FINAL FOUR by Jenn Lussier

May 26th, 2013

On the home stretch! 4 weeks out today, and I’m really starting to see all the detail to my last year of hard work. The successes, the areas where I know I could have tried harder. The body doesn’t lie. You get out what you put in.

I really like where my upper body is at this year. I can see some definite improvements, and thankfully, with the amount I am (still) eating, I have managed to keep up my strength. I am really starting to see the fibers of my lateral delts, and upper pecs, and have pulled out some nice rear delt improvements as well, adding to a much more developed and rounded out top.

Legs are trailing a bit, though still improved. This is where you can really tell where I mentally struggled. As a woman, it is very easy to neglect legs on the off season. Increased fat storage hides some of the striations that pump me up mentally during a work-out. I don’t see the pump the way I do with say a bicep. Also, let`s face it.. legs can burn like nothing else.. (okay, for me anyways) Next year a major goal will be to more conscious of tapping into that meditative state during legs where I disregard pain and really connect with my muscle on every rep. (`big legs, big legs`)

My final and incredibly joyful thought is: who knew you could eat so well and still lose so much weight!

I have been so happy and impressed with my training plan and the way my body is responding. This has been an amazing prep. It has added to my last four months, not taken away from them. I fully believe this CAN be a lifestyle and not a one-time goal. I feel well and alive, balanced and energetic…and very excited to rock that BC stage!!

Train Hard,

Joining the team

May 10th, 2013

Team Mass is growing all the time and i asked new client Charlene Boyachek to write a little something on her first couple months in. here is what she had to say

When I was given a chance to do a guest entry I wasn’t sure at first. I’m not a competitor, I’m not a fitness expert … I’m just an ordinary girl trying to get in better shape for her wedding. But then I realized there may be some other ordinary people; unhappy with their bodies and fitness levels, unsure of where to start…. and reading this blog. Well, MassMeltdown is the right place to start.

I had been ineffectively trying to lose weight for years and though I would make small progresses, it was short-lived and all I managed to do was maintain or slowly gain weight. After blood tests, doctor visits, being treated for hypothyroidism, seeing a dietician and casually trying every “diet” from low cal, to carb-less, to Canadian Food Guide…. my weight was still not budging.

My first day of wedding dress shopping, I began to realize the full extent of my body image issues and weight issues. I hated all the dresses I tried on. They looked great on the mannequins, but not on me – my stomach looked big, my arms looked soft, my back would squish out. It was hell seeing pictures from that day. Realizing that I didn’t feel good in ANY of those dresses; I just knew that on the Big Day, I couldn’t feel like that. I knew I needed big changes. And help – professional help!

After researching various training services online, emailing their trainers, comparing programs and costs, I decided on Ryan at MassMeltdown. After I ran his name by a couple body-building friends, with positive recommendation, it was official. Ryan took my current information and my future goals and designed a program for me. He warned me it would be a huge lifestyle change. I agreed. I thought I was prepared: “I already eat fairly well and exercise 3 times a week, so how hard can it be?”. Very hard! Do I have to work out more than 3 hours a week now – YES. Do I get to eat pizza & beer whenever I want now – NO. But I’ve learned more about the capabilities of my body and mind than ever before. It’s been hard, but extremely rewarding.

Changes that I’ve struggled with:
• Eating so often – I was used to only eating 3 times a day; starving for hours in between. At first it was hard to force myself to eat so often, now it’s great & I am never hungry
• Getting over food cravings – It was rough, but the day I craved carrots I knew the switch in my brain had flipped!
• Adapting my impression of the gym – it took many, many workouts to not feel out-of-place
• Declining alcohol – I made a choice that alcohol isn’t worth it while I’m working this hard. As a 20-something-year-old, yes, it was weird going to my first social sober but turns out it was still fun – who knew?!
• Food preparation – Vital to success! Must remember to prep & pack all meals
• Social outings – It’s like people get offended when you won’t eat their cookies or drink their booze….?
• Getting those workouts in – After deciding I want my evenings free, I’m still struggling with early mornings but I’m trying!

Changes that I’ve loved:
• Seeing my body weight drop by 10%
• Fitting jeans I haven’t worn in over a year (and they’re loose!)
• Not feeling like a dork at the gym – I belong there too now!
• Moving that weight pin down another 10 lbs or picking up heavier dumbbells
• Being able to make it through a cardio session without feeling on verge of blackout
• Beginning to see food as fuel for the wonderful machine that is my body
• Feeling like there is hope again and that my goals are attainable once more; actually liking my body and being proud of it. It’s still a work in progress, but look at all it accomplished so far!

Ryan is a great coach and despite the distance, he’s always an email or phone call away. He’s always been there when I have a question, am confused, need a substitute exercise or want to see if a fitness-rumour is true. When I’m having a slow or tough week, he is the right combination of encouraging but tough.

I’m thankful I’ve finally found someone who has successfully restored my hope and faith in my body. It feels great to make progress where none was made before. Even though I’m nowhere near the end of my fitness journey, I’ve smashed some goals already and look forward to continuing!