Cardio for Calories

When most people do “cardio” they’re doing cardio for calories. As in, they are doing it to burn calories, typically to lose weight.

Normally it’s a slang term for cardiovascular exercise, but really I think that it’s just about calories.

We’ve simplified the term into this overarching concept for getting our sweat on, checking our smart watch to see if we’re done, and feeling like we’ve burned off that desert from last night.

Sadly, this process is usually only done on 3 specific machines. You know, the ones found in the “cardio area” of any commercial gym. Yup, the Treadmill, Elliptical and Bike.

*image found on*

For this article I want to focus on the idea of burning calories and what else could be a better option for our “cardio” workout. Continue reading “Cardio for Calories”

Just go back to eating pizza and ice cream

“I don’t want to look like a man”

This is probably the most common response I get from women when I tell them they need to train their arms more or use more weights.

There are 3 major problems I have with this:

#1 – the societal image women have of themselves that generates such a huge fear about having muscles.

#2 – the lack of understanding of what it actually takes to look like a body builder (a man).

#3 – You’re basically saying that you’re worried your results will be TOO GOOD.

Continue reading “Just go back to eating pizza and ice cream”

Building A Better Booty: Coach Shelby’s Quest For Glutes

Building A Better Booty 3

Is there anything better than a well developed set of glutes aka: Booty?

Hm.. perhaps some gorgeous back muscles but one thing at a time!

My obsession with glutes started in my early twenties. I had a classically flat bum. Don’t get me wrong, it was small but it was most definitely flat.
And I hated it (along with this picture!)

Building Better Glutes 1

So I set about to change it! I squatted, deadlifted and lunged for a good three years; and while my glutes did develop, the results weren’t exactly what I was hoping for… “Womp womp”

So the next two years I spent truly trying to grow my booty. Again, changes happened but not many, I am very hamstring dominant and without proper focus they take over all the work my glutes should be doing.

Slowly but surely I started to get pissed off!

Then I got pregnant – Having to scale back my workouts a bit I decided to spend the majority of my time working all the tiny muscle groups I normally neglected in my regular workouts (preferring to train the core lifts).

So I then delved into glute research; I read a total of 387 articles on glutes, glute programming and how to achieve a roundly backside shape. and finally, finally! I realized where I was going wrong:

My glutes were failing to contract fully and for me personally they respond better to high volume than heavy weight.

Well… OK…

So back to the studio. I began training glutes six days per week for 20-30min each day. I used a range of exercises to target all functions of the glutes (hip extension, hip hyper extension, hip transverse abduction, hip abduction, hip external rotation) and in a variety of repetition ranges.

Building Better Glutes 2

The most important part for me was ensuring I really felt my glutes working, specifically in hip hyperextension.

The fun thing about the glutes is you can work them in low loads with really high volume without causing damage. So that’s what I did.. for six months.

The results:

I put two inches on my glutes and changed their entire shape. While my pants fit around my waist I cannot get them over my butt. Thankfully, I no longer have a small booty!

Building Better Glutes 3

To top it all off, now that I understand their contraction I’ve been able to put some much needed numbers onto my core lifts. It’s been a win all around!

So here’s the thing:

Some people have great glute genetics, while others can contract their glutes on a whim and therefore have an easier time developing a roundly shape.

Then there are people like me who have poor glute genetics (read: flat bum!) and struggle to contract the glutes properly.

If this is you, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

BUT, a nice ass is definitely possible (with the right amount of work!).

There are three things it takes to build your glutes (or any muscle for that matter):

* Metabolic stress (that oh so lovely “pump” feeling)

* Mechanical tension (activating your muscles through a full range of motion)

* Muscle damage (feeling sore the next day)

If you’re missing one of the three your results will be a bit lack luster.

And what many females fail to realize is that putting muscle onto your glutes is a good thing. In order to have a “nice butt” you need to have muscle back there. The perk of this muscle is that stronger glutes help alleviate low back pain, protect the knees and are a great supplement to your bigger lifts (squat and deadlift).

So if you’ve been training in the hopes of having a nicer butt for some time with no luck, give me a shout. No one should have to suffer with a flat booty 😉


Vacation Weight Gain…

So it’s that time of the year. The time of year where I’ve worked hard to lose some weight, stay in shape and look great for my upcoming vacation. I’ve run a half marathon, trained in the gym and watched what I ate to a certain level. Will I wreck it all by heading to France? France is known for its wine, cheese, pastries and heavy, buttery foods. All of which I want in my belly. I’ve calculated that if I let myself indulge in all of these delicacies everyday then I will have to walk about 2000 miles per day. Since that wouldn’t even leave me time to indulge in my delicious french food I think that might not be feasible.

Instead of worrying about the whole thing I’ve decided to take a “moderation” outlook for the adventure. Explore the city on foot, go out for a few runs to keep my runners from feeling sad and then eat what I want. I might gain a few L-B’s but I’ll also have an amazing time and that’s what’s most important to me on this journey. Do you have any vacations coming up? How are YOU planning to feel good about the trip AND good about yourself when you return? I’d love your feedback!


“Man drops 10 pounds in 7 days… woman drops 2”


Why does it always seem that a man can drop massive amounts of weight in no time at all while we slave away for weeks and months to get our bodies to do the same?

I wanted to delve in a bit deeper to see if it had anything to do with me cheating on my diet every once in a while or if it really is all about the human body. Good news… it’s pretty much all to do with how different the male and female bodies are built! Yay!

Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage of essential body fat for women is greater than that for men, due to the demands of childbearing  and other hormonal functions. The percentage of essential fat is 2–5% in men, and 10–13% in women.  Although this is not the exact news we want to hear, it makes a ton of sense and confirms the age old tale of “Men have more muscle, therefore they burn more calories”. It takes a man hundreds more calories to live throughout the day then it ever will for us gals, so let’s try not to match our other halves bite for bite!

Moral of the story?  Make sure you have a plan built for you and don’t compare yourself to others.  Everybody’s journey is different!


Internal motivation

I just finished a half marathon on Sunday!

Whew, I’m tired.

I’ve been training for the past 5 months and it’s not only been a killer workout but it’s also been great for internal motivation.

For years I’ve been working out with trainers and taking classes. They were all great but when it comes down to motivation, it’s the trainers are the ones holding the whip to get me moving, not me. I realized after some time that what I really needed was to count on myself to get my workouts done rather than show up and have someone yell at me until it was done.

Certainly sometimes I’ve needed a little extra help while training by myself (that’s when I called Chad) but I realized that the more I do it myself the more I CAN do it myself. I made myself a plan, I stuck with it and it resulted in me getting in shape for running a half marathon (thank you, thank you!). But most importantly it resulted in me knowing that I can do it on my own. I have internal motivation now to push myself and crack my own whip. It’s pretty incredible to know that I did it on my own, and not because someone else had the motivation and was telling me what to do!

Think it’s time to crack your own whip too? Where does your motivation come from?


Intensity… might be good for an Olympian but is it right for you?



It’s all the rage right now.  High intensity interval training (or HIIT) has been all over the place for a couple of years now, touting the fact that you can get an amazing, crazy workout in 20 minutes.  But is it crazy to think that that’s safe? Maybe, maybe not.

Your body needs to be pushed to it’s limits every once in a while in order to grow, get stronger, and bust plateaus but that certainly doesn’t mean that you need to be going at an 11 on a scale of 1-10, 7 days a week!  Trainers like Chad find that with high intensity sometimes comes injury and we all know that with injury comes NO intensity so we have to learn to workout smart. Any pro will tell you that while it’s great to workout 5 or 6 days a week, if you’re pushing out 5 million squats at a rapid pace you’re probably doing them wrong and you might be in for an injured hammy or worse!  What’s most important is that we learn the perfect form first and then work ourselves up to 5 million reps (or 10 if you’re like me).


Don’t get me wrong, intensity is crucial to move your body in the right direction and to meet your fitness goals but we have to remember that for a couch potato, walking around the block is high intensity. Each body is different, listen to yours. No matter who you are and how often your train, always remember that the body needs rest and recovery periods in order to repair and get stronger. After talking with Chad I think it’s a great idea to add one high intensity training day in to my regular weekly workout.  Maybe I’ll do sprints, maybe lift heavier weights, maybe a billion burpee’s (although I highly doubt I’ll even do one), any way you cut it I’ll be looking to add some pow to my regular routine but I’ll keep the focus on keeping my body healthy and away from injury.

Are you doing any HIIT?  Is it working for you?

How to Target Fat Loss

fat loss

Have you ever wanted to target fat loss from one specefic area of your body?

For women it’s often around the hips and thighs and for men it’s around the belly or love handles. If you’ve experienced a bunch of weight loss, those might be the last areas to go.

Google search “Fat Loss” and you’ll find picture of models in big pants or with a tape measure around their waist. I had to use this image because it had BOTH!!

fat loss

It’s an extremely common question I get: “How do I lose weight here?” and then they point to a certain area of their body. Or, I’ll get “What exercises can I do to help get rid of this fat” and again point to an area of their body. The unfortunate reality is that it’s not really possible to just lose fat from one area of the body. We can’t target fat loss to one location only.

Caveat: I coach with a natural, drug-free approach to health. If there is a drug or pill claiming to target fat loss, I’m not interested.

The struggle is usually because it’s the last area to lose fat. You may have had success already, but this last place just won’t go. If it’s in the abdomen, no amount of sit ups is going to make the fat go away. Yes, you’ll develop the muscle underneath, but that’s not going to results in losing fat from that area. However, once you do lose the fat, your 6 pack will be ready!

Fat loss comes from a result of many factors: diet, exercise, age, stress, sleep, gender, etc. Often what got you your initial fat loss won’t get you that last 10 pounds. If what you’ve been doing isn’t working, then it’s time to do something differently.

Targeting fat loss in one area isn’t going to happen. I’d suggest looking at what changes you can make to re-ignite your metabolic fire. Take a close look at your fitness routine and diet and see what changes you can make. If you’re not sure, or you’ve been at a plateau for a while, it’s probably time for a coach. Getting an experienced and outside perspective could be the key to finding the change you need and tipping the scale in the right direction.

Have you been successful with fat loss? How did you achieve your results?

Does Lifting Weights Make Women Bulky?

lifting weights

Women often wonder if lifting weights will make them get big bulky muscles. We always see men in the gym lifting weights and getting big, so doesn’t that mean women will have the same fate?

The problem isn’t the weights themselves that cause bulky muscles, but how the weights get used. Truth of the matter is that weights will help build some muscle, but this can be very beneficial even if your goals is weight loss.

If you want to avoid the big, bulky muscles and focus more on leaning or toning, there is a general rule you can follow:

Lighter weights for more reps.

Now be careful though because this isn’t always true for everyone. We all have different body types and metabolisms  It is however a pretty good general rule that you can at least try out. If you want to be sure or you’ve had the opposite experience, it can be really valuable to get some professional coaching advice.

If you have experience lifting weights, please comment and share your thoughts. If you’ve always avoided them, I encourage you to try them in your next workout and report back with your results. You might find that you love them!

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The Changeling

Blog # 21 ~The Jane Experiment

Oh how the wind changes. How we change, how goals change, plans change, expectations and dreams change.

Reality sets in, or we learn new things or something shifts in priority.

I used to always curse myself when I changed my mind about my goals, making myself ‘lazy’ or ‘bad.’ But now I see things just change with time and experience.

Yes, I’m getting all philosophical… This past week I had a chance to touch base with Chad after completing his Goals Questionnaire. It had been over 3 months since the last time I’d touched base with that and it was really cool to see how things had changed for me during this Experiment.

My goals when I started included lose weight, feel confident about food choices, and feel confident in a swim suit. Those things I actually did accomplish, which feels amazing. Other things such as be a certain weight, and buy a new pair of jeans; those didn’t happen. They didn’t happen because things changed. I figured out that I might not be the same weight or have the same body as Kate Moss, but that that’s actually ok. Yes I want to be fit and healthy and thin for sure, but I now know what I’m comfortable with maintaining and how I actually want to treat myself.

It’s a much smoother course, less yo-yo. Of course there are days I eat chocolate and workouts I miss. But after my exercise and challenge of planking everyday I have come to learn that even checking in with how I feel physically everyday is a major step in staying on course.

How do your goals change? Are there different things you focus on, health wise, the more you learn? It feels like that for me, But I suppose only time will tell.

Have a great weekend! Try reviewing some goals, let me know how things change for you!



What you don’t know, can push you.

Blog #16 ~The Jane Experiment

This week Chad and I didn’t get a chance to connect on our usual day about my goals, but we did see each other a few days later at a social gathering with some friends. On that occasion Chad asked me how the planking was going and if I’d reached 2 minutes yet. My reply was along the lines of “Of course not! My max is 1:15 on a good day!” 

He was convinced I could hold it longer. So down I got into plank position in my little black dress while he timed me. At first it seemed fine, like usual, then extra tough with people watching, but then it felt liberating having someone else hold the clock and encourage me on. And I made it to a personal best of 1 minute and 55 seconds!

All this time, maybe I’ve been limiting myself by looking at the clock to measure my time. How well could I do if I left that aside and really focused on holding it for as long as I physically and possibly could?

As a further experiment, the next night I asked my mom to help out and do the same thing, but this time not tell me or encourage me on. That time I made it to 1:31. It makes me wonder if the pressure of different people or situations could effect my belief in my ability in my strength.

What other people think of us; how we eat, exercise, live, etc. seems to be very present in many, many people’s decisions when it comes to food. I know I used to find it hard to diet or watch my weight whenever there was a social gathering or Holiday. But at the same time I also have friends that when we hang out I feel the pressure to be super healthy. How crazy is it that we link so much of who we want to be, and how we want to treat ourselves with what other people might think of us!

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and in the age old tradition of sharing thanks I’d like to express some gratitude in my life: Firstly for my recently found sense of love and care for my body and myself. Secondly for all the delicious foods and recipes and experiments I’ve pushed myself to try in the last few months. And thirdly for this blog experiment and Chad’d coaching. Even though I maybe don’t always go to the gym as much as I could, his encouragement has taught me a lot.

If you are celebrating this holiday of much feasting, how are you planning on fitting into your jeans next week? Thats a small fear of mine! I do believe that in the last few months I have built a sense of what feels right for me, how much food I really need and when it’s a good time to celebrate and enjoy vs just eating for the sake of. It’s like going back to that ‘treat yourself like a kid’ thing I discussed in one of my early blogs; a reminder I give myself often. Enjoyment and moderation are key in my experience. Also I’ll be bringing healthy veggie dishes to my potluck. (along with a cheesecake, shh!)

Does anyone have any great, healthy recipes they’d like to share for Thanksgiving diner ideas? Pintrest is my new addiction for such things, it’s also been a great way to plan other healthy meal choices and read inspirational quotes. We need to get Anthrophysique on there!

Hope you all have a great weekend, weather you have a big dinner or not and that you feel gratitude for whatever state you are in with your health goals, and inspire yourself to keep going!




Blog #15 ~ The Jane Experiment
I have a few things to mull over today: Starting with my cleanse I mentioned last week.
Have you ever done a cleanse? Juice Cleanse? Raw Cleanse? Soup Cleanse? The Wild Rose Cleanse? The Master Cleanse?
I’m going the Master Cleanse. I’ve done this one many times in my life and last week I was feeling like I needed a little clean out. (And I also wanted to motivate myself to eat out less, and maybe drop a few extra pounds!)
It’s always an interesting experience as your body tests it’s limits and flexes its hunger muscles and eating patterns. In the past when I’ve done this cleanse, I still crave food. I feel deprived to some degree, and even though I enjoy the simpleness of the fast somewhat, I constantly think of how much I’m missing food. This time however, the thought has only crossed my mind a few times in 5 days. (Once when my friend mentioned the nachos at The Foundation and once when I spelt a hot chocolate.) But other than that I’m really proud of the choices I’m making. Even when a cheese plate was put in front of me the other day, I could pause and ask myself, “Is this what I want to put in my body?” or “Is this just want I want to eat because I’m hungry?”
These are questions I’ve really learned to ask over the last few months. I’m not saying eating and enjoying in the moment isn’t awesome, but I feel like I’ve become less of a slave to my ‘hunger’ (or boredom, or emotion etc.) and much more honest with myself about what makes me feel great and healthy.
I’d like to get to this place more with my workouts.
I really do try to schedule them in, but in the moment somehow other things pop up, and they just seem more important. More important than caring for myself? That is what I believe working out essentially is, especially in the long run. But in the moment it feels like a lot of effort and sweating. I therefore decide something is ‘more important’ without actually evaluating it honestly for myself. It’s a pattern we can start to build, till it becomes to comfortable to break!
The other thing that happened to me this week was that I seemed to have either strained my shoulder muscle, or put it out in some way while serving tables. It was educating to see how easily I wanted to let myself off the hook for such a small pain and possible ‘injury.’ I think mainly it was just that my body used some muscles it wasn’t familiar with, and then it tried to compensate. But it totally lowered my max plank time and made me sleep weird.
So the question remains, how do you continue to workout with an injury? I have two very, very active girlfriends who’ve recently experienced angle and knee injuries, respectively, both missed working out so much that they found low impact things like swimming and stationary biking to keep them going. All I could think of was ‘Wow, an opportunity to hang out and watch movies!’ It just goes to show what we really value when push comes to shove!
I’m continuing with my cleanse for a few more days and I’d love to hear about some other peoples experiences, good or bad. And I’m still totally open for those competition plank times!
And I’ll be aiming to ask myself, in those difficult chocolate chip cookie moments, or sleep in vs gym moments: What is it that I really want? Who is it that I really want to be?
Want to join me?

The Way We Were

Blog# 14 ~ The Jane Experiment

The plank goes on!
I’ve been noticing a very healthy competition with myself over the last week while doing my daily maximum plank. I constantly want to better my time from the day before.

Instead of planking in the feeling of fear or whining about it, Chad has encouraged me to explore other feelings. Like power, and its awesome, my plank is kicking ass!

I also did a workout yesterday, because I actually fit it into my schedule. Note to self; use iCal, it is helpful, and it reminds you that this is the only time you have to workout, so do it! Another reminder is set for this afternoon!

In the past, I have always been one to make my workouts harder in my mind than they actually are. From the length, to the amount of energy they will take, etc. Now as Chad and I have been working together, and I’m changing my negative patterns, I’m also less concerned with the result. Now when someone happens to compliment me on looking fit or loosing weight I’m excited and proud of the work I have been doing. Therefore I’m happily surprised, not totally dependant on that compliment.

All this measuring, and tracking, and learning about myself has helped me to see how completely different I am now in my approach my heath, wellness, and fitness.

And when I missed a day of planking, I really felt it in my gut. Not because my abs were enjoying the day off, but because I wished I had remembered and kept my word to myself. A word I have broken so many times when it comes to going to the gym or treating myself right. That is now another muscle to work on, so I can believe in myself when I say I want to do something.

I have also become super open mined when it comes to food, and honest about how food makes me feel. Just getting in touch with thinking about my body without the fear or judgement, is slowly helping me find my centre.

Now my centre is asking for a detoxing breather. So I’m going on a cleanse. Starting this Sunday; details to follow in next week’s update, which will probably be full of random food cravings!

I’ve decided to keep pushing with my daily plank, and I would like to put a challenge out there to see other peoples max hold times. Post below and lest keep this healthy competition going!




Wind Beneath My Wings

Blog # 13 ~The Jane Experiment

I’m not going to die, I’m not going to die…Breath. What’s the worse thing that could happen? I’m fine, not dying, fine ,I’m great, it’s like flying, I’m fine… Ok now I think I’m going to die. Ahhh.

That ahh isn’t a scream, it’s a sigh, of realse, the release of dropping your plank hold.

My goal for last week was to plank hold everyday, for max time; as long as possible. Question is, what is ‘possible?’ I noticed it’s pretty easy to get into the mind set, that “I can’t hold it any longer!” at about 26 seconds. But when I encouraged myself instead of discouraging myself, it was amazing what I could accomplish.

The same goes with coaching. One of the main reasons I’ve never liked working with a Personal Trainer in the past is because I don’t like being yelled at to push, do it, man up! etc. With AnthroPhysique I feel like Chad is upholding me. Reminding me of my goals and what I want, and guiding me as I help myself get there. Not scaring the living daylights out of me!

This past week when Chad and I connected we talked about why on Thursday I had an epic fail in eating healthy, how I can/can’t fit my workouts in, and what a realistic max plank hold might be for me. As I’ve blogged before, fitting in the workouts has been a major reason they aren’t getting done (well there are some fears too…) Chad has now developed some short, intense, timed workouts so I know how to directly fit them into my schedule. I recommend knowing how long a workout will take, makes it so much easier to get done. Facing the fear is what I can now focus on, with all that extra time I spent mindlessly scheduling! Easy as Pie, ohh pie…

Plank results: in seconds. (sharing this is also push myself and comfort zone!)
Friday: 33
Saturday: fail, 0.
Sunday: 50
Monday: 45
Tuesday: 40
Wednesday: 49
Thursday: 52

And today as I was writing this blog I felt determined to make it to a minute, just to test my limits…
Result: 1 minute and 5 seconds! 

I can see results when I measure! Wow!

Positive energy really was the wind beneath my wings! And as corny as that may sound, it feels awesome to not punish, provoke, or instil fear in me, in order to get what I want.

After 13 weeks of working with someone who has my back, and not just fighting with myself, by myself trying to motivate and inspire what I want, I can so see the purpose of working with a trainer. and sharing this process with all of you, whoever may read this is continuing to challenge me, and I love it!

I’m continuing my max plank holding, everyday this week. Care to join me?


A Fish Called Wanda

Blog #12 ~ The Jane Experiment

I’ve never much liked fish. Well, not eating them anyway. Not because I had a cute gold fish growing up who died in a dramatic fashion or even because I really love the movie Finding Nemo. I just wasn’t one for that fishy taste, growing up.
I occasionally didn’t mind fish if it was battered and deep fried, but even then I preferred the chips served on the side.

I have been a vegetarian for the last year and a bit, (something else that started as an experiment) but under Chad’s advice and the advice of many others I have been really questioning why I’m a vegetarian and why I might want to, or not want to eat meat.

There are obviously arguments for all sides here, and I don’t really want to play a ‘who’s opinion is right’ game but I will share some of my honest personal reasons for being veggie.

I do think it is better for the environment, the way animals are treated is horrible, and personally, it does feel weird to eat something that was once living. Maybe it had a family and a name? (that is if you’re unrealistic like me and Disney.)

Before I became a vegetarian I was actually a far pickier eater than I am now, it completely changed my taste buds. But it’s also a very good excuse to eat junk, but feel healthy because you eat vegetarian. Potato chips were a major part of the beginning of my veggie diet, as was Thai food with tofu. But over the past few months as I’ve become more consistent with my healthy choices and learned more and more about myself and food from working on this ‘Experiment.’ So, I have decided to start pushing in more new and uncomfortable ways.

Also, it’s September, so that’s pretty much January to most people. Time for new goals, new dreams, new clothes, new workouts and therefore new tactics!

Chad and I met yesterday to discuss where I’m going, how I’m doing and perhaps a new approach to the fitness side of things. We have been very ‘food’ focused, and that has been great, but I also want to build consistency and self esteem in exercise.

First plan: don’t imagine the workouts to be way harder than they actually are. Just try. Fail. And try again.
Second plan: Do it little by little. We are starting with a daily practise of a max plank hold, measuring and tracking results.

So I figured with this new time of year and new season, since I’m experimenting and pushing my limits; why not try fish? I’ve had it a few times in the last week and it actually is kind of yummy, without the batter. Who knows what it’s name was or how it was treated, but figuring out those parameters and conditions of satisfaction for myself will be part of the journey of fish eating.

I’m off to plank now, and I will report back next week with my results!