Miracle Potion For Your Weight, Skin and Everything In Between

My new favorite thing is apple cider vinegar.  One of my clients turned me on to this when I was complaining about having a cold.  She is a registered nurse and an administrator of a hospice company, and she swears by the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, especially in shortening a cold.   She was so excited about it that she brought a bottle to our next fitness class for everyone to try:)  LOL!

We all headed to the ladies room after our fitness class at the UFC, and brought out the shot glasses.


Luckily no one spit it out all over the mirrors! haha:)

If you can get past the taste and smell, apple cider vinegar is really amazing. From your head to your toes, it’s good for the health of almost every body part.

Here are just some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar that I found in my research:

  1. Strengthens Your Immune System.

As soon as you feel the prickle of a sore throat, take a dose of this germ-busting miracle worker to help head off the infection.   The acidic environment kills the germs.  Just mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour.

Another recipe option I found is to mix one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon cayenne pepper and three teaspoons clover honey in a glass of warm water.  All three ingredients will work together to help you heal.

2.  Balances Your Digestive System.

Drinking apple cider vinegar before a starchy meal will allow the starches you don’t digest to feed the good bacteria in your gut.

If you want to reduce gas, dilute a tablespoon of enzyme-rich apple cider vinegar with a cup of water or tea, and drink before a meal. This will also combat constipation, since the vinegar stimulates digestive juices that help your body breakdown food.  (Dr. Oz, The Seven Surprising Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar.)

3.  Helps with allergies.

Research indicates that apple cider vinegar can help allergies because of how it helps break up mucous and reduce sinus congestion.

4.  Helps with weight loss.

There are some studies that propose that apple cider vinegar can increase satiety, which helps you eat less.  Researchers suggest that vinegar may turn on certain genes involved in breaking down fats.

The effect is probably very subtle, says Chicago dietitian Debbie Davis, RD. “It may have some benefits in terms of weight loss and weight management, but it is definitely not a quick fix.”

Although apple cider vinegar seems to be a miracle worker, it’s the entire lifestyle that counts if you want to see results.  Use it to aid your weight loss along with exercise and portion control.

5.  Does Wonders For Skin.

If you are burnt to a crisp after a long day in the sun, apple cider vinegar can soothe your skin. To neutralize the burn try adding a cupful or two to your bath and soak for 10 minutes.  The apple cider vinegar help restore your skin’s pH levels and your skin will feel cool and soothed.

It is great for clearing up the skin.  This is my favorite benefit because I have seen an immediate change since I started using it as my toner.  I mix 2 oz of apple cider vinegar with 2 oz of filtered water in a bottle.  Apply it to a cotton ball and rub on your face and neck.  It restores the proper pH levels to your skin so it is great for every skin type.  It is also is good for reducing the appearance of age spots, pimples and acne scars.

Tips on Taking Apple Cider Vinegar

  • When you buy it make sure it is cloudy and reads on the label with “the mother.” The “mother” is a blob at the bottom and it is full of probiotics and other good bacteria.


(This is the brand I buy at WinDixie in Louisiana, so I’m sure you can find it in most grocery stores.)

  • There are many suggestions I found on taking apple cider vinegar. The nurse I mentioned earlier takes it straight and follows it up with a glass of water.   Some people mix it in with apple or grape juice. I dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons with a small amount of water and honey.
  • It is so acidic that mixing it with water or juice makes it more palatable.
  • Take it before a meal or along with your meals one or two times a day.

Although there isn’t a lot of scientific support, the homeopathic benefits of apple cider vinegar should not be underestimated.  It’s definitely worthwhile to try.


Battle Ropes For A Fat Shredding Workout


If you want to melt fat & workout like a maniac then you will love battle roping!  Training with battle ropes is no joke.  It combines strength, core, explosiveness and cardio. In 20-30 min. you can get in a hardcore and efficient workout that will make you feel like you worked your butt off for a solid hour.   No matter what your fitness level is, you can train with battle ropes if you have the heart and aren’t afraid to work hard.

This is a workout I put together and did last week.  It is tough but it’s worth it!  You can adjust the time to accommodate your fitness level.  Complete Battle workout #1 then move into the ab circuit. Complete 2 rounds of the ab circuit then repeat the entire workout, starting at Battle workout #1.  If you can keep going, move on to Battle workout #2 with a different ab circuit.  The sequence is the same.

Battle workout #1

Alternating waves:  25 sec. work; 15 sec rest

Double arm waves:  25 sec. work; 15 sec rest

Grappler Hip Toss (pic above):  25 sec. work; 15 rest

Snakes (looks like your making lateral waves):  25 sec. work; 15 sec. rest

*beginners-rest 30-40sec.

Abs circuit:  complete 2 rounds

V-up with medicine ball or stability ball for modification:  15x

One arm and one leg Planks:  hold for 5 sec and switch for 45 sec.

*modify by only lifting your leg

Flutter kicks:  20x (count is one on each leg)

-repeat entire workout 2 more times

Battle workout #2

Power slams:  25 sec. work; 15 sec rest

Alternating waves:  25 sec. work; 15 sec rest

3 Power slams and 1 burpee:  25 sec. work; 15 sec. rest

Jacks with ropes:  25 sec. work; 15 sec. rest

Abs circuit:  complete 2 rounds

Bosu crunch 15x

Side plank with a crunch:  10 each side

Scissors:  20x

048I was in maniac mode with my hair flying! LOL!  This is the 3 power slams with a burpee.

If you have wrist issues then you will want to monitor your workout time so they don’t bother you.  My wrists are tiny and they were starting to get sensitive by the end of this workout.

I have vids up on my business facebook page and on instagram.  You can find my accounts by going to my website, http://www.totalbodyandmind.net, and clicking on the icons.


Boxing Workout

Professional boxers are some of the world’s leanest and most conditioned athletes in the world. Their work ethic and discipline is what sets them apart in their sport. They have formed the habit of doing things that losers don’t like to do.

I am fortunate to get to train and work with Tory Williams, the #2 Ranked Light Heavyweight Amateur Boxer in the Nation.   In my interview with him he shared with me some of his habits and training routines that have contributed to his success.

Williams has a calm demeanor that has a chilling out effect on my high energy personality.  Don’t get me wrong, he is tough and his boxing classes are not for the faint of heart. I have left many of his classes feeling spent and rung out (and LOVED it!). I like to describe his style as relaxed intensity. He puts value on remaining calm and says it enables him to focus and perform better.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful I will be.  Bruce Lee

There is a place for being amped up but without being balanced you can make stupid mistakes. There are a plethora of examples of how this can happen, and that is why Williams says fighting isn’t just something he does, it’s a lifestyle.

It makes sense that with a schedule that includes 4-6 hours of training, caring for his daughter and working there has to be a priority on staying relaxed and focused. He believes the way he approaches his daily life carries over into fighting. It sounds very similar to the idea of living in the present moment which is something we can never be reminded enough to do.

How does this lean, mean fighting machine train?

He laid out his training schedule for me:

6-7 days a week (depending on how close a fight is) Boxing and running 3 miles

Boxing workout:

  • Tire flips: 15 min.
  • Shadow box: 30 min.
  • Heavy bag: 20 min. no break
  • Jump rope: 10 min.
  • Speed bag: 15 min.
  • Mit work: 30 min.
  • Jump rope: 20 min.
  • Stretch: 30 min

Strength and Core work: bodyweight exercises like pushups, pullups, squats, lunges and a variety of abdominal exercises.

Intense is an understatement, but if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you! Maybe you are not training to be the next Ultimate Fighter, but you should be training and disciplining yourself to be your best.  Everybody is busy and has problems in life, but what is it going to be reasons or results???

UFC Gym Mandeville is where Tory teaches his boxing classes, and I coach a Strength and Conditioning Class. (Keep in mind that you get a complimentary class)  This could be your fresh start.  There are all different fitness levels but the workouts accommodate everyone.  Train Differently.  Try a boxing class and experience how good it feels to challenge yourself.


For more information and to receive a complimentary session to my Bootcamps or for Group Personal Training check out my website at http://www.totalbodyandmind.net

Tory’s Records:

2013: H.O.R.N National  champion
           Light heavyweight (Novice)
2013: Louisiana Governors Game
Champion (Heavyweight)
2014: Louisiana Golden Glove Champ
Light heavyweight
2014: Mid-month Regional Golden
Glove Light Heavyweight Champ
2014: National Golden Gloves Runner Up (2nd place) Light Heavyweight
2014: Ringside World Championship Runner Up (2nd place) Light Heavyweight

*Ranked: #2 in the Nation as a Light heavyweight Amateur Boxer





How To Build the Perfect Circuit Workout To Lean Out

Circuit Training is a great way to get the benefits of strength & cardio training in one workout.  I love to lift weights, but I would rather run in a rain storm than do cardio on a machine.  Circuit training is my solution.

What is circuit training?

Basically you do one exercise immediately followed by another.  For example you can select 3-5 exercises & perform them one right after the other.  This is done with little or no rest between them.

I teach a circuit training class at the UFC Gym in Mandeville, Louisiana and this was one of the routines I had the class perform.


Round 1:  (50 seconds on each exercise)

Cable low row

One arm row


Squat Pulse Jumps (wide stance squat, pulse 3 times then jump)  Fire in the thighs! Whew!

-rest 1 min then repeat 2 more times

Round 2:

Close grip press (narrow grip on barbell to get triceps)

Tricep dips on bench

Heavy walking lunges

Squat with tricep extension

-rest and repeat 2 more times

  • 6min of shoulder burnouts: 3 exercises done without rest for 6 min
  • 6 min of ab burnouts

This is one example of many ways you can build a circuit routine.  Another example workout is doing a strength exercise followed by cardio.  I do this when I want to work really hard &/or get shredded fast.  You have to be willing to bring your A game because it’s intense.

For example:  Chest press & Jump rope, after each set of chest press follow it with 1 min of jump rope.  Then do another exercise followed by 1 cardio min. & continue that template for your entire workout.  You will be busted but shredded in weeks.  Jump rope is a suggestion for cardio, but you could do jumping jacks, high knees, squats, step ups, skaters, etc.

Advantages of Circuit Training:

  1. Lean up- it will help you lean out and get ripped.
  2. You save time by getting cardio and strength in one workout.  In & out of the gym fast.
  3. Places a greater demand on the body which dramatically increases your metabolism & leads to increased fat burning long after the workout.
  4. Improves conditioning & muscular endurance.

*When putting together your circuit take into consideration the busyness of the gym when you plan to workout.  You can adjust by keeping everything in close proximity.


Slay The Giant Workout

This workout is for when you need to relieve some serious pent up stress & find a release for frustrations of the day.  Hard & intense workouts demand all of your focus.  This will get your mind off your problems & back to a stronger state of being.

There are many way to slay the giant.  It all depends on what you feel is going to get you into Beast Mode.

1.  There are days when I get in sprints in my driveway by doing old school suicides.  After I finish up with 3-4 suicides I like to do sprints with  Tabata training: 20 seconds of all out work followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Repeat for a total of 8 rounds.  You can also integrate this into a 1-3 mile run.  Pick up your pace for 20 sec. then back down to a jog for 10.

2.  If running isn’t going to get your warrior spirit revved then going heavy at the gym might.   Select compound exercises & set your weight heavy.  For example:  Bench press, Deadlifts, Squats, &/or Barbell rows and perform 4-6 reps of 4-5 sets.

3.  If you need to totally exhaust yourself & kill it in the gym, then get after it with Giant Sets!  Have about 4-6 exercises that you circuit through with NO BREAKS.  Set your reps for 12-15 and repeat 4-5 rounds.  This is a sample workout of a Giant Superset.

Barbell Push Press  (modification-Dumbbell push press)

Medicine Ball Throw (make it dynamic)

Leg raises on incline bench (modification- on the floor)

Lateral Box jumps with Medicine Ball (add a jump to make it more explosive or make it a step to the top then off the side) *20 reps

Hip Thrusts

Repeat 15 reps with no breaks 4-5 rounds


as you begin to press the BB overhead, come into a small squat then drive the weight up

                   photo (4)       photo (5)


photo (6) Mb throw


                         photo (3)   photo (2)


box jump               


                       photo (1)     photo

If you read my last post you knew about my struggle to dissect a rat in for biology class. I did a heavy lift day to get myself into a strong state of mind.  I was able to “slay my giant:)!!!”  Weight training  can not only make us stronger physically, but it also has powerful affects on our character and personal growth.







Weight Train Like An Athlete

Have you ever seen an out of shape athlete?  Most of them are in incredible shape & walk around with well-earned swag partly because of their lean defined physiques.  I want you to get your swag & feel confident in your skin.

Maybe you played sports in high school or college & have noticed you’ve lost some umph, agility and ease of movement.  Conventional workouts and diets are helpful, but reaching your potential will eventually take you to a place where you need to change your approach.  A simple shift in focus can get you to there.

Change your focus off appearance and set it on performance. 

  1. Workouts matter.  I don’t take off if I’m tired or not feeling in the mood.  Every workout matters to my performance.  When it comes to workouts it’s time to get real and get after it.
  2. Provides variety & keeps it interesting.  Why be satisfied with only training one specific way?  Hit all modalities: fat loss, muscle-building, endurance, speed, & power.
  3. Achieve Personal Bests.  Competing with your best self will empower you to go beyond status quo.  Ask yourself, “Can I put up 2 more reps?  Can I go faster on the treadmill?”  Never be satisfied.  STAY HUNGRY.

Think of ways to take your typical workouts & make them more athletic by integrating power, core, and dynamic movements.  Here is a sample of a workout I did last week that focused on my back, core and plyometrics.

Round 1:  Pullups 12x, Standing Russian Twist (not sure what to call this;) 8-10x; Bench hops 30x:  repeat 3x

Standing Russian:  Place an end of a Barbell in a corner of a squat rack.  Place wt. on one end (I do 25lbs)  Rotate the BB up and around to the left then up and around to the right.  If you are doing it right you will feel it in your back & serratus muscles.


Bench Hops:  Stay light on your feet and bound from one side of the bench to the other.  Maintain a quick tempo.


Round 2:  Reverse Grip Pulldown 10-12x (or to keep it in one location you can do underhand grip BB row); Dumbbell Plank Rows 12x; Weighted Squat Thrusts 10-12x.  Repeat 3x

Plank row:  Maintain plank position as you row dumbbell up.  Place it down and perform a push up then row to the other side.







Squat Thrusts: Squat to the ground like you are doing a deadlift.  Place weights down as you thrusts legs back into a plank position.  Perform a pushup then jump your legs back in and stand.


Round 3:  Close grip pull ups to failure; Spidermans 12-16x; Side plank dips 15x  Repeat 3x

*Spidermans:  see my post “A Twist On Pushups”

*Side plank dips:  get into a side plank position.  Lower your hip toward the floor then press back up.



Train Like An Athlete

athlete  Within each of us lies the potential for greatness.  Our bodies yearn to reflect the glory & strength that they were created to reveal.  It is up to each of us as individuals to honor the Creator & allow this beauty to be seen.  Through discipline, hard work & focused commitment we give our bodies an opportunity to rise up to their destiny.

Great athletes set themselves apart in their talent through dedication to their training.  Although their bodies look like they were carved by the gods, it’s not about aesthetics for them, but performance.  They approach every aspect of their training with the mindset to become their personal best.  They give themselves every chance to succeed.  They eat foods that will fuel their goals.  They give their best to the mental and physical aspects of their workouts.  As icing on the cake they get a banging body.

I get that many of us can’t train exactly like an athlete.  We don’t have hours to commit to that type of training regimen each day.  However, we can adopt the mindset of an athlete and give our best to the 3+ hours a week we do have along with the dedication to a healthy lifestyle.

Training tips:

  1. Don’t get hung up on appearance.  It can derail your chances for success.  Instead focus on performing better than your previous workout.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others.  Compete with your best self.
  3. Commit to the process.  Athletes train for years to develop their potential.  Make this a lifestyle.
  4. Focus on improving something about yourself and your workouts.

Be watching for my next post where I will share one of my personal workouts for training like an athlete.

glorify God