3 months

My transition into CrossFit has been interesting and exciting.  The perfectionist in me has such high expectations, high standards, and a relentless drive to not only succeed but excel.  The 20 years of bodybuilding I once loved and adored have made this transition very challenging… I have a lot of stiff muscles and joints with a limited range of motion.  So I suppose some of you are wondering where did things change.  When did I walk away from my romance with bodybuilding? And what is it about the controversial sport of CrossFit that I like so much?

Well, it all started with a promise I made to a friend over 3 years ago.  She was a former cardio queen who, in her quest to find a new challenge, found CrossFit and got hooked!  Ironically, I know the owner of the affiliate location.  So, I joined her a handful of times, but it just didn’t grab me.  I was still hung up on my weight and what I looked like. A lot of the movements were challenging for me and my health was not 100% after competing so many times.  I also was not sure how to incorporate that style of training into my bodybuilding training split.

Fast forward to July 2015… Things started to fall into place for me with my health and I gave CrossFit another chance.  The first workout was FILTHY FIFTY which is one of the brand’s well-known workouts.  Although it was brutal, I had a lot of fun.  When I was able to join my friend, we would have a blast.  In fact, I liked it so much, by the time March 2016 rolled around, I rearranged my schedule so that I could attend WODs (Workout of the Day) regularly.

After today’s WOD, I was sitting with my friend talking about where I struggled during our workout and what I need to improve.  The owner asked what we were chatting about and I clued him in as to how my cleans suck and the main issue is upper body tightness  (which we all know I’m working on daily).

He said, “Well, you’ve only been coming here on a consistent basis for about 3 months… You gotta be patient.”

He’s right!

It’s the same thing I tell my clients… The body will only do but so much and sometimes you just have to give it time to adjust, to change.

Everyday there is a new challenge for me to tackle.  My weaknesses are exposed and nag me, but my strengths are equally present and give me a fantastic sense of accomplishment when I conquer!  I love turning a weakness into a strength, so facing these challenges during workouts does not discourage me.  Some things are improving faster than others… I just have to keep working hard and get better. NEVER GIVE UP!



We don’t have bad days

We smile and are courteous to our clients even on the worst of the worst possible days.

We stand on our feet all day long.

We shovel food in our mouths like animals, most of the time cold, out of a tupperware, and usually just standing in the locker room because there is little time for eating.  Most of us live on protein shakes.

We service clients that want to train early in the morning as well as late at night, many times on the same day.

We scramble to do things like grocery shopping and laundry in between appointments on our “light” days, which could be any given day of the week, but most definitely not Saturday (which is when all the weekend warriors want to train).

We work hard to maintain a professional tone throughout our sessions, even when clients tell us very personal things like stories about their spouse, kids, work, etc.

We generally work hard to accommodate our clients’ needs.

We drink a lot of coffee and/or tea to remain alert and focused for our clients.

We do get tired at times.  We are human too.  We like to workout also and love our private time to do that, even when you interrupt us on our own time.

We want you to succeed and accomplish your goals.

We often become emotionally invested in your journey.

We appreciate your “thank yous” and loyalty.

Be nice to your trainer.



There is one day left in the year 2014… by the time you read this, there may be even less than 24 hours… I’m not going to go into clich√© bits about “looking back” or establishing new goals for 2015… I mean, come on… you’ve heard it all before.  Truth is, if your goals have anything to do with getting in shape for an event such as a mud race or Powerlifting meet or just trying to get lean for yourself… why would you wait until 2015?  Hopefully, you’ve already started!  There are no rules as to when to start a new goal.  There is no right time.  The time is now, no wait… the time might have just passed… but now is the moment you realized it and can get going!

oh… hang on… so, before we go racing off to the sporting goods store to get a pair of weightlifting shoes and chalk for that meet you entered…. or placing the order for that rhinestone-encrusted bikini for next spring’s bodybuilding show….


If you feel brave, leave a  comment below telling me what your goal(s) for 2014 consisted of and how you did.

Ok, I’ll go first… My goals for 2014 were the following:

1. Master Olympic Lifts – Started learning various lifts and by April, I made a hard left and got into Powerlifting.  I entered and won my very first Powerlifting meet in July.  Great experience.  Can’t wait to do another one next year.

2. Improve Cardiovascular Endurance – Made noticeable/measurable improvements so that can be marked off as COMPLETED!

3. Earn Nutrition Certification – Still in the process of studying.  I did not receive my course book and materials until the 2nd Quarter of the year, so I did have a slight disadvantage.  Plan is to complete this certification by the end of January 2015.

So, I was honest…. Are you honest with yourself?  I really would love to hear from you… you can leave comments in the comment section below or find me on Facebook –

And before we say Goodbye to 2014…. I would like to wish you all a very

Happy New Year!


Weight Training Rep Range

I would like to briefly explain my thought process behind a desired repetition range of an exercise/workout program.  If you are relatively new to weight training, you may find this helpful.

In your workout routine, for a specific exercise, the program calls for 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.  Before you even select a weight, think about what weights you have used for said exercise in the past.  Now, in a perfect comfortable world, you should be able to complete 4 sets of 10 repetitions with this weight.  But the idea here is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  The only way to grow is getting to that uncomfortable, challenging place, where you are going to struggle, grit your teeth, bite your tongue, possibly yell out loud and might need help.

My approach is as such… select a weight that starts to get difficult for you around the 6th rep, is very difficult at the 7th rep, and the remaining reps might not even be completed without a spot.  Of course you want to complete the number of sets listed in the workout, but you should be challenging yourself, which is what resistance training is all about, right?

If you are a beginner, you might want to hire a trainer to help you understand this concept and to push you accordingly, until you get accustomed to doing it on your own.

Try this mental approach the next time you’re in the gym.  Push yourself just a little further than you feel comfortable with… I bet you can complete the task at hand… DO IT!


Client DOs & DON’Ts in Personal Training

I recently wrote a short piece about things your Trainer SHOULD be doing… Now I put together a quick DOs & DON’Ts for all you fabulous people who work with a Personal Trainer.


  • Be prepared to workout
  • Have on proper footwear
  • Bring a bottle of water
  • Leave your phone in the locker
  • Ask questions if you are unsure of an exercise or expectation
  • Be honest with your trainer – if the exercise or the weight selected was too easy, tell your trainer.
  • Be patient if your trainer is new and gathering data, getting familiar with you.


  • Do not start off a relationship with your new trainer by listing off various things you will not do… Please note I said “WILL NOT” not “CANNOT” do.  Big difference here.
  • Do not cancel your session last-minute and expect the trainer not to charge you.  Most trainers/gyms have a 24-hour cancellation policy.
  • Do not complain the entire session.
  • Do not constantly compare your new trainer to an old trainer or compare your current abilities to when you were in your prime (30 years ago).
  • Do not show up to your sessions with the pungent odor of alcohol oozing from your pores or the smell of greasy fast food on your breath.  NOT CUTE.
  • Do not even think about wearing  flip-flops or Crocs to train.
  • Do not wear ear buds with your phone or mp3 player during your session.  You need to hear your trainer’s cues at all times.

3 Things Your Trainer Should Do

Without knocking anyone out there and keeping things positive… here is a short list of things your Personal Trainer should do during your sessions:

3. Be able to give you a “WHY?”

It is ok to ask your trainer why you are doing a certain exercise.  He or she should be able to provide a brief explanation if you are mid-workout, linking the reason back to your established goals (which hopefully were established upon your initial consult or at some earlier point in time).  Of course, your trainer wants to keep you moving, so if the answer requires more than 30-60 seconds, he or she may say, “I’ll go into details later, but I would like you to do this now and then you’ll understand once I explain.”  This is an acceptable response and if the details are later discussed, great.  If you get some skirting-around then perhaps there is no rhyme or reason to your programming, and that definitely requires further examination.  If you have established goals and have a plan of action, then there may or may not be a need for much talking; however, it is not a bad thing to keep your goals clear.

2. Provide balance

A good trainer must be able to balance challenging you with paying attention to any limitations, injuries or conditions you may have.  A trainer has to know when to push and when to pull back.  Sometimes your trainer is going to push you to complete a few more reps even after you say, “I can’t do this,” and yet, you actually do complete the task at hand once your trainer says, “Come on. You got this.  I am spotting you, ” … HMM, in this case, the Trainer was right and coached you through it.

1. Show you undivided attention

This one should be a no-brainer, but I am amazed at how often clients tell me how much they appreciate having my undivided attention for the entire session.  At no point in time, should a trainer be using a cell phone during your workout.  No calls, no emails, no texting, no social media.  Absolutely not.  This is unacceptable and should be brought up if it occurs on your dime.  You are paying the trainer for the session and that time belongs to you.  Emergencies should be the only exception here.

Of course, the list of criteria that a Trainer should possess is much longer; these are just the bare minimum, but most critical.

FitbyTiana life


The past few months, I have not been feeling like myself and have not been going as hard as I would like in the gym.  There are many variables at play, some of which I would prefer to keep private at this point, but some of these factors include changing jobs from one gym to another, coming off of a contest prep diet/workout program, and working hard at building my personal training clientele.  It has been a bumpy few months to say the least.  Many days I just do not even want to look at a dumbbell… but, I still make myself train.

Today was no exception… I changed my clothes after training my last client of the day… poured some of my favorite grape-flavored BCAAs into my water bottle and stepped out onto the floor with every intention of destroying my back.  Keep in mind when I say “destroy”, I mean it in a good way… that I planned on completing a very productive and challenging workout session focusing primarily on my back.  I pushed my ear buds comfortably into my ears, located a new dj set that was recorded at a festival in Mexico this past January, and I strutted over to the first piece of equipment that I used today.  I started with lat pulldown and went super heavy, giving myself between 90 seconds to 2 minutes of rest between each set.  I kept looking at the clock, thinking “ugh, I can’t wait to go eat after this,” but I didn’t leave the gym early.

After that exercise, I made my way over to the Hammer Strength plate loaded row machine, which can be done either one arm at a time or both at the same time (but each arm is independent of the other).   Of course, I loaded that machine up with heavy weight and went crazy.  2 of my coworkers came over and noted that they have never seen a tiny little girl like me throw around such heavy weight like it was nothing.  Um…. yea, that gave me a nice boost, I will admit!  So I pushed through two more exercises, all the while thinking about my next meal and how excited I was to eat (ha ha ha)

So, I killed it today… and all day long I was silently dreading working out because my energy levels have not been the same… and look what happened? ¬†GREAT WORKOUT!