Lighten Up

17 Apr

Many of my clients attributed their weight gain to the insane weather we had this winter. Most of the doctors I work with also thought that the weather may be the reason so many if their patients have gained weight. It was a brutal winter, but there were a lot of people who got in better shape so what was different for them? Desire, focus and perserverence.

Personally when I look at client’s habits, I don’t care what the excuses are. There will always be excuses. There will never be enough time. What matters to me is what someone is willing to do about where they are now. Think about it, if you gained 40 pounds this winter, you are no longer a slim trim fighting machine. You probably feel tired, your clothes are probably tight, and everything takes a little more effort. It is what it is, but what are you going to do about it? Rather than lay on the couch feeling frustrated, I have outlined 10 ideas that will help you lighten your load mentally and physically.

Spring will be here and then it will be bathing suit season. Even if you don’t care about how you look in a thong bikini or speedo, why not look and feel your best. Why not live every day feeling like a Rockstar?

1. Drink water. Your skin looks better, you’ll have less headaches and you’ll be less likely to overeat. If you are not a fan of water, add Crystal Lite or slices of fruit. A lemon in warm water is great for alkalizing the body.

2. Sleep. Your body recovers and your muscles repair during rest. People function better with a good night’s rest and also tend to eat less.

3. Eat a salad a day and make it colorful. There are so many vegetables like cucumber, peppers, celery, romaine, arugula, carrots. You can add as many veggies as you would like and top with 1/2 an avocado and protein. Yummy!

4. Make your own dressing and it will be less calories, less preservatives and taste so much better. Try squeezing a lemon over the salad and add a little balsamic vinegar, with extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of marine salt.

5. Have 3-5 ounces of protein at every meal. I love to put tuna or chicken in my salads. It helps me get fuller quicker and helps me to maintain my lean muscle mass, so my body is firmer.

6. Let go of the negativity and the things you can’t control. Negativity is toxic and eventually your thoughts dictate your actions. Instead of saying to yourself that you feel fat and tired, look in the mirror and tell yourself that today you are on your way to achieving great things.

7. Adopt a mantra. When things get tough, have a saying that gets you through. Whenever I started to feel tired or thirsty during the Barcelona marathon, I repeated to myself, “this is what you came for.” Some other ones I’ve used are listed below.
“You are a Superstar!”
“This is My time to shine!”
“Go hard or go home.”
“Get after it!”
“You only got one shot.”
“I am so lucky to be here!”
“This makes me better.”
“Get uncomfortable.”

8. Find the fun! Life is too short to be miserable. Even when a task or challenge seems impossible, there is always a way you can make it enjoyable! I like to invite friends to train with me, join me for a cleanse, or meet afterwards so my workouts are motivating and I can socialize with friends.

9. Expand your horizons. We become creatures of habit and tend to do the same thing every day. This is safe, but it gets boring after awhile. Change it up this Spring. Pick up a new hobby, try a new fitness class, try a new tea or visit a new city. You grow through experiences outside of your comfort zone and it builds confidence.

10. Let go of the excess baggage. You live one life and letting go is the only way to lighten the load. You and your actions are the only things standing in the way of your happiness. If something makes you sad, let it go. Something better will come your way.

Let me know how you lightened your load by commenting to this blog.

In Health and Happiness,



Olympian Mindset

26 Feb

In spirit of the winter olympics, I’d like to talk about the olympian mindset and what makes these athletes the best of the best. Some people like to think that olympians are genetically gifted. Perhaps some of them do have a perfect genetic makeup for their sport, but what separates one olympian from another?  These athletes are the best of the best, there isn’t much difference among them, especially the top 3 in each sport. When the top 3 show up to compete, the athlete that wins by a tenth of a tenth of a second proves that the mindset is even more important.

These principles are from books and interviews with the world’s best olympians. These are principles you can use to be your best self. Even one change can bring you closer to creating the life of your dreams.

1. Build habits for success. Michael Phelp’s swimming coach has him swim without goggles on occasion so that if they got knocked off in a race, he would be fine. When you are in a tough decision, how do you respond? At 3:00 when you get hungry, do you eat unhealthy snacks from the vending machine? If so, change that habit and bring a stick of cheese and apple and stay away from the vending machine.

2. Eat to fuel your workout and keep it consistent. In my studies of many olympians diets, you will see many more vegetables than sweets, but you won’t see many named diets like Zone, Atkins, gluten-free, etc. Every meal is about giving them energy to perform at their top level. They choose foods that keep them mentally and physically strong. Often times they eat the same thing at the same time each day, even when they travel. How does your food fuel your performance? Do you eat at the same time each day? Are you aware of what you eat? Trying keeping a 3 day food log, then review it and determine whether your foods are fueling your performance.

3. Do 1 more. A friend of mine who was a basketball coach told me he had a nickname for one of his players that he brought to the olympics. He called him “mr. one more” because whenever the coach asked him to do a drill, he always gave him one more. Instead of doing 10 four hundreds, he did 11. The next time you are planning to do 20 minutes of cardio, why not do 21? If we all put a little more effort in, imagine how much faster we’d achieve our goals?

4. Don’t let injuries keep you down. Last winter Lindsey Vonn ran into trouble that culminated with a painful crash at the world championships in Austria. While landing a jump in the super-G event there, Vonn blew out her knee, requiring reconstructive surgery. She worked really hard to rehabilitate her knee and is focusing on competing again. What do you do when you are injured? Do you give up or focus on getting yourself stronger?

5. Surround yourself with people who are better than you or at your level. Many olympians train together and they use their peers to motivate them and challenge them to be better. It’s always interesting to me when I see two friends competing against each other in the olympics. Think about the people you surround yourself with. Do they inspire you to be better or do they slow you down?

6. Hire an expert to create a plan. Every olympian has a coach that creates a training plan for their athlete to ensure they are competition ready. Having run 20 marathons, I achieve my best times when I have a running coach and a 3-4 month plan to follow. Hire a trainer, swim coach, tri coach, or other expert to help you create a plan to achieve your goals.

7. Don’t get distracted. Olympians stay focused on the goal and to be the best, there is no other option. There will always be distractions, but you cannot let them impede your progress. I’ve had to spend less time with my party friends at certain times because I know a night of partying would prevent me from performing well the next day. Losing one long run in a marathon season can derail all of your efforts. 

8. Build a support system. Many olympians are married or in partnerships with other athletes or care takers because they understand and accept the lifestyle. This is a really important concept. If your spouse or partner doesn’t support your hours in the gym, eating habits, or sleep schedule, it becomes a challenge. I hear this complaint from many of my clients and it will create a lot of stress that will affect your results.

9. Be good to yourself. Olympians train like beasts but they also sleep 8 hours a night, get massages, take ice baths and treat their bodies well. It’s about balance and if you are training a lot, your body needs sleep and massages. Try to incorporate an additional 30 minutes of rest, join a monthly massage program, or spend some time on the roller each night. This part of the process is just as important as the training.

10. Stay positive. Shalene Flanagan is one of the most accomplished American runners in history and absolutely adorable in person. She had an absolutely horrific race where she just felt like walking off the course, but she didn’t. She didn’t place in the top 3 in that race, but she did win the next marathon she did. You’re not going to feel like a rockstar every day, so instead of letting the obstacles get you down, use them to make you stronger.

Your mind is your strongest muscle and the key to your success. I hope you can create a mindset that will help you succeed at whatever you choose to do. You have one life so go ahead, get started!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente


Technology & Your Health, Apple’s New IWatch

5 Feb

It all started with Polar back in the 90′s and every serious Spinner wore a heart rate monitor and tracked their zones while pedaling furiously to the beat of the music. Next was Garmin who created clunky watches to help runners monitor their speed and distance. Then of course there became smaller devices for blood glucosse monitoring, making it less painful for patients who prick their fingers on a daily basis.

 I am amazed at how many new tools there are to analyze data. Some of my favorite are Garmin watches, Polar heart rate monitors, and the Lose It app. There are so many different sources to track different types of data, but what if there was one tool to track everything? As competition and technology made these gadgets more accurate and more user friendly over the years, Apple has created a new gadget and platform to make health monitoring easy and comprehensive. has provided us with so many ways to track our health and fitness. Is the new Apple Iwatch the solution?

Read the following links from the Business Insider and the Guardian;


Would you buy one?

Let me know what you think.

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente


23 Jan


The Seawheeze half marathon registration opens today. The link is It’s a half marathon with a yoga event and big party to follow the weekend of August 23rd!  Come join the fun!

I will be organizing a team for the race and planning lots of fun activities that will include virtual training and live classes. You’ll be invited to try the hottest classes in the area and they will be featured on the blog as well. This will all be available to you if you subscribe to my blog. Yes, these perks are free for subscribers.

There will be a training group in Bethesda, Baltimore, and possibly one in Washington, DC. If you’d like to create a group in your area, send me a message at and I’ll help you get it started. A group of us will be working to organize fun events the weekend of the race so if you are coming by yourself, you will have a team of friends to hang out with all weekend. Training and racing should be fun so go ahead and sign up. You can have fun with us.

Got a cool idea, post it here. Got questions, email me at

Join team Madfitness for a healthy and fun experience!

In Health and Happiness,



The Comparathalon

21 Jan

Unlike the marathon or triathlon, the comparathalon will make you crazy. With social media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, someone is always posting about how great their life is. Yesterday when I looked on Facebook, I saw adorable pictures of one of my friends children, another one of my friends was traveling to yet another amazing island, and another friend just got a movie role. People are doing some pretty amazing things. I’ve even had several people comment on how many things I do and that it makes them feel they should be doing more.

There’s always someone doing better and always someone doing worse. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones. When you see other people’s accomplishments, how do you respond? Do you ask how it is possible? Do you get angry or annoyed? Do you ask, “why not me?” It’s easy to get jealous about someone else’s success but jealousy is like a disease. It’s unhealthy and nothing good will come out of it. Instead, you could use their accomplishments as motivation.

Below I’m going to share with you what I do when I see my friends, coworkers, and family becoming Superstars. It motivates me to achieve more and inspires me to reach for the stars. Go ahead and get inspired…

1. Get excited with them. My best friend just texted me that she won the Maui marathon and her daughter placed second in the 10k. I got so excited that I couldn’t stop smiling. I thought about the long run she took me on and felt like I was lucky to run with such an outstanding runner. I thought about her dedication and it inspired me to eat healthy and schedule my workouts for the week.

2. Remember everyone has different talents and different strengths. While your friend may be an amazing cook, you may be an amazing hostess. We all have God-given talents, so instead of being envious of your friend’s cooking skills, learn from her talents. If you love a dish she makes, ask her for a copy of the recipe.

3. Write SMART goals for each week. Think about making YOUR life amazing by planning strategies to achieve your goals. These goals need to be smart, measurable, achievable, real, and timely. My goal this week is to work out 6 times on my own, so I made appointments for 1 boxing, 2 Pure Barre, 1 OrangeTheory class and 2 Bikram Yoga class.

4. Ask the experts for advice. See something amazing that you want. Ask your friend or coworker how they did it. Three quarters of my clients loved my spinning classes so much and asked for my help so they too now teach Spinning at some of the hottest gyms in the area.

5. Look at all the facts. No one has a perfect life and the most amazing people often have to make huge sacrifices that you may not be willing to make. The only reason I can work out so much and teach as much as I do is because I love fitness, I don’t require a lot of sleep, I’m not married, and I don’t have kids. I wake up at 5am. If I was married and had children, there is no way I could do all I do right now. 

6. Sit back and make a list of all the wonderful things in your life. Realize that you have a lot of things to be happy for and happiness starts with you.

Don’t hate, Appreciate because someone is looking at your pictures and wishing they have what you have.

your bodys best year everIn Health and Happiness,


Go For What’s Hard

17 Jan

My friend recently posted this quote on facebook, “You have to do the hard things.” Most people don’t like doing things that are hard. There is always a chance of failure, being laughed at, or looking like a fool. Instead many people stay safe and do that which is easy, that which is comfortable. hmmm..sounds boring

So if you’ve been reading my blog, you probably already know that I love working out. True, but I dread track workouts. I will even admit that I’ve even driven to the track and instead of getting out and running, I spent the hour on my phone sitting inside my car. When I think about track, I think about cold wind, several layers of clothes and my legs possibly locking up, and my stomach gets queasy. There is something about having to sustain a very fast pace for several laps that makes me anxious. So let’s just say track is hard for me, very hard. 

I signed up for the Barcelona marathon and know that the only way I will get faster is by doing track workouts so this Wednesday I committed to joining the track team. I emailed the group and spent the rest of the day preparing for an 8.5 mile killer track workout. Around 5pm I received an email that the coach was sick. This was my out, but something in me said I needed to follow through. Then as I was driving to track, I hit a ton of traffic. I knew I’d be late and could have turned around and went home, but I continued driving toward the school.

I got to the track and didn’t see anyone that I knew and then a girl called my name. A big group of guys joined us and we started the workout. It was hard and fast, but I survived and did much better than I expected. Because I ran faster than normal, I increased my pace on my run the following day and was successful. I also had a great experience with the runners and really enjoyed their company. 

If I didn’t do the hard workout, I wouldn’t have known that I was capable of running at the pace for 2 mile repeats. I wouldn’t have increased my pace the following day. I felt inspired and I wound up really enjoying myself. 

I wanted to share this with you because if you go for the things that are hard, you may be surprised by how amazing you really are! So take the challenge and go hard or go home. 

Comment on this blog and let me know one thing that you are going to do that is hard for you. I’d love to cheer you on! Have an awesome weekend!Image

In Health and Happiness,


Spartan Race Story & Discount Code

15 Jan

Mud runs are the biggest hype. I’ve done a ton of them, have been a race director for one, and they are really fun. What really amazes me is that every type of person comes out and succeeds. I’d like to share with you a special story from my dear friend and Reebok Ambassador Andrea Ferry. Read her story, look at the picture, and if you are inspired, go ahead and sign up with the discount code below. Cross it off your bucket list this year! 

From Andrea Ferry:
Since it was January, I encouraged everyone to pick a fitness goal for the year. I routinely taught the 5 am class – the class was typically all women who had to train before their kids woke up. We had people who wanted a pull up,  push up or simply a 5K – all great goals to start with and achievable with proper programming as well. One morning, a woman named Andria showed up unannounced and wanted to join the class.  She explained that she could not make any of the beginners night classes because of her 4 kids, so I agreed to let her learn as she went with my 5 am class.  Hell, if anyone is going to show up at 5 am to train, I am not going to turn them away. One of the first questions that I asked Andria was what she wanted to accomplish in 2013 and she said “the Spartan Race”.  
I , as her new coach, said “well if you are going to do it, that means I have to do it too.” We had a section on the white board for races and we added the Spartan Race plus our names. Andria is very persuasive and over the next few weeks, she started convincing more and more people to join the team. We became one of the largest teams in Philly to do the race and we called ourselves “the dirty delcos” being that we were from Delaware County, PA. It all sounds like a nice, seamless story with a happy ending, right? There was one small problem – we, as individuals, weren’t quite physically ready to take on the obstacles of the Spartan Race. As more and more people joined, I would get a text or a Facebook message saying “Hey Coach, I want to do the Spartan Race, can you get me ready in time?”.  I would never deter anyone from a goal, so I knew I had to do one thing – push these men and women harder than I have ever pushed anyone before ! I have to push them to the point of breaking, but not break them.  Holy hell Batman, some of these ladies had never picked up a barbell before and in 8 months they have to do sandbag carries, scale 6,7,8 feet walls, go up and under ropes, a 200M row in under 2 minutes, run stairs in a stadium and burpees upon burpees upon burpees. 
How the hell did this task fall upon me? There were some days at the gym that I thought I might just push these people so hard they might not come back. We had a lot of what I call “come to Jesus” moments when they get inside their head that they physically can’t accomplish something. I have ben nicknamed Jillian Michaels for a reason – I am not letting any negativity in the gym and those self bashing sessions are not going to happen in my presence.  I spent many hours watching Spartan Videos on YouTube to find things in the gym that would emulate the experience the day of the race.  The bond that was formed in the gym training for the Spartan Race was not something that you can find in a “how to” , “team building” or “self help” book. This was an all or nothing chance to prove to yourself, that you can do anything you set your mind to in life no matter what age, sex or athletic ability you are at currently!
September 28th rolls around ….40 team members later…. many inches and pounds lost…and here we are the day of the Spartan Race. Everyone had mixed emotions of excitement, fear and anxiety. As a coaching staff, we had felt that we had prepared our clients the best that we could for the event.  As individuals, we had worked our butts off and we were ready – As a TEAM, we were unstoppable. Andria’s Spartan race goal not only inspired me to be a better coach, but she inspired many women to complete some previously unimaginable feats of athleticism. Attached is a photo of Andria Mariani (#2452) hugging her sister in law Danielle Foster. Danielle’s son (Darin) is behind her in the photo as well. Darin ran the whole race with his mom and made sure she could get through every obstacle. Danielle has a special place in my heart as well. There were some days in the gym that I thought I just might break her today. These are two of the strongest women I know physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to coach them.
Come join me at the Special Ops Spartan Race this February 15th at Raymond James Stadium. 
This is also a URL you can use and share which will generate a code for 15% off any Spartan Race -
In Health and Happiness,
Madeline Dolente

Bucket List 2014

14 Jan

This past weekend I watched the movie Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a cute movie about two guys who wind up sharing the same hospital room and are both diagnosed with terminal cancer and have less than a year to live. Morgan Freeman starts writing down all the things he wants to do before he dies and together they do all the things they’ve always wanted to do. They skydive, race cars, and travel all over Europe.

Many people have bucket lists. Some are not so formal and some may never be written down. But my question for you, if you had 1 year left, what would you do? So instead of waiting, why don’t you do the things that you’ve always wanted to do NOW? Don’t wait for tomorrow because it may never happen. Stop procrastinating and create the life you dream about. Sunday I set out for a 14 mile run, took a Pure Barre class with friends, and had an amazing photo shoot for Refinery 29, grocery shopped, and went to church. Just because it’s Sunday, doesn’t mean I needed to waste the day away. Life is too short to wait for things to happen. 

Get off the computer and get living. Choose 1 thing that you’d like to do this year and sign up now. Be your best bodacious self and see what you are capable of. Hire an expert to make your life easier and to learn more. Don’t worry about failing. Get close to the edge and see what you are capable of. Below I made a list of some of the things I will do and some are items my friends have mentioned. Make your own list but hopefully this will get you started.

Become a sexy salsa dancer. Eat very clean and get crazy tight abs. Read 10 amazing books. Create an app for health and fitness. Create a training group for the Nike Half marathon and get the community involved. Volunteer. Spend more time with family. Spend more time having fun. Run an international marathon. Travel somewhere warm. Buy a vacation property. Find a special someone. Learn to blow glass. Create a men’s clothing line. Make an app big in the market place. Make time for you. Work out more. Take care of my health. Sleep 8 hours a night. Drink 8 glasses of water. Tell someone you love them. Let go of someone who is causing you pain. Let go of baggage. Pack your bags and travel. 

Make a list that is personal to you with a plan to achieve each goal. That which matters most should never give way to those things that matter least. This is your year so make 2014 your time to shine!


In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente


MetCon3 as featured in Oxygen magazine

10 Jan

For most of us living on the East Coast, it can be hard to motivate on a day like this with the cold rainy weather. I woke up thinking it would be nice to cuddle next to a fire and then reality set in. My alarm was going off and I had 5 minutes to get ready for class. I took a very challenging Bootcamp class and I knew my body would feel better afterwards.

When it’s especially hard to motivate, don’t give in, get moving to your favorite class and in no time, the instructor, music, and the people around you will make you happy that you are there and you will leave feeling great.

Today I am going to tell you about MetCon3. It was featured in the January 2014 issue of Oxygen magazine as one of the hottest and most effective fitness trends for 2014! MetCon3 stands for metabolic conditioning working the 3 systems known as the phosphagen, glycolic, and aerobic systems. Once you warm up, you do 10 exercises for 1 minute each. You repeat the cycle 2 more times using your body weight, dumbells, and another piece of equipment such as a medicine ball or VIPR. Some of my favorite exercise are med ball burpees, renegade rows, and push-ups with a side plank.

I love teaching this workout because people sweat, have fun, and improve their minds and bodies. I watch people improving their coordination and sometimes checking out their biceps. I love when people laugh during the partner drills! The best part is that you work every body part in as little as 45 minutes. Come check it out at Equinox. I teach it at the Bethesda location 3 times a week.

In Health and Happiness,



Back with a Vengeance

9 Jan

Good nutrition and discipline are the key ingredients for a fit and healthy body, but what happens when your plan is derailed? I can remember many of my clients having days where they packed their food and workout clothes, but their work day was so brutal that they wound up eating unhealthy catered foods and never made it to the gym.

It happens to the best of them! Vernon Davis suffered a concussion in his last game against the Panthers causing him to fumble the ball and leave the game. For those of you who don’t know Vernon Davis; he is the fittest NFL player ever and the tight end for the San Francisco 49ers. He has two pro bowls under his belt and is a big fan of juicing veggies and fruits and the Vitamix. I actually met him at a Vitamix demonstration and the guy is in sick shape. Not only does he take nutrition and fitness seriously, but his head is in the game. He may have suffered a concussion, but he told reporters on Tuesday that he couldn’t wait to get back in there and play the Panthers. He also said that his team is ready for any occasion.

Vernon Davis is eager to play the team that gave him a concussion. Yeah that sounds a little crazy and yes he has millions of dollars riding on it, but his ability to get back in the game is what makes him the best. It’s the attitude that creates Superstars and an attitude we should all have because YOU are worth it.

Next time your plan gets detailed, come up with a plan B. Don’t let a setback bring you down. Get back in the game with a vengeance! To read more about the upcoming game with Vernon Davis, go to

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente



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