Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018

Catherine’s Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018. In class or on-line.

I am delighted to announce that the  Spring Transformation Challenge: Train For Joy, will begin on March 20th.  The challenge will feature Sugar Freedom, and my Positive Training Program.  The Sugar Freedom method encourages you to find your most wholesome foods, and I created the T.E.A.M. technique to teach you how to train for the life you love.  The challenge lasts 4 weeks, and there are two  $125.00 prizes for the most inspiring transformations.

E-mail me: 9catherine9@gmail.com for details or click on “class schedule” above.

Catherine Best Gordon ACE-CPT Presents:

The Spring Transformation Challenge

Discover the “Best Practices” to lose fat, and never gain it back.

4 Weeks of Proven Nutrition, Training, and Support. Plus: 2 $125.00 cash prizes for the most inspiring transformations.

Cost: $50.  Location: in class at TCAA: Dance at the Dome or on-line.


Do you need a simple exercise routine for beginners?  Here is a warm up and a simple weightlifting program for you.

Don’t be afraid to start lifting weights.

One of my biggest fears when I started resistance training was that I would look foolish in the gym.  I’m 5’1″ so many of the machines are hard to adjust to my height, and  I didn’t know very many dumb-bell exercises, so it was hard to get good results.

That’s where a Certified Personal Trainer can help.  I learned from Craig Ballantyne, John Barban, Jennifer Nicole Lee, and more by searching for programs on-line. I was able to start lifting at home with their programs, and when I switched to the gym, I knew what to do in order to get a safe, effective workout.

Today, I invite you to learn from me, and get started with these exercises.  I designed this program for a small group class that I just started teaching, and they asked me to to post it on-line so that they know what to do at home, so thanks students!

Start with a warm up of 8 Stick ups, 8 Prisoner Squats, and 8 Cross Crawls.  Repeat.

Super sets: do 8 reps of each pair of exercises. Do each pair three times.

Super Set #1: Chest Press and Glute Raise.

Super Set #2: Bird Dog and Double Tricep extension.

Follow along with the video to learn how.  Learn proper form and technique before you increase the weight.  By using good form, and contracting your muscles, you can get excellent results with light weights.  That’s one of the wonderful things about being a beginner.  With patience and persistence, you will get stronger, more confident, and you will train safely.

2/1/2018: Here is the latest “Homework” video.

10 Squats, 10 Romanian Deadlifts, 10 Overhead Press, 10 Rows per side, 10 Curls.  Do all exercises as a circuit, and repeat 2 times for a total of 3 circuits.

Remember to check with your health care provider before staring a new exercise program.

E-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you need a custom program.

Happy training,


My Perfect Meal Plan for Weight Loss

My Perfect Meal Plan for Weight Loss is Sugar Freedom: no sugar, no grains, no vegetable oils.

I used to wish that I could add sugar, grains, and high sugar fruits like bananas, but every time I tried re-introduction my cravings came roaring back, and away I would go with over eating.

The truth is that the way I eat now is very similar to the way I used to eat, and the way the actors, singers, and dancers around me ate, when I was working in show business.

My Showgirl Food Plan 

From film sets, to commercial shoots, to the officer’s dinner on the cruise ship I worked on, most of us ate the same way.  My fellow dancers and performers chose protein, vegetables, some fat, and a bit of fruit.  Bread, pasta, and potatoes were out, and we only ate rice  occasionally.

I have studied nutrition for almost ten years now, and I have come to a clearer understanding of why the elimination of grains and sugars is so important for working dancers.  First, wheat and other grains can cause inflammation in susceptible individuals.  This spells trouble for a dancer. Aching joints get in the way of beautiful movement. When the body metabolizes sugar it produces advanced glycation end products or A.G.E.s., which have been shown to accelerate aging.  Worst of all for me, sugar and grains make my insulin levels shoot up, causing fatigue and irresistible cravings.

The Solution

My solution, which allowed me to permanently overcome obesity, is to simply leave those foods out permanently that get in the way of my work.  I would rater act, sing, and dance than eat bread and sugar.

After years of trial and error, I have discovered the macro-nutrient amounts that reliably keep me lean, and that can promote fat loss when needed.  Here is a screen shot of my weight loss meal plan from Fitday.com.  Note that as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, it is beyond my scope of practice to tell you what to eat. However, I do have the freedom to tell you what I eat.  See the meal plan directly below this post.  The energy, satisfaction, and peace I get from this meal plan, is worth letting go of any of the foods I used to crave.

My perfect meal plan for weight loss.

7 Benefits of Resistance Training

This article on the 7 benefits of heavy resistance training was written by the experts at the American Council on Exercise.  As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, it helps to be able to pass along the science of weight training on my blog, especially when we have so much to cover in our one on one and group training sessions.

Here is the article:

For years only a finite number of dedicated fitness enthusiasts practiced a sure-fire method of achieving results from exercise: weightlifting with the heaviest loads possible. Most common gym routines are derived from the bodybuilding world and focus on moderate-to-high repetition ranges, usually eight to 15 reps, to increase the size of a muscle. Serious strength-training enthusiasts know that lifting heavy for five repetitions or less, while extremely challenging, is the quickest way to increase muscle strength.

There is a distinctive difference between training for muscle size—technically called hypertrophy—and training for strength and increasing a muscle’s ability to generate force. While lifting heavy can improve the force output of a muscle without significantly increasing its size, training for size can increase muscle volume without necessarily improving strength. Lifting with high repetitions can increase the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy of a muscle by increasing the amount of fluid in the sarcoplasm of muscle cells. However, using a heavy weight for fewer repetitions results in myofibrillar hypertrophy by increasing the thickness of individual muscle fibers. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases the size of a muscle, while myofibrillar hypertrophy results in thicker muscle fibers capable of generating higher levels of force.

If you are looking for a way to supercharge your clients’ workouts or help move past them past a plateau, consider using a weight heavy enough to limit them to five repetitions or less.* Here are seven benefits of how using heavy resistance can maximize the results from your fitness program.

  1. Training for muscle strength is different than training for muscle size. A six- to 10-week strength-focused mesocycle of heavy resistance and low reps followed by a six- to 10-week hypertrophy (bodybuilder) mesocycle of moderate weight for higher rep ranges can produce significant gains in both size and strength.
  2. Using heavy weights increases intramuscular coordination, the number of type II motor units and the amount of muscle fibers engaged within a specific muscle. Have you ever felt your muscles shaking while lifting heavy weights? This is because you are recruiting and activating the larger type II muscle fibers, which are only stimulated to work when a muscle is challenged with heavy resistance or working to fatigue.
  3. Using maximal loads for compound (multi-joint) movements like the deadlift, squat-to-shoulder press, bent-over row or chest press can improve intermuscular coordination, which is the ability of many muscles to work together to generate and control high levels of force through multiple joints.
  4. Lifting heavy weights elevates levels of anabolic hormones—specifically testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)—which are used to repair muscle fibers damaged during exercise. This helps the muscle fibers to become thicker and capable of generating higher levels of force.
  5. Lifting heavy weights increases production of the hormone IGF-1. This hormone is related to the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating the growth of new neural pathways in the brain along with enhancing communication between existing pathways. In short, lifting heavy could make you smarter by enhancing cognitive function.
  6. Training with heavy weights helps you to improve your self-confidence. Knowing that you can lift heavy stuff gives you the confidence that you can handle common challenges, such as a putting a bag in the overhead bin on an airplane or carrying a heavy piece of furniture while reorganizing a room or helping a friend move.
  7. Strength training with heavy weights improves muscle definition. Muscle definition occurs as the result of muscles remaining in a state of semi-contraction and heavy strength training recruits the larger type II muscle fibers responsible for a muscle’s appearance.

*WARNING: Using heavier weights requires using machines or a spotter to maximize safety. In addition, when lifting with maximal loads, it’s important to include longer rest periods of at least two to three minutes to allow muscles to properly recover before going back to work.

All exercise provides general health benefits, but resistance training with heavy weights is one of the quickest ways to achieve the benefits identified above. Keep in mind that according to the general adaptation syndrome, the body adapts to an exercise stimulus after a period of 12 to 14 weeks. Once your client starts training with maximal weights, he or she will experience serious gains. After three or four months, however, you will need to change your client’s training routine to provide a new stimulus to his or her body.

Catherine again.  Did you notice in example #1 that higher reps with moderate weight causes hypertrophy?  That’s another way of saying that doing higher reps with moderate weight increases size.  When you train with me, I promise to adjust your weight and rep ranges to suit your goals.  It’s your training session, so you get to decide.  Of course, if you’re going to lift you must use proper form.  Come to class at the Dome or request an appointment with me by e-mailing:

Catherine@sugarfreedom.com  One on one training can be costly, but I can design a program that will allow you to train at your gym, or at home, with form checks from me.  I’m ready to help you get the benefits of lifting. (Check the class schedule if you are near Sonora, CA.)

Learn to Lift for Life.


Train With Catherine: Homework

Here is the training and warmup from 1/11/18

Homework For Train With Catherine: 1/11/18

Prisoner Squat 10

Arm Crosses 10

Push Up 8

Duck Unders: 6 per side

Leg Swing 10/side

Spiderman Climb: 8/side

Repeat one time


Supported Split Squat: 8/side

Mountain Climber: (Slow and controlled with excellent form) 10/side

KB Swings: 20

Do 3 rounds

Glute Raise 10

McGill Sit Ups: 8/side

KB Swings: 20

Do 3 Rounds

Here is the training and homework for the week of 1/8/18

Bodyweight Warm-Up

Total Body Extensions: 10

Prisoner Squats: 10

Close Grip Push Ups: 8

Duck Unders: 6/side

Spiderman Climb: 8/side

Leg Swing: 10/side

Rest 30 seconds and repeat.

Resistance: Goblet Squat: 10 reps

Tricep Kickbacks: 10 reps

Three Rounds Total

Split Squat: 8/side

Pushup: 8

Three Rounds Total

Are You Willing To Train?


Class Schedule


Train With Catherine: a 45 minute fitness class combining thorough dance-based warm up, resistance training, intervals, flexibility and balance training.

New Fitness Training in Sonora
Park on Baretta Street. Walk up these stairs and turn left. Classes are in the dance studio in the one story building that will be in front of you.

Cost $10 or 6 for $50.  Make checks payable to TCAA.

Mondays at 5:15PM

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8AM







A Sugar Freedom Christmas

Here is my sugar and grain free menu for Christmas Eve, 2017.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, 1 whole grapefruit

Lunch: 3 ounces of chicken breast, large romaine lettuce salad, 1 oz olive oil and 1T balsamic vinegar dressing

Dinner: 5 oz prime rib, roasted Brussels sprouts, Granny Smith Apple, Brie

Since I typically eat protein and vegetables to maintain my 70 pound weight loss, the fruit and cheese are special occasion foods that I truly look forward to.  The high quality of the roast I bought to prepare today makes this meal extra special too.

My family and guests have all kinds of goodies to enjoy, but the satisfaction of eating on plan, plus the goodness of the food I choose to eat will actually add to my enjoyment of this special evening.

Besides, there will be some gifts to open, lost of laughter, pictures to take, and memories to make.

I haven’t always made this choice at Christmas time.  Last year, I weighed ten pounds more than I do today.  By eliminating sugar, grains, and cardio, and by keeping my commitments to get to the gym and train, I went into the season leaner, and I have managed to maintain this year’s fat loss from Halloween, all the way through to today.  I have increased my one rep max on the squat and deadlift substantially, and I do think this focus on skill and ability in the gym, instead of calorie burning, has made a wonderful contribution to my success.

Starting on January 8th, 2017, I will be back at Dance at the Dome: 251 B. Baretta St, teaching my training methods for fat loss and overall well-being. I will also be teaching every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30AM.  If you want to learn to lift, and get all of the benefits of getting stronger and leaner, e-mail me:


Keeping Keto: A look at a typical day on Sugar Freedom.

Freedom Veggies.
I have been using a ketogenic, low carb nutrition strategy consistently since 2008.  Back then, the way I ate was literally considered to be dangerous.  According to the USDA guidelines, I was eating way too much saturated fat and way too few  whole grains to maintain good health.
The current popularity of the Whole 30 and Ketogenic diets have helped Sugar Freedom enter the mainstream when it comes to solutions for losing weight. In addition, nutrtion studies are demonstrating that sugar and the processed foods that contain sugar, flour, and polyunsaturated oils, are the true culprits when it comes to causing inflammation and weight gain in the people who eat them.
Still, I encounter many misconceptions about Sugar Freedom, and I have come to recognize the warning signs when my readers and friends start to play around with the eating plan.
The number one barrier to success with Sugar Freedom is an unwillingness to cook.
The second obstacle is an insistence on a great deal of variety.  If you are willing to cook freedom foods, and if you are willing to give up some of the excitement you get from super delicious foods, you can achieve a healthy weight permanently with Sugar Freedom. Bottom line: breakfast can get a little bit monotonous, and you may not be able to use convenience foods like the bars and shakes that other people are reaching for. I don’t eat them because they make me hungry, and that is a side effect I simply can’t afford.
If you can accept a simple home cooked nutrition plan, big time permanent fat loss can be the result. I have done it, and I personally know dozens of readers and clients who have done it.
Going forward, I want to push those numbers to hundreds and thousands, one transformation at a time.
So here are some screen shots from Fitday.com, a free nutrition tracking program I recommend, showing my meal plan for today, along with the macronutrient breakdown, and RDA percentages.
 Sugar Freedom is available by clicking here. ===>Get Sugar Freedom<===
Please e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you have any questions.

The Truth About Big Time- Long Term Weight Loss

I am a member of the .01 percent.  That means that I have achieved long term- big time weight loss. My top non-pregnancy weight was 185 pounds, and I have been maintaining my weight at within 5 pounds of 120 ever since 2009.

I became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2012, and I completed my Fitness Nutrition Certification from the American Council on Exercise in 2015, in order to deliver my solution to overweight and obesity on a professional level.

There have been many triumphs in my career, including being named certified Turbulence Trainer of the Year in 2013.  Hundreds of my clients and Sugar Freedom readers have achieved permanent fat loss with my programs, and many of them have gone on to become fitness professional themselves.

I still hope to start a movement in nutrition and fitness that acknowledges the power of simple eating and weight lifting for women.  I know from personal and professional experience that the most effective physical transformation programs can be simplified down to these elements: Nutrition, training, and recovery.  More specifically, the nutrition consists of the appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and vegetables. The training consists of the appropriate amounts of weight lifting, flexibility, and balance practice, done with the best possible form.

Supplements, shakes, pills, and odd equipment are simply not required.  What is required is the acceptance of the fact that powerful effort is needed to overcome overweight and obesity.  Some of the most entertaining and novel forms of exercise, which attract eager participants, may literally burn muscle and increase appetite in formerly obese individuals like me and many of my clients.

Simplicity and discipline are required in the kitchen, and excellent form with wise progression are required in the gym.  Many of the women I know look for fun and friendship in their fitness practice. If the classes they take get results I am happy for them, and a little bit envious to tell the truth.  As a working actor, dancer, and choreographer however, the condition of my body is an essential component of my ability to work.  I must lift weights with the best form I can achieve, practice dance technique with precision and dedication, and eat simple nutritious food in order to be able to work.

As I prepare my training and nutrition programs for 2018, I am re-dedicating myself to Ketogenic nutrition, weight lifting, and dance technique.  If you wish to train with me in 2018, now is the time to e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com with a description of your goals.

For now, I am off to the gym, and I will be creating a series of photos and videos that demonstrate my training techniques.

This is my truth when it comes to losing more than 60 pounds and keeping it off:

Eliminate sugar, grains, and processed oils from your food plan.

Lift weights with excellent form, and rest as soon as this level of form is lost.

Practice legitimate dance technique for grace, line, and to preserve femininity.

It really is this simple.  The question is, are you willing to trade variety in your food and fun in your fitness for the for the body you need to fulfill your potential?

All the Best,

Catherine Best Gordon.

The Essential Lifts for Health, Energy, and Recomposition

As I was preparing the  training plan for a client today, I decided to list the essential lifts for health, energy, and recomposition in order of importance.

I reserve the right to change this order, but these are the lifts I want all of my clients and Sugar Freedom readers to learn.

I will simply list them today, but in the future I will go into the power of these lifts in detail.

  1. The Squat
  2. The Push-Up
  3. The Deadlift
  4. The Row
  5. The Plank
  6. The McGill Sit Up
  7. The Bicep Curl
  8. The Calf Raise
  9. The Tricep Extension
  10. The Lunge

There you have it: these are my top ten.  I’m printing these out and heading to my training session, and I can’t wait to explore each one with you.

If you need a training plan, e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com

Let’s train.

Keto Thanksgiving

Here is the Keto Thanksgiving turkey recipe I will be using this year.  I bought my turkey today, 5 days ahead of time, so that it can thaw in the refrigerator, with plenty of time left over for the dry brining recipe in the photo at the bottom of this post.

The menu is turkey, cauliflower stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, and my Chocolate avocado mousse.

I will be posting the other recipes later, but I wanted to get this up so that my Sugar Freedom fans can go get their turkeys this week end.

Note: I will be using organic chicken broth instead of hard cider in the recipe posted below.

Here’s to keeping it Keto for a happy holiday.


Keto Thanksgiving starts with turkey.
The recipe from the New York Times.