Tosca Reno


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Higher and Tighter Glorious Glutes!

From Coach Rita:
When it comes to the rear end - usually women complain of too flat, too big or non-existent tushies. I think higher and tighter is usually what women want (hey, it’s what I like☺) and that is what we have done for Tosca. How? By focussing on her glorious glutes at least 2 times a week.

Here is a sneak peak at some of her exercises!  

**note- when working on glutes and posterior chain in general - most of my clients who start out find it hard to “feel” anything. Mind to muscle connection is always important but even more so when it comes to gluteus training - a dynamic warm up and “thinking” with the muscle you are using is very important. It may take some practice.  Also, it starts from your feet - try digging your heels into the ground - it usually help contract the bum.  I also recommend training dead-lifts in a non-cumbersome running shoe - try some of the new weight lifting or 5 finger shoes - or as I do - shoeless!

Glorious Glutes

#1 Conventional Dead-Lifts
4 sets - 8-12 reps - slow and controlled - 60-90 second rest between each set (increase weight each set and focus on form - gluteus, hamstrings, lower back)

#2a Olympic Bar Alternating Rear Lunge
4 sets - 8-10 reps per leg - after lowering into rear lunge - come up half way and power back to start, switch legs. Chest proud, shoulders down, bar should rest high on upper back - not at neck. 30 second rest before super setting with #2a

#2b Unilateral Hamstring Curl on Stability Ball (start with both legs if just starting out)
4 sets - 8-15 reps per leg - focus on digging heel into ball and squeezing glutes tight.  I tell Tosca to imagine there is a penny squeezed between her cheeks and to not let it fall ;) minimal rest before returning to #2a

#3a Unilateral Dead lifts
3 sets - 12 reps per leg. Focus on flat back and keeping weight close to front of body - I prefer kettle bells in both hands here - but dumbells also work. Focus on glutes and hamstrings. You may feel your ankle stabilizers here - this will challenge your agility and balance as well as all of the stabilizers. 15-30 seconds before moving to #3a

#3b Hip Thrusts
3 sets - 15-20 reps. Place upper back on bench and feet on ground (bridge like position). Get a partner to place either a weight plate (bodyweight is fine as a beginner) or a loaded bar on your pelvis area (TOSCA’s favourite). Let your hips lower towards the ground and push through your heels and squeeze your butt as high and tight as possible holding for 2 seconds at peak of movement. Control on the way down, dynamic on the thrust. 15-30 seconds before moving to #3c

#3c Kettlebell swings
3 sets - 20 reps. Use a heavy enough weight that it feels challenging and the bell doesn’t reach above forehead height on the swing. Focus on movement coming from glutes and hips (thrust movement)-
***this is advanced and I have seen so many people perform incorrectly - you could hurt your lower back. If you cannot deadlift correctly, then you cannot perform this movement. It essentially is a dynamic deadlift. 1-2 minute rest before returning to #3

#4 Weighted Jumping Squats (or thrusters)
6 sets - 15 seconds on 15 second break. KILLER- Tosca hates me after this one☺

****If you are looking for a little more weight loss - add 15 minutes of treadmill sprints (30 seconds as fast as possible - followed by 1 min moderate speed) on a slight incline.  Stair mill sprints are more advanced and very helpful for this region of the body. 


From Tosca:
Six of seven week days I am training for my upcoming contest.

1 1/2 hours of each of these days is spent sweating in the gym, either lifting, balancing, running, jumping, skipping or swearing.  (Sorry about the latter but sometimes a girl has to drop a big word …)

Three hours of each day is spent preparing food and eating.  That's 6 meals at 30 minutes each.  Shopping is not factored into this number but it does take time to source all this good stuff and the supplements Coach Rita wants me to take.

Six to seven hours of each day are spent sleeping.

The remainder of my time is the balance of my life.  My life as a 50-something: fitness competitor, mother of 4, widow, president of two companies, reinventing herself woman-on-the-go.

The difference between how I feel as a result of Coach Rita's training combined with advancing age is, well, negligible.  It is not say I don't feel drastically different, I do, but that came when I reclaimed my body with my Eat-Clean revolution/renovation under Bob's tutelage.  What is different is how I manage my time and knowing more about how my body responds.  That is the gift of aging - wisdom.  We should by this time know what our bodies can do for us and how to get them there.  If not, you just haven't been paying attention, which I admit, is also easy to do because we get so darned busy.

At fifty something, I often say "Oh F- It! Let's just get on with what has to be done, everything else be damned!"  How liberating that feels.  To heck with all that worry over what someone else thinks.  It is my life and I am going to live it.  Yes there are a few curse words here, but I warned you.

Other than that, what is new about the heavy lifting I am doing now, is that my body is responding quicker.  It's probably a combination of avoiding grains and this new circuit/lift/core/thrust thing Rita is putting me through.  Never before in my contest prep have my abs even been close to being as razor sharp as I wanted.  Well hello!  Here they are.  Rita was able to find them by pushing me with her special brand of coaching.  I appreciate feeling more in control of how my body is responding.  I just may get this body into the best shape yet.

I notice my back feels stronger.  My posture is tall and poised.  My legs are leaner and butt is tighter.  Now Monday is usually a super-charged day where I blast myself happily into a full on gym sweat.  I can keep that up with master control until about Friday when I really have to psyche myself up to hit the gym and by then it is usually Leg Day so I know how much it's going to hurt.  I would say what is also different is that I really need my sleep when I finally hit the pillow.

Othewise, 53 and counting is just a number and like anything in life, it's your attitude that counts more than the facts.

Loving life.

Missing Rita.



  1. Tosca you are such an inspiration!

  2. Love these posts, 2 sides of one story! And I love that you are living proof that age is just a number. I´m 20 years younger than you and so inspired by you fitness level, your focus, your career, your everyday puzzle. Amazing!

    Keep up the good work!
    B in Sweden

  3. Awesome post!! I'm totally giving that workout a whirl this morning - as a trainer, it's nice to give my brain a break for a change when it comes to my own workout!

  4. I'm 3 weeks out from my last show of the year and was feeling extremely burnt out after training this morning. I read your post and it definitely lifted me up! Thank you for being a true inspiration!

  5. Totally inspired! Way to go after it, Tosca!

  6. You've inspired me to BE Better and DO better! Thank you! I'll say it again: you are my hero, Tosca.

  7. I love your blog Tosca. Wish I could train with you! I'm 51 :) and you are my inspiration !


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