Mojo Tips & Tricks

Why Running Isn't Helping You Lose Weight! by PJ Monson

 People are turning over a new leaf!  Fall weather brings with it new fitness goals.  When beginning any new fitness routine, the results will show (almost immediately). Outdoor running becomes more popular for those of us not willing to exercise in the hot summer heat.  However, what starts as a fun new fitness habit soon turns into a "runners trap" when people stop seeing the results of their efforts on the scale. Here might be some reasons why...

You Aren't Burning As Many Calories As You Think! Running is one of the best ways to burn calories, but the average person only burns around 100 calories per mile. Say you run about three miles at a standard 10-minute mile pace, you are actually only burning around 300 calories. The post-workout latte from Starbucks, alone, will neutralize that calorie deficit. To lose a pound a week, we must have a deficit of 500 calories per day. Combine your calorie deficit with a diet in nutrient-rich food to keep the scale number going down.

Stay Out Of Your Rut By Changing It Up!  One of the great things about running is the added stress relief it can bring. You find your favorite trail, pick your favorite songs, forget the world, and just run. It is mindless and it is peaceful. This is only a problem if your goal is weight loss. Your body eventually gets use to any repetitive stressor and so will burn less energy when performing the same activity. Make sure you take the time to add in variety to your weekly runs so that you are consistently challenging your body. This can be with speed intervals, hill runs, or faster distance runs. Check out our MyFitMojo Workout Board on Pinterest for interval run ideas.

Where's The Muscle? One of my favorite things to tell my clients is a strong core makes for better running but running does not make a stronger core. When at rest, a muscle burns more calories than fat. Muscle is also denser than fat so takes up less space on the body. Both of these facts reap huge benefits when it comes to maintaing a healthy weight and smaller waistline. The most muscle gained when running is only in the lower body. This means that a couple days a week you need to put away the running shoes and pick up the weights. Incorporating weight training will not only give you a smaller waistline, but also help you become a better runner. (Keep in mind that your actual weight may stay the same or even slightly increase if you start building lean muscle. This is actually a positive sign that you are building a faster metabolism, thus making it easier to stay in shape!)

Take advantage of this beautiful season by getting outside and getting active. The turning fall leaves create a beautiful canvas for fitness. 


PJ (MFM Fitness Coach)


Be A Weekend Warrior! by PJ Monson

We have all done it. We do our Sunday grocery run to make sure the fridge is stocked with healthy food for the week. We bypass the Wednesday Work Happy Hour to take our favorite yoga class.  We sip on green tea at our desk all day while munching on raw almonds and carrot sticks. We feel energized, smart, healthy, and ready to charge full-speed ahead into weekend sabotage. Let's see if we can downgrade the "sabotage" to a much more balanced idea of "minor indulgence." This is not an article about how to avoid partying but how to “party smart!”

In the fall our weekends are filled with extravagant dinners, all-day tailgating, endless bar crawls, and late-morning brunches. We deserve these things. We work hard so we play hard. This logic only becomes a problem when our weekend stress-reliefs keep us from achieving our long-term goals. Here are some tips to help you limit the self-destructive behavior without limiting your fun!


Don’t Even Go There At The Tailgate Party! 

Sometimes just that little bite will do, but not when it comes to the salty stuff! Try to refrain from even one handful of chips, pretzels, peanuts, or anything falling under the category “salty goodness.” You can never eat just one! Not only will you ingest needless calories from a bag of cheap potato chips but you will also end up drinking more to satiate your salty pallet. It is much easier to fight the temptation of "just one bite" than it is to refrain from eating another bite! This begins an endless cycle of mindless eating and wasting some precious calories you could be putting towards a delicious nutrient-filled grilled burger!


Make A Workout/Brunch Date

Brunch never starts before 11am so take advantage of the extra morning time and plan an activity with a friend.  It can be anything from taking a local yoga class, going for a jog around the park, or simply going for a walk with your morning coffee. Whatever the activity, just make sure you get your heart pumpin and blood flowin! This way you have already burned some calories and put yourself into a healthier mindset to make smarter food choices when you’re ready to eat.


Order Water Wherever You Go

Between the consumption of alcohol and rich foods plus higher activity levels, chances are you will be more dehydrated over the weekend. Marry yourself to the idea that no matter where you go, you will always order a glass of water with your meal or alongside that glass of wine. It is also a good idea to always chug a glass of water right before you leave the house.  This will keep you hydrated, happy, and feeling less hungry throughout the day! If you are tailgating, alternate between can of beer and glass of water!


Never Order Everything At Once

One of the best things to do on the weekends is catch up with friends at a delicious restaurant with copious amounts of wine. A great tradition to start is to order your courses one at a time! The body takes twenty minutes after start of eating to register its full.  The slower you eat the less you tend to eat. Wait to order your entrée till you have eaten your appetizer. This will help to stifle that starved feeling you had at the beginning of the meal making you want the rich pasta over of the healthy fish.


Alcohol Cheat Sheet

(You know you want to know)

Top 5 Low Calorie Cocktails!

1.     Light Beer  (12oz bottle) 110 calories

2.     Champagne (4.2 oz glass)  95 calories

3.     Red or White Wine (4.2 ounce glass)  80 calories

4.     Jack Daniels (single shot) 55 calories

5.     Vodka (single shot)  55 calories

Avoid the juices, tonic water, and sodas when it comes to liquor drinks! Diet soda, soda water, or on the rocks is the best!

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Ways To Burn Calories That Do Not Include Exercise! by PJ Monson

The body burns calories in three different ways. The first is exercise, the second is in the digestion of food, and the third is through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This last method of calorie burning can be one of the biggest obstacles in preventing us from achieving our goals. NEAT is the unplanned and low intensity activity that takes place in our everyday. Exercise is definitely crucial, however, the one-hour workout every morning will only take you so far if you immediately follow it by sitting the rest of your day!  The 10,000-step rule is strongly associated with NEAT. Believe it or not, in the past it was actually the average minimum steps taken for a person during the day. Technology, transportation, and long-hour workdays have all contributed to our lack of daily basic movement.  

We need to increase our NEAT! MFM Coaches put our thinking caps on, did some research, and came up with some great and productive activities that do not include actual exercise but definitely include that extra calorie burn! (Calorie estimations are based on 1-hour activity using sample body weights 130lbs, 155lbs, and 190lbs)

Get Your Green Thumb! The fall season brings with it pumpkin patches and beautiful falling leaves. Gardening can actually burn on average 295, 352, or 431 Kcals. Raking leaves is also a guaranteed calorie scorcher at 236, 281, or 345 Kcals per hour! However, we know most northerners are bracing themselves for the snowfall ahead. This actually brings with it an even more beneficial NEAT activity, snow shoveling! Just clearing your driveway can burn 354, 422, or 518 KCals!  

A Parenting Plus! It probably comes to no surprise that you can get in quite the workout taking care of small children. However, it may surprise you to know the actual act of caring for a child burns a bit more calories than sitting down to play with them. On average, child care (standing-dressing, feeding) burns 207, 246, or 302 Kcals as opposed to sitting on the ground and playing with a child which only burns 148, 176, or 216 Kcals. The best part about these NEAT activities is that most parents know they will be dedicating much more than an hour a day to their precious little ones. So we say: "Bring on the Burn!"

Spend Some More Time With Food! This NEAT activity packs a triple punch! Cooking and preparing food can burn up to 148, 176, or 216 Kcals. The best part about this activity is not only are you burning some extra calories cooking, but you are also eating food made with fresh ingredients. Cooking also means cleaning. When you are done preparing the food for the week spend some time cleaning up and grab some extra calorie burn at 207, 246, or 302 Kcals. Cooking is a vital part of any healthy diet. How many activities allow you to burn energy while producing and ingesting good energy at the same time! Too Crucial Not To Do!

There are many other ways to increase your NEAT in your everyday life! If these suggestions don't fit your mojo or are already a big part of your mojo and you need some new ideas then let us know via our FB page @myfitmojo or email us directly at! We are always here to help!


Learn to Love Yourself (Without Losing The Things You Love) by PJ Monson

Nobody knows you better than you know yourself.  We all have our vices, whether it be desserts, Thai food, pasta, or alcohol. We all have things we can never get enough of or always eat too much. You may initially try to cut these treats out of your diet!  I have two problems with this type of self deprivation. First, completely depriving yourself of something usually means you will end up binging at a mental mojo moment of weakness. And two, you deny yourself something you love!






Instead of worrying constantly about how to avoid, fight, or change the urges, simply follow these simple habit tricks that will make moderating your favorite things a bit easier, making your life a bit happier.

  1. Take advantage of some alone time during the week. (no I don’t mean in that way; that is for a separate but equally fascinating blog!) I mean use the time when you are not being tempted by fancy menus, movie popcorn (delicious as it is expensive), or friends that need to drink that last boyfriend away, to cook healthy options for yourself. I have incredible guilt-free Friday night dinners with my BFFs because I know I have made healthy choices for myself throughout the week!
  2. Eat Twice!  Yep, that’s right, I am telling you to eat more to save calories.  Before you leave for that nice Italian restaurant, eat a veggie or protein snack. You don’t want to fill up but filling your stomach halfway with healthy stuff leaves less space for the not so healthy stuff. It can also save you a little bit of money because you won’t order so much. Three places you never want to go starving: restaurants, grocery stores, and most countries in Europe. (No Bueno)
  3. One of our favorite guest bloggers, Dorothy Camak said it best; “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper!” Food is fuel. You need the most to start your day so figure out a breakfast that is plentiful, quick to cook, and will keep you full for several hours thereafter. This is also the best time, if you are craving that Starbucks Morning Bun to go for it! The earlier you give into the temptation the more time you have to burn it off. You have been craving spaghetti ever since ABC Family aired Lady and the Tramp, make it for lunch and have a salad for dinner.
  4. Make it worth your while!  I always tell my clients to skip the Twix and go for the Tiramisu.  You wouldn’t spend $100 on a make up case from CVS so why waste your calories on subpar food? If you know you are going to have the opportunity to eat your favorite sushi roll or a piece of flourless chocolate cake on Saturday night then you will be more likely to by-pass the vending machine.

Too Hot To Handle! Tips for Working Out in this Heat! by PJ Monson


I have to say, on a personal note, I have always been a Fall/Winter girl. It is just so much easier to warm yourself up than to cool yourself down. Even if public nudity was legal, which let's just say for the record "Thank God it isn't!" Simply stripping down to your skivvies does not necessarily stop the sweating. July and August are monster months for most people in most places when it comes to high temps so, needless to say, the last thing most of us want to do is throw on the spandex and drip our way through a 5-mile run or circuit workout. However, in order to balance the Summer BBQs' and Booze, we need to stay on track with the workouts. These tips won't guarantee pure pleasure but they can help take the sting out a bit!;)Workout at Dawn or Dusk You don't have to look at this as a permanent change in your routine but a necessity to get you through the next couple of months. There can be up to a 10 degree difference before the sun fully wakes and sleeps so take advantage!

Keep It Indoors  Sometimes its not the workout that is time consuming but the recovery post-workout. The heat will make it harder for your internal body temp to fall, which can mean longer showers and more deodorant. Save yourself the extra recovery time and plow through a 20-30 minute bodyweight circuit in your living room before starting your day. Go to the end of this blog for a free workout to get you started!;)

Cool Down Those Inner Thighs   For women, it's never a comfortable feeling between the legs when running or sometimes even walking in this heat so do yourself a favor and grab some Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder or Monistat Cooling Gel to rub on those inner thighs before you head out for that workout!


Cool Down Your Towel There are great new sport towels and water bottles that are inexpensive and designed to stay cool and more importantly help you stay cool during this sizzling summer. One of my favorites is the Chill-Its Cooling Towel and Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle!

Surviving this heat can be a challenge but also worth it considering the beautiful days that come with it. Be smart and be safe when challenging the beast. Wear sunblock (put on 15 minutes prior to leaving the house and reapply every 2 hours) drink lots of water most importantly BEFORE the workout, wear lose clothing that lets you breath, and try to find shade to work out in whenever possible!



Mojo Madness Butt/Abs Workout!

6-Minute Circuit/ 4 Exercises/ 2 Rounds Each/ 24 Minute Circuit

For this circuit set your timer (iphone) for 6 minutes for each round. One round is performing each of the 4 exercises provided in the first section. If you finish the 4 before the end of the 6 minutes then start again and get through as much as you can before time is up. You will do 2 rounds of 6 minutes before moving on to the next set of 4 exercises. Repeat for next round, completing 4 rounds total for 24 minutes!

Take 5 minutes to warm up! Jog in place, jumping jacks, speed-walk around the block, jump rope. Get those muscle and joints ready to take action!

Round 1 (4 exercises)

15 Wide leg squat

(Widen legs, point toes slightly out, sit back into the heels)

20 Front Lunges (10 e. leg)

(All weight landing in the front heel, add some dumb bells for extra intensity)

30 Side lunges (15 e. leg)

(Make sure 1 leg is straight and the other bent, weight in heel of bent leg)

15 Jump Squats

(Try to land softly in the heels)

Round 2 (4 exercises)

15 Reverse Crunches

(With legs straight up, push heels towards the ceiling and lifting your butt and lower back off the floor, push legs up not back!)

40 Mountain Climbers

(In plank position, keep butt low driving knees towards the chest)

30 Scissor Kicks

(Lying on back, start with feet in the air and drop each heel to the floor. Alternating legs and keeping lower back pinned to the floor)

20 Side Plank Dips (10 e. side)

(Begin in side plank and lower hip towards the ground and back up, small movement)


For more workouts and health tips go to or follow us @centralsweat! Check out our Fitness Mojo Notebook that will help you find your own personalized healthy lifestyle!;)

Cheers, Polly (

*This workout is not tailored to accommodate any existing injuries, chronic pain, or existing medical conditions. Please utilize at your own risk. If you have any doubts, contact your local physician before starting any workout outside of your normal routine. If you should feel dizzy or any pain while doing this workout, STOP immediately!



Summer is just around the corner, and just like every year, health and fitness resolutions are on the top of almost everyone’s list. Unfortunately, without a real plan, many of these resolutions fall by the wayside, only to be picked up again the following year. Not this time. This year you have all of the strategies you need to succeed. We’ll break down your resolutions into concrete action plans that will be easy to follow, and help you succeed. Today we’ll be focusing on setting S.M.A.R.T Goals

What is a S.M.A.R.T Goal?

Most of us set abstract goals. We want to “get fit”, “lose weight”, “be happy”, “make more money”. But this is only just the beginning. SMART goal setting helps us define our goals to make them real in our minds. Instead of, “I should really get around to that”, you’ll be saying “this is what I want, and here’s how I’m going to get it”. No more wishy-washy goals. This year you’re going to identify exactly what you want to accomplish, the steps you need to get there, and the time it’s going to take you. Sound good? Let’s get started!

Most of us set goals that are outcome-based. We want to reach this ambiguous endpoint sometime in the future. “I want to lose weight”. It’s good to have an outcome goal because it gives you a direction to go, however, you need to take your goal setting a step further by creating S.M.A.R.T Goals!

SMART Goal Setting Step 1: Be Specific

 S – Specific - Being specific helps you solidify your goal in your mind. Instead of simply hoping you’ll end up at your endpoint, define your endpoint. Today, my example is going to be “lose weight”. It’s a common one, but often a challenging one. I want to lose weight. Why that number? How much? Put a number down. Now ask yourself what that number means to you. How will you feel if you reach that number? How will you feel if you get close to that number, but don’t quite make it? How will you feel if you don’t get anywhere close? For now, pick a number that resonates with you; we will change that number in further steps.

SMART Goal Setting Step 2: Be Measurable

M - Measurable - Next, we need to find a way to see if we’ve actually reached our goal, and help us determine how far we have to go. We can’t just say “well I think I’m close” or “I have no idea if anything’s changing!” Sticking with the weight loss goal, we need a way to measure our progress. Will you weigh yourself once a week? Will you measure your body composition? Other goals, like “being happy” are a bit harder to measure because they are more qualitative.  For these goals it is important to, first, define your scale. Does being happy mean being a certain number on a scale of 1-10? And if so, what does each number mean?  Does being happy mean accomplishing a certain number of tasks per day? Does it mean having your home completely clean? By defining it, you can measure it!

Next, we need to start really looking at our goal to see if we can actually accomplish it. We need to see if our goal is Attainable and Realistic. Most people skip these steps and are disappointed when they don’t reach their goals. Here’s how it works:


A – Attainable – Attainable means your goal is something that you can actually work to achieve. For those of us with fitness goals, we need to take a close look at what is attainable, and what is not. My goal might be to look like The Rock (it’s not, but bare with me for a second). Being The Rock is not an attainable goal for me – he’s a lot taller, he’s made for putting on muscle. I should not set The Rock as my goal. This goes for women too. Do not pick up your nearest magazine and set your goal to look just like the person on the cover. For one, the picture in the magazine is photoshopped and you have no clear way of knowing how much of genetics or environment play into the body you are trying to copy. Keep the focus on yourself when creating your goals.

R – Realistic – Let’s say I am 5'9" and 190 lbs. and my goal is to lose 50 lbs. This is technically an attainable goal, however, not a realistic goal for me. Losing that kind of weight for me would not only be extremely challenging, but also potentially dangerous to my health. For those of you following my weight loss example, take a look at your number again. Based on your height and amount of lean muscle mass, does the number accurately reflect the body image you want to create for yourself? Is it motivating to reach for such a high goal? Is it healthy for you to lose that much weight? You have to be realistic to you.

Another way to stay realistic with your goal setting is to start small. Instead of, "I want to lose 50 lbs.," say "I want to lose 5 lbs." and then see how it goes. You need to be able to climb a hill before you can climb a mountain!

SMART Goal Setting Step 5: Time-Bound

T – Time Bound - A goal that is time bound has an endpoint. It creates a sense of urgency. Instead of saying “I want to lose 10 lbs….eventually”, you should set a period of time by which you want to accomplish your goal. Having an event or endpoint is very helpful for motivation.  For weight loss, we might pick an event like a wedding or a vacation.  However, be wary of ambiguous time goals. Don’t say that you’ll reach your goal by summer, because summer lasts 3 whole months. Set your goal for the first day of summer, or the last day of school, or any specific date that is meaningful for you. It is important, when setting your time-bound, to keep in mind the previous step, be realistic.

Here’s where the personal trainer steps in. Most people do not know how long it should take to lose a certain amount of weight. Others have heard what they think should be a healthy rate of weight loss. And still others read magazines about losing insane amounts of weight in a short period of time. Here’s what I say – studies show that losing weight at a rate of 1-2 lbs per week is healthy. That is a healthy rate of weight loss for most people. However, there are 2 caveats. One, a person who has more weight to lose will lose it faster. If you are exceeding your goal substantially, be aware of how your body feels in the process. If you are losing tons of weight but feel exhausted all the time, that rate may be too fast for you. If you can maintain your health and energy levels, stay on track and continue monitoring. The second caveat is understanding what goes into losing weight. While losing 1-2 lbs a week might be healthy, it may be unrealistic for your body or lifestyle. Losing 2 lbs a week means having a 1000 calorie deficit every day of the week, for the entire time that you’re trying to lose the weight. It’s very challenging to sustain that kind of change, let alone make it in the first place. I say set your goal a little lower, at about 2 lbs every two weeks, while pushing as hard as you can. If you exceed your goal, AWESOME!

Write down your goal. Put it in your calendar.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my first post on Central Sweat, excited to be an official part of the team. See a lot of you at the bootcamp this summer!


Leave your S.M.A.R.T. Goal in the comments below!

Eeeek! Fitness Faux Pas: 5 Common Mistakes People Make While Working Out In The Gym by PJ Monson

free weights

Before we get into the nitty gritty of gym no-no's, I want to begin by giving big kudos to everyone that finds the time to fit in a workout on a regular basis, whether it's in a gym or in your living room. This blog is meant to inspire not reprimand! As trainers, we know how hard it can be to make the time to fit in a regular workout routine, so we are always looking for ways for you to make the most out of your allotted fitness time!

1. "Get Your Hands Off My…..!"  This is a frequent mistake we see. Get your hands off my treadmill, meaning stop holding on when running or walking on cardio equipment that does not have the moving handles. I know the machines can be rather big and intimidating but it is better to go at a slower pace with control than a faster pace where you feel too nervous to let go of the handles. Treadmills, for example, already give you a little help with they conveyor belt whipping your feet back. If you are holding on, then your core and legs are doing even less work to propel your body forward. Your exercise benefits are drastically reduced and you are better off taking a walk around the block!

*On a similar note, if there are handles on the machines, make sure you are standing upright while holding on to them. Lot's of people, without noticing, tend to lean into them which takes effort away from the core!

2. I Just Cured Cancer During Your Rest Break! During a workout the rest intervals can be just as important as the workouts themselves. Now this rule definitely depends on your goals for a particular workout.

  • For Metabolic/Circuit/Muscle Endurance Training the rest time is anywhere from 20-60 sec.
  • For Increasing Strength/Muscle Power the rest time is 2-5 minutes.
  • For Toning/Building Muscle the rest time is 1-3 minutes.

The time ranges may seem vast, but this is because certain exercises are going to be more intensive than others. For example, more time needs to be taken when doing compound exercises or working bigger muscle groups, i.e., legs and back.

* Always take a little extra time if you are feeling light headed or nauseas. Contrary to popular belief, throwing up is not a cool thing to do while working out so immediately sit down and grab some water!

3. "Don't Be Monotony Molly!" One of the most miraculous things about our body is its ability to adapt. This works in our favor when exploring new movements in sports and exercise that might be outside our comfort zone, but can work against us when it comes to weight loss results. Simply put, if you do the same workout every time then your body learns to adapt, thus not having to work as hard and reducing progress. Not only are you boring yourself, but your also boring your body!

*Even if you know you are only a "treadmill" person, it does not mean you have to run the same pace for the same distance at the same amount of time every time! Change it up by altering the incline and speed, and you will keep the intensity needed to meet your goals.

4. Don't Be "The Wanderer!" You can waste tons of valuable time by wandering around the gym for something to jump out and inspire you. Make a plan before you get there. A well-equipped gym is good in the sense that it gives you options, but sometimes too many options can make you feel too overwhelmed to make a decision. Figure out what you want to do before you get there and save yourself some precious time.


5. "Not Good! If You Know Who Did It On Law & Order Before The Detectives Do!" Working out is as much mental as it is physical. You need to keep your head in the game at all times to get the most out of your workout. I know the cardio equipment can get boring, but doing things like correcting mistake #3 can help you. Studies also show that people who listen to music tend to push themselves harder than people who watch television. If working out were easy then everyone would do it. It takes mental strength and discipline to not only get you to the gym, but also to keep you focused on making the most out of what you have decided to do for that day.

When it comes to a good workout, think quality over quantity. Time, itself, will not get you results. It's what you do with that time that counts! Bring it!



Find A Way, Not An Excuse! by PJ Monson

Let me preface this post by saying my inspiration for this actually comes from myself. Just the other day a fellow trainer responded to a thought I had by saying, "Polly that's just an excuse!" It was a wake up call. As a trainer and coach, I have heard so many different excuses on what stops people from losing weight that I thought I would be able to recognize when I am making them for myself. NOPE! If you are wondering what my thought was, read on. It is definitely among this list of doozies! ;)

1. "I'm just not hungry in the morning." One of the golden rules of weight loss is to start each day by fueling your body. This can be anything from a banana to a an egg white omelette with English Muffin. This will help kick-start your metabolism, keep your blood sugar levels from spiking, and prevent you from overeating the rest of the day. The body is capable of doing amazing things without you consciously guiding it but, just like babies and circus monkeys, it can be trained to operate on a certain schedule. It is not a perfect science, as any Mom I know will tell me, but you can manipulate your own sleeping and eating schedule over time. If you start each day by feeding yourself a little healthy kick start then, over time, your body will adjust and wake up expecting immediate nourishment.

2."I'm older now so it's natural to gain weight." This excuse usually comes from my 30 and 40 something clients who are frustrated their one-week back in the gym hasn't shown major results.The biggest change that happens as people start to hit their late 20's and early 30's is a natural loss of muscle mass. This can slow down your daily metabolic rate if you are not doing the necessary weight training to replace lost muscle. Muscle requires more energy (or calories) to work than fat so the more muscle you have, the more your body needs to burn food for fuel. A 23-year-old with 60% muscle is the same as a 42-year-old with 60% muscle. It just takes some extra work for the 42-year-old to build and keep that muscle.  I have noticed that a lot of my clients in their 30's and 40's actually have better bodies than some of my clients in their 20's just by being more comfortable in their own skin and picking a "healthy lifestyle" over the "instantly gratifying diet."


3. "I don't want to lift weights and look like The Hulk." (this is mainly for my ladies) Simply put, not possible. When looking at a typical body builder, a lot more goes into developing their physique besides simply picking up a weight. Their training is difficult and very specific and nothing you might "accidentally" do to yourself by spending too much time in a weight room. One pound of fat takes up about 4x the space as one pound of muscle. This should cause you to feel leaner as you get stronger. The bulky feeling people sometimes feel is the fat on top of the muscle they are building. Fat does not turn into muscle; fat is burned and muscle is built. If you don't keep up with your cardio and especially your diet, the excess fat can give you that bulky feeling. If you are still not convinced, keep bodyweight exercises as a large part of your normal routine. Just be sure to keep it challenging!

4. "I don't have time." (This was my excuse!) Being a recent M.S. graduate, I get it! Time is of the essence when important things need to be taken care of like work, school, and family. This is why I say "Thank Goodness" we have workouts now like high intensity interval training (HIIT) that can be done at home and in 20 minutes. If this is too much too fast, then work on making subtle choices throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around the block at lunch, or come up with your own 15-minute workout routine you do every morning before you shower. Worst comes to worst, if you truly don't think you can find the time, focus on your diet. You have to eat and eating healthy (even without exercise) goes a long way in facilitating weight loss. However, you need both and I think there is always a balance we can find. If you need help, ask me!=) 

5. "I am going to make a change right after…(this big project, finals, my birthday)!" One thing I have noticed as I get older is "life only gets busier." There will never be a perfect time. A way around this excuse is to not go to extremes. Don't tell yourself that starting Monday you will cut caffeine and sugar and start two-a-days at the gym; that sounds like a miserable Monday. Start by cutting back on one thing. Give yourself coffee in the morning, do a 15-minute workout before you shower, then cut dessert at night. Sure, this means it will take longer to achieve your goals, but, ultimately, who wins the race: the tortoise or the hare?;)



Start Your Engines! 5 Ways To Rev Up Your Metabolism by PJ Monson


Simply put, metabolism is different chemical reactions that convert fuel from the food we eat into energy needed to power our bodies! Keeping a healthy metabolism is crucial to the weight loss process. Even if you might have inherited a "slower than most" metabolism, there are ways to shift your metabolic rate from moderate to hyper drive. 1. Strength training at least twice a week can prevent your body's metabolic rate from slowing down as you age. A pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat. According to Women's Health Magazine, women that engage in 30 to 40 minute strength training sessions at least twice a week will, after four months, burn an excess of a 100 calories a day!

2. Omega-3's are a must! Whether you get your omega-3's from fish like salmon and tuna or supplements, this fatty acid is great for balancing blood sugar and regulating metabolism. It is also tied to reducing resistance to leptin, a hormone linked to how quickly fat is burned in the body.

3.Go Green (Tea)!. Studies have shown that catechin, an active ingredient found in the tea, helps to ramp up that metabolic rate. Try to squeeze in about 5 cups a day to increase that daily caloric burn!

4.Increase the "Quality" and "Quantity" of your food! One of the biggest mistakes people make with dieting is not eating enough. When the body senses its being deprived of "fuel" it moves from fat "burning" mode to fat "storing" mode. Yes, ultimately you want to burn more calories than you consume, but don't eat so little that you consume less than your resting metabolic rate. If you read last week's blog then you already know "Don't be a Camel!"

5.EPOC!Live It, Love It, Challenge It! EPOC stands for excess post exercise oxygen consumption. Basically, your body goes into hyper repair mode after an intense workout, thus burning more calories than usual. Most people are aware of this little post workout blessing, but what some may not know is the reward with EPOC is less as the body gets into better shape, i.e. working more efficiently and needing less recovery time. Challenge your body more by adding different types of exercises and intervals to your regular routine. The more you keep your body guessing the more it is necessary for your body to keep a higher metabolic rate to function properly!

These are only a few things that can facilitate revving up that metabolic engine. By cutting out some of the bad habits and instilling new good ones, you start to work with your body instead of against it. There might be some validity to your heredity and genetics excuses, but those excuses won't take the weight off. There are lots of health issues that are beyond our control; a slow metabolism doesn't have to be one of them. Now let's go and "get your engines started folks!"



5 Easy Tips to Help You Lose Weight in 2014 by PJ Monson


A New Day Resolution

5 EASY PRACTICES To Keep Those 2014 Weight Loss Goals

Instead of focusing on the year, let’s start simple and focus on today. In a recent article from Statistic Brain, weight loss is the #1 resolution for 2014.  This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the influx of weight loss ads, stay-fit articles, and gym peeps during the month of January! However, these are some stats that did get me thinking…

  • 49% of people have infrequent success with their resolutions
  • 24% of people never succeed in their resolutions
  • 8% of people are actually successful in achieving their resolutions


The last statistic was obviously the most alarming. My first instinct is to say, 'why bother?!' However the article goes on to say people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals.  So let’s focus on some tips and tricks to keep us going strong all year long!

1. Break One Bad Habit.

A big part of losing weight is learning to break old habits. Save yourself some stress and focus on only breaking one habit at a time. Start by making a list of all the habits you want to change, pick one and go from there. If, after a few weeks, you find success then pick another habit and start again.

2. Get a Resolution Buddy.

It’s always good to have a support system when trying to make a lifestyle change.  Find a friend to workout with at the gym, a co-worker to order salads with at your lunch hour, or take a cooking class with a significant other.

3 Measure your Progress.

Before you start your weight loss plan, take a moment to weigh yourself, measure your waistline, count how many minutes it takes to jog or the number of push-ups you can do in a minute. Whatever your mojo, mark it, so improvement will be easy to see when you check back in after a few weeks of “resolution work.”

4. Create an Inspiration Board.

You can tap into your creative side for this one. Grab a sheet of construction paper and all of your old 2013 magazines you have lying around.  Cut out phrases that motivate you, places you want to go, or people you admire. Glue these images to your paper to make an inspirational collage that you can see everyday.

5. Take It Day by Day.

I always tell my clients instead of thinking, “I will never have chocolate cake again”, tell yourself “I am not going to eat chocolate cake today.”  A year’s success is made up of everyday choices. No one wants to live a life without chocolate, but we do want the power to say “no” to it when necessary.

A successful resolution does not require a perfect record. One bad day does not undo a year’s worth of effort. To kick off our mantra of a “New Day Resolution”, CentralSweat will provide daily tips to support making smart everyday choices, which will lead to achieving yearlong goals.


A Healthy Lifestyle: 5 Ways to Keep it Simple by PJ Monson


One of the many souvenirs I brought home from Spain was a clicky left knee. I had spent the last six years constantly moving in a gym so, when the majority of my days consisted of studying Spanish at a desk for hours at a time, I began to experience the tightness and pain described to me by my corporate job clients. It has been over a year since I returned and during high stress periods the clicking will turn to a sharp pain. This, combined with waking up one morning last week with lockjaw, due to stress, prompted me to get back into yoga. Sometimes it's as simple as one thing. One positive thing we bring into our lives or one negative thing we decide to take out. We all know the expression "Rome was not built in a day!," well neither is a healthy lifestyle.  One of my new favorite expressions is "you will never regret doing something!"  By keeping that "something" simple, you pave a stronger road towards success. Here are just some things to keep in mind...

1. Choose one thing to add to your daily routine. This could be a yoga class, walking to work, a 20-minute power routine in your apartment, drinking a certain amount of bottled water each day, or adding a vegetable to your dinner. Sky is the limit, but just pick one!

2. Choose one thing to take out of your daily routine! This usually has to do with nutrition, but it could be anything. Take out the 3rd cup of coffee you have in the afternoon, the dessert you have after dinner, the glass of wine during the week, or a toxic relationship pushing you towards all of these bad habits!=)

3. Set a time!  I always tell my clients, "don't think about it like you will never eat chocolate cake again (that's absurd and a bit inhuman) but that you are not going to eat chocolate cake today!" Most studies show that it takes about two weeks for a choice to feel like a habit. I encourage you to go a bit longer, but it also depends on what you are giving up. I am doing a 30-day yoga challenge because my pass is 30 days!=) (Plus I am just a hot mess in life right now so yoga needed!)

4. Tell somebody. You will be surprised how much support you will receive by sharing your goals. You might even find a buddy that has been secretly wishing they could also give up buffalo pork chops as a late night snack and offer to do it with you.  Even if you don't have a partner in crime, you will be making yourself accountable, not only to your friends and family, but also to yourself.


5. Start Now! Literally once you are done reading this blog, START! You know certain ideas have been running through you head while reading this so now all you have to do is pick one and start. Don't pass go, don't collect $200, START! If you let your self think about everything that could possibly get in the way of making this choice, then you will never make it. Life only gets harder; it only gets busier.

*On a side note for my masochistic followers: If you are a candy addict, do not pick the month of October to take candy out of your life (maybe out of your breakfast) but not life! Part of keeping it simple is making realistic and obtainable goals. Save the anti-candy campaign for May when the beach is taunting you!=)

Hope this helps and remember "simple" does not equal "easy." Running a 5K isn't easy but it's no marathon!;)



5 Ways to Keep Your Workout Routine During A Busy Fall! by PJ Monson

For students it is that time of year again, the start of a new school year. As you start to fill up that Google Calendar, don't let your workouts fall to the bottom of that priority list. Here are some helpful tips to  keep you active during the daily grind of work and school!

1. Schedule your workout. If you are like me, the minute I schedule a meeting, conference call, or class, it goes right into my calendar. This way I can't double book myself and I can organize my day. Your workout for the day is just as important!  It should be accounted for in your day-to-day. Whether it be a yoga class, jog in the park, spin class, or CentralSweat!

2.Find a workout buddy! One of the best benefits of being thrown back into a life of full-time work and school is being with co-workers and classmates that can definitely feel your pain. Find a buddy that shares your goals and workout styles and make a date! One of the things people love most about having a trainer is the accountability. Have that same accountability with a friend and help each other satisfy your workout goals.

3. Remember quality over quantity. You will rarely need 2 hours in a gym! Doing an hour class, 40 minute jog, or 20 minute HIIT (high intensity circuit training) is sometimes all you need to get in a daily efficient workout.

4. When in doubt, go online! Sometimes the commute to the gym can be longer than the actual workout. There are a lot of great options you can get right from your smart phone or laptop that will give you the workout you need right from home! (no weights needed) Some of my favorites include:

On Instagram Follow @forever_fitness, @myfitmojo

On Pinterest follow MyFitMojo board "Workout Mojo"

5. Sign up for local athletic events in your hood. Runners definitely have the easier time with this since there is always a 5k or 10k going on somewhere for some reason. There are, however, more and more events popping up where obstacle courses and circuit training take the place of long distance running. Look for your closest MudathlonSpartan Race, or ToughMudder to give you some new athletic goals.

Owning a business, being a life coach, and trying to maintain a personal life,  I fully understand there are only so many hours in the day! However, I also understand that without my daily workouts, my stress levels would be higher, my mood darker, my energy levels lower, and waist line wider. 

Happy Fall, everyone!