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Please Note: I am not a doctor.
Please consult a physician
prior to attempting any of
the example workout routines
showcased in this blog.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Contest Prep – Day #5 Christmas Eve Arms

This morning was completely off-schedule. I slept through all 3 alarms for morning cardio. I had orientation at human resources at 9am and woke up at 8:39a. NICE Ashley. I don’t have time to make anything so I grab my shaker and head out the door. I sleep in my gym clothes to make it easier in the morning, but today I guess I am going to orientation extremely casual (yet comfy!). On the way there I’m trying to get in meal #1. Luckily it’s just protein powder and almond butter. Unfortunately I only had a little bit of water left to mix and entire cup with. (Can you say chunky?!) But it had to be done.


I make it to orientation on time and I brought in meals #2 & #3. I didn’t know how long orientation would be but I wanted to be prepared. After an hour I was done (when they say it’s fast track orientation, they aren’t kidding!) I was so tired that I came home and just passed out. I would wake up for each meal of course.

Around 5pm I went to work arms and since every gym I’m a member of closed early I just went to the park for TRX arms. I structured the whole workout with compound movements so I can just zip through and added in some plyos for conditioning. It was a nice change of pace and scenery to lift outdoors and definitely broke up the routine.


The rest of the night was spent lounging around just waiting for my next meal. Tomorrow is Christmas and I will be doing some HIIT out of tradition. I’ve always done a 5mile 5am run on Christmas back home in Boston (it’s always snowing and very peaceful to just pound the pavement) but will switch over to some sort of HIIT. I still haven’t decided.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Contest Prep – Day #4 HIIT & Delts

Woke up at 5am for HIIT cardio. Must have been one of those mornings, because I woke up super early but was dragging a little while getting ready and eating meal #1. I had to keep reminding myself why I was doing this and getting myself hyped up. I headed over to the gym and was stuck behind the world’s slowest driver. (Of course on a day like today!) But when you live in Florida it comes with the territory. Horrible slow drivers are everywhere like cleatchasers at a NFL Meet & Greet event.

Finally got to the gym and just annihilated a 33min stairmaster session with a step-rate of 100-130. People were coming up to me like, “Geez where’s the fire?” and other comments. I’ve quickly learned that you’re probably doing your cardio right if you have people making comments or staring with that face that you know means they are thinking, “Huh, that’s probably what I should be doing…if I had the motivation.” After the gym I came home to prep all my meals for the day. I don’t go into work until 1pm so that’s convenient. After meal prepping I went in to work early to lift. (The benefit of having on-site employee fitness center)


Today is shoulders so I wanted to really isolate the delts without the traps taking over. (Seems to happen a lot for me and then I develop these crazy big traps)


I used lighter weight and through in a bunch of glute building exercised in between. So today is only day #4 of ‘official’ meal prep and training but I was super excited to see the striations in my shoulder coming through; talk about motivating! That really kicked my drive into gear to finish the rest of my workout and go to work energized.

The rest of the work day I went through all my meals pretty well. My co-workers were apparently keeping track of how many times I went to the bathroom and filled up my water jug. (Thanks guys, do you ever work?) . I had some trouble finishing some of the food but did my best. I’m going to bed early tonight because I have New Employee Orientation tomorrow and don’t want to be late. (Just in case contest prep isn’t hard enough I’m switching FT jobs also. Bring it on)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Contest Prep - Day #3 Leg Day

Man I passed out so hard last night. You would think after on a ‘Rest Day’ you’d have all this energy saved up. Especially for someone like me who never takes a day off. A day without exercise makes me feel gross like I haven’t showered in a week. But not last night. I passed out and was asleep for about 9 of the greatest hours ever. I’m sure it had to do with taking that crazy bootcamp class Saturday morning. My body was exhausted. I ate my first few meals and am still adjusting to having zero carbs in the AM. Today was legs so I will upped my pre-workout just a little bit. I’m not sure it helped because after the 1st few exercises I felt like it was my 1st time in the gym. WTF?! I thought last night’s refeed would have me so pumped and extra energized. HAHA, nope. Rather than waste energy freaking out I just powered through and got it done. No Excuses!



The rest of the day was pretty smooth, just kept drinking water whenever I felt hungry. I had some trouble with my 2nd to last meal. I just couldn’t finish it, not sure why. The feeling was weird; kind of like late Thanksgiving night; like you’ve had so much food you can’t have another bite. I waited a little, but just couldn’t finish. Of course since I woke up so late I had to stay up later to be sure to get all my meals in. Unfortunately I have to wake up super early tomorrow, so I pushed my last meal up by an hour. I’m not sure if it was the sushi from Saturday night or just the moment, but I really wasn’t in the mood for fish. Luckily I added some spicy brown mustard to mask the flavor. All in all, today was a good day. I smashed legs and stayed on my meal plan. Thinking positive and getting some shut-eye.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Contest Prep - Day #2 Rest Day & a Refeed

Woke up at really late. I planned to go to a 9am bootcamp right near the condo. I drank my 1st meal (protein powder), ate my TB of peanut butter and scooted out the door. (Side Note: There is nothing grosser than tasting/feeling your peanut butter come back up during high intensity exercise. Thanks Coach!)
I pulled up for this bootcamp and was super nervous. I always drove by the place and saw a huge crowd of people just working doing everything imaginable with a live DJ and everything. So I figured I should definitely give it a try; especially because I’m getting a little bored with the stairmaster. I mean really, I’m climbing to nowhere and each time I have to go faster.

75 of the most intense minutes of my life later, bootcamp was finished. I felt like a million bucks and 12 cents all at the same time. What an awesome group of people! There were so many exercises and variety it is impossible to get bored. Drank some BCAAs and headed home for meal #2. Luckily today was an Off Day, a Re-Feed night AND date night. (Woo Hoo) The rest of the day was spent doing errands etc. I was told to add some extra carbs to Meal #4 (yay!) so that was exciting. I was really looking forward to date night/sushi night. One of my fellow performers was in town so I planned to swing by and see her after sushi.


When we went to dinner, it was funny. I wasn’t able to go ham on too much food. I got really full really quickly. I had a few Cali rolls, Avocado Rolls, Veggie Roll & Dragon Roll. After that we headed over to Universal’s City Walk to see my girl do her thing. I had such a blast walking around taking pictures with the Hard Rock sign (Shoutout to my SHRT girls!) which reminded me of my days as a Hard Rock girl. Snapped a photo in front of that huge rotating globe thing and then went over to see the performance. What a perfect night! The only thing that made it better was seeing my future dream car parked 4 spaces over from my car. White Maserati Quattroporte ! She was an older model 4 door, so not quite my Gran Turismo, but hey I’m not complaining.
After my impromptu Maserati photo-shoot I headed home for yet another meal. (This girl likes to eat!) Meal #6 was chicken & rice with a little extra rice.


What a night. Should be super fueled for leg day tomorrow with all these carbs!

Friday, December 20, 2013

NEW BEGINNINGS: Prep Has Begun - Day #1

As I am writing this my stomach is growling; A LOT! I am so hungry right now. It's making me super cranky too. I just want to EAT! I had a killer back workout earlier but I ran out of meals so now I'm stuck. It's about 11pm and I've been laying here hungry since 9pm.

Back up a bit:
As of late Thursday night I have officially decided to prepare for a bikini competition. This isn't your typical competition that you see here on the beaches or at your local Hooters. This is a full on proper diet, workout regimen, be selfish and get your life in order kind of competition. The bikini division in a bodybuilding show seems to have gotten really big in the past few years. This will be my first competition EVER. But this is not my first attempt at it. I attempted to hire a prep coach in 2011. It was awful, I physically gagged to force down the food. He lined me up for posing practice on my 1st day (24% BF approximately) alongside figure girls 1 day out from their show (8% BF approximately) and berated me for not knowing how to pose. (Dude that's why I paid you!?) Long story short 42 days into it I was completely screwed and out some $1k and messed up my metabolism.


This time around I have had the chance to research and gain some really great knowledge and insight from Dr. Layne Norton. For those who don't know him, he's a genuis in regards to science, fitness, nutrition and the entire industry of fitness/sports performance. This man is changing the entire industry one well-informed and published research journal/paper at a time.

So here I am all set with my meal plan and approximately 14 weeks out. I am wanting to compete because it is the next step up for someone like me. I have a type A personality and I am an over achiever when it comes to pushing myself to new goals/challenges. After all, I've ran 5 marathons, 4 half marathons, fallen off a race-horse, survived multiple teenage break-ups and moved 1386 miles away from home all by myself. What's some silly little competition? (every competitor reading this is probably smirking right now)

Truth be told, I know it's going to be super hard. I spoke to a girl at her 1st show (Tampa Pro 2013) and she was doing Figure (she placed 1st btw) division. She told me that she has done triathlons and ultramarathons but training for the show was the hardest thing she has ever done. Well, that's encouraging. I've already been dealing with a lot of horse-shit. Competitors are telling me I'm too big or I need to do this or I need to eat that. It's been very emotional and super confusing. One thing is clear, when it comes to fitness, "Everyone's an expert."

People are going to judge no matter what, but in this niche how crap are they critical. I hadn't even started and people were giving me the analysis of my physique. (Thanks, but are you even a judge?!?!) It's a very different "sport" because there really is no clear winner. When I run my races, I know I'm faster than another runner because the clock is proof. So it's a documented proof that I am the winner. This won't be the case for a show. I'm going to take the approach of that being an exciting factor rather than a negative. I could go on for a while about how people's comments and opionions can really wreck you, but I won't. (Just think high school days with the 'super cool kids'. Ughhhhh)

So Since I had such a hard time trying to find information about competing, what it was like, what's to know, who to talk to, what to research, when to know if people are giving advice or something else, etc. I will be updating this throughout my entire Contest Prep to document the changes, suffering (unlikely), emotional battles and everything else that revolves around contest prep.

At the end of the day I'm stepping on stage for me and me alone. That's the motivation. Update: Still super hungry but going to down another 24oz of water and call it a night. I will be participating in a bootcamp class at VIP tomorrow morning. Should be interesting. Plus the sooner I fall asleep, the sooner it'll be time to eat again :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Online Coaching

Not everyone needs a certified professional for every workout. 1-1 Online Coaching is a great way to receive professional advice & guidelines that are convenient with your schedule as well as your location. Online Coaching allows you to have essentially unlimited access to a certified professional rather than just during your scheduled sessions for in-person training.

Current 1-1 Online Coaching Clients range from collegiate athletes to business professionals covering regions from Miami to Maine to Cleveland to Houston. As of 2013, 175 satisfied online clients have transformed their lives through fitness!

Customized exercise prescriptions are created to tailor your specific needs. Tailor-made prescriptions will match your individualized goals, your fitness preferences and the equipment/facilities currently available to you.

Online video training available as well! Fans of the workout DVDs opt for online video training because the workout video is custom-made based on the goals and fitness levels stated in initial interview. The entire workout is made for YOU and will be addressed to YOU!

Online Fundamental Coaching Plan Includes:
- Consultation
- Weekly Progress Photos
- Unlimited Access via Email/Text
- Fully Individualized Workout Program Tailored to YOUR Goals and Timeline
- Fully Individualized Workout Program Specifically Designed for Equipment/Facilities YOU Will Train With
- Nutritional Coaching Guide
- Food Logging
- Monthly Healthy Recipes
- Updated NEW Workout Programs Every 4-6 Weeks
- Professional Education and Guidance
- Discounts on Fitness-Related Products

Program Length



Online Pro Coaching Plan Includes:
- Consultation
- Weekly Progress Photos
- Weekly Workout Exercise Videos
- Monthly Custom Workout Video/DVD Created by Trainer to Address YOUR Needs and Fitness Level
- Unlimited Access via Email/Text
- Fully Individualized Workout Program Tailored to YOUR Goals and Timeline
- Fully Individualized Workout Program Specifically Designed for Equipment/Facilities YOU Will Train With
- Nutritional Coaching Guide
- Food Logging
- Monthly Healthy Recipes
- Updated NEW Workout Programs Every 4-6 Weeks
- Professional Education and Guidance
- Discounts on Fitness-Related Products
- Optional Live Training Session (In-Person if Local) via Skype

Program Length

Online Elite Coaching Program Includes:
- Consultation
- Weekly Progress Photos
- Weekly Custom Workout Video/DVD Created by Trainer to Address YOUR Needs and Fitness Level
- Unlimited Access via Email/Text
- Fully Individualized Workout Program Tailored to YOUR Goals and Timeline
- Fully Individualized Workout Program Specifically Designed for Equipment/Facilities YOU Will Be Training with
- Nutritional Coaching Guide
- Food Logging
- Weekly Healthy Recipes
- Updated NEW Workout Programs Every 4-6 Weeks
- Professional Education and Guidance
- Discounts on Fitness-Related Products
- Optional Weekly Live Training Session (In-Person if Local) via Skype

Program Length

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ask Ashley SportsnFitness: Cardio - How Much? When?

One of the most common questions I am asked is how much cardio do I do or how much should my clients do. Ladies approach me saying they do an hour or even two hours of aerobics or cardio and aren't seeing results. I am asked questions like this by current clients, potential clients, people in the gym and even people in the grocery store. The majority of people asking this question have somehow assumed since I look fit or in shape that I must spend hours in the gym doing cardio. (*Please note: this question is geared towards individuals who are beginner or intermediate levels with no experience weight training. Those individuals who are advanced and familiar with HIIT most likely are familiar with the information I am providing.)

This question is the most frustrating and yet the most exciting one because 1.) It's posed to me A LOT and 2.) It is a great opportunity to help educate people

For whatever reason society has created a correlation between fit and healthy with hours of cardio in the gym. For females in particular the thought process seems to be, "...a healthy, fit looking body is synonomous with hours of cardio. I'm here to get in your face and tell you to get off the treadmill or elliptical and go lift some weight!

Sure hopping on the treadmill or elliptical and knocking out an hour of steady state cardio is super easy; especially with the TVs and cable most gyms offer for all cardio equipment. But you are doing yourself and your body a disservice to just go in the gym day after day doing an hour of cardio.

In terms of caloric expenditure, yes an hour on the treadmill will burn a significant amount of calories, but weight training not only will burn more calories it will also elevate your metabolism so that even after you leave the gym, go home and watch TV or go to bed you will continue to burn additional calories.

Weight training should be everyone's main focus; but especially the females because this type of training is what helps to mold and shape your body. Cardio will only help make you a slightly smaller version of what you already are.

So ladies, please get off the treadmills and ellipticals, grab your GripOns and go pump some iron!
You will be amazed at how your body responds and takes shape so much faster than those monotonous hour long cardio sessions.








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Friday, October 4, 2013

Mini Workout for You To Do With Me! - Abs Circuit

A lot of people including my clients always ask, "What can I do to work my abs?" Everyone always likes to focus on their core and achieving that flat stomach. Rule #1: Abs are made primarily in the kitchen! Lately all my clients have been asking for a mini workout to do at home but still with me.

Lo and behold the 3minute ab workout where I am still there/here (virtually) to guide you through a great core workout.

Follow along and let me know how it goes!




Did You Enjoy That? I also offer Personalized Workout Videos Subscription just like this one tailored to your specific goals and needs. I even talk to YOU personally on the video!
Click Here to Inquire & Find Out More!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ask SportsnFitness: Bored with Weight Training. Variations for Continued Progression?

Recently, one of my clients approached me about wanting to improve and progress her strength and workouts. She is limited to the small gym within her work building. Therefore, the options are somewhat limited when it comes to creating new and exciting workouts. Luckily, there is always room for growth and improvement. This is usually the case with smaller facilities, apartment complex gyms, hotel gyms etc.



Here are a variety of options for adjusting and varying the intensity/format of your weight training routine.

Weight Training Variety Options:

Single Set Straight Through
Perform one set of each exercise in your routine. Once complete, repeat the exercises in the same order again until you complete your desired amount of sets for the total workout. Progression Option: Switch up the order in which you perform the exercises.
Example: If you always perform biceps curl, then triceps extension, then shoulder press; do the reverse order with shoulder press, then triceps extension, then biceps curl. You can continue doing this for any order of combination (triceps extension, arm curl, shoulder press – shoulder press, biceps curl, triceps extension etc.)

Superset
Perform all sets of the same exercise until desired amount of sets achieved. Continue to next exercise in your routine and follow the same approach. Progression Option: Switch up the order in which you do exercises.
Example: If you always perform superset chest press then perform superset triceps extension; do the reverse order with triceps extension first etc.

Abbreviated Rest Periods Cardio Perform exercise and then limit your resting time to 20-45seconds before performing the next exercise. Continue until all exercises in your routine have been completed with 20-45seconds rest in between each one.

Cardio Bursts
Perform exercise and then perform a simple cardio burst exercise for 30-60seconds. Continue until all exercises in your routine have been completed while incorporating 30-60seconds cardio bursts in between each exercise.
Example: Cardio Burst Options: - Jumping Jacks - Jump Rope - March in Place - High Knee March in Place - High Knee Jog - Walking Lunges - Speed Squats (Squats w/quicker tempo) - Mountain Climbers - Bunny Hops Forwards & Backwards - Box Hops (Two feet or Staggered Feet : Hop in shape of square)

Endurance
Perform each exercise at a slightly lighter weight (5-10lbs lighter) and continue to perform exercise for 15-20 reps. Continue to follow this format for the remainder of your routine with all exercises.


Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Got a Question? Comment below or on Facebook

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Personal Training Sessions Available!

  Personal Training is the best way to guarantee the maximum results for your time and money no matter your goals; bigger, thinner, stronger, faster, performance based or just to feel better! The personal approach ensures 100% of the focus is on you and your specific goals.

Current qualification for personal training clientele consists of being within Tampa Bay area and a strong desire to achieve your goals with conviction.

Current personal training clientele ranges from stay at home moms to military personnel to CEO's and professional executives.

Personal Training Sessions are 30minutes long and include a variety of exercises, modalities and equipment to achieve the maximum results with the greatest rate of progression.
- All personal training clients receive an all-inclusive fitness assessment testing to ensure accurate tracking as well as informative documentation. Fitness assessment includes anthropometric measurements, cardiovascular endurance testing, muscular endurance testing, flexibility testing and skinfold caliper body fat testing.
- All personal training clients receive documentation of each session to ensure a thorough understanding of each session as well as the ability to continue the routine independently.
- All Sessions are to be utilized within 30days of purchase unless otherwise noted.
- 24hr Cancellation policy states any sessions cancelled within less than 24hrs will not be re-scheduled. If a session needs to be rescheduled please contact me to do so!
- Referral Credit: Any client who refers another individual new client will receive one (1) additional 30minute session. There is no limit on referrals. Each referral must become a new client prior to referral credit session being given. Ex: Refer 10 friends & 7 become new clients --> 7 additional sessions will be credited to your client file!




# Sessions/Month


Monday, September 16, 2013

At Home Workout Routine: Resistance Bands

Several of my clients have approached me about a total body routine that can be one in the comfort of their own home, in their office or even in a hotel while traveling. The only equipment needed is a resistance band & a possible place to anchor the band (railing or even a door).

 





TOTAL BODY CONDITONING PROGRAM

BODY PART

EXERCISE

DESCRIPTION

SETS
X REPS

WEIGHT

Legs

Band Squats
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles. Feet should be shoulder width apart with heels & toes in line. Hands can be down by your side or up by shoulders to increase intensity.
Option: Feet wider than shoulders with toes pointed out.

 
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Inner/Outer Thigh

Band Side Taps
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles. Leading with the heel, step out to the side with one foot. Bring the same foot back to center and repeat with other foot.
 
3-4 x 12-15Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Delts
Band Overhead Shoulder PressBegin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles. Roll shoulders back & down while engaging your core. Start with elbows in line with shoulders & exhale while pressing straight up over head.
3-4 x 12-15
 
 

 
 
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Delts

Band Front Raises
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles. Roll shoulders back & down while engaging your core. With arms by side, exhale and raise arms up until palms are facing floor with knuckles straight ahead.
 
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Delts

Band Lateral Raises
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles. Roll shoulders back & down while engaging your core with arms by side, palms facing outer thighs.  Exhale & raise arms out & away from body until arms are parallel to the floor with wrists & elbows in line with shoulders.
.
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Biceps
Band Bicep Curls
 
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles. With palms up, exhale and bring palms up to shoulder height. Slowly lower back down. Repeat.
 
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Triceps

Band Triceps Kickback
/
Band Unilateral  Triceps Extension
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet while holding handles & palms facing side of legs. Hinge forward from hips with slight bend in knees & core engaged. Elbows bent 90degrees & wrists by hips. Exhale & extend forearms back behind body until elbows are straight.
/
Begin with band under R foot arch, holding one handle in L hand with band behind L shoulder. In lunge position, raise elbow up in line w/temple & palm facing up. Exhale & extend forearm up until straight until knuckles in line w/ceiling.



3-4 x 12-15



 



Light/Med Resistance
 Band
Lats/Traps/BackBand Reverse Flyes
/
Cross Band Unilateral Row

 
Begin with bands underneath arches of feet, cross bands over while holding opposite handles & elbows pinned alongside the body with palms facing each other. Hinge forward from hips with slight bend in knees & core engaged. Exhale & pull handles out & away from body while keeping elbows pinned  alongside the body.
/
Begin with band underneath arch of one foot. Holding opposite side single handle, keep thumb up and drive elbow up and backwards. Slowly lower back down. Repeat
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Lats/Traps/Back
Anchored Band Low Row
/ Anchored Band Reverse Flyes
 
Begin by wrapping band around bar/pole/anchored piece of equipment at hip/torso height. Face bar/pole, hold handles with palms facing each other. Roll shoulders back/down & engage core. Exhale & pull handles back with elbows sliding alongside the body.
/
Begin by wrapping band around bar/pole/anchored piece of equipment at hip/torso height. Face bar/pole, & cross bands over each other to hold opposite handles with palms facing each other. Roll shoulders back/down to engage core while keeping elbows pinned by the sides of the body. Exhale & pull handles out & away from body while keeping elbows pinned  alongside the body.
 
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Chest

Anchored Band Chest Press
/ Anchored Band Chest Flyes
Begin by wrapping band around bar/pole/anchored piece of equipment at shoulder height. Face away from bar/pole, hold handles with palms facing the floor & 90degree bend in elbows. Exhale & press knuckles forward & away from body. Slowly return to starting position.
/
Begin by wrapping band around bar/pole/anchored piece of equipment at shoulder height. Face away from bar/pole, hold handles with palms facing each other with slight bend in elbows. Exhale & press palms forward &towards each other. Slowly return to starting position.
 
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band

Core/Low Back
Anchored Band Torso Hold
/

Anchored Band Torso Rotation
 
 
 
Begin by wrapping band around bar/pole/anchored piece of equipment at hip/torso height. Face R side to bar/pole, hold handles with palms facing each other with arms straight out in front at torso height. Roll shoulders back/down & engage core.
/
Begin by wrapping band around bar/pole/anchored piece of equipment at hip/torso height. Face R side to bar/pole, hold handles with palms facing each other with arms straight out in front at torso height. Roll shoulders back/down & engage core. Rotate hands/handles side to side from shoulder to shoulder. Repeat facing other side.
3-4 x 12-15
Light/Med Resistance
 Band
The idea of this routine is to focus on basic muscular conditioning & endurance. Equipment used is resistance band.
GUIDELINESGOALS
Warm up prior to and cool down after each workout with light intensity.
Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.

Increase Overall Muscular Endurance

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Tribute

Happy Mother's Day to All!

Mother's Day is interesting. It's an entire day set aside to show appreciation to all the mother's out there. That is really great but wouldn't it be more realistic and better if you were to treat every day like mother's day? Think about it. The only reason any of us exist is because of our mothers. I can't speak for anyone else but my mom is nothing short of amazing. There are not enough words in any language to begin to describe how influential, helpful and awesome my mom is. So how do I go about trying to show my appreciation, respect, gratitude and love for my mom in just a single day?! 

My mom is the epitome of what a mother should be. She is a strong, powerful woman who stops at nothing to achieve what she wants or what she feels is best for her family. Growing up my mom was always super independent, kicking ass and taking names at work. She would show up early, fix problems other incompetent people had made and then do her work plus stay late to ensure everything was running smoothly. On top of all of that she would make sure we were picked up from school and taken care of. The older I got, the more I realized how much my mom really did for all of us. It's one thing to do the perceived 'normal' motherly things like getting the kids ready for school, making meals, helping with homework etc. My mom was always there to ensure we not only were we taken care of but we were becoming well rounded individuals. My mom was always striving to make sure we were better; intellectually, spiritually, mentally etc. The unyielding passion my mom has for us is unmatched by any. 
My mom is a woman who re-defines what it means to go above and beyond. 
My mom is the kind of person who wakes up several hours earlier than I do on the morning of the Boston Marathon to run to Walgreens to get me extra socks/tights to keep warm during the race.
My mom is the kind of person who will text me at 2am reminding me to be safe while I am at college because she had a "feeling". (A feeling that was dead-on by the way!)
My mom is the kind of person who will rearrange her schedule to coordinate with my after-school plans (track meets etc).
My mom is the kind of person who will commit to driving me miles away every Saturday to pursue an expensive and time-consuming hobby.
My mom is the kind of person who can make any cloudy day a little bit sunnier with her jokes, advice and love.
My mom is the kind of person who always knows just what to say when I am having a bad day or don't know what to do in a tough situation.
My mom is the kind of person that will stop at nothing to help the ones she loves.
My mom is the kind of person that was just meant to be a mother because of how much she sacrifices, how much she cares, how much she gives up, how hard she works for her family.
My mom is the biggest reason for the woman I am today and for the way I carry myself today because of her influence.
My mom is such a great mother I have no desire to even become a mother because I wouldn't be able to replicate even a fraction of the love and hard work she commits to our family to which I feel would be a disservice to the family name.
There is no one greater, stronger, more loving, hard working and passionate than my mom.

 I love you Mom.
Happy Mother's Day!    

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PRIORITIZE Your Health & Wellness

As a certified fitness professional, I hear a lot of things/excuses from people regarding their schedules and abilities (or lack thereof) to exercise/make time for heir health.

I'm writing this post based on the statements made during a conversation I had yesterday with a member of mine. She had spent twenty minutes or so expressing frustration about her diet and weight loss issues. She went into detail regarding the typical ups and downs of weight loss; the roller coaster of emotions and weight change. After listening to her intently and conveying my understanding for her situation, since it is a struggle well-known by the majority of the population, I really did not have that much sympathy for her. As a certified fitness professional, I have heard this story or ones similar to it almost daily. It's not that I don't understand or have compassion for their struggles, but is time for some BRUTAL HONESTY.

The degree of passion which my members/clients/friends express frustration  is severely unmatched by their commitment to making time for their health and wellness. The conversation I had with this particular woman yesterday just really pushed me over the edge when I asked her about her routine and some of the basic and simplest ways to control her weight. I asked her about the amount of water she was consuming on a daily basis (2-3 bottles a day )as well as the number of hours of sleep she was able to get a night(about 5-6 hours). When I suggested she work on increasing her water consumption she had a laundry list of excuses; that would make her have to go to the bathroom; soda tastes better; carrying that many water bottles is heavy etc. It was the same story when I suggested she turn off the TV and get an extra hour of sleep. Her reaction to my less TV option was, "Oh no! I have my shows I must watch" and of course "...my kids stay up fairly late..."

This is what is wrong with people these days. Complain about how much they struggle and want to change their current health and fitness condition and yet they prioritize things that actually contribute to declining health! Since when does a silly stupid TV show dictate how your operate your daily life schedule? Maybe times have changed, but I do know that I am the same person before and after I watch TV/movie etc. I was raised by two wonderful parents who were very strict an implemented a no TV during the week policy in addition to a 7pm bed time (8pm during high school). At the time I really did not like them for it, but I am a better person for it now. I have the discipline and structure to create a balanced lifestyle with prioritized schedule. I have taken it a step further in that I actually sold my TV, canceled my cable and only watch shows, predominantly sporting events, at the gym. 

 TV shows should not be a priority in your life, especially if you are a parent! Be a proper role model to yourself and your family! I'm not saying you have to create rules as strict as what I was raised with, but a little reorganization and prioritizing will benefit your family, quality of life and overall health greatly.



TIPS:
- Turn OFF TV an hour early and go to bed!
- Tivo your TV show and FF through commercials to shorten the length of time watching.
- Watch your show and use the commercials to be active (Push-ups, Sit-ups, Jumping Jacks etc).
- Encourage your entire family to restrict their TV usage.
- Issue a family challenge: No TV for a week. You will be amazed at how productive you will be.


Stop making excuses and start prioritizing your health!

Motivation for May!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#PRAY for BOSTON

DONATE TO THE VICTIMS OF BOSTON: http://onefundboston.org/


It is with a heavy hand and a heavy heart that I struggle to write this post. The images, the eye-witness accounts from yesterday's tragedy are on a continuous reel in my head and all over ever piece of media.
Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration for all those in Boston and supporters of the Boston Marathon.

For those that do not know, I am born and raised in Boston, MA. I grew up in the area and as am advocate of fitness was a huge fan of the marathon. I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2005 with no training, no advice, no phone, water etc; just a curious nature and a strong belief that I could do it.

After a successful completion of the 2005 Marathon, I was addicted. I continued the addiction by running the Boston Marathon in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I also worked as an intern at the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) that organizes and puts the entire event together.
Needless to say there is a lot of pride here in regards to such a notorious event on Patriots Day. There is nothing out there like it. You have the entire city supporting you, cheering for you, watching your journey of the 26.2 miles to Boston.

For those who have not ever done a marathon, there is not a feeling in the world like the ones experienced during the marathon. I cannot speak for anyone else but for me I know every time I crossed that starting line in Hopkinton I was beginning yet another journey of finding myself, challenging myself and being inspired by the other 20,000+ participants around me. For those 26.2 miles you go through every possible human emotion; fear, anxiety, joy, fatigue, worry, relief, confusion etc. The term commonly associated with marathon running is, "hitting a wall" and it is true.

A marathon is not like any other sport in that you can't call a time-out, you cannot 'sub-in' or tap out and even if you are part of a team running, you still are responsible for your own two feet. By the time you enter into Boston the body is fatiguing fast. The people in the crowd have no idea what the body is experiencing. I learned very quickly that even though the crowd is yelling and cheering; a single high-five will knock you down. When you cross that finish line you are so worn out, the body is so physically exhausted and mentally drained. It's hard enough to navigate the finish line on a normal day let alone what the runners experienced yesterday afternoon. The finish line of the Boston Marathon is such a symbol for runners. You have just traveled 26.2 miles, your body wants to stop, your mind is racing with emotions and feelings, you are steps away from the huge accomplishment you set out to achieve and crossing that blue & yellow painted pavement signifies a successful completion, a signal that you achieved a huge feat and that you are done. The one image that I held strong in my head every time I ran was that finish line. As you run on Commonwealth Ave under the tunnel, the anticipation is building. When you round the corner uphill on Hereford Street for that last and final turn onto Boylston the only thing that keeps you going is the blue & yellow sign hanging high above the street with the crowd cheering and screaming. That finish line signifies the end of your journey, it represents the struggle, the commitment to year-round training, to the intrinsic reasons for motivation and inspiration to compete. I have crossed that finish line alone, with my Dad and the feeling is always the same; an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and unity with all those who traveled the same distance as I just did.

The Boston Marathon is notorious for so many reasons. It's the most challenging, it's the oldest annual, it still retains its original name not clouded by marketing/sponsors etc, and it's the kind of Marathon you can run and have strangers beside you on the course cheer you along, help you out and make new lifelong friends. For those of us lucky enough to have participated, volunteered or been a spectator in one or multiple Boston Marathons, the significance of the event and that day is tremendous.

I urge everyone to recognize the significance of what happened, but to pray for all those affected by this tragedy. Despite this dark blemish, people should know the Boston Marathon will continue to be a sense of hope for all the charities it supports, a challenge to competitive and casual runners as well as the greatest experience and memory of someones life as it is for me.


#PRAYFORBOSTON
TO DONATE TO THE OFFICIAL FUND - http://onefundboston.org/