Some Easy Workouts You Can Do at Home (with or without weights)

Some of these are older, but I thought I would share a few different workout ideas that you can take with you if you’re on vacation or that you can do if you can’t quite afford a weight set or workout program first.

Before we do any workout, however, we must warm up!


Here are some weight-optional chest, shoulder and back exercises
And of course, some ab work!
This is a bootcamp workout I made for my Team Athena peepz and while I am using weights in the vid, any of these weights can be replaced with a broom stick, dumbbells, soup cans, small child, or even done weight-free.

And of course, we can’t forget our legs!  I use dumbbells in this video, you can probably sub soda cans or whatever you found in the hotel fridge that’s got a little weight.  Get creative!


How Turbo Fire Saved and Changed My Life


See this woman right here?  A lot of who I am today I owe to her.  She didn’t do the work, but she helped guide me through the right steps to take and because of her, for the first time in my life I can confidently say that I am both physically AND emotionally healthy.  Wow.

When I first started working out, I looked like this:

I was a shell of the person that I thought I was.  My confidence was pretty much negative.  I hated myself.  I was too ashamed of my body to go out and meet friends.  I thought for sure, people would judge me.  I was constantly judging myself, how could other people not do the same?  

In that photo, I was 301.5 lb.  The heaviest I have ever been.  It was the rock bottom I  needed to hit to get things together and turn them around.  I ordered P90X and the pamphlet in the box lead me to Team Beachbody where I started hearing about Turbo Fire.  I looked at the Turbo Firers’ before and after photos on the messageboards and saw the energy in their posts and it was inspiring.  So I ordered it, even before I was done with P90X.  I added Fire 45 EZ and Greatest HIIT’s here and there in my P90X schedule.  When 90 days of P90X were up, I was excited for the first time about exercising – because I was about to start Turbo Fire.  I was 265 lb when I started Turbo Fire.  I was also sick. 

Turbo Fire forced me to push outside of my comfort zone.  I was always fat, whether I was visibly fat or skinny fat.  It was largely my mentality.  I also have asthma so the idea of exercise let alone cardio was always uncomfortable.  Well, guess what Turbo Fire is.  Cardio conditioning.  There is some resistance in the program, but largely, Turbo Fire is cardio.  Except unlike other cardio programs and workouts, Turbo Fire is fun.  Really, really fun.  You dance and kick box and jump around to old school hip hop and techno.  If you can’t jump, that’s okay.  Alee is the modifier and she is awesome to follow.  She still puts some insane energy into her workouts so you still get a great calorie burn.  That’s Alee on the right:

It was more than just good music and fun choreography that made this work for me.  Chalene has this energy about her.  Even though she’s not there in the room with you and has never actually met you, you can feel coming from her that she sincerely wants you to succeed and she gives a crap that you do. She helps you learn how to speak to yourself because honestly, your mind quits in your workout about 10 times before your body does.  Learning that and becoming aware that how I talk to myself determines my perception and how I feel about working out and life in general was really eye-opening for me.  She taught me that I determine how I experience things.  Things don’t just happen to me.  The world is not against me.  It’s just how I decide to interpret my life and the challenges I meet.  That was really important for me to learn and I hope that at Coach Summit this year, I get a chance to thank her for that.  Well, if I don’t break down sobbing first.  Crap, I’m crying now.  

Outside of Turbo Fire, Chalene also helped me to start to realize my own capabilities and what I have to give this world with her book, “Push.”  If you haven’t read this, I absolutely recommend picking it up.  It can truly change your whole life.  She gives you something most of us long for but don’t know how to get:  control, direction and a path.  In that regard, her book more than pays for itself.

Anyway, by the time I finished the 90 days of the basic Turbo Fire schedule and the 30 additional days of the advanced classes, my weight was down to 150 lb.  Not only that, but I had muscle definition.  My body was actually hot in my own mind, and we are all our worst critics in the mirror. 

Chalene and Turbo Fire gave me the confidence and self-love so that I could see myself and the changes I’d made and was able to be proud of myself.  That’s not a feeling I was ever familiar with before.  Using “Push,” I built up enough confidence in myself to pay what Chalene gave me forward.  I started coaching. Really, actively coaching.  She helped me feel confident enough in myself to reach out and “push” myself out of my comfort zone and it’s absolutely changed my life.  It’s changed everything and I am so much of a better person because of it.

Coming up on April 21st, I am taking the Turbo Kick instructor training class so that I can become certified to teach Turbo to others.  This is my final step in preparation before I start running my Turbo Fire challenge group starting May 7th.  I want to help other people not only lose the weight, but reach their fullest potentials and learn to love themselves as well and I’m finally truly ready to open my heart all the way and do this.

If you’re reading this and you’re overweight, in debt or you’re unhappy with yourself (or all of the above really) and desperately want to change… send me an email PLEASE.  I want you in my challenge group.  If you don’t already have Turbo Fire, message me before you purchase it so we can discuss the best option for starting – if you need the Fire Starter pack or if you want to jump right in to Turbo Fire and also how to accommodate that with the right nutrition.  I know change is scary.  Reaching outside of your comfort zone is scary.  Like Chalene was there for me, she’ll be there for you and I will be there for you also.  I’m on your side and I will help you get there every step of the way.  You are worth having a wonderful life, no matter what hiccups have been on your journey up until now.  Take your power back.  Decide and take action.  You won’t be alone.  I’ll be your shoulder the whole journey.

Take the first step and sign up on my site so that I am your official coach.   That’s the only part you’ll have to do alone.  Once you take that first step, I’ll be there to help you the rest of the way.

What is Your “WHY?”

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

Most people want to lose weight or tone up.  We live in a country (well, I live in this country maybe you don’t) where we are surrounded by processed foods and over-sized portions and artificial sweeteners and as a result, most of us are overweight. That excess weight leads to a poor body image and depression and results in more weight.  It’s a vicious cycle and it’s hard as hell to break.

We all want to lose weight fast.  If something doesn’t provide instant gratification, it’s easy to lose hope and just give up.  We yo-yo with dieting.  We get bored of our workouts.  Our friends, family, coworkers, society in general sabotage us by lack of support for our efforts.  So we get stuck.  Stuck being fat and stuck being miserable.

I work for a company called Beachbody.  I coach for them and help people learn how to eat healthier without dieting and also help them get through Beachbody’s exercise programs.  I don’t do this to make money, although it is a perk.  In fact, most of the time I do this for people for free.  I do this because Beachbody saved my life.  Seriously.  Beachbody gave me something that Atkins, Slim Fast, Jillian Michaels, Self, Crunch, 24 Fitness, Jenny Craig and countless other things I tried couldn’t.  Support.  Through Beachbody, I found people who were there for me.  Who were on similar journeys or who had been.  With the support I found, learning how to eat healthily and learning to love working out, I lowered my blood pressure from 170/100 to 110/60.  I reversed my prediabetic status.  I reversed my non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.  And I earned a body and state of mind that is healthy and confident.  

With coaching, I pay this forward. I work with people in a way that is different than other weight loss groups I’ve participated in.  See, what I believe is that being overweight is a symptom of something deep inside. When you’re hurting inside, you wear it outside.  When you start learning to love yourself, you reflect that by taking better care of yourself and the weight starts to come off.  

The first step is to do some soul-searching to find within yourself why you put on the extra pounds in the first place.  The next step is to focus on really why you want to lose them.  For some people, they want to finally be able to sport a bikini or look good in a dress for a wedding.  But for a lot of people, their reasons are deeper than that.  They’re tired of feeling sick all the time.  Their health is declining.  They’re tired of being miserable, ashamed and depressed.  Keeping focus of your WHY is a great source of motivation.  That’s what keeps you driving forward and sticking with your goal.  And having a group to push with, well, that’s the icing on the cake. When we feel supported and we feel like people truly care about whether or not we reach our goals… when we know people are paying attention, we work harder.  So I run challenge groups.  We all do a program together.  We all stick to healthy eating together.  Most importantly, we all check-in with each other EVERY DAY.  We keep each other accountable and on track.  I work with my challengers in the group and one on one to make sure everyone reaches their goals.  

If you think that you could benefit from working with me in one of my challenge groups, send me an email at  I’ll tell you how to join Team Athena and I will hold a place for you in one of my upcoming groups. Please note that to participate in one of my challenge groups, I must be your assigned Beachbody coach. All programs and challenge packs can be purchased through my site, You can just buy the program, (you don’t have to buy the whole challenge pack) to participate in a challenge group.  Here is a schedule of what is coming:

Brazil Butt Lift Challenge (starting April 9th – there is still time to get in on this):  

Victoria’s Secret models use Leandro Carvalho’s Brazil Butt Lift program to get in shape for shoots and fashion shows.  This workout is low impact, but boy does it work and in just 2 weeks, you’ll really start to see your “bum-bum” lift.  All participants who purchase a challenge pack will be sent a free pair of ankle weights on me.

Turbo Fire Challenge Group (Starting May 7th)
This is the program that took about 120 lb off my body.  90 days of Turbo Fire can change your body, your attitude and your life. With new Turbo Fire classes coming out on April 4th, anyone can get in on this no matter what your fitness level is.  

Les Mills Pump Challenge Group (starting May 7th – filling up now)
Les Mills Pump helped me drop down 2 dress sizes in 90 days.  6 weeks in, I had the beginnings of a 6 pack.  This program is awesome and uses something called the “rep-effect,” using lighter weights with a higher rate of repetition so you don’t bulk up.  Instead, you tone up, torch up to 1,000 calories a workout and your metabolism just sky-rockets.  Best part?  You only have to “Pump” 3 times a week.  There’s a reason this workout is taking over the 24 Hour Fitness classes.  Need extra motivation?  Here are my Les Mills Pump before and after photos:
P90X2 Challenge (Starting June 4th)
I have not completed P90X2 yet, however I am a P90X grad and I am also P90X Qualified, see?
P90X2 is a program that I am very excited to try and would love to have a group to do it with.  This is a challenging program and is not for those who are brand new to fitness.  So, if you are ready to work hard and push and want a great source of motivation to keep you going, get in on this and do this with me!!!

Insanity Challenge (July 2nd)
Want to torch some serious calories fast?  This is a great program to do it with and it only takes 60 days.  You’ve gotta be willing to dig deep on this one but by the time 60 days are up, you’ll be a machine.

Climb out of your comfort zone and try something new.  It’s the only way we grow.  When you stay with what’s safe, nothing changes.  I will be there for you every step of the way to make sure you succeed in reaching your goals.  You’re not alone and I will make damned sure you know it.  

Also, do you like the idea of coaching?  Want to help others reach their health and fitness goals?  Send me an email at and I’ll tell you how to join my team.  We’re awesome and we all have a whole lot of love to give!


The last couple of weeks, I’ve been in a funk.  With my whole family getting norovirus at once, having to miss my son’s first birthday party because I was in urgent care, then my birthday and my husband’s birthday and my mom’s birthday all back to back… it’s been hard to get through and I realized that lately, my attitude has been in the toilet.

Isn’t this a lovely image that I found? 

Chalene Johnson, my hero and savior and creator of all things Turbo, always stresses mental fitness.  You have to work your mental fitness before you can be physical fit.  Everything you tell yourself, your body believes.  Boy, isn’t that the truth.  I was rereading some of my blog posts last night and thinking to myself, wow.  Something is going on and something has got to change because THIS is not healthy and not the way forward and the goal here is transformation for the better, not backsliding into self-pity land because that’s where the binge-eating and emotional eating live.

This morning was very hard.  It started with my son, the little terrorist, hurling cottage cheese at the dog, at the door, on the windows, all over the floor then following this up with projectile vomit and then splashing in it as it was coming out.  Lovely, eh?  

Anyway, this started my morning in a dark place and before I let it consume me, I realized what was happening.  I gave myself a mental “bitch-slap” and forced myself to throw on my Lululemon shorts and get my butt downstairs to do some Les Mills Pump: Pump Revolution.  

First of all, that workout kicked my butt.  I am on my 4th scoop of P90X Peak Results & Recovery formula and still shaking like a leaf 30 minutes later.  I upped my weights again to 70 lb in the squat and dead lift tracks and wow.  By the time the shoulder track came about, I was already failing push-ups (which are my strongest exercise).  

But something really important happened by the end.  I realized I was barely even able to do the ab track and suddenly, my mind reset.  I was humbled by my inability to perform perfectly and snapped out of the funk.  I realized that it’s okay that my eating hasn’t been perfect lately.  I’m one strong and determined woman and I have come so far, there ain’t no way in HELL I’m letting myself backslide.  Today has been hard so far, but I’ve survived.  I haven’t turned to food. I got my workout in despite the chaos this morning started off with and that’s what matters.  

I also know now that I need to start reorganizing my day and forcing myself out of bed at 5 am, like it or not.  Letting myself lie in bed lazily until 8 staring blankly at my Facebook newsfeed is not helping the way I feel. 

So that’s it.  Funk is over.  Turbo Kick instructor certification and Coach Summit are coming and I want to be my best for both and that means there is NO ROOM for negativity.  Period.  


Just the word “diet” makes me want to go out and eat an entire chocolate cake.  By myself.  Then maybe follow it up with a double bacon cheese burger and fries.

I have tried them all: Master Cleanse, grape fruit diet, South Beach, Zone, Atkins, cabbage soup, countless GNC cleanses…. none of them worked.  They all made me angry, tired and miserable and eventually, I ended up yo-yoing back to eating horribly.

So, I don’t diet.  Yes, I eat according to the Paleo lifestyle, but that’s because I have developed food intolerances after having my gallbladder taken out.  I do log my food, just so I don’t go nuts, but that’s out of habit.  I do not log to count calories.

Instead, I have 2 rules.

The first rule is everything I eat must be balanced between carbs and protein.  So, protein shakes have berries added.  If I eat an apple, I eat a piece of string cheese or some beef jerky.  I also keep my foods to single servings at a time.  It’s just easier.  For main meals, I divide my plate up so it’s half veggies, half lean protein and maybe a little serving of healthy unsaturated fat (the only saturated fats in my diet come from coconut since medium chain triglycerides get burned by your body differently).   If you don’t follow paleo, you could do something like this:

Plate from

My 2nd rule for eating is if I start feeling hungry, I make sure I’m not thirsty first.  Before I eat, I drink 8 oz of water.  Then I wait a few minutes.  If I still get hunger pangs, then I eat.

Does this mean I never indulge and eat dessert?  No!  I am just mindful of what my desserts are.  In fact, I have a pretty awesome tool I use for desserts.  

Anyone who has a Facebook account or has ever been curious about or tried P90X or Insanity (or any other Beachbody programs) has heard of Shakeology.  Well, I use it pretty religiously but not as a meal replacement.  Not anymore, anyway though it was my reliable quick and easy breakfast for a year and I do credit a good portion of my weight loss to that.  Now I use it as damage control.  Check this out.

Shakeology Ice Cream!!!

  • 1 frozen banana (chop the banana up before you freeze it)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology (Tropical Strawberry would probably work too)
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (you can use Nutella or peanut butter or sunflower seed butter or cashew or any nut butter really)
  • Vanilla almond milk (just in case…. I’ll explain in the directions.  Oh, and it doesn’t have to be almond milk; I like using almond milk because it’s low in calories and has a ton of nutrients in it.)
Add all of these ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend!  If it gets crumbly when you blend it, add a teeny bit of almond milk at a time until it becomes like soft serve ice cream consistency.  A frozen banana will blend to be like soft serve!!!  This is ice cream you don’t have to feel guilty about because it’s nutrient packed.  And if you don’t have Shakeology, whey protein powder works too.  I like using Shakeology because the chocolate is really chocolatey and doesn’t have that chalky or metallic after taste a lot of protein powders have going on.  

The point is, when you eat a candy bar or a piece of cake, those are basically empty calories.  You’re getting a serving of carbohydrates and fat, but there aren’t a lot of nutrients going into your body.  So, not only does the candy get stored on your body, you are more likely to get hungry again sooner than later because your body didn’t get its nutrient fix.  The calories you fed it were “empty.”  When you use something like Shakeology ice cream or avocado chocolate pudding (there is a recipe for this on Pinterest and it’s actually pretty awesome!), your body knows how to use the nutrients in those desserts and you feel full.  You are less likely to get more hunger pangs and need to continue eating.  

So that’s the trick.  Balance your meals.  Drink water and make sure the sweet stuff you eat is actually FOOD.