Monday, September 20, 2010

The ‘BUTT-LIFT’: Get rid of your SAG and follow these steps to building your NEW BUM

It IS possible to build the perfect bikini bum. But how many of us can dedicate ourselves to a strict, clean diet along with working out 6 day/week for 90 min or more/day? Exactly. So today’s article focused and requires discipline, but it’s not so intense that you’ll give up after one day.

In all honesty, a perfect butt cannot be acheived overnight, especially if you’ve spent the last 20 years or so just sitting on it all day, what with all the desk jobs, post-work drinks and great TV and movies we have these days.

However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and your perfect butt won’t be either, but if you follow this workout, you will feel sore at first, but you will see results in six weeks, without question!

It’s not just the exercise

What you put in your body is so important that it dictates the way you’ll ultimately look, with or without exercising. This definitely does NOT mean starving yourself– which is actually the worst thing you can do and will actually hinder your ability to build muscle and dramatically slow your metabolism.

1. So the first thing I’d like you to do is start eating more often throughout the day, but cut the portions of your meals in half. So instead of eating three times a day, you’ll eat six times a day, although it seems counterintuitive to weightloss and toning, it will help keep your metabolism supercharged and force your body to use fat for fuel. And keep in mind that six is not set in stone. If you’re hungry – eat!

2. Second thing I’d like you to do is cut down the amount of simple carbs you eat every day. That is, sugar, baked goods, white bread, white pasta, potatoes, etc. You know what they are. Key words are ‘cut down’ not ‘cut out’.

3. Third thing you need to do is eat more protein in the morning, this will increase your metabolism by 20%, I kid you not! So, whether it is eggs, peanut butter, yogurt, or cheese, add some protein to your morning meals. I actually add whey protein powder to my morning smoothie and I can’t tell you the difference it has made in my body and my energy levels. (I have some great smoothie recipes –I will post if you’re interested).

4. Lastly, load up on water. It is one of the most important parts of any diet. How much water? Well, divide your weight by 2, your answer is how many ounces or water you should be drinking per day. (Example: 130/2= 65 ounces of water)

Cardio training

In order to drop the fat and allow your muscles to shine on through, you need to do cardio exercise at an intense enough level to sweat and have trouble holding a conversation!! And in order to keep the focus on your potentially perfect butt, I want you to opt for butt-focused cardio exercises like walking/running uphill on a treadmill or walking/running stairs. I know many women are scared of biking in fear of ‘bulking up’ – disregard that thought – biking has given me the best butt and legs I’ve had in my life.

Your aim should be to complete about three to four hours of cardio exercise per week.

Perfect butt exercises

There are a few mainstay exercises in the buttocks world that you will incorporate into your workouts for good. However, because the body, the fantastic specimen that it is, manages to adapt quickly, you will need to switch up your workout every four to six weeks in order to continue seeing results.

The changes could be as simple as switching up which exercises you do first to switching how you execute the actual exercises (more slowly with heavy weight, more quickly with light weight, changing # of reps). I will explain this more in-depth in future articles.

Dumbbell Squats

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight and your heels planted firmly on the ground, bend down as though you’re going to take a seat in chair until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Be careful not to let your knees surpass your toes. Return to your original position.

How many: 3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions


Holding a dumbbell in each hand, take an elongated step forward, ensuring that both of your feet are pointing in the same direction as your body, with the heel of your back foot off the ground. Lunge down so that the upper thigh of your front leg is parallel to the floor and your knee is aligned with your ankle. Return to your stance and continue until you complete the reps with this leg before switching.

How many: 3 set of 10 – 12 repetitions (per leg)

Hip Extension

Lie on your stomach on a platform or a balance ball with your hips on the edge of it. Keep your legs straight with your toes lightly touching the floor. Balancing yourself with your hands, lift your legs into the air until they’re above your hips. Remember to squeeze your glutes and hamstrings with each repetition.

How many: 3 sets of 20 (per leg)


Using a mat, get on your hands on knees with your back parallel to the ground. Lift one leg in the air with your knee bent and your thigh in line with your butt. This is your starting position.

With controlled movement, thrust your foot into the air as though you are going to step on the ceiling. Return to your starting position.

How many: 3 sets of 20 (per leg)

Enjoy building your perfect butt

Eventually, I will discuss variations of these exercises and will help you perfect the deadlift, an exercise that requires perfect form but very effective in the battle against the saggy butt.

Until next time, perform your own ‘’butt-lift’!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cross-Training: Does It Work??

People often associate cross training with the non-impact exercises they are forced to do when they get injured (which is usually the result of running or another high impact sport). I have to be honest, I started cross training for this reason exactly. I had the mentality that it was the second best thing to do if I couldn’t run. It made me feel ‘better than doing nothing at all’.

However, I cannot scream it loud enough: Cross-Training is one of the best things that ever happened to me!!! In fact, I no longer refer to it as cross training, now it is simply part of my workout routine, but for the purpose of this article I will call it CT (cross-training).

I used to think there was nothing that would make you more ‘fit’, lean, toned or FAST than running. To me, it made sense that the only way to get faster in running was to run, AND what could possibly burn more calories –leading to a better body, right? WRONG!

When I was running, I was constantly injured, I fought plateaus in my speed and endurance; I was skinny as a rail with chicken legs and no tone or definition (think coat hanger) – attractive? Not quite…. However, when I got badly injured, I was forced to not only find temporary CT solutions, but I had to make CT a part of my life. In fact, during this time, I learned and mastered every possible type of CT I could find. At first I hated it, thinking, “I’m not really getting a workout.” “I’m never going to be as fit doing this.” “I’m going to be so much slower.” Instead I had a revelation! Here is what I found:

• Cross Training Burns just as many calories as Running – in the end it’s about your intensity, your energy expenditure, trust me! (Some of you may ask why I put calorie-burn as my first point but I know many men and women who use this as a gage for exercising)

• Incredible Tone and Definition: The variety of exercise you do target a greater variety of muscle groups and so you see fast results

• Avoids/Decreases Overuse Injuries: Varying your workout so you aren’t constantly pounding your body the same way decreases your likelihood of injuries such as stress fractures, tendonitis etc.

• Beats Boredom: Adding variety to your workout keeps you from getting tired of the ‘same old thing everyday. Try something different each day of the week. For example, you may do strength training Monday, cycling Tuesday, swimming Wednesday, kickboxing Thursday, yoga Friday, rollerblading sat etc.

• Break Through Plateaus: If you do the same thing everyday – plateauing is inevitable (both in terms of weight loss and fitness level). One way to break a plateau is to increase intensity, but another way is to cross train with different activities. This helps strengthen other muscles and make you a stronger overall individual, plus keeping your body guessing is the best way to get into the shape of your life. I did my best running with the most cross training.

If you are reading this article, I’m sure you have your own thoughts and perception of cross training, but I ask you to give up your routine for just a short time – unless you have already achieved your peak level of fitness and perfect body - try it! I wouldn’t be screaming this message from the treetops if I didn’t believe it gets results! ;-)