Sarah Joseph M.S., CSCS

Workout Blog

Vance is getting old. Aging and Metabolism

Posted by Sarah on April 17, 2015 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This weekend Vance is having a birthday so I thought it might be appropriate to discuss how we can attenuate the effects of aging through proper exercise and nutrition. Without further adieu, let's talk about aging and metabolism! 

Metabolism and Aging

Aging tends to be an unkind process when it comes to human physiology and functioning. You may have noticed some weight gain yourself over the years and I’m going to discuss some possible causes for that.

You’ve heard it before; If you consume more calories than you expend you are likely to gain some weight. There is more at play here than calories in versus calories out but for the purposes of this article, we will regard this to be true. There are three components that determine how many calories you will burn in a day.

1. The first is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the energy used at rest to power body function. Your BMR is determined by several factors including age, size, gender and lean body tissue (muscle). Each decade, this declines 2-3%. In order to attenuate increases in fat and loss in muscle, a resistance training component is crucial for any exercise program. Muscle tissue consumes three times the number of calories than fat (6 calories per lb muscle per day vs. 2 calories per lb fat per day). Maintaining this muscle will aid in metabolism maintenance.

2. The thermic effect of food is the second contributor to metabolism. This is the energy it takes for your body to digest food. It is unknown how this process changes with aging. Nevertheless, protein and fibrous carbohydrate require more energy to digest than fat. Mainly unsaturated but also saturated fat is still an important part of a healthy diet. The thermic effect of food is the physiologic reason why eating consistent meals will encourage a boost in metabolism (Farshchi, H.R., Taylor, M.A., Macdonald, I.A, 2004). Paid special attention to cite that one because food frequency is a hot topic right now.

3. Lastly, physical activity and exercise accounts for the remaining caloric expenditure of our bodies. Again, research is inconclusive as to whether the amount of calories burned for given activities is actually decreased with aging. At this point it seems likely that there is more of a lifestyle or conscious change to more sedentary behaviors.

We can’t evade aging but eating healthy and exercising will prolong years of health and quality of life. It is never too late to start exercising. You should never feel like you’ve missed the boat on being active. Just because you didn’t exercise when you were younger doesn’t mean that you don’t have the strength to start now. Start gradually. The important thing is that you are consistent and driven to learn what is needed to be done in order for you to reach your goal. In this way you can gain muscle mass while deflecting weight gain, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, hypertension, stroke and a host of other maladies that plague our population.


New Year Workout Series. "The Jaw"

Posted by Sarah on December 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)


So I'm sure that many of you have new years workout goals and hopefully this new workout series will help you in reaching those workout goals. The workouts will build on themselves, starting with less complicated exercises and progressively becoming more complex. The challenge of these workouts should all be the same though, aka push as hard as you can for the 15 to 25 minutes. 

If you are a beginner, or you haven't worked out for a little while, these workouts will help you progressively get accustomed to pushing yourself hard and build up your strength and cardiovascular endurance. 

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the exercises or the program. You'll need an interval timer. Other than that, you'll just need your own body weight. I will make a video to go with each of the workouts. The interval timer that I recently downloaded is called HIIT Interval training.... There's a bunch out there, just find whatever is easiest for you to use.

One. “The Jaw”

25 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

24 Rounds (16 Minutes)


  • squats
  • push ups
  • JJ with punches
  • spider plank
  • alt. side speed bag
  • plank jump rows



Rating of Perceived Exertion______________

You can write your RPE down immediately following the workout to track the intensity/ how hard you pushed during each workout! It'll also give you some insight into what exercises cause you to have a higher RPE. Most people find exercises that cause a great deal of muscle tension to result in higher RPE numbers.


2012 Let's make it happen

Posted by Sarah on January 22, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello everyone! So I hope everyone is well on their way to reaching their New Years resolutions and I hope to help you with these resolutions as long as they are in your best health interests. If you are 120 pounds, 5 foot 3 and cross train regularly and you tell me you wanna lose ten pounds then I will try to discourage you from that. Think, "health first." Think health first and positive self talk and your body will gradually follow. 
Here is today's workout

Complete the following exercises in as fast a time as possible.

Or if you prefer intervals 10-50 14 rounds

Beginners: first four exercises 15-30 8 rounds, last three 10-20 6 rounds

• 25 Push ups

• 100 High knees

• 25 Knee tucks

• 100 High knees

• 25 Squats (with or without weight)

• 100 High knees

• 25 Tricep dips


In florida 1 in 4 adults are obese

Under eating:

Being under weight and under eating significantly also leads to a host of serious health problems. Among these are vitamin A deficiency which can lead to cataracts and blindness, vitamin D deficiency which can lead to osteoporosis. Women can experience ammenohea or an absence of a menstrual cycle and increased hair growth because the body does not have enough insulation.

So I cannot stress how important it is to have a balanced and sensible diet. Make sure that you’re getting as many vitamins and minerals from your foods by choosing nutrient dense foods, and stay hydrated! Hydrate throughout the day rather than just drinking a bunch of water at once to nourish the body’s cells the most.


Sick of Jumping Around?

Posted by Sarah on November 27, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

So that hair cut video is my most popular video! That's awesome. I hope that it results in some clients for my friend Ashley. If you haven't seen that video, look up my youtube channel EXSwithSarah to see my new haircut! 

I have for you a new workout which involves NO JUMPING. This workout is perfect for anyone who did a hard leg workout the previous day or if you are a beginner or if you took a thanksgiving break and you need to get back into your workouts. It is not EASY but it is a nice change from my normal workouts and I hope you enjoy it. Video on the exercises soon. 

give it your all and get it done. 

Sick of Jumping Around Day

10 side to side push ups

10 dumbell flies

10 bicycles

20 star crunches

20 row and press each side

2 more times


Yoga Progression

downward facing dog

Swing leg up, three point

swing leg under body, lunge arms out

goddess arms

step foot back

lower body down

3 times each side


20 plank knee tucks with tap

30 leg cross overs

30 side plank raises each side

Start it up! Back to school

Posted by Sarah on August 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone. I'm about to start my graduate school adventure where I'll be teaching 5 physical activity classes! Yikes. This will also include educating my students on basic health and kinesthesia topics. Of COURSE i'll be sharing this information with you all as well. This starts now.

Transtheoretical Model of Change- Which stage are you in?

  1. Precontemplation Precontemplators do not see all of the benefits of making a change. The thought of change probably has not yet come to mind.
  2. Contemplation The person is contemplating the behavior change. The pros do not yet outweigh the cons and they are struggling with weighing the two against each other.
  3. Preparation These people are doing things that will help them during the action phase. For example if the behavior is to start working out, they might go buy new workout clothing or a gym membership. The behavior change will begin within the month.
  4. Action These people have actually started changing their behavior and must plan ahead to avoid setbacks and to keep advancing
  5. Maintenance These people completed their behavior change six months ago and are taking steps to maintain their progress



The following workout is great whether you are a beginner or more advanced. Note the modifications!

Warm Up


  • Trunk circles
  • Neck extensions/ flexion
  • Fingers to toes rotation
  • Toes to fingers rotation
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Arm cross overs (hugs)
  • Alternating vertical arms
  • Wrist rolls
  • Ankle rolls
  • Knee circles
  • Hurdlers
  • High march
  • Hop in place
  • Side to sides
  • Jumping jacks
  • Alternating side lunges w/ arm across



a.  20 Step Back lunges 10 in outs 10 ea. Sumo squat w. knee tuck X 2

b.  Interval Training: 8 rounds 10sec-20sec

Alternate between mountain climbers and Jump Lunges

Alternate between forward backward jump squats and standing mountain climbers

c. 100 each -Jumping jacks, scissor jumps, high knees

Cool Down! add some additional ab work if you have the time and you're feelin it. 




Getting back into it, free style day

Posted by Sarah on June 1, 2011 at 3:02 PM Comments comments (0)

It seems like it's a wonderful summer day outside. The weather said it was supposed to thunderstorm. I'm skeptical to go on a bike ride today though because I don't want the weather to suddenly shift on me. Here I will be describing my "getting back into it" workout from yesterday. I'm definitely starting to feel better and like I'm getting my strength back after a week off. It's surprising how much you can lose in a week. Detraining of the cardiovascular system is almost immediate. You constantly have to be working out those type I endurance muscle fibers in order for them to maintain their ability for extended work. Anaerobic exercise adaptations are maintained for a little longer than aerobic during detraining. Also, remember that you CAN lose strength without losing muscle size. 

Anyway this is what I did yesterday. Feel free to rework it to work with things that are available to you. Bear in mind that this was one of my longer workouts so nothing I did was as intense as usual. 

25 minute bike ride (to my high school gym)

intervals of 10 seconds rest 30 seconds work, 6 rounds

  • alternating arm bench press
  • squat press

again, intervals of 10 seconds 30 seconds work, 6 rounds

  • box jumps
  • squat with weight and alternating leg ift- squat down with the dumbells on your shoulders, then lift one leg out to the side, then keep alterating legs

one more time, intervals of 10 seconds and 30 seconds work, 6 rounds

Burpee Renegade Row- Jump up, land softly into a squat, jump feet back into high plank, do a push up, row one weight back, sqeezing shoulderblades together, row the other weight back, it helps if your feet are wider apart for stabilization, repeat

10 arnold presses with 5lb weights, then i held my arms out to the sides and pulsed for 10 , repeat 2 more times

25 minute bike ride home

Back to the Basics

Posted by Sarah on April 12, 2011 at 12:33 AM Comments comments (3)

Beginners- this will just take you slightly longer, or you can decrease the repetitions. Have fun!

jump rope (2 min)

pushups x 50

lunges x 50

crunches x 50

jump rope (2 min)

pushups x 40

lunges x 40 (holding 20 pound KBs)

crunches x 40

jump rope (2 min)

pushups x 30

lunges x 30 (holding 25 pound KBs)

crunches x 30

jump rope (2 min)

pushups x 20

lunges x 20 (holding 30 pound KBs)

crunches x 20

jump rope (2 min)

pushups x 10

lunges x 10 (holding 35 pound KBs)

crunches x 10


Long Strong Legs Pyramid

Posted by Sarah on March 30, 2011 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I hope everyone is having a great day! Here is a great workout to really get your heart rate up and take your exercise intensity to another level. This is a time challenge so the point is to complete the whole thing in the least amount of time. Don't forget to write your time down in your workout journal so when you come back to this workout you can see if you've improved. ALSO, don't forget to note any modifications that you do (your time might not improve if you do an unmodified version the next time  you try it). 

Here it goes

BBC- 400 reps leg pyramid

20 jump squats

30 Two jump lunges with 1-2-3 push up- with the jump lunges, try to tap the back knee down every time, place the hands down, do three mountain climbers, on the last one keep your leg next to you and do a push up, go into lunge, repeat

Beginners- don't go as deep into the lunge, the push ups should be easier as is because there is a greater base of support with foot out to the side

40 Toe Touch Leg lifts- leg lift, crunch up and touch the toes, don't let the back come off the mat

Beginners- just do leg lifts, if need be then you can bend the legs for added assistance

50 in out roll overs- from a high plank, jump feet in, jump feet out, go down onto stomach, roll over, repeat on the other side

Beginners- step in and out instead of jumping the feet in and out

100 sumo high knees- get those knees high and out to the side like you are doing a standing crunch each time

50 in out roll overs

40 toe touch extensions

30 Two jump lunges with 1-2-3 push up

20 jump squats

20 sumo high knees

Have fun and let me know what you thought!:P

Sarah J. 

Weekend Workout

Posted by Sarah on January 20, 2011 at 5:16 PM Comments comments (0)

Don't lose track of your goals or progress just because it's the weekend! Incorporate fitness into your life and your relationships. Do a fun activity with your loved one or find a free class you can take. Many yoga studios offer a first free class. Lululemon has free yoga, so find a store or studio near you! If you can't seem to figure out any of these things to do, here is an alternative to get you started.

10-15 Body Weight Squats - make sure your weight is in your heals and you can wiggle you toes, stick your butt out and focus on keeping your back flat and chest up

10-15 Close Rows- Lean over to forty five degrees, keep your arms near your body, and with a weight that you are comfortable with, draw your hands up to near your rib cage, keep your hands with your thumbs towards the ceiling, draw your shoulder blades together and squeeze at the top of the motion, this can also be done with a workout band.

15-30 second plank- starting laying face down on the floor, prop yourself up on your forearms, squeeze your abs tight so your BELLY doesn't  SINK and keep your BUTT DOWN, Really try to hold it the whole time period, the first few seconds are just setting you up for the last few seconds which are going to elicit a change in your body

Repeat 3 times! Time yourself! Write Down your time!


Get Walking

Posted by Sarah on January 17, 2011 at 9:59 AM Comments comments (0)

Today your challenge is to walk 10,000 steps. We are constantly bombarded with reminders that a more physically active lifestyle will help improve health. Something as simple as walking more can be a part of this more physically active lifestyle. In fact, Christa Dickey from the American College of Sports Medicine reports that middle aged women who walk 10,000 steps or more per day maintain lower body fat percentages, are more likely to be normal weight, and have smaller waists (link below). For those without a pedometer, 10,000 steps is roughly 5ish miles, and remember, the more the better.

Get walking ideas

- walk to the TV to change the channels

- park far from the entrance to stores and work

- classic, taking the stairs

- get up and march in place during commercials

- do ten marches for every ten pages of a book you read

- find a friend and catch up by taking a walk

- take your dog for a walk