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Category Archives: Fat Loss


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

What is the off-day workout you can do on your own, doesn’t take a lot of time, and will burn calories fast? HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), is a form of interval training alternating between short periods of intense anaerobic exercise and short recovery periods.


  1. Burns a lot of calories in a short period of time
  2. Heightens your metabolic rate
  3. Helps lose fat
  4. Can improve oxygen consumption


Warm up:

• 5 min walk

• 5 min jog

Phase 1 (5-10 min… choose your effort level)

• 15 seconds on …15 seconds off (sprint pace)

• Or 20 seconds on … 10 seconds off (sprint pace)

• Choose either phase 2 or 3… or do both if you’re really looking to burn

Phase 2: Choose 5 exercises… 2-3 sets

• Planks (1 min on.. 1 min off)

• Russian Twists (30 seconds on … 15 seconds off)

• Leg raises (20 reps)

• Cockroaches (20 reps)

• Supermans (10-20 reps)

• Mountain Climbers (30 seconds on…30 seconds off)

• Inchworms (5-10 reps)

Phase 3: Choose 5… 2-3 sets

• Burpees (1 min on… 1 min off)

• Push-ups (30 seconds on… 15 seconds off)

• Mountain Climbers (30 sec on… 30 sec off)

• Squat jumps (20 reps) *

• Skaters (30 sec on … 30 sec off)

• Reverse lunges (15 each leg) *

• Side lunges (10 each leg) *

• Donkey kicks (10 reps)

*option to add weight

*KEEP IN MIND* you can add more strength exercises or sub running based cardio for a bike.. This workout was made specifically for those who don’t have access to equipment.

These workouts are great to do on your own, however, every workout program should begin with professional guidance. The best HITT workout results coincide with professional 1:1 training during the week to dial in exactly what your body needs workout-wise and nutrition based. We are experts at creating a personalized workout based on your body type, and a tailored nutrition plan. 

For more information about personal training, click here.

Six Simple Steps to Your Healthier Diet: An 80/20 Rule

You can’t outwork a bad diet! No matter how hard you work in the gym during the week, if you are fueling your body with excessive calories and unhealthy foods, you will never see success. Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% gym time. Unfortunately, mastering a healthy diet is not as simple as swapping out cheesecake for more vegetables. Adopting healthy eating habits is the driving force that will promote weight loss, increase your metabolism, and provide your body with the fuel necessary to enhance your energy and performance – both in and out of the gym. The changes may feel hard at first, but one day you’ll wake up and realize that you have truly adapted to a healthier diet!


Ready to get started?! Here are the six simple tips that you can begin to incorporate into your daily routine:


Eat Breakfast!

If you are one of the many people that skip breakfast, please STOP! Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, especially on mornings that you are working out. Try and avoid simple-carbohydrate breakfasts like processed cereals or bagels, as these are quickly digested and will not make you feel full for very long. Focus on a protein-rich and high-fiber breakfast such as oatmeal and hardboiled eggs, nonfat greek yogurt with chia seeds and berries, or a whole-grain protein pancake topped with peanut butter instead of syrup.


Measure Your Food

Portion control is one of the hardest challenges when tackling healthier eating habits. Many of us don’t realize that most restaurant portions are double or even triple what we should actually be eating! When cooking at home, use a kitchen scale for your meat and grains. Use measuring cups and spoons when preparing your meal or snacks and read the serving size on all packaged foods. It may take your stomach some time to adjust to the new portion sizes, but trust me: over time your body will get used to the changes!


Carbohydrates are Your Friend!

Carbohydrates have a bad rap, but in reality, your body uses carbs as its main source of energy. Your diet should consist of 45-65% carbohydrates each day. But not all carbs are fit for a healthy diet; avoid processed, high-sugar foods and incorporate more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans into your diet. If you are unsure of where to start when taking the first steps towards a healthier diet, begin with simple swaps such as purchasing whole grain breads, pastas, and rice instead of white. Try making your own granola or muesli at home instead of purchasing processed cereals. Substitute fruit when craving something sweet and pair with a small piece of dark chocolate. It sounds impossible at first, but over time your body will stop craving sugar like it does now!


Eat the Right Amount of Protein

While everybody is different when it comes to exact amounts of protein intake, the baseline for adults is about 0.8 grams of protein per day per kilogram of bodyweight (about 0.4g per pound of bodyweight). Most Americans eat much more protein than needed. Typically, a serving size for females should be around 3 ounces and males around 5 ounces. Focus on eating lean meats such as turkey and chicken, eat more fish, and limit red meat to 1-2 times per week.


Taste The Rainbow!

Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can! Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals that our bodies require to function daily. Try to eat a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables of all colors; literally taste the rainbow! Avoid dried fruits as much as possible (especially those with added sugars) and pair fruit with a protein or fat such as nuts or cheese to slow the digestion process down.


It’s All About Balance!

Remember when I mentioned that weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% gym? This 80/20 rule also applies to lifestyle. Make mindful, health-conscious decisions 80% of the time and live it up for the rest! Life is meant to be enjoyed! Have that piece of cake on your birthday, drink that glass of rosé wine (or three!), enjoy a hot dog at the Padres game! Just be aware of those choices and be ready to get back to proper nutrition and exercise the following day.

Need more guidance and motivation to start your healthier diet? Contact Iron Orr Fitness!


Let’s work together towards healthier eating, a healthier lifestyle, and a healthier you!

Jump Higher, Run Faster: Phase 1


If you want to accelerate quickly, jump higher, run faster, or build explosive power and speed, the regular gym routine just won’t cut it. To fully tap into your athletic potential, all your muscles must be trained to fire quickly and in harmony.Check out the first the first blog of this series or start the book Jump Attack by Tim S. Grover for more context before starting phase 1; these will give you the information you need to understand where FIRE fits into the workout plan and to the blog series as a whole. But if you’re ready to get started TODAY, read through this post to understand the 3 goals of Phase 1, FIRE. At the end you’ll find the first workout plan!


Ready to get started?! Let’s JUMP into Phase 1


Or, go straight to the workout plan→


During the first phase, you will be preparing your muscles to fire during athletic movements AND they will feel like they are on fire because you will be performing a lot of “holds” (starting to get where the name of this phase comes from?).

During the 3 weeks of this phase, because of the structure of the plan you will be elongating your muscles and teaching them to fire in the correct sequence. It also prepares your ligaments and tendons for high-impact exercise, which will be in the next 2 phases. These exercises prepare you to jump properly, with your WHOLE body and with power and balance.

The reason these exercises are so effective at building explosive power compared to your regular gym routine is because they are performed in a very specific sequence, which must be followed in order! Each sequence has 3 parts:

1)a pre-exhaustion move to fatigue certain muscles and loosen the hips
2)a combination of different muscular contractions and plyometric moves and,
3)a stretch

No matter what, DO NOT skip any of these phases, or any of the exercises in each phase. While one may look cooler or more fun than the other, or it may seem tedious to do some of the exercises, each phase/exercise is in a specific order so

A)you do not hurt yourself
B)you get the maximum benefit from the plan and,
C)you work WITH your body instead of AGAINST it



Just remember as you go through this, if you skip anything you will not get the results you want. To target certain muscles, it is better to isolate them by pre-exhausting them, so they must work harder during the exercises that follow. For example, after sitting for a long time (aka a day at work) it’s hard to activate the glutes and work them for explosiveness, so we will pre-exhaust those first. By pre-exhausting the glutes, you will be able to activate them during the exercises and the primary muscles of the jump (quads/hamstrings) will work even harder during the exercises.

The now activated glutes will also be working to full capacity during the exercise, as opposed to an underactive glute which will not get the full benefit from the workout. Since explosive glutes are crucial to athletic movements, you will be doing exercises that isolate them before almost every sequence. Get used to doing a lot of glute bridges and fire hydrants! After your 1000th glute bridge in this phase, you’re probably going to ask, “why another one?” The reason is simple; it strengthens your glutes and loosens your hips. Every time you jump or run, your hip flexors tighten up. Guess what else tightens hip flexors? Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. Doing all these exercises will continue to keep your hips flexible and explosive.


Combination Exercises

After the pre-exhausting, you will notice almost every sequence has a combination of 2 specific exercises, one using weights and one using jumps. They are in a combination because together they train your muscles to get stronger, and they teach your muscles what they’re getting stronger for. For example, when you just squat what do you train your body to get better at? Squatting! When you pair a squat with a plyometric exercise, the muscles you just trained also learn what they’re supposed to do.

This will also teach your body to make not just 1 big vertical jump, instead it teaches your body to make multiple explosive jumps in any direction at any time. It helps remove the “thud” from your landings, and instead helps your jumps be more like a bouncy ball where you can rebound immediately every time. Just remember that EVERY muscle in your body is important to achieve this, not just your leg muscles.



The sequence will then finish with a stretch. According to Grover, each stretch should be held for 1 rep of 30 seconds. I have found great results from holding each stretch for 5 second intervals, with short pauses in between, all the way up to 30 seconds. The stretch works to help your muscles further elongate, which in turn helps them behave like nice, long rubber bands.

We want to make your muscles behave like long rubber bands because it will allow them to create much more explosive movements! Think about when you snap a rubber band. If you only pull it a little bit (or short) you will get a small snap. If you pull it far (or long) you will get a loud, big snap. Long muscles create a big explosive movement, whereas short muscles create a smaller, less explosive movement.


Below are listed JUST 1 of the 5 sequences of the FIRE phase, as well as the Total Body workout. The 5 sequences/Total Body workout are done for 3 weeks, with 4 workout days per week. Sequences 1-5 are completed Monday/Thursday, the Total Body workout Tuesday/Friday. Wednesdays and weekends are rest/recovery days. When I have done this workout plan, I have taken Wednesday as a rest/recovery day but did some sort of easy cardio on the weekend (beach run with dog, short hike, walk, etc.).

I advise seeking professional advice before starting this plan from a trainer or strength coach, where you will learn what you should be looking for and feeling throughout each exercise. Even if you get the book, that doesn’t give you the knowledge to know if you’re doing everything right. Your trainer will also be able to advise if you should be resting for all rest days in the plan or getting in an extra workout on the weekend. Let me know if you get the book Jump Attack next time you’re at Iron Orr Fitness and I will be more than happy to help you with a few of the sequences! Keep an eye out for the next phase of the plan, FORCE in my next blog!

SEQUENCE 1 (Monday & Thursday)

Pre-exhaust circuit

perform first, do only 1 set

▢ Fire Hydrants 1 x 10 reps each
▢ Kickbacks 1 x 10 reps each
▢ Circles 1 x 10 reps each way

Combo 1

alternate sets of holds and pumps. The pumps are done immediately after the holds with minimal rest. Rest up to 2 minutes between sets. Repeat 3 times before stretch.

▢ Tiptoe Squat Hold x 3 sets
▢ Tiptoe Squat Pump x 3 sets

Week 1: 60 seconds hold, then 15 reps pump
Week 2: 90 seconds hold, then 10 reps pump
Week 3: 120 seconds hold, then 5 reps pump


Can be done in 1 set, or 6 sets of 5 seconds 

▢ Hip Flexor Stretch x 30 seconds

TOTAL BODY WORKOUT (Tuesday & Friday)

Note: The total body workouts are not done in sequences, just combos. No pre-exhaustion circuit or stretch after. Each combo is done for 3 sets.

Week 1 hold for 30 seconds. Week 2 hold for 60 seconds. Week 3 hold for 90 seconds.

Combo 1: 3 sets

▢ Push Up Hold
▢ Pull Up Hold

Combo 2: 3 sets

▢ Overhead Hold
▢ Bicep Hold

Combo 3: 3 sets

▢ Triceps Push Up Hold
▢ Frog Plank Hold

Combo 4: 3 sets

▢ Side Plank Hold

Remember, the entire program is comprised of 5 sequences, not just 1! Check out Jump Attack by Tim Grover or reach out to Mark by clicking his name below for the complete the program.


Ready to Start YOUR Fire Phase with a Professional Personal Trainer?

5 Healthy Tips You Can Actually Follow This Holiday Season!

Happy Holidays!!!

Tired of feeling restricted by holiday health and fitness tips?

Well guess what? These tips are actually doable and won’t restrict your fun!


With all of the parties, events, sugary treats and festive eats, this time of year can be difficult to stay on track with your health and fitness goals. I’m sure many of you are like “What should I do when I go to holiday parties?”, and feeling worried about it messing up your health and fitness goals. All of us should indulge in some festive holiday cheer (it’s time to celebrate, after all!), but it’s important to be mindful of your food and drink choices and keep exercise as a top priority. Here are a few reasonable healthy tips (that you can actually do!) to guide you through the holiday season. Enjoy yourself, have fun, and still feel guilt-free the next day!

If You’re Not Eating, You’re Cheating (Yourself)!

Don’t skip meals!! It’s a common mistake to skip breakfast and lunch to so that we can have a huge dinner. This leads to overeating and can create feelings of guilt for eating so much at one time. Instead, eat a couple small healthy meals throughout your day to keep metabolism spiked before your big dinner. That way you’ll end up eating less than if you starved all day, while still enjoying the meal just as much! (and feeling less “hangry” throughout the day)

Pick up a New Boyfriend, Not Another Cookie!

If you’re at a party with a big table of food, stand across the room away from the food table so you aren’t tempted to mindlessly snack while socializing. Then only go to the table of food when you consciously want some! (expert-tip: use small plates for both appetizers and main courses to mentally cut down on portion sizes.)

When it Comes to Getting Boozy, be Choosy!

If you don’t really love sugar cookies or eggnog, why are you drinking eggnog and eating cookies at the party?! Just because something is in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat or drink it. Only have it if you truly like it! Also try to avoid high calorie/high sugar holiday cocktails. Instead, opt for a vodka soda or a glass of champagne with a few raspberries. (to turn it up a notch: switch up each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to help mitigate a hangover the next day!)

Burn It to Earn It!

Make exercise a priority every day. Stay on top of your workout plan and make sure to push yourself extra hard the day of or the day after a big event. It’s more fun to indulge when you’ve already put in your work for the day!

Okay, so maybe you can’t hit the gym as hard as you’d like, or maybe you don’t even have access to a gym, no problem!Get in quick workout without any equipment by making your own circuit with 3-5 exercises. Too full to move around that much? Get in a 30 minute walk sometime during the day. You don’t even need to walk briskly, just get moving!

Get Elfed Up and Enjoy Yourself

This time of year is meant for parties, family, and fun. Indulge a little and enjoy your holidays! Just keep your goals in mind and stay on plan as best as you can. Don’t guilt yourself if you overeat or have a few too many cocktails, a little bit of indulgence every once and a while is good for the soul. Just keep moving forward towards a better and healthier you!

How will you follow these tips this holiday season? Give them a try and let us know how it goes! Start building momentum going into 2019 towards your healthiest, fittest, and happiest year ever. If you have any questions about planning your holidays or anything else to help you become your best, reach out today!

These results are ridiculous!! 🙌 Check out our latest Client of the Week, LiHao. Over a steady and consistent 9 months, LiHao has:

  • 🔻LOST 28LBS!🔻
  • ✓ SQUAT PR: 275×4🏋️‍♂️
  • ✓ BENCH PR: 165×4💪
  • ✓ and can do a 1-minute plank with 45lbs on his back!

Consistency is key!🔑 Amazing results don’t happen overnight, but if by most every night you’ve done something that day to work towards your goal, then the amazing results will come. And by building muscle while losing fat, LiHao is setting himself up for lasting results!
💬A few words from his trainer Chelsey: “LiHao is an incredibly hard worker who is always ready to push new limits. He comes to the gym ready to workout every day and follows through with off day workouts and his nutrition plan. He is a fantastic client to train!”

One of the most critical parts of your success in the gym happens before you even pick up a weight. The “warm up” is an age old debate that has been around since Arnold Schwarzenegger was a baby, so why are people still unclear of the benefits? Why is warming up important and what is the proper way to prep your body for your workout? Letʼs break it down so you can enlighten your friends next time they walk into the gym to start lifting without any prep.

The Warm Up Break Down:

  • 1. Injury Prevention
  • 2. Optimal Performance
  • 3. Mental Preparation
  • 4. How do I warm up?

1. Injury Prevention

The #1 secret to getting in shape is being able to stay consistent in the gym. For this reason, you MUST stay healthy in order to get results. This is why the warm up is so important and should never be overlooked before your workout.

In the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, various studies indicate that “The potential for reduced injury rates may be greater if the type of warm-up relates directly to the activity subsequently undertaken, and where the participants are of similar ages. The warm-up should be sport-/activity-specific and tailored to the age of your client/group.”

Out of the hundreds and thousands of experiments done through the years, one common denominator reigns true:a warm up can significantly reduce your change of being injured. All it takes is 10 minutes prior to your workout to prep your body for optimal performance and injury prevention. Donʼt be that guy/girl who comes in the gym and immediately starts benching 225lbs. Take the time to get your body ready and keep yourself safe. Remember that you are developing habits. You want to develop the correct habits, and warming up before exercise is a habit that is paramount to the success of your goals!.

2. Optimal Performance

Not only does a warm up prevent physical injury in the gym, it also increases your physical performance. Whether you are sitting in a chair or lying in bed, your body is sending only about 20% of blood flow to your skeletal system. Most of the small blood vessels in those muscles are closed, leaving your body in a “relaxed” state. However, with just 10 minutes of total body exercise, blood flow to those muscles increases to about 75%. That means that your body is now “awake” and will increase in temperature as well as release oxygen more readily. All this scientific talk boils down to one critical detail: more blood & oxygen to your working muscles means better overall performance.

3. Mental Preparation

Another great benefit to a proper warm up is the mental maintenance you can perform on yourself. Getting to the gym is not always easy, and thinking about what you may need to focus on is even harder. For this reason, a 10 minute warm up gives you time to decompress from your day and switch gears to prepare for your workout. If you do not focus on what you need to accomplish in the gym BEFORE you start your workout, your physical performance will be limited. Use this 10 minute period before you start working out to prepare yourself with a Champion Mindset.

4. How do I warm up?

Warming up does not have to be a complex routine. It can be as easy as walking on the treadmill, dynamic stretching, or even hopping on the stair master. The main task you are trying to accomplish in warming up is waking up your body.

Getting primed for your workout is all about increasing blood flow and oxygen to your muscles. Donʼt stress yourself out with needing the perfect warm up. The main takeaway from all of this is simple: invest the time before your workout to optimize your performance and keep you safe during your workout.

If you are ready to dive in to the art of the warm up, check out our other blogs or try Mark’s Dynamic Warm-up to get an in depth look at preparing different body parts. Even if itʼs just walking on the treadmill, take the time to invest in your body before you train it. If you have any questions or want some warm up tips, leave a comment below!

How to Get Motivated for the Gym and Your Workouts

What is motivation?

Why am I not motivated?

How do I get motivated?

Perhaps you’ve tried to start, or stick with a workout program only to find you lacked motivation. You may have even blamed yourself or wondered what was wrong with you; other people seem motivated! You see other people in the gym exercising hard. They look happy. They seem to be highly motivated. You’ve probably even heard people saying how much they love their workouts and how they feel bad when they miss a workout…. Still you wonder why you don’t have more of that.

What Motivation Really Is

One issue could be what you think motivation means; what it is. Are you expecting to be overcome by some great desire to exercise? Let’s redefine the word; redirect your expectations. Rarely, if ever, does that happen. It is a mistake to wait for a feeling of motivation. Real motivation is not a feeling. It is a mindset. You first decide what it is you’re going to do and then you honor that commitment to yourself. This may seem discouraging but it should not be. What this means is you are in control of your motivation. It is not some magical elusive rainbow unicorn that comes along to grace the path of those lucky motivated few, but not you. The good news is you have all the power!

Why Don’t I Feel Motivated?

If you think you do not have the power to act motivated, I suggest you’re wrong. Think about some other commitments you keep in your life. When you’re supposed to go to work or school, do you wait until you feel motivated? Or do you just go because you decided ahead of time to do it and didn’t stop to ask yourself if you want to go at the moment? This holds true for many activities in life, both important and insignificant. Most of the time when you take a shower, you don’t ponder the urge to do so. No! You just believe it is a good idea that will benefit you (and others), so you just do it. The same should be true with your workouts! Don’t ask yourself IF you really want to; if the mood has stricken; or if you are “motivated.” Just go do it!

More good news — 

Very often, once you start, that feeling you were waiting for will arise. That’s right, the feeling of motivation more often FOLLOWS action rather than preceding it!

How Do I Get Motivated?

Even more good news! There are measures you can take to ensure you follow through with the commitment you’ve made to yourself and get that workout in. Establishing a pre-workout routine can be enormously helpful. Consider taking a pre-workout supplement. These products come in a variety of categories with different benefits. Some are designed to minimize muscle loss while enhancing fat loss. Others optimize muscle gain. Many increase energy. The degree to which they improve the actual physical results of your workout will vary and may be debatable. One attribute they all share which is undeniable is they increase the likelihood of the subject (that’s you) completing the task at hand (getting in the gym and getting that workout done). It is easy enough to take that supplement and, once taken, you are not going to want its benefit to go to waste. The supplement is only going to work if you do the workout, therefore, you will be far more likely to follow through with your workout.

“The feeling of motivation more often follows, rather than proceeds action.”

Another helpful measure you can take is to make an appointment for your workout. Put it in your schedule like you would any other important event. An appointment adds accountability and increases the follow-through rate. This result is amplified if you make the appointment with another person. This person can be a friend or a professional. When selecting a friend to be your workout partner, choose someone who will pull you up rather than drag you down. Ideally your workout partner will be highly reliable and consistently positive. S/he will encourage you without expecting too much in return (remember, you are seeking help with your motivation, you may not have a ton to give in this arena).

It may be difficult to find an ideal workout partner in a friend; that is when a personal trainer will be valuable. Not only can the trainer be your external driving force making sure you get your workout in, s/he will have knowledge and experience to maximize said workout. The trainer will take on the responsibility of planning the best workout for you and encouraging you to finish it stronger than you otherwise would. A good trainer has conquered the questions of motivation and will have more tips, tricks, stories, and hacks to share with you!

So now you know, motivation is about actions taken regardless of the momentary feelings. Go out there and take the actions, do the behaviors, use the tools of a motivated individual. Before you know it, you may catch yourself FEELING motivated!

Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful things a woman can experience, and sometimes it comes with a little sacrifice. We sacrifice our body for our bundle of joy, but this should not keep us from staying healthy and getting our body (and abs) back! When I had my first child I realized being active and healthy during my pregnancy was extremely important, but I failed to do so.

I learned my lesson, educated myself, and worked hard to stay in shape during my second pregnancy and postpartum. Now that a few years have passed, I am a mom of two, going to school to get my master’s degree in Kinesiology Sports Management, and am a full time personal trainer; but I still find the time to get in great workouts, stay in shape, and actually have abs! I know you can do the same too, no matter the unique challenges you face!

At the end of this post I share the 4 great core exercises I did during pregnancy to help keep my core strong.

Click here to go straight to the core exercises

The key to being active and staying healthy in the midst of challenge is to first fully understand the obstacles you will face. Going into my second pregnancy, I knew it would be hard for me to get in shape and that there would be times where felt tired and exhausted. But because I knew what I was up against, I was able to research my options and plan my workouts around these obstacles. When things get tough it’s much easier to stick to a plan that you’ve already made, rather than trying to make commitments and decisions when you’re under pressure and stress. Get the planning out of the way first, so that all you have to do later is follow through!

What are your obstacles? Is it a busy or inconsistent schedule? Do you feel tired and drained after work? Are you unsure of what to do in the gym, or not motivated to come in the first place? We all have our own unique challenges, and that’s okay! From my own experience of getting my abs back after pregnancy, as well as working with a wide range of clients as a personal trainer, I’m confident that everyone – yes everyone (including you!) can do something right now to start the journey to achieving your goals. Whether you want to look & feel better, lose weight, gain muscle & strength, lift up your mental health, or become healthy enough to freely do the things you love, the right fitness and nutrition program can absolutely be a powerful influence in taking control of your life!

So now what? Let’s get things rolling! I’ll show you how I worked through one of my problems, & I hope you can do the same. If not, come on in to the gym and let us help you work out your obstacles and see how we can help you have your best workouts!

After I had my son I found myself overweight and realized I could no longer eat whatever I wanted; I was putting myself at risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. I knew I had to exercise, make lifestyle changes, and form better habits. And as if that wasn’t enough, pregnancy can also lead to diastasis recti – a huge challenge to overcome if I wanted to get abs after my baby!

 This is condition that can happen during pregnancy from a growing uterus pressing against the abdominal muscles, causing them to separate and lose their shape. Factors such as poor core strength, multiple pregnancies, and women over the age of 35 increase the chance of getting diastasis recti. Thankfully this opening shrinks down over a period of time, but may take over a year depending on the individual’s core strength and activity level. This is one reason why women might find it hard to get their core strength back once they have a child. Still, my goal was to have abs after pregnancy!

One way to decrease the chances of getting diastasis recti and get abs postpartum is to perform safe core workouts during pregnancy and continuing those exercises after. There are a lot of excellent core exercises, but while pregnant a growing mother should be very careful to only perform exercises that are safe and effective. Specific exercises we want to avoid are traditional, oblique, ball sit-ups, bicycles, even abdominal machines. These exercises can also increase the chance of getting diastasis recti or make it worse!

*Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.

Here are four core exercises that worked great for me during each trimester of my second pregnancy:

Kneeling Knee Reach

Standing Side Crunch

Bird Dog

Side Plank

It is very important for everyone to be active and healthy and this includes pregnant women! As a personal trainer and a mother two I am here to tell you, yes you can get ABS AFTER BABY and yes you can overcome your obstacles, I did!So ask how we can help you stay in shape and take control of your life once and for all!

Take the First Step. Let’s Achieve Your Goals!

With the abundance of workout programs online, it is easy to get confused trying to choose the ideal program for YOU and your needs. Depending on the desired goal in mind, we can narrow down the scope of programs. Today, I’m going to give a little insight on program design for anyone who is an athlete looking to increase their strength, balance, and functionality both in-season and off-season to majorly step up YOUR game.

Here’s what we’ll be discussing today:

  • 1. Why you shouldn’t be following bodybuilding programs if you’re an athlete
  • 2. How training changes in-season
  • 3. How does this translate to my performance on the field?

I Play Football and Today I’m Hitting Arms

For anyone who’s ever played football, you know hitting biceps with the bros isn’t going to help you score touchdowns.It’s the heavy compound movements like Squats, Cleans, and Multi-jointed presses coupled with sprints, footwork training, and other explosive movements that will give you the competitive advantage for your sport. The problem with isolation movements such as bicep curls and leg extensions is that these movements are never replicated on the field/court.

While playing sports, you work in all three planes of movement – frontal, sagittal, and transverse. However, most exercises we find in the gym are performed only in the sagittal plane. The frontal plane (side to side) and the transverse plane (rotation) need to be trained just as much, if not more, than the sagittal plane (front to back). This is because in most sports we’re running side to side, twisting, using one arm or one leg predominantly, etc. For these reasons, it’s very important to choose our exercises wisely in the gym if we’re trying to improve our athletic performance.

The staple exercises would be the ones I mentioned above, and some accessory exercises would include the Split Squat, Kettle Bell Swing, 1 arm Dumbbell Press (Chest and Over-head), Man Makers, Barbell Bear Complex, Sledgehammer w/tire, Tire Flips, Side Step Ups, Lunge w/ twist, etc. There are many more to add to your regime depending on your sport/strength level as well as your particular weaknesses.

Here’s some examples of exercises in all three planes that you can start incorporating into your next workout:

Split Squats (sagittal plane)


Renegade Rows (Sagittal + some transverse)


Bear Complex (sagittal)

Check Out Matthew’s Video on the Bear Complex!

Pushup to Tire Flip


Side Step-Up Lunges (frontal)


Jump Step Ups (Sagittal)


Oblique Ball Toss (transverse)


One Arm Overhead Lunge (sagittal and frontal)


One Arm Kettlebell Swings (sagittal and transverse)


Practice Kills Me, I Can’t Keep Training Like This!

You’re not supposed to keep training like this! Training is strictly supplementary to your sport while in-season and should not be something that ends up decreasing your athletic performance. Most athletes will have a rigorous off-season training regime that will increase their strength and performance, followed by a tapered training regime that is very sport specific and meant for maintenance.

If an athlete tries to continually increase strength throughout the season, a few things can happen. First, this could lead to injury🤕 which would obviously impair the ability to perform at his/her sport to the highest level. Second, your training during the off-season is most likely not paired with anything else. This means once you add on team practice to it, you are simply failing to account that your body can’t take this added exertion.

Lastly, focus on your sport above all else! Put the decreased amount hours in the gym to the best use by focusing on movements you really need. So for example; even if your bench isn’t quite what you hoped it was when you started lacrosse season, now you need to shift your focus and put more time into keeping your shoulders healthy and mobilized with low weight, functional movements. As an athlete, you win by because you’re the best at your sport – raw strength needs to be balanced with functional performance and skill.

Why Does This Matter?

Just to hammer🔨 the concept into your mind again, the movements used in your particular sport are going to be improved in the gym only IF you replicate these movements in the gym. There’s a reason baseball players are told to train their legs, back, and core; it’s because that’s what they use on the field! A baseball won’t be hit any further if you train your biceps, but if you train your back and core in fast, heavy, rotational movements, that ball will fly every time.⚾️⚾️⚾️

In order to optimize our athletic performance, we need to perform movements in the gym that are mimicking what what we do on the field/court. We also need to understand that increasing our strength in certain movements shouldn’t take up more focus than staying in the game injury-free. Your isolated Bi’s&Tri’s workout may give you a glorious arm pump, but raising the 1st place trophy over your head gives you a glory that lasts much longer.🏆


Pro-tip: Want to know what you can have in common with all the top professional athletes in football, baseball, basketball, or any other sport? Work with a personal trainer! Every single professional athlete works with a personal trainer to bring out the most in their athletic capability. Are you ready to take your game to the next level?

Let’s cut to the chase: for sustainable weight loss, diets simply do not work! Fad diets such as the South Beach, Atkins, or even the newer trend of intermittent fasting promise rapid weight loss, and as tempting as they may sound, are actually more harmful than you think.

Have you ever tried an intense and restrictive diet — and successfully hit your weight loss goals? If so, you’re familiar with the inevitable weight re-gain that typically occurs when you go back to your normal eating habits. Not only do you gain weight back, but you may even end up weighing more than before. After the weight regain occurs, intense feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem can arise, which eventually will lead to another attempt at a diet. This repetitive unhealthy cycle is called yo-yo dieting.

The effects of yo-yo dieting can hurt us both physically and mentally, and can slow down the process of maintainable, healthy weight loss. Yo-yo dieting can also mess with your metabolism, which can make it that much harder to shed pounds at the beginning of your next diet plan. So if dieting isn’t the magical answer to healthy and sustainable weight loss, what is? No, it isn’t magical unicorn fat burning fairy dust! It’s a practice called intuitive eating.

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to building a healthy relationship with food. Get rid of the mentality that there are good and bad foods; get rid of the diet mentality! There are simply certain foods that are more nutritious for our health — and foods that aren’t as nutrient-dense.

Accepting this concept is a very important component for weight loss. Guilt-driven behaviors, like labeling food as “bad”, can lead to binge eating, feelings of shamefulness and negativity, or other self-destructive behavior. Understanding the importance of giving our body the nutrients it needs is necessary for weight loss success. Having a piece of chocolate cake while trying to lose weight won’t completely throw you off your plan; don’t let it discourage you or make you give up. Simply acknowledge what it is you are putting into your body, enjoy it, and be ready to work that much harder the very next day.

Another main principle of intuitive eating is becoming more aware of what your body is telling you. Get to learn your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Eating intuitively means eating only when you are truly hungry and stopping when you feel satisfied. All of us are guilty of eating out of boredom, sadness, or otherwise. All of us have overindulged. Beginning to acknowledge your body signals and eating only when you really need to will, over time, help you curb your emotional eating habits. Taking the first steps to listening to your body and becoming more aware of what you’re putting into your body is essential to weight loss.

Iron Orr Fitness can help you get rid of the diet mentality and create a sustainable, non-restrictive nutrition plan that will allow you to enjoy life while still losing weight. Life is meant to be enjoyed and diets are the furthest thing from fun! So, let’s make it fun! We can teach you how to transition from the diet mentality to intuitive eating, and more importantly, make it a life-long habit. We’re here to help you, so send us a text today and let’s start the process of intuitive eating!!!

Take the First Step. Let’s Achieve Your Goals!