Please vote for Exercise TV's top trainer

Top Trainer Nominated: Best Personal Trainer in Nation's Best Fitness Professionals

I don't really know much about Exercise TV but some how I was nominated to be in the running for Top Trainer.  Believe it or not I am in 2nd place as of now.  It would be great to see a kettlebell trainer to be in first place.  I have never competed in anything before so just thought I would put it out there and ask you all who have benefited from my services or advice to take a minute and vote.  I thank you in advance for supporting your fellow kettlebell instructor.  Just click the picture above to vote!

Thanks to all who have already voted!!!


Happy First Birthday Lyla

I can't believe my baby is 1. This year flew by and I survived. For some reason I'm very emotional right now, which doesn't happen to me very often. As a nursing mom I have never spent one day away from her. I didn't think I would be this attached. I have watched her grow from this little infant to a baby that interacts with me and says things like "wow" and "hi". Watching her every move just amazes me. From seeing her feed herself the little pieces of food I put on her tray, to pulling herself up on anything she can find, and talking to her stuffed animals in the morning. It all melts my heart. I fell in love the second I met her.

These pictures are really for me to look back on. Starting from the first day she was born.

He's absolutely head over heels in love! Just born. I am in awe here. She's not even 2 hours old.

1 month old

More pictures to come when I have more time. Of course Lyla is eating a Gluten free sugar free banana muffin I made her.

One more important thing to add to post below

This article came out this past June.  Not to scare any of you parents but it is good to be aware how much narcotics can influence breast milk.  This is a rare case, but a full term healthy baby actually died from the high concentrations of narcotics in the mothers breast milk.  She was just taking the prescribed dose of what the doctors gave her.  She ended up taking half of the dose 2 days later due to constipation.  Here is the article you can read for yourself.


Just wanted everyone to be aware!

On a happier note my baby is turning 1 tomorrow! This year has been incredible.

My workout yesterday

Push Ups 30 seconds
Body Weight Squats 30 seconds
Swings 12kg 30 seconds

Pull Ups 4
Pistol 1 / 1

Repeat 3 times

Snatches 12 kg 2 min


What Doctor's don't tell you after a C-section

 Just as an update, I have been through 2 C-sections now.  Recovered beautifully with the appropriate progressions.

Many people have asked, here is my experience.  I don't claim to be an expert since I have only been through one C-section, hopefully that will be the last. I do know that I have had to do lots of outside research to help my muscles around my incision as well as my Transverse Abdominis (TVA)

These are some of the things that the doctors DO tell you after a Cesarean:
1. Do not go up and down the stairs for 2 weeks (which I did as soon as I got home)
2. Do not lift anything heavier than the baby for 6 weeks 
3. Take your painkillers (ex. Percocet)
4. After 6-8 weeks you can start exercising again
Good luck!

Here is what they don't tell you after a Cesarean or most abdominal surgeries. I have added my opinions to this:

If you take your painkillers that are encouraged, it WILL slow your bowels down. Not to mention they are already very slow after this major surgery. It can give you a false sense of feeling better and you might REALLY over do it.  If you're breast feeding there are many pediatricians that think it can be harmful to the baby when taking strong painkillers such as Percocet. I feel it can really cause your baby to be sedated and constantly fall asleep during feedings. Let's not forget the highly addictive qualities these narcotics have. The last thing a new mother needs to be dealing with is withdrawal symptoms from this drug.  

You may have pulling pains near the incision even 30 years later.  I have several clients who are in their 50's and had C-sections. To this day they still have mild cramping and pains near the incision every once in awhile.  Now why does this happen?

 Down to the important stuff.  After your abdominal wall is cut open and your muscles are separated to get a large baby out of your stomach, you are sewn up with several layers of stitches.  What they don't tell you is after this surgery your brain loses proper connection with these muscles.  Many women experience numbness and/or a pooch belly because they are never properly taught how to re-establish the communication between the brain and these stomach muscles.  Therefore it's important to do specific exercises to activate these muscles again.  
When you are starting to feel better from the surgery or /and you have been given the clearance to exercise, start with these TVA exercises. Since everyone heals at different speeds you may feel ready to do this as early as 3 weeks. Doing the typical crunches and sit ups will only target your Rectus Abdominis, which will not help at this time.  Some simple exercises to start are:

PLANK on your knees for 30 seconds.  Getting on your elbows and knees. Really tucking your pelvis under.  Make sure to squeeze your gluteus and tighten your quads. Even if you can go on your toes for the plank it's better to start small, so that the right muscles are being used and nothing else is taking over. Here is a video clip for this exercise in 3 parts. Plank Exercise video clip  and here is an additional video clip that will really help that is current from Sept 2011.

PELVIC TILTS - lying on your back (you can even do this in bed) tilt your pelvis under while pressing your lower back flat against the ground. Do a little squeeze and hold.  Also take your fingers and press in to your pelvis area where you should be feeling it. This will also help tell the brain to start turning these muscles on.  Do 15-20 reps of these and repeat 2-3 times when your body feels ready.

4 POINT TUMMY VACCUM (read this in Paul Cheks' book, How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy)  Getting on your hands and knees inhale and let your stomach hang to the floor. Then exhale and bring your belly button in to your spine. Hold and repeat 15-20 times.  

KETTLEBELL SWING - this is an excellent exercise to get the TVA activated.  

I could go on and on with diet and more exercises. But to keep this relatively short these are some rehab exercises that doctors do not tell you to focus on after a Cesarean.  Why they don't tell you, I don't know.  We just get sewn up and are expected to deal with muscles that don't properly work and are left with a dysfunctional "pooch" belly.  For those who want their stomach to feel and look the same or even better, these are some ways to regain this.  Hope this has answered some of your questions.  There could be a book written about this!  In fact maybe I will have to write one myself. 

But let's not forget the real reason why we go through this.  It's worth every bit of this and more! Here is me all sedated since they pumped me with Morphine, without my knowledge, holding my baby.  Couldn't have been happier in this picture.  Below is first baby.  If you want to see about my second experience visit here

To learn more about the workouts that got me back in the best shape of my life after 2 huge babies and C-sections check out our Kettlebell Instructional Videos and Lauren's Playground On Demand workouts. These workouts also have helped thousands of women and men get in the best shape of their lives! See some of the testimonials for yourself. Read about one of my students who recovered THREE C-sections

Review by Yours Lindsey
Hi Lauren I bought your dvd a month back and love it!. It has certainly started to shift the last few pounds post baby.Its very quick to come off now! ITs making me lose my love of running because the dvd is more interesting! I've just bought the pregnancy baby bells one to have for when i have my second. Is another dvd due out soon too?
-Yours Lindsey
Hadfield, Great Britain  
Review by Sue W
I became interested in Kettlebells this past fall and with the help of the internet I found your site. I hired a RKC trainer (Yes, there is one in my remote Midwest area!) for a few sessions to familiarize myself with Kettlebell moves and ordered your DVD's Volume 1, 2 and the Workshop DVD. I now workout with you several times per week and love it! The workouts on the DVD's are fun but tough and the instruction on all of them is the best! Thanks so much for putting out a great product! I'm really looking forward to Volume 3!
-Sue W  

Review by Lindsey D
"Hi Lauren, I wanted to add my name to the huge list of your devoted followers!! I purchased your Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells Volume 1 DVD about 4 weeks ago and I am IN LOVE with this workout! I am 26 years old and have 2 children (2 1/2 years and 1 year) and have been religiously exercising since my youngest's birth. I quickly shed the "baby weight" but was not getting the tone I wanted.... until I discovered kettlebells. I ordered this DVD following the recommendation of another mom on the CafeMom website and I honestly can't even put into words how much I love it. I truly feel it has changed my life even in the short time I've been doing it. I am excited to workout every day. I've never been "athletic" in my life. Always been "thin" but not strong. With this DVD I can feel myself getting toned. I mainly do the 40 minute workout, and on days that i'm feeling particularly energized, I will also do the 12 minute fat blast in addition. An issue I had before was finding the time to exercise considering I'm a stay at home mom with 2 little ones. However, my kids LOVE to watch me do this workout, lol. My older child tries to mirror my moves, and it is so adorable. Anyway, I'm not sure what I can really say that you haven't heard a million times before, considering your huge fan base. But I just wanted to add my two cents ;) This is a great workout, the DVD is put together beautifully, and you and your partner (Robin Duncan) are very inspirational. I have to be honest and say that the fact that you two are mothers yourself has inspired me SO MUCH. That fact alone is part of the reason I love this DVD. I hope to purchase Volume 2 in the coming months. Thank you for changing my life and body and inspiring me to better myself. I wish I lived in California so I could get a proper workout in person!! You have a loyal fan in me. I've been spreading the word to everyone I know about how much I love this DVD. Thank you so much :) "
-Lindsey D  
Review by Pavel Tsatsouline
Lauren Brooks' fat burning workout is effective and interesting. Comrades ladies, enjoy Southern California style training!
-Pavel Tsatsouline, the author of Enter the Kettlebell!