2 Things I’ve Always Done to Stay Lean

Hello, Susan here!

Last time I wrote, I mentioned there are at least 2 non-negotiable practices that have kept me fit, lean and defined for over 35 years. I’m going to share those with you right now.

CONSISTENCY and INTENSITY – Remember that I also wrote about defining these differently than many people might.

I do not take more than one day off per week unless there is a very solid reason, such as my body “telling me” I need rest and am feeling really run down. That is a voice that is not heard much in your 20’s and maybe even 30’s, but it speaks more now in my 50’s than it ever has. Given that, I cannot recall the last time I took more than 2 days off in a row.

Come on, let’s be honest, when we blow off a workout we feel crappy about it and a little guilty later. We often think as the day passes, you know, I could have/should have trained after all.


When I say a “very solid reason” that does not include –

  • I don’t feel like it
  • I don’t have time
  • I’m not feeling motivated
  • It’s that time of the month
  • I have the kids etc…

Those are not reasons, those are excuses! Ouch, I know. Get up before the kids; that’s what I did in many cases. Whatever you plan and prioritize, gets done!

I kept my fitness in check pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, then while raising 2 kids, and a good chunk of that was as a single mom, having a full-time job, and no, not as a trainer. I even managed to do 2 shows in one year and compete over the course of 6 years and thankfully, win.

This level of consistency has been going on for over 30 years. Please don’t think I’m hoping you’ll be impressed, that’s not it. I’m hoping you are encouraged enough to know you can get your body in check and even to another level, despite what you allow to get in your way, first of all – you. Don’t be the biggest obstacle in your way.

I hope you can pump your confidence up a bit and think, “If Susan can do it and keep doing it, despite less than perfect circumstances with a 50+-year-old body that sometimes says, oh just give up, then I can take action and stay consistent too!”

But the action you take has to have some serious INTENSITY!


Most of the women I have met focus with great intensity, to the point of obsession on calories, the scale and dieting instead of putting that same kind of intensity into training; the right kind of training.

If you like to take a spin class, that is excellent. However, if you do that 5 days per week and don’t weight train, you are only going to get so far with how you want your body to look.

FACT: Weight training is the number one best method of reshaping and sculpting your body.

Maybe you are intense about inputting all of the calories and macros into your tracking app and tied to that thing like it’s your diet solution, the way you will succeed. You look at it like you would a bank account at the end of the month when the rent is due; this is how much I have left, I better not go over.

Did you know that most of the nutritional values in those apps are wrong?

They are usually entered as customized by the user. That’s why you might see 1 “serving” of almonds showing up as both 120 and 800 calories. It is not consistently accurate.

Not only that… the law allows for a 20% margin of error in government food labels!

WHAT DO I CALL INTENSE? Let me break down what happens on any given day of training at this stage of life.

It depends on a bunch of things, but generally, 60 minutes at least is what I need right now.

Again, depends on a bunch of things. Is that voice speaking up saying – “Susan, watch that shoulder, don’t push through it,” so I make adjustments.

Here is a KEY; during my workout time, I am non stop. The focus is on maintaining muscle while training for everyday life, flexibility and maximum fat loss.

My cardio generally happens as I weight train and I implement cross-training; please don’t confuse that with CrossFit, these are completely different and not interchangeable.

As a result, my heart rate remains elevated throughout my entire workout and often while I have resistance training going on at the same time. I train to my edge which means I can’t tell you what rep range that is because it can change on the fly, but I prefer to go the route of the RPE scale – Rate of Perceived Exertion.

If you don’t have one of those, you can click at the bottom of this email to download a PDF of the RPE I use.

In short, if you are 10-15 minutes in and you are not feeling the RPE at 7 or higher, you are not working hard enough. Don’t just count the reps on the fitness program you are following. FEEL what you are doing!

There is so much more I want to tell you, but I am going to wrap it up for now. Remember to download the RPE if you need to and again, hit reply on this email if you have any questions.


So many women are doing this for HOURS and DAYS at a time and when I see them in the gym, their bodies are not changing. What’s just as sad is that it’s usually some trainer who told them to do it because it’s all they know.

That’s gotta stop!

Thanks for sharing some time with me, now go get to your workout if you haven’t already! 🙂