Personal Training Client Win – Maree Cheatham

Congratulations Maree Cheatham!

Maree Cheatham

We’d like to congratulate our client, Maree Cheatham on her upcoming role as Bettie Breeland in Hart of Dixie!

You can see her on the show when Hart of Dixie returns to television October 7 on the CW Network.

Here’s more about Maree’s latest role from E Online and Day Time Confidential.

Nickelodeon’s Sam and Cat

She also has a recurring role as Nona, Cat’s grandmother, on the Nickelodeon show Sam and Cat – a physically demanding role that has her doing her own stunts such as falling from a moving shopping cart while wrapped up in a burlap bag (see Episode 1).

Maree is Staying Young

Maree is setting the stage for women of all ages by demonstrating your chronological age doesn’t have to get in the way of your life or career and that it is possible to combat Father Time with the right combination of nutrition, exercise and attitude.

“Working with Tracey has made me stronger and able to withstand 16 hours standing on concrete floors in the sound stages.

It takes a lot of stamina and strength to be able to do most of my own stunt work.

I cannot tell you what an asset her training is to anyone, especially an actress of indeterminate years!”

Maree Cheatham

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

Squats – How to Do Them Correctly

Squats – The Big Guns

Squats are a fundamental movement. They involve three sets of joints (the ankles, knees and hips) and because of this, also involve a lot of muscles making them one of the big guns in anyone’s workout routine. A good squat will not only strengthen legs and glutes, it will also strengthen the core (front and back).

We think it is very important to make sure people know how to do squats correctly to not only get the most out of them, but also to avoid potential injury from doing them the wrong way.

Squats Video

Here is a short video to show you some of the do’s and don’t's of squatting…

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

Biggest Loser Inspires… Not Much

The Biggest Loser Inspires... Not Much

What’s so bad about The Biggest Loser?

As a fitness trainer with many years in the industry truly helping people get fit and into shape, shows like The Biggest Loser really irk me. I dislike the way the trainers work out their clients and how they disregard good form in place of thrashing their victims (sorry, clients) to do things they are not physically capable of doing properly. They make getting fit look like something painful and masochistic – who wants to go to the gym after witnessing someone having to run on a treadmill until she throws up in a bucket provided by her bully of a coach?

These shows take an approach to fitness much like crash diets do with nutrition – the idea of “crash fitness” is ridiculous which is probably why it makes for such entertaining TV. The big question is, do they actually inspire people to get active?

Real inspiration to get fit

A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior (2013; 37 [1], 96-103) proved that people who watch The Biggest Loser are actually turned off exercise. Contrast that with a survey of local governments in the UK that found sports participation surged during the 2012 Olympic Games.

It turns out that when people imagine themselves being active they prefer the idea of being fluid, powerful and graceful in their movements (think Olympic athletes) as opposed to being red-faced, out-of-breath, awkward and having to be yelled at by a bully in front of a live audience (think Biggest Loser contestant).

The general consensus in a forum for personal trainers on the subject of The Biggest Loser was one of extreme distaste towards these kinds of reality shows. Michael Schmid had this to say, “…the physical training is abusive and at least borders on negligent. Contestants vomiting, passing out, being taken away in ambulances? How long would your gym be in business if those were common occurrences there? Not very long I’d bet.”

How can you use The Biggest Loser to your advantage?

  • Stay away from The Biggest Loser for starters – that system of training is not workable nor is it real and now we know it’s not particularly inspirational either.
  • Get yourself a book that has a system for getting active and fit with a step-by-step approach – you could try Fit Lean Healthy, 8 Simple Steps.
  • Even better would be to hire a proper trainer who has a track record for helping people achieve their fitness goals and who understands and teaches correct exercise form so your workouts are both safe AND effective.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

Performance Enhancement For All Ages

How Many Regular People Play Sports?

How many people do you know who engage in a favorite sport? Most people do it to have fun, some do it to stay in shape and a few are really serious about their sport. Just because you’re not a pro athlete doesn’t mean you don’t take your sport seriously. Go down to your local tennis courts on a Sunday morning and you’ll see what I mean – some serious game playing going on.

We’ve come across all manner of sports in our line of work – skeet shooting, motocross, skiing, golfing, extreme frisbee, racquet ball, long-distance motorcycle racing, bodybuilding, basketball, volleyball, hockey, just to name a few. We’ve also come across a myriad of ages of people wanting to excel in their chosen sport, anywhere from age 14 to 75.

Why Hire  a Pro Fitness Coach for Sport?

You might be wondering why someone who is regularly engaged in a sport would bother hiring a professional fitness coach, seeing as they’re already active and probably fit. The answer is simple – adding a strong general strength and conditioning base to their sport makes it easier to continue to participate well for longer (both on the day and over the years). Including sport-specific training drills into general fitness training can substantially enhance your performance.

Here’s what David Potts, 54 year-old long-distance off-road motorcycle racer has to say:

” I had a great race at the 2012 Parker 250 this January and I can easily contribute my success to my improved fitness.

“I first raced the Parker 250 in 2010 and our main competitor, Dana Reed, was there again in 2012. In 2010 Dana actually beat me by a few minutes but this year I finished 15 minutes ahead of him in 80 miles of racing.

“This race is a team race so I was only on the bike for 80 miles but I know I could have ridden the entire race (240 miles) if I needed to. Back in 2010 I struggled just to complete 80 miles.”

Sandee Ferman, after only a few weeks on a fitness program had this to say about her golfing performance:

“I noticed when I played golf on Monday that I didn’t get tired after 9 holes like I usually did. In fact I didn’t really get tired at all during the entire 18 holes.”

Stan Gale, in his 50′s and an avid motocross rider, can outride men in their 20′s and stay on the track for longer than just about anyone. He’s been working out and improving his general strength and fitness every week for several years and it’s been paying dividends – he continues to enjoy a sport that’s rougher than most on the body.

So, What’s the Good News?

The good news is this – if you’re getting older, you can still play the sports you love with as much energy and skill as ever, you just have to prime your body for it. How? By having a really good regular general fitness regimen. A good foundation to keep you injury-free and in peak condition for the things you enjoy most in your life.

If you’ve got a sport you used to enjoy or one you’d like to continue to enjoy well into the future, fire us an email. We might have something to help you stay in the game (and even excel beyond your past performance).

Age is no object where we come from.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

Personal Training Success Story #1

Rudi has been doing personal training since the eighties, well before it was mainstream. He worked in Sydney, Australia for many years and, more recently, has been based in the La Crescenta area of Los Angeles.

In that time he has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals of losing weight, getting stronger, getting healthier and taking full control of their own bodies. Many clients write success stories that are inspiring and insightful.

We received such a success story from one of our clients, Artin, the other day. Here is for you to enjoy.

Artin’s Personal Training Success Story

Artin Before and After

My name is Artin, I am 36 years old and for the last 25 years I have been overweight and those who are in that situation know that being overweight creates a lot of problems in your personal life. All these years I tried a lot of different diets but they didn’t work or if I did lose weight is was for a short period of time and I gained it all back plus a few extra pounds after a few months. So the situation was getting worse and worse, especially as I was getting older and older.

Until 2 years ago. I decided that I needed to make some major changes in my eating habits and add more workouts to my life. I started a strict diet and I lost 50lb in one year but still wasn’t happy with the result because I was also losing muscle, not only fat. That was not my goal so I thought, just the diet is not enough, I needed someone to teach me and help me to have a strict work out so I could change my body. I did try a couple of sessions with a trainer but didn’t like them, I needed someone professional and finally 9 months ago I met Rudi Marashlian in one of the area’s private gyms and after a few minutes talking with him I felt he is different and I decided to start training with him. After a few sessions work out I realized I made the right choice and at this point I am really glad that I made that choice because the way Rudi trains me is not only physically, he also encourages me mentally to work harder to reach my goals so now I see even bigger changes coming my way and I am losing inches from my waist and all over my body and I am a lot more active and I feel a lot more energetic. Plus I can wear anything I want and that is what I missed my whole life. And most important, I am much healthier than I ever was in my life.

Artin A.

You are welcome to contact Rudi to find out more about what he does with his personal training clients. He’s also happy to answer fitness-related questions you may have.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

Exercise – Instant Gratification

Why People Start Exercising

We all know the health benefits of exercise and, hopefully, you all understand that weight loss – reducing the number on the scale – is not a very good or reliable index for telling you whether you actually look good or not. By now you also know that “looking fine” is a matter of exercising properly (there’s a bit to this) as well as eating properly – you can’t only exercise and expect to melt off fat and you definitely can’t diet only (that route leads to the dreaded yo-yo effect).

Did you know that most people start exercising in order to lose weight and improve appearance? Many people then abandon exercise when the expected pounds fail to fall off – maybe their exercise was sporadic, maybe they weren’t doing exercises properly, maybe they weren’t working hard enough to make a difference, maybe (and this is a big one) they ate up a storm so any good effects from exercise were negated by the overindulgence in food.

Why People Keep Exercising

People who stick with exercise do so in large part because exercising actually makes them feel better, more confident, stronger, more energetic, more powerful. We have many clients who come into their training session feeling washed out from a hard day at work; no energy and, if not for the appointment, no desire to work out at all. After an hour of working out the lights are back on, smiles are easy and life is good and fresh again.

Check out the smile!

Try this: Right now, stand up and sit down again 5 times. Notice how you feel immediately after.

The Instant Reward From Exercise

It’s this instant reward that brings you back again and again and again. You can’t get it from eating chocolate or drinking alcohol (both of which can make people feel quite awful after the initial gratification wears off). Once you’re in this zone, we’ll call it the “workout zone” and you’re exercising regularly the extra weight does come off – when you feel this good you don’t want to fill up on crappy food; your body is now a finely-tuned sports machine and you tend to treat it that way.

Once you’re in the workout zone you’re less likely to get sick, you are ready for any event because you look and feel great and your daily exercise just happens because there’s no way you’d forfeit feeling so awesome for anything. Working out becomes a priority and you’re never unprepared – your workout bag is ready to go whenever you are.

Try this: Think of a time when you felt really healthy – what was your lifestyle at the time?

The hard part is getting started. Then sticking with it.

The Best Way To Start Exercising

Investing in a good trainer at least in the beginning is an excellent way to get started and to learn what to do and how to do it properly. How does anyone get expert in an area? They get coaching – even champions invest in good coaching, that’s how they get even better. This applies in all areas of life and very much so with exercise.

We love helping people become regular exercisers and seeing their health improve along with their shape so you can confidently contact us for advice – we’ve helped hundreds, if not thousands of people to make exercise part of their daily lives. If you live in or near the La Crescent area you can even take advantage of meeting with one of us for a complimentary initial fitness consultation.

Biggest Barrier to Fitness

What is the biggest barrier to getting fit and how can you overcome it?

Probably the best way to overcome any barrier is to, firstly, know what it is. If you know what you’re dealing with you can plan ahead on how you will deal with it when it comes your way.

Getting into shape can be a constant battle with your body when you start, especially if you’ve been inactive for any length of time. The biggest barrier to fitness is simply getting started. This makes complete sense if you understand the Law of Inertia – an object at rest tends to stay at rest while an object in motion will tend to continue in that same motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Your body, in the case of starting a fitness program, is the object, and if it’s been “at rest” (sedentary is a nice way to put it, otherwise known as bone lazy) it’s naturally going to want to stay that way and it WILL take considerable force (from you and, if necessary, a competent fitness coach or personal trainer) to get it active.

This is a kind of chicken before the egg proposition – is your body or are you the barrier here? If you think of your body as an object and you’re the driving force, then it all becomes simple – not necessarily easy, but simple nonetheless. Your body is resisting change – it wants to stay on the couch. YOU are going to have to get it moving.

Taut and tight core

Here’s the (almost) no fail method:

  1. Hire a competent personal trainer to help get you started. This way you’ll have a team of two against the wily ways of your body. The trainer should know what he’s doing (or she as the case may be) so you can rest assured you won’t be wasting your time.
  2. Follow the trainer’s advice – do the extra work on your own, keep a food diary, drink the extra water and slow down on the alcohol. Ignoring your trainer’s advice is like shooting yourself in the foot.
  3. Ask questions, find people who are on a similar journey, join fitness forums online.
  4. Eat well – it might take planning out your weekly meals and making lunches in advance. Eating poorly is just asking for your body to kick you in the teeth and going on strike.
  5. Sleep well – getting enough rest is in the same category as eating well. You’ll get less complaints from a well-rested body.
  6. Drink enough water. This takes planning too. Don’t skimp on it – very often you think you need a hit of sugar when your body is actually thirsty. Leaving it until you feel parched is leaving it way too late. A good test: your urine should be clear.

Good luck in overcoming the biggest barrier to fitness. It can be done, it has been done countless times and you can do it too.

Feel free to email us at if you want any more advice or help.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

“Beware of Your Chair!” Says Aussie Fitness Expert

Did you know… “Too much sitting is hazardous to your health?”  There is a relatively new science called “inactive physiology” where the effects of sedentary behavior are investigated and analyzed to find out what, if anything, happens to our bodies when we sit too much. It turns out quite a lot happens (and, if you noticed the title, “Beware of Your Chair,” you’d be right in thinking it’s not all good). 

Let me give you a few interesting bits of information about why sitting is so bad for your health:

-         Adults and children in the U.S. spend the majority of their non-exercising waking day in some form of sedentary behavior such as riding in a car, working at a desk, eating a meal at a table, playing video games, working on a computer and watching television. (Owen et al., 2009; Katzmarzyk et al., 2009)

-         Men in physically active jobs have less coronary artery disease during middle-age, and what disease they have is less severe, and they develop it later in life than men in physically inactive jobs. (Morris & Crawford, 1958)

-         Even with physically active individuals, there is a strong association between sitting and mortality (dying) risk from all causes including cardiovascular disease. (Katzmarzyk et al., 2009)

The first thing to know is that people – men, women AND children – whether physically fit or not, spend a LOT of time sitting down. Some scientists have estimated sitting time to be at least 70% for physically active people. If it’s 70% for physically active people, what is it for true couch potatoes? A lot higher!

So why does it matter that we sit so much; what’s so bad about sitting? Well, let’s take a look at what happens to a person’s blood when he or she sits for long periods of time. There is an enzyme in the body called lipoprotein lipase and it captures fat (triglyceride) out of the blood to be used by the body for fuel. When the body is sedentary (sitting is an example of being sedentary) for long periods there is a huge drop in this enzyme that badly affects the fat in the blood. The fat, instead of being stored for later or used as fuel, stays in the blood which sends blood fat levels soaring caising what we know as high cholesterol and so increases the chance of cardio-vascular disease.

Knowing this, what can be done about it? Here are some simple things you can do to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and being sedentary:

-         Keep a log of your activities throughout a single day starting with the time you wake up. Keep tabls on how long you spend at each activity. Make sure you log the activity AND the time taken. Don’t forget to include your evening activities and the time you go to sleep.

-         Now, take an honest look at how much time you actually sit in a day. Highlight the longest periods of sitting. These you can focus on fixing first.

-         Some ideas are to set a timer to remind yourself to get up and move around every thirty minutes or so and be sure to stand when you make and take phone calls.

-         Keep going through your log and work out ways to reduce your daily sitting time, be as inventive and creative as you like.

Hopefully this article gives you some new ideas on how to improve your overall health and longevity. If anything, you might be looking at that favorite chair in a whole new light.

LIKE our Facebook Page for Daily Fit Tips

Tracey Thatcher

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

Personal Training Vrs Health Insurance??

The cost of being and staying healthy, especially as one ages, can be very expensive especially if you’re overweight and like eating fatty, sugary foods. It doesn’t have to be that way and, strangely enough, not eating rich, fat-saturated foods and actually moving your body regularly can be surprisingly enjoyable and it pays dividends on your overall health and enjoyment of life.


Some people look at hiring a personal trainer as insurance against not only obesity but also diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure as they age. It does take some discipline to get started but the benefits definitely out-weigh any beginning discomfort (namely, having to breathe heavier or even sweat a bit). Certainly, hiring a trainer really puts you on the spot and ensures you do get moving – often you need more pressure and discipline than only you can provide on your own, with the addition of a trainer your body has more hope of making a change for the better.

It can be very daunting to start an exercise program without any professional advice, especially if you’ve never been particularly active in the past. Having someone guide you through and make sure you don’t waste time on activities that aren’t helpful (and sometimes even downright dangerous) and making sure you’re doing an exercise correctly to get maximum gain is invaluable. So many people who do work out waste most of their time doing things that don’t really get results – why work up a sweat unless there’s an actual gain to be had at the other end?

Sure, a personal trainer does cost money, but weigh that cost up against hip replacements, regular doctor’s appointments, cardio-vascular surgery, diabetes medication and so on and it starts to look darned cheap. Even if your only motivation is to look good, take a peek at the cost of liposuction and cosmetic surgery (and, while you’re at it, check out the possible side-effects). And nothing can replace the simple feeling of well-being one gets from regular exercise and a truly healthy body – it’s unbeatable!

Written by:
Tracey-Lee Thatcher

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
* = Required Field

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline