Some Inspiration from “Ben” and lifeSport Boot Camp in San Jose

I got a newsletter from a fellow fitness pro today, and he always finds the coolest videos to share.  Today’s video was especially cool and very inspirational, and I wanted to share it with you.

As a San Jose personal trainer for over 25 years, I’ve worked with many people who are trying to lose excess body fat, tone their muscles and improve their health.  For some people, the changes that need to be made come easily.  For others, it can be harder to make sustained lifestyle changes in order to see dramatic results.

The video below shows you the dramatic results that are possible with determination, consistency and support.  It’s obvious that Ben, the young man in the video, had determination, but I also suspect his life changing results came with consistency (in nutrition as well as exercise ) and support.  It’s hard to make dramatic lifestyle changes alone—but the WILL to do it has to start with you.

Clearly, Ben has changed his life for the better.  As he says himself, he’s HAPPY now (as a mom, that part got me choked up a bit!).  Taking the emotion out of it and looking at this from a completely clinical perspective, he’s added years and quality to his life (he’s decreased his risk factors for stroke, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes).

If you’ve hit a road block in your fitness or weight loss program, watch this video.

It might just be the inspiration you need.

In our boot camps in San Jose, Campbell and Los Gatos, my instructors and I work hard to provide you with consistency and support.

If you can supply the will and determination, we’d make a great team :-).

Committed to your success,


P.S. If you need professional support to reach your fitness goals, we’d love to invite you enjoy a one week FREE trial at one of our fitness boot camps in San Jose, Campbell or Los Gatos.  Visit our boot camp webpage to request your free trial:

Healthy Snacks For The Car

Last weekend I led a group of customers from my boot camps in Campbell and San Jose on a tour of a local grocery store.  We talked about how to pick the healthiest options at the store, and how to decipher faulty and misleading advertising on food packaging.

One of the attendees, Massimo, who attends my fitness boot camp in the Cambrian area of San Jose, asked what to do when he finds himself in the car a lot during the day going from one meeting to the next.  The temptation to go grab some fast food can get the best of us.

The solution is to plan ahead and put some healthy food items in your car so that the fast food restaurants aren’t such a temptation.  If you can stay hydrated, dampen your hunger and keep your blood sugar steady, you’re less likely to fall victim to a greasy, salty fast food meal.

So, thank you, Massimo, for giving me a great idea for a blog post!

Here are some ideas for healthy “car” food (and most of them only take one hand to eat, so you can keep the other hand on the wheel!)

• A ziplock bag of nuts (pre-measured  so that you don’t overdo it!)

• A ziplock bag of dried fruit

•  A ziplock bag of  sliced apples

•  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread

• Several skewers of fresh fruit chunks (you can eat them off the skewer with one hand without getting your hands sticky!)

Prograde Cravers (the healthiest snack bar on the planet!)

• String cheese

• Zip lock bag of little shredded wheat biscuits

On warm days when I’m going to be in the car a lot, I put my food in a small cooler with an ice pack in it, and make sure to pack a couple of water bottles as well.  Snacking can tide you over until you can get home for a real meal, but you can also get a “real meal” by combining several of the snacks I’ve listed above.

Not only will healthy car snacking help you maintain a healthier body, it will also help you keep a few extra dollars in your wallet.  Regular fast food meals (or sugar laden venti coffee drinks!) put a dent in your wallet and flab on your waistline.

With just a little pre-planning and packing, you can get through a day of numerous car trips without having to resort to hitting the drive through.

If you’re a frequent car snacker, leave a post and list your favorite healthy snacks!

Committed to your success,


Here’s to Eating Healthier in Santa Clara County

A big thumbs up to Santa Clara County Supervisors who approved an ordinance this week that only allows toys in fast food Kid’s Meals that meet certain nutrition conditions.  I think this is a great first step in encouraging healthier eating practices.

As a San Jose-based fitness business owner, I applaud  Supervisor Ken Yeager for spearheading legislation that encourages better nutrition choices.  The toughest thing I do with my in-home personal training clients and members of my fitness boot camps in San Jose is help them make better food choices.  Old habits are hard to change.  Getting kids (and their parents!) accustomed to making better food choices is a move in the right direction.

Some opponents see this as the government telling us what we can or can’t eat.  I don’t see it that way.  As I understand it, the ordinance doesn’t say someone can’t eat a high fat, low fiber, high sodium meal.  It simply doesn’t allow restaurant chains within unincorporated areas of San Jose to put toys in meals that contain too much fat, sugar or sodium.  Kids can still get the toys.  Mom and Dad will just have to purchase a healthier meal to get them.

On the news today, I heard a parent say that she’d buy her child the healthier meal choice in order to continue getting the toys for her daughter–but that her daughter would probably throw out the fresh fruit in the meal.  Wow.  Kids learn how to eat through social cues within their family and in their environment.  If they get more fresh fruit and less fried junk, maybe we can get them to make better choices as adults.  What a concept!

I believe that as Americans, we should have the freedom to choose what we eat.  But let’s face it—a great many Americans are making lousy food choices.  Every day.  Is that their prerogative? Sure.  In fact, a once in a while meal at a fast food joint is fair game,  if you ask me.  Some kids are frequenting these fast food joints several times a week, though.  Maybe it is time to begin educating people on better nutrition. If they’re going to hit the fast food joint, let’s reward the purchase of healthier menu options.

Look at just about any elementary school campus at recess and you’ll see way too many chubby and downright obese kids in the school yard.  Those kids are our future.  It is said that children born today will potentially have a shorter life expectancy than their parents due to the rising level of obesity.  We can stem this explosion in obesity by encouraging people, especially children, make better food choices.  I believe good nutrition begins at home with parents buying good food and setting good examples.  However, a little nudge in the right direction when eating out is a good idea (sadly,  some kids eat out more often than they eat in).

This ordinance is a step in the right direction.  At this time, it only involves a small number of restaurants in San Jose.  People can choose to patronize  restaurants in San Jose that aren’t bound to the ordinance–but the precedent has been set.  In areas that must abide by the ordinance, kids and their parents still have the freedom of choice, but they’ll be rewarded by making a better choice. Yes!  Let the nutrition re-education begin!

Thank you Supervisor Yeager,  for putting forth legislation to help consumers make better nutrition choices.

Please feel free to share your thoughts here by leaving a comment.

Committed to your fitness success,


For more information on this story, please read Mercury New writer Tracy Siepel’s article in todays paper.

Come to my FREE boot camp workout in San Jose!

Let’s celebrate Spring and support the American Cancer Society!  You’re cordially invited to……….


Saturday, May 1st, 2010, 8 am

Oster School —  1855 Lencar Way, San Jose 95124

I’ve been asked to take part in the festivities at the Cambrian Relay for Life on Saturday, May 1st.  In case you’re not familiar with “Relay for Life”, it’s a 24-hour event in which teams take turns walking around a track throughout the night.  It’s a way to remember those who have lost their lives to cancer, as well as to honor those who are survivors–and of course, raise money to help fund research for a cure.

Throughout the 24-hour event there are various activities going on—-so, I guess you could say I’m one of the activities!  I’ll be doing a “Wake up your Workout” warm up and mini boot camp at 8 am.  I’ll try to rouse the ones who got to take a cat nap in their sleeping bags during the night, I suppose!

I’m donating my time and some $$ to to event in honor of three former clients of mine who are breast cancer survivors:

Yvonne M. ,  Sunny C., and Diana A.

and two very wonderful ladies who lost their battle with breast cancer

Barbara Podgorny and Nancy Stoney

So, what does this have to do with YOU?

There are a few ways you can participate in the Cambrian Relay for Life:

Organize a team to walk the event

Log on here for more info:

Donate to a team

One of my boot campers, Tina L., has registered a team for the event.  You can support her team by making a donation here:

Support Team Walk-a-Muck

Come out to the event

Enjoy my mini-boot camp at 8 am, and cruise by the various team tents/campsites. Many teams will be running mini-fundraisers by selling items at their  campsites.

After I put everyone through a workout, I’ll be doing a drawing at Team Walk-a-Muck’s campsite.  Come by their tent and register to win a certificate for 2 FREE weeks at a lifeSport boot camp in San Jose or Campbell.

Committed to your fitness 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,


It’s official! We’re Starting a Downtown San Jose Fitness Boot Camp

It started as a request  from downtown San Jose resident and local business coach, Lynnea Hagen, and it is now a reality!  lifeSport Fitness will open another location for our popular boot camp fitness program in Downtown San Jose!

We’ll hold an early morning fitness boot camp on the premises of The Fencing Center of San Jose, located at 110 Stockton Ave., 95126.  It’s right around the corner from the HP Pavillion (otherwise known as the “Sharks Arena”).    Camp will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00-6:50 am, and will be taught by professional fitness trainer and lifeSport Fitness Coach,  Nichole Christoffersen.  Our inaugural camp starts on Monday, March 8th!

Nichole photo2

If you live or work near Downtown San Jose, here’s your chance to join the hottest, most results oriented workout in town!  Forget about long, boring cardio workouts on machines at the gym–let us get you moving and burning massive calories with body weight strength exercises, stair exercises, medicine ball drills and fun challenges that keep you moving and sweating.  We scale the workout so all fitness levels can participate.

Escape the cold and the rain by working out in a safe, lighted INDOOR environment this winter. We’ll then take you outside around Arena Green for some fresh air when the weather warms up and the sun shines in the morning!

Interested in being a charter member of the Downtown San Jose boot camp?  Log on to and request a free one week trial.  Newcomers to lifeSport Fitness who complete a one week free trial at one of our other San Jose boot camp locations in February will be eligible for a 20% discount on March membership fees at the Downtown San Jose boot camp.

Holiday Calorie Control Tip #3

So far we’ve talked about creating a PLAN to control your calorie intake during the holidays. And part of that plan was really watching your alcohol intake because it can lead to bad eating decisions.

Now let’s talk more about enjoyment. Yes, you CAN enjoy your favorite foods. But enjoy them by savoring them, not devouring them.

Chew your food slowly.

That might not seem it, but that is a BIG TIME tip.

Enjoy your favorites by taking your time eating them. That may mean finding a quiet space to eat when at a loud party. But it will be worth the little bit of extra effort.

It’s going to take about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full. So take your time. Enjoy every bite with zero guilt.

Again, this might seem too simple, but it’s not. It really can be this easy if you stay focused on your plan.

Also, remember that TONIGHT is the last day to save 15% on ALL of Prograde Nutrition’s awesome products. Their huge Holiday Sale ends at 11:59pm EST.

Yours in health,


PS – Again, Prograde Nutrition’s HUGE Holiday Savings ends TONIGHT. As a proud Prograde Partner I really cannot recommend their products enough. This is the first time I’ve seen them do a 15% discount off all their products like they are this week–not sure when they’ll do it again.

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!

Holiday Calorie Control Tip #1

I know you know this.

You know you know this.

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

You can’t just HOPE you’re going to behave yourself at holiday parties. You can’t just do the same old things you’ve been doing. You can’t just  miss breakfast, have a light lunch and then go to a party filled with temptation and not go a little insane on the cheese platter ;-).

You have to plan your meals.

You have to plan your workouts.

You have to set your goals in stone.

You don’t want to be the person that comes out of the holidays 5 to 10 pounds heavier, do you?

If you don’t plan your strategy to prevent weight gain, well, you can PLAN on getting some new clothes that fit your new size (yuck).

This is far from doom and gloom. You can still enjoy your favorite foods at parties. You can still have a great time.

But what you can’t do is just free-for-all it and stuff your face with everything put in front of you. You know that.

Tell you what: Plan on taking a nice 30 minute walk this weekend and do some solid thinking about what your plan will be. And when you get back home, put it on paper and commit to it. Seriously–writing stuff down helps you focus on it and keep it at the top of your mind.

Think about how great you’ll feel about yourself when January comes after you’ve followed your plan. Oh, and be sure to reward yourself to by doing something special for yourself (see my P.P.S. for an idea).

Yours in health,


PS – Speaking of eating well over the holidays, as a proud Prograde Nutrition partner I should let you know that Prograde is having a heck of a Holiday Blow Out on ALL of their awesome products. Everything you need, including the coupon code to save 15% on all Prograde Nutrition products is right here:

Hurry because this deal expires this Friday, December 11th at 11:59pm EST.

P.P.S.  Want to treat yourself or someone you love to something awesome in January? How about a one week FREE trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose or Los Gatos in January?  I just opened my “1 week free trial” program today!  Get on the list now if you want to get in the best shape of your life in 2010: .  The first free trial week starts January 4th!