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Top 20 Exercises You Love to Hate, and Hate to Love

Fitness requires going out of your comfort zone. This means you will have a love/hate relationship with some exercises. You will hate to do them, but you will love what they do for you! 

choresSome Exercises Are Really A Chore

Seriously, I’d be lying if I told you I love every exercise. People need to be realistic. You may like a clean home, but that doesn’t mean you enjoy cleaning toilets. While you might not mind wiping down the counters, there will be some things you don’t like to do – but you sure are glad when they are done. In the same way, everyone has that exercise they really would prefer to skip, but you don’t want to skip the results.

No! Anything but THAT!

For most of us, it’s the exercise that takes the most work we hate the most. If only we could spray ourselves down with bleach to melt the fat away. Nope, it’s going to take some elbow grease I’m afraid! The fact is, if it’s an easy exercise, it probably isn’t as effective as the tougher ones.

box jumpsIf you want an effective exercise, you will probably need the exercise that works you where you need it most (normally working your weakest areas). It will be that dreaded exercise that gets your heart pounding out of your chest to the point you think your heart is going to explode. Or, maybe it’s the exercise that burns so much you are convinced your muscles are going to spontaneously bust out in flames. You probably are already thinking of a few exercises that fit this category. It’s OK, we all have a secret list of most-hated exercises. We don’t have to love every exercise we do. We can just love the results!

The Eight I Hate

wall sitsPersonally, my most hated exercises are Big Ax Jacks and Stomps. Oh yeah, I almost forgot wall sits, all yoga and push ups. Oh wait, and there are pull ups and Mary Catherines. OK, maybe I could make my own top 20 list, because I have enough hated exercises to fill up the list on my own. However, if I’m honest (and you know I am) I have to admit most of these most hated exercises are exercises that works my body in ways I need it worked the most. So what does that tell me? I need to do those exercises even MORE. Ughhhhh. The truth stinks!! But you know what they say, the will set you free! 🙂

As I pondered the most hated (and secretly loved) exercises, I decided to set out and find what other people HATE to do, but LOVE the results. Since we all have different strengths and weaknesses, I fully expected different opinions. At the same time, I also knew there would be a few top picks that almost everyone would agree on. The comments were awesome!

Top 20 Most-Hated Exercises That Work

Below, are the top 20 responses – from awful to worst (I wonder what THAT could be! lol The Hint is in the screen shot from facebook below. haha)!  TIP: Click on the link to view video instruction.

burpees suck20. Thrusters
19. Jump Squats
18. Rope Climb
17. Manmakers
16. Double Unders
15. Pistol Squat (Single Leg Squat)
14. Wall Ups
13. The Gauntlet (Step Mill)
12. Tuck Jumps
11. Wall Sits
10. Pull Ups
9. Stomps
8. Mary Catherines (Plyo split lunges)
7. Push Ups
6. Planks & Side Planks
5. Running
4. Lunges (all types of lunges!)
3. Big Ax Jacks (minus the football stomps in the video)
2. Mountain Climbers
1. Burpees

Add Your Most-Dreaded to the List!

What is your nemesis? What exercise do YOU hate to do, but love the results? Comment below!

live exerciseJoin us on LiveExercise and learn how to incorporate these exercises in your workout. Steve and I lead a cross training workout show each week where we use some of the most hated (and loved) exercises to get you the results you want. We’d love to have you!! Click on the LIVE logo and get workout with us for 2 weeks free! We have 32 LiveXFit workouts you can do, plus over 2,000 other workouts to try too including kickboxing, yoga, chiseled bands, chiseled cardio, dumbbells, toning and more!


What’s Black and Blue, and Knobby all Over? The Newest, Toughest, Craziest Shoe to Hit the Ground

If you own a truck or a jeep, and you want to go in the mud, you put big knobby tires on it. So, why not put big knobby tread on your feet? Right? Well, that’s what Reebok is saying – and I’m digging it!

Reebok ATV 19+

Reebok ATV 19+I was checking out the new ATV 19+ all-terrain tennis shoe from Reebok and saw this video (below) with MMA fighter, Rampage Jackson (who also played Mr. T in the movie remake of the A-Team). I have to admit, Reebok surprised me by using one of the toughest fighters to launch this new futuristic looking shoe. But, hey, I guess a tough guy for a tough shoe does make sense. But an even bigger surprise was their humorous approach to market this shoe.

Instead of going with the traditional serious “I’m a tough athlete who trains harder than you” approach, showing a celeb athlete do things we can’t even do in our dreams (much less real life), they took the fun approach – and it was totally refreshing. Way to go Reebok for making fitness fun. Thank you Rampage (and “rock boy”) for giving us a laugh. Good stuff! 🙂

I look forward to trying out this shoe! While the big lugs look a bit crazy, I’m just a little crazy too! Mud, gravel, rain, snow, grass, rocks, sand, woods –  here I come!

What do you think? Would you wear this shoe? 

Reebok Reeborn? Sneak Peek of Sneaker Town 2013

Whatever you thought Reebok was, I guarantee you you’re wrong – I know I was. Here’s my behind the scenes report from my visit to Reebok headquarters, after I personally got an inside look in the company, and previewed the technology and trends coming out in 2013 – and coming into your homes! 

As I sit, 34,000 feet in the air, on my flight home from Reebok headquarters in Boston I don’t even know how to begin explaining what I just experienced – and what you, the customer will start experiencing now and in the coming months. One thing I can say is, you need to start saving money now – because no matter what your fitness routine is, you WILL want (NEED!) Reebok in your closet – and I’ll tell you why.

The Resurrection 

First, I need to confess this: I’ve never been a Reebok fan. Just a few months ago, my first thought of Reebok tennis shoes would cause Jazzercise flashbacks of white leather tennies, thick scrunchy socks and rolled up jeans. Even though that is a thing of the past, their middle of the road boring clothes and bulky blah shoes never captured my attention over the last few years. Although they maintained quality products, they always seems a little out of date and missing the competitive edge needed to grab my attention – and my credit card.

I’m warning you now, THAT old Reebok is dead and gone, so guard your credit card, because you will want to max it out when you start exploring what is going on at Reebok headquarters, and across the globe, one lucky hand-picked store at a time. A new Reebok has risen, and as you can imagine by looking at some of my own kicks (pictured left), you need to hold on to your panties because the new Reebok walks through walls and has miraculous super powers that will attract followers by the droves and change lives – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s all about changing lives.

Love at First Sweat 

Personally, I prefer brands who practice what they preach. One, because the product and service is always better when a company actually uses their brand regularly, and two, because I have a thing for supporting good people. What can I say? I’m a sucker for wanting the good guys to win – and Reebok is the ultimate good guy company.

From the way they treated us the second we touched down, to the way they treated each other within the company, it is obvious this company values people. Each member of the team proudly introduced their coworkers with such pride and respect for one another. No pride, no egos, no corporate snobs – just a bunch of people working together for a common goal – and that goal is developing footwear and apparel that will help people get fit, and make sure they have fun doing it.

The Reebok MOVEment

How do you get a brand to impact customers and help them get fit? You start with the employees, like 74yr old AnnMarie here flexing it up with me after working out along side my hubby, Steve, at Reebok CrossFit One.

Honestly, it’s one thing for an engineer or designer to develop a great kick-butt shoe and a ridiculously cool looking shirt that won’t sour in your gym bag after getting soaked from a sweaty workout. It’s totally another thing to have an engineer or designer who not only develops that shoe, or piece of clothing, but they wear it, test it, train in it, and live in it day after to day. They literally take their work home with them. THAT’s what’s happening at Reebok – and, ultimately, we the consumer benefit.

Test Track

In addition to the staff living fitness out and testing out their own product, they wanted to hear what we the consumer wanted, as we put their products to the test in the real world on a daily basis.

We got to run in their shoes (pictured right, with their running coach in red) and workout in their apparel, and truly put them to the test. As a part of a focus group, they not only asked for our ideas and input, but they encouraged complaints. Honestly? Who does that anymore?

Of course, it will only make them better, but most companies filled with experienced experts in their field typically don’t want to hear what a bunch of gym rats think. Reebok not only wanted to know what we thought, they wanted to hear it all – the good, bad and ugly. They eagerly listened and respected our opinion, taking notes and truly listening to every word. Although I can’t share with you what was discussed, believe me, we will see the input implemented, and I will remember the day we had the discussion that impacted your buying experience. A truly amazing experience and an honor.

Briefcases and Gym Bag

Reebok headquarters wasn’t just a huge office complex filled with men in suits. It was a fitness complex, complete with a state of the art gym, outdoor track, and a CrossFit gym (called Reebok CrossFit One) led by some of the most elite trainers and athletes in the country – and the world.

Because of the company’s dedication to fitness, Reebok employees are fit and active. Out of 1,000 employees, over 600 employees are members of there CrossFit gym and do intense training on a regular basis. Although I imagine there must be employees that haven’t arrived at their fitness goals yet, I didn’t see one overweight or out of shape employee the entire visit. Unlike many companies in the fitness business who have employees who are clueless about fitness, and are just all about business, Reebok is jam-packed with employees who appear to be just as passionate about fitness as they are their paycheck. Watching employees hit the locker room for a quick workout on their lunch break was totally refreshing. Totally inspiring.

Although I’m sure it will take time for the new Reebok to truly impact the world like they plan, it is a brand you need to keep your eye on if you want to get, or stay, Fit.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


8 Tips to Finding Quality Fitness Brands

In yesterday’s blog I talked about how celebrity endorsements can fail. Not all celeb endorsements are bad but, because of the bad ones, I’m sure many people wonder who they can trust. If you want to be led in the right direction, here are some tips to help you make more solid decisions and fewer fitness mistakes.

1. Follow fitness leaders who lead by example. This means both the fitness leader and the fitness brand – and Reebok is setting the standards high, with a growing emphasis on education and effective training. It’s great that a brand is cool, but being cool is not enough. Being popular isn’t enough. Results speak louder than anything else, and some of the best brands are realizing the importance of teaming up with quality people and content. (picture from Kelly Olexa)

2. Don’t just let any celebrity give you professional advice. Let professionals give you professional advice. This goes for your neighbors and friends too. Don’t ask everyone what they are doing to lose weight, looking for the one who tells you something you like. Search for the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. The truth is the only thing that will set you free.

3. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Move on. I could write a book on this one, but will save you the fitness sermon for another day. Just because it as the “As seen on TV” doesn’t mean it is reliable. Like this neck slimming device, it’s probably LESS reliable!

4. If something looks like it make take work to get results, it’s probably worth trying. Hard work typically has a greater reward. If you always look for the easy way out, you will always be disappointed.

5. Don’t rely solely on ads to make a purchase. Research your purchases, especially when it comes to fitness equipment and supplements.

6. Look for the “FitFluential” name or logo. If someone is a FitFluential Ambassador, they are held to high standards and expected to be honest, reliable, passionate and professional. (and NO, they did not ask me to write this or promote them. This is my honest feelings and experience).

7. Share your own experience. If you have a product you love, or a product that failed you, you can help others by sharing your experience. Tweet about the brands you love, post pictures on facebook and pin your favorite brands on Pinterest. We can all learn from each other.

8. Do they put their money where their mouth is? If you really want to know if a product is worth it or not, find out if the person repping it would actually buy it. Many people (myself included) get many products free, but the real test is whether or not we would spend our own money on it if it needed replacing. For me, I’d buy Designer Whey bars even if I didn’t work for Designer Whey. I would buy Chobani yogurt every time I went to the grocery store if they didn’t keep me stocked up. I bought a half dozen Gymbosses for my health club after I became an affiliate because I love their product and know my members would benefit from using them too. And, I don’t just I also love ReebokGNCSpiraDA ActiveLiveWell360 and Bodylastics, I use them on a regular basis because I genuinely love them.

Let’s rise above celebrity status and make smart choices, not just seemingly popular ones. 🙂  – B –


Celeb Endorsements Gone Wrong

Over the years, big brands have used celebs to rep their products to boost sales. Occasionally, there is a quality product behind a star, but too often it’s just a paycheck. Shamefully, some stars don’t mind fibbing for a buck. I mean, did Snooki really believe that her six-cookies-a-day diet was a quality solution to a weight problem? How could someone feel good about endorsing that? And shame on anyone who would rely on a Jersey Shore reality star for diet advice. Really people? How about Kim Kardashian endorsing Shape Ups, the shoe that claims to tone the glutes and legs? Kim was already known for her unusually large derriere before she even heard of Shape-Ups. Also, why wouldn’t Shape Ups actually choose an athlete or someone with a super fit body to represent their brand? It seems to me both parties sold out on this one. Even after a study by the American Counsel of Exercise found that wearing Shape-Ups won’t burn more calories or improve muscle tone any more than wearing regular running shoes will, sadly, people keep buying them and celebrities will keep endorsing them. Ut Oh Spaghettios! I guess Kirstie Alley‘s role as Jenny Craig spokesmodel was so lucrative  she decided to create her own diet plan and keep all the earnings to herself. However, that backfired in a big way when she was sued for making false claims, including deceptive before and after photos and the claim her product helped her lose 100lbs. Reportedly, what really worked for her was good old-fashioned exercise and a low-calorie meal plan, but you can’t sell that as easily I guess. Charles Barkley is another endorsement gone wrong. He didn’t realize the cameras were on when he said “I thought this was the greatest scam going — getting paid for watching sports,” Barkley said. “This Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam.” I realize it was misinterpreted, and that he didn’t mean it the way it was taken, but both brands and celebs must be careful about what they say and do because people are watching. NutriSystem and Weight Watchers are two of my favorite diet brands, but how many times have we watched a celebrity lead people in the wrong direction – mistake or not? And in many cases, it’s not that the product is the scam, but a specific claim by an endorser that’s the scam. Then the entire character of the whole brand is questioned.

Sellouts Aren’t Selling 

I believe we are entering a whole new world of endorsements and marketing. Big brands are beginning to smarten up and use real people who really love their brand already to build a quality customer base. They’re trading celebrities for fitness leaders, and the girl next door (like me, sporting my LiveWell 360 Luxx workout bag), that people can trust – and I don’t know about you, but it’s refreshing! A huge leader in this concept is FitFluential, an insanely fast growing company that has many hats, but one is matching quality brands with quality fitness leaders. The thing I love most about being a FitFluential Ambassador is we are encouraged to only work with companies we TRULY believe in, so our followers can continue to rely on us for valuable HONEST direction. No sellouts! The end result is success on all levels. I’m not forced to write a raving review on a crummy product (thank goodness!). You will always be able to trust my content, as always, and every brand I endorse. And, all my affiliated brands will have more happy customers because their customers will have realistic expectations of their product and knowledgeable guidance on how to use their product correctly so they get the results they were hoping for. What a concept! What an honest, knowledgeable, genuine, trustworthy concept!

Some of My Favorite Brands:

  • Reebok – was the very first brand to fit me for shoes & build a relationship with me locally. That was just the beginning.
  • Chobani – sent me generous gift as a thank you for sharing my love for their yogurt with fans.
  • Designer Whey – goes above and beyond when it comes sharing their whey love and helping their customers get results.
  • Gymboss – sent me an interval timer to try, knowing I’d love it and it would come back 10 fold – and it did.
  • Sears – is dedicated to providing quality fitness content so their customers get the guidance they need after the sell.
  • Perky Jerky – has provided gifts for our members and interacts with their fans like all brands should.
  • DA Active – believes word of mouth is the most valuable advertisement.
  • GNC – invests in quality fitness leaders who use their products to deliver quality content & advice to their customers.
  • LoseIt – let me try their new beta version of their premium LoseIt app before it came out.
  • Spira – Thanked me with always providing me with new shoes after I helped boost sales locally after I got by first pair.

More Past or Current Brands…

READ PART 2: 8 Tips to Not Get Tricked.

Here’s a funny video by GiGi Eats Celebrities – had to add it!


5 Ways to Stay Fashionably Fit for Less

Steve’s newest blog “My Secret Superpowers” is surprisingly true. Like getting new clothes for school, it was not like I really NEEDED new clothes and was going to go to school naked. I had plenty of clothes, but did I have the “right” clothes? The clothes that were cool and perfect for the new year, new season, the new me. My mom knew how important new clothes were for the new year, and the same goes for fitness – new clothes for the new you!

There is no doubt apparel gives you added confidence. You walk a little taller, you hold your head a little higher – and in the world of fitness, there is no exception. Even when I don’t look my best (naked) I can attempt to look a little better in nicer clothes.

When I go to the gym in old or sloppy clothing, I feel old, sloppy and fat – and just want to get out of there as fast as possible. BUT, when I go to the gym feeling good about what I’m wearing, I feel more energized, more confident, and work a little harder. To me, apparel really does affect my workouts.

Now, admittedly, I get to try out some of the newest clothing and shoes in the industry. But, with that experience, it made me realize how much more I look forward to my runs and my workouts when I’m dressed for success.

5 Ways to Stay Fashionably Fit for Less

If you are getting fit on a budget, here are some fitness fashion tips to boost your workouts without bottoming out your bank account.

1. Basic on Bottom. Invest in several black, navy or grey bottoms to be staples in your fitness wardrobe. People are less likely to notice if you wear the same dark colored shorts often if they are solid with no flashy accents.

2. Flashy Up Top. Instead of buying complete matching outfits, shop for tops. Once you have your basic bottoms, you can create a whole new look with one new top. If you stick with basic bottoms, and keep the fun up top, you will stretch your money and diversify your look for half the cost.

3. Shop Sales & Outlets. You don’t have to be rich to enjoy nice things. If you can’t buy the newest pair of shoes or apparel, you can always hit the sale racks and outlet malls to get some new goodies. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross and Lohman’s are just a few great stores where you can find killer deals on workout clothes. Major brands, like Reebok, make it easy for us to shop our favorite brand for less in one convenient location at their outlet malls. They even have great sales online! For the longest time, I never paid full price for anything – but it was still new to me, and gave me the mental boost I needed.

4. Treat Your Gear with Care. What do you do with some of your most valuable possessions? You baby them. You wash them with love (separating the darks and lights boys!), you put them in safe places, and you protect them from harm. There is something to say about treating your fitness apparel the same way. Like you save certain clothing for special occasions, save your best workout clothes for your workouts. Don’t dare mow the yard in your running shoes or wear you new tank to clean house. Reserving your fitness apparel for your workouts will make these particular pieces of clothing more special and positive – plus it will make your threads last a lot longer.

5. Treat your Shoes like Tires. Sometimes you have to spend a little money to save a lot of money in the long run. Although you can buy really expensive cool shoes, just like you can buy sweet low-profile tires, or big knobby Mickey Thompsons, both tires and shoes are necessities for your safety. And like tires, we often dread spending the money on them. But, as with driving on bald tires, running in worn out shoes could cause a serious blowout that could wreck you and ultimately cost you even more money.

Like tires, shoes are only good for so many miles before they need replacing – and you just have to suck it up and spend the money on them when that time comes. Investing in a good pair of shoes is investing in your health, preventing unnecessary knee, foot and hip issues. You may dread dropping the change on a new pair of shoes, but I promise, it’s a LOT CHEAPER than doctors’ visits and physical therapy. Don’t take short cuts when it comes to shoe shopping. Your body will thank you and save you money in the long run. And, of course, you’ll enjoy wearing cool kicks too!

TIP: Shoes are typically good for 300-400 miles, depending on your weight. If you run 3 miles a day, five days a week, you should replace your shoes every 5-6 months. If you take a 1-hour aerobics class or a hi-impact boot camp 5 days a week, you’ll likely need to replace them even sooner since the average person runs 3 miles in approximately 30 minutes and most group fitness classes go for any hour. Take good care of your sweet feet. They are literally the foundation of your fitness.

Just for laughs:“Sweet Shoes”

This clip was part of some behind the scene “day-to-day” footage for a production company who was looking to do a reality show on the fitness business after Steve was trainer for ABC’s Fat March. Like most reality shows, this clip is meaningless, but entertaining. This is truly what it is like to live in our house with Steve Pfiester. He’s always making me laugh. Enjoy 🙂

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

CAUTION: Fitness Can Be Misleading

Fitness is a lot of things to a lot of people. However, people can be so focused on the small stuff, they lose focus of all the right stuff. Some people get led astray by specific aspects of fitness that tickle their fancy in the moment. Others get turned off by the obsessed fitness freaks who treat fitness more like it’s a cult than a healthy lifestyle, shaping their bodies into something that looks more like a cartoon character than a picture of health. Then there are the people who really have never experienced fitness, so the only impression of fitness maybe a self-absorbed coworker mocking them at the office every day.

Fitness: Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture

It’s more than a trend.
Fitness is cool and everyone knows it. People don’t look at fat, lazy people and want to grow up to be that guy. They want to be the guy or girl they see running the beach in the morning or hitting the weights religiously in the gym every day. They want to be the celebrity in the tabloid shot  leaving yoga or doing a quick workout while on vacation, like Matthew McConaughey from Magic Mike.

Fitness is cool, but we need to remember the impact it can make on people’s lives. People who live the fit lifestyle are leaders, whether we like it or not. People are watching us and we have the opportunity to use that cool-factor to encourage others to get healthy. We can ACT cool and turn people off, or we can BE cool and turn people on to fitness. Just think, you may be the only flesh-and-blood fit person someone comes in contact with. Are you going to attract them to fitness or make them run back to the couch and ice cream?

It’s more than a sport.
It’s not just one sport, fitness has a ton of sports and games. Bobybuilding, Figure competitions, Crossfit Games (#CROSSFITGNC), Marathons, Triathlons, Mud Runs, 5Ks, Power Lifting…you name it. Then there’s the competitive side outside of actual sporting events like the P90x Challenges, Biggest Loser contests at work, 90 day challenges, etc.

It can be easy to get so deep into the sport of it, you forgot why you started the whole fitness thing to begin with. Some people get so focused on the sport, they become judgmental toward others that don’t take their fitness to the competitive level they have chosen. Before you know it, someone can focus so much on their particular sport, they  begin to neglect their actual health and let other areas of a healthy lifestyle slide.

Yes, it’s a sport, but it’s not just about winning and losing. We need to make sure we don’t get so caught up on our performance that we forget our improvements – and where we are headed.

It’s fixes more things than you think.
Although most people depend on fitness to fix their waistline, no one should expect fitness to be a quick fix – or just fix one specific problem. It fixes a lot of problems – and if you realize that, you will feel even more successful in your fitness journey than you would ever feel if your only concentrating on finding your six-pack.

Sure fitness can whip your body into shape, but it improves (and can completely fix) many ailments and physical issues like heart disease, obesity, cardiovascular health, diabetes, asthma, poor flexibility, body pain due to weak or tight muscles, and many other issues that can make life pretty miserable. Not only that, it helps our mood and is scientifically proven to drastically improve, and sometimes completely eliminate, depression.

Remember, there are no quick fixes, but there are REAL fixes – and fitness shouldn’t be about just fixing only one of them.

Fitness is a lot of things to a lot of people – what does fitness mean to you?  – B –

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