Success Seminar for Women

As a local San Jose personal trainer and boot camp instructor, most of my blog posts have to do with fitness, exercise and nutrition, but I wanted to divert from fitness today to let you know about an exciting seminar for women coming up in Campbell this weekend.

It may not have anything to do with fitness, but it has everything to do with empowering women to be the best that they can be in life and in business—and I’m all for that!  I’d classify this as “mental fitness”.

If you’re a woman who is looking to take your personal or business life to the next level with more clarity and conviction, please read on!

You are invited to:

Purpose, Peace and Purchasing Power

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10AM – 4PM  in Downtown Campbell

267 East Campbell Avenue

Suite 200 (above Starbucks)

This will be a one of a kind experience for women of all ages. You will come together to laugh, learn, grow and plan for your future success.

At this seminar, you will:

  • Identify your limiting beliefs
  • Identify your deepest desires
  • Learn to love yourself
  • Learn to forgive yourself and others
  • Create a vision for your future
  • Create a roadmap to your success

This seminar is taught by Patty Purpur of TimeOut Services.

A little over a month ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Patty who pioneered the “fitness bootcamp” concept in the Bay Area over 15 years ago.  Her company, TimeOut Services, not only created The Community BootCamp but also implemented and ran fitness programs for companies such as Yahoo, Google and  Cisco, to name a few.

Patty has since sold her business and one of her new focuses is helping women find their passion, get focused and live the life of their dreams.

If you’d like to learn how to create personal and/or business success from a businesswoman who built a multi-million dollar company, here is your chance!

Sometimes when we need to make a change or figure out a path to move forward, all we need is a little direction and a little push.

Whether you know what you want in life or are still seeking inspiration, Patty will give you the tools to create a life of passion and joy.

To register for this event, please go to:

For more information contact: [email protected]

Committed to your success,


Welcome to lifeSport Fitness!

If you want to lose weight, get toned muscles, or decrease your risk for chronic disease, you’ve come to the right place! lifeSport Fitness has been helping get the residents of San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell fit since 1989. There’s a lot of misleading information out there about how to get in shape and lose body fat. We take your health seriously by staying on the cutting edge of what’s new and relevant in fitness training.

We’ve got a number of programs to help you look better, feel better and have more energy.

If you want private, personalized attention in your fitness transformation, we suggest you visit our personal training page.  We can train you at your home*, your office, or at a private personal training studio in Campbell. We’ll design a program specific to your needs and tailored to your goals.  If you have a chronic health condition or simply prefer individualized attention our premiere personal training program is for you!

If you are on a budget, or prefer to work out with others, try our fitness boot camps located in San Jose (Downtown/Rosegarden area and Cambrian/Almaden area), Los Gatos an Campbell.  These workouts are non-stop action and non-stop fun!  You get a never-the-same twice professionally designed workout, supervision by a coach, and the motivation of working out with other fitness-minded people for a fraction of the cost of personal training!

If you’re a Benefits Manager at a Silicon Valley company and you need to develop a corporate wellness program, let us be your wellness team! We can administer your Health Risk Appraisal, create a wellness program and incentive plan specifically geared toward your corporate culture and your health care cost management goals.

Introducing James Kiel-Los Gatos Boot Camp Instructor

I’m excited to introduce one of the newest members of the lifeSport Fitness team, James Kiel.

James is the Head Coach of our Campbell evening boot camp (May through October) and our Los Gatos evening boot camp  (October through April).  James has been a fitness professional for 6 years and has experience at both the High School and College level as a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

By day, James is a Business Analyst at Stanford Medical Clinic.  In the evening, James gets to make use of his degree in Kinesiology and his passion for helping people stay fit by leading our fun, fast paced boot camps. A former Division 1 football player, James is no stranger to tough workouts.  But don’t let the tough football player exterior fool you, James is a warm and caring fitness professional who has what it takes to push our hardcore exercisers to new levels of fitness, while making our newbies feel welcome with his quit wit and attention to detail on proper exercise form.

Fun facts about James

Favorite personal workout: “300” Workout

Favorite “healthy” food: Natural Peanut Butter

Favorite “occasional indulgence” food: In-N-Out’s “Double Double”

Hobbies: Power Lifting and spending time with his wife and 3 children.


Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (Movement Science) — SJSU


NSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach

One of the neat things about our Los Gatos boot camp location is that we have the ability to work out indoors when it’s cold and dark outside–so you don’t have to get wet while you work out!  If you’d like to experience a fun, fast paced workout on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, please go to our Los Gatos and Campbell boot camp webpage and sign up for a FREE trial week at James’ class!

Committed to your success,


Holiday Calorie Control Tip #2

Yesterday we discussed how crucial it is for you to have a PLAN to control your calorie intake during the holidays. Today’s tip is even more simple and expands on the premise.

Plan on staying control of your alcohol intake.

Look, a drink or two isn’t going to be the end of the world. But when two turns to three in a night…… or two every night for three nights straight….well…’s gonna hit you in the waistline.

I’m not getting on my soap box here. I’m just telling you something you already know:

Too much alcohol not only adds up to too many calories, it leads to bad decisions. And in this case, we’re talking about bad eating decisions.

When alcohol enters the equation even the best laid plans crumble. The extra calories from the cocktails is one thing. But really it’s the extra calories you chew that start to add up.

One piece of cake turns to two…

A handful of chips turns into a a bag…

The dip sitting in front of you mysteriously vanishes…into your belly…

You get the picture. 😉

Over-indulging in alcohol leads to disintegration of your resolve and control.

That said………..

Have fun. Enjoy yourself. Just be conscious of what alcohol does to your decision making. Stay in control.

Yours in health,


PS – Remember, Prograde Nutrition’s HUGE Holiday Savings ends TOMORROW night. You definitely want to get over to right NOW and place you order to save 15% on all their killer products. It’s my duty as a proud Prograde Partner to remind you ;-).  I’m going to stock up on EFA-Icon (fish oil) myself!

How To Build The Ultimate Circuit Training Workout For Rapid Fat Loss

In the past, the cornerstone of most resistance training workouts has been performing exercises in a straight set format. Essentially, this means you perform a certain number of reps for a certain number of sets of  a given exercise, and then you rest anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes based on your training goals before repeating this set/rep combo again. This is actually a traditional body builder program.  There’s nothing really wrong with it, and most “regular” folks you see at the gym are doing just this type of a program.  If they’ve got 60-90 minutes to get their strength workout and their cardiovascular training in,  and they’re getting the results they want, well then, they should probably keep doing what they’re doing!  However, there is a quicker way to get a great workout in.

A much more effective and time-efficient approach to ordering your exercises is utilizing the alternating set format. Here you’ll perform one exercise, rest for a very short period of time, then perform another non-competing exercise, rest for a short period of time, and so forth. Alternating sets allow you to work different areas of your body when you would otherwise be resting with the straight set format. Plus, by working another area of your body with a non-competing exercise you allow your body to recover from the previous exercise(s). The result is improved training economy and density: more work accomplished in less time, the cornerstone of any sound fat loss program.

There are several ways to perform alternating sets outlined below:

1.)   Supersets: Alternate between two different non-competing exercises (e.g. upper body and lower body such as push-ups and lunges). I really like this format and use it for my personal training customers in San Jose, as well as for many of my own workouts.

2.)   Trisets: Alternate between three different exercises (e.g. push, pull, and lower body such as push-ups, rows, and lunges).

3.)   Circuits: Alternate between four or more different exercises

Though supersets and trisets are excellent alternating set options, I believe circuit training is by the far the best option for time-crunched recreational exercisers who want to boost their metabolism and decrease body fat . That’s one reason why we  incorporate a strength/cardio circuit into about 90% of our monthly bootcamp workouts in San Jose and Los Gatos.  They incinerate calories, as well as develop lean muscle and cardiovascular endurance.

Here’s an example of a 6 station cardio/strength circuit:

Exercise#1- Jump rope

Exercise#2- Dips

Exercise#3- High knee jog in place

Exercise#4- Pull-ups  (if you don’t have a pull up bar, you can do an inverted row at home by putting a broomstick across two chairs)

Exercise#5- Fast lateral shuffle

Exercise#6:  Push ups

Exercise at each station for 1 minute, and take a 10-15 second recovery break between each station.  At the cardio stations (1, 3, and 5) you’ll go “all out” for one minute.  At the strength stations (2,4, and 6), perform sets of 8-12 repetitions of the exercise, and then take a brief rest.  Beginners might get in 2 sets, advanced folks might get in 4 sets during the 60 second time frame (due to less rest time).

Perform this circuit up to four times for an excellent fat burning workout.

The key to creating the optimal hormonal environment for fat loss is to perform each exercise with maximal intensity while separated by brief rest periods in order to accumulate a high volume of total body work in the shortest amount of time possible. Circuit training provides for the best of both worlds and is thus simply unmatched for simultaneously maximizing fat loss and lean muscle gain.

When you’re short on time (and who isn’t these days!), nothing beats a high intensity circuit training workout.

Committed to your success,


15-minute fat blasting workout

Okay campers, I’ve got another video for you. I recently had the pleasure of doing a “Lunch and Learn” presentation at Avalon Bay Communities, a local corporation.  The theme of my talk was “15 minute fat blasting workouts”.

So many of us are crazy busy these days, yet we hold on to the concept that the only “real” workout is an hour long run, or 1 hour of weights at the gym.  I beg to differ. When time gets short, our workouts need to change. My suggestion:  Increase the intensity, and shorten the time frame.

I asked the participants at my presentation to brainstorm a list of exercises that we could do with little to no equipment. Our list included squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, dips, and a number of other body weight strength or calisthenic-type exercises.  From there we randomly picked 4 exercises and a work/rest interval plan.  Viola.  We’ve got a high intensity workout!

In the video below I demonstrate each exercise we chose, and I include beginner and advanced modifications on some of the exercises.  I also include suggestions for beginner and advanced exercises with regard to how many rounds of the circuit you should do (beginners:  you’ll be done in LESS than 15 minutes!).

Once again, my workout companion, Noah the wonder dog, manages to squeeze in another cameo appearance.  At one point in the video, he does his impression of a cow grazing in a pasture for you.

Give this quick, high intensity workout a try this weekend!

Committed to your success,


Weekend Workout for San Jose and Campbell Boot Camps

July was a great month at our San Jose and Campbell boot camps.  Thanks so much for being a part of them! Please remember to fill out your feedback forms. We really do read them.  In fact, you received an email recently that highlights some pricing options we’re test driving in August. This is a result of customer feedback.

I’ve uploaded a weekend workout for you.  This workout combines short bursts of high intensity cardio work with some full body strength exercises.  When you’re short on time, this is a great workout format.

After a good warm up, perform the cardio intervals for 60-120 seconds at a high intensity (how long you go depends on your fitness level).  Perform 15 repetitions of the strength moves, or as many as you can up to fifteen. Complete the circuit 3-5 times.

The video is only 2 1/2 minutes long, but in case you can’t wait for it to load, here it is in writing:

Jump Rope

“Spiderman” push ups (Beginners:  do these on your knees)

Fast lateral shuffles

Bulgarian Split Squats (15 on each side)

“Quick feet”

Inverted row** (Beginners:  bend your knees)

**If you can’t set this up at home, do triceps dips. Dips work different muscles, but it’s something you can do at  home with no equipment.

If you need some visual aides (and you want to see how “Noah the Wonder Dog” gets into nearly every dang frame of the video) here ya go………….


Don’t forget to cool down, stretch, and drink water after your workout.

A special challenge to anyone who is currently enrolled in an August boot camp:  The first two campers to post a comment here that they have completed the workout win a Prograde Craver! .  In your comment, tell me how  many rounds you did and how long it took you.  Cravers delivered to camp next week :-).

Have  great weekend!


The Secret to Blasting Belly Fat

Due to technical difficulty in editing the workout video I created for you last Friday (my computer is bumping up to it’s memory limit), I’ve decided to answer a question I get a lot at my San Jose boot camps, and Jackie gets asked a lot at our Campbell boot camp.  I’ll get you the video later this week when I free up more memory in my computer!

So, the burning question is:  “How do I get rid of my belly fat??

The answer doesn’t lie in hundreds of crunches. You can do crunches till you’re blue in the face–it won’t reduce the fat located in your belly (dang it!).  At best, you’ll get stronger abs.  Crunches aren’t my favorite exercise for strong abs–but we’ll save the “say no to the ‘all crunch’ workout” rant for another day.

The key to seeing your abs is to eat and exercise for fat loss, not necessarily for weight loss. You can severely restrict your calorie intake and you’ll lose weight–but what have you really lost???  Probably some calorie burning muscle!  Your body consists of fat mass and lean body mass (water, muscle, bone, organs, etc.). You want to minimize your fat mass and maximize your lean body mass.  This will raise your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories all day long.  So, crash dieting or eating a very low calorie diet may actually set you back in your quest for lean, flat abs.

Here are my suggestions to drop body fat in order to reveal lean, toned abs:

Eat small meals throughout the day that consist mainly of lean protein, produce and monounsaturated fats (like olive oil, nuts, canola oil and avocado).  Monounsaturated fats have been featured in the “Flat Belly Diet” promoted by Prevention Magazine.  Eaten in moderation, they seem to help with weight loss.

Minimize processed junk food. It’s usually high in calories and this will not lead to successful fat loss.

Go easy on grain based foods (most of us tend to eat too many—yours truly included!).  When you do eat grain based foods, make them whole grain (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown or wild rice).

Strength train hard. Put down the pink Barbie weights and lift to fatigue!  Research has shown that test subjects who did aggressive strength training lost inches from their midsection.  Your best bet is to focus on burning as many calories during your workouts as possible by engaging your whole body each and every training session. Multi-joint movements like squats, push-ups, and lunges (or better yet, total body exercises like a squat-to-press) burn a lot more calories than single joint movements. I don’t have a problem with single joint exercises (like biceps curls), but I’d like to see most of your exercises in any given workout be multi-joint exercises.   You’ll strengthen all your major muscle groups this way and you’ll burn lots of calories. When you come to boot camp, Jackie and I take care of this for you by giving you lots of multi-joint exercises to do!

Include interval training as part of your cardio workout.  Interval training has been shown to burn WAY more calories during a workout than “steady state” exercise at a moderate exertion level.  In addition, your metabolism stays elevated for awhile after a hard workout–burning more calories for you again!

Mix up your cardio routine. Notice how you get better at certain cardio workouts over time?  Yep.  You’re getting more efficient.  But that’s not what you want when you work out!  Mix up your routine so that your body doesn’t acclimate.  Stay inefficient!  Keep your body guessing and working hard by changing up your cardio interval routines (hey, we do this for you at boot camp, too!).

Get enough calcium. Some research has shown the people on fat loss programs who get adequate calcium lose more fat than those who don’t consume calcium.

So, there you have it, my suggestions for whittling down your belly fat.

Questions?  Comments?  Please leave them below.

Let’s make our last week of July camp a great one!

Committed to your (fat loss) success,


P.S.  A warm welcome to a few “late entries” to our July camps:

Campbell boot camp:  Welcome, Kelsey!

Almaden boot camp:  Welcome Marnie, Maritza and Lori!

Pre and Post Boot Camp Workout Nutrition Tips

I’ve been asked by both Campbell boot camp and San Jose boot camp customers what to eat before boot camp workouts (or any workout, for that matter). Not many people ask me what they should be eating after exercise—but it’s also an important topic. So in this post, we’ll look at not only pre-workout nutrition, but also post-workout nutrition.

Pre Workout Nutrition

Some folks don’t like to eat before working out. If you absolutely can’t tolerate a small snack before working out, don’t force yourself. However, if you can handle a little food an hour before a workout, it’s a good idea to eat. Some recreational exercisers feel they will get nauseous if they eat before exercise. If food is properly selected and intake is properly timed, this shouldn’t be an issue. For those of you who do the San Jose/Almaden boot camp and exercise first thing in the morning, you haven’t had food for probably 8-10 hours. That’s almost a fast! Fasting is detrimental to performance, because our glycogen reserves aren’t at an optimal level.

Here are some reasons to consider eating a small snack before a workout:

• To provide “fuel” for the exercise and replenish glycogen stores (glycogen is the storage form of sugar in your muscles and liver)

• To prevent low blood sugar during exercise

• To settle your stomach, absorb gastric juices and prevent hunger

Most experts agree that the pre-exercise meal should consist primarily of high carbohydrate, low fat foods for easy and fast digestion.  This is especially true if the exercise is within 1 hour of eating. Avoid eating highly sugared foods however (candy bars, sugary cereals, etc.) as these may cause an insulin spike followed by a drop in blood sugar around the time you’re exercising (not to mention the fact that those foods offer you no nutrition!).

Here are some suggestions for a light, carbohydrate rich snack to eat before an exercise session:

• 1 slice whole wheat toast

• 1 small banana (or other piece of fruit)

• ½ of an energy bar (such as a Power Bar)

• ½ c. cooked oatmeal (easy on the sugar!)

Campbell boot camp participants, I realize you’re coming from work, and some of these items aren’t available to you at work.  The oatmeal and the toast ideas will work better for the Almaden boot camp participants who work out in the early morning.

Morning campers, if you’re trying to lose body fat, remember that you don’t want to eat all of your breakfast calories before your workout. Split them up. Eat 1/4 to 1/3 of your breakfast calories before your workout, and the remainder after.

Post Workout Nutrition

When and what you eat after a workout can have a serious effect on your recovery. The first 2-3 hours after exercise are critical for you; don’t wait to eat. Be selective in what you eat after exercise. Wise choices will help you recover quickly and enable your muscles to work better the next time around. Inadequate recovery can lead to chronic fatigue and a gradual decline in your performance.

Although post exercise nutrition research is aimed at competitive athletes performing exhaustive exercise, there are lessons in the research for the recreational exerciser. For the fitness enthusiast whose workouts generally last less than 90 minutes, your main concern is to re-fuel with a well-balanced meal that provides not only carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores, but also protein to help re-build muscle. Some protein/carb post-workout meals might be:

• Two poached eggs with whole wheat toast

• Yogurt and high fiber cereal with low or non-fat milk

• Whole wheat bagel w/peanut butter

* String cheese and whole wheat crackers

For the Campbell boot camp crew who gets home from a workout around dinner time, here are some dinner ideas:

* Steamed vegetables and lean protein (chicken, fish, pork tenderloin or lean cuts of beef)

* Dark leafy green salad with lean protein in it

* Whole wheat tortilla with rotisserie chicken pieces inside

Please make sure you get some protein after a hard workout! Time and again, studies show that a combination of protein and carbohydrate replenishes muscle glycogen more rapidly than does carbohydrate alone. If you don’t “re-fuel” your muscles, they won’t work for you well the next time you exercise.

If you need to rush to work after boot camp, consider a post-workout drink with a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. You can drink these drinks right in the car! It may not be enough calories to qualify as a “meal”, but it will start the repair/recovery process until you can get to “real” food. If you need a suggestion for a post-workout drink, I recommend “Workout” by Prograde nutrition:


I trust their products, and they create their product formulations based on current research in sports nutrition. One word of caution: As  many of you know, I’m not a fan of “drinking” your calories if you’re trying to lose weight.  For some folks, though, a post workout shake makes sense.  Just remember to log the calories you drink!

One final word about pre- and post-workout nutrition: Don’t forget the water! It may not be “food”, but hydration is important so we should address it. Many of us are slightly dehydrated and don’t even know it. Mild dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, constipation, and other not-so-fun things.

Drink water before, during and after exercise. For workouts lasting less than 60 minutes, sports drinks aren’t really necessary. However, if you prefer the taste of sports drinks over water, I see no problem with using them in moderation during exercise lasting less than an hour. Just don’t forget to log the calories!

What do YOU eat for your pre or post workout meals??  Leave a comment here to give your fellow campers more ideas for good nutrition.

Committed to your success,


Fourth of July workout!

Hey campers,

I hope you all have a Happy 4th of July weekend.  I also hope you got some great workouts in over the last week while we’ve been on a boot camp break!

In the event you’ve got a busy weekend planned, I decided to create a quick, high intensity workout you could squeeze into your weekend.  We’ve got lots of “newbies” signed up for July boot camps, so I decided that it would help to have a visual aide for this workout since you new folks may not be familiar with all the exercises I list below.

Below you’ll find a short video of all the exercises in the workout, complete with advanced options.  And, as in my last video, my dog managed to get in a cameo appearance again.  I put him in the house when I started the video, but he managed to sneak outside.  He probably wanted to show off his “summer cut”.

Here is your weekend “Firecracker” workout:

After a warm up of 5 or  6 minutes, perform each exercise listed for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.  Perform the circuit 3 times through.

Jumping jacks

Walking lunges


High Knee run



There is one “typo” in the video. It suggests you do the circuit 5 times.  It should say “3 times”.  There’s nothing wrong with doing the circuit 5 times…..but I think you’ll be done in 3 rounds :-).

Happy 4th of July!

Leave me a comment below and let me know how the workout goes for you.

Committed to your success,