A Los Angeles trainer admits to eating unhealthy at times and is making a commitment to reduce the amount of desserts she eats per month.

Confessions of a Los Angeles Trainer

By Susan Howard

My whole life I have basically been able to eat what I want.  Though I profess healthy eating (and mainly eat fairly well), I also have eaten my share of junk, like fries, pastas and sugar.  I naturally have a pretty quick processing metabolism — (don’t hate) — and my workouts have improved that function, so I have always been able to get away with being less than perfect with my eating.

Until now.  The day has come that my body does not want to process things as quickly and my extra snacks have nowhere to go, but to store.  Okay, turn to fat.  I am okay with this and have decided it’s probably time for me to enter into the adult world and limit my intake of crap.  Cupcakes are for five-year-olds, seriously.

So this year I am allowing myself one dessert a month. If I’m freaking out, I’ll have my one out, but I will no longer mindlessly shove ..read more

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Weight loss starts by loving yourself and then getting more active in your daily life.

What’s Wrong With YOU

By Susan Howard

One of the blocks to successful weight loss is feeling bad about yourself.  You’re a blob.  You have no will power.  You are lazy.  You will never look like Channing Tatum or Jessica Alba or whoever is seemingly hotter than you.  So why bother?  The reason we get heavier and heavier is we have given up on ourselves.

Maybe we were in shape, but we got injured or had a lifestyle change — married, divorced, family tragedy, new job, depression the list goes on.  We are very good at coming up with excuses that even WE believe.  Random reasons we can’t make time to exercise.

Well, all that is going to end NOW.

Hear this.

You are GREAT.  Whatever size, whatever shape, you are wonderful and sexy and amazing.  First things first, we must love ourselves.  Easy to write or say and super hard to do.

There was a study done with women in which half were handed a notebook with an ultra ..read more

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Best Investment of My Life

By Susan Howard

Every once in a while I get a really kind compliment that makes me smile and gets me thinking.

One of my most successful weight loss clients told me she was talking to another doctor in the hospital she works and she said training with me was the single best investment in her health that she has ever made.

Wow.  That was nice.  Why is this I wondered?  She cited the workouts, of course, and the accountability and the friendship too.

This may turn into an accidental love letter but here it goes.

I have been training for a long time and honestly some of my clients have been with me for over 10 years and a genuine relationship with a lot of them has occured.  Not only do I care about their workouts and diet, I care about them.

In this day and age of phones and screen time, we really are closed off to each other, and in turn, closed off ..read more

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Make a commitment to workout every week!

I Get So Emotional, Baby

By Susan Howard

“My mother-in-law is coming into town.”

“I have a super stressed work week.”

“My kid vomited on my running shoes.”

Whatever excuse you come up with not to workout, needs to be tossed aside.

“But, Susan,” you plea, “I really do have a super packed work week and my dog did chew up my iPhone with my run keeper app.”

Over my last decade of training clients, I’ve trained people with various degrees of busy-ness. And with every one of them, I stress that they shouldn’t think about whether they want to or have time to workout. Just start moving for 20 to 60 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week and don’t stop committing to that.  My clients with the highest degree of consistency always get the best results.

“You can spend one hour working out or 24 hours dead.”

Having returned from a four-day fitness conference this is one of the messages that still rings in my head.  It’s true — the bounty of ..read more

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Why you should keep working out even if you have pain in your body.

Watch Me Nay Nay

By Susan Howard

Unless you are in the NFL, don’t play through the pain.  Unlike what you may have heard from other sources, pain in your body is a little message telling you that something is off or being overused while something else may be weak and non functioning.

Switch up your workout if you feel pain. If you are running try spinning or swimming; if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting, try Pilates, and if you are doing a bunch of yoga, pick up some weights. Our bodies get tired of the same input day in and day out and we can get repetitive stress disorder which can wear down the ligaments and attachments and overdevelop the muscles in a certain plane of motion.

If you are in a lot of pain, get with a personal trainer to help you out.  Don’t be sidelined by your pain.  The instinct to think, “I messed up my knee so I can’t go ..read more

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Double Your Results With Eccentric

By Susan Howard

Recently I returned from a fitness conference where I took several courses and workouts from some of the top minds in fitness, the P90X guy (Tony Horton) to the Gatorade research folks, to the industry leaders in kinesology and body testing.

One presenter that had a big impact on me was this quirky guy from the University of New Mexico (of course) talking about eccentric movement.

What is eccentric movement and why do I care about it?

Eccentric is the opposite of concentric, so in a bicep curl the concentric is the “up” movement when you contract the muscle and the eccentric is when you elongate it towards the pull of gravity.

I signed up for the class to learn more because, contrary to conventional wisdom, the contraction part of a move is not nearly as important as the eccentric part and I wanted to know more.

Here’s what I got.  You will garner 40 percent better results by focusing on the eccentric ..read more

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Live with distinction. Make plans, make goals and complete them. If you don't push yourself, how will you ever succeed?

Distinction

By Susan Howard

On my desktop right now is a file entitled “Life with Distinction” and inside lists my goals for 2017. We are a sum of our habits — some are good, but some we’d like to kick. Living with precision doesn’t mean I am throwing the old me out the window to start over again, but merely being aware of my patterns and making decisions about what each day looks like.

One big change for me is going to be planning. If you are like me, you run from planning like the villain in a tangled Spiderman web in my son’s comic books. This doesn’t mean my days won’t be spontaneous, but even with random time, workouts, or meditation time I am going to block it off in my phone calendar.

If we don’t make decisions we tend to plod along aimlessly just getting through the day. Don’t get me wrong, some days are like that — days you just get ..read more

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Train Like an Olympian

By Susan Howard

I love the Olympics.  It’s a thrill watching the high level of focus and training these young athletes have poured into their given event. Seeing their transformed bodies near perfection, eyes fixed, goals high. In a moment, on a day it all comes forth as they fight for the fastest finish, cleanest program, or most points in a game. Although only three make it to the podium all of them are winners to even qualify for such an elite competition.

The spark in their spirits and joy of competing is alive in you as well. Maybe your are not going to set the WR in the 400 butterfly or hang in the iron cross like the mens gymnasts have astounded us with, you can compete, and win at your own game.

Maybe it’s a virtual fitness competition on social media with your friends from high school or a tennis match with a friend or a made up game with your ..read more

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Best Workout in Shortest Time: Isometric/Dynamic

By Susan Howard

Creating muscle to burn fat is the most efficient way to spend your time working out. Maximizing results by working your large muscles in an active way, such as a squat, is the best. Most fitness professionals will agree. The more muscle engagement the better. Thus the birth of the compound move like a squat with a row. The issue I have with these compound moves are often times there is so much going on that the form is compromised. Watching a client trying to perform a reverse lunge with a military press leaves them with a wobbly mediocre version of both the lunge and the shoulder press.

I feel as though well meaning trainers and athletes alike make this mistake, so here is my answer for you all to keep it tight. Combine Isometric with Dynamic, so while one part is moving the other is stabilizing. One of my favorite examples is an isometric squat, like a skier ..read more

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Kick Starter New Years A Go Go

 

By Susan Howard

It’s hardest to begin and once you’ve stopped difficult to restart. Inertia; an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Just like riding a bike, once you are going it’s fairly easy, but that moment, the first pedal push and balance takes some doing. Once you take the first step, you will naturally continue forward.

Often times when I am training, within the first ten minutes of a session the client is trying to book their next appointment. They realize immediately how vital motion is and how good it feels to be in action.

We must move our bodies to free our minds. I offer you nothing less than Nirvana. I watch my little kids in the morning playing a jumping game up and down they look like little frogs because it FEELS GOOD TO MOVE. Not only does it feel good, but it is necessary.

I am here ..read more

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