Mom Work

My son turns 5 tomorrow.  Before morphing into mom, I cannot imagine what I did with all the time in the day.  Now, I speak for every parent when I say there aren’t enough hours in the day!  I am just like every working mom, trying to find this unicorn they call “balance.”  My wheels are constantly spinning, trying to get it all done.  By it, I mean doing work that is meaningful to my industry and impactful to lives of individuals aspiring to get fit, but also doing the work of motherhood: folding laundry, getting kids dressed, making meals for individual family members- each with a palate as picky as a queen, doing dishes, answering to the barrage of “MOM” scream-requests, fixing the chain inside the toilet (why, with as far as technology has come, do toilets still have paperclip-like thingamajigs connecting the stopper), driving the taxicab, picking up toys, cleaning up spills, and picking things up so that our house doesn’t look like an episode of Hoarders.

What’s irking about mom work is that it’s invisible work.  It has to get handled, but no one really cares.  If no one cares, why can’t someone else just do it?  Oh, because they won’t.  Then, toilets run, kids stay in pajamas, dishes pile, leftovers in the fridge get moldy, toys and laundry build up in mounds, and everyone just walks around like Mr. Magoo, blind to the existence of any of it.  As Mom, you’re the one stacking steps under Mr. Magoo’s feet every step.  (Mr. Magoo was a cartoon character that would narrowly miss accidents as he would walk around blindly).

I have this alter-side to the invisible work, and that work is what social media has coined “fitmom.”  That’s where I turn my phone off, and for one glorious hour, I kick a$$ in a workout.  I exercise for those 60-minutes as if I’m training to take down Wonder Woman.  On great days, I make it to a gym and can let my kids play in childcare while I knock this out with focus and determination.  On others, I stick them in the bike trainer and ride that bike around the neighborhood as powerfully as one can carry 55-pounds of precious cargo… finishing at a playground where my son can play, too.  I have a hard time relating to why people dread exercise.  For me, this hour fills my spirit and fuels my motivation to get through everything else in the day.

Then, there’s work.  I am an entrepreneur and a freelancer, so work is inherently up-and-down.  Most recently, Rodale, the company that owned was purchased, so my work as a fitness writer (which entailed writing 3-6 articles per month) is on hiatus while reorganization is underway with Hearst.  I work with a handful of companies, providing education on fitness equipment.  I consult new-build residential fitness centers on space allocation and equipment selection.  These things allow me to keep contributing to the fitness industry.  It is very important to me to keep this part of my life, because it makes me feel like my strengths, talents, and education are being put to good use.

Without work-work, life gets to feel a little gunky with pots and pans.  I join other women in voicing that our work should be compensated equally to that of men’s, but the beauty work brings to my life has little to do with dollar bills.  It gives me an opportunity to do what I went to school for and what I do well.  (Cause, trust me, my cooking and cleaning are no prize acts).  I am so grateful to have a flexible work schedule; it’s the right path for me.  But I understand why some women go back to work full-time, too.

Motherhood is wonderful.  Children are the greatest gift imaginable.  Life has never been better, but it’s a heck of a lot of work.  Sometimes, you just want a loved one to call and ask how you’re doing.  But you carry on, jugging the demands of mom life, trying to keep it together.

In case you haven’t heard it in a while, you’re doing a good job.

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Fitness Friday- new weighted vest!

Hyperwear, makers of the Hyper Vest Pro and SandBells, have outdone themselves, once again. Hyperwear is known as the most trusted brand in “simple, powerful gear.” They’ve released a brand new, more durable, reflective, functional, fashionable 10-pound weighted vest. (Yes, you can add more weights per pocket, but should you? I, for one, think 10# is plenty!)

Here’s a glimpse of the Hyper Elite vest in action. I performed a circuit of Jacob’s Ladder, indoor rowing, push-up variations, and box jumps.  (My workout: 500M row, 5:00 Jacob’s Ladder,  2 types of push-up variations, 5:00 Jacob’s Ladder, 22 box jumps, 5:00 Jacob’s Ladder, 500M row)… FYI, I took off the vest for the last ladder & row- man, it was hard!

Hyper Elite Weight Vest- Circuit Workout

I have gone bananas over every one of Hyperwear’s weighted vests (& I’m the loudest proponent of bringing back the Sexy Vest!!!). The Hyper Elite is no exception. This is a 5-Star weighted vest. Be a trendsetter and get yours before the big release at IHRSA 2018 next month!


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What Makes Group Fitness Greatness- from a Participant’s Perspective

I have taken some time off of teaching group fitness classes.  I have spent far more hours in the past 8-months attending classes than leading them.  I’ve worked in the fitness industry for nearly two decades.  Most of those years have been spent instructing group fitness classes (ehem, when I started, “aerobics” classes- cassette tapes and all).  This role-reversal of seeing a group fitness experience from the eyes of a participant has taught me so much.  When you are leading a class, sometimes you think of yourself as an entertainer and the ringleader.  Your participants wish you’d stop.  Here’s what I’ve learned on that and more…

1. Stop Talking About Yourself.  We get it, you think it’s hilarious that your spandex ripped in the butt crack.  You think it’s interesting that your tracker logged over 10K steps before 10am.  You think it’s inspiring to announce that this is your 5th class to teach today.  You think it’s necessary to announce all of your injuries and moves you will be modifying.
To be brazenly clear: it’s not.
Participants come to a class for their workout.  They don’t come to your class.  They come to achieve their personal fitness goals- and aspire to do that with the camaraderie and motivation of a group.  Please stop talking about yourself.  Just stop.

2.  Know My Name.  Participants want call-outs.  They don’t want to be just a nameless figure in your class.  They want you, the instructor, to acknowledge their effort, call out the things they are performing with excellence, and (move the mic) correct or modify things that aren’t jiving with their bodies.  Help them maximize their experience by call-outs, making the group fitness experience special for them, individually.  But don’t call them out for things like bowing out of class early.  If they have to leave early, it’s their prerogative.  Don’t make them feel like it’s disrespectful towards you, because, again, it’s not your class- it’s theirs.

3.  Acknowledge Me Outside of Class.  So, I’ve recently joined a gym that has group classes, childcare, open gym equipment, a pool, and a sauna.  Best of all, I don’t teach there, so for all anyone knows, I’m just a regular person- not a fit pro.  With the exception of one instructor (hi, Ruth), the fitness instructors have been bipolar.  What I mean by that is that, during class, they know my name, do call-outs, and have tons of positive energy.  But when I’m exercising in the open gym, they walk right by as if we’ve never met before.  No smile on their faces, no enthusiasm; zero acknowledgment whatsoever.  Be as friendly and kind outside of class as you are during class.  You may not remember names, but you remember faces.  Smile and say hello!

4.  Have a Servant’s Heart.  This somewhat goes back to #1.  Participants want your job to be to serve them.  You think your job is to put on a show.  It simply is not!  Lay yourself down as a bridge for your students to cross.  Do everything you can to serve them and make them feel like every second they spent in the class you led was time well spent.

5.  Build a Village.  As Sister Sledge says “We are family.”  Build a village among people in your class!  Get them to learn each other’s names.  Get them talking to each other.  Get them aware when a village member isn’t there.  For goodness sake, we do not come to “group” fitness classes just to create more body heat, perspiration, and hot air than one person would generate, exercising alone.  We come together because we are social beings, wired for connection!  I have become a family member of a Saturday 9:30am class at Life Time Fitness (not the same gym referenced in #3).  My “spot” in class is right between Kathie and Kelly, or sometimes Kelly’s husband, Brandon.  We get equipment set out for each other.  We motivate each other when the workout gets really hard and f-bombs are whispered under breath.  We know what’s going on in each other’s lives- Kelly’s cat got run over yesterday; Kathie had breast augmentation 3 weeks ago; Brandon has an injured quad & I have an injured hammie- we joke that if we could put our good parts together, we’d have a good leg. We come together for Total Condition Extreme, but we also do life together.  I love my Sat 9:30am TCX family!

6. Have Your Sh!t Together.  Don’t let your participants know what hoops you had to jump over to get the microphone working properly, music playing through the speakers, equipment set up, timer functioning, etc.  Just make it happen.  Have all of this working before class starts.  Start on time and end on time.  If, for some reason, a technological glitch occurs- your mic has interference, your music isn’t playing– just find a way to make lemonade out of lemons and roll with it.  Don’t complain, don’t make excuses.

All of this is above and beyond the things that should go without saying: teach the class that matches the description on the schedule; minimize breaks- we’re only there for an hour so stop talking and let us get to work; be beyond qualified- if you’ve let your certification lapse or have slacked on continuing education, remove yourself from teaching until you’ve stepped up your game; have your choreography or class plans set- and totally prepared- before class (we can tell when you’re winging it as you go); and wear professional attire for an instructor (don’t come in sweaty like a wet mop; brush your hair; wear clothes that fit; wear footwear appropriate for the workout; look the part!)– again, these last bits should be common sense, but as I’ve learned over the past 8-months as a participant, common sense isn’t always common practice.

I admit that I have botched plenty of these, myself, over the years.  I’m just glad to have had this post-baby period to be a participant to gain a new perspective on the group fitness experience.  It will make me a better instructor when I return to teaching.  I hope it will make you one, too!

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Tomorrow Sleep

Last weekend, I led a lecture to a group of university students on Preventing Burnout. The simplest yet most profound piece of advice I could give was this: get enough sleep!

Science has proven that insufficient sleep can affect your mood, appetite, motivation, job performance, relationships, stress hormones, and even your weight!

I had a baby 6-months ago (6-mo ago today! Happy Half-Year Birthday, Julie Anna!!) The one thing that worried me more than anything about having a newborn was the sleep deprivation that usually goes with it.

I hate being tired more than I hate being hungry, spin-up on, unbathed, cried to, or used as a human pacifier. I abhor being tired.

Thanks to God (and Julie Anna), I haven’t had to be.

I go to bed between 7:30-8pm every single night with the baby. That’s my ace in the hole! She wakes 2-3 times throughout the night to feed, and we get up before 7am every day. Errrrrry day! But I feel great the next day, because I’m getting the cumulative hours of shut eye!

When it comes to sleep, I take things seriously. I believe in the “>8, it’s time to replace” mattress philosophy. Nothing freaks me out more than bugs crawling on my bed. And nothing annoys me more than a sinking mattress. So, I spent thousands of dollars on Tempur Pedic (on Full bed in nursery room) and Simmons Beautyrest Gladney Hybrid Black (on King bed in master bedroom). But in the guest room- the poor unfortunate guest room- I’ve had the antique bed I grew up with.

When I was 5 years old (ehem, 31 years ago), my parents bought a custom-made antique bed frame with a used mattress. I slept on that wonky, crimply, sunk-in mattress until I left their house. (Did I go to graduate school to pursue higher education or escape the possibility of having to move back home and sleep another night on that mattress? The world may never know). Well, all grown up, now, my home needed more furniture and my parents’ home needed less. That bed made its way back to me.

A334CAA8-F60B-4817-9102-6834F9F5C6B4The headboard of this antique bed is gorgeous, and it makes for a beautiful presentation for a guest room. But, just approximating, it’s probably a 50-year-old mattress I’ve had on top. Not exactly the southern hospitality you’d expect if you laid your hat at my home for a night. It’s the bed that makes you sleep poorly from the woman who advocates sleeping well! (And isn’t it Ironic, don’t ya think?)

As a member of the press, sometimes I am privy to testing out desirable stuff. When Tomorrow Sleep reached out to me about their Bed In A Box, I was in for replacing my guest mattress with their new product. Their mattress arrived within days, along with some super comfy bedding and even a sleep monitoring application.

The mattress is exactly what they say: a bed in a box! Upon opening say box, there is a mattress hugged inside, tighter than my post-baby bod shoved into my pre-baby skinny jeans. The mattress spread out upon opening. It wasn’t at all adversely affected by the snug shipping process- the logistics for getting a mattress from store to customer has never been so simple! (In the past, when I’ve purchased mattresses from mattress stores, I have had to schedule delivery and wait around during a vast delivery window for people to bring and install it. This was way more convenient).

Out went my antique bed’s old mattress on my bed, and on came this beauty. I selected the medium-firm option, as I believe firmer mattresses are best for your back. The difference was remarkable. That bed that I shunned to have guests sleep on is now a luxurious landing for the night. It feels similar to Tempur Pedic for a fraction of the price! I now plan on replacing my son’s bed with Tomorrow Sleep, too!

If you’re a savvy shopper, looking for a comfortable mattress, I recommend you try Tomorrow Sleep.

And here’s a code for you to get $100 off any $500 purchase… cause I’m a giver. CARDIO100

662DD901-9416-4588-8B50-FB51B0AB3F46I cannot overemphasize the importance of quality sleep. I recommend you cut out early every night, curl into bed, and get plenty of glorious shut eye to live life to the fullest! Carpe Diem!

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Hurricane Harvey

The apartment complex I lived at while attending grad school in Houston, TX was one of the disaster zones hit last weekend. My brother and (pregnant) sister-in-law live in Houston, now. So many of my friends live there. I shrill at the thought of how many lives have been affected by this disaster-of-a-storm!

When the hurricane made landfall last Friday, I was in Los Angeles. The only way it affected me was not being able to fly home to Austin, and getting diverted to Dallas. I wish so badly that I could have been at a place in Houston, accepting displaced families– helping! I can only imagine that there were a handful of nursing mothers, separated from their babies, that would have been so blessed by another nursing mom, nurturing their babies… instead of pumping into plastic, as I did where I was at. My heart goes out to all affected by Hurricane Harvey, but especially the mothers and babies.

I will be traveling to Houston next weekend, and will be bringing supplies for moms and babies. If you live in Central Texas and would like to donate diapers, clothes, used breast pumps with new breast pump pieces (either, but both would be great), bottles, formula, or baby supplies- like toys, Boppys, activity mats, etc- I would be happy to meet you to collect these things. I hope to deliver this stuff, personally, to victims, to be sure it gets where it needs to get! (If this is not doable, I will bring the supplies to a drop-off in Katy, TX).

Another way to help is to exercise. That’s right: exercise! WaterRower has committed to donate $1 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief for every 1,000 Meters you row, with a max of 10,000 Meters. All you have to do is take a photograph, caption your distance, and hashtag #RowforRelief and #WaterRower. If, in the next 12 days, over 2 million Meters are logged for this cause, WaterRower will DOUBLE their donation! (For those of you who accuse the American Red Cross of mishandling funds, the way I see it is this: all of the food and water the ARC provided, those survival kits, and >13,000 cots didn’t pay for themselves).

I spoke with my brother last night. They are fine. Flood waters came right up to his front door and stopped. (Albeit, they had crawfish crawling on the driveway after the waters subsided, but their home and family- including the dog- are fine). He feels guilty for their good fortune; he has coworkers who lost everything. No one in that area got out of this disaster unscathed.

Please give monitarily, if you can give money. Row, if you can exercise. Volunteer, if you can lend a hand. Pray, if you can find faith! Luke 16:7 says “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and be planted into the sea; and it would obey you.”

May the worst in Mother Nature bring out the best in human nature.

#RowforRelief #WaterRower


On Wednesday, I rowed 5,000 Meters. I rowed another 5,000 today. You do the same! Post a picture to any social media outlet with your distance and use those two hashtags: #RowforRelief and #WaterRower.


One more thing, as a University of Houston alum, I feel behooved to end this post with this: Whose House? Coogs House!!!


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Announcing NEW Hyperwear Products

Check out the brand new Hyperwear soft barbell and soft kettlebell, just announced at IDEA World!  These are just prototypes, but check back at later this year for these awesome new products.  (Soft dumbbells, “SoftBells,” are already sold at and on Amazon.)

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10 Push-Up Variations for your Best Arms Ever

Push-ups can, obviously, be progressed by transitioning from knees to toes. But that is not the only way to make your push-ups harder! There are plenty of ways to take a standard push-up and tack on a new layer to challenge your chest, core, arms, hips, and legs in new ways and get the most out of your movement. Here are 10 push-up variations for your best arms ever- do them on your toes if you have the strength to do so without breaking sturdy, safe, proper form.  If not, do them on your knees for now!

Perform 30-seconds of each of the following push-ups variations with 30-seconds of rest before progressing to next on the list. These may be performed on your knees or on your toes. Repeat this 10-minutes to “best arms” workout 4 non-successive days per week. Incorporate pulling exercises on off days to avoid shoulder imbalances from all pushing, no pulling.

1 Push-Ups with Shoulder Taps
Ex1.PUwithShoulderTapThe benefit of push-ups with shoulder taps is extra challenge to the (stable) shoulder, obliques, and abs.
Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Perform one push-up to the ground and up. At the top, touch one hand to the opposite shoulder.  As much as possible, avoid shifting your hips to the side. Repeat, tapping the other hand to the opposite shoulder on the next rep!



2 Tripod Push-Ups
Ex2.TripodPU.Step2The benefit of tripod (aka “3 point”) push-ups is extra challenge to the core.
Assume standard push-up position on the knees or toes. Lift one leg off the floor, even with the torso. Perform one push-up to the ground and up. At the top, place that foot down and lift the other leg. Notice the extra work on your middle muscles by removing one balance point! Repeat!


3 Diamond Push-Ups
Ex3.DiamondPU.Step2The benefit of diamond push-ups is extra challenge to the triceps.
Create a diamond shape with your thumbs and pointer fingers at the top of a push-up. Your hands do no have to touch, but they should be close. (For some people, hands touching may be achy for the wrists and elbows during this push-up). Wedge your elbows out wide and lower your torso towards the ground. Push up. Repeat!


4 Spider Push-Ups
Ex4.SpidermanPU.Step2The benefit of spider push-ups is extra challenge to the obliques, abs, chest, and shoulders.
Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Bring one knee to touch the triceps on that side. Keeping the knee touching the triceps (and possibly resting on the humorous bone), perform one push-up to the ground and up. At the top, switch legs. Repeat!


5 Crossover Push-Ups
Ex5.CrossoverPUThe benefit of crossover push-ups is extra challenge for the supporting shoulder, obliques, and abs.
Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Perform one push-up. At the top, step out to your toes (if you’re not already there) and tap one hand to the opposite foot. Repeat. Alternate leads every other rep (right hand to left foot, then left hand to right foot).


6 Clap Push-Ups
Ex6.ClapPUThe benefit of clap push-ups is extra challenge to the chest and core, and a heart rate spike (metabolic training).
Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Drop your chest towards the ground, then lift up and clap your hands together in front of your chest. (If you cannot do this without breaking the straight line from shoulder to hip to knee, omit this variation). Open your arms to catch yourself as your chest approaches the ground. Repeat!


7 Tuck Push-Ups
Ex7.TuckPUThe benefit of tuck push-ups is extra challenge for the abs, hips, and thighs, and heart rate spike
(metabolic training).

Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Perform one push-up. At the top, step out to your toes (if you’re not already there). Hop your feet in, under your belly to tuck your knees towards your belly. Hop the feet back out. Repeat!


8 SandBell Uneven Push-Ups
Ex8.SandBellPU.Step2The benefit of uneven push-ups is extra challenge for the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
An uneven push-up can be done with a medicine ball, but for a lower and more stable tool, try it with a SandBell. Place one hand on the Sandbell (or ball) and the other hand on the floor. Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Perform one push-up, then roll the medicine ball or flip the SandBell to the other side. Repeat!


9 Decline Push-Ups
Ex9.DeclinePU.Step2The benefit of decline push-ups is extra challenge for the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
Set a few risers under a step. Place your feet on the step and hands on the floor. (Because your head will be angled below your heart, omit this variation if you have high blood pressure). If you opt for knee push-ups, set your knees to the step, instead of toes! Perform a push-up, taking your chest towards the ground and up. Repeat!


10 Triple Clap Incline Push-Ups
Ex10.ClapFront-Back-Front.InclinePU.Step1The benefit of triple clap Incline push-ups is extra challenge to the chest and core, engaging good posture muscles on second clap, and a heart rate spike (metabolic training).
Set several riders under a step. Place your hands on the top of the step. Assume standard push-up position on knees or toes. Inhale as you rapidly but diligently drop your chest to the step, then explode your torso up and clap your hands together (1) in front of your chest, (2) behind your back, then again (3) in front of your chest. (If you cannot do this rapidly enough to be sure you avoid face planting, or if your hips pop out of alignment with the rest of your body, omit this variation). Open your arms to catch yourself as your chest approaches the step. Repeat!


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Food and Fitness Friday 7

Mamabear doesn’t have time to watch a lot of television.  I record Good Morning America on ABC every morning.  It is the only show I watch and it takes me all day long to get through an episode, watching a little bit here and there.  I like GMA because it’s the closest thing out there to the “good news news.”  There are bad things and bad people in the world, but I need to believe there’s more good than bad.  That’s why I turn to GMA.  That, plus George Stephanopoulos interviews like a boss!

This week, GMA had a “Full Body Fit” series.  The editorial content in the beginning before the live practical demonstrations were fitness journalism done RIGHT!  Dr. Jordan Metzl was the contributing expert.  Check out the whole series if you can.

So, if a narrow-based push up (also known as a close-grip push-up) is best for muscle recruitment of the upper body, what’s a great sister exercise with that?  A pike!  Narrow-based push-ups engage all of the upper body, the core, and really burn the chest and shoulders.  Pikes engage all of the upper body, the core, and really burn the shoulders and abs.  That’s why for today’s fitness recommendation, I pair these sisters for your best shoulder series ever!

Take a stability ball and place your feet on the ball and hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders.  For the push-ups, drop your chest to the ground then up.  For the pikes, lift your hips over your shoulders then back to horizontal.  I recommend, if you’re just getting started, try:
4 narrow-based push-ups/1 pike
3 narrow-based push-ups/2 pikes
2 narrow-based push-ups/3 pikes
1 narrow-based push-up/4 pikes
As you get stronger, start with a higher rep number.  I like this inverted ladder with these two exercises.  Trust me, as you build the volume (number of reps) up, your shoulders will burn and your entire upper body and core will quiver like a quake!

And as for your food recommendation for today’s Food & Fitness Friday, let’s make it peachy!  I am a big proponent of tweaking the majority of fruits and vegetables in your diet around what’s in season at the time.  It’s summertime and the living is easy… and the peaches are GOOD!  I recommend cooking oatmeal (not the sugary stuff. Specifically, the only ingredient on the packaging should be oats) then stirring in freshly sliced peaches, a few walnuts, and a splash of whole milk or almond milk.  It’s a delicious, nutritious take on seasonal goodness: peaches and cream!

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Food & Fitness Friday 6

Grab a set of dumbbells, and let’s get to work on today’s Food and Fitness Friday!

Ladies, use 15-20 pound dumbbells. Men, 25-35 pound dumbbells. You only need one set that you’ll use for all of the strength exercises.

Here’s your workout of the week:
image1-724 Dumbbell push-ups*
24 Pop Jacks
12 Dumbbell Lunges Forward/Back RIGHT
12 Dumbbell Lunges Forward/Back LEFT
24 Plyo Lunges
24 Renegade Rows
24 Pop Jacks
24 Dumbbell Dead Lifts
24 Plyo Lunges
24 Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks
24 Pop Jacks
24 Bicep Curls
24 Plyo Lunges 

*The dumbbells neutralize your wrists and provide greater range of motion for the shoulders than performing PUs with hands on the floor)
The Pop Jacks & Plyo Lunges are body weight only.
Here’s your recipe of the week.

Brotherbear thinks Mom’s gotten soft with this whole “mother-of-2″ thing and now letting him eat lots of ice cream.
Little does he know, it’s mock ice cream! (If he actually knew it was mostly cottage cheese, he’d say “I don’t yike that.”) Mom win!


image2-3As far as my own Mamabear Bod-After-Baby, trust me, I have not “bounced back.” I’m two pounds heavier now- at 7 weeks postpartum- than I was just four days after giving birth! (Nanabear says “in your Breasts!” and I can’t help but think of that line from Liar Liar). I’m now 14-pounds over my weight on my first prenatal doctor’s visit. I anticipate holding pretty steady around this weight for the first several months of breastfeeding. But what’s important is that I’m happy, and folks, I AM! The weight will come off- as will yours if you’re embracing healthy behaviors that do that. Mama to mama, enjoy this time and look far more often into the eyes of that miraculous little life you created than you do at the bathroom scale.

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Food and Fitness Friday 5

Summer is a great time for water. Rower, that is! What I love about rowing is that it works the quads, core, arms, upper back, lower back, glutes AND hamstrings! It also provides intense cardio!! As a mom, I’m all about efficiency- how to get as much accomplished in as little time as possible. Case in point: I siphoned water into my WaterRower while bathing my 4-year-old, nursing my infant, and snapping a shot for Instagram! (Granted, Brotherbear did most of the work by filling a water bottle with bath water and dumping it in to the bucket. I’m sure he had tinkled in it first, but that’s neither here nor there. Thank you, Brotherbear!)




Very strenuous cardio while simultaneously working muscular endurance is what I call a “twofer.” Both are crucial from a metabolic standpoint, as well as for attaining my personal fitness goals- so I would be doing both types of exercise, anyway…may as well get two for the time of one!

Rowing technique almost always has room for improvement. Too many people push out and in quickly, but not efficiently. They don’t powerfully push with the legs. That’s problem one. Then they pull with the arms prematurely. That’s problem two, and it creates problem three: a short stroke.

You want long, efficient, powerful strokes when rowing. You should follow this technique:

Step 1- Push with the Legs
Step 2- Engage the Core and Lean Back (far beyond 90-degrees)
Step 3- Pull with the Arms
Step 4- Punch the Arms back Out
Step 5- Lean the Core back In
Step 6- Pull the Legs In and Reach the Arms far forward

This will challenge all the muscles I spoke of initially and give you a long, powerful stroke.

It will also be freggin’ hard! Remember what I always say: there’s sweetness in the struggle!

Try this Express Rowing Workout.

500 Meter Row
30-second rest
400 Meter Row
30-second rest
300 Meter Row
30-second rest
200 Meter Row
30-second rest
100 Meter Row
30-second rest
500 Meter Row

Challenge yourself to complete this in 10-minutes! Tough? Yes. But short, sweet, and exhilarating? Yes, Yes, Yes!! IMG_9507







After that, I recommend this easy, tasty, and healthy snack. It is well balanced with protein, carbs, and fat. (You could cut the sugar a bit by using PBfit, instead of PB2).


7oz 2% Fage Greek yogurt
1/2 banana, sliced
1 T PB2

Stir and Done!

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