boost your fitness results

5 Tips for Better Workout Results

I’ve got a list of 5 simple things you can do to get better results from your workouts.

By “results,” I mean noticeable changes in your stamina, strength, energy, and overall fitness.

Before I get into the tips, I want you to remember one thing that will help drive all of those results:

YOU ARE AN ATHLETE in training, no matter how young or old you are, or your current fitness or activity level.

You are training for your BEST LIFE.

Having a fit, strong, and healthy body that can help you make the MOST of every single day is something worth fighting for!

My hope is that these tips will help you save time and get super focused so that the time you spend working to improve your health and fitness creates the results you want!

Tips To Improve Your Workout Results

5 Ways To Boost Your Workout Results


1: Set your priorities

In other words: Get excited about a goal! Want to be able to do 10 push-ups or pull-ups? Run 3 miles without stopping? Add distance to your golf drive?

As adults, we often write off those goals as silly or frivolous. They aren’t! They can add a fun factor to your routine (and also a clear purpose).

Setting priorities gives you focus and a purpose.


2: Have a plan

Now that you have a priority, create an intentional workout program – and make sure to include the RIGHT kinds of exercises to hit your goals.

Example: if you want to be able to do 10 push-ups, running 3 days a week won’t help you with that. But building your strength (especially core and upper body) will.


3: Periodize for progress

This is related to creating a plan … it’s making sure your routine grows and changes as you get more fit. Trainers call this “periodization.”

If you always do the same exercises the same way, eventually you’ll plateau.

Your workouts should challenge you just enough to move you closer to your goals, but not so much that you feel drained, overly sore, or get injured. This is where having an experienced coach can help — we know how to keep the progress going and continually challenge you safely!


4: Eat to support your goal

First: Make sure you’re eating a high-quality diet, filled with nutrient-dense food in the right portions for your activity level.

Then: Come up with a snack strategy to refuel right after your workout. Aim for a carb-protein mini-meal to give your muscles a jump start on recovery.


5: Reset, Recover & Rest

Your workouts create stress in your body (it’s good stress, but it’s still stress).

That’s why it’s so important to give yourself time to reset, recover, and rest afterward.

Not only will it help you get the best results from the workout you just did, but it helps your body get ready for your NEXT workout.

On a practical level, this means taking 24-48 hours between strength workouts to let your muscles repair and rebuild.

It also means getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night so your body can restore your immune function, balance your hormones, and remove waste.



So there you have it!

These five tips will help you take your workouts to the NEXT LEVEL and help you hit your workout goals faster.


 Committed to your success,
Coach Becky

Feeling like you don’t know what to do or where to start to improve your workout results? It might be time to hire a professional coach!  We can take the guesswork out of what to do, how to do it and how to manage your nutrition to get the results you desire. Coaching can take you where you want to go in less time than you can get there on your own!

 Want to chat?  Fill in the form below and we’ll set up a time for a 30-minute complimentary strategy session to help get you going in the right direction!

How To Reach Your Fitness Goals – Three Simple Steps

A lot of us set out at the beginning of a new year with some fitness goals we’d like to achieve.

But by the time February is coming to an end — a lot of us have lost focus and are not on the right path to reach the fitness goals we set out to achieve.

If this has happened to you at this point in the month —  you are not alone.

In today’s post, I have three simple steps that will help you re-set your mind and put you on the path to your best health ever in 2022!

Get Clear On Your Goals

In order to achieve something, you have to identify exactly what it is. “Being healthier” is not a goal. “Toning up” is not a goal. They’re great concepts, but they’re too vague to be able to track or measure. Your goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have a deadline. So, we might change “being healthier” to getting to a lower average daily blood pressure or blood sugar, or perhaps decreasing your waist size to a certain measurement by a certain date. These things are measurable and there is a deadline.

Identify The Action Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Identify the small action steps that, over time, will help you achieve your goal. And yes, I said small action steps for a reason. When setting your goal, think big. When taking action, think small. If you try to do too much too soon, you will likely get overwhelmed and stop working on your goal altogether.

Improve Your Mindset

This is perhaps the most important aspect of long-term success … with your health and with every aspect of your life. What you say to yourself matters. How you think matters. How you frame things in your mind matters. Improving your mindset isn’t easy, but with daily practice you can change your mindset over time.

A couple of examples: 1) Find 3 things to be grateful for every day and, 2) Push negative noise out of your head when it pops up and replace with a positive phrase.

Done right, goal achievement doesn’t have to be complicated. Decide what you want to accomplish, identify the actions that you need to take to get there and re-frame your mindset.

If you need help with figuring out an action plan to reach your 2022 goals, the team at lifeSport Fitness is here to help!

Fill in the form below to request  a complimentary 30-minute Strategy Call during which we’ll help you define your goals and set up your roadmap to success!

This San Jose Coach Does Personal Training Differently!

When you think of “personal training”, what do you think of? One client, one trainer and a high price tag? Well, think again because this San Jose Coach does personal training differently!


The concept of personal training has changed a lot over the years.

Personal Training in the Past

Ten or twenty years ago, a personal trainer was someone at a big box gym who walked the floor looking for people who’d be willing to spend extra money to basically have their workout supervised.


A personal training session was basically an appointment where you had someone tell you what exercises to do and what order to do them, who pretty much thought it up on the fly (or directed you to the next machine that was available). That doesn’t sound very personal to me. Does it to you??

Personal Training Now

Two things have changed in the last 10-15 years that I believe have completely changed the personal training experience (and the amount of money one spends for it!): 1) Program design and 2) The “Semi-Private Training” model

Program Design

With program design”, an experienced coach writes out a program of exercises based on your goals (sets, reps and resistance). They then set up that program as a series of sessions over a period of time (typical time frames are 4-12 weeks). 

Each week, the resistance or repetitions change as the coach works to progress the client to more challenging work using the same exercises (which the client gets VERY good at executing, by the way!). 


Program design can be a time consuming approach for the coach, but the results to the client can be phenomenal! Creating a planned, step-wise approach to getting stronger, toning up muscles, or losing body fat is an exceptional way to train someone to get results as opposed to random workouts every week.


I switched to “program design” about 14 years ago and have never looked back. Yes — it does take me more time to write 4-6 week program plans for each client, but WOW. Just WOW. They provide much better results for the client.

Semi-Private Training

And what is Semi-Private Training, you ask? Well, it’s not 4 people going into a studio and doing the workout of the day together. AND it’s not doing whatever is written on the white board (or at least it’s not here at lifeSport Fitness).


In a nutshell — A Semi-Private Training model provides a person with all that 1-on-1 Private Personal Training provides, without the price tag of 1-on-1 training. Clients come to people like me for accountability, a plan that is appropriate for them, proper cueing/feedback on form, and safety (many of our clients come to us after getting injured in larger group workouts).


I test drove a Semi-Private Training model about 10 years ago with a few beta testers. I honestly didn’t think they’d like it or even that I would like it. But, they LOVED it, and I found that I could coach up to 4 people at a time on completely different programs. The coolest part (aside from happy clients) was the energy and camaraderie the 4 people created. Not only did they love the group setting, they also loved the 40% drop in price from our 1-on-1 personal training ;-).

​ ​If you are struggling to get the fitness results you want and you have not experienced the difference of “Program Design” (as opposed to random workouts that might not even be appropriate for you) nor have you tried a lower cost Semi-Private Personal Training model — I encourage you to consider it!


Yes — personal training has changed a lot compared to what it was 15 years ago. In fact, I’d say it’s a lot better. But, not every gym or trainer is up with the times. Luckily, this San Jose coach does personal training differently! LifeSport Fitness uses a modern approach that has proven time and time again over the past 14 years to be the most beneficial to our clients!

If you are interested in learning more out Personal Training at lifeSport Fitness, click here!

Committed to your success,


Coach Becky

Habits, Not Diets, for Lasting Weight Loss – Part 1 of 4

I’ve seen it time and again where a new client gets really excited about working on improving their nutrition, but they fall off the wagon after a few weeks (or days!). Intuitively, they understand what to do, but they have a hard time executing consistently.

I’ve been a personal trainer in San Jose for over 25 years. During that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people improve their nutrition for lasting weight loss. I’ve also seen some people really struggle to maintain or persevere with their weight loss plans.

Failure to execute consistently usually happens due to a few common themes:

1)    Changing too much too rapidly

2)   Failing to plan or think ahead

3)   Maintaining a non-supportive environment

4)   Being unaware of food triggers

If you’ve tried and failed at incorporating healthier eating
into your life, I’m guessing you may have gotten hung up with one or more of
these situations as well.

Walk with me here over the next few days while I offer you
some solutions to each of these 4 habit change hold ups.

Let’s start with Habit Change Hang Up #1 — Changing too much too rapidly.

SOLUTION: Work on ONE change at a time

What I’ve seen from coaching hundreds of people over the years is that too much change all at once is just too stressful for most people. It’s that “diet mentality” where you decide that come next Monday, everything is going to change.  For most of us, all that change is unsustainable. Having to think about and focus on all those different things you need to change is downright stressful and fatiguing. 

Rather than change everything all at once, I coach my clients to work on one change at a time.  It’s not nearly as fatiguing.  Now, you’re not going to lose 20 pounds in two weeks doing it this way.  However, focusing on one change at a time, you’re likely to end up with a sustainable new lifestyle habit down the road instead of one more failed diet.

I work with my clients to choose one habit change that will
likely net the best outcome for the client as well as choose the habit that the
client is most likely to stick with. 
Once we’ve made significant progress on making that habit part of their
lifestyle, we move on to another habit to improve.

Here’s what I suggest you to do so that you don’t fall into the “too much too soon” trap: Choose one thing you can do to improve your overall nutrition starting tomorrow. Work on that and only that for the next month.  That one thing will be your only focus.  You don’t have to be perfect at it in order to be successful, but I want you to be mindful of it every day.  Focus on implementing that one habit daily. Be really, really consistent at that one thing.

This one habit change may be subtracting something from your
lifestyle or adding something to your lifestyle.  An example of subtraction would be taking out
your daily soda or decreasing the amount of fast food you eat.  An example of addition would be adding in
additional water every day, or perhaps making sure to eat 3 more servings of
vegetables every day.

Once it’s become easier to maintain that habit and you’re
confident you can, challenge yourself to work on implementing another new

Like I said earlier, this won’t net you massive weight loss in a week, but it might just net you permanent weight loss down the road because you will have changed the choices that you make on a daily basis.

If you’re struggling to change your nutrition, try my “one habit at a time” suggestion and let me know how it goes!

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where I’ll go over the solution to Habit Change Hang Up #2 – Failing to plan or think ahead. I’ve got some ideas I think you’ll like!

Going Vegan: San Jose Boot Camp Coach Chronicles her Month as a Vegan

Vegan DietNever in a million years did I think I would try a vegan diet.  About 15 years ago, I tried to switch to a vegetarian diet (which allows eggs and dairy) and I lasted 4 days! I joked that I ran out of stuff to cook for dinner, as my husband doesn’ t like nuts or cheese.  SO many of the recipes in the cook books I bought called for nuts and cheese.

So, why go vegan?  Because somebody asked me to.  Sort of.

Here’s the story:  I received an email from the Marketing Team leader at Whole Foods Market on Blossom Hill Road.  She asked if I would be interested in partnering with Whole Foods to lead a  class in their store on approaching a healthier lifestyle through diet and fitness. The classes would follow a book that has a 28-day eating plan in it (The Engine 2 Diet Plan).  I wasn’t that familiar with the Engine 2 book at that point, but I thought, “Sure!  I’d like to help people eat healthier!”  So, I told her I was in.  Then I bought the book.  Uh oh.  The book follows a “plant strong” approach.  In other words……….it’s vegan.  Not only NO animal flesh, but no eggs, no cow’s milk, no cow’s milk yogurt.  OMG…….what had I said “Yes” to???Engine 2 Diet

I considered emailing her back and telling her I couldn’t lead a class on a vegan diet because I’m not a vegan, and I’m not really sure I could do it myself.   Then I began reading the book a little more and I read about some amazing changes in blood chemistry by some people who had followed the diet. I have high cholesterol levels (yes, a fitness professional who exercises and eats pretty well has high cholesterol.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  My form of high cholesterol is genetic, according to my doctor).  I decided that if I had recipes to follow  and the accountability of being the dang leader of this group—-I could do it!  I told my husband I’d precook all the “meatage” he’d need for the month, but that I was going vegan for 28 days in February.  After he stopped laughing, he told me he’d support me by eating (or attempting to eat) whatever  I cooked for dinner, and he’d be “off the plan” for breakfast and lunch so he could do his own thing.  So, off we went on our 28-day adventure.

We got our fasting cholesterol tested the day we started the diet plan and again today.

Here are some take aways from my 28-day Vegan experience:

-I thought we ate a lot of vegetables, but we ate WAY more veggies last month. Example:  I went through 2 bags of onions and probably one dozen sweet peppers.  Normally in a months time, I’d use about 3 or 4 of each for the two of us.  The recipes we tried PACKED in a lot of vegetables.  This is a good thing.

-I spent less money on food last month.  Vegan staples like bulk whole grains, fruits, veggies and whole grain pasta products are inexpensive.

-My food processor got some SERIOUS use and stayed on my kitchen counter (normally it lives under the kitchen counter).  I used it almost every day for chopping veggies.

-We decided the “fake” meat we tried is kind of gross.  Vegan hot dogs had a weird texture.  Veggie meat crumbles were disgusting (or they had gone bad.  Not sure which.  But we won’t be trying them again).

-Beans give you gas. Lots of beans give you lots of gas 😆 .  I understand that over time, your body adjusts and you’re better able to digest the oligosaccharides (starches) in the beans.  That hadn’t happened yet by day 28.  I like the addition of some bean dishes to our diet, though, so they’ll be staying in.  We just won’t have any guests over on those nights ;-).

-Many of the recipes lacked a lot of flavor, in our opinion.  I think that over time, our palates adapt, though, so we’d get used to it.  I need to give a shout out to one of my clients, Cristin B ., who is a vegetarian.  She warned me that I might need to add more spices and seasonings to recipes.  She was right.  My instinct was to reach for the salt shaker, but I think we need to experiment with sodium free alternatives like Mrs. Dash seasonings, garlic powder, herbs/herb blends, etc.

-I really like a little cup of yogurt as an afternoon snack.  I knew I needed to find a vegan substitute for this.  I found that coconut milk yogurt tastes pretty good (Soy yogurt did the same thing to me that beans did ).  I don’t think coconut milk yogurt is any healthier  than cow’s milk yogurt, though.

-I didn’t miss beef or chicken.  A couple of times I felt like I was missing seafood (maybe it was those Red Lobster “Lobster Fest” commercials that started popping up in mid-February!).

-The thing I missed most?  Drinking milk with lunch or dinner.  I didn’t realize how much I did that, and I found that plain water with a meal was getting a bit boring.  I switched to carbonated water (Calistoga with a hint of lemon) and that helped with the “plain water boredom”.  I used Almond milk in my cereal, in smoothies and in my oatmeal.  Just never wanted to drink a cup of it as a beverage for some reason.

– I learned that “going Vegan” wasn’t as hard and restricting as I thought.

– I learned I love to eat salads, but I don’t like making them.  Thank goodness for “salad in a bag”.

-Wine is vegan, I believe.  Didn’t give it up.

-And while we’re at it……dark chocolate is also vegan.  Yeah, I ate some.

-To my surprise, my husband ended up sticking to the Vegan diet for breakfast and lunch.  He completely amazed me.  Never would have guessed he’d do that.  He’s a huge meat eater, and I’m very proud of him for hanging in there with me and going above and beyond what he originally pledged.

-My husband lost 11 pounds in the 28-day program.  Towards the end of the month, the members of my Almaden boot camp were begging me to “feed the poor guy”.  He works out with us in the Almaden camp, and I think our members thought he was wasting away.  Oh, and if you’re wondering about me?  Yours truly lost 1 pound.  Yep, a whole 16 ounces.

-We had our cholesterol tested today.  My husband’s total cholesterol dropped 35 points.  Mine?  It dropped only 6 points.  My triglycerides went up by 13 points. My husband’s triglycerides dropped by about 20 points.  Why the variations?  I am not a physician or a registered dietician, but as a fitness expert who knows a few things about nutrition, I would attribute it to individual variations in body/blood chemistry, digestion and genetics.

-Aside from a HUGE thanks to my husband for hanging in there with me on this program, I have two shout outs for a few people who were on this journey with me as well:

  • MAJOR props to boot camp member Lisa N.  Lisa lost 6 pounds on the program and inches off her waist and hips.
  • Big thanks to challenge participant Debra H., who attended all of the weekly meetings at Whole Foods.  As a practicing vegan, she helped me field some questions from participants I couldn’t answer, and she was a great sounding board at all our Engine 2 weekly meetings.


Our 28-day Vegan experience has come to an end. What now?  We’ll go back to eating animal products-but I suspect less of them (okay maybe just me.  Not sure the hubby is on board with this).

My husband’s birthday is on Monday, but I’m taking him and his mom out for his birthday dinner tonight.

Care to guess where he has asked to go?  Outback Steakhouse  :-D.







Common Boot Camp Misconceptions Part 2

Dog Tags in BootAs 2013 kicks in, I’ll list here in Part 2 the remaining 5 common misconceptions I often hear when people tell me why they don’t think they can participate in a boot camp workout. I carefully plan our boot camp workouts so that they are “do-able” for just about everyone, yet challenging for our veterans. So if you see your excuse below, you might want to give lifeSport Fitness San Jose boot camps another look.  We’ll take good care of you……..I promise ;-).

5. I Have an Old Injury

The best way to prevent re-injuring an area is to build up the surrounding muscles for support. Once the area has healed (e.g., from surgery, a cast, or other medical treatment), you need to use it or lose it. You actually run the risk of re-injuring the area by NOT working out. In my boot camps I know how to modify exercises so they help — not hurt — your road to recovery.

NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease) recommends not being a “weekend warrior.” They suggest stretching and building up your exercise level gradually — activities that are typically incorporated into a boot camp workout.

4. I’m Too Heavy

Boot camp workouts are the perfect way to lose weight. Studies have shown that adding consistent exercise to a healthy eating regime has a more dramatic impact on losing inches. This misconception most likely stems from self consciousness or self confidence. Finding the right boot camp, one where the instructor is supportive, is an important factor for your success. You may even find a boot camp that fits your weight loss needs. Plus you may be pleasantly surprised at the level of support you’ll receive from other boot camp participants. There is a definite sense of camaraderie at boot camps;  each camper is working on their own health goals.

3. I Need to Be in Better Shape First

This is the flip side of number 4. Sometimes participants are afraid they can’t keep up with a boot camp workout. The point of working out is improve your overall fitness over time. Our workouts are designed for varying fitness levels. A qualified fitness trainer is able to adapt the workout to meet you at your current level, modifying exercises so they present a reasonable challenge. Yes, you’ll experience soreness as that’s an indication muscles and strength are building. When you exercise consistently, soreness diminishes.

2. I’ll Get Yelled At

Fitness boot camps are not military training. When considering a boot camp workout, interview the instructor beforehand. You’ll get a sense if they are a wanna-be drill sergeant or if they are committed to helping you get a well-rounded and healthy workout. As with any profession, there are different approaches and personalities. Find one that fits your needs.  Keep in mind that a great instructor will encourage and motivate you.

1. I’ll Be Pushed Beyond My Limits

Over the years I’ve heard horror stories about boot campers being pushed to the point of throwing up or serious injury. Again, a fitness boot camp is not military training. You won’t be doing exercises like climbing a rope or scaling a 10-foot wall. At least that’s not we do in our camps. You will be doing a variety of exercises that build stamina and strength to both the upper and lower body. My philosophy is that you don’t have to do embarrassing or overly-grueling workouts to get into shape. Yes, we work you hard, but we honor your current fitness level and use positive motivational techniques to help you improve.


I hope after reading my top ten “myths and misconceptions” about fitness boot camp workouts, you’ve realized that just about anyone can benefit from a well-coached and well planned out boot camp workout.

If you want to get leaner, healthier and stronger in 2013, I encourage you to treat yourself to a one-week FREE trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp.

You can request a free trial week at the lifeSport Fitness website here:  Yes! I want a free one-week trial at a boot camp in San Jose!


It would be our pleasure to make 2013 your best year ever!


Happy New Year!!!


Committed to your success,


Fat Loss Made Easy–Tips from lifeSport Fitness Boot Camp in San Jose

Tips for getting greater fat loss results in the next 12 weeks

Body fat measurement at San Jose boot campI recently held a free assessment day for members of our lifeSport Fitness boot camps in San Jose, Campbell and Los Gatos.  Because the scale doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s important to track other measurements such as body fat and girth to really get a clear picture of what’s happening once you start to do boot camp workouts.  So, we offer free measurements for our members to keep them focused and on track.

At lifeSport Fitness, we work hard to make every boot camp workout extremely effective for fat loss:  We do LOTS of strength training. We do interval training to increase the calorie burn of the workout.  We make sure to train the whole body in a functional manner in every workout.

That said, my coaches and I can’t out-train a client’s poor diet 🙂.

If you don’t eat enough, you don’t fuel your workouts well and you might lose muscle over time.  If you eat too many calories, you won’t shed body fat.  And, if you eat about the right amount of food, but it’s nutritionally unbalanced or down right non-nutritious food–well– you’re probably not going to feel very good AND you probably won’t shed fat.

Bottom line, nutrition accounts for a LARGE margin of your results. You need to eat often and eat nutritiously to fuel an active body.  You also need to be aware of portions and quantity.

I gave a “tips” sheet to our members at our assessment day to give them ideas for getting to the next level of fat loss at their next assessment, and I’d like to share it with you.

If you want to be leaner in the next 8-12 weeks, you should:


LOG your food intakeJournaling your food helps your weight loss plan

If you (or I) don’t really know what you’re eating, you don’t know what needs to be changed, and I don’t know how to coach you on changes you should make.

Start a free account at  Your journal is only as “honest” as you are, but you’ll see your calories, protein, fat, etc all listed there. This particular website is “smart phone friendly”.  You can scan food packaging and it will automatically upload the food item to your journal.

Increase your vegetable intake by AT LEAST 50%

This will fill up your plate, decrease your calorie consumption and increase your overall nutrition by a HUGE margin!  The greater variety of colors on your plate, the better!


If you're trying to lose weight, don't drink your calories!Pay attention to the calories you drink

These are very often “forgotten” calories—but they may be the ones that are ending up on your waistline.  Big culprits here:  Blended coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, juices and other sweetened drinks.



If you eat out more than 3 times a week, work on decreasing that number

Restaurant food is chock full of calories, fat and salt.  It’s really hard to lose fat if you’re eating large fatty, salty or sugary commercial meals on a regular basis.


Plan and schedule your workouts outside of camp

If you’re actively trying to shed fat, I suggest doing some form of cardio exercise (longer, lower intensity workouts, as well as shorter High Intensity Interval Training cardio workouts) 5 times a week.  Strength training should be done 2-3 times a week.  When pressed for time, do your strength/cardio together circuit style.


DON’T diet

This fails every single time.  Diets are temporary.  Your lifeSport Fitness boot camp coaches and I want  to teach you how to lose fat and keep it off by changing your food habits and your lifestyleIf you start on some sort of fat loss plan you can’t live with—you’re doomed to fail.  Deprivation just doesn’t work long term.


Make small changes over time. Focus on what TO eat, not what NOT to eat.  Have indulgences now and then.  THAT’s real life. Yes, the fat will come off more slowly this way, but it’s more likely that you’ll stick with the new habits.


Committed to your success,




Image credits:

Pen and journal

Blended coffee drink

Workout Motivation – Tips to Getting Back on Track

*Colorful_tenniesWorkout motivation can change over time. It’s been four months since the holidays wrapped up with New Year’s Resolutions. In January many of my San Jose boot camp clients began their exercise program energized and super motivated. They woke up early to join fellow boot campers for a rigorous and fun workout. They also started a healthy eating program, increasing the number of fiber-rich foods like fruits and veggies into their diet. They were vigilant in drinking water and getting enough rest.

Now… fast forward a couple of months. They lost several pounds and/or inches by working out regularly. They feel better because they have more energy. Their clothes fit better. But after a while they hit a weight loss plateau. Or, they feel deprived of some of their favorite foods.  Or, sleeping in is getting more tempting each morning.  Or their work schedule has changed. Or……you get the point: They lose focus.

Here are 5 Tips to reclaim your Workout Motivation:

Plan For Exercise

Before your work week starts, make sure you schedule exercise throughout the week. Sunday is a good day to do some pre-planning: meal menus and strategies that allow for working out during meeting-packed days. By being purposeful about your workouts and committing to specific times, you’ll see long-term success.

Revisit Your Goal Sheet

When I begin working with a new client, I have them complete a goal sheet. Typical questions include: what’s a short-term goal and accompanying time frame? What actions will you put in place to achieve your goal? What kind of challenges do you need to overcome in order to reach your goal? If you haven’t already, fill out a goal sheet. If you have one, great! Now it’s time to revisit it… even prominently placing it somewhere where you can see it at home or work. By reviewing your goal sheet often will help keep you focused.

What’s Your Why?

There’s a fundamental reason that initially provide your workout motivation. Why did you decide to embark on this journey? Remind yourself why you want to exercise and keep positive.  Journal about your motivation so you can look back on it from time to time. Another powerful tool is visualization. Think ahead to what your life would be like once you achieve your goal(s). How do you feel? What’s different? Visualization is a technique that many Olympic athletes use to train and maintain focus.

Let’s Make Deal

Sometimes it’s about having fun. Play a game by giving yourself a specific weekly challenge. When you follow-through on that challenge, give yourself a treat. Have some fun in your approach to making exercise an ever-changing adventure by giving yourself personal challenges.

Exercise Buddiesworkout_buddies

Find a workout buddy to whom you are accountable. Knowing someone is waiting for you at the gym or local track can be reason enough to get out of bed and follow-through for early morning workouts. For those competitive A-Type personalities, this can really ignite your workout motivation where you can exchange progress reports.

So how do YOU keep your workout motivation in tune? Please share your tips that have kept you on track in the comments section!



Image credits:

Running Shoes

Hopscotch buddies

Choosing a Personal Trainer: 6 Must Ask Questions

Running at San Jose boot campFinding a personal trainer that’s right for you can be a daunting task. Unlike many health care professions (like physical therapy and nursing), there is currently no state licensing or educational requirement for personal trainers. An individual calling themselves a personal trainer could have just passed a weekend or online course. Or, they could hold an advanced degree from a University program. Consumers must do their due diligence when looking for a personal trainer that best matches their fitness and health goals. When interviewing individuals, here are 6 questions to ask before signing on the dotted line:

1. What’s your experience?

Nothing makes for a better personal trainer than experience. Lots of it. As I look back over my 25+ year career, I’m a much better personal trainer now than I was when I first earned my Master’s Degree in kinesiology.  Ask your trainer candidate how long they’ve been training and elaborate on the types of clients they’ve helped.  Listen carefully to determine if their real-life training experience applies specifically to your fitness goal(s).  For example, teaching group classes like yoga or boot camps is very different than hands-on personalized fitness training. Don’t be shy. Delve into your candidate’s background to see if their “in the trenches” experience will benefit you.

Personal_Trainer_Certification2. What kind of education or certifications do you have?

There’s a significant difference between personal trainers who hold a bachelor’s degree or master’ s degree in an exercise science (exercise physiology, kinesiology, etc). That said, some trainers can become very skilled through a combination of self study and achieving various certifications that test their knowledge. Which is best depends upon your needs, like wanting to lose stubborn belly fat with high intensity workouts or train for an upcoming marathon.

3. What’s your specialty? Why did you choose it?

Personal training specialties can vary depending upon fitness goals and special needs. Do you have low back pain? Diabetes? Ask your trainer candidate if he/she has worked with people like you before. You’ll want specifics on their approach and the results they’ve achieved for their clients. This is also an opportune time to consult a physician before beginning a new workout program if you have serious health concerns. In this Mayo Clinic article there are several conditions where caution may be warranted.

4. How would you describe your training approach or personality?

The personal training relationship is just that—personal. It’s important that you feel synergy with your trainer and can get comfortable with them. Some people prefer a nurturing personality while others want a no-nonsense drill sergeant. Be clear about what would motivate you (or not) as you’ll be spending several hours a week with this person.


5. What kind of results can I expect from working with you? Do you have references?

Most likely you’ve done some research before meeting with your personal trainer candidate. Ask if they have testimonials from happy clients and if you can contact them. If you don’t see testimonials in their marketing materials, that’s a red flag.

6. What’s your process in getting started?

Personal training is a business, and asking how they manage their business is a indicator of how they work with clients. Do they provide assessments? How do they measure results? Be sure to ask about their billing and cancellation policies and read the fine print to avoid any misunderstandings. Agreements up front will make it easier to keep focused on your fitness goals.

Have you ever looked for a personal trainer before?  Leave a comment below listing the attributes that are important to you in a personal trainer!

Image Credits:

Runner photo courtesy of LuLuLemon 

Diploma image 

Personal Trainer image

San Jose Boot Camp: The 30-day Challenge

San Jose boot camp 30-day challengeIt is said that it takes 30 days to solidify a new habit or behavior change. As I write this post, it is Monday, August 1st. It’s the beginning of the week, and the beginning of a new month. August has 31 days, so it seems like a great month to put this “30 days” theory to the test.

I am challenging all the members of our Campbell and San Jose boot camps to make  a commitment to work on just one simple behavior change all month.  I decided to throw to challenge out to all readers of this blog as well.

What is one small thing that you could change in your current lifestyle this month that would lead to better fitness down the road?  The ideas are endless–but you instinctively know what you need to change :-).


Here are some ideas to get you thinking……

• If you’re currently sedentary, pledge to add moderate exercise to your schedule on a consistent basis two times per week this month.

• If you’re currently exercising and you’ve hit a plateau, challenge yourself to do a “different” style of exercise once each week or to consistently add in a 4th, 5th or 6th day of exercise.

• If you’re trying to lose weight and you drink alcohol or soda, decrease your intake of calorie filled drinks like blended coffee drinks, juices, or alcoholic beverages by 60% each week.

• If you’re trying to lose weight and you eat out a lot, challenge yourself to eat no more than 2 “commercial” meals each week this month.

• If you eat the same things day in and day out, challenge yourself to eat one new fruit and one new vegetable each week this month

• If you’re trying to lose weight , challenge yourself to decrease your portion sizes by 20% at dinner each night this month.

Increased veggie consumption is promoted at San Jose boot camps

Very often, when we’re trying to lose weight or get in better shape, we go hog wild and try to change everything in our lives all at once. We over-exercise, we under-eat and we deprive ourselves. For many of us, it’s a 180 degree turn from our normal routine. An approach like this, although it may provide some immediate results, is doomed to fail because it is so foreign to our normal way of doing things.  Eventually the “other shoe” drops and we revert to our normal routine.

Although results won’t come overnight, long term results are often realized by taking smaller steps toward better nutrition and fitness. I believe that long term results come from consistently applied change—not quick fix diets or overbearing workout routines that you couldn’t ever stay on for more than a few weeks.  The ideas I’ve listed above are ways to work on improving your lifestyle in smaller steps. Work on just that one thing all month. That’s it! Just one thing.

Then, come September, tackle one more thing.  If you practice this “30-day Challenge” with yourself each month, you could be living in a totally different body next year at this time!


Healthy, fit people practice a healthy lifestyle most of the time.

Healthy lifestyles aren’t always learned. But they can be adopted one step at a time.

Today is August 1st, 2011.  What ONE thing can you do consistently this month to be healthier, fitter, happier or more energetic than you are today??

Be an action taker and commit to change!  Please post here and share the 30-day challenge you will give yourself.


Committed to your success.