Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here comes 2011!!

The New Year is almost here and as we're all out celebrating with good friends, food, and cheer there is one thing in the back of our minds.....I am so going to need to work out after the holidays! Kettlebells is the ultimate workout, it combines strength with cardio while engaging your entire body in each exercise! Kettlebells have helped countless men and women (including me) drop unwanted fat while building long, lean muscles.

Everyone that's ever belonged to a gym knows that it will be packed in January which means lots of signing up, lining up, and waiting for classes. Or you could join a Julie Mac Fitness kettlebell class. The class size is limited so each client gets personal attention. The workouts are quick, tough, and because there are so many exercises to choose from, every workout is different.

If you want results, without the gym crowds, contact me at
New classes start January 3rd.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Drop-in Special for December!

With all the Christmas sales going on right now I thought I would put one on as well....for the month of December anyone that is trying out a Julie Mac Fitness kettlebell class for the first time gets a special drop-in rate of $5.

If you'd like to take advantage of this awesome deal please contact me at to secure your spot in an upcoming class.

**Please note that this special applies to the Halifax classes only**

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Free Class on Halloween

I'm holding a free intro to kettlebell class at 10am on Sunday October 31st. If you're interested in trying a new workout that will kick your butt like no other, than this is the class for you! It will be the first indoor JulieMacFitness class so no need to worry about the weather.

Please sign up in advance as space is limited. If you have any questions you can contact

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

At home workout

Although you may be away from kettlebells this week, you can still get a really great workout in!

Try this:

10 bodyweight turkish get up (per side)

3 sets:
1 min forward lunges - alternating legs
45 sec squat jumps
1 min side lunges - alternating legs
45 sec burpees

-60 sec rest-

3 sets:
1 min walk out push ups
1 min plank
1 min crunches
1 min russian twists (remember to do a full turn to each side even though you don't have a weight!)

- 60 sec rest-

end with my favourite.....push up & plank tabata!

Have fun!


Sunday, October 3, 2010


October is here and the weather is still beautiful! We will be staying outside for classes this month then heading indoors for November. Through the winter I will be holding evening classes at Evolve Fitness in Halifax, lunch time classes at 360Fit in Dartmouth, and there may be locations for evening classes in Dartmouth & Bedford - depending on the demand.

As many of you know, Steve and I are getting married this month (10/10/10) so I will be taking a week and a half off to get ready, celebrate, and recover! Check out the Schedule page to view my calendar or the Classes page for a description of what's happening this month. I won't be charging the normal "Outdoor Kettlebell Bootcamp" rate in October since there will be fewer classes held. The amount for each class is written in its description.

Thanks so much for your understanding that October will be a bit crazy. I plan on posting a workout for everyone to do on their own for the days that I am unable to teach classes. Remember to push yourself, I am only going to post workouts that I know you will each be able to complete so there will be no giving up!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Halifax Class - Sept 3rd

Class is cancelled this evening due to the heat. We will have a make up class at some point before the month is done.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

September Classes

Class days/times are posted for September. Please note they will be starting on September 3rd with no classes being held on September 6th.

Contact if you have any questions.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

No Afternoon Class - Friday August 27th

Please note that there will be no class on Friday August 27th at 5:30pm, this class has been rescheduled.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free Intro Class - Halifax

Interested in trying out kettlebells?  I am holding a FREE Intro to Kettlebell class at the Halifax Commons on Sunday Aug 29th at 10am. Space is limited so please sign up here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting past a plateau

Most people that try to lose a significant amount of weight hit a plateau at some point along the way. I hit my weight plateau in May as I closed in on 70lbs lost and I'm just coming out of it now. When I realized my weight had stabilized I started looking at things I could change.

My workouts had slowed as I was spending much of my time trying to grow my new business and I was no longer attending kettlebell classes myself. It is very hard to motivate yourself to workout alone! When I had started working out my constant motivator was Steve. We did all of our workouts together, but now he was attending my classes 3 days a week and I needed a new workout partner. I started heading over to Cole Harbour to work out with my sister-in-law (Leah) a couple of days a week and we do the same workouts that I prepare for my classes. Sometimes it takes us 90min to complete a 45min workout but we have fun (even though she tells me she hates me sometimes during those workouts) and I get to spend some time with her and the kids on those days as well. In July, I also started attending a bootcamp twice a week. It's run by Devin Sherrington of 360 Wellness and Fitness, he's a great trainer, the exercises really knock me on my butt because they're different from what I've been doing for the last year and half. I think it's important to make a change every once in a while and try new things.

Next I looked at my food. I'm someone that really needs to take account of what I'm eating as I can easily over/under eat on any given day and both can have a negative affect on your progress. I also looked at the types of food I was eating in general as well as factoring in my workouts. I realized that I was making a very common mistake, I was trying to stay away from "the bad carbs" like white rice, bread, and pasta which is good but I wasn't eating the healthy versions of those foods, the whole grain versions. I had scared myself into not eating any grains! Also, I was not eating enough protein for someone that works out with heavy weights on a regular basis.

Making these changes over the last few weeks has started to bring my weight down again, 2lbs so far! While I feel like I'm reaching a point that I should be more concerned about how healthy I look and feel than paying close attention to a scale, I do want to get in and stay in a healthy weight range and I'm not quite there yet.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Locations!!

Class schedules have been confirmed for 2 new locations - Bedford & Cole Harbour! Go to the upcoming classes page for more information.

To check out the free class in Cole Harbour on Thursday July 1st at 9am sign up at

Monday, June 28, 2010

Free Week

I am between sessions this week so I am offering free classes in Bedford on Tuesday evening and Halifax on Wednesday morning and afternoon.

For more details and to sign up for the Bedford class please email me at

To sign up for the Halifax classes go to:

All levels are welcome to these classes so please feel free to come out if you're a beginner and interested in seeing what it's all about.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is going by in flash!

As we are nearing the end of June and I am in my last week of classes for this session I am wondering where the time has gone! We've had an interesting month with a few very rainy days and some super hot ones as well but we made the most of the elements and had some pretty stellar workouts.

Due to the Queen's visit on Monday (the Commons will be shut down) and Canada Day on Thursday next week, the next session of classes will not be starting until the week of July 5th. I've updated the Upcoming Classes page with the July sessions, including two new classes whose schedules have yet to be determined. I've had some requests for a Bedford class and a Cole Harbour class so if you are interested in either of these sessions please email me at and let me know what days/times work best for you. I will be scheduling the classes according to the demand from these emails.

For those of you that can't go a week without swinging a bell, and who can blame you, I will be putting on a couple free classes on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. These classes are open to everyone (newbies included) but will require signing up to ensure we have enough bells for everyone. I will post sign up information in the next couple of days so keep an eye on the blog.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kettlebell class doesn't get rained out!

I watched the rain pour down all afternoon hoping it would let up at 5:30pm for my first beginner class of did not. I showed up to class wondering if anyone else would brave the weather and I was pleasantly surprised to have almost the entire class attend!

Jeannine, Tanya, Lauren, Keely, and Glenys started out learning some bodyweight exercises since it was way too wet out to use the kettlebells. Then about 30 minutes into the class we realized the rain had stopped and we rushed over to the car to grab the bells. We had enough time for some deadlifts and swings then the sky opened up and sheets of rain came down on us. Good thing it was time to stretch!

Theses ladies are hardcore athletes, they showed up in the pouring rain and did everything I asked (including push ups in the soggy ground). I can't wait to see how they do through the rest of the month!

Monday, May 31, 2010

700 Reps at 7am

June sessions started this morning at 7am so to kick off the month with the morning class I gave them a workout of 700 reps. They had 7 exercises, 20 reps each and 5 sets to complete. The exercises (in order) were:

Push ups

I had no doubt that they would rock it out during the 45min class and they proved me right! I hope they enjoyed it because June is going to be all about getting in as many reps as possible!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A morning with Chrissy

It was the perfect morning for some non-stop exercise. It was warmer than usual for 7am but there was a nice breeze to prevent anyone from overheating. The class wasn't overly excited when I told them we would be doing Chrissy this morning, I don't think anyone ever is though. They warmed up with a few windmills and then got down to business. The end times were awesome, especially for Matt who was meeting Chrissy for the first time!

Caitlin: 13:31
Gen: 14:16
Jo: 15:17
Steve: 15:26
Matt: 19:58

Because Chrissy is a timed workout you can use it as a benchmark for improvement in your fitness. Everyone goes at their own pace and has different aspects that they improve on every time they tackle it whether it's increasing the weight used for swings or changing from a regular burpee to burpees with a push up and tuck jump. A couple people today not only got better times than before but also significantly increased the weight that they used for swings - Janice was swinging a 40lb kettlebell and Steve moved up to a 65lb kettlebell.

Here is a video of Shawn Mozen, the guy who created Chrissy, using it as part of the Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor Certification.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


It's been a great week of learning new new/difficult exercises and pushing limits!

My beginner class quickly picked up on the snatch during Monday's class and on Friday they rocked out the turkish get up for the first time. I'm super proud of how fast they're learning! My advanced class proved why they're the advanced class on Wednesday when I put them through a set of 200 snatches and 200 swings, it was tough but they killed it!

Needless to say I was inspired by my classes this week so, I decided to try to give my workout a push today....I started with Chrissy, for those of you that aren't familiar with Chrissy, you're very lucky. Shawn Mozen of Agatsu Inc created this bit of torture. It's burpees and swings done for time so you can use it as a benchmark for improvement. Unfortunately I neglected to double check the numbers for the sets and I ended up adding an extra set. Here's what I did:

35 burpees, 15 swings
30 burpees, 20 swings (this is what I should've started with)
25 burpees, 25 swings
20 burpees, 30 swings
15 burpees, 35 swings
10 burpees, 40 swings
5 burpees, 45 swings

The last time I did Chrissy my time was 22:11 this time with the addition of 35 burpees & 15 swings I did it in 23:18. Luckily while Steve was counting my reps for me he also wrote down my split times, the 35 burpees took me 3:14 and the swings took 0:39 so I would've beat my old time....wish I had checked the reps before starting though! After I finished letting the extended version of Chrissy kick my ass I jogged 4km to help me get ready for running the Bluenose 5k next weekend. My legs feel like rubber now, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

17 months and counting...

As my beginner class is getting through their second week with kettlebells I'm reminded of what I went through learning the different exercises. Over the past 17 months I've come a long way from the 232lb girl that got winded doing a set of 20 double handed swings with a 25lb kettlebell. Even though I haven't reached my own fitness goals quite yet, I am still working towards them. It's not an overnight process. I try to remind everyone of that, especially those that didn't know me back then. Remember that when I demonstrate an exercise, I've done it literally thousands of times before, so don't be discouraged if you don't get it right away - I certainly didn't.

The beginner class has to be one of the most difficult classes to attend because there is so much learning involved. Remembering what each exercise is called when you learn at least 2 new ones a class can be tough. There is a lot of technique involved in using kettlebells and it is important to pay attention to your form so you're using the correct muscles to perform the action and you don't hurt yourself doing it. Once you have the fundamental skills, you will learn the more advanced stuff more easily and you will never run out of new things to learn - 17 months later and I'm still learning!

This type of exercise is likely not comparable to anything you've done before. You may be a runner, a weight lifter, a swimmer, or maybe you don't exercise at all; this workout will kick your butt either way. It is intense, it's cardio and strength training rolled into one and as long as you're putting everything you have into it, you're going to be rewarded by the results.

So, for those of you that didn't know me 17 months ago, here are a couple of pics so you can see what using kettlebells and pushing my limits have done for me. Since I'm not done yet I won't call this a before & after about a before & "for now" :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kettlebells in Bedford

There will be a FREE Intro to Kettlebell class in Bedford on Saturday May 15th. Space is limited so please sign up in advance by following this link.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another week one ends.

The M,W,F morning class has completed another week one with a brutal workout in the sun, luckily there was a cool breeze to keep the sweat under control. I gave the group this workout:

10 Windmills
30 sec right hand swing
30 sec right clean
30 sec right press
30 sec dbl hand swing
30 sec left hand swing
30 sec left clean
30 sec left press
30 sec dbl hand swing
10 burpees
plank tabata
repeat set above
15 jump squats
15 mountain climbers/side
15 press/side
15 push ups
Repeat set
Swing tabata

After class they suggested I try it out for my workout, I did.....and it sucked....what really did me in was the swing tabata at the end. So, I guess I'd like to say I'm sorry and you're welcome.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Sessions Starting

New sessions start May 3rd, spaces are limited so make sure you sign up in advance by emailing

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pushing Limits

As I sit here (glass of shiraz in hand) thinking about the last 3 weeks I'm pretty proud of this little business that I've started. My first class has gone extremely well, I'm taking on clients for private sessions, and my free intro sessions are packed! I've also received great feedback from everyone that I've worked with so far which has encouraged me to branch out and start more classes. The beginner class in May already has 3 people signed up for it (all clients that attended my free sessions) and I've had an inquiry about a Bedford class. To think, none of this would be possible if I didn't push myself to take a chance on doing something that makes me happy.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the last week for my very first kettlebell class. It's been a great 3 weeks so far, the weather may have been a bit chilly but we only got rained on for about 15minutes - not too shabby for April! We've had a lot of laughs, a little bit of yelling, and a whole lot of fun. I plan on ending this session off by testing some limits - let's see just how far this "Advanced" group is willing to push themselves. (insert evil laugh) It will be fun of course and maybe a little painful.....we'll just have to see what they think.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A beautiful day in the park!

There was a great turnout for Saturday's two Intro to Kettlebell Sessions! It was a little chilly when we arrived but everyone warmed up pretty quickly - especially once we picked up the bells. Today I taught the windmill & woodchopper (bodyweight only), the swing, around the body, stall, bootstrap, mountain climber, and of course burpees. Everyone caught on pretty quickly and we were able to get in a tabata and a 5 minute superset in each session! I think good times were had by all, I received some great feedback and took on some new clients as a result.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Free Intro Sessions!

I will be holding two more free sessions this weekend to make up for half cancelling the last session due to weather. Hopefully those of you that missed out last time will get a chance to come out this weekend and see what kettlebells are all about!

Please sign up in advance through eventbrite so I know how many people to expect.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trying new things

Since I've stopped taking kettlebell classes (at the end of March) and started teaching them I've found it difficult to push myself during workouts on my own. I've also noticed a plateau in my weight over the last few weeks. To give myself a kick start I tried two new things this week - hot yoga and a running group.

The hot yoga class was at Moksha Yoga a friend told me about the class, she had gone the previous week and enjoyed it plus it was only $5! A great price when you're just trying something out. It was my first time doing yoga in about 5 years and I found it a little odd at first that everyone set up their mats, laid down and didn't talk to each other. I guess I'm just used to working out with a chatty bunch of people. But there were going for a serene environment here - a little different then getting ready to throw around some iron cannonballs! The instructor was really great, she described each pose thoroughly so everyone was able to follow what was happening - I really appreciated that with my lack of experience. The heat of the room combined with the yoga poses made me sweat like never before! The poses were challenging with modifications depending on your level - I tried to do some of the harder stuff just to see if I could - I'm competitive that way. It was a tough workout, I'll definitely go back and try it again.

The running group that I went out with tonight was an event put on through lululemon. They have lots of events put on every month, all of them free. Our leader Stacy Chesnutt took us on a 8km loop through Point Pleasant Park. For some reason, I'm not sure why, I thought we were going to run & walk to prepare us for eventually running a 5km or 10km race. I was wrong. We did walk for a few minutes to warm up and then started the run. I was ok in the beginning keeping up with the front of the pack then I slowly moved to the back - I started out a little faster than I'm used to and ended up short of breath immediately. Once we were in the park I need to walk a few steps to catch my breath. Stacy fell back to check on me and let me know what loop the run would cover so I could catch up, which I did.....right before we started intervals - run of a speed of 8 out of 10 for 30 sec then drop to a slow run for 2min and repeat. I wasn't able to do the repeat part in the first loop or the second but I didn't get too far behind. Then the run back to the store....I fell way behind here but, I continued running at a slow pace the entire way back and didn't stop to walk. I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing but I probably should have tried to run a little more before joining a group. The furthest I've gone before is about 6km at a slow pace and I haven't been out running much at all lately. I'd like to join the group again but I may go out for a couple runs on my own first and work on my breathing and endurance.

It was a great start to my week trying a few new things and seeing how different types of classes are lead. Maybe some of the people I met this week will be out to try my kettlebell class next :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The snow can't stop us!

About 45min before today's free Intro to Kettlebell session was scheduled to start, rain and snow started to fall from the sky. We scrambled to get the message out the the class would be rescheduled but continued to the Garrison Grounds just in case a few people showed up.

Apparently a little snow and rain isn't enough to scare off the ten people that showed up to participate and learn about basic kettlebell moves. We went over the fundamentals (swings, cleans, active rest) and went over some bodyweight excercises (burpees, bootstrap, and mountian climbers). Then when everyone had the exercises down we went through a tabata and a superset.

The class was awesome! They caught on to everything really quickly and the weather even cleared up through most of the hour.

Thanks to those who came out despite the weather and for those of you that did see the cancellation notices in time - not to worry, I will be putting on another class in the near future. If you'd like to receive notifications for our upcoming event make sure you join the mailing list.

Free class weather isn't looking good

In true Nova Scotia fashion. About 45 minutes before the class was supposed to start, it began to rain/snow. We will be postponing the free session, so watch the blog for a re-scheduled event.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Free Intro Class

Interested in trying out kettlebells but you're not prepared to commit to a whole month without knowing what you're getting into? I'm giving a free intro kettlebell class at the Garrison Grounds (Corner of Sackville St and Bell Rd) Saturday, April 17th at 11am.

Make sure to dress for the weather and bring plenty of water, you're definitely going to get a sweat on! Please do not wear and rings, watches, or bracelets as they can be damaged during the exercises. In case of rain we will postpone so if the weather looks iffy check the website before heading out.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What the heck is a "kettlebell"?

Simply put, a kettlebell is a weight. It looks like a cannonball with a handle. Curiously enough, it kind of resembles a kettle. Kettlebells range in weight from the ridiculously-light 5 lbs. to you'll-never-need-one-this-heavy. They are a powerful tool in your fitness arsenal, not only because they're versatile and portable (I keep mine in the trunk of my car), but because a session with kettlebells can combine cardio and resistance training into one incredible workout.

Kettlebell workouts use more muscle groups than just about any other form of training and they are one of the most effective ways to build up the smaller, stabilization muscles that aren't (or can't) be targeted by traditional weights. Training with kettlebells emphasizes explosive power and builds long, lean muscle.

For you cardio junkies, there is no better cardio than a kettlebell workout. If you can throw down a long-cycle set of snatches and come out the other side not panting like a St. Bernard in Dubai, I would certainly like to meet you.

Most people that have trained with weights have only used barbells or dumbbells. The obvious difference between either of those and kettlebells is symmetry. Barbells and dumbbells are balanced; they have equal weight on both sides. A kettlebell is an asymmetrical weight and because of this, it can be used safely in completely different ways. You can hold a kettlebell above your head with an open hand and have no fear that it's going to roll off your palm and fall onto your head; the mass below the handle keeps it stabilized. Sure, some of the same exercises can be performed with a dumbbell, but the stability of a kettlebell allows you to focus on form and technique.

But for me, the number one reason to use kettlebells is the results. Using kettlebells has dramatically increased my cardiovascular endurance and functional strength. My muscle tone has improved substantially and fat has been dropping faster than a sub-prime mortgage. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Contact to see how kettlebells can help you reach your fitness goals, or check out the Upcoming Classes page and find a class that works for you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

End of Week 1

Week 1 ended on a windy and cold note this morning. We were happy to stay dry but not so pleased with the cold handles on the kettlebells. The weather should only get better from here on out (fingers crossed) but I'd like to remind everyone to dress in layers for class so you're ready for anything.

We started out today with some core exercises - 2 sets of windmills & woodchoppers, a quick jog, followed by a high pull/snatch tabata to get warm, 3 sets of lunges/burpees/swings, and ended with a relay of bodyweight exercises - high knees, push ups, bootstrap, burpees, mountain climber, and butt kicks. I think they were pretty warm by the end but next time I'm bringing mittens - I was fa-rozen!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The weather didn't quite hold out....

Class started out great today with a few jogs up the hill to warm up, a couple sets of windmills, front & backs, swings, max rows, and planks and then I felt a few rain drops. We quickly ditched our bags into our cars and continued with a swing/burpee tabata before the bells got too wet. To be on the safe side we ended up finishing the class with a bunch of body weight exercises - relay runs, push ups, and planks - we wouldn't want kettlebells flying through the air due to slippery hands!

Even though the rain started early we still got a great workout in and (I hope) everyone enjoyed themselves.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Looks like the weather is holding out

Just checked the weather, and it looks like the rain on Wednesday won't start until the afternoon, so our class should be dry. Environment Canada is calling for only cloudy skies on Friday too. Looks like we lucked out this week!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 1 On The Hill

Day 1 went pretty well, the sun was out and there was a cool breeze so no one got overheated. We stuck to kettlebell fundamentals - swings, clean & press, lunges with press, swing flip squat, around the body, and stall - giving everyone an opportunity to get used to the new environment. I also threw in some bodyweight exercises - jogs up the hill, mountain climbers (up the hill), burpees (of course), and push ups. It was a pretty varied workout as I wanted to get a few different things in for the first class just to see what it was like doing it on the grass. I got some good feedback at the end of the class which makes me pretty happy and really excited to plan for Day 2!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Can't wait to be on the Hill!

As I sit here thinking about what the workout will be for tomorrows Citadel Hill class, I can't stop smiling! I'm really excited that we're going to be outdoors and it looks like the weather is going to be nice. The class is going to be tough, we're going to stick to fundamentals until we get used to being outside and there will be lots of bodyweight exercises. I can't wait!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

April 2010 Outdoor Kettlebell Class

The schedule and rates have now been posted for the first ever Julie Mac Fitness Outdoor Kettlbell Class.

Classes start Monday April 5th and space is limited so please sign up by emailing