the world.

I'm not saying to go VEGETARIAN or PALEO. 
I'm saying that the less packaged foods you eat, the better! 

You are going to fill up SO MUCH more on 300 calories of eggs veggies and some sweet potato 
versus a freaking Special K 100 calorie bar.
Not to mention that it breaks down to sugar faster than you can shove it down your gullet and causes you to eat 2 more.
BAHAHAHHAHAH can you tell how much I HATE Special K?!?!?!?!!?

Just eat the real food ...it's not gonna make you fat.
BUT THE STRESSING ABOUT what diet to follow and all the chemicals in the processed foods just might! 

There are 3 things that you should have a grasp on BEFORE you start exercising if your goal is weight loss.
Because guess what
Good or Bad...exercise is a stress on your body.
If you are sleeping poorly, stressing about everything and eating shit.... 
Exercise is only fuel for the fire of hormones that are causing your lack of progress!

Don't get me wrong its not EASY or else everyone would be in great shape...but it is EASIER than you are made to believe.

Progress not Perfection my friends!
Stay tuned for my take on LESS IS MORE when it comes to exercise in Part 2.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


-guest post written for Chad Smith and Juggernaut Training Systems!

The Turkish Get Up is by far the most intricate of all the kettlebell lifts. Many will argue that it is the most complex lift around, seeing as it requires the entire body to work together in order to complete. It also happens to be my favorite. 
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned athlete the get up is comprised of many steps and the mastery of the TGU does not happen overnight.  I have been “get uping” for years and I am still a work in progress.

Benefits of learning and practicing the Turkish Get Up:

-improved shoulder and hip mobility
-improved shoulder and hip stability
- development of true core strength and stability
- increased shoulder range of motion (shoulder rehab)
- increased grip strength
- strong and solid shoulders
- improved ability to overhead press
- increased coordination
-improved posture

Whether you are a power lifter, yogi, fighter, bodybuilder, strongman, or runner, the TGU can help YOU!
*How you incorporate this lift to your program will depend on your goals and current training regimen.

There are a few different ways to perform the Turkish Get Up out there.  My preference is the “hardstyle” get up with 3 point bridge and it is what I will be demoing.

As a beginner I suggest that you perfect the “naked get up” first before moving on to using a weight. This ensures proper shoulder packing as well as postioning for when the kettlebell is introduced.

Maintaining proper shoulder position throughout the 7 steps of the get up can prove difficult for clients with limited shoulder MOBILITY as well as those with shoulder STABILITY issues. For these folks the kettlebell arm bar is an awesome set up exercise for the Turkish Get Up. 

The top 5 mistakes I see with beginners and the TGU are…

1) Broken Wrist

Remember to grip the handle HARD.

2) Lack of shoulder packing

Try to feel your shoulder blade lie flat on the floor keeping shoulder away from ear.

3) Splaying of ribcage in the half kneeling position and driving off back leg to stand.

Instead, utilize the core to maintain a tall spine and drive through the front heel.

4) Arching into the low back on the way back down.
Your hand placement should allow the leg to move freely underneath your hips.

5) Loss of shoulder pack/straining the neck to look up at the bell in the standing position.

Remember to keep tight through the core and keep your eyes on the bell at all times EXCEPT from ½ kneeling to standing position.

Almost every one of my clients will utilize SOME part of the TGU within their program. If they aren’t performing the entire Turkish Get Up because of some limitation you bet they are:

-overhead pressing in the half kneeling position
-performing the first three steps of the get up to the high bridge for reps
-completing overhead waiters walks for time

After all, gaining shoulder, hip and core stability as well as t-spine and hip extension are all highly coveted advantages of learning this lift. It’s also fun to show off your strength with some heavy get ups every now and then!

Enough of me, here’s one of my clients performing the Turkish Get Up

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Here you will discover that we are a product of our experiences. 
Each of our journeys is unique and complex. 

The inspiration for this post is my own journey. The past few months I have been sidelined from strength training.  Fortunately I have my gentle yoga practice to fall back on. Tittibasana was a pose I could never complete because of my strength background.  Due to my health setback I was able to finally fly in my version of Tittibasana. 

See there is always a silver lining ;))

Minimum effective dosage.

Hmm, now that's what I'm talking about.

In regards to this post, it is the minimum time spent training to get the body I want.

Resilience as defined by Psychology Today is the ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever.

My motto is progress not perfection.
My mantra... less is more.

I TRULY believe that once you get your body in proper alignment, your core is able to fire optimally, and your posture is better ... you can train LESS to get the SAME results.

I also acknowledge the fact that I have been strength training for years and I have dedicated a serious amount of time to creating the body I desire. 

That being said... I have had major success using this method with clients as well. ( Clients WITHOUT a HUGE strength training base).

This is not an infomercial folks, you can achieve and maintain an amazingly sexy, healthy, happy body with just three quality sessions per week!

First off you NEED to understand that this all starts with FOOD.
I eat healthy, organic, REAL food.  I am an EATER and I have first hand experience with what heavy dieting can do to your hormones as a female....and quite frankly NEVER want to go down that road again ...despite those occasion fleeting desires for a 6 pack


"If I eat this pint of Ben and Jerry's I'll just put in more time at the gym."
Playing catch up doesn't work. 

In fact all it does it catch up to you, in the form of a time suck or an overuse injury.


When you are used to strength training 4 days a week, backing down to 3 can seem daunting.
Perhaps you run 6 days a week and you are so scared to let go of 1-2 of those running sessions for fear of your body turning against you.

What if one of the following happens to you because lets face it...LIFE DOES HAPPEN.

1.  Maybe you get sidelined with an injury or sickness.

2.  Maybe you start your own business and you realize that being fresh for your clients is more important to you and your livelihood than feeling tired and run down for your evening sessions.

3.  Maybe you have a baby and life is turned upside down, and it's not just about YOU anymore.

4.  Maybe you move and your commute just increased by an hour and your time is even more valuable than you ever thought possible.

The fact of matter is these 4 reasons are REAL and they are the most common issues I see clients struggle with daily.
The fact is that you can still look great and feel great :D

I'll say it again...you can maintain an amazingly sexy, healthy, happy body with just three quality sessions per week!



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