Kath's Journal: Semi-Private Personal Training Day 1

So, I just signed myself up for “Semi-Private Personal Training”.

It was time to change it up. Having been a regular participant in the “Wicked Strong Fitness Bootcamp” (personalized group training workouts) for the past 3+ years, I knew I was in a bit of a rut and I was stressed out. Make no mistake, boot camp was fantastic – it changed the way I thought about nutrition and exercise; there were some pretty awesome results and a whole bunch of really great people. I’m experiencing some pretty significant changes in both my professional and personal life. Working out went from being a stress reliever, to a stress inducer.

So, I stopped doing it. “I’ll start running again. I’ll eat less. I’ll join a cheap gym later….” I reasoned.

What actually happened? I didn’t run once. I ate more crap. I know cheap gyms don’t deliver results. I went back to Wicked Strong Fitness to try something new; “Semi-Private Personal Training”, a.k.a “Wicked Strong Chicks.

A 3 week hiatus from working out in combination with some less than conscientious eating habits means that I’m basically starting over. It’s a daunting thought that I decided to dismiss as I walked into Christine’s office for my initial assessment to participate in “Wicked Strong Chicks”, a new semi-private personal training program, focused on delivering optimal results for women.

Christine was very thorough in gathering the information she needed in order for me to participate in the Wicked Strong Chicks program. Kindly and carefully, she took all of my measurements in order to accurately track my progress in the program. My bicep, bust, waist, hips and thigh were all measured. I got to step on the scale (everyone’s favorite!) and my body fat percentage was estimated. We discussed my eating habits, water intake and Christine suggested nutritional supplements that help facilitate results with the semi-private personal training program. Christine is fully certified and Wicked Strong Fitness Bootcamps offers a wealth of knowledge regarding nutrition and developing simple habits that facilitate results. I was given some suggested nutritional changes to make, including taking a whole food multi vitamin and omega supplement. My fitness goals for this semi-private personal training program include preparing me to compete in a mini triathlon in 2013 and, I would really like to drop a jean size while I’m at it!

I like the talking part and would have liked to chat with Christine all afternoon, but we had to move on to the physical strength part of the assessment for Wicked Strong Chicks. The “warm up” phase of program is designed to get your mind and body working together and quickly gets your heart rate up. It only lasted about 10 minutes or so and while I definitely consider it “doable” for everyone, it was not without it’s challenges (any exercise that calls on my right side to perform a task different from the task my left side is performing, is often comical to the casual observer). In addition to getting the mind/body connections firing, this part of the assessment is used to evaluate overall strength as well as left versus right side balance.

Having had the benefit of knowing Christine for a few years now, she is a true professional who knows her stuff. I’m going to also let you know that, as someone who hasn’t been the most fit or the most athletic, Christine is kind; there is not criticism or judgement at Wicked Strong Fitness Boot Camps. I’m excited and inspired to be working out in the motivating and supportive environment Wicked Strong Chicks offers!

I’ll keep you posted on how the semi-private personal training goes!


Want to learn about the Health Benefits of Coffee?

About the health benefits of coffee

I’ve had some questions about the health benefits of coffee lately. Why?

Well, mostly because I’ve been experimenting a little with nutrition plans.

No, not any of the Weight Watchers plans. Nor any of the multitude of “pay us and we’ll send you the food you’re supposed to eat every week” plans.

I’ve been (trying to) stay compliant with the Elimination Diet v3.0 by Dax Moy. Continue reading “Want to learn about the Health Benefits of Coffee?”

Workout: Keep Your Fitness Journey Moving in High Gear

Not Motivated? Fitness Journey detour possible

Everyone is excited this time of year to change. Lets take advantage of that motivation and keep the fitness journey moving in high gear!

Just because you’re not in the studio doesn’t mean we can’t all workout together. Take on the challenge below and see what you can do in the next 5 days. I think you will be surprised. It is simple, not time consuming and gives you great results! If you are running a 1/2 marathon and then a marathon you can pass, this time. 😉

For your @home fitness journey

As promised here is your workout plan. This is to be done everyday for the best results. It is Ok to do other activities in addition to these workouts.

Four (4) workouts throughout the day.

As soon as you wake up but before you eat, test how many of each of the following exercises you can do in one (1) minute for a total of four (4) minutes. You are not going for fatigue. Just keep moving and boot up your system for the day.

Morning boot-up (Test)

Time Exercise Completed reps
1 minute Body Weight Squats
1 minute Push-Ups
1 minute Crunches (Ab)
1 minute Rows


Now, take that half of number of repetitions you just did, of each exercise (divide by 2). Then, do 2-3 sets at three (3) separate times during the day. An example would look like this:

Morning boot-up (Test)

Time Exercise Completed reps
1 minute Body Weight Squats  20
1 minute Push-Ups 20
1 minute Crunches (Ab) 20
1 minute Rows 20


Round 1: 2-3 sets (10:00am), Round 2: 2-3 sets (4:00pm), Round 3: 2-3 sets (8:00pm). You get to choose the times of course. Those were just examples.

Rounds 1-3

Time Exercise Completed reps
1 minute Body Weight Squats 10
1 minute Push-Ups 10
1 minute Crunches (Ab) 10
1 minute Rows 10


For the best results, do each round before you eat.

Notes on How to:

To do a squat: Really, you all know how to squat by now! But, do me a favor and keep your shoulders back, chin down (if you had a glass on your head it wouldn’t tip over), and core tight… Pinch that walnut and NOW squat.

To do a push up: You can perform the move on the floor, on an incline (stairs/couch), or as a last resort, your knees if an incline can not be found.

To do a crunch: Lie on your back, cross your arms behind your head, find a spot rigth above you, on the ceiling, then push your bellybutton to the floor as you lift your shoulders off the floor, then lower yourself back down. To prevent neck strain do not pull on your neck as you come up instead, lift with your abdominal muscles and keep your arms crossed behind your head.

To do a row: Take a mini-band and loop it around a door knob. Get into an athletic stance – feet approximately shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in the knees – and grab the mini-band with one hand then pull towards you. When you have completed the reps on one arm, switch to the other side. Note: When performing the test in the morning to determine your number for the day, use your non-dominant arm.

This program has been modified but it originated with Dax Moy. If you want to learn more about Dax visit his blog at www.iamdaxmoy.com.

Have a great Thursday through Monday and we will see you Tuesday, Jan. 15th or Wednesday, Jan. 16th. You can do it!!!!!!!!

See you soon!



Running Injury Prevention – My Experience

Running Injury Free Robot

Sustained a Running Injury?

Are you a runner and have sustained a running injury?

We runners put a lot of miles of pavement under our feet in a week. It’s therapeutic. It feels good – to be done? ;-). Being outside on a crisp summer day, as the sun rises. Feeling how you’re using your body. Being off the couch. Add a scenic back-drop and, it’s simply awesome!

BUT, according to studies, see this website, about 66% of runners experience a running injury every year!

Think about that…

Two thirds of all runners experience a running injury once per year. Wow!

Maybe you knew that already by way of personal experience? Did you also know most of those running injuries can be prevented? Like all things mechanical, the body doesn’t handle repetitive usage patterns well. Even less so over extended periods of time. Think about it, that’s what running is. Repetitive use of the same body parts, the same way. Mile after mile, hour after hour.

Running Injury & Prevention

There are plenty of injury prevention recommendations floating around. All runners have come across the “Cross Train” recommendation. I’m not knocking it. I too believe in the power of cross-training. But, as with any recommendation the difference may be in what I chose to do.

For a lot of runners cross-training equates to “different cardio”. Runners seem to believe that to stay in shape, they need run for hours every week. They get on a bike, maybe a stationary bike, or an elliptical machine in a gym and play “energizer bunny“.

True, stationary bikes and elliptical machines means different use of the muscles. That’s good thing. Doing something different with the muscle means less chance of a running injury.

For me, cross-training means finding something to make me become a stronger, faster and better runner. With less time spent training, please!

I get bored

So I go looking for something completely different. I can’t stand spending hours on a stationary bike or elliptical machines! If “injury prevention” means being bored out of my mind in a packed gym, waiting for the “cardio equipment” to be available, I’ll take injury for $100 please!

In my running career, I realized that there are 4 areas of my body where I need focus. If I maintain strength and flexibility there, running feels easier, more natural and it helps me prevent injuries:

  1. “The Core”
    1. My core, abdominal & back muscles essentially, keep me up-right and allows me to relax more while running
  2. Hamstrings, quads, hipflexers and glutes
    1. Uphill and downhill power. Strong and flexible muscles keep IT-band related pains & injuries in check.
  3. Feet & calf muscles
    1. Strong feet and calf muscles keep away various foot/lower-leg related flare-ups.
  4. Chest & shoulders
    1. A balanced body, plus they have the added bonus of helping me pump my arms faster and with less fatigue when I want to sprint. As my old running coach used to say: When the arms go, the feet will follow.

Running + Strength Training = Awesomeness

Obviously, I do heavy resistance training as my cross-training option.

For “cardio” I do resistance based High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). At my wife’s studio, we call it “The Wicked NINE”, but any real HIIT training option will suffice. And by “real” I mean full-out, “givin’ it all you got”, ba**s to the walls interval training. No “60% of max effort” here. It’s 100% of max effort, for the entire duration of the interval.

And I stretch. Well, I never stretch before a run. But I don’t simply stretch after exercise either. I “stretch” during exercise. It’s not “stretching” the way most people think of it. Resistance training not only helps your muscles become stronger, it also helps make them more flexible. And that’s what we runners need. Flexibility. Flexibility helps prevent things like IT-Band syndrome, Achilles Tendonitis, etc.

Because I work with a professional and progressively build up to my max load and intensity, this routine of running + resistance training + HIIT works very well for me in the injury prevention department.

I’ve only had two injuries since I started training for my first marathon some 3 years ago. They both occurred within the first 4 months of my training. They occurred because I was an idiot; I ignored my body when it told me I should stop. You probably know what I mean… Yes, I’ll admit it: I “pushed through”. And paid for it.

Order Up: One knee related running injury. Haven’t done that since!

What about you? Do you have any, perhaps untraditional, cross-training tips you can share? Or any running injury prevention tips?


New Year Resolution: Get Fit

New Year Resolution: Get Fit!

Is your New Year resolution to Get Fit

Are you worried about what is going to happen to your ‘get fit’ New Year resolution, sometime around mid-January?

You’re in good company! “Get Fit” is one of the most popular New Year resolutions in America, according to the usa.gov website.

Also popular health and fitness resolutions are “loose weight”, “reduce stress” and “eat healthy”. They all have something in common; We all start out at the beginning of the year with the best intentions. And then, for some reason, most of us fall off the wagon…

Well, I for one do not believe it’s “for some reason”. The reasons are pretty typical.

We get bored.

It’s difficult to find the time.

That first work-out after years on the sofa? It hurts. And not just physically!

Besides, lasting change is tough to implement.

It’s boring to go to the gym alone.

So why do we insist on joining one of the big box gyms and go at it on our own? Because it’s cheap? That is not a recipe for success! (Is it really cheap? – see my “8 reasons cheap gyms suck” post).

Almost everybody who lose weight and maintain the weight loss share one thing:

They have social support!

Get fit with social support

Social support is the primary reason people succeed at getting fit, eating healthy or any other habit change. Social support means having somebody you feel accountable to. Maybe it’s your spouse? Maybe it’s your children?

Or, maybe it’s a group of like-minded (future) friends, sharing your desire to make a life change. The life change doesn’t have to be to get fit, lose weight, eat healthy or manage stress, but if it is?

Regular exercise is one of the key ingredients. Exercising together with other like-minded people, being inspired by them to push yourself.  Basically, getting results is more likely to occur if you have social support from friends, family (and trainers).

Value of a personal trainer, a semi-private or group training environment?

Wicked Strong Fitness is here to help you stay the path. It’s easier to fel accountable to somebody other than yourself. We can help with that. Having an appointment to show up at a studio, multiple times per week, makes a huge difference!

We support you and constantly make changes to the exercise routine. That way, it doesn’t become “routine” and wind up boring you to tears. The purpose of our training classes is to benefit your health, help you achieve your fitness goals and maintain your enthusiasm – it wanes, around mid-January, for a lot of people.

Think a personal trainer could help you stay motivated to keep your 2013 New Year Resolution past Jan 15th?

Contact us by clicking the “Need Information?” button on this page and we’ll help you figure out what works best for you and your life/schedule!


Simple Habits: One Step at a Time

Simple Habits

Simple habits are all about “Keeping it Simple”Simple Habits

Everything I know and have read about changing a habit, learning a new skill, or achieving a goal teaches that it is all about keeping it simple. Break it down into manageable parts. Keep your simple habits simple to implement. Personally, I have found this to be easier said than done!

I sometimes find it amusing that the habit that I need to work the hardest to incorporate is simply looking at the big picture and then breaking it down. Simplify!

Whether it is a new, “simple” fitness habit, an exercise and how to coach it, creating new programs, or planning out what generally needs to get done in my life, I have tendency to get stuck on the “holy crap that is a lot of stuff!” step. Then ignoring it and doing something that still is on the list which – normally – has nothing to do with what I set out to do. This is how things wind up getting put off until the very last minute. Continue reading “Simple Habits: One Step at a Time”

Happy Holidays!

The food binge can be limited to “only a day”!

And if it’s not, don’t forget to forgive yourself and get back on the horse the day after. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. We’ll see you in the studio!

An oldie but goodie (the picture that is)

Happy Holidays!


Cheap Gyms Suck: Here are 8 reasons why

These days, it’s pretty easy to find one of those cheap gyms. Grab your laptop, phone or tablet, go to google.com and enter “cheap gyms in”, and then add your city name. Depending on how rural your life is, you’ll get a number of results back. Yes, they’ve made it cheap to work out.

But does cheap = effective? I mean, that’s why you go right? To get results! If you want to play social and think paying $10 per month for chatting with friends is “great value for money”, stop reading now (go get a group of friends to hang out with where you needn’t pay!)

Why do cheap gyms suck?

The following are 8 reasons why I believe cheap gyms suck:

OneUltimately, the cheap gyms are a waste of money – The big chain gyms are betting that $10/month isn’t worth the hassle some of them make you go through to cancel your membership (even after the 1 year commitment is over). So you pay, but don’t go. You should just give them $130, up front and in January. You’ll probably save yourself about a month of aggravation and avoid #2:

TwoAt a cheap gym, you’ll be waiting for equipment in January – The scenario is well-known to most of us. None of the equipment you’d like to use will be available when you need or want it. Trust us Sparky… The first few weeks of the new year at the cheap gyms are pure pandemonium. Lines for equipment and the ever-present “I’m using that” while they’re “resting” (Chatting up their next date – they hope). Lovely!

ThreeAnd, at the very same gym, come February – You’ll get access to any and all the equipment you want. But by then, you’re probably so disgusted with the crowds that you, along with the very same crowds you’ve come to love, will have stopped going.

FourYou go to exercise, not to get gawked at – Most of us would rather not feel like we’re on display during exercise. And, regardless of what the cheap gym advertising claims about “no pressure” and “no judgement”, the cheap gyms are pretty much all about the “meat market“.

FiveWhen it comes to getting help, you get what you pay for – The people behind the counter at these cheap gyms normally can’t help you with anything more than a quick, and often poor, vocal “demonstration” of the machine that is about to make an attempt at your life.

SixIt’s a lonely, lonely place while you’re waiting in line – Go to one of these gyms when you don’t know anybody, and unless you’re a networking whiz-kid, it’ll be just as lonely after you – finally – landed one of the “cardio machines” and try to figure how to do whatever you need to do with it. And be honest now: You went to a “no pressure gym” because you’re a little shy, right?

SevenNobody holds you accountable to get your workout done – Having a regular class or a repeating appointment with a group and Certified Trainer makes you feel accountable to somebody other than yourself. Tough to do that in a high-volume, low attendance box gym.

EightIt’s horribly uninspiring – There’s a big difference between being at the gym and actually exercising. In a cheap gym, there are often a lot of people “at the gym”. But look around… Not many people are actually doing something. There’s the guy walking back & forth in front of the “cardio machines” between his 10 second sets (see #4). Or the woman taking a 10 minute water break between sets (again, see #4!). A lot of people spend a lot of time in the cheap gyms. Not a lot of people spend that time effectively. And that’s just not all that motivational for those of us with fitness goals and expectations…

Or, you could join a different kind of gym. A boutique gym where the membership fee includes full access to a certified personal trainer along with social support and plenty of accountability & encouragement to help you get the most out of your time in the studio. You know, a fitness studio like ours.

Do you agree/disagree/have another reason you can share? Please do so in the Comments section!