Category Archives: Equipment

Shed Fat & Shape Your Legs

Don’t miss the May issue of Oxygen Magazine! Just a few more weeks left to grab your copy off the newsstands for an inside look as Sled Training hits the mainstream magazines!

Last year was an exciting time for me as I began developing a relationship with the staff at Oxygen Magazine. Over several months, we worked together to create a killer feature article on Sled Training – one of my favorite training tools for a great challenge, a lot of bang for your buck and a ton of fun!

Finally, a few weeks ago, the piece was released and we can all see and enjoy the fruit of the labor! Sled Training is not just for the Performance Athlete – Sled Training can and should be done by all!

For additional information on this feature, you can also go to OxygenMag.com

A HUGE thanks to the staff at Oxygen – Rachel, Val, Paul, Diane, Stacy, Nadia, Erin and the many others who contributed to a memorable experience and who put together such a special piece!

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Create your own Tire Sled with the TRX!

As you all probably know (and can see from the picture at the top of my blog), sled work is one of my favorite training challenges. There are numerous ways to structure your sled training and regardless, it’s a great method for strength and conditioning. Among many other benefits, sled training promotes great body mechanics, it is easy to learn, joint friendly and downright fun in completing especially with a partner or group.

This blog post comes from an Ah-Ha moment I had last week while spending the day with Cassidy Phillips, owner of Trigger Point Therapy. Cassidy is an incredibly smart and neat guy. I had the pleasure of learning Cassidy’s TP Therapy system, which I will share the great learning experience with you, in a future blog post (be sure to check out his link however for an inside look at both Cassidy and his company). Before his presentation, Cassidy shadowed one of my training sessions. I wanted to create a tire sled at one of my facilities and had brought a few pieces of equipment to see how handy I could be in hooking this up. In conversation before the session, Cassidy suggested the easy addition of the TRX to create the tire sled – brilliant!! 🙂

Today, just about all of us have access to a TRX and now we have one more terrific use for it in addition to all the other great exercises that can be derived from the tool. With the TRX hooked up the tire, you have a durable set of handles and you can change the length of the arm. All you need now is a tire and wa-lah, you have a tire sled!! (Again, fitness anywhere 🙂 )

If you don’t have a tire, you can find one at a tire junk yard. Wash it down, hook up your TRX as seen below, find a debris free straight away and have at it!

As you can see from the left, we could hook the TRX right around the tire, but opted for an additional piece to prevent the TRX from wearing down with friction.

Comments, questions, concerns… please send!

Other fun news – Alli’s Road to Dallas continues both literally and figuratively. In just 5 short weeks, I’ll be headed to my own Super Bowl at the Arnold Classic and tomorrow, I am actually headed to Dallas, TX with Under Armour to work at the NFL Super Bowl Experience. It should be a great time and I look forward to recapping the experience and event to you all!

I hope the TRX Tire Sled works out for you. Haaaave fun!!

The KettleBell!

Last week, Nick and I took a trip up to New York City for the KettleBell Concepts Level 1 Instructor Certification and the Kettlebell Concepts Galvanized Conference. We had such a fantastic experience, it is really worth sharing.

The Level 1 Instructor Certification spanned two days (Thursday and Friday) where we had both classroom and practical from 9am – 5pm. I used to think “oh a kettlebell, just another tool / specific skill to master” or “anything I can do with a kettlebell, I can do with a dumbbell.” Boy was I wrong and I’ll get into that further down.

Our instructor for the course, Adam Cronin, is a Master Instructor in Kettlebells and based out of South Beach Miami. It was very refreshing to meet a new face in the industry who proved to be so passionate and knowledgable in all areas of fitness and performance. Adam is definitely a great contributor to the fitness industry and Kettlebell Concepts.

It was also a pleasure to meet Lorna Kleidman, a two time world champion in Kettlebells. Lorna is as fit-looking as they come and what’s more impressive is her performance in Kettlebells. To watch her with the Kettlbells looks like pure power movements done with such grace and rhythm. You can check out Lorna’s blog here. She is getting ready to compete again in August – so good luck Lorna!

So Why Learn and Integrate the Kettlebell??

Alongside the classic Olympic type of weightlifting, Kettlebell (KB) training is recognized by the Russians and other Eastern Block countries as an important method for strength-athletic development. Among the obvious Power Movements that are traditional in using the KB (ie: the clean & jerk and snatch) the KB is responsible for training coordination, balance, timing, functional movements, aerobic conditioning, strength and injury prevention. All foundational criteria for making one a better athlete regardless of their particular sport.

In fact, injury prevent is huge in training today. The KB technique “enhances injury prevention mechanisms through 1. Trunk stability and hip dominant movement under dynamic inertial constraints and 2. Rapid, smooth deceleration by distributing forces through entire system” (p.23 KettleBell Concepts, Inc Course Manual)  I found this to be very true as we were taught to cushion the bell like we were catching an egg.

The design of the Kettlebell is also unique to the training. Because of the “U” shaped handle, there is a great amount of rotational inertia which is a result of the KB’s center of mass changing in the swing. In other words, “not only does the KB require greater strength, it also demands a refined coordination of musculature to control it.” (p.37  KettleBell Concepts, Inc Course Manual)

I found that there was a large crossover in everyday activity as well as all athletic performance that we can get from becoming skilled and efficient with the Kettlebells. There is a tremendous amount of other valuable and usable information that Nick and I took away from this course, but I encourage you to find out for yourself!

Saturday, we took classes at the KBC Galvanized Conference – again, very interesting and valuable content. I had the pleasure of listening to David Sandler, of StrengthPro and International Physique Professionals Association, speak a few times. One lecture on “Sports Supplement Strategies to Enhance Performance and Body Composition” and his other lecture on “The Art & Science Behind Looking Great.” I was also able to see Jim Stoppani, head fitness editor for Flex Magazine and Muscle & Fitness. Jim’s presentation was on Workout Nutrition. All presentations were captivating and full of great information. The biggest take away I got from these presentations was the IMPORTANCE of your PRE and POST workout nutrition.

Lastly, a big THANK YOU to David Bluman and David Ganulin for taking such great care of Nick and I. We certainly left NYC and the KBC crowd with a remarkable experience!! I am also very excited to continue mastering my Kettlebell training. It’s such a fun way to train and full of power endurance and grace.

Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to move with the KettleBell like Adam Cronin 🙂   (video to come)

Chin Up Drop Set

The chin up and pull up, much like the push up, are some of the best exercises you can do for pure relative body strength. These require little equipment, minimal technique and get you the most bang for your buck in terms of strength, muscle recruitment and development. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel strong ripping through several repetitions of chin ups and push ups. 🙂

Some of us are limited in repetitions when it comes to traditional chin ups and or pull ups due to relative body strength (how strong you are relative to how much you weigh). The Chin Up Drop Set is a great way to increase your reps in a set by reducing the difficulty of the chin up as you fatigue.

I use the Perform Better Superbands for assistance in my Chin Up Drop Set. In case you don’t know where to find Superbands, you can click on the image below to shop for these exact Superbands. These are a fantastic tool for those who need assistance building up to bodyweight chin ups as well.

I am back on a daily undulated training program for my upcoming Figure Competition. Check back later this week as I show you exactly how we incorporated the Chin Up Drop Set into my high rep, Pulling training day!

The Airdyne Bike

Blizzard number two hit Baltimore today and has us trapped inside again. I thought since the airdyne bike in my bedroom was starring me down and begging for attention, I would post a quick thought about one of my favorite pieces of equipment for cardio/conditioning…

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Dear AIRDYNE BIKE, I love you for many reasons:

  1. It is a change of pace and movement from running and sprints
  2. It engages your upper body in the push/pull of the handle bars
  3. It’s easy to control the resistance… no dials necessary… the bike is designed to increase resistance as you pedal faster
  4. In addition to just cruising along, the bike can be used for insane, heart-throbbing, windsucking, leg pumping  interval training and conditioning 🙂
  5. And, you can use your creative side and utilize the handle bars for an upper body conditioning workout

I personally choose the airdyne bike at least 3 times a week for a conditioning challenge and often have my clients tackle the bike at the end of their training session for a big finish. The following are a few ways I like to mix up my airdyne work:

  • Moderate Interval Work: 3 minutes on the Airdyne Bike (Moderate intensity, RPM in the 60’s) followed by 2 minutes of jumping rope. 5 minutes per round, complete 4 rounds for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Complete a Timed Mile on the Airdyne bike in as little time as possible. (Goal time: under 3 minutes, 2:20 – 2:30 if you’re really pushing it!) Over time, after you’ve mastered one timed mile, try incorporating a rest period (pedalling mildly for recovery–about the same amount of time it took you to complete the first mile ie: 2:45) then begin timed mile number 2! Its brutal, but doable 😉
  • Moderate to Hard Intervals: 1 minute warm up, 1 interval round = 30 seconds hard pedalling (RPM’s above 80), 30 seconds easy pedaling (RPM’s 40’s or 50’s). Repeat 8 rounds and a 1 minute cool down for a total of 10 minutes.
  • High Intensity Intervals: Another interval scheme I enjoy is 10 seconds hard (and I mean HARD, RPM’s around 90’s or breaking the 100’s) 20 seconds for recovery. 30 seconds is one round, repeat 8 rounds for 4 minutes total. This is a Reverse Tabata. If you are at the intensity level you should be, 4 minutes will be all you need to feel smoked!
  • Upper Body Interval Training: Last, try the Airdyne bike in a non-traditional way–using your upper body. This is a great way to get conditioning while allowing your legs recovery. Check out the video below for an example.

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The above suggestions are by no means an exhaustive list of all the great things you can do with an Airdyne Bike. Try these, create others and let me know what you come up with! I’m always up for a new challenge !! 😉

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…now excuse me, I have a date with my Airdyne Bike.

Top 5 Things I Bring to Every Training Session

I feel as thought I have kicked the flu and still have 5 days ’til showtime! I am back hitting the gym today for one of the last three strength sessions before the show. Tuesday will be my last strength training day!

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I wanted to share with you the Top Five Things I Bring to Every Training Session. These things take up little space in my gym bag and anyone who knows me, knows I never go anywhere without these five!

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1. My IPOD:  I joke that I am a music junkie. Both Nick and I love finding new music, digging up old tunes and creating new mixes that pump us up for training. Ask me about my favorites for training and I could go on and on. That may vary on the day and include anything from hard rock (Rage Against the Machine– Killing in the Name or Sleep Now in the Fire, The Used – Mosh ‘n Church, Rise Against, Sense Field – Burn) to Hip Hop (Atmosphere– Dreamer, Roy Jones Jr– Can’t be Touched, Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass) or even Electronic (Moby, Chemical Brothers, Tiesto) ..oh the list could go on and on…anything with a high energy to sum it all up. Ultimately, my music helps keep me motivated and most importantly aids in the “fun” of the session.

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2. My FRESH KARAT HEADBAND: by now you have seen and or clicked on the Fresh Karat link at the bottom right corner of this page. You have also probably seen me wear them in all of my training you tube videos. I looove to add a little flare to my workout attire when I can 🙂 not to mention they are fantastic for keeping the hair out of my face. Fresh Karat is one of the many things that I work on. The company is owned by my dearest friend Suzannah Hauter in San Diego, CA. Attention Females— they rock for training and or the perfect everyday accessory. Coaches and Trainers— you’re female clients will love the gift (plus they’re very affordable), Guys–don’t forget about your girlfriend, wife, sister, training partner, etc. Anyone can contact me for personal orders. We also provide wholesale accounts if you would like to get them into your gym! You can also go to the website and receive FREE SHIPPING on all orders when you enter the promo code FITNESS at checkout. It’s my gift to you for following this blog!

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3. My JUMP ROPE: I often take my jump rope everywhere. I even take it when I travel because it’s easy to pack and I’m prepared in case I want to get a little bit of activity and can’t find a gym! I use my jump rope to help warm up and quite often for conditioning/intervals. I LOVE the jump rope I have, in my opinion, it’s the Cadillac of jump ropes :). I got my AERO SPEED jump rope at a fitness conference in Las Vegas from Mr. Buddy Lee himself! You can check out his website here.

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4. My POST WORKOUT SHAKE: Sometimes vanilla, sometimes chocolate, always with 10 ounces of water and two scoops of Biotest Superfood. Even though we have about a 40 minute window to replenish with a protein shake, I usually drink mine within 10 minutes after training.

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5. My HEART & EFFORT: I love to train. I think if you read this blog, you do too. To me, every hour I train is a gift. It is my time, my money, my body and my goals. No one owns that but me. That is why, when I show up to train, I give one thing, EVERYTHING. Now don’t get me wrong, not everyday can be as good as the next, but I always give what I have relative to what I can. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed challenge us. I make sure that’s it’s worth it and that I feel good afterwards. What makes me feel good is knowing that I have pushed every rep I can and given every bit of energy stored to complete my workout. When I feel spent at the end of my training and I feel as though I have accomplished what I set out to do, I feel good.

Happy Sliding

I suppose you could say, I am a conditioning junkie. I love workouts that require a lot of strength and conditioning which result in feeling as if I have nothing left in the tank.