This week’s addition of the CROF weekly update is brought to you Colorado-style. I have *lived* Colorado style for the past three days! (not long enough!)

After a short busy week I escaped to Snowmass, Colorado on Thursday morning to see my Grandma for her 79th birthday and to show Jordan my favorite place in the world, (dragging him to all my favorite things from when I used to work out here).

[CROF Definition] Colorado-style: living/being as active as physically possible. Spending more hours of the day outside than inside. Breathing in the most fresh, invigorating air. Appreciating nature.


I am currently in my happy place. 🙂

This week’s update includes:

  • two articles written by me
  • scenic photos
  • semi-heavy lifts
  • 1 amazing client success story

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Personal Updates:

I recently celebrated what was the one year mark of living in Boston!

It was crazy to think that a year ago I cried driving allllll the way from Chicago to Boston, (with one rear view mirror, how symbolic) reluctantly moving my life and leaving my friends and #shrednation.

However, thanks to all of the amazing people in the fitness industry here, I feel at home and very happy. I cannot imagine not having lived in Boston. My life has significantly changed for the better. And, I have re-signed my lease to live in Boston one more year!


I remember telling myself and my friends that one of the most nerve racking parts of moving was that it was all of the “new” to come. Like I was about to open a door to a room full of lovely people with whom I needed to meet, encounter and develop relationships. It was weird to think that there were possibly hundreds of people in this world that I didn’t know yet…


And honestly, when I left Boston I still didn’t want to open the door. I didn’t think I needed to meet anymore people. But I did. And I went to Boston and I don’t regret it for a a second. I regret the hours I wasted being nervous and sad to leave  Chicago.

As one of my friends, mentors and role models, Keoni Hudoba says, “Leap and the net will appear.”

That saying reminds me of cheerleading. You let them throw you, then you do a huge trick and hope that after the trick someone or something will catch you. I think that's another reason the saying resonates with me.

That saying reminds me of cheerleading. You let them throw you, then you do a huge trick and hope that after the trick someone or something will catch you. I think that’s another reason the saying resonates with me.

It’s such a true sentiment.

Take the leap, make the move, test yourself and trust yourself and life and the process. Everything works out.


Sunday: Rest Day. My active recovery was cleaning.

Monday: Lower body day featuring deadlifts at 205 lbs. (3×5)

Tuesday: Cyc Fitness (taught the 45 minute class) + Upper body day

I typically would not have lifted the day after lower body, but I wanted to fit in all my training sessions since I was going out of town over the weekend.

On one of my upper body days I have to complete 4 sets of 4 – 6 pull ups with a slow eccentric. In week 1 I did 4 sets of 4 because those eccentrics are KILLER!

This week I was able to do 2 sets of 5 and 2 sets of 4… progress!

Wednesday: Lower Body day with a glute/ham focus

I hate Shelcs!!! But I also love them 🙂

I did 3 sets of 8 squats, still sore from Monday so I went light.

I also went lighter on the barbell hip thrust because I didn’t realize there was supposed to be a 3 second eccentric during week 1. Whoops! looks like it was 115 pounds for me this week!

Here is a video of finisher circuit:

Thursday: Rest Day.

Friday: 30 minute short hike, 30 minute jog downhill + 2 hour Ute Trail extravaganza

My legs are still tired. Literally.

One of my favorite trails in Aspen is the Ute Trail. It takes you all the way from the city to the top of the Gondola. If you hike up the mountain you can ride down for free.

Saturday: Circuits at home + day hike to Grizzly Lake with Grandma!

  • 3×8 reverse lunges
  • 3×8 overhead press
  • 3 sets of 3-3-3 cluster pull-ups
  • 3×8 narrow push ups


Big news this week!

Well okay, not really but kind of: I gave up Quest bars during the week when I am not traveling.

I decided to omit them from my everyday diet because I figured with travel days coming up on Thursday and Sunday I would be consuming more of them.

I really did not miss them until I ate some on my travel day!

I think there’s a big lesson here: instead of saying to myself, “Okay you are never, *ever* allowed to have these again because they are bad,” I said “Your diet doesn’t need them right now; you can prep real food at home; you aren’t that busy!”

I then focused on continuing to eat more veggies and decided to fill the Quest bar void with eggs and oats!

You are probably wondering why?

At certain times of the month or when my stress is high I will tend to want to eat two Quest bars in one sitting and even more than one bar in a day. They are small, convenient and seriously guilt-free.

While I can fit those into my diet and sometimes on my busiest days they are life savers, they don’t always fill me up completely and I have to try much harder to not go over my calories for the rest of the day when I eat them. I have to exude more will power because I don’t feel like my actual meals are as filling (and they aren’t because I do not have as many calories per meal to consume when I eat two quest bars as snacks).

For two small bars they are high calorie and not entirely filling.

What did I switch to? I have actually given into Jordan’s favorite: eggs ‘n oats!

eggs n oatsI used to ridicule him for mixing his eggs with oats. I thought, “how disgusting!” because I always ate my oats sweetened and eggs with Siracha separately on the side.

Now I find myself making 1/4 cup of egg beaters and 1/4 cup of oats before I teach or lift. Who am I?!

By doing this switch I was able to cut my calories from 180-200 (from a Quest Bar) to 100 ish calories.

I am trying to focus more on small subtle changes throughout the week to emphasize the deficit and then switch to more of a maintenance-mode mindset over the weekends amidst traveling.

Important sidenote: on Saturday we took a day hike (6.5 miles) for my grandma's 7th birthday. We brought small sandwiches and fruit. I had never felt so much of a "food is fuel" feeling before. After three hours of uphill trekking the sandwich was amazing! However, it was crazy because it was such a small amount compared to a normal lunch for me yet I was SO thankful for that fuel because I felt the immediate difference in energy so I could continue on.

Important sidenote: on Saturday we took a day hike (6.5 miles) for my grandma’s 7th birthday. We brought small sandwiches and fruit. I had never felt so much of a “food is fuel” feeling before. After three hours of uphill trekking the sandwich was amazing! However, it was crazy because it was such a small amount compared to a normal lunch for me yet I was SO thankful for that fuel because I felt the immediate difference in energy so I could continue on.


This way, when I am not in my own kitchen prepping and measuring I do not stress as much about being perfect; I do not worry about going over my calories because I am at a bigger deficit when the weekend begins.

Going back to my Getting Lean(er) challenge, with several weekend trips under my belt at this point, the process hasn’t been as speedy as I would like.

I am going to extend my deadline to the end of summer, which in my book will be September 1.

The cool part about doing this is to see what I can learn and find out as many strategies as possible for my clients over the entire summer when parties, weekend trips, barbecues and dinner outings are abundant.

Stay tuned for more tips via the #daretomove Motivator list this week 🙂

What I am reading:

1. 3 Ab Exercises for a Stronger Core via Adam Pine

2. How to Measure and Improve Muscle Strength via The PTDC

3. The Truth about Carbs– how many should I eat and why via Girls Gone Strong

4. My First Powerlifting Meet: what I learned via Rosenthal Fitness

5. 6 Exercises to work your glutes via Running Competitor

6. My Favorite Exercise Combinations: Installment 6 via Miguel Aragoncillo

7. 3 Simple Carb Cycling Strategies for Faster Fat Loss via Healthy Living Heavy Lifting.

8. The Last Word on Lats via Bonvec Strength

9. 4 Ways I’m Evolving as a Coach via Mike Robertson of Robertson Training Systems

10. Food Pushers via Girls Gone Strong

11. Losing 100 Pounds via

12. Exercises you should be doing: Hover Deadlift via Tony Gentilcore

13. 10 Reasons to Get Lean via Bryan Krahn

14. I’d love to get started… I’m just waiting for the perfect time via Precision Nutrition

15. How to love exercising via Crossroads of Fitness

16. Exercise rest periods: how long to rest between sets via Crossroads of Fitness

Exercise of the Week: SHELC

“Supine Hip Extension Leg Curl”

Recently I have been working on developing my hamstrings. I used to almost over use them, but now after a year of learning how to activate and properly use my glutes it is time to bring the hammies back into the game. I also hope that by increasing hamstring strength I will improve my deadlift.

This exercise may not seem very new to you and in fact, it isn’t really “new” to me. What is new is proper form.

In college the cheer team would lift one-two times a week and the trainers had us do single-leg SHELCs.

Back then I thought those were easy.

Now, with proper form, (my glutes elevated the entire time) with this small ball the regular SHELC is *SO* challenging! Come to find out, I was always doing them wrong.

Try these with a med ball or smaller sized physio-ball.

Expert Tip: Do not be afraid to use your arms to stabilize yourself. Also make sure the ball starts directly under your heals or even closer to your ankles. Squeeze your glutes the entire time.

Client Spotlight: Bani

My client, Bani, came to me on a mission: she wanted to lose weight as fast as she could sustainably. She was passionate, driven and focused. I told her it would be tough but absolutely possible. We just needed to be a team and work together.

Bani is incredibly diligent in everything she does and that carried over to her diet. She asked great questions and always kept me in the loop. We texted or spoke about once a day the entire program.

I am so proud of Bani, losing six pounds in 12 weeks. She also lost four inches in her hips!

Bani 12 wk


Here’s her side of the story:

Where to begin… the past 12 weeks have been the most challenging yet gratifying experience I have had in a while. As far as I can remember, I have always been on some kind of diet – literally everything from being a pescitarian, KETO, master – cleanse, paleo, green juice cleanses (as you can see the list goes on and on and on) yet nothing ever stuck. I saw myself going through these fad diets week after week and would feel GREAT & super skinny for about a week or two but inevitably it was all destined for doom.

I always came up against two dilemmas during these dieting periods – fatigue and pure hunger.

I’ve been active my entire life and truly enjoy working out (weird right?). Whether I was in school or working, I always found that working out was a healthy outlet to help me de-stress– especially if I was having a bad day. Yet, I could never figure out the balance of working out and eating right. I mean I obviously knew the good foods from the bad but I never saw the results I wanted because I either starved myself with just eating salads or “treated” myself to one too many scoops of ice cream simply because I justified it by working out.  Other times when I considered myself to be in the “zone” and “serious about losing weight” I would starve myself / workout intensely and feel great for a day or two and end up binging the rest of the time. All in all I was sick and tired of this perpetual wheel I had been on for the past 5+ years and needed help ASAP.

This 12 week journey all started at a 5am Barry’s Bootcamp class when I felt that familiar feeling of hunger and fatigue kick in. I knew something had to change and I turned one of the greatest Barry’s instructors I’ve had thus far for guidance – GARRETT to the rescue! After jumping on the phone and vetting out all my goals and what I was looking to do, Garrett put together a week – to – week plan for me. Before beginning I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want this to just be another FAD I went through but really wanted a lifestyle change and wanted the meaning of “dieting” to change for me. After a couple of tweaks here and there and after immense guidance from Garrett I started to see changes! Not only did I feel / look great but I felt so much stronger than I ever have before! That feeling of starvation and fatigue were long gone. And the most appalling part of this whole process was that Garret told me it wasn’t necessary for me to exercise to lose weight – IMAGINE THAT!

bani 12 week sideview

I have to admit though at times this 12 week program wasn’t easy – especially when it came to social events and traveling. I’m a typical 24 year old who likes to go out with friends to good restaurants – drink, eat, drink, socialize, drink more (you get the idea). Within the span of these 12 weeks I traveled 4 times and probably went out every other weekend.  I knew I wanted to see some serious results but didn’t want to hide in a hole and cut myself off socially – so with the meticulous guidance from Garrett we were able to find a happy medium. I learned what to look for when going out and mastered the art of drinking.

I’m still a work in progress but these past 12 weeks I have lost some stubborn lbs. & inches, gained some serious muscle and can truly say I have finally found that balance. So much of this program is a mental game – you truly have to want to make these changes for yourself and no one else! I can’t thank Garrett enough for her help and constant support and look forward to seeing more results in the upcoming months!!!


#daretomove & #daretoeat


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