8-Week Challenge: Frequently Asked Questions

What do I get with the Challenge?

1. A Getting Started Guide to help you get the most from the Challenge and reach the goals you set for yourself. It includes:

  • setting your goals for the Challenge
  • documenting your initial weight and measurements, where you are at the half way point and at the end of the Challenge
  • what equipment you need for the workouts (don’t worry, you won’t need much)
  • finding your base metabolic rate and daily caloric intake needs so you’ll understand how much you really need to be eating to lose the weight you want to lose
  • finding your heart rate zones so you’ll understand the level at which you are exercising
  • how to join the private Facebook group
  • how to contact me to set up our first check in

2. Weekly workout plans. Your plan includes three strength sessions, three cardio days and one day of rest. I designed all of the strength sessions to be highly effective total body workouts that burn between 300-375 calories each. All of them will take you about 35-40 minutes, or around 50 minutes if you choose to do the extra credit that’s included. I’ve made it easy to tailor your workout to your fitness level by including easier and harder options.

3. Short video demonstrations. Watch me demonstrate all of the exercises and some of my favorite cool down stretches so you can be sure you’re following proper form and getting the full benefit of your workout.

4. Two, 20-minute personal coaching calls with me. We’ll connect before you start to say “hello” and to map out your goals for the Challenge.  I can also answer any questions you have. And we’ll connect again when you’ve reached the halfway point to see how things are going. This halfway check in is a great way to keep you accountable for working the plan and focused on the things that will help you achieve your goals for the Challenge. I’m not shy about delivering a friendly nudge or two if you need it!

5. Tips for success, healthy meal ideas and recipes. Each week, you’ll get an email packed with tips for success, meal and snack ideas and healthy recipes to help take the guess work out of eating well and so you don’t get bored with meals. Plus, you’ll get tips for dining out or for when you travel and you’re away from your regular food choices.

6. A private Facebook group. A for-members-only group where you can share your successes and tips, confess your slip ups (trust me, we all have them and it’s not the end of the world), swap meal ideas and stay motivated by connecting with other Challenge participants. The group is another great way to help keep yourself accountable. Plus, as a member, you’ll also get access to sweet bonuses available only through the Facebook group.

7. A shopping list. A complete list of clean, healthy foods you’ll eat or use to prepare your meals during the Challenge. (And yes, dark chocolate and other yummy stuff is on it!).

8. A simple Food/Exercise tracker. Use it to track meals, exercise, sleep, mood and water intake each day. This is an important part of the Challenge because the data doesn’t lie. And study after study shows that women who keep food journals consistently lose more weight (and keep it off) than those who don’t. You and I will go over yours when we connect at the halfway point.

How much does it cost?

I’m offering the Challenge at a special introductory rate of $89 until March 15, 2013. That’s only $11 per week for a comprehensive exercise program designed to get you the results you want. After March 15, the Challenge will be offered at the regular price of $149 (still a great deal at only $18 per week).

How does the Challenge work? 

  1. Once you’ve completed the registration process, keep an eye on your inbox for your confirmation and your Getting Started Guide. You’ll also be automatically signed up for my email updates that are packed with insider secrets, tips and information to help you get a body you love and build a healthy lifestyle that works for you. Your welcome email also includes your shopping list and a copy of the Food/Exercise tracker.
  2. We will have the first of our two coaching calls before you start your first week.
  3. The Challenge will begins for you on the Sunday after you join with your first weekly workout plan. Sundays are rest and planning days, so you’ll be able to shop for clean, healthy foods using the shopping list, get your equipment ready, set your goals and join the Facebook group.
  4. For the next seven weeks, you’ll receive weekly workout plans, plus tips for success, meal ideas and healthy recipes.
  5. Each week, you will log on to the Facebook group to share your successes and tips, hear from others and stay motivated. You’ll also be able to access all of the bonuses that are only available to Facebook group members.
  6. Your second coaching call will be at the halfway point. Plan to share your food/exercise trackers with me before the call.
  7. At the end of the Challenge, you’ll take your after photos and write down your stats (weight, measurements) and celebrate how you are looking and feeling. Because you’ll be lighter, tighter, and feeling great! And we’ll all be celebrating everything you’ve accomplished right along with you.
  8. After the Challenge is over, you’ll want to keep eating clean and exercising regularly. If you’d like, we can work together through monthly online coaching or through one-on-one, in-person coaching.

Is the 8-Week Challenge right for me?

The program is right for you if …

  • The scale has crept back up a little too far for your liking
  • Your “skinny” jeans are feeling a little (or a lot) too tight
  • You’ve been carrying an extra 5, 10 or 15 pounds around that you’d like to get rid of for good
  • Home and work responsibilities leave you with little time for exercise
  • You’re in a workout rut and you need a jumpstart on a new routine
  • You’re ready for a little “ass-kicking” with workouts that will make you sweat and challenge you
  • You want to get back to a healthier lifestyle of eating well and exercising the right way
  • You want expert advice and an effective program from a professional trainer and coach, but you’re not ready to take it to the next level or working one-on-one with a trainer yet

But what about accountability?

Because you are doing this program at home, you need some self-motivation to follow the plan so you can achieve your goals you set for yourself. Remember, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.

But I know how important being accountable to others (and getting support) is to making a lifestyle change like this. So, it’s baked in to the Challenge in a few ways.

  • You will log your workouts and meals on a simple food/exercise tracker every week. The sheer act of writing something down helps keep you honest with yourself and gives you immediate feedback on how you’re doing.
  • You and I will have two coaching calls together… the first to map out your goals, answer questions and help you get started on the right foot and the second to check in at the halfway point so I can see how you’re doing and give you tips to be successful. And if you need a friendly nudge or two, I’m not shy about giving them to you!
  • The private Facebook group is also great for accountability. Current Challengers are posting about their workouts, how they’re feeling and motivating each other. I am on there every day too, responding to questions and comments, providing tips, bonuses, inspiration and nudges where needed.

Taking the Challenge with friends or family members can really help you stick to the program too because you’ll be holding each other accountable.

And of course, I’ll be there cheering you on every step of the way.

What if I want/need more accountability?

Online coaching or one-on-one, in-person coaching is a better option if you need more accountability to stick to an exercise and nutrition plan, and if you want a program that’s personalized for you. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about those options and if they are a fit for you.

I’m a new mom. Is the Challenge right for me?

In terms of starting an exercise routine like the Challenge while you are breastfeeding and recuperating from giving birth, there are a few things to consider:

  • Have you checked with your doctor about beginning an exercise program? Typically, you’re cleared after eight to 12 weeks to begin exercising again, but if you had a Caesarean or difficult birth, your doctor may want you to wait for a longer period of time. I’d let him/her know that you’re thinking about starting the Challenge and that it calls for strength and cardio exercise. See if your doctor has any concerns about any movement that may be a concern, like planks. If that’s the case, we can talk about alternatives for you during the first check in call before you start week 1.
  • It’s usually recommended that you start exercising for short periods of time a few days a week and then gradually increase your activity level. The Challenge is a three-day strength and three-day cardio program. To follow this guideline, you could adapt the strength days to be a bit shorter while still getting the benefit of them, and your cardio days can be walks or hikes with the stroller at a light to moderate pace. We can discuss the best way for you to approach the program during our first check in.
  • Exercising should not affect your breast milk, but for your comfort, it’s recommended that you breastfeed or express your breast milk before you exercise.  If your baby doesn’t seem happy nursing right after you exercise, take a shower, relax for an hour, and then try again.
  • Before and during your workout, drink two or three extra glasses of water. It’s imperative that you not get dehydrated, which can be uncomfortable for you and affect your milk supply.
  • And definitely use the warm up and cool down portions of the workout to help your body prepare to exercise and recover when you’re done.
  • From a nutrition perspective, the Challenge is not about dieting. It’s about eating whole, nutritious, healthy food at regular intervals throughout the day—typically breakfast, lunch, dinner and 1-2 snacks–to fuel your body and your workouts properly. As part of the program, we’ll find your daily caloric target (based on age, gender, resting metabolic rate and optimal body weight) so you can adjust your intake toward that goal. For you, we’ll need to factor in additional calories for breastfeeding.

What are the workouts like?

Each weekly workout plan includes both resistance/strength training and cardio. I hand-picked each exercise and build the workouts to maximize your efforts and burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time—usually about 35-40 minutes. Your weekly plan also includes tips on proper form and ways you can make the moves easier or harder. And I created short video demonstrations of each of the exercises so you can be sure you’re performing them correct to get the most benefit from the exercise and to avoid hurting yourself.

What is my nutrition/diet philosophy?

I follow a philosophy of clean eating and energy balance. You need to eat whole, clean, nutritious foods that fuel your body and your workouts. And you need to balance intake (what you eat and drink) with output (how much you burn), creating a caloric deficit in order to lose weight.

Massively restricting calories is not a recipe for success and will actually sabotage your efforts because eating too few calories messes with your metabolism, makes you grumpy and mentally foggy, and increases the likelihood that you will overeat from excessive hunger. I strongly recommend using both diet and exercise to achieve the results you want.

Consider this:

One pound of fat = 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound per week, you need to create a deficit of 500 calories a day. If you burn 300 calories from your daily workout, that means you need to shave 200 calories from your diet. If you want to drop two pounds per week, you’ll need to double that number.

You will discover what’s right for you by finding the middle ground between the number of calories your body needs to function properly (your resting metabolic rate or RMR) and the number of calories you need to achieve your weight loss goal. You’ll learn more about this in your Getting Started Guide, including how to determine your RMR and your daily caloric target.

What are my qualifications?

I am certified as a Personal Trainer from the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), a Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a Certified TRX Instructor, as well as a Certified Group Exercise instructor.

In addition to my fitness and coaching training, I have more than 15 years of experience as a Communications Consultant and have devoted my life to helping people achieve physical, emotional and financial health. It’s a huge part of the reason I focus on topics more broad than just diet and exercise. I want to help people build a healthier life all-around. Learn a little more about me.

What sets me apart from most fitness professionals?

As someone who has lost nearly 60 pounds and 20% body fat (and successfully kept it off), I can relate to anyone struggling to lose weight for good. I know how tough it is and how discouraging it can be when a program doesn’t work. That’s why I’m here to help you and why I founded Evolve Fitness & Coaching. I want to help you attain life-long health and fitness because I believe strong women live well.

I’ve road-tested the most effective exercise strategies and programs, and I incorporate my favorite techniques from these programs into the way I train and design workouts for the 8-Week Challenge. 

Learn more