Wednesday, 9 December 2015

HIIT it! #2

I can't believe it's December and a balmy 10 degrees out here in Toronto. Let's take advantage of it and HIIT it outside!

Just hanging out

Find yourself a park with monkey bars or rings. Run 3-5 laps around the park as a warm-up. We need 30 seconds on the timer and a 10 second break.

Negative pull-ups (place hands slightly wider than shoulders, jump up so your chin is above the bar and release down as slow as you possibly can)
High knees 
Hanging knee raises (hang on the bars/rings and lift bent knees towards your chest)
Mountain climbers 
Repeat 3 times

Then play around on the bars. How many times can you go back and forth? Can you skip a bar? If you can't do the monkey bars, can you hang on one hand for 5 seconds?

Finish with 5 more laps around the park and a nice stretch!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

HIIT it! #1

Jumping for joy!

As promised, here is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout for you. Start a quick warm-up with jumping jacks, leg swings and arm circles before you begin.

Set your timer for 30 seconds of work and a 10 second break. And...GO!

Box jumps (or squat jumps)
Reverse lunges
Repeat 3 times

Then alternate between holding a plank and skipping (with or without a rope) for 30 seconds each. Repeat 3 times.

Stretch and you're done!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


It's Wednesday, which means Monday has come and gone (duh!). For most people, Monday is the start of a good week. Monday is when you set your alarm for an early morning workout. It's when you have your healthy lunch packed and 2L bottle of water ready to go. It's Day 1 of a new life, new look, new you! Day 1 is awesome!

Fast forward to Wednesday...all the Tupperware full of carrot sticks and celery are gone; you ate those on Day 2 when you were hangry. You worked late last night so when the alarm went off this morning, you said, "f*ck it" and hit snooze. Two coffees down and the idea of swapping a mid-afternoon yoga sesh for a nap is looking more and more likely. I feel ya.

Motivation is one of those things that can't be forced. What motivated you on Day 1 is looking super bleak now on Day 3. Sure, as a fitness instructor, I can get you pumped with the right music and right words of encouragement but that means you have to first show up to class. With personal training, you're motivated not to waste money when you've pre-booked a session. It's those in-between days that motivation is truly lacking. 

What I find works best for my clients is to plan baby steps. Not saying that Day 1 was setting you up for failure but it's a lot of pressure to make huge changes to your daily routine and expect everything to just fall into place. It's no surprise that as soon as you ran out of your Ziplock bag trail mix, you turned to something easy and comfortable (and usually carb heavy).

So plan and plan again. Plan A: eat pre-made trail mix. Plan B: keep extra baggies of said trail mix in your desk. Plan C: map out where you can get a smoothie when Plan A and B fail. Plan D: tell your co-workers you're going to get a smoothie so when you see carb heaven, you feel accountable to buy the smoothie instead.

Sure, it ain't pretty and you will have internal struggles that make you look a little coocoo to everybody else but it will all be worth it. And maybe that's the only step you're working on for the next two weeks. Just making sure you are eating healthy snacks. Then once that's become second nature, you're onto the next plan.

So you want to hit the gym at 7am but when that fails what's your back-up plan? Check out that lunch time class at the nearby gym? YouTube a video when you get home after work for 20 minutes while the quinoa is cooking? Or today you just won't get a workout in. That's ok too. Tomorrow, plan again.    

As long as you continue taking these baby steps, you will make it to your goal. Lacking motivation sucks but when you give yourself solid plans, you're well on your way to success. And if you need to spend an afternoon looking at #fitspo motivation on Instagram to keep you going, be my guest. But make sure that's part of you plan!

Baby steps...

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


Welcome to my sweat-curse-results blog. 

When I first used the tag, "You will sweat, you will curse, you will see results" it was for a bootcamp poster I was handing out near Trinity Bellwoods Park. I wanted it to be cheeky and personable while still inviting. Two years later here I am using it as a slogan and brand. 

It speaks to who I am and what I believe in. I want you to sweat, I want you to see results and I want you to have fun while doing it. Who cares if along the way there are enough swears to put Jennifer Lawrence to shame?  

The same rules apply to me. Trust me, I am a total whiner when it comes to indoor rock climbing. And you'll bet your ass whoever is belaying me isn't going to let me give up the first time I miss my hold or my foot slips, even if I am yelling down at them. 

Mission Impossible
So join me on my journey of sweating, cursing and seeing all the hard work pay off! Along the way, you will get exercise and nutrition tips, HIIT workouts and an insider look at some of the stories I'll be working on for Toronto Guardian.