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Get your fat-burning engine revved up BEFORE the holidays.

November 17th, 2014 No Comments

Desserts at Mastro's

Oh you know it’s that time.  All of the most delicious food on the planet is coming for your lips, your hips, and your saddle bags.  So let’s get ready!!!

We always talk about burring OFF the food AFTER we indulge.  But the best way to keep the weight off is about what we do BEFORE we eat pie and drink until dawn.

Four words: High Intensity Interval Training.  

Taking your heart rate to the roof and then back down to where you left your lunch on the floor burns fat, burns sugar, builds strength, increases your cardiovascular ability, and revs up your metabolism for 24 hours.

Sounds rough, I know.  Personally, I love a kick-ass, go-all-out workout, my favorite being BLAST in Atlanta. Total exhaustion is almost as a satisfying as an orgasm for me.  (When the workouts are daily and the Big O’s are so few and far between, it doesn’t feel like such a stretch….)

Ok, so let’s not make this sound so intimidating by using the Tabata method.

You choose your exercise.  It can be a cardio move or free-weight lifting.  

Do 20 second intervals of 100% exertion, 10 seconds of rest.  

Six to eight rounds.  

Your workout can go between 4 and 20 minutes.  Then you’re done.  

I’ve never incorporated HIIT with Tabata precision until recently.  Trainer, spinning instructor, and hot mamma Judi Brown from Daily Burn SWEARS by Tabata.  She gives all of the credit for her rock-hard wall of abs to this method of exercise.  Check her out, pretty convincing if you ask me:

Judi Brown abs

She made me dingo renegade rows the other day with 8 pound weights for 6 Tabata intervals.

My lats were sore for week!  I loved it :)

Here’s how you do a renegade row.  Remember to keep your core tight and hips facing the ground.


Remember, you can do anything!  Burpees, jump squats, punches with weights, the list goes on.

PopSugar has a great collection of Tabata workout videos you hit up at home as well!



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Biggest Loser Pyramid Workout

March 24th, 2014 No Comments

Brett Hoebel is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser.  In this episode of Burn100 (100 calories in 10 minute circuits), he creates a circuit by adding one exercise each round.  It’s a tough one!!  Don’t worry, he gives you an active rest.

For more #BURN100 episodes, click here.  They’re all different and easy to incorporate into your normal routine or do when you travel.

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Do you think I worked off the Super Bowl snacks??

February 5th, 2013 No Comments


The easy answer is “no!” I’m guessing I consumed a lot more than 775 calories during a 5 hour snack fest. The truth is that I did burn the calories I consumed, just over a longer period of time. Let me explain

The good thing I’ve learned over the last six months is:

Calories IN does NOT equal Calories OUT.

This has always been my gut feeling, but it’s nice to have it validated by educated professionals :)

There are three principles I can identify at work:

  1. Muscle burns calories, even when you are sitting still. That’s why weight/strength training is important.
  2. High intensity training (anaerobic, heart rate zones 4 and 5) revs up your metabolism so it will work harder longer. At least 24 hours after you killed it at the gym.
  3. Aerobic training (heart rate zone 3) teaches your body to burn fat. Carbs not burned off turn into fat, so this is very important.

Click the links for my experience with each. You can also find TONS of exercises for each by looking under the “Fitness” menu on the top navigation.

The bottom line here is an active person has the ability to burn more calories even when they’re not working out. When an excessive amount of calories is consumed (at parties), you can rest assured that you’re not going to pay in pounds. Soooo, if you exercise and maintain a healthy diet, you’re able to have cheat days and treats!

I hope this serves as a little motivation for you Ainsling! I’ll get into your specific workout details soon. Thanks for the question!


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Isolating on the Elliptical

February 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Let’s be honest, the elliptical doesn’t simulate running, so let’s utilize the machine in other effective ways.

Just as in my spin workout, I like to take a song or two to isolate and strengthen particular muscle groups.

Above I’ve shown two different set-ups to focus on two different groups.  Here’s how you use them.

Isolation #1 – Glutes on a slow climb.

  1. Increase your resistance to something challenging (mine is about 14) and put your incline on 12-14.
  2. Stand with both feet flat and bend your knees.
  3. Engage your abs and bend over about 60 degrees.  Use the railing to stabilize yourself.
  4. Make sure you back is flat.
  5. Pushing through your heels, step to the beat of the music and squeeze your butt with every step.
  6. Continue for the whole song. Your butt will be burning!
  7. On the song that follow, stand up straight, increase your resistance, and slow down.  When the chorus hits, charge up the hill.

Isolation #2 – Lower Abs in a sprint.

  1. Lighten your resistance and take your incline t0 either 12 or 19.
  2. Stand on the balls of your feet (not your tip-toes)
  3. Engage your abs.
  4. Stand straight up, don’t lean forward.  Use the railing for support.
  5. Focus on pulling your knees up into your abs, keeping your feet light.  Pick up your pace.  See if you can keep up the speed for the entire song.

Obviously the right music is helpful to set your pace, so make sure to stock your playlist with a variety of beats.

Last year I did a video while I was actually on the elliptical that I later edited to show you parts of my entire workout.  Click here to watch.

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That Last Stubborn 5 Lbs

February 1st, 2010 4 Comments

— By Kelley Davidson

One of my clients once said to me that trying to get that last pesky 5 lbs. off is like trying to sit on a ball underneath the water in the swimming pool—you have to constantly adjust to keep the ball underneath you and the minute you get too comfortable it slips right out from underneath you!  It seems like so much of the information about weight loss that’s been written is for people that need to lose drastic amounts of weight- but what about those of us that are just trying to sit on that pesky 5-pound ball.  No matter where we are on our fitness journey, making our health a priority can be challenging with our busy lifestyles making it all too easy to give up on our routine or just get stuck in a rut!  Here are some tricks to keep in interesting:

Keep it fresh:

Keep your body guessing– changing your workout regularly will not only shock your body (in a good way) but help to avoid metal fatigue and boredom to keep you interested in your workouts.   If you’re a “gym person,” learn new variations to old exercises or add a cardio interval between sets.

Check out new workouts– If you’re a class person, do some research on the internet.  Fitness is like fashion- there is always a new trend on the horizon and you may discover a new workout that fit you perfectly.

Sign-up for a novel sporting event:  Trying something totally new is a great way to spark a new passion and to give that metabolism a little push.  If you’re a runner, sign up for a bike ride.  Cyclists, how about a 5-K? Make sure you check out how to train for the event you’ve chosen and find some friends you can convince to train with you!

Speaking of those last 5-lbs:

Here’s an easy secret to burn some quick fat:  early morning cardio on an empty stomach..  Listen up though, because I have some very specific instructions.  The cardio must be LOW end (i.e. heart rates about 120 beats/minute).. this means a medium/quick walk (no, not a run).  Wake-up, roll out of bed, put your shoes on and hit the road- when your body is depleted in carbohydrate (as it is first thing in the morning), working at a low intensity will get that stored fat to mobilize to fuel your walk.  Working at a high intensity on an empty stomach will only cause you to burn muscle mass and slow that metabolism, so if you go to an AM boot camp or spin class, food is a must!

That doesn’t mean you should replace all your higher-intensity cardio all together, just add a few AM walks to your routine and see the results for yourself!

Try for 30minutes – 1hour, 4 days a week. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast immediately upon completion to get that metabolism running.

(Photo via)

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Dynamic Rest

January 25th, 2010 No Comments
Dynamic Rest

When you’re working out one muscle group pretty hard, you need to rest that area in between sets.  However, instead of just standing there, do a light exercise that focuses on a different area.

Common and easy choices you won’t have to think about are:

  • Crunches
  • Leg lifts
  • Pelvic pulses (for your butt)
  • Squats

Some other moves you might want to consider:

  • Rear deltoid raises (bend over with your arms out slightly bent and lift arms up to squeeze your shoulder blades together – good for posture)
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep dips
  • Inner thigh (abductor machine)
  • Light shoulder raises
  • Sitting against the wall with your quads parallel to the floor for 60 seconds.
  • Superman (laying on your tummy and lifting your arms and legs to work your back) for 1 minute.

For any of the above, use light weights so you will have energy to go back to your main exercise.

If you really want to take your lifting workout to the next level, do cardio between sets:

  • Step-ups
  • Running up a set up stairs
  • Tapping around the top of a bosu ball for 30 seconds
  • Jumping rope
  • High knees (running in place bringing your knees up as high as you can)
  • Jumping jacks
  • Static boxing with light weights or bands
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December 28th, 2009


If you’re stubborn like me and refuse to take the week off, give this tredmill routine a shot.  Created by Felix Montano from Equinox, it will kick your booty onto the couch and there will no longer be a debate about abstaining from the gym!

  • 5 min: Walk at 4.0 speed, 4.0% incline
  • 2 min: Increase speed to 6.0-6.5
  • (Rest: 90 sec at 2.0 and 1% incline)
  • 90 sec: 6.0 speed at 3% incine.
  • 90 sec: Sprint your fastest at 3% incline
  • (Rest)
  • 90 sec: 6.0, 5% incline
  • (Rest)
  • 2 min: Raise incline to 12% and walk (no handrails!)
  • (Rest)
  • 90 sec- 2 min: Sprint your fastest at 0% incline
  • 2 min: Walk at 2.0 speed and 0% incline

August 18th, 2009 No Comments

Oh hell yes!  You can’t even see the top in this pic. And we did it 4 times!

Today I did my workout at The Baldwin Hills Park in Culver Ciry.  These stairs are killer!  My friend Tony (the grill master from Sunday) took me to spice up my cardio.

Add a few pushups at the end, who needs a gym?!

Stair Master Head to Toe:

  • Kiawah Island hat
  • Cotton tank from Target
  • Nike shorts from Century 21
  • Adidas shoes