December 10, 2013

Leg Day Treadmill Run

Most of the country is experiencing very cold, snowy, and icy weather.  I happen to like running in the rain and snow, but sometimes I'm just not up for the cold weather tied to it.  So, yesterday was my leg day and instead of running outside I decided to use the treadmill for my run and incorporate my simple go-to leg workout.  Treadmills are mentally agonzing for me, so when I need/want to use one, it's usually a speed day or an interval day.  Yesterday I did an interval workout, but not what we are used to in running.  I decided to incorporate my leg day with intervals and this is how I did that.

Leg Day Run
1 mile warmup
12 Squats (weighted for intermediate & advanced)
24 Walking Lunges (Focus on form, not speed - weighted for intermediate & advanced)
24 Step Calf Raises

.5 mile - at a slightly faster pace than the warmup
12 Squats (weighted for intermediate & advanced
24 Walking Lunges (Focus on form, not speed - weighted for intermediate & advanced)
24 Step Calf Raises
REPEAT 3 more times slightly increasing your pace each .5 miles

Just so you can get an idea of what I mean my slightly faster, my times were:

Warmup- 10 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:50 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:40 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:31 min/mile
.5 mile - 9:22 min/mile

Depending on your fitness level, you can go faster/slower or make the pace differences less or more.

For runners, I always encourage leg days be either Monday or Tuesday to ensure your legs and glutes have ample time to recover before your long run (which is usually the weekend).

As always, feel free to leave a comment or question.


Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

August 5, 2013

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge Plan

The FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge is for anyone and everyone who wants to become stronger.  No gym membership is required and you don't have to dedicate hours of your time.  You can also perform the challenge as your only workout or incorporate it into any workout routine your currently have.

Here is the Challenge info in 1 place for easy reference.

Now go, SURPRISE yourself, and share your success with me.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Week 4

We have arrived to our last week of the Push up & Sit up Challenge.  Went by quick right?

This week will be a little different from the last few weeks.

Monday - Wednesday:  Rest days.  (No push ups or sit ups)

Level 1: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
3 sets of 40 sit ups

Level 2: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
3 sets of 50 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 30 Push ups
3 sets of 60 sit ups

Level 4: 3 sets of 35 Push ups
3 sets of 70 sit ups

Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups (add 5 to last week's)
3 sets of 80 sit ups

Friday:  REST


All levels:  Perform 1 set of push ups to fatigue (I'm sure you will surprise yourself.  Also, jot it down and share it with me. I would love to know how you did.)
                  Then take that number and multiply it by 2 to determine the number of sit ups.

You have completed the challenge.

I would love to know what your max was at the end of the challenge.  Please share with me so I can celebrate with you.


Your Personal Trainer,

To determine your fitness level, refer to the rules here.
Level 1: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
3 sets of 30 sit ups
Level 2: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
3 sets of 40 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
3 sets of 50 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 30 Push ups
3 sets of 60 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
3 sets of 80 sit ups
This is no joke FIT Challengers!!! BUT I know you can do it. You all have been doing great!


August 1, 2013

5 Tips for Fitness Success

Many of us look back to the last time we were on a path to a healthy lifestyle by being active and eating better, but at the present, for some reason, we are not in the same place.  We often wonder why?  Why did I stop? 

Often times you may have fallen ill, had an event to go to, or simply were too tired to "hit" the gym and you gave into temptation and ate a whole bag of chips or ate a huge piece of cake at a party.  For many, that's the end of the road to their journey.  Without even realizing we believe that because we missed ONE day at the gym or indulged ONE day that it's all over and we have ruined ourselves and deserve to fall right back into our old patterns of living an unhealthy lifestyle. 

I'm here to tell you that IT'S NOT TRUE.  You didn't ruin anything and you deserve better than eating nonsense everyday and feeling bad not just about how you look, but how you feel.  What happened wasn't a situation to end your journey.  Simply put, LIFE HAPPENED.  Life will always happen and you have to learn to deal with it.

Here are some tips that I have gathered over the course of the last few weeks that I believe will help us all learn to deal with what life throws us without giving up on our health.  I struggle just as anyone else does.  I have had to travel for work a lot lately and was struggling with fitting my normal routing into my travel schedule, but was able to pull myself together by implementing the tips below.


1.  PLAN!  Planning your fitness and eating routing is extremely important, if not the most important key to success.  Writing down a plan will make it official and help you keep track of your progress.  Schedule and view your fitness plan like you would any other appointment.  Make time for it.  FIT IN TIME for fitness.

2.  FLEXIBILITY.  So, you missed one day.  You are sick, have a family event to attend, are just too tired.  That's ok.  It happens.  Learn to deal with missing a scheduled day to workout.  We all need breaks and view this as a time to relax and become stronger for your next workout session.  You can make it up if you have time or just pick up where you left off and get it in on your next scheduled day.

Also, if you find that your workout plan says you need to dedicate 45 minutes, but you don't have 45 consecutive minutes that day, break up your work out.  Do a portion in the morning and a portion in the evening.  Don't be afraid to change things up.  The important thing is to get something in.

3.  CREATIVITY.  Find activities you enjoy and include those into your plan.  Do you love to hike, swim, garden, bike, dance, etc?  Fit it in.  Find creative ways to stay active that bring a smile to your face.  Fitness doesn't have to be boring and it doesn't have to include a gym membership.  Go online, find a group in your area in the area you enjoy. is a great place for finding groups.

4.  PACE.  Go at your own pace.  Don't worry about what those around you are doing or what the experienced trainers are doing in the exercise video.  The key is that you learn the correct way of doing things and then go at your own pace.  Feeling the pressure to perform at a level you are not ready to will only cause frustration and demotivate you from continuing.

5.  SURPRISE YOURSELF.  Many times we often underestimate our ability and strength.  Someone mentions an exercise and your first thought is "oh, I can't do that".  Well, have you tried recently?  I mean, really tried?  I would bet that you will tend to surprise yourself more than disappoint.  So, I encourage you to take a chance and do something you don't think you can. 

Share with us your exeperiences and success stories to encourage others to keep on going and continue their journey on living a healthy lifestyle.

Your Personal Trainer,
Andi Dornelas

July 30, 2013

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Week 3 Goals

Week 3 Goals
To determine your fitness level, refer to the rules here.
Level 1: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
3 sets of 30 sit ups
Level 2: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
3 sets of 40 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
3 sets of 50 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 30 Push ups
3 sets of 60 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
3 sets of 80 sit ups
This is no joke FIT Challengers!!! BUT I know you can do it.  You all have been doing great!


Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

July 22, 2013

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Week 2

Week 2 Goals
To determine your fitness level, refer to the rules here.
Level 1: 3 sets of 10 Push ups
               3 sets of 20 sit ups
Level 2: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
               3 sets of 30 sit ups

Level 3: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
              3 sets of 40 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 25 Push ups
               3 sets of 50 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
               3 sets of 70 sit ups


July 15, 2013

FIT Push up and Sit up Challenge: Week 1 Goals & Levels

Today is the start of our Push up and Sit up Challenge and I posted the first week's goals on facebook, but I wanted to document them somewhere easily accessible with a unique link. 

  • Allow yourself 1-2 days of rest during the week.  You can choose the day.  Just complete the challenge 5-6 days out of the week
  • Perform full push ups (not on your knees).  If you are unable to perform 1 push up, contact me via facebook and I will provide you a personalized challenge for the month. Same goes for anyone unable to perform 5 reps.  If you are unfamiliar with the proper push up form, click here.
  • Perform full range of motion sit ups, not crunches.  Click here to view how to perform a proper sit up.
  • There are 5 different levels that will cover most fitness levels.  Please contact me using the link under Rules if your fitness level is not covered.
  • How to determine your fitness level
    • Perform as many push ups as you can in one set (without break and to fatigue). 
    • Use that number to find your level. 
    • The level you find for week 1 will follow you through out the entire month of the challenge.
    • If you have any questions about your own fitness level, please feel free to contact me.
Week 1 Goal
Level 1:   3 sets of 5 Push ups
                3 sets of 10 sit ups
Level 2:  3 sets of 10 Push ups
               3 sets of 20 sit ups
Level 3: 3 sets of 15 Push ups
              3 sets of 30 sit ups
Level 4: 3 sets of 20 Push ups
              3 sets of 40 sit ups
Level 5: 3 sets of max Push ups
              3 sets of 60 sit ups

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge: Proper Form

As promised, here are videos demonstrating proper form when performing your push ups and sit ups.


As I've mentioned, this challenge is for full and complete push ups (so, no knees) and full range of motion sit ups). If you are unable to complete 1 full push up, please leave me a message and I will work with you to create a personalized challenge so that you can join us.

Sit ups

Remember, the challenge required you to perform sit ups, not crunches.  The videos are basically the same, but the hand positions are different.  Remember that sit ups are a controlled motion, therefore, try your best not to just use momentum to pull yourself up and down.  You should feel this is your abs.  One last quick note, do not pull on your neck.  It is not necessary.

Now that you know the correct form.  Go start the challenge and SURPRISE YOURSELF!!!
Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

July 12, 2013

Push up Challenge: Benefits of Push ups

FIT Push up & Sit up Challenge can be done by

Recently, I have been very busy with my day job and FIT Camp, amongst other things, making it difficult to get a workout in myself.  In an effort to keep active, even when I'm stuck inside my house, I decided to complete at least 30 push ups (3 sets of 10) and 60 (3 sets of 20) sit ups a day.  That way, if I can't fit in a long workout, at least I got something in.  In 1 week I started noticing a difference in my upper body muscle size and tone.  I not only started seeing physical results, but became surprised at how much strength I actually had and how quickly I was improving.  That explains my recent tag line of SURPRISE YOURSELF!  I have been surprising myself and I know you will too! ... and this is a great way for you to do it.

Many times we find ourselves unable to attend the gym and much fit in a workout at our home, job, park, etc.  Push ups can be a great method to build and maintain your strength.

Push ups work your entire upper body; this includes muscles such as your deltoids, lats, triceps, pectorals, biceps and abs.

This picture illustrates all the muscles being actively used when performing sit ups.

Push ups also increases your heart rate when performing high reps, which in turn helps raise the metabolism. 

They are a great exercise to warm up the body and help reduce the chance of injury during weight training.  Using your body weight will get your blood pumping throughout your body and get your muscles ready for listing heavier weight.

Depending on your strength level, push ups can help either build muscle or tone.

Build muscle = Lower reps with more weight
Tone muscle = High reps with less weight
(Women tend to want to stick to toning only because of the fear of getting big, but generally speaking, you can only tone a muscle if you have a muscle)

If you’re a beginner and can manage to do 5-10 push ups at once, you will notice improvements to the size of your muscle from just doing push ups. As you progressively manage to do a higher number of push ups at once, you will notice more improvements to your tone.

If you have a high strength level (you can do 30-40 push ups at once) , you may feel push ups are useless, but it is beneficial.  If you consistently stick to exercises that build muscle strength and side at a max rep of 10, your body will become familiar with this range.  To effectively have your body improve and grow, you must perform workout routines that introduce, the all famous, muscle confusion.  Push ups are a great way to mix in a higher rep exercise while maintaining muscular strength and improving your muscle tone.

The FIT Push up Challenge will provide rep suggestions for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced strength levels.  I hope you join us and SURPRISE YOURSELF!!!

May 28, 2013

The Journey to a Pull-up

Now that marathon training is behind me, I'm working on finally reaching my goal of performing unassisted pullups.  I dream of the day I can actually pull my head above the bar from a hanging position, but that dream won't be a reality without some hard work.

So, does my dream sound familiar? Is it something that you've always wanted to do as well, but don't know the road to get there?  Well, I'm on the journey and if you are up to the challenge, you are free to join me in my journey.  I have the benefit of having my hubby train me and we've already started, but I will be sharing with you what I'm doing to get to me my goal.  My wish is that I have pictures sent to me with tons of people performing unassisted pull ups for the first time.

The workouts I post for this training is specifically meant to get you to your goal of the pullup and can/should be done in conjunction with your normal workout routine.  These exercises will be specifically targets to strengthening the muscles need to get your chin above that bar...that damn bar!

So, here is the first workout.  It's simple, but tough.  It left me sore for days and I loved it.

We are doing 20-15-10.  That means the first set consists of 20 reps, the second 15, and the last 10.  You may think this is crazy because doing 10 pushups for beginners is hard, but you can take breaks in between the reps.  However, keep those breaks SHORT.  Below you will find pictures of some of the exercises to help you understand what I am looking for and/or how you can use what you have around you to complete the exercises.

Once you have completed this workout, leave me a comment and let me know how it went and also how you felt the next day.  I love hearing experiences.

Assisted Pull-ups 
You will need access to a pull up bar.  There is no way around this when training for pull ups.  Monkey bars will do as well.  Get created and think outside the box.
  • Chair
You can use a chair, bench or stool to help remove some of your body weight.  Do not use your legs to pull you up, but try to use your arms as much as possible.

  • Rubber band
You can also use a large exercise band.  There are different size bands that are out there so you can progress using those as well.

  • Machine
If you have access to a weighted pull up machine, you can use that for the assisted pull-ups, however, I strongly encourage you to make sure you are challenging yourself and ensure your weights are not assisting you too much.

Inverted Pull-ups

  • Low bar 
You can use a weighted barbell at the gym or find one at your local park.  Any bar will work as long as it's low and you can extend your legs.


  • TRX/Olympic Rings

These can be performed on a TRX or Olympic Rings, as well.  If you look at the pictures below, your elbows come out wide, they should not be close to your body. 

Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment here or contacting me on my website

Together, we will get there.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi