Traffic Light Training

How to Manage your Yearly workout calendar.

I know that most people rarely think of their workout in terms of the year, in fact most only think of the upcoming week

The calendar is the single greatest training tool you have for success. The training diary and the food journal are also absolutely necessary, but these two tools both tell you your history:

What you ate and what you worked (input and output)

The calendar is proactive. The calendar gives you ideas about where you want to go and a bit of a roadmap to this destination.

I first heard Dan John teach about the idea of traffic light training back at perform better in 2012. The traffic light idea, is diving your yearly calendar into Green light workouts, Yelllow light workouts and red light workout.

Green you can focus on challenges and programs that demand focus, drive, and intensity It’s not a lifetime commitment! It normally is 6 days of workout 60-90 minutes long, and perfect clean eating for three or six weeks, you can pound through the pain

Green light training you can be a little crazy, with long hard workouts, followed by lots of sleep and recovery, and modalities to keep you healthy. This phase is very hard to sustain past 6 weeks.

Yellow means caution, slow down and get ready to just punch the clock (your typical average joe workout) Its an opportunity to understand that  perhaps for long stretches, where you need to get your workouts finished, eat fairly clean, and take care of basic recovery. This is normally 3-4 workouts a week and good eating.


Red, of course, means stop… well sort of… you never really stop ;o) There are certain situations that come up in life that don’t allow for time at the gym. But movement and activity (like brushing your teeth and good hygene) need to be a constant. So these peropds have short sporadic workouts.  Ideally it is 2 45 min  workouts a week and one activity

Every person has a natural red,yellow and green period in their life.

School teachers for example. Green months are end of June- middle of August, September is almost a red month. October and November are yellow. 2 weeks in December are red, while christmas break is a green. Jan-March is yellow. Apr-beginning of June is red. And so it goes. so there is never really falling off the wagon. But prioritizing everything.

Now what if you currently only workout 2-3 days per week? You my friend are in a red/yellow holding pattern… if you really want to make big changes you better step it up to Green for 6 weeks. Now that holding pattern is also just fine, and you deserve a big congratulations! You have figured out how to make a sustainable lifestyle change! But just know where you are and where you are heading, and be realistic with your goals.



Download a calendar here to get you started. Traffic Light Training

Baby Boot Camp Dana Point/San Celemente

I am a big fan of mom-centered workouts. As a new mom, it’s an incredible feeling to be able to find a workout that allows you to bring your baby and no one looks twice if you have to nurse, change a diaper or clean up spit up.


Angie Menendez is the owner and head trainer of Baby Boot Camp Dana Point /San Clemente. She also runs other programs, fitness for runners, and Body Back a more personalized small group fitness.


1) The ladies for Baby Boot Camp meet up at the playground  at Lantern Bay Park next to the Marriot. They run/walk to various points along the park and the harbor and do exercises, step ups, burpees, push ups, planks, etc.  It is a gorgeous view!

2) Angie is a seasoned professional, she’s been training for a long time, and has had the experience with her boot camp to give precise queuing for exercises and while handing out stickers to keep little ones occupied. She also has some of her “veteran” moms who have been there a long time pair up with newbies to make sure the exercises are done right.

3) This is a great workout, but I would say that if you are not comfortable walk/jogging at least a mile it will be hard to keep up

4) Everyone was great, but don’t turned off if there isn’t a lot of socialization right away, the moms are multi-tasking (as you will be too) working out and keeping an eye on their little ones.

This is a great workout that is perfect for moms!

Pros: kid friendly, beautiful location

Cons: only offered at 9:30 am Mon-Fri (although that is usually a perfect time for moms!)

Angie Menendez




SHEfit- Aliso Viejo

SHEfit Aliso Viejo Crossfit

Crossfit has a reputation for being “intense” so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in. I was prepping myself for a hard workout with a lot of really fit potentially intimidating ladies

Boy was I wrong! Barbara Murphy “Babs’ is the coach, a former police officer she turned her love of fitness into her career. Originally she begin this workout as a “Fitness over Forty” workout. It grew in such popularity amongst young ladies, moms, and the over fifty crowd that she named it SHEfit.

I had such a wonderful workout and was so inspired by these ladies.

  1. Held inside Aliso Crossfit, It’s pretty typical of the crossfit “box” warehouse style atheletic space. Plenty of room to move and not be in others way. The music is loud but the genre varies widly depending on their day.  
  2. Babs spent 15 minutes on the warm up, going over the mechanics of the lifts, setting up pull up stations that had proper assistance for everyone. She really made it clear what we were doing.
  3. The workout itself was a typical WOD for crossfit but she really made sure to not emphasis the time part. She coached everyone to do specific rounds, some of us did 3 and were done early and then we finished with stretching and foam rolling, others did 8 rounds.
  4. From the moment I walked in and met the Manger to the other two coaches I met and the ladies working out with me everyone was very kind and welcoming.

Pros: They do have a little child area. It’s not really babysitting as its just a cornered off area where the kids can see the moms working out and moms can see the kids.

Cons: Only offered at 9:30 am 4 mornings a week.




PHONE: (949) 215-2220


****closed***winners announced below*****GIVEAWAY!! $100 gift cards


Winner winner chicken dinner! 
$100 gift card to Trader Joes goes to Soon Tia 

$100 gift card to Target goes to Cheryl Shiek


Winner have until Monday morning at 9 am to email 

With correct spelling of their first and last name and their address 

If prizes aren’t claimed a new winner wi be drawn 


Hi Friends,
As we pick up speed on our blog and continue to  fulfill our mission to highlight the variety of fitness and health options available in Orange County we will be bringing our Fitness on Tour to the OC in October. This is a completely free workout tour for participants. BUT as a prep for this we are having a giveaway!! There is nothing to purchase and this is open to all ages 18 and older. There will be 2 winners the first in the drawing will win $100 gift card to Trader Joes and the name pulled in the drawing will win a $100 gift card to Target. There is no exchanges or substitutions. You can read all of our terms and conditions below.

You simply click on the rafflecopter entry form below and visit and like the various facebook pages and friend Natalie Purefitnessoc so you can get ALL the updates for Fitness on Tour. The contest runs from 12am on Thursday September 10, 2015 to 12 am on Friday September 18, 2015. The winner will be drawn via and announced on Friday September 18, 2015 at 8:30 in the morning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




*****Trainers! Interested in being included in our next giveaway? Or are you interested in being a Vendor for the Fitness on Tour? You can learn more here…

or email us

How to find the right fitness-fit for you.

In many of my moms groups I have seen someone post up “I am having a hard time getting rid of the baby weight, any suggestions?” and then 100 people comment with tips, suggestions, challenge groups, etc. Most of them try to sway the person to come join their group, or gym, or boot camp, whatever their preferred method of fitness is, and this isn’t a bad thing! The majority of fitness industry professionals are operating their solopreneur, small businesses and I can’t tell you how many times people say “Oh! I didn’t know this was here!” or “I didn’t  even think to look up xyz fitness.”

The reason is that most people do not seek fitness out. In fact, statistics shows less than 10% of the population are actively fit,  meaning that day in and day out, fitness is part of their regiment. That 10% seek out what they are looking for, the rest of the population doesn’t seek out anything until they are ready (fed up with weight gain, their back hurts, become motivated to get fit, etc.) and so the advertisements you might see or flyers that come in the mail are passed over by people because it simply isn’t on their radar… things that are on their radar? Pizza, dry cleaning, nail salon offers etc.

Here is what I know for sure, your fitness  MUST fit you and your personality, your lifestyle, and meet you where you are at in your life. It can, and should, change throughout your journey. You may start something at the beginning of your fitness journey then you might change in the middle to try something new or to get better gains from the workout.

My suggestion is to consider the following 4 points:

1) Location: if you are just getting into fitness (especially if you are not particularly motivated) you want the fitness studio or boot camp you pick to be very closely located to your home or office. The more you eliminate opportunities to make excuses, the more successful you will be. No matter how “cool” it is, or how outstanding the instruction, when you are tired and unmotivated and it’s even 15 minutes out of your way, all of the sudden that 15 minutes gets turned into an hour, and then you think about how long it will be until you can go home and put your feet up, and it is so easy to just head home. If, however, your fitness studio or boot camp is literally on your way home, you have eliminated that as an excuse. In Orange County there are SOO many fitness options around that it won’t be hard to find one near you.

2) Personality: It doesn’t matter if your friend loves it, it doesn’t matter if your neighbor lost 20lbs doing it, your workout must fit you – your style and your personality. Do you love loud music? Do you love jumping and high impact workouts? Do you love things that are more dance oriented? Do you prefer yoga over sprinting? Answering all of these and finding something that resounds with you is another check mark in the staying motivated category.

3) Qualifications: There are literally dozens of challenge groups, free workout groups, and boot camps led by unqualified individuals who are selling a product… and there really is nothing wrong with this, until you get an injury or unless you have an injury. Go into these groups eyes wide open. Understand that nothing is free in life, and they most likely hold the group in order to also get you to purchase their product. If you are someone who already is interested in the group to begin with, then the free workout or challenge group is an awesome bonus! Just understand what it is you are getting, and gaining.

4) Change and challenge:  It isn’t the be all, end all. Yes, workout xyz changed your life, yes Trainer “Joe” is the best and completely changed your life, but you need to try different things in order to continue to grow and change on your journey with fitness. You can love, honor, respect, and still participate in the workout  or the training that you initially lost 40 lbs in (or whatever great change you made) while still continuing to participate in new things that might be your next challenge. For example, you might have started with studio xyz 5 times a week for the last two years, but maybe now you train there 3 times a week and somewhere else 2 times a week to keep that spark alive.



Pilates Plus – Yorba Linda

This morning I travelled up to Pilates Plus to take a “Mega Reformer” class from a good friend, Natalie Da Rosa. It wasn’t what I would call traditional pilates, instead they incorporate the “Lagree Method”. Traditional pilates is hyper focused on every minute detail of your movement, which is wonderful but can also leave you wanting more. Lagree simplifies the movements to maintain proper form and gives you a killer workout through slow methodically times exercises. It was Awesome!!

 1) Space/Facility:  This small boutique studio, opened two years ago, and has a very chic upscale feeling to it. White brick walls, polished concrete with a few pops of color, it is a very clean space with 10 “mega reformers.” The upbeat modern music motivates you when those movements get tough!

 2) Quality of Instruction:  the queuing of the exercises adequate for a beginner as well as for someone advanced. My friend Natalie just received her Pilates certification, and so with this class I was intending to support her and check out the studio, and it was awesome! I think Pilates in general does a really good job training their instructors – I have found that the instructor training is usually spot on in tePilates rms of queuing, biomechanics placement, and overall structure for the client.

 3) The workout itself: Lagree Pilates is the method, it is low impact and easy on the joints, but it will push your muscles hard. It is focused heavily on lower body and core exercises, and they burn out one limb before moving on… so you will do 8-10 exercises of 60-90 seconds all on one leg before you rotate to the other leg.

4) The friendliness of staff: Jamie is the owner and is very involved in every process of her studio like client intake and teaching. Everyone is extremely friendly, its definitely a community vibe, all the members seem to know each other very well and chit chat before and after the workouts. 

Core Power Yoga – Mission Viejo

Hot yoga has been one of my faves for years. I started with Bikram yoga which is done in a room heated to 96 degrees, it was very challenging to get used to. When I discovered Core Power Yoga it was a “much cooler” 90 degree room and thus felt much more tolerable.

I took Megan’s “hot yoga sculpt” class, and it is a great postpartum workout. It’s not too intense and the pace is slow, however because it’s in a heated room, I am going to say these classes are best for someone who works out regularly and has a more-than-beginner yoga practice. You really need to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

1) Core Power just opened in Mission Viejo a year ago. It is very clean and has a zen yoga meets hipster type of vibe.

2) They run frequent teacher trainings and their instructors, across the board, are trained with the same sing-song like verbal wiring that paints an anatomical picture while giving direction. From studio to studio the instruction always feels the same, although a true beginner might spend a lot of time craning their neck to see the teacher if they don’t know their down dog from their dancers poser.

3) Core Power Yoga is about 15 minutes of body prep work and easing your body into the postures. It then flows into a 15 minute vinyasa (breath focused yoga) which aims to rev up your body for the more intense weight workout. The sculpting workout is an intense 15 minutes that is done with 3-5 lb weights and combines traditional weight training movement patterns with an asana (posture focused yoga) workout. Push through it! It’s intense but short! The last 15 minutes of class are standing and seated asana and a sivasana (corpse pose – relaxing the body into the floor).

4) The staff is very friendly, welcoming, and incredibly helpful. They are very hands on, Megan does great adjustments on each practitioner, no matter how many students are in the room.

Overall a great workout and one of my favorites. It combines different movement patterns that make for a challenging and effective workout!

I heart yoga in the park- Dana point

If you’ve ever wanted to try yoga but were a little shy, or didn’t want to invest a lot of money purchasing a few sessions, then this is the place for you! Donation based yoga is offered every Friday at 10 am at Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point. It is taught by some of the best and kindest yogis from around South County.

1)The yoga is taught in the open space in the park. Come early to grab a spot under the trees if you think the sun will bother you.

2) The instructors are wonderful! They speak in clear, plain language, so if you aren’t familiar with the names of the poses you will still be able to follow along.

3)Donations: they really don’t give you a suggestion, so it truly is whatever you can or can’t give that day. Some days maybe it’s $3, others maybe $15. It’s up to you!

4)Kid and dog friendly! Most of us with little ones and dogs stay to the back of the pack, but leashed dogs and children are very welcome here.

I have been blessed to take my two year old daughter every Friday for the last two months of my pregnancy. We have a ton of fun.

The breakdown:
Equipment:  bring your own mat, towel, and some water.
Level: all levels are welcome and encouraged. I would say they follow a level 1 style of teaching, a very mellow and light vinyasa (breathing focused yoga) flow and they always give variations for advanced practitioners.
Average age of participant: this is truly a 13-90 class. All age ranges represented here.



Vertical Pilates- Mission Viejo

This morning I headed to Vertical Pilates in Mission Viejo for my first private session. After the 30 minute free intro session I had last week I decided that, for this pregnant mama, this was a workout worth investigating more!

Their tag line is “Vertical Pilates engages the mind, the muscles and the heart.” These workouts are performed in an upright position with focus on posture, it is pilates standing up! Makes sense doesn’t it? I mean we stand or sit in an upright posture more then half of the day.

Vertical Pilates is a new studio and is the brain child of Zeena Dalla, a well known pilates expert in Southern California. CoreAlign is the only method of pilates used at Vertical Pilates.The emphasis on upright posture is designed to improve posture, balance, and functional movement. Developed by a physical therapist, the exercises facilitates musculoskeletal rehabilitation by stimulating core stability muscles to fire in perfect timing while performing challenging exercises. While CoreAlign is offered at a few pilates studios around town, Zeena is the first to focus on this method exclusively.


1) Space/Facility: Located in an office building off Avery and Crown Valley in Mission Viejo, the space has big windows on two sides making it light and bright.

2) The studio is very small, intimate, and private. Sessions are either private or offered in small groups of 4-6. There really isn’t very much music played, and if it is it’s soft and soothing, mostly because you really need to concentrate on each movement.

2) My trainer was Jan and she was great!  A former dancer and a pilates instructor for the last several years, she was excellent at instructing us step by step on the movements, as well as keeping us moving all together in a rhythm that allowed us to control the movement but also challenge our bodies a bit.

3) The workout: I would say that for prenatal fitness, this is a must. I was able to get an incredibly effective core workout without flexing my spine (crunches are uncomfortable when pregnant). I would also say there where quite a few people rehabbing long term injuries. Pilates itself is a wonderful, effective, and gentle system of fitness, great to get strong and firm, and the fact that this one is up-right doesnt change that. In fact, I think it enhances the workout.

4) The friendliness of staff: Great staff, small so you know everyone.

The breakdown:

Equipment: CoreAlign vertical pilates machines

Style: small group all in one training – everyone follows the same workout with modifications for those that need them, as well as private sessions.

Levels: I was placed in a group for very beginners, and loved it. I would imagine other groups allow for further instruction and advancement.

Child care: not offered

Average age of participant: 40 plus

28570 Marguerite Parkway

Suite 200

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

ph: 949-464-VERT (8378)

Definition Fitness- Laguna Hills

Wow, I just got my arms and abs WORKED!!! Definition Fitness is a weight training fitness studio in Laguna Hills. They offer a mix of private one on one training and group training. The workouts are all traditional gym workout – good old fashion tried and true muscle workers. Bicep curls, chest flies, lunges, chest press, rope work, bag work, and stability balls. I gotta say I got worked, and it was awesome!

Equipment: dumbells, squat rack, tires, ropes, cable machines.20140605-170342.jpg

Style: group, all in one training – everyone follows the same workout with modifications for those that need them.

Levels: I would say an “advanced beginner” on up. You should have some knowledge of lunges and curls (although not mandatory) to keep up with the group sessions.

1) This place JUST opened! In fact their grand opening is this Saturday June 7, so yes, everything is spanking new and clean! It is in a warehouse location and very much a gym. Guys and gals, athelets of all levels would be very comfortable training here.

2) I did the group training class with Desiree Sewall and she was great! Very motivational, she went over each exercise and it’s proper movement pattern. A lot of reminders to breath, which was great.20140605-170327.jpg

3) The workout was a traditional gym, weight training workout, with dumbbells and other equipment. Three sections of exercises each with three sets of three different rotating exercises done back to back to maximize efficiency.

4) Everyone was very nice here. You can tell a lot of these clients have been training together for sometime with Desiree as there is an easy conversational camaraderie that goes on.