Archives for September 2011

Meet Real-life Exercise Hero Marion Shaw

Welcome to the second interview in the Exercise Hero series.

Exercise Hero Series features real people who have transformed themselves from coach potatoes to exercise heros who can inspire the rest of us.

This time I feature one of my favorite fitness bloggers, Marion Shaw (43), from Wisconsin, USA.

Marion calls herself  “Girl Monster” and I sometimes call her “Marion the Amazon”. 🙂 That is because she’s able to do 160 lb bench presses and uses 40 lb dumbbells for bicep curls.


Why did you start exercising? How long did it take before you started liking it?

I started exercising about 3 weeks before my 39th birthday because I was actually scared of the poor physical shape I was in while heading towards my 40th birthday. During this time in my life, I cried about how fat I was quite often. I was not doing anything more than short walks, while eating way too much junk food each day. (In my 30’s, it was not unusual for me to drink 5 cans of soda pop along with candy each day.)

I decided that I was going to give myself the best 40th birthday present ever– a fit healthy body. And I did!

I was a paying member of the gym for about 2 years before I actually started going regularly. At that point in time, I absolutely hated going to the gym, probably because I went to the gym often enough to get very sore, but never enough to overcome that soreness and get in shape. [Read more…]

I’m A Home Exercise Equipment Junkie!

Thigh Master. They still sell them at Amazon!

Have I ever mentioned I’m a home exercise equipment junkie? Perhaps not. The fact is, I collect home exercise equipment like some women collect designer handbags.

During the last 12 months I’ve added several items to my ever-growing collection: one kettlebell, several exercise dvds, resistance bands, one pedometer, a “pilates band”, foamroller etc, etc).

For conveniences sake, I specialize in compact portable exercise stuff, not exercise bikes and treadmills. I simply don’t have enough room for treadmills and ellipticals in my flat.

One of my favorite pass times is strolling in the sporting goods section of some department store looking for new pieces of home exercise equipment. Balance boards, resistance bands, hula hoops, kettlebells – everything interests me! If I lived in US, my apartment would be full of home exercise equipment I purchased at Amazon (I guess I’m lucky I don’t).


I’ve owned lots home exercise equipment over the years. I guess my collection habit started in my teens, when I clipped out  workouts I found in women’s magazines. After VCRs were introduced in Finland, I owned a small but comprehensive set of Jane Fonda’s workout videos. If I remember right, after that came the Callanetics phase! [Read more…]

Five Tips To Get Into Shape Without Delays

It’s time for a guest post again. Today’s guest poster is Cory Brusseau, one of the authors of  Dynamics of Motion fitness program I discovered when I was suffering form ankle sprain in August.

Cory discusses common exercise mistakes that delay an avid exercisers’s quest for the fit body. My take-home-lesson from his article concerns the importance of  strengthening your body’s weak points and correcting muscle imbalances before you can proceed to more advanced exercises.

And of course it’s important  to keep in check your high expectations and impatience.

Exercise Mistakes That Slow Results

By Cory Brusseau

Minor mistakes in a workout program can easily accumulate to bad habits over time, knocking you off track, and dramatically slowing your results. The very first thing to remember is not to focus simply on the results you want but to have a fitness program that you enjoy enough to stick with for the long haul. This alone will allow you to keep the body you deserve. Avoiding the following traps will speed you toward your goals and reduce the chances of injury. [Read more…]

Learning Kettlebells At Home – My Setup

I’m ready to really start learning how to use kettlebells.

I’m going to do that at home by myself. Before I describe my diy kettlebell training “setup”, I want to discuss the benefits of kettlebell training and why I like it so much.

Benefits of Kettlebell Training – Why You Should Be Doing It Too

The top reason for doing kettlebell training is fun. 🙂 For some reason swinging a ball of iron is fun and completely different form the usual boring gym routines.  Because kettlebell training combines both cardiovascular and strength training, it’s also very effective.

For example, it only takes me about 15 minutes of swinging my kettlebell to start huffing and puffing and sweat running down my face. In 30 minutes I get a complete full-body workout and have loads of fun in the process!

Another benefit of kettlebell training is that it’s also a superb way to increase your core strength.  (That’s a significant advantage in my eyes, because I’ve always hated doing crunches! They are B-O-R-I-N-G). The off-center design of a kettlebell requires that you constantly control and stabilize your core muscles when you move it around your body. So core training is a side effect of playing with a kettelebell.

My Kettlebell Training Setup

I bought my first kettlebells 2 years ago, but because of my knee problems they just sat in my living room gathering dust. A few months ago I tried swinging my kettlebells again and now I’m ready to get serious with them.

I’ve heard many tales of how kettlebell training has helped people to get rid of their low back or knee pain. But I know it’s also equally possible to get knee and low back problems if you don’t have a proper technique, so I decided to acquire some guides to support my home practice. [Read more…]

Satu Does Full-Body-Licious – Not

I’m in the middle of magnitude 6.5 “moodquake”.

My bad mood started on Sunday when I woke up with a headache. I don’t get many headaches nowadays, but there it was.

A few DIY-Feldenkrais sessions later my headache is gone but my bad mood is not. It’s been going on for four days in a row now and every day I discover new reasons to be dissatisfied.

Well, I suppose this mood too shall pass. 🙂


It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my workouts.

As usual, I’ve walked a lot. My (7-day average) step count is currently between 9 000-10 000. In addition to walking, I did 3 other workouts last week: one Flavia DelMontes’s Full-Body-Licious workout and two kettlebell workouts. [Read more…]