Step to my Loo Workout

Well it finally happened! 

:: via ::

Spring officially appeared today in Toronto. I officially mark the first day of spring the same day as the first day I can actually wear flip flops and not have my toes freeze off!

That can only mean one thing, time to get back into the workouts!

Nothing says I love you spring like a good stair run session. If you're a beginner interval runner, or just getting back into that whole run thing after a long winter hills and or stairs are a golden place to get started. I like them because they have a built in push-me mechanism ... no matter how fast or how slow you go the stairs will always be there!

The Workout

Find a staircase that takes you approximately 30 seconds to climb - if you live in a condo a few flights of stairs are perfect!! In Toronto I love the stairs at Casa Loma. 

Bonus - this workout is BEST with a buddy! 

Set a goal of 10 rounds on the stairs at the top of each climb perform:

10 push-ups
10 burpees
10 dive bombers

Then jog down.

Maybe the first day you can only do five rounds, or four or three! The point is you did it and that is by FAR the most important thing!

Happy stepping - see you at Casa Loma soon!

More from Beauty and the Bod

Squat, Snatch, Spilt, Sprawl Workout

I had a lot of fun finding the Ss for this one!

Today's Bod Squad torture workout was a lot of fun to watch. Lots of legs and heart rate pumping stuff here. 

In my classes we have been paying a lot of attention to proper glute activation. One of the biggest indicators of weak bums are wobbly legs. If you are doing this workout near a mirror watch your knees and try to steady them as much as possible, especially on the jump squats and lunges! 

The Workout


Jump Squats

DB Snatch *

Walking Spilt Squats (walking lunges) - no weights ... unless you really want to!

Sprawl Jumps - aka "the lazy man's burpee"

The Reps: 50 - 40 - 30 - 20 - 10
*snatches just half reps (25/25, 20/20, 15/15, 10/10, 5/5)

Start with 50 Jump squats, then do 25 snatches on the right (I would recommend a weight anywhere from 10 - 25 lbs) then do 25 snatches on the left, do 50 walking split squats, then 50 sprawl jumps.

Then do 40 reps of everything.

Then do 30 reps of everything.

Then do 20.

Finally just 10.

Put a 30 minute cap on the workout. Go for form over speed - always! 

More from Beauty and the Bod

Pistol Squat Progression Workout

I have always wanted to be able to do a pistol squat.

In order to be able to do pistol squats you need to have a lot of mobility in your hips and ankles. You also need to have powerful glute muscles to get you back up to the top again! Completing a pistol squat properly is a huge challenge and I'm totally game!

Since breaking my foot last summer my left side is 99% better, I have worked hard at it and feel great about my progress. Pistol squats are the only exercise that I notice a TOTAL difference on both sides ... which makes me like the challenge that much more!

This is an advanced exercise that when completed is a huge accomplishment! 

I found this youtube video super helpful to help me learn:

I'll be working on pistols all week! Checkout my progress on instagram and let me know how yours are coming with #beautyandthebod! 

More from beauty and the bod

So Nover it Workout

Get it "snow" over it?!

Hehehe YES!

The good news is we are one month away from weather that doesn't make me cringe at the though of a walk across the street to the bank! Woo! In the meantime indoor workouts are working just fine. For now!

Since our condo gym is still under construction Matt and I have gotten into the habit of meeting after Bod Squad and doing our own killer workouts late at night. I love that he comes to join me, as much as I hate it at the same time it's nice to have company! At the end of a long day I could never do it on my own. It's nice to push each other too ... even if I always win :o). 

For this week's workout challenge we are tackling a famous Crossfit workout: The Filthy 50. 

Here's the filthy 50 challenge

For time:
50 box jumps, 24 inch box
50 jumping pull-ups
50 kettlebell swings - 35 lbs
walking lunges, 50 steps (phew this will be a good break!)
50 knees to elbows
50 push-press, 45 pounds
50 back extensions
50 wall ball shots, 14 pound ball (technically supposed to be 20 but it's all I have)
50 burpees
50 double unders

In summary, we might die.

To clarify some of these exercises I found this helpful summary video.

I will let you know on instagram tomorrow night our time for the workout! Ekk I'm excited already!! 

More from Beauty and the bod

Jules's Pull-up + Burpee Workout

This weekend I went to a goodbye moving to Australia (for two years MAX) party for one of my very favourite people: Juliann Desjardins (aka Jules).

:: Us at a Wedding in Ottawa, (right) Our first night in Thailand, please note Jules's starting off colour was no where close to my finish colour - even after months of tanning effort! :: 

Jules and I go wayyyy back. We met in grade 9 math. I sat in the front row in desperate hopes that somehow the proximity to numbers would translate via osmosis into my head - it didn't work! Jules sat in the row right behind me and from day one astonished me at how good she was at math. I quickly learned that math wasn't the only thing she was good at. She's pretty great at everything. I have never met a stronger all around athlete, Jules can and does play seriously every single sport I've ever heard of and even some I only know about because of her. For example, she's a national sport lifesaving competitor!

After high school we both ended up at Western and really started our friendship when we decided to move in together in second year- just the two of us! We bonded over nightly dinners - Jules's with chicken and rice (in a rice cooker - because who doesn't have one?!) and me with half of the festive Swiss Chalet special (I'd yet to discover a love of cooking!). Jules was there the first night I met Matt - at the time she was also dating a Matt as was my sister - it only seemed appropriate! Our friendship grew and from my perspective what really makes it special is we have a great respect and understanding for each other. 

:: When underwater cameras were brand new! (right) on top of a huge temple climb that I greatly underestimated ::

After university I had moved to England with Matt with the intentions of working overseas with him at a few odd jobs for a year. I had a few interviews but had caught a bit of a wanderlust bug and wanted to make more out of my year abroad. Around 3 weeks in, still jobless and starting to get really tired of the English rain and day trips to London I got a skype call from Jules. I talked to her for about 20 minutes thinking that her apartment had a really great painting of the ocean on the wall behind her - then I suddenly realized, no that was the ACTUAL ocean on her wraparound terrace she was subletting from her sister while working at Chicos Chicken for $18 an hour! Good life! Sometime in that phone call Jules asked me if I wanted to go to South East Asia with her for a few months. My gut reaction was no - at the time my only travel experience was through Europe and honestly I didn't love it enough to feel like spending more than a few weeks traveling. Luckily I slept on it and had a change of heart - why not?! We went and it was hands down the trip of a lifetime - and what made it so great was getting to spend it together. 

:: Zip Lining in Northern Thailand, (right) us with our boys Dan and Matt ::

In honour of Jules's departure Matt and I did an insane workout she told us about last week. I couldn't put a shirt on properly for a few days! Thanks Jules! So fun!!

The Workout

Perform Ten Rounds of the following two exercises back to back:

1. 12 burpees (chest to floor)

2. 12 pull-ups (I did jumping pull-ups controlling the decent (eccentric phase), Matt did them more strict with no jump.

= 120 burpees, 120 pull-ups total.

Christie - 19:27

Matt - 18:23

Whew! You know it's a hard workout when the burpees actually feel like the break! I did this workout on rings but you could also use a pull-up bar with a band).

Next time we do this hopefully we will be together somewhere on a beach in Thailand or Oz! Safe travels Jules and Dan - we are going to miss you like crazy!! You are going to make the best Canadian physiotherapist EVER when you move back home to Canada in two years!! Hint hint! Seriously or I can come bring bod squad to you!

More from Beauty and the bod

Quickie 3 x 3 HIIT

Saturday mornings after teaching three back to back classes the last thing I want to do is my own workout.

:: What I want to do! ::

But I have come to realize how critical it is to stick by my own training regime and not trick myself into thinking I'm getting a workout in by showing 1-3 reps of an exercise then coaching others to do 50! The bottom line is a focused 30 minute effort is 300x better than spending 2 hours at the gym watching the clock tick by. The truth is I know to listen to my body - if I'm still not feeling it at all after the first 12 minutes I stop

I did this workout from start to stop in 20 minutes and felt the burn for days after - LOVE that.

Quickie 3 x 3

Warm-up treadmill run at a 6.0 - 7.0 mph


3 minute front plank
3 minute side plank
3 minute opposite side plank 

3 minutes on 15% incline at a 7.0 mph


3 sets of 10 pull-ups (with band help)

3 minutes at 11.0 mph (max speed!)


Handstand kick-up practice = 30 kick-ups total alternating left and right, hold for as long as possible.

1 minutes at 10.0
2 minutes at 9.0
3 minutes at 8.0

Cool Down

More from Beauty and the Bod

Death by Deck of Cards Workout

This idea was inspired by a Crossfit class I went to in University (YEARS ago!) in London. I bought a five pack of classes and this was by far my favourite class in the pack. At Crossfit the exercises were different - we used a lot of weights. In my version I've use four challenging bodyweight exercises and added a mile run with the joker cards! 

Trainer Tip: As tempting as it will be do not rearrange your deck!! Part of the beauty of this workout is possibly doing 40 burpees in a row! It's all luck of the draw.

:: Click on this image, print and bring to the gym with you as a guide! ::

This workout will take anywhere from 20 - 45 minutes. It is one of my go-to travel workouts. All you really need is a deck of cards. You could always customize the exercises too depending on what equipment you have access to. Instead of pull-ups do tricep push-ups, for box jumps you could just do jump squats or tuck jumps if you don't have a box!

Good luck! This one is a goodie.

Like this workout? Here are a few more ideas:

12 Exercises of Christiemas

Once or twice a year I come up with workouts - like the 4x4 - that I know are going to be staples for years to come. 

The 12 Exercises of Christiemas is absolutely that kind of a workout.

:: Rest Less Pullover - lululemon, Emerge Renewed Crop - lululemon, Shoes - nike :: 

Last week I ran through this with my Bod Squad and some super fit clients. Finally this weekend I put myself though the full challenge. SO good!


You will need a set of hand weights (no lighter than 8lbs, I used 15 s, for guys no heavier than 25s)


1 Perfect Push-up
2 Shoulder Push-ups
3 Tuck Jumps
4 Inch Worms
5 Dive Bombers
6 Super star jump squats
7 Bicep Curls
8 Renegade Rows (per side, 16 total)
9 Bunny Hops (per side, 18 total)
10 Reverse Lunges (per side, 20 total)
11 Thrusters 
12 Burpees - the cherry on top!!

The order of these exercises is just like the song: 
1 push-up
2 shoulder push-ups, 1 push-up 
3 tuck jumps, 2 shoulder push-ups, 1 push-up
4 inchworms, 3 tuck jumps, 2 shoulder push-ups, 1 push-up

etc all the way to 12 burpees!

This workout is a toughie! It took me 24 minutes to complete but time really doesn't matter here - form is more important. Really be careful to use control through your core at all times.

I have to say this is WAY better to do in a group! If you're looking to become a Bod Squader this new year you're in LUCK!! I JUST opened sign-ups for 2015 classes and you can sign-up to come sweat with us right here! I'm excited to announce I've doubled my classes - so I really hope you will come! I have never felt more proud of the Bod Squad and I seriously can't wait to start up again in two weeks!! Hope to see you there!