Thursday, April 30, 2009

Larysa Zubach Testimonial

Larysa is a client I worked with for two months from the middle of January to the middle of March when she moved to another town in New Jersey.  She is one of the most energetic and hard working clients I've had and I miss working with her.  Below is her testimonial.  Thank you Larysa!

"It is without hesitation that I recommend Liz for a personal training. I'm in my mid 30s and was looking to tone my upper body and core area. I work out often and I'm in decent shape, but was never able to see results or feel good about my workouts. With Liz, all that changed! Liz was able to teach me new and effective ways of excercising while at the same time she took the time to explain the effectiveness of the workouts and made sure I understood which muscles I was targeting. Liz is a lot of fun because she keeps it exciting and keeps me intersted.She is very good, very energetic, she's kind, she's fun, she knows when to talk and when not to talk, she's patient, she's smart so no complaints!! She mixes it up she uses different equipment.  What I learned from Liz I will take to the gym for years to come!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Delicious Healthy Snacks!

1. Apple of your choice with almond butter (Raw and Organic)
-Trader Joe's is my recent favorite (thank you Mike!)

2. Guacamole
-Yea, I said it! Here's the key, make it yourself.  Avocado's are high in fat, but it's the good fat-monounsaturated.

Here is my healthy recipe (serves 4-6):
2 Avocados
1/2-1 whole (depending on the size) diced tomato
1/2 chopped onion
squeeze in lime to taste
minced garlic/garlic powder to taste

*I usually mush up (yes that's the technical term) the avocado before mixing in everything else.
*I'm not a huge fan of spices but if you are cilantro and chili peppers are an awesome accent.
*Try dipping veggies instead of chips
*If you MUST have chips, baked and/or whole wheat are better for you :)

3.  For those of you with a sweet tooth like myself here is one of my favorite discoveries...

No...not Bill Cosby, but Jell-O makes Sugar Free pudding snacks that are ONLY 60 CALORIES and come in a VARIETY OF FLAVORS including Dulce de Leche, Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl, Boston Creme, Cinnamon Swirl...and believe it or not, they taste pretty good and will satisfy those killer cravings!!
*the key = don't eat more than one in a day (if you're laughing right now it's because you've done it or can see yourself doing it)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the last several months I have placed a lot of emphasis on core training with my clients.  In addition to total body exercises that address all of their muscle groups  we are constantly looking for new ways to challenge the core and incorporate that into every work out.  Today I'd like to share some thoughts with you on core exercise and encourage you to jump on my bandwagon!

What is your core? Put simply, it's not just your abs! For the purposes of visualization go ahead and consider your core everything below your neck down through your pelvis (minus your arms).

Click here if you'd like more specifics on what your core entails and it's functions.

Most importantly you should know your core has two parts...stability and movement.
The stability core muscles do just that, help to stabilize during dynamic movements.  The movement core produces the dynamic movements.

What most people get caught up in is training their movement core (doing all kinds of fancy ab exercises) but not putting enough emphasis on their stability core (by doing plank exercises, variations of plank exercises, floor bridges, a drawing-in maneuver to activate your core during other exercises and etc.).  Not addressing your stability core enough is equivalent to building a house on a sand foundation and can result in aches, pains, and injuries particularly to the lower back.

Below are three VERY BASIC stability core strengthening exercises that you can start with.  I recommend incorporating these into your program 2-3x per week.  Challenge yourself to last longer each time you try them.

*NOTE: beginners also have the option of keeping the one or both knees on the ground.
3. Floor Bridge
*simply lie on the ground, engage your core (suck in your stomach as if you were trying to get your belly button and spine to meet, this will create a flat back on the ground), squeeze the glutes and raise your hips towards the ceiling, slowly lower back to starting position and repeat.

More posts to come on core exercises and training!

In Fitness and in Health,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

300 Workout

Here are two separate links to the 300 Workout.  My friend Chris recommended it.  It's a very challenging circuit work out.  Although it's from Men's Health ( ) and I do not always recommend workouts from magazines, after watching the videos I can see why this is effective, a few pointers first though.

**The weights used are recommended, please feel them out and adjust accordingly for your own capabilities.
**If you can't finish a set that is ok, once your posture and form are compromised because the work gets too challenging its' time to stop and evaluate whether you should adjust weight/reps.
**Even though there are videos if you are unsure of proper technique and or form to perform the exercise PLEASE PLEASE ask a trainer at your gym to help you out with this, especially deadlifts, you can really hurt your back if this is not done properly.

Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

In Fitness and in Health,

Sunday, April 12, 2009


"Change is the essence of life.  Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

Happy Easter and/or belated Passover to everyone!

I have some exciting stuff in the works for the blog...but I need more followers!!  If you read the emails regularly please become a follower of the blog, you'll be glad you did :)

One quick thought and one quick idea for you to kick off a new week...


Change is good, for many reasons but In Fitness and in Health change is something your body needs to keep the results try something this week you've a) never done before or b) haven't done in a while.

*run/walk/sprint...faster than usual or up a steeper hill than usual
*a new exercise class like spin, kickboxing, or even a cardio dance class
*a new machine at the gym
*an exercise you've been afraid to do because you think you'll look silly
*jumping rope (for some of you I bet it's been since elementary school!)
*push ups until failure 
*take your plank from the ground onto a bosu ball, put medicine balls under your hands (and if your core is really tough try putting your feet on one too), or put your feet on a stability ball

Check with your employer/HR department and/or health insurance provider to see if your benefits offer any discounts for gym usage.  This is a new trend that could benefit you in two ways:
1.  you'll save money
2. you'll be motivated to keep your attendance to the gym up because it's helping you save money :)

Lastly, I'll be working in the coming weeks on making the blog more interactive, adding more links, pictures and other such useful tools for you all so please, comment, ask questions, offer feedback, let me know what you'd be excited to see featured on the blog...and you shall receive!

In Fitness and in Health,


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting Results!

"There is no such thing as failure, there are only results."
-Anthony Robbins

I have two posts for you this week, the first of which is weight training.  Many people expect to get results without implementing the three major components needed to get results.  It isn't just diet and exercise-it's diet, cardiovascular exercise and weight training.  We tackled cardio last week so this week I want to address weight training.

There are many philosophies on weight training and they all depend on what you're trying to accomplish.  Most of my female clients are interested in "toning but not bulking up" and some males share this goal as well.  Other males are interested in building muscle mass.  The main thing to realize is that everyone's body reacts to exercise including weight lifting, differently.  There may be some trial and error involved.  It makes sense to test things out and pay close attention to how your body reacts and if you're getting the results you want-if not, discontinue that exercise and try something different.  You should also set reasonable expectations-most people are not going to see major results in 2-3 weeks however if you are on a consistent program there is no reason why you shouldn't at least begin to see results within 6-8wks (if all major factors, diet, cardio and weight training are in place).  Just don't be the person who says "I've been working out for 2 weeks and I haven't lost any weight"...get a hold of yourself, be patient and keep putting in the work, your results will come!

1.  High reps, low weight.  Traditionally this is what I recommend to my clients, male or female who do not want to bulk up.  As long as you can do three sets of 12-20 repetitions of an exercise you should not have to worry about bulking up.  Take about 20 to 30 seconds of rest in between sets.  Once rep number 12-20 of set number three gets easy, it's ok to up your weight, that just means you're getting stronger-whoo hoo! 

2.  Circuit workouts.  This is a great way to weight train if your ultimate goal is weight loss because you will burn more calories.  Circuit style just means you minimize rest and have the option of adding in short bursts of cardio 30 seconds to 2 minutes in between sets to keep your heart rate up.  The circuit should address several different muscle groups.

Sample circuit: 
To start, jump rope 2 minutes (this could also be jumping jacks, mountain climbers...etc.)
15 body weight squats, plank for 30 seconds to 1 minute, 15 bicep curls to shoulder press, 15 push ups, 15 tricep extensions then you would go back to your 2 minute cardio burst and repeat the circuit 2-3 more times.

*According to SELF Magazine online- Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer to Natasha Bedingfield recommends planning out your circuits in advance to increase efficiency once you get into the workout-no thinking, just doing!  I strongly concur :)

3.  Low reps, high weight.  Lots of men train this way, but it can be effective for females as as well depending on your body type.  Again, some trial and error may be necessary.  This would mean only doing 6-10 reps in 3-4 sets with more weight and longer rest in between sets.

4.  Body for Life Weight Training Plan.  I like this plan because it's a hybrid between some of the strategies I've already mentioned.  
*Alternate training your upper body and your lower body on different days.
*Perform two exercises for each major muscle group of either the upper or lower body.
*For each exercise you choose you will do 5 sets, beginning with 12 reps, and working your way down to 6 reps, each time increasing the weight, then reduce weight again and go back to 12 reps.
*For each muscle group, rest for one minute between the first four sets.

For example: Shoulders
1st set: 12 front deltoid raises with 3 lb weights
2nd set: 10 front delt raises with 5lb weights
3rd set: 8 front delt raises with 7.5 lb weights
4th set: 6 front delt raises with 10 lb weights
5th set: 12 front delt raises with 5 lbs weights.

This should be a good start with weight training...I look forward to your comments, questions and feedback as always.

In Fitness and in Health,