Monday, July 30, 2012

Tone It Up!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are looking for a toned physique tons of cardio isn’t the answer. Strength training is! Unfortunately, the body shape you have when you are overweight is pretty close to the body shape you will have when you lose the weight, just smaller. Building muscle is the only way to reshape your body. Here are some of every girl’s favorite part to work on...

Are longer legs your dream?

Do lunges or bridges (weighted bridges are even better). Saggy and droopy “cheeks” make you appear short and that crease between your glutes and your thighs is NOT supposed to be there! If you want a tush that looks smooth from glute to thigh (think Olympic Volleyball players) make sure you are following a proper diet and building round and pert glute muscles! Who knows, maybe Kanye will write his next song about your backside?

Hips don’t lie. Want them smaller?

Work your shoulders. Shoulder presses, shrugs, lateral raises, front raises, back flyes, cable internal rotation, etc. One misconception is that you need to lose weight to make the bottom half shrink but losing weight will still keep your body proportions the same. Build muslce mass on the top half of your body and that will help to balance out your lower half. Give your hips and thighs a break.

Of course every sassy girl knows that your body is always a work in progress. You are one sexy thing so strut your stuff and feel good about it. You have the ability to change what you don’t like. If you don’t like it I have a easy solution for you....Change it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Know What's What

The most annoying thing happened to me last night at the gym. I was taking a sports conditioning class and no more than 10 seconds into the workout I tripped and twisted my ankle. YIKES! Its swollen and bruised today. I know there’s nothing more damaging to your fitness regime than incurring a painful injury.
While resting and icing my foot I put together a list of things you can do to prevent an injury happening to you.
#1: Form is key
Slouching is not an option! It’s so important to make sure that you adopt the correct posture when you’re working out. You need to take special care when you’re exercising on the Treadmill, an upright bicycle, or the Stairmaster.
Try not to lean forward, resting on your forearms on the handlebars of the bike, this forces your back to curve, and leads to drooping your head and neck. And when you’re on the Stairmaster, don’t let your shoulders slump lower than where your hands grip the machine.
If you practice bad technique the chances of you getting injured are high. As well as helping to avoid injury, proper technique will also ensure that your exercises work on the muscles that they are intended for.
# 2: Listen Up!
The human body is amazing and will tell you when your body has had enough – stop! Don’t try to push on through but if your body is giving you a signal to back off. Please do yourself a favor and do so. One of the most common causes of injury is overtraining...You’re not being a lazy when you take heed to what your body is telling you. You’re being sensible, and you’re far more likely to avoid injury.

These two things are so simple and very easy to do. Make sure you are aware every single time you have a sweat session. A sassy girl always trys to workout smart!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Short But Sweet

I know your schedule is full, mine is too. So is everyone's for that matter. Scheduling your workout time takes commitment because its much easier to lay on the couch watching the latest installment of THE BACHLORETTE but if you can work two workouts into your day, splitting your workouts has been shown to be more effective at burning fat than one long workout. Instead of 60 min break your workout into two 30 minute bursts of activity (at least 30 minutes apart). You will lose  more fat than doing one longer session. Make sure you work hard! I suggest 5-10 min first thing in the morning to rev up your metabolic burn and then later in the day do another intense workout.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Sassy Skinny On Fats

It’s a common myth that if you want to shed those extra pounds you should only eat low-fat foods. I get the idea. It sounds like a good thought but it’s not 100% true. Your body needs fat, but the good kind. The good kind is called polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Nuts, avocado, olive oil (think 6-7 tablespoons), oily fish like salmon, soy and sunflower oil. To stay as sassy as possible you want to avoid trans fats and saturated fats. That means almost all prepackaged foods, french fries, frozen pizza, boxed cookies. Read the lables!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Sassy Girl Makes Her Move

It has been hard living 1,400 miles away from my family, and my husband’s family is only about a two and a half hour drive away, but still far enough to not feel like I have roots.  So over my 14 years  in NYC, I’ve worked hard to develop my own family.   Of course my husband Kevin is my family, my rock and fills many other roles that contribute to my happiness.   But you have to look outside of those relationships to find fulfillment too… work, girlfriends, others who share the same hobbies, etc.
About 10 years ago I found a fitness studio on the Upper West Side where I began teaching and quickly I found my gym family.  I bonded with staff, other trainers and especially the scores of students who began regularly taking my classes.
Over the years I have seen many of them reach milestones in and out of the gym.  I have grown to love many of them and count a handful as some of my closest friends and confidants.  
For those unfamiliar with what I do, it is a crazy, whirlwind world of teaching classes for several gyms, teaching unique fitness classes, training individual clients, learning new material and practicing, all while cultivating your classes to grow and make differences in people’s lives everyday.  No small feat.
Sure it’s a job but teaching and working with these people has become more then just aerobics.  That is what makes this week so hard.  After all this time I have decided it’s time to leave my comfort zone of the neighborhood gym. Next week will be my last week teaching at the Body Strength the gym that is only a few blocks from my home.
Above all, the hardest part about me leaving the gym is saying goodbye to my classes and my fellow instructors. Why?  Sure we workout together and have fun, but we  also hold each other accountable, push each other to achieve more, congratulate each other on our successes and mentor each other when we’re struggling. It’s unconditional love… it’s family, man.  (and I’m getting emotional… again!)
The decision to move on was a hard one and one that I have thinking about for a long time.  As much as I will miss the people at Body Strength I am comforted knowing that they will always be a few blocks away and I can always drop in for a workout if the spirit moves me.  
I am off.  Sassier pastures await.

P.s.  Pictures are coming of my last few classes at my gym!!  Stay tuned…

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fueling Your Sassy Machine: Dear Sassy Girl Edition

A sassy reader asked me a great question and I think it's an important one so I'm sharing with you. If you have a question email me: or tweet me @sassygirlfit

Her question:

Should I eat before or after my workout and if so what do I eat?

Sarah G
Boulder, CO

Before I even begin to answer this question know that the duration and intensity of your activity will dictate how often and what you should eat and drink. An example would be a marathon runner needs more energy from food than someone who exercises by walking a few miles. No matter what activity you like to do I suggest paying attention to your meals. It'll make your workouts sassier.

The answer: You should eat both before and after exercise! Annoying answer right? Let me explain. When you eat before exercise, you're giving your body immediate energy to use. (No I don't mean a huge 4 course meal) Have something light like a flax seed whole wheat bagel with a chicken breast (white meat with no skin and stay away from cold cuts ). If you don't eat properly before hand, your body will start to take the fat from your internal organs (instead of the areas you are looking to lean out). If you have been weight lifting you need protein and stay light on carb consumption.

As a rule you are  supposed to eat AFTER exercising, as your metabolic rate has increased and will use all the energy and fats from your food immediately.  Lots of protein, green veggies, etc. Salads are wonderful to eat after exercising and not heavy on the stomach.

Always Eat a healthy breakfast

Do Not skip out on this meal. A breakfast does NOT consist of only coffee. A cup is fine in addition to something else. I realize that you might not be hungry right away but know that most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar may be low. If you don't eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded. Try a sports drink if you aren't a morning eater. If you are a morning exerciser eat about an hour before you workout. A lighter breakfast is a good option to  raise your blood sugar. Emphasize carbohydrates for maximum energy.

Good breakfast options include:

Whole-grain cereals or bread
Low-fat milk

Snack Smart

How do you feel? What works best for your BFF might not work for you. Listen to your body. Snacks eaten soon before exercise can help keep up your blood sugar.  Good snack options include:

Energy bars or drinks
Bananas or other fresh fruit
Fruit smoothies
Whole-grain bagel or crackers with peanut butter
Granola bars

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Pain, No Gain

My Mother use to have a magnet on our fridge when I was growing up that said NO PAIN, NO GAIN. I remember being scared of that saying. Well to be honest I'm still turned off by that line. I just don't believe you have to be in pain (discomfort yes, but pain NO) to get yourself in shape. Time and time again I find myself explaining to my clients that they need not suffer in the name of fitness.  If you are exercising properly SOME discomfort and muscle soreness is normal because your body is recovering.  Sharp shooting pain is not good, it means you are doing something wrong. I advise not to push through the sharp pain. Check out what else in your life may be going on. Are you getting enough rest between workouts, are you using proper form during exercise?  Maybe you are just not taking enough time before and after your workout to stretch properly.  In my opinion its always a wise idea to ask a personal trainer to assess your workout. After all being fit and pain free is super sassy!