Archive for December 2014

Back, Biceps, and Core

I hit the gym today for a weight session focused on back and biceps. If you’re new to weight training, it is common to group these muscles together in one day. I also try to add in core work as an “active rest” between sets that are not supersets. (Those are tough enough as it is, and I usually need the rest). As a reminder, a superset is performed when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping. This workout should take you between 60-75 minutes.


Lat Pull Downs – 3 sets of 15 reps (65#)

Seated Rows – 3 sets of 15 reps (65#)

End of Superset

Bent Over Rows – 3 sets of 15 reps (27.5#)

(Active Rest) **See photos below** Exercise Ball Pull-Ins – (see photo) during active rest, 3 sets of 20 pull-ins

Reverse Flys – 3 sets of 15 reps (10#)

(Active Rest) Rope Crunch – 3 sets of 15 reps (120#)

Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 15 reps (20#)

(Active Rest) Wood Choppers on Cable Cross Machine – LEFT side, 3 sets of 20 reps

Bicep Curls with Barbell – 3 sets of 22 reps (30#)

(Active Rest) Wood Choppers on Cable Cross Machine during active rest, RIGHT side, 3 sets of 20 reps

Happy lifting!


"Mary always starts her classes by saying: No matter how your day has been so far, it's about to get a lot better. And it always does."

I went to grade school with Mary and recently reconnected when I moved back to the Annapolis area about a year ago from Washington D.C. I was looking for a challenging workout with a limited amount of time. Mary suggested I try her boot camp and spin class. I was immediately hooked! Not only because they are such challenging classes but more so because of Mary’s positive and infectious energy. I love being in a class where Mary teaches! She has a special gift to inspire others to push themselves past their perceived limits and does so without fail each class. I always leave Mary’s classes with the best feeling and now matter how hard it was, I can’t wait for the next one! Mary always starts her classes by saying, “No matter how your day has been so far, it’s about to get a lot better.” And it always does.

Colleen F.

"…she has taught me so much about the balance of eating right and indulging when I've earned it."

I first met Mary back in the beginning of 2013 about 6 months after I joined the cycle bandwagon. She took over the Wednesday morning cycle class I attended, and since that day, I’ve never been the same!

She pushes me to places I never knew I could go, and she has taught me so much about the balance of eating right and indulging when I’ve earned it. I’ve become a stronger person since meeting her, and I’m grateful for the balance of heath and fitness I have gained from that. #teammary

-Kelli H.

"I now plan my entire workout schedule for the week around Mary's spin classes."

I met Mary in 2012 when she was just starting to teach her spin classes….you have come a long way baby! I now plan my entire workout schedule for the week around Mary’s spin classes. The level of “positive push” I feel, I get from no other class. As a motivator in fitness and life Mary brings the reality of two friends supporting each other as opposed to a “coach” and a “client.” The tips, recipes, practical experience and challenges have stepped up my own personal fitness goals while enjoying it so much along the way. Mary is not preachy or judgmental but she has become that little voice in the back of my head that I need. Getting healthy is not about just food or just fitness, it is both. I feel that Mary is able to combine 2 of her biggest passions in a realistic but motivating way that is a great match for anyone that is inspired to make a change.

-Cindy H.

Today's Workout: Chest and Triceps

I love lifting weights. Don’t tell my spin bike, but  I even love lifting weights more than I love the heart pumping, 60-minute sweat session that I take on five or six times a week in the spin studio. And I really love spinning!

There is something about feeling STRONG that feels better than racing up hills or speeding on a flat road as fast as you can for 60-90 seconds.

One day I came across a picture of my friend Anya holding her one year old baby, and I texted her and said “daaaaaaaaamn girl. you look amazing. how do you do it?!” And that’s when she let me in on a little secret. “Lifting heavy weights makes you lean.” I kept on reading more about it and seeing more girls in the gym with rocking bodies, and they weren’t getting them by running on the treadmill. They were all lifting heavy weights. When I say “heavy weights” I am referring to weight that is heavy enough that it is HARD to complete that last rep in each set. REALLY HARD. You are struggling. As a result of lifting these heavy weights, I’ve gotten really, really strong! You can actually see my muscles, and I am more confident in my body. The scale has crept up a couple of pounds, but I am okay with that because I know that muscle weighs more than fat.

So, if you’ve been thinking about adding weight lifting to your routine, you should. If you are over 40 years old, more than HALF of your weekly workouts should be resistance-based. As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density. When we hit 40, those two factors increase even more.

In this section I will share with you what I know about lifting weights, what my favorite muscle crushing exercises are (the kind that will leave you sore and wanting more), and some of my favorite groupings of them. Then maybe one day, you’ll have to keep the same secret I keep from your favorite piece of cardio equipment. Shhhhhh, don’t tell…

Today’s Workout – Chest and Triceps

Wide Pushups, 3 sets of 15 reps
Seated Tricep Press, 3 sets of 12 reps
Dumbell Bench Press, 3 sets of 12 reps
Flat Bench Cable Flys, 3 sets of 12 reps
End of Superset

Incline Dumbell Press, 3 sets of 12 reps
Bench Dips, 3 sets of 12 reps
End of Superset

Cable Crossover, 3 sets of 12 reps
Tricep Pushdown (Rope Attachment), 3 sets of 12 reps

*A superset is when you perform both exercises back-to-back and only rest after you’ve completed the second exercise. For instance, 1 set of dumbbell bench press then immediately 1 set of flat bench cable flys. Then rest for 60 seconds. Repeat 2x.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

A delicious refreshing breakfast option. Tastes best when it sits overnight in the fridge, so it gets nice and chilly!

macros (per recipe, not including crushed almonds): 307 calories, 4.5g fat, 44.5g carbs, 19.5g protein, 6.5g sugar, 9.3g fiber


1/2c quick oats
1c unsweetened almond milk
1/2c. unsweetened pumpkin
1/8t. cinnamon
1/8t. pumpkin pie spice
1/3c. vanilla protein powder (55g) – recommend Vega Protein and Greens or Vega Sport Vanilla

Topping: crushed almonds

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container overnight or for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

Sausage and Egg Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins @ 75 calories, 2g fat, 0.8 carbs, 6.8g protein.


6 ounces breakfast sausage – I love the Maple Sausage in the butcher case at Whole Foods.
10 egg whites
5 whole eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh chopped vegetables – I used red, yellow and green peppers along with green onions


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium skillet, brown the sausage on medium-high heat. Cook until sausage is brown all the way through. Drain. Place sausage in a bowl lined with paper towels to remove and excess grease. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites and eggs. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Grease 12 muffin tin cups with cooking spray or line cups with paper liners. Pour egg mixture evenly into the muffin cups.

4. Distribute the vegetables and sausage equally between each muffin cup. I filled my cups all of the way to the top.

5. Bake egg muffins for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are firm in the center. Remove from oven and gently go round each egg with a butter knife. Serve warm.

Note: you can store the egg muffins in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat them in the microwave. Enjoy!

Protein Ice Cream

Last night I took a run at protein almond milk ice cream. Boom! Success. I will do anything in my power to get to eat “ice cream” every night, and I was tired of spending $6 for a pint at Whole Foods.

Here is the recipe:

Blend the following in a blender:

2 frozen bananas
3c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (I always recommend Vega products)
2 dates

Pour into ice cream maker for 10-15 minutes. Distribute between 2 bowls and freeze for 5-10 minutes until firm. Top with dairy free chocolate chips & enjoy!

Sauteed Rainbow Chard with Maple Syrup

I had a great time last night experimenting with a new vegetable – rainbow chard.

Here’s what you’ll need:

One bunch of rainbow chard, separated into leaves and chopped stems

1T. olive oil

1 cup of onion, chopped

1T. maple syrup

Dash of sea salt

Combine chopped onion and the ends of the colorful chard stems with olive oil and sauté on medium heat until the onions are soft.

Add the roughly chopped leafy parts of the chard to the onion mixture with a teaspoon of sea salt. It may look like a lot at first but it wilts down. Cook for 3 minutes until the leaves have softened but are still bright in color. Add one tablespoon of maple syrup and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate and serve with a side of your favorite protein. Enjoy!