Workouts for June 2019 by Stephen Cooper

I’m going to keep your equipment needs to a minimum for these workouts. Note that more isn’t better, better is better.

You will need dumbbells or kettlebells.

If you don’t have kettlebells and/or dumbbells, you may want to check first on Craigslist as they often have better prices and you won’t pay for shipping.

Workouts will be shorter than our normal boot camp classes, but still effective.

June 12, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

5 sets of almost max push ups...meaning do not max out on each set
After each set, hold an isometric chest squeeze for 15 seconds

Rest 1 min after each set of push up/squeeze

Biceps KB curls, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, slow 5 sec count on the down movement-explode up

KB front squats, 3 sets of 12-15 reps

June 14, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

KB chest press, 3 sets of 20 reps
KB chest fly, 3 sets of 20 reps
Rest 60 sec between sets

Biceps KB curls 3 sets of 6-8 reps, slow count of 5 on the down movement-fast up

Calf raises, rise up on both feet, then go to one foot, and slowly lower to the count of 5 (do 2 sets of 10-15 reps)
Rest 2 min between sets

June 17, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

Palms facing you KB press 3 sets of 6-8 reps - slow count of 5 on the down movement

Dips 3 sets of max reps
Rest 60-90 seconds between sets

Pistols 5 sets of max reps - use towel or TRX to help with depth of pistol

June 19, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

Elevated feet push-ups, 3 sets of max reps, slow on the down movement-explode up

Lateral shoulder raise with 10 sec isometric hold (arms raise to shoulder height, pause and hold 10)

Calf raises, rise up on both feet, then go to one foot, and slowly lower to the count of 5 (do 2 sets of 10-15 reps)
Rest 2 min between sets

KB deadlift 3 sets of 20 reps

June 21, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

Isometric biceps curls 5 sets of 5 sec isometric hold/squeezes

Close hand position push ups, 3 sets of max reps
Rest 60-90 sec between sets

KB good morning 3 sets of 15 reps (hamstring emphasis)

June 24, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

Bodyweight skull-crusher 5 sets of 10

KB front squats, 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Lying isometric hamstring curl hold (lie face down, flex legs to about 15 degrees, and contract hard for 5 sec, rest 8 seconds, repeat for 5 reps

Rest 90 seconds, and do one more set

June 26, 2019

Warm up as needed... 60 sec or so
Jumping jacks, high knees, wall push-ups, squats, etc.

Tabata style KB swings (know that there are free apps that you can use on your phone as a timer)
20 sec work, with 10 sec rest for 8 times
Rest 2 min

Tabata style RKC plank (squeeze plank hold 20 sec, rest 10 sec, for 8 times)

Extra Cardio Options - if you have energy, or do on off days

Day one
Complete this group 5 times, AFAP (as fast as possible)
20 push ups
20 high knees in place
10 burpees
30 lunges

Day two
Warm up as necessary

Tabata Style 20 sec work, 10 sec rest, 8 times
Choose to run hills, stationary bike, jump this style with whatever cardio you have available

Cool down as needed

Day three
Complete this circuit 4 times with a 1 minute rest between each circuit
30 seconds burpees
90 seconds lunges
30 seconds sprawls
60 seconds push-up to plank
30 seconds jumping lunges

The Wisdom of John Wooden... by Stephen Cooper

From John Wooden “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court”

I told my athletes in basketball, “I don’t care if you are tall, but I do care if you play tall.” It’s just another way of saying that I judged them by the level of effort they gave to the team’s journey. That’s the standard of measurement I used. I could also have told them, “Show me what you can do, don’t tell me what you can do.” Too often the big talkers are the little doers.

I think of this as I train my own clients.

My hope is that you show up on time and give it your all. Some days will be better than others, but push yourself.


No classes on Memorial Day May 27

Vacation: No classes June 12-27

We saved you a space... by Stephen Cooper

We saved you a space...

How often do you work your core?  

Using the TRX at Boot Camp is just one way that we train the core.

If you aren't training consistently and want a group atmosphere with support and coaching, then I encourage you to join us in May.

Morning TRX Boot Camp Class

Morning TRX Boot Camp Class

Morning Classes: 

5:45 am - 6:30 am 

Evening Classes: 

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Three times per week (13 classes in May) - $175

Twice a week (9 classes in May) - $135

Some Things I'm Doing Or Looking At This Week, April 14, 2019 by Stephen Cooper

Motorcycle weekend trip with my son, April 2019.

Motorcycle weekend trip with my son, April 2019.

Kihachiro Onitsuka, the man behind Tiger/Asics shoes - Article

Eating for Longevity with Professor Valter Longo ( A podcast with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee)

How meal timings affect your waistline - BBC article

Not everybody will feel great on KETO or have good results - article

How changing your work commute can help you live longer - article

If you’d like to receive these via email, please sign up here…

April Boot Camp - Clear out the excuses, and execute by Stephen Cooper

With so many exercise options in the Pasadena area, I sometimes wonder what makes my approach to training different from the others.

What I often see is something like a Chucky Cheese experience. Lots of shouting, chaotic movements (think little kids darting every which way), and many distractions (lights, music, video screens).  

If you enjoy distractions such as these, then my classes are not for you.  My approach towards training you is the same I use for myself.  

  • I have a goal

  • I write a program for that goal

  • I go outside rain, cold, heat, whatever...and complete the training.  No distractions.

Is it effective?  I believe so.

March 30, 2019 Yelp Review.png

Classes begin:  April 1 (no joke)

Location: Pasadena-Altadena Border 

Days: Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday

or Tuesday/ Thursday

No classes on weekends

Morning Classes: 

5:45 am - 6:30 am 

Evening Classes: 

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

Class: Each class is 45 minutes in length.

$165.00 for three times per week (12 classes this month)
$135 for twice a week (8 classes in April)

Prices are for the entire month, and classes do not carry over.

Contact me if I can help with anything.

P.S.  Current clients, if you haven't told me already please let me know if you'll be continuing in April.  Thank you.

Could March Make or Break You? by Stephen Cooper

I don't remember what the statistics are about New Years fitness resolutions, but it's around this time of year when you may feel like slowing down, or worse, quitting.

We were just talking in boot camp last night, and I shared with my clients that I've been training  3-6 days per week since I was about 13 years old.  That's 40 years now!

I share this as a way to encourage you.  This is not a sprint or a special or magical "X" number of weeks program.  Being healthy is a day to day, year after year, no shortcut, commitment.

Do what you need to do to keep training.  Push past those feelings of laziness.

Work on the commitment to yourself.  

Step by step, keep moving forward.  Attack this day.

Exercise on your own, or come join us.

Our next camp starts on Friday, March 1st.

Friday, March 1st, 13 classes $175
Tuesday, March 5, 8 classes $135

Contact me if I can help with anything.

Client Has Signs of Bone Loss, But Can't Commit to Boot Camp Training by Stephen Cooper

Question from a client…

Well, I had no idea how much of a challenge my daytime & nighttime schedule is to my exercise class schedule. I’m out again tonight till 12 or so to see a relative’s punk rock band perform at their first-ever LA show. I don’t think I’ll be up for class in the morning.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get to sleep early or how to wake up on 5 hours of sleep? First of all, I love to sleep! And we have a big family and a lot of friends and my husband likes to go out 4 or 5 nights a week. (Good lord.) My solution used to be Just Say No to invitations. I can usually manage 2x per week but it always slides to more 3 or 4 events per week. Here it is, Tuesday & it’s already my 3rd night out this week, supporting family when I’d rather be reading & sleeping….

Also my doctor told me this week that I’ve had some bone loss in the past 5 years and need to increase my daily weight bearing exercise routine.

My response…

Good morning party animal :)

Where do we start?

Knowing that your doc has mentioned the increase in bone loss, I would make that a priority.  Being out late, socializing but with brittle bones, is eventually going to break something.  The body can only take so much before it says "screw you".

Be selfish when it comes to your health.  What good will you be to others if you are broken?

Health is a top priority in my life.  I want to be healthy for a long life with my family, plus my career/profession depends on walking my talk.

And please know I'm not passing judgement...and neither does your body.  Take care of it with proper sleep, quality food, and movement...and most of the time it rewards you with a vibrant and healthy life.  Mistreat it, and you can anticipate problems.

Implementation will be the challenge.  I can't make you put your health first.

My suggestion, take action now.  Don't put off another day.  Commit to you.

Some items I looking at this week... by Stephen Cooper

Dogs are Good For You (Article)

Finding Traction (Documentary - 55 min)
Ultramarathon runner Nikki Kimball takes on the 273-mile Long Trail. Become more.

Biohacker Dave Asprey built his multimillion-dollar brand Bulletproof around his quest for longevity. But is any of it legit? (article)

N.Y. Times...Germs in Your Gut Are Talking to Your Brain. Scientists Want to Know What They’re Saying.

If you’d like to receive these tips via email, you can sign up here to get my newsletter.

And a reminder, regular classes on Presidents Day.

Pondering, and Feb. 2019 Boot Camp Details by Stephen Cooper

Years ago I used to send out my newsletter only once a month.  Yes, only once a month.  It had about four sections, including a book review and a nutrition section.  At that time, I really felt that once a month was enough information to handle for my clients.

I laugh to myself as to how things have changed when it comes to the availability and the avalanche of information.  I just read a "social media expert" who suggested that businesses post 6-7 times per day alone, on Instagram.

But I wonder...

Does more information produce better results or more happiness?

I don't think so.

When you are thirsty, you need a cup of clean cool don't need a firehose blast of questionable city water.

I don't believe that the incessant stream of breaking news, tips, photos, fads, and other interruptions really produce lasting results.  It's like drinking a soda.  Sweet and enjoyable in the moment, but fat producing and depressing in the long run.

Here are a few things I've been pondering over lately...

Why the calorie is broken.  (article)
"A calorie isn’t just a calorie. And our mistaken faith in the power of this seemingly simple measurement may be hindering the fight against obesity."

Why You Shouldn't RELY on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (video)

10 Tips from the Brazilian Health Ministry, The Brazilian Guide to Weight Loss

" Eat food, mostly stuff that has grown in Brazil for centuries, with other people."

Guideline link to full report in English -

That's it for this month.  Make the most of each day :)

Contact me with questions, and to take part in our February Boot Camp.


Commit to Simplifying by Stephen Cooper

You may have noticed that I did not offer any New Years specials this year.

Years past I have typically promoted my camps a bit more. I honestly prefer spending more time mastering my craft, rather than learning how to do Instagram and Facebook marketing. I’m sure that I'm in the minority, but at this point in my career, it’s just not the game that I want to play.

With more and more overwhelm these days, I feel that my job as a coach is changing. It used to be that I would have a client follow an exercise program and refine their diet to a more healthy one...and the results would come. These days I see more clients almost at their breaking points. Job demands, always being available via text/phone/etc, traffic, news and social media 24/7, and on and on.

Many are coming to realize that this pace is not sustainable, nor is it healthy.

In 2019 my goal is to reduce the distractions and nonsense in my world. I'll be sharing tips and suggestions along the way. You are welcome to join me.

Updated Jan 11… Just came across this short, related post on “Subtraction” from Derek Sivers,

First Camp of 2019 Starts Jan 2 by Stephen Cooper

2019 will begin my 10th year in running my Boot Camp.

Classes begin Jan 2.

Training 3x per week for the month of January (13 classes) will cost you $175.

Training 2x a week for the month of January (9 classes) will cost you $135.

Behind the Scenes by Stephen Cooper


You may or may not wonder what I do when I’m not training with you in person. Well, a lot of my “off time” is spent learning.

I always want to be aware of the latest, yet most helpful information when it comes to keeping you safe, while helping you progress.

Here’s a pic from an online course I’m taking.

Today I’ll probably spend a good 4 hours of learning.

Win the Battle, Don't Gain Weight During the Holidays by Stephen Cooper

December Morning Boot Camp in Altadena, CA

December Morning Boot Camp in Altadena, CA

Welcome to December,

You know that this holiday month brings parties filled with food and drink.

Do you have a plan so you don't get stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey?

Let me take care of the fat-loss programs, you just need to show up.

Join us for this last Boot Camp of 2018!

Location: Pasadena-Altadena Border 

Days: Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday

or Tuesday/ Thursday

No classes on Saturday or Sunday

Morning Classes: 

5:45 am - 6:30 am 

Evening Classes: 

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

Class: Each class is 45 minutes in length.

Cost:  $155.00 for three times per week (11 classes in December), or $125 for twice a week (7 classes in December)

No classes on Dec 24 or 25th.

Contact me with questions, and to secure your spot.

And current boot camp clients, please confirm with me if you haven't already to let me know if you'll be training this month.

Spartan Race Sprint on Saturday December 8th, 2018 Castaic Lake, CA by Stephen Cooper

spartan finsih.png

Hi guys,

I just signed up to do a Spartan Race on Saturday, December 8th. I’ve never done any race like this, but I’m up for the challenge.

I’d love for you to join me.

Sign up for the “early start time” on Saturday Dec 8th. Then, look for the team name "Boot Camp Pasadena". By signing up with the team name, we can all start at the same time.

There is a $25 off coupon when using the code, CYBER2018.

Here is the link for more info,

I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and join me.

About the race…


While the Sprint is the shortest of the Spartan races, it remains a favorite among returning Spartans looking to push themselves beyond previous performances. Delivering 20 to 23 obstacles over 3 to 5 miles, it serves as the go-to introduction to Spartan Race. Trust us: Once you finish your first Spartan Sprint, you’ll be looking forward to your next—whether you choose another Sprint or decide it’s time to push yourself even harder and sign up for the Spartan Super.

Perfect for:

  • First-timers

  • Experienced athletes

  • Runners, triathletes, and those looking for a new challenge

  • Health and fitness-focused individuals

  • Anyone who wants to change their life

How To Measure Your Progress by Stephen Cooper

To move forward towards your goals you need someway to measure your progress.

For my Boot Camp and personal training clients, there are basically 3 areas that I want you to pay attention to:

  1. Exercise

  2. Sleep

  3. Nutrition

To move forward towards your goals you need some way to measure your progress.

My own system tends to be very simple.

It's very rare that I measure my calories. I'm used to what portion sizes are appropriate for me, and I have a daily goal of eating 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables. (If you need an idea of which portion sizes are appropriate for your goals, I encourage you to check out this infographic from Precision Nutrition.)

For tracking sleep, once again there are many options. You can use an app, or you can use a device like a FitBit or an Oura Ring. I've used apps from time to time, but my general habit is to just get to bed early enough (8:50 PM), so I get 8 hours of sleep on most nights. Do what works best for you, but the main thing is to create your lifestyle that makes getting enough quality sleep a habit.

Lastly, exercise. You can Google to see if there is an app you like. My own approach is to just keep a Google document. It simply shows what I did, weights used, and some quick notes like how I felt (strong, tired, etc) It's fast for me as I can pull it up on my phone, and add and edit it as I train.

Note, there is a break here between dates as I was running for awhile.

Note, there is a break here between dates as I was running for awhile.

Keep it simple, and find what works best for you. The important part is making progress towards your goals, and not spending a lot of time fussing with tracking apps and complexity.

Quick Fix, or Lifelong Lessons? by Stephen Cooper

I was watching an interview the other day (link here) where a well know university Ph.D. professor and scientist, Dominic D’Agostino was discussing his results with the Keto diet and it's affects on Alzheimer's and the reduction of seizures. Most of this interview was heavy on the science of the brain and dove deep into the micro...but...

The host asked him, "what is the ideal protocol for longevity?" And to my surprise, the scientist answered, "probably work on relationships, and your support network.  Decrease your stress, allow yourself more downtime...surround yourself with people who are supporting you...nutrition, exercise, getting outdoors."

It was a reminder to me to focus on the basics.  To put the work in.  It's not the latest diet, or new exercise that will bring lasting and important changes, it's focusing on the basics.

Don't be fooled by slick marketing and bikini-clad models on Instagram.  

If you're ready to put in the work, join me in November, for our next Boot Camp. 

No classes on Thanksgiving Day, nor the Friday after.

Nov 1 - Tuesday/Thursday Camps begin, and the cost is $125 for (8 classes)
Nov 2 - Monday/Wednesday/Friday Camps begin, and the cost is $165 (12 classes) 
(Venmo, @stephencooper is my preferred method of payment these days.)

Please email me with questions.


P.S.  Current clients, if I haven't heard from you already, please let me know if you'll be continuing in the November  Camp.  

Advice on How to Tackle Your Midsection by Stephen Cooper

Some of my kettlebell collection…

Some of my kettlebell collection…

A client comments and asks…

“Good workout today.  I appreciate these switches between cardio + muscles.

I've been training with you for about 1.5 months now.  And I think I'm making progress:  I feel like I'm getting stronger, can even feel some muscle development.  I feel that I get less sore now as compared to when I started out.  I'm trying to mostly eat home cooked meals (with the occasional falling off the wagon) and keep an eye out on portion size.  I mostly replaced white rice, bread, and pasta with other things (farro, bulgur, quinoa) and try to eat a lot of veggies and simply cooked chicken and fish.  But I am wondering if you could give me some advice on how to tackle my midsection, which I hear is, in general, a difficult part to trim.  Any specific guidance that I should follow to make maximum progress there?  I plan to do 2 workouts with you per week, although the next 2 weeks have room for 3 workouts as I won't be traveling.  Are there any workouts you recommend I add?  Or perhaps a spinning class for some extra cardio?  Any specific guidance on eating?”

“Good questions.

Reducing the midsection brings up many paths.  Two things to consider are, how fast do you want to reduce that area and how much time are you committed to it?  (Sleep and recovery too!)

To get the weight off the fastest, your calories and macros would need to be set, and your daily intake would have to be adhered to very closely.  Some people like to use an app such as My Fitness Pal, and track each thing they eat and drink.   Yes, the weight will most likely come off quickly, but is the tracking worth it to you?  Only you can decide.

A simple and usually effective path is that of just eating protein and vegetables.  Notice, this means no bread, no sweets, no ice cream, no sugar, it literally means proteins and vegetables, period.

When you say that your diet has "mostly" or you occasionally "fall off the wagon" this will alter your progress.  But once again, you'll have to make the you want to enjoy "treats" now and then, or do you want to the midsection area tightened up faster?  There is no right or wrong, it depends on you.  If the progress is slower than you'd like, know that you'll have to sacrifice more often.

As far as exercise, I stick to the quickest path I know.  Tabata based cardio training,

I feel that this is the best use of one's time.  A short, intense, all-out workout that can be done at home, gets the job done.  Longer duration classes may be "fun", but I prefer quick and effective.

(ask me in class for examples if you like)

My second choice is a program called "Simple and Sinister".  I know, intimidating title (marketing), but like the Tabata protocol, this is about getting the most calorie bang for your buck...and once again this can be done at home.  No traveling, no driving...just knocking out the workout.

Here's a link,

This workout includes "get-ups" which will need some instruction, but the kettlebell swings can be done alone.  The workout usually consists of either 5 or 10 sets of 10 swings - done with full concentration and with a challenging weight.

I hope this helps.  We can talk more about it when I see you in class.

What Did You Miss Today? by Stephen Cooper

Morning Workout…

Morning Workout…

It’s now 11:35 in the morning, and I am going through my daily process.

Before noon I try to send out a copy of the workout we did along with notes and things we may have discussed in class to those who missed. I also check in to see why clients missed…it’s part of the accountability that I provide.

These classes are more like personal training.

Clients are expected to show up on time, and on their planned workout days.

Of course clients may be traveling, and sometimes out sick, but I still check in.

Results don’t come from haphazard attempts…they come through strategic and consistent efforts.

Here’s what we did today, in case you are interested or would like to have a free workout. Enjoy!

October 3, 2018 Class # 2

Equipment needed: jump rope and band/s

Focus: Cardio, upper body, abs

Warm Up: 60 sec

  1. Jump rope

  2. Broad jump

  3. Standing hypertension

  4. One leg pistol

Work: (2x - 30 sec each)

  1. Jump rope/ band chest press

  2. Jump rope/push up

  3. Jump rope/push up from wall

  4. Jump rope/1 arm row with band

  5. Jump rope/other arm row

  6. 5x squat with 5x band biceps curl

  7. 5x broad jump with 5x biceps curl (other arm)

  8. Jump rope/plank hold

  9. Jump rope/crunch

  10. Jump rope/Plank with alternating thigh touches

  11. Jump rope/pike

  12. 60-sec jump rope

Abs: (60 sec)

  1. Cross knee crunch

  2. Flutter kicks, last 10-sec hold


  1. Chest

  2. Back

  3. Shoulders


We talked about a few running related items...

Cute/inspiring Disney movie with Kevin Costner, “McFarland” -

Nike's “Breaking2” Documentary,

Book, “The Running Revolution Deluxe: How to Run Faster, Farther, and Injury-Free” by Nicholas Romanov,

How to Plan Out One Month of Training (A few helpful tips...) by Stephen Cooper

Do you have a plan to reach your fitness goals?

Is it detailed and well thought out, or do you just kinda do things whenever you feel like it?

I'm going to share with you my personal plan, and some suggestions on how to build your own plan.

I've learned through trial and error what works best for me.  As I've aged, my training is still strong and the weights lifted are the same or better, but my recovery time has increased.  I usually lift heavy weights, with low reps, and low sets only 3 days a week...usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

A typical day is:
Barbell deadlift, 2 sets of 6 reps with 5 min rest periods
Overhead heaxbar shoulder press 3 sets of 8 reps
Calf raises 1 set of, 20 sec., 30 sec, 40 sec, and 50 sec for each leg

On my off days, I usually do a little Tabata style cardio, and maybe some ab work.  

That's it.  Week after week.

 For your plan, I'm going to assume that your goal is fat loss.  For those who have a specific goal, like run a  half marathon, or climb Mt. will need more specific programming.

First, look at the upcoming month.  Will you be traveling?  How about upcoming stresses at work?  Family obligations, parties, anniversaries?  How about any social events, concerts, games?

Put these into your calendar, and realize that these events may derail you.  Plan if you'll need to bring equipment while on the road, or have routines that you can do with bodyweight only.

My suggestion is to get in at least 3 strength training sessions per week.  In my opinion, these provide the biggest bang for your buck.  You'll build muscle which will burn calories during exercise, as well as when you are not exercising.  Remember that resistance training should take priority over cardio.

If you can fit in cardio on other days, then mix it up.  One day try high-intensity interval training (like alternating sprinting and walking for 7-10 minutes), or maybe a long bike ride or hike with your family or friends on the weekend.

If you need to, mark your calendar with your planned workouts.  Most importantly, execute and stick to your plan.

If you need more suggestions or have questions, contact me.

If you'd like to take advantage of the Boot Camp classes that I offer Monday-Friday, here are the details for October.

Oct 1 - Monday/Wednesday/Friday Camps Start, Cost is $175 (14 classes) 

Oct 2 - Tuesday/Thursday Camps Start, Cost is $135 (9 classes) Email me with questions.


P.S.  Current clients, if I haven't heard from you already, please let me know if you'll be continuing in the October  Camp.