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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!

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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Achieving Personal Life and Fitness Goals Is Special for Everyone

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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

Eat This Simple and Stay Sexy

Eat This Simple and Stay Sexy

photo by Simone All Rights Reserved

It’s hard to make food sexy, but it’s easy when I know first hand this keeps me in my bikini all year round. On Maui, we live in our bathing suits and as a fitness trainer, athlete and model I need to eat lean, eat for energy so I can look good and perform.

This is what I reach for before any serious long distance paddling, or before a big workout. I need low calorie, low fat energy food that will not make me bloated or feel sluggish. I love that in one cup with the combination of quality Greek yogurt, such  Fage 0%  One cup of this yogurt has zero fat, 130 calories, 9g of carbs and 23 grams of quality protein! Then I combine  this with a 1/2- 1 cup of GO Lean Crunch this gives me an additional source of more protein, fiber, potassium and a touch of honey to make it a little sweet. The additional 80 calories I can afford and need.

What a winning combination that sustains and fills me. I never feel hungry and I won’t crash when I enjoy this for a meal or pick me up. You can also add a bit a fruit too.

Remember to keep food and nutrition simple. Calories, fat content and sugar in your foods does matter.  I also suggest to my clients who want help with counting their calories for shedding weight or maintaining weight, the highly rated, easy and fun to use, food diary smart phone application, called My FitnessPal. It’s free! click here to learn more:
Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to share or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

Mahalo, Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

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Suze’s Photo by Simone Reddingius: Check out her work here:

References:  Fage 0%

GO Lean:


Special Trainer's Note from Suzie Cooney How to Be Pro Self

Special Trainer’s Note from Suzie Cooney, CPT

 How to Be “Pro Self”

You can waste a great deal of time trying to find your waist line if you’ve tried without success. Are you on track after you’ve made countless New Year’s Resolutions year after year? Having a pro in your corner can make all the difference and save you lots of money, calories and improve your overall “life” performance.

Let’s face it shedding weight and getting toned, in either order can be difficult, frustrating and take a really long time if you don’t know how or where to start. We all need a cheerleader, a person to hold us accountable besides our boss or spouse; someone that can find a “fun” way to make it all happen.

If you’re ready to really get real, I’m real serious about helping you. It takes two and I can’t do it alone, so if you’re ready to hold yourself up, look in the mirror and start loving what you see, how you feel, you’re halfway there. You’re amazing!

I’m available via SKYPE world-wide or in person while you’re on Maui, or if you live local even better. Your health matters, how you feel about yourself matters. You don’t have to be a pro surfer, just the pro of yourself to be “pro self.” Make the time, make the investment and your life will change.

Suzie Cooney,CPT
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

 Questions? Feel free to contact me through our website.

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Eddie from Oregon SUP Training Continues To Stroke & Stoke on Maui

Ed and Judy on their Naish Glides head out for a session with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains MauiIn my line of work, I meet so many people who leave a lasting positive impression on my life. But when I learn that I’ve done the same for them, it makes what I do even that much more meaningful!

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I’d love to share this blog post with you from two of my very spirited clients, Ed and Judy from Bend, OR (you might remember them from an earlier article: Eddie’s SUP Fitness Journey Part One: Goal Olukai Ho’olaule’a SUP Race Maui 2013).

Original article published by Elder SUP on

“Sometimes fate seems to send a subtle message in ordinary observations. This time it came from a name and the resulting initials – Suzie Cooney, SC. Ed and I are in week 8 of our “Eddie Will Go on the Olukai Ho’olaule’a” race – comeback from extensive shoulder surgery. Week 8 is the best one yet. We are actually in Maui and are SUP surfing and doing sweet down-winders every day on our Naish 14? Glide GX. Last night we had dinner with our trainer-from-a-distance, Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui.

There’s nothing like a face-to-face conversation over ono burgers at the Fish Market Restaurant in Paia, especially after all the support we’ve gained from Suzie over the past months. How did two 63 year olds from Oregon come to be trained by Suzie Cooney on Maui? That’s quite a story.

We were casually playing at down-wind riding while on vacation in Maui in May 2011. Hearing that the Olukai Ho’olaule’a offered a “fun race” of just 4 miles we grabbed our rental surfboards and registered. The day of the race we were all butterflies and doubt.  Ed was having shoulder surgery 4 days later and we were second-guessing everything. Then the announcer gathered us all for a pre-race warm-up, and we met Suzie.

With a warm smile and ultimate encouragement she talked and moved the nervous group through breathing, stretching and a warm-up. Surprisingly, by the time we were done the group had a relaxed and solidified feel. Then we were off for one of the most exhilarating fun-runs ever. We decided that when Ed was able to train after his surgery, just seven weeks ago, we would start training with Suzie. We set a goal to do the 8-mile run from Maliko Gulch to Kanaha. Suzie’s regimine has been just what Ed needed.

Meeting up with Suzie last night confirmed it, she has the absolute best initials for her spirit and talent:

1. SC – Sincere compassion: Ed is coming back from an injury and Suzie’s compassion for the struggle is obvious. It takes quite a bit of digging to gain the information that might attribute to that. Suzie is no stranger to injury, rehab, set-backs and the value of dedication and solid training. She has walked the talk, and then some.

2. SC – Social commitment: Much like Olukai, the sponsor of the Ho’olaule’a, Suzie has always had a strong commitment to her community and sharing her expertise and talent. We love that and it sets the same tone that we go for at Elder SUP

3. SC – Strategic communication: Suzie is about the busiest person I know. There is no place for the luxury of time wasted. When we use SKYPE or e-mail to gain insights and training strategies Suzie is always ready to communicate, but to the point and with Continue reading Eddie from Oregon SUP Training Continues To Stroke & Stoke on Maui

SUP Pro Talk Workshop Benefits Paddlers While Supporting Mental Illness Campaign

Suzie Cooney gets the crowd going at Lumeria Maui

Maui, HI
November 27, 2012

Stand up paddlers of all skill levels gathered on the serene grounds of Lumeria Maui on November 3rd for the SUP Pro Talk Workshop with Suzie Cooney. The educational (and fun!) land-based event touched on many important topics for paddlers, including the health benefits of SUP, water safety and ocean preparedness, SUP fitness techniques and training demos, and equipment reviews.

Clay Everline, M.D., co-author of the Surf Survival Health Hand Book, was on hand with a valuable lecture on First Aid, and pro paddler, Jeremy Riggs, heated the afternoon up with his tips on downwind paddling. Suzie Cooney, as charming as ever, kept the crowd entertained and engaged with her informative and “hands on” teaching style.

The big winner of the day was the organization Bring Change 2 Mind, as 90% of the event’s proceeds went to supporting the group’s fight to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. The organization, founded by actress Glenn Close, provides educational material and a meeting place for a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.

Suzie shares:

“We were thrilled to sell out three months in advance. That really confirmed to me that people are eager to learn and support the sport. I’m a big advocate of those dealing with mental illness, so I wanted to spread the word about the organization I support, Bring Change 2

Clay Everline, M.D. was very informative and entertaining, as was Jeremy Riggs, our local downwind pro who shared some of his helpful tips. The participants had great questions, which was helpful for the entire audience!

The event supporters and sponsors including, Naish, Kaenon Polarized Eyewear, Indo Board Balance Trainer, Pocket Fuel Naturals, Scosche Health & Fitness and CamelBak Hydration Packs, were all very generous in providing some great raffle prizes. People were stoked to win products that compliment their SUP lifestyle.” -Suzie Cooney, CPT, owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

Bring Change 2 Mind.orgFor more information about Bring Change 2 Mind, visit:

For more Stand Up Paddling Fitness Techniques, Success Stories, Workouts and Upcoming Events, visit:


Hop Aboard The Indo Board Balance Trainer My Favorite Training Gear FREE SHIPPING


If you’ve not tried the Indo Board Balance Trainer’s full line of training gear, it is the most “functional” fun you’ll ever have. Whether it’s a gift for you or someone you know, no matter what level of fitness or goals in your training you may have, this gear will deliver!

I’ve written so many articles about the benefits training with the Indo Board Balance Training equipment on how anyone can build their total body strength, no matter what level of fitness. Here’s one on leg strength. My clients and pro athletes range in so many arenas and levels of performance to the person returning to fitness.  This is also excellent for cross training for any athlete or sport.

Your legs, hips, abs, and even your upper body will benefit from all of the exercise you can perform on this training gear. You advance or progress accordingly to your currently level of strength and it’s so fun and easy. You can perform endless exercises and make your training program totally efficient. When you order your Indo Board Balance Training gear, it also comes with a helpful DVD.

Pro SUP paddlers Kody Kerbox and Casper Steinfaith showing off their strong leg training

My background is working directly with orthopedic sports surgeons, the patients and then myself. I broke both legs several years ago and the Indo Board Balance Trainer Gigante Cushion coupled with the Kicktail board was my main source of rehab. Granted I check in with my doc, but wow I was back to surfing amazingly and SUP and windsurfing with new found strength.

You hear of the “core”. What is the true definition of the “core” ? It is everything in your body excluding your extremities.  It’s not just your abs as many mistakenly thing. Your butt muscles, or “glutes” need to fire in addition your brain needs to send signals to the deep pelvic floor muscles and then to the main joint to stabilize the appendage you may be stressing.  See this article on more on the core.  Here I am with Indo Board’s founder and amazing surfer, Hunter Joslin:

Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney

Now THIS is core training:

I’m a believer in what is called “brain training” and this also allows you to incorporate the neuromuscular uses of all the finite muscles around the major joints, such as the hips, knees and ankles, to fire in the necessary pattern to help develop one’s sense of reaction to a platform that is always moving. This is also referred to as reaction training; the ultimate level of training that recruits the muscles that tend to be under-active to join in on the challenge.

Here Suzie is on the IndoBoard Gigante Flo Cushion and the Kicktail board


Bottom line, it’s SO fun you don’t even know you’re training. The sports that really notice the immediate cross-over affect are surfing, windsurfing, kiting and stand up paddling;- all sports that have the common element of water that is changing underneath you.

However, you do not need to do any of these sports to enjoy the benefits.

Hop aboard and order yours today! If you need help deciding on what you may need for your health and training needs or for someone else on your list, please feel free to contact me through this website. I’m happy to help.

Suzie Cooney, CPT

Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC


Listen Here on How to Have a Guilt Free Thanksgiving Holiday

November 20, 2012
Maui, HI. 

These are my quick tips I’ve shared today on my weekly health and fitness and all about SUP radio show, on how to enjoy this holiday’s feast and not have a guilty conscious. I was thinking of something different to offer the public, and maybe create a pre-thanksgiving help line, but not for how to cook a turkey but to help counsel those who are already stressing about gaining weight. I think I could be on to something!

According to online surveys the average person will eat over 4,000 and 229 grams of fat, the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Yikes.  Not to mention the additional increase in sodium intake may leave you feeling bloated and miserable. Do you know how hard  you’ll have to work to burn that off?  Very!

Continue reading Listen Here on How to Have a Guilt Free Thanksgiving Holiday

Nevada SUP Paddler Scott Boyles checking in with a Big Win and Big Stoke

One of the many rewards of helping people with their stand up paddling stroke/fitness/technique is getting emails, photos and updates of their stoke and even better, wins in their local events. Makes a coach proud!

I had the chance to catch up with Scott Boyles at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point where I could see from the fire in his eyes, discipline and strength in his body that this was only the beginning for him.

Scott Boyle and Suzie Cooney at the BOP at Dana Point, CA 2012

Suzie & Scott2012 BOP Dana Point, CA.

Scott came to Maui with his wife Cheryl last year and took a lesson with me to improve his stroke. He was incredibly technical which I enjoyed all the more. He got it and he got it fast. As a student, he was a quick study and understood the finer nuances that take most people a little more time to grasp. With his anatomical knowledge and practice, I knew he’d have big breakthroughs too.

As he was already in excellent shape, it didn’t take him long to find his true core power ( about 5 minutes! ).  He was able to understand how to use and transfer that power directly to the board and water. Impressive.

Scott writes:
“I had paddled[only twice in my life. My wife Cheryl and I went to Maui, called Suzie Cooney. She invited us on a community downwinder from Paia Bay to Kanaha. Could barely stay on the board! Then I took a personal paddle lesson from her, and she demonstrated the great ability to coach technique, but more importantly communicate in an effective way. She was also so laid back as was the community she introduced us to, it really made it a awesome experience.

Went home, bought a board and set the goal to complete the 22 miler across Tahoe race (supported by a lovely wife who knows I need a “focus” on a physical activity).  [I] achieved that in 2011. Did a number of other races, many sponsored by South Lake Tahoe Stand Up Paddle. Trained more, paddled lots, coached more by Tracy Day, bought another board a Flatwater Paddle, a fricking rocket. Then won the 18-55 age group in the 12′ 6″ class in the 2012, 22 miler. By the way, all at age 50!

Suzie is definitely a high ranking ambassador of SUP awesomeness, along with many others.”

So when I saw Scott again, as a trainer, of course, I noticed his ripped abs and asked if he’d share his training secret. He makes it look so easy!

Scott Boyle performs the plank on an SUP
Scott Boyle defying gravity in plank pose on his SUP

“For my abs: I do crunches once every couple months or so, up to 5 reps maybe 3 sets max. They are hard on the back and really unnecessary! (I learned a lot about true core strength following my second lower back surgery.) Ab strength is totally built on exercises that are based on core and balance as the primary foundation.”

Scott also came in 3rd in age group and 8th overall in the famous Tahoe Nalu long distance race.

Continue reading Nevada SUP Paddler Scott Boyles checking in with a Big Win and Big Stoke

Balance and Strength Training Pays Off for Maui Windsurfer

Aloha Windsurf Enthusiasts,

I’m so grateful of the kindness and feedback that every so often comes my way, as it is the greatest reward. My clients inspire me everyday with their dedication to their water sports and health. As a trainer who specializes in water sports performance and windsurfer myself, it’s pretty awesome to get emails like the one below written by my client, Mike Abrams of Pukalani, Maui.  Mahalo Mike!

“To all those water sports men and women it may concern,

After my sailing sessions yesterday and today, I simply felt compelled to write this endorsement about Suzie’s training methods, that I have been blessed with for almost 5 years. I am the luckiest windsurfer on the planet to have found Suzie as my personal trainer. Every day, I find that I am performing moves and controlling my board and sail better than ever before. I am a very humble person, with I hope a low ego and no expectations of how I am going to sail with each session.

However, I can honestly let my fellow sailors know that I have improved, and sail with much more confidence and balance skills than ever before, no matter what the conditions seem to be. Like today, I sailed an hour and a half and never missed one jibe and yesterday sailed in overpowering conditions, and performed jibes on the outside (while most folks fell into the over choppy and gusty blown water) with total control.

I directly attribute these increased balance skills to Suzie’s training which includes not only balance training, but core strength training too, along with regular weight lifting. I can actually feel my legs lifting up from a squatted position (because of having to keep the board on the water in over powered conditions around the turns) towards windward to help keep my balance. Also, I can now jibe in light winds with much greater confidence because of Continue reading Balance and Strength Training Pays Off for Maui Windsurfer