Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mambo Mania to be Featured in Major Women's Mag in Feb 09

A major women's magazine will be reviewing Mambo Mania in its February 2009 issue. Special thanks my favorite writer who reviewed my Flex'n, Stretch'n, Pump'n Mambo Mania DVD for recommending it to readers.

I hope one day soon you'll come by Personal Best so we can Mambo Mania together!

I'll post the publication in January!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dancing with the Stars Injuries: Cursed or Klutzes?

Dancing is a very physical art form. Its demands on the body go far beyond the aesthetic qualities of a perfectly extended leg, pointed toes or correct body alignment. A recent query from the press asked why “Dancing with the Stars” participants, pros and celebrities alike, are dropping like flies from injuries. They wanted to know if the dancers were cursed, klutzes, or if their injuries were just part and parcel of life as a dancer.

Well, the pros certainly aren’t klutzes, and for the most, part neither are the celebrities, and chances are, they aren’t cursed. I believe the reasons for these injuries are an aggregate of problems. First off, these dancers/celebrities are over-training. They sometimes spend 3 to 6, even 7 hours a day rehearsing for a show. And that’s over and above their grueling work week from their other careers.

Overuse of a muscle often times causes injury. A dance rehearsal that extends beyond 2 hours of intense movement is very hard on anybody, whether they’re fit or unfit. If the muscles and connective tissue do not receive sufficient recovery time after a hard workout, they are vulnerable to strains, stresses and tears. A good rule of thumb for sufficient muscle recovery is 24-48 hours between workouts. But, when the show must go on… and 3 days of rehearsals have to be crammed into one night- sometimes that equates to 6 to 7 hour of straight rehearsals. Under these circumstances, the muscles haven't had enough time to rest and recover. And when that scenario repeats over and over again, these dancers set themselves up for injuries.

When a muscle is worked to fatigue, a complicated set of chemical compounds shut down muscle function, it's an inherent survival mechanism built into our physiology. When we "manually override" that fatigue, the body recruits other energy sources to continue through the workout. And that “manual override” can cause normally strong and healthy tissue to weaken and become compromised, and in turn, develop strains and stresses. Just like a rubber band, when muscles and their connective tissues are pulled and stretched beyond their limit, they can snap under the stress.

In the case of athletic celebrities turned dancers, they need significant time to systematically acclimate themselves to new movement modalities. Even though they are in great shape and have strong and supple muscles they still need “sports specific training”- training their muscles for specific movements akin to the new sport. For example, Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Mae’s muscles are trained for her specific sport, beach volleyball. Her body is used to digging hard into the soft sand and with explosive power, jump into the air to spike the ball. Then, when she took that tremendous power to a dancer’s hardwood floor- and dug into that surface like she's used to doing on the beach, BAM, her Achilles tendon ripped right off.

Also, doing complicated tricks and acrobatics add an additional risk factor to these dancers. If the balance and positioning is not precise while in the air, chances are the landing will cause strain on a joint or, a landing on the head. Gravity is pretty unforgiving.

I would recommend to Dancing with the Stars participants to condition their bodies in a better fashion. First off, they should all include strength training (resistance training, with weights or even Pilates- where one uses their own body’s weight as the resistive force) as part of their workout regimen. These exercises will greatly minimize the chances of injuries because they’ll increase muscle strength and enhance elasticity.

They should also take extra time to stretch and cool down after each workout to sufficiently relax the muscles and allow for an immediate brief recovery period. Then, they need to rest a good 24-48 hours in between rehearsals- they have a week to prepare for the show so, that’s doable. They should use “economy of exercise” when they rehearse. By marking (walking through the steps rather that dancing full out) in most of the rehearsals and they can save the full out moves for one or two times prior to the show. Then they can give 100% at show time.

It's not worth the injury to do the triple back flip that won't score the highest points- especially if someone lands on their head. So, the short answer to that media query is, these guys aren't klutzes, and they aren't cursed, they simply are not being careful and thoughtful of their bodies. Being a dancer is a very grueling sport, but, it doesn’t have to be that way. In short, as long as one listens to their body, understands their limitations, strengthens their weakness, and creates the best of choreography within the confines of their limitations- they’ll be DANCING WITH THE STARS!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kim Kardashian Knows it & Rocco Believes it - Dancing is Great Exercise

Have you been watching ABC's Dancing with the Stars this season? If so, you have seen the stars learning some beautiful Latin dance moves. Kim Kardashian recently told OK! Magazine that she is hoping the show will help her transform her figure and Rocco DiSpirito said with great enthusiasm that dancing should be America's Health Plan. What a great message to send out to our country.

I love watching the men and women in my Mambo Mania classes transform from self-doubters (two left feet) to confident, fit, smiling dancers. We have so much fun doing Mambo Mania and it really is transforming lives. See for yourself here.

I was asked by the New York Daily News to comment about Dancing for fitness - you can read the story here.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and shake your colita America!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thank You Avon Walkers! What a Great Day!

This past weekend I had the distinct pleasure and honor to lead the warm-up for over 3,000 participants walking 39 miles in 2 days for Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Los Angeles.

It was awesome. I'll upload some photos in the next day or two. There was a professional photographer there whom I happened to have known, he was one of my Mambo Mania students from way back. Those shots should be on the Avon site.

It was a very emotional experience for me, which caught me by surprise. I cried as I thought about my friend Toni and how precious our friendship was - how sad it was to lose her to this disease so young. But, I was inspired by the grit and enthusiasm of the participants, some were survivors, others supporters of those survivors and still others, like me, standing up for the cause because we lost a dear and loved one to the disease.

It was quite a thrill watching the sea of hips moving to Mambo Mania. As soon as we made that first swaggering hip movement, the crowd started to roar. They loved it! (Next year we need to bring our own music.) Anyway, it was wonderful and I am completely looking forward to more events like this one.

You can read the press release here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Photos from IDEA World Fitness

Wow, what a week at IDEA! We met some amazing people like Shelley at ExerciseTV & Harry at Aleve and Shaya, what a doll!

Here are some more pictures from Friday - we were on the Performance Stage 2 times and it was a blast. Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for Mambo Mania!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

MAMBO MANIA Is Happening in Vegas & It's Not Staying There!

Greetings from Day 3 of IDEA World Fitness in HOT Vegas. Here are some photos of our booth and all the fun we are having!

LOTS more Mambo Mania to come tomorrow - we'll on the Performance Stage at 12:40 & 1:40 pm and dancing ALL DAY at our Booth #1133 of course!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Come Cha Cha with me at IDEA!

If you're at the IDEA World Fitness convention in Las Vegas this week please come by the Mambo Mania booth #1133 and let's Cha Cha!

I am teaching classes all day long and I'm giving away FREE downloads of Cha Cha combinations and handing choreography notes at the booth.

Come by and shake your colita with Clarita!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Choosing the Right Shoes for your Workouts can Prevent Serious Injuries

The hottest trend in cardio fitness today is LATIN! Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Merengue and more. And my Mambo Mania workout is the sassy, Cuban swing that is sweeping the world of Latin Fitness. But, to perform these fun, sassy and sultry moves safely, one must be equipped with the right kind of foot gear.

Smooth-soled sneakers are the best choice for these types of dance oriented classes and fortunately there are more available than ever before, thanks to the Latin trend. It used to be that you could purchase "dance sneakers" only from Danskin, Capezzio's, Block, and other dance shoe manufacturers. But now, most of the big named brand fitness shoe manufactures have come around to idea of these appropriately designed shoes for aerobic dancing.

Most cross trainers or running shoes are designed for heavy duty traction. If you wear these in Mambo Mania classes, your feet will stick to the floor's surface. This can lead to serious injuries. Many of the movements in these Latin classes require pivots and turns. If your foot is stable and the rest of your body continues turn around it, severe torque is placed at the ankle and the knee. Calf and knee injuries are common if the wrong type of foot gear is worn. Only a smooth soled shoe without traction will allow the necessary rotation required for those movements.

By choosing these smooth soled shoes, you can insure that you will have a fun and SAFE experience do your sassy Cuban swing. Very sexy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Grab a Buddy & Get Moving!

Throughout my 30 years experience, as a Group X and personal trainer, I have witnessed hundreds of success stories in the fitness business. Most of these successes can be attributed to the camaraderie community and support systems we establish upon embarking on our fitness journeys. Unfortunately, the flip side of those successes is the 1000's of enthusiasts who simply quit before they reach the rewards of a sustained and long-term exercise program.

The reasons people “drop out” are numerous. There are time constraints; we live in a time-starved society. Also, the type of program we implement may not suit our lifestyle or personality. For instance, some young hunk of a personal trainer has you lifting heavy duty weights and makes the workout seem laborious and boring. Sometimes in the case of weight loss, the psychology behind holding on to our excess weight carries a bigger reward than losing it. So we just hold on to it and give up our Group X class.

In order to overcome these antagonistic forces, we must embrace the power of socialization and the buddy system. They will become our anchors and will help us stay the course. Teaming with a spouse, friend is great and having a work buddy is great especially if you share a similar schedule and presumably the same lifestyle.

Group X has been known as the great socialization system within the health club industry. Here we can meet our friends after work; work buddies can carpool and save on gas and parking, a great bonus these days. Together you can have fun dancing, pumping and stretching like we do every day in Mambo Mania. We tend to encourage each other in this environment. We high five each other after executing a great cardio combination with great moves and exciting music. We recognize the changes in our bodies as we see how these workouts help melt away the pounds. We get to wear the latest, hippest fitness clothes that show off our new bodies, and we are constantly complimenting each other. Whether it’s Group X or working out with a buddy in the weight room – take it from me if you want guarantees on your results and your goals then grab a friend/buddy and get moving!

Monday, May 19, 2008

More Americans are Turning to Latin Dancing for Exercise

The American Council of Exercise (ACE) recently identified new trends in fitness for 2008. You know Mambo Mania is exhilarating and sexy, and you know it makes you feel great, but did you know that Mambo Mania is also TRENDY?

According to ACE, more Americans will be taking up spicy Latin Dancing as a way of exercise, thanks in part to the success of ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars." This is music to my Cubana ears! If you have not tried Mambo Mania yet, here’s a way to try it for FREE. Please visit and check out the preview of Flex’n, Stretch’n, Pump’n Mambo Mania. This five-minute video will give you a taste of how sexy and fun Mambo Mania really is. I promise you’ll be wanting more!

Are you ready to sizzle off those extra pounds and feel sexy too? You will learn Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Mambo and more! Come on, it’s fun and according to ACE, everyone’s doing it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sexy & Fit

The great thing about Mambo Mania is that it allows you to "unzip" yourself! What a great, sexy feeling!

Friday, May 2, 2008

To Stretch or Not to Stretch!

Stretching prior to exercise helps prevent muscular injury, right? That is not what the current trends in scientific data indicate. On the contrary, studies show an increase in injury with pre-exercise flexibility training.

First, let’s differentiate stretching from a warm-up. It’s crucially important to do a warm-up before a workout. A warm-up starts out slowly and gradually and systematically recruits muscles which will be used later on in the workout. A proper warm-up increases blood flow to the muscles and increases the body’s temperature. It prepares the ligaments, tendons, nervous and cardio vascular systems for the upcoming exercises.

Stretching increases range of motion, reduces stress, provides relaxation, and increases muscle function. But, the conclusive evidence from the research is: benefits from stretching are best derived after your warm-up and again after your entire workout session.

There are several types of stretching techniques but the most common are– static, dynamic, ballistic, active and, passive.

A static stretch is a muscle extension taken to its fullest length and held for an elongated period of time; minimum 20 to 30 seconds.

Dynamic stretches are controlled movements done through a full range of motion, like big arm circles.

Ballistic stretching uses momentum and bouncing to extend the length of muscle beyond its normal range of motion. This type of stretching can be damaging to the muscles and connective tissue and potentially cause injury.

An active stretch is a held position which uses no outside force or assistance to maintain the posture, one simply uses the body’s own force from opposing muscles. Many Yoga poses require active stretching.

A passive stretch allows the muscles to relax into position by the assistance of a partner or apparatus. An example of a passive stretch would be a straight leg pull while you lie on your back, reach the leg toward the ceiling and clasp the hands behind the leg for increased lengthening of the muscle.

Clarita and all our teachers at Personal Best practice proper stretching techniques for all types of training modalities. Our goal is to help you maximize the elasticity of your muscles and ultimately improve their functionality. But most of all, we want you to have a fun workout within the confines of safety.

As you ladies (and gentlemen) prepare your bodies for the long arduous Avon Walk for Women’s Breast Cancer always keep in mind the need for a proper warm-up followed by stretches for your calves, legs, and hips. Those are the muscles you’ll be using throughout the walk. Good luck and be safe!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Join Me This Saturday for the Los Angeles Avon Mock Walk

This Saturday, April 26th come join me for the Los Angeles Avon "mock" walk in Long Beach beginning at 8:00 am. This is the kick-off for those who will be training for the Avon Walk in September. The "mock" walk will begin at the Belmont Olympic Pool in Long Beach. Star 98.7 will be there to pump up the crowd with music and I will be leading the stretching with some of my Mambo Mania moves! Plan on coming down and joining us, I would love to meet you and walk with you. Maybe then you can stop by my Personal Best studio in San Pedro for some relaxing body treatments.

Participants in the Avon Walk raise funds for breast-cancer awareness and research. For more information how you can participate please visit the Avon Walk website, and visit my blog on Monday to hear about my experience at the mock walk!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


"The Entrepreneur's Quest for their Personal Best Workshop"
Friday, April 18
8:00 am to 11:00 am

Did you know that physical fitness is directly related to business success?
Physical exercise has been proven to improve focus and decision making, decrease mental fog and fatigue, improve the energy needed to meet the challenges of running a business, generate focus, increase productivity, and provide resistance to stress and anxiety.
Creating a balance between your personal and business health is not as difficult as you may think. We'll show you how.

The Entrepreneur's Quest for Their Personal Best workshop will provide you with practical ways to integrate exercise and better eating habits into your busy work schedule, giving you the tools you need to improve your physical, mental, and business fitness.

Location: Personal Best Whole Life Warehouse
Address: 643 West 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
Date: April 18, 2008
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Cost: $129.00/person
Register NOW

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. The Entrepreneurial Warm-up
As an entrepreneur you're very busy, but not too busy to get fit! Meet your fellow entrepreneurs, enjoy energy-packed snacks, and learn how physical fitness has been demonstrated to increase sales and productivity.

8:30 - 9:15 a.m. Mambo Mania!
It's time to get fit! Sizzle away the pounds with fun, hot, Latin moves led by renowned fitness expert Clarita Bassett.

9:15 - 9:45 a.m. Refuel, Refresh, & Rejuvenate
Eating healthier is easier than you think! Refuel your body with healthy refreshments while Clarita leads a discussion on making better food choices to keep your brain cells snapping throughout the day. See which "grab and go" snacks are perfect for increasing your energy and keeping you focused.

9:45 - 10:45 a.m. The Entrepreneurial Mindset
It's time to jog your mind! Jackie Nagel, Entrepreneurial Strategist and author, will discuss the unique characteristics of the entrepreneurial mindset and the role physical fitness plays in achieving the mindset entrepreneur's need to succeed. Jackie will provide insight into the core strategies needed to help you maneuver smoothly through the stages of business growth and development. You'll receive a workbook and an assessment to identify the key areas you need to focus on to build and strengthen your business.

10:45 - 11:00 a.m. The Entrepreneurial Cool-down What's next?!
Jackie and Clarita will help you develop a plan of action for incorporating everything you've learned into your daily schedule. You're ready to attack the rest of the day!

Register NOW
Personal Best Enterprises, Inc.
643 West 6th StreetSan Pedro, California 90731

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Beginning of Perfection!

The statement above was taken from Barack Obama’s brilliant speech where he explained the reality of our current social and political views on race. It made me think about how we, at Personal Best, strive to achieve perfection too. We strive for perfection for our bodies and our minds. We attend Mambo Mania classes, follow meal plans, take advantage of body treatments and therapy, all for the sake of being the best we can be. And still, no perfection.

On the other hand, we know that we are on the path toward perfection. Along the way, we inevitably come to the realization that we will never get there, at least not in this lifetime. Nevertheless, we keep forging ahead. We continue the journey because we are on the right path. We are headed toward positive, uplifting, realistic goals and ideals; for our bodies, our minds and our spirits.

I video taped our Mambo Mania class the other night, and while I watched the playback, I realized why we continue. I witnessed pure grace and abandonment as my students gyrated, danced Mambo and “sizzled away the pounds.” Everyone had their own unique swagger and style as they danced to cha cha, salsa, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. I saw joy, laughter, smiles, and claps. I watched how students encouraged and edified each other. Everyone had a blast. In the end, everyone walked out feeling better than when they walked in.

For some of us, an hour of Mambo Mania takes the edge off a stressful day, for others, it expends extra calories and burns unwanted fat. As I watched the video, I noticed how my students’ physics look stronger and leaner than ever before. They are healthier, happier and their body language; through those hot Latin moves, express pure fun and enjoyment.

Since our doors opened for business a few months ago, our mission has been to transform people’s lives into being their Personal Best. Now, because of my students’ loyal patronage, sheer determination and commitment, we are proudly witnessing that transformation before our very eyes.

I guess the most profound aspect of being at the “beginning of perfection” is the process itself. It’s the only thing that is perfect. We, are simply the byproduct of our approach.

Thank you and congratulations!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Into Your New Year's Resolution

Yes, it’s March!! What happened to your New Year’s Resolution to make exercise and proper nutrition a part of your everyday life?

Not so good, huh? I know. Me too. I was going to eat 6 small meals a day which included a well balanced diet of proteins, good carbs and essential fats. I was going to meditate every morning before the start of my busy day and connect with my spiritual guru and then every night, before going to bed, I was going to review and digest the happenings of the day. Then, I was going to express my gratitude for all the blessings in my life before “I’d lay me down to sleep.”

The reality is that I’ve followed my perfect diet only 2 or 3 days of the week, not everyday. Although I’ve been good about my morning meditation, even if I sit for only 15 minutes in quite solitude, the profoundness of my spiritual quest isn’t as deep as I’d like it to be. As I move into the rest of my day, I quickly forget the promises I’ve made to myself and God and let my ego get the best of me. At night, when I’m finished with my usual 13 hour day, I’m just too tired to count my blessings.

So, now what? It’s March. The first quarter 2008 is almost gone, how am I ever going to reach my ultimate goal of being my “Personal Best”? How can I be the best role model possible for my students?

By restating my intention and resolve to improve my nutritional, physical and spiritual approaches all over again, NOW! As soon as I finish eating my salsa and chips snack, (which is actually a healthy and low calorie snack) I’m going to prepare for tonight’s healthy and well balanced dinner of chicken salad and a fruit bowl with yogurt for a late night snack.

Tonight, before I go to bed, I’ll count my blessings. Tomorrow morning, I’ll allow myself to retreat into a deep meditation and align myself with pure and honorable principles which will guide me through the rest of my day. And, I’ll eat proper meals throughout the rest of the day, and of course exercise (which, by default, is an easy thing for me.)

Let’s just resolve to evolve into our “Personal Best.” I know you, too, had the best intentions when you began your new fitness and nutritional program at the beginning of the year. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t where you think you should be. Reset your goals right NOW. Let me alleviate your stress about not staying on track. The truth is, life happens and sometimes we’re derailed from our path. The key is to acknowledge the fact that you’re off track. Once you’ve done that, just get back on it. It’s OK. This is a process. There’s no magic wand that any of us can wave to completely change our behavioral patterns. We must cultivate a new behavior slowly, deliberately and attentively, until it solidifies as part of our being.

Here are a few tips to help you get back on track.

Success is just below the surface:

1. To kick start your fitness regimen; take a short 10 minute walk outside. Spring is upon us and now is the perfect time for outdoor activity- even if it’s just a short walk after tonight’s dinner.
2. Pamper yourself a little tonight. Take a hot bath, give yourself a mini facial, just a simple cleanse, mask and moisturizer. Then put your jammies on and stretch the back of your thighs by reaching for your toes- hold for 20 seconds, (make sure you bend your knees and pull in your tummy).
3. Before going to bed, think of a loved one, and if they’re by your side, go give them a kiss and tell them how much you love them today and forever.
4. Then go spend some quite time alone, reminisce about your day. Count your blessings and feel gratitude. Declare and affirm your intentions repeatedly in your mind.
5. Sleep clear headed and with a sense of knowing you have lived a successful day to its fullest. Anticipate a bright tomorrow.
6. In the morning, you’ll be ready for a NEW day. Begin with morning meditation, just sit quietly, don’t think, just breath. Connect the blissfulness of a good night’s sleep with the anticipation of a brand new day.
7. Eat a bowl of oatmeal. (I like putting raisons in mine!)
8. Make a statement out loud, a declaration, about your recommitment and goal to your fitness, nutritional and spiritual growth. Write it down and, sometime today, share it with someone you trust. Accountability is part of a successful plan.
9. Make a list of tasks that need to be done today. Prioritize, you will attend to the most important ones first and if you get to the next, and the next, etc., it will be great!
10. Take action!! If weight-loss is your goal, take out that outfit that’s drifted into the “black hole” of your closet, and collecting dust, waiting for one of your skinny days to finally see the light of day. I know it’s painful and even nauseating to suck in your gut in that far just to snap the waist band closed. But, do it anyway and wear it today.

You might wonder why I’m suggesting you wear that tight outfit. I know it might literally be a pain to do this and I agree you will be uncomfortable for a while. (Oh, make sure you take a good look at yourself in the mirror before walking outside. I don’t want you to look ridiculous, be reasonable with your choice.) But, that discomfort is ok. Pain has been defined as an unpleasant sensation felt when one is seriously stuck, injured or sick. It is a gauge that monitors where we are at the moment. When the pain gets bad enough and you can’t stand the feeling any longer, you will take the proper measures to move towards relief and pleasure. Continue to declare you newly renewed intentions and goals and continue to move in the direction of pure and good natured pleasure. If you go off course, get back on the track. See you at the end of the road!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Choosing the Right Sports Bra: Are You Supported?

As a fitness instructor, women often come to me with questions about health and exercise, as well as body image and self-confidence. All of these issues are interrelated. I have found that one of the most personal issues that my students want to know about, but don’t like to ask, is how to keep their breasts firm even when committed to a tough regimen of daily exercise.

This is an issue I know a lot about since I personally workout by myself or with my Mambo Mania classes an average of 5 hours a day. Breast tissue that is inadequately protected during such rigorous activities will allow the breast to “bounce.” Even with slight movement, breast tissue stretches, leading to unwanted sagging and stretch marks. High-impact aerobics, horseback riding and other “bouncy” activities leave the breasts most susceptible to damage. The solution is to keep the breasts well-protected and supported during exercise using a sports bra, as well as to maintain a nutritious and well-balanced diet.

Many women ask me why this happens. After all, isn’t the female body designed to run around? While it is, with age we find that the breasts inevitably begin to sag. There are multiple reasons for this—including genetics, breast feeding, drastic weight change, posture, health problems, and of course, gravity and age. Ptosis, which is the medical term for sagging, is more specifically caused by the deterioration of the glandular tissues collagen and elastin that maintain firmness, as well as the gradual stretching of connective tissue between the breast and the muscles. Note that sagging is not necessarily related to how large the breasts are. Breasts are composed of both heavy and light tissues, and it is the balance of the two that creates the ultimate shape.

Exercising without proper support will accelerate the whole sagging process as well, and this is why I always recommend the use of a proper sports bra. How do you know if your current bra fits the bill? Consider these questions:

1. Do your breasts feel completely secure during your entire workout?
2. Is each breast supported in a separate cup?
3. Does the bra dry easily even through a rigorous and sweaty exercise routine?

If you were unable to answer “yes” to all of these questions, it’s time to invest in a new bra (or two!). In fact, it’s always a good idea to carry an extra bra in your exercise bag to change into after your workout.

Going shopping for a new sports bra should be a fun activity. But as important as style and personal taste is, make sure that ultimately you choose a bra that has these necessary qualities:

  • Always try on a sports bra the first time you buy. Stretch, reach, jump around and run in place to simulate a workout environment. Above all, the sports bra should provide a comfortable fit, even when you take a deep breath.

  • Preferably, choose a bra that supports your breasts completely from underneath, not with shoulder straps. (Also take care that straps don’t cut into your shoulders; otherwise you will be very uncomfortable by the end of your workout!)

  • Each breast should be housed in a separate, molded cup. This is to prevent the breasts from bumping into each other during exercise, causing tissue damage or even bruises. (If you're smaller-breasted this is less of an issue.)

  • Sweat produced during a vigorous workout can lead to chafing. For this reason, be certain to purchase a sports bra that will dry easily and not become saturated with moisture.

  • Buy T-Back bras so that the straps don’t show through. It’s also a good idea to try on the bra with your workout outfit just to be sure the colors don’t show!

Once you’ve got a comfortable number of sports bras in your closet, it’s time to get out and use them! You should also throw out your old bras promptly as the elastic breaks down and the bra loses its ability to support. Remember, the investment in proper equipment is an investment in your health.

One last point: I would be remiss if I didn’t stress the importance of a balanced diet. Like all cells in our body, glandular tissue in the breast requires proper nourishment to continue to produce healthy cells. Though many women overlook this fact, eating well is one of the most significant things we can do to maintain a youthful appearance, including maintaining the firmness of our bodies. Check out my Metabolic Cure for a nutritional plan to get healthy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well, hello there and Happy Valentine's Day!

If there’s one day that calls for enthusiastic sex, it’s today. Did you know that if you and your sweetheart engage in vigorous intercourse tonight (or today), you might burn up to 170 calories - or more? And, did know that if you spark the flame with a bit of sweet, dark chocolate, your chances of “synching the deal” increase?

A 130-lb person can burn about seven calories per five minutes of vigorous sex. That’s 84 calories an hour - keep it up for 2 hours, and you’ll burn close to 170 calories. Now, I know what you’re saying…2 hours??? Yes, 2 hours. You do need muscular endurance (to hold positions), cardio conditioning (to keep pumpin’) and flexibility (to get into those creative positions). You can achieve this sensual “training” effect if you and your partner work together and commit to making the best of your “personal time” together.

The reason I’m adamant about a regular, comprehensive exercise regimen that includes cardio (preferably Mambo Mania style - because of the gyrations your hips must exert!), muscle conditioning (strength training) and stretching, is because I know how intricately important those element are in helping you live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. And what is lifestyle without the promise of good, clean, hot and heavy sex!

And yes, buy the chocolate Valentine's candies for your honey. Studies have shown that dark chocolate helps with increased dilation of your blood vessels, (allowing for greater blood flow) which could help with genital stimulation.

No chocolate could be a deal breaker. Be safe!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Healthy Living Tips - Part I

1. The best place to begin healthy daily living is in your own living room. Every morning, before you begin your day, before you eat your first meal, sit quietly and breathe. (You may want to ingest a glass of room-temperature water before your meditation as most of us wake up dehydrated from a night’s sleep.) Yogis have done this for thousands of years and the benefits transcend the physical, transporting you into a spiritual dimension that will calm your whirlwind of thoughts. This internal stillness will remain dominant throughout the rest of your day and help you to maintain measured composure no matter what the day may bring.

2. Have a good attitude. Did you know that smiling actually makes you feel happier by signaling the brain to release mood stimulants? Your mood is partly dependent on what you make of it so get outdoors when it's not too cold, socialize, and take necessary breaks from work and stress. And smile. It’s one of the healthiest things you can do for your own well-being.

3. Exercise! Whether it’s Mambo Mania, yoga, Pilates, cardiovascular training (power walking, running, jogging, aerobic dancing, swimming, biking or working on cardio equipment) most everyone can enjoy the benefits of regular exercise. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, is a great de-stresser, helps weight loss, increases muscle strength, bone mass and endurance, and may even help reduce the risk of cancer. You can go to your local gym and take classes, hire a personal trainer, go for a walk around the block or go to your local pool for a regular swim. Heck, take your bike out and cruise the neighborhood. It’s all in good health!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Did You See Us in the Los Angeles Times?

Personal Best was featured as one of Los Angeles' best neighborhood gyms last week. In case you missed it, here's what it said:

It's the small things

L.A. has its fair share of neighborhood gyms that offer less and more than big-box fitness centers.

January 7, 2008

>>PERSONAL BEST - Havana-born dancer and fitness trainer Clara Bassett, also known as Clarita, brings a touch, well, more than a touch, of Latin flair to the Mambo Mania fitness, yoga and Pilates classes at her new studio. In fact, Personal Best even offers a class called Yoga Suave, which combines Kundalini yoga with salsa movements to "reach the lower chakras," Bassett says. The studio, which opened in September, attracts an eclectic group of neighborhood artists and longshoremen, who seem to prefer the power yoga and salsa classes.<<

You can check out the entire article HERE

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Making that New Years Resolution Stick - Tips to Sustain a Workout Regimen

Bienvenidos and welcome. By visiting my blog today, you are already one step closer to a healthier new you. The goal of this blog is to accomplish my mission of helping you be your personal best so, I hope you’ll come back regularly and email me often. I’d love to hear from you.

It’s a new year, the best time for a fresh start and, if getting in shape is your goal…way to go! But, WARNING... if you’re like most people, you’ll find that adhering to a newly adopted fitness program may inevitably be overridden by your old habits. So, if you're watching NBC's Biggest Loser and wondering if you can get into shape too, here’s some advice to get started and, more importantly, sustain your exercise regimen.

Adopting and then adhering to a new exercise regimen is heavily based on behavior modification. If you don't exercise regularly, you have yet to develop the synapses that will ultimately strengthen that habit. A synapse is a junction between two nerve cells where the club-shaped tip of a nerve fiber almost touches another cell in order to transmit signals in your brain. You must cultivate the new habit of exercise by regularly stimulating those nerve cells to repeatedly fire signals between one another. Your synapses increase plasticity the more you stimulate the firing of signals between them just as a muscle becomes stronger the more you repeat a physical function. Through repeated thoughts connected to specific physically activity, you will strengthen those synapses and ingrain the new habit into your mind. At first, the habit of NOT working out is much stronger than the new habit of working out. So, you must cultivate and develop your newly adopted habit by simultaneously incorporating new actions and cognitive thoughts about that action, on a daily bases. As Nike says, “just do it”, over and over again.

Here’s how you can develop the habit of exercise.

1. First of all, you must set your sights on a "goal"- without it, the dream of becoming fit can easily fizzle away with any little distraction.

2. Goals must be "Smart" goals. They must be:

Specific- Example: "I'm going to lose 15 pounds.

Measurable- You need to be accountable to yourself by periodically checking your progress. To check your progress, you must have a “baseline” or starting point for future reference and comparisons. I recommend you measure weight, body fat and metabolic rate. Every 30 days, remeasure and compare. If you've been following a sound fitness program (and eating healthy, well portioned meals) you will realize several small victories along the way. Every little victory will compel you to continue and move closer to your ultimate goal.

Action- Discipline yourself to physically get up and move! Whether you hire a personal trainer, join a club, buy a bike or a treadmill, or follow along with my Mambo Mania DVD’s – the surgeon general prescribes a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio vascular exercise most days of the week. Now mind you, this is simply to maintain general health and well being. To reach your goal, you'll have to do more.

Realistic- The crux to successfully reaching your goal is to set a realistic goal. The only way to lose weight in a healthy fashion is to lose 1-2 lbs per week. If you have 15 lbs to lose, it will take you 15 weeks, (3 1/2 months). So, if your goal is to be in shape for that wedding, that family reunion, or some other occasion, you need to check you calendar and outline your strategy NOW!

Target- Make a circle on your calendar - keep that date in mind and go do something today! You may not be able to do 30 minutes of cardio in one fell swoop so, start with 5 minutes of cardio then do 2 or 3 muscle conditioning exercises (your trainer can help you with these. If you don’t have a trainer, go to my site order my Flex’n Stretch’n Pump’n Mambo Mania DVD-there are several muscle conditioning exercises in the “Flex’n sections of the workout.). I recommend a comprehensive workout for best results, meaning- include cardio, muscle conditioning, flexibility exercises along with proper nutrition. Your second week, increase your cardio to 10 minutes and add 2 new muscle conditioning exercises. Week 3- increase cardio to 15 minutes and add an additional 2-3 muscle conditioning exercises… so on and so forth. Attempt to increase your cardio to 30 minutes and to do 9-12 muscle conditioning exercise.

3. The current research says that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Do your program for 21 days straight and your chances of creating a new habit are in the bag! Good luck!
For great tips and workout programs to help you on your way, please visit my Mambo Mania website to check out all my DVDs and my Metabolic Cure nutritional program.