Trainerkristinw's Blog

Archive for November 2010

Before I go start my rant, there is one thing you must remember: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. This means that when Ms. Britney Spears said all she does for her abs are crunches, she was lying! Yes, it is very important to work your core, but you will not have a magic six pack unless you fix your diet. We will go into this more in depth in the weeks to come. Long story short, eat better quality food, and the correct portion size. The exercise will sculpt what the diet flaunts. The diet shrinks the fat and the exercise tones the muscle.

            Here are my favorite ab and core exercises. Like all muscles, you must fatigue them before they actually start to “burn” so perform these exercises up to three times. Think of the first as a warm up, the second to make your muscles remember the motion, and the third as actually advancing the muscle into toning. Always remember, the last set is the most important, it’s your gold star!

            In the first video you’ll see some sets of planks always in 3 different levels. The first is front plank performed on the elbows. It’s important to keep your hips in line with your shoulders, holding in your belly button, and squeezing the cheeks…not the ones on your face. Hold each position starting at 30 seconds, build up to 1 minute. 

–          Level one: on your knee or toes making that straight line from shoulders to hips.

–          Level two: lifting one leg so all of your weigh is on both elbows, and one leg. Adding balance will work all of the little tiny muscles attached to the larger ones.

–          Level three: lifting one leg and the opposite arm. Wowza! It’s challenging but worth it!

Side plank: This is really challenging. Again, this is something that takes a lot of practice. If you have to use your knees, that’s fine and work your way up to being able to have your whole body just resting on your feet like you see in the video. Try this for 30 seconds and work up to 1 minute.

–          Level one: just holding this position. Focus on squeezing your hips up higher and higher.

–          Level two: add a five pound weight to the hand in the air.

–          Level three: Now with the weight in your hand, inhale while your hips are almost touching the ground and exhale those hips right back up to the side plank position.

The second video you see is another set of exercises I love. The first being V-ups, the second gut busters, and the third hip thrusts. Again, try these starting at 30 seconds and build up to 1 minute.

– V-ups: exhale as your legs and arms come up to twelve o’clock. As your get more advanced, add a small weight to your arms and v-up together. Try to keep your knees straight as well.

                        – Gut busters: with your hands under your hips, inhale your legs down almost touching the ground, and exhale them back up to twelve o’clock.

                        – Hip thrusts: again, keeping the hands under the hips exhale and lift your hips off of the ground. Try not to put any pressure on your hands, squeeze your belly button as your hips lift up.

Try each of these in a set of three. Just like everything else these take practice, so schedule in about 10 minutes into your workout for these. Take some good tunes, a timer or stop watch, and good luck! Special thanks to my boot camper, Nafeesa for letting me film her! She’s an awesome example of how dedication will get you the definition you want.


try three sets, hold for 30-60 seconds.

Freddy Krougar, Michael, or that crazy Saw movie guy has nothing when it comes to scaring me when I read this: a typical Thanksgiving dinner is about 4,000 calories. To burn this off, you would have to run for 7 hours, do 20 hours of yoga, or lift weights for 10 hours. Holy cow, or turkey! The problem a lot of my clients and boot campers face is that yes, you want to stay in shape but you also want to enjoy the holiday. So yes, this is my green light to say, enjoy! Eat! BUT…stay in control of your eating. You can still be mindful, and indulge in the comfort food you love most. Say you love mashed potatoes, and the stuffing is just “ok” in your mind. Have a scoop of mashed potatoes, pile on that roasted garlic and go to town. Enjoy every bite. When it comes to the other side dishes who play second fiddle to you beloved potatoes, have three or four bites. Why consume huge quantities of food that you don’t completely enjoy?

Four rolls? Come on. No one needs four rolls, well maybe Michael Phelps. How about one? I like to make a “Thanksgiving roll sandwich” as seen on “Friends.” After this is over, I attack the salad and vegetables. Dessert is hard. I could eat sugar all day. Imagine Homer Simpson with his mouth open under the slurpie machine and that’s me. Gross, I know. So here’s my trick. I take a small piece of pumpkin pie with out the crust and if my grandma made apple pie (hint hint) I take a small piece of that but just eat the filling. I’m not a crust person and eating just the pumpkin is actually not too bad. Add some real whipped cream (about the size of a strawberry) so you feel satisfied.

Here are some other dinner tips:

  • Half of your plate should be vegetables. Go easy on the green bean and sweet potato casseroles. Take some fresh and in season veggies like squash and brussel sprouts, coat (lightly) in olive oil and sea salt and place in the broiler until golden brown. Who needs French fries when you can have this? Seriously, you’ll thank me.
  • Always stick to white meat for the turkey!
  • Gravy and stuffing have the most calories; a little goes a long way.
  • Remove skin from turkey meat.
  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk for any of the recipes.
  • Use chicken broth instead of milk and butter in potatoes (saves approximately 80 calories per cup of prepared potatoes).
  • Use fat free turkey broth for the gravy. Serve whole wheat or multi-grain dinner rolls (lower on the glycemic index scale and higher in fiber!)
  • Use a can of reduced fat cream of mushroom soup in the Green Bean Casserole


I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Be safe and if you are running the Run to Feed the Hungry, I’ll see you there!

(some great websites to look into healthy eating:,,

Here’s what we did at boot camp today! For the TRX, i use these on my clients as well. All suspenstion training using your body weight. It’s incredible!

Michelle has done an amazing job!

Tired of the boring old routine of oatmeal? Boil, pour, eat. boil, pour eat. ME TOO! Here are some great additions to those tired ol’ oats! (taken from women’s health magazine, november 2008)

– add in 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds and a tablespoon of cranberries. add in a 1/2c of non fat milk and you have a yummy cereal-like dessert uh i mean breakfast!

– blueberry blissRight before the oats are done, take the heat down to low and add in 1/4c of non fat milk, a tablespoon of slivered almonds, 1/3c of fresh blueberries, and a teaspoon of ground flaxseed.

– baked with peanut butter – preheat the oven to 375, coat an 8×8 inch backing dish with cooking spray. in a large bowl, combine 2 cups of old fashioned oats and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. in a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs and add 2 cups of vanilla soy milk, 1 cup of water and 4 tablespoons of natural peanut butter. add to the oats, pour mixture into dish, and bake for 20 min.

– protein pump! miz your 1/4c of oats, 1/2 c of water, 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, a tespoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. mircrowave for 90 seconds and top with 1/4c of fat-free milk, 1/2 of a sliced banana, and a few pecans.


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