Sunday, May 31, 2009


I have not been able to talk about this yet, although I blogged on the day it happened. My sister called me with a crack in her voice on Thursday and asked if would pick her son up from school and take care of him for a while. Her dog was sick and she at the vet. I was just leaving work and on my way to the school. By the time I picked up my nephew and my own 2 daughters from school and daycare my phone rang again. I had a car full of kids in my driveway and a sobbing sister on the other end of the phone, she was just informed they will have to put her dog down, suddenly. I stepped out of the car and asked if she wanted me to tell my 8 year old nephew what was going on, should I bring him to the vet for one last visit? She said, "ask him". So I got back into the car full of kids and explained to all of them, directed at my nephew, that your dog is very sick and she is going to be put to sleep forever today. He wanted to go see her to say goodbye. We all made the trip to the vet. Kasia wanted to stay in the car at first because she was scared. I took Ava and my nephew in to see the Bree, the black and white springer spaniel. I left Johnathon with my sister and their dog as I went to check on Kasia, and told the kids I would get them some treats at the store. We went back to the vet again, I picked up 2 bottles of wine as well on the way, foreseeing a long night. I saw my sister who was numb and could not speak, she was waiting for her husband to arrive at rush hour in Toronto. I sugared the kids up in the waiting room with my treats and I went in to see Bree for one last time. It was a family gathering, I offered to take my nephew home and get dinner prepared for everyone (wine included), that was our plan. He put on a brave face and said he wanted to stay to be with his mom. I packed up my girls and we headed home thinking of what they were going through for the next hour. Kasia did go in to say goodbye to Bree and all weekend I have been explaining what death is to her. She asks a question about it then as soon as I answer she's on to the next subject. The reality is this will be us someday putting our family pet to sleep and dealing with death again. The children have lost a grandmother recently but never really understood as they were not in contact with her on a daily or weekly basis. This is really for all of them my two nephews 8 and 1, and my two daughters 3 and 1 their first experience of death.

We have been gathering all weekend to support my sister and her family. It has been an emotional time, losing a family member and trying to kept the stress of it all at a minimum for the children's sake. Answering questions about death, explaining loss, trying to teach Kasia to be conscious of Johnathon's needs and emotions and let him cry, supporting the blank stare on his face when we bring up the dogs name with a hug. As for my sister this will is another story, Bree was her "ROCK". As a sole proprietor she does not always have people to turn to, to feel supported in business and the daily grind of being a working mom, but she always had Bree.

As for the trickle down affect, I am emotionally exhausted. Bree was our inspiration for getting our brown and white springer spaniel, Sammy. I took Sammy to bootcamp this weekend with me and just appreciated having her by my side.

Mike has taken the girls to the park so I could do a workout and have some down time. He needed to do this after giving my one nights notice he was travelling.

My busy mom workout- 10 Shoulder stabilization exercises, modified pullups, bent over rows, kettlebell windmill, ab rollouts, prone jackknife, band resisted lunges in all directions. I needed to perform rehabilitative type exercise today for maintenance and help me deal with my tightened muscles from the stress of the week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's Your Favourite Exercise?

Busy mom fitness is tired. Today I took the day off intense exercise. I did a few shoulder stabilizers and abdominal exercises. I had 2 very intense max strength workouts the past 2 weeks and my body is tired. I will focus on metabolic training and mom fat loss more next week.

Today I have a question for all of you. What is your favourite exercise? It may be a love/hate relationship- meaning you love the results but hate the work. It may be your favourite form of exercise for stress relief. Weightlifting, dancing, yoga it's all fair game, just let me know.

My favourite type of exercise is weight lifting in a superset format. My favourite exercise right now is a combination barbell move that has a quicker learning curve than other barbell combinations. It is the full front barbell squat up to a overhead barbell pushpress (explosive shoulder press). You can perform this with dumbells as well. It is a total body combination and it is 2 exercises in one a squat and a shoulder press. This is a time efficient move. Give it a try, hold your dumbells shoulder level with your palms facing forward, perform a full range squat, explode out of the bottom of your squat and when you almost get to standing press the weights overhead. our body should be in full extension at the knees, hips and shoulders at the top of this move.

Let me know your favourite exercise, be specific if you want.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bootcamp and the Wanna Be Soccer Mom

Well my boot camp program started this weekend and the mixed group of athletes came ready to perform. Like true competitors the JFits wanted to challenge a group of women doing their boot camp, (looked like a group of moms to me) that were working out in the same park. I was thinking in my mind "good luck". The other group were definitely not doing advanced exercise like the athletes, but I know any mom would persevere until she dropped. Moms have been through the toughest workout on the market- LABOUR.

My daughter was my little helper at the boot camp, or more or less. She sat in the sled and drank Gatorade with the towels over her. I'll take it. We have signed her up for organized soccer and she freaked out with fear the first night and darted off after lashing out at the coach and players. Tonight she did not want to go. I will keep asking every week. Any advice needed, please??? I want to be a soccer mom. She didn't run away from Dora, damn that Dora the Explorer-she wins again.

One the weekend I performed a Tabata workout, yesterday I performed a circuit workout and today my busy mom fat loss workout was strength.
Today's Busy Mom Fitness program- full front barbell squat with front chop superset 2x, barbell cleans and push press superset. Then onto some traditional work- dumbbell bent over row with incline dumbbell press superset 2x, seated heavy shoulder press with lateral raise pullback superset. I ended my busy mom fitness routine with a core training circuit of ball rollout, mountain climbers off ball and elevated toe taps.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


So I have gotten some questions and feedback about the "FREE MOTHERS DAY" busy mom fitness program that many of you are following right now. Please read this email I received and I will methodically answer this moms questions regarding the "FREE MOTHERS DAY" busy mom fitness program. Please send in comments and questions, I will answer each of you individually, and chances are if you have a question about something another mom is thinking it as well. Help our growing community.

Denise writes:

Overall, the whole week was great. The descriptions with pictures were good.........there's really only one exercise that I'm not sure I'm doing right (the waiter's would I know if I was doing it correctly? How is it supposed to feel? After doing day 1 twice, I'm still not sure how it's supposed to feel) Other than that, everything else was clear.

Day 1 is probably the easiest day for me. I even did 3 reps instead of 2 this week because I just felt like I could. So either my muscles are starting to remember that I used to be strong, or I'm seeing results after one week already.

Day 2 I felt the best after. I like doing the 6 exercises without a rest, it really gets your heart pumping and works up a sweat. It's my favourite day.

I found day 3 and 4 the most challenging. I think that my stability ball might be the wrong size for me (how do you know what size is good? Does it go by height?) so maybe that's why I feel like this is harder. But even though I find these days the hardest, it feels like a real accomplishment when I finish.

I hope your kids are feeling better today.

I forgot to say this in my last email, but I thought you would find it funny. Last week I couldn't find my step that I have to use for the steps ups in day 2 so I used what was handy.....Leah's potty! She has a potty that has a lid that flips down to make a stool for her to stand on. Only a mom would understand!

Wow Denise, great questions/comments. This is a mother with 2 young children at home who is taking action, with what ever she finds around the house. Keep it up.

The Waiters Bow- this is a traditional Romanian Deadlift exercise, the name has been momified as many people are not familiar with barbell training terms. Description of exercise- bend at your knees slightly and hinge forward at your hip joint while bracing your abdominals. You want to think of pushing your butt back as you bend forward until you feel a small stretch in your hamstrings (back of legs). Keep you collar bone high and do not round your upper back, slightly squeeze your shoulder blades together to prevent this. You should only have to bend to about 90 degrees to get a stretch in you hamstrings, remember to push back through your heels and into your buttocks this will help. When you feel the stretch extend at your hip joint fully, squeeze your buttocks at the top of the motion to ensure full hip extension.(rising out of your lift to standing)

The Waiters Bow exercise- you should feel a small stretch in your hamstrings. It is a strengthening exercise mainly for your hamstrings, then gluts and entire posterior chain. This motion is key for many mom fat burning exercises such as the front chop, weighted deadlift, 1 legged reach. Please master this motion.

Denise as for your comment on muscle memory or results, this early in the game it is most likely muscle memory. You will feel results after about 2 weeks, and see results after about 6-8 weeks. You may go through a period of adjustment after about 6-10 weeks somewhere in there when you feel tired, this is normal and persevere. If it lasts more than 1 week you may just be exhausted, but you should snap out of it as your body is changing.

Day 2 was Denise's favourite and I will tell you why. This is a circuit day that gets your heart pumping. Women are built for cardio success, we have the ability to adapt to cardiovascular training quicker than men do because we do not have as much muscle tissue to pump blood to, also most women have probably done a tonne of cardio work before as well. You are always drawn to what you are most successful at. Onto the next point, Day 3 and 4 were difficult. One of these days is a stability day and moms abdominals have been compromised during pregnancy- time to get them back into shape with some hard work. The other one of these days is a strength day, women have to work extremely hard to build lean muscle tissue and are most likely not used to this type of training. Key points here- you need to do what you are not successful at. If you only have 3 days to commit to working out, pick the 3 hardest days for you personally from the program, don't just do your favourites.

Stability ball size. The majority of women are between 5"2-5"6 so you can use a 55cm ball, There is a guide on the side of the box. I use a 65cm ball as I am 5"8 and mostly legs. A great test is sit on your ball and your hip and knee joints should bend 90 degrees each. This being said the exercises in this program are not specific for any size ball, you can get away with using the standard 55 or 65 cm ball for these exercises. Inflation will obviously make the ball bigger and they can take a lot. If the ball is slightly deflated some on the exercises will be more challenging as this will provide more resistance.

I hope this response has helped Denise and any other mothers with questions.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It has been a long haul this week, my husband was away since last Thursday and finally on the day he is to return, the girls woke up sick. A long week of work and parenting on my own, I was so looking forward to taking them to Riverdale Farms for the day and enjoying. I woke at 6:50am by the first culprit and by 7:45am I was staring at the clock, counting down the hours until my husband gets home (only 12 more to go at this point). He phoned from the airport in Germany to tell me he has left his immagration card at home so he may be delayed or I may have to bring it to him to get through customs. My reponse- don't get thrown in the clinck, be home by noon tommorrow, I am going to the spa for my mothers day present.

The spa was great I had a massage and facial, I lapped up every bit of pampering I could. I go to a spa about 1x/year and I can count on one hand how many times I have had a facial. I have to do this more often, figure out a way to get away and take care of myself.

I did one workout over the weekend as I still feel the effects of my chest infection, that the girls both have now. In our neigbouhood childrens allergies are getting it into their chest and it is turning into a respiratory flu.

My Busy Mom Workout for the burnt out mom. I performed a Tabata interval workout and used 2 exercises. The modified pullup and the full pushup. My next Tabata was weighted full squat with weighted reverse lunges. I performed some core work, ab wheel roll outs, plank reach, 3 position mountain climbers using the stability ball.

I still find the PUSH UP and the PULL UP the most effective exercises and I will never tire of them, probably because I feel I will never truley conquor them. They are an on going battle for me and for most women. I can take time off squats and return stronger, when I take time off push ups or pull ups my strength drops quickley, I try to perform a few each week even with under the weather.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

300 Workout- Abs Modified for a Mom

I was talking to some colleagues at work today and they mentioned they had done the 300 workout. This is an intense barbell circuit with some great fat burning lifts in it. The original came out about 2 years ago and there has been a few updates since. There is one move in particular that is great, but can definitely be improved for a new mom. The move is called the Windshield wiper and it is for your abdominals. It requires you to lay on the floor with and perform a reverse abdominal curl while holding and pressing a barbell above your chest. Side swipes are also involved which requires you to perform this same reverse curl move for obliques as you lift your legs out to the side of the barbell, then to the middle (traditional reverse curl) and then to the other side of the barbell.

I had first attempted this move after giving birth to my first child a few years ago. My pelvis and abs were not stable enough to perform oblique reverse curls without over rotation in my lumbar spine (anything over 15 degrees)leaving me prone to back pain. As well performing a double leg reverse curl crunch put too much pressure on my weak pelvic floor muscles and displaced bladder leaving me prone to stress incontinence. So how can we make this great exercise MOM FRIENDLY? Very easy, perform your barbell press with alternating 1 legged reverse leg curls (a more advanced version of the dead bug in your mothers day program). This allows you to work both sides of your abdominals independently without putting too much pressure on your bladder. This also stimulates one side of your obliques and hip flexors while you are still able to maintain neutral spine and almost no lumbar rotation as you can anchor your opposite hip to the floor. This is definitely a plus for new moms or any moms that have undergone abdominal stretching, pelvic instability and rectis diastasis. Please note this modification does not make the exercise any easier and probably even harder, but it is much safer after going through pregnancy and delivery.

For the beginner you can place one leg on the floor and just do opposite knee ins to chest between barbell or dumbbell chest presses, for slightly more advanced you can elevate both legs to with bent knees and pull one knee in further and for advanced you can elevate both legs with a straight leg and pull one leg at a time to the barbell while hovering the other leg just above ground level.
Again this is a great abdmoinal exercise without performing a single traditional crunch sit up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MOM WORKOUT- Immediate Stress Relief

So I keep getting Happy Mothers Day greetings days after the event. Obviously my daughter had been groomed to say this continually until the day fit.

Exciting things are happening in our house, well for the kids. We have a birds nest on our windowsill. The momma had layed 3 eggs that hatched today. We have three baby birds, a mother and a father that is always around bringing food to the nest as well. Kasia is over the moon, she checks on the birdies every 5 minutes, and I must admit I love it too. We are sharing time learning about the birds and just "watching" them.

Busy Mom Fitness
I completed a 2 circuit Tabata workout today again without a single crunch. My workout was very short, maybe a bit too short but I was feeling congestion in my chest and having no husband help this week I decided this was enough for me. I still felt the need to workout as a form of stress relief and craved that sense of accomplishment for myself. I bet if I didn't workout most days I would skim through life never completing anything for myself in the day. You can still pick up your free mothers day program at the bottom of the Tabata post

I made a great homemade pasta sauce yesterday during my prep day as organic cherry tomatoes were on sale this week. The girls love pasta, it's an easy meal for all of us.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I had a great mothers day, despite the fact my husband was away. I took the girls to their swim lesson with the help of Nana and Grandpa then we all headed out for brunch. Kasia did a mother day performance at her school on Thursday, where all the children danced and sang, she is 3. I had tears in my eyes as I videoed it, then she came over to me with a white rose afterwards. My nephews class was up next and I got a video of him as well. She continually peeped "happy mothers day" all weekend long.

This morning I met my best friend for coffee and she told me a typical funny mom story. She has a cat, a fat cat. Well the cat was losing weight so she took the cat to the vet fearing the worst- diabetes, kidney disease. 200$ later the tests showed nothing. A week later she noticed that the dial on the automatic cat food feeder had been tampered with and her cat was only getting half the portion of food he normally gets. Her toddler confessed. She now has a thin cat, a 200$ vet bill and a guilty toddler. This is the second "pet food" incident I have reported about in 2 weeks. Mothers, check your pets or pet food. (Kasia ate Sammy's food the other week and threw it up at school the next day)

I walked home after hearing this innocent story to perform my Busy Mom Fat Loss workout out on my back deck as my baby watched me. I only performed 10 exercises once through because I am just getting over a chest infection and a sleepless weekend of parenting on my own (as both girls were suffering this weekend as well).
Listening to my body I performed my Busy Mom Fitness workout- kettle ball swings 20x, side step kettle bell swings for lateral hip stabilizers, push ups, spider man pushups, step ups, 1 arm push press, full weighted front squat, x body mountain climber, bent over lunge row, squat high pull. I did not perform a single crunch, worked every single muscle in my body and spent about 10 minutes sweating it out. This was enough for me today to keep active.

I went inside and "PREPARED THE FRIDGE" for the week. This involves cutting up the fruits and vegetables so the kids have readily available snacks, making a pasta sauce, grating a brick of organic cheese for kid snacks and getting rid of anything that is starting to get a bit gross. We now have cut peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries and cheese for snacks.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Check out this video I got for mothers day, the funniest thing I have seen in a while. MOTHER OF THE YEAR.

Enjoy a laugh,


Don't forget to sign up for your free 4 week Mothers Day Fitness program at the end of last days post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tabata- Busy Mom Fat Loss

The Quickest Way to Busy Mom Fat Loss.

Moms have it hard enough without having to worry about losing that pregnancy body. Research indicates short burst high intensity resistance training is ideal for fat loss and proven to improve cardio vascular fitness. That’s right no need for cardio. I know ,I know you have heard it all before, there is a magical home fitness program for mom, but what exactly is it? Let me show you. The scientific name is metabolic acceleration training and it comes in many forms such as strength supersets, total body circuits and Tabata’s. What??

Metabolic Training- this type of training is short and nasty. You are most likely aware and/or using some form of metabolic training for fitness as it is conducive for our busy mom life style. The Tabata protocol is by far the superior form of metabolic training for maximum fat burning. Dr. Izumi Tabata is a Japanese researcher who published a study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports& Exercise in 1996. The conclusion of his study indicated 4 minutes of Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance exercise.

Metabolic training pushes the limits of your anaerobic system to get maximum fat burning results using the oxygen debt factor. The Tabata 4 minute interval is the superior form of metabolic training for fat burning, so this type of interval is the best of the best. The Tabata Interval requires 4 minutes maximal effort exercise done in a 20 seconds work/ 10 second rest interval. Nothing fancy is needed you can do an all squat Tabata meaning 20 seconds of squats rest 10 seconds and repeat 8x. Each 20 second work interval can yield approximately 15-18 squats if working to your maximum intensity.

How does this affect you as a busy mom? It just so happens that ideal fat burning exercise is short, 4-12 minutes short. Great news for you, because that is probably all the time you have to commit to a workout. You can manage short workouts while sleep deprived and under stress and still get results. Body weight exercises are more than sufficient, so workout anywhere, anytime. Intensity is the key factor for fitness, work to the best of your ability whether you are a beginner or advanced.
I hope this article has educated busy moms about Metabolic Acceleration Training and has inspired mom’s to exercise, even for 4 minutes.

I have designed a special Mothers Day Gift for all Busy Mom's which includes 4 different forms of metabolic training including the Tabata interval. This program has variety including strength supersets, total body circuits, Tabata’s and stability circuits to better your success.

To get a free 4 week BUSY MOM FITNESS program delivered to your inbox visit sign up below.

I would love to hear any comments about the program.

Jacqueline Gradish, BSc, CPT, Medical Exercise Specialist, Pre/Post Natal Specialist

Erica Ehm's Yummy Mummy Club

To all of the Yummy Mummy's I hope you enjoyed the Article this month regarding Metabolic Acceleration Training and the Tabata.

Like promised pick up your free 4 week Busy Mom Fitness Program by signing up below. From one mom to another, Stay Strong.

I would love to hear how you are doing using this program. Please comment and feel free to ask me any questions.



Monday, May 4, 2009

Fat Loss Workout for the Sleep Deprived Mom

I did forget to mentioned the most important mom feature of all (after a sleepless night myself) Working out while Sleep Deprived. Short workouts such as the ones provided as the FREE MOTHERS DAY GIFT for all Baby Bump Busy Moms are manageable to complete while sleep deprived without disrupting results. Please note if you can always perform 1 less circuit in the program and still achieve significant results if that is all you can manage due to lack of sleep. Workouts longer than 20 minutes while sleep deprived are counter productive and may lead to early onset of overuse injuries.

Once again enjoy, I have reformatted the program so it will arrive in one piece to your inbox immediately.

My Busy Mom Fat Loss workout today after a sleepless night was Day 1 of the free mothers day workout you can receive by signing up above.


Friday, May 1, 2009


Mothers day is fast approaching and I wanted to prepare a gift for all of you mothers. I have created a free BUSY MOM FAT LOSS Fitness program just for you. The program is 4 weeks long with 4 workouts per week. Workout charts and exercise photos and descriptions are all in there. Each workout should take approximately 20 minutes including warm up and stretching.

The 4 different workouts I use are segmented into STRENGTH, CIRCUTS, STABILITY BALL/CORE and METABOLIC exercise. You can complete them anywhere with minimal equipment.

All mothers should feel great on Mothers Day, so enjoy this gift and reclaim your body with these fun, exhilarating workouts.

So sign up on the form below to collect this mothers day bonus.

Please note this program is different from the free early post partum and beginner fat loss program I give away at the side of the blog. So here you go mom, you deserve another free gift.
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