Fitness Friday with Larisa

Today we have a great way to overcome the recent darkness in the mornings thanks to daylight savings time; flexibility training.  This mini sun salutation is the perfect way to energize your body: just 3 simple poses that will get your blood flowing and your body ready to conquer the day.


1. Extended  Mountain & Chest Stretch- Breath in and put your hands together over your head, exhale reach back, inhale and circle your arms down behind your back clasping your hands behind your back. Exhale and pull your hands down away from your body.

2. Down Dog- Get down on all fours, place your hands in front of your shoulders, keep your hips high, and your feet shoulder width apart.  Your body should now form an inverted V. Stay in this pose for 5 long breathes.  As you take each breathe, pull your belly towards your spine & reach your heels towards the floor, keeping you legs as straight as you can & keeping your arms pressing into the floor like you are pushing it away.

3. Yoga Lunges- Bring your hips low. Shoulders over your hands and take your right foot outside of your right hand & drop your hips even lower to stretch the back of your leg.  Switch legs and repeat 4 times on each leg

Then jump pack to stand straight and repeat this mini sun salutation 3-5 times.

Involve the kids too! Gabby, Larisa’s daughter had a lot of fun with this one…isn’t that the cutest down dog you’ve ever seen?!?

Don’t forget if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or


Fitness Friday with Larisa

Are you ready for a vacation … I don’t know about you but, I am ready to escape the cold already and head towards the sun! But, we’ll have to wait until February for our fun family trip to the sunshine state.  Can I start a countdown yet?  I guess I shouldn’t, lol!

Anyway, whenever I travel there is really never a a convenient way to get a good strength training workout in. But, today Larisa has armed us with a great one with resistance bands! Resistance bands are the perfect solution to the travel strength training conundrum.  There are several advantages to using resistance bands. The first and most obvious advantage is how much easier they will fit into your luggage compared with free weights.

Ok, now to the good stuff the actual workout…this is a full body workout working all of your muscle groups and will only take you 15 minutes.  It would be a perfect complement to the cardio circuit we outlined earlier this month.

Exercise 1: Squats

Stand on inside of the band with both of your feet, so the tension begins to build.  Place your feet hip distance apart and bend your knees and get into the squat position. Then bring your hands by your shoulders with your palms facing out.  Stand up; keeping hands by shoulders.

Exercise 2: Biceps

Continue to stand on the inside of the band. Keep your elbows by the side of your waist.  Bring the handles of the band to the front of your shoulders & release down.

Exercise 3: Triceps

Continue to stand on the inside of the band again.  Tip forward from the hip throughout the duration of the exercise.  Keep your arms straight.  Then pull & lift the handles of the band back while engaging your triceps & release forward.

Exercise 4: Chest

Grab the hotel chair and loop the band behind it.  Take your arms in front of you with your knuckles up and press your arms forward in a smooth semicircle motion and release your elbows back nice  and wide.

Exercise 5: Shoulders

Keep the hotel chair, but this time loop the band under it.  Bring your hands to the outside of your shoulders with your palms forward.  From this position engage your abs and push your arms straight up and bring them back to the starting position.

Exercise 6: Back

Loose the chair and set right on the floor.  In a seated position with your legs in front of you & your knees bent loop the band under your feet & cross the handles with your palms facing down.  Lean back at 45 degrees with your abs engaged and your back straight pull the handles of the band to the outside of your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades back and down.  Then release your arms forward.

Repeat each of the exercises 15 times and you will feel it the next morning.


Don’t forget if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or

Fitness Friday with Larisa

The long awaited Cardio Circuit ala Larisa to mix up your cardio routine and keep it fun!  The beauty of this workout is you don’t need anything but a little motivation to get you through.  You could even squeeze this in to your busy day in front of the TV in the living room if you wanted to…









  1. Mountain Climbers– starting from  a push-up position keeping your arms straight bring your knee to your chest and then switch, keep repeating.
  2. Jumping Jacks– jumping moving your feet in & out. We all know the jumping jack hopefully you don’t need more explanation than that, lol! Hello, 1st grade P.E. class.
  3. High Knees– run in place while bringing your knees to your chest.
  4. Butt Kicks– run in place, while exaggerateing the running motion by bringing your feet to your butt.
  5. Plyometric Lunges– start in the lunge position (start with one foot behind the other with your legs bent at 90 degrees) then propel yourself in the air and switch legs.
  6. Burpees– keep your legs hip distance apart, then squat down and touch the floor outside of your feet, jump back until your body forms a straight line, then return to the starting position and jump into the air and clap.
  7. Shadow Box Punches– stand hip distance apart and make fists, slightly bend your knees while pretending you have a punching bag in front of you.  Throw punches with force & intent.  Make sure to bring your fists back to the starting position with the same speed you throw your punches to get the full benefit of the exercise.
  8. Tuck Jumps– (an advanced exercise) make sure as you jump you bring your knees you to your chest & then you can reach your elbows to your knees or if you need a little boost push your arms out to help propel yourself.

To get the most out of this circuit do a minute of each exercise with a minute break in between each exercise.  Then take a 3 minute break when you finish the set & repeat 2-3x.  If you are feeling extra tough & want to really push yourself cut off your break time in between each exercise to 30 seconds.

These are pretty simple exercises separately but, they pack a serious punch when you do them all together.  Have fun!

Don’t forget if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or

Fitness Friday with Larisa

I heard recently that people spend more time thinking of excuses not to work out then they would if you would just go to the gym already.  But, we all know there are times when you just can’t make it to the gym for various reasons.  The one that is more common for me is getting stuck at the office late.  So, Larisa has armed me with some office workout tips so that when I get stuck at work I no longer have an excuse to skip out on my workout.  All you need is an office chair and some understanding co-workers…

Check out some of these work appropriate moves modeled by Larisa and her too cute daughter Gabby :)

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1. Chair Squats.  Sit in your chair and stand up in the squat position.  If you want to make it more challenging put your hands behind your head and twist at your waist alternating sides.

2. Tricep Dips. Make sure your chair is locked in place or push it up against a wall.  Slide your butt 1 inch off the seat of your chair and bend your elbows while pressing your hands to straighten and keeping your abs tight.

3.  Single Leg Squats. Stand profile to your chair & support yourself with 1 hand.  Lift your outside leg out in front of you & squat down and up just using your standing leg.  Switch legs and continue.

4. Chair Push-up.  Again make sure your chair is secure.  Then place feet shoulder width apart and hands under shoulders and same width as shoulders.  Hold on to outside edges, lower your chest between your elbows keeping your back straight then push into the chair & press up.

5.  Mountain Climber. Start in the previous push-up position keeping your arms straight bring your knee to your chest and then switch, keep repeating.

6. Toe taps.  Slide your butt to the edge of the seat, lean back and lift your knees up at your waist level.  Feel your abs engaged and tap your toes like you are touching hot sand.

GOWORKOUTNow Gabby says, “Go work out girl!”

Don’t forget if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or

Giveaway: Fitness Friday with Larisa

Lucky me won a new gym bag! Yay! It just arrived, so we are still in our honeymoon phase, lol!  Thanks again vmac+cheese for a great giveaway! Anywho, once the new pretty gym bag arrived I got to thinking… what should I be packing to help me prepare for my workouts?  If anyone knows how to pack a gym bag, it’s someone whose line of work is working out.  So today we are taking a peek inside of Larisa’s workout bag for a look at what she uses to stay on top of her game:


  1. First things first, you need a gym bag…this is the prettiness that just got shipped to me ala vmac + cheese, here.
  2. An obvious must have: your gym clothes & shoes.  While there are a few freaks of nature that workout in their jeans, it’s not recommended. Gotta show some love to the hometown brand, here.
  3. An extra pair of socks. Just like they disappear in the washer/dryer socks seem to disappear from your gym bag, so it’s a good idea to have a spare just in case. More UA goodness, here.
  4. A BPA free reusable bottle of water, ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED! This bkr bottle is so cute and there are so many color choices, here.
  5. Deodorant, enough said.
  6. A small towel, just in case your gym is out of clean towels or for some reason they don’t offer a towel service.  Trust, you don’t want to get caught in a RPM class without a towel…gross! Love, love, love these motivational towels from inperspire, here.
  7. A stock pile of hair ties, only certain ladies can workout with their hair down and we don’t make that list…These hair ties are so colorful! The etsy shop creates packs based on the Pantone’s Fashion Color Report,  the Fall 2013 Fashion Color Report is shown, here.
  8. SweatyBands.  Amazing! Best workout headband on the market.  These things do not move…they are life changing, here.
  9. 2 pairs of ear buds.  A back-up just in case one gets misplaced or broken. I’m pretty particular about my ear buds…not all of them fit right in my ear, but I love the SkullCandy buds they are really affordable and you can get them at Target.  That’s a win-win in my book, here.
  10. Some sort of cold therapy.  Ben Gay is a good choice it acts just like an ice pack for any bumps and bruises you may experience along the way.
  11. An Ace bandage or knee brace is a good idea to have as well for any possible strains or injuries.
  12. A non-perishable snack…almonds & apples are a great choice to fuel your workouts. In the cooler months (because they won’t melt then), protein bars are a great choice as long as they are less than 5g of sugar.  Larisa’s top picks are Quest Bars or Pure Protein Bars.
  13. Jump rope. Obviously, the jump rope is a very versatile tool. See here and here. So, pack your own so you can get a workout in whenever/wherever you are…
  14. Business cards are always a good idea.  The gym is a perfect networking opportunity.

While this may seem like a lot of stuff to carry around in your gym bag, you don’t want to give yourself any excuse to skip out on your workout AND make sure you pack your gym bag the night before so, that it doesn’t get forgotten in your morning rush out the door.  Bottom line if you are prepared you can’t let yourself skip out on living a fit life.

Giveaway! I wanted to pay it forward and do a  Soon to be A Mrs. first, a little giveaway. One reader will be lucky enough to have their life changed by sporting a swanky new SweatyBand in their next workout courtesy of Soon to be A Mrs.  It’s as easy as leaving a comment here telling us one thing you can’t go to the gym without.  Open to U.S. residents only.  Good luck! Entries must be posted by this coming Thursday, September 19th, at 8 a.m. EST, and one winner will be chosen at random.*

P.S. Don’t forget if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or

*Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $15 USD approximate total value. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

Fitness Friday with Larisa

It’s that time again. Fitness Friday with Larisa!  If you missed last week, see here.  Anywho, we are back for the promised strength training exercise, some cardio, and flexibility to fit into the mix all with just a jump rope to keep your workouts accessible and challenging.

A great way to get in all three of Larisa’s main elements of exercise in one workout is to do 20 minutes of each: Strength, Cardio, & Flexibility.

We’ll start out with another great addition to your strength training routine, the Bridal Butt Lift.  This is perfect for you if you are wearing a form fitting wedding dress or if you just want a cute butt.  Who doesn’t?! This version is another one of Larisa’s Barre/TRX hybrid exercises that strengthens your legs in both the glute & hamstring areas; while actually lifting your butt…AWESOME!

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Here’s the how to:

  • Step away from your anchor.
  • Hold both handles of the jump rope in front of your chest.
  • Brace your core.
  • Tip forward from the hip
  • Naturally float one leg up, with your hips slightly tucked
  • Lift your leg up an inch and down an inch
  • 25 reps on each leg

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20 minutes of jumping rope is a great way to get in your cardio.

2013-08-17 13.02.17Don’t forget to stretch! This assisted hamstring stretch helps immensely with flexibility.  A tight hamstring is one of the main causes of lower back pain so, this stretch is great in preventing it.

Don’t forget if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or

Fitness Friday with Larisa

First things first what is fitness this is what the free online dictionary has to say,

Good health or physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.

I have to admit my journey to live a fit life has been a mess.  There have been periods of time when I just give up and eat whatever I want and be lazy AND feel miserable.  But, there are also periods of time when I am much more conscious of what I am putting in my body and I feel so much better.  Lucky for me the later has been much more of a mainstay recently.  I officially joined a gym in December of 2011 with a friend and we were trying out all of the group fitness classes.  We kept gravitating towards the same instructor because her classes were awesome.  There was a great music selection, the classes were hardly ever the same & always challenging, plus she had such a passion for teaching.  After a few months of exercising and not really changing my eating habits I was getting frustrated and was thinking about giving up all together.  Then Larisa our favorite instructor offered to start training my friend and I.  At first I was a little hesitant…I didn’t think I could keep up with either one of them.  But, my arm was twisted and now looking back I couldn’t be happier.  Larisa is not only my trainer she has become a good friend and has helped me lose over 30 lbs.

Recently, she has been thinking about taking all of the knowledge she has gained from being a full time trainer for over 10 years and starting a blog, so that she could help more people.  But, she was a little hesitant because of the time commitment, also she has 3 kids and a demanding full time job.   After we went out to eat last week I got to thinking and the wheels were turning about how great it would be for Larisa and I to work together to share all of her knowledge with you guys.   I am so happy to officially introduce you to her.  Her passion for fitness is contagious and hopefully, you, like me will fall a little more in love with fitness thanks to Larisa through our new weekly post, Fitness Friday.  We will be working together to share with you her tips, on both exercise and nutrition in the upcoming weeks.

But, before we get into the tips I wanted to share with you some background on why I think Larisa is a fitness rockstar.  Larisa’s knowledge and passion for fitness all started out when she was training for and running marathons.  She quickly realized that just running wasn’t enough. She recognized how important nutrition is to support her exercise addiction.  So, she began her journey to change her lifestyle.  After living a fit life for a few years she wanted to share her new found love with people through teaching which is why she started training.  As a trainer a big percentage of her clients are brides, which is why I thought she’d be a great resource for all of you brides-to-be.  Her bride clients are anywhere from 3 months to 1 year away from the BIG day.  No matter what time they have she always sets up a plan of attack of both nutrition and exercise, based on the brides’ goals.  Brides are so motivated, driven mostly by wanting to look their best on the BIGGEST day of their life, which is very inspiring making them some of her favorite clients.  I think what makes Larisa different than most trainers is that she loves all of her clients and cares so deeply about their progress.  She wants her brides to learn for a lifetime instead of just the BIG day, so she shares insight into making these lifestyle changes manageable to maintain.

Her exercise philosophy includes 3 main elements:

1. Strength

2. Cardio

3. Flexibility 

She recommends doing a mix of each on most days of the week, a good goal would be 5 times a week.

Now onto the tips…one of my favorite classes that she teaches is barre.  For those of you that don’t know barre is a mix of  Ballet and Pilates.  Lots of small isolated exercises that will tone, tone, tone and make you walk a little funny for a few days.  LOL! Trust! I could barely do stairs after my first barre class.  Recently in one of my training sessions Larisa put her creative fitness genius to work in melding my fav barre class with one her favorites TRX into a great session that I am still feeling today.  TRX is brutal! Google it you’ll see what I mean.  I think the reason why I loved crazy hybrid workout was because it was a great way to get in your strength training without having to spend any time with the meatheads by the free weights in the gym. Sorry love you guys, but sometimes its just too much!

Anywho, one of the most intense exercises we did was the plie squat, which strengthens your badonkadonk, quads, and hip muscle.  Add it in to any strength training workout and you’ll see what I mean by intense.

Plié Squats

Here’s the how to:

  • All you need is a jump rope and an anchor, above Larisa is just using a nearby tree. Easy enough, right?
  • Then position yourself with your feet at 10 & 2, your toes pointed, your knees shadowing your 2nd & 3rd toe, your pelvis tucked, and your knees bent at 90 degrees while keeping a neutral spine, like Larisa
  • Pulse down an inch & up an inch for 25 reps

We will be back for an additional strength training exercise, some cardio, and flexibility to fit into the mix all with just a jump rope.  So check back for Fitness Friday at 11 AM next week.

In the meantime if you want to know more reach out to Larisa directly at (443)250-5245 or

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After my 105 pound weight loss, I started this blog to inspire and motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle!


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