Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I wanted to chat a bit about nutrition today,

Or more precisely, the LACK of nutrition

In our daily eating habits.

I am on the same emotional roller coaster you are.

We all have our good days, and our more challenging days.

Sure, it is easy to eat healthy on days we feel great,

But what about the moments when we are confronted by stress?

How do you handle your eating skills then?

In the past, I would have either binged on some chocolaty snacks,

Or I would have refused to eat all together.

It occurred to me last week, on one of my more challenging days,

That I still feel the impulse, albeit ever so slightly,

To return to my destructive habits of eating.

After years of being aware and working on healthy eating patterns,

I was amazed I still felt the urge to binge and purge.

So why didn't I?

Because I developed a much stronger Mantra.

That Mantra is: I deserve to eat healthy foods that nourish my body.

I never told myself I should, because there is an opposite: shouldn't.

What I have been telling myself is that I DESERVE to eat.

For a long time I didn't believe I deserved anything positive in my life,

And it showed on a daily basis in my actions and how I treated myself.

So, the next time you feel compelled to binge or starve

Ask yourself a question:

Why do I want to do that?

You can discover your own Mantra in your answer,

And find that you are stronger than you ever knew.

Let me know what your Mantras are, I would love to hear them.

As always, have a healthy day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You GOTTA Be Kidding Me

I know this is out of character for me,

But I am pissed,

So today will not be a day of encouraging,

But rather a day to rant so you may be more aware of safety issues in gyms.

We as personal trainers and fitness professionals have an obligation to our clients:

That obligation is to ensure the health and safety of clients and fitness participants.

Now, we could limit that obligation ONLY to people we train, but I personally believe

We have an obligation to help anyone we are physically able to.

I do not work for any gyms currently, but I have 10+ years of experience working in gyms as an employee.

I also have 4 years of experience working in a health care facility as a Recreational Therapist, so I may be aware of the rules of safety in many places.

But what happens when it is me who gets hurt in a gym?

When a piece of their equipment is defective and I take a BAD fall as a result?

I report the piece of equipment and ensure it is immediately removed from use,

Because that is what you do when you are protecting the safety of others,

Even though there was nothing financial to be gained on my part,


So imagine my surprise when I walk back in the gym today and the SAME piece

Of equipment is on the floor.

Not only that, but there are two defective pieces of equipment.

I tell one of the trainers, who then begins to tell me, a Master Trainer, that there is nothing wrong with the piece of equipment, it was my workout!

Not only that, but he proceeded to run a list of reasons why the equipment was not the problem......

I will stop boring you with details here because that is not my point.

My point is this:

We as consumers (myself included here because I don't work for this facility)

Have the right to workout in a safe environment, with knowledgeable trainers, who do not exhibit gross neglect of equipment.

We also have the right to work with staff who have ACTUALLY BEEN TRAINED ON THE EQUIPMENT WE ARE USING!

If you are ever injured in a gym and the staff begins to blame you, immediately document the issue including names and phone numbers of witnesses, and get a good attorney.

This large gym used intimidation tactics against me to make me feel responsible, when in fact due to gross negligence, they could get sued in a heart beat.

I am not going there, it is not worth my time, but I may report them to the Better Business Bureau or the local news.

Please use caution in the gym and report any unsafe conditions.

If the issue is not resolved, take it to a higher level of management, or as I did, STOP being a member of that facility.

Yours in Health.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Not All Created Equal

This weekend I was meeting with a friend of mine to discuss

My boot camps.

He trains kick boxers, specifically Muay Thai Fighters,

And asked if I could hold sessions for his team,

He wants his students to develop: Power, speed, endurance, and Strength,

And he finished by saying something about working them so hard they throw up...


Was my first thought,

My second thought was that I understood what he was saying....

Take them to their limits.

But I quickly reminded him that making a group of guys work so hard they vomit,

Well, that's easy.

Making them work hard WITH a specific purpose in mind that supersedes the work load,

That is responsible training.

See, some trainers will work you hard just to prove a point: That they can.

But often it is to the detriment of the client or student.

I'll put it another way: I can make you run and squat and do push ups until you puke,

But if those exercises are not designed to help you attain your goal,

You are more likely to get an injury before you get a result.

Why am I mentioning all of this to you?

Because there are some trainers who will design the MOST difficult workouts

Just to prove something,

I want you to feel free to ask questions about the overall program design.

If you are not happy with the results you are getting, please know that you can ask

Or comment about how your body looks and feels.

Your trainer should be able to support the workout structure,

And modify it accordingly, especially if you feel any pain.

The myth about "no pain, no gain" went out the window with the type writter,

It is archaic and old school.

Yes, exercise IS uncomfortable, but there is a vast difference between true pain and general workout discomfort.

As for the kick boxers, they may actually throw up, but these guys are getting in the ring

With other guys who are punching and kicking them because THEY WANT THEM TO!

They will get pushed beyond their current fitness and endurance limits

So they survive in the ring.

They are elite athletes,

You do not need to work THAT hard, or be incapacitated the next day due to your workouts.

Stay in communication with your trainer,

And if they are not helping you, find another trainer who will.

Be safe and sweaty.

Have a healthy day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I am taking the rest of the day off!!!!

I am not training any more clients,

I am not working out,

And I am lying flat on my back...all day.

Why? Because I have to listen to my body,

And today it hurts.

I am in a bit of pain....

So it is important that we all take the right steps

Even when it means doing what we loathe...

and for myself, I would rather be out there running,

But I am taking it easy because that is how I will heal.

Make sure you are honest with yourself

And listen to the cues your body is sending you,

not only about pain,

But about rest and nutrition as well.

So here's to a day off.

Have a healthy day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Get Your Bootie In Action


Well, the weekend and my sister's surprise wedding shower

Were a complete success.

Now I have recovered from sleeping on her couch and am "back" in business.

I want to take this opportunity to share with you

What I will be working on next.

I have been in fitness and recreation for the past 16 years....

I know, I can't believe it either,

But it is true.

And from all of my years of experience, there are a few things I know,

About fitness and training that is.....

First, you have to WANT to workout....

So find your desire...what will motivate you to get it done.

Second, you have to not HATE what you are doing,

And even if you do hate it, something in that workout has to drive you to

The finish line, or you may never start.

So combine your workout with something you enjoy.

If you like the water then go for a swim,

Or walk/run next to a water way.

If you like Music, download your favorites to your iPod

And listen while you work.

If you like to read, you can do the same with books on tape.

One of the biggest things I have found to help people when they don't

Like to workout is to add a social element to it.

Go to the gym or for a walk with a friend,

Join a class and get to know the members or

Pick a fitness club with people who may share common interests.

So, where is all of this leading me?

I am glad you asked!!!

I am beginning small group Bootcamps

In the Northern Liberties area of the city.

The price will be affordable, there will be lots of support and

Social interaction,

The workouts will change frequently to challenge your mind

As well as your body,

And BEST of all....


The structure of the workouts will ensure that!

Send me an email if you are interested, and I will let you know the info for the launch.

It is going to begin after Labor day, but with a few trial sessions first.

If you are not in my area, keep looking out for interesting opportunities

To workout in your own area....

Believe me, there are a hundred ways to workout,

You can find what suits you best.

Have a fit day!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Baby Steps

I often tell my new clients:

"The only difference between you and I

Is that I have been practicing longer than you."

Really, it is the only difference.

I was working out in a new gym this week performing my

BOSU routine, which can best be described as

"Cirque gravity defying" training, when I was approached

By another personal trainer.

She complimented me on my routine and remarked that she might kill

Herself if she attempted my workout.

My response to her was this.....

It only takes Baby Steps to learn this routine.

She quickly understood that comment, as I am certain she has used

Similar philosophies while training her own clients.

Even those of us in the fitness profession marvel at the skills and techniques

Of other fitness professionals,

So why would you consider yourself any different

If you really want what we have, start practicing little

Baby Steps everyday to get you there,

And eventually, you will!!!

Think of this: What are you really good at?

Can you play a musical instrument,

Cook a gourmet meal,

Maybe paint or draw?

Did this skill show up in an instant,

or did you take time and effort to practice and perfect your skills?

It is the same concept when setting a workout or weight loss goal.

You focus upon what you want to achieve,

And keep taking steps to arrive at your destination.

Believe me, there was a day when I was not in shape

Or inspired to workout.

In college, I played sports and my dorm mates would

VOLUNTARILY go to the gym!

I was puzzled by their motivation.....ME!!!!!

I had no idea that what I admired in them would

Blossom into my mission in life.

It took me Baby Steps in aerobics classes,

Baby Steps lifting weights,

Baby Steps trying new workouts,


Whatever you want, as long as you put one foot in front of the other

And continue to travel in that direction,

You will attain your goal!

It just takes the first step,

And never stop....Baby Step by Baby Step.

If you get stuck or distracted, you are off course,

Just get back on track

And keep steppin!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Great Big Yawn....

A great big YAWN.....

Is that how you feel when you are going to the gym?

That this is just another big boring workout session?

If that was how I felt about my workout

There is no way I would have kept working out in a gym

For the past 18 years.

So, how do you keep the romance alive with your routine?

Don't make it ROUTINE!

Try new things, starting with your favorite interests.

For example, if you love Hip Hop music, try a Hip Hop dance class,

If you enjoy Gospel music, find a local "Praise-ercise"

That book you have had no time to read, download it to your MP3

And listen to it while you lift weights.

Get a subscription to your favorite fitness magazine and

Try the newest class or move of the month.

Whatever you do,

Don't keep it boring.

It doesn't work in your romantic life

And it certainly won't help your healthy lifestyle.

By the way, the more confidence you build by getting in shape...

That will DEFINITELY spice up your romantic life!

See, a win-win situation!

Have a great workout!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Come On Baby Light My FIre

Day three of our Fat Burning Workout

Is not about your workout at all

Today we are going to talk about your nutrition.

Here is my first word of advice:


I know that when we are trying to lose weight

Our first instinct is to DIET....

But I am strongly opposed to that word diet,

Look, the first three letters are D-I-E,

How can that be a good thing?

Instead I encourage my clients to eat,

And eat often,

You will never be hungry,

In fact, you may find it challenging to get all of the meals a day,

Five to six small meals eaten throughout the day

Is the best way to boost your metabolism

And burn more fat.

Think of this:

Your metabolism is like a furnace burning coal

If you throw a lot of coal in the fire it will burn very hot,

and burn fast, but if you do not put more coal on the fire

It will burn out,

Now, if you keep putting coal on the fire in small amounts

every couple of hours,

What is the result?

The fire burns steady, and constantly,

Never shutting off,

Your metabolism is similar, (this example is over simplified)

But it makes sense,

Another bonus of eating small meals frequently is

You will not have those energy crashes during the day,

Because of your constant fuel source,

Hence burning even more calories.

So EAT!!!!

I myself had practiced disordered eating for years until


And that doing it often would make all the difference in the world.

You are worth feeding healthy food,

You should never feel the pains of being hungry,

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables,

Lean proteins

And low glycemic carbohydrates throughout the day

And believe you deserve to feel amazing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And The Burn Continues

So yesterday we chatted about intervals,

And I just got back from the gym having completed my own:

Sprinting on the treadmill.

In 20 minutes I am able to have twice the effect

In half the time of a traditional Cardio Workout,

Pretty Cool, huh?

Especially on a hot day.

So today let's continue the conversation about burning more calories

Through resistance training.

You already own one of the best resistance training systems available,

And it's free,

It's called your body weight.

Yes, machines keep your workout simple and focused,

All you have to do is align your body and move the weight,

But there is little stability training,

If any,

If you had the choice of doing more work in less time,

Or less work in more time,

Which would you choose?


Most body weight exercises are highly efficient because

They are training multiple muscles and functions,

So, What are some body weight exercises?

Squats, lunges, step ups, push ups, reverse push ups,

Pull ups, dips, planks and side planks.

There are a wide variety of moves you can incorporate into

Your workout.

Looks like I am going to have to pull out my video camera this week

To show you some of these moves,

I'll figure out how then post them later on YouTube,

Till then, have fun with your fat burning workouts!

Stay Cool!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Burn Baby, Burn

The weather is stifling outside...the three "H"s, hazy, hot, and humid

So on days like today make sure you exercise indoors,

In a climate controlled atmosphere.

Also, increase your intake of water and

Limit your intake of caffeine.

All that being said, let's talk about your internal burn,

Burning body fat!

One of the best ways to burn body fat is though interval training,

Or short burst of intense exercise that last from 30-60 seconds.

I have seen intervals lasting 2 minutes and longer,

But through my personal experience, I have found

The shorter intervals to be not only extremely effective,

But highly tolerated by all participants of various fitness levels.

So what is an interval?

An interval is a high intensity exercise performed for a specific amount of time,

Followed by a period of recovery,

But the actual interval itself can be any weight bearing movement you want.

Intervals vary according to your level of fitness,

An all out sprint may be appropriate for a conditioned adult,

But if you are a beginner, a fast paced walk on an incline may be appropriate for you.

Some of my favorite intervals are sprinting, front hops, lateral hops, jumping jacks,

jumping rope, climbing stairs, split lunges and squat thrusts.

Notice, these intervals use no specific equipment, so they are accessible to all.

Remember, work at your fitness level, begin with 5 intervals a day and

work your way up to ten,

Combining them with an active rest on a 1:1.5 ratio:

If you sprint for one minute, recover for a minute and a half.

Have fun, mix them in with your workout, and you will see results in just weeks.

Tomorrow we will talk more about burning fat during, and after, your workout.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Today, Today, Today

Get it done...TODAY!

What are you fearing most?

Opening bills?

Going to the gym?

A first date?

A second date?

What is the thing that you are putting off until tomorrow

Hoping that tomorrow never comes.

And it just sits there



Mocking you in your sleep

That thing you are putting off

Whatever it is.

That can't be a good feeling...

It can't be helping you feel good or

Meet all of your goals in life.

So, try this....

Imagine you just FINISHED IT!!!

How does that feel?

Like a big relief, a party maybe???

Start to focus on how amazing it will feel when it is over and done with,

Focus on the joy and pride that you will experience when you accomplish that task,

Then get into action

And get it done, focusing ONLY on the end result,

Not on the task at hand.

If you practice this,

You will have real power in your life,

You will experience true courage, maybe for the first time,

And it will feel AMAZING

You will be living a fearless, powerful life,

Because you are causing your life,

Not sitting and watching it.

So make today the day,

Make right now the moment

And take on that task.

Let me know how it worked out :-)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happiness, schmappiness...What's The Difference?

Last week was one of the more challenging weeks that I have experienced for some time.

It has caused me to emerge with a question:

What do I really want in life?

I want to be happy.

Pretty simple, right?


To be happy…but where does happiness lie?

It is within us…it is already and always there,

sometimes we just get caught up in

what we think will make us LOOK like we are happy.

Instead of looking happy we should actually begin to focus on

being happy.

What is the difference you ask?

You can have nothing and still be happy.

You could have every physical wish fulfilled and still be miserable.

What is the difference?

It is you.

It is all how you are looking at a situation…

and the situation is you.

Happiness is not "out there" in the future,

It is right here in the present

What have you been waiting for?

What have you decided that "only if I had ______ I would be happy"

What is the blank?

What was the last blank you put in your future?

Where you actually eternally happy when it arrived?

Did it ever arrived?

Look at your life right now,

And begin to list the things that make you happy,

The things that bring you joy,

Embrace what is in your life already, no matter how small,

And see it for what it is,

Say thank you

Be grateful,

And you will begin to unleash your own personal joy,

The key to your happiness.

And when you are feeling a bit down,

Count the blessings again,

And you will soon find that happiness

Was within you always.

This is dedicated to the entire Nowacki Family, you have always been family to me, and I hope you soon find healing and happiness again. Billy will be missed.