A Lil About Me!

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ACE Certified Personal Trainer; NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist; CSEP Certified Personal Fitness & Lifestyle Advisor; MaddDogg Spinning Instructor; NCCP SwimCoach; NLSC Aquafit Instructor; Wellness & Weight-Loss Consultant.

Saturday, 31 December 2011


Sorry for the delay....
Meant to post this YESTERDAY for Foodie Friday, but time ran away from me!

Here is the recipe for the pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
*Nearly Paleo, shockingly healthy (*don't tell the kids!)
Recipe makes 16-20 muffins, depending on how full you make them.

  • 2 cups Pureed Pumpkin (*I used canned, organic - but can use fresh - make it SMOOTH)
  • 2 1/2 cup Ezekiel Flour
  • 2 cups Succanat
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 gingerale
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (*I used organic chips from whole foods)
  • 1 egg (*If you're vegan, can leave this out, but adds a nice weight to the muffins)

  • 2 12-spot Muffin Tins
  • 1 Medium mixing bowl
  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • 20 unbleached liners

  • Preheat oven to 350deg
  • In Medium mixing bowl combine Pumpkin, coconut oil, gingerale, vanilla extract
  • In Large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg & cinnamon
  • Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients in portions
  • Add Succanat & whisk together
  • Add egg and combine thoroughly
  • Mix in chocolate chips
  • Allow to sit for 30mins
  • Pour batter into Muffin tins - 1/2 to 2/3 full (*these babies RISE!)
  • Bake at 350 for 24-30mins 
*Keep an eye on them, they're ready when a toothpick / skewer can be removed cleanly!

Some Alternatives
To replace the chocolate chips >
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chopped Nuts

To replace the flour >
  • Can use coconut flour (for Paleo) 1:1
  • Can use Designer/Natural Whey (for added protein) - a little off 1:1 (*I usually keep 1/2cup real flour)

Let Me Know what y'all think!!

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

Hey all.

Just want to send a THANKS for being involved in making my life a blessing this year!
I have been so fortunate, even with some changes & up/downs - Thankfully, I have grown enough to see the benefit of even the back steps, in order to see the larger picture & plan the next stage in growth.

Hope you will all stay with me, some big changes coming!!

Have a great night, be safe, stay blessed & jump into next year with renewed faith, and energy!!

Love, Mia

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tis the Season

Just some tips to reduce OD'ing on "Festive Cheer" and to help you get a leg up on those New Year's Fitness goals...

    • Especially if you do BIG FAMILY dinners! Don't skip breakfast to "save up" room (*you will eat more, sure, but the calories aren't roll over, you can only process a said amount at a time, and the rest is STORED)
    • There's no rule that says you HAVE to eat badly over the holidays, CLEAN foods CAN BE (*and usually ARE) VERY delicious!
    • Yes, even during the holidays, it is STILL VERY IMPORTANT (*especially with the additional sugar & fats, you're indulging in)
    • your FITNESS doesn't stop, just because you're off work!
    • Bodyweight, Plyo, Go for a Run, hit the Kinect/PS3/Wii movement games...
    • Protein, Starch, Veggies, Fruit & yes dessert is OK (*all in Moderation!)
    • The illusion of a full plate makes you feel more fulfilled in your amounts.
    • Do a lap for each of the categories (starch, protein, plant) OR combine 1 of each & eat in cycle - its free calorie burning if you have to walk to the food table, and causes you to eat slower & process the food better (if you don't have to get up)
  • WATER (yes, again)
    • another key about water, drink between laps, and after each plate, allowing time for the stomach to register satiety
    • dark greens, deep colored Veg, tomato-based sauces, lean proteins & Fiberous grains/starches are the better bets for the Holiday meals
    • you tend to eat slower, when sitting, and therefore you register that feeling of being full before over-stuffing
    • you're sharing the meal, so take time to enjoy the company around you. Smile & chat between bites & sips. The feeling of emotional satiety also prevents over eating.
    • yes, I know "what a buzkill" (*literally) but keep in mind all that imbibing is merely a liquid meal on TOP of the solids!
    • because of their weight, you typically eat LESS additional calories from solids, over liquids AND a lot of Holiday dessert HAVE a *kick* ...At least in MY family #HeyBlackCake #HeyTortuga)
  • WATER (yes... A-GAIN)
    • with all the alcohol, fat & sugar, don't forget to hydrate to avoid a food & frolic hangover

♥ Mia & Fam

ps - Going to post a yummy Brunch Recipe later. Little treat that my sis & I made for the fam, today!
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Maple Butter, Lemon Curd & Fresh Berries!

Friday, 23 December 2011



Since it's the season for Semite Swag... I'm throwing down this *nearly-paleo but probably not actually Kosher* Latke Recipe!

Mia's Fit-Shiksa Yam & Turnip Latkes
  • 1 1/4 cups ezekiel flour
  • 4 to 6 tbsp. finely ground almonds (*if you're allergic to nuts, use more ezekial flour & skip this!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of cracked black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 medium-size white yams (*the savory kind)
  • 2 large turnips
  • Coconut oil for frying
Optional Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped (optional - i like the green bits)
  • Paprika to taste (*also, your choice between hot/sweet/smoked)
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Applesauce, preferably homemade, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving (*If you're not paleo)
SideNote :: If you are paleo - can make horseradish/coconut cream sauce (*see below)

  • Box grater or Food processor with grater blade
  • 3 small bowls, 1 large bowl
  • Large Skillet (*i LOVE a cast-iron bad boy for this!)

Method - Preparation
  • Mix the dry ingredients & parsley in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Peel tubers set aside.
  • Grate the onion on a box grater into a large bowl. Set aside. *pro-tip: light a match, the sulphur will stop tears
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Lightly beat egg yolks.
  • Grate tubers on the shredding side of the box grater into the large bowl with the onion.
  • Picking up handfuls, i use cheese cloths, squeeze out ALL the liquid from the tuber mixture (*into sink, NOT bowl)
  • Return drained shreds to the bowl.
  • Mix in the egg yolks, Stir in the dry ingredients & parsley, and Fold in the egg whites.

Method - Cooking
  • In large skillet, heat 1/4 inch oil to 375 degrees (*light smoke)
  • Spoon a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture into hot oil, flattening with back of wet spoon
  • Fry on each side till golden brown and cooked through.
  • Drain on brown-paper bag

Horseradish Coconut Cream Sauce
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream concentrate
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2TBsp + 1TBsp SPICY prepared horseradish (*can also grate your own & soak in 2TBsp white vinegar overnight)
  • 2tsp dried dill

  • small sautee pan

  • Heat small sautee pan over medium heat
  • Add lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut cream and coconut milk, and bring liquid to a low boil
  • lower heat & add 2TBsp horseradish
  • allow to reduce
  • remove from heat, allow to cool, stir in remaining horseradish & dill

Sidenote :: I like to prepare it in advance, and refridgerate over night.
2 reasons: 1) I like it a cooled temp, for dipping; 2) it thickens closer to sour cream texture

L'Chaiam! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Workout Wednesday

My video for my new Hip Sled weights... I think I have to do it again & go heavier!

9 + 9 plates (45lbs each = 810lbs + sled weight, which I believe is 90lbs, so it's "about" 900lbs press) for 9 clean reps (*assisted on the 10th) - sadly the vid cuts as I'm lowering on my 9th rep *sigh*

But I'ma get my weight up AGAIN & put it up here by 2012

*Enjoy >>> Leg Press - Hip Sled 18plates

Monday, 19 December 2011

Music Monday

Since I haven't Posted any tunes in a while...

My most recent acquisitions...
aka: I don't know why I need 20GB when I only listen to this handful of songs on repeat...

aka: My Most "Overplayed" Songs

  • Florence And The Machine - Take Care (Drake Cover)
  • Kirko Bangz - Drank In My Cup
  • French Montana - Shot Caller (Remix) (feat. Diddy & Rick Ross)
  • Ace Hood ft. 2 Chainz - Luv Her
  • Slim Thug, Paul Wall - Creepin
  • Wale & Rick Ross - Ambition
  • Common - Celebrate
  • Drake & Rick Ross - Lord Knows
  • Jeezy ft. Trick Daddy - All We Do
  • Kirko Bangz - Play Me
  • Summer Leather Vest - What Yo Name Is
  • Katy Perry ft. BOB - The One that Got Away
  • David Guetta & Sia - Titanium
  • Lights - Flux and Flow
  • Skrillex - First of the Year
  • Afrojack & Sidney Samson - I'll Be There (Marzie Remix)
  • Steve Aoki & Rivers Cuomo - Earthquakey People (The Sequel) (Original Mix)
  • Beck - How Come you Never Go there (Feist cover)
These are the In-the-Gym, In-the-Car, In-my-Head list... not any particular order/fluidity

Hope you Like 'em!
Mia - xo

Motivation Monday

Since we're coming into the New Year...

and the Resolution Rush is about to overtake us, I have been meditating a LOT on why it is that people always need a Waiting period before making a change. I suppose it is FEAR, partially. And, LAZINESS. Human traits, conquerable, but only when you realise that limits and deadlines are SELF-IMPOSED.

Here are a couple quotes that I found resonated LOUDLY with me >>

“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”
- Mark Victor Hansen


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
- Winston Churchill

A quick vid for FITMAS...

For those of you who were asking via Twitter / Email >>

I can post a few vids for what the exercises are for Fitmas, just let me know which ones sounded confusing!

Here's the demo of proper/improper crunch position

- Mia xo

Meatless Monday

So I saw on my Twitter Lines, that it's Meatless Monday & I realised that I haven't posted a recipe, at least not a Vegan/Vegetarian one, in a while...

Here is one of my FAVE DimSum dishes "Turnip Cake" (*or Daikon Cake, if you prefer to use that)
also known as Long Bok Gaw or Daikon Mochi - they're usually eaten on Chinese New Year, which is when I first had it... and normally it has Chinese Bacon or sausage in it, or even dried Shrimp, but my friend's mom doesn't eat meat, so she made it without.

Vegan Long Bok Gaw

This amount of batter will make a square cake that yields about 48 little cakes.
Each. about 50-60 calories depending on how much oil you use to fry them in.

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 200g / 7oz (about 1 1/4 cups) rice flour
  • 200g / 7oz (about 1 1/4 cups) sweet or glutionous rice flour or mochiko
  • 1 small to medium daikon (mouli) radish, yielding about 4 cups (880ml) shredded
  • 1 Medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup boiled edamame (beans only)
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup drained canned white or cannellini beans
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • Vegetable or olive oil for frying the little cakes
  • Additional soy sauce or hoisin sauce, optional

  • A frying pan, with fitting lid
  • Suggested: Food Processor

Prep. Method
  • Soak the shiitake mushrooms in enough warm water to cover, until they are softened.(I just put them overnight in the refrigerator in cold water.)
  • Combine the rice flours in a bowl.Peel the daikon radish and shred them with the fine shredder attachment of a food processor, or by hand with a grater.(You should end up with around 4 cups)
  • Squeeze out by hand (use cheese cloth) and reserve the liquid
  • Shred the carrot & Chop up the green onion and coriander finely.
  • Drain and squeeze out the shiitake mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid.
  • Take the stems off the shiitake mushrooms and slice thinly.
  • Heat up a wok or frying pan with the sesame oil, and briefly stir fry the vegetables (except the daikon), white beans and edamame until it’s all coated with the oil (you can add some red chili pepper flakes or fine chopped fresh chilli if you want spice)
  • Add the soy sauce, stir around a bit and take them off the heat
  • Dissolve the miso in the mushroom soaking liquid.
  • Stir the daikon into the rice flours & Add the mushroom soaking liquid with the dissolved miso.
  • Add the sautéed vegetables.
  • Slowly add the reserved daikon liquid until the batter is like a very thick pancake batter (*shouldn't be runny at all)

Cooking Method - Quick Version
  • Heat an oiled frying pan to Medium/High (until you see some light smoking)
  • Portion out & drop 1-1.5tablespoons of the batter onto the pan & lower the heat to low
  • Cover with Lid & steam-fry until the bottoms are a golden brown
  • Flip & steam-fry until both sides are browned
*Takes about 5-7mins per side

Typically, you would portion it out, set it into a mold, steam for 1hour, refridgerate overnight (to set glutens) and THEN fry when ready... but I am FAR too lazy, for that... so I asked for a faster way to prepare it & as I am not Chinese, the fact that they aren't perfectly square/equally portioned for division during New Year's dinner doesn't bother me ONE BIT! :)

Hope you like it! It's a "cake" but not a dessert, it's a glutenous side dish.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Workout Wednesday - Videos

Some Video treats for y'all!

Hey guys,

Here are a couple vids with two of my faves.

From Nov 18, with @personalvictory - Some fun with the ViPR! Taking PushUps & Planks up a notch!

ViPR Pull-Through PushUps with Plank Hold

From Last week, with @jah_lyon - a KILLER tricep/core move!

Weighted Sphinx raises (aka: Plank position tricep press-ups)

Enjoy 'em! Try 'em!

Workout Wednesday: DOMS

DOMS – Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness – is pain in worked muscle groups, which occur 24-48 (sometimes up to 72) hours after exercise.

First described in 1902 by Theodore Hough, DOMS was "fundamentally the result of ruptures within the muscle". Subsequent studies show that it is not ruptures throughout entire muscle fibers, but micro-tears across fibers. [6]

Also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or extremely strenuous exercise. [1] It is caused by eccentric (muscle-lengthening) exercise. After such exercise, the muscle adapts rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and thereby soreness, if the exercise is repeated. [3] It is one symptom of exercise-induced muscle damage, the other being acute muscle soreness, which appears during and immediately after exercise.

If training progresses too quickly, excessive tearing can occur, resulting in DOMS. If you start a sport or exercise which your body is not accustomed to, DOMS can occur for the first few sessions. This is one of the reasons why training should start very lightly and progress gradually.

Many fitness experts recommend that both novice and expert athletes follow the “ten percent rule”, which sets a limit on increases in weekly training. This guideline simply states that you should increase your activity no more than 10 percent per week. That includes distance, intensity, weight lifted and time of exercise. For new exercisers/beginner lifters, 5% may be more appropriate.

What has been observed to accompany soreness are micro-tears of myofilaments, especially at the Z-disc, as well as damage to the muscle's connective tissue. Tissue damage may relate most directly to soreness, as it may increase the mechanical sensitivity of the muscle pain receptors (nocioceptors), and cause pain when touched, or with stretching, due to the delay in the inflammatory response. [1]

(*side-note: the relationship between damage, inflammation and soreness is not yet completely understood.)

Inflammation is your body's response to injury and helps to start the process of repair and recovery. And one of the steps in this process is an increase in the production of immune cells, which reach a peak 24-48 hours after exercise. These cells then produce chemical substances that make the pain receptors responsible for the transmission of dull, aching pain signals – group IV – more sensitive. Whenever you move, these pain receptors are stimulated. Because they're far more sensitive to pain than normal, you end up feeling sore. [5]

Muscle ache and tightness often resulting in a decreased range of motion. Any discomfort should start to ease within 3 days post-exercise & return to normal within a week. If your symptoms persist, it is definitely worth visiting your Doctor, to check for injury.

Preventing DOMS
  • The best way of treating DOMS, is by preventing it!
  • Always perform a warm-up prior to any high intensity exercise.
  • Always cool-down and stretch following exercise.
  • When starting a new activity, do little and often to allow your muscles to become accustomed to these new strains.
  • Whether you are a regular exerciser or a beginner, build-up gradually and allow your body time to recover in between sessions.
Treatment of DOMS
  • Time - allow the muscles to heal without over stressing them again - wait at least a week and until all symptoms have cleared before performing the same exercise again.
  • Massage may help reduce the effects.
  • Very light, preferably non weight bearing aerobic exercise and stretching may also be beneficial to improve the blood flow, warm the muscles and improve range of motion.
  • Hydrotherapy and spa baths my help reduce the effects of DOMS.
  • Alternating hot and cold (ice) baths - although there is no scientific proof that this is effective it is often used by professional athletes who believe it to be beneficial. 
Author's Note: from my readings > No ONE method has been shown to significantly speed the recovery from delayed onset muscle soreness.

Massage has shown varying results that may be attributed to the time of massage application and the type of massage technique used. It can reduce the discomfort associated with DOMS and perhaps even swelling, but does not seem to affect muscle function. Cryotherapy (ice baths or ice packs), stretching, homeopathy, ultrasound and electrical current modalities [2] have demonstrated no effect in clinical trials on the alleviation of muscle soreness or other DOMS related effects. You can also use Vitamin C, but beware over-dosing on ascorbic acid can have detrimental health effects.

ALWAYS make sure to get a good warm-up in before all workouts, but especially for heavy lifting. And, essentially, R.I.C.E (*Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation) a good plan (*well, the compression can be painful... but you can compress, during activity/exercise within the DOMS timeframe - elastic "Tensor" bandages, e.g.) [7]

Sports Massage or a Foam Roller may help. Light yoga or stretching, swimming or pilates to regain range of motion.  In extreme cases, Aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium may help to temporarily reduce the muscle soreness, although they won't actually speed healing. Be careful, however, if you plan to take them before exercise. Studies reported that taking ibuprofen before endurance exercise is not recommended.

Hope this shines some light on those “GAAAH IM TOO STIFF I CANT MOVE” days, after an EPIC Dumb-Hard workout!

Train Dillegently,

Ps – I LOVE those days :)

^1 Armstrong RB. Mechanisms of exercise-induced delayed onset muscular soreness: a brief review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1984 Dec;16(6):529-38

^2 Cheung K, Hume P, Maxwell L Delayed onset muscle soreness : treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 2003;33(2):145-64

^3 Thompson D, Bailey DM, Hill J, Hurst T, Powell JR, Williams C. Prolonged vitamin C supplementation and recovery from eccentric exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 Jun;92(1-2):133-8. Epub

^4 Stauber, W.T., Clarkson, P.M., Fritz, V.K., & Evans, W.J. (1990). Extracellular matrix disruption and pain after eccentric muscle action. Journal of Applied Physiology, 69, 868-874

^5 Nosaka, Ken (2008). "Muscle Soreness and Damage and the Repeated-Bout Effect". In Tiidus, Peter M. Skeletal muscle damage and repair. Human Kinetics. pp. 59–76

^6 via: Wikipedia - Hough, Theodore (1902). "Ergographic studies in muscular soreness". American Journal of Physiology 1902 (7): 76–92.

^7 Link >> http://jp.physoc.org/cgi/ijlink?linkType=PDF&journalCode=ajplegacy&resid=7/1/76

^8 NSCA: Essentials of Strength Training & Conditioning 3rd Ed., pp. 380, 408-409

^9 Mitcheli, Lyle J. (1995). "The Sports Medicine Bible" p. 46-48, 50

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

12 Days of FITMAS

Part Deux

Just a few tips to keep FIT through the Holiday Season as youre bombarded with goodies, parties, food, liquor & All-Around Fitness-sabotaging treats & follies!!


11. If you aren't bringing food to the Christmas parties, you're STUCK with what's served, but you CAN eat a CLEAN meal BEFORE & then you're lest tempted to BINGE at the party.

10. You DON'T have to drink at EVERY Christmas party! Liquor or Dessert... CHOOSE ONE as your cheat.

9. With the Additional Calories, Less sleep and more temptation around the Holiday season, it's even MORE important to STICK TO YOUR WORKOUTS! 30mins (minimum) FOCUSED, PURPOSEFUL MOVEMENT 3-6x/week

8. Give the GIFT of HEALTH: Why not give your "Secret Santa" Something that will help their HEALTH or FITNESS goals

7. Portions Portions PORTIONS! If you want to eat EVERYTHING, have less than a "True Serving" of each! Spread your calories out so you get to enjoy all the goodies, but your caloric intakes don't go through the roof!


5. DRINK YOUR WATER! (*yes... I'm saying it AGAIN!) For Most of us its Winter, we need the additional hydration, because you may not realise you're dehydrated, since you aren't sweating. Also, it will help push out some of the Less-than-Nice Food choices you may have been making.

4. Pick your battles. Love chocolates? Skip the Cookies. Love Egg Nog? Skip the Vino.

3. Go POT LUCK instead of Catering. I know, I know, scary to HOPE your co-workers can cook. But at least you know ONE dish will be FRIENDLY! (*Even if it's ONLY Yours)

2. Get your workouts in IN THE MORNING. We all know those "after work parties" are GREAT EXCUSES not to get your post-work pump in... oh wait THEY AREN'T!!! Do it before work and it's DONE!

1. WHY WAIT?! Forget a NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION! Stage an END OF YEAR REVOLUTION!! Get ready for 2012 starting NOW!


So it's December 13th which means we're TWELVE days away from CHRISTMAS!!!

So I've devised a little "TWELVE DAYS OF FITMAS" challenge for everyone!
(*Be advised: it is INTENSE! But. it's based off of YOUR best efforts, so it's doable by ANYONE!)

  • On the First Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 1mile at my fastest pace.
  • On the Second Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Third Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Fourth Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Fifth Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Sixth Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 6x 30Crunches, 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Seventh Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 7x 20 MountainClimber, 6x 30Crunches, 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Eighth Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 8x 25JumpingJacks, 7x 20 MountainClimber, 6x 30Crunches, 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Ninth Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 9x 20 Scissors, 8x 25JumpingJacks, 7x 20 MountainClimber, 6x 30Crunches, 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Tenth Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 10x 5-Burpees, 9x 20 Scissors, 8x 25JumpingJacks, 7x 20 MountainClimber, 6x 30Crunches, 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the Eleventh Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: 11 Hindu PushUps, 10x 5-Burpees, 9x 20 Scissors, 8x 25JumpingJacks, 7x 20 MountainClimber, 6x 30Crunches, 5x 20 SumoSquats, 4x 30 Switch LungeHops, 3x MaxDips, 2x Max PushUps & 1mile at my fastest pace
  • On the TWELFTH Day of Fitmas my TRAINER gave to ME: A DAY OF REST WITH THE FAMILY!
For the first 11days, you have the option of doing it Stacked by Rounds (i.e. 1 round of EACH, until all is complete) OR Knock off each challenge item one by one (i.e. All rounds of one, and so on & so on) & I recommend no more than 30sec recovery between rounds, no more than 2mins rest between items.

The LAST DAY should take 30-45MAX, and the length of time will depend on your speed in the mile & how fast your pace is for the plyo components.

Are you up for the 12 DAYS OF FITMAS CHALLENGE!? Record your daily results & you can send them to me via EMAIL

NOTE: Today is the FIRST DAY > Fastest pace for 1 mile!



Sorry for the delays, yall! I've been trying to get my website off the ground & there were some hardware problems in the middle of it all *Le Ploof*

Anywho... ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD, again :)

Things will be up & coming and popping up more intermittently, as per usual


Wednesday, 16 November 2011


This is for my TEAM HAMMERTIME ladies!

@monique510 & @Remitheone

Warm-Up :: choice

4x { Superset :: 30step Dumbbell Walking Lunge (50%, 60%, 75%, 85% of Max Weight) + 15rep box jump (26")}

3x Each Superset :: 15-30sec rest MAX between Rounds; 2minute rest MAX between stance transitions.

A. {15rep Horizontal LegPress WideStance (HEAVY) + 15WideStance squat jumps w.MedBall (5-10kg)}
B. {15rep Horiz. LegPress NeutralStance (HEAVY) + 15NeutralStance squat jumps w.MedBall (5-10kg)}
C. {15rep Horiz. LegPress NarrowStance (HEAVY) + 15NarrowStance squat jumps w.MedBall (5-10kg)}

4x 20/20 Step-Ups (20-30") with Mini BarBell (50%, 60%, 75%, 85% of Max weight)

3x Max Rep Quad extensions at 50-60% Max weight

Cardio 40-60mins


Friday, 11 November 2011

Foodie Friday!

So normally I would post a RECIPE, but today I'ma take a slightly different approach.

Let's talk about PROTEIN!

Some Benefits ::
  • Increase & Maintains lean muscle tissue
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Faster recovery from workouts
  • Helps in weight (fat) loss
  • Enhances energy
  • Highly nutritious
Protein molecules take longer to digest. Meaning, you’re likely to feel hungry as soon as you might with more carb-dense meals. The simple reason for this: Protein takes longer to digest & uses more energy in the body to break it down. The slower digestion is also important because it keeps your blood sugar from spiking causing a release of insulin. (*Insulin signals surplus sugars &glycolic fat storage) so you want to stick to food options that digest slowly. For an even higher metabolic effect, the majority of protein consumption should be in the form of whole food sources rather than shakes.

Animal protein and vegetable protein probably have the same effects on your cellular health. It's the protein package that's likely to make a difference on your overall fitness. 6oz of Steak has 38g of protein.  But also couples that with a WALLOPING 44g of fat (16g saturated! < ¾ of your RDI!) The same amount of Wild Salmon hold less protein 34g BUT only 18g of fat (*with only 4g sat-fat) and compare THAT to 1cup (8oz) of cooked lentils with “only” 18g of protein but less than a gram of fat, all unsaturated.

Complete vs. Incomplete Protein
Some of the protein you eat contains all the amino acids needed to build new proteins. This kind is called complete protein. Animal sources of protein tend to be complete. Other protein sources lack one or more "essential" amino acids—that is, amino acids that the body can't make from scratch or create by modifying another amino acid. Called incomplete proteins, these typically come from plant sources. (*except Quinoa & Soy)
NB -Vegetarians need to be aware of this. To get all the amino acids needed to make new protein – and thus to keep the body's systems in good shape – people should eat a variety of protein-containing foods each day.

Best Sources ::
Grass-fed Beef, Organic Poultry, Farm raised pork, Wild-caught fish (salmon, tuna, mahi-mahi). DHA-enhanced eggs, Fat Free Organic Kefir or Greek yogurt (plain is best).
When choosing animal proteins, go with the leanest cuts of red meat & pork and check out alternative meats, like Goat & Bison, which tend to be leaner. White meat poultry (chicken, turkey, Ostrich) Omega rich Wild Salmon, tuna, & tilapia and cod with Lower caloric counts.  And try game fish like shark, swordfish, Mahi-mahi. These are great amino sources.
NB - I tend to advise people to limit / avoid dairy outside of yogurt – as much as i LOVE ice cream & cheese, I limit them due to their additional calories and mucous-forming in our bodies. If you are going to eat cheese, stick to the least processed cow-alternative cheeses Buffalo mozzarella / goat cheese or choose aged-drier cheeses, since you will eat less, because they are richer in taste.

Quinoa is a grain with so high a protein count, the body processes it primarily as a protein (instead of a carb). It is also gluten-free. Oatmeal is also a good protein source, but has gluten. Beans & Lentils, are GREAT clean proteins when as eaten close to whole as possible. Plus they’re a fab fibre source. Nuts are also a fibre-rich protein source Aim for almonds and almond butter, Walnuts, pecans and Pistachios over peanuts (*they can be mucous forming)

Tempeh (*fermented, whole bean & un-processed soy) is your best bet with complete plant-based soy proteins.
Solid Tofu, and other soy-based protein sources tend to be extremely processed and reconstituted. There is also some studies claiming that they are estrogenic & can be harming to the thyroid. They also contain high levels of phytic acid blocks the absorption of essential minerals in the digestive tract, putting vegetarians who eat soya as the major source of protein in their diet at severe risk of mineral deficiencies, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and especially zinc. Also, be advised: gluten-based replacements tend to have higher sodium AND can have adverse reactions, as a lot of people are unknowingly gluten-sensitive.
FYI – a study in the New Engl Journal of Medicine^ showed that eating more vegetable protein, while cutting simple carbs may benefit the heart. A 20-year prospective study of 82,802 women found that those who ate low-carb diets, high in vegetable sources of fat/protein had a 30% lower risk of heart disease, vs. women who ate high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets

Common Questions ::
How much is “the right amount” of protein?
Most people take in too LITTLE protein in their daily diet intake to be concerned with this. Most Americans only take in 1/3 – 1/2 of their RDI. Proteins should consist of about 40% of your daily caloric intake, another 40% being mostly complex carbs and the other 20% being good fats.

Muscle is made mainly of the proteins myosin, actin and tropomyosin. you need at least 80g of protein per day; more if you are training intensively (some is needed just to replace the myosin fibres broken down by the training. Bone has a calcium phosphate backbone with collagen (protein filler). The basic rule is trying to consume ½ - ¾ g of protein per pound of goal weight for females, and 1-2grams of protein/pound of goal weight in males.

Can I have “too much” protein?
Yes & No –Keep in mind, a lot of body builders consume upwards of 400-500 g of protein daily, so to put a cap, is tricky.

Here’s where it gets SCIENCE-Y. Some studies say its molecular structure allow so that all protein which is unused by the body is flushed out of your system through excretion. Other arguments are that it is just like carbs/fats and the surpluses will be converted into body fat.
The key is YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL. What can’t be digested & flushed must be USED or will be STORED. What you DO need to be concerned with is absorption limits. Most studies claim that the MAX Protein which can be absorbed per sitting is 30-40grams. Anything more & it's waste, regardless if it's flushed or stored.
Note – in either case, after absorption/usage/storage, any additional protein which is not coupled with fiber or healthy fat can lead to “blockage” in the bowels. So, PLEASE, eat balanced meals.

What About SHAKES?
Liquid foods digest more quickly than solids, and therefore enter your bloodstream at a faster rate. As a result, liquid proteins prove more effective than solids during the hour window following a training regimen when muscle protein uptake increases. Additionally, liquid protein digests easier during workouts and proves less likely to disturb your stomach than solid foods. This quality benefits endurance athletes because carbohydrate and protein drinks enhance performance of endurance activities.

Benefit of liquid protein (powders/ supplements) – Easier source of delivery, can fill in protein gaps between meals in high levels without hassle – can also try puddings, or nut-butter based bars (*be aware of fat, sugar & preservatives with these, however). My fave “protein on the go” snack handful of raw almonds with a small fruit.

What about Pre- /Post- Workouts?
For Pre-Workout: Unless you are performing an endurance activity (*marathon etc) where an “empty stomach” prevents discomfort, I recommend people take in a small meal/snack roughly 200cals of low-fat & protein-rich foods about 20-40 minutes prior. Being slow-digesting, it will keep will you longer through-out the workout.
For Post-Workout / Recovery: Liquids are digested more easily & absorbed more quickly. You want to consume your post-workout meal within 15-45mins following the workout. "Protein shakes" are ideal immediately after a workout due to their fast absorption/digesting abilities for muscle repair & replenishment. According to fitnessleak.com: Consuming your post workout meal or shake more than an hour after your workout decreases immune system recovery by 31%

Hope that clears some questions up!!


^Halton TL, Willett WC, Liu S, et al. Low-carbohydrate-diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. N Engl J Med. 2006; 355:1991–2002

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thirsty Thursday!

Since, I'm CONTINUOUSLY preaching about water intake on Twitter & in person...
Figured "Hey, I should blog about it!"
Recall, from 6th grade science class, that almost 75% of our body is water. More specifically...
  • Blood is 83% water
  • Muscles are 75% water
  • The brain is 95% water
  • Lungs are 90% water
Ok, here comes a WEE BIT of 12th grade Biology-Level Science ::
Protoplasm, the basic material of living cells, is made of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts, and similar elements combined with water. Water acts as a solvent, transporting, combining, and chemically breaking down these substances. A cell exchanges elements with the rest of the body by electrolysis, and in a normal case, minerals and micro elements pass through the cell membrane to the nucleus by electro-osmosis. The body needs electrolytes (minerals like: sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate) for its basic functions, water is the delivery element.
The extended message is that if we drink enough water to keep good stuff floating in our cells and bad stuff passing through (& floating out of) our cells, it will keep our cells (and concurrently, US) alive.
Ergo, drinking water is BENEFICIAL to our health, oui? Good. Moving on.
Keep in mind that you WILL get "water" from Fruits, Vegetables & "other" drinks, but for true HYDRATION purposes PLAIN water is best. WHY? Because I said SO! No... it's really because everything ELSE in those alternative fluid sources, ALSO USE WATER to be broken down, digested & expelled from the body, and are not absorbed INTO the cells.
*I'm not going to go into Alkaline water in this article, but you can check out THIS WEBSITE for some info on its benefits.

Some Basic Guidelines ::
1. Drink water FIRST
First thing in the morning : drinking 16-32oz of cool to cold water, before any other intake, has been shown to increase daily energy, and to rehydrate the cells from the sleep-cycle fasting.
First, before eating : Before every meal & snack try to drink 8-12oz of cool water. This will signal some fullness in the stomach, preventing over eating & also lubricates the glottal region for more efficient digestion.
First, before alcohol : Out at the club & ready for those DRANK? Have some water. Again, it will prevent you from imbibing too many extra calories & will also help temper out the liquor about to lay havok on your cells!

2. Daily Recommended Intake
The old adage of "drink 8 glasses (8-12oz) of water per day" is a pretty good guideline, when considering the average sedentary person. However, it doesn't take note of size differences (*Someone 300lbs would need ermarkably more water than someone 100lbs); climate-induced water losses (*Caribbean-living persons sweat 4-7x more fluid loss than the average North American, monthly); nor make mention of active people's additional hydration requirements (*Marathon runners vs "office guy").

Basic math for DI :: 1/2 Body weight (measured in pounds) to be consumed, in fluid ounces, + 8-12oz per 15mins of vigorous exercise, daily.
e.g. You're 160lbs. Half that is 80 fl.oz of water to consumed, for the day if you are sedentary & add on (avg) 40oz for a 60min gym session. 80/8 (*8oz = 1cup/250mL) + 40/8 = 15cups (*Just shy of 4L, or 1Gallon) of water per day.

For a more accurate (*intensive-training specific) water-intake calculation, go HERE

Benefits - Life/Health
  1. Prevent Pain - Did you know that when you have a headache, back pain, muscle spasm, stomachache, or when you feel depressed without obvious reason, you actually need to drink water? These are ALL signs of primary pre-dehydration!
  2. Prevent Illness - Experts have also shown that proper water intake will regulate salts, cholesterol and may reduce your risk of Heart Attack by keeping blood plasma at healthy viscosity levels & by flushing out unnecessary toxins and foreign particles, helps to prevent Disease/Infection. Proper fluid intake (*along with rest and vitamins) are always prescribed as the primary remedy to help you get well.
  3. Lose Weight - All chemical reactions in the body depend upon WATER. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need water to flush out the by-products of fat breakdown. Proper water intake allows you to relieve yourself of any stored water, as well as helping you "stay regular". A lot of additional weight is simply salt & water retention, and excess *crap* (literally) sticking to your insides.
  4. Prevent OverEating - Studies have shown that 60% of your "unexplained" hunger pangs, are actually Thirst-pangs. Your body is trying to get you to drink water. Craving salty/fatty foods, will elicit a more obvious thirst response & cause you to intake fluids. (Sadly, when you're prone to eating junk, you drink junk-fluids, not water, but I digress...)
  5. Healthy Skin - What the #1 secret to getting Healthy Skin? Moisturize... AND STAY HYDRATED What?! Put water outside AND inside your skin? GENIUS!!
Benefits - Training

  1. Regulate Your Body Temperature - We perspire, in high weather temperatures; during workouts, in order to dissipate the excess heat our body produces. To maintain the fluid levels in our body necessary to keep sweating, we must drink water!
  2. Burn More Fat And Build More Muscle - Water regulates your Metabolism as the carrier of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, etc. to body parts & providing the medium for removal of toxins, dead cells, & waste material. The proteins and enzymes involved in almost all fundamental processes in the body also require water for their proper functioning.
  3. Cushion And Lube Your Joints And Muscles - Water is the main component of synovial fluid, found in the bursa (closed sacs of liquid) in the connective tissue between the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, and the bones (i.e. joints)
  4. Breathing - Recall, the lungs are 90% water. Water distributes oxygen all over the human body (*via osmosis & blood flow) while collecting the carbon dioxide from all these parts, by dissolving these exchanged gases.
  5. Get Energized And Be Alert - As the brain is mostly made up of water so drinking more water helps the brain to circulate fresh-oxygenated blood through the body making our body physically and mentally alert and healthy; definitely necessary when lifting heavy ish, or trying not to fell off cardio machines! 

Doctors are well aware that dehydration, second only to oxygen deprivation, is the fastest culprit of cell-death. Minor dehydration - not enough to kill - is both the result and the hidden cause of many illnesses. Inversely, good Hydration is key to good Health.
Some Dangers of dehydration ::
People who do not drink enough water or deplete water reserves through overstimulation for a period of time gradually lower the ratio of water volume, inside cells to outside cells.Under dehydrated conditions, the cells may lose over a QUARTER of their water volume.
Whenever there is cellular dehydration, metabolic waste products are retained, causing symptoms that resemble disease but are signs of disturbed water metabolism. Since more and more water begins to accumulate outside the cells, the dehydration may not be apparent as they are more likely to notice water retention & bloating. The hidden danger of this is, eventually the Kidneys begin to store/hold excess water, limiting how often you urinate, and retain WASTE MATERIALS, as well (*this can lead to kidney stones, and Uric toxicity, causing diseases, such as Gout).
In extreme cases, Even the enzymes and proteins living in the dehydrated cells become so inefficient that they are no longer able to recognize the dehydrated state of the body.
Some basic Noteables
Avoid counting tea, coffee, sodas and juices in your fluid intake. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which has a diuretic effect and makes you lose water. Sodas and juices are too sweet. Since the body must dilute them, they cause further dehydration



ps - I didn't mention it, and I'm not going to go in depth into the differences between Drying out for Competition vs "everyday Dehydration", but essentially it's an extremely focused process, that involves FLOODING the body with water, and then slowly limiting the water-intake while maintaining the electrolyte levels. Through this process, you have the body remove excess water for a taught/ dry look, for competition day, without becoming toxically dehydrated.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Workouts with WOW!

Try THIS killer workout, this week!


A "rack" in slang is $1000 - Stacked in 10s or 100s, So this is 1000 reps (10exercises x100repetitions)

You're aiming for 100 repetitions, but do the max reps you can!
(*and hey, if 100 just isn't enough, and you want to grab some "bonus" GET SOME!)
  1. Military Pull-ups
  2. Sumo Squat jacks
  3. 2 :1 Kicks (*2 legs = 1 Rep)
  4. Mountain Climbers (*can do 2-4knees = 1 rep ,for more challenge)
  5. Shoulder width Push-ups
  6. Tuck Jumps
  7. 4 : 1 Jabs
  8. 2 : 1 Lunges
  9. Bench Dips (*feet up, for more challenge)
  10. Close-Stance Squats (*knees together - yoga, chair pose squats)
Now!! GO GET YOUR FITNESS - set to 2Chainz' "Spend It"
>> "I'm running around & I'm Getting it! I'm running around & I'm Getting it! It's MINE... I'm GETTIN' IT!"

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Twinning Tuesday!

Me & My "twin" @aliciabellelite making fitness FUN

Who says fitness has to be gruelling AND boring?
Grab a pal & go out and make some MAGIC happen! Think of Fitness challenges and make 'em FUN!
Get outside, Get creative, Get WILD!!

Hill Sprints -- http://youtu.be/ChjL6B6trzw

Outdoor Fitness -- http://youtu.be/YG9wYM4TElw

Double PushUps -- http://youtu.be/tC_Ji5foJy8

Burpee to BoxJump RunArounds -- http://youtu.be/O1kSony8r-Y

ENJOY the Vids!!
- Mia, xo

Winter is coming...

...for those of us outside of the Caribbean (*or Florida) at least...

Check out my post on http://www.runwitb.com/category/health/ about Winter Fitness ideas!

& Here are a few tips for being outdoors in the lower temps

Cold Weather Concerns
Hypothermia is is a condition in which core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions.
As hypothermia sets in, you will begin to notice skin discoloration, lack of capillary refull & shivers. The person will become lethargic and clumsy & speech may become slurred as body temperature further decreases.
How to Reverse it
1. Huddle in a group. Remove any wet clothing, and seek dry, warm clothes/shelter, and MOVE! The best way to raise body temperature is MORE BODY HEAT.
2. (If available) Gradually raise the body's temp with a shower/bath. Start with room temp water, to avoid shocking the system. Adding more hot water as the body begins to adjust.
3. Drink warm drinks. Make sure they are NOT alcoholic. Alcohol drops the blood pressure.
NOTE: If you suspect hypothermia, or someone faints while outdoors in cold temperature, seek medical attention! Especially in children!!

Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. They may become pale, gray and blistered. The sufferer may feel prickly heat & itching on the affected areas before the outward signs. There will be noticeable redness & then white patches before complete freezing occurs.
How To Reverse It
1. Shelter the person from the cold and move him or her to a warmer place. Removing any constricting jewelry and wet clothing.
2. Do NOT rub the skin. It may cause breaking in the damaged skin cells!
3. Look for signs of hypothermia & treat accordingly.
4. Dress the affected areas with warm, sterile dressings (*prevent infection to blistered areas)

Cold Weather Trauma Prevention
1. Check Weather conditions. ESPECIALLY the wind chill.
If the temperature dips well below 0 F (-17.8 C) or the wind chill is extreme (*over 16%WCF), consider taking a break or choosing an indoor activity instead
2. Protect extremities FIRST! Hands, Feet, Ears. During lower outdoor temperatures, blood flow is concentrated on your body's core, to bathe the organs, leaving your hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite.
3. Keep extremities DRY. Gloves, Hats & Waterproof shoes!
NOTE: For those with Raynaud's Syndrome make SURE you keep your extremities WELL covered; may want to use heat gel packs to keep warmth in fingers/toes.
4. Dress in Layers. Choose layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, a thin layer of synthetic material, which wicks away sweat. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.
NOTE: Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Dress older babies and young children in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
5. (If possible) Do the second half of your workout with the wind at your back. This way, you're less likely to get chilled, especially if you've worked up a sweat.
6. Stay HYDRATED!! Especially because it's harder to break a sweat, you may not notice you're losing fluids as obviously.

Cold Weather Skin Care
Prevention of dryness
1. Use a moisturizing lotion! with spf. appy a serum underneath to penetrate the skin more, and give yourself more protection from the dry air & rub on Shea butter & Vitamin E in the day & Aloe & Glycerine over night.
2 . Indoor heaters are more likely to cause flaking than outdoor cold.  Indoor heat tends to be bone-dry, leaving your complexion parched. What helps: If you can, turn down the temperature a few degrees. You can also pump lost moisture back into the air with a humidifier.
NOTE: for those prone to Eczema some additional winter Skin care Tips
3. In dry weather, water will not make your skin more moisturized (*cells yes, complexion no).  Getting enough of one type of omega-3 fatty acids by including flaxseed, walnuts, and Salmon in your diet can be helpful in combating dryness. These are packed with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which lessens inflammation and plays a big role in strengthening the lipid layer that helps skin retain natural oils.
4. Suffer from dry/chapped lips? Stop blaming "over using your lip balm". Licking your lips is more likely to blame. You may be subconsciously licking off waxy balm, or pressing lips together, leaving behind saliva. Which is a bummer, because saliva is acidic (to help dissolve food for digestion) and therefore dehydrating to the thin skin on lips. Avoid licking your lips, and apply balms/salves with jojoba oil or shea butter.
5. Have "electric hair"? Dryer air causes a build up of static. Combat static with Leave in conditioner. or rub 1 tsp of almond oil along the ends & roots to prevent electrical charging between hairs.

Sun Exposure
It's a fallacy that you can only tan/burn in the summer. The sun's rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your exposed areas if outside for prolonged periods and to prevent winter-blindness & retintal damage, wear sunglasses when out in the snow for prolonged periods.



well... Ghost-blogging anyway!

Check out my Article on http://www.runwitb.com/category/health/ !!!
and then read some of his other posts & check him out on Twitter >>> @runwitb

Some ideas about Winter Fitness & some Cold weather safety concerns/tips!

Since November is Abs Month...

I'm staying in theme!

I said in my earlier post Abs are
FIRST made in the Kitchen (*clean diet, proper water intake)
SECOND Made during Sleep (6 - 8 hours, restful sleep, nightly)
and THIRD with Abs WORK (varied planes of focus; with resistance)

FACT: It takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 lb of fat. (Thats 100 crunches/day for 7 years!!)
I consistently *Preach* about water intake & post yummy, healthy & clean recipes. I can't force you to sleep, But to help you work the muscles...

Here's an Abs Cypher that I find REALLY gets that deep belly-burn!

Do each exercise for 30sec, with 10sec rest between exercises.
Do 1-3 rounds. 1minute rest between rounds.
  • Elbow Plank
  • Plank Hip Dips (*dips the hips side to side, without bending at the waist)
  • Plank Hip Tucks (*plank position, tuck tailbone under and release, holding core tight)
  • Plank Up & Downs (*raise from elbows to palms, alternate sides)
  • Banana Rolls (*on stomach, raise chest using rear-core, flip onto back in banana shape using front-core)
  • Jack Knife (*on back, arms overhead, draw the body up to a balanced position with legs drawn into chest)
  • V-sit hold (*Final position of Jackknife, seated balance position)
  • 1/2 V-sit Kick-out (*seated balance position, 1 foot on ground, straighten opposite leg, kicking up&down)
  • 1/2 V sit Scissors (*same position, both legs up moving in & out simultaneously)
  • Seated Core Twist (*Feet up or down, full twist side to side, fist to ground)
It's a TORCHER (*get it, Torture/Torcher)
and it gets the people GOING!


Monday, 7 November 2011

Music Monday

What MOVES you?

There have been quite a few studies on music during exercise.  There is no "ONE BEST" genre of music to work out to. Who says that everyone is motivated by 168bpm during cardio? I had a client who listens to pieces like Vangelis' Chariots of Fire, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Quintero's 300 Violins (*she's a music teacher at a local high school)

The key to finding great Motivational Music, is deciding your mood, your goals, and what MOVES YOU!

Here's what is moving ME, this week!

YMCMB Tour Mixtape by DJ 4our5ive >>> DOWNLOAD IT HERE

(via @dj4our5ive)

Motivation Monday!

One of my favorite quotes of all-time...

"Ask ye not for a lighter load, but for a stronger back"

Here is some visual motivation!
Don't EVER say, that something is IMPOSSIBLE --»

 (via @derekpoundstone)

Ladies... dont be SCURRED to be AMAZING!

Now... Not everyone will have the "urge" to move a Truck or a Train, in the physical sense...
but what about those daily endeavours that feel JUST AS HEAVY a load to bare, in your every day life.

The same tips for one can be applied to the other ::
1. Focus, concentrate on the task at hand
- Set your mind RIGHT, and the rest gets LEFT

2. Brace yourself!
- Strap in, find your balance & get ready to MOVE.

3. Overcome Inertia (standstill) with little steps, low to the ground
- Take the LARGE problem/load, and handle it step by step, starting from the ground up

4. Push Forward, Don't stop your FEET
- Even though it's a challenge, the burden is staggering, KEEP PUSHING THRU!

- pretty self-explanitory...

What seemingly immovable objects are in your path, today? This week?
Focus, Break it down, GET MOVING & Don't forget to BREATHE!


Friday, 4 November 2011

Some tips for Lifts

A few quick tips for effective strength training

  1. Warm up - doing some easy dynamic movements, or a short (5-10min) cardio session will raise the heart rate slowly giving the muscles time to warm and be ready for the load to be implied. A light stretch prior to lifting is fine, but do it AFTER your brief warm up.
  2. Maintain a neutral spine during all strength-training and use your core for stability. Pull the tail bone into a neutral position, and thinking of drawing the belly button back & upward into the spine.
  3. Lift with CONTROL. Don't Yank and drop. Keep a smooth track of movement through the range of motion.
  4. Start with a light weight. This helps with #3. Focus on proper form, and then increase the difficulty with additional load.
  5. Do not hold your breath. Inhale between repetitions, exhale during the concentric phase (active/hard part) of the lift. *For extremely heavy lifts, you can perform the Valsalva manoeuver BUT again, this involves controlled breathing release, through core tightening for stability, not Breath HOLDING.
  6. Do not lift a joint beyond it's maximum range of motion. This is different for everyone. Flexibility is important, and comes from challenging the ROM, but if it hurt's, stop. Period.
  7. Train from Biggest to Smallest. Larger Muscles/muscles take more energy to work. Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Pecs, Lats should but first and move into smaller groups like Biceps, Triceps, Delts.
  8. Save the Abs/ Core training for the end of your workout. They are used in the stability of most of your other exercises, so you need them fresh if you plan to go heavy.
  9. Rest between hitting the same muscle groups again. 24-48hours is typically recommended.
  10. Lift with focus & purpose. Why go heavy if it doesn't suit your goals? Why lift at all, if you refuse to challenge yourself? Set goals & WORK to achieve them! #TrainDilligently #WorkPurposefully
  11. Eat Intelligently! Load up on lean protein along with your healthy fats & quality, fibrous, complex carbohydrates. If you're under-eating, your body will feed off muscle tissue first.
Use these guidelines, and make AMAZING happen!


ANT problems?

Confused, right?

Let me clarify :: I'm talking about a classification of reactive responses.

ANTs = Automatic Negative Responses
Very appropriate, oui? Ants (the insects) are invasive, near-stealthy, get into everything, take over and leave you feeling overwhelmed that such little things can persist and bother you, causing your skin to crawl.
Just like these stealthy pests, negative thought can seemingly *appear* and be everywhere!  Some people, when faced with stressful situations IMMEDIATELY go to a Negative mindstate. They are faced with a challenge and their reflex is a feeling of distress, negativity, tension & in extreme instances Despair.  These ANTs trigger anxiety and flood the body with Cortisol (the stress-response hormone), which is bad for your mind, and as mentioned in my Abs Post can lead to belly-pouching!

Now, HoldOnPlaya, the next time you are faced with a "crisis", take a BREATH, count to ten and instead of DIVING head-first into that abyss of darkness, try to think of a PAT (positive alternative thought) to moderate the obvious negatives.

*Overtly Sarcastic Example > House Burning Down.
ANT= "OMG! we've lost EVERYTHING"
PAT= "Well, at least we're all safe; and I HATED that living room carpet, anyway"

Clearly, you would have cause to be stressed, but there's no use dwelling on the obvious problems, when you should be trying to create constructive positive solutions, to minimize the time of recovery.

Or, if a PAT doesn't come immediately to mind, don't DWELL on the ANT. Write it down and "put it away". By writing it down and taking it out of your active mind, you can review it later with a more logical/clear head. Remove the emotional knee-jerk reaction of negativity, and handle it at a less-stressful time.

Both of these help to reduce that negative reaction time, as you learn to do this without the physical writing. You look at alternative perspective, you can compartmentalize and assess the true severity of the situation and you more readily find solutions, instead of seeing problems.

Try it!
Let me know how it works out.

Mia xo

Midnight Snacks...

...posted at midnight !!

Let me start by saying :: the "don't eat past _____pm" myth, is just that. A MYTH.
For those who work 9-5 sitting down all day: You more likely have a slower metabolism; or may have issues with bingeing post-dinner. In these specific conditions, this plan may be a good way to break bad habits.
However, for the other, who have varied schedules: This is CRAZY!  If you work 3-11p How are you going to keep awake if you don't eat after 6p? Where is your caloric intake? And if you sleep through the day before your shift, when do you eat?
Or for my fitness posse: Imagine coming out the gym at 9/10p post late cardio, or heading to the gym at 8p to lift & you weren't "allowed" to eat since 6pm... FOH!!!

If you're laid up in bed, or messing about on the internet, and you get the "cravings", FIRST drink 8-12oz of cool water. 60% of the time you feel "hungry" (outside of your normal schedule) it's your body trying to trick you into hydrating. If you're still hungry 3-4minutes after drinking, then by all means grab a snack!

Here are some of my fave "go-to's" if I simply MUST eat, later at night:
1/2c plain (greek / fat free) yogurt and 1/2c chopped fruit - I like pineapple, berries, peach
1 small fruit + 1TBsp almond/peanut butter - keep the nut butters to ONE TBsp (*thats 100cals!)
1/2 sweet potato + plain yogurt & cayenne - spicy, cool, starchy & a little sweet; full of fibre/vitamins
1/2c pumpkin seeds - try my spicy pumpkin seed recipe!
1/4c unsalted nuts - I like to buy raw (or in-shell) and dry-pan toast them
1/2c Oats + 1TBsp nut butter
1 egg - hard boiled, or scrambled (*I use coconut oil in a spray bottle to minimize oils/fat)
1/4c low-sodium tuna + 1tsp dijon mustard, in lettuce leaves
2 pcs Turkey / Ostrich / Low-sodium Beef jerky

These snacks range from 100-250cals, and more importantly, they're clean. In general, stick to whole foods, that are naturally lower in fat/sugars, or have omega3,6 rich fats, and try to avoid animal-based fats.

However, if you haven't eaten in over 3hours (*e.g. since work) & you will be staying up longer than 2 hours, by all means YOU CAN EAT "REAL FOOD". I have had a FULL DINNER (no dessert) at 10pm but I had just come in from 90mins cardio & I had to be awake until 3am!

Hope this helps!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Be Healthier NOW!

Here are 25 things to help your HEALTH (*almost) INSTANTLY!

25. Check your Pee! (*it takes a Glance!)
Most people walk around dehydrated. “You should drink enough water that your urine looks like pale lemonade,”  Chris Mohr, PhD, RD (Nutrition Consult for Cincinnati Bengals)

24. Drink More Water! (*you KNEW that one was coming next... Cmon,SON!)
(Re)Hydrating, stops unnecessary hunger, makes the skin more supple... dehydration reduces energy level, fitness, and hinders good digestion.

23. Feel a migraine coming on? (*Drink some water, and then) Smell / Eat a GrannySmith apple.
In a study done by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, found that the smell of green apple actually reduces muscle contractions in the head and neck, reducing headache pain & anxiety.

22. Spice up your Life! With Cinnamon & Cayenne, that is.
These antioxidant-rich spices, studies show, may reduce blood pressure and lower stress. As well as having thermogenic (Metabolism-increasing) properties.

21. Seventy Minute Stretch!
Stuck at the desk all day? (*blech!) Every hour or so, get up, walk around & STRETCH those legs, arms, knees - bend & flex! Get those joints greased up!

20. Feeling down? Get bubbly!
Club soda, with a little ginger & citrus, are an even better way to perk up during the 2pm slump than sugar-laden sodas, or caffeine-laden coffee.

19. Think about what you ate ALREADY, not what you're craving.
Researchers say that taking a few seconds focusing on what you've already consumed, you're less likely to binge on snacks, later in the day by enhancing awareness of how satiating the food was.

18. Slow Down, Mon! (*the ONLY & LAST cheesy, Jamaican reference I will EVER make - promise!)
Calm anxiety-induced heart racing by cuing up some classic reggae, like Bob Marley on your iPod. The beat of a typical reggae tune is 60bpm, about the rate of a normal resting heartbeat.

17.  Be an EYE-SPY with this 10-Second Health Check
Before putting on long-wear contacts, check them quickly for any cloudy spots. A diet full of fat, protein, or alcohol weakens your tears' ability to block cholesterol from adhering to the lenses. If your diet is clouding your vitreous fluid, just imagine what it's doing to your arteries.

16. Save Big, by Going Smaller!
Studies show that people are programmed to load up food when they use large dinner plates. You can reduce the amount of food you eat, and subconsciously increase your perception how much food you have eaten, if you use a salad or dessert plate when you head to the buffet.

15. Make your Good Food Taste BETTER!
90% of taste is SMELL, so take a WHIFF *sniiiiiiiiff* before you take in IN. “The more odor molecules hit receptors in your nose, the more robust your sense of taste” says Alan Hirsch, MD, founder and neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago

14. Don't Forget your AlphaBet!
Find a Multivitamin with A, B1-12, C, D & E; Take a FishOil supplement for Omegas & DHA-3 & get some Garlic in your daily uptake!!

13. Go Bananas!
Rich Fiber & Potassium to help keep your Blood Pressure down, and Simple (clean) Carbs its a for perfect midday snack to keep regulated!

12. Remember the 30-30-30 Rule for your work week!
30 Hours of sleep (minimum) Sunday-Thurs nights.
30 Minutes (minimum) of focused, purposeful, movement (that causes a sweat) daily.
30 Seconds (minimum) of water intake every 90mins.
- Should give you just enough time for that 8-12oz, you're supposed to be having...

11. HEAD > Headaches
Graphic, yes! But it's true! The rush of endorphins released during sexual "release" are known remedies for mild headaches. Hangover head-banging? Bang your.. you get the idea ;)

10. Slow that Sugar rush!
Put some Vinegar on your sandwich, or start a pasta meal with a salad dressed with vinegrette. Nutritionists at Arizona State University say that the acetic acid interferes with enzymes that break down carbohydrates, keeping blood sugar levels from rising as quickly.

9. 20:20 for 20:20!
To avoid eye-strain, remember the 20:20 rule! For every 20minutes in close-proximity in front of your LED/HD screen (Computer/Phone/TV) look away at a distant, dull object for 20seconds.

8. Life Gives you Lemons... add it to your tea!
Food Chemistry Journal shows that acidity in citrus increase the antioxidant uptake from tea by 20%.

7. Gratitude IS the Attitude!
Improve your attitude with a dose of gratitude daily. Studies have shown that 90% of people say expressing gratitude made them happier people and more than 75% said it reduced stress and depression and gave them more energy. Be Grateful!

6. Grab a Mint!
Eat a mint candy, chew some gum, steep some tea, light a candle. The smell of mint has soothing, stress-relieving effects on us. Studies showed that when participants were asked to smell peppermint oil they performed repetitive exercises longer then those who hadn't.

5. Steam Your Veggies
Steaming green veggies increase its concentration of glucosinolates (compounds found to fight cancer) by 30 percent. (*whereas boiling actually lowers the concentration)

Writing things down is good for both Accountability to your goals, as well as releasing brain-cell squeezing thoughts! (*not in the same books!)
Keeping a food journal is the number ONE tool for successful adhesion to new diet plans.
Stressed at work, head spinning, can't sleep? Write your thoughts down in the order they come up, close the book and say you will look at them the next day. This symbolic action allows your mind to release the thought from Active short-term memory.

Try this 30-second breathing exercise. Inhale, allowing your belly to rise before your chest. When your lungs feel naturally full, take in even more air. Hold briefly, then exhale. When you feel your lungs are empty, push out even more air to a count of 10 until you have made your lungs as empty as possible. Repeat at least two more times

2. SMILE!!
Yup! Simple! 30-seconds of "forced" smiling increases your mood, almost instantly. Need more reasons? It also improves elasticity in the facial fascia by removing the strain that frowning causes!

Ok so the forced smile didn't work? Check Youtube, Phone a friend, Find a DoubleBubble! Get a Joke - Literally! Research suggests that a moment of mirth increases the body's secretion of immune-boosting growth hormones and endorphins.

Now - DO THEM!!

Be Amazing!
Mia xo

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Workout-WINSday with WOW!


Let me clarify, I lift weights as part of my training. I am NOT a Bodybuilder. I do however, help build better Bodies, and I COMPLETELY respect what these guys put themselves through, to get here.
*Sure, some use steroids, but not all of them do. (There are natural BB federations)
I have SEEN these mountainous bodies first hand & they are TRULY AWE-worthy & WINS-pirational.

There's a quote (I'm not sure who is speaking) about 2/3s the way into the vid, which is just so RAW!
When I hear it... I'm instantly READY to go lift heavy shit. To get on the blocks and race. To show PROOF that my Dedication and Hard-Work means I'm doing something MORE than the average bum, and more than I did even a week ago!

Quote (*to my best dictation) >>
"The parasites of society...they've never seen that crowd in field of view. They've also never taken a breath of air, mixed with anxiety & pressure. They've known no victory or defeat. They've never put themselves at risk. They've never shown up. They've never walked their talk. Therefore we tell them to F**K THEMSELVES.
We don't care what they f**king say!"

#Ambition #GrowOrDie #BeAmazing

Be Amazing... Become Legendary

Just some more #WINSday WINSpiration >>


"Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I lead you to believe it was easy [...] that my game was built on flash & not FIRE. Maybe it's my fault that you didn't see that failure gave me strength; that my pain was my motivation. Maybe I lead you to believe that [my skills were] a God-given gift and not something I worked on every single day of my life. Maybe I destroyed the game. or MAYBE you're just making excuses." - Become Legendary - Michael Jordan

S/O to @shead202 for the clip!

#BeAmazing, Today & Everyday!

My WINSpirational Mantra

Since its #WINSday...

Here is my Mantra, my WINSpiration :: Be AMAZING
Simple, right?

Let me break it down...
Dream fearlessly. Think positively. Speak responsibly. Work purposefully. Act impeccably. Eat intelligently. Train diligently. Live freely. Pray faithfully. Love deeply.

And if you still don't QUITE grasp what each of these facets of "Being AMAZING" mean...
Here are Some other people, who's words offer prose-like elaboration.

"All your Dreams can come true, if you have the Courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney #DreamFearlessly

"Positive Anything is better than Negative nothing" - Elbert Hubbard

"The superior man acts before he speaks, and speaks according to his actions" - Confucious

"Concentrate all thought on the work at hand. The Sun's rays do not burn until brought to a single focus" - Alexander Graham Bell

"If your morality is impeccable, then so shall I be inspired by you" - Yajur Veda

"To eat is a necessity, but to Eat Intelligently is an Art." - Francois deLe Rochefoucauld

"To be successful you must dedicate yourself 100%" - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects & enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela

"Seek His will in all you do and he will show you which path to take" - Prov 3:6

"To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others" - AnneSophie Swetchine

Feel free to adopt it and apply it!
I feel it will help me change the world :)


Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Pumpkin TIME! That is!!

It is Ironic, to me, that my fave time of year, falls within Scorpio season (my being a Sagittarius and all) but let me clarify: Specifically, I love the start of Fall! The "season" between Canadian Thanksgiving & US Thanksgiving. Why? I'm sure you are clued in - IT'S PUMPKIN SEASON!

I Love LOVE Pumpkin!
Seeds: alone or in stuff...
Flesh: Baked, Mashed, Crisps, Fingers (*baked "Fries") and to be honest, I'm not a HUGE Pumpkin pie fan, but hell, I'll have a lil piece!

Did you know that pumpkins are actually a fruit? Because of their seeds, they are part of the gourd family which includes squash AND melons. Who knew fruit was so versatile?!Looky thayer, you learnt-ed something! LOL! AND, you're getting some FUN food! 

Here are a couple of my fave recipes!

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
  • 11/2cup Seeds apprx 1 medium-large pumpkin (Scoop out, wash off seeds, pat dry with paper towel)
  • 1tsp onion power
  • 2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1tsp brown sugar *optional (They're VERY spicy, so you can use the sugar to tone it down, some)

  • Place all spices in a resealable freezer bag, mix & add Pumpkin seeds
  • Spread them out in a single layer in a baking dish or pie plate
  • Bake in a low oven (250°F) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until well dried (*they puff slightly)
    • TIP: If you can smell them, they're done!
  • Allow to cool
  • Remove to serving dish

Kale with Pumpkin Seeds & Pomegranate
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 lb kale leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1TBsp coconut oil
  • 2tsp Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1tsp Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 TBsp toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TBsp Pomegranate buds
  • In a pot, combine 1/2 teaspoon salt and kale in enough water to cover. 
  • Let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the kale, leaving any water clinging to leaves.
  • In the same pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil.
  • Add the kale and cook, tossing occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until wilted.
  • Add the vinegar/juice and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  • Toss.
  • Serve sprinkled with the seeds & Pomegranate
Savory Pumpkin Fingers

Large "Eating" Pumpkin (Sugar Mill is nice!)
Savory Spice Mix
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds (use them for the recipes above!)
    • Optional > Remove the skins with a potato peeler.
  • Cut into strips, similar to french fries. They won’t be perfect, but close enough. About 1/4 to 1/2 inch in thickness all the way around is perfect.
  • Place your cut pumpkin and olive oil in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of the spices* & Shake until the pumpkin is well coated in oil and spices.
  • Arrange the fries on a parchment lined cookie sheet so that they are in a single layer
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a fork.
*These can also be done sweet, with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove & a little Maple Syrup
As I said, I don't really mess with pumpkin pie but you can try THIS RECIPE that was passed onto me!
(*Feel free to let me know what you think of any of these recipes)

 A Little BONUS INFO (Since November is Men's Health Month) ::
In addition, to being delicious & and excellent source of Magnesium (150mg/oz) & ALA Omega-3s, these seeds may help men experiencing symptoms from an enlarged prostate.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) constricts the urethra, causing discomfort and urinary problems.
Phytosterols, plant-based chemicals in pumpkin seeds, may be responsible for shrinking the prostate and relieving symptoms. The seeds may also help prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT); high DHT levels are associated with enlarged prostate.

Eat Intelligently, Be AMAZING!


ps - for more info about Prostate Cancer, awareness, prevention, you can CLICK HERE
To learn more about or participate in fund raising in Support of Men's Health click :: Movember

Monday, 31 October 2011

All about ABS!


PSA :: This is not a BIBLE, or a "guaranteed" way to get abs...
There is no such thing as a guaranteed ab formula (*sorry), people's bodies are different, and therefore, things will work differently for all. These are, however, some of the myths & must-do's in order to get on your way to that smoldering six pack. It takes commitment and work!

Here are the FACTS
First :: Abs are made in the KITCHEN! The best way to ensure you're doing what it takes for those Summer-body, Modelicious midsections, is by making sure you're getting your daily required water intake (*half your body-weight in pounds, to be drank, in fluid ounces) AND by eating a Nutrient dense, Fiber & protein-rich, Clean diet! Lean proteins, healthy fats, Fibrous carbs, Colorful fruits & Veggies.

Second :: There is NO SUCH THING as "spot weight loss". So you can't "just lose weight around your midsection" anymore than you can "just lose" fat off your arms/legs/head...whereever!
To lose fat ALL-OVER, you MUST do CARDIO *shock, awe, gasp, terror* - that's the reality.
You want the RESULT? DO the WORK!

Third :: Abs are made in your Sleep!! I know what you're thinking... "Wait..WHAT? Didn't you say I have to WORK? And now you're telling me to SLEEP? Que Le fuu?" Let me explain!

The 3 most important hormones in fat loss or retention are Ghrelin, Cortisol & Human Growth Hormone (HgH). Without going into too much science, let me give you the short version.
Ghrelin is secreted when you stay up beyond 17hours in your daily cycle. It causes a resurgent "hunger" pang in order to provide your body with nutrients to stay up past its expected work-window. (*hence those midnight snack cravings) - Studies by the Am.Journal of Medicine show that we cosume 200-350 more calories on days that we get less than 7hours of sleep.
Cortisol is "the stress hormone". It is released by the body in response to outward stressors (one of these stressors being fatigue & under-rest) and is broken down & re-uptaken in sleep. If Cortisol is not broken down to be re-absorbed, it gets stored. Guess where.... Abdominal Fat.
HgH is responsible for Growth, in childhood/adolescence, and in adulthood helps with cellular healing & regrowth, nutrient processing & breakdown of fats into fuel in our sleep. Provided we reach 2nd stages of REM (*aka: get over 6.5 hours of sleep per night)

Let's quickly RE-CAP :: If I stay up late, I secrete a hormone which makes me eat more. And, not only that, but my body secretes a hormone to deal with the stress of this on my body and stores it in my belly fat... WHICH I have just padded with the extra food I'm eating... hmmmm, sounds very Un-Abs-etizing... BUT if I sleep I release a muscle & cell healing hormone which breaks down fats...
Now do you get the importance of SLEEP? GOOD!

One final note before I address some Myths - Want to look 5lbs slimmer instantly?
STAND UP STRAIGHT! Good posture, engaging the core and holding the chest up, tailbone neutral and chin draw back and supported by the neck and spine, put the abs to use, and also removes the slouch that often leads to a lower-belly poof.

Let's move onto a few ABS MYTHS
1) Doing "Abs" gives you Abs
- No, Sorry! Nope, Neeerp! FALSE!

People think that simply doing a "shit-ton" of abdominal exercises will give you "ABS". Sure, do enough crunches & resistance works & those abdominal muscles will be ripped & shapely... BUT, TRAPPED UNDER FAT. If you actually want to SEE your abs, you need to control your eating and burn calories! Just like other regions, Crunches help build fibers, in the abdominal muscles, but have little to no effect on the layer of fat covering them.

Remove the fat, and the muscles shine thru! Build the muscles UNDER the fat, and you'll end up looking "puffy" (*Trust ME!) >> Diet and cardio get rid of belly fat, not abdominal exercises.

2) Crunch is KING!
- again FALSE!
People neglect their core, as a COMPLETE structural region. Its not all about getting down on your back & cranking out crunches! In fact some of the best ab-killers, don't involve laying on your back at all!

Limiting your self to one angle of attack is just that, LIMITING!
Some of the BEST ab-workouts come from doing Larger muscle groups which require CORE STABILITY to be performed.

For example >
Pull Ups, Push Ups, Squats.

All of these movements are working other muscle groups but depend primarily on the core to stabilize the surrounding muscle groups in order to target the working group.

Plyometrics are another great example of using the abdominals, while not "doing abs". The core is responsible for body stability during position change, and in movement transition. It helps with balance & power during propulsion. Bonus - Plyos are an AWESOME way to burn calories!

If you insist upon a floor-based Core workout...

Instead of Crunches, Try THESE >
Bicycles, Russian Twists, Cross-body snaps, Planks.
(*not "planking" - As IF! please! Those are toats last season)

Planks are actually one of the (*if not THE) best exercises to tighten the midsection and requires no movement, and no laying down at all! Front plank and side planks, where the only thing touching the ground is your hands (or forearms) and feet. One of the greatest core-testing moves, erm.. non-moves, EVER! Holding a plank position for 30-60 seconds can seem like torture! Try it! You will feel your entire midsection tighten and WORK, including your low back, obliques and front abs.

3) Resistance is NECESSARY
Also, as I said before ABS ARE MUSCLES!! With any other muscle group, when you want those nice cuts, you pick up a weight, and external load or resistance and get pumping, why not with your abs?
Weighted core work is KEY to the well chisled midsection.

Some Awesome Weight Abdominal Movements >
Medicine ball drills/throws, cable cross pull machine work, or Kneeling cable crunches (*you crunch down, not up) or Situps while holding weight against your chest.

Basically :: More resistance, means more challenge. More challenge, means bigger cuts - got it?

One Caveat >
I typically limit load when training the obliques (the muscle group beneath the "love handles" running along the sides of your torso). Too much bending, with an added resistance, will cause those muscles to grow (duh) but instead of whittling, it will end up making your sides look THICK. Better bet - stick to twisting moves, or upper-weighted extension moves, with a lower resistance.

For example >
Saxon Bends, Mason Twists, Russion Twists

Choose a resistance that you can ACTUALLY SUPPORT. In order to gain from your abdominal work, you want to be sure that its the abdominals working. We want to avoid lower back strain, and pain, by ensuring that you are using the entire core, with a focus on the abs groups.

Engage your abdominal muscles, holding focus in the core by thinking about drawing your belly button up & in, toward your spine during any of the abs exercises, and during any weight-bearing activity. You will improve not only your core strength, but your stability in other lifts as well.

Take Home Message ::
Kitchen first (clean diet, more water); cardio; sleep; posture; abs' muscle work

I will try to post an Abs Cypher vid this week!!

Mia xo