One Dumbbell Workout

One Dumbbell Workout

40-Minute One Dumbbell Workout

At the time of writing this blog it is 13 days before Christmas and I just bought our Christmas decoration.

Christmas-Fitness-with-PJ

Yup. A bottle of Carolan’s is our decoration.

Why, you wonder? Well, it’s the only decoration I feel like buying every year.

You see, we don’t own one decoration.

Nada. Nothing.

We had a tree about 20 years ago, when we first got married, but I lost enthusiasm for the whole “decorating” for the holidays after a couple of years and gave away all our ornaments (which were hand-me-downs anyways – cause I was too cheap to buy anything and friends of ours took pity on us and gave us all of their old decorations).

Ever since I gave away the ornaments I haven’t bothered to replace them.

It’s not cause I hate Christmas, either. It’s just simply I don’t want to add anymore stuff to do to my agenda in December.

If I need to get lit up for the holidays I will do so in other ways 🙂

Fitness Christmas Gift Suggestions

A Studio membership. HAHAHAHAHA. I know, total blatant self-promotion. But… we do rock.

Foam roller – so your loved one can save some money on a massage therapist. I dig this one .

This shirt:Funny-fitness-tank-top

A subscription to a meditation app. I love Headspace.

A subscription to a local produce delivery service.

Smartphone running arm band.

Dumbbells… cause who doesn’t love some iron for the holidays.

A TRX.

A cool yoga mat sling.

Cool-yoga-bag-sling-Fitness-with-PJ

A cool workout bag.

funny-workout-bag

A little bling.

Strong-is-beautiful-necklace-Fitness-with-PJ

The coziest sweatshirt ever.

The-Studio-Sweatshirt

 

The Workout

Tools needed: a light, moderate and heavy dumbbell

40-Minute-1-Dumbell-Workout-All-Levels-Fitness-with-PJ

 

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PJ ox

The Number Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

The Number Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

The Number One Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

Top 10 tips on how-to stay motivated to exercise all year-round.  

There are a few things that can frustrate me. Slow internet speed, no access to WiFi, sale items at grocery stores that are sold out, traffic, weeds (I hate gardening), and even Facebook frustrates me when they change their algorithms – yet again!

As I gotten older technology, and such, is frustrating me at faster pace than it used.

People, however, aren’t.

The number way to make your trainer angry

With age I am finding I actually have greater patience with clients and individuals than I ever have had before. That is until they do this:

They head out of town for a vacation, or a business trip, or because of family matters, and they leave their home and their runners behind.

They decide that because they are “away” they don’t need to maintain their fitness and health program.

I’m not quite sure why they do this.

I have heard a variety of excuses, though.

For instance: I didn’t have time, there wasn’t a gym, or my personal favourite, I never workout when I’m away.

It baffles me that people would consciously and purposely lose the strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity that they have just spent the last 9 to 10 months working so hard to get.

Fitness-with-PJ-Nikes-Quote

How fast you will lose your fitness?

Because you will lose it.

Your aerobic fitness will start to diminish in as quick as seven to fourteen days.

As for those muscles that you have been working so hard to build, in the most drastic scenario studies have shown that you can lose as much as 80% of your strength and tone in as little as two weeks.

80%!!! That’s a big loss.

For the more deconditioned individual, you will lose even more with any hiatus.

Studies have followed new exercisers as they began an exercise program and then stopped it and found that after two months of quitting their newfound fitness program they had lost all of their original gains!

They were back to square one again.

Fit people – your outcome is not as bad, but it is still worrisome.

After 2 months off of your program it is estimated that you will lose about 30% of your gains.

How quick can you get your fitness back?

The question then begs to be asked – how long will it take to get it all back then?

Researchers say that is hard to predict, but for athletes it could take as much as three months to regain your previous fitness level, and for new exercisers it might be as much as three to four months.

So, let’s do the math. Say you’re a new exerciser who started a regular fitness program in January with the rest of rush and you decide to stop exercising for the summer.

You then start up again, say after the kids go back to school in September. It will now take you until the beginning of December to gain back the fitness that you originally had in June when you stopped.

But, then guess what? It’s Christmas.

Now there are parties to go to, schedules that are busy, and the mentality of “I will start up again in January” sets in.

And then after Christmas comes winter holidays, because most people take off some time in the January to March months.

Then there is spring break and then guess what? It’s summer again.

It’s a vicious cycle, with no end in sight and absolutely no fitness gains to be seen.

That is, unless, you decide to break the habit of thinking that exercise is something that can be dropped from the schedule and put back in again when it suits you better.

Exercise is a necessity at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It is our only proven fountain of youth, disease-fighter and “I-feel-awesome” medicine all rolled into one.

So I ask you, why would you purposely give all of that up?

Fitness with PJ quote

10 Tips to stay motivated all year-round

1/ YouTube.

There are a plethora of awesome fitness YouTube channels that will warm you up, work you out and cool you down. If you haven’t already subscribe to my channel and you will have access to workouts that you can easily do in your home, with some of them under 20-minutes.

Fitness with PJ YouTube channel

2/ Never allow more than two days without exercise.

I live by this rule. Why two days? Because once two days has gone by it’s way to easy for that to turn into three days, then four days and before you know days become weeks and months.

3/ Always pack your runners.

Where ever you are in the world if you have your runners you can get a workout in. Whether it’s a quick jog, or a series of bodyweight exercises you can maintain your fitness.

4/ Google.

Before you head out of town Google the area and see what there is available. Try a fitness class there to keep you motivated and to try something fun. I have done STEP in Hong Kong, yoga in Mexico, spinning in New York and Zumba in Hawaii.

5/ Wear a tracker.

Wear a fitness tracker and aim for the same step count and calorie expenditure as you would at home.

6/ Wake up earlier.

If your family is not keen on exercising while on vacation then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and get your workout in before they get up.

7/ Pack it.

If you know you won’t have access to any equipment pack some exercise tubing, your iPod, a timer and a skipping rope.

8/ Track it.

Use an app, or write your workouts down, but track what you are doing. When it’s on paper it makes it more real and real will help keep you accountable.

9/ Penalize yourself.

Studies have shown that people who have to pay others when they don’t stick with their goals tend to achieve their goals. You see we hate giving away hard earned cash, so make a deal with yourself for every day you don’t exercise you owe your favourite charity $5.

10/ Make food and sleep a priority.

Eat the best you can and get a good night’s sleep and you will make it a lot easier on yourself to stay motivated with your fitness all-year around.

When I travel I eat the same way I would at home for breakfast and lunch and do my best for dinner. I still enjoy my travels, while my body continues to appreciate good healthy food.

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PJ ox

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

 

What if you could write a letter to your younger self?

 

What would you say? What life lessons would you share?

 

Would your letter go a little like the letter I would write to my 24-year old self?

 

Dear 24-year old PJ,

 

Hey PJ! So, we just celebrated our 46th birthday a few days ago (spoiler alert: we were in Mexico), and it got me thinking about some life lessons I wished we learned earlier.

 

But, before we get into that, how are you?

 

I know! That was a ridiculous question to ask. Since you are me and I know I was doing pretty good 22 years ago, even if I didn’t think I was at the time.

 

But, 22 years ago is when we married loving husband and launched our personal training business.

 

It was a big year girlfriend.

 

In fact, our 20’s were pretty good. But, unfortunately we were pretty busy being 20-something, and taking everything for granted like 20-somethings do, that we didn’t really appreciate what the hell we had.

 

Hence this letter.

 

10 Truths I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

 

First, learn to forgive the a**holes in life.

 

It’s not easy, but you need to learn this important step.

 

You see, even if they were a jerk to you it doesn’t mean that it’s all about you. Yes, thinking that they are being an a-hole to just you means you believe life revolves only around you.

 

Huge life lesson here, it does not.

 

This a-hole could just be having a bad day. Or, someone may have been an a-hole to them earlier (which then put them in a bad mood). You just don’t know their story.

 

So please, forgive, turn the other cheek, smile and be nice (Yes, you may curse at them inside your head. We aren’t saints for crying out loud.).

 

Second, learn to love the journey as much as the destination.

 

We are very good at making goals. We have laser-like focus and will quite often narrow our vision to the finish line only.

 

What you need to start doing is paying attention to the journey as well.

 

This is where you will meet some pretty cool people (if you pay attention), as well as learn about yourself and create all the awesome memories that we can reflect on as we get older.

 

The destination is really secondary to the journey.

 

Third, learn to breathe for crying out loud.

 

Everyday take a few moments to just sit still and breathe.

 

These few moments I am asking you to take are what you are going to term “slow and useless”. They really aren’t and are quite the opposite.

 

The stillness will make us happier, rev us up and help get those creative juices running.

 

Trust me on this one*.

 

* Well, you kinda have to since I am you, and not trusting me would actually be not trusting yourself.

 

Fourth, flat abs and an inner thigh gap is not better health.

 

We were pretty overweight as kids, so I get why you are so concerned about your body image.

 

Flash forward 22 years later though, and with the loss of friends and loved ones from diseases, you will recognize that good health is actually vitality and vigour for life.

 

It is an inner glow and energy that one exudes when you are enjoying good food, a good life and doing those squats you love so much.

 

Fifth, appreciate loving husband (and those around you) more.

 

It is friends and family that will help you through some tough times ahead. You will need their support and their love, so give lots to them right now.

 

Yes, loving husband will still be eating junk food and hiding the wrappers in the garbage can when we are middle-aged. However, he puts up with a lot from us so you will learn to ignore these culinary indiscretions of his.

 

Sixth, use sunscreen.

 

This will save us both a lot of money in the future in laser treatments, exfoliates, anti-aging moisturizers and high-def make-up.

 

Seventh, quit buying the latest and greatest.

 

It is, in the end, just crap. You can live without that sweater and I promise you that owning matching dinnerware, cutlery and placements will not bring you inner peace.

 

Save our money and use it for trips and experiences. That’s the sort of thing that we will be remembering, and yearning for more of, in our middle years.

 

Eighth, be kind to yourself.

 

Love yourself and the skin that you are in. You are perfectly imperfect and embrace that.

 

Ninth, be kind to others.

 

The world runs at a really fast-pace nowadays. So fast that we can lose a bit of our humanity just because we are too damn busy to care.

 

Don’t let that happen. Don’t be an a**hole (refer back to tip #1). Care for others and be kind – however, don’t lose your attitude. That’s what makes us all unique.

 

And tenth, rely on your instincts.

 

Instincts can serve a girl well so start paying attention to yours.

 

When making the tough decisions that we have to make in life have a clear-head and trust your gut.

 

Your intuition, and that gut instinct you feel, will provide you with a very useful first step in any decision-making process.

 

However, there is one occasion that I strongly urge you NOT to trust your gut.

 

When we turn 40 we will think it’s a great idea to die our hair platinum blonde. It is not a great idea. In fact, it is an epically bad one. Blonde is not the way to go for us.

 

Trust me. We will regret that one.

PJ-blonde 

Love Me

 ps – being middle-aged is actually pretty cool.

 pps – you know how you are always cold? I got two words for you Hot. Flashes

 

 

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PJ ox

How To Bounce Back From Failure

How To Bounce Back From Failure

Stopped Working Out? How To Bounce Back.

Having been a trainer for over two decades now (wow, I’m getting old. When the hell did that happen?!), I know there are a lot of people who have a hard time getting fit and losing weight.

In my 20-plus years of being “in the trenches,” I have found that most people can find the energy and enthusiasm to start a fitness plan, or a new eating plan. We make a commitment to ourselves and we start.

No problem.

Where the challenge lies is in staying committed to those goals on an ongoing basis.

I’m Starting… Next Year

Think about how many times you have triumphantly told yourself that “today is going to be the day!”, only to have that same enthusiasm wane as the days pass.

Or, how many of you have promised yourself, “I will start on Monday,” only to have Friday come and everything we promised ourselves, and were kicking ass doing on Monday and Tuesday, is slowly starting to fall to the “not so important anymore” category in our daily lives.

All these broken promises to ourselves can leave us feeling resentful, frustrated and angry with ourselves.

We wonder, why we can’t do this? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever succeed? Ha, trust me, there nothing is wrong with you.

You are human and we ALL fall and slip with our health goals. I even fall prey to this. There are some weekends where pizza, cookies and rum dominate my Saturday and Sunday nights and then Monday comes for me too.

How To Bounce Back 

Now, first off I want you to know that making poor choices with your health, when you promised yourself that you wouldn’t, is not failure. Failure is9, not even recognizing that you need to change your lifestyle.

Ignorance is the biggest indicator to failure.

Whereas admitting that you need to change some (or a lot) of things in your life to feel better, and then falling on your face every so often, is completely, utterly human.

So, what can you do next time you fall off the wagon? You have three choices. You can:

A) Crawl back into bed and throw the covers over your head,

B) Yell and scream and blame everyone else for your slip up

C) Dust yourself off and bounce back

While A can be tempting, and B we may do at times, it’s C that’s the clear winner – dusting ourselves off and bouncing back is the only way to bounce back from disaster and failure.

5 Steps to Bouncing Back

To successfully pick ourselves up takes:

  • Strength from within
  • Support from those around you
  • Responsibility on your part
  • An ability to embrace challenge and change
  • A never-stop-bouncing back attitude

First, strength within happens through self-love. You have to convince yourself that you are worth it, that even if you are starting over again you are still way farther ahead than you would be if you didn’t.

You need to remind yourself that you are making better choices in your life – for your life.

To help accomplish this new love affair with yourself you may need to reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking of exercise as a form of punishment, think of it as a choice you are making because you love your body. Sounds corny eh? But, it works.

Case in point, would you rather do a workout if someone said to you “This is going to hurt like a motha and leave you crippled for days”.

Or, “You are going to feel amazing after this”. Person A would get a punch in the throat, I am positive.

Yet, this is how we talk to ourselves all the time. We either guilt ourselves into doing something, or we take the most negative aspect of it and focus on that.

Your grey matter can play a huge roll on whether or not you put those runners on.

Bounce-back

Second, lean on those around you. Don’t feel like a burden; get help from your family, your social circle and even social media. The more people that know you need help staying on track, the more people can help. And, who knows, maybe one day they may need your help too.

Third, take responsibility for your actions. This is a tough one. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but recognize that you are completely and utterly in control of your actions.

No one is stopping you from exercise (example, you are the one creating the “I am too busy…too tired… too unmotivated…too sore…too old…” excuses that stop you from getting those runners on), and no one is stuffing bad choices down your throat in the form of burgers and beer.

Take responsibility, learn from your mistakes, bounce back up and move on.

Finally, it’s important to embrace the challenges and the inevitable adjustment that has to happen to change the direction of your health.

Don’t put up stop signs (such as “I’m too busy… too tired… too unmotivated…too sore… too old…”). If you want to make a change, start – and then get the hell out of your way and let the changes happen.

Work on those little grasshopper, and then you will find that you can bounce back, come back and live through anything.

 

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PJ ox

12 Tips To Make Exercise a Habit

12 Tips To Make Exercise a Habit

12 tips to Make Exercise a Habit

Habit. It is defined as “a regular tendency or practice, one that is hard to give up”. Things like caffeine, to brushing your teeth, to sitting on the couch and binge watching “House of Cards” are all common habits that some people have (and by “some people” I really mean me).

Exercise, however, is not usually a habit that a lot of us have, but it is something that most of us strive for.

Moving your body can help you stay above ground longer, while also giving you that extra spring in your step – something that we all desire.

If you lack exercise as one of your habits I suggest you start implementing one, or all, of the following tips.


fitness, sport, training, gym and lifestyle concept – group of women with dumbbells in gym

Best Tips to Make Fitness a Habit:

1/ Start small. First, begin with something that is super easy so that it can be done on a consistent basis. For instance, focus on 15-minute workouts before that half marathon. If the task, or goal, is too big you will give up before you even get going.

2/ Commit. Commitment is hard, but if you want fitness to become a habit than you need to buck up and commit. Join a fitness class, hire a personal trainer (most of us charge before the sessions start, giving you loads of incentive to keep coming back), or buy some exercise DVDs.

3 / Fitness buddy. Once you have committed to an activity find yourself a buddy to help hold you (and them) accountable. Agree to meet on a weekly basis and then tell the other what you will be doing for the rest of the week for exercise. Research has shown that the simple act of telling someone our intentions helps us stick to them. Join my Facebook community to start.

4/ Become a morning person. Workout first thing in the morning, before life gets in the way and the excuses of “I’ll do it later” begin.

5/ Become an after work person. If morning can’t happen, then get your workout in after work, but before you get home. Because once you get home it is way harder to get your butt moving again – especially when it knows how much easier it is to go sit on the couch.

6/ Figure out your “why”. Bikini body is nice, but dig a little deeper please. If your “why” does not make you burst into song and dance then when the chips are down you ain’t gonna get those Nikes’ on. So, figure out why you want to exercise and let that stoke the coals.

 

7/ Use technology. Use Siri, or reminders on your phone to get you moving. I also love habit-building apps like the Way of Life and Good Habits (download on iTunes). Both apps help you to develop habits by tracking what you do everyday, as well as giving you regular reminders to keep doing them.

8 / Do what you love. Tip, if you never want to make exercise a habit then do something you absolutely hate and that makes you feel awful afterwards. But, if you love it, or love the results and after-effects, you will continue on and make it stick.

9 / Do it at home. Don’t make it too hard to exercise, instead find an activity that you can do at home. I do this personally. I love yoga, but I find it challenging to get to a class. So, instead, I stream the website GaiamTV.com and get a class in, right in my own living room and at times that work for me.

10 / Mix it up. Try different activities and expand your fitness world. Keep yourself motivated and excited with change. Try mixing it up with this fun 40-minute workout.

11 / Have a plan. If you are new to exercise no matter what you do for the first 6-10 weeks you will see results, if you stay consistent. However, after the newbie-high is over you will need a plan to continue to see progress. So, arm yourself with a plan, with information and stay abreast on the latest research (like subscribing to this blog… just saying. Wink, wink.)

12 / Fake it until you make it. I am in love with TED Talks and I recently watched social psychologist Amy Cuddlyone chat about her research that she has done with people and changing how they feel by simply changing their body posture. She wanted to know if our actions, like smiling when we aren’t necessarily happy, could affect our moods, and guess what? It does.

So, fake it until you make it. Pretend you love exercise, smile even when it hurts and try to radiate health and well-being and guess what? Your body will soon follow.

 

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PJ ox

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