My Visit To The Arnold Sports Festival Was Motivating and Inspiring!

Written by lyricsmama on March 7, 2017 – 1:27 PM -

My visit to the Arnold Sports Festival was simply put…. AMAZING! This past Friday me and the hubby had a chance to take a trip down to Columbus Ohio without kids in tow to attend. For me, it was an exciting day. Fitness has become a passion and basically my life over the past year, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, so being among other fitness minded people who have a love of the industry, I couldn’t wait! I was worried about my husband having a good time though, because although he works out, he’s nowhere near……obsessed……addicted……or loves the fitness lifestyle like I do. For him, it was more of a tag along thing to keep me happy.

When most people think of the Arnold they think bodybuilding, that was my husband included. I know a lot of people might be intimidated to attend, thinking they’re not up to par, thinking that when you walk in it’s a bunch of muscle heads walking around, and that’s not it at all!

The Arnold yes promotes a lot of bodybuilding, and that is one of the major focuses of the event, however there is so much more! Tennis, Ping Pong, Fencing, Wrestling, Pole Dancing and even a Kids Expo to visit. The Arnold Sports Festival is for just about anyone who is at any level and has any sort of love for sports or fitness in general. Sure there were bodybuilders around, but there were average people around too, everyone in the convention center together, celebrating fitness!


We decided to go on a Friday at the advice of some others who have been there before. We met up with our friends / my trainer (NGA Figure Pro Betty Thomas and IFBB Pro Phil Thomas from CNC Lifestyle Management) when we got there as well. It was…BUSY! But apparently wasn’t even close to what Saturday’s look like where I’ve heard it’s elbow to elbow. I had a plan walking in, which booths I wanted to go to first, but once I walked in, my mind was overloaded and I said screw my plan let’s start at that end and just GO!

My only real plan was to get to the PrimEval booth to meet my idol, my inspiration since I started realizing my dream of getting into bodybuilding IFBB Pro Dani Reardon. She’s amazing (Follow her on Instagram). Since I started on this journey, she is the one I’ve been looking to for inspiration and motivation, so meeting her was a MUST! When I first got to her booth she wasn’t there, and I was heartbroken, but we went back later in the day and I got to meet, and talk to her for a good amount of time. She’s so amazing, genuine and interested in hearing about my journey and where I hope to go.

A few others I had hoped to meet didn’t happen because I simply didn’t want to wait in line. Be prepared! If there’s someone there that you want to meet, get there early, and be patient because you will be waiting quite awhile to meet them. The best part about the expo is getting all the swag and samples. I can’t tell you how much apparel I have, supplement samples etc. This is just a portion of our haul, I’m telling you freebies everywhere!

My husband actually had an AMAZING time, he loved it and can’t wait to go back again next year. I loved the atmosphere so much I was begging him to go back on Sunday again, but it didn’t happen. For anyone wondering if it’s something they should go to, my advice is GO! Not only for the ‘celebs’ to meet, the ‘freebies’ and great deals you can get on supplements, but because of the atmosphere.

I came away from The Arnold with a better, brighter outlook. Everyone I met there was so nice, so inspiring and supportive. The negative stereotypes of fitness or bodybuilder type people go out the door once you’re there and see it’s a community of people with a love that they all share with one another. People motivate and inspire one another, no matter what their fitness level is. My motivation to keep going, to get to my dream and goal was made clear when I walked out, I was encouraged by many people including my idol to keep going and to push beyond my limits because I WILL get there. I walked away inspired and with a love for this lifestyle and community more than I had before.

If you have any interest in health, fitness or sports make it a bucket list item to go at least once to the Arnold Sports Festival, you won’t regret a moment of being there!

If you’d like to see more photos from our day at the expo you can visit our entire album HERE.

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Strength Training Tips for Moms

Written by lyricsmama on September 17, 2013 – 9:35 AM -


When trying to burn the fat that’s preventing some women from being able to slink into those skinny jeans, it’s usually cardio or yoga that come to mind first. However, fitness experts such as David Lader suggest weight training is the most effective way to shed fat and get lean. While some moms may be afraid of looking too bulky with the extra muscle, there are ways to utilize strength training so that you aren’t looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Strength training is usually associated in some minds as power lifting that requires using bench press machines and heavy dumbbells, but that’s not the case here. When you think about it, yoga is a similar practice since you are required to support your body’s weight using different poses to strengthen varied muscle groups. This leads to a strength building as well.

Both yoga and strength training are able to tone muscles and increase definition, but yoga is more of an expertise that takes a lot of time to perfect–time you may not have as a mom.

Strength training will build the muscle that turns your body into a fat-burning furnace. You will see your body become more lean in a shorter amount of time. Also, an added bonus is that more muscle allows you to eat more since strength training burns more calories!

The 10 Minute Workout

Here is an exercise you can fit into your mommy schedule and see results within weeks!

Chair Dips
To do this exercise, slide from the edge of a chair with your hands placed adjacent to your hips. Then, slide yourself off of the chair and keep your arms bent at a right angle. Push yourself up using the chair as a base without having your bottom touch the ground around 10 times.

Modified Squats
You can do this with weights that you feel comfortable with (5-10 pounds, usually). Stand yourself in front of the same chair that you used in the dips, then squat down with your feet spread apart under your hips, and have your bottom just touch the chair and stand back up. Do this around 12 times.

Lie down on your back and put the bottom of your feet together. Keep your head from touching the ground by placing your hands behind it. Then lift yourself up in a sit-up type motion 10 times.

Oblique Crunch
Lie like you would in a sit-up position with your back flat and your legs bent at the knees. Then, place your right ankle over the left leg. Take your left hand, put it behind your head and raise your left arm and shoulder to the right knee 10 times and then do the same with the other side.

You can do this with your knees touching the ground or not, it’s up to your strength and comfort levels. Do 10-12 of these push-ups.

It’s easiest to do this with a stair, but there are step-up platforms that you can buy as well. Step on the platform one foot at a time with your left foot going first, then the right. Step back down with the right foot first, then the left. After that switch it to the right foot going up first and change it every step-up. Do this a dozen times and add small weights in your hand to build strength.

This will take around 10 minutes and give you a stronger feeling after just one workout. Within weeks, you will surely be able to drop a dress or pants size! Try it out and keep a journal to assess results.

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Fit & Fun Father’s Day Festivities

Written by lyricsmama on June 11, 2013 – 9:41 AM -

What dad doesn’t love this special holiday dedicated entirely to him? Father’s Day takes a back seat to Mother’s Day and Memorial Day but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less significant. But dad doesn’t want flowers or a cheesy card; he wants to spend the day doing fun activities with the ones he loves most. Whether you want to hit the golf course for a few hours or host a backyard BBQ, personal trainer, certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist Franci Cohen has your perfect Father’s Day activity and recipe guide.

It’s June and the weather is perfect for those outdoor activities you have been looking forward too all year. Franci Cohen suggests the following Father’s Day activities along with the health benefits of each. (Caloric expenditures based on a 160 pound moderately active male):


Take an hour or two to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and you could burn up to 440 calories an hour!


If hitting the golf course is your idea of a perfect Sunday, playing 9 holes in about 2 hours can burn up to 600 calories! (Hint: Ditch the golf cart and you could burn 100 calories more)

Bike Riding

An hour of leisurely bike riding on a flat road can burn up to 290 calories. For a higher caloric burn, take a trail ride and really push it up those hills. You can burn an extra 200 calories by upping the intensity.


What better way to spend Father’s Day than a competitive game of singles tennis? Play for 1 hour straight and you can burn up to 590 calories!


After you have exhausted your morning with exciting activities, it’s time to enjoy a delicious family barbeque. Franci has put together a couple satisfying recipes that will keep you from feeling too heavy and full.

Chicken Salad Circles


What you will need:
– 2 long English cucumbers
– 4 chicken breast cutlets
– Low-fat mayo
– Onion powder
– Salt
– Black pepper
– Carrots
– Parsley
– Sricha/hot sauce
– Baked veggie fries

1) Sprinkle chicken breast with salt and pepper, and grill on a silpat baking mat in 350 degree oven for approx. 7-10 minutes, or until cooked throughout
2) Finely chop chicken, and then mash with a fork
3) Put the chicken in a bowl and add:
a. 2 grated carrots (grate with the fine end of a cheese grater)
b. 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
c. Salt to taste
d. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
e. 3-4 T low-fat mayo (just enough to bind and maintain a scoop-able consistency but not too mushy)
4) Slice the English cucumbers into 2″ thick rounds
5) Using a vegetable peeler or a knife, scoop out the middle of each cucumber slice to create rings.
6) Scoop a spoon of chicken salad into each cucumber ring and arrange in single layer on a platter
7) Drizzle filled rings with Sricha/hot sauce
8) Top each ring with a baked veggie fries for a little added salt and crunch


Zucchini Pasta and Tomatoes with Basil Pesto


What you will need:
– 4 green zucchini
– 1 box grape tomatoes
– 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 cup pine nuts
– 3 cloves garlic
– 2/3 cup extra-virgin light olive oil
– Kosher salt to taste

*you will need an Asian spiral slicer to prepare this recipe

1) String zucchini into spaghetti-like strands using an Asian spiral slicer. If you do not have access to one, you can use spaghetti squash instead of stringing green zucchini.
2) Wash tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise
3) Mix remaining ingredients in food processor or blender until they have emulsified and formed a smooth consistency
4) Toss tomatoes in basil pesto, and serve over zucchini pasta

Note: This is an excellent accompaniment to all your grilled meats and other BBQ delicacies. It also offers your body a welcome break from the grease and fat associated with all the grilled food!

About Franci Cohen:


Franci Cohen is a personal trainer, certified nutritionist, exercise physiologist and creator of SPIDERBANDS®, a total-body cardio resistance workout that leverages gravity and your bodyweight with other intense exercise modules such as rebounding, kickboxing and indoor cycling. With over 18 years of experience, Franci has been a mainstay in the fitness and nutrition industries. Franci believes in a tough love approach to fitness and health. “We all have our fitness wake-up call at some point in our lives and it can be a powerful catalyst for change,” says Franci. “Unfortunately, many people overcompensate and try to change everything at once, which is a disaster. Making lasting change involves going through stages that aren’t necessarily linear. People fluctuate and transition between the stages. Knowing how to move through them can get you where you want to be.”

Franci devotes much of her time to Fuel Fitness, a specialty fitness center in Brooklyn, NY and continues to teach group fitness classes, train clients and broaden her perspective in all areas of fitness, nutrition and wellness. She designs unique fitness modules and group exercise programs for her clients utilizing the most effective and popular products, tools and exercise equipment available. “Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but sometimes it’s hard to just get motivated. My goal is to keep it fun and interesting by creating out-of-the-box programs that wow my clients with both the innovative nature of the classes, as well as with the rapid results they see in their bodies! My classes are the ultimate playground where fitness meets fun, and nothing is off limits!”

– Triple Bachelors Degree
– Masters in Nutrition
– Masters in Exercise Physiology

– Nutritionist
– Group Exercise Instructor
– Group Fitness Specialist
– Personal Trainer
– Lifeguard/Professional Rescuer
– Indoor Cycling Instructor

Certifying Institutions
– Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.)
– American College of Sports Medicine
– National Academy of Sports Medicine
– American Council on Exercise (ACE)
– American Fitness Association of American (AFAA)
– Mad Dog Athletics
– American Red Cross

Franci has been married for 14 years and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and four children.

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Using The Right Body Building Supplements

Written by lyricsmama on April 27, 2013 – 10:11 AM -

Trying to loose weight, getting healthier, working out, trying to get into that amazing fit shape. Maybe you’re trying out bodybuilding. There’s so much more to it than just eating right and working out, finding the right bodybuilding supplements is a major key in how well you’re body will perform.

There’s so many choices today though, and the most important thing is finding the right one that’s for you. You want high quality products, cheap isn’t always the way to go. But first, before deciding and worrying about price, the thing you have to do is your research and find out what it is you need.

Whey protein, a popular choice, you can use it for both pre and post workout, jut be sure to be aware of the sugar and carb content for what you want it for. If it’s a pre-workout, it shouldn’t have too much simple sugar, it can cause you to upset your stomach, however, in a post workout or recovery drink, a small amount of sugar can be a good thing.

Creatine helps you increase the phosophocreatine in your system, helps you out with your performance and can give you a boost.
However one of the most effective in supplements is protein. Other products and questions to consider is to ask yourself what you want it to do for you. Do you want a gainer, to help you with weight and muscle mass, Omega Oils which can help you sculpt yourself into looking leaner, vitamin supplements, like a multivitamin.

Before you jump on the boat to getting a ton of supplements, do your research, find out what it is you want your body to do, and what it is you need instead of purchasing mass amounts of things you don’t need and won’t work for you.

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Time for some top quality fitness and sportswear!

Written by lyricsmama on October 10, 2012 – 8:17 AM -

I’ve been slacking lately, I admit it. Working out, eating right. I’ve even cheated on my Nutrisystem. I’m in a funk, and can’t shake myself out of it.

I vow though, once my next order of Nutrisystem comes in, once our traveling is over this month, I’m back to working out at least 3 days a week, I’m back to eating right, and feeling better about myself! There’s a huge difference between when I am working out and eating right, and when I’m not.

Until then though, you’ll find me online, looking for some lucrative goods online for less. If I’m going to work out, and go hard, I might as well look good doing it right? Zumba isn’t the same when you’re in dumpy clothes, you feel so much better dressed for the ‘part’. So if I must shop, I must!

This week, I’ll be looking to find great deals for top quality sportswear and hopefully that will clear some of my funk up. I need some real work out clothes, get out of the baggy sweats and big t-shirts. If I want to get fit, I need to see myself in the part… Right?

What are some of your favorite or must have’s for working out? Are you a sweats and big t-shirt girl like I am or I should say was, or do you go with tighter fitting traditional athletic wear and work out clothes? What’s your workout fashion?

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