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Fitness Spotlight: Demi Goodman

For this edition of the Women's Fitness Spotlight, I wanted to highlight one of the butt-kicking instructors from the Charlotte YMCA system - Demi Goodman.  Not only does Demi put together dynamite fitness classes, but as you'll see, she is also currently in-training to earn her pro card as a Figure Competitor. 


After fielding so many of my endless questions about her diet and training, she was generous enough to take time out for a quick interview:


What event/contest are you currently preparing for?

Currently I’m getting ready to compete for a Pro Card in the NPC National Masters Figure in Pittsburgh
this July. Figure competitions highlight a conditioned physique, with fuller muscles. Yes it is similar to

bodybuilding, but not as vascular or lean, and slightly more feminine with competitors wearing high
heels, jewelry, hair, make- up, the works.


In what events have you competed in the past?

Track and Field, Junior High and High School
2001- Galaxy Nova (military obstacle course)
2001- NPC Mountaineer, 2nd Place Figure
2002- NPC Metrolina, 3rd Place Figure
2004- North Carolina State Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness, 6th Place figure
2010- Elite Muscle Bodybuilding, Figure, and Fitness, 1st Place figure


What’s your athletic background?

I’ve always been athletic and played all kind of sports but concentrated mainly on Track and Field. I was
on the track team in Junior High and High School and qualified for State Finals during my high school
years. I ran mainly short sprint events, 4X 100 m relay, 200 m, 100 m, as well as the Long Jump.


What sort of classes are you currently teaching?

I’m currently teaching Athletic Conditioning, Total Strength, Core, and ROC IT circuit at DOWD, Childress
Klein and the Ballantyne Village YMCA. I’m also certified to teach spin, but I haven’t had enough time in
my schedule to get started yet. I’ve also been a personal trainer for about 12 years with the Childress
Klein YMCA and recently started training at the Ballantyne Village YMCA. Between the two Y’s as well as
a few home clients, I’m staying very, very busy with personal training.


What’s does a typical day look like for you?

Whew, my days are usually pretty busy, at least for the first half of the day. Generally I get up about
4:30 a.m., to get ready to teach a class and/or train clients. After that, I head off to yet another gym
to get my own work out in. I usually hit weights for about 45 minutes, and then proceed to do a round
of cardio for 30-45 minutes.

I will do a second round of cardio later in the evening (around 7:00ish) for
another 30-45 minutes or so. I don’t do two rounds of cardio every day in the offseason, but when I’m
getting ready for a show, this becomes a daily ritual.

 For fun, I play flag football every Tuesday night on a co-ed team with my husband. I’m the quarterback blitzer as well as a receiver and periodically the quarterback as well. Because I’m on the field for the entire game sprinting, I get an easy hour of cardio in! As well as I get to let off a little steam!



What is your diet like most days?

My diet stays pretty healthy all year round. I eat around 6 meals a day which look a lot like this:

Meal #1 - 5 egg whites, 1/3 cup of plain oatmeal
Meal #2- Low carb protein shake, with 1 tbsp. of omega peanut butter

Meal #3- 4 ounces of lean chicken, fish or red meat, with either potato, rice or quinoa, coupled with a nice, small salad

Meal #4- Low carb protein shake
Meal #5- Chicken, fish, or turkey, with some type of vegetable (no starches here)
Meal #6- Protein shake (good to do before bed, helps the body from getting catabolic)

For competition, I eat A LOT of fish throughout the day for the first half of the week, and then switch it
up to chicken on other days. It is so boring and bland, but it really helps the body burn off any kind of
extra fat you may have while maintaining lean muscle. During my offseason, my coach has pity on me
and allows me to have 2 cheat meals (not days) on the weekend. I generally don’t go too nuts, but it
does help keep me sane. However, when it gets about 2
½ months out from competition, those cheat
meals are taken away. It’s time to get really serious!!!!

Are you a fan of cycling your carbs or keeping them low in general?

I like how I look when I keep the carbs low, but my energy level is so much better when the carbs are

Are you a fan of “empty stomach morning cardio” or not? Why?

For me, no, I have a pretty tough tummy and usually can get down a low carb protein shake since
it absorbs pretty quickly. I need to eat in order to have enough energy to power through the more
strenuous cardio I have to do while prepping for a show. And I do not believe in fat burners. Yes they
give you energy, but they can really mess up your adrenal glands. However, because of my class and
client schedule, I don’t usually do cardio (outside of classes that I teach) before I train with clients so
unless it’s the weekend, I usually don’t have time to do cardio first thing in the morning.


What’s the one cheat food you can’t live without?    

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I have a sweet tooth, so instead of narrowing it down to a specific food, I will
just say, I have to have a sweet treat on my cheat days. It could be a couple chocolate chip cookies, or a slice of really good cheesecake. Whatever it is, I enjoy it since I only get to cheat twice a week.


What’s your favorite exercise/activity?  What’s your least favorite?

I LOVE to lift heavy! I have made some of the best, most significant changes to my body by lifting with
heavier weight. As far as a favorite weight exercise, I’m going to say pull ups. Again, by consistently
doing these over the years, my body has developed good, solid strength and nice muscle. My arms,
back, shoulders, and core really have benefited greatly from this movement. As for a cardio activity,
I love, love, love to jump rope. I can go for a straight hour especially when I have some good music to
listen to.

My least favorite would be running long distances. I have such respect for folks who can get
out there and just run, but I’ve never been good at it.

If you could send a message to women out there about eating right, being afraid of weight training, etc. what would it be?

1.) Women need to be weight training period! Yes, cardio is very important, but I see so many “skinny fat” girls (really thin, but high body fat) because they do not participate in any kind of weight training, it drives me nuts. I just want to tell these girls, step away from the elliptical and pick up some iron!!!!

2.)  Another thing I would share is when you hit your 30’s, keep an eye on your hormone levels. If your hormones get even a little out of “whack”, it can totally effect how you look and feel. I have seen so many women struggle with their weight even though they were eating well and exercised consistently. But because something was off in their system, they were not reaping the rewards of their hard work, at least not visually. So, if you are in your mid 30’s and beyond, and have begun to notice you are actually back sliding ( start to gain weight even though you’ve been eating right and exercising hard), it may be time to see your doctor and inquire about testing your hormone levels as a possible culprit.

3.) Last bit of advice, take time off from the gym! Don’t over train! Doing high intensity athletic conditioning classes, for example, every day of the week is overtraining. If you don’t allow at least one day away, your body will never have a chance to recovery thus setting you back. Trust me, a day of rest will do absolute wonders for your body and your mind!



The Road to The Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon

I'm always telling people to set new goals for themselves, and to attempt things outside of their comfort zone.  So in the interest of taking my own advice and not being a hypocrite, I signed up for the Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon a week ago.

This will be my second half-marathon ever, I ran one here in Charlotte close to three years ago.  My goal was just to finish, and I accomplished that (barely).

I signed up for the Dowd YMCA Half-Marathon on about three days' worth of planning (I was "in-shape" but cannot say that my training was with an endurance race specifically in-mind).  This time I am giving myself plenty of lead time for the February race, having just started a training program from Runners World, and also just invested in a decent pair of stability running shoes, thanks to tips from one of the elite runners here in Charlotte I met recently.

As for diet - I've had to jettison my Intermittent Fasting and low carb strategies to keep my energy levels up for two-a-day workouts.  I'm not necessarily training twice per day, some days are AM runs or AM spin bike with fitness classes taught in the evening.  I haven't resorted to breads and starches, just upped my frequencies of complex carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, and black beans, with an occasional Powerbar or similar quick energy source when necessary.

I'm also hoping to shed about ten pounds between now and February, so I've (sadly) had to limit my weight training to once per week at-most.

I'll check in after a few weeks with progress, but hopefully this motivates others to step up and try something outside of your comfort zone.  More times than not, you'll surprise yourself with what you are capable of.


Fitness Spotlight - KathEats.com

Full disclosure - this next Fitness Spotlight is going to highlight a woman from Davidson College, which is my undergrad institution.  I need to say that upfront so that my pro-Davidson biases will be out in the open before I start to gush over this woman's healthy foods blog and positive outlook on nutrition.

It would be limiting to say that www.KathEats.com is purely a healthy foods blog, but that is one of the main benefits.  It also serves as an inspiration tool for anyone (female or male) who has struggled with seeing their weight or clothing sizes rise and been frustrated over an inability to fix things. 

Without giving away her entire story (which can be found here: http://www.katheats.com/kath-2/ ) she basically got tired of seeing her weight increase and made a life decision one day to take control of her eating habits and start getting more daily functional exercise.  I might be making it sound overly simplistic, but the good news is that taking charge of your own weight loss really IS simplistic.  It starts one day, with one pro-active healthy choice, which snowballs into another, then another.

Kath eventually lost 30 pounds, and her weekly exercise routine is a mix of running, elliptical, and spinning classes.  She was also featured on the cover of the January 2007 issue of Women's World Magazine. 

Her site is not only inspirational for anyone who thinks losing double-digit pounds is a fantasy, but there are also NUMEROUS receipes and posts related to food.  She seems to be fanatic about oatmeal in-particular, which suits me well since that is my preferred complex carb source.  Her blog received an award from FoodBuzz.com for 2009. 

I'd be promoting this site whether she was a Davidson alum or not (we have never met) but her blog truly is a must-read for anyone (female or male) who needs both information and inspiration on how to take command of your nutritional health one step at a time.



What do you think of P90X?

People often ask me "Hey, what do you think of P90X?  I've seen the infomercial a dozen times and was thinking about getting it."

Well, my personal thoughts on P90X are pretty simple, so I'll try to keep it simple here.

In a nutshell it looks like a pretty good program.  I should start by saying I have not purchased P90X but I do have a few friends who have used the program with varying results.  Being curious about the structure, I asked a few questions and looked through some of the materials to get a fuller understanding than just what we see on television.

The program works for many of the same reasons any other workout program would work: intense circuit-style cardio program interspersed with full-body resistence training and a fairly clean nutritional approach.  Any fitness approach that incorporates these elements will, in a general sense give you success (body fat reduction, increase in personal fitness levels).

The "host" and creator, Tony Horton also ads a lot to the program.  He has a high energy level which should keep even the most "motivationally-challenged" people upbeat during the workout.  He's also in great shape and to me, I'd have trouble buying into someone's workout advice if they aren't in great shape themselves.

My .02 cents: For those who want to do more than just go jogging once in a while and desire something faster-paced that works their muscles as well as their cardio system, yet don't have a gym or fitness club membership (and don't want one), then P90X is probably a solid investment. 



Fitness Spotlight: Jessica Biel

If there is one celebrity that in my experience, makes women who want to get themselves into shape say "ooh I'd love to look like her...", it is Jessica Biel.

While it's usually a bad practice to emulate a celebrity's diet or workout patterns, if you're a female trying to get in shape for "beach season" there are still lots of things we can learn and implement from what Jessica Biel has done.

For starters, hopefully we can dispell the old fear that some women  - "if I lift weights, won't I get big and bulky like a man?"

 As is shown to the right, lifting weights hasn't made her look "like a man" at all.

While she does put time in around the weights, the core structure of her workouts also seems to be interval cardio sessions that gets the heart rate going. 

Here is a link to her workouts that feature weights, plyos, and sprint intervals:


The "clean eating" nature of her diet is hopefully something that becomes a consistent theme throughout this site.  There really isn't anyone alive (save for the 10% of our population that earns their living as pro athletes in some capacity) that can achieve the body they want while eating garbage regularly.

Here's a quick :30 video interview of her outlining the workouts in preparation for the "Blade" movie role:

Key Takeaway:  Even though she has much more time than the average woman to workout, the average woman can still implement some of the same drills, exercises, and nutritional habits to see real changes in your body.