15 minute upper body pyramid workout

15 minute upper body pyramid workout 20140827 thumbnail

Initially I started this video with 10 reps of everything but knew I wasn’t going to get much completed so I changed it on the fly to a pyramid style workout. That means you either increase or decrease the reps with each set. For this workout we’re going to decrease the reps.

In the workout video I go from 100/10 reps down to 50/50, but feel free to do more depending on how much time you have. If you have another 5 minutes or so just keep going down in the reps till you get to 10/1! Or if you have 30 minutes why not double the workout and duplicate the whole thing, either starting at 100/10 again and working down to 50/5 OR for a more of a challenge start at 50/5 and work up to 100/10 Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel!  The full video is below: 


Workout Breakdown:

We start this workout with JUMP ROPE for some cardio. I mention in the video but I’d not used this one for the longest time and it was all wrapped up. Not good! Store your jump ropes with no tangles or else it’ll be too kinked to jump with. Which is the problem I had. This one is also a few inches too short for my height. I need to get a new one really. Putting it on my shopping list ;)

15 minute upper body pyramid workout 20140827 jumprope

After the cardio it’s time for strength starting with PUSH UPS. Feet apart, hands little wider than shoulders, spine and neck long. With abs engaged lower the chest so the shoulders are level with the elbows.

15 minute upper body pyramid workout 20140827 push up


This workout is upper body, which means chest, shoulders and tri’s. So I included TRICEP DIPS. Face up on hands and feet, with fingers pointing towards your butt, bend the elbows and lower the butt to the floor, but don’t touch the floor ;)

15 minute upper body pyramid workout 20140827 dips


Finally tricep isolation with SIDE LYING TRICEP PUSH. These are so good for the back of the arms!!! Lying on your side, knees can be bent, put your bottom hand on your top shoulder, and your top hand on the floor near your bottom shoulder, and “Hey macarena!”…. ok not quite it’s complicated to describe the video shows it better. Once you get in position you’re going to push through the hand on the floor and lift your torso up.

15 minute upper body pyramid workout 20140827 tricep pushAgain you can do a set number of reps for everything or do what I did and work down through the reps. That’s always fun to do something different!

Try the workout and let me know what you think in the comments!


IDEA World Fitness Convention 2014 – day 4 closing thoughts

Well I last left my IDEA world fitness convention saga at the opening speeches having covered days 1-3 but this was a four day convention so let’s get  back on track shall we? Sunday morning I woke early to take another session with Amanda Vogel, this time on Seven Mistakes to Avoid in Social media. This lecture was really good, thoroughly enjoyed it, and I learned so much. Consequently this is why my social media is on a little hiatus while I try to implement some of the things I learned. Not enough hours in the day I tell ya!

ideaworld2014-day4-sm seminar

My final session was Movement Variability – training the human software by Anthony Carey. I swear some of the session titles are crazy! From the session blurb I knew it was about planes of motion and integrated training and it sounded a fun last session, plus honestly it was slim pickings for Sunday morning sessions. I was happy to see some Moorpark College people in this session and after the lecture we got into the workshop portion which was so much fun! I picked up a couple of drills, well more like games that would be great for PE teachers. Like my BFF Julie who started her ‘real job’ this week as a PE teacher.  You can bet your butt I’ll be getting together with her to teach her the games. 

In all I was sad and happy to leave IDEA. I’d learned a lot in those few short days but I was also ready to get home to these faces.

sky-pixel-2014-lake casitas 1

And Bob, yeah I guess him too ;) The dogs were so happy to see me! Sky didn’t stop barking and wagging for about 5 minutes, I actually think she was telling me off! We had our snuggles to catch up in a puppy snuggle puddle then I unpacked and got back to reality. I have to be honest that it’s been hard getting back into the swing of things. I’ve struggled to get back into a routine badly. Those 4 days may not sound like much but it’s been a real shake up to my system being alone, no husband, no dogs, no ‘things’ that need doing (let me tell you that I loved having a maid to make my bed!) just time to do what I want, when I want. No pressures, no dogs barking, no sharing my food (with the dogs, or Bob! lol). After almost 2 weeks back in reality I really feel  a little lost. I know it’ll take some time to process the information but as soon as I do, you better watch out!!!

IDEA world fitness convention 2014 - inspired speeches

When I made the decision to go to IDEA World it was one made from a selfish standpoint but I knew it would be a good career move. I’d been wanting to attend the whole 4 day event for a few years. I hadn’t been to a fitness convention ‘full on’ since around the year 2000 back when we lived in England (I attended the Loughborough Energy and Excellence Convention every year). To say I was overdue some fitness inspiration was an understatement. I mentioned in my first recap of the World Fitness Convention that surprisingly it wasn’t the workouts or lectures that inspired me the most over the 4 days but the speeches from the opening ceremonies, and I nearly missed it because I almost skipped out on this to grab an early lunch!

First up was Augie and Lynne Nieto. If you don’t know Augie Nieto was the founder of the exercise company Life Fitness, which manufactures fitness equipment you see in pretty much every gym. In 2005 Augie was diagnosed with ALS and the disease has ravaged his body since. Watching him enter the stage in a wheelchair, driven by his wife Lynne who was also wiping the tears away from his face as he saw the standing ovation he received, you couldn’t help but feel the emotion from the packed crowd.

Augie’s wife Lynne did the speaking for them as Augie can no longer speak, their speech as so heart wrenching, inspirational and motivational, I had so much mixed emotion from happy, sad, and angry… just a myriad of emotion. I realized part way though it wasn’t just for Augie or Lynne… but also for me. Yeah, in the end it’s all about me ;) But really it wasnt and it was. You see I could relate to everything they were saying, having seen family members battle disease, not ALS but polycystic kidney disease (PKD. My mum has battled ovarian cancer, a cerebral aneurysm and PKD eventually needing dialysis and transplant. My grandfather had PKD, one aunt, one uncle, 2 cousins and me.

Sitting there in the audience, I became aware that people don’t know diseases, they know people with diseases. ALS has been called Lou Gehrigs disease because that was who the American nation associated with the disease. It takes someone you know to get in your face and talk about these diseases, or challenge you to throw ice water over yourself. So I decided right there in that audience that *I* would start doing that very thing. I’ve said this before, but coming back from  IDEA something was is different. It’s like something has switched on inside. An internal drive. Monday I ordered this t-shirt from pkdcure.org a charity leading the way to cure PKD.

PKD t-shirt 2014


I’m also looking at dedicating some youtube videos, blog posts to PKD to help bring more awareness. Not every week, but specifically updates on MY health, PKD day September 4th and World kidney month in March. I’m going to actively start participating in these events and I’m also thinking of attending the charity walk in Santa Monica in September, or doing something more local. So don’t be surprised if you start to see some more PKD related posts. Thank you Augie for lighting the spark in me, to not only to continue fighting but to raise awareness just like you have for ALS.

After Augie and Lynne came Elaine Lalanne to present an award. Elaine is 88 years old and just awesome. Obviously we’re all going to think of 88 in relation to someone we know and for me that’s my grandmother who is struggling with health issues and alzheimers. The difference is amazing. Elaine did 5 push ups, on stage, in front of a packed crowd! At 88!!!!! The body and mind work together, no more proof needed! Amazing!!!

ideaworld2014-day1-diana nyad

Elaine Lalanne was there to present an award to Diana Nyad, who is the lady that swam from Cuba to the USA, almost 110 miles, at 64 years of age!!! This conference was all about being inspired and I sat and listened to Diana Nyad’s story and just wanted to get up there give her a high five, then go DO something amazing. I felt like her message was directed at me personally. First I’d been inspired by Augie Nieto to become more of an activist for the things I believed in, and now in her ‘three things’ above, I was being told the sky is the limit, and age really doesn’t matter. I mean we’re all told that, but really we all at some point in our lives have said “I’m too old!”. Well not anymore! I’ve had some little goals in the back of my mind for a while, things I’ve kinda wanted to do but been too scared to try or even admit to as “I’m too old”, but screw it  as Diana said “You’re never too old to chase your dreams”.

And if you think Diana’s feat was small think again! To put it into perspective, we’ve been swimming regularly 3-4 times a week as part of Bobs triathlon program and it takes us about 20-25 minutes to swim 1/2 mile. This lady swam 110 miles in 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds. That’s more than DOUBLE the speed I currently swim at,, SUSTAINED. Plus she’s in the ocean currents with sharks and jellyfish.  Mad respect! 

The IDEA world fitness convention inspired me more than it will every know picking these people as speakers. Bob is already sick and tired of me mentioning Diana Nyad, but she’s an inspiration to me and countless others that were at the convention. The opening speeches alone were reason enough to come to this convention.


Thank you IDEA, Augie Nieto and Diana Nyad for the kick up the butt!




Prep and Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4  -coming soon

Things to take to a fitness convention  - coming soon

IDEA World Fitness Convention 2014 – day 3

Wow day three came around FAST! I wanted to let everyone know that I stayed at the Hilton not the Marriott. Why? Because the Marriott was sold out! However I’ve stayed at a Hilton before when I did my NASM workshop 3 years ago, and do love their hotels. So I thought before I shared details of my IDEA sessions today I’d share my experience at the Hilton.

Like I said Monday, when I initially checked in it seemed like my addition of adding a refrigerator and microwave to my hotel booking had been misplaced but this was easily remedied when I went to the lobby. The lady at the front desk simply telephoned for it, and said it would be delivered to my room (and reminded me of the fee, $40 for the 4 night stay). I went to grab my bags from the car and by the time I got back to the hotel room, around 5 minutes later, the guy was delivering my equipment!

ideaworld2014-hilton-5Now remember these were BOTH $40 for the four nights. See those bottles of water on the cabinet? Those are $4 EACH! That’s some crazy pricing going on there. Anyway I’d taken quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tofurkey sausage, chili and scrambled tofu. Along with salad veggies, juice and BEER! Now I had somewhere to keep those things. The room itself was awesome. 2 queen beds, desk, chair, cabinet, tv, phone, internet jack thingy and coffee maker.


This was my first time using a coffee maker like this and let me tell you those cups take more than the 1 cup measurement on the inside of the damn coffee maker. Also that’s tea because I don’t drink coffee. The Hilton was nice enough to provide 2 servings of: coffee and decaf coffee; but only one english breakfast teabag and one camomile teabag. How about some decaf tea? I felt like taking the coffee anyway… but I didn’t.

The bed was not comfortable, but honestly no beds are like YOUR bed, same with pillows, so I can’t fault them for that. You get used to your own stuff. I absolutely LOVED the bathroom though! Chatting with Bob on the phone I told him I’d taken a bunch of photos so we could renovate our bathroom in this style. The shower was awesome! I liked the curved rail for the shower curtain but the shower head was one of those big rain type shower heads, powerful and not just a trickle, it was a power shower!

ideaworld2014-hilton-2I loved the black cabinet and square bowl sink, and the faucet and chrome accents. Honestly just everything. I think I especially like it because it was practically the same size as our bathroom at home. Maybe just a little squarer that ours. Which meant I could really visualize in our house! Big full square mirror on the wall with a blocky light. Clean minimalist look, which I then ruined with my toiletries! Hah!

ideaworld2014-hilton-3Of the things I’m taking away from the Hilton stay would be the bathroom design and the curtains. Our bedroom is always light and bright, which is lovely in the day, unless you want to sleep. So I’ll be shopping for thicker blackout curtains soon so we hopefully sleep better. Anyways onto day 3!

I had a wake up call for 6am. Originally I was scheduled to do a “fluidity” workout, but I cancelled it. Too many early mornings and long days. My first lecture session today was NASM: The True Metabolic Conditioning by Fabio Comana. This was probably my favorite fitness session of the whole convention. Just real information, with research, studies and great presenter. I enjoyed this one a lot for the sheer amount of information.


After the metabolic conditioning I had a workshop from the C.H.E.K institute: Effective Flexibility Training with Angie Lustrick. I admit I’d heard of the CHEK institute but didn’t really know anything about them, and really enjoyed this workshop. I loved the holistic nature of the teaching, which seemed to be a theme for the seminars I’d enjoyed. Treating the body as one. As one previous lecturer had put it “the body is one muscle with 650 names”. I like that a lot because it’s all connected. This session was great to see where the muscles are tight but also backed up some of the information in other lectures.  This holistic approach makes me interested though and I may consider this for the future education.


Quick snack and I headed up to Wreck Method RMT Club class. I signed up for this not really knowing what it was, and it was a workout using the RMT club which is rotational method training, and functional, non-dominant side training. We did this workout with David Wreck who I guess is the creator of this equipment and workout. The class wasn’t very busy, probably about 1/2 full, but that seemed to be the theme for these free classes. Many people just didn’t know about them. The concept was fun, and I got a good workout. I especially liked smashing the club down on the floor, that really released some aggression! I definitely could see this being fun, not sure about the longevity of the fun aspect and honestly I don’t know that many clubs would relish the thought of members smashing this down on their floors. Even for home use some of the moves wouldn’t really be possible, especially if you lived in an apartment. The workout itself was very fun, and I liked that he used the preparatory movements first then the explosive progressions in the second set. It’s a new piece of equipment but I could see it catching on in functional fitness. I could see myself using them outdoors!

I left the Wreck workout a little early so I could snaffle some food before heading to the next lecture which was ACE: Health Coach  - the personal trainers next step with Michael Mantell. I was looking forward to this session but honestly I’d have liked less fluff and more talk about what health coaching is, the growth and where to start. I  will be leaving feedback on all sessions but this one was disappointing. Not to say I didn’t learn anything but I guess I was expecting more. I think I was looking forward to this because I wanted it to answer some questions I had regarding health coaching, instead I was left with more questions. Perhaps I just needed to research on my own once I had more questions?

My last session today was one I was looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint, Fitness Writing: Blogs, websites and magazines with Amanda  Vogel. This lecture was amazing. Not only did I learn a TON but I was totally inspired to rush back to the hotel room and send a bunch of queries out to editors. However I was stuck in my hotel with crappy internet so instead I made a ton of notes and sketched out some article topics that I could look at writing about. Great lecture!

ideaworld2014-expoSaturday night was the last time to hit the expo!  I had to go, mainly because I’d promised Julie I’d get her a Zumba tank. Yes I, the author of the “I hate zumba” blog post bought something from the Zumba booth! However it wasn’t for me so I feel vindicated. I got Julie this tank with “Be fierce” on it. It was cheap so she got a bargain ;)


So yeah the expo, I wasn’t impressed. I guess it’s mainly because I hate shopping at the best of times so this is basically a mall. Whilst it is fitness stuff it’s still shopping. I like to browse catalogues, check Amazon, compare prices, check reviews. I am NOT an impulsive shopper, so this was out of my comfort zone. I loved the different types of booth and the VEGAN community was represented with Go Veggie and Daiya (free pizza!). Reebok had a big booth, along with Lorna Jane, and TRX


The layout was a little confusing at times, it was easy to lose track of where a particular booth was. The busy ones were the ones giving out free stuff though, as always, whether it was demo’s, discounts, samples or workouts. The Reebok, TRX, slackline and zumba booths were always busy.


These were in the main flow. The back tended to be full of the smaller booths. These were the lesser know brands, start ups and just some that I’d never heard of including this giant octopus for MoPro which it seems is a website building company. Just funny to see as you’re walking around and see a massive blue octopus!

ideaworld2014-expo-octopusI did stop by the IDEA booth to pick up my free t-shirt and bought one of these  tanks that I love. My new favorite tank.  

ideaworld2014-day3 - tank


I had more money to spend but nothing to spend it on :( Yeah good problem to have but I thought there would be more clothing. The clothing companies pretty much all sold the same items. So if you find any cool fitness themed tanks or really anything fitness and slightly quirky let me know!



Check out my other IDEA World Fitness Convention posts 

Prep and Day 1

Day 2

Day 4  -coming soon

Opening ceremonies – coming soon

Things to take to a fitness convention  - coming soon



12 minute kettlebell workout

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 thumbnail

Ok it’s back to reality and back to the grindstone regarding training, though I’ll be switching things up more as one of the takeaways from the IDEA world fitness convention was VARIETY. Cross training is always something I’ve encouraged but it’s definitely something I’ll be doing more of. This weeks workout is a kettlebell workout but you can do the workout without the kettlebell, see the end of the video for more details and examples of those. 

The workout video is just one set of work, but feel free to do more depending on how much time you have. Each exercise is done with 20 full range of movement repetitions except the swings which has 25. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel!  The full video is below: 

Workout Breakdown:

Again the workout features a kettlebell but feel free to alter reps, and weight for your own workout. Starting with 20 reps of a HALO. The kettlebell is held upside down by the “horns’ if you will, with the bottom up. Then just circle it around the head like a halo. 20 reps each side.

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 figure halo

After the halo change the grip on the kettlebell to normal one handed grip for a FIGURE 8 WITH HOLD. Start with the kettlebell in a rack position on the opposite shoulder, bring it down into a squat passing the kettlebell under the opposite leg, switching hands and bringing it to the opposite shoulder. Repeat to the other side for 1 rep. Total of 20 reps each side.  Try not to round the back, and keep the chest up.

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 figure 8 hold

SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS are next. Holding the kettlebell in one hand, lift the same leg and then reach the kettlebell to the opposite foot. Keep the back long. Different versions are you can bend the knee or keep the leg straight. Balance is key here, if you wobble just tap the leg down. 20 reps each leg.

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 figure 8 deadlift

Next up is the standard DOUBLE KETTLEBELL SWING. Both hands grab the kettlebell, feet slightly wider than hips, toes turned out. Come down into a squat with the hands down, and then use the glutes and legs to power up… the arms don’t move on their own, they simply move through momentum of the hip extension. 25 reps.

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 swing

Last one for the legs with a REVERSE LUNGE WITH 8. Holding the kettlebell in one arm, step the same side leg back into a lunge, pass the kettlebell under the leg switching it to the outside hand and then step in, to repeat on the other side. 

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 lunge 8

Final move is a PLANK WITH REACH. In a plank on the elbows, kettlebell 12″ in front of hands. Keeping hips stable lift one arm up and touch the top of the kettlebell in front. Alternating hands. 20 reps on each side.

12 minute kettlebell workout 20140820 plank reach


In the video I did one set of everything, and demo’d the bodyweight versions at the end, but feel free to add on more sets if you have the time. Play with the reps and sets, or maybe even do each one for time? Have fun with it!





IDEA World Fitness Convention 2014 - day 2


I mentioned yesterday that I had to get up at 5.30am but my IDEA session didn’t start till 8am, however I signed up for the breakfast session with Gerolsteiner mineral water at 6.30am so I grabbed a shower, a quick bowl of granola, snacks for the morning and headed over to the Marriott. Gerolsteiner put on a beautiful breakfast and honestly I was surprised there weren’t more people there, until I remembered it was 6.30am! I’d had my granola but I grabbed a fruit bowl, cup of peppermint tea and some juice.

ideaworld2014-day1-gerolsteiner-1The lecture by Brona Cosgrave about the different types of water was interesting, I learned things so it was a definite bonus signing up. And there was a nutrition lecture by  Personal Trainer and Nutritionist Ariane Hundt. Whilst I didn’t necessarily agree with everything in the nutrition lecture the overall message was ‘real foods’ which I totally can get on board with. For me the main takeaway from this lecture was one I learned day 1 - when I’m busy I forget to hydrate. I was totally dehydrated yesterday. The activity, the walking, the air conditioning, and talking. All takes it’s toll and I didn’t hydrate enough. Not a mistake I was making on day 2 as I already had drunk 8oz water, a cup of tea, and two glasses of juice! Plus I was leaving the lecture with a swag bag with more water :)

My first real IDEA session was RIP Traditional Marketing with Todd Durkin. Now this is someone that I wanted to see in action as I’d heard a lot about him, and he was definitely larger than life in person. This is a guy with the personality of 10 men! The takeaway from this session was how important a newsletter is, and emails. I admit that I knew much of the information presented in this lecture but had yet to implement it. One thing I learned was to “CHUNK YOUR TIME”. Not rocket science but sitting down and do the job NOW that will make future jobs easier.

ideaworld2014-day1-todd durkin

Next session was The New Evolution of Core Training with Scott Rawcliffe. The funny thing is I’d never heard of this guy till Todd Durkin mentioned him in the previous session. Now I will say physiology wise I learned nothing in this session. I was already doing much of the things mentioned because of Les Mills CXworx. I knew that the core was more than the 6-pack and the different types of core training. The real ‘dirt’ in this session was the fun exercise drills we did. Especially the ones with the battle ropes, and tubing. Some good partner drills too. My takeaway from this session was that I needed to spend more time with the equipment I have and PLAY with it.

I had an extra lecture at lunch with a TRX seminar: Coach to win with small group training. Not quite what I had in mind when I signed up but fun nonetheless to see Randy Hetrick the owner and creator of the TRX suspension trainer. Again some larger than life personalities and whilst it was promotional I took a few things away from the lecture. Mostly about creating a TEAM environment in classes, make them interact and make people encourage and motivate each other. I guess it’s about coaching rather than training, which seems to be another lesson learned during the convention. I got a nice binder and I managed to shovel in lunch during the seminar!

ideaworld2014-day1-trx team

My workout session for today was Lean legs, glutes and core with Linda (Freeman) Webster. I admit I signed up for this because of my own legs, glues and core. This was a real eye opener for me. Not because it was innovative or new (although a couple of moves were) but because it reaffirmed what I already knew. What comes around goes around. This was basically a class I probably could have take 15 years ago at a convention in Loughborough UK back in the dates when it was Legs, bums and tums. Not to say that I didn’t learn anything, there were definitely 4-5 moves I am going to incorporate into my routines, but overall for those in the industry a while this was nothing new.

My final session today was How to change lives without sacrificing your own with Brett Klika. This session started with post it notes and us writing down one thing that has made us consider leaving the fitness industry. It was interesting to see so many post-its on the board at a convention where people came to be inspired. You see I took this session because sometimes this industry IS annoying, it’s time consuming, it’s costly it’s sometimes just exhausting both physically and mentally. It was nice to see I’m not alone that everyone in that room had at some point just thought WHY AM I DOING THIS. This reason alone was worth the lecture, to know that it’s not always sunshine and flowers for everyone else, to know you aren’t in that boat alone.

Finally I was supposed to go to the Pop Pilates workout but I was DONE. Amazingly my body had held out well, with the sitting, the workouts, the sitting, the standing, more sitting and the walking, but I was ready for a massage and hot bath. I knew a massage wasn’t in the budget so I opted to go to the Expo and spend some money on a new foam roller. I got a good price for the 12″ Blue Rumble Roller and the Beastie and got a free SMR DVD in with the bundle!

ideaworld2014-day1-expo rumble rollerAs soon as I got back to the hotel room I opened that roller and got my back on it, within 10 minutes I was loose again with no aches or pains. I love foam rolling, I need to do it more often, and now I will with this 12″ rumble roller! Full review on these items coming soon! After a chat with Bob, some dinner and a shower I turned in, another early morning was scheduled for Saturday!


Check out my other IDEA World Fitness Convention posts 

Prep and Day 1 

Day 3 – coming soon

Day 4  -coming soon

Opening ceremonies – coming soon

Things to take to a fitness convention  - coming soon

IDEA World Fitness Convention 2014 - Prep and day 1



This time last week I was rushing around for a few days trying to get things done before I headed off to IDEA World Fitness Convention. As this would be my first full fitness convention in the States I wanted to take full advantage of it. I’d gotten an awesome deal through Moorpark College which was just too good to pass up. So with some planning and prep I headed out to Anaheim Wednesday after my BodyPump class. I drove down using WAZE which if you haven’t got this app it yet, get it! I managed to avoid much of the standstill traffic and in rush hour it took me almost 2 hours to get to the Hilton in Anaheim, which is right next door to the Convention Center. I quickly checked in and snapped a pic of the view from the 9th floor!


Then I headed back to the lobby as my order for microwave and refrigerator hadn’t gone through properly I guess so they quickly sorted that out for me and it was delivered within 10 minutes. Awesome service. In the meantime I fetched the rest of my luggage from the car. Then I set out to check-in at the convention! So I headed over to the Convention Center which was well sign posted in the hotel lobby and literally a one minute walk through the lobby and across to the Convention center. The convention was definitely here, I was in the right place!

ideaworld2014-expo-DiThe check-in process was simple as I’d printed off my registration info and I was soon on my way back to the hotel with my pack and documents. I was also sporting a rather fetching blue wristband that along with my itinerary/badge would be my entry into the sessions. The lady at the desk commented on my tiny wrists, asking if I wanted it snug. I said yes! At a $50 per replacement I wanted that sucker SNUG.


I loved that they let everyone know what was happening at the Expo though. The expo was FREE if you registered online for your tickets so even if you couldn’t afford the education sessions, no excuses! Get your butt down here for the free sessions. There were workouts at the Exertainment Stage, plus cooking demos and some free limited placement lectures/workouts if you signed up online.


After checking in an devouring the information files I’d received, so I knew where my Thursday sessions were, I made some dinner and called Bob. Then I set my wake up call for EARLY the next morning for my first session at 7.30am! My first session was SmartBells 101. I signed up for this because I wanted something different and this equipment was definitely that! Shown below is the 4.6lb Red SmartBell but we also used the 1.5lb Green SmartBell during our workout. These can be used as an alternative to dumbbells, kettlebells and as a bonus you can stand on them for balance work! Innovative! The workout used movements we’d all done before but with the added weight of the smart bell. Push ups on these were pretty intense! I also liked that during mountain climbers the holes gave you a target.  It was fun, and a great way to start the day. 


Post workout I drank my smoothie I’d prepped prior to class, then headed to my next session which was Gray Institute: Assess and Address Core dysfunction by Lenny Parracino. Now I want to say I LOVED this workshop though I did think it wasn’t really titled well. This lecture was all about the Lumbo-pelvic-hip-complex which is part of the core, but WOW what an insight into the hips and the lecture left me wanting to know more, so now I have a whole list of studies and research I want to read. THIS is what I came to IDEA for!!! Motivation, inspiration and that SPARK! 

Immediately after the first two sessions it was time for the Opening Ceremonies, which initially I considered skipping and going back to the hotel to grab some food but I decided instead to chew on some dried mango and attend the ceremony. There I met up with the Moorpark college crowd, totally by accident! Fun seeing them after the months off over Summer. Then the awards started for Fitness Director, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor of the year. After that their were speeches by Augie & Lynn Neito, Elaine Lalanne and Diana Nyad. All I can say is WOW, I nearly missed this! In itself this will have a separate post because I cannot even TOUCH on the impact these speeches had on me. So I’ll leave you with this photo of Diana Nyad and a promise to address these speeches in another post because I was so touched, motivated and inspired… beyond words right now. I laughed, I shed a tear (or two) and I left feeling like I could accomplish ANYTHING.

ideaworld2014-day1-diana nyad

After the ceremonies I knew the expo would be opening so instead I headed to the hotel to change and grab food then I quickly went to the expo before the afternoon sessions started. Basically this was me scoping out what vendors were there, and where I knew I’d be looking at later when I had more time. One place I knew I had to stop at was K9 fitclub! Come on fitness for dogs, I’m sold!


I spent 5 minutes talking and watching the demonstration and knowing that I had to try some of this stuff with Pixel when I got back. Whilst I didn’t really see much difference between this and agility I guess this emphasizes more that BOTH you and the dog move. I know in agility sometimes the owners just yell commands and barely move.  The major FAIL of the expo was the lack of Les Mills clothing, neither at the Les Mills booth or the Reebok booth! Total bummer! They missed out on a deal there!

While walking to my next session and texting Bob a pic of the K9 booth I ran into Jeff and Brock from Moorpark College who were headed to the same session The Physiology of Fat Loss: New Findings. This was led by Len Kravitz PhD and I learned a lot in this session. Including some good workout plans. These types of lectures are ones that I love to get the study notes from and really digest, putting myself into research mode!  After the fat loss was Saving your Knees in a Quad dominant world by Brian Richey. Again not what I was expecting but so good! Lots of physical therapy information about medial glute activation. I learned TONS of exercises I personally need to work on and also good information to use for clients. The general theme of the day: Cross train for variety!

After a full day it was time to head back to the hotel to change for the Luau. I went, but admit I didn’t really enjoy it just not my scene and I was dressed in clothing that I couldn’t then try out the fitness equipment! So then I’m annoyed at that. There were drinks and food, but I was too tired to get in line and honestly my head too full of information. Guess who’s a book worm at heart? Yeah, I just wanted to get back and read the studies I’d learned about today. But I went, and I shopped a little and I chatted. For about 30 minutes, when my brain was just shouting for some downtime. It’s LOUD in that expo, and whilst I like it loud I also have limits ;)

ideaworld2014-day1-Di luau

So I came back to the hotel and jotted down my thoughts for the day, made notes of studies to research and then chatted with Bob for a while before turning in for the night, with my head full of thoughts of the next day and what more I could learn. I had to be up EARLY anyway for the pre conference lecture I’d signed up for. Alarm set for 5.30am the next day!




Spinning playlist - making you sweat!

spin playlist 2014 fitness

Ok so I’m still in Anaheim at the IDEA World Fitness Convention so I prepped this Spinning playlist ahead of time. I actually played this one in class last week and there was lots of whoopin’ and a hollering. Some classics, some dance and some little unknown gems! This playlist is in honor of the World Fitness Convention so it’s all workout, fitness, exercise, sweat related. Yeah I dig the themed playlists! Sheesh no playlists for weeks months then along come two in the same month! Click here for last weeks summer themed Spinning playlist. Anyway the playlist is available on iTunes as a complete spinning fitness/sweat playlist and individual links are below with the class breakdown. Class is around 55 minutes.


Let the beat control your body – 2 unlimited    Amazon / iTunes

Start the class with a blast from the past and a quick warm up! Start with low resistance and medium speed. Go through your normal spiel regarding form etc. Make sure people have towels, water etc. Always remind your class to work to their own level but PUSH, afterall this is about FITNESS!

Push Push – Falco    

Another one not available on iTunes/Amazon :( Sorry we have a HUGE CD collection from Europe and this is in our collection. I love it :) You can hear the song Push Push by Falco on youtube, because if it’s not on iTunes or Amazon it’s on youtube right? ;)

For this one add about 20-30% resistance and then ride a tempo ride up and down between first, second and third position. I spend about 32 counts in each. Enough time to go through form and remind the class of where they should be on the bike.

D’ya wanna go faster – Terrorvision    Amazon / iTunes

 One of my favorite sprinting songs. Slap down in the saddle, keep the 20-30% resistance and sprint through the chorus. “Dya wanna go faster?” is a great chant during the sprints, especially as each one gets longer ;)

Push It – Salt N Pepa   Amazon / iTunes

 Jumps!!! Has to be jumps! Add a little taking it to 40% to jump on a hill. Start with 8′s and switch between 8′s and 4′s. Nothing quicker needed for the tempo of this one, add the resistance to bring up the sweat. Sing for added cardio ;)

Sweat – Snoog Dog Vs David Guetta   Amazon / iTunes

 Seated climb, so lets drive up the resistance each new verse. Start at the 40% then add to 50, 60 and 70% throughout the song. Remind your class to PULL through the pedals!!!

Breakin’ a sweat – Skrillex & The Doors (Zedd Remix)    Amazon / iTunes

 We’ve climbed in the saddle now let’s take it down to 60% for a climb in and out the saddle. Start down, when the “breakn a sweat” starts come into 2nd, when the tech beat begins come into third for a push through.

I’m Alive – Mickey Modelle & Breeze   

Ok firstly there is nothing on iTunes or Amazon for this one so here is the youtube link so you might find it somewhere else?  

This is quick and long so perfect for 5-6 sprint sessions. I’d do 20-30s sprints with the same recovery. Resistance low, but it’s there. Maybe around 20%. Remember to keep control of the sprints!

Blood is Pumping – Voodoo & Serano    Amazon / iTunes

Easy tempo ride. Add resistance so that you’re around 40-50% then ride through saddle and standing in second, then race in third.


Physical – Olivia Newton John   Amazon / iTunes

Gonna make you sweat – C+C Music Factory    Amazon / iTunes

 NOTE:  Two HEAVY climbs back to back. Decide which one is down in the saddle one out of the saddle in third. Choose your poison, as to which is which. Choose a slow and steady tempo and a hard and heavy resistance. Make these challenging!


Pump It – Black Eyes peas   Amazon / iTunes

 After two big climbs take the resistance down to around 20% and ride in the saddle easy. I’m not usually one for Black Eyed Peas songs but I like this one for a recovery.

Yo Mama “Push the Tempo” – Fat boy slim Vs Moguai   Amazon / iTunes

 Tempo! Find it. Encourage your class to find it, then challenge the resistance by making it a challenge. For more people that might be around 40-50%… the key here is to play with the tempo and position. So stay down to find the tempo then come out the saddle to 2nd around 55s. come back down around 1:30 and SLOW DOWN. Listen to the music, emphasize staying with the beat… slow… then listen… it’s speeding up! By 215 you should be sprinting!!! Then slow down around 2;25 and come into second,  third comes later around  3:22! Then it’s back down to repeat the slow, sprint, 2nd, 3rd, then easy finish. Make this FUN! 

Run to you (hands up club mix)[feat Fab] – Jan Wayne    Amazon / iTunes

 Start at 50% from the last song, and find the tempo for a ride to the finish that reduces in resistance every 90 seconds. By the end you should be nice and easy cooled down and ready to stretch. Options: I like to run through saddle and 2nd for this one, coming into 2nd for the chorus. It just feels right.

The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars   Amazon / iTunes

Easy stretch.



Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Also I’m thinking of adding spotify playlist option, does anyone use it? I admit I haven’t really used it, but if it’s something you’d like let me know! Also any suggestions for themed playlists in the future. I will try and post them ahead of time!

Healthy Vegan Recipes for Kids

Hi All! Well as you’ll know if you follow my social media I’m in Anaheim at the World Fitness Convention having a blast and learning all things new about health, fitness and nutrition. I may also be spending a small fortune at the expo too ;) However to ensure goodness on the blog today I’m going to share a guest post by Mahdhavi Dandu from UrbanWired! Enjoy!




Children are usually fussy about what they want to eat making the vegan diet even more challenging to follow and keep up with. You may be eating healthy, but your kids will get bored easily. Being a vegan family isn’t as easy as it looks. Creating new and tasty food for your children is the only way to get them to stay vegan and eat healthy. Here are a few healthy vegan recipes for kids:


Macaroni and cashew cheese

 Comfort food has never tasted better. This vegan recipe is easy to prepare and will definitely be loved by your kids too:



  • 1-1/4 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 3-1/2 cups of non-diary milk
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup canola oil/olive oil
  • ¼ cup miso
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Macaroni


Start by grinding the cashews. Be careful not to grind it into a paste. Add the onion powder, yeast, garlic powder and white pepper. Blend a few times so that spices and cashews are mixed into a fine powder.
 Next, add milk, cornstarch and oil in to a saucepan. Simmer on high heat initially and then on medium. Stir every 10 minutes or until the cornstarch dissolves.
 Add this mix to the cashew powder mix in the blender. Blend until the sauce looks creamy. Once that is done, add the lemon juice and miso.
 In the meantime, prepare your macaroni. When the sauce and macaroni are both ready, add the sauce in the macaroni and your vegan macaroni and cheese is ready to eat!


Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

 These vegan cinnamon rolls taste great and are really easy to make. Your kids can actually make these for themselves!



  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup of almond milk

Use these ingredients to make the dough. For the sprinkle you will need:

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


Pre heat the oven to 450 F. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the butter and massage it into the flour with your hands. Add milk till the batter becomes soft. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape.


Using a brush, spread some butter onto the flattened dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.


Now that all your ingredients are in, start rolling the dough. Cut in to small pieces and place the rolls into a greased baking dish. Bake the rolls until they become golden brown. You can top these cinnamon rolls with frosting if you like.


Vegan Lasagna

If you thought turning vegan means giving up things like lasagna, you were wrong. Try this easy vegan lasagna.




  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 10 oz. baby fresh spinach
  • 2 12 oz. firm drained tofu
  • 1 8 oz. vegan cream cheese
  • ½ cup of freshly chopped basil
  • 1.4 cut nutritional yeast


For the lasagna you will need:

  • 5 ½ cups of red sauce
  • 12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna
  • 12 oz. soy sausage crumbles broken apart
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheese (mozzarella flavoured)

Start by pre heating your oven at 375 F. Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 4-5 minutes, then add the spinach. Once the spinach has wilted, transfer this mix into a food processor and add tofu, cream cheese, nutritional yeast and basil. Grind until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.

Next, pour some red sauce into your baking dish. Cover with noodles and add the fillings to the top. After adding the filling, add another layer of sauce and repeat the process. Finally, add the sausage crumbles and pour some more red sauce on top. Top it off with one more layer of noodles and sauce and sprinkle some shredded cheese. Now, cover your lasagna in some foil and let it bake for 30 minutes. After the initial 30 minutes, remove the foil and let it bake for another 15 minutes.

Once it is out of the oven it is ready for your children.


These easy to make, delicious recipes will leave no room for tantrums and make your vegan life easier. Your kids will always enjoy a little variation in the menu and so will you. These recipes are not only tasty but healthy too. So while your kids enjoy the meal, you no longer have to be worried that the food they are having isn’t healthy.



Author bio: Madhavi Dandu is a senior editor at UrbanWired with deep love and passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and fashion. Given how uninformed people were about personal health, fitness, she saw the need to educate average joe and jane about healthy living through her writing.

10 minute Standing Chair Workout

10 min standing chair workout thumbnail

I knew I’d be busy getting ready for IDEA World Fitness Convention this week, so what I did last week was do a double workout and make TWO videos so I could upload one this week. Look at me getting all organized! This weeks workout is a 10 minute standing workout that can be down with a chair if balance in an issue. I chose to demonstrate the exercises with a chair and show a few non-chair options. As always it’s  workout, make it your own working to your level of fitness.


The workout video is just one set of work, but feel free to do more depending on how much time you have. Each exercise is done with 20 full range of movement repetitions followed by 10 small pulses. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel!  The full video is below:


Workout Breakdown:

This workout starts off with a PLIE AND ARM REACH. So begin with one hand on the chair, feet wide, toes turned out and outside arm is reaching out the the side. Sit down into the plie, ensuring your knees track towards your toes. Then Stand up reaching the outside arm up and over towards the chair. 20 full range repetitions, then hold down in the plie for 10 small pulses.

10 min standing chair workout 20140813 plie with arm reach

Shake the legs out then move onto the KNEE LIFT. Standing on one leg with the knee slightly bent, holding onto the chair, extend the leg furthest away from the chair in front of the body about 2″ off the floor. In a controlled movement lift the knee up to hip height then control back down to the starting position.20 full range repetitions, then hold up the knee for 10 small pulses.

10 min standing chair workout 20140813 knee lift

After the knee lifts we focus on the outer thighs with SIDE LEG LIFTS. Standing on the same leg, with the knees slightly bent lift that outer most leg up and out to the side. Try to keep the hips facing forward and the foot flexed. 20 full range repetitions, then hold the leg up for 10 small pulses.

10 min standing chair workout 20140813 side leg lift

Again give the legs a shake, and head back into working the same side with FRONT SWEEPS. Standing on the same leg, small bend in the knee, lift the out leg off the floor and sweep the arch of the foot towards the chair. Again hips stable. 20 full range repetitions, then hold the leg towards the chair for 10 small pulses.
10 min standing chair workout 20140813 front leg sweep


Note how we’re working the same side, so that standing leg gets fatigued? One more exercise on this leg, and it’s DONKEY KICKS. Stand on the same leg with the knee bent facing the chair. Bend the moving leg to 90° and then, keeping the hips in place and the back long, kick the leg behind you in a controlled movement. Bring the leg back to the starting position with thighs together to complete the rep. 20 full range repetitions, then hold the kick up for 10 small pulses.10 min standing chair workout 20140813 donkey kick

 And that is this weeks workout! Sometimes it’s fun to go back to some basics. I will say the day after I did this my medial glutes were on FIRE! As always play with the reps, and do more sets if you have more time.



Let me know what you think in the comments!