Get in Shape for Summer – PEAK10


peak flyer

Summer is just around the corner, which means time to pull out that bathing suit from last season and see if it still fits.  Preparing for shorts, sundresses, bikinis, and hot days on the beach we all want to look and feel our best. If you are looking for the perfect “GET READY FOR SUMMER” Workout or just want to take your fitness level up a notch, PEAK 10 is the program for you.

Tomorrow we are starting a 6 week PEAK 10 SUMMER CHALLENGE at Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena, CA. If you don’t live in the area or can’t join us at the gym, Michelle Dozois (the Creator of the Program) has developed an online forum with virtual support so you can follow along at home.

Join the “at home” PEAK 10 SUMMER CHALLENGE on Facebook. And, if you do not already have the full Peak Fit System Kit, you can purchase it at www.peakfitsystem.com. Or buy the lastest DVD’s Michelle just released at www.michelledozois.comThese three DVD’s would be the perfect combination to getting a strong and lean body, feeling sexy, healthy and ready to take on the summer! Click on the images below to order or see previews of the new DVD’s.

Cardio Strength

Peak10 Cardio Strength Remix ~ a metabolism boosting strength training & cardio sequences.

Cardio Interval Burn

CARDIO INTERVAL BURN ~ cardio sequences that use a variety of movements from athletics, kickboxing, calisthenics, and aerobics.

BodyFIT 360

BodyFIT 360 ~ a cutting edge, bodyweight and dance-conditioning workout for those looking for a new and challenging way to feel strong, flexible lean and fit.

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peak10 | summer session

For those of you who live in the Pasadena Area, the Peak10 summer session at BreakThru Fitness starts in just a few short weeks. Registration is this Friday, April 13th @ 5am.  This program was LIFE-CHANGING for me in so many ways. Something to consider if you are looking to take your health, fitness and wellness to the next level. I have to admit, I am anxiously counting down the days until it starts again.  Yes, I am on the flyer for this session… humbling and slightly embarrassing, but so grateful to have the opportunity to participate in such an innovative program supported by truly amazing health professionals!

peak | week 7 recap

my week in food | personal photographs

We are on the home stretch, and in our final week of Peak10.  Just before the start of Week 7, Michelle sent out an email reminding us “to stay strong, keep showing up, commit and finish what you started?… Re-commit yourself fully”. And this was exactly what I needed to hear to motivate myself to work hard and push through the final weeks. My body was definitely feeling a bit tired and a little beat up.  My legs were aching and full of knots, my feet were killing me, and my butt and lower back were so sore it hurt to sit.  But, I also really started to see noticeable changes in my muscle tone and definition, particularly in my arms.  Old jeans were fitting again. And several co-workers commented on how great I looked. All of which really encouraged me to step it up for the last 2 weeks. Workouts for Week 7:

  • monday | circuit training + zumba
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | pure cardio + groovalicious
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | pilates
  • saturday | hike with friends
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn + zumba

I am still eating clean and healthy, and have really noticed the positive effects from this change. Clean-eating has become more of a lifestyle for me;  viewing food as fuel for my body instead of just using it to satisfy cravings. I have more energy, feel lighter, and have far less stomach issues.  I have learned to slow down a bit when I eat, appreciating my food and taking the time to enjoy each meal.  No doubt, it has been an adjustment but there are so many long-term benefits that I can’t imagine going back to my old habits.

Lesson learned from week 7:

  • it’s a lifestyle | clean eating is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. staying fit is not about a finding a quick fix, it’s a permanent change.

ONE MORE WEEK!!!

peak | week 6 recap

my week in food | personal photographs

This has been one of the craziest and busiest weeks I have had in a long time. Full of new exciting projects, including this website for my dear friend MC; an amazing personal trainer, nutrition coach and wellness guru. She is uplifting, passionate, and has such a bright spirit…making her an absolute pleasure to work with. I worried that with all of the deadlines, long hours, and very little sleep, there would be no way I could find the time or muster up the energy to make it the gym. But, this wasn’t the case at all.  I found that I craved my workouts even more; giving me the opportunity to take a mental break, get a good healthy sweat, and of course work out some of the stress and tension. Not to mention, I felt re-energized and clear-minded afterwards…ready to get back to work!  I think this speaks volumes about the positive affects of maintaining balance in your life. Workouts for the week:

  • monday | circuit training
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | pure cardio + groovalicious
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | rest day
  • saturday | step + pure strength
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn

Knowing I was headed into a very hectic week, I made pretty much all of my food ahead of time so that I would not fall back into my old habits of ordering thai take out while working into the wee hours of the morning. I was able to eat healthy + light + satisfying snacks and meals. Not to mention, I had a food photo shoot this weekend (keeping our fingers crossed for an exciting new project on the horizon). Luckily for me, I was asked to feature healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free recipes….which of course we enjoyed after the final photographs were taken! This week taught me perhaps, one of the biggest lessons learned from this experience: the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in life, and taking a few moments for yourself to re-charge.

Lesson learned from week 6:

  • balance | It is so important to take a few moments for yourself to re-charge and step away from our busy lives. Whether it be a hike, a killer sweat session, or preparing a simple, healthy meal that is good for your body + mind.

Final countdown…only 2 weeks left!

peak | week 5 recap

groceries to start the week | personal photograph

WooHoo! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, with only 3 more weeks left in the Peak10 program. But, curiously I find this very bitter-sweet… I am proud of myself for all that I have accomplished thus far, nevertheless I will feel pangs of sadness when it is all over. We started a new peak cardio strength routine this week, which is KILLER! I feel a whole new set of muscles working and burning (aka-screaming in agony). It seems that the strength portion is a lot more leg-focused. Tons and tons of lunges; lunge jumps, alternating lunges, pulsing lunges…seriously every kind of lunge you can imagine. And my hamstrings and quads have taken notice. In addition to our new cardio strength routine, my workout schedule for the week was as follows:

  • monday | circuit training
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | boot camp + pure cardio
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | rest day
  • saturday | 3-20 circuit + core + step
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn

I did great on food this week, eating very healthy and clean, and pretty much following the meal plan I had set-up for myself…until friday rolled around.  I think any time you start your day by throwing your green smoothie to the way-side in exchange for a bag of potato chips, you are in trouble. I don’t know what it is about me and potato chips, but if they are anywhere in the vicinity, I will hunt them down and devour them. Which is why I normally avoid them like the black plague and NEVER-EVER buy them for our house. Unfortunately for me, a co-worker brought a giant bag to the office and that was all it took.  To make matters worse, having chips for breakfast was just the beginning of a downward spiral into a vortex of processed food and junk. I won’t give you the full list for the day, but needless to say it included fried shrimp tacos, more chips and an unfathomable amount of shortbread cookies. And while the food tasted good going down, I felt heavy, tired, and lethargic the rest of the day. I woke up saturday craving raw foods, loads of water, and a serious sweat session…all of which I did! when I started to think about my junk food frenzy from the previous day, I realized something: I had been craving sweets for about 2 days, but was determined to stick to my healthy meal plan for the week, so I deprived myself of what my body wanted.  I think if i had just listened to my needs and given in to a little treat, I may have found myself satisfied, content, and feeling good about my decisions. Instead of weighed down, guilty, and literally in a food coma.

Lesson learned from week 5:

  • treat yourself | Reward yourself and provide room for freedom + flexibility in your diet.  You deserve it, and it may prevent you from losing total control!

Only 3 weeks left!

peak | week 4 recap

groceries to start the week | personal photograph

Week 4 marks the half-way point of my Peak10 journey, along with mid-challenge weigh-in and measurements.  I felt such a sense of achievement and delight as Michelle took my measurements and showed me the results on my peak card;  I am down almost 4lbs and have lost considerable inches in my arms, thighs, and hips. It was very reassuring to know all of the hard work is paying off.  I am feeling energized, motivated and I am seeing noticeable changes in my body.  I have noticed more definition in my arms and stomach, my legs feel stronger, and my pants are even fitting a little looser in the booty (which is a remarkable feat for me).  I had a very busy work week, and it was difficult to find the extra time to get to the gym, so I ended up sneaking in a few workouts at home. This week’s workout schedule:

  • monday | circuit training
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | pure cardio + groovalicious
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | tracy anderson mat video at home
  • saturday | abs video + booty burn video at home
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn

I am such a “numbers” person… so seeing my positive results today has only motivated me to push a little harder physically and to be extra mindful of clean eating. As I mentioned last week, one thing I have really noticed since starting peak10 and charting my caloric intake, is that I eat ALL THE TIME. And not in a healthy, metabolism-boosting kind of way. I eat mindlessly while preparing food, again during clean up, a handful of this or that while chatting with a co-worker, a little extra chocolate before bed. I did work hard this week to focus on the absent-minded snacking. And focus on it I did;  I am now hyper-aware of my extreme snacking, yet it did not stop me.  Over the years, it has become part of my daily routine, and for me  it is one of the hardest habits to break. Now that I am fully conscious of the habit, hopefully I can work towards changing it. I am going to give all of those cliché little tricks you read about in fitness magazines a try….drinking a glass of water when I find myself reaching for the peanuts, chew some gum or have a mint, brush my teeth after each meal. I also bought extra fruits and veggies this week, so that if I do cave, I will be snacking on carrots, blackberries, or apple slices. Wish me luck!

Lesson learned from week 4:

  • Hard work does pay off | No explanation needed here
  • Take a moment | Before snacking, take a moment and decide if i am actually hungry.

Half-way….4 weeks left!

peak | week 3 recap

farmer's market for amazing produce for the week

WOW! I can hardly believe it is already the end of week 3! The time is really flying by, and I am realizing that a week from today we will be at our half-way point.  Which means a big weigh-in and measurements to give us some indication of how we are doing in comparison to the goals we set for ourselves. I only lost 1/2 a pound this week which was a little disappointing to me, considering I worked out every day.  My workout schedule for week 3:

  • monday | circuit training
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | pure cardio + groovalicious
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | circuit training
  • saturday | core + step
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn

I made sure to research recipes, plan and grocery shop on sunday, and prepared several meals ahead of time so they would be ready to take to work or eat when I got home from the gym.  I did notice that I was STARVING this week. I was really pushing myself to the max on weights and cardio so I was burning more calories, and was so hungry after a workout that I was consuming about 250 more calories a day. A few other changes I made this week (with regret); I added the ritual of morning coffee back into my life, was supplementing with raw organic bars and protein shakes, and I was drinking a pre-made green juice that I purchased from a health food store instead of making my own green smoothies.  Going into week 4, I am going to make a real effort to consume fewer bars, these are so high in calories and they don’t keep me feeling full for long. I think I would be better off eating an apple and almond butter or raw veggies with hummus.  I will also definitely be making my own green smoothies again, loaded with dark leafy greens in the morning, the store-bought juice did not give me the same energy and had a lot more sugar.  And somewhat reluctantly, I am going cut out the coffee again…possibly only drinking it on the weekends. I tend to go overboard on the caffeine if I let myself have one cup it turns into three, leaving me feeling jittery and a little light-headed. I have also become painfully aware that I eat mindlessly ALL DAY LONG. Without even realizing it I will eat 200 calories in peanuts at the office while chatting to a co-worker or have just a “bite” of a dessert that a friend orders.  I wasn’t hungry, my body didn’t need or want anything, I was just eating to eat. I will definitely be working on awareness and self-control this week when it comes to absent-minded snacking.

Lesson learned from week 3:

  • Listen to your body | it tells you exactly what it needs + wants

Going into week 4, I am going to amp up the intensity of my workouts. I know the routines well enough at this point to really push myself and my body. As for my nutrition plan,  I personally feel most satisfied and healthy when I consume a primarily plant-based diet. Lots of big green salads, steamed veggies, lentils and legumes for me.  I will post some of my favorite recipes soon.

3 weeks down, 5 to go!

peak | week 2 recap

groceries to start the week | personal photograph

Going into peak week 2, I was still feeling enthusiasm + anticipation for my workouts. I managed to maintain a pretty intense workout schedule, taking a required “rest day” on friday, as my shins, calves, and ankles have been screaming at me. I also tried a new cardio class at Breakthru called Groovalicious on Wednesday night. I know, cheesy name, but amazing class if you like to dance and don’t mind embarrassing yourself a little.  This week I did the following workouts:

  • monday | circuit training
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | pure cardio + groovalicious (an amazing new dance class)
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | rest day
  • saturday | core + step
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn

The first half of week 2, I started off strong sticking to my beautifully crafted nutrition plan. But as thursday rolled around, I fell into the traps of peer pressure and dining out with friends.  I am not someone who has strong will power when it comes to food, I LOVE to eat… so needless to say through the weekend my diet was a far cry from the super healthful, clean food I had planned for myself.  I had a few too may drinks with friends (at lunch no less), indulged in all of the carbohydrate goodness of indian food, and I won’t even mention the amount of processed food I consumed on super bowl sunday. So going into week 3, my plan is to get back on track. Plan my weekly meals, do my grocery shopping and prepare several of my meals and snacks today.  Leaving room for small treats and occasional indulgences. if I want my body to feel good than I have to put good things into it…..bottom line.

Lessons learned from week 2:

  • Indulging |  4 days of indulging DOES affect your waist line!
  • No excuses | There are no excuses for getting back on track!

This week I am going to experiment with some new recipes; collard wraps, a sun-dried tomato and nut paste, and lentil clusters….check back later in the week for some of the recipes! 2 weeks down, 6 to go!

peak | week 1 recap

This week was tough, but it actually flew by and we were back with our group on sunday weighing in. Shockingly, I lost 2.5 pounds.  I was so motivated and inspired by the program, that I went a little crazy with the workout schedule, but I enjoyed every minute of it. This week i did the following workouts:

  • monday | circuit training
  • tuesday | peak cardio strength
  • wednesday | boot camp + pure cardio
  • thursday | peak cardio strength
  • friday | BUTI (this was supposed to be a rest day, but a friend insisted i try it)
  • saturday | core + step
  • sunday | peak cardio interval burn

I also did a fantastic job of sticking to my meal plan this week. My diet consisted of almost entirely plant-based raw food, legumes, and some supplements. A lot of huge green salads loaded with raw veggies and of course the GGS smoothie. I did manage to go without my coffee this week, but I did have a (rather large) glass of wine with a friend and a little tuna sashimi on Saturday night.  These were not in the plan for the week, but I deserved a little treat! For me, the key to sticking with a healthy, clean diet is planning ahead, shopping ahead, and cooking ahead. That way I don’t come home starving, eating the first thing I can find or feel tempted to eat the takeout my co-workers pick up for lunch everyday.

Lessons learned from week 1:

  • Plan |  plan your meals, grocery shopping, and cooking ahead of time
  • Sleep | getting enough sleep is essential, you will be tired
  • Recover | stretching and foam rolling are imperative to help muscles recover

One week down, seven weeks to go!

peak | day 1

"the journey begins" | personal photograph

Today was the first day of the Peak10 challenge. I missed this initial meeting last time I participated and was excited to join the other “peak folks” as we embarked on this eight week journey.  We arrived early on a sunday morning, received our packet of materials, went to do the dreaded weigh-in and have our measurements recorded, followed by the even more dreaded “before photo” session in nothing but a sports bra and shorts. I don’t care what anyone says, this part of the program is probably the most uncomfortable for me. There is nothing more humbling than standing in a room with a bunch of strangers in your bra and shorts having your picture made for all to see.

Finally, the fit test.  This is a short but grueling test of endurance, stamina and agility.  We are given 1 minute to repeat a particular exercise as many times as possible. This is done 10 times with 10 different exercises (everything from tuck jumps, to sideouts, to burpies).  We record our number for each of the exercises and will then repeat the fit test at the very end as a basis of comparison. Voila, day 1 workout finished!

After the morning peak meeting, some friends (who are also participating)  and I had an amazing brunch with fresh oranges, fritatta loaded with veggies, and coffee. My LAST cup of coffee for a week…yikes. For the first week I have decided to go without caffeine, alcohol, diary, or gluten. My diet will consist primarily of plant-based raw foods.  I have researched and found lots of delicious recipes that I will make the first week. And while i am not too worried about the food cravings, I am not looking forward to mornings without my cup of joe. I am a self-proclaimed coffee addict.  Instead of my morning coffee, I will be drinking this little concoction from Kimberly Snyder. I will keep you posted on this green drink, wish me luck…I am going to need it.