Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hopefully your significant other got you protein bars instead of chocolate! 😉

Instead of celebrating the traditional way, take your better half to the gym for a couple’s workout session. Have them follow one of your routines or you can steal my favorite partner exercises…

Start with a 500m Row

Banded Rotations

Med Ball Pass

Plank Taps

Finish with a 500m Row

Then enjoy the rest of your day however you choose to celebrate!


Super Bowl Circuit

You gotta hand it to the Patriots for making the greatest comeback of 2017. I love football games that get your heart rate going! But a little excitement isn’t enough to burn off all the pizza and wings consumed in the process.

The gym is slammed so I’m hitting the field to get this workout done without any interruptions. If the weather isn’t permitting you can complete this indoors as well 🙂

3 rounds/1 minute each 😛

Burpees->Flutter Kicks->Crunches->Jumping Jacks->Squat Pulses->Pushups->Lunges->Plank

Break a sweat!

Nature’s Gym

We made it! 2017 is here and the gyms are overflowing! It’s awesome yet frustrating when everything is taken 😡  And don’t get me started on all the coughing and sneezing going around. The gym can be like a petri dish.  Yuck!  Wanna know how I managed to get a great full body workout despite the New Year’s crowd? I escaped the gym and hit up the mountains for some “alternative cardio.” A couple of my friends tagged along, and it turned into an adventure. My friend even brought workout bands to do a workout on top of the mountain!! It was too windy and she kept falling over.img_5228

The hike itself was 5.5 miles across the Black Balsam Knob, Tennet Mountain, and Ivestor Gap. The views were breathtaking, and there was hardly another person in sight! We didn’t realize how hard we were working until we stopped for water and ended up chugging the bottle. Most of the hike was across the ridge of the mountains. We had this view for hours…


“That’s a great workout, but how was it full body? Good question! We found a low hanging branch and started doing pull-ups. Trees make great workout equipment, and the grassy fields made pushups a “breeze”

It’s funny because the wind was 30mph img_5240

Find a couple friends to share the experience with and have fun! This hike was all play and no work 🙂 Feel free to contact me for the best hikes in NC.


How to Stick to your New Year’s Resolution

“New Year, New You”

Every year gyms and wellness centers plaster this saying all over the place. It’s a great idea, but we all know how New Year’s resolutions end. 2-3 weeks of blood, sweat, and tears… then excuses. 😦 If you are planning to get back in shape for 2017, don’t be a resolution victim! It’s hard to stick to a routine, but it isn’t impossible! I’ll let you in on my ways for keeping my clients motivated.

Everyone exercises for different reasons- aesthetics, health, sports.  You have to find your reason. Make sure it’s one that will push you through that last rep. Keep it in mind whenever you’re about to make an excuse not to workout. Working out has always been an outlet for me. I know I will feel better after I crush it in the gym! I know how I will feel if I half ass a workout, and that drives me through every set. It’s not about just looking good, it’s about feeling good too.

Don’t overdo it! Don’t feel like you have to compensate for all the missed workouts in 2016. You will burn out and lose motivation. Instead, pace yourself. Your body needs time to adapt. Find a starting point, and let yourself progress over time from there. You don’t have to be in the gym every day. Begin with a full body routine 3x a week. I always start my beginners with full body, focusing on activating the glutes and abdominals. After 4 weeks you can step it up, coming 4x a week and starting a split routine- upper/lower, push/pull.

Avoid the crazy diet trap! Just like I said before, you don’t have to make up for all the cookies you ate in 2016. One day at a time, one meal at a time. Your body needs time to adapt so avoid drastically cutting calories. Your workouts will suffer. Instead of subtracting things, start by adding healthy foods to your diet. You will become full on the healthy foods and won’t have any room for the junk! Plus, your body won’t feel depraved, and your energy level will increase!

Bring a friend or consider hiring a trainer! Having someone to hold you accountable the first couple weeks can keep you from falling off the resolution bandwagon. Once you see results, it becomes addicting. You set standards for yourself and anything less is unacceptable!

I love helping people reach their goals. It really does upset me to see people kill it for 3 weeks then disappear. Find what motivates you, pace yourself, fuel yourself, and hold yourself accountable. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need advice or accountability 🙂


Butt Burnout and Ablitoration

Today is a very special day for me! It’s my first day back in the gym since last week! I know you’re thinking, “What?? How can she go that long without working out?” Let me tell you, it was not by choice. I had my wisdom teeth removed last week. Fun stuff. I couldn’t workout due to swelling and medication. I looked like a chipmunk storing nuts for the winter. Finally, the swelling has subsided, and I’m back at it. I’m starting off with full body circuits, but I’m focusing on the underactive muscles- glutes and abs. Here is one of my favorite routines to tone your abs and sculpt that booty 🙂

Not only are these exercises good for sculpting, they strengthen muscles that are often over-looked. Keeping your core and glutes strong can prevent back pain, posture distortions, and injuries.

Grab an ankle band and position it ABOVE the knee.

Bridges- 1 min

Clams- 30 seconds each side

Kickbacks- 20 each side

Monster Walk-10 each way

3 rounds no rest! Then hit your abs with this next circuit.

Stability Ball Roll-Ins

Stability Ball Crunches

Stability Ball Plank- 1 min

3 rounds 20 reps no rest!

If you don’t know what an exercise is, feel free to contact me or look it up!




Christmas Calories Count

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It’s one of my favorite holidays, not just because of the abnormal amounts of food available, because of the time I get to spend with my family and friends. I got some time off from work and took my mom to this beautiful place called Cane Creek in Waxhaw. My dog, Gracie, tagged along, and we spent the afternoon by the lake admiring the splashes of red and yellow in the trees. img_4747img_4727We saw horses and of course I made my mom stop so we could get up close!  img_4678

After stopping to say Hay to the Horses (lol) we went back home to get ready for our thanksgiving dinner. I thought cooking a turkey for only two people was overdoing it, so I treated her to a night out where they brought you every kind of meat imaginable, Chima! Walking out of that place was a miracle. We ate so much I thought I would never be hungry again.


My key to a healthy lifestyle is, “Everything in moderation.” You should be able to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty or having to punish yourself with cardio. If you maintain a healthy diet, a day like thanksgiving won’t set you back! You might need a nap afterwards, but the next day you should be fueled and ready to get back at it! If you made it through Thanksgiving with only a few extra pounds, congratulations, but Christmas is on it’s way!

Have no fear, Mariah and her recipes are here!

These healthy alternatives of your favorite sweets are going to help you get through this time of year without having to start your diet all over at the New Year.

French Toast, Protein Pancakes

Healthy Eggnog, Healthy Hot Chocolate

Chocolate No Bake Cookies, Apple Crisp, Ginger Snap Cookies

If you have any requests for healthy recipes, please let me know!

Enjoy 🙂


The Ab Formula

TGIF! You made it through another week, and that’s something to celebrate this weekend… by going to the gym! As I was sitting here thinking of what to talk about before I kick off my weekend, one of my best friends texted me asking for a good ab workout. This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked about how to get abs. I’d like to clarify something before you hit the gym and try to destroy your core for 30 mins. No single factor will reveal or sculpt your abs. It’s a formula, and it’s different for everyone. Genetics play a large role, but let’s focus on how to build them. Doing crunches, planks, rotations will strengthen your abs. Clean eating and HIIT training will reveal them. My secret to success is running. Nothing tightens my core like sprints do. I love a good ab workout to build strength, but eating clean and running intervals incinerates the fat on my stomach. If you have been doing 10000 crunches a day and still don’t see results, try this interval workout 3x a week instead.

Find a treadmill (usually located in a gym)

Get on the treadmill (don’t run away)

Bump the incline up to 3 and sprint as fast as you can for 1 minute.

Rest for 1.5 minutes

Bump the incline up to 6, then 9, and finally 12 (4 sprints, 1 minute each, 1.5 minute recovery in between)

Now you can rest by doing an ab workout… cable rotations and stability ball crunches are my go to’s.

Repeat the sprints 2 more times followed by the ab exercises.

Then go eat some grilled chicken and veggies 😉

There is your ab formula!


Classic Meal Prep

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I wanted to share my favorite meal prep for this week. It’s easy and quick, but tastes amazing. When you’re planning your meals, make sure you have appropriate portions of proteins, carbs, and fats. Feel free to try these out for dinner!

ProteinCarbFat (the olive oil/coconut oil is what makes this a good source of fat)


The Fear of Bulking

I spend most of my day in the gym working and working out. It’s my job, and I love it! To gain perspective, I always pay attention to members’ routines. I’ve noticed an intriguing pattern… from watching the ladies in my gym who lift, most of them are only training legs! I asked some of my friends and coworkers if they picked up on this parallel, and they laughed and said “when’s the last time you saw a girl train upper body?” If you could only see the steam coming from my head. My investigation didn’t cease there. I was just getting started 🙂 I bugged my girlfriends too. A few of them were up for the challenge of an upper body workout, but others didn’t want their arms to get bulky (more steam from my head). Ladies, if you relate to this fear, I am here to put those fears to rest! You will not get bulky from lifting weights if you follow the right set/rep scheme. It takes a lot more than you think for those GI Jane arms. Your diet plays a large role as well. As long as you aren’t overeating, you will not “get huge”.
Most of us aren’t striving for Arnold’s guns, so there’s no need to lift like him either. To tone instead of bulk, simply drop the weight until you can do 12-20 reps. However, make sure that last rep is close to failure. If you can breeze through 20, then bump it up. Don’t be afraid to burn.

Another way to tone is by reducing the amount of rest between sets. Your heart rate will stay up and so will your caloric expenditure. Try to keep it under a minute.

One of my favorite ways to build lean muscle is through supersetting. This means working two different muscles back to back. You can do upper/lower or anterior/posterior combinations.

To sum it all up, don’t be afraid to lift weights and work your upper body! Tone arms are beautiful. It’s healthy to workout your entire body, so give your legs a break and do a few curls.

Good Luck!

Count Your Macros

Happy Friday everyone!

I want to start the weekend off right, putting a common diet myth to rest. With the holidays around the corner, I hear more and more about cleansing and low calorie diets. But this time of year is no different than the rest of the year. Moderation is always the key to a healthy LIFESTYLE. Not a healthy week or month 🙂 As true as this is, many people still try to take short cuts to reach their weight goals. One of the popular ways to lose weight is by restricting calories, cutting carbs or cutting fats. Restricting your calories too low or cutting out a macronutrient entirely is a big mistake! Yes you will lose weight, but that weight will come from muscle mass. Your body needs a certain amount of calories and carbs in order to function, and it needs fats to insulate your body and protect your vital organs. Why starve yourself of things you need? Excluding one of these important nutrients for too long will wreck your metabolism. When you decide to eat carbs or fats again, your body will not respond the same. Unfortunately, you will likely gain the weight back. If you want to cut something out of your diet, eliminate processed foods, sugars, alcohol, fast food, trans fats, limit sodium intake… there are so many other things to cleanse yourself of than the things that keep your body running.

Save yourself the stress of a binge diet and balance your macronutrients. Don’t focus on how many calories you are eating, but rather where those calories are coming from. If you are eating enough of what your body needs, you will see results that will last AND you will feel great because you are not depriving your hard working body of fuel. Take advantage of this macronutrient calculator to figure out what your body requires. If you are wondering how low is too low for calories click here to find out. Always remember my golden rule: Balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Check out these websites for more info 🙂