Post Couch Routine

Happy Hump Day! If your week is anything like mine, you may still feel like it’s Monday. Last week I was out sick with strep throat (I am not the kind of person to push through illness, so I took off from everything to be a vegetable). This week I am doing double time to make up for my absence from society. Missing the gym hurt the most. School and work I could manage from the couch, but my gains were lost between the cushions. I know rest and recovery is vital to fighting strep, so I allowed myself to enjoy being lazy while I could.

But that was last week, and now I’m finding my strength again.

How I missed being active! Nothing feels better than a solid sweaty workout. As much as I wanted to walk into the gym and lift everything I could find, I eased myself into it. Here’s my “Post-couch” routine:

Squat hold 90 sec, plank hold 90 sec

Single-leg press 3×10 each leg superset with 10 slider lunges- focus on lengthening the inner thigh and hip flexors

Banded chest fly superset with overhead tricep extensions 3×20

Cable chops 4×25 + weighted crunches 4×25 + side plank hold 30 sec each side

Banded reverse fly 3×20 superset with close grip pull-ups (5) or bicep curls (20) if your pull-ups are lacking the “up”

For the final burnout I grabbed a set of 15 lb dumbbells and performed 10 reps of the following back to back for 5 mins… Bench press, squat, bent-over row, stiff-leg deadlift. Do NOT put the dumbbells down. Holding for that length of time increases your grip strength.

*Cool down and stretch*

While I usually crawl out of the gym feeling like Jell-O, I actually walked out with strong warm muscles. I made sure everything was worked to the point of activation instead of failure. I kept the weight light and reps reasonable. The following day I felt stiffness in my glutes and abs (goal!) so I followed up with 30 minutes of static stretching and light cardio. No tight hip flexors are gonna hold me back from lifting heavier next week!

Coming out of any common illness, make sure you are 100% healed before stepping foot in a gym. Also be mindful of any medications you are taking. Check out this article that touches on the ricks of exercise while on antibiotics.






Body Weight Workout

This time tomorrow I will be in sunny San Jose, exploring the city and soaking up the sun! I’m not sure if I’ll have access to a gym out there (or if i’ll even want to be inside) so I wrote up a body weight workout to do up in the mountains or on the beach.

Warm Up with Jumping Jacks for 1 minute. Don’t forget about those marches, bridges, and side bridges too! Only one round for 1 minute each.

20 Burpees. 20 Crunches. 20 Lateral Lunges. 20 Pushups. 20 Good Mornings. 20 Bicycle Crunches.

3 rounds. Simple and effective.

Cool down and stretch!



Homework for May

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope everyone had great workouts this weekend. I was out of town but still managed to get a full body workout in on Sunday. Today starts a new month (my bday month) so I’ve got some new workouts ready for you to take on! If you’re a client of mine, you’ll complete these on days we don’t train together.

  1. Run .25 miles then for 20 reps each complete bicycle crunches, leg raises, and crunches. 4 rounds and you’ll have run 1 mile 🙂
  2. Row 500m then hop on the ab machine and do 10 reps at a challenging weight followed by 10 cable chops each side. Then repeat 3 more rounds (you will be all over the gym in this circuit)
  3. Hit the stairmaster for 2 mins at the fastest pace you can maintain then complete 10 ablitorators (hold a plank and cross each knee in to the opposite elbow and then out to the elbow on the same side to finish 1 rep) Do the whole set 3x total.

Good luck and may the gains be with you 😉


Daily Burn

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Is there anything I should be doing daily to help my progress?” Oh yes. There are a lot of things health-wise you can do daily! Looking past the umbrella of “eat healthy and exercise” make sure you’re filling your diet with protein, complex carbs, and mono/polyunsaturated fats.

As far as exercise goes, focus on firing up those core muscles by doing marches/bridges/side bridges for 1 minute each and getting your cardio done. HIIT or sprinting is something I do everyday and it’s never for more than 10 minutes; however, I have one endurance day a week where I run a 4 mile loop at a steady pace for about 35 minutes. The key is don’t be repetitive when it comes to cardio. Switch it up everyday to avoid injury. Feel free to contact me if you need ideas.

Don’t forget to stretch! And yes I mean everyday for at least 10 minutes. The most commonly tight muscles include hamstrings, calves, back, hip flexors, piriformis, chest, and shoulders.

There’s always something you can do for your body. But don’t underestimate the power of r&r. In order to see change, muscles need time to adapt before they are broken down again. Give yourself a rest day once a week. You can use that time to meal prep or spend extra time with family and friends 🙂

Sick Workout

Today feels like Monday for me as I’m going back to work for the first time since Friday morning 🙂 I’m so glad to be up and moving after spending the weekend on the couch. When it comes to being sick, I’ve never been the type to tough it out. I can kill myself in the gym, but as soon as I start sniffling I’m down for the count. Because I work at a gym, this is a good thing! I avoid spreading my germs around and getting anyone else sick. BUT I still managed to maintain muscle mass as a vegetable. Of course I keep workout equipment everywhere (my apt, car..) just in case a situation calls for a workout. I wasn’t doing any cardio because it hurt to breathe, but I used resistance bands and my own body weight to keep a solid pump throughout the weekend B)

Warm Up: Marches 1 minute, Bridges 1 minute, Side Bridges 1 min each side

Resistance Band Circuit: Squats 50x, Deadlifts 50x, Monster Walk 25x each way, Bicep Curl and Military Press 50x, Chest Fly and Press 50x, Ab Rotations 25x each way, Row and Reverse Fly 50x, Tricep Overhead Extension 50x

I did this once a day to keep my body strong during the r&r weekend.


This is for my fabulous clients to complete outside of our training. Since I’m such a nice person I’m giving y’all some options- workout A or workout B. 😉

A. Sprint Workout

Sets Distance Rest Instructions
4 40-meter sprint @ 95% Walk back to the start Do one set every 2-min. Rest for a full 5-min after all 4 sets.
1 400 meter sprint 2-minute Sprint as fast as possible.
4 100 meter strides Walk back to the start Easy strides, cool-down

Cool-down: Jog ½-mile and finish with some easy stretching.

B. Rowing Intervals-  5 x 300 meters with 60 seconds rest between sets

Feel free to conquer both of these throughout the week if you’re up for the challenge!

Don’t forget about the most important part… your diet! Supplement your hard work with good fuel. Add these seasonal fruits and vegetables to your meals this month.

Lengthen before you Strengthen

Happy Monday, everyone! What an exciting weekend it’s been with Carolina taking it all the way to the championship! Today I wanted to go back to basics and talk about back pain from working out. Strength training is so important for the body; however, it can be detrimental if done incorrectly. Most of my clients have desk jobs which puts them at an even higher risk for back pain. Being in a sitting position for most of the day shortens the hamstrings and weakens the core. Without a strong core, the back has no choice but to compensate for the lack of strength!

The solution is simple. Make sure your core is properly engaged. This includes your local and global stabilization systems. Local stabilizers are muscles that attach directly to vertebrae. The primary muscles that make up local stabilization system include transverse abdominis, internal obliques, multifidus, pelvic floor musculature, and diaphragm. Muscles of global stabilization system attach from pelvis to the spine. These provide stability between pelvis and spine, and provide stabilization and eccentric control of the core during exercise. Primary muscles that make up global stabilization system include quadratus lumborum, psoas major, external obliques, portions of the internal oblique, rectus abdominis, gluteus medius, and adductor complex.

Before you can strengthen the underactive core muscles, you need to lengthen the overactive muscles that are causing you pain. This allows for complete range of motion and proper alignment of the spine. You will get the most out of your workouts if you start and finish them with stretching. Begin your workout with a dynamic warm up  and complete it with static stretching, holding each stretch for 30-60 seconds. Brace your core throughout your workout. This will make a dramatic difference in core strength if you’re forcing your abs to work instead of your back. Think of that tension you can create if someone was about to poke you in the stomach. You’re not holding your breath, but your core is flexed and stiff to support your spine in any exercise.

Once you feel relief, incorporate these exercises into each workout to ensure core stability. Marches, bridges, side plank or modified side plank. Work for about a minute and rest for 30-60 seconds between sets. Now you’re on your way to that six pack without any interference from your back 🙂

A Day of Healthy Eating

Happy Friday! I’m so glad the weekend is here. This has been one crazy week. I normally have time to cook fresh food, but I’ve spent too many hours in the gym. My creativity in the kitchen may be halted, but the flavor lives on. I put together a whole day of healthy eating for you guys so you don’t have to take the extra time to plan and prepare. 🙂 The recipes are simple and can be modified to your tastes! Enjoy

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt Recipes

Snack: Protein Shake

Lunch: Grilled Chicken, 1 cup Sweet Potatoes, 1 cup steamed broccoli

Snack: Protein Bar

Dinner: Grilled Fish, ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup asparagus

Eat the Seasons

With all the diet trends out there, it’s hard to know what is actually good for you! My motto is keep it simple. Eat your veggies and make sure you have an adequate protein intake. However, I’ve realized you have to be selective even when it comes to healthy foods. Most fruits and vegetables are not in season year round. Chemicals are added to produce so it can be available to us every season. But how do you know which fruits and vegetables to eat? You may have heard of the clean 15 or the dirty dozen, but those lists aren’t specific to location.  Check out this website that lets you find produce in season specific to your region!

One of my favorite foods available now is asparagus. This is one of the best recipes I’ve used. Don’t go too heavy on the parm 😉



Full Body Burnout

It’s cutting season! Winter is almost over. Summer is just a few months away. You’ve been building muscle all winter, time to shred those extra lbs to reveal your hard work. Put down that heavy weight and focus on hitting failure in your workouts. My favorite way to way to shred is by doing a combination of pyramid and burnout sets for my lifts. I start with 20 reps. Then I go up, adding 10lbs every set until 20 reps is unattainable. Once I peak, I work my way back down in one burnout set. I start with my peak weight but rep it until failure. Then drop about 10-20 lbs and rep it until failure… continue this pattern until the weight is gone or you muscles turn to jelly. It’s quick and effective.

You can apply pyramid/burnout sets to any exercise. For weight loss, focus on full body workouts and supersets.

Squat 4×20, 1x until failure

Bench 4×20, 1x until failure

Deadlift 4×20, 1x until failure

Row 4×20, 1x failure

Adduction/Abduction 4×20, 1x failure

Lat Pulldown 4×20, 1x failure

Cable Rotations 3×20, 1x failure