Sometimes I need a swift kick in the ass to get back into this blog so what better way than a glutes workout?

Nothing can replace heavy squats, hip thrusts, deadlifts and the like but sometimes switching it up can bring amazing results.

Decided to stay at home for today’s workout so here is what I did:

-Superset – 5 rounds of:

  • Seated Band Hip Abduction x 20
  • BW Hip Thrust with Band around thighs x 20

-10 sets of 10 KB Deadlift (90#) with 30 seconds rest between sets

-Tri-Set – 4 rounds of:

  • Single Leg Romanian Deadlift with Heavy Thick Band x 15 each
  • Goblet Squat (35# KB) x 15
  • Barbell Good Mornings (35#) x 15

-Tri-Set with Medium Band around ankles- 3 rounds of:

  • Lateral Steps x 20
  • Monster Walks Fwd/Bwd x 10
  • Standing Hip Extension x 15 each

-Finisher:  50 reps Donkey Kicks each side with medium Band

-Cardio:  Tabata KB Swings with 35# KB (20 seconds on/10 seconds rest x 8 rounds)

Give it a try and let my know what you think in the comments below!






Hey guys!  Been busy as usual so here’s what I had time for today:

5 Rounds

Using a barbell with moderate to heavy weight, DBs, and a KB:

15 BB Deadlifts
1 BB Hang Clean
5 BB Push Press
15 BB Bent over Rows
10 DB Push Jerks
10 Single arm KB High Pulls
15 KB Overhead Tricep Extensions
15 minutes bike before and 10 after


Workout Of The Day

Posted: August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hey Guys!  In an effort to get back to regular blogging, I’m going to start logging some workouts and other random stuff that comes to mind.  If you are reading this and have any topics you want covered, by all means, drop a comment below!

So, if you follow me you know that I am not the biggest fan of traditional cardio.  I’m not saying its bad, its just boring.  I will partake in it from time to time either as a warm-up, cool-down, or on an active rest day.

I have found that the best workout set-up for me over the course of a week is to do 4 traditional bodybuilding-style workouts and 2 Crossfit-style workouts for a total of 6 days per week.  This way I get all the strengthening and cardio built in.  Here is what I did today.

10 minute bike warm-up followed by dynamic stretching

5 rounds of:

  • Barbell Row x 10
  • Hang Clean and Press x 10
  • Overhead Triceps Extension x 10
  • Kettlebell Swing x 20

5 rounds of:

  • Barbell High Pull from hang position x 10
  • Power Jerk x 10

5 minutes Jump Rope 

10 minutes Bike

4 rounds of:

  • Weighted Crunch x 10
  • V-Ups x 10
  • Knee-Ins x 10

This took me just over an hour and I torched over 400 calories.  I kept the weights moderate and just kept moving.  I’d say that’s WAAAY better than an hour on the treadmill!

Bring On 2015!!!

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Miscellaneous
Tags: , ,

Hi Girls and Guys!  I cannot believe that another year is coming to a close…I guess it is true that the years seem to go faster and faster as you get older (Ahem…well, so I’m told anyway).  This post is just as much for me as it is for you.  In my opinion, reflecting on the past year is a great thing to do.  What was good, what didn’t go as planned, and what are some personal goals going forward.

Thinking back, I can’t believe that I actually made it through 2014 without going off the deep end.  2013 ended horribly for me; just before Christmas, I made a bold decision to quit my job.  The night of Christmas was a moment that I will never forget.  I unfortunately watched my mother die a sudden and premature death.  To be honest, the first half of 2014 is a blur to me.  My father initially did not handle the death of my mother very well and ended up in the hospital after mixing up his own medications. Shortly thereafter, my grandmother passed away.  In the midst of all this, I obtained my personal trainer certification, started a new job, and also started a personal business.  What the hell was I thinking?

I made the decision to hold off on any competitions this year knowing that my head and my heart just weren’t in it.  I certainly didn’t need to add any additional stress.  I continued to train and eat healthfully of course…I honestly don’t know what I would have done without my training.  That was my therapy that got me through everything.  My momentary escape, my “me” time.

The last few months of 2014 weren’t the best either.  I battled through several injuries as well as my own health scare.  I’m definitely not trying to start a pity party here, but rather use it as a reminder of my blessings.  I must say that it has brought my family closer together.  So, I am thankful for my family and friends that support me, I am thankful for my job and business that allow me to be there for my daughters, I am thankful for my health and that I am recovering well from my injuries, I am thankful for a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in, I am thankful I have a great place to train, I am thankful for my amazing sponsor Top Secret Nutrition that supplies me with great support and top notch supplements, and I’ll admit, I am damn thankful that this year is over!

I guess it’s true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…so, for 2015, I am going to be one strong mother!  Who’s with me?

We’re well into Fall and you know what that means!  It’s slow cooker season.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that the slow cooker is a fit girl’s best friend.  I absolutely love that fact that I can throw some ingredients into it at some point during the morning, cover, and walk away.  When I get home from work, errands, picking up the kids, etc., dinner is there just waiting for me.  The time between picking the kids up from school and their bedtime is absolute chaos in my house.  Snacks, homework, dinner, showers, reading, dishes, and everything else that didn’t get done that day is crammed into a block of a few hours.  The last thing I want to worry about is having a lot of prep work for dinner.

Over the course of a few blogs, I’m going to share some of my favorite slow cooker recipes but I’ll start with one of the easiest and tastiest!  Slow cooker pulled pork.  Ok, who doesn’t love pulled pork??  If you answered “me”, stop reading and go seek help (J/K of course)!

Anyway, you need 3 ingredients…that’s it!

  • 1-2 extra lean pork tenderloins
  • Natural (no sugar added) applesauce
  • BBQ Sauce of your choice – read labels here because many brands are loaded with extra sugar.  You can even use one of those “no calorie” sauces like from Walden Farms (but, since I’m not prepping for anything at the moment, I prefer something a little thicker)

Spray your slow cooker with a light layer of cooking spray (I use Olive Oil Pam).  Place the pork in the center (for one) or next to each other with a small space between (for two).  Cover the pork with a layer of applesauce.  Layer the BBQ sauce over the applesauce carefully.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.  Use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s fully cooked through.  Once the pork is done, you can remove it from the slow cooker and use a fork to shred it.  The beauty here is you can add as little or as much “sauce” as you want.  Make a sandwich or eat as is!

I’m including a “before” and “after” picture so that you can have a look.  Please, for the love of God, ignore the fact that the before picture looks like 2 large tu—….oh, nevermind…just keep the comments clean please 😉


Calories DO Count!

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Fitness, Nutrition
Tags: , ,

I had a conversation with an individual just the other day.  We were discussing nutrition and fat loss.  I asked her how many calories per day she was eating.  She had no idea.  Her answer was “Well, I’m really good.  I eat really healthy and I’ve just started gluten-free” (Insert head smack here).  My response was “Ok, but how MUCH food do you eat?  Do you have a general idea of how many calories you’re taking in?”.  *Crickets*  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this same conversation.

My point here is not to make fun of any particular dieting scheme.  I have nothing against gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, etc. etc. etc.  My personal philosophy is to not adhere to one particular “diet plan”.  I don’t believe there is a need to cut anything out unless you have an intolerance or sensitivity to it.  Putting that aside, my point is CALORIES DO COUNT!

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but even if you eat too much healthy food, you are going to gain weight.  I used to be an incessant calorie counter – weighing, measuring, etc. down to the last gram.  It can certainly be a tedious task, but I do recommend it to people that have no idea about portion size.  I’m not saying that you need to do it forever, but at least for a few weeks until you get the hang of “eye-balling” proper portion size.  If you enjoy counting calories or tracking macros, go for it!  It certainly does work and it’s something I’ll do when I’m in contest prep mode.

Now, for the other side of things…how the heck do you know how much you’re burning while exercising?  You can’t go by the calorie count on machines when doing cardio because I have found that more often than not, they OVERestimate your calorie burn.  There are several formulas that you can look up to get an estimate but remember, it is just an estimate.  As for weight-training, calories burned of course are going to depend on your intensity, duration of workout, whether or not you’re doing circuit training, and several other factors.  Again, you can get an estimate by searching online.  Here’s what I do:  I’ve invested in a heart rate monitor (one with a chest strap for continuous monitoring).  This will be a bit more accurate for cardio exercise versus resistance training but I find that it works VERY well.  The chest strap can take a little getting used to but I think it’s worth it.  I know there are newer technologies out there that don’t require a chest strap, but I haven’t gotten the chance to test any of those out.

If you don’t have or want to use a heart rate monitor, you can get an estimate of your total calorie burn including exercise using this calculator:    Follow the plan for a few weeks and assess…losing weight?  Great!  Keep going…  Not losing weight?  That’s ok, you may need to re-adjust your calories, pay closer attention to your portion sizes, etc.

This post is just a reminder…when in doubt, go back to the basics.  Calories in, calories out!  It does matter!  This may need to be another post but…don’t forget, you need to make sure you’re eating enough to support the amount of exercise you’re doing…sometimes the problem is the opposite, not eating enough!

Hi guys and girls.  Hope you’re all having a great week and still have some Halloween candy left to give out tomorrow!  🙂

Anyway, I had my littlest home sick with me today so I wasn’t able to get to the gym.  I’m lucky enough to have a decent amount of equipment at home so I grabbed some kettlebells and went to work.  Here is the result:

I used my Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter – one scoop about 20 minutes before:

  • 10 minute warm-up on my bike
  • I did 2 warm-up sets of just one kettlebell of the following exercises and then I grabbed 2 and did the same exercises for a total of 5 rounds:
  • Kettlebell swing x 5
  • Kettlebell Press
  • Kettlebell Squat
  • Kettlebell (sumo-ish) Deadlift

I’m adding a quick video snippet to my Facebook page if you want to have a look… (if you listen closely, you’ll hear my daughter ask for some cheese… 😛 )

The Grind

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Fitness
Tags: , ,

Hard work, dirty work, the day-in and day-out “it ain’t pretty” work.  That’s where I’m at right now…”The Grind”.  I’m doing my best to put the work in, eat well, and rest when I can.  I’m in that phase where the hard work doesn’t quite show yet.  I’m not trying to lose fat but I am trying to improve my physique for next year without putting piles of slop and jiggle on my body.

I made the decision at the end of the summer to hold off on competing for this year.  It was just too rough of a year for me to even think about adding an additional stressor.  For those that follow me, you may already know that on Christmas of last year, I lost my mom.  That was a huge, devastating blow.  The year followed with ups and downs with my father’s health, a new business for me, and some nagging injuries…my head was just not in the game.  And for those of you that compete, you know that if you’re not into it, it’s a struggle and can be completely miserable.

So, stay tuned folks…I’m going to do my best to keep updating this blog with recipes, workouts, tips, fun, and anything else fitness related.  If there is anything in particular you would like me to write about, please drop me a note in the comments!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog.  I’ve been fighting a serious case of writer’s block…oh well, it happens.  I’ve also been struggling a bit with getting motivated to get my workouts in.  My best time to workout is first thing in the morning but with all the craziness of the summer:  work schedule, kids, etc. my workout time is never the same from day to day.  Most of my workouts have been at home as well which has forced me to be a bit creative at times.  With limited time, limited equipment, and constant interruptions from my kids, I’ve found that performing circuits is the best way to get in both my weights and cardio/conditioning in a shorter amount of time.

Here’s today’s workout I performed with emphasis on back and biceps:

10 minute warm-up on bike

Perform the following circuit of exercises 4 times through with as little rest as possible (use weight heavy enough that the last few reps are tough):

  • Pull-ups x 10
  • DB Curls x 10
  • Kettlebell Swing x 20
  • 2-Arm DB Row x 10
  • DB Reverse Curls x 10
  • Jump Rope x 50
  • Kettlebell Pullover x 15
  • In & Out Band Curls x 20 (Alternate curling band in toward your chest and out to the side keeping elbows locked in at your sides)
  • Fast feet on bottom step of staircase x 50
  • Single-Arm T-Bar Row with Barbell x 15 each side


After performing this circuit:

  • DB Back Flye 2 x 15
  • Band Straight Arm Pulldown 2 x 20
  • TRX Inverted Rows x 100 (as many sets as it takes to complete 100:  50 reps with neutral grip and 50 reps with pronated grip)

Finish the workout with 10 minutes of Jump Rope…well, in my case today, I got another 10 seconds of cardio when I walked into the giant spider web that was across the gate of my fence 😛

Try it and let me know how you do!

I cannot believe that it’s August already!  I’ll admit, I’m a bit happy about it too.  It’s been a long summer so far and my girls and I have been spending MUCH too much time together. With that aside, there’s also less than a month left until my vacation 😀

My sponsor, Top Secret Nutrition, has been really upping the ante with some of their newest products that have recently hit the market.  I have tried just about every one of them and have yet to be disappointed.  In this blog, I’m going to discuss what my current supplement stack looks like for the remainder of my fat loss phase before I hit the beach…and maybe, just maybe, a competition in the fall…

My standard supps that I take pretty much year-round include the Whey Protein, Active Extreme Multivitamin, Fish Oil & CLA with Lipase, Advanced Joint Support, and Red Palm Oil.  These are my “must-have” health essentials.

My workout stack includes Pump Igniter and Creavar pre-workout for resistance training or Cardio Igniter prior to cardio/conditioning.  I sip BCAA Hyperblend during my training.  Post-workout is usually a Whey Protein shake unless I have a whole-food meal instead.

For fat loss, Top Secret Nutrition has added a ton of new products to their line.  My current fat loss stack includes Ab Igniter once or twice a day with the newest Garcinia Cambogia chews as needed a couple times throughout the day to help with cravings and appetite (I have a big one!).  I’ll also cycle between some of the other products as well: the Garcinia Boost and Raz-Lean Energy shots are my other favorites!

Be sure to check out all their amazing products at or if you already use some of them, tell me your favorites and why.  Happy August everyone!