Hormonal Harmony

Advice for Great Looking Skin

When it comes to having healthy skin, I’m ALWAYS learning. Moreover, I’m ALWAYS experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t.

Not gonna lie: sometimes the results are disastrous. Sometimes, however, they’re fantastic. These are a few of those strategies that have yielded FANTASTIC results – for minimum investment.

I usually have a few healthy skin favorites that I’m incorporating on the regular, in addition to the core, foundational goodies. Sometimes, these change, but right now, I’ve got some new skin-care staples I want to share.

As always, the foundation for healthy skin is good nutrition and well-managed digestion. I talk about this LOTS with my clients, and I think they are pretty used to hearing it from me by now.

So I suppose this blog should be called “Besides the critical puzzle pieces of nutrition and digestion that lay the foundation for healthy skin no matter who you are, here are my three current favorite pieces of advice for great looking skin.”

Obviously, that’s too long for a blog title.

So here’s what I’m loving right now. If you have anything to add, tweet me or post a comment on this page!

Strategy #1: Dry Brushing

So far, I’ve found nothing more powerful in enhancing my skin’s glow than dry brushing.

Dry brushing isn’t just exfoliating. It can’t be done in the shower, as the effects aren’t the same (I know this from experience). It’s really a circulation booster, and I’ve found it not just invigorating, but also health-promoting. The directions are pretty simple:

Start on dry skin before bathing.
Work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart – the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction.
Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
After you’ve finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer.
Ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
Tip: alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
Then follow it up with a slick moisturizer to nourish the skin (personally, I use coconut oil).

Dry brushing daily for just a few minutes is an amazing way to start the day. Give it a go for 30 consecutive days and your body will love you for it! And while I don’t dry brush my face, it definitely impacts the skin of my mug. Observe my before-and-after:

Great Looking Skin
healthy skin

Just kidding.

Strategy #2: Do LESS.

Too often, we think we have to do MORE to have better skin. This is absolutely not true. It’s one of the reasons I don’t recommend exfoliation for everyone – for some, it’s too harsh and can hurt your skin.

You don’t have to have eighteen different routines conducted every waking hour, on the hour, to care for your skin. The less you can manage to do, the more your skin can go about the business of HEALING and becoming less sensitive and angry.

These days, I just do a quick cloth wipe-down to cleanse in the morning. (I like using a Norwex cloth, as the embedded silver keeps it from harboring any wonky bacteria, but any microfiber cloth will do.) When I’m not wearing makeup, this is often the entirety of my cleansing routine in the evening as well. While I still do my coconut oil cleansing several times per week, I find that at this point in my journey, I can do even LESS when it comes to cleansing. I dab on some oil-based moisturizer (always organic) and I’m good to go.

It sounds scary, I know – and sometimes your skin has to actually ADJUST to doing less. It’s often used to such frequent pressure, manipulation and abuse – even with “natural” skin care routines – that it continues to respond as if it’s being ambushed. This will pass.

Strategy #3: SLEEP, dammit!

Sleeping when it’s dark, and getting ENOUGH sleep, is key.

I KNOW how difficult this one is. We are all so busy, and life (and the new season of Eastbound and Down) keeps us up late. But proper sleep is a HUGE bugger to getting healthier skin. I see it way, way too often – even in myself.

It’s not always possible to get great sleep during normal nighttime hours, and sometimes we have to work pretty hard at it. While I DEFINITELY don’t advocate stressing about sleep management (stress is another bugger to healthy skin), I do recommend being proactive.

Have an earlier dinner, and record your favorite nighttime TV shows to watch early the following morning so you can wind down with the sun. Keep the lights low as the sun goes down. Whatever you like to do at night, see if you can do it as the sun comes up instead.

THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ALL-OR-NOTHING! ONE night per week of proper, good sleep is better than NO nights per week. You can feel GREAT about a single evening’s sleep hygeine! (I’m so happy I got to work in the phrase “sleep hygeine.”) Don’t get caught up in feeling like if you can’t do it 100% of the time, you can’t do it at all.
That goes for ALL of these strategies. Just do your best, when you can. Over time, everything becomes easier! Patience and long standing dedication are the keys.
All right – now it’s your turn! What are your tried-and-true, natural strategies for better skin? Please share.

Stay Strong! Xo, Amber 🙂

Nutrition & Supplements

Can Alcohol Fit Into My Healthy Lifestyle?

A cave man real food (and drink) diet doesn’t forbid us of alcohol. The key to successfully imbibing alcohol while living healthy is choosing the right adult beverages and consuming them in a responsible, intentional way. There’s an appropriate time to enjoy a moderate amount of alcohol to unwind or to celebrate. Aside from the positive aspects of socializing, some types of alcohol are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and they may also reduce the risk of infection with the bacteria that causes ulcers.

Here are a few key factors to help you decide whether you should pop a cork:

1. Alcohol is a toxin to the liver.

2. Alcohol is a drug, which means it’s addictive.

3. If losing weight is your goal, remember that your liver can’t help you with fat burning if it’s busy detoxifying alcohol.

Before you pour yourself a glass of something intoxicating, consider your health goals and overall eating habits, and then make smart choices about which type of alcohol you drink.

Steer clear of grain-based drinks that can also include gluten, such as the following:

  • Beer
  • Bourbon
  • Gin (some brands are processed with grain-based alcohol)
  • Grain-based vodka
  • Whiskey

To celebrate on special occasions, feel free to choose one of these:

  • Potato vodka
  • Red wine
  • Rum
  • Sparkling wine
  • Tequila
  • White wine

 alcohol and healthy lifestyle

To manage your body’s insulin response to the sugars found in alcohol, mix spirits, like tequila or vodka, with soda water, ice, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Avoid fruit juices, which are liquid sugar; and avoid tonic water, which is also high in sugar.

When uncorking wine, choose the driest (least sweet) wines possible. The driest reds include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot; the driest whites are Sauvignon Blanc and Albarino.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors occasionally let their hair down when they were exposed to alcohol by eating fermented grapes. But they didn’t sit around the fire doing shots. You can’t maintain a high level of health if you drink alcohol frequently or in large quantities. The pleasant buzz that alcohol provides also places stress on your liver, creates a strong insulin response, and dehydrates your cells. Enjoy your cocktails in moderation.

Stay Strong!  Amber, XXXX 🙂

Hormonal Harmony

It Is Time To Ditch Your Fat Loss Timetable

One of the quickest ways to disappointment is to give yourself strict, rigid rules that need to be followed to perfection.

One way in which we set ourselves up for disappointment and even more DE-motivation is through setting a time in our mind by which we “need” to achieve a specific outcome, or else is means we’re a failure or we suck.

“Amber, but what about goal setting? Don’t we need specific goals?”

In my opinion, goals are worthwhile ONLY if your approach to them allows for you to be gentle with yourself if you don’t achieve them. You cannot hold yourself accountable to a rigid timetable and also give yourself the win. It’s either/or. And I would argue that the latter is much more important as it applies to your happiness, and ALSO because it’s more empowering in the long run. Goal setting works in the short-term, but when the motivation is external (e.g. the threat of having to step on stage in a bikini), it doesn’t last in the long-term.

Here’s what happens when we set up a random timetable when it comes to our physiques and lose perspective when it comes to time:

We mistakenly feel like results can’t come fast enough. If we lose 5 lbs in the first week, it should have been 8. If we lose 7 inches in a month (incredible results by any standard), it doesn’t seem like all the much. If we need to lose 20 lbs by October and we only lose 17, it’s not good enough.

What is the rush? WHY do we feel like it all has to happen so fast?

I will give you this one key insight about time: The faster it comes OFF, the faster it comes back ON. Truth.

And despite what you may think, fast fat loss is actually not what you really want. The reason being that sustained fat loss is the result of many, many days, months and years of practicing good behaviors. Fast fat loss is a result of intense, willpower-based practices that, by definition, must rebound. You literally have not had THE TIME needed to turn those white-knuckling practices into habits yet. So inevitably, once willpower wanes, the old habits are still there, ready to override any ounce of willpower you try to muster.

Here’s a timetable for you: Today.

Focus on that and only that. What will you practice TODAY? Don’t think about tomorrow, next month or your vacation this Fall. Today is all you need to effectively practice your healthy habits. Your next meal. Your workout today. Get through that. Practice that.

And begin allowing your arbitrary timetable of expectations to fade into insignificance. It’s liberating! Knowing you get to practice (not be perfect!) a healthy lifestyle forever is empowering 🙂

Ox, Amber


Cardio Secrets to Reduce Body Fat

We probably all know that cardio helps reduce body fat, but what type(s) work best? How can you avoid wasting away lean muscle mass? Below, I’ll reveal some of the answers to these questions and provide you with cardio secrets to reduce body fat. 

Secret #1 HIIT it UP!
What is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) (pronounced “hit”) sounds technical, but it doesn’t have to be. If you add HIIT to your workout program, it can help you reduce body fat faster and hold on to more lean muscle than regular cardio. Simply stated, HIIT involves 3 steps:

(1) Briefly perform exercise at a high intensity.

(2) Briefly exercise at a low intensity or rest.

(3) Repeat several times.

The term “interval” is used because periods of high-intensity exercise are separated by intervals of low-intensity exercise or rest. The latter is sometimes called the “recovery” period. Think of how little kids sometimes play. They dart across the grass at full speed. Then they slow down to a walk. Then they dart off again in another direction. And so on. They’re doing HIIT, and they don’t even realize it! The rules of HIIT are pretty flexible. The high-intensity period may last anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds. The recovery period may last the same amount of time.

1 Min Box Jump HIIT Interval
1 Min Box Jump HIIT Interval


The opposite of HIIT is sometimes called “low intensity steady state cardio” (LISSC). If you walk for an hour at a steady pace on the treadmill, for instance, you are doing LISSC. Some doctors still prescribe LISSC for fat reduction. However, an increasing number are now telling their patients to “HIIT it up” instead. Why? Clinical studies provide compelling evidence that you can reduce body fat faster with HIIT than you can with LISSC. This is true even when you burn more calories during LISSC. In one study, subjects who performed LISSC for several weeks didn’t lose any fat, whereas those who performed HIIT did. This occurred despite the fact that those who performed LISSC burned 15,000 more calories than subjects in the HIIT group. Patient compliance may be higher with HIIT, possibly because it isn’t as boring as LISSC. The number-one excuse often made for not exercising enough is “I don’t have time.” HIIT workouts are much shorter than LISSC workouts. No more excuses! HIIT is associated with improved cardiovascular and metabolic function in people who are currently healthy as well as “at risk” patients. HIIT reduces both subcutaneous (“under the skin”) and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that you can see on your body. Visceral fat is stored deep inside your body, around organs. It has been linked to diseases such as diabetes. Because your muscles have to work harder during HIIT, it can do a better job of preserving lean muscle than LISSC. Too much LISSC can cause lean muscle to atrophy (aka, shrink).

“How can HIIT help me lose fat faster, even if I burn more calories during LISSC?”

Good question. Scientists are still trying to figure this out. Several factors may be involved. For instance, HIIT workouts may boost your metabolism in the hours or days that follow. Also, there is some evidence that HIIT may suppress appetite. HIIT isn’t a miracle maker. Keep in mind that the HIIT protocols used in clinical studies have often been pretty exhausting, more intense than you would likely do yourself. Also, individual results can vary, as is the case for any form of exercise.

Secret #2: Record it! Whether it’s HIIT or regular cardio, if you want to reduce body fat as quickly as possible, then you need to record your workout accomplishments. Doing so will help you ensure that they are progressive, i.e., your body is challenged to work harder during each workout. Make it easy for yourself! Duration and calories expended are two of the simplest things to record, and most modern cardio equipment displays both of them. During your next workout, try to burn more calories in the same amount of time. Or, try to burn the same amount of calories in less time. Record your accomplishments and try to beat them at the workout that follows.

Secret #3: Keep it fresh! It happens to the best of us: We start using a piece of cardio equipment, we become comfortable with it, and then we continue to use it, over and over and over again. Keep it fresh! Change your choice of cardio weekly, if not more often. This will make your workouts more fresh, fun and challenging. Changing things up may also help you avoid repetitive strain injuries. A well-equipped gym should have multiple pieces of cardio equipment to choose from: treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, Stairclimber, Stepmill, Kick Boxing Bags, etc. Use them all. Don’t limit yourself.

Secret #4: Try these sample workouts! There are a ton of HIIT workouts on the Web. Below is just a small collection that you can use to get started.

Stationary cycle: You can use this basic HIIT workout on a regular cycle or a spinning cycle. Warm-up: 5 minutes at low intensity. High-intensity spinning: 1 minute. Low-intensity spinning: 1 minute. Repeat 8 times. Cool-down: 5 minutes with gradually decreasing intensity.

Stepmill workout #1: Level 5: 2 minutes. Level 12: 2 minutes. Repeat 8 times.

Stepmill workout #2: Level 8: 3 minutes. Level 10: 1 minute. Level 12: 1 minute. Level 16: 1 minute (or as long as you can). Go back to Level 8 and repeat. Beginners can skip Level 16.

Secret #5: Don’t overdo it. HIIT is intense. Start by doing it once a week. Increase it to twice a week as your stamina improves, and depending on your goals, up to three times a week. If you are doing both your weight workout and cardio in the same session, do weights first. If you find it difficult to recover, try doing cardio and weights on separate days. This may allow for better recovery and help you retain more lean muscle as you drop body fat.

There you have it!  Several secrets to make your cardio days work more for you, especially after you’re done working out. Have you tried this type of training before? If yes, then definitely tell me about your favorite HIIT workouts. I always like switching things up for myself and my clients. If not, go ahead, step out of your comfort zone and try the recommended workout(s) and let me know if you like them. 🙂

Stay Strong, Amber



The cool thing about humans is that even though we can do long division, think about our place in the universe, program a week’s worth of meals, solve complex problems using logic, and perform other tasks indicative of high intelligence, we also retain the ability to perform hundreds of essential calculations on the subconscious level. For example, we don’t have to tell our pancreas to secrete enough insulin to deal with that food we just ate because the pancreas just does it without telling us. We generally don’t have to remind ourselves to breath. And, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to think about not rolling our ankles or tripping over our own feet. We should be able to glide gracefully across the ground.

Shoes get in the way, though. Think about it: we spend most of the day connected to the ground via our feet. Our feet, by virtue of their direct connection to the ground, tell our nervous systems what’s going on, where we’re going, what we’re standing on, how stable the ground is, how sharp and potentially injurious these rocks are, and so on. When you cover your feet with rubber, you’re covering up one of the most sensitive, nerve-dense areas of our bodies and giving up a lot of spatial awareness in the process. You’re basically blindfolding yourself.

The increased proprioceptive awareness gained while walking, running, hiking, etc. in a barefoot state generally carries over to the shoed state. What this means is that by occasionally acting like a dirty hippie on your time off , you can improve your overall awareness of how your entire body interacts with space-time–even when wearing weight lifting shoes. This will have huge implications for your lifting and overall athletic performance.

Don’t worry. This is not a plea for barefooted Olympic lifting. I don’t expect to see any Vibrams on the medal stand anytime soon. This is just a recommendation that folks spend more time without shoes, preferably moving around on natural ground, in order to improve their overall proprioceptive awareness, an awareness that will carry over to everything else you do.

Now, get out, explore and connect with the earth! In good health, xxxx, Amber


How to get STRONGER with AGE….

I have to be honest with you.

I am an aging athlete.

And regardless of how “old” you are, you’re aging as well.

Most days I don’t feel old. In fact, in a lot of ways I feel every bit as good as I did 10 years ago, maybe even better.

Other than the very very rare hangover that lasts for 3 days instead of 3 hours, life is pretty darn good for me.

But I get all these subtle reminders that I’m not 20 or 25 years old any more.

Weekends consist of working on projects around the house or on my businesses, spending time with my friends, or simply trying to rest and relax a bit.

I own two businesses that keep me incredibly busy, plus work at a local gym part time too.

And I simply don’t have as much time to train nowadays as I did back then.

Does this mean I shut it down?

Throw in the towel?

Take up knitting, coupon cutting or coin collecting?

Absolutely not – but it has definitely made me take note of where I’m at in life, and come up with workarounds for any perceived limitations in my training.

If you find yourself in that weird time of life when you still love training, but either you don’t have as much time, or your body is starting a slow revolt against your torrid love affair, then this article may be for you.

Below are some of my big ticket items to keep your training on track and for years to come.


As you get older, other things get in the way of your once precious training time.

The biggest thing to note is you probably don’t have 2-3 hours to train any more. Once faced with this realization you have two choices:

  1. Keep shooting for that “perfect workout,” only to end up frustrated and pissed off, or
  2. Come to grips with this fact of life, adapt and overcome.

Here are my quick tips to help get through your workouts faster, or at the very least, make them more time efficient.

Cut Your Rest Periods

Coming from a weightlifting/bodybuilding background, it wasn’t a stretch for my warm-up and ensuing squat and/or deadlift session to take up to 1.5 hours.

And while that’s probably the “optimal” prescription (taking 4-6 minutes of rest in between sets), it just doesn’t always work in the real world when you’re pressed for time.

In this case, try working on 1-2-3 minutes rest instead of going for full neural recovery. It’s not perfect, but its’ better than nothing. I try to get in  and out of the gym within 1 hour these days. As long as my interruptions are nil, I’m able to accomplish this.

Get The 80% Done

Far too often we get caught up in the training minutiae and forget to focus on the big picture.

I like to use the following analogy:

Imagine you only have 15 minutes to train. Are you going to spend that time squatting? Or doing biceps curls?

I think you know the right answer. And, if you’re really pressed for time, go in and crush your warm-up, do your big lift for the day, and go home.

Use More Circuits or Superset Training

When I was younger, I never used supersets or circuits in my personal programming, but they’re a necessary evil at this point in time, and can be more fun.

And lucky you, there are tons of options based on how much time you have available, and what your current training goal(s) include.

Here are just a few ways to use supersets and circuits to get through a workout faster:

  • Use push/pull supersets on upper body days. Do this with all your big lifts, and even for direct arm training.
  • On lower body days, hit your main exercise (squat, deadlift, etc.) and then perform all your assistance work in either a superset or circuit fashion.
  • Perform the entire workout as a superset (this works best with smaller lifts and exercises).

Hit 1 or 2 BIG Workouts a Week

Often you’ll have one or two days of the week where you have more time than usual to workout. Maybe it’s a weekend day, or you have a day off during the week when you have more time to train.

This is the opportune time to crush a big workout.

This past summer I was as busy as I’d ever been. The best times for me to train were on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

I could only squeeze in a 40-50 minutes workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but on Wednesday mornings I’d have 1.5 hours to train. This was my “big” lower body workout and I’d try to get some serious volume in on front or back squats and deadlifts.

This way even if I only got in single-leg and accessory/supplemental work the rest of the week, I still had that big workout to lean back on.

The only rule to this workout is to make sure you’re hitting a ton of big, compound movements. You can pump, sculpt, tone and blastify those little movements any other day of the week, but not on your BIG day!

Even if the rest of your training week is lower in volume and intensity, you can still see some great progress by pushing yourself on that one workout.

This first portion of this focused on damage control and how to work within a training session. Next, let’s look more at the big picture, including ways to get more miles out of your body.


As we get older, our body doesn’t tolerate/handle stress as well as it did in the past.

While we can blunt a lot of these effects via smart recovery (covered next), we can also get smarter about how we’re training.

If you personally know me and how I train, you know I’ve evolved from a full-blown excessive-compulsive, cardio queen (whose body and joints hurt all the time) and a bodybuilder style of training, into someone who rotates my training emphasis throughout the year. Basically, changing my training with the 4 seasons.

Here’s a very loose representation of how I do this:

  1. Corrective/Movement Focus/Rehab (3-4 month block); typically winter
  2. Strength Focus (3-4 month block)- spring
  3. Metabolic Conditioning/HIIT Training/Sprints/Power, (3 month block)-summer
  4. Transformation/Bodybuilding Focus (3-4 month block)-fall

If your goals are more performance based, you could rotate emphases like this:

  1. Movement/Foundation Phase (4 months)
  2. Strength Phase (4 months)
  3. Athletic Phase (4 months)

The second example is more where my training is going at this point in time. If I break it down appropriately, I can spend the first training block re-building and improving upon my movement foundation.

The second block I can take that awesome movement foundation, and throw a serious dose of strength on top. This would be the ideal time to push big lifts like the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press.

Sled Push 240lb
Sled Push 240lb

From there, if you’re feeling frisky take that strength and convert it to power, and eventually to power endurance. Just imagine how much ass you’d kick in the rec volleyball tournament training if you’d actually trained like an athlete for the previous year!

And if the joints are feeling beat-up coming off the strength phase, switch it up and do 3-4 months of higher repetition bodybuilding work.

The point I’m getting at here is this:

Instead of pounding your head against the proverbial training wall of one physical quality (i.e. strength, endurance, etc.) consider rotating emphases throughout the year.

The people that I work with who are the most beat-up share (at least) two qualities:

  1. The focus almost solely on one physical quality of training (at the expense of others), and
  2. They do little, if nothing, to make their training more general and preventative in nature.

Please, don’t be one of those people!

Now that we’ve covered training, let’s talk about the little discussed aspect of improved training at all ages: Recovery.


I hate to break it to you, but you’re not the spring chicken you once were.

But you can offset a lot of the aging related process by simply getting smarter about your recovery, and being more precise as to when you push your body.

Here are just a few things I like to focus on with my athletes, clients and myself.

Get More Sleep!!!

I cannot stress this enough! Sleep is a hot topic with me for 2 reasons:

  1. There’s a ton of new information coming out lately about sleep, sleep debt, it’s impact on the body, etc.; and
  2. With working non stop to build 2 new businesses, there’s no way I’m getting enough sleep these days.

I read somewhere that the average American sleeps approximately 6.5 hours per night, and that that average has dropped significantly over the past decade or two.

I make it a goal to sleep at minimum 7 hours per night, but I also know that if I’m getting 8-9 (instead of 7) my training, mood, work and life in general are significantly better.

One other ninja tactic with regards to sleep and training: If you work a strange or irregular schedule, do your best to plan key training sessions around the time(s) when you’ll get the most rest.

Don’t Forget about Mobility Work, Foam Rolling and Stretching (both active and passively)

“What got you here, won’t get you there.”

I love when someone meets me for a consult or assessment and brags about how little stretching, mobility work, and foam rolling they do.

Yet strangely enough, they’re standing in front of me because they can’t train or compete at the level they’d like because they’re injured!

As we get older, we have to get smarter and more diligent about recovery. We can’t just sleep more – we have to do all the little things that we probably ignored in the past.


Here’s what I recommend:

If you’re in your 20’s, you can probably get away with (at minimum) stretching/foam rolling twice per week in the evening. If you’re in your 30′s, you should get at least three recovery sessions in per week.

And as you can imagine in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, the amount of time you need to spend on recovery goes up drastically.

It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it works well for a lot of the clients and athletes I work with.

Get smarter about recovery, and I guarantee your performance goes up as well.


You, me, and everyone around us is getting older.

It’s one of those things in life we really can’t change.

But by getting smarter about how we train and recover from our workouts, we can continue to see positive changes in our strength, physique and athleticism for years to come.

Use one (or all!) of the tips provided above, and let me know how they work for you.

Live long, eat real food, sleep more and train hard my friends! XXXX, Amber





Hormonal Harmony


MY Training Tip For Everyone Today Is: Being overweight and out-of-shape is hard. Being lean and in-shape is hard. Choose your hard.

Let’s get serious people! Do it and have fun!
xxx, Amber


My Coaching Approach to Getting You Results

Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned my coaching approach toward my clients, based on constant research and a desire to go beyond mainstream advice and delve deeper into fitness and nutrition. I personally don’t really have this amazing success story, as far as I didn’t lose 100 pounds to get the way I am now. I just simply wanted answers. My research has led me to where I am today and also provided an effective and health-based philosophy. Here’s what I have to say about my approach and getting results:

At the end of the day, we all should be trying to get as healthy as you possibly can. That’s the only thing that’s ever going to make sense, regardless of your goal. If your goal is just to look really good in a bikini, and that’s the only goal you have and that’s as deep as you ever intend to get with it, it doesn’t matter if you don’t pass through health. Any results you get will only be temporary.

The success of my approach is based on a variety of factors that all work together. I never and have never separated the concepts of exercise and nutrition and sleep and stress. Those are all components of creating a healthy human. To pretend that one of them is more important than all the others and can be your saving grace all by itself is ridiculous.

So that sounds great in principle, but people always wondered how I actually achieve this success with clients. Here are two things that I help clients with in order to attain remarkable results:


Although I encourage a holistic approach to fitness, at the same time nutrition is a cornerstone for my clients. The results that you see here are at least eighty percent nutrition. If you think you’re gonna be able to come here and out-train bad nutrition, you’re going to have to rethink that.

However, I don’t simply tell people what to eat and what not to eat. I also offer nutrition classes that are free and open not only to gym members but also the public. I do this because I want people to come and learn and bring their friends and family, those people they need on board in order to change.

Strength Bias:

In terms of physical conditioning, I believe the most important factors are strength, walking, and mobility. Metabolic conditioning – a mix of HIIT and sprint training – is the icing on the cake. First and foremost is gaining strength and re-gaining mobility.

This approach has produced some impressive numbers, particularly for the ladies. Seventy percent of the women in the gym deadlift over 200 pounds, and I can think of at least two female clients over 52 who can do a strict pull up. This is the stuff that gets me out of bed in the morning…Getting someone fit for the first time in their life at 52 years old.

Thanks for reading. This is what I do, now, what do you do to find the motivation to get what you want?

Hormonal Harmony

Do you know how to Breath Right?

Here’s an email I sent to all of my clients. Keeping your clients educated is SOOO important. I talk about breathing and how it’s so important to breathe right. Do you have dysfunctional breathing?…. Fixing your breathing could change your life!

What I have realized over the last 7 years of training and coaching clients/athletes, is that almost no one knows how to breathe properly. And, don’t get me wrong, I could add myself to this group, up until a couple years ago. This is no big deal, right? It’s only the FIRST functional movement we did as babies.

Some of you at the gym may be wondering:

“Why do you keep telling me to keep my eyes parallel?”

“Why are you telling us to close our mouths?”

“Why do we have to breathe all the way out?”

“Why are you telling us to focus and practice on our breathing when we’re at home?”

I know, I know! It sounds crazy and pointless, but believe me, it’s reeeally important! If you’ve been a longtime client of mine, you’re probably used to all of my breath training craziness.

So why do I care if you’re breathing correctly? Why does it matter?

Consider this: we breathe between 20,000 and 25,000 times daily. If you’re mouth breathing, shallow breathing, or holding your breath all the time, you may not be getting ideal oxygen levels throughout your body. This includes your brain, and more importantly to you workout fans, your muscles. So breathing properly may help your performance in the gym and in your daily lives. I don’t seem so crazy now, do I?

When your lips are sealed and I have you take a breath in for 3 seconds, air gets to the lungs and oxygen to your blood. When you exhale for 5-6 slow seconds, oxygen gets to your brain and muscles. Exhalation is just as important as inhalation because it removes waste! Some people never breathe all the way out! So, I guess you could say they’re full of…carbon dioxide.

So as you can see, if you improve your breathing, everything at the gym will also improve! Below I have my description of the importance of proper breathing when training. I’ve mades it simple to understand:

Breath work is vital to maximizing strength in any client whether they are male or female, young or old, athletic or non-athletic. Helping someone to use proper breathing techniques has many benefits from oxygenating blood for maximum contraction of max lifts, or to calm someone that might be new to resistance training.

Data and research have proven that without proper breathing, brain function is compromised. If a trainer/physical therapist, etc is trying to coach someone to move properly to avoid injury, or to rehab an injury and they are not breathing properly, we are sabotaging our own work and negatively impacting our outcome and our clients.

So, what in my opinion is optimal breathing? Optimal breathing occurs when:

– Eyes are level with the floor (parallel)

– Lips are together, without strain

– Nasal breathing is established in all bodily positions

– Breathing is silent

– Breathing is rhythmical

– Neck and shoulder muscles are not tense

Are you starting to see how important breathing properly is?

Here are a few things you’ll need to work on to achieve optimal breathing:

Keep your eyes parallel to the floor. When you begin focusing on this, you’ll start catching yourself looking down ALL the time.
Breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds, and out for 5-6 seconds. Once you get the breathing down, you won’t have to focus on it so much, you will naturally breathe in and out for about the right amount of time.
Keep the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, your teeth are not touching, and your mouth is shut!

Fill in your belly!
· If your diaphragm is not being used while you’re asleep, all your other muscles are having to help you breathe, and you’re not getting the restorative sleep your body needs to recover. If you can’t recover, we can’t push you as hard at the gym.

Breathe in through your nose, breathe ALL the way out, and see how many steps you can take without taking a breath in. 12 steps? 25 steps? Try getting up to 50 steps without dying. Practice that twice a day! It’ll help your body get used to being in a state of exhalation. It sounds really easy until you actually try it! I only got 25 on my first try.
Consider buying a Nasal Cleanser, e.g. Neti Pot.
I’ve been doing it for almost two weeks and I CAN BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE. I thought it was normal to always be congested on one side.
Don’t look at me like I’m crazy when I tell you learning how to breathe correctly, it will change your life!

There you have it guys! Not only do you now understand why breathing is so important, but you have some easy action steps that you can implement immediately to help you get on the proper breathing path.
Hope this help you and don’t forget to share this with everyone you know, since we all need a refresher course in breathing right.


Today’s Training Tip

Today’s Training Tip – Measuring Your Progress:
If you’re really interested in measuring progress, make sure to do it on various levels (not just the scale). Keep track of your body fat pinches and or circumference measurements. Keep track of your training intensity and PR’s. Keep track of your energy levels, moods, food choices, sleep patterns, self confidence. The scale is one “measurement” out of so many. We are not defined by the scale but what we do, how we feel and how we treat others.