Page 1

STR ONG Fit Body, Strong Mind 8 WEEKS







Warm Up

With Vegan Noodle Bowls

What You Didn't Know




SFM26_Cover.indd 1

Massy Arias

How This Athlete & Influencer Keeps Evolving

2017-12-07 12:00 PM

SFM26_C2.indd 1

2017-12-06 5:39 PM

SFM26_001.indd 1

2017-12-06 5:40 PM





Warm Up

If eating more veggies was on your list of resolutions, we’ve got you covered. Check out these six easy-to-make vegan noodle bowls.


Fit Body, Strong Mind

A full-body transformation regime that goes beyond the physical. Presenting our firstever mind/body program for a stronger you inside and out.


What You Didn’t Know About Crossfit This sport is about more than big lifts and superhuman strength. Here’s what you need to know before stepping up to the bar.



The athlete and social media influencer gives us the low-down on motherhood, being a role model, and how she’s constantly evolving.

PLUS: Try her exact routine for increased mobility! 2


SFM26_TOC 1&2Erin.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 3:13 PM

pg 30


pg 34



How the UFC’s comeback kid Paige VanZant overcame injury and unrealistic weight goals.



24 Trainer Talk

30 Eat Something New

Our new columnist gives you two solid reasons for making mobility training a priority.

26 The Quickie

A 15-minute core routine that tones and tightens—no gym or weights required!

44 Goal Harder

Want to run faster? Nail that pull-up? Push a little more on the bench? Take these fitness experts’ advice for hitting your 2018 training targets. January/February 2018

SFM26_TOC 1&2Erin.indd 2

Broccoli, but sweeter! Check out these reasons to load up your menu with broccolini.

PLUS: Our must-try

recipe for a grain bowl bursting with flavor and antioxidants.

66 Prepped for Success It’s a prep rally! Our top picks for the tastiest meal delivery services.

60 The 5-Second Solution


Our panel of esteemed experts share some helpful advice.


Meet a few of the faces behind this issue’s stories and images.


A snapshot of you, our readers, living your strongest lives.

The new technique for overriding your selfsabotaging brain and getting insanely motivated.


74 Get Inspired


What happens when a fitness model and personal trainer adopts an unhealthy lifestyle?

72 Women to Watch

Three real women we couldn’t help but notice.

80 We Tried It

Is Barry’s Bootcamp really the “Best Workout in the World”? We investigate.

Editor-in-Chief Kirstyn Brown shares what’s on her mind. Upcoming events to get your motivation revving.


Useful news, tips, and facts from the health and fitness world.

28 LIPSTICK & LEGGINGS Our style editor gives you a glimpse at the stuff she’s loving now.



2017-12-07 3:57 PM

GET STRONGER @ strongfitnessmag.com


Get her upper-body mobility exercises, a recipe from her #MA30DAY nutrition program, and more!


Why every woman should try powerlifting (think bone density, muscle building, and major confidence).


The benefits of mindful eating plus expert tips you can apply at meal time.


Want a free subscription? Snap a photo of you holding this issue and post it to Instagram! (Don’t forget to tag us so we can share it.) Go to strongfitnessmag.com for more details.



SFM26_TOC3-E.indd 1


A super fun four-minute workout to fire up your metabolism and burn crazy cals.


Got a health or fitness question for our advisory board? Send it to yousaidit@strongfitnessmag.com

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 3:44 PM

SFM26_005.indd 1

2017-12-06 1:32 PM

Advisory Board FITNESS Gina Tacconi-Moore, BLA, LMT, CFL1 Founder and owner of CrossFit Lowell and The Treatment Room, Lowell MA; licensed massage therapist and full body certified in Active Release Techniques

Cathy Savage Competition prep coach; owner of Cathy Savage Fitness, online nutrition and training program; founder of Camp Savage Don’t let an injury keep you from your foam roller.


You Asked: “Should I still be using my

foam roller if I have an acute injury?”

Yes, but proceed with caution! If an acute injury, such as a sprain or torn ligament, is causing inflammation, swelling, bruising, or pain with pressure, foam rolling should be avoided within the direct area. Instead, focus on other muscles that do not cause pain to the injured area. For example, if you have an ankle injury, slowly foam roll the gastrocnemius (calf), quadriceps, and hamstrings as long as it does not increase pain. Heat and blood flow/circulation will increase within the area being foam rolled, therefore, it will not cause more harm to the injury.

Jen’s Advice: Focus on only rolling 1-2 minutes in areas above and below the acute injury. During early stages, I suggest very gentle rolling that doesn’t cause any discomfort.



SFM26_Advisory BoardErin.indd 1

Amanda Kotel, B.Sc Exercise Science, FMS, RTS 1,2,3

HEALTH Aric Sudicky, MD Health, fitness and nutrition expert; published writer and fitness model; University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine

Joelene Huber, MSc(A), PhD, MD Pediatrician; staff physician, St. Michael’s Hospital Toronto; assistant professor, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto; founder of uberhealthykids.com

Michael Hart, BSc, MD, CCFP

Online Fitness and Nutrition Lifestyle Coach

Family physician; cannabinoid medicine; nutritionist; head physician at Kilworth Medical Clinic, London, ON

Christmas Abbott, CF-L1, USAW-L1, ACE CPT


Raleigh-based owner & head coach of CrossFit Invoke; CFHQ Seminar Staff; professional athlete; speaker; author of the national best seller The Badass Body Diet.

Mike T. Nelson, PhD, MSME, CSCS Adjunct professor and member of the American College of Sports Medicine; PhD Exercise Physiology and MS Mechanical Engineering (Biomechanics) Ashley Conrad World-renowned fitness, nutrition and lifestyle expert; celebrity trainer; founder & CEO of Clutch Bodyshop training club, Los Angeles, CA

MIND & BODY Linda Malone, BSc, E-RYT 500 Founder and director, Iam Yoga Inc., Toronto; founder of The Blu Matter Project

Lori Harder Transformational speaker/ coach, author, fitness expert, and cover model; Podcast host of Earn Your Happy; Creator of The Bliss Project

Zain Saraswati Jamal Certified holistic sports nutritionist; yoga teacher; personal coach; founder of yoga, fitness and lifestyle blog Eve Post Apple

Emily Satrazemis, RD, CSSD Sports dietitian; nutrition consultant; Nutrition Communications Manager, Sacramento, CA

Jenn Pike, RHN Holistic nutritionist; bestselling author of The Simplicity Project: A Simple, No-Nonsense Approach To Losing Weight & Changing Your Body Forever!

Marc Bubbs, ND, CISSN, CSCS Toronto-based doctor of naturo­ pathic medicine; sport nutrition lead for Canada Basketball; strength coach; speaker; author of The Paleo Project.

SPORTS MEDICINE Jen Esquer, PT, DPT Doctor of physical therapy, Los Angeles, CA

James Ho, DC, BHSc



Expert Advice

Chiropractor, Athlete’s Care Sports Medicine Centres, Toronto; active release techniques provider; consultant to recreational and professional athletes

SUPPLEMENTS Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA, PhD Director at Examine.com, a leading online resource for nutrition and supplement study analysis. January/February 2018

2017-12-07 9:36 AM

Improve your digestive health & burn fat with

LIPO NOURISH Stimulant-Free Decrease Bloat Water Loss Detoxification Digestive Health Also available in the all natural CLEAR series


Interval_adFinalNew.indd 1

2017-10-10 10:35 AM





SFM26_Contributors.indd 1

As a director and photographer, Simon pulls from his rich history of brand development, advertising, and graphic design to further elevate his work. He captures movement and energy flawlessly, letting his subjects speak to the lens in the raw language of action and emotion. Simon is based in both Los Angeles, CA and London, UK.

With 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, Joe is the founder of Arko Training Systems (ATS) Certification course. Throughout his career, he has worked with high ranking athletes in the NHL, UFC, the sport of bodybuilding, and more. This year, Joe was named International Trainer of the Year and was nominated for the 2017 Fitness Hall of Fame at the NEOS awards in Germany.

Chicago-based CrossFit athlete and fitness coach Elisabeth fell in love with fitness 20 years ago when she took up strength training to rehab a series of knee injuries. Today, she works with clients on both physical fitness and mindset to help them reach their goals. She is also the co-creator of the On Balance Seminar, a one-day workshop offered in the US, Caribbean, and Central America.



“Oodles of Noodles,” pg 38 This wellness advocate and plant-based foodie got her start when she abandoned her corporate life in Dubai and moved to France to pursue her dream of studying at culinary school. Today, Sarah runs her vegan recipe blog, HumblyHealthy.org, from her home in Paris where her education in gastronomy and love of fresh, wholesome ingredients come together. “I am inspired by French cuisine and their sophisticated techniques,” says Sarah. “I try to create vegan alternatives of French recipes, for example, a vegan mayonnaise using Dijon mustard.” Making her STRONG debut, Sarah developed the plant-based noodle recipes starting on page 38. While she follows a vegan lifestyle (besides the occasional square of dark chocolate), she says the switch didn’t happen overnight. “It happened naturally,” she says. “I had started incorporating more plant-based foods into my diet, and started craving those more than animal products. I believe it is key to listen to your body.” Some of Sarah’s favorite ingredients to incorporate into her recipes are almond butter, sweet potato, and raw cacao. “Cacao is a joy promoter, a powerful antioxidant, and I just love love love chocolate.”




SURPRISE! This noodle bowl is vegan and gluten-free!




January/February 2018

2017-12-06 3:26 PM




2018SubAds.indd 2

2017-12-07 3:29 PM


Getting Social

Tag us, tweet us, follow us @STRONGFitnessMag

OUR INBOX Maureen, via email

I was so impressed with Heather Mackay ("Leaving a Legacy") in your Nov/Dec issue. As a First Responder for 22 years and an open heart surgery survivor who returned to work six weeks after surgery, I thought I had a survivor's spirit, but I can't hold a candle to Heather. I have shared her story with as many female First Responders as possible. Thank you for highlighting her service to our country.

A personal trainer for military troops, Heather has survived nine types of cancer to date.

Michael, via email

I loved the Autumn Pizza recipe in the Nov/Dec issue! My kids had no idea it was good for them and totally devoured it. I served it again to my girlfriends one night with a glass of bubbly and it was a hit. Making this again!

I would like to say how great this magazine is. My wife has been doing CrossFit for just over a year, and purchases every issue. She even read it during labor of our first born. I think reading the articles helped her push through the labor and stay strong and motivated, and I would like to thank you for that.

@shalaneflanagan n photo @nycmaratho

Your favorite post this 10


SFM26_GetSocialErin.indd 1



Erin, via email

2100+ ’s @llovestraining via Instagram

As an athlete, you can't help but feel how amazing it must have been to have achieved something that grand!!

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 9:48 AM

Thank you for inspiring us with your fiercest moments in health and fitness.


You are proof that our readers are STRONG. Keep posting your pics with the hashtag







Danielle Hartman 29, WINDERMERE, FL

Danielle Hartman has been on quite the journey. An avid runner, Danielle continued her sport of choice throughout her pregnancy, right up to the day her water broke. A year after her delivery, she crossed the finish line in her first marathon. “I never dreamed I would start training for my first marathon after having a baby,” she says. “It was the toughest challenge and it’s amazing how strong my body has become through it all.” A soccer player throughout her youth and college years, Danielle first picked up running in 2015 and was immediately hooked. “Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.”


January/February 2018

SFM26_MyStrongMoment.indd 1


@meghanmarieburrows @angie_lvn_fit




2017-12-07 1:32 PM


Editor’s Note

Progress, Not Perfection Change is Good! It’s definitely time to change up this old headshot. I’m offically setting a goal to have new pics by next issue. Stay tuned!

We Tried It

Got something you want us to try?

Email us at yousaidit@strongfitnessmag.com or tag us on Insta @strongfitnessmag.

Barry’s Bootcamp

We check out the “Best Workout in the World” to see what all the fuss is about.






Wow, 2018 really snuck up on me. As I write this letter, it’s early December and I’m realizing I haven’t even begun to reflect on the last year, let alone make plans for the new one. One thing I know for sure is that I’m ready to set some new goals (like improving my cardiovascular fitness and cutting back on screen time), because what else is a fresh start good for if not change? Speaking of which, we’re making some changes of our own here at STRONG, starting with this inaugural 2018 issue. For starters, this is our first ever “Goals Issue,” which seemed appropriate not only for the time of year, but for the motivating content packed in from cover to cover. Secondly, we’ve taken a different approach to our cover lines, foregoing the whole “sculpt-a-six-pack, tone-every-inch, your-best-body-ever” thing, and just sticking to what matters: getting stronger and healthier. If you’re looking for articles on the latest diet craze or programs that promise to rid you of belly fat and cellulite, you won’t find that here. Instead, this issue focuses on goals that result in changes beneath the surface: the ones others can’t see, but you can feel making an impact on your fitness level or overall well-being. A perfect example is our eightweek training program, “Fit Body, Strong Mind” (page 50), that builds mindfulness and self-confidence as well as healthy muscle. Or our “Goal Harder” feature (page 44), a guide to achieving performance-based goals like running a faster 10K or doing an unassisted pull-up. Or our report on “The Five-Second Solution” (page 60), a technique that guarantees to get your body up and moving before your brain talks you out of it. Even the workout from cover athlete Massy Arias (page 34) isn’t about how she gets her six-pack abs or lost her baby weight. It’s about another area of fitness she takes very seriously: mobility. “My ability to do all the athletic movements I perform is solely based on the fact I have very mobile joints and flexible muscles,” she told me. “I make this a priority because without it, I wouldn’t be healthy enough to do everything I do.” Not that there’s anything wrong with having goals related to the shape or look of your body. We all have areas we’d like to be a little tighter and firmer. But leanness isn’t the only thing we women care about—and it certainly isn’t the sole indicator of good health. The cool thing about achieving other types of goals, whether it’s getting stronger, eating better, or being more mindful, is that lower numbers on the scale or a smaller jeans’ size is almost always a side effect. And if not, don’t sweat it. For everything else, there’s Spanx.


Mikaila Kukurudza, editorial contributor and fitness enthusiast.

Check out our new back page, “We Tried It,” where our staffers personally test fitness crazes and tell you what they think.

LOCATION: Richmond Street, downtown Toronto

Cost: $$$

WHAT IT IS: A celebrityendorsed boutique fitness studio born in Hollywood in the late 90s. Famous for its red-lit room and sweatinducing combo of strength training and sprint drills, it’s expanded to 21 locations across seven countries. THE WORKOUT:

Four blocks of work alternating between resistance training on the floor and HIIT on the treadmill, followed by a burnout round and quick stretching session.


At about $30 a pop, it’s not cheap.

Sweat Rating: Three words: bring a towel.

Smoothie Bar:



CALORIE BURN: A 50-minute class can burn up to



Strength and cardio in one shot HIIT-style means you keep burning cals after class Motivating, experienced instructors Pre-order smoothies from The Fuel Bar Their merch is awesome

High demand means classes fill up quickly A bit intimidating Crowded classes make switching stations a little chaotic Their merch is pricey

I have to admit, with all of the sprinting, sweating, and switching stations, the 50-minute class flew by. After a quick stretch session to wind down the class, I walked out of the Red Room dripping sweat and already craving more.”

STRONGFITNESSMAG.COM January/February 2018

SFMWetriedit.indd 1 2017-12-07 2:26 PM




SFM26_EditorsLetter.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 3:30 PM



Battle the cold plus 22 obstacles in Polar Hero.


2018 Kickstarters

Supercharge your motivation with these health and fitness events.

SENIOR DESIGNERS Andreia Pereira, Jacqueline Hornyak ASSISTANT EDITOR/COPY EDITOR Chelsea Clarke DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER MARKETING Kevin Greene kgreene@strongfitnessmag.com DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL EVENTS Chelsea Clarke cclarke@strongfitnessmag.com

JANUARY 26-28 Sun Run

Florida road warriors can’t miss the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon. Get your fill of everything running at the two-day expo, then lace up for the big race on Sunday.

FEBRUARY 3 Triple Take

The Winterlude Triathlon is a unique event comprised of an 8-km ski, 8-km skate, and a 5-km run in the heart of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, ON.

FEBRUARY 8-11 Om So Hard

Spiritual gangsters will flock to Arizona for this year’s Sedona Yoga Festival. Experience over 200 classes and workshops, outdoor concerts, and 77 featured presenters surrounded by the beauty of red rock formations.

FEBRUARY 24 Polar Express


Brave the elements of Canadian winter in Polar Hero, a 5 km or 10 km OCR in Montreal, QC. Did we mention there’s at least 22 obstacles?

MARCH 1-4 Muscle Mecca

It’s that time of year again when the protein is flowing, the samples are free, and the spray tan is pungent. The 2018 Arnold Sports Festival takes over Columbus, OH for a weekend of fitness overload.

January/February 2018

SFM26_EventsMastheadErin.indd 1

Customer Service help@strongfitnessmag.com USA 323-206-5026 Canada 647-797-3886 LEGAL COUNSEL

Scot Patriquin

Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP


Elisabeth Akinwale, Joe Arko, Jared Anderson, Paul Buceta, Marco Castro, Chelsea Clarke, Rachel Debling, Megan Ellery, Jen Esquer, Andrea Falcone, Lindsay Guscott, Monica Kalra, Mikaila Kukurudza, Simon Needham, Amy Jo Palmquest, James Patrick, Sarah Phillips, Felicia Romero, Sarah Safarian, Jahla Seppanen, Marta Ustyanich, Alex Zakrzewski.

Special Thanks

Emerge Lifestyle & Fitness, Mississauga, ON; Global Fitness Studio, Los Angeles, CA: our STRONGCAMP ambassadors.


Distribution Disticor Magazine Distribution Services Office 905-619-6565

TC Imprimeries Transcontinental 1603 Boul. Montarville Boucherville, Québec J4B 5Y2 Printed in Canada

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider. If you experience any symptoms of weakness, unsteadiness, light-headedness or dizziness, chest pain or pressure, nausea, or shortness of breath, contact your physician. Mild soreness after exercise may be experienced after beginning a new exercise.



2017-12-07 12:18 PM


“There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.” - W.E.B. DU BOIS



SFM26_PA.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-22 1:09 PM


January/February 2018

SFM26_PA.indd 2



2017-12-22 1:09 PM

SFM26_016.indd 1

2017-12-06 5:35 PM





Looking to pump up the produce in your healthy lifestyle? Flip to page 38 for six vegan noodle recipes!

Your Heart’s Desire

They say the heart wants what it wants. Well, according to the latest research, it wants a (mostly) plant-based diet. A scientific analysis of data from more than 15,000 heart-healthy participants over the age of 45 showed those who followed a diet consisting mostly of dark, leafy greens, beans, fruits, and whole grains, and limited processed foods and saturated fats, were the least likely to develop heart failure. January/February 2018

SFM26_CircuitLead.indd 1



2017-12-06 5:05 PM






E-cigarettes have become a popular alternative to smoking in recent years, but the long-term effects of their use are still unclear. However, one recent animal study from the American Physiological Society is suggesting that their use, even when minimal, can affect your cardiovascular health. Mice exposed to e-cigarette vapor or standard cigarette smoke had 2.5 and 2.8 greater stiffness in their arteries, respectively, than those that inhaled filtered air. Long story short: if you’re trying to get buff, don’t puff.

Using ice has been shown to actually delay— not improve—exerciseinduced muscle damage. - Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

On Thin Ice One hot trend that continues to permeate fitness circles is cooling athletic wear, with some claiming specially designed fabrics can prevent overheating and dehydration. But a cross-over study from Central Michigan University suggests that these types of clothes may be more hype than help. Twelve male participants donned football uniforms with ice packs

inserted around the arms and legs, then performed 60 minutes of treadmill activity, replacing the packs every 20 minutes. When researchers compared how much and how often they sweated to their results without ice packs, they concluded these outfits likely aren’t beneficial. The best way to stay cool? Drink water regularly throughout your workout and avoid exercise in high temperatures.


1. Deadlift: Standing inside the bar, squat down and grab both sides. Extend your knees, then



SFM26_Fitness CircuitErin.indd 1

your hips, to lift the bar from the ground and return to standing. Reverse to return to the start. Repeat, touching the weight to the ground in between reps. 2. Farmer’s Walk: Load the bar, stand in the center, and grip either side with one hand, palms facing in. Use your legs and back to lift the

bar from the ground. Walk forward 50 feet. Set the bar down, turn around, and repeat in the opposite direction.


If you’ve ever been intimidated by this strange-looking bar (also known as a “trap bar”), fear no more. We’ve got three ways to use this killer grip, as prescribed by Strength and Conditioning Journal.

3. Jump Squat: Set up in the same manner as in the farmer’s walk, standing in the center of the bar with your arms straight at your sides. Perform jump squats as normal. Do 10 reps.

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 10:17 AM




Hunger Games

Ever finish a hard training session only to cringe at the thought of eating right after? It’s not just you. Research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise lends further credence to the claim that intense exercise can suppress appetite. Healthy-weight participants didn’t feel as compelled to eat following high calorie-burn workouts than when they exercised at a lower intensity. If you don’t feel like eating after hitting the gym, try sipping a protein shake to refuel hungry muscles and be sure to eat properly 60 minutes pre-workout.

It’s Carb O’Clock

Want to crush your toughest workouts and build beautiful muscle? Fuel up properly with these carb-timing tips from Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS, Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition.


2 Hours Prior

30 Minutes Prior

30 Minutes to 2 Hours Post-Workout

January/February 2018

SFM26_Fuel CircuitErin.indd 1



Quality, high fiber carbs such as: Fruit, starchy veggies, oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain bread

Oatmeal + berries + milk (or non-dairy milk) Or Whole grain turkey sandwich

A small serving of fast digesting carbs such as: Low-fiber fruit, dried fruit, white bread, white rice

Half a bagel with a bit of jam Or A small ripe banana

Pretty much any meal that combines carbs and protein with a bit of healthy fat

A smoothie with fruit, protein powder, and a scoop of nut butter Or Sautéed beef and veggies on brown rice

WAITING TO INHALE Fast eaters, you may want to pay attention. Results from a five-year Japanese study revealed possible links between eating quickly and weight gain, obesity, and other health hazards like metabolic syndrome. In fact, those who gobbled at a high speed were twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who ate at a normal pace, and almost three times as likely as eaters who ate slowly.

QUICK TIP: Put your fork down between bites and chew at least 10 times before swallowing. STRONGFITNESSMAG.COM


2017-12-06 10:35 AM




SMOKE SIGNALS Where you live could have an impact on your bone health, according to a scientific report published in The Lancet Planetary Health. Researchers examined data from two independent studies: results of one suggested that as air pollution levels increased, so did risks of bone fractures in older individuals, while the other study showed middle-aged men who lived in areas with higher levels of pollution had lower bone density and lower concentrations of the parathyroid hormone (which aids in bone health) than those living in locations with less pollution.

Clean Bill of Health

Against the Stream

Cancel your plans for that Netflix marathon this weekend. A study published in the October 2017 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reported people who

watch four or more hours of TV a day are 75 percent more likely to die from an inflammatory-related illness compared to those who watch less than two hours a day.


An analysis of 1.5 million Americans diagnosed with cancer in 2014 found that 42 percent of cases were traced to preventable factors such as smoking (20 percent), obesity (8 percent), and alcohol (5.6 percent). House Workout: Tackling your to-do list could help you live longer.

What’s the key to a long life? It turns



SFM26_Health Circuit.indd 1


out, movement of any kind can help extend your longevity—even housework. A new study of women ages 63 and older found those who engaged in at least 30 minutes of light physical activity a day, including casual walking and household chores, were 12 percent less likely to die than those who were less active. Those who got the same amount of moderate exercise each day, such as bike riding and brisk walking, reduced their risk of death by 39 percent.

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 3:24 PM



Mind & Body


According to a 2016 study published in the journal Emotion, people who are grateful for small, everyday things tend to be more patient and able to make sensible decisions compared to those who do not practice gratitude daily.

Verbal harrassment is more than just words.




Trauma Spells Trouble


A study from the University of California, San Francisco found women who had experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime were 11 percent more likely to become obese compared to women who had not experienced any trauma. The study also found the higher the number of traumatic events,

January/February 2018

SFM26_MindBody.indd 1

the greater the risk: women who reported four or more negative life experiences in the last five years had a 36 percent higher risk of obesity than those who had none. Researchers concluded that stress may be a risk factor in weight gain and should be considered when it comes to weight management programs.

It’s Not Harmless

New research published in the International Journal of Public Health confirms what most of us women already know: sexual harassment of any kind can do psychological damage. The study found that even verbal harassment such as lewd comments and unwanted sexual attention can encourage negative body image, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Have something to report? Here’s what you can do. Harassment at work: Submit a written and verbal report to HR or a superior. If they do not take action, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Victim of physical assault? USA: Call 1-800-656-HOPE Canada: Visit the Assaulted Women’s Helpline for resources at awhl.org



2017-12-06 12:05 PM





PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that affects an estimated 10 million women in the US. While the exact cause is still unknown, factors may include excess insulin and inflammation. A recent study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research examined the effects of supplementing with Omega3-rich flaxseed oil, which has been shown to improve inflammation and insulin resistance, on 60 women aged 18-40 with PCOS. After 12 weeks, women who supplemented with 1000 mg of flaxseed oil daily showed “significant” improvements in insulin resistance and sensitivity, as well as reduced triglyceride (a type of fat) and cholesterol levels, compared to those given a placebo.

Did You Know?

Your body already produces melatonin! Levels of this naturally occurring hormone tend to spike in the evening and stay elevated throughout the night to help you get quality shut eye.



Chlorella, freshwater algae native to Taiwan and Japan, is 58 percent protein. This protein can be absorbed by the body just as well as eggs and dairy. It is also one of the only plant sources high in vitamin B12, making it an excellent option for vegans.

Consumer Beware


Flaxseed Oil for PCOS?

Many people pop a melatonin supplement to help them sleep through the night or combat jet lag, but if you wake up drowsy, irritable, or with a headache or upset stomach, it’s likely a sign you’re getting more than you need. According to Sleep.org, adults should start with a dose no higher than .2 to 5 mg, and avoid taking it with other medications or alcohol.

Chlorella, like many supplements, is not regulated by the FDA, so always use caution before purchasing. Do your research and seek out the best options for quality and purity.

-Source: Examine.com



SFM26_CircuitSupplements.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 9:55 AM

SFM26_023.indd 1

2017-12-06 1:32 PM


Coach Elisabeth

Elisabeth Akinwale is a mother, athlete, and trainer based in Chicago, IL. Connect with her at @eakinwale

Going Mobile I spent many years involved in the fitness industry before I ever even heard the term “mobility,” but now it seems to be on everybody’s lips, from movement experts and trainers to dedicated exercisers looking to improve their performance. Mobility refers to the body’s ability to actively move through a given range of motion. It involves not only muscles, but also additional structures of the body such as joint capsules and joints, along with sufficient strength and motor control. It is often confused with flexibility, which refers specifically to the muscles’ ability to passively stretch (think seated forward reach). When you see a gymnast lift her leg behind her, or a weightlifter in the bottom of a squat, they are utilizing both flexibility and mobility. But does mobility really matter to the recreational athlete who’s training to look good, feel good, and generally improve her quality of life? You bet it does, and here are two big reasons why.



SFM26_TrainerTalk.indd 1

1. Joint Health Our joints were created to move through full ranges of motion (that might mean reaching our arms straight overhead, or lowering into a deep squat). But modern life can seriously impact our mobility in negative ways. Being seated in a chair with your upper body hunched over a computer keyboard can lead to reduced mobility in the hips and shoulders, diminishing mobility over time and reducing capacity to perform the simple movements our bodies are meant to do. Whether you sit at a desk or not, factors such as aging, arthritis, or prior injuries can also lead to reduced mobility and in turn, decreased quality of life. Luckily, diminishing mobility is avoidable, as long as you are willing to work on it.

2. More Gains in the Gym Let’s stick with the mobility examples of squatting to full depth and reaching the arms overhead. Without the ability to squat all the way down, you

Flip to page 34 for a mobility routine.

are only getting a portion of the benefit of the exercise. On the other hand, squatting with a complete range of motion allows you to fully engage your quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes to get more bang for your buck out of each workout. Another way insufficient mobility can impact your training and progress is the transferability of skill development. Proper movement is consistent across various exercises. Consider the top of a barbell overhead press, the position of the shoulders when receiving a push jerk, or holding a handstand: each of these movements requires an open shoulder angle with the wrist, shoulder, and hip stacked.

Therefore, by training any one of these movements, other related movements will also improve. You may be able to get away with improper alignment due to lacking shoulder mobility when performing more basic exercises, but once you attempt to build upon that, you are putting yourself at risk of injury and limiting your performance. Whether you are exercising for improved fitness, or training for competitive athletics, making a commitment to improved mobility will reap benefits when it comes to the effectiveness of your workouts and your overall health.


Think you don’t need to make mobility a priority in your training? Our newest expert gives you two good reasons why you do.

In Strength,

Elisabeth January/February 2018

2017-12-06 9:55 AM

Gear Guide Green’s Your Colour Triple Insulated


This Canadian-designed stainless steel bottle claims to keep your liquid cold for 36 hours, or hot for eight hours. It’s also leakand sweat-proof and comes in dozens of fun colors! $40 for 17 oz; greensyourcolour.com

Bonus feature! Includes a strainer for loose leaf tea or ice.

Corkcicle Classic Canteen

We love this bottle’s sleek design and easy-grip sides. Another cool feature? The wide mouth is big enough to fit ice cubes to keep your water cold for more than 25 hours! $28 for 16 oz; corkcicle.com

Drink to That

Carry one of these stylish sippers 24/7 to help you hit your daily quota of H2O.

Mobot Foam Roller Bottle

And the prize for most innovative design goes to this hybrid of hydration and muscle recovery. Available in three sizes, they’re perfect for athletes on the go. $40 for 18 oz; mobot.com

Asobu Pure Flavor 2 Go


Create your own flavored water with this BPA-free plastic bottle with built-in infuser. Just add lemon, mint, cucumber, or berries for a new flavor every day! $13; asobubottle.com

January/February 2018

SFM26_GearGuide.indd 1

S’well Traveller

This new line of earthfriendly bottles is designed specifically for movers and shakers. Shaped perfectly to fit in your hand, it also features a wider mouth for stirring soup or coffee, or adding ice cubes. $40 for 20 oz; swellbottle.com

Anchor Hocking LifeProof Glass With tempered glass that’s twice as strong as regular glass, plus a protective silicone sleeve, this BPA-free bottle may be tougher than your workouts. $40 for 19.5 oz; oneida.com



2017-12-06 11:50 AM



Target Your Core

Amy Jo Palmquest, BSc Exercise Science and Nutrition, CPT; Owner of Transformation Fitness Studio in Olympia, WA

You don’t need a fancy machine or tons of time to train your abs. With this speedy routine, a few minutes and a stability ball are all it takes to score a tighter core. For many active women these days, having a healthy, strong body is our main goal in the gym, and a defined midsection is definitely the icing on the cake. But how do we achieve that physique? We know that balanced, clean nutrition is the cornerstone of a six pack, but what about optimal exercises? At one point or another, we have all asked the question: which exercises are the most effective and efficient, and which are just a waste of precious gym time? To be straight up: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Performing basic, time-tested moves while practicing a mind-muscle connection is going to be most effective in developing solid, sculpted abs. And as long as you are properly engaging the targeted muscles while using a full range of motion, there’s no reason to spend a ton of time training this area. All you need is 15 minutes at the end of a workout or on a rest day to knock out this routine. Equipment:

Why It Works:

How to: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, one after the other. After you’ve completed all the exercises, rest for one minute, then repeat. Complete four rounds.

This routine is timed using a stopwatch. Timing your sets forces you to focus on form and efficiency, getting the most out of each second. It’s also super motivating for those with a competitive nature.



SFM26_The QuickieErin.indd 1

A stopwatch and a stability ball.



To thoroughly train the abs in a minimal amount of time.

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 8:53 PM


Stability Ball Crunch


Lie face up with the stability ball positioned in the middle of your back. Extend your arms straight above your chest (A). Contract your core and crunch up, lifting your upper back off the ball and driving your hands towards the ceiling (B). Lower back down, getting a stretch through the abdominals. Repeat for all reps.



Stability Ball Leg Raise

Toe Touch Pulsing Crunch Lie on your back on the floor with legs raised straight in the air to 90 degrees. Extend your arms above your chest. Keeping your arms and legs straight, crunch up a few inches, reaching your fingertips towards your toes, and back down in a pulsing motion for all reps.

Planking Frog Tuck Get into push-up position with shoulders stacked above your wrists and legs straight out behind you (A). Bend your right knee and bring it to meet your right elbow (B). Return to the

Lie on the floor on your back with the ball held between your calves and extend your arms above your head (A). Crunch up, raising your legs and arms simultaneously to meet in the middle (B). Slowly lower both back to the ground. Repeat for all reps.

starting position and repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating quickly for all reps.

To make this move more challenging, hold an 8-lb dumbbell.


Stability Ball Tuck Begin in a push-up position with your feet on a stability ball (A). Keeping your upper body stationary, bend

your knees and pull the ball towards you (B). Extend your legs to return to the starting position and repeat.


Side Plank Dip Get into a side plank with your forearm flat on the floor and feet and hips stacked (A). Using control, lower your hips towards the floor without touching it (B), then raise back to the starting position. Complete all reps on this side then repeat on the other side.


B January/February 2018

SFM26_The QuickieErin.indd 2





2017-12-07 10:44 AM

Lipstick & Leggings

STRONG Style Editor, Sarah Phillips

3. BRAND: Drunk Elephant


Fave product:


4. BRAND: Juice Beauty Fave product:


1. BRAND: Onzie Activewear Fave product:

High Rise Track Legging & Peekaboo Racer Bra Kimberly Swarth, Onzie’s fearless founder and CEO, is a devoted yogi with a Masters in movement therapy, so you know her activewear is designed to move. Leggings $69, Bra $49; onzie.com

By Women,

2. BRAND: M-61 Skincare Fave product:

for Women

When it comes to developing the best skincare products and fitness gear in the industry, no one does it better than us women. That’s why when I shop, I look for products developed by a fellow #girlboss, not only because I’m all about supporting female entrepreneurs, but also because I know they were made with me in mind. There are loads of them out there if you do a little digging, but here are six fitness and beauty brands I’m loving right now, owned and founded by inspiring women.



SFM26_LipstickLeggings(1)Erin.indd 1


Fast Blast Cleansing Cloths Created by Marla Beck (founder and CEO of beauty brand Bluemercury), M-61’s ultra-soft daily cloths gently cleanse skin and detox pores for a brighter complexion. Each cloth is soaked with hydrating hyaluronic acid and a mix of natural antioxidants. $22; bluemercury.com

Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer Glowing skin is always in style. Just ask Juice Beauty’s CEO Karen Behnke and creative director, Gwyneth Paltrow. Like all of their products, this primer is made with organic, plant-based pigments, so you can feel good about putting it on your skin. $36; juicebeauty.com

5. BRAND: Dange Dover Fave product:

Medium Landon Carryall in Dune Neoprene Founded by style-savvy powerhouses Melissa Mash, Deepa Gandhi, and Jessy Dover, this is the perfect gym bag for modern women on the go. $155; dagnedover.com

6. BRAND: TennysonRED Headbands

Fave product: All of them!

Former yoga instructor Montana Christine created this headband to stay put during your workout. The coolest part? Flip your headband inside out to find a motivational quote sewn inside. $18; tennysonred.com




Sarah is rocking the High Rise Track Legging and Peekaboo Racer Bra from Onzie Activewear.

T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial After being beyond frustrated with trying to find skincare for her non-categorizable skin, Tiffany Masterson founded her company, Drunk Elephant. This gentle, at-home facial provides the benefits of a spa treatment without the price tag! $80; drunkelephant.com

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 5:17 PM


In 2013 at the age of 19, Paige joined the UFC’s Strawweight division (ultimately defeating her debut opponent in a TKO and being awarded the Fight of the Night). Within the next two years, Paige was pitted against five other contenders, only giving into submission twice. But Paige says she was killing herself to meet the federation’s 115-lb max weight limit, which is why moving into the 125-lb Flyweight division could mean big wins for Paige.



Ultimate Fighter Illnesses, injuries, and massive weight cuts still haven’t stopped MMA-fighter Paige VanZant. WRITTEN BY CHELSEA CLARKE PHOTO COURTESY OF REEBOK

January/February 2018

SFM26_Profiles.indd 1

Height: 5’4’’ Current Weight Division: Flyweight Hometown: Newberg, Oregon Career Highlights: Ranked #12 in Strawweight, awarded Fight of the Night (2012)

In September 2017, UFC fighter Paige

“12 Gauge” VanZant suffered a huge blow—but it wasn’t inside the octagon. Just weeks before her first Flyweight-division fight against opponent Jessica “Evil” Eye, Paige was forced to withdraw from UFC 216 on advisement from her doctors due to an intervertebral disc injury. But as Paige put it via Twitter, “When it rains, it pours,” as she also simultaneously battled ear and sinus infections, all adding to the disappointment of missing out on the inaugural fight. Now, Paige is back in training camp with her fight face on, ready to finally debut in her weight class on January 14.

Paige describes herself as a freestyle fighter, with an unmissable signature style of close-range grappling and leg locks, which her opponents often struggle to find release from. She trains multiple times per day in different styles of mixed martial arts, including jiujitsu, Muay Thai, and wrestling, and mixes in conditioning and adequate recovery time. To fuel her training, Paige uses organic meal-delivery company Trifecta, which takes care of her nutrients and macros — what she calls her “key to victory.”


The back injury that prevented Paige from making her Flyweight debut in 2017 stemmed from an older herniation that first occurred when she was just 13 years old. “I’ve been working with doctors, doing therapy and treatments for years,” she says. “It’s something I’ll probably have to live with for the rest of my life.” But after taking some time off recently to heal, she says she’s ready to get up and running again. With her next fight set this month against opponent Jessica-Rose Clark, she’s in full-time training and working harder than ever to earn her place in the division. “My teammates and strength coach are pushing me through hard workouts,” she says. “They’re keeping me at my athletic peak.”



2017-12-07 12:34 PM

Eat Something New

A Sweeter Deal You may not be a fan of the bitterness of broccoli, but there’s a sweeter alternative worth exploring. With a milder flavor and impressive nutrient profile, broccolini may just win you over yet. ARTICLE & RECIPE BY ANDREA FALCONE, RD, CERTIFIED FITNESS PROFESSIONAL

forbidden to leave the table until you finished your broccoli, or tried to sneakily slip it to the dog when no one was looking, then you may have never acquired a taste for it. But whether you love it, or just love to hate it, there’s no denying it’s insanely good for you. Which is why if you have never bothered to give broccolini a chance, you could be missing out on many of the health benefits of regular broccoli, but with a more palatable flavor and texture. Loaded with vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A, calcium, and fiber, you’ll want to make this vibrant veg a star at supper tonight.

What Is It? Developed in the early 1990s as a hybrid between regular broccoli and Chinese kale, broccolini is available yearround throughout the US and Canada thanks to the variability among the climates in California and Arizona. Bearing long, thin stalks and small florets, the entire plant is edible as is, although it’s best when cooked. Don’t confuse it with broccoli rabe, which despite its name is not technically related to broccoli, and can be more bitter and earthy than broccolini.



SFM26_EatSomethingNewErin.indd 1

Body Benefits With a high antioxidant and fiber content, broccolini can aid in keeping your immune and digestive systems happy and healthy. Antioxidants like vitamins A and C help protect the cells against free radical damage from exposure to chemicals in our environment (think air pollution, stress, sun, and smoke). Vitamin A is best known for maintaining healthy eyesight, but it also plays a critical role in the function and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Vitamin C is the immunity nutrient we could all use a little more of during the colder months and also helps our bodies absorb more iron from the foods we eat, which can be particularly important for vegetarians and vegans. By now, you’re familiar with the importance of fiber for bowel health and blood sugar regulation, but more recently, the topic of gut health and the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy brain has been a hot one among health experts. Most attribute this connection to probiotics; however, prebiotics, a type of fiber like the ones found in broccolini, are also needed to help promote gut flora.


If you were one of those kids who was

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 5:18 PM

BOLD BOWLS: Add steamed or roasted broccolini to your favorite whole grains and protein for the perfect bowl.



Throw them on the barbecue with a little oil, then toss with butter, salt and pepper, and fresh lemon juice.


Roughly chop and toss in a pan until heated through, then add to your favorite pasta sauce like a mushroom cream with pancetta. Or, try the recipe featured here!


Pulse in a food processor or blender with other veggies to make a thick sauce or soup.

Broccolini with Pesto, Barley & Sausage Prep Time: 20 minutes • Total Time: 55 minutes Makes 6 servings 1½ cups pearl barley, rinsed and drained ½ cup walnut halves 2 garlic cloves 3 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried ½ cup Parmesan, grated /3 cup white cheddar, grated


½ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more if needed) 1 tsp salt ½ lemon, squeezed 4 sweet Italian sausages, cut into ½-inch chunks 2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed 2 bunches broccolini, washed, drained, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Place barley in pot with 4 cups of water on high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer until all water is soaked up, about 30-40 minutes. You may have to add another ½ cup of water throughout the cooking process if barley is still not tender. 2. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto: in a food processor, add the walnuts and garlic and pulse about 10 times to break down into fine pieces. Add half of the basil, cheese, and olive oil, and blend to mix. Add remaining basil and cheese and allow to mix, slowly adding remaining olive oil until desired consistency is met. Add the salt and lemon juice and finish puréeing. Leave aside. 3. Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped sausage and cook through, about 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and allow to sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the broccolini and cook together for another 5 minutes. 4. Once the barley is cooked and all water has been soaked up, add the pesto and mix thoroughly. Add the sausage, cherry tomatoes, and broccolini, and mix to combine. 5. Portion into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories: 599, Fat: 39 g, Carbs: 41 g Protein: 22 g, Fiber: 9 g

January/February 2018

SFM26_EatSomethingNew.indd 2



2017-12-22 12:57 PM



With millions of followers, a spokesmodel gig with Target’s new line of activewear, and now a contract with one of the biggest brands in beauty, Massy Arias is the hottest name is fitness. The elite athlete, mother, and influencer talks about getting to where she is, and how she keeps it all in check. WRITTEN BY KIRSTYN BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY BY SIMON NEEDHAM



SFM26CoverGirl Profile.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 5:13 PM

“I’ve always behaved in a way that if and when I had a daughter, she could look back and say ‘my mom was awesome’.”



was huge for Massy Arias.

In the span of a year, the Dominicanborn personal trainer and social media influencer gave birth to her daughter Indie, landed an ambassadorship with Target’s C9 line of fitness wear, and was made the new face of CoverGirl cosmetics. The fitness phenom chatted with us on the day before her 29th birthday, which happened to fall on the Thanksgiving holiday, and needless to say, she was feeling pretty thankful. “I just look at everything as a blessing,” she says. “I’m in awe of how everything has come together. I’m so grateful.” As modest as she may be, Massy has earned every one of her opportunities. Living in the US since the age of 14, the bilingual Los Angeles resident has built a loyal following of both English- and Spanish-speaking fans, and makes sure to write every post in both languages. In the last five years, her Instagram account alone has reached 2.4 million followers who appreciate her authenticity and realistic approach to getting fit. “I’m very close to my following,” says Massy, who takes time to engage with her fans each day (she opted to pass on hiring a pro to handle the account for her). “The way I run my account, it’s like, ‘Hey, this is me,” the entire time. It’s not perfect. I think you have to be genuine.” As her audience continues to multiply, so do the offers for endorsements and sponsorships from brands trying to get a piece of the action. But Massy says she can’t be bought that easily. “I’ve learned not to fall for every opportunity that lands on the table,” she says. And anyway, she’s been slaying the game on her own, expanding her brand to include TRU, a line of sports supplements, as well as ebooks and her #MA30Day nutrition programs, for which she develops the recipes herself. As for the near and distant future, the ever-evolving Massy hopes to accomplish a few remaining items on her vision board, including a cookbook and an app for her nutrition programs. “You have to keep reinventing yourself,” she says of her continuous momentum. “I’m always learning what I can do to become a better person and better version of myself.”

January/February 2018

SFM26CoverGirl ProfileErin.indd 2

Massy Motivation Want to be more focused and productive? Take a cue from our cover athlete’s non-negotiable daily habits for self-improvement.

1. Go to Bed

Since the birth of her daughter, Massy has had to give her sleep routine an overhaul. “I used to go to bed around midnight, now I go to bed at eight p.m. I get up at four in the morning every single day and that’s when I do my work: research, translating posts, working on recipes. When the real world wakes up, I need to be focused.”

2. Disconnect

She has a strict no-phone policy in the evening, during wich she avoids social media

and just focuses on the fam. “I see people recording every moment of their lives, but they’re really not present. I make a point to disconnect from social media and just live in the moment.”

3. Meditate

Before starting her day, Massy designates her first waking moments to getting zen. “The first 10 minutes when I wake up, I don’t look at my phone or texts. I take those first few minutes of my day to meditate, and to reflect on the day before. Meditating is about being in the now and coming into yourself a little.”

4. Read Books

As busy as she is, Massy always finds time to expand her mind. “I try to read a book

every month. Right now, I’m reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Reading helps me unlock my mind and also reduce anxiety.”

5. Eat Real Food

No food is completely offlimits for this self-proclaimed foodie—not even (gasp) gluten. “I don’t deprive my body of anything, not healthy fats, not carbs, not anything. I also don’t ‘cheat’ anymore because I don’t want to associate food with guilt. I follow a balanced lifestyle, eat what I want, and make healthy choices. It’s about balance and moderation and making your nutrition conducive to your performance.”



2017-12-07 5:06 PM

Mobile Like Massy Our cover athlete makes mobility a priority just as much as she does the rest of her workouts. Here, she shares her exercises for a flexible, functional lower body.



SFM26_CoverGirl-Workout.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 3:35 PM

Massy Arias’s philosophy on mobility training is simple: it’s a must-do—end of story. “My overall strength and ability to do all the athletic movements I perform is solely based on the fact I have very mobile joints and flexible muscles,” she says. “I make this a priority because without it, I wouldn’t be healthy enough to do everything I do.” Which is a lot. Massy’s Instagram fans are familiar with her high-intensity functional training style, her superhuman athletic ability (she matches the guys in box jumps), and the incredible amount of power she can generate from her 5’8” physique. But when she’s not training for athleticism, she’s working on her mobility to ensure she’s able to perform these feats optimally and without injury. “Being mobile, for me, is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and injury-free body,” she says. “The compensations our bodies start adopting if we aren’t mobile enough will hinder our movement patterns.” We asked our cover athlete to show us her go-to moves for a loose and limber lower body. Try this stretching routine twice a week on rest and recovery days to reduce tightness in the hips, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

January/February 2018

SFM26_CoverGirl-Workout.indd 2



2017-12-22 1:09 PM

How To:

Hold each stretch for six full breaths before moving to the next. Complete all exercises, on both sides where applicable, then repeat for a total of two rounds.

Seated Pretzel Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Cross your right foot over your left leg, placing the foot next to the knee, and place your right palm on the ground behind. With your left arm outside of your bent knee, gently twist your upper body towards the knee. Hold here, or continue to rotate for a deeper stretch. Hold. Release and repeat on the other side.

Kneeling Psoas Stretch Get into a lunge with your back knee on the floor and your hands on your front knee. Gently push your hips forward until you feel a good stretch in your back hip and quad. Hold here if you’d like, otherwise, raise your arm that corresponds with the back leg and gently lean to the opposite side. Hold, then repeat on the other leg.

Pigeon Begin on your hands and knees in Table Pose (or in Downward Dog). Bring your left knee between your hands on the floor and extend your right leg behind you. Fold over your front thigh as far as you comfortably can. To release the pose, tuck your back toes, lift your back knee off the mat, and then press yourself back into your starting position. Repeat on the other side.



SFM26_CoverGirl-Workout.indd 3

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 3:35 PM

Seated Piriformis Stretch Sit on the ground with knees bent and place your palms on the floor behind your hips for support. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee with foot flexed and allow the knee to drop out to the side. Hold for all breaths, then switch sides and repeat.

TO GET A DEEPER STRETCH: Lean back and gently place your forearms one by one on the ground behind you. Lower as far as you can.

Butterfly Sit up tall with the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to the sides as far as they will comfortably go. Grasp your feet with your hands and gently pull your upper body forward. Hold, then rise up and release.

Alternating 90/90 Sit tall on the ground and form 90-degree angles with both legs, knees pointing in the same direction so one knee is in front of you and the other is behind you. Keeping your heels grounded, raise both knees off the ground and bring them to the floor on the opposite side. Continue rotating back and forth for all breaths.

Squat with Thoracic Rotation Downward Facing Frog Position yourself on all fours with knees wide apart and feet flexed, and bring your forearms down to rest on the floor in front of you. If you can, allow your knees to spread farther apart to deepen the stretch. Hold here, then walk your hands towards you to raise your torso up and come out of the stretch.

January/February 2018

SFM26_CoverGirl-Workout.indd 4

Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your hips into a deep squat and grasp your toes, maintaining a neutral spine. Gently rotate to the right, bringing your right arm up in the air, and look at your hand. Hold for six breaths, then rotate to the other side and repeat with the left arm.



2017-12-07 3:35 PM

Cooking Tip:

dle s

Careful! When you place rice or soba noodles in boiling water, a white foam will build up. Blow on it continuously to prevent it from spilling over.

Ood o o les of N

Stack your 2018 meal plan with these plant-powered creations from wellness blogger Sarah Safarian. Meatless and gluten free, but packed with epic flavors, they’re sure to please pasta lovers and health-food enthusiasts alike. RECIPES & PHOTOS BY SARAH SAFARIAN, HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST, CREATOR OF HUMBLYHEALTHY.ORG



SFM26_NoodlesErin.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 11:23 AM

Soba Noodles with Tomato Sauce & Chickpeas (pg 38)

The Easiest

Prep Time: 5 Minutes Total Time: 15 Minutes Makes 1 serving

Rice Noodle Buddha Bowl

80 g soba noodles, rice noodles, or your choice of pasta

1 carrot

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1 turnip

2. Peel the carrot and turnip. Cut into small bite-sized pieces any way you'd like.

Tomato Sauce ½ onion, chopped 2 Tbsp olive oil 8 oz organic tomatoes, diced

Prep Time: 10 Minutes • Total Time: 30 Minutes • Makes 1-2 servings

1-2 tsp ginger powder 1-2 tsp coriander powder 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil Pinch sea salt

3. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, sea salt, ginger, and coriander. Toss to evenly coat.

1 Tbsp tomato paste

80-100 g rice noodles

2 garlic cloves

3 oz herbed tofu, sliced

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

½ fresh lemon, juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tbsp tamari

/3 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 ½ Tbsp sesame oil

5. Meanwhile, place rice noodles in cold water and soak for 5-10 minutes.

1-2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (or a mixture of seeds)

6. Add cold water to a pot with a dash of salt and bring to boil.

Chili flakes (optional)

7. Once the water is boiling, remove the rice noodles from the cold water and add them to the boiling water. Let cook for 5 minutes (or as directed on package).


Garnish 1 tsp pumpkin seeds 1 tsp flax seeds 1 tsp almond flakes (or raw pistachios, chopped)

Fresh cilantro for garnish

4. Spread the veggies out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes (depending on thickness), checking them at 15-20 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, tamari, and sesame oil to make the dressing. 9. At 5 minutes precisely, drain the water from the noodles. Add carrots and turnip and drizzle with ¾ of the dressing. 10. Assemble your bowl by placing noodle mixture into the bowl. Add tofu and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with seeds and garnish with fresh cilantro and chili flakes (if desired).

Meat Eaters:

Feel free to substitute the tofu with chicken or smoked salmon.

Fresh basil 1. In a pot, place cold water with a dash of salt and bring to boil. 2. Once the water is boiling, add in soba noodles for approximately 6 minutes or according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the water from the pot. 3. Meanwhile, place all tomato sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. 4. Transfer sauce to a small pot and heat over low heat until warm, stirring occasionally. 5. Add noodles and chickpeas to the warm sauce. Toss gently to mix. 6. To assemble, place noodle mixture in a bowl. Top with garnish and enjoy.

What are soba noodles?

These spaghetti-like noodles are popular in Japanese dishes. Made from buckwheat, they are high in protein and fiber, and are gluten free.

January/February 2018

SFM26_NoodlesErin.indd 2



2017-12-06 11:24 AM

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Total Time: 25 Minutes Makes 1 serving

Asian Soba Noodles

80 g soba noodles, rice noodles, or your choice of pasta 1 cup snow peas 1-2 tsp olive oil ¼ white onion, finely chopped 1-2 garlic cloves, pressed 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 3 button mushrooms, chopped

with Snow Peas, Mushrooms & Chervil

3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce) 1 Tbsp sesame oil Fresh chervil Pinch of black pepper Pinch of cayenne pepper ¼ lemon, juiced 1 Tbsp cashews (raw or toasted) Pinch of salt 1. In a pot, place cold water with a dash of salt and bring to boil. 2. Once the water is boiling, add in soba noodles for approximately 6 minutes or according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the water from the pot. 3. In a separate pot, boil water with a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add in snow peas and cook for 40 seconds (if you prefer them less crunchy, leave the snow peas in for two minutes, then drain and run under cold water). 4. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, place in onion, garlic, and fresh ginger with salt and pepper. Let them sweat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. 5. Add mushrooms and mix well. Reduce the heat slightly to avoid burning and continue stirring for approximately 3 minutes. 6. Add two tablespoons of the tamari and mix well. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms have absorbed the tamari. 7. To assemble, place noodles in a bowl. Top with the mushroom mixture, snow peas, and cashews.


is an herb used in French cuisine. Can’t find it? Swap for parsley.



SFM26_NoodlesErin.indd 3

8. Drizzle with remaining tamari, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Sprinkle with fresh chervil and enjoy.

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 11:24 AM

o S b a e m a s s e e l d S N oo

with Oyster Mushrooms Agave-Roasted Figs & Parsnips with Rosemary

Get this bonus recipe at strongfitnessmag.com!

1. In a pot, place cold water with a dash of salt and bring to boil.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes Total Time: 20 Minutes Makes 1 serving

White pepper to taste

80 g soba noodles

3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

1-2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

4. Once the oil is hot, add white onion and garlic with a touch of salt and white pepper. Let the mixture sweat for about 3 minutes, stirring often.

½ white onion, diced

½ Tbsp sesame oil

5. Reduce the heat and add mushrooms and ginger and mix well. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

3 garlic cloves

¼ fresh lemon, juiced

Salt to taste

Fresh parsley for garnish

6. Add 2 tablespoons of tamari and mix well. Let cook for 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms have absorbed the tamari sauce.

1 cup oyster mushrooms (or any other kind of mushroom)

2. Once the water is boiling, add in soba noodles for approximately 6 minutes or according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the water from the pot. 3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over high heat.

7. Transfer noodles to the pan. Add sesame oil and touch of lemon juice, and gently toss to combine with the mushroom mixture. 8. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with fresh parsley.

January/February 2018

SFM26_NoodlesErin.indd 4



2017-12-06 11:24 AM

Sweet Potato Noodles

in Butternut Curry Sauce



SFM26_NoodlesErin.indd 5

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Makes 1 serving Olive oil ½ white onion, diced 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed, or 1 generous tsp of garlic paste 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes 2-3 Tbsp curry powder (depending how strong you like your curry) 1 tsp sea salt /3 tsp black pepper


1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream 1 large sweet potato Pumpkin seeds for garnish Cilantro for garnish

1. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. 2. Add onion, garlic, salt, curry powder, and black pepper and let sweat while stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. 3. Add squash and lower the heat to avoid burning. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture has absorbed the spices. 4. Add coconut milk or cream and stir to combine. 5. Bring to a boil. Let cook for about 10 minutes or until the squash is tender, dropping the heat slightly if needed to avoid boiling over. 6. While sauce is cooking, make sweet potato noodles: peel off potato skin and use a vegetable spiralizer or a peeler with a wide blade to make thin noodles. 7. Taste the sauce and add a touch more salt or curry powder if desired. 8. Add sweet potato noodles to the butternut curry sauce the last 5 minutes (max) of cooking. 9. Transfer noodles to a bowl and top with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 11:25 AM

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Makes 1-2 servings 80 g soba noodles 1-2 tsp olive oil ½ white onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, pressed 2 carrots, peeled and diced 1 tsp coriander powder 2 Tbsp cumin powder Pinch of black pepper Pinch of salt 1 tsp ginger powder (or ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated) 1 cup coconut milk

C r a e r g r n o i t St G ew on Soba Noodles with White Butter Beans

/3 cup canned butter beans


Squeeze fresh lemon juice (optional) 1 handful fresh spinach Cilantro, coarsely chopped for garnish ½ tsp chili flakes for garnish 1. In a pot, place cold water with a dash of salt and bring to boil. 2. Once the water is boiling, add in soba noodles for approximately 6 minutes or according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the water from the pot. 3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pot over medium heat. 4. Add onion, garlic, and spices. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring constantly. 5. Add carrots and cook another 3-4 minutes. 6. Add coconut milk and bring to a low boil for about 3 minutes. 7. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes (add a bit of water if more liquid is needed). 8. Taste the stew and add more salt and cumin if needed. Add lemon if desired. 9. Add the cooked noodles and butter beans and mix well. Toss in fresh spinach just before serving. 10. Scoop into bowls and garnish with cilantro and chili flakes. S

For more of Sarah’s recipes visit humblyhealthy.org.

January/February 2018

SFM26_NoodlesErin.indd 6



2017-12-06 11:26 AM

HAR 44


SFM26GoalHarder.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 4:38 PM

Have your heart set on a new and lofty gym goal for 2018? It’s not enough to set it and forget it—you need a no-nonsense, B.S.-free plan to get you from point A to B in a reasonable amount of time. So if you’re really ready to get after those goals, read on. Here are four plans you can put into action ASAP. WRITTEN BY RACHEL DEBLING PHOTO BY JAMES PATRICK


RD January/February 2018

SFM26GoalHarder.indd 2



2017-12-06 4:38 PM




SFM26GoalHarder.indd 3

A combo of interval and endurance workouts will help you cross the finish line in less time.

SET IT: Shave Two Minutes Off Your 10K GET IT: This can be easier

said than done, according to Nathan DeMetz, a trainer, nutritionist, and health coach, especially if you’re aiming for a race that’s four to six weeks away. If you’re already a road warrior, you may need more time to check this one off your list. Consider yourself a running newbie? That could actually work in your favor for this specific goal, since those new to the track or those just coming back from an extended hiatus tend to see

improvements in their speed much faster than regular runners. “The reason for this is initial gains are generally easier to achieve, given that a trainee is healthy and able to train without limitation,” he explains. But this doesn’t mean that more seasoned runners can’t make gains in a short period of time, too. When looking to improve your race time, Julie Lohres, IFBB Fitness and Figure Pro and personal trainer, prescribes a four-times-per-week plan.

Two of these runs should be interval-based: begin with a short warm-up, followed by running all-out for 30 seconds, and then resting for 30 to 60 seconds; repeat 20 to 30 times. The other two? Longer, endurancebased runs. “Focus on breathing and lengthening your stride,” she says, aiming for a heart rate of about 70 percent of your max during the longer sessions while pushing yourself up to 90 percent during the work periods in your intervals.


One of the trendiest trends in the wellness universe has been to take all targets you once attached to your workouts and toss ‘em out the window. “Do it because you love it!,” contemporary lifestyle coaches preach. Okay, no. Wait. We mean yes, that’s great in theory. But let’s be real: how many people actually step foot in a gym to sprint on the treadmill or grunt through yet another burpee solely for the love of it? They don’t. And that’s where goals come in. Small, incremental targets with a feasible (meaning, realistic) timeframe attached can be just the motivation you need to work it that much harder, so you can love your workouts as well as the noticeable results you get from them. Write these four fitness goals down in your gym journal and mark six weeks on your calendar—in just over a month, Future You will be thanking Today You for it.

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 4:36 PM

SET IT: Touch Your Toes GET IT: Most of the time

when you go to the gym, you’re looking to get tight—but not in this particular instance. A tight lower back, glutes, or hamstrings can restrict your range of motion and make it more difficult to achieve this once-easy feat, says DeMetz. (Thanks a lot, passage of time.) Start by figuring out where your flexibility currently lies the old-fashioned way: with a tape measure. Sit upright on the floor with a tape or yardstick lying beside you with the “zero” end beside your hips. Hinge


forward and reach for your toes, noting the distance you can reach without having to bend your knees (it might be easier to have someone measure the distance between your fingertips and toes). Now that you know your starting point, you can work at improving your bod’s bendiness. Aside from taking five to 10 minutes to stretch each day, both of our experts recommend using a dynamic warm-up to make muscles, ligaments, and tendons more pliable before your stretch sessions and any

other exercise. DeMetz says that if you’re aware of the main area of restriction (a PT may be able to help decipher it), make sure you focus on it with soft tissue massage or using a foam roller or tennis ball against tense points. “Even if your glutes are the tight area, increasing the range of motion of the hamstrings, calves, lower back, and other posterior chain muscles will help with the toe touch,” he notes. Measure your stretch each week and record each improvement, no matter how small.

A solid game plan can help you boost your bench.

Perform an Unassisted Pull-Up GET IT: This is a challenging goal for many reasons, one being the fact that women tend to have less strength in their upper bodies than men. “To this end, strength exercises, such as the lat pulldown, assisted pull-up, and negative pull-up, can help build pull-up strength,” DeMetz says. Start with the “easiest” exercise, the negative pull-up (perform only the lowering phase of the movement as slowly as humanly possible again and again), then move to the assisted pull-up (at a machine or using a band), and end with a heavy set of lat pulldowns: three to four sets of three to six reps each of the wide-grip and close-grip variations, alternating hand positions with each set. A word of caution: “I strongly discourage the use of kipping or butterfly pull-ups,” says Lohres. “These do little to develop the muscles used for a strict pull-up and tend to put the rotator cuff in a compromising position.” Sorry, bro.



Add 10 lbs to Your Bench Press


GET IT: Pump up your push with a basic periodization program, says DeMetz. (For more on his online plans, check out demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com) “Follow a program that calls for incremental weight increases over the course of six weeks,” he explains, adding that two-and-a-half pounds per week should suffice, and even grant you two buffer weeks in case you need to tweak your approach (bonus!). To do it right, perform presses twice per week as part of an upper body-push workout that includes the bench version (a.k.a. the main lift), variations (like dumbbell floor presses), and work that targets secondary muscles (like triceps extensions). As for the rep range, keep it short and heavy. DeMetz recommends three to five sets of three to six reps. Also: don’t discount the power of a spotter, especially when you’re increasing the load. January/February 2018

SFM26GoalHarder.indd 4

Another effective technique for nailing the pull-up or increasing the number of reps you can do is inverted pull-up pyramids, says Lohres. Here’s how.

2. Next, tie each end of a

light band to the bar above you, slip your feet or knees into it, and bang out another five reps. 3. R  est for one minute, then repeat the process up to five times. “Be sure that 1. Start by doing as many each time you do this, you regular, wide-grip, actually first try a pull-up assistance-free pull-ups as with no assistance,” you can (even if it’s one). says Lohres. S



2017-12-06 4:37 PM

SFM26_048-049.indd 1

2017-12-06 5:42 PM

SFM26_048-049.indd 2

2017-12-06 5:42 PM





SFM26_Training Program.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-22 1:11 PM

Together, a fit body and a positive mindset are the keys to overall well-being. So without further adieu, we present our first ever mind/body training program, designed to strengthen both of these crucial components of what it means to be truly healthy. MODEL EMILIE PROVENCHER HAIR/MAKEUP MONICA KALRA SHOT ON LOCATION AT EMERGE LIFESTYLE & FITNESS

January/February 2018

SFM26_Training Program-.indd 2



2017-12-07 2:57 PM

A healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand. The two

are so deeply connected that it’s nearly impossible for one to function optimally if the other is suffering. After all, having six-pack abs won’t get you very far if you’re unhappy, just like it’s difficult to feel cheerful when the body is unwell. Over the next eight weeks, this program will not only build beautiful muscle and whip you into the best shape of your life, but it will also boost your confidence, improve your mindset, and encourage gratitude. Ready to become stronger than you’ve ever been, inside and out? Set your eyes on the prize—a new you is waiting.


Your Morning Mindset Routine

It is believed that the first hour of your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. This morning routine is intended to kickstart your day with gratitude, awareness, a positive frame of mind, and increased self-confidence. The following exercises will take you approximately 7-12 minutes each morning. In order to get the most out of this program, it is important that you make time each day for this practice.

Step One: Upon rising, go to the mirror and look at your reflection. For the next 30 seconds, repeat a positive phrase or affirmation about yourself such as, “You are enough,” “You are worthy of love,” or simply, “I love you.” 52


SFM26_Training Program-.indd 3

Step Two: Find a quiet and

comfortable spot on the floor or in a chair. Take the next 5-10 minutes for quiet reflection or meditation. If you are new to this practice, using a guided meditation will be extremely helpful. You can find them free on YouTube, or download an app such as HeadSpace or Calm.

Step Three: After your

meditation, write down or say aloud 10-15 things for which you are grateful. For example, “I am grateful for my bed. I am grateful for this day. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for having access to healthy food. I am grateful for my family.”

Step Four: Decide on a daily

affirmation or intention that speaks to you and repeat it to

yourself 10 times. This could be something like, “I am beautiful, and I love and accept myself,” or “I possess the qualities needed to be successful.” Repeat these throughout the day when faced with negativity or to return to your awareness.


This three-day training split is designed to give you the best bang for your buck in the gym. With one day of intense metabolic conditioning, two days of strength training, and two HIIT cardio sessions, you will see changes in your strength and body composition each week.

Day One

This total-body conditioning routine consists of four mini circuits, each with a lower body exercise, an upper body

exercise, and a core exercise. This type of split causes blood to be forced from your lower body, to your upper body, and back and forth, causing your heart to work harder and burn more calories. Be sure to use weights to fail at the appropriate rep range. If you can hit the higher rep range, increase the weight, and if you can’t meet the lower rep range, decrease the weight.

Day Two and Three

These days will be your strength training days. The goal here is to train heavy and slow. Make sure to maintain slow and controlled reps with 3-4 second eccentric movements and explosive concentric movements. These workouts will be followed by HIIT cardio sessions to maximize fat loss. January/February 2018

2017-12-07 2:52 PM


On the days you are not in the gym, make an effort to engage in active rest and recovery. This might be a sport you enjoy, hiking, yoga, swimming, or cycling.


WEEKS 1-4 How to: Perform the prescribed routine on each day. Allow for at least one day of rest (or active rest outside of the gym) between workouts. On Days 2 and 3, follow up the strength routine with a short high-intensity interval cardio session. See “Your HIIT Protocol” on page 54 for instructions.

DAY 1: TOTAL BODY EXERCISE A1: Goblet Squat A2: Push-Up A3: Plank



12-15 Max 30-45 sec


Rest 60 seconds between rounds

EXERCISE A1: S  tability Ball Decline Push-Up A2: Stability Ball DB Shoulder Press



Max 8-10


10-12 8-10*


8-10 8-10*


Rest 120 seconds between rounds B1: DB Bulgarian Split Squat B2: DB Bent-Over Row B3: Plank Push-Up

12-15 (per side) 12-15 15


Rest 60 seconds between rounds C1: Stiff Legged Deadlift C2: DB Push Press C3: Side Plank with Row

B1: DB Pullover B2: 1 ¼ Lat Pulldown

Rest 90-120 seconds between rounds 12-15 10-12 15 (per side)


C1: DB Bent-Over Row C2: Cable Face Pull

Rest 120 seconds between rounds

Rest 60 seconds between rounds D1: Low Cable Split Squat D2: Cable Single-Arm Lateral Raise D3: Cable Pallof Press to Overhead Reach

10-12 (per side) 10-12 (per side)

10-12 8-10*

D1: Seated DB Lateral Raise D2: Stability Ball Chest Press 4



Rest 120 seconds between rounds *Indicates Dropsets: On sets 3 and 4, once you can’t perform any more reps, drop the weight down by 10-20% and perform as many more reps as possible.

Rest 60 seconds between rounds

DAY 2: UPPER BODY EXERCISE A1: Goblet Squat A2: DB Bulgarian Split Squat



8-10 8-10 (per side)


8-10* (per side) 12 (per side)


10-12 10-12


Rest 120 seconds between rounds B1: Low Cable Split Squat B2: Side Plank with Cable Row

Rest 90 seconds between rounds C1: Stiff Legged Deadlift C2: BB Hip Thrust



Rest 120 seconds between rounds

Goblet Squat

*Indicates Dropsets: On sets 3 and 4, once you can’t perform any more reps, drop the weight down by 10-20% and perform as many more reps as possible.

Stand holding a dumbbell vertically with both hands in front of your chest, feet wider than shoulder-width apart (A). Lower into a deep squat,

January/February 2018

SFM26_Training Program-.indd 4

keeping your chest lifted and back flat. Elbows should be between your knees (B). Extend your legs to return to standing. Repeat for all reps.

NOTE: Not all exercises are listed.



2017-12-07 5:27 PM

DB Bulgarian Split Squat Hold dumbbells and stand facing away from a flat bench. Extend one foot behind you and place it on the bench. Bend your front knee and lower your hips until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Extend your front leg to return to the starting position and repeat. Complete equal reps on both sides.


DB Bent-Over Row Holding dumbbells, hinge from the hips and lower your torso so it is about parallel to the ground, and extend your arms downwards in front of your legs (A). Bend your arms and pull the weights up to your sides, keeping your back flat (B). Lower back down and repeat for all reps.



On Days 2 and 3 you will be performing high-intensity interval training after your strength workouts to maximize fat burning. There are four four-week phases. For each phase, begin with six sets, then add two sets each workout. When you begin a new phase, go back to six, and add two sets each workout.





40 sec/2 min


20 sec/1 min


10 sec/30 sec


20 sec/10 sec

Plank Push-Up


Begin in plank position on your forearms. Extend one arm at a time (A) to come up to a high plank (B),then reverse the motion to lower back down to regular plank. Repeat for all reps.

MODIFICATION: To make this move easier, perform it from the knees. B



SFM26_Training Program-.indd 5

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 5:20 PM


Side Plank with Row Get into side plank facing a cable machine with a handle attachment positioned on the lowest setting. Reach out and grab the handle so your arm is fully extended. Holding the plank, bend your elbow and pull the handle to your side. Slowly return to the starting position. Complete equal reps on each side.


Stiff Legged Deadlift Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell in front of your legs with palms facing in (A). Keeping your legs straight but not locked, push your hips back and lower the bar towards the floor (B). Raise back up to standing and repeat for all reps.




DB Push Press Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your shoulders, palms facing each other (A). Bend your knees slightly (B), then explo-

January/February 2018

SFM26_Training Program-.indd 6

sively press the weights overhead (C). Lower the weights and immediately return to the semi-squat position and repeat for all reps.

To keep the body in good health is a duty‌ otherwise, we will not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.� - Buddha STRONGFITNESSMAG.COM


2017-12-07 5:20 PM


WEEKS 5-8 How to: Perform the prescribed routine on each day. Allow for at least one day of rest (or active rest outside of the gym) between workouts. On Days 2 and 3, follow up the strength routine with a short high-intensity interval cardio session. See “Your HIIT Protocol” on page 54 for instructions.

DAY 2: UPPER BODY EXERCISE A1: Stability Ball Chest Press A2: Stability Ball Decline Push-Up

DAY 1: TOTAL BODY EXERCISE A1: Leg Press A2: Stability Ball Decline Push-Up A3: Stability Ball Plank



12-15 Max


8-10 Max


12-15 (per side) 12-15 15

12-15 10-12 15 (per side)

B1: Face Pull B2: 1 ¼ Lat Pulldown

10-12* 8-19*


8-10 8-10*


10-12 8-10


Rest 120 seconds between rounds C1: DB Pullover C2: DB Bent-Over Row

Rest 120 seconds between rounds

30-45 sec 4

D1: Seated DB Lateral Raise D2: DB Push Press

Rest 120 seconds between rounds

Rest 60 seconds between rounds C1: Lying Hamstring Curl C2: DB Push Press C3: Side Plank with Cable Row


Rest 120 seconds between rounds

Rest 60 seconds between rounds B1: DB Bulgarian Split Squat B2: Seated Cable Row B3: Plank Push-Up



*Indicates Dropsets: On sets 3 and 4, once you can’t perform any more reps, drop the weight down by 10-20% and perform as many more reps as possible.

Rest 60 seconds between rounds 10-12 (per side) 10-12 (per side)


10-12 (per side)

Rest 60 seconds between rounds


Low Cable Split Squat Get into a split stance facing a cable machine with a handle attachment positioned on the lowest setting. Grab the handle and hold it with your arm extended so there is tension in the cable and the weight stack is lifted. Bend your knees and lower into a lunge, pause at the bottom, then return to standing. Repeat. Complete equal reps on both sides.



SFM26_Training Program-.indd 7

A1: Lying Hamstring Curl A2: Stiff Legged Deadlifts




8-10* 8-10


8-10 8-10


15-20 50


Rest 120 seconds between rounds B1: BB Hip Thrust B2: DB Bulgarian Split Squat

Rest 90 seconds between rounds C1: Leg Press C2: Bodyweight Squats

Rest 120 seconds between rounds *Indicates Dropsets: On sets 3 and 4, once you can’t perform any more reps, drop the weight down by 10-20% and perform as many more reps as possible.


D1: Low Cable Split Squat D2: Cable Single-Arm Lateral Raise D3: Renegade Row

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 5:19 PM

Cable Single-Arm Lateral Raise Stand facing forward next to a cable machine with a handle attachment positioned on the lowest setting. Hold the handle down in front of your body in the hand farthest from the apparatus. Keeping your arm straight but not locked, raise your arm up and out to the side to shoulder height. Lower back down and repeat. Complete equal reps on both sides.

Cable Pallof Press to Overhead Reach




Kneel next to a cable machine facing forward. Position the handle on the apparatus so it is about chest height. Hold the handle with both hands directly in front of your chest with arms bent (A). Extend your arms straight out in front of you, pause (B), then raise them overhead (C). Lower down to the second position, then back in front of your chest. That’s one rep. Repeat for all reps.


Stability Ball Decline Push-Up Get into push-up position with your feet on a stability ball. Bend your arms to lower your chest towards the ground. Extend your arms to return to the starting position. Repeat for all reps.

January/February 2018

SFM26_Training Program-.indd 8



2017-12-07 2:56 PM

DB Pullover


Lie face-up on a flat bench holding a dumbbell vertically in both hands above your face with arms extended (A). Keeping your arms straight, lower the weight in an arcing motion down behind your head (B). Pause at the bottom of the movement, then return to the starting position. Repeat for all reps.


1 Âź Lat Pulldown Stability Ball DB Shoulder Press Sit on a stability ball holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your shoulders with palms facing forward. Keep your core engaged and extend your arms, pressing the weights overhead. Lower back down and repeat for all reps.

Sit in a lat pulldown machine and grasp the bar with a medium grip. Bend your elbows and pull the bar down to your chest. Slowly extend your arms, stopping a quarter of the way. Pause, then pull back down to the chest, then extend all the way up. That’s one rep. Repeat for all reps.


Remember the mind /muscle connection. Focus on the working muscles throughout the movement.

Cable Face Pull Stand facing a cable machine with a rope attachment positioned to roughly chest height. Grasp the rope with an overhand grip with arms extended. Bend your arms and pull the rope towards your face, keeping your elbows wide. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat.



SFM26_Training Program-.indd 9

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 2:57 PM


Stability Ball Plank B

Stability Ball Chest Press

Get into plank position with your forearms on a stability ball and feet slightly apart. Tuck your abs towards your spine and hold for the prescribed amount of time.

Lie face up on a stability ball positioned under your upper back, holding dumbbells in a bench press position (A). Extend your arms to press the weights straight above your chest (B). Lower back down, then repeat for all reps.

Barbell Hip Thrust Sit with your upper back against a flat bench and a loaded barbell across your hips. Hold the bar with a wide overhand grip. Press through your heels and drive your hips towards the ceiling until they are in line with the rest of your body. Lower back down without your hips touching the ground. Repeat for all reps. S


To make this move easier, perform it on the floor.

Got questions about this program? Email us at yousaidit@strongfitnessmag.com January/February 2018

SFM26_Training Program-.indd 10



2017-12-07 2:57 PM




SFM26_5-Second SolutionErin.indd 1


THE FIVE-SECOND SOLUTION January/February 2018

2017-12-07 9:46 AM

Have you vowed to make this the year you actually stick to your resolutions? While research shows you’ll probably cop out thanks to your self-sabotaging brain, bestselling author Mel Robbins has discovered a foolproof tool that she promises will help you finally make changes that stick. Read on to learn the science behind our less desirable habits (and why they’re so hard to break), and how to make her simple strategy work for you.

January/February 2018

SFM26_5-Second Solution.indd 2



2017-12-22 1:13 PM

You’ve been there.



SFM26_5-Second SolutionErin.indd 3

Five seconds may be all it takes to go from the couch to the trails.

Autopilot: The Sneaky Saboteur Maybe you’ve set a conscious intention to get to bed earlier, but suddenly it’s one a.m. and you’re still scrolling through Instagram. Or maybe you’ve resolved to start drinking more water, only to realize three days later that most of your liquids still come in the form of coffee and wine. Change is hard, and the reason we often set

sky-high goals only to fall flat on our faces is because, typically, our intentions aren’t exactly aligned with our habits. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that the stronger our habits, the less likely our intentions are to predict our behavior. As much as 45 percent of what we do every day we do out of habit, without a second thought. Even our mental processes are largely unconscious to us.

But just like your resolution to start meditating every day, our habits have good intentions. They protect us from what psychologists call “decision fatigue”—the drain on our mental energy that comes from making decisions. “Whatever can be done automatically frees up our processing power for other thoughts,” explains psychologist Jeremy Dean in his book Making Habits, Breaking Habits (2013). And


Toasting goodbye to the “old you,” intending to wake up on January 1st a changed person, more committed to your goals than ever in spite of any raging hangover. Intention, motivation, and sheer willpower gets you through those tough first weeks, but then inevitably, progress stalls, your motivation wanes, and doubt settles in to sabotage your efforts. You slip back into your old ways, forever intending to get back on track. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. According to research from the University of Scranton, after one month, only 55 percent of people will succeed at sticking to their New Year’s resolutions; that number plummets to a dismal 40 percent by the six-month mark. When it comes to making changes that stick, the research is stacked against us simply because of the way we’re wired. But by applying what researchers know about how the brain works, you can finally break the cycle of starting over. In fact, motivational speaker and bestselling author of The 5 Second Rule (2017), Mel Robbins, has discovered a simple brain hack that will empower you to consistently take action towards your goals—even on days when you’re just not feeling it. “When I used the Rule for the very first time seven years ago, I thought it was silly,” writes Robbins. “Little did I know that I had invented a powerful metacognition technique that would change absolutely everything about my life, work, and sense of self.” Here, we dig into the research, and Robbins shares how The 5 Second Rule can help you beat your brain at its own game.

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 9:46 AM

“Even when we know what we should do, we do the opposite because of the easy dopamine hit,” explains Robbins. What’s more, the harder a habit is to establish, the more likely you’ll be to give up if you’re not strongly committed. That’s because your mind is quick to come up with reasons why your effort isn’t worth it so that you’ll default to your usual patterns of behavior. And just when you thought you were out of the woods, “Research on both animals and humans suggests that even after habits have apparently faded away through lack of repetition, they still lie in wait to be reactivated,” writes Dean. Meaning that familiar situations and triggers will threaten your resolve.

Old Habits Die Hard

while autopilot is an excellent evolutionary adaptation that can help us safely and efficiently go about our days, it also means that we rarely notice our habits, let alone pause to think whether they’re getting us closer to our goals or holding us back.

Wired for Reward

But how do we outsmart evolution and start moving with purpose? “The first step is understanding that unhealthy January/February 2018

SFM26_5-Second Solution.indd 4

behaviors will always feel good,” says Robbins. That’s because these unhealthy and unproductive habits—whether it’s an insatiable sweet tooth or a craving for wine when you’re anxious—are tapped into our brain’s reward system, spiking the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine every time we give in. “We’re animals, and we’re often on autopilot, so we allow our brain’s reward system to unconsciously dictate our actions.”

Another reason habits are so hard to break comes down to good old muscle memory, says Gregory Ashby, PhD, a distinguished professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For example, if you always turn to food in times of stress, this becomes your automatic response when you feel your cortisol start to spike. Or if you’re prone to doubt or hesitation, this response to things that intimidate you becomes second nature. When you repeatedly respond in the same way to specific cues in your environment, you strengthen neural pathways in a primitive part of the brain known as the basal ganglia, which is responsible for habit learning. Your brain becomes so efficient at carrying out these actions or thought processes that they become automatic and reflexive. “What happens when you practice a behavior enough times is, eventually, it doesn’t need the feedback anymore,” says Ashby. You perform them

whenever certain cues are present, regardless of whether they’re actually getting you anywhere. If you want to shift from unconscious habits that are getting you nowhere to conscious decisions that get you closer to your goals, the key, according to Dean, “is to find a way to sabotage our unconscious, automatic processes and bring the decision up into the conscious mind.” In science lingo, that translates to activating a part of the brain that’s responsible for conscious processes like goal setting and decision making known as the prefrontal cortex. So, how exactly do you do that?

“Even when we know what we should do, we do the opposite because of the easy dopamine hit,” says Robbins. The 5-Second Brain Hack

According to Robbins, “At any moment you are capable of making a decision that changes the rest of your life.” Habit researchers have identified some effective strategies to help you become aware of these opportune moments to make a different decision. For example, to clue into our strongly established habits, researchers found that being vigilant was the best strategy. Another study that examined snacking habits showed that knowing your triggers, or “cues,” can help alert you to a different course of action. Robbins also points out that once you’ve set a goal or STRONGFITNESSMAG.COM


2017-12-22 1:12 PM


“The Rule doesn’t make these things easy,” says Robbins. “It makes them happen.”

intention, research shows that “Whenever you are near things that can help you achieve those goals, your brain fires up your instincts to signal to get that goal completed.” The key then, according to Robbins, is to act on those instincts—and that’s where The 5 Second Rule comes in: “When you have an instinct to do something that will help you reach one of your goals, you must immediately count 5-4-3-2-1, and then physically move in the direction of that thing,” she says. Why count down from five? Five seconds is all it takes for your brain to trigger that familiar cascade of self-doubt, hesitation, and excuses that are designed to keep you right



SFM26_5-Second SolutionErin.indd 5

where you are. “That is how the system in your brain works— the longer that you think about something, the lower your urge to act becomes,” explains Robbins. “As soon as that impulse to act kicks in, you start rationalizing it away.” More importantly, the very action of counting down fires up your prefrontal cortex, snapping you out of autopilot and into decision-making mode, and empowering you to take immediate action when the clock runs out. Have the urge to work out? Count 5-4-3-2-1, then lace up and go. Questioning if you really need that third glass of vino? 5-4-3-2-1, then pour a sparkling water instead. “By teaching yourself to take

action when normally you’d stop yourself by thinking, you can create remarkable change,” writes Robbins. It’s a simple concept that’s helped Robbins herself and millions of others make profound changes in their lives. Of course, it still requires you to put in the work. “The Rule doesn’t make these things easy; it makes them happen,” she points out—but when it comes to gettin’ ‘er done, that’s all that matters.

Armed for Action

Equipped with this simple, ready-to-use tool, you should be armed for your brain’s efforts to derail you as you recommit to your goals and resolutions. And since The 5 Second Rule is all

about taking action, the more you put it into practice, the more you reinforce that impulse to act. “You actually can develop new neural pathways which lead to lasting behavior change,” Robbins explains on her blog. As Dean explains in his book, “Habit change isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. The right mindset is to wake up tomorrow almost exactly the same person, except for one small change —a small change that you can replicate every day until you don’t notice it anymore.” Like the daily grind that nets you big results in the gym, start putting in small actions every day with The 5 Second Rule, and watch them add up to big changes over time. S January/February 2018

2017-12-07 9:47 AM



One Year/6 Issues




One Year/6 Issues


Great Reasons to Subscribe: • Receive each issue to your mailbox before it hits newsstands. • Save 40% off the newsstand price. • Tons of training ideas and fresh content to keep you motivated.


2017-12-07 5:22 PM



Meal plan subscription services are relieving us from hours spent in the kitchen when we could be doing, well, anything else, really. Here, we share our top picks on the scene right now. WRITTEN BY JAHLA SEPPANEN

Prepping ain’t easy. In fact, according



SFM26_MealDeliveryErin.indd 1


to a 2014 study conducted by the USDA, women spend an average of 51 minutes a day preparing meals—and that only accounts for the chopping, cooking, and clean-up time. Tack on precious hours each week spent grocery shopping, and it really adds up. Not surprisingly, the study also affirmed the big reason we’re so tempted to order in: it’s convenient. Opting for fast food was shown to cut meal prep time in half, attributing to 30 minutes of saved time per day (that’s 7.7 days over the course of a year). At the same time, we’re well aware fast food isn’t the most financially sound option —nor is it the healthiest. Research on the food we eat outside of the home shows that indeed it comes with a higher caloric and fat makeup and lower micronutrient content than our homemade meals. So we’re in a bind: Do we spend what could be quality family and lifting time meal prepping? Or try the new place on Uber Eats? Luckily, we no longer need to make that call. Thanks to the surge of meal delivery services in the last few years (Consumer Reports estimated it was a $400 million industry in 2016), everything from fresh smoothies to an entire vegan meal plan can be sent directly to your doorstep, whether you live in rural Kansas or on Park Avenue. For many of us women, that translates to more time focusing on our careers, families, and fitness goals, while never missing a meal. But which services deliver the better box? Read on for our guide to some of the best in the biz.

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 2:10 PM


Daily Harvest This subscription company delivers invigorating smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits, soups, and even sundaes, thereby eliminating morning mayhem. The ready-toblend smoothie cups also function as to-go mugs, with mega delicious flavor combos like Pineapple + Matcha, Cacao + Avocado, and Blueberry +Hemp. COST: Starts at $47.94 for 6 smoothies.


RawBox One magic box does the strenuous work of weeding through grocery store aisles in pursuit of 100 percent vegan and glutenfree snacks for those with animal-byproduct allergies, Celiac disease, or a preference for raw food. This delivery is a seamless way to swap processed snacks with raw, performance- and energyboosting treats.



Butcher Box Better than your average grocery store meat department, Butcher Box delivers grass-fed, hormone-free, and humanely raised chicken, beef, and pork in pre-portioned amounts, all sealed in either biodegradable or recyclable packaging. Butcher experts taste-test every cut, and since they deal with the whole animal, you’ll likely be introduced to new cuts you’d never find at the store. This subscription is all about good, simple, nutritious meat. COST: Starts at $129

Imagine a supplement delivery company that hand-tailors your vitamins, proteins, and dosages to your activity level? Meet Revere, which does all of that, plus guarantees their ingredients are derived from natural superpower plants and vegetables. The company itself was built on the expertise of professional athlete trainer Mike Barwis with a method tested on pro athletes who train, perform, and fuel for a living. COST: Prices vary.


UrthBox Let’s face it: we’re never not going to eat lateafternoon snacks. But snacking can be done healthfully with UrthBox —an ever-changing mixed pack featuring new GMO-free foods, snacks, and drinks. Start by choosing a box size (they offer 6+ to 25+ snack packages), and what kind of treats you’re looking for, with GF, Vegan, and Diet options available. COST: Starts at $20 per month.

per month.

A study conducted by the USDA found 74% of meal prepping is done by women as opposed to men.

COST: Starts at $40.


Trifecta Nutrition We love Trifecta’s motto, “Eat Like You Train.” Trifecta offers personalized plans, such as Paleo, Clean Eating, Classic, Vegan, and A La Carte, which arrive as preportioned meals that are fully cooked and vacuum sealed for freshness. Trifecta sources quality ingredients that are 100 percent USDA Organic, as well as gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, and wild caught or grass-fed meats. A full nutrition breakdown of every meal is also included, so the macro calculations are a no-brainer. COST: Plans start at $108 per week.

January/February 2018

SFM26_MealDeliveryErin.indd 2



2017-12-07 4:05 PM

Thinking of giving CrossFit a try? Equip yourself with these six crucial points before stepping up to the bar.




SFM26Crossfit.indd 1

January/February 2018

2017-12-22 1:11 PM


January/February 2018

SFM26Crossfit.indd 2



2017-12-07 12:23 PM

1. Your biggest competition is you.

Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.



SFM26Crossfit.indd 3

“I’d failed to understand that all CrossFit movements were designed to complement each other and contribute to overall performance,” says Lutz. “I’d missed that the focus shouldn’t be narrowed to weight numbers, but to each movement’s purpose, how your body moves through it, and which muscles are engaged.” Armed with this knowledge, Lutz has since been attacking her workouts from a new perspective and is back on the road to Gainsville: “I finally feel confident approaching the bar.” To ensure your own journey starts off (and stays) on the right foot, we tapped Brown’s expertise for her top six toooften-overlooked aspects of CrossFit.

“One thing I’ve learned about CrossFit is that

nothing is random,”

says Lutz.


You may have just rolled your eyes, but it’s an adage that applies to many athletes and their journeys. It’s also a lesson our own STRONG Creative Director Erin Lutz learned the hard way after two years of dedicating her fitness efforts to CrossFit training. Despite seeing awesome initial gains in strength and ability, her progress had come to a crashing halt and her confidence and interest was plummeting. The worst part was, she couldn’t understand why. Rather than quit, she enlisted the help of LA-based strength and conditioning coach and Olympic weightlifting competitor Camille Brown, who immediately identified the problem: Lutz had become too concerned with the numbers, like how fast she completed the workout and how much weight was on the bar. As a result, her mechanics were thrown off and she was missing the all-important mind-muscle connection.

Bodybuilders measure success by symmetry of their physiques, and powerlifters measure it by the weight of their lifts. In CrossFit, success is measured by crushing personal bests and pushing your body as hard as possible. “The great thing about CrossFit is that it gives you tangible goals to strive for rather than just trying to get generally stronger and more muscular, which can get boring,” says Brown. “It’s all about getting stronger, faster, and more conditioned to beat your previous personal best.” The key is to keep in mind that your biggest adversary is your own mental and physical endurance. If, like Lutz, you become too focused on outperforming the person next to you at the gym, you’ll lose sight of your personal progress and your workouts will suffer.

January/February 2018

2017-12-07 12:23 PM

5. There’s a strong focus on nutrition.

2. Every movement has a purpose.

“The more you perform a movement, the more

your body will learn to become efficient at it and not waste energy,”

What makes CrossFit so effective as a training method is that it’s centered around building functional strength and conditioning, not just getting stronger at a specific lift or adding a few more inches to a particular muscle. “One thing I’ve learned about CrossFit is that nothing is random,” says a now-enlightened Lutz. As an example, rowing, box jumps, and kettlebell swings may all seem like very different exercises, but they all work together in a synergistic way to improve big moves like power cleans as well as basic hip mobility. As you progress in your training, expect to see physical benefits not just in your workouts, but in everyday life. “The more you perform a movement, the more your body will learn to become efficient at it and not waste energy,” says Brown.


says Brown.

January/February 2018

SFM26Crossfit.indd 4

3. CrossFit borrows from all other training methods. Every untrained observer has their own assumptions about CrossFit. Some say it’s like Olympic weightlifting, others say it’s like powerlifting, and others still say it’s like gymnastics training meets calisthenics. The correct answer? All of the above. “CrossFit incorporates elements from each of these wildly different sports and energy systems for an extremely complex workout that produces some of the fittest individuals,” says Brown. In any given WOD (workout of the day), one can expect to perform moves as varied as push presses, wall balls, and box jumps for a grueling test of power, speed, coordination, and endurance. If you think you’re the cat’s pyjamas just because you can lift a lot of weight or run fast, prepare to be humbled.

4. It brings into play different energy systems. The human body has three different energy systems that it uses to perform various activities: phosphagen, anaerobic, and aerobic. While the phosphagen and anaerobic systems come into play during short, intense movements like powerlifts or standard bodybuilding-type workouts, the aerobic system is used for cardiovascular and endurance training. In CrossFit, the energy systems merge into a unique, total-body workout unlike any other. “You might have highly explosive movements mixed in with a few laps around a track, or swim a mile then row 2,000 meters,” says Brown. “The energy systems collide and you develop each in different ways.” It’s no wonder why CrossFitters consider themselves among the most well-rounded athletes, and why the winner of the CrossFit Games holds the title of “The Fittest on Earth.”

When it comes to nutrition, CrossFit teaches the principles of the “Zone Diet,” which involves eating a specific ratio of nutrients at specific times during the day. The goal is to keep the body in an efficient metabolic state (hence, “The Zone”) for optimal fat burning. Developed by biochemist Barry Sears, the diet emphasizes whole foods, unprocessed carbs, and protein while eschewing refined sugars and highly processed foods. “One of the reasons CrossFit athletes are so lean and lose weight seemingly so easily is because of the nutritional emphasis on lean meats and vegetables, and timing healthy carbs for optimal performance and recovery,” says Brown.

6. CrossFitters are a tight-knit group. One of the most unique aspects of CrossFit is the strong sense of community among its enthusiasts. “The CrossFit community is a strong one because it creates a culture that emulates a team-like environment one might find in many mainstream sports,” says Brown. While there certainly are plenty of CrossFit competitions in which individuals compete against each other, the majority of CrossFitters are mainly looking to better themselves physically and mentally, and in doing so, come to rely heavily on a supportive network of peers and coaches. Few sports bring together people from as many different walks of life as CrossFit does, and not surprisingly, CrossFit gyms are well-known for fostering lasting friendships. S



2017-12-07 12:23 PM

Unstoppable Women

Women to Watch Find out how these real women are changing the face of fitness. WRITTEN BY CHELSEA CLARKE

Stephanie Siraco AGE: 38 LOCATION: San Diego, CA GIG: Entrepreneur SPORT: Obstacle Course Racing REALITY STAR: For Stephanie, growing up in rural Missouri in the early 80s meant there were no distractions from burning off her childhood energy outdoors. “I had to learn how to keep up or be left behind,” she says of the time spent playing with her brothers. Her determination translated to joining just about every individual sport in high school that she could and it wasn’t a surprise to friends and family when, as she got older, she competed in running, duathlons, and triathlons, later qualifying for the 2003 Duathlon World Championships. After spending six years as a nuclear engineer for the US Navy, where in the first two years of her training she spent up to 80 hours each week completely stationary in a classroom, and another five as a software engineer, fitness



SFM26_W2W.indd 1

became Stephanie’s saving grace. In 2012, she ultimately made the leap to quit her desk job and pursue a full-time career as an online fitness trainer, and just two years later expanded her business to revolve around her true calling: obstacle course racing. If you recognize Stephanie, you may have seen her on reality TV. She has competed on CMT’s Broken Skull Challenge, CBS’s Tough Mudder X, NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, and NBC’s Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. The thrill of a million eyes watching across the country keeps her coming back for more, but she also acknowledges the toll that heavy competing takes on her body. “I’m 38 years old now,” she explains. “My body takes a little longer to recover. If I want to keep playing, I’m going to have to play smart.”

“Competing on reality TV shows is way more difficult than participants make it look.”

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 3:21 PM

Brittany Diamond Age: 25 Location: Boston, MA Gig: Sales & Personal Coach Sport: Strongwoman Competitions STRONGEST WOMAN: Brittany is the third strongest woman in the world, according to the 2017 Olympia Pro Strongwoman competition. As a competitor, she’s no stranger to walking with 240 lbs in each hand, pulling trucks, and lifting massive atlas stones. In 2013 she won first place in her first competition and instantly became hooked on the sport. “I fell in love with the crowd and the way the competitors helped each other out,” she remembers. “I knew I wanted to be 100 percent committed to this beautiful sport.” Since then she has climbed from Novice level to earning her professional status last year.


Age: 28 Location: Kelowna, British Columbia Gig: Entrepreneur Sport: Weightlifting, Fitness, Soccer HONEST MOTIVATOR: After graduating from university, LaDawn stepped on the scale to find she weighed in at 190 lbs with 35 percent body fat. It came as a shock to the life-long athlete who admits that even though she always led an active lifestyle, her nutrition habits left something to be desired. Determined to make changes, LaDawn signed up for a 12-week fitness challenge in 2015 and has never looked back. Revealing that she was previously intimidated by the thought of lifting weights for fear of “getting big,” LaDawn has smashed that stigma by hitting the iron four to six times per week. “I crave weights,” she says. “I’m always pushing for bigger PRs in the gym.” But in October 2016, tragedy struck when LaDawn’s brother

January/February 2018

SFM26_W2W.indd 2

passed away. Afraid she would fall into her old habits of binge eating and depression, she knew she had to find a healthier way to cope. After taking a few weeks off from the gym to grieve, LaDawn committed to making working out a safe and healing activity for her. “Nothing can fully heal the pain from losing someone, but it made a huge difference for me.” Now, LaDawn is working to build her online fitness presence to motivate others to find their best selves, preaching honesty and promoting confidence. “Fitness makes you comfortable in your own skin, helps you feel like a badass, and can even strengthen your relationships,” she begins. “I hope my presence in the industry will make a difference in people’s lives.”

A former runner, Brittany was introduced to lifting weights while attending University of Rhode Island on a rowing scholarship, and something just clicked. “Rowing taught me how to push my body to its limit, but lifting fired me up. I couldn’t get enough.” After her breakout performance at her first competition, a local gym owner urged her to find the confidence to compete at the national level. Now, Brittany is determined to maintain her title of World’s Strongest Woman in two lined-up shows, and she’ll appear as a guest speaker at events dedicated to educating others on how to take on strongwoman competitions for themselves.

“I want to motivate people by having fun and being 100% real.”

@ Find out how you could be the next Woman to Watch at strongfitnessmag.com



2017-12-06 3:21 PM

Get Inspired

“I made every excuse in the book to skip the gym.”

Gaining Perspective What happens when a personal trainer and fitness model abandons her healthy lifestyle for four months? Felicia Romero tells STRONG how putting on pounds has changed her approach to weight loss forever. WRITTEN BY FELICIA ROMERO



SFM26_Get Inspired.indd 1


January/February 2018

2017-12-06 10:56 AM

My journey began with a phone call. One phone call that would not only change the next eight months of my life, but also how I view weight loss forever. The call was to tell me I had been cast on the second season of Fit to Fat to Fit, a reality show that follows personal trainers as they intentionally gain weight, then work to lose it alongside their clients. In this case, my client would be my younger sister, Antonia, who has struggled with weight and general unhappiness for quite some time. The two of us were officially locked into this journey together: me, the trainer and fitness model who lives a healthy lifestyle, and my sister, who eats fast food daily and gets no exercise beyond walking from her car to her work.

spent most of my days sitting. I said goodbye to most of my balanced meals of veggies and lean protein, and hello to ice cream, fast food, late-night carbs, soda, cookies, and cake. It sounds fun, right? At first, it was. I didn’t care what I ate or what my body looked like. But it wasn’t long before the overeating took its toll on my body and mind. I felt sick and had heartburn all the time. The anxiety and stress around food that I had battled for years returned. I went from being a highly productive woman running her own business to a depressed, stress-ridden couch potato that was losing herself a bit each day. I had believed that my strong mindset would save me; that if I just reminded myself that this was for my sister, I would have no problem returning to my

Felicia after four months of gaining weight.

my sister experiencing this feeling all the time? Is this how most of America feels?” After four months, the weight-gain phase ended (Hallelujah!) and I joined my sister, who had already started losing weight on her own during my weight-gain phase, to start transforming my

Each day became harder until I could no longer see light at the end of the tunnel.” The first four months focused on the weight-gain process. I abandoned my healthy habits and adopted my sister’s unhealthy ones. I stopped exercising entirely and

normal lifestyle when it came time to lose the weight. Each day became harder than the last until I could no longer see light at the end of the tunnel. I wondered, “Was Felicia and her sister Antonia before filming Fit to Fat to Fit.

January/February 2018

SFM26_Get Inspired.indd 2

body as well. “No problem,” I thought. I got this. But to my surprise, getting back into a routine of exercise and eating healthfully was easier said than done. I was battling cravings for sugar, salt, and fast food, and I still continued to eat badly for weeks after the weight-loss phase began. I made every excuse in the book to skip the gym or to eat five cookies. I could not get it together. Why was it so tough to get back into a healthy routine? How was it that I, someone who had lived and breathed a fit lifestyle for more than a decade, couldn’t get motivated? I realized I was gaining a clearer picture of what it’s been like for my sister and many of my clients.

Felicia 10 weeks later.

Eight months passed and we finally concluded filming. I don’t want to spoil what happened in the end (you’ll have to tune in to find out), but I can say that I realize now how quickly someone can lose sight of their health, and of themselves—how it can feel hopeless. When my sister used to tell me that she was too unmotivated, sluggish, or unhappy to lose weight, I would say, “Well then, start eating healthy! Just workout! C’mon, you can do it!” I look at the way I used to treat her and realize how unfair I was. Losing weight and making lifestyle changes is incredibly difficult, and doesn’t happen overnight. I’m happy to report that our relationship is stronger today, and that this experience has made me become a more sympathetic and effective trainer. Everyone’s journey is unique. Life is all about growing and learning from our struggles, but each of us must do so in our own time.

Season Two of Fit to Fat to Fit airs January 8 on Lifetime.



2017-12-07 10:02 AM



7 1 0 2 l l Fa


Hudson Valley, New York OCTOBER 7-8 Fitness Fusion of the Hudson Valley

Ambassador Liz Cort Experts: Rachael Carter, Mia Finnegan



SFM26_Strongcamp(1)eRin.indd 1

70+ women attended our Hudson Valley Camp!

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 11:02 AM

Minneapolis, Minnesota OCTOBER 7-8 ETS Thielen South Metro

Ambassador Kristi Youngdahl Experts: Rah Engstrom, Trevor Morning, Lisa Van Ahn

Charlotte, North Carolina OCTOBER 14-15 • CrossFit 77

Ambassador Kim Helm

Ambassador Kim Helm shows us how it’s done.

January/February 2018

SFM26_Strongcamp(1)eRin.indd 2



2017-12-06 11:02 AM

Discover how strong you really are.

Minneapolis, Minnesota OCTOBER 28-29 ETS Thielen South Metro

Ambassador Kristi Youngdahl Experts: Trevor Morning, Rah Engstrom, Lisa Van Ahn

Pulling a truck takes team effort.

Saratoga Springs, New York OCTOBER 21-22 Challenge By Choice

Ambassador Jodi Mehan Experts: Julia Karantjas, Katrina Russell, Kayla Tote



SFM26_Strongcamp(1)eRin.indd 3

January/February 2018

2017-12-06 11:02 AM


Fort Lauderdale, Florida NOVEMBER 4-5 • PumpFit Club

Ambassador Hannah Eden Experts: Ashley Horner, Naya Parades, Celestial Bodiez

When you know the burn will be worth it.

January/February 2018

SFM26_Strongcamp(1)eRin.indd 4



2017-12-06 11:02 AM

Got something you want us to try?

We Tried It

Email us at yousaidit@strongfitnessmag.com or tag us on Insta @strongfitnessmag.

We check out the “Best Workout in the World” to see what all the fuss is about.

Barry’s Bootcamp




WHO TRIED IT: Mikaila Kukurudza, editorial contributor and fitness enthusiast.

LOCATION: Richmond Street, downtown Toronto

Cost: $$$ At about $30 a pop, it’s not cheap.

WHAT IT IS: A celebrity-

endorsed boutique fitness studio born in Hollywood in the late 90s. Famous for its red-lit room and sweatinducing combo of strength training and sprint drills, it’s expanded to 21 locations across seven countries.


Four blocks of work alternating between resistance training on the floor and HIIT on the treadmill, followed by a burnout round and quick stretching session.



SFMWetriedit.indd 1

Sweat Rating: Three words: bring a towel.

Smoothie Bar:


PROS  trength and cardio in one shot S HIIT-style means you keep burning cals after class Motivating, experienced instructors Pre-order smoothies from The Fuel Bar Their merch is awesome

CALORIE BURN: A 50-minute class can burn up to


CONS  igh demand means H classes fill up quickly A bit intimidating Crowded classes make switching stations a little chaotic Their merch is pricey

I have to admit, with all of the sprinting, sweating, and switching stations, the 50-minute class flew by. After a quick stretch session to wind down the class, I walked out of the Red Room dripping sweat and already craving more.” January/February 2018

2017-12-07 2:26 PM




Killer Workouts • Seminars • Revived Motivation

New England MAY 5-6

Olympia, WA JUNE 2-3


SFM26_StrongcampAd.indd 1

2017-12-07 2:28 PM

SFM26_C4.indd 1

2017-12-06 5:31 PM

Profile for nguyenducthanhminh

Strong fitness january february 2018  

Fit body, strong mind, warm up with vegas noodle bowls and how Massy Arias keeps evolving

Strong fitness january february 2018  

Fit body, strong mind, warm up with vegas noodle bowls and how Massy Arias keeps evolving