I get asked quite often what I do before,during and after my workouts for energy and motivation. Let me preface this with that my workouts are generally pretty intense and high impact. I like to sweat, work hard, push hard and give it my all. I haven’t always been this way and it’s not for everyone– but it’s more than just exercise to me — it’s therapy, it’s fuel, it’s passion. So when you see my tips here in this article, just remember I am not saying this is for everyone! Here are some questions I have gotten lately so I thought I would put them here for easy follow up!

I was also asked by the folks at ETB Fit to write up this blog after their came across my blog about strength training benefits — and so of course I agreed!

Q: What foods do you eat pre-workout?

I have played around a lot with this over the years to figure out what works best for ME and MY body. I have found that I really prefer to train in a fasted state. This means generally first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Before my workout I drink a big glass of water when I first wake up, and then have my pre-workout — which right now is Beachbody Energize within 30 minutes of my workout. If I do not have my pre-workout handy, I like to have a cup of coffee before my workout.  I like the Energize because it does not have any artificial colors or ingredients, gluten, soy or anything funky like that. It is full of BCAAs to help your muscle performance and has a low dose of green tea extract caffeine to give you a little boost. There is a ton of research to show that having some caffeine before training helps your energy and performance, as well as a slight increase in your metabolic rate.

AS for training fasted, I have done both — and I don’t like having food in my stomach when training. It makes me feel sluggish and my digestive system gets unhappy. There is research that shows that training in fasted state can also increase your fat burning potential.

Now, many days I teach high impact fitness classes in the evening. Obviously on these days I cannot train fasted. I make sure there are 3 hours from the last time I ate until I teach class, otherwise I regret it.

Q: What do you eat after your workout?

Right now within 30 minutes of my workout I drink the Beachbody Recover protein 1888442_598586093557685_473427747_nshake from the performance line. It is formulated to help your muscles recover after a hard workout — it’s pure, no junk, and I just mix with water and drink. If it’s morning, after that I make breakfast– something with high protein, good fats and some healthy carbs. If it’s late at night after teaching a class, I generally just do my shake since I do not like to eat late at night — I can’t sleep if I do!

Q: What do you listen to during your workout?

Usually I am listening to Personal Development podcasts or books– I know, lame right?! It is the perfect time for me to do so though, and as a entrepreneur this is a big part of keeping me going. If I go for a run outdoors or am teaching a class however, I LOVE listening to good music and creating fun playlists. Anything and everything! Have fun, dance it out, run to the beat!

Q:How do you switch up your routines?piyopark

I like schedules– it keeps me accountable! I create a hybrid calendar of sorts for myself with the workout program I am doing and post it where I can see it — and follow it. I like to do a mix of cardio, weights and flexibility. With my access to Beachbody on Demand I can really mix it up at home which is great. Some days the weather is too beautiful and I MUST take my workout outside so I do! Right now my favorite workout programs are Insanity Max:30, BodyBeast, and 21 Day Fix Extreme when I am at home. When I’m teaching– Turbokick, Insanity Live, BodyPump and PiYo are my addictions … and so I get a large variety! I do try to make sure that no matter what I do that I get 4 days of cardio, 3 days of strength training and 1 day of flexibility training in a week.


Q: HOW do you find the time?!

Exercise is part of my life. My lifestyle. I schedule it into my day just like an important meeting and I don’t skip it unless there is an emergency. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so it is just a matter of priorities. I often will wake up early before my kids get up to do my 30 minutes then.

Q: HOW do you stay motivated?

Once you get in a routine, it becomes habit , and you will miss it if you get off it. My kids also keep my motivated. I want to be around a long time for time– I want to be able to continue to run and jump and play with them — to show them that being healthy, fit, active are fun!mandybella

Q: What suggestions would you give someone just starting out in a workout routine?

Go slow. Pick something to do that you think you will enjoy! Maybe you love dancing — there is a new program – Cize — that is just that! Maybe you like swimming, biking, or yoga. Do that! Be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. My first workout when I was losing weight I literally couldn’t jog a block. I stopped a cried. REMEMBER YOUR WHY. YOU Matter. YOU are worth it. YOU are worth 30 minutes of you day. I promise. I also highly recommend finding yourself an accountability partner or group — someone to report to, to help lift you up when you are feeling down (because you will)–a workout buddy, whatever works. The accountability can make a big difference.


Have more questions for me? Feel free to email me at I’d be happy to answer them!