Pushup Mistake #3: Elbows too straight out

Pushup Mistake #3-

So now that you’re focusing on keeping your butt and hips level, it’s time to check your elbows as you go down in your pushup. If they come down alongside your body, you’re good to go. If they go straight out and across, start training yourself to have them come down along your sides. To understand the pattern, stand up and act like you were going to push someone and bring your hands back past your chest. Apply that movement on the ground and that’s your pushup! This way will feel harder at first since now your using the middle chain of muscles down your body. After you activate your core, it will then get easier since your stomach and upper body instead of just the upper body.

Try the at home workout and tell me if you make it out without any burpees!


Pushup Mistake #2: Raised Butt

Mistake #2: Raised butt

Back to the pushup work! So, now that you worked on not dipping your back, make sure you’re not raising your butt to high. This is another way the body tries to compensate. When you keep your butt raised, your not using your core well. Raising your butt also brings your head below your hands when they should be slightly above.

Hit this at workout for 7 days and tell me how it goes! These moves will strengthen your stomach and stability. Stay tuned for mistake #3.

Pushup Mistake # 1

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Proper Pushups

If you want to get in great shape, you need to train yourself to be able to crank out pushups like no one’s business. Perfect form, smooth and controlled. You may think it sucks to do them but once your able to do proper pushups, all the way up, all the way down, you’re gonna’ feel like a badass. Being able to do pushups is also a sign that your core and upper body is activated properly. Pushups and their variations are no joke but they’re one of the best best body weight moves out there.

Let's go over a common mistake/compensation

A sunken in back! The back dips when it’s not supported by the core. If this happens when you’re doing a pushup, you have to strengthen your stomach to be able to maintain your body in a level position. Try out the workout written for 7 days. Time yourself on day 1 and keep choppin’ down your time. When your done with the 7 days, come check out pushup mistake #2.

  • 3 Top Plank Mistakes

3 Top Plank Mistakes

If you really want to feel the burn in your stomach during a plank, get rid of these three common mistakes.

Mistake #1

Raised butt and back

You don’t want your butt and hips to be in the air. You want to lean your body INTO the plank, not away. When you lean your body into the plank, your face will be slightly above your hands. This is the promise land where you feel the most burn. If you pull away from the plank, you’ll allow your butt to raise and you’ll lose its full benefit.


Mistake #2

Sunken butt and back

When you let your back and stomach sink to the ground, you lose the entire purpose of doing a plank. Fight the burn and keep your stomach pulled inward. Keep your back and hips level and parallel to the floor.


Mistake #3

The final culprit is an overly arched back:

Everyone has a natural arch in the back, but when planking and doing most ab work, you want to train yourself to pull your stomach inward and slightly tuck your butt in. This hallow position activates your stomach muscles and changes the shape of your back from arched or dipped to engaged and level. Keep trying to pull your stomach in deeper and deeper. Once you learn how to use your core, you’ll be able to make sure your stomach muscles do most of the work during the plank instead of allowing yourself to compensate. This is important for people who feel pain/discomfort in their lower back when planking.


To train your stomach the right way during a plank, follow these three tips:

Tip #1:

Actively pull your belly button and lower core inward until you eliminate the arch in your back. There should be no space between your back and the floor.

Tip #2:

Lean into the burn! Don’t pull away and stick your butt in the air. Your face should be slightly above your hands.

Tip #3:

Plank for long enough! Train yourself to be able to hold a 2-minute plank without stopping. If you keep stopping every couple of seconds, you lose the effect. Once you’re able to hold two minutes without breaking, its time to turn it up. Plank with a weighted plate on your back (start with 10lbs then work your way up to 20-45lbs), then do one-legged planks where one leg is raised in the air. Finally, learn to plank on BOSU and stability balls. Your stomach will be on fire! But these plank progressions are one of the best ways to train the stomach.


Read my post on “Plank Progressions”

Guilt Free Protein Pancakes

Wait till you guys try these blueberry pancakes! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of them. They’re crispy on the outside and softer towards the center. I use Baker Mill’s Kodiak Cake mix. It’s packed with protein, chia, flax, quinoa, oats and whole wheat.

To start, grab:
Kodiak Cake mix

Vanilla almond milk (can use coconut milk/water or just water)
Coconut oil
Organic honey

Stir up ½ mix and ½ almond milk. This is going to give you about three 4 inch pancakes. (If you want them thicker, put less liquid. You can also add one egg into your mixture for more protein)
Heat up 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your pan
Pour in the batter into three neat circles
Sprinkle cinnamon all over one side

Allow to cook for a bit then add blueberries
Wait about minutes and flip to the other side
When cooked, lay them out on a tissue sheet to absorb any excess coconut oil.
Finally, my favorite step: top with organic honey, diced fruits of your choice, walnuts and low fat vanilla Greek yogurt.

If you are being more lenient with your diet, you can also have two strips of turkey bacon. Some brands are higher in sodium than others so just watch out for that.

Nutrition Facts:
200 calories
3g fat
34g carbs
5g sugar
8-12-g of protein

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How to Lose Fat and Create Muscle

How to Lose Fat and Create Muscle 

  1. Have a diverse training program! Never only do just cardio.

The treadmill, elliptical and jogging are great for keeping the heart healthy but shouldn’t make up the bulk of your routine if you’re trying to tone up and lower body fat percentage. If you do enough cardio, you may in fact lose weight, but your body composition and muscle mass won’t change much. Trying to lose weight strictly by doing cardio won’t help you build the muscle you need to maintain the weight loss in the long run.

Solution: Weight Lift and vary the cardio you do. You always want to introduce new routines and challenges to the body so it will keep transforming. For example, instead of the treadmill or jogging, try weighted jumping jacks with 5-10 lb weights, weighted punches, jumprope, box jumps and burpees, or sprints! These are all way more efficient that the treadmill. Also, pick 3-4 strength-training exercises and do them back to back without rest. This will serve as both cardio and weight training.

  1. Never only lift weights!

If you only lift weights and refuse to do cardio, you may have a hard time losing weight. You need a diverse routine that includes weight training done in a circuit style (back to back fashion with minimal rest) to get your cardio in at the same time. Also, do basic movements in a fast explosive fashion so that it will count as high intensity cardio. Some of my favorites are jump squats, jumping lunges, tuck jumps, jump squat burpees, and fast feet.

  1. Drink enough water.

Cut out all sodas, especially “diet” sodas, along with sugar drinks. We should consume a little less than 3 liters or a gallon of water a day depending on how active we are. Water flushes the body of toxins, boost metabolism and acts as an appetite suppressant when you drink a glass right before a meal. Add lime, lemon or grapefruit juice for additional cleansing benefits.

  1. Eat 4-5 meals a day.

Spread out healthy portions every 3-4 hours. Make sure you get the right amount of protein, veggies, and fiber on your plate. The biggest mistakes when it comes to weight lose and toning is eating only once or two big meals a day, skipping breakfast, and eating empty calories.

  1. Workout smart.

Be effective in your workouts. Don’t passively take breaks anytime you feel like it. Make everything time sensitive. Work past the burn, never stop the first rep you feel the burn. Work hard for 40 minutes and you should be in and out!


Online training program coming in two weeks !

How to get Toned Legs- Jump Squats and Jumping Lunges

Here is my number one tip on how to get strong beautifully toned legs! I can’t stress how golden this tip is. Watch the workout video at the end of the post and do it along with me 🙂

  1. Vary the tempo of basic leg exercises, such as squats, lunges and side kicks.

You want to perform super slow squats and transition into super explosive jump squats. This also applies to the lunges and side kicks. Performing the movement slow allows your muscles to activate more efficiently. It also helps you “feel your form” and create a deeper burn. The explosive jumping movement builds power and strength in your legs and also greatly improves your coordination and speed. This combination of slow to fast movements will not only get your heart rate up and help you burn a lot of calories, but will exhaust your leg muscles and give you that beautiful definition. The burn is insane! But champ it out and fight through it.

Here’s the video of me performing the workout. I focused on squats and lunges but definitely try the side kicks:

3 rounds:

10 slow squats, 8 jump squats

10 slow lunges, 8 jumping lunges

Make sure your form is perfect before performing the explosive movements. For squats, you want to distribute your weight behind you, never in front. Shoot your hips back, heels should never raise off the floor. Your knees should stay behind your shoes, chest straight,  never down towards the floor! Also, as you come up from the slow squat, you don’t want to stand up completely; you want to come up about 3/4 of the way and then go right back down into the next squat. This will keep your quads under tension the entire time, increasing the burn. For the lunges, remain upright, keep your balance, shift all your weight onto the leg that you’re working on. These same checkpoints apply for the explosive movements, but they will require a lot more coordination.

Tell me how you guys do!!!

Butt, Thigh and Core- Resistance Band Workout

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If you want to know how to turn up your workouts, these resistance bands are the key.  They easily intensify any basic workout movement. Here are my top moves on how to tone up your butt, thighs and core using these bands.

Move 1: Jump Squats

You’ll feel the burn immediately. Place 1 or 2 bands (depending on your fitness level) right above your knees. Perform a regular squat and transition into a jump on your way up. The bands isolate the butt and thigh muscles so much more than a regular squat so the burn will be insane but so will the results!

Move 2: In and Out squats

Begin with your feet together, keeping the bands in the same spot. Jump outward into a squat position, then jump back to the starting position with your toes together and repeat. (If visualizing my explanation gets tricky, don’t worry. Below is a link to a video of me demonstrating all the movements.)

Move 3: Tap out squats

Begin in a deep squat position, keeping the bands in the same spot above your knees. Tap one foot outward then tap back in to your starting position and keep switching feet.

Move 4: Banded bridges

Lay down on your back, keeping the bands in the same location. Place your hands out to your sides and bend your knees as if you were getting into sit-up position. Lift your butt upward until your back is lifted off of the floor, making a diagonal line with your body. Squeeze your butt at the top.

Move 5: Ab rocks

This is my top move for achieving an amazing flat and strong stomach. Lay on your back. Bring your hands over your head, raise your shoulders upward and lift your legs up straight in the air so that you’re making a wide U-shape. Begin rocking by raising your legs upward and then using that momentum to rock back down again so that your shoulders lift off the floor. Repeat. Don’t let your feet touch the ground on the way down. You strictly have to rely on your core!

Do each movements three times using a descending pyramid. Begin with 20 reps, 15, reps, then 8 reps. Tell me how it goes!


#1 Sign Your Core Isn’t Working Properly

It’s an amazing feeling to know you have total control over your body and what it can do. The first test to pass in any of my programs is the pushup! Back neutral, stomach pulled inward, elbows bend alongside your body, not horizontally.  If you can’t do a proper pushup, your core isn’t fully activated. Core is everything so the first phase of any program should be activating and strengthening the core.

A strong core will help you with every aspect of training your body. It also helps you keep great posture and helps eliminate back pain. Take this quick core test to see what phase of core training you’re in!

  1. How long can you hold a plank for with perfect form? (read “Top Plank Mistakes” for form)
  2. How many pushups can you do in one minute? Max effort! No break for 60 seconds.
  3. How many shoulder taps can you do in one minute? Max effort! No break for 60 seconds.
  4. How many sit-up variations can you do?

Here’s a video of me explaining each movement and showing you how to position your body in a way that will burn the most and activate your stomach muscles.

Congrats! Now that you know what phase you’re in, we can get to work. If you felt the burn in your stomach during the assessment, you’re ready to go. If you felt any of these exercises in your lower back, you need to perfect your form and strengthen your stomach muscles so that they can take over the movement. Set a goal and practice. Keep your core tight and pulled in.

Perfect the core test and make your way into Phase C. By Phase C, your stomach will be able to handle my Four Top Ab moves.


Hanging crunch

Heavy renegades

Stability Ball Plank



For more core tricks, read, “Top Plank Mistakes”

Body Fat Percentage- Why the Scale isn’t as Important

If you’re starting a new fitness program or getting back into the gym, you’re main focus may be on weight loss. Weight loss is awesome but I want to share with you guys that weight loss is by no means the only measure of progress. What you want to pay attention to is how your clothes fit, your new strength and most importantly, what percentage of your weight is muscle and body fat. For example, about two years ago, I was 145 pounds, 26% body fat. Once I started taking training seriously and started to see amazing results, I still weighed about 140, only a 5lb difference, but I lost 4% body fat. My body looked totally different! Now I am about 135lbs but am 19% body fat, again only a 5 lb difference but a major change in body fat and muscle mass! My point is to learn how to measure your success in the right ways.

Five pounds of muscle weighs the same as five pounds of fat, but it sits on the body so much differently! As you can see, muscle is compact and organized whereas fat is loose and occupies much more space. As you continue past month one, your body will build more and more lean muscle, which is exactly what you want. However, your scale won’t show this progress. I bring this up to explain to you why you shouldn’t become fixated on the number on the scale. Initially, you will drop weight for sure but eventually you may reach a plateau. (Some will reach a plateau quicker than others depending on how much weight there is to lose) What that means is the progress that you make from that point on won’t necessarily be weight loss. It will be muscle gain and a lower body fat %, which again won’t be reflected on the scale. Learn to measure your success by comparing your measurements, how you feel, how your clothes fit, how your body looks, and how much stronger you’re getting!

I have written a fitness program that I’m POSITIVE will help you not only lose weight, but gain muscle. I’m excited to see your transformations!





Below is a quick cardio toning routine that you can try! Tell me how it goes.

Integrative Fitness

Lately, I’ve been realizing how awesome it is to work on being versatile as a person, being able to adapt to anything, and being able to keep upgrading yourself. I find this is especially true when it comes to fitness! You have to keep introducing new challenges to your body in order for it to change. You always have to try new and fun movements. It’s so important to integrate different training forms into your fitness regimen.

Some people don’t know what to do when they’re at the gym, which is totally understandable. I was the same way when I first started out but I hope I can help you with that. If your routine only consists of cardio, like the treadmill and elliptical, definitely try including higher intensity cardio that requires coordination and balance, like jumprope and weighted punches! Also, definitely weight train. I can’t stress that enough. Basic cardio is awesome for the health of your heart, but it’s not the best for changing your body composition and will not tone the body.

There are so many ways to spice up your routine. I love thigh resistance bands. They intensify any basic movement. For example, if you do weighted squats or lunges with thigh resistance bands on, you’ll isolate your muscles a lot more. You can throw balance training in there. You can do this by using the BOSU ball. For example, you can stand on it and do bicep curls or arm exercises. You’ll burn a lot more calories since you need to engage the core to keep you from wobbling off. You can then flip the BOSU over and use it to do mountain climbers. It’s a lot more difficult and also makes you use your core a lot more. Finally, you can throw a little agility work into your fitness routine. If your gym has an agility ladder that you can put on the floor, you can use it to do football footwork drills. It’ll burn calories and improve your speed and coordination.

Last but not least, I think it’s awesome to have a daily mini routine that you do no matter what and should take no more than ten minutes. For example, you can accumulate 50 squat jumps, 40 shoulder touches, 30 bridges, 20 push-ups and 10 burpees. You can do whatever amount you like randomly throughout the day, as long as you accumulate everything by the end of the day.

For more fun and creative fitness ideas, check out my weight loss and toning program below.





Copyright 2017 Shantel Mendez All Rights Reserved

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