FITNESS CLASSES :: Which One Is Right For You?

FullSizeRender 1024x993 FITNESS CLASSES :: Which One Is Right For You?Every year I venture out to enjoy a variety of classes to first, add variety to my personal routine and second, let my clients know what’s appropriate for them to supplement our strength training workouts. 

Fitness Clubs are yesterday and Boutique Fitness Classes are the the new trend so when finding a class that’s right for you, the most important question to ask yourself first is,

“What are my goals?”

Think you need more “Cardio?”

Want to lose weight?

Want to have fun?

Want to meet people?

Want to stress less?

Just think you need to do more of something? 

Here’s my take:


Remember the phrase, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old?” That’s me! First of all, spending 45+ minutes in a hunched over position, one in which you’ve probably spent the majority of your day at the computer, makes absolutely no sense. These classes tend to be physically non-sensical, loud and dark.  Sure, you burn calories but the amount of cortisol you raise because of the long, steady state cardio session is not worth it. You’re time is better spent going to the grocery store and planning out your next healthy meal. Trust me on this one!

This class is not for you.


My fave! You’re not too old and it’s not too hard. CrossFit is truly for everyone, even your mom. There are two insanely awesome things about CrossFit and it’s why I love it so much. First, you will be doing movements that make sense for your body to get strong and healthy. They’re called “functional movements.”  Second, you get a very knowledgeable trainer to show you exactly how to do the movements and anything you think is too hard, your trainer will adapt everything for you. Please don’t be intimidated by the rockin’ fit people. CrossFit people are like hippies high on love. They want to share it with everyone. Oh yeah, and they are very excited to talk to you about nutrition. BONUS! Good stuff. Great brand.

This class is for you if you want to be strong, healthy, challenged, and to meet new people. 


Fu-un! But I love to dance and I’m pretty coordinated. I don’t think this is the best place for you if you’ve got two left feet. There are many dancers, many already fit people, so if you are easily scared being the clueless chick in the back as I often am, this class is not for you. However, I know a few Grandmas who find Zumba to be their social meet up and place to get their sexy on so call the studio in advance and ask if they might have an instructor suitable for a absolute beginner.

This class is for you if you’re coordinated, looking to have fun and burn calories at the same time.


Yog-ahhh… If you follow my blog, you know how much I love my yoga so of course I think you should too but it’s for a very good reason. Lowering your stress hormones, breathing with your movements, working out stuck emotions, stretching and strengthening muscles which lay dormant most of your day is a recipe for the perfect way to move your body. It makes sense and is easily adapted for everyone. And yoga is the perfect recovery supplement to your weight lifting routine. Every other person’s sister is a yoga instructor these days so there is someone out there for you. I’ve been to some amazing beginners classes with A+ quality instructors. You cannot do yoga “wrong.” Instructors will help you if you feel lost or crazy inflexible. 

This class is for you if you want to reduce stress and become more flexible, balanced, and happy.


I swear I had an open mind when trying this class. But it’s very close to non-sensical. This is great for absolute beginners but after six weeks, move on. I know holding and pulsing in squats, push ups and such is hard and I’m not saying it’s easy. But it doesn’t make sense for the body over the long run. There is a lot of room for this type of class to be fuctional but it’s not there yet. And it’s Boring with a capital B. I wish it were not the case, but sadly, I don’t recommend this class.

This class is for you if you have not exercised in years. Try something else after the first 6 weeks.

Supplement away with a variety of classes before you commit to something you really like as memberships are suggested at most of these studios. Remember that memberships are for the studio to rely on steady income and not to “build a community” as they say. Individual classes can be purchased. I recommend going that route until you are blissfully happy with how you feel after the workout over time or find an instructor who makes you want to come back for more.

Don’t forget the most important workout for weight loss, strength, and health though…

Weight Lifting!

My Hormone Friendly, personal training sessions and YouTube videos mainly focus on strength training with weights because it is the BEST most efficient and safe way to lose weight and be healthyCheck out my Top 5 Reasons To Lift Weights in this post. If you’e not lifting weights or don’t know how, comment below and I will help you. 

Strength & Love,

jillsign611 FITNESS CLASSES :: Which One Is Right For You?

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My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

Jill App My Top 5 Favorite Fitness AppsThe greatest, most exciting workout can be available at your fingertips but you still have to find your own motivation to do it!

I was never a big advocate of Apps or gadgets mainly because as a personal trainer, I know watching videos, having the Apps, gadgets, and perfect outfit are great but you have to put in the work.

But just last week, Better Homes & Gardens contacted me for an article collaboration about fitness tips, apps, gadgets, and workouts for different personalities.  

This fun research turned me on to some really cool, but more importantly useful stuff when, if used, will be a great enhancement to your fitness life and possibly help motivate you to reach your weight loss goals.

I feel it’s my professional responsibility to sift through and hand them to you with a smile. Not only that, but you’re asking about them more and more.

Apps seem to be in your future!

So today’s post is dedicated to my Favorite Fitness Apps.  

Good stuff. No fluff.

Here they are:

1. Strong Lifts Strong Lifts My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

You’ll need access to gym equipment for this one but it is by far, my favorite. Want results? Lift. Don’t know what lifts to do? Subscribe to my YouTube Channel, silly! and try Strong Lifts. Thank you to my client, Dr. Kara who turned me on to this one. FREE

2. Seconds Seconds App My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

Making working out easy for sure.  No equipment needed. You can use this at home.  It’s a High Intensity Interval training timer for all levels. Choose your level, pick exercises, choose the length of time you want to do them, how much rest you need, and how many rounds you would like to do.  The audio tells you when it’s time to work and rest and you can sync your own music in the background. I stumbled upon this one and use it for myself and my clients. Love it! FREE

3. MobilizeMe/Mobility WODMobilize me App My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

Perfect for everyone, especially my regular clients complaining of soreness!  This is your homework icon wink My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps . All the exercises on this app help in recovery and helps prevent injury. No amount of working out will keep you healthy and capable of making exercise part of your life if you don’t take care of your body by staying flexible and mobile. You can choose which muscles you want to work, specific exercises if you know them, and theres a timer which keeps the guesswork out of what to do and for how long.  You can choose to use equipment such as a foam roller or no equipment. Easy breezy! $4.99

4. FitocracyFitocracy My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

This is basically a social media platform for fitness enthusiasts. But you don’t have to be public or social. It’s just a fun way to keep accountable by yourself with the goal tracker or with others. There are many challenges to take, it’s a diary, exercise and nutrition plan library, and there are fitness professionals on there using it along with you. There’s a lot on here if your looking for variety. FREE

5.  Breathe2RelaxB2R app My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

Your body won’t change if your a stressed out or over exercised mess. I use this app any time I have a moment where I need to stop my busy-ness, approach a situation or conversation that needs me to be my best, or just before sleepy time.  In 16 rounds, you’ll be led to take deep breaths of any length of time. I have mine set for 7 seconds inhale, 7 seconds exhale. Short, sweet, effective. I wish you would download and use this one first. Like, right now. FREE

Do you use fitness apps that you love? Let me know in the comments below. Which ones? What do you like about them?  

Strength & Love,

jillsign61 My Top 5 Favorite Fitness Apps

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How To Get Your Body Strong Enough To Lift Weights

Many of my clients come to me with very little weight lifting experience. If this is you, The first place to begin is to develop some core strength.  

“Core Strength” and “Core Exercises” are usually terms used for exercises that focus on your  ”Abs” and getting a flat stomach but having a strong core simply means that the muscles of your shoulders, back, abdominals, hips, and all the muscles contained within the torso are strong and stable.

The very beginning and basic core exercise is the Plank.

This simplest of positions, is when you hold your body off the ground while supported by your forearms and toes.  If you are an absolute beginner, you will hold a plank at your forearms and knees.

For my purposes today,

I want to impress upon you that having a strong core is exactly what you need to begin lifting the heavy weights in my programs for fat and weight loss.

In this video I made for Mercola Peak Fitness, I show a few plank variations you can do to get started.  

What’s great about the Plank is you will continue to do them when you are full on in to your weight lifting routines.  For example, you can hold them for a longer period of time or advance them using some of the variations in this video.

0 How To Get Your Body Strong Enough To Lift Weights

Strength & Love,

jillsign611 How To Get Your Body Strong Enough To Lift Weights

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I started exercising and gained weight! What now?

Taylor I started exercising and gained weight!  What now?I have a tiny, adorable client, Prix who started working with me back in August.   

She told me my class will be the first time she ever used weights but my 3pm weight training class was the only time she had to exercise and she was committed to consistency.  

Fair enough. 

Just like every woman I’ve trained,

when I hand Prix a set of dumbbells, she immediately says, “Oh, I can’t do that much, Jill,” but every time,

just like every woman I’ve trained,

she uses them and eventually surpasses what she thought she could do.  

I was and am intent on getting her small frame strong, only talking about her form, performance, consistency, and saying nothing about weight loss.

Over the months, we have watched her do full push ups when she couldn’t do any before, her squats look better than an Olympian, and she moves 25+ pound dumbbells when she could barely lift 8 pounds when she began.

I knew she was getting stronger but let me tell you, her size has not changed. 

Only her shape. Her sexy, heavier shape. 

But the other day in class, she asked in her soft little voice,

“Is it normal to gain weight when I lift weights?”  

Everyone in class starred at me wide-eyed for my response and I sank inwardly knowing I had to deliver what has been bad news to every other woman I’ve trained.


I replied with a smile and just waited for her to fight back with indignation.

But instead of a fight, she smiled and said,

“Oh, because I’ve gained 7 pounds since doing strength training. I was just wondering if it was normal.”

No drama. No arguments. No pouty face.

After I did my silent inner, happy dance, I gave the class my

Top 5 Reasons To Lift Weights:

METABOLISM – The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. This speeds up your metabolism and helps to burn body fat.

HEALTHY BONES – Lifting regularly helps increase bone density.

INDEPENDENCE – Being stronger just makes everything easier. Carrying things upstairs, picking up a kid, or bracing yourself in a mosh pit (maybe that’s just me). My client Donna, age 65, chops and carries wood for the fireplace and moves her own furniture. I want to do that!

CONFIDENCE – When you realize your strength, you’re inner strength begins to shine through. You begin to radiate. You get excited about your next challenge. That’s sexy!

I didn’t need to sell Prix.  She’s thrilled with her results and body.

Would she like to get a little more ripped? Yes, she does. We are now working on her nutrition habits and I’d be happy to give updates when we can get that girl to eat more. Stay tuned.

The same thing happens if you are a bigger framed girl, like myself and most of my clients.  You may gain weight when you first begin and that’s something to celebrate.  Strength.  It’s a beautiful thing.

What should you do when you gain weight at the start of an exercise program with weights?

First, relax, woman.

Celebrate your push ups and squats!

Leanness and body healing or weight loss happens when over time, you exercise the Hormone Friendly way, clean up your nutrition, and relax about it.

With so much Strength & Love,

jillsign611 I started exercising and gained weight!  What now?



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How To Stop Giving In To Cravings

3c3a8cd2da0dc00d263aba7d050ee4ce How To Stop Giving In To CravingsYou know, I may have every answer for how to eat and exercise for weight loss but cravings for habitual treats do not escape me.

I learned about Hormone Friendly Fitness and lifestyle about four years ago and began applying it to my life immediately but I still struggled with ice cream, cookie, and alcohol cravings and binges. 

In my work, I heard about everyone else’s cravings too.  I’m sure you have yours.  “I NEED my cheese, wine, bread, cereal, cream in coffee, fill in the blank, etc.

It took the ending of a romantic relationship several years ago for me to realize that I was filling emotional “holes” or emptiness with eating or bingeing.  The deeper issues behind why I had cravings, although they are also physical addictions, were exactly what I needed to begin exploring to make lasting change. 

This was and is not an overnight change.

It’s difficult to ask, “why?” 

Why was it that I could eat an entire container of gelato then carry on with my day training people and promoting healthy eating?  Digging deeper, I learned I wanted to distract myself from loneliness.  Why could it be that you can’t give up pasta?  Could it be that you come from an Italian family?  Maybe, but you still don’t HAVE to eat pasta.  So, why?  Maybe it reminds you of your grandma and you want to feel connected and close to your roots?  Why is this important to you?

How does it make you feel?

Exploration is just the beginning to end cravings for food your body doesn’t need but I found an exercise, again stemming from my desire to be in a healthy, romantic relationship, from Danielle LaPorte.  Danielle has a book called The Desire Map.  Check it out if you wish but today, I want to share with you a profound effect her Core Desired Feelings exercise had on me.

When I ask myself how I want to feel, I usually want to feel fulfilled in some way. 

Notice I didn’t say I want to feel a full belly!  I want to feel connected, feminine, radiant, and all sorts of feelings that I can CHOOSE instead of food.

When I ask myself how I want to feel and intuitively learn that I want to feel desirable, for example, I could begin with taking a few deep breaths, smile, and then flirt with my guy.  If I want to feel connected for example, I can call my mom or a girlfriend just to say I was thinking about them. 

By doing this, I have labeled how I want to FEEL and did what I could to feel that way. 

No food or unhealthy choice was needed.

I encourage you to give it a try.  For motivation, I like to pop over to Danielle’s Pinterest Board where she has a list of some of her Core Desired Feelings.  You can visit her page here:

Core Desired Feelings Pinterest Boards

Finally,  reach out to me.  Remember, relationship is part of your training.  I am here for you!

Strength & Love,

jillsign611 How To Stop Giving In To Cravings

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