Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Attitude of Gratitude – BE THANKFUL!!!

The holiday season is HERE!  Let the craziness begin.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year.  It’s crazy, fun, festive, busy, full of love & family time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of it all so remember to SLOW DOWN and be GRATEFUL for everything that surrounds you TODAY.  It’s easy to always want “more”, to be 5lbs thinner, to want those expensive jeans etc…  Sit down and be THANKFUL for everything that surrounds you TODAY.  I believe that the universe is a powerful tool so it’s important to tell the universe what it is you want but also to thank the universe for your blessings.

Thanksgiving2What are you eating at your Thanksgiving table???  We are making a Paleo Thanksgiving dinner that will include a smoked turkey, homemade cranberry sauce (thank you John Hall for the recipe!), mashed sweet potatoes, something green – possibly asparagus, a pumpkin dessert & of course champagne!

Tips for holiday eating:
*Have one plate of food (YES anything you want) but don’t go back for seconds
*Only have a few bites of dessert
*MOVE – get up before the craziness begins and MOVE
*Don’t overindulge in the appetizers.  Save your appetite for the meal
thin-thanksgivingWe are starting our day with the Pismo Turkey Trot.  See you there???

ThanksgivingBe grateful for everything that surrounds you TODAY!!!!  Happy Thanksgiving & CHEERS to a wonderful holiday season.  LIFE IS GOOOOOOOOD!!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods = Your Fitness Superstore

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Great advice from a doctor!!!


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Balance out your fitness with this Yoga workshop!!


Deepening Your Yoga Practice
with certified Yoga instructor Niccola

Join Niccola for a 4 week yoga workshop
Tuesdays 12-1 pm
Begins Oct 7th
ONLY $79
Kennedy Club Fitness – AG
Register at the front desk or call Niccola at 773-592-0627

Meditate, Breathe, Learn, Grow, Expand, Understand, Share, Relax…

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods… = Your Fitness Superstore

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Early Morning Fall Circuit!!!


My fall circuit starts SOON!  I am taking sign-ups for both my Thursday 6am and 7:05am classes.  Let me know if you would like a spot!!!

Here is the schedule: (6am or 7:05am – 2 circuits)
Sept 4th
Sept 11th
Sept 18th
Sept 25th
Oct 2nd
Oct 9th
Oct 16th

7 weeks
Cost $157.50 (Kennedy member)  $192.50 (non-member)

The circuit begins with a dynamic warm-up followed by 1 minute heart pumping circuit intervals and rounded out with a few minutes of yoga.  It is designed to lean you down, increase your strength, make you a better athlete & shock your body each and every week.  Let’s reach your fitness goals this Fall season!!!!
Circuit2 Circuit1 Circuit3

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Motivational Monday!!



Warm-up 10 min
Pelvic Bridge Marches x 20

Set your timer for 1 min intervals & 20 sec recovery
Jump Rope – high knees x 10 & normal x 20
DB Seated Oblique twists (like we did in last weeks circuit)
Mtn Climbers x 20 / Jump Tuck x 1
Plié Jumps (jump feet together then touch hands to ground)
Forearms Forearms Hands Hands
DB Bicep Curls in Plié Squat

Repeat 3 times
Down Dog = DONE!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods – Fitness Superstore

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Circuit – Getting You Ready for Your Sport!!!

Circuit is what I use to keep me fit for my mtn races, road races, adventure races, mtn hikes & overall fitness for life.  It improves your muscle endurance, strength, balance, agility & MORE which will in turn get you ready for YOUR sport!!!!

I raced in my home town of Seward Alaska’s Mt Marathon race on the 4th of July.  It is a VERY intense 3.5 mile race up AND down a very steep mountain.  Having a baby 9 months ago I wasn’t sure how I would finish but thanks to circuit training, road running & intervals on the shell ridge I did pretty darn good!!!  Here is a picture right after I crossed the finish line.  (proud moment to have missy in my arms!)
2014 1053At the start2014 1051My Dad finishing the last 1000 meters & my mom high fiving him (yes it runs in the family!)2014 1061My mom, Charly & I with the mtn in the background (YES up & down that sucker!)2014 1059

Charly and I had such an amazing 2 weeks in Alaska.  We are blessed!!!

Now here is a circuit to get YOU ready for YOUR sport!!!!

Warm-up 10 (jog, elip, row, bike etc)
Superman’s x 15 (2 sets)

Jump Rope x 100
Push-up x 1 w/ Jump Tuck x 1  (burpee w/ jump tuck) x 12
Bicycles x 75
Jump Lunges w/ Oblique Twist x 20 (twist into front leg)
Tricep Push-up x 5 / Mtn Climber x 10 (repeat 3 times)

Repeat this 3 times with a 1 minute rest between sets

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods = Amy’s Fitness Superstore (everything IN STOCK!)

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Sizzlin’ Summer Circuit – Next Round!!!


The next round of my summer circuit is HERE!  The Thursday 6am & 7:05am classes will be held at Kennedy Club Fitness in Arroyo Grande, CA.  Cost is $135 for members and $165 for non-members.  Here is the schedule:

July 17th
July 24th
July 31st
Aug 7th – NO CIRCUIT
Aug 14th
Aug 21st
Aug 28th

The circuit begins with a dynamic warm-up followed by 1 minute heart pumping circuit intervals and rounded out with a few minutes of yoga.  It is designed to lean you down, increase your strength, make you a better athlete & shock your body each and every week.

I have openings in both of my classes!!!

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Metabolism Boosting Circuit!

Warm-up 10 min

Jump Rope x 100
Wide Push-ups x 5
Pike push-ups x 5
Tricep Push-ups x 5
Mtn Climbers x 20
Burpee’s w/ Tuck Jump x 5
Scissor Kicks / Abs x 30

Repeat 2-3 times (rest 1 min btwn sets)

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Friday Motivation

Happy Friday!


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15 Reasons to Sprint More this Year!

Alaska 2012 490sprint6Here I am SPRINTING to the finish line in Mt Marathon’s 2012 race in Seward, AK!!!

Interval training does so much for your health, weight, fitness, metabolism and much more!  Mark’s Daily Apple (one of my favorite blogs to read!) did an awesome post on why YOU should sprint more often.  Here are the 15 reasons:

It preferentially burns body fat.

Weight loss isn’t just about eliminating any old kind of body mass. It’s about losing body fat while preserving or even gaining muscle and bone. Sprinting appears to be excellent at eliminating body fat without the negative impact on muscle mass commonly seen with excessive endurance training. A recent study found that a single sprint session can increase post-exercise fat oxidation by 75%. Not that this is a surprise, but even in young adults with an intellectual disability, sprinting improves body composition by reducing body fat.

It’s anabolic (that means it can increase muscle mass and strength).

An acute bout of sprinting increased dihydrotestosterone in healthy young men (DHT is the premiere sex hormone responsible for muscle growth), while in overweight young men, a sprinting program increased lean mass in the legs and trunk. (In one study, men and women did three 30 second all-out sprint intervals on the stationary bike with 20 minutes of rest in between each sprint. Muscle biopsies were taken from their quads and analyzed for markers of protein synthesis – how muscle gets laid down.

It’s even more anabolic in women than men.

Yeah, yeah, you don’t wanna “get all big and bulky.” I know. But ladies, it won’t happen to you unless you’re somehow using an exogenous source of anabolic hormones to reach supraphysiological levels that you’d otherwise never reach naturally. More lean mass for you means more “tone,” less body fat, and more strength. In the previously mentioned study, female protein synthesis was up by 222%, male by 43%.

It makes you better at accessing body fat during other types of exercise.

Sprinting primes the substrate utilization pump, so to speak, for other activities. In one study, a two week program of cycling sprint interval training increased the rate of (body) fat oxidation (and decreased the rate of glycogen utilization) during subsequent lower intensity sessions in women.

It builds new mitochondria.

The basic function of our mitochondria is to extract energy from nutrients to produce ATP, the standard energy currency of our body. More mitochondria, more power available to our brain and our body, more fuel burned, more energy produced. It’s a generally good idea to have healthy, numerous mitochondria, and scientists are constantly trying to figure out how to preserve or increase their numbers because so many degenerative diseases are characterized by malfunctioning mitochondria. Well, sprinting is one way to make more. A single bout of 4×30 second all-out cycling sprints activated mitochondrial biogenesis in the skeletal muscle of human subjects in one study. Shorter sprints work, too. In fact, a program consisting of three sets of 5 4-second treadmill sprints with 20 seconds of rest in between each sprint, done three times per week for four weeks up-regulated molecular signaling associated with mitochondrial biogenesis.

It even works if you go slowly.

Allow me to expand on that statement: it even works if you go slowly because you’re pushing a heavy weighted sled. If that doesn’t sound like an advantage to you, consider someone who can’t run a flat-out sprint on a flat surface because of prior joint injuries. Pushing a heavy sled (or a car) slows the person down, thus reducing the joint impact, without making the exercise any less intense. Research shows that heavy sled pushing is extremely effective.

It’s more efficient than endurance training.

Obviously, sprint training takes less time to do than endurance training. But did you know it’s just as effective in many regards in a fraction of the time? Sprinting three times a week (4-6 times per session) was just as good as spending five days a week cycling for 40-60 minutes at improving whole body insulin sensitivity, arterial elasticity, and muscle microvascular density.

It takes way less time than you think.

A 30 second all out sprint is “just” 30 seconds, but it’s a hellish 30 seconds. A single hill sprint isn’t too bad, nor are two or three, but when you hit the eight, nine, ten sprint range, it gets rough. You will feel it after. Still better than slogging it out for an hour and half, mind you. I get the sense that most people think for any training to be effective, it has to hurt – even if only for twenty seconds or so. Actually, when you sprint, extremely brief intervals work very well. In this study, for example, subjects cycle-sprinted for a mere 5 seconds at a time and actively rested for 55 seconds in between sprints (that’s where you’re just casually pedaling on the cycle, equivalent to walking after a running sprint); that was enough to increase the maximum amount of work they were able to perform in 30 seconds. Instead of walking down the beach, I’ll sometimes traverse it in ultra-short sprint intervals: sprint for 5 seconds, walk for 20, sprint for 5, and so on. I don’t really even get winded doing this. Or if there’s a short (<10 meters) but steep hill, I’ll sprint up it, walk down, and repeat about a dozen times.

It’s a good excuse to get to the beach.

Doing your sprints on sand makes them more effective (and harder). A recent study found that sprint interval training sessions performed on sand resulted in better performances in subsequent training bouts, beating out grass as a training surface. I’ve also found that beach sprints enable post-training water plunges, regardless of water temperature.

It works for overweight people.

Sprinting may be the most daunting exercise of all for overweight people. How can moving that fast be safe or healthy? Well, there’s evidence that sprinting is extremely effective in this population. In a 2012 study (PDF), a group of overweight female students followed a 12-week sprint program consisting of 8-16 200 meter sprints done three days a week. After the program, body fat and body weight had gone down significantly, insulin sensitivity had improved by 100%, and V02max had increased. Another study, this time in overweight/obese men, found that a sprinting program (this time on a cycle) increased fat burning at rest while decreasing carb burning at rest – exactly what an overweight person needs to achieve to start burning body fat and become fat-adapted. The men also lost significant amounts of waist and hip fat.

It works for elderly people.

Oldsters needn’t stick with 2.5 pound dumbbells and “stretching workouts.” They can derive great benefit from high intensity interval training. Sure, they might go a bit slower than the rest of us. They might do better on exercise bikes than tracks. But they can still do it.

It improves glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

Diabetics, take heed. Sprint training improves insulin sensitivity, improves hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, and lowers the postprandial glucose response in diabetics. You gotta start doing it if you’re not already.

It lowers high blood pressure.

Okay, while you’re sprinting, you’ll probably have sky-high blood pressure. That’s okay, that’s just an acute spike – it happens with any type of exercise. Overall, sprint training appears to have the most potential of any exercise modality for the long term resolution of hypertension.

It’s safe for people with heart disease.

Heart disease patients interested in improving their cardiovascular health are often told to start jogging or something similarly unpleasant. Why not sprinting? We already know it’s more effective against heart disease risk factors, and high intensity interval training has been shown to be safe in heart disease patients, particularly when they keep the intensity high and the duration low (15 seconds or thereabouts). Check with your doctor first, of course, just to be safe (but prepare yourself for the “jogging” lecture).

It comes in many forms.

When people hear “sprinting,” they think of 100 meter flat sprints on the track. Those are effective, sure, but they’re not the only way you can reap the benefits of sprint training. You can run hills (easier on the joints and more intense overall). You can cycle (easier on the joints and proven to work in dozens of sprinting studies). You can do it in the pool (either running in water or swimming). You can row or use the elliptical. Heck, if you loathe “cardio” of any kind you can probably get sprint-esque effects from lifting weights really quickly (think doing a set of 20 back squats or something similar). Upper body interval training works for general fitness in elderly hip replacement patients, for example. There’s something for everyone, which means there are almost no excuses not to sprint.

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