Boot Camp Fitness

When I advertise for my classes I get a lot of “what is boot camp?” questions.  I didn’t realize that many people are unaware of this type of training (but I suppose, once upon a time I asked “what is boot camp?”) and so I’ve decided to use this forum to explain to you what exactly my boot camp classes are like.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

The purpose of fitness boot camp – aside from whipping your butt into shape – is to build strength and endurance.  My classes are jam-packed with cardio (cray-zee cardio) and strength.  And because my classes are based on body weight training I don’t require any equipment (save for a yoga mat so you don’t have to be/sit/lay on the ground or floor).

When most people hear the term “boot camp” they instantly think of the military.  New recruits go off to basic training and boot camp and go through some pretty intense training in order to get their bodies in tip-top shape.  Boot camp is pretty hard core – and so are my classes.

..this ain't no princess-in-training camp.

..this ain’t no princess-in-training camp.

As I said above, my classes are a combo of cardio and strength.  I start with a warm up, we work our asses off for the majority of the hour, and I finish with a cool down/stretching.

I am always coming up with new exercises so that the classes don’t get boring – and I also have some old tried and trusted faves.  I will make you squat.  I will make you burpee.  I will definitely make you sweat!

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

Your abs will be sore and you’ll have difficulty getting up those stairs the next few days.  But it will get easier.  No, scratch that!  YOU WILL GET STRONGER.  You will build up your cardio and your endurance.  You will need to take less breaks to catch your breath.  And you’ll be able to push up through the entire interval without having to take a knee.

You’ll leave class with your head held higher (I applaud you just for coming) and you’ll walk with a little swagger.  And so you should.

Via Yahoo

Via Yahoo

Here are a few things to remember when taking my class:

Gear. Come to class prepared, man.  You need sneakers, a mat, and water (and maybe a sweat towel).  You CANNOT do my class without proper footwear.  It’s dangerous and it’s reckless (for you as a participant and for me as a trainer). You need proper footwear in order to prevent injury.  I want your ass to be sore; I don’t want to kill you.
Water.  Hydration is key to good, everyday health.  But it’s really important to stay hydrated during an intense class – or if you’re an extensive sweater.  Boot camps are designed to get your heart rate up and make you break – and keep – a sweat, so replenishing those electrolytes is important.  Even more important when taking class in the summer.  Which just about kills even me.  Blah.
Disclose of any medical information, etc.  Good Lord people! I can’t even stress how important this is.  Please be sure  to disclose any medical or health issues to any fitness professional you’ll be working with.  I have my clients fill out a lengthy health history form as well as a liability waiver.  And I’m well aware that people lie.  But seriously, this is something that could save your life.  I am the first one to tell my clients that I have a heart condition (I mean, really, how often do you hear that your trainer has a heart condition) so please be truthful with me.
Carb up.  Yep.  You heard it.  Carbohydrate is what fuels your body and without it I expect you’ll be laying in a puddle on the floor in a corner.  I tell my clients to eat something carby (an apple, whole grain toast) at least an hour before my class.  (If you eat too close to class time you’re likely to puke).
Throwing up is okay.  Seriously.  You’re not the first.  You won’t be the last.
Boot camp classes are intense.  I’m not gonna lie.  Be prepared to work your butt off and to do things you didn’t think you were capable of.  Your body will hate you, you’ll hate me.  But you’ll be fine.
Don’t insult the instructor.  Don’t be a dick.  I had a dude come to my class recently.  He’d spent some time in the military and during a conversation after class he said to me “It was a good class.  It’s not boot camp though.”  No, it’s not (military) boot camp.  I’m not wielding a rifle and screaming profanities all whilst preparing you for battle.  It’s a fitness class.  He signed up for a fitness class – he got a fitness class.  He was an ass.  And really – if you’re going to participate just to be an ass, please stay home.
Don’t be afraid to dig deeper (or go lighter).  I tell my clients before and during their workouts “your body will tell you what you’re capable of.”  Don’t be afraid to push your limits (or at least try).  And certainly don’t be ashamed to modify if you need to.  Your body is your temple.  Do what’s best for it.
Don’t forget to pay the lady.  Unless you have made arrangements with me – or if I’ve stated otherwise – come to class prepared to pay.  It irks me to no end when people come to my class and don’t pay.  The same ass from above came to my class and said “I don’t have any money for you tonight.”  WTF??  I specifically told this person – as I’ve told everyone – what the cost is and my methods of payment.  This is a grown ass man!!   And it happens way too often.  It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to the rest of the participants who’ve paid for the classes.  I mean, when you go to the grocery store do you tell the cashier “I’m taking the milk but I don’t have any money for you”???
I happily offer free classes on occasion.  Unfortunately this is not something I can offer constantly as I have rental fees, insurance, education, dues, and travel expenses to cover during the session runs.  To show up for a class AND participate without intention to pay is disrespectful and, as far as I’m concerned, the same as stealing.  Asshat from above made me so angry that I’ve decided that I will no longer be offering people the benefit of the doubt and will be turning people away at the door.  “Sorry you traveled all this way but if you don’t pay you don’t play.”  It may be bad for business, but that’s exactly what it is…a business.  I’m offering you a service.  It’s not free.  Please keep this in mind when you are intending on attending any type of class.  {End rant.}
Have Fun!  Remember, this is a fitness class.  It’s not military basic training.  It’s supposed to be fun. Try it out.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laugh at me.  Laugh at yourself.  As long as you’re working it at the same time.  Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore.  There is a lot of camaraderie among the participants.  We have fun.  Come with the right attitude and you will too.
~Fit Bitch

No Definition

No DefinitionI love this little bit of fitspiration.

From the time I was in junior high I’ve been obsessed with the number on the scale instead of with where by body is.

I still fight with those demons.  In fact, I fight with those demons to the point that I have no idea what my actual weight is.  I guestimate.  I get weighed at the doctor’s office only and even then I choose not to know the number.

I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am – both physically and mentally – and I am proud of my accomplishments in the fitness and healthy living world.  I’ve overcome my eating disorders – and for the most part, my disordered eating – but there’s still that little piece about the number that resonates in me.  *sigh*  I hope to not be battling these demons forever.

I tell my clients too that they should not focus on the number of their weight.  That, instead, they should focus on their healthy choices and fitness regime.  Ignore the BMI (because it’s really not an accurate way to measure your health anyway) and be mindful of their lifestyles.

Be proud of how far you’ve come.  Even if you’ve only lost a pound of fat or gained a pound of muscle – that’s further than where you were last week or month.  That’s something.

I am proud of where I am today compared with where I was this time last year.  Sometimes I need to remind myself about the strength within.  Sometimes I need to quiet those demons.  I’m getting there.  Are you?

#Ownit  #loveyourself

~Fit Bitch

It’s a Brand New Day (to Train for Your First 5K)

Happy November!!

Halloween was last night and I’m sure many of you ODed on chocolate and candy (and booze) and are feeling the regrets and the grossness today.

October is a big food month around these parts.  It’s my birthday month, as well as my nephew’s, sister-in-law’s, and aunt’s.  It’s also my parents’ anniversary month, Thanksgiving (in Canada), and, of course, Halloween.  So it seems that there’s always tons of food on the go.  I did my best to behave, food-wise, but I did indulge here and there (dam you, Pumpkin Spice lattes!!), and for that reason I’m starting back on my Whole 30 food plan this month.

I know not everyone is able to commit themselves to 30 days of eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods and omitting many every day things (like dairy), but I really enjoy the program and feel so terrific while doing it.  This will be my 4th time on the program since June.

But, again, since not everyone can – or wants to – make this commitment (I still urge you to eliminate as much processed food as possible) I thought another program would catch your fancy.  It’s the Learn to Run Your First 5K.

I never did a training program when I first took up running years ago but many of my friends have joined running groups to learn to run a 5K or 10K and it really seemed to benefit their training.  And it definitely is a commitment.

This Learn to Run program is from PopSugar Fitness and it’s a 6-week training program that incorporates core, strength, and flexibility training into your running workouts.  It’s a great idea and if you’re a newbie to running – and/or to exercising –  this might just be the program for you.

I always feel like November is such a great recovery month – getting over October’s indulgences and gearing up for Christmas and the holidays.  I realize that my American friends celebrate their Thanksgiving in November, but you can still use the month as your training guide – taking your rest day(s) to celebrate with your turkeys.

This is also a 6-week training program so it will bring you right into mid-December so even when you’re doing your Christmas baking or already into the parties your body will be conditioning and burning extra calories while at rest.

So, give this program a go and as always, have fun!

Via PopSugar

Via PopSugar


This last session of my boot camp classes I was super stoked to finally have a guy register.  I’ve been wanting to ‘enlist’ a boy for a while but I’ve come to realize that most guys aren’t really into group fitness (I also don’t think they realize how tough my classes actually are), so I was excited to have my first male participant.

His name is Luke and he said his wife registered him in order to get him in gear to join the military and get ready for his basic training.

Luke came to the classes and admitted to us that he wasn’t big on exercise, although he’d been doing some P90X videos.  He did great.  I don’t know what he initially thought of my class before his first day but I’m certain that he came, he saw, he participated, he was impressed.

In mid-September Luke got his call – he’d be heading off to basic training on October 10.  He finished up what classes he could and then he was gone.

Last week I got a message from Luke:  “I passed the military fitness test! Thanks for helping with that.”

I was so happy for him.  I don’t think Luke believed that he could do it.  But he did.  Way to go!

Easier~Fit Bitch

Ya Gotta Have Heart!

RUNNERSI saw this yesterday in my Facebook feed and was inspired…..for a minute.  Then I realized, I do indeed have a runner’s body because I AM a runner, dammit!

The above photo was posted by one of my bootcampers – who also ran in the Harvest Marathon this past weekend.  I’ve watched her during my class and she works for it.  She gives it her all.  And she did such a great job in the race and she deserves to be so proud of herself.

We should never let anyone or anything diminish our accomplishments. And certainly not because we don’t conform to a required “mold” or ideal.

I am well aware that my arm skin jiggles when I’m running, thank you.  But you know what?  I’ve worked my ass off for that arm skin, because 10 years ago it was arm fat.  (Don’t even get me started on the boobs!)  I continue to work on toning and strength training but sometimes life, genetics, and just stubborn fat cells get in the way.  Does that make me any less of a runner or an athlete?  Hell no!

We need to stop idolizing the idea of what’s perfect and what’s acceptable and what’s “normal“.

Don’t let anyone ever take away of your greatness.  And please don’t let that someone be you.  You got this.

~Fit Bitch


MEDALYesterday I ran in the Harvest Marathon here in Nova Scotia.  It was my first time.

I didn’t realize how big this event was – or had become – but it was insane!  There were over 900 people registered in my category alone – and more than 3000 Nova Scotians registered for the entire marathon (not counting those from other provinces – or even countries, as there were a few).

I was excited, nervous, and anxious.  I was tired and sore (I think I pulled a hip flexor in class the other night), and was worried how my ankle (and bladder) would hold up.

It was an early morning with a BFF.  It was dark, dreary, and really cold.

But we did it.  All of us!

I ran alone (BFF was registered in a different category).  Plugged into Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel (it honestly helped me run), and pushed myself harder than I’ve pushed myself in a long time.

In fact, I pushed myself so hard I shaved 34 minutes off my time from Thursday night (just three days before).

My ankle is 100% okay – thankfully.  My hip flexor, on the other hand, is a different story – I have to tug on the toe of my sock to lift my leg – and my calves are tight today, but all in all I feel fantastic and proud.

And I’m proud of the other runners – and inspired by many!

This was an incredible experience and I am so elated to have finally been able to experience it.

~Fit Bitch

Clear Your Mind

CANTBecause you can.

You can squat.  You can jump.  You can walk (or wheel).  You can.

Stop limiting yourself.

Remember last week when I posted that gross photo of my cankle after spraining it in a race?  Well, the big race is this coming Sunday and I’ve been really worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the distance.  I’ve been really stressed and anxious about it.

But tonight – I did it.  I ran the distance of the upcoming race.  In fact, I ran further than the distance of the upcoming race. (I also went to a Zumba class right after and  thought I could use a nap halfway thru before it even started!)

I feel fantastic!  Tired, but accomplished.

So there!  If I can, you can.  We can all do something.

~Fit Bitch

Zombie Run 2015

Last year I was super duper excited to participate in the Zombie Trail Run.  It was so much fun and my friends and I had a blast.  Such a blast, in fact, that my bestie/running buddy maintained that we would definitely sign up for the run again this year.  And we did.

We were so stoked.  The Run is more than an hour’s drive by highway so we had to be up early on Saturday morning to get ready and head out.  But it was worth it because we had just as much fun.

Except………this happened:



Yep!  That is my ankle.  In fact, that’s my ankle 2 and a half days later.  I was more than 4.5k into our 5k race, stubbed my foot on a rock, it cracked and I went down!  *BOOM*

My ankles have both been broken and sprained and strained (it should be clear by now that I’m a klutz!) and therefore they are very weak.  I guess I caught my foot on the rock just enough…. *sigh*.  FORTUNATELY, the ankle isn’t broken. The crack I heard was just the ligament tearing.  Fortunately.

I have another race in less than two weeks – on October 11.  It’s kind of a big deal and I’ve been training for it for a while.  I’m a little panicked right now but I’ve been icing my ankle and strengthening it and elevating it….so hopefully I can get back into training by this weekend (which just also happens to be my birthday – so, I mean, let’s be honest about how much training will get down this weekend!).

My fingers and toes are all crossed that the swelling will go down and I’ll be back on my feet – literally – in time for the next race.

~Fit Bitch

Extreme Squat and Wall Sit Challenge

Well folks, summer is pretty much over – at least summer vacation time is over.  And with that and the start of September just a day away I figured it was a good time to post a new fitness challenge for the new month.

And since jeans season is back (I refuse to wear pants (other than to work out) throughout the warmth of spring until the end of summer/start of fall – for at least 3 full months I am either in a skirt or a dress) I thought a good butt and leg workout would be fun and fitting.

I struggled with which Challenge I wanted to post – the Extreme Squat Challenge or the Wall Sit Challenge.  Because I love both.  And because I love both I said, “FB, you should post both.”  And that’s what I’m going to do.






These are two great exercises that will work your butt and legs.  Squats are so good for you because you’re engaging your entire body (ankles, core, calves, thighs, butt, arms, neck) and it will definitely get your cardio up.  And the wall sit can help you strengthen your legs, thighs, and even your back.

Two important things to remember when you’re doing either of these exercises are to keep your chest lifted* and to not let your knees come too far over your ankles.  Performing these exercises wrong can lead to injury.

(*Keep your chest lifted means don’t round your shoulders or hump forward (don’t slouch!).  Your chest should be at the angle as if you were standing normally, keeping your neck aligned – as if you’re looking forward (which is a good move, especially for beginners).  When you squat your upper body should stay as normal in form as possible while your knees bend and your booty goes back.)

This guy is my hero! via

This guy is my hero!

Keep in mind that the above squat challenge is the Extreme Squat Challenge and may be a little too intense for beginners.  If you want to do both challenges but don’t think you can handle the Extreme you have two options:  1) you could cut the Extreme in half (so, on Day 1 instead of 250 squats you would do 125 squats) or, if you still think that’s too much you could 2) try the original Squat Challenge I posted a while back.  My suggestion, if you’re just starting out with a workout program (or have knee issues) is to go with the original Squat Challenge.  After 30 days if you’re comfortable with the squats and feeling like a superhero then you could continue with the Extreme Challenge (it picks up at 250 which is where the original ends).

As always, these exercises can be done on their own or as part of fitness program/routine.

Good luck, have fun, and be careful.

~Fit Bitch


Can you believe summer is nearly over?  I’m still having a hard time believing it.  It seems like it just flew by.

But, I’m not fully complaining.  It was busy…and it looks like the busy-ness is continuing through into the fall.

So,  the summer brought me back outside to teach my boot camp classes.  The classes were small this summer but the new sessions begin tomorrow and I’m full – with mostly new faces *AND* my first boy!!  I’m so excited.  I’ve had a little interest from men in the past (and currently) but none have ever bothered to follow  through.  I’m thoroughly stoked about this.

I’ve continued to run several times each week throughout summer, and in the disgusting heat wave.  However, most of my outside runs have been in the evening.  The rest of the runs have been in the gym – although that hasn’t been much better.  Twice last week the gym was a few degrees warmer than the air outside.  It was gross.

Twice last week the gym thermometer read 29 degrees (C).....that's like 82 or 84 (F).

Twice last week the gym thermometer read 29 degrees (C)…..that’s like 82 or 84 (F).

I also joined a yoga studio and got a 30 for 30 promo which allowed me to attend several classes a week on my lunch break, as well as some really cool evening classes.  My body loved it.  I always try and promote yoga to people because I love it so much.  And let me tell you that I love it even more now.  <3

On top of all that yoga-ing for those 30 days I also participated in a huge yoga festival two weeks ago.  It was so much fun.  I was in absolute heaven!  Y’know, aside from being in the scorching sun and not thinking to wear protection on my head, which resulted in a sunburned scalp.  Other than that it was a blast and I’m looking forward to next year.

Valley Yoga Fest via K.W.

Valley Yoga Fest via K.W.

Valley Yoga Fest via S.C.P.

Valley Yoga Fest via S.C.P.

On top of all this yoga I’m also participating in the Sunset Yoga festival in Halifax in mid-September.  I am really looking forward to this.  It’s going to be a great evening with yoga, music, vendors, and friends.


If you can remember, last year I participated in the Zombie Run.  I was so stoked when I found out that the event would be coming to a community semi-close to mine (it’s at least an hour away).  My friend Angie and I had the best time so we were certain to sign up again this year.  The race is the weekend following the upcoming Sunset Yoga event….as you can see, September is filling up.

And, on top of the Zombie Run I am the most excited to have finally been able to register for the huge annual Harvest Marathon.  I’ve been wanting to do this for so many years but something has always been in the way.  Last week I finally officially registered!!  I am beyond happy!  This race takes place the second weekend in October (Thanksgiving weekend in Canada) and it’s always a huge deal.  I usually have to get re-routed during my travels.

The next race on my list will be the Wine Run.  Wine + running.  Need I say more?

~Fit Bitch


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