Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Your Personal Best workout -- Karen Voight & Elle Macpherson

If you want a really great circuit workout and still have a VCR, you might want to check out "Your Personal Best" with Elle Macpherson and Karen Voight. This workout was produced in 1994 when workouts with Supermodels were easy to find (and Karen Voight was an unknown in retail stores). Karen did have a name in the fitness industry, training the elite in Santa Monica and had produced a handful of fitness videos: Power Packed Workout, Lean Legs & Buns, Firm Arms & Abs, Energy Sprint and Pure & Simple Stretch.

Since then Karen has produced dozens of workouts. I love Streamline Fitness and really like Sleek Physique, but my very favorite is still Your Personal Best. I'd love it if they ever produced it on dvd.

Your Personal Best is a 5o+ minute cardio/weights circuit workout with absolutely beautiful scenery that switches with each segment. The video was shot in Hawaii, sometimes in resort settings, other times in more natural settings. Near the end, you might recognize the setting from Jurassic Park, only instead of seeing brontosauruses roam in the background, you see sheep and cattle. It's just stunning. At the very end, Karen and Elle stretch on slabs of rock at the ocean's shore while the waves come crashing in behind them. During the credits, they show Karen instructing the stretch segment while the tide is too high. The waves keep tumbling in on them, getting their legs and hips wet. They keep giggling through like they're trying to keep their composure to finish up the segment. It's always fun to keep watching even though the workout is over.

The workout consists of a warm-up, 3 cardio segments and 3 weight segments (alternating cardio and weights throughout. The music is great (and real) -- you hear songs like "Break My Stride" and "Some Like It Hot." The best is hearing Sting's "Fields of Gold" during the stretch at the end.

Karen instructs the workout in her reserved, but competent way while Elle interjects. It's pretty obvious that Elle is no fitness expert, but she has fun with Karen and helps gives tips here and there too (for people with long arms like hers or new shoes like she has -- don't know how many people that applies to :)).

The cardio is pretty basic and athletic instead of dancy and builds up in intensity from one segment to the next. The weight work is light, but with plenty of reps, especially on the lower body floor work. I'd say it's a solid intermediate workout. You can use heavier weights and add intensity to the cardio, but it wouldn't really make it an advanced workout -- just higher intermediate. The last cardio segment uses a combination of sports moves. I just love it and they seem to have a lot of fun together too, which is great.

This workout is over 15 years old and truly is timeless. Even the workout clothes they wore were classic enough that they don't seem dated. I guess the pants and shorts came higher on the waist than they do now, but that's about it. The only thing that dates this workout is the fact that they haven't put it on dvd yet. I say "yet" with the hope that they will. :)

Here are some thoughts on health and fitness from Karen Voight:
“Know that your body likes to exercise, the more you do, the more it can do. When you wake up in the morning and feel energized and enthusiastic about life, that is the most immediate effect of starting to exercise and it carries through at any age you are. Also remember, nobody has the luxury being fit if they don’t work out. People might look like they are in shape, and if they don’t work out, they are not as healthy as they could be. It’s more about how you feel when you wake up each morning. Thinness is not fitness.”
Karen is certainly an example of that. She doesn't simply look thin. She certainly looks toned and healthy inside and out. This is my favorite picture of Karen from her Sleek Physique dvd cover.

Here are some video clips if you want to get a peek at Your Personal Best before trying to find it used online.

Go about 4:20 into this next segment if you want to see the Jurassic Park field.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Supplements for Allergies

I have to preface this post by saying that I don't need any supplements for my allergies if I'm eating just raw foods, but since that hasn't been the case for the past several months, I've had to rely on a few helpful supplements to keep the hayfever at bay. My ideal is to not have to take supplements -- to get whatever nutrients I can from the food that I eat. But whenever I find an herb that helps me that either I can't find in a food item or in the concentration I need from the amount of food that I eat, then I go for the supplement.

My last two babies were born in the fall, which meant that my early months of pregnancy were at the peak allergy season. I was relying on antihistamines and even steroids at times to manage my seasonal allergies and asthma. (Here's an earlier post with more details on that). My OBGYN told me I couldn't use antihistamines. I was beyond frightened by that news because I knew that I'd suffer all those awful allergy symptoms without some intervention. I wasn't really into any sort of healthy eating at the time, but I had heard of herbal supplements. I asked him if I could use other supplements and he said I could look into them and check back with him. He ended up approving the three that I later brought back.

I went to the herb store and asked what might work. The woman told me that Eyebright and Goldenseal were a good combination, but that Goldenseal was not good for expectant mothers. She did recommend Stinging Nettle, Bromelain, and Quercetin though. So I bought all three.

I still take these from time to time when my allergies flare up (which isn't as often or as harsh as it used to be now that I don't eat dairy and eat better). But on occasion, I need them and am grateful to have them in my cupboard.

Stinging Nettle -- You might be familiar with stinging nettle if you've lived on the north coast or in the west as I have all of my life. It's a little plant that has leaves similar to a mint leaf, but once touched imMEDiately stings like crazy and causes little red bumps that just hurt, hurt, hurt! I've only been stung by it twice (once on a field trip in the coastal redwoods in 6th grade and again when I was on a hike near Las Vegas up in Red Rock canyon when I was 25), but I can remember the pain like it was yesterday.

Apparently the fine hairs on the leaves and the stem from the stinging nettle plant causes an allergic reaction to the skin. If the leaves are gathered while wearing gloves, you can boil them into a tea or dry them as you would other herbs and use them for tea or a supplement. I haven't tried that. I'm a bit too aware of what the leaves have done to me ungloved. So I just buy the herbal supplements in the capsule form. Stinging nettle has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation in arthritis, eczema, joint & muscle pain, gout, anemia, and hayfever (voila!) People today also use it to treat urinary tract infections, tendonitis, insect bites, and enlarged prostate conditions. Some say it also is a natural diuretic. I just say that it does indeed help with my allergies. Love that! There are probably herbal teas with stinging nettle in them too, but I just take the supplement a few times a day when allergies strike.

Bromelain -- This flaveniod is a combination of enzymes found in the stems and juice of pineapples. Have you ever made jello, decided to add some pineapple slices, then waited and waited (and waited!) for the jello to set, but it never did? I have. (Back in my jello-making days, anyway). If I had just read the side of the Jello box, I would have seen that you don't add pineapple or kiwi (later made the mistake with kiwi -- I don't learn fast, do I? :)) because they contain enzymes that interfere with the jello setting. Well these same enzymes are great for getting rid of allergies! (If I were doing the write-up for the Jello boxes, I'd add that for all the allergy sufferers out there -- helpful information!)

Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory and is approved in Germany to treat inflammation and swelling of the nasal passage and sinuses. Bromelain is also helpful for digestion of protein. Have you ever seen someone put pineapple juice in with their beef marinade to tenderize the meat? This is why. The enzymes break down the protein.

Since Bromelain serves two different purposes, experts advise taking it with or without food depending on what you are using it for. If you need it as a digestive aid, then you take it with food or with a full stomach. If you need it as an anti-inflammatory, you take it on an empty stomach and don't eat for another 1/2 hour or so to help with absorption. Interesting, isn't it? I love learning stuff like this.

Quercetin - This supplement is a phytonutrient from the coloring in apple peels and the skin in red onions. It's also found in cabbage (possibly more so in red cabbage?), cauliflower, nuts and berries. Quercetin has become respected as a powerful anti-oxidant and a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine (joining the club with the other two above). It can be found to be very effective in combination with Bromelain (as pictured to the left -- this is the brand I use). It can also reduce fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Quercetin is a flavonoid known to reduce the risk of cancer and improve cardiovascular health. If you walk into your health food store and want to ask for it, but aren't sure how to say it, it's pronounced "kwair' suh ten." I've gone in asking for it a few different ways and this is how the sales clerk ends up saying it after I bumble through it. As for bromelain, it's pronounced "broh' meh lane." I think we're all fine with saying "stinging nettle" :).

Last but never least, I take bee pollen during peak allergy season too. Here's my earlier post about the wonders of local Bee Pollen. And if you're already smack dab in the middle of having allergies, take a hot shower to wash off any allergens you can on the outside and use the neti pot to rinse out your insides. (That last link was to an earlier post too). Wishing you the ability to enjoy this spring without any allergy symptoms!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stability Ball Ab work

Next to Pilates, I think that abdominal work on the stability ball is THE most effective and beneficial to overall core health. I've tried Pilates on the ball and haven't found that mix to my liking. But I love traditional ab work and more innovative ab work on the ball. My very favorite stability ball exercise is the pike, pictured above. I like to do it with a knee tuck in between. I'll share share a few of my favorite stability ball ab workouts, each featuring the pike.

Tracie Long Productions - Core Foundations -- I just highlighted this workout in my post about Tracie Long, but I'll mention it again because it is the most complete stability ball core workout I've tried. Jeanne Anne Copleston, who was a previous background exerciser in some of the older FIRM workouts, leads this tough and creative 45 minute core workout. She uses the stability ball, a medicine ball, and a paper plate to challenge the whole abdominal region. There are some moves in this workout that I had to work up to when I first tried it -- the pikes, the tick-tocks, and the one-legged plank work. But I grew to be able to do most everything after just doing it a few times. I'd start out doing it 2 or 3x a week, then would just do it once a week after mastering the moves. Jeanne Anne is a delight because she's genuinely cheerful and down-to-earth. Some complain about the set -- it's not lovely, but it works just fine. With a ball workout like this, you're working so hard that you don't notice the set much anyway. The music is good, the sound goes up a few times when the microphone gets closer to Jeanne Anne because she's tucking her chin, but other than that, it's pretty much a perfect ab workout. Here are some reviews from VideoFitness.com if you'd like to learn more.

Cathe Friedrich's Pyramid Upper Body -- In Cathe's Intensity Series, she created two strength training workouts that compliment each other. Pyramid Upper Body and Pyramid Lower Body challenge the muscles by increasing in weight (and decreasing in reps) for each set up the pyramid and decreasing the weights (and increasing in reps) in further sets going back down the pyramid. By the time you are back at your lightest weights with the least amount of reps, your muscles are quivering. She ends each workout with a stability ball segment. These segments are my favorite stability ball add-0ns of all. Sometimes I combine them for a tough quick 21 minute challenge to my legs and abs. The ab work on Pyramid Upper Body is just 13 minutes long, but it is PLENTY to challenge your abdominals. It includes traditional ab work that you might normally do on the floor without the ball and some tough plank & pike work. If you advance the following video to 4:28 into the clip, you'll see a sample of the exercises. The pikes are at 5:43.

Cathe Friedrich's Kick Punch & Crunch -- This kickboxing workout has a short 7 minute stability ball segment to work the abs at the end. This morning I slept in, so I just did the 30 minute pre-mix of kickboxing combinations, then added on the ab work at the end. The pikes kept my heart rate up from the cardio and my heart was pumping good by the time I got to the stretch. The ab work is 4:38 into the video clip, pikes at 6:08.

Quick Fix Stability Ball Abs
-- Keli Roberts leads this workout and another one of a very similar title (Quick Fix Pilates Abs). Both are great, but don't confuse the two if you're looking for stability ball work. In Quick Fix Stability Ball Abs, there are 3 segments, one for the abdominals, one for upper body (arms and back) and one for lower body (legs and glutes). In many of the Quick Fix or 10 Minute Solution workouts, the exercises are geared to beginner or intermediate exercisers. Not in this abs section! (Not in the Pilates QF either -- it's tough!) If you have enough time to do all 30 minutes, challenge yourself by using heavier weights than you might usually use for the upper and lower sections and you will challenge your core throughout. Keli is a pleasure to workout with too. This is a really brief clip of the workout and most of it is from the upper and lower body segments. Here are some reviews if you're a review junkie like I am :).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Healthy Food Fears

I've been noticing lately that when I talk with friends about nutrition, they are often fearful about changing their eating. It's not that they are afraid they can't make the changes (well, perhaps, that's a part of it), but they seem to be fearful that something bad may happen to their bodies if they give up certain foods or add in others. I think it's interesting because the real fear should be continuing on with the Standard American Diet. It's pretty obviously not leading to health and longevity in our modern society.

Here are some common thoughts I hear:

Protein -- Many have asked, "Where will I get my protein if I don't eat animal products?" Sometimes they're afraid of not getting enough protein even just cutting back on or cutting out meat. Dairy and eggs are both known for being high in protein, but many people are afraid that they still won't get enough protein if they don't eat meat. If they stop eating dairy products, the fear increases. I don't know where this fear comes from. Like Dr. Fuhrman has said, it would be pretty rare in a developed country such as ours to find someone who is protein deficient or deficient in any of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates or fats). It's the micronutrient (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) deficiencies that we need to be concerned about (and those are primarily found in plant foods). All foods contain some protein and the myth of the need to combine foods to get a complete protein has been debunked a few decades ago. Look to the plant-eating animals. They develop their muscles somehow just fine without eating meat. Yet we still question because of inaccurate scientific studies from many years ago. Here's a post I wrote about protein awhile back if you want some further information. Oh, and I just found another previous post comparing plant protein to animal protein.

Fat -- I've had friends or relatives question the fat I'm getting from eating a variety of raw nuts or even from drinking coconut water or adding coconut meat to smoothies. One person even asked as she was about to eat some pizza smothered with cheese and pepperoni. The fat-free craze of the 90's did cause some confusion about fat intake. I think the result of people eating fat-free snacks around the clock and still not losing weight showed America that this science was a little skewed. Avocados, walnuts and flax seed are becoming more well known as good fats. Olive oil has gotten a good name too. It's still much better to get the oil from the actual olive, but we're headed in the right direction by understanding that not all fats are bad for us. We still don't need a huge amount from them, but I've found that when I get my fats from whole foods, I don't gain weight. In fact, I am often able to lose weight just fine eating fats throughout the day.

Dairy -- Many people think that the only reason to limit or stop eating dairy products is if you are lactose intolerant or if you are allergic to it. Several people mistake my problems with dairy as an actual allergy. I guess you could look at a food that doesn't promote health in your body as an allergy, but for me I can see that dairy simply lowers my immune system. I can eat dairy in December and not get asthma or hay fever because the allergens that cause those problems for me are not in the milk, they are in the seasonal blossoms and grasses. If I have any dairy products during peak allergy seasons, I am a complete allergy mess. If I avoid it and eat whole foods, I am just fine (and am medication free). However, I also see a connection with dairy (and refined foods -- just have to throw that in because they both give me problems) and the susceptibility to get sick. When I am eating a non-dairy whole food diet, I don't get all the flus and colds that go through my home. I'm as strong as an ox. When I've eaten cheese (or refined flours or sugars), my immune system falls and I get sick pretty quickly.

It's pretty evident that dairy foods weaken my body. My face breaks out when I eat dairy too. Maybe not everyone is as sensitive as I am, but I've heard a few things that make me think others are without realizing it. My son was practicing singing yesterday and said that he'd heard that he shouldn't eat dairy before a performance because it causes mucus to form in the throat. I've heard that too. And my mom used to tell me not to eat dairy when I had a cold to avoid stuffiness. Dairy probably causes mucus formation all the time (I know it does for me), but we're just more observant of it at certain times. I also heard that some children who are on chemotherapy aren't supposed to eat dairy because it lowers their already weak immune system. Interesting that those findings haven't extended to children everywhere. Instead it's the opposite. My children's lunch room is full of milk-mustache posters (which I've never thought were beautiful -- even when I drank milk) encouraging the kids to drink their milk.

I'll have to admit that I had my own non-dairy fear before I learned about the health benefits of avoiding it. I didn't think I'd be satisfied without cheese on my tacos or pizza. I didn't think I could go without milk after eating a peanut butter sandwich (or chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or all those things we think milk goes perfectly with). My very favorite snack was graham crackers and milk. And of course, there's the love of cereal and milk. But I've found my favorite almond milk works just fine with any of those -- and since I've been eating more whole foods, I rarely eat any of those "needs milk" foods anyway (and I've definitely changed the way I've shopped for or cooked those foods -- I eat healthier versions now). Here's an earlier post I wrote about switching to nondairy eating and another about non-dairy cooking.

Hunger / Not Feeling Satisfied --The other day I was at the check-out stand at Trader Joe's (which I've got to say has THE most friendly checkers I've ever seen -- I love going there), and the checker somehow got on the subject of saying that healthier foods don't taste as good as unhealthy foods. He said something like, "You've heard the saying, 'If it tastes good, then it's not good for you." I probably used to think things like that. But I've learned by giving up certain food addictions (which mess up your taste buds) that real food tastes amazing. Think of biting into that fresh strawberry. There's nothing like it. I love coming home from the store and sampling the new produce I've just bought. There are lots of "mmmmm"s and "ohhhhh"s when I do because it's just so yummy. The more you learn to eat and prepare whole foods, the better they will taste to you. I've loved watching how I've progressed over the years when I travel. I used to use a vacation as an excuse to eat everything I would normally tell myself was a bit much (or not healthy at all). Over the past few years, I've done just the opposite. I've actually been craving the fruits and vegetables which is a HUGE leap for me.

As for not feeling satisfied, I've found that the less processed food I eat and the less amount of breads, grains, and even starchy vegetables I eat, the more satisfied I am with what I eat. Grains alone (and any sugarful food) just makes me want to eat more and more. It doesn't fill me up like it should. It leaves me hungry for more or for something else. When I'm eating minimally, yes, I get hungry, but as soon as I eat, I feel wonderful for quite some time. When I snack or eat a lot of starches, I just want to eat all day long. It's self-perpetuating (and somewhat maddening). When I make sure I eat vegetables with my grains or starches, then I get full faster and feel fine.

Guess that's it. Here's to healthy eating! TTFN!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tracie Long's Longevity Series & More

Tracie Long, former FIRM video instructor and fitness expert, has some new functional fitness dvds out called the Longevity Series. If you're not familiar with functional fitness, see the end of the post where I copy Tracie's response to someone on a forum about how she started incorporating functional fitness into her workouts.

I started working out with Tracie in 1997 when I ventured out from my Denise Austin videos into some FIRM workouts (which guaranteed visible results in 10 days!). Tracie has led a multitude of fitness videos. She led the Cross Trainers workouts, called the Tortoise and the Hare (Tortoise had more weights, Hare had more cardio). From those workouts, the FIRM made "Parts" videos called "Ballroom Aerobics" (yes, they had ballroom dance on the step -- it was actually pretty fun, but it's one of those videos that people either loved or hated) and "Tough Tape" (which had the weight work from Tort and Hare -- my personal favorite of the bunch).

She later was the master instructor (a FIRM term) in the FIRM Basics series for "Sculpting with Weights." This was geared to beginners, but I always enjoyed doing it after recovering from an illness or after having a baby. Top notch instruction.

Tracie led a similar video "Maximum Body Shaping" (also called "Maximum Body Sculpting" should you ever see one at a garage sale and wonder if it's the right one -- actually I think its first release was with a completely different cover and the name "All Weights"), which was more intermediate to advanced (if you heavied up on your weights). I really loved that one.

After the FIRM was bought out by another company, Tracie made the FitPrime workouts with FIRM founder and fitness innovator, Anna Benson. I didn't love the FitPrime workouts as much as her FIRMs, but I did like Weights First and have used G-Force (her only rebounding workout -- it has cardio, weights, and yoga) dozens of times. (It's now called G-Force 1 because another instructor, Carol Miller, later led a similar workout).

After working with Anna on FitPrimes, Tracie branched out on her own producing functional fitness workouts. Her first set are known as TLPs (or Tracie Long Productions) and they are led by 3 other instructors (Jeanne Anne Copleston, Bonnie Geer, and Cindy Thorp). I bought mine on 3 separate dvds. They were later sold as a set. I don't think they're available anymore unless you find them used. Jeanne Anne's workout, Core Foundations is probably the best workout I've ever done for the core or abdominals. It's tough, but really effective. Here's one woman's success story where she specifically attributes her results to this workout. I've found that when I do Core Foundations, I'm able to do the Pilates exercises that usually are impossible for me or even more push-ups (which takes lots of abdominal strength).

I also love Functional Strength with Bonnie Geer. Yes, the set is bland and Bonnie NEVER smiles, but she is an excellent instructor and I love the workout. It's a well-planned, well-sequenced cardio/weight circuit workout using balance and functional moves. Dynamic Strength and Power was too impactful for me. I didn't try that one more than once.

In Tracie's next set of TLP workouts (this time called Functional Foundations), she led them both (and showed a new name on the cover -- Tracie Long-Matthews). These workouts, Core Cardio and Core Strength are similar to Functional Strength, but with more cardio in one workout and more weights in the other. The set is much better in these workouts. They filmed aboard the USS Yorktown in Charleston in front of an aircraft. These workouts are often referred to as the Yorktowns.

Tracie produced her next set as Tracie Long Training. These were filmed with real windows with a real view (as opposed to so many sets where the "windows" are just framed photographed scenery) of the harbor and bay in Charleston. Every once in awhile you get to see a ship moving in the water. Always fun. :) Tracie leads 2 of these workouts, Endurance for Movement and Better Burn, Better Buns (not my favorite title, but it's a really good lower body workout).

Jen Carman (former FIRM instructor for Super Cardio and FIRM Basics Fat Burning, amongst others, instructs Strength in Movement and Susan Harris (first FIRM instructor ever) leads Finding Your Core (FYC). I didn't love FYC as much as Core Foundations, but I think the workout genre is similar. You don't have to buy these in a set like the picture shows. I really like these workouts, but I haven't done them enough to find out what they can do for me. I'm sure I will eventually though.

Tracie's newest workout series, the Longevity Series, was released just a few months ago (now listed as Tracie Long Fitness instead of TLT or TLP). I wasn't sure if I wanted to order them at first since my TLTs were sort of buried beneath all the Cathe Friedrich workouts I was using. But the more I heard about them and what the intention was to get the strength built from the core out with enough cardio to keep your heart working too, I decided to give them a try. (Tracie had a great pre-order incentive too).

The four workouts in this set are Defining Shape, Back Up, Staying Power, and Step Forward. Tracie leads all of these workouts alone, without a cast. I kind of missed the cast at first, but I like the one on one feeling too. Tracie gives superb instructions and form points that I really didn't really need anyone else there. In Step Forward, Tracie teaches basic choreography with the step horizontal for the first few segments, then vertically for the last few. I love Cathe's complex dancy choreography, but it was nice to have Tracie's more athletic steps for a change. Staying Power was probably my least favorite (but if you check the reviews on Collage and Video Fitness, others say it's their favorite). The music volume was inconsistent and for some reason and I just seemed to watch the clock more. I did really like the move you can see in the video clip on Collage where you weave the medicine ball behind your knees. I'll have to figure out which pre-mix that is in and add that to another workout or use it for a time-crunched day.

I loved Back Up and Defining Shape. Back Up targets the back and core and uses both heavier and lighter weights, with some really fun cardio segments in between. There are short 20 minute pre-mixes on each dvd and I love doing the sports cardio premix (called Big Short Sweat) before yoga or Pilates (which I did this morning, in fact). Defining Shape is probably my favorite of all the Longevity workouts. It's a total body workout and I just realized that it's the only one of the 3 weight workouts that doesn't use the medicine ball. I do like the med ball, but maybe I particularly love functional fitness weight work with dumbbells. Hadn't thought of it before. Here's a peek at Defining Shape if you'd like to see it.

Some people think Tracie's later workouts aren't challenging enough, but the workouts are deceptively tough. If you listen to her instruction and really engage the core and use as heavy of weights (or medicine ball) as you can, you will definitely challenge yourself and see improvements.

Tracie teaches a variety of functional fitness classes at her Blue Fish Fitness Club in Charleston, South Carolina. I'd love to take classes from her and get a personal training session from her someday. She says her core membership is on the 35-55 year range, so that gives me another 10 years to find my way there. :) I'm sure I'll never be out of her range. After all, we're about the same age.

Here's what Tracie wrecently wrote in response to a woman on her forum about functional fitness:

When true "functional training" hit the scene, we (my trainers at the gym & cohorts in video scripting) were fascinated! We went to multiple workshops to learn everything we could!

One of our biggest educators at the time was NASM (National Academy
of Sports Medicine). This certification teaches trainers to work with their clients "from the ground up". Meaning...fix some of the issues people have with posture & inflexibility first, then strength the core, then strengthen the outward muscular system in movement patterns that we use in everyday life movements.

The exercises & combinations we used in TLT were very unique to the market. Personally, I noticed incredible results in my core strength & postures. For years I've had neck pain related to weaknesses in my upper body muscles (neglected for years) & no matter how much weight I lost my "belly" would always push out. The ability to strengthen my transverse abdominal muscles & actually hold my belly in without trying was truly a gift. Especially after 2 babies!

Tracie Long Training workouts were designed to deliver the same type of results to our home market. Because I had worked with The Firm for 15 years I knew each workout inside and out. I knew the "core" muscles had never been addressed. I figured if this was a "hole" in my workouts it probably was for the home market as well. Hence, Tracie Long Training.