And the winner is…

BlakelyFIT-Lioness2015Many thanks for your time and participation in our survey last month! The results were touching, inspiring and at times hilarious. I strive to create the best experience and company possible, thank you for your input – it is invaluable!

As promised, one lucky participant has won a $25 iTunes gift card and Blakely FIT t-shirt. She is…..

 Jody B!

Here is a screen shot of the final survey questions answers  – facinating! Enjoy…

Screen Shot Survey #5 Blakely FIT

“Dare the difference.”

In The Confidence Code, Christine Lagarde offers a brilliant call to action: “Dare the difference.” Dare to define your own path to exhibiting confidence in your life. Dare to break through women’s statistical habit of not exercising confidence as often as we could.

I, of course, love this.


So much so that I suggest you apply it to your strength endeavors as well. Strength training is gaining significant popularity among women right now and for good reason. The benefits are incredible – improved metabolism, bone density, fat loss and muscle mass increases just to name a few. However, with in this trend, we, as women must “Dare the difference.”  We are anatomically different from men and that awareness is integral in effective strength training program design.

You are unique. Select a plan and definition of strength that speaks to you. Create fitness goals that bring you to what you really want, however different or unpopular. And, like our unique brand of confidence, this might also be different than a man’s.  Maybe you would love to be able to do a handstand, a pull up, to dance the tango, to carry your toddler up 3 flights with out being winded, or to simply feel strong again after a time of placing your health on the back burner. If you are enticed by the idea of strength training (and I hope you are), dare to move forward and dare to choose a workout that speaks to your preferences and your anatomy. It is a delight to define our own kind of strength. Dare to do it. Your body and mind will thank you.

Who’s in Charge, Here?

WARNING: This one might sting a bit.

In your aspirations to live healthfully, painlessly or attractively, who’s in charge? Do you behave as though something else dictates your success? The tough truth is: you are responsible for the trajectory of your health/fitness/weight/etc. I am aware that may be an unwelcome reminder and I am also aware that I have probably lost some of you at this point.


The habit of blaming things beyond ourselves for our current position: why we have gained weight, don’t exercise or hate to look at our closet because nothing fits well, is understandable. There are always variables moving in and out of our lives, sometimes harsh and sometimes overwhelming. We can not chose the hand life deals us. But, until we accept that at every turn we are always responsible for how we proceed, success will be elusive.

I share this with you because, as usual, my clients have inspired me. They always do. In some ways it’s hard to be fit and healthy. However, the clients succeeding the fastest are those that quickly move beyond the blame game. Blame is irrelevant. Blame doesn’t fix. Blame offers a fake explanation but never a solution. And, that is the lesson. Healthy living is impossible with out a sense of volition. So, let blame go. Choose to put your energy into problem solving, implementing new habits and enlisting help to find solutions.

Wasting days or months or years ignoring the power you have to improve your life is discouraging. Next time your are tempted to blame, pose the question “Who’s in charge, here?” The truthful (and ultimately, delightful) answer is: you are. Hurdles appear in all of our paths: “The meeting time changed conflicting with my workout.” “The gym was too crowded.” “I’m not a morning person.” “I have bad genes.” “My husband didn’t pay the Comcast bill on principle so our internet is out and I can’t watch House of Cards during cardio like I wanted!” (OK, so maybe all my inspiration isn’t from clients.)

In the end, isn’t the goal to be successful? fit? healthy and happy with the skin we’re in?

Embrace that you are in charge of making your life healthier. Kick blame to the curb.

Email today to get started:

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

So Satisfying

Snow plowing through my newly mortgaged driveway and connecting sidewalks for 90 minutes Wednesday was very satisfying.

As I cleared the snow and forged a path, I felt challenged and accomplished. Something about physically changing the landscape was empowering. It is concrete, tangible and visceral. In a world of digital and actual paper pushing, that sense of accomplishment can be elusive.

Now, I realize snow blowing is not for everyone. I currently think of my growing power tool assortment with the same fondness that A Christmas Story’s Ralphie had for his BB gun. Maybe for you it’s something quite different. Either way, the physical nature of certain projects is uplifting. And if you haven’t felt that in a while, may I suggest the gym?

Consider the rush of actually pushing that barbell away from your chest, the sense of control when you pull pounds of metal in a row, the internal fortitude it takes to attempt to squat with the “big girl bar.”

Yes, strength training does all sorts of wonderful things for your body, metabolism and brain. But during a deflating, weather-trying time of year, maybe the best motivator to get to the gym is the empowerment of a tough job done well.

It is so satisfying.

Need help? Don’t we all. Call to start today: 773-680-6824

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL

Worried about Diabetes?

Studies have proven the significant benefits of aerobic exercise in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The impact of muscle strengthening exercises has been unclear, until now.

A new study sheds light on the implications of strength training for women in the fight against diabetes. In short:

“Our study suggests that engagement in muscle-strengthening
and conditioning activities (resistance exercise, yoga, stretching, toning) is associated with a lower risk of T2D. Engagement in both aerobic MVPA [sic: moderate and vigorous physical activity] and muscle- strengthening type activity is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of T2D in middle-aged and older women.”

-PLOS Medicine Editor

Ladies, you can improve your odds. Incorporate resistance training into your weekly routine. This study (of 99K women over 8 years) reports benefits in as little as an hour a week. Reach out if you would like help, I’d be happy to hear from you.

Full study here: Muscle Strengthening and Type 2 Diabetes 

Diabetes is a major health concern facing the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States

  •  Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of similar age but without diabetes.

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.

  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

Women Don’t Work as Hard


This was stated at the Illinois National Strength and Conditioning Association State Clinic this past Saturday. As an attendee, I almost jumped out of my chair to protest. Working solely with women, I had hundreds of examples of their perseverance and fortitude at my fingertips. Then, I saw the study. It was right.

Here is the research: Journal of Strength and Conditioning

In short, women will SELF SELECT a less intense load for a strength training exercise (ex. 50lb leg press instead of 80lb leg press.) This is a missed opportunity. Having the proper load for resistance training is incredibly important for obtaining all the wonderful benefits of lifting weights including but not limited to: increasing resting metabolism, improving bone density, decreasing risk of injury, increasing flexibility and adding strength.The other professionals in the room took time to speculate on why this “self select load” problem exists in women. I guessed “fear of injury,” others correctly supposed that women are driven to complete the directive. If she is asked to complete  three sets of ten, she will select a weight (ex. 5 lb dumbbell instead of 8 lb dumbbell) that will ensure that success. The unfortunate truth is that resistance training is different. It is more beneficial to lift a heavier weight (safely of course) and NOT complete the task than to complete the task with too easy of a load.I kid you not, a client the next day expressed this exact concern when I asked why she was reluctant to attempt a particularly challenging exercise. It’s amazing what you can learn when you sit still for a moment and listen.

The take away? All Blakely Fit clients will be checked and double checked regarding their load intensity. (Get ready, my beauties.) We are committed to safe and effective workouts and this knowledge is just one more tool in our belt. Email if you need help with your own workouts, I’d be delighted to learn how I can help: