Physical fitness

Week 5 Progress P90x3

I completed the first week of Block 2 today! It felt great and was much faster than Block 1. Definitely my kind of speed. I now have a renewed respect for Tony Horton and his crew. They really know how to prep you for this workout. Block 1 gets you ready to bring your "A game" in the 2nd block. It's amazing.

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348 calories in 30 minutes!

For people who are afraid of the P90x series, I want to tell you that it's not as intimidating as you might think. You have to take it at your own pace and everyday the workouts get easier for you. Once they get easier, you push harder. That's the science behind it all and it works. If you are looking to get lean muscle, increase your cardio capacity, or lose a significant amount of weight, don't turn your back on P90x3.

This is not a P90x3 yoga move however its a yoga pose I was able to do because of the upper arm strength I've built. I took this picture four days ago.


Just like P90x and P90x2, the P90x3 series is about muscle confusion. Why change something if it works? Except this time, it's done in 30 minutes instead of an hour in a half and I am so grateful.

I have decided that its time to get serious so I have increased my weight to 10, 12.5 and even 15's on some exercises. I am so excited to see what this increase will do to my body and my ability.

Here was the workout:

  • Day 1- Eccentric Upper - all moves are done at 1 count concentric/3 count eccentric
  • Day 2 - Triometrics - like Plyometrics but shorter!
  • Day 3- X3 Yoga - great, quick and powerful
  • Day 4- Eccentric Lower - all moves are done at 1 count concentric/3 count eccentric
  • Day 5- Incinerator - the killer of all workouts. This is about taking your body to failure
  • Day 6- MMX - like Kenpo X but BETTER
  • Day 7- Rest or Dynamix (I prefer the rest)

New goals for this week: Start meal planning AGAIN. I lost track this week and its hard to stay on the right track eating healthy foods when you aren't prepping in advance. I will work on that.

Email me at melthecoach at if you want more information or just reply via my challenge inquiry form.

RIPPED instructor training

Have you ever walked into a room and immediately felt that, "these are my kind of people" feeling?


I just did, today. This Saturday I attended a group fitness certification training for R.I.P.P.E.D.  The name of the program is an acronym for Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance and Diet. According to the company website:

"It's a total body, high intensity style program, utilizing free weights, resistance and body weight, masterfully combining the components of R.I.P.P.E.D.— Resistance, Intervals, Power,Plyometrics and Endurance as the workout portion along with Diet suggestions to help you attain and maintain your physique in ways that are fun, safe, doable and extremely effective."

After today's training, I can agree. It's lots of fun and very effective. I had a great workout but I also learned the science behind it all which is very impressive and important for a fitness nerd like me. The music is AWESOME! I can't wait to teach it because I know my students are going to flip when they go to their first class. I am hooked! I feel like this little girl:


I waited one full year for a local training session and when the session was announced in Carteret, NJ (one hour away), I jumped on it. It's funny how that works. When you set your mind to something, things fall into place. Last year, at the Zumba Convention, I made a mental note to look into the R.I.P.P.E.D. program after another Zumba instructor from Atlanta told me about it. EXACTLY one year ago! So worth it. Everyone at the training was from New Jersey but it looks like they are trying to bring the program to more locations in the area so I am sure more trainings will open up in the future. I met some cool people and reconnected with a fellow Zumba instructor who I hadn't seen in over two years. I'm on a high from the training.

Billy Kirby with FunFitChicOur master trainer was Billy Kirby (pictured left) and he's awesome. Motivating, easy-to-follow, smart, fit, and a great leader. Read more about him here. One of the things I enjoyed most was spending some time with the other instructors and learning about their backgrounds, goals, and achievements. The fitness industry has some really bright and talented people. It's a great family to be a part of. Looking forward to some new adventures with the R.I.P.P.E.D. family!

A fit chica tells her story v.8

Here we are on the eighth version of fit chica friday and I've realized that I've yet to share the amount of details that the women on these posts have shared, and this is my blog. I've decided that this week, I'd answer my own questions - and give you a little peek as to who I am and why I choose to lead a health conscious lifestyle. First off, tell us about yourself.

My name is Melissa. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I wasn’t always so interested in a healthy life . . . dinner to me was once ice cream and cookies; well just because its what I was in the mood for. I love to dance, sweat, and test my limits. I enjoy any opportunity to be near the water – whether its sitting by the Hudson River or going on vacation. Something about the ocean brings me peace and makes me feel alive.

What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously?  Was there a catalyst?

As a kid, my calorie burning activities consisted of dance

classes. I was a student of Ballet for many years. Up until my Junior Year in High School, I attended Ballet classes non-stop. In hindsight, I realize that it was my form of exercise - as a kid was just fun.

My senior year in High School, I took my VERY first aerobics class. I hated gym class. I hated the competitive aspect, the running, everything. So I signed up for an aerobics class and I LOVED it. It was like dance but different. I think that class laid the foundation for "the future me" to seek aerobics instruction as a part-time job.

Once I graduated High School, I attended Pace University. At the time, there was no fitness center and unless you were an athlete or had a car, the opportunity to workout was not very easy. I silently struggled with knowing what to eat. Sometimes I would choose not to eat at all. Once I stopped caring as much, I was 145 lbs. I’m short (5' 3") and small so that makes a difference. I sit comfortably at 125 lbs now. Use your imagination and math skills.

Fitness has CHANGED ME. It’s changed who I associate with, what I do everyday and how I feel about myself. Due to being a sick child, I always thought of myself as a weak person, someone who needed people to take care of them. I believed there were things “I couldn’t do.” It’s no ones fault - my experiences made me feel that way. Working out has given me confidence I never thought I could have. It feels good to say, “I did 15 pushups today because I could, because I built up to it.” I’ve learned that you can accomplish anything if you take it step by step. It’s also improved my leadership skills and focus. After deciding I would teach my own aerobics class, and becoming certified in Zumba, I’ve seen a new me emerge – a leader - a person who wants to help others take their lives into their own hands. It's amazing.

Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle?

It’s a task like any other. It’s been 10 years for me and I’m still learning. You need to commit to yourself to start. Always start slow. If you want to add more vegetables to your diet, begin by introducing some of the more common ones slowly into your lunch or dinner plate. Don’t do a complete overhaul or else you will overwhelm yourself. Add some broccoli, and then some carrots perhaps once a week to start off and then make it more frequent. It’s a necessity for me to have vegetables with every meal but I had to build myself to get there.

When it comes to fitness, it’s the same story. You need to lay the foundation. You can’t expect to get to the gym – do an hour of cardio, lift weights, do crunches ... etc etc. and not feel the horrible soreness the next day. It’s also not healthy to do that. Many trainers say two hours at the gym is too long. I say two hours at the gym is too long if you are new to the game. Some people love the gym and spend more time there but they know what they’re doing (I hope) and if that’s theit happy place – then go for it. As a beginner, take it easy . . . find something you love and do it often. You will see results and start looking for more things, just because.

Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?

Dare I say it? KICKBOXING. I just started taking Kickboxing lessons at Grandmaster Kim’s and I love it. The instructor is great. He pushes me and takes advantage of the entire hour. And of course, I LOVE ZUMBA.

How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?

When I plan my days, I think, “when can I find time to workout?” I don’t believe in lifting everyday, doing cardio everyday, etc. I do what I want, when I want. There is some method to my madness – but for me its no longer “will I workout,” it’s “how (or when) will I workout.” It's a priority for me and I fit it into my schedule whether I have to wake up in the morning to do it, take a lunch break at work, or find time after work.

Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Without sharing too much about my family, I have many family members with some serious diseases, that in my eyes can be maintained with a healthier lifestyle. Blood lines run deep, and while I was in college, I realized that I needed to take control of my lifestyle or else I too could fall victim to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity etc. When I first started working out, many people thought I was crazy. I heard things like, "you are skinny, you don't need to" or "that's for bodybuilders, do you want those man muscles?" Not everyone will support your decision to say no to that chocolate cake or to skip happy hour because you are going to the gym, but in the long run, it's up to you to decide what's better for you.

You can control your health so go for it and if you need help . . . just ask me! Many of you were once active - perhaps you played a sport as a kid. Bring that inner child out to play with some exercise! Get ready to feel life and feel fabulous.

If you or someone you know, should be a fit chica, please send me an email at funfitchicblog {at}

A Fit Chica Tells Her Story v.6

It's Fit Chica Friday!  I love Fridays for many reasons but personally because I get to introduce you all to some awesome women. This week's fit chica is another woman who reached out to me via my call-to-action. I googled her, found her youtube channel, and thought "oooh interesting!"
So let's welcome Nichole as Fridays Fit Chica. "W-E-L-C-O-M-E, N-I-C-H-O-L-E!"

Nichole is a freelance reporter and self-taught makeup artist. She created sugaRushtv for interviewing, makeup tutorials, product reviews and more. It's all on YOUTUBE for our viewing pleasure. I'll probably add a few of the videos on the Chic portion of the site once I get an opportunity to view them all.

On to the interview:

FFC: What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously?  Was there a catalyst? Nichole: I have always been a slender girl, at 5'7 108 pounds, I took after my parents mainly my slim father. However, I never wanted to take that for granted.  After seeing what 40 and menopause can do to a woman (thanks to a few ladies in my family) I wondered if that would happen to me!  So I decided to change my life.  I began working out religiously 2 years ago during the spring. It paid off, from crunches to body sculpting to yoga and power walking, I had a routine that was golden.  Last year I dropped the power walking and incorporated jogging.  3 miles is all I do, as I jog to maintain my body and stay fit.  My body began to feel different, behave differently and my posture, though never a slouch, improved.
FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different?
Nichole: In high school we believe we're made of steel with an iron stomach. I know I did.  I'd eat all this stuff for breakfast and lunch, ranging from a Burger King croissanwich to a toasted buttered bagel with basil and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar, or a bacon egg and cheese with a can of coke. What a meal! Imagine this on a daily, with some variation, for 4 years?  That's high school, that's not even college.  College being plagued by the hustle and bustle of class, homework and a social life, your sort of robotically forced to eat on the go and we all know those choices aren't always the best.  Greasy gooey cafeteria pizza and fries to well- you can imagine the rest.  Add this diet on top of the high school diet and well, you pretty much get the picture.  What havoc did that wreak on my system? I really wouldn't know until years later when I decided to become a vegetarian.  Turning my back on meat, loads of starch/carbs was not a very difficult choice, living the life to support that decision can be, but it's oh so rewarding and your system will thank you for it. As I love to say, 'V your mind and your health will follow!'
FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life? Nichole: When you're serious about fitness/getting in shape, you become a slave to obedience and discipline.  This doesn't mean I became this work-out maniac with a vigorous routine.  But it does mean I dedicated time in my schedule to get in touch with muscles I didn't know I had.  I also listened to my body, paid more attention to it and learned it's likes and dislikes.  Fitness has fine tuned my 'ear' if you will, to hear my body's voice.  I obey it when it asks for water, nutrients, vitamins and more.  I discipline it when it craves those unhealthy things, not by starvation but by munching on healthy snacks like roasted seaweed or raw cashews.  Sometimes, my body wakes me up just to stretch or go jogging, maybe even a power walk. When I ignore it, I pay.  I know it's sad and unhappy with my decision.  When I obey... oh yes- the happy is on!  I'm more focused and energetic when I stick to my routine and when I veer off, not so much.
FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle?

Nichole: When changing one's lifestyle I strongly recommend keeping this in mind: Change is not an event, it's a process.  This is crucial and imperative for a healthy turnabout in life.  Do not use this as an excuse to delay your change, as the process has to begin some time, if not, then you're stagnant and stagnation is the key to death while procrastination is the thief of blessings.  Take it one day at a time and educate yourself along the way. Ask questions, even the dumb ones you're afraid to ask.  Step out of your comfort zone and step out on faith knowing you're headed in the right direction.  Another tip, accept the fact you will face lows during this change.  We all slip or fall when changing. It's natural.  But the difference between a loser and a conqueror, the conqueror got back up and continued the process.

FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?
Nichole: My favorite kind of work out... right now it's jogging and body sculpting.  That includes squats, crunches, push ups and sit ups... aerobic style work-out taken to the next level.

FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?

Nichole: I'm a very fast walker.  I naturally speed down the block unless I've set in my mind I'm taking a leisurely stroll.  This I consider part of every day life work outs! :)  When I begin to feel tight or pent up, even emotionally, I stretch.  Right where I am, I just stop, bend down to touch my toes or stand up tall and reach for the sky.  Some times I do a squat or some leg stretches.  Every day life may not always present an opening to work out though, so there will be times and there are times I have to make an opening.

FFC: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Nichole: What else would I like for your readers to know about me? Let's see... I'm not as intimidating as I look!  LOL! In all honesty, I'd love for your readers to know that I'm a girl who loves the Lord and loves all things girly. I know the two don't necessarily have an obvious common thread, but hey- there's another thing about me... my proverbial dots don't always connect! Let's see what else is there... hmmm.  Oh! I'm the girl who loves life and loves to laugh loud every day of it.  So if you hear a burst of loud laughter anywhere, just smile and know that's me!

I think my favorite part of this read was the description on how she feels when she doesn't work out. It's nice to hear someone else talk about it. We are creatures of habit, once you get into a routine, it becomes difficult to deviate.
Thanks Nichole for sharing!

A Fit Chica Tells Her Story v.4

Okay so I have to admit that when I was a very little girl, I thought this week's fit chica was SO COOL. She and my sister have been friends for a very long time and we grew up in the same building. Her light brown/blonde hair was rare in the South Bronx and she was one of the sweetest people I knew. Enter the world of Facebook. A good friend of mine goes to a salsa event and "friends" Daisy Santana. I see her on my friends wall and think, "OMG . . .how do they know each other?" I immediately contact Daisy and find out that she loves to dance salsa, bellydance, run, and work out. From then on, I've followed her on Facebook and viewed first hand her many fitness accomplishments, including becoming a personal trainer.

Below, you'll get to meet Daisy Santana and see why I STILL think she's so awesome and an inspiration to women around the world. I love how she focuses on HOW fitness MAKES YOU FEEL vs. WEIGHT LOSS, TONING and the many other secondary benefits of Fitness.

FFC: Tell us a little about your journey towards a becoming a healthier you. Daisy: I‘ve always been very active from rollerblading to ice-skating, belly dancing for 2yrs and when I was in school I was always the teacher’s pet in gym class since the 5th grade. I guess you can say I was a tomboy when it came to gym activities. Although I was in track for 1 year in 5th grade and softball in the 11th grade, that was as far as a jock I went haha. I’ve always loved working out and when I started working in the corporate world I joined the gym in my company and loved taking spin class, hitting the weights and pilates. I did Tiger Schulman for a month and loved it but it became too expensive and decided to buy a punching bag for my house and do my own workout, I followed a book called: The Gleason's Gym Total Body Boxing Workout for Women, it was a great workout especially if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like working out in a gym but in your own home.

FFC: What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously? Was there a catalyst? Daisy: I think working out gives you peace of mind and makes you feel good physically and mentally which is what I love about it. I was unemployed for about 2yrs and going to the gym made me less stressed about not having a job. I started running in Oct 2009 and became hooked on racing and what running has done for my body; it is a total body workout. Although running is a great workout it’s not for the faint of heart, in the beginning as your body adapts to running you will start to feel aches and pains you never felt before until you get used to it.

FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different? Daisy: My eating habits area somewhat healthy, I try to cook as healthy as I can at home brown rice instead of white, multigrain/whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta but it’s not cheap to eat healthy so I try my best. I just started eating Greek yogurt because the protein content is higher than other yogurts but again, not cheap.

FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life? Daisy: I get this euphoric feeling when I work out whether it’s running, weight training or boxing. I can’t see my life without being active, even on weekends I would have to do something active, although I do listen to my body when it needs rest.

FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle? Daisy: Hmm, having an active lifestyle is a great stress reliever and no matter what, you

will feel good after you have worked out. I say find something you love first and foremost, whether it’s taking a walk everyday or doing a yoga class or Zumba find something you are passionate about and you will stick to it. Also start one day at a time, don’t overdo it in the beginning because you will get burnt out and not enjoy it as much.

FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why? Daisy: My favorite workout is a boxing class I take 2 to 3 times a week, i had to cut down from 5 days a week to 3days but I absolutely love it. We get to hit the bag and we have 2 sessions on focus mitts (pads that the instructor holds and you punch) which is my favorite part. We do different stations throughout the class as we rotate which is what I enjoy about the class too. We do ab work, mountain climbers, pushups ... it’s very addicting.

FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life? Daisy: I workout 5days a week and on weekends I run or participate in a race.

FFC: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Daisy: There are plenty of ways to incorporate fitness into your life and you don’t have to join a gym to do that. Video games nowadays have motion sensors that you can play sports, dance or workout with your game in your own home. You can take walks everyday. You can start with as little as 10mins a day then work your way up by 5mins each day. There are plenty of activities in the city that offer free workout classes or activities everyday on they offer yoga classes, boot camp, kayaking or bike rentals.

Pretty awesome right? If you know or are a fit chica and want to be featured on the blog, hit me up at funfitchicblog {at}

If you live in the Bronx and are interested in learning more about Daisy's Personal Training business, send her an email at daisyss30 {at} I believe she has ran some bootcamps in the past that can help you get into shape and kickstart your health. You too can be a FIT CHICA.

Casting Call - Looking for Fit Chicas

Hello Ladies: I have a blog feature all about fit ladies. The thought process behind this is to feature a fit chica WEEKLY - every Friday - and help inspire and motivate other women to move, eat healthier, and in turn, live happier lives. I've had some awesome women volunteer in the past BUT I am looking for more.

The month of August isn't looking too good and I am asking for your help. Volunteer or Forward To A Friend. The questions are easy and the feature inspires and honors YOU for taking care of YOURSELF.

If you are worried about what people "see" when they Google you. Take control and make sure they see a positive and amazing story of YOU instead of some nasty ex-bf's post about you (jk . . . sort of).

Hit me up if you are interested and I will send you over some questions. All I need are the answers and some photos of you doing fun, fit, and chic things. How easy is that?

funfitchicblog {at}

Below you can find the other women I've featured: