‘Fight the Fluff’ Version 2.0 – A 12-week, gym-based women’s fitness and nutrition program


NOTE: Due to low enrolment, the fall 2016 session of Fight the Fluff has been cancelled. A decision about the planned spring 2017 session will be made in the new year, depending on the amount of interest shown in the program.


Like me, many of my 40+ female clients aren’t quite ready to give up their pursuit of lovely, lean muscle and give in to the challenges of perimenopausal hormones.

More than a few of us like to lift heavy and give those younger chicks in the gym a run for their money 😉

We know that having a progressive resistance training program and an on-point nutritional plan are key to keeping those middle-of-the-body midlife pounds at bay and prefer to exercise in a gym environment, rather than at home, all by our lonesome selves 🙂


Introducing ‘Fight the Fluff’ Version 2.0, a 12-week, online, gym-based fitness and nutrition program for midlife women who’re looking to build a little muscle, lose a little fat and have a whole lot of fun.

Note that Version 2.0 is the second incarnation of this program. I’ve taken last year’s program, added four extra weeks of coaching, developed a check-in platform so I can see exactly what you’re doing and eating, scheduled weekly real-time group coaching sessions and incorporated all the great feedback previous participants gave me to make it even better than it was before 🙂


The ‘Fight the Fluff’ Backstory

Three years ago I was training for my first ever fitness photo shoot. Despite being terrified of having to look ‘a certain way’ in front of the camera, I also felt that it was important for the author of a workout book (Ultimate Booty Workouts, published by Ulysses Press) to actually appear in it ;-).

So I wrote myself a training program, found myself a nutrition plan and committed to following both, to a ’T’ for 8 weeks (if only I’d started 4 weeks earlier…).

By the time the photo shoot arrived, I was leaner and tighter, had dropped about 4% body fat and had visible muscles all over my body. (Not sure how much I weighed because I’m not very interested in the ‘downward force’ my body generates against earth’s gravitational pull…).

Note that I was not (and have never been) ‘shredded’ or ‘ripped’. That wasn’t my goal then, and isn’t now. At age 46, I just wanted to look strong, lean and fit. Not ‘fluffy’. And I think I managed to pull it off :-).

Because my clients, readers and Facebook friends frequently ask for details about my own, personal workouts and nutrition plans, I thought I’d document the program and make it available for you to follow along.


What exactly is ‘Fight the Fluff’ Version 2.0?
  • a 12-week, online fitness and nutrition program designed to help midlife women who are already regular exercisers get leaner, stronger and less ‘fluffy’
  • Note the ‘already regular exercisers’ clause above; this isn’t a beginners program (you’d be better served in my monthly #40PlusFitness program)
  • Note also that the workouts will be gym-based; if you have a well-appointed home gym, you’ll be able to participate (see below to ensure you have the equipment the workouts will require)
What does the program entail?
  • 3 unique strength workouts per week (ideally, you’ll have access to a full service gym, as my programs rely heavily on barbells, dumbbells, a weight bench and stability ball, as well as access to a cable and pulley machine). Workouts will be progressed from one week to the next, with brand new workouts being delivered at the beginning of weeks 1, 4, 7 and 10; this gives you just enough time to get used to (and progress) the workouts, without getting bored and feeling like you need to augment them with other exercise.
  • a generalized meal plan, including a (long) list of acceptable foods, serving sizes and servings-per-day recommendations for carbs, proteins and fats (based on the book ‘State of Slim’, an evidence-based approach to losing weight and keeping it off) with instructions for customizing it according to your dietary preferences
  • access to a private Facebook accountability group, to share your success and challenges and to encourage and motivate one another. Note that regular participation in the Facebook group is expected and a part of the cost of entry to this program 😉
  • weekly coaching emails with reminders about the upcoming week’s workout progressions and information relevant to recent discussions in the Facebook group
  • **NEW* a dedicated online space to record the details of your workouts and meals that I’ll be checking weekly (and giving you feedback on) to help keep you accountable and on track with the program.
  • *NEW* a weekly group video conference call (done via Facebook Live, which is recorded and can be viewed at your convenience if you can’t participate in real time) to deal with specific questions that crop up in the Facebook group as well as provide extra instruction on exercise technique and State of Slim menu planning
  • participants will also have the OPTION of scheduling a 1-on-1, 30-min Skype coaching call with me at any point in the program to brainstorm solutions to obstacles and pain points as related to exercise, nutrition, consistency, finding time, drinking enough water etc. This call will be billed at my 30 minute consulting rate of $45, above and beyond the cost of the program itself.
What will the workouts be like?
  • workouts will be whole-body, metabolic-strength-style and vary over the course of the 12-week program. They are the workouts I used to get myself photo-shoot ready (and am returning to this fall to get rid of a little extra ‘fluff’ of my own) except for the final four weeks. These additional workouts are what I would have done had I the extra month to prepare….
  • workouts will typically last 30-40 minutes, excluding a pre-workout warmup and post-workout stretch (that means you’re looking at 50-60 minutes, tops)
  • modifications for exercises will not be given, other than an at-home substitution for any exercise that requires a cable and pulley machine (but participants are free to ask for advice in the Facebook group and during the Facebook live group chat)
  • workouts will be fairly high in intensity; expect to lift heavier from one week to the next. That’s how I train for results.
  • you’ll need to plan for 4-5 days of exercise per week (3-4 strength and 1 extra day of cardio)
What will the meal plans be like?
  • because I am not a Registered Dietician, I cannot create individualized meal plans (it is simply outside of my professional scope of practice; I take scope of practice very seriously!)
  • the meal planning approach I share is my own, based on the book ‘State of Slim’; I have personally met the authors, toured their research facility and completely endorse their evidence-based approach to eating for health and weight loss. I’ve also had numerous coaching clients get great results from following this plan 🙂
  • there is nothing extreme about the program. It doesn’t rely on shakes or replacement meals. It doesn’t eliminate entire food groups (except for alcohol, which isn’t really a food group 😉 ). It’s premise is to teach people how to eat for health and leanness, for today, tomorrow and the rest of their lives. It rocks.
  • meal planning guidelines will include the number of servings of each food group to be included at each meal, as well as a list of ‘approved’ foods to choose from when creating your weekly menu plans (and the good news? ‘State of Slim’ includes a weekly splurge meal…)
Who is this program really for?
  • women in their 40’s and 50’s who are serious about prioritizing fitness and nutrition for the next 12 weeks (if you don’t have the time to truly commit to this program, you won’t get the results you’re looking for and to be honest, you won’t be the kind of involved contributor I like to see in my Facebook groups)
  • women who are experienced with strength training terminology and already know how to squat, dead lift, lunge and do proper pushups 🙂 (If you’re brand new to strength training and require detailed descriptions and visual representations of the exercises you’d be better off registering for my monthly 40+ women’s training group. The fall session begins October 1st with registration open shortly. You’ll find all the details here >> #40PlusFitness Group Training.)
  • women who are 10-15 pounds (or 5-7% body fat) away from their ‘ideal’ weight. Note that the emphasis of this program is building muscle while dropping body fat, not losing weight. Semantics, perhaps, but understanding this difference is a huge part of the mindset adjustment needed to see results. Note that while we will weigh, measure and take progress pics, I recommend that you stay away from the scale between scheduled ‘measurement’ dates.
  • women who are healthy and injury-free. I won’t be providing individualized modifications for the exercises, so if your knees prevent you from lunging or your shoulders won’t let you press overhead you’ll be unable to successfully complete the workouts. Again, my monthly women’s group may be a better fit for you right now.
  • women who aren’t currently training for another sport. Trying to add these workouts to your marathon, triathlon or obstacle run training is likely to result in over-training, exhaustion and injury. Plus, you’re unlikely to get the results you’re looking for.


When does ‘Fight the Fluff’ start and how much does it cost?
  • the program begins Sunday, September 4th and runs through Saturday, November 26th (we finish up the week before American Thanksgiving)
  • new members will be added to the Facebook group several days in advance with the first program email arriving in your in-box early in the morning of the 4th
  • the 12-week course is priced at $349 CDN (that’s about $270 US; considerably less than the cost of working with me in person or 1-on-1 for the same length of time 🙂 ).

Note that I’ll be capping participation in this program. Time is my most precious commodity and to ensure that everybody feels ‘taken care of’, registration will be limited to the first 20 women who pay and complete the intake paperwork. Plus, that makes for a nice, cozy Facebook group!


What do previous participants in this program have to say about it?

Thank you for all the organized strength routines you provided through this program. I am so pleased by the strength gains I made over the course. And I appreciate all your quick and immediate feedback when I had questions! ~ R. Harkins

Loved this program…challenging and effective. I will continue to go back and use these methods. Thank Tamara for being so encouraging and on top of things… I would for sure participate in another “fluff fighter” ……  ~ Jocelyn G.

I feel stronger and more confident in the weight room. My photos and measurements didn’t really show progress, but I think perhaps the program was too short for me to see results there… I think if I did it again I wouldn’t take the midpoint photos at all. I enjoyed how comprehensive the plan was, how it progressed, and how balanced the workouts were. There were certain body parts that I was skimping on before FTF because I was intimidated by the exercises, and had a weak body part. I now feel like I’m progressing into a stronger overall body. This is the type of lifting I love to do, and I’d do this program again! ~ Lynn L.

I found this program very useful. I have been continuing to use the last 2 parts of the program, with some variation in combinations, since we finished up. I feel stronger and much more confident around weights. My gym just announced it will be getting updated weight room equipment, including bench press stands (or whatever they are called), and I am looking forward to that! ~ Kathy L.

Thank you Tamara for rekindling my love of the weight room again. I thoroughly enjoyed the program. I echo the above sentiments and would be very interested in joining another group come March or after. Thank you so much for offering this program. Was a pleasure working on our health with this group. ~ Chan E.