You know those times when you are sitting around at home, or in a hotel room on a business trip…with nothing to do…thinking, “I just wish there was some way I could use by time effectively by strengthening my core and improving my cardiovascular fitness.”

if only


Shhhhhh shhhhhh it’s ok.  I’m always here for you.

That’s why I designed this Killer Cardio Core Workout. It:

  • Trains the entire core, including your Glutes, Back and Abs
  • Includes High Intensity Interval Training for maximum caloric burn during and AFTER the workout
  • Requires very little space
  • Requires no equipment other than your sweet bod.

If you aren’t familiar with any of the exercises or want a reminder about form cues or alternatives, check out the videos below and then download your free printable PDF so you can carry me wherever you go.

Grab my free PDF download

Make sure you warm up first. Go for a 5-10 min run or  do something like this:

Then start with:

The Superhero Back & Bum ladder


Perform the following exercises starting with 1 rep of each exercise, then 2 reps of each, then 3 reps of each. All the way up to 10 reps of each!

1 Burpee, 1 Superman, 1 Spiderman Plank (1 each side)
2 Burpees, 2 Superman, 2 Spiderman Plank
3 Burpees, 2 Superman, 3 Spiderman Plank

…All the way up to 10 reps of each

***Water break!***

And then:

1000 reps of Pure Awesome:



100 Jumping Jacks
100 Plank Jacks
100 Front Kicks
100 Low Jacks
100 High Knees





100 Bicycles (50 each leg)
100 Bug crunch
100 Knee Tucks
100 Jack knife crunches (50 each leg)
100 Dead Bugs (50 each leg)


The Finisher:


45 sec Plank
15 sec Recovery



Remember to:

  • Check out the videos below for form and alternatives
  • Download your free PDF to keep on your phone for a done-for-you awesome workout anytime
  • Leave a comment below telling me if you liked this post and if you are going to try the Killer Cardio Core Workout
  • Share this link so others can use it!

Grab my free PDF download

Videos for Superhero Back & Bum

(Do 1 of each, then 2, then 3 ….up to 10 reps each)

Cardio Videos

(100 of each!)


Abs videos

(100 of each!)

The 12 Days of Christmas Workout!

You thought Christmas was about lazy mornings with Bailey’s in your coffee and feasts that start at 4pm and go until 8pm? That’s one option. Orrrrr you could challenge your family to finish this in one hour and then you sit with your paper crowns and cheers to the fact that you just did 12 minutes of planking and 40 burpees. Take that, 2015!


The idea for this workout is that it’s the same pattern The Twelve Days of Christmas song. You will start with a one minute plank. And then it’s two shuttle runs and a one minute plank. Then it’s 3 push ups, two shuttle runs and a one minute plank. You get the idea. The only equipment you’ll need is a resistance band or pair of weights, some sweet tunes to keep you going and your badass burpeeing self.

If there’s anything listed you don’t understand, leave a comment and I’ll clarify. Happy planking! 🙂



Exercises to reduce STRESS

Every now and then a client will go AWOL. They stop coming to Bootcamp, they keep cancelling their Personal Training sessions. When I check in I will often hear “I just can’t. Life is too crazy right now. It’s super stressful”. And I get it. I really do. I know that when the shit hits the fan, the last thing you feel like doing is a workout. But here is why I want to go and kidnap those stressed out clients and piggyback them to the gym:
  • A solid workout will re-direct that frenetic energy in a health positive way so you don’t end up stress fighting with your family or stress drinking or stress eating an entire Deep and Delicious while crying at 3am. Don’t get yourself in this cycle:
  • The workout will distract your brain and give you a break from cyclical, negative or unproductive thoughts. This works best if you choose something that challenges you physically and mentally (like learning dance choreography or a boxing combo or a new sport)
  • The workout will flood your brain with endorphins, which will make you feel calmer and happier.
  •   If you stay consistent with your exercise, it’s one less thing to feel stressed about. I was jogging with a friend of mine the other day and we were talking about our stresses and challenges and she said
‘at least this is one thing I don’t have to worry about. I always exercise. No matter what.’
So what kind of exercise should you do? What are the best ways to physically combat stress?

1. Site specific tension release.

We all have areas where we physically clench when we are stressed. Common ones are the jaw, the temple, the upper trapezius (neck/shoulder) and the hips.  Figure out where yours are and when you feel the stress rising, give those areas a little bit of love with a massage or a stretch.

2. Add some breath

When you coordinate breath to the movement, you connecting to your parasympathetic nervous system (the part of your brain that allows you to chill). When we think of breath-connected movement, we always think of yoga but you can use it during your resistance training (exhale on the concentric movement, inhale on the release) or even during a walk (breath in for 4 steps, breath out for 4 steps)

3. Shake it off

 I actually do want you to put on the Taylor Swift song Shake It Off and freak out for 1 min. But if you can’t deal with teen pop, do any kind of intense cardio for 1 min. When you are done, the rush of oxygenated blood and endorphins will make you feel like a human again.

4. Fake it until you make it.

I love this so much that I actually wrote a paper about it during my M.A. There is a ton of evidence to show that we can influence our emotional state by re-arranging our body physically. You might have heard of all the studies in the 1970’s and 1980’s about the act of smiling inducing feelings of happiness. Try it now: roll your shoulders back and puff out your chest and feel a little surge of confidence. Try softening the space between your eyes and notice if you feel a little less stressed. You can’t Shake it Off on the commute home but you can always smile.
If you want a few specific exercises to apply to your stress, check out this segment I did on the Steven and Chris show. It’s basically a video version of this post.
A few thoughts on this segment:
  • I know the sound is a bit messed up at the beginning. Hang in there – it fixes itself.
  •  The producer wanted me to stuff a whole bunch of information into this segment so if it looks like I’m interrupting them all the time, that’s why.
  • Every time I watch this, I have serious outfit regret, which is weird because SKIN TIGHT LIME GREEN ACID WASH LYCRA USUALLY LOOKS SO GOOD ON EVERYONE.
  •  I am, however, pretty proud of the way I catch my mic when it falls off and keep doing high knees. Despite technical glitches, FITNESS MUST GO ON.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and what you do to beat the stress demons!

The High Park Workout

This workout was inspired by the beauty of Toronto’s largest park in the fall. October is my favourite month in Toronto and it feels like a CRIME to spend any of it in a gym when the sun is shining through the colourful trees. Especially as we Torontonians know that soon it will be all freezing rain and wet snow.  This workout is tough but I offer modifications so you can adapt it to your abilities. The best thing is that it’s a full body workout that requires no equipment at all and it can be easily adapted to do in almost any park in the world. I designed it to include:

•    Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Cardio: This will improve your endurance and give you an energy boost
•    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This is a great way to rev up your metabolism and burn the maximum amount of calories in a minimal amount of time
•    Strength Training Circuits: Circuit training keeps the heart rate elevated throughout your strength work, so you get additional cardiovascular benefits while adding lean muscle.

So download your PDF here and get to High Park!

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Starting point:

At the parking lot at near the south entrance to the Zoo. Marked by an X on the map. We start with a slow and steady warm up jog. Head north through the zoo. Say hi to this guy.


Be prepared for a slight incline through the zoo and then a steep hill at the end. Props if you add a burst of speed to get to the top (like my Not So Early Risers Bootcampers did)


Once there, you should see the Grenadier cafe directly in front of you. Resist the urge to stop and get a beer and instead turn right and keep jogging down Centre Rd. The sidewalk is on the left hand side of the road but keep an eye out for a trail on the right. It looks like this:


Follow the wooded trail and have fun jumping over logs and roots and you’ll eventually get spit out in a picnic area in front of the parking lot where you started. Jog through and make a left at the road to turn towards the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground.


Once there, you should feel pretty warm and ready for your 7 Station Strength and High Intensity Interval Circuit. It looks like this:

1. 10 Pull-Ups.

You will be working your back, biceps and abdominal muscles.  There are three options here: Easiest: Jump and hold yourself up as long as you can. Harder: Jump and hold yourself up and bring your knees to your hands (crunch) Hardest: Jump and hold and bring your toes to the bar.

2.100 Toe Taps:

This is High Intensity Cardio. Bring your toe to the curb and alternate quickly. 100 reps as fast as you can!


3. 20 Push-ups off the bridge.

This is working your chest, triceps, shoulders and core. The wobbly bridge adds a stability element (like a bosu ball), which activate the core more than a regular push-up. This is Drake demonstrating and Adrienne providing an extra stability challenge:


4. 10 wind sprints from the castle to the bridge.

This is High Intensity Cardio. Party.

5. 20 Bulgarian Lunges off the Swing (each side).

You are working your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps here and you also have the added core element with the stability training.  This can be tricky so if it’s not happening ( for example, if you are feeling instability in your ankle or your hip is too tight,) just do regular lunges.  (Note the guest appearance by Drake in the video and how I had no idea)

6. 2 Stair runs.

Cardio!  Try leaping up two at a time to really get the heart rate up and feel a burn in the glutes.

*** repeat the circuit 2-3 times with minimal rest ***

Bonus cardio finisher:

Head back to the picnic area across from the parking lot and you’ll see a BIG staircase. Ninety-seven steps, to be precise. To finish off the legs, challenge your stamina and elevate your caloric burn for the next 24 hours, try for FIVE rounds of sprints of the stairs (2 at a time if you can) and walk recover down. OUCH. Check out these rock stars:


What do you think of the High Park Workout? Let me know if you try it, if you do the bonus finisher and if you adapt it to another park somewhere in the world.

And then let me know if your legs are killing you the next day after those stairs – mine were!

Here’s the download in case you missed it:

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Butts & Guts

Any trainer will tell you that their clients are always asking for more core and glute training. We try to talk to you about flexibility and functional training and teach you about your rhomboids and you respond like you’ve just spent $200 to go see Van Morrison and he wants show you his new stuff and refuse to play Brown Eyed Girl. So for those of you who just want us trainers to stick to the hits, I give you the Butts & Guts Challenge.

But this is a Butts & Guts Challenge with a twist. We all know that you can’t ‘spot reduce’, right? RIGHT? If you’ve read a magazine in the past 15 years you will have heard the news that crunches won’t give you a six pack, dips won’t get rid of the fat under your arms, the Thigh Master won’t slim your thighs (sorry, Suzanne):


To achieve all of these desired results, you must reduce body fat. You reduce body fat by consuming fewer calories than you expend. So I’m afraid you just have to  to ‘eat right and exercise’ – which is the most unwelcome fitness advice ever (and doesn’t sell SHIT. Suzanne knows it). So this Challenge adds the ‘eat right’ to the ‘exercise’, including a nutritional component to the four week progressive glute and core training program. So not only do you get stronger glutes and abs…you actually have a chance of actually seeing a difference in your body. How’s that for a hit?

Save the Challenge to your phone by downloading here:

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I eat one-legged Glute Bridges for breakfast. How can I make this harder?

I’m so glad you asked! If you are an experienced exerciser, I want you to double the number of sets and do 10-20 jump squats in between each round. The jump squats are great plyometric training for the glutes and the high intensity cardio is going to rev up your metabolism and keep the calories coming off.

I’m scared. How can I make this easier? 

Take your time to get through each exercise. There is no benefit to rushing and you’ll get better results by going slow. Take more break days and repeat the first week until you are ready to move on.

What the heck is a Bug Crunch?

Videos of me crunching and planking and kicking all below. 🙂

If you have any other questions, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. And feel free to forward to anyone who likes a good challenge!