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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!

Why Pushups Are Good for You

Why Pushups Are Good for You

Aloha to pushup fans or not.  I’m writing to little note to encourage you and motivate you as to why pushups are so good for you. Before you grumble, moan and wince or whine, take a moment and see yourself as happy, full of energy and looking and feeling great. All that I just mentioned are wonderful reasons alone to drop down and give yourself 5 or ten.

Suzie Push Ups

We all the know the benefits of being healthy and strong and how amazing you feel after a fantastic workout. But if you’re short on time and want to elevate your mood, your energy and your outlook for the rest of day, a good ol’ set of pushups is just the thing to help.  Below are some tips on how to perform a proper push up.

Just recently I posted to my Suzie Trains Maui Facebook Page a pushup challenge and wow wee did I get someCathy Gillis for Suzie Trains Maui fantastic photos of some folks with amazing enthusiasm and inspiration for everyone. Click here to read all the great comments.  In this photo is amazing all-star Molokai 2 Oahu cheerleader of my escort boat, all the way from the beautiful mountains of Canada, Cathy Gillis in great form.

CathyGilis for Suzie Trains Maui

Nice job Cathy.  Cathy is a fitness maven and spends a lot of time on Maui training for all the sports she loves. She also does pushups to elevate her mood when the sun disappears for some time.

Pushups bring a lot of blood flow to the heart and increase total body circulation also inscreasing the levels of the feel good hormones, known as serotonin. Also it increases your chest, tricep and upper back strength.  When I feel tired or sluggish, I will instantly drop down and do five standard pushups. Wow, the big boost of energy I get is amazing and helps me through to the next task.

You can do knee bent or the real deal. You can also use a bench or wall to modify your pushup.  Try 5 a day then each time add one more. Pretty soon you’ll be up to maybe 10 in a blink.  You’ll look and feel great too.  Another added benefit is that a standard pushup can burn approximately

I like to pushups and will do them also do a few on the beach before I enter the water to help pump me up as a pre-surf or paddlesurf warm up.  I feel super strong even with just 3.

Here is my training tip on “how to perform a solid pushup”  You can perform knee bent or standard:

Progression 1: Knee Bent: You can also place hands on a bench. Begin by kneeling on the mat with both knees shoulder width apart. Place hands on the ground ( see photo ) in front of you palms-down on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart. They should be about next to your shoulders, with your elbows pointed towards your feet behind you. Your head and neck should be a neutral state. Engage your core muscles and lower your body to the ground and don’t allow your butt to fly into the air, and bring your chin towards the ground. Slowly push up to your start position and repeat. Maintain a straight back and keep tempo smooth and controlled. Push a big breath out. Do not allow head to drop or jut forward.

Progression 2: Standard Push-Up:

Begin in a plank position on the floor with your feet together and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage your core muscles. Keeping your back flat and head neutral slower lower your body toward to the floor. If you can’t make it all the way as if your chin is touching the floor, push back up to starting position. Do not allow head to drop or jut forward or let your hips sag. Exhale a big breath out.

Various hand positions:  You can also change up the standard push-up with different hand positions underneath you.  For example, the triangle position, hands more wide, or hands closer to the interior of your chest.  Find the right one for you and mix it up. Each one offers more stress to the tricep region and the others more stress on the chest.

Lastly, you can also place your feet on top of a the BOSU to mix things up and recruit the core muscles at a higher level.

Good luck and let me know how you’re doing.  Mahalo for stopping by and keep up the good work!

Suzie Cooney

Owner of Suzie Trains Maui

Suzie Trains Maui

Quick Exercise Video Tip with Suzie Cooney: Walking for Exercise

Quick Exercise Tip with Suzie Cooney: Walking for Exercise

“Just go!”

The benefits of walking for exercise are amazing. Besides not needing to go to a gym, or the need for equipment that’s the first thing. Second, by just simply striking the ground with your own body weight

with that natural force production on your muscles and joints, allows for a gentle and normal stress to the body. This alone can tone your entire body,especially your legs and butt.  The average speed of walking at a normal pace is about 2.5 to 3 miles per hour.  You’ll burn more calories if you walk faster and the other side of the shoe is you’ll build your endurance muscles and gain more muscle endurance if you walk a longer distance. Both is wonderful.

Benefits of Walking:

Help you lose weight
Preserve muscle tone and strength
Good for you mental health
Reduce heart risk
Increase your metabolism
Increase bone strength
Give you a healthier outlook on life
Is a great warm up or cool down for your main workout

We often take the most simple things for granted.  In 2003 I suffered serious back pain to where I could barely walk. I had had a previous back surgery from other injuries and had re injured it after a dirt bike accident here on Maui.  That was it. I was down a hole and had to have friends come over and take turns helping me to the bathroom and then taking turns to shop and feed me.

Walking was my friend and it was all I could do to even try. When I could complete 1 mile I was over the moon happy. Then over time, slowly but steady I rebuilt my strength. Then a freak accident occurred in 2009 where I broke my legs and had to start over again after I lost all the muscles in my legs.  My back was fine, and I knew this time I would walk again, it would just be a longer road then the last. I’m very grateful for my health and strength.

To increase your walking exercise to a higher level, simply walk faster for a short distance and then slow down to a normal pace and repeat.   You can also find a hill or two to add to the intensity. Remember to keep good posture as you begin to climb or as the elevation changes and keep your breath steady.

You can also give yourself little goals.For example time yourself or have a set distance in your mind and gradually add to that.  You’ll be amazed how great you’ll feel.

Drop a line and let me know if you’re a walker too. I’d love to hear from you.

All in all it’s still a great workout and in my book of training it counts! So go!

Mahalo and in good health,

To see all of my videos click here: 

Suzie Cooney
Suzie Trains Maui

Suzie Cooney

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Protein Solution: Simple Delicious Baked Tofu

Protein Solution: Simple Delicious Baked Tofu with Tamari Seasoning

Suzie Trains Maui Part of your success to healthy eating is being well prepared to eat well and finding healthy protein alternatives. Granted some will argue on the quality of protein values. Don’t over complicate it. I’m not a big cook and need to eat for energy and have very little time. This simple, delicious recipe for baked tofu is a great addition to make your meal more complete and tasty and packed with good things.

I must admit, I’m not normally a fan of tofu if it wiggles and tastes like tofu. So that’s why in this recipe I chose the super firm organic tofu to stand up to my taste buds and allow for finicky preferences for texture be swayed.

I love to put tofu in my salad as a substitute or alternative to chicken or other meat based protein. Tofu offers 17 grams of protein in a ¼ cup, 135 mg of potassium and it’s fairly low in calories.


package of organic firm or super firm tofu
1 cup brewers yeast
tbls of garlic powder
sunflower oil
low sodium tamari seasoning

Here’s how you can prepare your tasty tofu: Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tofu in to four blocks then cut lengthwise again. Gently place in bowl and pour generous amount of low sodium tamari seasoning to coat all pieces and turn and cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

Prepare cookie sheet with tinfoil and transfer tofu. With spoon, drizzle sunflower oil over tofu, followed with the brewer’s yeast and then a dash of garlic powder. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes, cube if you like and add to any salad or other meal you enjoy.

In good health,

Suzie Cooney

Suzie Cooney
Suzie Trains Maui

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Married 2 The Ocean: In The Spirit of the 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu

Married 2 The Ocean…In the Spirit of the 2014,  Molokai 2 Oahu
By Suzie Cooney

Be sure to check out the cool new videos below! 

Suzie Cooney

Like others here, you probably have a serious relationship with the ocean.  This could be our common thread that brings us all back together no matter where you are at this moment.  That is pretty awesome.

This shared love is probably the only acceptable polygamous, open relationship one is allowed to have… in public anyway.   You’re safe here.

My affinity and seduction with the ocean is very serious, so much so I think that I may put it first above those of the humans I know and love.  I will not apologize for this but only hope and imagine that others share the same relationship “status.”

It is a very healthy thing to have in one’s life and it must not be taken for granted. Like all relationships, it must be well cared for and nurtured and requires a mutual respect of one another.  You must treat it the way you want to be treated.

I have made many big sacrifices in my life; some personal and some financial to make room for this relationship. I broke up with the traditional ways of earning a living that caused huge amounts of stress and strife. Fifteen years since I have found a way to fully immerse myself in it and have no regrets.  My rewards are above and beyond what money can buy.

You see, I am married to the ocean.  I’m already taken and spoken for. It’s kind of like a mortal relationship except, the ocean is always right and can reject me and hurt me in one second, but I keep going back. In the end I learn great lessons about myself and more about it’s changing ways.  The lumps on the head or even stitches and physical and mental scars are reminders of how I had to learn.

I’ve been to the water’s edge many times observing the waves, the winds, the tides and have sometimes felt a strange, distant unnerving feeling in my gut that kept me on the shore.  Those have always been the best decisions and I’ve never taken it personally.

Speaking to that the ocean never says no but sometimes it says in it’s own way,  “maybe not today, stay on land, it may not be your day.” My patience is tested, my anticipation deflated but my love for it never waivers. There is always tomorrow. I am not scorned or jealous.

When it’s good, it’s REALLY good if you know what I mean! The feeling you get when everything is right from the textures of the water to the color of the sky reflecting on it.  Then comes the rush and gush you feel deep in your soul.  From riding an awesome wave, catching a long glide or just being in it is enough of a fix for me.  Although I don’t have a sparkly ring to show for it, the ocean loves me back in it’s own way, full on.

Always having been a water person, even before I moved to Maui in 1999, the ocean is truly my happy place.  Somehow I have figured out a way to create and make the ocean my play and work and for that I am the most grateful.  But now I will face the ocean’s ultimate test.

It’s been a calling, and will soon be the final chapter of my book and that is the Molokai to Oahu, the M2O channel crossing this year, Sunday July 27, 2014.  The start is at the Northeast shore of the island of Molokai crossing 32 miles of the Ka’ iwi Channel finishing at Hawaii Kai on Oahu.


Myself along with my relay partner and dear friend, Stephen Ross we will give it our best.  On board, our friend, mentor, coach and channel champion, Jeremy Riggs, Cathy Gillis wife to Stephen, my boyfriend Tommy and Simone Reddingius, affectionately known as Monie Pie; who will capture our adventure.

The feeling I have is hard to describe as we approach but our desire is to finish with a smile and for our support team on board to have an amazing experience with us; one they will not forget.

The training has been intense and the organizing of a million and one logistics are all a part of the fun. Then there is the unknown of what the ocean will decide to do that day; that alone has been something to process in my mind. The more I think about it’s hard to put my head around, but if I observe in my mind at 10,000 feet I’m able to better grasp the reality.

We are accepting of the challenges that wait no matter what.  Our personal commitment to ourselves, our team and finally to the ocean will be and open book with the anticipation of a wonderful story and photos to share.

Being married to ocean is a good thing you see but this union will be tested. It is a committed relationship that one cannot undo or take away.  Divorce is never an option!

Here is a recent two minute action video that fully expresses all the above.TURN IT UP!!  Enjoy and thank you for your continued friendship and support. Stay tuned next month to learn how the crossing it went.

I’d like to mention my mentors and friends that inspire me:  Karen Wrenn, Bill Boyum, Loch Eggers, Bill Hofmann, Randy Royse, Ralf Sifford, Kathy Shipman, Dave Kalama, Kody and Buzzy Kerbox, Jenny Kalmbach, Andrea Moeller, Peggy King, Livio Menelau, Bart de Zwart, Annabel Anderson, Gregg Leion, Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Chuck Patterson, Manca Notar, Michi Schweiger, Johnny Kessel, and many more.

To learn more about the M2O, watch this cool video: “We Arrive” Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Thanks to my sponsors: Naish, BLUESMITHS, Indo Board Balance Trainer, Pocketfuel Naturals, RAWElements USA, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear

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Suzie Cooney Suzie Cooney
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

VIDEO All-In-One Exercise: Improve Your Balance, Core & Reflex Speed

All-In-One Exercise: Increase Your Balance, Core & Reflexes

Tim Ellison

Tim Ellison of Maui, Hawaii

If you’re looking for one exercise that is super fun and challenging, go no further.  I’ve developed this exercise for my clients that is really an all-in-one workout. If you want to improve your balance, challenge your brain, increase your hand-to-eye coordination, increase core strength, then get on your knees and prepare for the ultimate game changer.

Think of this for a moment: If you’re racing and rounding  a buoy you are looking for the person’s position and next action. Are you ready to block or pass? Or, the gate drops into the first turn and you’re heading into a banking berm on the dirt bike track. To avoid locking handlebars in such a critical moment you need to react fast and keep your limbs tight to the bike versus risking any threat like that.

How about a common one here on Maui: You have the right of way and you’re about to have a water disaster with another windsurfer, surfer or kiter…Is your brain going to connect fast enough to the rest of your body to actually do what you need to do, rather than just being a thought?

You can increase how your brain responds to changing water conditions, like chop to small or big waves. Or if you’re a tennis player charging the net getting ready to volley, this exercise will be very key for you.  This is also great for those simply wanting to be able to quickly respond to a simple lifestyle incident; such as catching your cell phone mid-air before it shatters to the ground. I’m sure you get the idea.

Reflexes: An action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought. Some people are cat-like, others well, turtle-like.  You need them in life and  you need them in sport.

I am constantly challenging all of my clients’  reflexes no matter what level of fitness they present and not only for windsurfers, paddlers and kiters, but for everyone.  With fast reflexes you can get out of a heap of trouble fast or you just may save someone’s life.

I’ve featured Tim Ellison, Maui’s super fast speed demon windsurfer before on this blog;  but in photo above,  he is ripping across the ocean like he always does with confidence. He’s so laser focused while scanning the horizon and the breaking waves and ready for anything!

I train Tim a lot, especially during the prime of our windsurf season so he is ready for everything. He’s usually pretty on most days and on this day, he went for a PR and probably could have gone to 40 if I let him.

NOTE: This exercise is for the advanced few who already have a level of comfort and skill of balancing on their knees on a stability ball. If you’re just starting out,  maybe start by standing in front of the BOSU on two feet, progress to one for extra balance training.

Equipment:  One BOSU, small firm rubber ball, a 55-75cm stability ball and courage.


Begin by knee balancing on the ball ( takes LOTS of practice ), deflate ball for less action, inflate to rock hard for faster action.  Place BOSU in front of you at a distance you can focus on a small area as your desired target.  To gauge the proper distance, you may want to give a few tosses while standing in front of it.


Keep hips slightly bent, unhook your feet behind you from ball, and go for it.  You may get to 3 or 5 and that’s cool.  Each time you’ll get better and better.  You can time yourself and see how many catches you can make, or simply have goals of whatever is challenging.   You can experiment with moving the BOSU a little away from you too.

This is the ultimate training for those seeking a fun new way to increase their reaction to any stimulus whether it be moving waves, reading a competitor next to you on a tight turn or for preparing you for anything that may unexpectedly cross your path.

The muscles targeted here are the inner thighs or adductors, all the core muscles, hip flexors for sure and you may start to sweat. Your brain will be in neurotransmitter heaven.

Good luck and have fun!


Suzie Cooney

Suzie Cooney, CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

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Women's Health Magazine Shares My Story on The Scary Fish Poisoning You Don't Know About

Women’s Health Magazine Online breaks my story today; one that needs to be shared with people and physicians world-wide.

The Scary Fish Poisoning Disease You Haven’t Heard Of:

I am approaching 3 years to the day, June 11, 2011; of when I first contracted this mysterious fish borne disease, ciguatera.  This debilitating condition has turned my life upside down but has given me a deep appreciation for those who suffer from neurological, untreatable medical conditions.



Mostly, I am humbled and inspired to think of so many people who endure chronic nerve pain on a daily basis and how they go on.  I will be very honest that this has been more difficult than having back surgery, broken legs at the same time; or even after a restaurant building’s roof, caved in on my head here on Maui in 2002; leaving me with a shaved head and stitches from ear to ear.  I would rather have any of those circumstances than dealing with ciguatera.

It is triggered by sunlight, intense exercise, alcohol, eating fish again, some nuts and is slow to ever go dormant.  My skin is usually a red-tan and the burning is insane and can make you insane.

The public, physicians and anyone traveling especially to exotic locations where they serve fish, such as sea bass, grouper, barracuda, snapper; need to be very aware of any unusual symptoms that may occur upon ingestion. It’s not often immediate.

To learn more and read my original story: A Personal Peek Into My Life: Living With Cigautera, click here   or here:   Here is an excerpt  “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?

The best I can do is share my story and continue to try and “live” my active lifestyle as it is my career.  We don’t have the answers to many things but hopefully one day there may be a way to permanently rid my body of this toxin.

I’d like to personally thank Kenny Thapoung and his editor, Amy Keller Laird, Executive Editor of Women’s Health.


Suzie Cooney
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Suzie Cooney

Calling All Ocean FUN Seekers on Maui to the 6th Annual OluKai Ho'olaule'a

Suzie Trains Maui

Maui, Hawaii   Saturday May 10, 2014 

OluKai Race 2014

OluKai Race 2014

Calling All Ocean “FUN” Seekers
No, this is not a casting call for the next hot reality paddling show.

If you’re reading this if you:

A: Are super intelligent and fun to be around
B: Love the ocean and everything that surrounds it
C: Want to have fun with your family & friends
D: Desire to up your ocean confidence
E: Embrace the Hawaiian culture, food, ancient games & music

OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2014 Maui Hawaii Fun Paddle

If you fit this description to all the above then we want you! Come join us for the 6th Annual Olukai Ho’olaule’a FUN Paddle. This traditional paddle division allows everyone, all ages, all levels of paddlers, anything you can humanly paddle; and the paddle downwind is only 3 miles! Kayaks, canoes, SUP, prone, even bathtubs can enter.

Olukai Ho'olaule'a 2013 Fun Paddle

 This is your chance to be a part of the ocean ohana, test your skills, enjoy my “special” pre paddle warm-up and participate in an event sure to leave you feelingfull of lots of Aloha!

Check in time is 8:00am at the Paia Youth & Cultural Center
Start time is 9:00am Paddlers will enter Paia Bay and finish at Kanaha State Beach

PRE-REGISTER NOW by clicking here
The cost is $25. Onsite registration is $30 ***Entry fee includes event t-shirt
and donation to our Ohana Giveback Program benefiting Paia Youth & Cultural Center, Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program.

Continue reading Calling All Ocean FUN Seekers on Maui to the 6th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a

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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