I want to pump. you. up.

In the words of Arnold, acutally, Hanz & Franz… I want to pump. you. up.

arnold pec

 

I haven’t been steady on here, but lots of moving parts and trying to take the necessary steps to big things!

1. Moved. Closer to all the people, places, i need to be and see on a more consistent basis.

2. Booked flights & hotel to Arnold Sports Festival aka the olympics of lifting and so many other amazing things that require incredible strength. There will be so much for me to absorb here both personally and professionally for the future.

 

Everyone is going to music festivals…

music festival

And I’m over here trying to go to fitness festivals…

arnold fitness festival

3. Started a 10 week plan from T-Nation. Don’t hold me to all 10 weeks, but so far so good. Week 1 is just about complete. I was sore and challenged, but can definitely do more so I’m hoping the progression aspect will push the limits.

Just enjoying the journey ūüôā

create what sets your heart on fire

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Shopping isn’t the only thing you should start early… Got Goals?

Did you know that there are only 26 days between Halloween and Thanksgiving? Did you allow yourself to get more carried away than anticipated?

ecards - moan-room-candy-sweet-funny-ecard-KH4

 

That number¬†surprised¬†me. Social media is littered with 30-day challenges for this diet and that exercise BUT you wouldn’t be able to complete any of them before Thanksgiving, which is obviously America’s next binge. So what can you do until then and still see improvement? Pick 1 thing you want to change, devise a plan, and make yourself abide by¬†it {at least} until Turkey Day.

Goals - S.M.A.R.T.‘Eat better’ & ‘workout more’ are always¬†goals of mine. But when¬†I saw the above, I realized those actually aren’t goals. I couldn’t fill in the blanks of the S.M.A.R.T.

______________________________________________________________

Here is my SMART plan:

‘Specific’ – My current struggles are planning enough leg workouts around the spinning classes I teach. The goal is to increase the frequency of which I strength train legs.

‘Measurable’ – Include at least 1 leg workout for each spin class I teach, which is a guaranteed 2x per week. I will do this the day of or the day following.

‘Attainable’- Making leg day the very next day after spin class will ensure I am not creating delayed onset soreness prior. Preventing soreness and muscle tiredness beforehand, will help keep me on leg-lifting track!

‘Relevant’ – Making my legs stronger will not only help me feel better on the inside & look better on the outside, ¬†but will also improve my teaching abilities and thus my classes for my riders.

‘Time Bound’ – Through the month of November.

Ask yourself if what you are doing today gets you closer to tomorrow

 So what is one reasonable thing you want to, can, and will change? Maybe there is an eating habit you want to break? Sleep you want to get? Places you need to arrive on time? A book you want to read?

Pick it and do it. Commit to the goal and yourself.

we are what we repeatedly do

 

 

Girl Talk is all Talk, but not all Truth

The following is not intended as a pat-myself-on-the-back rant, the purpose is to discuss people not knowing the amount of dedication it takes to achieve the final result.

This morning at the gym, a woman made the “… you’re young, you can get away with it” reference. I’ve been hearing something along these lines more and more lately… As in since you are young you don’t have to eat as healthy or work out as hard because your body will still retain its shape. I’ve heard this from various older women and while it may be easy to make this comment, it’s just not true.

Yes, many of my friends are thin and they don’t do a thing to work for it-bitches. BUT hellooo… I’m in the gym with you, so obviously I do (choose to) work for what I have AND what I want. I am always a work in progress.

Most-People-Never-See-The-Hard-Work-Motivational-Love-Quotes

I do sometimes think its funny that most of my office does not know how much time and effort I invest into the gym, and cooking, and post-workout pre-work mirror-flexing selfies:

PWO Bathroom Selfie

No its NOT just ‘the way I am’ and no its NOT just the way you are or ‘have to’ be. My priorities are always about the bigger, most-fulfilling picture and for me that sometimes puts me in¬†a different boat… Those who say are different than those who do, but we all started somewhere. The desire for change must overcome the fear of the obstacles. (<– one of my favorite, 100% truth quotes)

The Rock - success is about consistency greatness will come

i secretly (maybe not anymore) ‚̧ The Rock

Most people say you are doing something exceedingly well if you are making it look easy. So I’ll chalk it up to that and keep on keepin’ on!

#inspiretoperspire

Intensity is a Necessity

Hey Party People!

Recent reads have led me to believe its not the weight I need to increase, its my intensity. I can’t find the article, however, calorie decrease is not always the answer- do you believe it? I didn’t!

The explanation makes sense… if you are like so many of us and your job requires you to be at a desk for a lot of the day, your body¬†adapts to calorie reduction. SO I’m not saying eat more, but I am saying workout HARDER. You can accomplish this through increasing frequency, weight, reps, sets, etc but you do not necessarily need to increase your time spent at the gym (phew! #aintnobodygottimeforthat)

Fact is, strength training has become my new comfort zone. So here is how I worked in some of each of the training methods yesterday:

Incline Bench Press

–> 5 SETS (increasing weight): Start with bar only, then increase weights with each set [ I added plates in increments of 10lbs, aka 5lbs each side] REPS = 12, 10, 8 , 6, 3

–> 5 DROPSETS back down to zero lbs on the bar.

Bench press on an incline

AMRAP

15 thrusters + 12 burpees, jump touch bar overhead

10 minute time cap (hence: As Many Reps As Possible)

thrusters A B C

Above is your ‘how to’ on the thruster. Below is an example of how you perform the burpee. The entire rep in the vid is something to strive for {in my case} or a way to amp it up¬†(try it, you wont!) if you are more advanced. Jump and reach for the bar is my first step to get there. #alwaysreachinghigher

ABs & Tank Emptier

Side-plank raises 10x each side + Bosu Ball Chest Press (15x)

side plank raises

*Note: I prefer to warm-up, strength train, HIIT/circuit train, then finish up with a quick run or abs to drain it all out of the tank. ‘They’ say you always need to warm up before anything and strength training should always come before cardio, hence my structure above.

‘Did the new plan work’ you ask me? Yes, my heart rate was increased beyond my comfort zone during the entire AMRAP and today I am sore. Victory!

arnold intensity

Wedding jitters… even for those of us not getting married!

So many details to worry about… but i knew the one thing that would clear my mind and put me on the right track.

I am 100% a morning workout, on a fasted-stomach kind of girl. So the fact that we went to a breakfast buffet almost sent me into an excuse-making, lazy zone of allowing myself to skip. I mean, after all, I did make it the day before right?

…This is the point when I remind myself how happy I will be after-the-fact and that outweighs the little devil on my shoulder trying to chime in where he’s not wanted!

I allowed my stomach to digest by delaying my workout with a CVS outing, but once we got back it was Game On and even better? boyfriend came too! ūüôā

With no set plan in mind, but determined to sweat, I improvised…

Elliptical Warm up and then just a set or two of each exercise:

Total body cable machine… ¬†curls, upright rows, dead lifts, squats, rows bent over with straight bar, etc

Free weights: alternating bicep curls, alternating hammer curls, shoulder press, monkey curls, lying flys, etc

Body weighted exercises: straight leg raise/jack knife on bench, push ups with feet elevated, + pull-ups (bf assisted)

In between it all, my boyfriend’s Mom & nieces popped in to say ‘hello’.

Getting Dolled Up in the Bridal Suite

Getting Dolled Up in the Bridal Suite

At first I wasn’t sure how to handle this… What would you do? I had three choices, I could: 1. stop 2. tone it down or 3. keep chugging- I managed a combo of all three. We said hello, had a little fun, and then got back into our rhythm.

Initially, I felt bad continuing on with my workout but then I remembered something I recently heard a mother sayone of the many reasons she works out is to be a healthy role model for her children. She essentially practices what she preaches.

Don’t get me wrong, these girls do not need to get on the treadmill for a 10 mile run or the smith machine for a set of sumo squats, but I felt it couldn’t hurt for them to see me in action… something that makes me happy, how it wakes me up, gives me energy, and makes me feel ready to take on the dayno matter what day it is or where we are.

Danny's nieces & I at the wedding.

Danny’s nieces & I at the wedding.

(Self) Awareness Impacts Everything.

Last night I sat in on a (free) webinar with the ladies (and members) of¬†Girls Gone Strong¬†for nearly an hour and a half. We talked a lot about self-development and the ability to recognize the effects of one’s own thoughts and how they translate into all parts of your life. Some of what was discussed was out of my typical realm; but other ideas and concepts reminded me of my glorious lululemon days. I noted a few quotes that I think everyone can understand and benefit from.¬†

1. If you don’t slow down, your body will slow you down.¬†

2. If you don’t have a goal, it’s like travelling without a destination.¬†

3. Stress does not exist, only people thinking things are stressful exist. 

Stress prevails when one’s thoughts are focused on one or more of the following: a) being right b) competition/winning c) your reputation d) equate happiness to external objects such as $money$ & possessions e) being superior, rather than being kind

4. Recognize thoughts and redirect them where they’re meant to go. (Towards happiness, not chaos.)

5. You may not have control of what happens, but you have control of how you react. 

I truly believe in each and everyone of these statements. When I am caught up in a negative thought, feeling, situation… I always always try to remind myself of one or more of the above. I just didn’t know there were other people out there like me! Please (re)read them over & over again and realize how amazingly true they are, then take¬†control over your life and give yourself a positive environment.¬†

 

Oh and how bout this?! I won a free seat in their 6 week workshop coming up called “The Complete Body Program”. Guess how. They played a clip of a song and you had to send in which song it was. I immediately¬†knew¬†it! ha ha¬†

 

Hangover Helper

Well… despite all odds being against us physically and mentally, we made it¬†to kickboxing class and we were only 5 minutes late!

I was uber impressed with my bff’s dedication to getting us to class after our late night festivities. The high energy and constant bouncing¬†is so much harder when you are dehydrated! I would have been perfectly content bopping around on an elliptical, but having a partner made us both accountable and helped us push through to the final stretch.

steph kickboxing

After this challenge, a Starbucks coffee, and egg white sandwich (caffeine & protein)- we were ready to take on our day! This clearly would not have been the case had we not stuck to our plan and kept our goals in mind.

Feeling the need for grease after¬†a night of (a little or a lot of) over-indulgence in booze?¬†I don’t crave junk, I actually crave healthy foods to replenish my¬†nutrients and restore my body. But either way, there’s¬†the same¬†reason behind this! ChickRX¬†breaks it down easy. These girls say you need one or all of the following1. water 2. coconut water 3. calming foods 4.¬†ginger tea¬†5. carbs 6.¬†vitamins 7.¬†pickles 8.¬†chicken noodle soup 9.¬†pain meds 10.¬†sleep

‘Carbs’ doesn’t give you the green light for a cheesesteak and fries! Pick¬†something easy¬†on¬†your insides- you already hurt them enough- bananas, crackers, or toast. According to ChickRx “…¬†Eating carbohydrates can help to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal while your liver is over-booked processing those last few cocktails.” Yay!