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Bikini Season Calls

It’s getting warmer outside and stores are advertising all the summer fashions.

You can tell people are starting to get that “get in shape for summer” itch.

Of course, do people start eating well and working out for bikini season now?


They wait until it’s no more than a month before they are going on vacation/wearing a swim suit/buying summer clothes to start working toward “their ultimate beach body.”

When really they need to start working toward their bikini body months in advance! I know it sucks, but guess what!?! IT’S TRUE!

I hate this crap. Really!?! Two weeks till my ultimate beach body!?! OMG!

While it is possible to drop quite a few pounds in just a month, your results won’t be as good (or as easily maintainable) as they would be if you started NOW.

Actually, I take that back. I would even recommend starting earlier than now if you want to be in tip-top shape the second the pools open Memorial Day weekend.

For one, if you are looking for great results in just a month, you are going to have to do something drastic. Drastic to me usually means UNMAINTAINABLE.

And when something is unmaintainable it means that the second people reach their goal, they will start backsliding and potentially backslide to a point that was worse than before.

They haven’t created a habit or taught themselves to live a healthy lifestyle. All they’ve done is stressed out their minds, bodies and self-control for a month.

But I’m not saying you can’t diet intensely to reach your goal. There is a difference between that drastic one month diet plan and a “cutting phase” or an intense month of dieting.

From January 1st until March 1st, I did a cutting phase. I dieted INTENSELY, but it wasn’t DRASTIC. I still gave myself cheats. AND while it wasn’t something I could maintain forever, it built a base that I could then MAINTAIN.

Also, those two months weren’t that extremely different from what I was doing previously. I didn’t go from eating fast food every day to eating an apple, oatmeal and plain chicken breast.

Yes it was a change. And no at points it wasn’t fun (especially with the low carb flu at the beginning), BUT it wasn’t a SHOCK.

I cut out indulgences and was more regimented than I would be during a maintenance phase, but again IT WASN’T DRASTIC.

It wasn’t a “depriving myself of everything that I love for a month so that I could barely stand it and couldn’t wait to binge for the next three months” diet.

It was more of an “ok I can’t have the foods I like whenever I want and I wouldn’t want to do this forever, but the slight sacrifice is worth the results” diet.

Don’t get me wrong…when you are cutting it isn’t necessarily fun and it is more intense than you would want to diet on a normal basis, but it gets you results quickly in a realistic fashion – it helps you create a base which you can then maintain!

And it isn’t a one month process. I had to spend at least two months (and I had a solid base before) to get truly great results that could be maintained

Anyway, the point of all of this is that you can’t really get the results you want in one month. Even if you reach that goal weight, I guarantee you don’t look near as good at that weight after one month of dieting as you would if you spent two or three months working to reach the same weight. And you will be way more likely to gain all the weight back after that one month crash diet than after the two or three months of cutting!

So next time you want to drop a few pounds or tone up for bikini season, don’t wait till the last minute! Actually this goes for any event that you want to look your best at!

I recommend this same thing to all of the brides I work with. Don’t decide the month before that you want toned arms in your strapless wedding dress! You should have a workout/diet program mapped out for the entire year you spend planning your wedding!

Tomorrow, I’ll post some great recipes that you can eat during a Man Bicep cutting phase (And guess what!?! Two are BLTs!)

And below is a workout you can do to help you get a great beach body!


Deadlift 5×5

Auxiliary lift circuit:

30-25-20-15-10-5 (Complete the set number of reps for each exercise before moving to the next rep range. Ex: Do 30 reps of all exercises then 25 of all the exercises.)

RDLs (Straight leg deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts)
Burpees (chest hits the ground)
Split Squat jumps (Lunge, jump up and switch legs..Also it is the rep number per leg..ex: 30 per leg, 25 per leg…)
Ab roller (ouchie!)

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about the foam rolling video. I apologize I haven’t gotten one up yet! It will be up by next weekend!!!!

Feeling Tired

I love feeling completed exhausted after my workouts. I love that feeling of just wanting to sit on the couch and not move for a couple of hours.

I especially love that feeling when it takes me less than 30 minutes to get it!

Like today, Ryan and I went down to the gym in our apartment building. This honestly is one of the most ridiculous gyms I’ve ever seen. Four treadmills, two recumbent bikes, a bench press machine, a leg extension machine and one functional trainer (aka a cable machine with a pull up bar). It also has medicine balls up to 10lbs and 3 kettlebells ranging from like 2lbs to 20lbs. Not exactly a personal trainers dream gym.

BUT that didn’t stop us from getting in a killer workout in the very small space that we had. We mostly wanted a cardio workout after doing the 300 yesterday.

So we did:

4 rounds as fast as possible of:

400m Run
20 Burpees (Chest touches the ground on each one)
20 Sit-ups
1 minute wall sit

Great workout that took less than 15 minutes. I got a nice sweat going and my legs started to burn during wall sits especially after the 50 deadlifts yesterday!

Yep..A great cardio session in less than 15 minutes. So why are you spending an hour on the treadmill?

Below is another great workout although it took a bit longer between the heavy lift and the circuit. Still under an hour though (I didn’t really pay attention to exactly how long).


Back squat 5×5

Auxiliary Lift circuit: 5 rounds as fast as possible

500m Row
15ea 1 Leg Squats
30 Box Jumps
30 KB Swings
30 Jump Knee Tucks (Jump as high as you can and bring your knees to your chest as much as possible)

Also, an awesome “Show Me Yours” photo from Francine. A different way to show off her Man Biceps and Man Lats!

Nice back muscles!

Now go workout and have a great Sunday and a great Easter or Passover! 🙂


I’m a health and fitness addict, but I’ve surrounded myself with people who support my lifestyle.

It is very hard to commit to a healthy lifestyle when you go it alone – when everyone around you in someway tempts you to “cheat.”

I sympathize with clients who are trying to lose weight but their husbands refuse to diet or exercise with them. Their husbands won’t force them to eat badly, but watching someone else eat something you WANT while you stick to your diet, isn’t easy. Going to the gym while your significant other sits on the couch or sleeps in isn’t easy.

And the worst part about all of this is…You can’t just brainwash your significant other into committing to a new and healthy lifestyle….Can you?

Ok you can’t brainwash them, but here are some ways to try to convince (or trick) them into supporting you.

You don't want to be the hubby that looks like THAT behind a confident, sexy, fit woman do you?

First off, it usually isn’t hard to convince men to eat steak and bacon, which is more than acceptable on the Man Bicep diet. Actually it is usually harder to convince women to eat fatty cuts of meat.

Just look at Ron Swanson...the epitome of manliness. He ONLY eats red meat, bacon and eggs!

Our society definitely associates manliness with meat – especially red meat. So serve your man some meat and I guarantee he will be more than happy to be eating healthy with you. He will be so happy in fact that he may not even realize that he is eating well! It seems you would have way more trouble convincing your spouse to eat vegan than you would to eat red meat…at least it seems that way based on the fact that vegans feel the need to put out videos about “manliness.”

Don’t make exercise all about going to the gym. Find active hobbies that you both enjoy! This will make working out less of a chore for you and a way that you two can still spend time together! You can simple go for a walk or a hike together. Or you can try something like kayaking or rock climbing. It can honestly be anything. Being active together is a great time to bond and get your spouse to realize how much FUN being active can be!

Get results. As hard as it may be to go it alone, the end results are worth it. If you can go it alone long enough to start seeing results, trust me…he will see results too. And there is no better encouragement for him to support your lifestyle than seeing you look great, have more energy and feel healthier. He may realize he needs to change his lifestyle just to keep up with you!

Ok and let’s face it…the best way to convince them that they should support you boils down to….SEX.

  1. Eating crap like simple sugars and grains lowers your testosterone levels. That means you are less interested in sex than say when you are eating tons of meat and bacon, which actually raises your testosterone levels!
  2. Working out makes you look better and FEEL BETTER about how you look. If you like the way you look, don’t you think you will want to show off? Plus, who wouldn’t be turned on by their significant other looking sexy and lean!?!
  3. Eating well and working out usually combines to make us not only look better, feel healthier but also be more confident. I don’t know about you, but when I feel like I look good, I’m much more apt to show a little skin. I want to strut my stuff!

So don’t let your significant other sabotage your diet and exercise plan!

10 Phrases I wish I’d NEVER Hear Again

Sometimes this is how I feel when I rant.

These are 10 phrases I hear all the time that I wish would never be uttered again in my presence. They aren’t in any order…I hate them all equally

  1. I use the adductor and abductor machine. I need to work on my inner thighs. That is the stupidest machine out there. Why waste your time on that machine working one muscle group when you can do slider side lunges or sumo squats and work numerous muscle groups at once while still targeting your add/abductors? Seriously, if you don’t want to waste your time in the gym and you actually want to burn some calories, you should do a compound movement. Plus why can’t people understand you CAN’T SPOT REDUCE!
  2. I had a bagel this morning, but it was whole wheat! When people tell me this, I have to resist the urge to slap them. (I promise I’m not a violent person!). I’m always surprised when clients say this to me since they know my stance on nutrition. I THINK WHOLE GRAINS ARE JUST AS BAD! Did you know that shredded wheat is higher on the glycemic index than table sugar? So don’t walk up to me and tell me your breakfast wasn’t bad because you only had a bagel…
  3. I didn’t have time to workout. HA! If you want to workout, you find the time…30 minutes is more than enough to get in a great workout!
  4. This weight is too heavy. If your form isn’t breaking down and you can do the exercise, the weight isn’t too much. Muscle burn is a good thing people! I always remind my clients, “Your mind will give up before your body has to!” We have to train our mind to push beyond that initial fatigue because, trust me, your body is stronger than you think!
  5. I can’t do this. CAN’T…Maybe the worst word on the planet. Ok maybe I hate this one the most. I love when people are doing the exercise and STOP to tell me they can’t do it. I’ve honestly wanted to shout at people, “You were just doing it easily! What do you mean you CAN’T do it!?!”
  6. I’ve tried everything and nothing works. Really? You’ve tried everything? Sounds to me like you were too lazy to fully commit to anything enough to actually find out if it works!
  7. Training is too expensive. Probably only trainers will sympathize with me here. Yes training can add up but it is for your HEALTH. You spend money on movies, dinners out and new clothes. You even spend money on medicine. Why wouldn’t  you spend money on something that keeps you healthy so you can do all the things you enjoy!?!
  8. I don’t want to get too bulky. Yes, I hear this more often than I would like to. I’ve even been told by a woman that my workouts were in fact making her too bulky. Of course she wasn’t yet strong enough to lift over 5lbs, but the push ups were doing it to her…I almost rolled up my sleeve and flexed my bicep and asked, “So this is too bulky for you then?”
  9. I’m hungry all the time and only ate like 1,000 calories so I should be losing weight. I’m not hungry…like ever. Ok maybe at the end of a fast or after a really hard workout. But I never feel like I’m starving myself. If you feel hungry all the time and are barely eating any calories, do you really think that diet is natural? Is that really something you can maintain? No? Maybe you should try a diet full of whole, natural foods and lots of protein and fat. Then you don’t have to count calories because you are only eating healthy foods that make you feel full!
  10. My body composition hasn’t changed and I only cheated a little. Really? If you aren’t seeing any progress, it is your own fault. You are to blame. “I only cheated a little” isn’t an excuse. If you don’t follow the diet, than you can’t blame the diet for not working. Anytime you “cheat” on a diet program, YOU are changing the way the diet works. My clients who follow my diet, lose the weight that they want/need to. Most even lose about 10-15lbs in the first month. This is no ultimate loser weight loss, but it is a healthy amount to lose in that time period – it SUSTAINABLE. So don’t try to blame the diet by saying you only cheated a little!

Anyway, that is my tired rant for the day. Any phrases that you hear all too often about diet and exercise that you would like to add to this list?

Getting Antsy

While I’ve done some light cardio, rehab/prehab, a very short pull up/push up pyramid and taught spin this week, I’m antsy to start back with the intense workouts. A week off and I’m raring to go!!

This first week back I’m going to be doing fast-paced circuits that use higher reps and lighter weight. The week after that….back to some heavy lifting!!!

And my first workout back will be the Filthy 50. YAY!

“Filthy 50”:

For time:
50 Box jumps (24 inch box)
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings (1 pood or about 35-36lbs)
Walking Lunge 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press (45 pounds)
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots (20 pound ball) (If you don’t have a wall you can chuck a ball at, sub in squats with OH Presses using a kb)
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

Try it and record your time. In a few weeks after doing some other workouts of the week, go back and try it again and see if you can improve your time! (By the way, these are technically the weights for men. Suggested adjustments for women are 20 inch box, 20lbs kb, still 45lbs push press and 12lbs wall ball.)

And to make sure you are motivated to try this workout, here is a mom and daughter duo showing off their Man Muscles!

Jasmine (mom) showing off her Man TRICEP!

Tati (daughter) showing off one of the guns!

Also, a pretty cool picture of a t-shirt that Mary Kate sent me.


Children PLAY, Adults WORKOUT

So one of my clients today mentioned that at her daughter’s preschool they were teaching the kids yoga (which I think is actually a really great idea!).

Downward dog is apparently her daughter’s favorite. She practices the moves all around the house and loves teaching her mom, my client, the moves they learn at school.

Her daughter seems to love the yoga and definitely doesn’t consider it to be working out.

For her, yoga is another form of play.

When does the majority of society stop considering working out to be playing?

Is that age getting earlier and earlier as TV, video games and more sedentary extra curricular activities are becoming more popular for our children to do? Or maybe is it all of the organized sports for kids of all ages?

Or maybe it’s us adults that are the problem. We enable or inadvertently discourage play. I’m not being mean or even really judging. I’m just being honest.

I mean who isn’t going to get their kid video games if ever other kid on the block has them? Who isn’t going to want to sit down and watch TV or a movie with their kid after a long day at work?

I’m guilty of not encouraging play sometimes when I babysit. If I’ve had a long day, I love putting on a cute Disney movie and vegging out next to the kids. I don’t have to move or do any work! YES!

And the organized sports? Why are we starting kids with ORGANIZED sports so young? Why not let them experiment with different activities and have fun?

I guess I’m just wondering how much the pressure of organize sports changes what should be “play” into something they “have to do” like working out…

So is it all our fault? Are we adults to blame?

Maybe if we start playing more, our children will!

Go play on the playground with your kids. Go paddle boarding. Go run and climb and swing in the trees with your children.

Make working out play again!

Just like Ivy Morphine of the Boston Derby Dames does!

Ivy Morphine of the Boston Derby Dames showing off her Man Bicep!

To lift heavy, you must be flexible!

If you want to be super strong, you must also be super flexible.

Just look at the best Olympic and powerlifters, they are all super flexible.

That, right there, is flexibility.

Go ahead. Try a squat that deep. Keep your chest up while you do it and your heels on the ground throughout the entire movement.

While you may be able to do it, squatting like that isn’t easy, or even doable for most people.

But if you want to lift heavy weight, you need to work on it.

If you aren’t flexible, you risk injury when you add weight. The weight of a heavily loaded barbell forces your range of motion to increase.

If you can’t perform a full range of motion on a squat with just your body weight, your body isn’t ready to handle the additional weight of a barbell because the extra weight will force your body to complete a fuller range of motion than it is ready to handle.

This “weight-assisted stretching” isn’t good for you! If you push it too far, you will end up injured!

So start mobility and flexibility training! You don’t have to be Gumby, but if you want to lift heavy, you need to have great flexibility in your shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and ribcage!

I cuddle with my foam roller…maybe you should too!

The Cave Kids – Children’s Music UPDATE

So Ryan has officially released a Primal children’s music CD! I, of course, am a huge fan!

The CD teaches children about healthy eating habits while helping them learn other things such as their ABCs and days of the week. The songs also encourage kids to get up and exercise!

(And as an adult the songs are very easy to listen to unlike some of the children’s music out there!)

Go check it out at The Cave Kids and let me know what you think!!

I’m 25, but feel 40

I was stunned when I read this on a perspective client’s exercise questionnaire. 25 but feels 40!?!

Aren’t we the society that is trying everything to be 40 and look and feel 25?

When I asked her about the statement she said, “I don’t know how I let it get to this point.”

But so many people do let it get to that point.

It is actually easy to let your physical fitness spiral out of control. You’re too busy, too tired, too injured, too stressed….too anything! The  “toos” are so numerous it’s any wonder anyone ever works out!

But the “toos” are just excuses – excuses that will later come back to bite you in the ass. I’m sorry, but they will.

At some point you are going to have to take responsibility for your health. And if you don’t spend the time working out now to prevent diseases, you are probably going to be spending a butt-load of money later to correct all of the injuries and illnesses that have accumulated over the years…and that’s if you are lucky enough to catch everything before things have gone too far…

So start working out people! Not for weight loss or to look good, but for your health!

You want the key to being 40 and looking 25? It isn’t in some bottle of lotion or syringe.

It’s exercise. Exercise is the fountain of youth.

So if you are thinking to yourself now, “Wow that woman who says she is 25, but feels 40 sounds like me” now is the time to stop using the “toos” and get your butt into the gym!!!

Ok…that is my rant.

Man Bicep Mom – Bonding

Here is another post by the Man Bicep Mom!

I was a lucky kid.  My dad loved doing things with my sister and me.  We washed cars, raked leaves and exercised.

I loved it!  What could be better – exercise and being with my dad!

My father got us involved in competitive sports while I was in elementary school.  I was a speed skater (ice skater) during the winter and a tennis player during the summer.

Competing in sports outside of school was pretty unusual for girls of my generation.  But I loved it!  It made me feel so good.  I immediately felt those endorphins at work.

My dad designed training workouts for us.  Now remember, these were the days before the computer and all the study into exercise physiology.  My dad was very innovative and actually quite progressive.  He had us pushing furniture, which he had put on wood runners, around the basement.  As we pushed, we yelled, “Push-em-magonga.”

We had so much fun!  I have such fond memories.  Thanks Dad!

At some point, while I trained and competed and laughed with my dad, I decided that I wanted to do the same thing with my kids when I had them. I knew that my father and I had done more than just train and compete in a sport.  We had done some big time bonding.  I could talk to my dad about anything, and I did.  This relationship has continued throughout my adult life.  My dad and I are best friends.

So did I follow through on my resolve?  I did.  I took my daughters, Cori and Drew, out to the tennis court when they were only 3 years old.  We would hit tennis balls for 15 minutes and then go play on the playground.  The joke was that I preferred to play tennis over Barbie dolls.

We played tennis, swam, rode bikes, hiked, raked leaves and washed cars.  And we talked – a lot.  We talked about everything.  Conversation was easy and natural. We did some big time bonding.

And the outcome?  Well, Cori went on to play Division I tennis in college and is now your Man Bicep guru.  Drew decided she preferred music to tennis and switched to dance for her exercise.  But in high school she decided to join the tennis team and greatly enjoyed the experience.  Even though she is a musician, Drew continues to exercise.

When we all get together we play tennis, go for long walks and do a lot of talking.  We are all best friends.

So, my message here is – be active with your kids.  You don’t have to be involved in competitive sports. Just get your kids exercising.  Go for walks.  Take them to the gym with you.  It’s great bonding time!  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll turn them on to exercise as a way of life.

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