Pull-up progression

Pull-ups can be one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises you can do! It is a compound movement that builds strength in the back, biceps, forearms, grip and a beautiful V-taper.

For most people, even one to three pull-ups is a victory!  Gaining the strength and good technique required to do a pull-up takes time and patience. If pull-ups are on your list of gym-goals, here’s how you get started.
Position a bar or Smith machine so that you can hang under it with your feet on the floor. Allow your hips to drop directly under your body. You can use your legs to give you little boost to start the movement.  As you get stronger, try to rely less on pushing with your feet. Drive the elbows down by engaging the lats. Pull your chest toward the bar.  Slowly lower your body to starting position.
This is a good option if have tight shoulders.  The TRX and rings give more flexibility for a neutral neutral grip rather than a fixed overhand grip on a bar.
Loop a medium-to light resistance band around the bar and pull one end through. Give it a little tug down to be sure it is secure. Step into the band and grip bar about shoulder width apart. Avoid swinging. Band assisted pull-ups are a great way to work eccentric portion of a pull-up! In this exercise, it’s when you’re lowering your body back down to the starting position. This is also where you can really get stronger! I like to use the Rogue monster bands.
If you have a workout partner, he/she can spot you at the rib cage or waist as you pull yourself up.  Try to control your body with minimal assistance as you lower back to starting position.
Avoid swinging and pulling with your shoulders and forearms.  It’s humbling to do pull-ups with strict form, but in the end you’ll gain true back strength and a beautiful V-taper!
For more tips and help for building a strong back, contact me HERE

20 minute Beach Body Circuit, Tulum MX

Sand, surf and sweat! Blast fat and build muscle at the beach!

Traveling provides a break from traditional gym workouts. The beautiful beaches in Tulum, Mexico are the perfect setting for a beach workout. It’s a Fit Chick’s Paradise!

This full-body circuit combines explosive plyometric movements that work the legs, fire-up the metabolism and mat exercises to challenge the upper body and core.

My goal for this beach workout:   short bursts of high intensity movements, followed by 30-60 seconds of recovery for two rounds.

Sand provides an unstable surface to push off, so it really cranks up the intensity! Doing these exercises barefoot in the sand will also work the smaller intrinsic muscles of the feet.  If you’re not accustomed to exercising barefoot, you may want to start a bit more conservative on the jumping movements until your feet get more accustomed to the sand.

This workout is quick! After all, if you’re on vacation, you have other things on your agenda; enjoying some amazing food, relaxing on the beach or visiting the local ruins!

FITastic travels, Friends! xoxo

Special thanks to Hotelito Azul for the beautiful accommodations and hospitality!

Upper body TRX workout


As a professional physique competitor and trainer, I rely on resistance training to build and shape my clients’ physiques. I use the TRX suspension trainer often as a warmup and/or finisher. During our Quarantine time, I’ve used my suspension trainer more often than usual in my workouts.  This upper body and core workout was really challenging!  I did 3-4 sets of each exercise with rep ranges varying from 8-12.

Building width and depth in my back is a priority in my training.  I started with pulls in a variety of angles to target different areas of my back.

  • Pull ups – upper back and lats
  • Inverted pull-up neutral grip – mid back
  • Inverted pull-up reverse grip – lower lats
  • Reverse fly – rear delts and upper back

Next, I moved to pushing movements and arms

  • Chest press – chest and front delts
  • Triceps extension
  • Biceps curl
  • Y- raises – mid and rear shoulders

Finally, these core exercises required not only core stabilization but shoulders and arms as well!

  • Plank to pushup
  • Pike ups
  • Tuck ups
  • Oblique crunch
  • Mountain climber

I bought my TRX Suspension Trainer at

There are many tools that help you do efficient and effective workouts from anywhere!  Creating programs that set my clients up for success is my priority.  Home workouts are the no-excuses way to stay active in the convenience of your own home.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Minimal equipment glute circuit

In a hurry, no need to worry!  We’ve got your glutes covered with this minimal equipment glute workout.


  • Dumbbells 8-15lbs.
  • Hip Circle.  I used the Glute Loop by Bret Contreras

Lateral steps with hip circle just above knees – 30 alternating

  • Band should be just above your knees.  Sit back slightly putting weight into hips. Push legs out against band to activate the hips.  Take short lateral steps keeping tension in the band.  Avoid allowing knees to collapse inward.

Single leg glute bridge – 15 each leg

  • Align heel directly under knee.  Lift up by contracting the glute of the leg on the floor.  Avoid overarching in lower back.

Squats – 15

  • Feet slightly outside hips and toes turned to align with the knees. Hold dumbbell between legs. Sit back into hips and press through your heels.  Keep core engaged.  Contract glutes to stand and squeeze on top. Avoid arching in lower back as you stand.

Reverse lunge – 15 each leg

  • Step back into a lunge with a slight hinge forward at hips.  Press though heel and drive knee up to engage glute.  If balance is challenging on these.  Bring foot to touch beside standing foot rather that driving through knee.

Hip bridge with hip circle – 15

  • Hip circle is just above knees.  Align knees over heels and separate legs to feel resistance against the band.  Squeeze glutes to lift hips keeping tension on the band.

Abduction with band – 15

  • Lay on back with feet close together.  Drive knees out forcefully keeping tension in band.

Repeat circuit 3-4 times or until your glutes feel the burn!

For more information on workouts you can do anywhere with no gym required, contact me!  These workouts are delivered to you through my easy to use app!



Are you ready to start contest prep?

Preparing for a physique competition can be one of the most exciting times of your life. After months of disciplined eating, workouts and posing practice, getting on stage is a celebration! The sweat and sacrifice is hard and that’s what makes it GREAT! The thrill and personal accomplishment that accompanies knowing that YOU did the work to get to that moment is something that no one can take away from you, regardless of how you placed.

In my years in the industry and competitive world, I’ve learned a few things to consider before committing to competition prep.

  • Do you enjoy, I mean REALLY enjoy your time in the gym?
    You’ll be spending a minimum of one hour in the gym 4-6 days per week. In addition to weight training, cardio will likely become an important tool in your program and may require fasted (before your first meal) sessions. Can you commit to this? Is this already a lifestyle you’re accustomed to and can you commit to this even when you don’t feel like it?

  • Is your health and metabolism optimal?
    If you have a history of yo-yo dieting and an unhealthy relationship with food, it’s likely that your metabolism is not at its optimal level. Be sure you’re not overdoing cardio and eating at your maintenance level at minimum. Having a variety of foods is your diet is always a good thing! As prep continues, it’s likely that the list of foods you’ll be consuming will get smaller. Be sure your list of tolerated and enjoyed foods is long before starting. Healthy digestion and gut health are important factors in one’s ability use and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Are you managing stress well and getting a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep per night? I always recommend checking with your doctor to be sure health and hormone levels are optimal before starting prep.


  • Do you enjoy structured eating?
    There are a variety of ways one can diet to optimize their transformation. Some of my clients prefer meal plans and others are very numbers-driven and prefer counting macros. I’ve seen success with both! You’ll likely be eating several small meals throughout the day. It’s typically best that you cook your own food or use a meal preparation company that offers high quality foods void of overly processed ingredients and added sodium. During prep, you may have to pack your meals and take them with you to work or when you’re out running errands.

  • Is your crew onboard with your goal?
    Let’s admit it, bodybuilding can be a selfish sport. BUT, we don’t have to make the people around us miserable when we are in the trenches of prep! Having a supportive crew (friends, family, coworkers) is so valuable and we shouldn’t take that for granted. I like to keep my prep-routine very discreet. I’ve quietly left ball games and concerts to go to my car to eat cold cod and rice out of my cooler. If you make the commitment, then you find a way to get it done; gripe-free! You may have to decline a cocktail at happy hour and have water with lemon instead. Or, skip the pizza buffet and load up on salad. Be nice to your friends and family during your prep if you still want them around after the show is over!

  • Competing is expensive; have you prepped your finances?
    Prioritizing items/services in your show budget is important. Show costs include NPC card, entry fees, buying/renting a suit,  jewelry, tanning services, MUAH, Supplements, Contest prep coaches and posing instruction and possible hotel stay are at the top of the list. Some of these items are optional. There are ways to cut costs if you’re on a tight budget. You don’t need a bling-ed out suit. Renting a suit or buying one and adding a few stones yourself is a perfectly good option! I recommend using the show tanning company. They’ll be backstage and are able to take care of any touchups. You can opt to do your own hair. I recommend using a makeup artist because they’ll be able to match your foundation to the color of your tan. I have several recommendations for service providers who have been in the industry for many years and would be happy to share those with you!

  • Are your travel and social commitments minimal during prep?
    There’s rarely a perfect time to commit to contest prep! Life happens and things can and will be unpredictable. However, take a look at what you CAN control in your schedule. I try to select shows that follow 3 months of less-demanding commitments. Some people can prep straight through Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with no problem. I’ve done it too! But, it was annoying having to explain what I was doing as to not offend my relatives after they spend hours preparing a beautiful meal. Starting prep AFTER a family vacation is always better. Fortunately, in Texas there are many shows to choose from and you have options almost year-round! You can find a complete list of TX NPC shows at .

It is my goal make your transformation a fantastic and rewarding experience! Feel free to email me with questions about preparing for your first show at

Aging Younger While Pursuing Fitness Goals

I recently celebrated another birthday! As I reflect on memories, accomplishments and future goals, the concept of “aging” has been on my mind.  What does “act your age” even mean? There are days when I wake up and think, “I’m getting older and aches and pains are part of that.” Or, one I heard about seven years ago right before my 40th birthday, “you’re getting older, you should really start slowing down.”  What! Wait…. Screeching nails on the chalkboard!   This is where the story changes….

What if growing older is really in our minds?

One of my favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” EXACTLY!  This is the mindset shift that I live by.  Thanks Mr. Shaw! So how do we stay in the game?

Set new goals.

Some of my most exciting goals have been set and accomplished in my forties! International travel, earning my IFBB Pro Card, competing at the Olympia and truly understanding the direction and focus of my fitness business are just a few.  Had I settled for “slowing down”,  I wouldn’t have taken action on any of my most meaningful personal and business goals.  I think the keyword is ACTION.  Is it risky? Sure it is!  But, standing still and hesitating to take the leap can leave us with a lifetime of unresolved “what-if’s”.

Be kind to your body.

The reality of our physical bodies aging is inevitable.  We’ve begun wearing the “tread on our tires” so to speak, so we must reconsider how we treat our bodies in pursuit of our goals.  Recovery, sleep, and healthy eating have become more of a necessity than a luxury for me.  I want to train my body at a high level for many years to come.  I enjoy it and it’s an important part of my life.  To improve longevity, I use a variety of training techniques and nutrition strategies to maximize my time in the gym without wrecking my health and joints.  Find new ways to challenge your body and keep it interesting!

Renew your mind.

Feeding my mind with positive messages, time in prayer, and surrounding myself with positive people has helped me have more enthusiasm for life and the optimism in setting new goals.  I can honestly say my mind and my thoughts are more youthful than they were ten years ago.  Recently, travel has become a new passion of mine that has taught me the importance of unplugging to recharge. Life certainly hasn’t spared me from curveballs and stressors, but keeping my focus and actions in the direction of things I enjoy most, create excitement in new adventures in the future!

Here’s to many more years of playing and growing younger!

Each of the programs I create for my clients is designed with his/her specific goals and lifestyle in mind. I take a personal approach to help clients set new goals and create effective strategies for achieving them. For more information, contact me through my personal training page.