Where Science Meets Fitness

No matter what your current fitness level or former athletic experience, you can learn to train like an Olympic-caliber athlete. I am Erin Borchard, a former elite springboard/platform diver (NCAA Champion and multi-year All-American at Stanford University, former member of the US National Diving Team, and two-time competitor at the US Olympic Team Trials), specializing in personal and small group training sessions. I am also a Phi Beta Kappa student with a B.A. in Human Biology; my strong science background is an ever present influence shaping and changing my training philosophy.

I want to help you push yourself to YOUR maximum...you'll be shocked to find the true athlete living inside of you.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More Photos from Today's W.O.W. Workout

Photo 1 (top): Basic Lunge
Photo 2: Goblet Squat
Photo 3: Tuck Jump
Photo 4: Renegade Row

W.O.W. #2 In The Books!

Julio and I filmed our Workout of the Week this morning.  Our second go at this was much more efficient; we're like a well-oiled machine now=)  It was nice knowing what to expect this time around for each of us.  Julio knew where exactly he wanted to film, how he wanted to light it, etc.  We also just have a far better idea of how we want to outline these videos, break them up, post them, and even explain the exercises and workouts.  See the below photo from today's session.  The breakdown of W.O.W #2 was posted here on the blog yesterday (take a look at it!; posting dated 4/28), and the online video should post sometime this coming Monday (5/2).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sneak Peek at W.O.W. #2 (filming tomorrow, 4/29)

  1. Basic Squat - Air Squat and Sumo Squat (use box/ step); Jump Squat
  2. Basic Lunge - Dumbbell racking options; Split Squat Jump; Bulgarian
  3. Basic Push-Up - Incline, Knee Push-Ups, variations (X-body, reptile, S-L, santana)
  4. Burpee - Squat-Thrust-Jump; walk in/ out; no push-up
  5. Deadlift - Regular, Stiff Leg, and Sumo; w/ and w/o High Pull
(W.O.W #2) “The Three Minute Threat”
3 min. Strength Intervals w/ Change-Up Challenges on ea. 30 sec. + Glider Work
-using variations of ea. of the 5 basics above
1) 3 min. x Goblet Squat w/ 5 Tuck Jump (mod: Knee-Ups to Opp. Elbow) on ea. 30s
*1 min. Glide (choice: fwd., bkwd., sideways, mtn. climb., inchworm, crab, in-place)
2) 3 min. x Split Squat Plyos (mod: In-Place Lunge) w/ 3 Crouch Push-Up on ea. 30 sec.
*1 min. Glide (your choice; try to change it up and choose another method)
3) 3 min. x Uneven Push-Up (mod: knees) w/ 10 OH Press on ea. 30 sec.
*1 min. Glide (your choice)
4) 3 min. x Burpee (remember modifications) w/ 4 Side Lunge w 1 DB Floor Touch
*1 min. Glide (your choice)
5) 3 min. x See-Saw Stiffleg Deadlift High Pull (mod: D-L, no high pull) w/ 6 Renegade Row on ea. 30 sec.
*1 min. Glide (your choice)

Skill Work Challenge: WALL CLIMBS

Thank You for Your Positive Feedback!!

Feedback is rolling in from our first W.O.W (online video Workout of the Week) - check it out, if you haven't already done so, at www.jbwebtv.com (click on my picture).  Thank you to all of your for your positive responses and encouragement.  You keep me thinking that this all might just pay off in the end.  Below are some emails/ conversations I've had with friends regarding the first workout video:

*MICHELLE: Hey Erin, thanks for posting your WOW workout. I've been
doing P90x since November and I'm getting burned out on it. How many
times a week should I do your workout that you posted today?

*ERIN: Michelle, I'm a HUGE fan of P90X's theory of "muscle
confusion." I would start by doing Part A of this workout one day; do
Part B the next; then on days 3 and 4, do something else entirely.
Take a class at the gym, etc. OR, stick with the same pattern of my
posted workout, just swap out the exercises for different full-body
functional exercises. On day 5 or 6, try my workout again, and see if
you can do Parts A and B in one fell swoop with as little rest as
possible. Try to beat your times from your first go at it. We'll
hopefully post a new W.O.W. this coming Monday; then do the same with
that one. Hope this makes sense and seems doable. I try to hardly EVER
do the same thing much at all.

*MICHELLE: Ok, so I tried part A tonight and it took me about 30
minutes to do the whole thing. I consider myself to be in "decent"
shape and that was an awesome workout. I'm drenched in sweat and my
quads are on fire....love it. Can't wait to try Part B tomorrow. Thank
you so much!

*MORE FROM MICHELLE; 2 DAYS LATER: Ok, so part B took me about 45 minutes.  My quads are very sore from the part A workout, and I tried to push through the burn!!!  The single leg squats were tough and I wasn't able to get very low.  I'm anxious to try this one again, though, because I know I'll see improvement in my ability.

"I just sent your WOW video and TV show video to my capoeira teacher
and friends.  I'm hoping that my teacher incorporates some of your
exercises into our training.  We do a lot of calisthenics and
sometimes do stations where we rotate.  Seriously I wish you were
closer to me to train me.  Awesome work Erin."

"Erin, I love your video! I am in a rut, and your WOW video is just what I need. In October, my husband and I moved to Richmond, VA, and I now take a 2-hour train ride to and from work in DC each day. This has been more manageable than most people expect, but it leaves me little to no time for weekday exercise, which has been a hard adjustment. Your quick but intense workouts will be perfect for me! The challenge will be making myself do them even though I am tired (and being able to complete them now that I am a bit out of shape), but you provide great inspiration! Keep up the excellent work; I look forward to following along!"

Thank you, friends and clients!  Keep the feedback coming; I welcome the negative, as well as the positive.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Finally...My First Online Workout Vido


It is here!  Julio Barriga and I have worked so hard to get this first workout video out.  We're aiming to air a new "W.O.W." (Workout of the Week) every Monday.  This is still very much a work in progress.  Your feedback is invaluable, so fire away.  Video quality will improve with a different camera and lighting set-up next week.  Also, we still have to post the video of the modifications of each exercise, so that beginners and intermediate participants are able to give it a go.  In the future, we'll likely not post the video of the entire workout, just clips of me working away at the week's torture session=)  Do not feel like you have to keep pace with me; I will perform each workout as quickly as I can, record my times/ reps to set as a challenge/ goal for viewers to aim for or even beat.

Please become a loyal viewer.  Or, at least just click on the link each week.

Click here: http://jbwebtv.com/index.php/fitness

"Charlotte Today:" Bikini-Ready Glutes and Gams

Today, I had my monthly appearance as the fitness expert on our local morning show, "Charlotte Today."  I always feel like such a star (slight exaggeration) when I walk onto the set there...I've been doing it for over a year now, and everybody knows me by name, and they always put me on as the last segment (save the best for last and all, right?).  Hah!  Today I was totally one-upped by the Charlotte Bobcats' dance team, the Lady Cats!  How in the world do I compete with that?!...a gaggle of twenty-something beauties shaking their groove thing.  I loved every minute of being their dud of a follow-up act=)

Back to the serious stuff: my topic today? - How to Get Bikini-Ready Legs and Buns.  I don't know about you, but when I think bikini, I think tummy.  A flat midriff is a tricky thing to come by, though; fat loss has to come first...and there is no such thing as targeted fat loss (without surgical help).  Check out my video to find out how squats, lunges, and other functional exercises that target your thighs and buns can get you closer to a bikini-ready flat tummy.


And a photo of the gals you really wanted to see: Behold, the Lady Cats!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Filming of My First Internet Workout Video

Julio and I filmed our first two videos today.  I was a nervous wreck, but once filming started, I was good to go.  The first video was just an introduction; it was a still shot of me talking about myself, my history, my qualifications, and what makes me different as a trainer/ workout video gal.  The second video is of our first Workout of the Week (W.O.W.).  It includes footage of me completing the workout, myself, and of explanations of each exercise, as well as explanations of modifications of each exercise for beginners.  This workout looked easy to me on paper when I planned it, but boy oh boy, was it a doozy!  Working out in front of one guy with a camera and under some hot photo lights might have made it just a bit more intense, too=)  See below for the written breakdown of the workout.  

These first two videos should post one week from this Monday: April 25th.  

If you give this one a go, let me know how you do...what was your time, and how did it feel?  See my times/ results at the bottom of this post.  Aim to near, match, beat my times.  I especially want to hear from those of you who beat me!!...I might have to pick up some training tips from you next time=)

Workout of the Week (W.O.W.) #1: Exercise Pairing Count-Up/ Count-Down
Equipment: DBs or soup cans, Jump Rope (optional), paper plate (optional)
Part A: Complete Sections 1 and 2 AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE ("FOR TIME")
*10 to 1 of: Burpees 
*1 to 10 of: Squat Thrusters (w/ heavy dumbbells, soup cans, etc.)
*100-80-60-40-20 of: Jump Rope
*10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 of: Split Squat Thrusters (w/ heavy dumbbells, soup cans, etc.)
Part B: Complete Sections 1 and 2 AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE ("FOR TIME")
*10 to 1 of: Burpee Jacks 
*1 to 10 of: Single Leg Squats (option: w/ 1 paper plate)
*100-80-60-40-20 of: Jump Rope
*10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 ea. leg of: SDLHP w/ alternating Leg Lift (w/ heavy dumbbells, soup cans, etc.)
Part A took Erin 11 minutes and 21 seconds
Part B took Erin 13 minutes and 36 seconds

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Seeking a Mommy for a Magazine Feature...

Hi, dear readers.

I just received an email from a neighbor of mine back home in CA; she works in public relations.  Anyway, she had a magazine query run across her desk, and she forwarded it to me, figuring that I just might be able to find someone to fit the bill for the feature through my clientele, my classes at the Y, or this silly blog.

See the query copied below.  Let me know if any one of you is interested.  How proud would I be to have one of you featured in a national parenting magazine?!

Oh, and hurry!  We may have already missed the deadline.  Still worth a try, though!

Summary: Losing baby weight
Name: Nicci Micco (National parenting magazine)
Category: Lifestyle and Fitness

Media Outlet: National parenting magazine

Deadline: 07:00 PM EST - 13 April

I am looking for an African American woman =< 33 years old with a child < 18 months to profile for a national magazine story on losing the baby weight. Please send the following information to 
micco.nicci@gmail.com : 

name, city/state, age, age/gender of baby, pre-baby weight, weight gained during pregnancy, current weight, quick description of how you lost the weight + before (very late pregnancy) and after (current) photos.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flat Tummy...Get It Back Post-Baby

I have had so many women ask me recently about how to get their tummy flat again post-pregnancy.  Because the topic is so popular, I thought I'd post some tips with a link to a great resource here on my blog.

Of course, much of the work behind losing that still-5-months-pregnant look is losing the leftover baby weight, the excess fat sitting on top of the abdominal muscles.  However, many women (including myself) lose all of their baby weight but still have a tummy that bulges out...no fat on top, but still sporting that oh so lovely still-5-months pregnant midline physique.  Most often, this is caused by a common side effect of pregnancy, called diastis recti.  This is when the outer abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominus (a.k.a. the 6-pack abs) split down the middle, cleaving the left side from the right.  Unfortunately, there is no way to fix this problem, to glue the two sides back together, without sewing them together in surgery.  However, it is not all doom and gloom; there is some good news.  By doing some simple exercises on a consistent basis and training yourself to perform traditional ab exercises with some slight modifications, you can SIGNIFICANTLY improve that bulging belly.

I, personally, have worked really hard on my post-baby belly, and I can honestly say that I am happy with the results.  I am by no means a perfect specimen (I have many a stretch mark to prove it), but I am absolutely willing to wear a bikini in the summer months when at the pool with my kiddos.  There is still a gap running the length between the right and left side of my outer abdominals, but it's not so obvious now, and my tummy does sit down pretty flat now.  (I very much wish that I had before and after pictures to post here.)

Try the tips/ exercises below and let me know how long it takes you to see an improvement...I guarantee it won't take long.

#1: SUCK-INS (a.k.a "Basic Breath"): trains/ strengthens your transverse abdominals, those muscles that encircle your organs and lie beneath your 6-pack abs; these are the muscles that suck your tummy in and give you that flat-bellied look
*3-5 x per day, just around the house while you're cooking, sitting, driving, laying in bed, etc., suck your tummy in as far as you can (belly button back to your spine, like you're trying to put your skinniest jeans on) and blow out forcefully at the same time for a count of about 10 seconds (or until you run out of breath). Do 10 reps at a time. 

*Make sure that you perform the basic breath technique mentioned above anytime you are working your abdominals.  When doing crunches, holding plank, or engaging in any other ab activity, suck your belly button back into your spine, flattening out your tummy as much as you can, while simultaneously blowing out during the work portion of the rep.

*These exercises were designed by Shirley Sahrmann, a physical therapist specializing in abdominal rehabilitation.  They are extremely effective, as they specifically target the areas most affected by the muscular stress and stretch of pregnancy.  Click on the link below (scroll down to the bottom of the page) for the step-by-step explanation of these exercises.  Follow the directions precisely and progress through the exercises chronologically, moving onto the next exercise only when you can perform the designated number of repetitions without losing proper form.  This site is a great resource for more information on the topic.  Happy reading!...and Sahrmann exercising!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I was just reminded by a friend's Facebook posting (thank you, Chandra!) of an easy-to-remember set of goal setting guidelines.  Whether for fitness, work, personal relationships, or something else entirely, strive to set S.M.A.R.T. goals in life:

S = Specific (be exact in what you want to achieve; don't just tell yourself you want to "improve your health," tell yourself that you want to lose "x" number of pounds and lower your cholesterol by "x" number of points, for example)

M = Measurable (be able to note your progress on some sort of a scale, so that you can note your progress all along the way)

A = Attainable (set a goal that you CAN achieve; that's not to say that the goal is "easy;" it may in fact be VERY difficult to achieve; just make sure that it is possible for you; bottom line: set a moderately difficult goal)

R = Relevant (the goal should have meaning to you; don't just do it because you "should;" do it because the process, as well as the end result, is something that you value as a human being)

T = Time-Bound (set time constraints, dates for short-term goals along the way and for a final long-term goal; let your mind/ body know that you mean business!)

Good luck!  I'm going to work on coming up with a goal of my own to state here on the blog, then post my progress as I see it through.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teaming up with the American Heart Association

I am very excited to be teaming up with the American Heart Association as a volunteer spokesperson to promote its "Life's Simple 7" campaign.  I will be speaking about the seven factors affecting heart health and the simple actions we all can take to improve our overall heart health.

Life's Simple 7:
1. Get Active
2. Control Cholesterol
3. Eat Better
4. Manage Blood Pressure
5. Lose Weight
6. Reduce Blood Sugar
7. Stop Smoking

The American Heart Association has a relatively new website devoted to the Life's Simple 7 campaign.  Check it out at: www.mylifecheck.org.  Do what I just did; take the My Life Check self-directed online quiz to assess your overall heart health, learn how to make improvements, decide upon a plan of action, and even make a commitment to stick to that plan of action.  I ended up with a heart health score (on a scale of 1 to 10) of 7.4.  Even I, a fitness professional, have plenty of room for improvement.  I can especially improve on my diet: lower sodium intake and eat more fish (go Omega fatty acids!!).  What was your score?  Take the test, live your Life's Simple 7 plan of action for a month or two, then retake the test...did your score improve?  This website is informative in general, but best of all, it is informative about you and your health specifically.  Use it as a health tracking tool.  Good luck!  And wish me luck in my new speaking gig...yikes!