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How Will You Wage Your War?

WageWarBlakelyFITA client has declared war.

Not as a political activist of angry consumer, as a woman holding to her faith in her ability to beat a deadly disease.

Recent visits to her doctors indicate she is hurtling toward a diabetes diagnosis. As a physician’s daughter, she is well versed in the overwhelming implications of this disease. By my account, she was, at first, shocked and understandably upset. Having to face something so life altering is never a mountain any of us would chose to climb. And then, there was a change. A powerful shift. She decided to fight. She threw out old habits and rationalizations and started embracing the advice of experts that believed she could dodge this diagnosis.

And, we’re seeing progress. I am elated to announce that she had dropped her BMI (body mass index). Her internist is thoroughly impressed. So often we turn to a pill to solve our health problems with out first making a concerted effort to address our lifestyle. I am so very proud of this woman and hope her fight and one battle won might encourage you to wage your own war and win.

Did you celebrate that?

IMG_9855A client and I were talking about her “last minute” efforts (6 weeks to the final fitting) to feel as healthy and fit as possible before her wedding. In our discussion, I encouraged her to take stock of all that she’s accomplished thus far.

The results were impressive:

“I feel so much better.”

“I definitely am healthier. I used to take antibiotics twice a winter for sinus infections, this year – none.”

“My clothes are fitting better.”

“I realized I do look better.”

How often do you take stock and celebrate what you’ve accomplished? Not nearly enough? I hear you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the bustle of what needs to be done and gloss over the importance of celebrating our hard work.

My husband and I celebrated our ten year anniversary this month. A simple dinner alone provided some precious time to revel in and acknowledge all that we have been through, enjoyed and surprised by over the last decade. That simple conversation was gift.

Make a date to celebrate yourself and all your healthy living efforts. There is power in acknowledging our accomplishments and that kind of power is a beautiful gift that keeps on giving.


Why women?

I love men. Truly. My fantastic husband, my incomparable brothers and brothers-in-law and memories of my late father are some of the best relationships of my life. But, as a trainer and business owner,
women are my passion.


My first eight years of training exposed me to the truth that women’s needs were largely ignored, especially in the area of strength training. Unfortunately, cookie cutter training programs and bodybuilding workout plans are still being presented as solutions today.

I now know it is one of the best decisions I have ever made but five years ago, I was initially terrified to walk away from such a large portion of my client base (men.) As I look back, choosing to tailor to women exclusively has facilitated creating a beautiful community seeking strength, balance and health in the most effecient and enjoyable way possible. They are a very inspiring group and a gift I didn’t anticipate.

Committing to women has also grown my knowledge base for their specific needs and age/lifestyle related differences. This focus and research facilitates providing relentlessly better solutions as well as being able to anticipate necessary program design changes and resources.

I am honored to have the trust and patronage of my female clients. I truly believe that strengthening women physically and as people has exponential benefits to our relationships, families, children and communities.

If you’d like to learn more about what we offer and how we are different. Reach out anytime. We’d be honored to help you, too.
Email us at: or share this with friends here Facebook.

#strength #women #Chicago #Frankfort #training #best #personaltraining #smallgrouptraining #specializinginwomen #totalcontrol #pelvicfloorhealth #perinatalfintess #prenatalfitness #osteopenia #osteoporosis #Rhuemetoidartritis #moms #busywomen

Why Strength?

Strength Training Exclusively for Women

You’ve seen our tag line, Strength Training Exclusively for Women. Here’s our response to “why strength?”



We cannot control what life throws our way, our strength can be a constant. It will help us handle, enjoy and overcome.

Improving our strength can be complicated, finding a guide is essential to our success.

Like money, strength doesn’t necessarily make everything better but it does make everything easier.

Energy and time are our greatest commodities, strength facilitates both.

We are just scratching the surface of the benefits and role of the musculoskeletal system with in a healthy body. Researchers are discovering it is far more than a means to move from A to B.

Improved strength raises your metabolism at rest. Consider that for a moment, at rest!?

We can positively change your brain by improving your strength. (To quote my daughter “Seriously.”)

In an increasingly virtual world, physical, tangible accomplishments are highly satisfying and empowering.

Using strength to look good is great.

Using strength to feel good is awesome.

#strength #women #training #healthy #why #blakelyfit #bfit #Chicago #Frankfort #companymission #ilovemyjob

Next week, “why women?”

What I learned in Maui…

What I Learned in Maui…

It’s tough for anyone to successfully pull off a wetsuit.
Great products make a huge difference…GoPro is awesome, Coolibar makes life easier and self tanner keeps me out of trouble with my dermatologist. As with many things in life, don’t over think it. Leaping off the zip line platform is a lot easier when you don’t hesitate. Don’t think about that you are about to leap into the abyss, clip on your safety gear and go…
When I grow up, I want to be Hawaiian – the people, the nature, the water, the sounds, I was born on the wrong island…

No matter how cold you feel on the boat, get in the water. Swimming with a sea turtle makes “I’m too cold” seem like a joke…
1% of people regret zip lining the last run. 100% regret NOT zip lining the last run. Fearful? Trust your guides and move forward. You’ll be glad you did.

Hawaiian palm tree leaves gently tapping one another is one of the most beautiful sounds on Earth.
Hearing humpback whales with my own ears – worth the very long trip to get there.
Hawaiians do vacation. They go to Vegas. Vegas, baby, Vegas.

I can take a nap in the middle of the day after doing nothing if I have a cold beer. I’m an idiot that it took me this long to figure that out.

Listen to your friends: “Don’t work on vacation.”

I am grateful for the fine farmers, fishermen and chefs on Maui – the food and service were INCREDIBLE.
Rent a convertible at least once in your life.

Less is more.

Take advice from those that have been there before – exploit their knowledge. (Mahalo – Shayna, Laura, Steve and Paula!) It took exactly 8 hours to decide I’m going back to Hawaii.

Seven years is too long to postpone a grown up vacation.

Life is short but rich.

Vacationing with out your children is a tough proposition at first but ultimately a very good thing for everyone. Sit on the beach and watch surfers. They know something we don’t.

Maui cures bronchitis.

Time to do nothing is precious and important.

Need help with that resolution? 

We are energized and ready to help! 

It’s Not Your Fault…

BlakelyPumpkin2When most of us were moving through the school system, there was little focus on teaching students to live healthfully. Arguably there was also less of a need. Most of us walked everywhere, played outside for hours and ate unprocessed foods. Formal healthy living discussion was often limited to to P.E. class, Home Economics, and maybe lessons on the Krebs Cycle.

So, it’s understandable that some of us are confused or feel that living healthfully is eluding us. Never fear, simple solutions are readily available. Living healthful can do wonders for our quality of life and capacity to enjoy our day to day.

Take a peek at these easy tools to steer yourself back on track.

  • Excellent, consice article explaining what is really going on when we exercise: Huffington Post
  • My favorite nutrient rich food app, recipes, simple explanations and alternatives: SuperFoodsRX
  • The CDC 2008 Guidelines are a great start. Click on your age group and see how you fare: CDC Guidlines
  • Support for living healthfully as a family: Thank you, Michelle Obama!: Let’s Move

And, of course, you can always reach out to me. I would be delighted to help.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe and have fun! 773-680-6824

Confessions of a Personal Trainer #1

RunonFrankfortILBridgeI played a little hooky Thursday so I could jog in this gorgeous weather. Professionally, I preach exercise benefits daily. But, that’s not why I went for a run. And to be completely honest, that is rarely ever why I go for a run. Truth be told, I dislike cardio. Yep, I said it. I’m not a fan. Well, at least at the onset.

My initial response to starting that weekly bout of repetitive movement is a downer. The excuses flow, the reluctance begins and the other pressing obligations suddenly become that much more pressing. Is this really a surprise? You are reading a post from a fitness professional who’s tag line is “Strength Training Exclusively for Women.” Why do I do it? Well, I start (and finish) my cardio because it solves a problem that few other behaviors can solve so easily. Cardio gets me out of my head. Moderate heart rate elevating exercise offers an easy, reliable, respite from my thoughts and significant boost to my mood. Something happens about 12 minutes into moving. My head become clearer, my problems become smaller and solutions seem a few steps away. And for a mom, wife, business owner and speaker, that, is priceless.

I know the chemistry behind this reaction. The mind bending chemicals and interactions occurring when we exercise are incredible. But, that logic is not what brings me back. The feeling is what brings me back: the clarity, the relief, and the refreshment after my cardio are my motivation.

For me, it’s like that friend that will tell you exactly how it is. You may not like what she has to say initially, but, ultimately her candor is exactly what you needed to hear. Maybe cardio could be your friend too? Give it a try. Call for help: 773-680-6824

“Your face is gonna freeze that way.”

795A4419Do you remember making funny faces as a child? Participate long enough and someone nearby would eventually threaten that your face would freeze that way. The notion was preposterous and yet planted a seed of fear that caused some of us to reconsider. Well, instead of fear, I’d like to plant the notion of promise in terms of one of your habitual gym behaviors. “Lift how you want to leave,” I say. It won’t make your silly face stick, but it can drastically improve your posture and range of motion well after you’ve left the gym.

The key distinction in strength training (lifting) is the presence of an external load (i.e. dumbbell, barbell, pulley plate, body weight, etc.) The additional load integrated into movements during strength training will cause our muscles to breakdown and rebuild stronger (pretty awesome.) As women, loading the body elicits positive, powerful changes to our bone density, resting metabolism and capacity for movement. BUT, how exactly we hold ourselves when executing these exercises is an often overlooked detail . So, “lift how you want to leave.”

The way you actually stand and hold yourself during your strength training (lifting) will quite literally affect how you stand and hold yourself later. You are training your muscles. So, train them well.  As women, there is a generally preferred posture: free neck, shoulders down and back, symmetrical left and right sides, abdomen free to breath while supported, long spine, knees tracking over feet and from the side: ears over shoulders over hips over knees over ankles. I have yet to have a woman enter an Assessment requesting a thicker neck, rounded shoulders, asymmetrical stance and a distended abdomen. I realize you may not think of it in these terms but posture is a powerful communicator and an easy added benefit to your time in the gym. In completing your exercises, keep “lift how you want to leave” in mind. Maintain an awareness of your posture and form. It will serve you well.

Have questions? Email or post on our Facebook page. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Gym Bag Tips and Tricks

1. Many products don’t offer travel sizes so, when your nearing the end of your favorite product (foundation, concealer, lotion) place it your gym bag permanently. No more remembering to transport cosmetics and “must haves.”
2. Consider renting an overnight locker at your gym to store several sets of clean undergarments, a couple tops and bottoms, bulky gym shoes and toiletries for the week. On your final workout for the week, bring one bag home, wash and replenish.
3. It may sound silly, but I find packing folded clothes in the order I will put them once showered to be a big help. Undergarments and socks on top followed by the other layers for the outfit in order.
4. Include a small empty bag inside your larger gym bag to keep items in need of washing separate.
5. Reduce the size of your bag by taking advantage of any and all products provided by your gym.
6. My favorite tip? ALWAYS pack your bag and line up your clothes the night before – nothing makes a bag more organized than having enough time to think it through.

One of my favorite products? Helps freshen post-workout mane and gives lift to fine or soft hair… Redken Powder Grip

Redken Powder Grip