Spartan NY

Pocono Mtn. Spartan Race 09/06/2012

Today, I want to talk about plyometric training because it is my FAVORITE to do!  If you want to have strong legs and work up to a high level of endurance, incorporate plyo into your workout.  Plyo consists of body movements such as jumping, hopping, and bouncing and it will improve your level of performance dramatically.  You will run faster, jump higher, last longer, etc.  I remember running a relatively flat, 5 mile race in Conyers, Georgia with hardly any plyo training and it was actually harder for me than a mountainous half-marathon in the Pocono Mountains, PA a year later.  I had better balance, was more agile, and had a much stronger core and lower body in the half-marathon.  You burn more calories with plyo and ultimately, get better results.  You will find that if I can add jumps or hops to any movement/workout I do, I add it.  Why squat when you can jump-squat?? 😉

Here is a circuit that I did the other day.  I swear by circuit training, or “high intensity interval training”.  Try to take only 30 seconds in between circuits; you must recover, but you don’t want to get tight and lose momentum.  You can do this workout anywhere… but I always prefer outdoors!  See below for some videos on my moves.  This workout took me about 50 minutes.

Warm up:  Run 1/2 mile or 1 mile (Depending on your fitness level)

Stretch for 3-5 minutes (Yes, I always stretch after I warm up.  You’re muscles should be already a little warm so you can stretch your muscles out really well)


12 Frog Jumps into a One-Legged Plank  ***I cannot tell you how much I love these.  Your legs will BURN!  In the video below, I am doing the frog jumps only forward.  However, you should do them one frog jump forward, one frog jump backward, forward, backward, etc.  This works different muscles in your legs.
60 Mountain Climbers (In a plank position on the ground or elevated with your arms on a bench, chair, etc.  Shoulders should be aligned with your wrists and keep your butt out of the air)
60 High Knees
16 Shoulder-Tap Push Ups

Midway:  Run 1/2 mile or 1 mile again


12 Jump-Tuck Burpees
30 Russian Twist Abs
1 Minute Plank Hold
24 Hop Squats (Start in a low squat, do mini hop squats in place without coming all the way up)



Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL 02/03/2014

Enjoy 🙂



abs 2

SPARTAN AB 350 – I am HUGE on having a strong core, so I do this ab workout 3 or 4x per week, immediately following my regular workout.  It should take you about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how many times you break (but try to go straight through).  The core is the foundation of your body where so much of your strength comes from.  Whenever I’m racing and struggling, or say trying to push through a steep hill, I take a deep breath and contract my core and that’s where I find the power.  Strengthening your center will undoubtedly help you in other workouts, races, sports, etc. and it doesn’t look half bad either 🙂 This ab routine is the only one that ever makes me work up a sweat! Take no more than a few seconds in between moves, but do the moves slowly so you really work your center.  You will be doing 350 ab movements… sometimes if I’m feeling crazy I’ll do this routine twice through 🙂

All of these will be done on the floor in a “C” position  unless directed otherwise — Chin up

25 In and Outs (hands on the floor next to you or straight up in the air)
25 Bicycles (forward)
25 Bicycles (backward)
25 Vertical Toe Touches (half with your left leg, half with your right leg)
25 Scissors (SLOW!)
25 V-Ups (straight arms connect to straight legs in a V position)
25 Standing Oblique Crunches – Right (standing up, connect right elbow to right knee in a side crunch.  I add a 12 lb. dumbbell to this movement)
25 Standing Oblique Crunches – Left (visa versa)
50 Standing Twist Crunches (stand straight up, both hands behind your head, connect OPPOSITE ELBOW TO OPPOSITE KNEE in a crunch)
25 Oblique V-Ups – Right (lay on your right side, left arm behind your head, connect elbow to straight leg in a V position)
25 Oblique V-Ups – Left (vise versa)
50 Russian Twist (tapping the left AND right side counts as 1 – you should tap the floor a total of 100 times)

Can you tell I like obliques??  Time for your reward… Cobra stretch:) Enjoy!


Photo taken at Lauderdale by the Sea, FL ❤


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Fort Lauderdale Beach ❤

Anyway, you may think that crab walks are funny and will not give you the tough workout you are seeking to accomplish that day.  Well guess what, they’re NOT funny. they’re HARD and will work you until you’re exhausted!!!

I love any workout that is unconventional but still delivers the strength and/or cardio benefits of my “normal” workouts.  Crab walks are part of Navy Seal training regiments – for instance, in one session, these individuals have to crab walk up and down a hilly beach until directed to stop.  And many of them falter and get thrown out.

Crab walks work more than one muscle group – a great total body workout.  Your shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, abdominals, obliques, hamstrings, glutes, etc., are ALL working here!  It is both a great strength, cardio, and fat burning exercise.  You’ll find throughout my blog posts that I am obsessed with hills and utilizing them is a crucial part of my training regiments.  Anyone can exercise on a flat surface – why not kick it up a notch and run/climb/crab walk hills instead?  You’ll get a better workout and even in a shorter amount of time.  For the video below, I utilized a slight hill on the beach at Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida to do my crab walk.  Back in King of Prussia, PA, I would use a short but steep hill in Valley Forge Park to do crab walks and even bear crawls.  You can do them on any incline and any length – but try to go up the hill AND back down in the same position.

It is difficult, but try to keep your abdominal area and hips as high up as you can in the crab walk.  I do my best.  The higher they are, the better workout you’ll get.

My workout is pretty basic:

Crab walk up the hill
Crab walk down the hill
Repeat until FAILURE!

Or, you can stop and sprint, do burpees, high knees, etc. in between to change it up. It’s really up to you 🙂

Have fun!!!

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Love, D



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I am quickly posting my cardio workout from this morning.  These cardio circuits I do are meant to be brutal and leave you sore, so try to really push yourself during these workouts.  Anyone can do burpees and squats, but try to go as fast as you can with the correct form.  Get as many reps as you can in the time allotted and your heart rate will shoot up and you will be burning calories for 2-3 hours after the workout.  This workout was specifically tailored to work your glutes and hamstrings, so I’m calling this one “BUTT LIFT” 🙂 This one is a struggle but I’m giving you a slight break in the second circuit with the ab movements…

WARM-UP:  This should leave you dripping in sweat! This warm-up is much better than sitting on your ass on a bike for 5 minutes or jogging on a treadmill. Your heart rate will go crazy and you’ll perform better throughout the circuits.

For 30 seconds each, 3 times through (NO BREAK):

3.  JUMP ROPE (With or without an actual rope, jump rope side-to-side if without)
6.  VERTICAL JUMP (Start in a squat with your legs together and jump vertically in the air)


CIRCUIT ONE:  30 seconds to 1 minute long for each movement, depending on your fitness level.  Do not stop in between movements (i.e. stance jacks to pogo left and right, etc.)  But after all 4 movements are completed, take a 30 second rest and do repeat until the circuit is done 3x.


30 Stance Jacks *Perfect for your glutes and obliques!! Love this movement
16 Pogos on your right leg, 16 Pogos on your left leg *This should be slower and controlled.  Keep your leg above your hip when you jump up
80 High knees with a twist (put your elbows together and come down on your knee when its up in the air)
12 Dreya rolls, any modification

CIRCUIT TWO:  Follow same guidelines as circuit #1

24 Burpees, any modification or 12 jump-tuck burpees
30 Ski abs
50 Cross jacks (Jumping jacks but criss-cross your legs in the jack)
50 Russian twists **Tapping the floor on the left and right side equals 1, so you should tap the floor a total of 100 times.


Have fun 🙂



Good morning everyone, first I just wanted to share this picture of the Florida sunrise this morning 🙂  I swear South Florida has some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets I have ever seen and I love collecting pictures of them.


Anyway, today I wanted to dedicate a post on push-ups.  I understand many people say they “can’t” do a push-up or can’t do very many of them, but you always have the opportunity to start out light and work your way up to being able to doing many of them with the correct form.  They are part of my “you are your own gym” philosophy because they work so many parts of your body without using any equipment.  I always incorporate pushups into my cardio circuits and the more I do, the more toned my upper body gets.  You will notice a difference with your body too!!

Here is a little diagram on what push-ups can do for your body.  As you can see, so much is working here!!!

push up

1.  Both your biceps and triceps are being worked (Diamond push-ups are the best for your triceps, in my opinion)
2.  Your pectoral, or chest muscles, are being worked
3.  Push-ups build shoulder strength
4.  It acts as an effective ab exercise and builds stability

Anyway, sometimes push-ups can get a little monotonous so here are TWELVE PUSH UP MODIFICATIONS that I like to incorporate into my strength training. Hopefully you’ll find these a little more enjoyable than regular push-ups (but maybe not)… I have diagrams/videos posted below.  You’ll find me struggle at times due to a recent operation I had, but even I am working hard at getting back on my push-up game!! Plus I wouldn’t be beach bunny if I didn’t do them on the beach right?  That’s fresh, deep sand people… No wet sand here!!!


1.  PIKE PUSH UPS – Your body should create an upside down “V” shape in the air, with your legs wide and hands flat on your floor as you go down into the push-up.  These are great for building rock hard shoulders.

2.  HINDU PUSH UPS – See diagram below for reference on this fun one 🙂

3.  SINGLE LEG PUSH UPS – Do a regular push-up, but with one leg up six inches off the ground.  Rotate legs every other rep or do 2,4,6 in a row, then rotate.

4.  ELEVATED PUSH UPS – Place your feet up on a chair, bench, couch, whatever and go down in the push-up.  I personally love these and think they’re really fun!! You can also move left and right in a plank in between reps if you have enough room.

5.  PUSH UP JACKS – Do a regular push up but extend your legs out and back in, like a jumping jack on the ground. 20 of these and your legs will be burning.

6.  DIAMOND PUSH UPS – Place your hands in a diamond shape right under your chest/breast area.  Go….

7.  CLAP PUSH UPS – A great plyometric exercise.  You’ll have to explode upwards using both your upper and lower body to clap your hands while in the air.  These are tough so try not to faceplant 🙂  Even at the peak of my training, I could probably do no more than 6 with correct form.

8.  STAGGERING PUSH UPS – You start in the plank with one hand higher than the other (i.e. left by your head, right by your chest) and do however many push ups you like before switching positions.

9.  PUSH UP WITH DUMBBELL RAISE- For these, I use dumbbells of 8 – 15 lbs., depending on the movement.  Do a regular push up with the dumbbells, but when you come up, either do rows on each side, a fly(s) to each side, or extend your arm straight out and rotate.  I typically use a lighter weight with the flys.  The diagram below shows the row in C and fly in D.

Dumbbell raise

10.  PRISON CELL PUSH UPS – The name is courtesy of Tony Horton, I guess you would do these in tight space like a prison cell 🙂  Not that I am speaking from experience.  But really they are just push ups with an ab cruncher in between.  You can do any combination you like; i.e. 4 push ups, 4 crunchers.  I like to start at 12,12 and pyramid down 10,10, 8,8, etc.

11.  SLOW COUNT PUSH UPS – Oooooh these hurt, go very slowly down into a push up and count to 8, or 4.  Come back up and count to the same number SLOWLY!  No rushing!  Every time I do these I am sore the next day.  Try to do 4 sets with 4 reps to begin.

12.  MOVING PLANK PUSH UPS – Every time I get the chance to work my obliques, I do it.  See video below:

Okay, you should have plenty of material to get busy and work your upper body and be sore as sh*t tomorrow 🙂 ENJOY!



Most of know what a burpeee is, and most of us don’t like them.  Well guess what, they don’t like you either.  But I believe they are the best total body workout you can do in a matter of 5 simple steps.  Everything on your body is being worked; your glutes, core, upper body, etc.  This movement is perfect for strength training, as well as aerobic exercise.  You don’t need any fancy equipment or gadgets.  Here are the 5 steps:

1. Do a squat and put your hands on the floor
2. Kick your feet back into a plank position
3. Do a push up while you are down (or hold the plank)
4. Return to a squat position with hands on the floor
5. Do a vertical jump in the air

**Always try to keep your butt out of the air, and your shoulders should be aligned with your wrists in the plank.

Here is a short video on me doing a few weighted burpees with an ab movement I added into the routine.  There are many modifications to burpees, and I love changing it up so it doesn’t get boring.

I am personally obsessed with burpees because of how many different parts of your body it works while still being a cardiovascular movement.  During Spartan Races, if you fail to complete an obstacle, the penalty is to do 30 burpees before you can move on with the race.  They were super painful after running X amount of miles on hills and whatnot so I learned to quickly try my best with every obstacle 🙂 But, I always try to incorporate them into my workout routine because I know the results will be great!!  You can do them anywhere, anytime!

My favorite burpee workout to do is with a partner, and I call them “PYRAMID BURPEES“.  This should not take you an your partner an overwhelming amount of time, maybe about 30 minutes or so.  Try to go as fast as you can with correct form.


Do 1 burpee.  Have your partner do 1 burpee.
Do 2 burpees.  Have your partner do 2 burpees.
Do 3 burpees.  Have your partner do 3 burpees.
Do 4 burpees, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, then come back down again 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

The point is to get a short break while your partner is doing his/her set because this movement will be challenging and have your heart pumping.  If you don’t have a partner, you can take 30 seconds-1 minute or you can do another movement in between reps.  I would do 50 high knees in place if you are doing the pyramid alone; high knees are a great cardio movement while working your abs.

Other burpee modifications I like to use:

Power jump burpees:  While you are up, jump up in the air and tuck your knees to your chest at the peak of the jump.
Frog jump burpees:  Jump forward and backward instead of upward
Mountain climber burpees:  Do X number of mountain climbers while you are in the plank position
Spider burpees:  Spider your left and right legs while you are in the plank position to work your obliques
Weighted burpees:  Use dumbbells to do a curl or other movement while in the burpee

Have fun!!!



“Take care of your body and it will take care of you”

Let me start out this blog by saying that I don’t really believe in gyms.  I don’t remember the last time I used a treadmill or an elliptical. Probably 90% of my workouts are done without any equipment or machines.  The only thing I do like about gyms are the classes some offer because working out amongst other people boosts motivation and morale.  But, other than using dumbbells or bands, I believe you have all the tools on your body to get an amazing, calorie-crunching cardiovascular workout without doing the same boring moves on a machine.

This is good news because you have the ability to workout wherever you are comfortable, like a basement, room in your home, or outside.  If I need to, I use items in my home like chairs or stairs. I also believe in high-intensity workouts, in which you can really push yourself to the maximum level. Once again, this is good news because my workouts tend to be around 45 minutes-1 hour and cardio oriented. Shorter time frames with a higher level of workout is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule who wants to get it done right, but fast. Time permitting, I like to do one of these in the morning and one in the afternoon instead of going straight for two hours.  I find I get better results that way.

Before I start posting my workout routines, I will say that I am NOT a certified personal trainer.  I have always been a fitness enthusiast and over the years, I have done Crossfit, Platoon Boot Camp, completed Insanity, Insane Asylum Volume 1 and Volume 2, and P90X.  I have trained for and completed different races; 5Ks, 10Ks, Spartan Races, half marathons, bike races, etc.  I have met a lot of people and learned different workout regiments by training for these races.  I want to share my knowledge as well as post what I do on a daily basis to workout. Everyone is different, and there are many styles of working out.  But if I’m working out every day I may as well post what I do so people can try it themselves or see a couple new moves to implement in their workouts 🙂

SO, here is a pretty basic cardio workout I came up with and did in my living room yesterday… I understand some of the moves I do are hard to explain so I will try my best and post short clips of the unusual ones.



For 30 seconds each:
Jog in place
Squat jumping jacks (squat down with every jack and jump back up)
Jump rope in place
Vertical jump
High knees
Butt kicks

Do these 6 moves in that order 2 or 3 times straight through, no stopping.  Try to push yourself at the end… you should be sweating!



– Suicides left and right (30 total) *Really squat down and touch the ground on each side. Go as fast as possible
– Switch kicks (60 total) *I LOVE THESE – perfect for glutes and abs!!
– Power knee left and right (50 each leg) *Pull your leg and knee up in the air and back down like you’re kneeing someone in the face
– Frog jumps with a 1-legged plank hold (12 total) *Start all the way down in a squat and leap forward into another squat. When you are all the way down, go into a plank and put 1 leg straight up and hold. Rotate legs each time

** Do this circuit 3x with a 30-second break in between each time. Your heart rate will be shooting up and down!

– Run up and down a flight of stairs 10 times.  If you don’t have stairs, do 50 jumping jacks and 50 mountain climbers.

CIRCUIT TWO (begin after 30 second break):

– Sprint in place for 8 seconds and switch lunge twice with your hands up in the air or on your hips (12 lunge sets total)
– Globe jumps (20 total) * Jump squat forward, to the right, to the back, to the left, to the front again, etc.
– In and out abs (30 total) *C-sit position on the floor and keep your legs together.  Move them toward your stomach and back out straight again.’
– Ski abs (40 total) *OBSESSED

Do this circuit 3x with a 30-second break in between each time.

– Run up and down the stairs 10 times again or do the jumping jacks/mountain climbers again



You should be exhausted by now!! If you need to, you can make this workout harder or easier by taking longer breaks/doing more or less reps of each move.  See what works for you… Try to go fast, but stay in correct form.  Don’t take too long of a break or else you’ll lose momentum and your body will start to tighten.

I have posted a few video clips of some of the moves I did so people can get a better understanding of what I am doing 🙂