Work it Out!

2013: The Year of the Booty (VIDEO!)

It’s official…2013 is the Year of the Booty. Well, at least for me it is.  People around the world worship it, songs have been written about it, and people pay big money to get it surgically-enhanced. The butt, (also known as bootay, ass, badonkadonk, donk, and rump), is a MAJOR focus in the world of physique athletes/fitness competitors. Unfortunately, I was NOT blessed with the plumpness that stars like J.Lo, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian are world-renowned for; so I actually have to put in work (LOTS of work) to get something to proudly show on stage when I hit my back pose for the judges. For the past several months, I’ve been working with a Master Kettlebell trainer, Mike Mauncele, at Level 1 Fitness here in Philly to help me take my butt (and hamstrings and back) to the next level so that I bring the my best package to the stage this year. This is IN ADDITION to my usual Signature Savage training to keep it “high and tight” me, I've been putting in some work this year and it has paid off. One of the most telling signs of my hard work is the fact that I can only fit into one pair of  stretch jeans because I can't pull the other 10 pairs up over my new rear end.

Here's a short video from one of my training sessions with the end of my 60-minute session with him my heart is racing and my butt is on FIRE! It's the best workout ever.  BTW, if you live in the Philly area and you're looking for an effective,  non-surgical booty lift, email Mike at You WILL work hard, but it WILL be worth it.


ANATOMY OF THE GLUTES: What's your butt really made of??

In order to improve your butt, it's good to know what you're working with first. We've all heard of the gluteus maximus, but it's not the only muscle that make up your backside; the gluteus minimus and gluteus and medius are also a part of the mix. This is important to know because you have to target each of these muscles to create the appearance of a nice, round rump.

 There are some exercises that can turn a pancake into an onion with the right weight, form, and consistency. Bodybuilders and other physique athletes rely on these tried and true moves to get the butts of their dreams:

1. Squats

2. Deadlifts

3. Lunges

4. Sprints (Have you ever seen an Olympic sprinter with a flat butt? Yeah, me either. Sprints work miracles for the legs, butt and abs. If you can do them, they should be a part of your workout routine)

If you want to give your glutes a boost with these exercises,  you can do them with weights (except sprints) or without.  Obviously, the more weight you use (safely and with good form), the more muscle growth you'll see.

Keep it high and tight!!



Rage Against the Machines

Ok...I need to confess.  I really don't like fact, I kinda hate it.  My favorite things to do in the gym are to lift weights and avoid the cardio machines.  Well, I DO like the StepMill, but that's where it ends.  The thought of bouncing up and down on the elliptical machine for 30 or even 45 minutes is enough to make me want to hurt someone. Yes, I know how important it is to do cardio to burn fat and increase your cardiovascular's all a part of being fit.  However, once I started training for Figure competitions and learned that too much cardio can actually work AGAINST you when you're trying to build lean muscle mass, it was like music to my ears.  Over the last couple of years, I've learned about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabatas, which are fun (but kinda hard) ways of doing cardio that you can do without being tied to a machine for an hour.  I've also learned that lifting heavy weights can jack your heart rate up through the roof!  So now, my cardio routines involve short HIIT workouts (~20-25 minutes), 30 minutes on the StepMill, and a functional cardio session once a week.  If you're unfamiliar with HIIT, you can download my Facts About HIIT.

If you enjoy getting a good workout on a cardio machine, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  However, you need to know that it's NOT the only way to get a good cardio workout.


  • They can be very boring. This is especially true if you're going at the same pace for the entire workout.  Even a Law & Order marathon can't keep me on a treadmill for more than 20 minutes.
  • They overestimate the calories burned.  Basically, these machines are lying to you when they tell you you've burned 500 calories in 10 minutes.
  • They tend to encourage "cheating".  I've done it myself and I've seen other people do it...holding on the handrails or leaning over, which totally defeats the purpose of being on the machine.
  • They can be very boring. Oh, did I mention that already??
  • They are not convenient.Unless you have equipment in your house, you have to go to the gym to get in a good cardio workout.  People often use this as an excuse to skip their workouts altogether.


I prefer to make up my own cardio workouts that change every couple of minutes, which is why I love HIIT and functional cardio.  These workouts keep me mentally engaged,  the diversity makes the time go by faster, and I can do them ANYWHERE.

Here's a HIIT workout that I did this week.  I chose 5 different exercises that were challenging and that I LIKE:


You don't have to do high-intensity can do low- or medium-intensity intervals with these same exercises.  You can also decrease the "on" interval and increase the rest have to do what's best for YOU, but also remember to challenge yourself.

I also like to incorporate Tabatas, which is a type of high-intensity interval workout, but you do one exercise for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 rounds (which is 4 minutes).  Here's a Tabata workout that I did recently:

Switching up your cardio routines to include intervals or exercises that don't require a machine can make a world of difference for your body and your endurance.  If you're not comfortable making up your own routine or you LOVE the machines, you can still do interval training on any of the cardio equipment in the gym.

So, the next time you go to the gym and ALL the machines are occupied (or temporarily out of order), no can still get a workout!

Stay fit!


Memorial Day Weekend "Plyos in the Park" Workout

Mondays are always my 'plyo' days and a holiday is no exception.  Since my gym was closed, I decided to take my plyometrics workout to a nice, shady area in a park on the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philly.  If you've done plyos before, you know they can be difficult but effective.  If you haven't, start off slow and always use good form. After a 15 minute jog to the park and 5 minutes of dynamic stretches, here's the workout I did today:

5 rounds of the following 6 exercises with 1 to 1:30 rest in between each set:

jump squats x 15 jump lunges x 10/leg speed skaters x 10/leg burpees x 10 180s x 10 pogos x 20

After all 5 rounds were completed,  I finished it off with 50 mountain climbers, 10 star jumps x 3 sets, 10 tuck jumps x 3 sets.

It took me about 30 minutes, but I took more breaks than I anticipated! LOL!

I cooled down with a 15-minute walk/jog back home and 10 minutes of stretching.  Needless to say, my legs are still on fire.