Headaches, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Since many of us spend so much more time hunched over our laptops, Ipads and cell phones, it’s easy to understand why so many people experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain. We even see many younger adults and kids depicting the typical hunch back, kyphotic posture that you normally wouldn’t get until you are in your 80s or 90s.

Bad posture places excessive stress on your muscles and joints which can result in a tight, sore and stressed body. This can lead to neck pain, shoulder issues, back pain, headaches and other health issues and/or injuries.

We spend so much of our day in a forward rounded position, over stretching the muscles in the upper back. To counter act the effects of forward flexion, it is important to strengthen those overstretched muscles and stretch the shortened, tight muscles. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to do some corrective exercises and stretches that will make a world of difference in how you look and feel!

Read the rest of Headaches, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Posted in headache, muscle aches, neck, shoulder by Sherri | No Comments

Your Hatred For Burpees Is Justified!

Very few people like Burpees. They’re hard, they hurt and they often feel awkward.

The reality is that the majority of people can’t perform a burpee well and may be doing more harm then good.

If you are excessively tight in your hips and/or lack core strength to stabilize while performing a Burpee, it may be best to choose an alternative exercise. My biggest pet peeve is when Burpees are used as a warm-up movement. Are you kidding me?!  Burpees are not a warm-up. They are an intense exercise that should not be performed until your core temperature has elevated, your joints are lubricated, your muscle and connective tissue are warmed and your cardio-respiratory system has been gradually warmed up. Burpees place a tremendous load on your shoulders, knees, hips and back and you want to make sure you’re ready for it.

Read the rest of Your Hatred For Burpees Is Justified!

Posted in Cardio, Conditioning by Sherri | No Comments

Bridge Your Way To Strong Hips

If your hips aren’t strong enough to stabilize your pelvis while walking, running or playing sports, your knees and back will suffer.

Strong Hips = Strong Knees.  Weak Hips = Weak Knees.

Bridging is an exercise often used by physical therapists to help strengthen hips and it can be done anywhere with no equipment.

Here’s some tips to performing a variety of different bridging exercises. Perform these exercises 2-3 days per week on alternating days.

Read the rest of Bridge Your Way To Strong Hips

Plank Your Way To A Strong Core

One of my favorite exercises to condition the core is a plank.
Here’s why:

  • You can plank anywhere. Plank at the gym, at home, at work, on vacation, in your hotel room, outside…you can do it anywhere!
  • Anyone can do it. If you’re just getting started, you can plank from your knees and make the exercise easier to perform. If you’re more advanced, there are multiple progressions. The options to make a plank more challenging are endless so as you get more fit, you can continue to progress and incorporate new variations.
  • No equipment required. All you need is your body!
  • No chance of getting bored. There are so many variations that you can do a different plank format every time and incorporate a lot of variety into your core conditioning program.
  • Planking trains stabilization. While planking, you’re strengthening your body’s ability to stabilize and brace the spine. As your core becomes stronger, that strength will radiate out to your extremities and you will be better able to stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for any impact and move your body more efficiently and with better mechanics.
  • Planking strengthens your whole body. While planking your will strengthen your abdominals, back, shoulders and hips. It’s a full body exercise.

Here’s how to plank correctly and some fun variations.


Lie on your stomach. Position your elbows under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and then slowly lift your body onto your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and elongated. Strive for a straight line from the top of your head to toes. Remember to breathe.

plankneesNote: Feel free to start on knees and as you get stronger, slowly progress to your toes. Here’s a progressive program that you can do to get you to planking for one minute within one month.

  • Week One – Plank for 5 seconds x 12 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
  • Week Two – Plank for 15 seconds x 4 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
  • Week Three – Plank for 30 seconds x 2 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
  • Week Four – Plank for 60 seconds – Do this 3x/week on alternating days

Here’s Some Plank Variations:


You can also plank from hands and toes instead of elbows and toes.

Hip Drop Planks

While holding the plank position, slowly allow your hips to drop and rotate side to side for goal time.

Knee to Elbow Planks

While holding the plank position, slowly draw one knee towards opposite elbow. Alternate and continue for goal time.

Leg Lift Planks

While holding the plank position, slowly lift one foot off the ground. Alternate and continue for goal time. You can advance, by lifting the foot, pressing it laterally and then dropping it back to the starting position.

Circle Planks

While holding the plank position from hands and toes, slowly lift one hand reach forward, overhead and all the way around to the starting position. Alternate and continue for goal time.

Stability Ball Planks

Place your feet on top of a stability ball while planking for a tough challenge.

Side-Lying Plank

Lie on your side while propping yourself up on one elbow with elbow positioned right under your shoulder. Keep your body straight and aligned.  Slowly lift your hips off the floor so that your body weight is now supported on your elbow and your knees (less advanced) or your toes (more advanced).

Yours in health, fitness& business,
Sherri McMillan

Couve Run 2017

Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.





Posted in abdominals, Core Conditioning by Sherri | No Comments

Sugar Cleanse

Many health professionals and nutritionists believe that added sugar is the single most harmful ingredient in our diet. Sugar addiction is no joke and affects the brain in a similar fashion as drug addictions. The more you consume it, the more you want it. The average American consumes 57 pounds of added sugar per year wrecking havoc on our health. Eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, certain cancers, tooth decay and more. Some physiologists have suggested excessive sugar consumption can be as harmful as smoking cigarettes!

Read the rest of Sugar Cleanse

Posted in healthy, Nutrition by Sherri | No Comments

Dance Your Way To Fit

I’ve started taking a Zumba class weekly and it reminded me of the benefits of dancing that I wanted to share with all of you.

Dancing Is Fun!

Most people don’t exercise because it’s such a chore but with dancing, you’re often having so much fun that you forget that you’re actually exercising!

Dancing Is Great For Weight Loss And Toning Muscles

It’s true that the best workout program is the one you enjoy enough to do regularly enough to experience great results! If you hate running, you’ll never do it and that won’t get you anywhere. But if you love to dance and you do it consistently, you will definitely lose weight and tone up! Dancing can easily burn up to 600 calories in an hour and works your entire body.

Read the rest of Dance Your Way To Fit

Posted in dance, exercise by Sherri | No Comments

Low Impact Does Not Mean Low Intensity

With the popularity of HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) which includes many high impact activities like Burpees, Jump Squats. Skipping, Running and various other explosive movements, it may seem like High Impact movements are the only path to results. That’s just not the case and good news for those with arthritic pain and various other injuries, aches and pains. The reality is that some people’s bodies just don’t do well with a lot of impact and they will respond better by choosing their fitness activities wisely.

Read the rest of Low Impact Does Not Mean Low Intensity

Top Fitness Trends For 2019

The American College of Medicine recently released a report of the Top New Fitness Trends for 2019. Check out the highlights below and maybe you will be inspired to jump on the band wagon and add some new excitement to your workouts. After all, variety in your fitness programming can minimize the risk of boredom and dropout and keep your program better balanced.

Read the rest of Top Fitness Trends For 2019

One Free Day Is Better Than Striving To Be Perfect!

Many people have great intentions and set New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and start eating better. Many will go on a diet to lose weight but we all know that most diets fail. People typically can’t stay on the diet for the long-term so as soon as they go off the diet, they gain the weight back. Statistics show that most people can stick to a diet for about a week before they fail. So instead of fighting the process, try a different approach that will enable you to stay on your nutrition plan for the long-term and experience life-changing results.

Instead of striving for a perfect diet, follow a very strict, healthy, nutrient-dense, low calorie plan 5-6 days per week and then allow for 1-2 ‘Free Days” each week.

The Free days are built into the program so you don’t have to feel guilty about it; in fact they are necessary to assure you don’t feel deprived, can indulge every once in a while and can continue on the plan forever. It’s a lot easier to say no to something today when you know you can say yes to it in a few days. Remember that stats show we can stick to a diet for about a week so don’t fight this. Understand it and set up your program to be successful for the long-term. This type of plan is feasible for most people. You are not telling yourself you are never going to eat pizza or drink wine again, but instead, just limiting how much and when you will indulge. Just make sure you do not start to make deals with yourself regarding your free days. If Saturday is your free day, make sure you stick to Saturday. Avoid indulging on say, Thursday and then promising that on Saturday, you will skip your free day. These types of compromises can lead to more regular slips.

Read the rest of One Free Day Is Better Than Striving To Be Perfect!

Finding Your Own Personal Coach

Shape up with Sherri

If you examine most professional, elite athletes, you’ll notice they have an entourage of coaches, nutritionists and trainers who help them achieve their performance and athletic goals. These are the most talented and motivated people on the planet so if they can benefit from the services of a coach or trainer, can you imagine how much more the rest of us could benefit. One report showed that just having a personal trainer in the room while you’re exercising causes you to burn more calories. We’ve probably all experienced that affect whenever the instructor or trainer gets a little closer, we try a little harder, our form gets a little better but as soon as their back is turned, we slack off. IDEA, the International Health and Fitness Organization, once reported that only 25% of exercisers are achieving results – but of the success stories, 90% of them are working with a personal trainer.

It’s clear that the education, safety, guidance, and accountability that a personal trainer can provide will help someone stick to a program long enough to experience noticeable change.

Don’t forget to sign up to automatically receive my latest blog post in your inbox!
Right at the top of the page.

A coach can also modify and adapt the program to assure you are continuously progressing. So, if everyone can benefit from the services of a coach, how do you choose the right trainer for you?  Unfortunately, the Personal Training industry is unregulated resulting in numerous individuals with no experience or credentials causing injury to well-intentioned individuals who just wanted to get fit. If you are really serious about sticking to and achieving your health and fitness goals this year, you may want to consider hiring a coach to oversee your entire program.

Here’s a list of guidelines to follow and questions to ask before putting your health in someone else’s hands:

Understand what you want

What are your specific goals and how do you foresee a trainer helping you accomplish these goals? Do you need a trainer who specializes in a certain area? Do you need a trainer who understands how to work around a certain injury or health condition?Do you need a coach who can help you with a certain athletic or performance goal? Would you prefer working with a female or male? Would you prefer a trainer who is more aggressive, entertaining, educational, or nurturing?  Do you want to workout at home, at a gym or outdoors? Do you need help with all aspects of your fitness and nutrition program or just select areas like weight training? Ask yourself how often you want to see a trainer. Know what your budget and time constraints will allow.

Confirm they are a legitimate health and fitness trainer

As a minimum, a trainer should hold a nationally recognized certification, but the confusing part is that there are over 250 various personal training certifications available in the United States – some that you just have to answer a few easy questions and pay a small fee to obtain. Look for one of the more credible certifications – NASM, ACSM, ACE, AFAA, or NSCA. You should also confirm your trainer is certified in CPR and Fitness First Aid. A degree in a health-related field is a very nice bonus and can assure a greater depth of knowledge. You should also ask them when they attended their last health and fitness conference or workshop to assure they are staying up on their continuing education credits and current trends.

What’s their experience level? 

When it comes to your health, you probably want to work with a trainer or company that has been helping people successfully adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle for a long time. However, keep in mind that trainers who have the most experience are also usually the busiest and have the least amount of time to really focus on you. Many people are very happy with the service they get from trainers who don’t yet have years of experience. Just make sure you have a strong connection and your trainer is committed to education and constant growth. If you have a specific health concern, it would be wise for you to go with a trainer who has practical experience in dealing with your particular issue. If they don’t, ask if they will consult with your physician or expert health professionals who can guide them in developing your fitness program.

What do other people say? 

Be sure to get references or testimonials from other clients. If they are good, they should have an abundance of success stories from raving fans.

Shop around

Interview a few prospects before you make your decision. Ask what credentials they hold. Ask which approach and guidelines the trainer will use when developing your exercise program? Which fitness components will they include? How will they change or progress your program? How will they monitor your progress? Tell them what you want and have them explain how they will help you succeed. It’s also important to assess their personality. Do you feel that they will have the capacity to motivate you? Do they really listen to you?  Do you respect and find it easy to like them? Are they positive and energetic? Go with your intuition.

Talk about the money

Make sure you understand the cost per session and what that includes. Many trainers will offer discounted rates when you make a commitment and purchase a package. Decide how often you will commit to training understanding that some clients train 5x/week, some just a couple times per week, some once per week and some clients experience great success only seeing a coach once every few weeks or once a month to check in and make sure they’re on track. If money is an issue, you should also ask about 30-minute vs 60-minute sessions and inquire about group training or partner training options which can be much more affordable because the costs are split between multiple people. You also want to be clear on their cancellation policies and billing procedures.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Couve Run 2017Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.






Posted in partner training by Sherri | No Comments