Baby got BACK!

July 27th, 2012

Ok, so I know I said I would follow up with a chest and shoulder workout, but I simply cannot WAIT to share my new back day PR! Training back has always been one of my favorite days, and for quite a while I paired it with biceps.  For some time now it’s been given it’s own day to shine and I’ve noticed huge strength gains over the past year even.

I remember watching a girl do dumbbell rows with 35’s and thinking “Ooh I can’t wait until I can do that”.  I set the bar at that, and have been pushing it higher ever since.  One of my fellow Team MASS guys and I have been swapping PR’s forever, it seems… along with progress shots and of course, FOOD PORN! He’s one of the guys on the team I know I can go to for a kick in the butt, laugh, or a “daaamn, that’s crazy…for a girl ;) ” So when I actually managed to dumbbell row 55’s for 2 sets of 7 after telling myself to wait for the 50’s, I knew the first person I had to tell was a mere iMessage away.  Thanks George :P

My worst enemy has always been that bit of self doubt, which I know many other people struggle with.  I guess it’s out of fear to fail – but you cannot succeed at anything if you don’t try, fail, and try again.  So here we go. No more self doubt.  If I want to try something, I’m going to do it.  If I find a goal outside my comfort zone, I’ll make a point to accomplish it.  I won’t shy away from lifting heavier than I ever have, or taking risks outside of the gym that I never thought to.

Now, back to my original topic; MY BACK DAY!

*Dumbbell rows

1 set 30’s warm up

1 set 35’s – 15

1 set 40’s – 12 to 15

1 set 45’s – 10 to 12

2 sets 55’s – 7

*One arm lat pull downs

4 sets per side

*Machine pulldowns…high row/lat thing (So technical, eh? It’s by the water fountain @  Nairn…you’ve seen it! lol)

2 sets w/ 45’s

1 set w/ 55 each side

1 set w/ 65 each side

1 set 45’s – single arm

*Bent over barbell rows

4 sets of 12

*Cable rows w/ rope

4 sets of 15

Next up: Chest and shoulders – What are some of your favorite shoulder exercises?

…Do these pants make my butt look big?!

July 17th, 2012

It seems that every fitness magazine cover on newsstands these days is plastered with BIG and BOLD headings almost jumping off the page promising to get you your BEST GLUTES EVER! Over the past few years I’ve noticed my personal collection of Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Hers magazines tabbed and post-it marked with the most popular glute growing, booty building exercises and workouts in the industry. It used to seem that women were always worried about their butts looking too big, and now we just can’t get enough of the shelf ass!
This used to be the toughest muscle for me to develop…oh gluteus why won’t you reach your maximus size?! It took me three years and thousands of squats, lunges, high and wide leg presses, split squats, hip thrusts, and donkey kicks (SO FUN) to even begin shaping my butt, but it’s become one of my best features.
I have been training legs twice a week for quite some time, since I was told I “needed shoulders and an ass” (a girl never forgets the most influential words in her life :P ) and don’t usually train the same way for my glutes/hamstring day twice in a row. I like to change it up and keep my favorite day fun!
A girlfriend of mine recently asked me what some of my favorite exercises were for targeting my Team MASS ass, so here goes…

- Single leg hip thrusts – foot on bosu ball (Warm up)
- Laying hamstring curls
- Squat press – high and wide
- Barbell squats or smith machine, depending on the gym.
- Weighted hip thrusts, superset with donkey kicks
- Bulgarian split squats
- Stiff legged deadlifts
- Walking lunges with kickbacks

My glutes day usually consists of at least 6 of these, and I will almost always superset body weight exercises such as walking lunges with kickbacks, and single leg hip thrusts.

I’ll leave you with today’s workout, and follow up next week with another one of my favorites – Chest and shoulders!

15 minutes warm up – elliptical

- 4 sets of 15 – 1 warm up, 3 heavy
Smith machine squats – deep!

- 4 Tri-sets of 15 each:
Single leg bosu hip thrusts
Deadlifts
Donkey kicks

- 5 sets of Incline leg press
1 set – 2 plates per side – 18 reps
2 sets – 3 plates per side – 15 reps
2 sets – 1 plate per side, single leg – 15 reps

- 4 sets Squat press leg press machine – 20 reps

30 minutes on the bike – 12 resistance, 1 min sprints, 20 sec recover…it got pretty messy!

Mid year check in…

July 9th, 2012

We’re halfway into the year, which also makes us six months away from my next New Year, new YOU post…and six months past the most recent. So where do you sit? I’ve always made it clear, in my opinion that you don’t need to flip the calendar to start from scratch and begin your journey to better health, or any other goal for that matter. Many people still see the start of a new year as their opportunity to start over, and some follow through while others fall off the wagon. Well here it is, my challenge to you to jump right back on. You are only halfway into 2012 and have plenty of time left to reflect on your lifestyle goals and make your plan of attack. Do you want to lean out? Add some muscle? Set a new personal best or try some new fitness classes? Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you need to accept first and foremost that it will NOT happen over night. Each and every day you tackle your challenges you are one step closer to where you want to be. You won’t get there by sitting and wishing, but by sweating, working, and quite possibly swearing.
It won’t be easy. Anything worth it in the end never is, but that feeling of accomplishment is second to none. The adrenaline you feel when you reach your goal is remarkable and will push you to keep going, always challenging yourself.
Start simple. What do you need to make your goal attainable? Do you need a trainer? (I happen to know one or two GREAT ones :P )
Maybe you need to find a workout partner to help keep you accountable, or a group to help you stay motivated. The friends and fitness family I’ve come to love, Team MASS is second to none. We’re always here for each other, day or night…whether it’s to lift or to talk.

Make small goals to achieve larger ones. If you’re looking to make some considerable gains in strength then make some small targets along the way. Start NOW, not tomorrow.
If you’re one of those that has kept true to their goals this year, what were they? Have you hit them? And what are you doing next?

I’ve always had shows and competitions lined up as goals to keep me motivated but with the time off ahead of me from competing I’m looking at other fitness opportunities. I’m still doing the Dirty Donkey Mud Run in August with a full team and have made a point to hit up Zumba classes and body flow with a girlfriend at least once a week for something new. Fitness classes were never my favorite, maybe because I look absolutely ridiculous…but it’s a way to stay in touch with some great friends and have fun while working out all at the same time, so why not?

Set your goals in motion and knock them off one by one.  There is SO much opportunity to try new things and push yourself outside of your comfort zone – get on it!

The way I see it…

July 1st, 2012

I’m one of those people tends to jump all in or not all.  So when I was training for this past show I put most of my spare time into training, prepping and more cardio than I’ve ever experienced.  Now that the show is done (Show #6) I find myself with quite a bit more time on my hands then I know what to do with sometimes.  I’m still training as usual but taking more rest days than I have in the past which is challenging mentally, but definitely beneficial in the long run.  Dieting is a little bit of a challenge, but I truly enjoy the foods in my diet no matter what time of year it is or how far out I am from another show, so it doesn’t seem torturous.

I’ve had a few weeks to sit and think about what I want to do next.  I’ve also had quite a number of people ask me when my next show is, and I both love and dread the thought that I have no idea.

When I look back at the last six shows I’ve done, I realize that I’ve always known within a couple of weeks where my next show falls…and the countdowns begin.  After talking with a good friend about it, I realized that I was using successive shows as my goals to stay in shape, and not planning them around the time I needed to adjust accordingly and make the changes I needed to.  I have come into each show looking better than the last, but what if I took more time than I have in the past between shows to really drop jaws?!

I know a few women that compete that have the same issues with post show that I’ve been experiencing – thoughts of “well, now what?”.  Try to have a plan as far as re-introducing foods back into your regular diet.  Yes, you’re going to gain a bit of weight, you won’t be stage lean year round, and you definitely won’t be stage tanned year round :P .  Make sure you get feedback if you plan to continue competing.  This will help give you direction as to what you need to bring up and work on, but take it in a positive motivating manner to fuel you for your workouts.

It’s hard to think that I won’t be competing for about a year but that doesn’t mean that I’m dropping the lifestyle, clean foods or training.  What you do each and every day will bring you closer to your goals, no matter how far away they are.  One day can make a difference so don’t write off today because you had a rough start.