Boot Camp in San Jose Shows You How to Get More Results in Less Time!

It seems everybody is crazy busy these days.  It’s no wonder that many people say the one reason they don’t exercise is because they don’t have time.

We’re helping people crush that  “I have no time” excuse at our fitness boot camps in San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell.  We’re showing people how to maximize every minute in their workouts and get MORE results in LESS time than “traditional” workouts at the gym. Many people still hang on to the notion that you need to do hours of cardio workouts every week on top of hours of weight lifting at the gym in order lose weight and be fit. Nope.  Recent research proves otherwise.

Recent studies have found that “metabolic” training, or combining strength and cardiovascular exercises together in a circuit format, are very effective for fat loss.  Studies have also found that interval training (combining periods of high intensity exercise with segments of lower intensity exercise), is very effective for fat loss and muscle preservation.

The cool thing about these types of workouts is that they’re typically SHORTER workouts than the traditional gym workout during which a person does a cardio workout for 30-60 minutes followed by a strength training workout for another 30-45 minutes.  I’m “Crazy Busy” just like everyone else in Silicon Valley.  If I can work out and get the results I want in LESS time, I’m all for it!

What does a “metabolic” workout look like?  Well, the sky is the limit, but here are a couple of examples from some of our recent workouts:

At our boot camp in Downtown San Jose we created of circuit of jump  squats, push ups, hopping through an agility ladder, standing rows and alternating lunges.  We did the exercises at each station for 50 seconds, took a rest for 10 seconds, and the moved on to the next station.  We did this circuit for three rounds.This workout developed upper and lower body strength, lower body power and cardiovascular fitness–in a FRACTION of the time of a typical workout at the gym.

Next week at our evening boot camp in Los Gatos, we’ll put our campers through an obstacle course during which they’ll lunge, jump, push things, pull things, and step up on things while they move around the park we use.  It’s a full body workout that combines strength work, cardiovascular conditioning and includes functional movements (squatting, stepping, pulling, pushing) that we do as humans in every day life.  This type of a workout burns massive calories, boosts our metabolism for hours after the workout and helps us perform and move better on a daily basis.

Aside from the physical benefits that interval training affords us, creating the variety that we do in all our boot camps in the Bay Area keeps the FUN in fitness.

Now, if you like running on a treadmill for an hour, or doing a little “aerobic magazine reading” on the elliptical, well that’s fine.  But if you’re trying to boost your metabolism, shed some body fat, and maximize every moment of your workout, give metabolic training a try!

Want to experience a non-gym workout?  Try a lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose, Los Gatos or Campbell today!

Not sure if boot camp is for you?  To request  a FREE one-week trial, please log on to:

Committed to your fitness success,


Campbell Boot Camp: The Most Effective Fat Loss Exercises

What’s The Most Effective Exercise Method?

It depends!  I don’t say this to be sarcastic.  It really does depend on what your goal is.  Some people want to lose weight.  Others want to “tone up” and feel stronger.  Some people want big, defined muscles. While others want to run faster, or jump higher. Technically speaking,  these goals dictate different training programs.

At lifeSport Fitness, my experience over the years has taught me that the majority of people we work with want fat loss, although they may not say it this way.  They tell us they want to lose weight, lose inches and/or develop muscles that are firmer and less jiggly. We also hear a lot about wanting to decrease “belly fat”.   This all points to “fat loss”.  We try to avoid the term “weight loss”, as it doesn’t really tell the whole story.

In a well-designed fat loss program, inches will be lost, and muscle mass will be maintained or improved, thereby giving people the feeling that their muscles are firmer and more toned. In some, but not all cases, scale weight will be lost as well (this depends on whether an individual has a lot of excess body fat).

With fat loss/muscle strengthening in mind, then, what is the most effective exercise method to achieve these results?   Lucky for the participants in our boot camps in San Jose and Campbell, they’re doing the right stuff for fat loss in every camp workout.  I’ll outline below what studies have found with regard to effective programs so that you’ll have ideas on how to design your own workouts during the week.

Intensity matters. Higher intensity exercise has been shown to facilitate better fat loss results than lower intensity or moderate intensity exercise.  This is why we include high intensity activities such as Tabata intervals into some classes, and why we coach our boot campers to work hard on the cardio segments during our cardio/ strength circuit and partner drills.

Functional exercises are superior to isolation exercises.  Strength training exercises utilizing several joints and/or large muscle groups (think push ups, rows, squats, lunges, dead lifts, squat to press, and lunges with medicine balls) have been shown to elicit hormonal shifts that favor fat loss more than single joint exercises such as biceps curls or leg extensions. We still have campers using smaller muscle isolation exercises in our classes on occasion, but we mainly incorporate exercises that utilize multiple joints at once for maximum calorie burn and to help the body function better as a whole.

Interval training is superior to steady intensity training.   Studies show that high intensity interval training trumps lower level, steady intensity endurance training for fat loss.  Interval training creates a kind of turbulence in your body.  It takes more energy to perform, and requires more energy (calories) from your body after the fact.  In the hours after a good, high intensity interval training workout, your body tends to utilize stored fat for fuel.

High intensity circuit training creates a “best of both worlds” situation for strength gain and fat loss. A 2010 study indicated that strength training done in a high intensity circuit format created better strength gains than a low intensity circuit format, and better fat loss gains than traditional endurance training.  Two major health benefits in ONE workout!  Yes !  Performed properly, the cardio/strength circuit we use in our fitness boot camps gives you the benefits of interval training, with the strength benefits of circuit training.

High intensity workouts hit you in the belly.  A 2008 study found that high intensity exercise was more effective for reducing total abdominal fat in women than lower intensity exercise.

In our boot camp programs in San Jose and Campbell,  we formulate the workouts to be a mix of cardiovascular interval training (like Tabata intervals), circuit training (our cardio/strength circuit) and functional training (many of the strength exercises in our circuit).  We think it affords our customers the most effective mix of exercise training for fat loss and muscle gain/maintenance.

Want to experience one of the best workouts in the Bay Area?  You’re invited to a FREE one week trial at one of our boot camps!  Try an early morning workout in Downtown San Jose or Almaden, or an evening workout in Campbell or Los Gatos.  Our camps are co-ed and all fitness levels are welcome.  Log on to: to reserve a spot for a free trial!

What have you got to lose but some unwanted fat???

Committed to your success,


A Fat Blasting Workout for San Jose and Los Gatos boot campers!

This is a special blog post for customers in my fitness boot camps in San Jose and Los Gatos (as well as my private training clients). I’m always trying to encourage you to get a good workout in over the weekend.  So,  I decided to not only create a “no equipment needed” workout for you, but to also give you a little bribe to get it done!

You’ll have to watch the video to learn what the “prize” is for getting your workout in.

As usual, my furry sidekick, Noah, makes a cameo appearance (several, actually) in the video.  It’s amazing how he always manages to get right in line with the camera when it’s rolling.  In fact, this time, I think he’s trying to show you some version of our “core rotation” exercise we often do with exercise bands.  Maybe we could call it a “canine core rotation”?

So, if you’re game to get a quick, cardio interval workout in over the weekend, I’ve created one for you.  You don’t need to think about what to do.  I’ve thought it out for you.

Below the video, you’ll find a written version of the  workout in the event you want to print it out for reference.

Here’s the workout in case you want a written version:

Jumping jacks  (45-90 seconds)

Push ups (15 repetitions)

Jump rope (45-90 seconds)

Back extensions (15 repetitions)

Jump squats  (45-90 seconds)

Dips  (45-90 seconds)

Please watch the video for instructions on how to increase or decrease the intensity of each exercise.

I’m looking forward to your comments :-).

Committed to your success,


Lose Weight in San Jose with a New Thanksgiving Fitness Tradition

So many people associate Thanksgiving Day (one of my favorite holidays, by the way) with weight gain.  It’s just ONE day, people!

Yes, a lot of us eat more than we should on Thanksgiving (this San Jose fitness professional included).  And, yes, overeating is not healthy.  But again, I say—it’s just ONE day! Let it go.  Enjoy the day. Eat some of the foods you enjoy.  Spend time with people you love.  Be thankful you have legs that get you where you want to go and a heart that is pumping blood to the muscles in your legs.

That said, I do have a challenge for you:  If you don’t do this already, begin a tradition of doing some sort of healthy activity on Thankgiving Day. Your body will thank you for it, and my guess is, you’re going to have some fun doing it!

When I was a kid, my family  and I spent many of our Thanksgiving celebrations with another family  in Palo Alto. Although dinner at our friends’ home was a formal affair, we’d arrive at their home early in the afternoon in our jeans and tennies and head out to the hills around Stanford University for a  walk in the hills. The air was usually chilly and brisk, and we’d have tons of fun running around and laughing. I always enjoyed that part of the day.

Fast forward to today, and my husband, kids and I have created our own traditions.  I now cook the Thanksgiving meal, but I plan my cooking  chores so that I have time to go to the gym or do a quick interval workout at a local track with my dog.  The rest of my family heads out to Willow Glen High School for the annual family “Turkey Bowl”.  Organized by a brother-in-law, this is a traditional (almost) touch foot ball game with about 20 friends and family members ranging in age from about 8 to 50. I usually head over to the game after my workout to get a few pictures.  It’s a fun time and so far, nobody has ended up in the ER (a few of the more “seasoned” athletes have ended up on ice for a few days, though).

Here’s the point:  Yes, Thanksgiving is all about the food. But, how about organizing some sort of traditional activity that your whole family can do? We have some great venues her in San Jose for  outdoor leisure activities whether you’re a recovering couch potato or a seasoned athlete.  Those who don’t want to move too vigorously might enjoy  a walk around Discovery Meadow or Christmas in the Park.  Athletic types could play a few games of tennis at Willow Street Park.  The competitive types could run or walk the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.

We all have choices in how we spend our time.  I believe that Thanksgiving is all about good food, friends and family.  There’s absolutely no reason that some physical activity can’t be part of the equation—even if you’re the cook, like me.

Do you have a Thanksgiving family tradition that involves a healthy activity?  Share it here in the comments section!

My best to you and yours this Thanksgiving.


Fat Loss Workouts for San Jose/Campbell Boot Camps

Okay campers, I’ve had more than one person say “what are we supposed to do on our week off from boot camp??””.   Not to worry!  I’ve got you covered.

I’ve got a week’s worth of fat loss workouts planned for you!  As usual these workouts will work for any fitness level. Increase the intensity and impact if you’re a seasoned exerciser, back off on impact and intensity if you’re a newbie. Most of you have been with lifeSport Fitness long enough to know how to modify push ups, burpees, mountain climbers, planks or anything else Jackie or I throw your way.  If you’re not sure about how to execute a particular exercise, just email me at:  bootcamp(at)

As with every workout, please make sure to warm up for 5 minutes before starting any of these workouts.

Here are 4 workouts for you to do over our week long break

Workout #1:

Cardio intervals

You choose the cardio activity.  You can walk, run, bike, swim, or use a cardio machine at your gym.

Work out HARD (like breathless hard, folks!) for 30 seconds

Recover for 90 seconds

Repeat for 6-10 rounds, depending on your fitness level

Workout #2

Body weight strength workout

Perform  1 set of 20 repetitions of each exercise.  Rest for 15 sec after each set.  Repeat the sequence three times.  For added variety, change your hand placement on the push ups each time (example:  narrow hands, staggered hands).

Push ups

Walking lunges* (20 out, 20 back)



*(feel free to add dumbbells to these exercises if you have them)

Workout #3

Do the ” Fat Loss Weekend Workout” I posted for you last month

Workout #4

Steady State Cardio Workout (you don’t hear me promote these too much!!)

Pick your cardio exercise of choice. Do it at a steady, but challenging pace, for 30-40 minutes.  This is not a “walk your dog” or “chat with your buddy while you walk” type of workout.  Break a sweat.  Get a little breathless.  Yes, it’s  a “steady state” (e.g., all at the same pace) workout, but don’t make it a wimpy workout :-).

Campers who leave a comment before the end of the week that they have completed TWO of these workouts (tell us what workouts you did) get a couple of Prograde Cravers at camp next month!

Have a great week, campers!

Committed to your success,


San Jose and Campbell boot camps are rockin’ in July!

We’re off to a great start this July with our boot camps in San Jose and Campbell.  Lots of good energy!

A warm welcome to all of our new campers! 

San Jose-Almaden boot camp: AnnMarie, Violet, Joan, Lisa B., Kimberlee, and Kristina

San Jose-Willow Glen boot camp:  Carol

Campbell boot camp:  Dan, Aubrie, Jade, Christina, Matt, Alethea, Lara, Martie, Lindsay, Dorrie and Jewell.

I know many of you newbies are feeling a little stiff and sore this week.  Pretty normal for the first week of boot camp. You won’t be as sore after next week’s classes.  Honest.

Want to boost your metabolism and melt off some body fat over the weekend?? If so, I’ve got a done-for-you workout template to give you an high intensity interval cardio workout.  

You can choose any cardio activity you like for this workout:  walking, jogging, stationary biking, treadmill, swimming, etc.  It works for just about any cardio activity.  One word of caution:  if you’re a fan of the elliptical trainer at your gym, just make sure you’re really working hard. I see lots of “doggin’ it” on those things at my  club. The machine is moving more than the person on it! 

Here’s the plan:  

-Warm up at a low intensity for about 5 minutes.  Nothing fancy here, just do whatever your cardio activity is going to be at a lower intensity.

-After your warm up, hit it HARD for 30 seconds, then dial back your exertion for 60 seconds.

-Repeat the pattern of HARD for 30 seconds, recovery for 60 seconds 6-10 times. 

On a scale of 1-10, you should be at an 8 or 9 on your hard intervals (you’re breathing really heavy), and about a “5” during recovery (breathing rapidly, but not gasping for breath).

That’s it!  This workout will blast more calories in less time than a lower intensity workout done at a constant exertion level  (assuming you really work hard during your intervals).  You’ll also raise your metabolic rate for a few hours after your workout as well.

So, throw on some sunscreen and get out there this weekend!


Committed to your success,



High intensity exercise is best for losing belly fat

Yes, my boot campers hear this from me all the time. But, hey, don’t just take it from me!  

A recent study published by the University of Virginia confirms that, although ANY type of exercise is beneficial to our health, high-intensity exercise is necessary to achieve significant body fat loss.

The study involved 27 middle-aged obese women randomized into one of 3 groups:  One group didn’t do any exercise, one group performed low-intensity exercise 5 days per week, and one group performed low intensity exercise 2 days a week and high-intensity exercise 3 days a week .  The study didn’t involve any type of dietary intervention.  

The high-intensity group reduced total abdominal fat, subcutaneous (under the skin) abdominal fat and visceral fat (fat surrounding internal abdominal organs) more than low intensity group–and of course way more than the control group who did not exercise.

Aside from the aesthetic benefits of narrowing our waistlines, there are serious health benefits to be had here!  “For obese women entering the middle and later stages of life, reducing internal abdominal fat or preventing too much of it forming is crucial”, says Dr. Arthur Weltman, the lead scientist in the study.  Excessive amounts of abdominal fat are associated with the development of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

This was a small study done only on women, but it’s not the first of it’s kind.  Other researchers have found similar results in both male and female populations.  And, a big gut is just as dangerous for the guys as it is for gals.

Now, if you’re new to exercise you must work up to higher intensities.  Starting out too hard too soon can bring a well-intentioned exercise program to a screeching halt!  Build up slowly and consistently to higher intensity exercise. One way to do this is through interval training which employs short bouts of hard exercise followed by recovery exercise.

The moral of today’s story:  If you want to lose belly fat, increase your exercise intensity instead of adding more crunches to your workout!

Make it a great day,


In case you want to read the study yourself:

Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 40(11):1863-1872, November 2008.

Pre-turkey day workout advice

The countdown to Turkey Day is on!  Remember as we talked about in boot camp–Thanksgiving is just ONE day.  Enjoy yourself.  Enjoy the festivities with your friends and family.  Eat some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods and don’t feel guilty about it.  It’s just ONE day.

Before I give you your boot camp homework, here are some healthy ideas for the Thanksgiving holiday:

• Make sure you don’t starve yourself before your meal (more likely you’ll overeat at dinner)
• Make a conscious effort to eat well in the days leading up to Thanksgiving (lean protein, LOTS of produce, and small amounts of healthy fats like almonds and other nuts)
• Plan (NOW!) for great workouts the day before and after Thanksgiving–and even on Thankgiving Day if you can.  Grab friends and family and make it a social time.
• When at your Thanksgiving meal, drink water before your meal. At the meal, eat what you want, but take smaller portions.  Drink water with your meal and take frequent sips.
• If you drink alcohol, have a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage and limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks.
We’re off from boot camp the week of Thanksgiving, but if you make  an effort to exercise well, make good choices and have just a little restraint with portion sizes, you really can enjoy wonderful food, good times and treats you wouldn’t eat every day—and not have to pay dearly at the scale.
I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Now, on to the homework!
This workout is for Almaden boot campers and Los Gatos boot campers. For my ladies at the “Fit and Fabulous” FitCamp in Willow Glen, you’ve got your homework for the whole week on your handout!
I’ve got a very simple workout for you.  You can perform it by running, walking, or swimming, or on any exercise machine at the gym.  
Keep in mind that the cardio interval bursts are to be HARD.  If you’re talking and carrying on while you’re doing your cardio interval burst—you’re not working hard enough!  Talking and carrying on is best done during warm up or cool down :-).
0:00- 5:00 minutes:  Warm up by walking or doing our “active warm up” from boot camp.
5:00-8:00 minutes: Pick up the pace to a “7” on our scale of 1-10
8:00-8:30: Go HARD for just 30 seconds! (about a “9” on our scale)
8:30-9:00:  Drop down to “moderate” exertion (about a “7”)

Repeat this pattern of 30 seconds HARD, 30 seconds MODERATE for 5-9 more rounds, depending on your fitness level.

Cool down by walking around for about 3-5 minutes and finish with a great stretch!

Don’t forget my FREE Customer Appreciation workout on Saturday, November 29th! If you’ve already RSVP’d you’ll hear from me soon via email with details.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, email me ([email protected]) and I’ll fill you in!

High intensity exercise burns serious calories!

I’ve got a quick, but intense homework assignment for participants in my evening Los Gatos boot camp and my early morning Almaden boot camp.  Make sure you warm up (take a 5 minute walk) before starting this workout!

The 60-25 workout
Jumping jacks- 60 seconds
Walking lunges- 25 out , 25 back
Spiderman push ups- 60 seconds (or to failure)
Ab crunches- 25 reps
Squats (squat jumps for advanced campers)- 60 seconds
High knee run- 25 reps (count “1” each time right leg comes up)
REST:  60 seconds
Repeat this sequence 2 times—or 3 times if you’re feeling beastly!
Participants in my “Fit and Fabulous” Willow Glen camp:  Please do “workout B” on your handout this weekend, plus TWO cardio interval workouts before class on Tuesday.
Have an amazing weekend!
Committed to your success,

Build strong legs–and burn some SERIOUS calories

I hope everyone is set for a great weekend!  We should have wonderful weather, so please make a point to get outside and enjoy a great “extra” workout before our next boot camp workout.  This weekend’s homework workout will not only give you an excellent cardio workout, it is going to improve the strength of your legs.  

I’ve invited a few “visitors” to my blog post today.  They’re considering joining up for the Almaden boot camp, the Los Gatos boot camp or the “Fit and Fabulous” FitCamp in Willow Glen.  Welcome to my blog!  This is where you’ll find additional fitness facts and info, additional workouts, and a place for all lifeSport Fitness boot campers to “congregate”.  Please scroll down and try the “homework” workout along with my current boot campers.  I hope to see you in a November camp!  We’re a fun group of people–give us a try!

For folks in my Los Gatos boot camp, remember that we have our Freaky Fat Loss workout on Thursday, October 30th.  You must bring a 6-12 pound pumpkin (uncarved, please!) to class, as it will be your workout buddy for the entire class :-).  Don’t miss this class!  There might even be some treats………………….
For the “Fit and Fabulous” ladies at the Willow Glen boot camp, please make sure you have ordered your bands.  You’ll need them on the first day of camp. If you haven’t ordered them,  click here   and order a light, medium and heavy “economy tube”.  You’ll get your door straps for free with your purchase.
Finally, registration closes for all November boot camps on Thursday, October 30th.  If you have not already done so, click HERE to register.  
Oh, and don’t forget my November referral bonus!  The camper referring the most friends to a November camp will not only get a 20% discount on December camp tuition, but also a FREE ONE YEAR subscription to an online meal planning and nutrition program!  Woo Hoo!
Okay, on to your weekend workout.  
After a 3-5 minute workout, please do the following:
Walk fast or run for 3 minutes
Perform walking lunges for 1 minute
Walk fast  or run for 3 minutes
Perform body weight squats for one minute (advanced folks, make ’em jump squats)
Walk fast or run for 3 minutes
Perform jumping jacks for 1 minute
Repeat this sequence two times for a 24 minute workout, or 3 times for a killer 36 minute workout.
Remember to stretch and re-hydrate after you cool down.
Committed to your success,