In an effort to the keep the gut monster at bay, you are determined to do 150 crunches a day till the pooch is gone for good.  With all your good intentions, this will just not fly with your body. That extra flap hanging over your pants has nothing to do with a weak core.  That is body fat my friend, and you cannot target fat loss.  

With exercise we want to get the most bang for your buck.  So instead of kickin it old school with the classic crunch, we want to save your spine and burn more calories.  Try out these dynamic movements that not only target your core, but recruit other muscle groups, like shoulders, legs, and the booty.  You’ll get a workout that’s 3 X as good, in half the time.

Complete this set of 5 exercises 3 X through.  We’re going to do 30 reps, or 30 seconds of each this week.

Crunch substitute # 1:  Mountain Climbers:  Place your hands on the ground, and get into a pike position.  Drive your knees up and down, raising your bum high into the air each time.

Crunch substitute # 2:  Spiderman Lunges:  Get into a downward dog pose.  From there take your right leg up so your foot is placed flat on the ground outside of your right hand.  Reach your forehead to your knee, or as close as it will go.  Be sure not to extend your knee over your toe, keep your shins straight.  Alternate your legs each time.

Crunch substitute # 3:  Pendulum: Place your hands on the ground and get into a pike position.  Swing your right leg out to the side, bring it back to the ground, and now swing your left leg to the other side.  Keep the pace quick, and swing those legs way out to the side.

Crunch substitute # 4:  Stability Ball Plank:  For a variation on the classic plank, simply place your shins on the stability ball.  You should be in pushup position with your hands on the floor, straight out from you shoulders.  Be sure to keep your bum up by pulling your pelvis in. (you can also use a stool if you don’t have a ball)

Crunch substitute # 5:  Stability Ball Pike:  Get into the stability ball plank position.  Roll the ball into your body, keeping your legs as straight as possible.  You want your pelvis to be pointing up toward the sky, and will hopefully resemble an upside down V.

It should only take you 15- 20 minutes to complete this set 3 X through.  You will never have to do boring ineffective crunches again.  Keep up with these regularly, and watch the healthier you take shape.

If you live in the Salt Lake area, come by and check out a FREE WEEK of classes at SLC Fit Collective. We are located at 1100 East 1597 S, 84105.  The facility runs on good vibes, fun classes, empowering instructors, and a love for true health.

Check out our class schedule and meet our all female staff @ 

How many of you have had weight loss goals for a while, but feel so discouraged because you never seem to be able to stick with the new healthy routine?  I know why… because you did not make health a part of your lifestyle.  I will give you some hints.  These are the best ways I have found to make health a part of your lifestyle.  These are very easy for anyone to do.  They do not require hours in the gym, nor starving yourself.  These are the tips that a healthy person lives by and follows for life, and they’re much easier then you’ve been lead to believe.  The following are 9 hints everyone can use to just tweak your lifestyle and live a healthy happy life without even having to think about it. 


1.  As far as the basics of a healthy diet.  You need to eat about 6 times a day… but your portions should be small.  Think half of a 6 inch sub… you can have the other half 2 hours later.  No, burritos the size of your arm do not count as 1 serving, they are 3 servings!!!  Try to eat from the rainbow every day.  Try out new fruits and veggies.  You need to cut your veggies up when you buy them and put them in zip lock baggies or Tupperware.  If you don’t they will just rot in the crisper, I definitely know this from experience.  When you just got off work and it’s binge time and you go to the fridge… what do you usually eat… the most convenient thing?  Ah ha so make your veggies are convenient.

2.  With every client we go through a typical day and for 90% of people I say the same thing.  Add a fruit to your breakfast, or if you already eat fruit for breakfast bring fruit to work for a 10:00 snack.  The next part of the day that needs tweaking is lunch.  Bring a ziplock baggy of grapes or bell peppers or celery or carrots.  The Key is every week have lots of fresh bite sized fruits or veggies ready for your on the go lifestyle. Substitute fruits and veggies for the usual chips. 

3.  Your choice of dressing.  I already covered this, but it’s very important so I’ll reiterate.  DO NOT OPT FOR A LOW FAT OR FAT FREE DRESSING!  I know we’ve all been fooled by the FDA’s marketing tactics, but once again they do not have your best interest in mind.  Most food labeled low fat or fat free has had the natural fat taken out and they’ve put sugar in.  Natural unsaturated fat does not make you fat!  SUGAR MAKES YOU FAT!  It’s important to remember this.  Our bodies have been properly digesting natural fats for hundreds of thousands of years.  You’re body understands the typical fat molecule.  It’s very easy to digest and will aid in nutrient absorption.  Now the trans-fat molecule is a big ol’ mess and your body will be asking you what the f&*$ is this and where do you expect me to put this.  To spite you for putting such complex molecules in the system your body will inevitably lump all of those trans-fat molecules onto your booty in that nicely textured design we all love. 

The best dressing out there is a little olive oil, a fresh squirt from our lemon friends, and a little balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette) if you need a li’l extra flavor. 

4. I know a lot of us get that craving for some sweets at night, myself included.  Sometimes dinner just wasn’t enough and you’ve got to eat.  The first thing I have to say about this maybe dinner wasn’t enough nutritionally speaking.  Before you reach for the quickest snack you can find really ask your body what it wants… If you don’t know some of the best late night snacks are egg whites, almonds, or a new trick I learned instead of chips and dip try to reach for some mushrooms and dip.  No need to cook them or anything, those little regular raw white button top mushrooms are an amazing source of antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and aid in preventing some forms of cancer, they’re also one of the most filling of our vegetable friends… don’t believe me take a look.  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2482/2

This photo is a picture of something you can indulge in.  This is deep dark shocolate blackberry cheesecake with brazil nuts and coconut.  Now that's what your body wants, not these crappy keebler cookies. 
5.   Many clients who start a new training program experience some muscle soreness and sometimes muscle cramps during and after exercise.  Did you know potassium and magnesium prevent muscle cramps.  So we all know bananas are rich in potassium, but did you know your body won’t absorb the potassium properly unless you have enough magnesium.  Did you know 90% of Americans don’t get the necessary amounts of magnesium?  Uh oh I think I’m talkin about you!  Foods rich in Magnesium: real oats, wheat, or rice, pumpkin seeds, dried herbs such as basil and coriander, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts, spinach, and last but not least; DARK CHOCOLATE.  Sorry Hershey’s dark chocolate bar has teeny tiny traces of magnesium or and minerals for that matter.  If you want to indulge in dark chocolate you had better make it worth it.  Splurge on an expensive chocolate bar this season.  I don’t know about you, but I could eat a $1 candy bar in one sitting, but as far as a $6 candy bar my body really forces me to savor it. (Blue Symphony bars are quite possibly the only exception.) 


6.      The most important thing to say here is you need to think highly of yourself and truly respect and love yourself.  If you have a high sense of self-worth then you really treat your body well.  Give your body enough sleep at night… (that one’s hard for me actually, school and 2 jobs certainly wears me down.) I put good nutrients into my body.  I don’t put crap into my body at all.  I eat a lot!!! I definitely don’t have room to put Doritos, Cheetos, or anything hostess into my body… what an insult!!! 

7.   I want you to listen to your brain… what does your mind tell you throughout the day.  Have you gotten in the habit of listening to it when it says your fat , or ugly, or incapable, or not good enough, or lazy.  Ladies repeat after me; “I am what I think I am.”  If I tell myself all those things on a daily basis that is exactly who I will become.  If I tell myself I am a beautiful, radiant, healthy woman who can be successful at anything I put my mind to, then that is who I will become.  Many of you have known me for a while and have seen a transformation in me… and you know I credit every ounce of my success to self-worth.  So from now on every day you are going to replace that voice of self-doubt with a voice of empowerment!!!  You deserve to look good and feel great!  No more self-sabotage! You are the only one holding yourself back from reaching your goals! 

This is so crucial to understand.  I am not a person who wishes I worked out more.  I do not wish my waist was thinner, I do not wish I was better at anything.  I tell myself I am a person who works out.   I am a person who eats healthy.  I am a person who has to be good at everything… (ok that’s partially a neurotic complex of mine, but it doesn’t stress me out, it forces me to always be improving, so for me I feel good about that.)  If you tell yourself you are a person who works out and looks good, it becomes your definition.  So if you don’t workout for 3 days straight it’s not just oh well who was I fooling, it becomes self- betrayal.  Hmm that sounds harsher then imagined, do you understand what I’m saying?  If I say I want to workout 5 times next week and by the end of the week I didn’t work out at all, then it’s no biggy you just say well I guess I’ll try for that next week, plus it probably isn’t very good for the self-esteem to see those failures every week.  If I tell myself I am a person who works out every other day it becomes part of who I am and is suddenly very easy to follow through with.  Again, “I am what I think I am.”  If I say this next week I want to eat healthy 5 days of the week, but by the end I only ate well on Monday… hello self-doubt and belittling.  If I say I am a woman who eats healthy and doesn’t put crap into my body then it seems much easier to follow through with.  By the way in my mind good chocolate, cheesecake, cookies definitely count as quality food that my body needs.  Do me a favor though and avoid buying sleeves of Keebler cookies.  Again what an insult!!!! If you want a cookie buy only one from a good bakery… buy a $2 cookie and savor every bite.  Wow that feels so much better instead of eating 5 packaged cookies, plus you don’t have the evidence around to tempt you.  It’s also important not to feel guilty about your indulgences.  If you do that you compartmentalize the reward of sweets as being separate from your healthy life.  If I do that I’m likely to get stuck in an unhealthy binge for an entire day.  Instead make those indulgences part of your healthy life, invite them in.  They are good for your psyche.  They serve a valuable purpose, sweets make us feel good… and they have a place in a healthy lifestyle. 

9.    With a healthy lifestyle full of exercise it might not be possible for you to get to the gym 5 days a week.  That’s fine I want you to work out at home because then you will associate your home as a place of health and self-improvement.  You cannot compartmentalize health to be only at the gym and only in a salad.  Health is almost every choice I make.  I never allow myself to feel guilty for enjoying my life.  I really hope to teach you through this boot camp that health is wonderful and enjoyable.   I also want every single one of you to stretch for at least 5 minutes right when you get out of bed every morning.  It’s extremely important to start the day off with a good decision.  If I made a good decision 1st thing in the morning my body is more likely to want to make a good decision for breakfast.  If I make a good choice there, my body will probably want to stick with the trend and throw in a good decision for lunch and so on and so on.  Health is wonderful and it’s so rewarding to look good and feel good. “ I am who I think I am”, and I think I am one fine individual.