Ruffled Feathers and More

Challenge workouts

It appears that I’ve ruffled some feathers….

That’s fine, I just want to clarify a few things. Below you’ll find more controversy regarding a nasty email series I received, how to protect shoulders when using the KB, , my stand on NOT eating breakfast and a great example of someone living life right…

Here you go:



I recently had a disheartening email and asked you for your opinion about it here.

I was overwhelmed with your support and positive feedback. I understand that the person that made the comment was likely having a bad day and lashed out at me. Thank you again for your feedback. My goal is really to motivate, educate and generally help others become more active and healthy.

My team was equally upset with that email and created this picture that’s been floating around. Again, I’ve personally received a great deal of both positive and negative feedback.

If you feel that there are ‘NO EXCUSES’ for not taking care of YOUR health, feel free to post, share or otherwise use social media to motivate others to get moving. If you’re on Facebook, you’ll find it all over. You’ll find it on my personal page and fan page here.

I understand that this picture may offend some, YOU know my intentions.  I’ll take the flack if some get upset because for the one person that makes a stink, there may be one person that actually makes a positive change in their life. That’s worth it. My back is pretty strong and skin is getting thicker.


Question: I’ve been doing a lot of upper body work and my shoulders are feeling really sore. I’m not sure I can handle any of the KB work you’ve been talking about lately. Any suggestions?

Answer: If your shoulders are super sore, you need to check your form on your KB movements. I defer to my KB expert and friend, Chris Lopez. He’s helped me tremendously with the KB work that I’ve done. He’s got a new program out that I really love.  KB Finishers are great for everyone, but especially for beginning KB lovers. If you’re not a full on KB nut (like him), you can introduce KB moves into your workout in short bursts. Check out a few of his instructional videos. SO helpful!

To summarize what Chris says: Hard style swings use more of the hips, the swing is NOT a squat exercise, rather it’s really just a hip hinge. The goal is to get the back parallel to the ground. Focus on ensuring that you brace the core to maintain an arch in the back, never hunch forward or ‘lose the shoulders’. Pack the shoulders or keep them down and back throughout the movement. Tighten the glutes or drive the butt back as you swing, think about punching a hole in the wall as you push the butt backwards and squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement. The KB needs to be a projection of the arms so that the bottom of the bell is facing forwards.

Chris shows you how to properly set up for the snatch and how to protect your shoulder while doing so. Chris also says that the important thing for shoulder health is to actively bring the kettlebell down instead of letting it fall so that you’re firing your lat from the get-go.

To learn more about Kettlebell Finishers, check out this link. You’ll see a great sale on until Friday, Nov 29, 2013.


Question:  Hi Shawna, I am a bit miffed by one of the nutrition rules you recently sent out. This article is actually stating that it is better not to eat breakfast ? It actually states that breakfast shuts down your fat burning metabolism and that it is better to skip it. What are your thoughts on this article ? It’s under the 5 simple steps to end restaurant and fast food storage. Thanks

Answer: This article supports IF (intermittent fasting) which works for some people. I prefer to eat breakfast myself. I liked the other 4 tips in the article and there’s a lot of research supporting IF. I feel there are many ways to meet fat loss goals, it’s not a one sized fits all. My friend Mike Whitfield has lost 105 lbs and kept it off and one of his strategies was IF. Not meant to offend or misinform, this is still research based. (Read the article here)


This week I received this email from a loyal reader ‘Rick’. I really appreciate his humor and support. Kudos to him for maintaining his health by keeping his priorities in check. He actively resistance trains and obviously maintains a healthy diet (with the exception of his Thanksgiving dinner as you’ll see…)

A big THANK YOU to Rick for allowing me to share his story on the blog:

Just happened upon your recent post (8 Tips from NYC)  which included nice reflections on the wonderful (and the occasional-mildly-bizarre) events of a NYC trip with a delightful daughter. “New York, New York a city so nice they had to name it twice”. At times it is so nice.

Last week a young 8 year old drum student I teach, appalled when finding out from his Mom I was 65, voiced his concern (to this man obviously from the Jurassic age) by sort of yelping, “But Mr. Rick, how do you feel?!”  I replied ” Just GREAT! After all, it’s different now then it was for my parents generation, now days 65 is the new 63!” This didn’t mean anything to him, but his Mom, surreptitiously listening to us, was laughing and coughing up a storm in the kitchen.

Given that someone is fortunate enough to have a working, healthy body free of major issues, the concerns about ‘staying in shape’ and how to go about exercising shift a little. It does seem to be that, the two most important concerns to my physical being at 65 are: Range of motion, range of motion, range of motion and lung capacity/breath support stamina. Looking good (and enjoying looking) are still much appreciated. Resistance training, weight lifting still very important in this realm, but now the emphasis is on overall health and vitality.

And all of this is addressed by what you demonstrate and teach.

Hooray by Jove! And many thank you’s.

Time and the passage of it seems to be a topic my peer group finds more intriguing each year. So, in that vein:

Just received this photo attached to an email. It was taken during a performance of the US Navy Show Band somewhere in Peru, Nov. 1970. The skinny drummer is me.


This recent shot is of the same guy, cleaning an ear of corn. Taken in Gainesville, FL Nov. 2013.

Evidently I sent you a pic last year. I must like imposing upon you. {Not at all Rick!}

The Thanksgiving Holiday is heading into view for us down here. And I do like turkey. And stuffing. With gravy. Yes, indeed. Not to mention the butter drenched biscuits and rolls and lord a new bean casserole some remaining Aunt so and so cooked up and look thesweetpotatoesandcranberrysauceandyesapecanpieandwhatthehellisthatLARGE APPLE PIE WITH Vanilla Ice Cream DOING ON THE TABLE?…HELP!