Click on the questions to see an answer expand.
I am new – how should I pair your videos for the most effective workout?
If you are brand new, start with POP Pilates for Beginners – Total Body Workout and then move onto POP Pilates for Beginners: Ab Time. These two videos are slower paced and I do a lot more explaining as I concentrate on form heavily in these two vids. You can find them in my Workout Video Index.
POP Pilates: If you’re looking for a routine, you can pick any combination of my Pilates videos and try to workout HARD for at least 3x a week, an hour each time. Most Pilates people will tell you that a couple times a week is sufficient, but personally, if you want to see quicker results and you love your workout, I think 3 is perfect.
POP Cardio and POP HIIT videos should be done 4x in a row for most effective fat-burning. But they can also be used once as a good warm up or quick cardio sesh after a Pilates workout.
How many calories do I burn when doing your workouts?
I advise going to sites such as MyFitnessPal.com, LoseIt.com, or MyNetDiary.com to track your calorie burn. Enter your age, gender, intensity level, and type of activity exercised. You can choose “calisthenics” or “advanced Pilates” for POP Pilates and “circuit” for any HIIT videos. You can equate my cardio videos to “aerobics”. The reason why I cannot give you exact calorie counts is because everyone is different and will burn calories differently.
How many times should I workout a week?
Try to be active for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. If you’re doing my workouts and are trying to lose weight and tone up, I suggest doing Pilates at least 3x a week an hour at a time. Pair with a quick 10 minute cardio blast after each session. That’s just a sample routine. Of course you can workout everyday if you want, as long as you are able to keep proper form a.k.a. you are not too sore to function. I workout 5-6x a week, but that’s because it’s my job and I like it.
How do I get flat abs? A 6-pack? The V? The vertical line down the middle like a Victoria Secret model.
These are all features of someone who has little fat covering their abs and strong core muscles. To get nice abs you’ll need to pair any of my POP Pilates ab videos with a clean diet and some cardio. Cardio will help melt the fat covering your muscles and the diet will help make the process a lot quicker. The more fat you lose, the more of the above features you will see. According to Tosca Reno, author of “The Eat Clean Diet”, your physique is a result of 80% diet, 10% workout, and 10% genetics.
How do I lose weight?
The simplest answer is to consume less calories than you burn. You can figure out how many calories you need to maintain or lose weight by using tools such as LoseIt, MyNetDiary, or MyFitnessPal. These daily calorie intake numbers are determined by things like your age, gender, height, and activity level. In general, no healthy diet will tell you to eat less than 1,200 calories. Doing so may put your body in “starvation mode” which will then in turn backfire and make you hold onto fat.
To lose 1lb a week, you will need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories. If you eat 250 calories less a day and also work off an extra 250 calories a day through exercise, you will create a deficit of 500 calories a day. Do that for 7 days and you will create a grand deficit of 3,500 calories. This is how you can lose 1 lb! It is safest to lose up to 2lbs a week for consistent weight loss.
Tricks than can help you stay full on fewer calories include replacing all of your refined carbs with veggies and whole grains. Instead of sweets, have fruits. Try to eat lean meats, egg whites, or tofu for protein. Cut out all sugary drinks and fried things. Doing this is called “eating clean” and will for sure help you transform your body. One of my fave health & fitness gurus, Tosca Reno says that your physique is based on 80% diet, 10% workout, and 10% genetics. I believe it.
The best exercise combo will be anything that keeps you motivated to workout. I like Pilates, weight lifting, HIIT (high intensity interval training), and running. The exercises that will give you the QUICKEST results are probably weight lifting and HIIT.
Will lifting weights make me bulky?
NO! Especially not for women – unless you are taking TONS of supplements and training with ultra heavy weights for hours a day.
How do I get rid of cellulite?
“Cellulite occurs when fat levels get too high in a particular area; thus, the most effective way to eliminate cellulite is to lose body fat.” [Livestrong.com] So this is what I am going to tell you. More cardio, strength train, and eat clean. It is the same formula for all fat loss. I don’t believe in creams. You need to treat from the inside, not mask from the outside.
How can I get slimmer calves? Mine are too bulky.
You’d be surprised how many emails I get a day about this! I just want to say that if your calves are bulky because they are muscular, don’t be so self-conscious! That’s more muscle to help burn fat! Embrace your strong calves!
HOWEVER, if you really want to make them less prominent, the truth is, you need to stop working them out. Unfortunately this means to stop doing any exercise that targets the muscle. No more calf raises. Lunges. Stretching the leg will help…very slightly.
Now if your calves are bulky because they are covered with a layer fat, the solution is just like any other solution for melting fat and building muscle. More cardio, eat clean, and continue to spot tone the area while strength training overall. Try my POP Pilates for Slimmer Inner Thighs and Runner’s Calves video under “Legs and Thighs” in the Workout Index.
How do I make my face skinnier?
You cannot target fat loss. If you want to lose fat in your face you will have to lose fat overall. This means more cardio, eating clean, and strength training! You’re on your way to a toned face in no time.
Cardio before or after Pilates?
Doesn’t matter! If what you’re really asking is which order actually burns the most calories, then my answer is the order that will make you workout harder for longer. For example, if you are stronger at Pilates than running, I’d run first, use up my fresh energy and go ALL OUT. Then when I hit the mat, it’d be challenging but I’d be able to get through it with good form because I’m experienced in Pilates. Personally, I like cardio before Pilates because it gets me warmed up. You need to find what works for you.
What does suck your belly button in mean?
You will frequently hear me say this because it helps you engage your core. It makes all the Pilates moves a lot more effective. Squeezing your abs is also a great way to do a crunch without doing a crunch. You can even walk around all day long with your belly button sucked in – not only will no one know you’re working your abs, you’ll also look slimmer and taller!
What does “Eat Clean” mean?
Eating clean means to eat whole, nutritious, unprocessed foods that are good for your body. This means cutting out anything fried and sugary. Also cut out any refined carbs like white breads, regular pasta and white rice. Stay AWAY from soda and be careful with fruit juices. They contain a lot of sugar. Instead opt for steamed veggies, whole grains, lean meats like chicken breast, and lots of water. You can find what clean foods I recommend eating under Cassey’s Corner in “My Grocery Shopping List”.
What should I eat before and after a workout? And when?
PRE-WORKOUT: The farther away you are from working out, the more you can eat. If you’re about an hour away, a handful of fruits and nuts are great. MAKE SURE YOU ARE HYDRATED! That is most important. However, it is important to note that YOU CAN workout without eating if you feel energetic enough. Technically, you should be able to work out for about 60 min using reserves from yesterday’s meals. Then again, that is very dependent on how you feel. Every one is different, so take some time to see if you workout harder with food in your stomach or if you like feeling “light” as you sweat it out.
POST-WORKOUT: If you just strength trained, I love eating something with high protein and a bit of carbs. The protein helps rebuild muscles (if you’re looking to get “toned” this is what you want to eat) and the carbs help restore glycogen stores for the next day’s workout. Try to eat within 30-60 min after a workout. THIS IS VERY important for optimal absorption of nutrients.
What protein powder do you use?
The only kind of protein I’ve tried are vanilla flavored ones. I like Fit Frappe and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard. GREAT for protein pancakes and drinks. You can read more about these in My Fave Things section.
I hear clicking in my hips!
This is a common complaint that I hear from people new to Pilates. You are probably hearing hip clicking noises as you’re performing the Leg Circles while lying on your back. If it does not hurt, you are okay. Until you can gain more pelvic stability and flexibility in your lower body you can do these things in the mean time:
1. Make your circles smaller
2. Bend your knee slightly
3. Use a strap or your arms to hold up your leg
You will get stronger. Promise :)
My back really hurts during Pilates, what should I do?
What this probably means is that you are over-arching your back as you are performing moves involving your legs and lower abs like the Double Leg Lift. Try to eliminate that arch by curving in the opposite direction. Pull your belly button to your spine and press your low back into the mat. If you still cannot avoid the arch, place your hands together underneath your tailbone. You could also place a rolled towel or small pillow beneath your tailbone to give you support until your abs are strong enough to pull themselves to the floor. This will take time.
If your spine hurts as you are performing moves such as Rolling Like a Ball, simply grab a thicker mat with more cushioning. If all else fails and it excruciatingly painful, STOP! You do not want to hurt yourself. The move may not be for you! There are other exercises you can try that won’t put as much pressure on your back.
Is it normal to be so sore after a workout?
Yes! Especially if it is your first time doing a workout with me. This is VERY COMMON with my classes. I like to do the moves in my exercise videos in high reps so that you can “feel it” the next day. All this means is that you’ve worked muscles you haven’t used in a while. Personally, I like the sore feeling. You can still workout if you are sore, but try to train another part of your body and give your sore muscles a rest.
How do you stay motivated?
You need to have a clear vision of what your goals are. You need to think about it everyday and you need to see it. Print out a picture of an inspirational person and role model who has achieved what you want to achieve. Paste a collage on your wall. You don’t have to do this, but it makes the goal a lot more tangible and real. It will keep you focused. Every time you feel like you don’t want to workout and instead eat mindlessly, look at the picture and ask yourself what it takes to get there. Of course some “cheat days” are healthy for your sanity, but if you constantly feel lazy and unmotivated, you need to make the change for yourself. From within. Only YOU can take control. You have all the power. So what’s stopping you? Go do it! Now!
Do you have a DVD or is there anyway to download your videos?
Yes! My first DVD was released in January 2013! Check it out HERE!
Who films you?
Sometimes me, sometimes my sister, and sometimes whoever is around the house.