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SUP Pro Talk with Suzie Cooney

Improve Balance & Reaction Time: Indo Board Training Gear & Suzie on the New “Gigante” 24″ Disc

Maui Wave Action!

Waves are a force of nature like no other. Susan does a superb job to illustrate this and more. A great read!


Surf Stronger Order This!

A Personal Peek into My Life: Living with Ciguatera

A Personal Peek into My Life: Living with Ciguatera

Suzie Cooney photo by Erik Aeder

photo by Erik Aeder

Aloha friends. Before the holidays really begin I wanted to send this to you; my supporters, clients, sponsors, friends, my Ohana in sincere gratitude for giving me the drive and strength to forge ahead.

I am so very thankful that I’ve lived on the beautiful island of Maui for almost 14 years. Living the island lifestyle and having the most amazing circle of friends is a real blessing.  As a personal trainer, water sports enthusiast and SUP athlete and one whose passion is being on the water helping and coaching others; this is literally my way of life.

But what if you discovered that you had a health condition where it was contraindicated and/or suggested not to exercise too hard or possibly the notion of being in the sun, or ever eating fish again may not be the best thing to do and trigger your nervous system to release a toxin, so painful and disabling with no way to escape?

What if you were in a career that required you to do all the above and it was your life-long dream and passion? And what if you were paddling on a downwinder and your skin, your eyes, your mouth, your feet, felt afire like a vat of acid being poured on your body the entire way because your nerves have reversed your normal sensation of temperature?  How would you navigate?

I feel compelled to share this with all of you, although I felt for some time it may be career suicide. As I pondered now for two years, I decided that maybe I could help others by informing them to take note of a condition that is becoming more recognized and common throughout the world.  This is especially true for those of us living in Hawaii and other subtropical areas.

Before I go on, I don’t want to alarm you, have you feel sorry for me or treat me any differently if you see me next to you at the next downwind race or out catching waves. I am training, I am paddling and I am on this planet to help others in many ways through the water sports I enjoy. So chalk this one up to one more way I want to help you become more aware or maybe help someone you know who may be or have had experienced similar symptoms.

You may be surprised to learn that this is how I’ve had to roll and cope since June of 2011 to be exact. This condition is often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis and is one that I will have for the rest of my life. It is called ciguatera. (ci·gua·te·ra) Pronunciationsee-gwuh-ter-uh  ( Reference links at end of article )

Some of the facts: As referenced by the The National Center for Biotechnology, they identify it as: “Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) is the most frequently reported seafood-toxin illness in the world, and it causes substantial physical and functional impact. It produces a myriad of gastrointestinal, neurologic and/or cardiovascular symptoms which last days to weeks, or even months.

They also state: Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is a foodborne illness affecting humans worldwide. Humans acquire this illness by eating reef fish containing the naturally occurring toxins, ciguatoxins. Multiple ciguatoxins have been Continue reading A Personal Peek into My Life: Living with Ciguatera

Catching His First Wave on Maui

Catching your first wave can be when your 4 years old or for some when your 40.  I just wanted to share this little video my good friend Deb Driscoll of Maui made, as she takes little Quentin for his first surf session.

I hope it makes you smile for him and maybe inspires you to try one day too!


Suzie Cooney

Feeling In A Funk? Quick Tips To Feel Good and Unfunk

FunkPeople assume because I’m a trainer and athlete that I wake up everyday ready to charge and give it my all. Well, guess what?  I’m human too, and believe me there are days that I’m not quite myself and honestly I get blue now and then, especially if I don’t see the beautiful sunshine everyday that we are so lucky to have here on Maui.  That was one of the reasons why I moved here.

Everyone has good days and bad days and some days that go sideways. We aren’t always in control of outside circumstances. However we are in control of how we react to a situation, a person’s comments, or the car breaking down, or if you just feel kind of funky.

Whether you feel lethargic, maybe a little down or depressed, unmotivated, please know you are not alone and we all like to feel good. Sometimes taking a small simple steps to feeling like yourself again is easier than you know.

I shared this photo on my Suzie Trains Maui Facebook page;

giving permission to my friends and followers to have a little funk moment or two. The important thing however is not be stuck there for too long.

Quick Tips To Unfunk: I suggest to get your body moving. You can stand up from your chair right now and do 10 squats, or go for a quick walk, do five (5) regular or knee bent pushups. Or if you’re lucky enough to live near the water, hop on your surf board and paddle nice and easy. Don’t go hard, just go nice and easy. Don’t worry about your outfit or how you look, just go.

Now, doesn’t that feel better. Are you smiling yet? Do you feel better in your mind?  Well, if yes, then congratulate yourself for unfunking yourself. You’ve just supplied your heart and your brain with happy new blood and oxygen lifting your funk right out of the room.

Did you know:

“Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.”  To read more about how exercise can boost your feel good hormones click here:

Thank you for stopping by and I hope my quick and simple tips will help you keep smiling and feeling fabulous!

Remember, be the first to receive articles and tips just like these by subscribing to my blog feeds. Also be sure to sign up for my private, free and secure, newsletter below!

Tell us what you do to help yourself get out a little funk? What made you feel good again? Please leave a comment.

Aloha and Mahalo,

Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

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PocketFuel Naturals Fuels Suzie Cooney on Maui

SuzieTrainsMaui LogoI am very stoked to share with you this whole food that keeps me surfing, paddling, training and everything I love to do and it’s called PocketFuel Naturals. As an athlete and professional trainer I need the best and healthiest source of food ready, portable and available to keep me and my clients going. Crashing is not an option in my book or necessary if you know about good nutrition and PocketFuel Naturals makes it simple.

Getting all of your nutrition that actually tastes like the real thing is important to me. I am always looking for the right blend of protein, potassium, carbs and other important vitamins that can get into my bloodstream as fast as possible without that spiking feeling and quick crash. I also enjoy PocketFuel Naturals as a great recovery food as well.

I consider this product as one of the best performance fueling foods I’ve discovered. I take it on the water during downwinders, I have it in my purse and in every compartment of my truck so I’m prepared.

PocketFuel Naturals products are gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free. My favorite flavors are chocolate haze and banana blueberry. Wow. I am super picky and this is like an explosion of flavor.

PocketFuel NaturalsTry yours today and let me know what you think! Go to

Aloha and in good nutrition,
Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

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Quick Training Tip To Help You Keep Focused During Your Workout

SuzieTrainsMaui LogoAloha everyone. Here’s a quick training tip to make each workout high-quality and effective.

Sometimes it’s very easy to get distracted during your workouts, especially if you don’t have a trainer there to help you count and complete each set to completion.

Or just as you get close to the end of set where your goal for your workout may be like 2 sets of 15 reps. But towards the end of a set your phone rings or you start day dreaming or you simply start to get a little uncomfortable, so you stop.

Suzie Cooney training tip

A tip that I use for some clients even when I’m standing right there to help keep them on track, is I write down on 3×5 index card the goal for each set that day. There is something about having this visual that helps clients keep focused. I even do it myself. I then I place that card in front of me at each exercise change and just look at the number. Give it a try!

Also remember to track your workouts each and every day if you want the fastest results. The act of writing down what you’ve completed is very telling and good to reference as you reach your goals.

Pictured above is my workout yesterday and I write down my workouts too. I often wish I had a trainer, but this works great for me to.

I welcome your training tips on how you keep focused during your workouts to make every rep and set count. Please leave a comment.

Have fun,

Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

Suzie is virtually available for all of your training needs. Learn more here:

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Virtual Online Personal Training with Suzie Cooney Via SKYPE t

SuzieCooney 0412 9Virtual Online Personal Training with Suzie Cooney Via SKYPE

For several years I’ve been training people from around the globe with my virtual online personal training via SKYPE.  If you can’t be here with me on the beach, on the water or in my studio with me, I come to your home. It’s a blast and very SKYPEeffective and can easily remove any obstacles, such as bad weather, a child who is home sick, lack of transportation, work schedules, it’s great!

It’s easy and with a high speed internet connection and a device that can manage  a SKYPE account;  it’s how many of my clients stay connected with me and keep on track. I’ve trained people in Japan, Australia and now Bermuda and recently in a hotel in NYC on my client’s iPad.  It’s very cool and believe me I can keep you moving with my efficient training techniques designed with your unique needs in mind.

Here’s what Peter Davies, from Annapolis, Maryland has to say about our sessions:

“I have been fortunate to travel to Maui twice in the last 18 months to train with Suzie in her studio and on the water and  have seen a huge improvement in my paddling skills. As I live in Annapolis, Maryland and not able to travel to Maui regularly I set up a Skype session with Suzie to review new training exercises and it felt like I was training in her studio. I am going to set up a session on a regular basis and  would recommend Skype training to anyone who is not able to travel to Maui but wants to take advantage of Suzie’s vast training expertise.”

Sherry Withrow from San Francisco, California also writes:

“I’m a busy mom trying to get my life back. I’m learning to surf and stand up paddle and trying to feel and look young again and get toned. I look forward to my training time with Suzie and hope one day to meet her. She has literally changed my life. SKYPE training with Suzie keeps me accountable and takes me to another world.. Maui!  One day that is my dream, but for now,
Mondays for one hour are mine.”

Mary Jane from Davis, California:

 ”No traffic, no weather, no “what did I forget to put in my gym bag”. Training on Skype with Suzie means no worries -
and no excuses!”

My clients love this especially when they travel and they can’t have me in person, this is the next best thing. Or I have my regular clientele who have me in their home, well virtually; and it’s such a fantastic way to stay in shape and keep motivated. I’m always in your corner, or maybe virtually on your laptop.

You don’t need to have lots of fancy equipment. I like to keep it very simple and may suggest certain home training tools, such as resistance bands, a few dumb bells and a stability ball for example. And you also avoid having to pay a gym membership. And let’s face it, gyms want your money and they expect a certain amount of members not so show up.

I can design a program just for you. Some people train two times a week, others once a quarter for a quick check in.

To inquire and learn more about my professional rates and services, you can contact me through this website.

All levels welcome.

I’d love to help you reach your goals and send you lots of motivation, aloha and strength from Maui.


Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

IMUA is the Hawaiian Word I Use as My Mantra to Motivate and Inspire

IMUA (ee mooh ah) is the Hawaiian word I use to motivate and inspire my clients.  It means to move forward with strength. It has helped me many times when I’ve faced either mental or physical challenges. I hope it helps you too. When you say it, say it loud with personal meaning. You too can be a warrior.


A Simple Exercise For Amazing Looking Abs with Suzie Cooney

Suzie Cooney

photo by Tom Barwick ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2013

Hold it, don’t put away your bikini or surf shorts just yet! Don’t let your abs get soft just because the weather may be changing where you live. No fat pants coming out the closet or lose fitting sweats. No way.

I am here to say there is no magic pill or secret magnet waist band that you wear or iPhone app to give you absolutely amazing abs. This is the exercise I choose first to get super cut abs and I feel is the most effective ab exercise to work the lower and the upper abs at the same time. I LOVE this one. I have seen fabulous results when I do about 200-300 every other day.

I actually call it a ab “chest lift” to fool those who hate performing ab exercises because you actually lead with the chest to get to the abs. It’s a great trick.  Hey, whatever it takes right?

Training tip: “when” to perform abs in a workout?  I suggest at the very end because they support and hold you up all throughout your workout.

Diet is also very key if you want sleek abs. No alcohol is a must as alcohol slows your metabolism to a halt. Then, no sugar. Carbs are okay as long as they aren’t processed. Whole wheat pasta with an ounce or two of organic chicken on top is one of my favorite meals.

Cardio training that burns fat, like interval training will also help you get to your abs as you need to shed the fat that lays on top of them.

So as you can see there is not one exercise or doing one thing to get to this. It’s a total body approach.


Ab Exercise with Suzie Cooney

Preparation: Tilt pelvis forward to make lower back flat. Extend either leg and lift slightly off floor. Any lower back discomfort, one should raise extended leg higher.  Bend knee of opposite leg.Note: If you REALLY want to make it harder, scoot your foot that is on the ground cloeer to your bottom.

Hands behind head, DO NOT lock fingers. Gently support head in nape of neck with finger tips.

Imagine a pulley on your chest lifting you to the ceiling.  KEY Make sure you are looking above your eyebrow to avoid elbows from falling forward.

Lift chest / shoulders off floor and enforce your abs to contract. As you lift, hold that contraction for a count of 2, breath out.  DO NOT allow your shoulders to come back to floor, but keep the abs taught at all times.

If you notice your elbows winging forward, look up and flatten them out, otherwise your neck will become sore and the exercise will have little affect.

Please be sure to do your best and get through the burn. Press your fingers into nape to help support your head. Focus on the breath and keep going.

The shaking is normal it will get less and less! Keep at it and always add 10 more at finish! Make it more fun and find a song you like and do it to the beat.

Remember, all training is accumulative so don’t kill yourself at first and get discouraged, but maybe this time try getting more used to be uncomfortable. That is when I promise  your body will change.

Suggest reps:  Beginner 25  Intermediate: 50-100+  Really fit: 100-200

Also, keep in mind, if you want to add some fun to your workout, you can SKYPE me worldwide and we can train together live via the magical world of the internet. It’s a blast.  Contact me through this website for details.

Good luck and let me know how you’re doing!


Suzie Cooney, CPT

Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

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Fitness Tips for Wavesailing and Windsurfing

photo by Harry WiewelAloha,

This article was written by Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui for the NSW Wavesailing Association and covers everything from common windsurfing injuries and a few exercise tips on how to strengthen your body to avoid them.  See below for more and to go directly to the link:

photo by Harry Wiewell

Suzie Cooney Windsurfing Fitness

Continue reading Fitness Tips for Wavesailing and Windsurfing

Achieving Personal Life and Fitness Goals Is Special for Everyone

SuzieTrainsMaui Logo


I am writing this special post that is sure to fill you with inspiration and cause you to reflect and pause, for you are  about  to read about a lovely person and client named Lisa Thompson. Lisa, who has so bravely and willingly allowed me to  share with you her personal life challenges; begins with a special and unique triumph unlike any that I’ve encountered in my 13 years as a personal trainer. So thank you very much Lisa.


Often my job as a personal trainer and healthy lifestyle specialist is to help people define their goals and get very, very specific. That’s part of the journey for many and a time of self discovery. Most people I train would like to shed a little weight, maybe train for a SUP race, or marathon or simply reenter fitness after years of a stressful job, or they’ve just had a baby and need help losing those last 10 pounds.  Some want to feel energized and simply improve their overall life and body strength.

This story is different and has so much more meaning. Not to say those goals mentioned above aren’t life changing. But Lisa came to me for a different purpose and goal; one of several that I thought was so extra special. I’d like to refer to them really as “life” goals, because if you can clarify your life goals your body goals will simply follow.  One of those special goals was she wanted to slim down enough to fit into her mother’s vintage dress. But as I’ve learned it really goes far and above beyond that.

Like many of us in our lives losing a loved one is a devastating event.  Lisa has recently experienced the loss of a loved one, her companion and boyfriend of 8 years. In addition to that she had a terrible case of viral meningitis which can be fatal and had very painful, debilitating symptoms that can last for some time. This you can imagine was a real blow to her body and spirit.

So now that you have a peek into the life of Lisa, I will now share with you her own words that I’m sure will have you cheering and smiling, but also maybe cause you to reflect on what is important in your life, right now. That is her desire for you.

Lisa writes, “Fitting into my mom’s dress was really sparked because of the loss of Ed and my bout with viral meningitis and the realization that you never know when your last day on earth might be.  I’ve been wanting for years to slim down to get into this dress but what good would it be if I couldn’t share it with my mom.  She is 82. I’m of the mindset now that you can’t put things off for a better day.  That better day may never come and if you want to do something there is not time like the present.  I’ve spent a lot of life either living in the past or in the future and the key I think to happiness is just being present in your today.”

Lisa Again, thank you Lisa for opening your heart and sharing your deepest truths.

The minute I met Lisa I knew that she had an inner drive and a certain level of determination that once she wrote down a goal ( which I always suggest ), she’s the kind of person who would absolutely do it.  To say she is a perfectionist I think she wouldn’t mind, but to say that she raises her own bar very high, I think she would agree. I love that.

I was also very keen to observe it would not take long for her to achieve her goals because I could tell with her professional background being of one that is incredibly demanding with no room for error; that would serve the mental part of our training program, and allow her for a built in level of discipline which is the hardest part for most.

Lisa began her training with me July 8, 2013 and in just a short 9 weeks she accomplished her goal! I was so impressed and thrilled for her that I begged her for a photo of her in her mother’s dress.  And here we are. She was never afraid to be uncomfortable while we were training.  As a matter of fact, I needed to encourage her to have just a little more fun and not be too serious during our sessions so she could enjoy the journey.

Her program was directed at a higher level of cardio more often during her work week. I designed a program to include weight training with many different variables so that we could get the desired “cut” and “lean out” results we wanted.  She was not needing to shed much weight at all, in fact her weight did not change much, but what DID change was her measurements and very noticeably.

Continue reading Achieving Personal Life and Fitness Goals Is Special for Everyone