Playlist Got Your Down? 10 Best Body Challenge Mixes

Playlist Got Your Down? 10 Best Body Challenge Mixes

One of the many awesome things about teaching Body Challenge is that each week I get to comb through all my favorite tunes and put together a 45-60 minute mix of movement inspiring music. I try to combine the best of what's new with my favorite vintage tracks so there's something for everyone. I'm a personal trainer, not a DJ. But I have to tell you, there's an art and science to mixology that I find rewarding. So if your playlist is leaving your workouts lackluster, try one of these 10 mixes and see if you get inspired. 

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Quick and Easy Egg White Muffins with Veggies and Cheese

Quick and Easy Egg White Muffins with Veggies and Cheese

These mini egg white muffins are the perfect meal prep hack if you struggle getting a healthy, balanced breakfast with ample protein. A quick and easy batch of these will keep all week in your fridge and are easy to take with you to the gym or office. Pop them in a microwave for 30 seconds or just eat them cold like I do. Each muffin only has about 70 calories with only 2 carbs and 10g of protein. These include peppers, spinach, mushrooms and chives but you can add any veggies or meat (grilled chicken, turkey bacon) you like. Om nom nom.

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Curious About Cupping? Dr. Jay and JJ Demo How It Can Improve Fascia

Curious About Cupping? Dr. Jay and JJ Demo How It Can Improve Fascia

From Michael Phelps to Ryan Seacrest to the girl squatting next to you in the gym, cupping (or "myofascial decompression") is becoming an increasingly popular modality to help with fascial dysfunction. Perfectly round telltale "bruises" are making their way onto backs, shoulders and hips everywhere and are raising eyebrows from those who don't understand what they are. I've personally experienced positive results from cupping as part of an integrated physical therapy program in the past. So I enlisted the awesome Dr. Sarah Jay from GSPORTS Physical Therapy to discuss and demonstrate how cupping can help improve fascial health and mobility. 

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When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer

When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer

Lawyers face unusually long hours and high amounts of stress in their work. Hours on end sitting and typing, anxiety inducing deadlines and little time for proper meals and adequate rest can leave many of them wondering why they chose the law for a profession. I work with A LOT of lawyers. And my clients will tell you, it doesn't have to be this way. With a practical and efficient fitness program (and the right coach) even the busiest attorney can achieve balance and health without sacrificing his/her career. In fact, my clients say they're actually better lawyers because of it. For more details, check out my interview with Leigh Jones from Law.com: When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer.

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Research Review: Heart Rate Monitoring and How We Interact With Wearables

Research Review: Heart Rate Monitoring and How We Interact With Wearables

Last month Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, PhD and her research team at the University of Wisconsin published a study of wearable fitness trackers in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study looked at how four popular trackers compared with an electrocardiogram and against each other for heart rate monitoring accuracy. Interpretation of the results by news media so far has been cautiously optimistic. Here's CNN's and ABC's coverage. My pals at LA Radio Studio and the Phil Hulett and Friends Show invited me on the air last week to discuss the study and how it may change the way we interact with our wearables. 

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Useful Gym Machines for Stronger Glutes and Back

Useful Gym Machines for Stronger Glutes and Back

The folks at US News & World Report asked me which machines in the gym are best for women who are intimidated by free weights and barbells. Obviously I encourage everyone (men and women) to include safe, effective resistance training into their fitness programs, but totally understand that it may take time (and assistance) to build up to that. So in the meantime, checkout slides 3 and 4 for my top picks

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Unlock Your Ankle's Potential: Drills for Better Mobility

Unlock Your Ankle's Potential: Drills for Better Mobility

The ankle is one of our most important and often overlooked joints. Poor movement patterns and pain "up the chain" (i.e. in your knees, hips and even lower back) can often be traced back to issues at the ankle joint. Think of how often and how many ways we use our ankles: walking, running, biking, squatting, yoga, balancing, dancing (you get the idea). If the muscles acting on your ankle are chronically tight or if the joint itself is jammed or lacks proper mobility the impact can be painful and damaging as the body will compensate at other joints to accommodate movement. Try these drills that could lead to reduced pain and improved performance.

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Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It's no secret that I don't enjoy spending hours in the kitchen on fancy, complicated meals. Whenever possible I opt for simple, fast and easy. However, every once and a while I like to go the extra mile and do something a little special, particularly if I'm cooking dinner for others. So if you're looking to up your ground turkey game beyond meatloaf and turkey sauté check out these amazing (and still healthy!) turkey and quinoa stuffed peppers topped with mozzarella and basil. 

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So You Want to Become a Personal Trainer?

So You Want to Become a Personal Trainer?

My clients and colleagues are often surprised to learn that I regularly take on mentees. Yes, I'm SUPER busy, but I enjoy working 1-on-1 with new trainers who need guidance, seasoned trainers who want to increase their businesses and fitness enthusiasts considering a career change into the training industry. Usually I get the question “Why would you help your competition succeed?” I don’t look at it that way. When we put community above competition we all win. So if you’re considering a career in personal training, are interested in exploring what it might be like to work as a top Equinox personal trainer or are a veteran trainer who needs a boost with better business-building or programming skills, feel free to contact me.

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Why Are People Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar?

Why Are People Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar?

This month a bodybuilder, a pastor and a pilates instructor each told me they drink apple cider vinegar every day. The bodybuilder said he kicks back a shot of it in the morning for its alkalizing properties to help offset the acidic effects of a high protein, low carb diet. The pastor dilutes 1tbs in 8oz of cold water and drinks it down to manage hunger and for weight loss. The pilates instructor sips on a diluted solution and swears by its ability to improve digestion and gut health. I did some poking around the Interwebs and asked some trusted experts for their thoughts on the stuff. Is this a case of placebo or is apple cider vinegar a true miracle elixir? Let’s explore.

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Fit Pros to Watch: Q&A with Kylie Fan Fitness

Fit Pros to Watch: Q&A with Kylie Fan Fitness

Clients and friends often ask me who inspires me in the fitness word. Who do I look to for inspiration, innovation and perspiration? I have to give a special shoutout to Kylie Fan who I've had the pleasure of working beside at Equinox Pine Street for years. She embodies what makes an amazing coach and colleague. She has a depth of technical knowledge and is dedicated to ongoing education, provides kind and thoughtful coaching to her clients and practices what she preaches in her own fitness, nutrition and lifestyle. Simply put, she's someone to watch and follow! 

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How to Book JJ for Massage

How to Book JJ for Massage

Last year I decided to invest significant time, money and energy into learning the science and art of bodywork. Regular therapeutic massage plays a vital role in my physical and mental health and is a pillar in my fitness foundation along with exercise and nutrition. In December I completed my first two months in an eight-month, 600-hour certification program at the San Francisco School of Massage. Starting January 8th I will be working most Sundays in the school's student clinic Massage Lab. Read on to learn how you can book a session there (only $35 for 60 minutes!) and whether massage is right for you.

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Three Better Breakfasts: Protein Pancakes, Mini Egg Muffins and the Perfect Smoothie

Three Better Breakfasts: Protein Pancakes, Mini Egg Muffins and the Perfect Smoothie

Breakfast tends to be an afterthought for a lot of folks and heavy on carbs and low in protein and healthy fats. Bagels, bars and greasy breakfast burritos are convenient, but they aren't necessarily what you need to fuel your day and reach your fitness goals. So consider doing a couple of minutes of meal prep and set yourself up for success with three of my favorite healthy, tasty and easy breakfasts that you can eat at home or take on the go.

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Are You Ready for BODY CHALLENGE? Join Me Every Tuesday at 6a.

Are You Ready for BODY CHALLENGE? Join Me Every Tuesday at 6a.

Are you ready for a 45-minute total body workout that will blast your booty, back, chest and core while kicking up your metabolism for the day through a mix of strength moves and cardio intervals? Join me at Equinox Pine Street from 6-6:45a every Tuesday for BODY CHALLENGE.

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Ditch the Diets and Focus on These 12 Strategies for Better Nutrition

Ditch the Diets and Focus on These 12 Strategies for Better Nutrition

Whether your goal is to lose body fat, increase muscle mass or just to be healthy and live a long life, ditch the crazy crash diets and focus on longterm behaviors that deliver sustainable results. Easier said than done, I know. The supplement, publishing and media industries have flooded our brains with so much conflicting information and misleading imagery that most of us have no clue what to believe or where to begin. Enter these 12 fundamental strategies for eating healthier and making better choices from Equinox. 

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SF's Top Spin Gurus Share Form Fixes, Coaching Tips and Programming Recommendations

SF's Top Spin Gurus Share Form Fixes, Coaching Tips and Programming Recommendations

Whether you're an avid cyclist, an occasional spin class warrior or are considering your first ride there are four spin instructors in SF that you want to know: Andrew Stinger, Marcia Robles, Danny Baker and Caroline Jordan. These four "Spin Ninjas" have uniquely different styles and while different are all grounded in safety, effectiveness and kick ass energy. Each was was kind enough to share with me how to avoid the most common and dangerous form issues; how to overcome common mental challenges; and their take on how often someone "should" spin, intervals-vs-steady state and what to do in between rides. 

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What's the Best Position for Sleeping?

What's the Best Position for Sleeping?

Most people know that muscle and joint pain, particularly in the lower back, can be linked to chronic sitting, a weak core, lazy glutes and poor form in the gym. But the very thing that is supposed to restore and regenerate our bodies (sleep) can also contribute to pain and injury. Poor positioning of the legs can further compress already tight hip muscles. Twisting of the spin or pelvis can cause fussy muscles like the quadratus lumborum to become hypertonic. And acrobatic-like arm contortions can cause nerve pain. I asked my physical therapist and friend what the "best" position is for sleeping for most people.  

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What Should I Eat Before and After a Workout?

What Should I Eat Before and After a Workout?

I get this question a lot. I get it from clients. I get it from friends. I even get it from the coolest fit-tech companies in the world! And it's a GREAT question. How we fuel our bodies affects our performance in the gym, our recovery (and results) from a workout and even the microscopic cells that make us what we are. Food is important. If what you're doing is working for you and you just want to maintain, cool. Keep doing what you're doing. But if you want to change consider changing you're pre- and post-workout nutrition first.

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What Fitness Pros Eat After a Tough Workout

What Fitness Pros Eat After a Tough Workout

Think fitness trainers only eat grilled chicken and steamed broccoli? The truth might surprise you. Fit pros subscribe to lots of different healthy eating philosophies. But above all, trainers are focused on results. The one thing they all agree on? When it comes to weight loss and muscle gain, working out is only part of the equation. If you want to shape up, you need to step in the kitchen. Straight from the gym, studio, and blacktop, here’s what five top trainers like to eat after a tough sweat session. Thanks to my friends at the Fitbit Blog for including me in this great piece.

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