Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

Childhood Obesity

As some of you may know, in addition to being a coach/trainer/mom, I am a professor for the ISSA’s online college.  I also teach a seminar designed specifically for trainers and coaches and have written a book on training in the context of the bigger picture and how to utilize your training knowledge in the most effective and compassionate way.  Coming up in October, I will have the privilege of teaching an afternoon seminar on training kids for trainers, parents, and coaches.  I’m really looking forward to this.
In addition to my own kids, I’ve been working with kids in training and teaching situations since I was fifteen years old.  I come from a long line of teachers and education experts and teaching has always come naturally to me whether its teaching kids to ride horses, lift weights, develop sport skills, or improve their math and writing skills.  So, I have a lot of experience with kids.
One of the big subjects that comes up a lot in training personal trainers is the childhoo…

There Is Nothing Wrong With Jogging

There is nothing wrong with jogging, walking, biking, swimming, doing yoga or any of the other things that people enjoy.  The human body is capable of a lot of things and most sports involve a good amount of endurance based training.  However, jogging and running have lately gotten a bit of a bad rap.  There are some people who say a few miles here and there are okay as long as you are lifting heavy and those who say that one should only ever do short sprints and others who say that running is completely unnecessary and will give you osteoporosis, arthritis, adrenal fatigue, and kill you before your time.
So what is the actual truth?
Running, for many people, is a fun activity that is good for stress relief, cardiovascular exercise, lower body strength, and a good way to get outdoors.  Fresh air is good for you, sunshine is good for you, and guess what?  I’ve never met a runner who didn’t have at least a bodyweight squat no matter how “frail” they might look.  All that running builds…

Five Exercises for Your Best Bikini Body Ever!

This article isn't what you think. Every time I see a title like the one above, I cringe a little bit. All the crunches, deadlifts, turkish getups, pullups, or burpees in the world cannot guarantee delivery of a perfect bikini body. A perfect bikini body, if we only consider appearance, is the combination of good bone structure, musculature, metabolism, and good skin. Feeling like you have a perfect bikini body is a lot more complicated and not many people will ever feel this way even if they look like they jumped off the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. And its okay. I think average human bodies are pretty awesome and when you consider what they can do, and not how they look, you might feel the same way.
But back to our exercises. 
I do actually think that there are some exercises we can do to not only improve how we look and feel, but greatly improve our quality of life. The most important thing we need to exercise regularly is Patience. Exercising pati…

DNA Weightlifting Club

The DNA Weightlifting Club has been making some great strides lately.  My fellow coaches, Diana Ceron and Steve Johnson of CrossFit RDU, and I have managed to qualify four lifters for Nationals this year.  I'm just going to take this opportunity to show them off a little bit.

Anna Johns has lifted for me for about three years now.  She has always primarily been a CrossFit competitor, but last September began focusing solely on weightlifting to qualify for and compete in the American Open.  As a 58 kg lifter, she currently has a 142 kg total and after competing in the CrossFit Open is back to training for weightlifting.  She is competing at a weightlifting meet at Port City CrossFit this weekend and I expect her total to go up.  At Nationals, I'm confident we'll see a significant improvement.  Here we see her making her snatch opener attempts at 61 kg for this weekend's upcoming meet at Port City CrossFit.

I first met Meredith Buckner last Fall.  She is a coach at Cross…

Advancing the Ball

In the book my colleagues and I wrote for our Practical Strength project, Play the Ball As It Lies, we lay out the foundations of good training:  simplified mastery of a few tools and attention to the individual yield far more results than complicated one-size-fits-all programming.  I do feel, however, that we've just reached the tip of the iceberg in terms of reaching our target audience and convincing them of the benefits of strength training.

As is pretty clear  in most of my articles, I work with a diverse crowd:  Kids, competitive athletes, masters athletes, people in rehab, and average folks who want a better quality of life.  I want to focus on two of these groups in particular here:  Kids and older folks who are either just beginning fitness or trying to sustain a long term athletic career.  With these folks, strength is invaluable. I've seen it reverse long term damage, improve performance, and lengthen periods of time between (if not eliminate altogether) debilitati…


I am a personal trainer and a weightlifting coach. I'm also a mom with three kids. Being a woman in this industry often means that when I tell people what I do, they expect me to bust out the leg warmers and lead a dance class or show them pictures of myself with a fake tan and a six-pack. Lately, with there being more of a focus on strong women in this industry, I'm expected to be post pictures of myself in "sexy beast mode," maybe showing off a picture of my ass while talking about the glories of squatting for the female posterior. In other words, people expect me to be the half-naked, vapid, overly enthusiastic, two-dimensional caricature of a female fitness professional.

I'm not a fitness model, an aerobics instructor, or a gym bunny. I'm a trainer, a coach, and sometimes I'm a competitor. I'm not big and I'm not strong in the Grand spectrum of strength competitors, but I'm smart, I work hard at what I do and I'm always willing to l…

Play the Ball As It Lies: The Art and Science of Teaching Strength

Well, we've finally done it.  The seminar textbook for the Practical Strength project is now available as an ebook.  If you are a trainer or train yourself, its worth a read.  The fitness industry relies too much on confusing information, celebrity personalities, and a lot of nonsense.  It really can be very simple.  Not easy, but simple.

Purchase the Book

Its not complicated.

This article is going to start off talking about diet, but that's not what its about.

I recently hired a performance nutrition coach.  I hadn't ever considered doing it before because, well, I know performance nutrition.  If I give someone a plan and they follow it, they will lose fat, gain muscle, all the stuff they want to do.  But, that's the hard part right?  Following the plan?  I've been trying to follow my own plan for the better part of a year and, well, I'm not really good at telling myself to shut my mouth and make better choices.  Sometimes the coach needs a coach.

My nutrition coach gave me something relatively simple, not so different from what I would give my clients, but tailored specifically for me.  Amazingly, I'm finding that I am doing some things very differently under his direction.

1.  I'm following the plan and not making excuses, justifying substitutions, thinking I can think my way out of not eating ice cream every day.
2.  I'…

Embrace Being Vulnerable

A friend sent me this TED talk earlier today and I encourage you to sit through the full twenty minutes.  It is indeed, life-changing.  For me, it made me realize how much I appreciated my family and our "vulnerable" whole-hearted approach to life and also made me realize why I felt so bad when I shared my life with those who were not vulnerable, but merely sat by and judged.

The one "thing" I would like for all of you to take from this regarding training is this:  If you are not training to do the best that you can do, regardless of outcome, think about why.  Are you ashamed that someone may think less of you?  Do you feel you simply can't do any better?  Are you worried that if you don't come in first, second, etc., that you aren't worthy to compete?

For some of you, these questions may seem strange, yet, they are the challenges that most of us run up against and therefore decide to stop trying.

I have a friend who once ranted against people entering …