I HAVE A COACH

Awesome exciting news πŸ™‚

I get to start working with a coach again to guide my preparations for the stage!

I am SO thrilled!

Physique competition prep is so challenging to accomplish solo.

This is happening by pure gift from people who love me and believe in me.

My coach is just as sweet as can be and I can tell she’ll have my back with the mental rigors of prep- and that’s a huge part of the battle!

Check back to watch me prepare and plan- I’m feeling ambitious, so expect something awesome πŸ˜‰

Have you ever competed, or thought about it? What was your experience?

What big hairy fitness goals do you have?

XOXO

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#onajourney

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There’s Always Time :)

Pre-dinner HIIT cardio for the hubs.

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Have you ever done HIIT?? It’s amazing. You burn some amazing fat while preserving that muscle. Win win.

Here are some awesome options from Around the Web:

fitness blender produces simple and effective workouts, tons of options for hiit workouts of varying lengths

jamcore produces some of the toughest hiit workouts I’ve ever done!

zwows by zuzka light are for the advanced exerciser, prepare to fall in love with this inspiring woman

And then lisa marie at dailyhiit who took zuzka’a place at bodyrock is also crush and love worthy- and oh so motivating

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Are there pockets of time that you can squeeze in fitness?

Have you tried doing HIIT for your cardio in lieu of the traditional cardio exercises?

Happy sweating!

XOXO

Female Bodybuilding

I think a lot of people aren’t sure what to make of women who lift weights.

Seeing a lady load up a bar with a good amount of iron can still generate a lot of attention at your average gym. At least at the 4 gyms I’ve trained at in the past 6 months, I know my workouts were always watched.

More and more, fortunately, it’s becoming normative, at least it seems, for women to strength train, which is aaaaamazing.

I think really there isn’t a wrong way to workout- I mean, barring anything unsafe. If you want to run a bunch, run. Yogi? Yay!

But I’m really excited that more women, including myself, are dialing in on the awesomeness of heavy lifting.

What I love about it is the focus on building up the body- where so often female fitness is about tearing it down.

As I’ve dived into the world of bodybuilding, however, I see that the sport is trying to redefine itself to be more informed by women’s goals, fitness needs, and tastes. I mean, most people I’ve talked to about bodybuilding think 1) it’s about getting giant and manly and 2) I must be just doing jump squats and using weights under 15lbs because I don’t look big and manly.

Not true! Bodybuilding does for the body what salt does for food- it accentuates it’s natural flavor πŸ˜‰

Whether you want boulder sized muscles (after years and years of work…) or to be shapely fit and lean, lifting will help get you there.

I stumbled across this awesome manifesto regarding women and bodybuilding. Please go give it a read!

If you’re a bodybuilder, a fitness enthusiast or an insightful outsider, tell me, what do you think? What do you think about the emerging focus on strength training for women in the fitness industry?

Do you think you could embrace female bodybuilding?

XOXO

Arm Blow Up on the Bosu Ball

For today’s lift sesh I tossed my arms a curve by using the bosu ball. I had been doing the same sorta routine for a while and so I went an entirely different direction.

The swell in my shoulders was so big that I thought my skin would rip! I was not expecting that. I credit the bosu ball!

I’m really not trying to be all ‘bro’- that’s really how it felt!

Seriously, use that bosu for push-ups and planking- takes things to a whole different level!

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Play With Your Kids, Play As a Family

It’s fun :)!!

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For our time together as a family, we went to the park. Despite the chill and the drizzle.

We ALL played around a bit:

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Do you get out and moving as a family? If not, what’s stopping you? Time as a family doesn’t need to be fancy- just fun. And it’s as fun as what you bring to the table πŸ™‚

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XOXO

Intensity in Lifting

Today I was lifting all the things in order to find the weight that would challenge me the most in my incline bench db chest press and incline db flys. All the things.

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You ever feel like you’re just spinning your wheels in the gym? Getting no where? Going around and around and around…

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My coach always impressed upon me that if I wanted results, my goal was always to get the most intensity from my workouts- intensity is grandmas secret ingredient for results and progress.

Not time.
Not weights.
Not form.
Not speed.
Not blank blank or blank.

Okkkkk- but here’s where I’m mincing words. All those elements, time spent, weight used, rep schemes, form, sets, speed etc. together create intensity. Sounds like a super squad of some sort πŸ˜‰

For serious- no one technique lands you with shredded abs and bubbly glutes.

So how do you know? How can you tell? What can you do??? To be absolutely sure you’re working at the right intensity?

That’s where it’s all subjective. Really, how do you feel while lifting? Usually if you feel like you’ve got more in the tank, you probably need to be pressing harder.

Ask yourself: are you just moving heavy things around? Or are you looking for the work?

But is that it? It’s easy to feel like you’re working hard- it’s especially easy to not be working as hard as you can if you’re in a cut cycle and our just dragging anyway.

For starters, I do think many many women, and definitely men, lift too light, and miss out on a whole lot of muscle hypertrophy (growth), even though they achieve some kindof burn.

Read this article from Sparkpeople.com on gauging whether you might be guilty of going too light.

Chances are, you’re not lifting heavy enough, so that’s a great place to start in increasing intensity. This article from the Get Fit Guy , Ben Greenfield, has a great article and podcast that makes it super easy to know if you’re not grabbing enough metal.

Here’s the article. I love all his podcasts from quickanddirtytips.com. His quick and dirty gauge: if you can get 3 reps over your goal reps, up that resistance! Easy as pie.

But here’s the thing, if you just focus on moving more and more heavy weight, you’re missing out on other ways to challenge those muscles, and thereby make gains, burn fat, get pumped, and all those other lovely things. That’s where really feeling for intensity is important.

This article from greatist.com gives some great techniques, besides lifting heavier, to achieve intensity. Do super sets, pick up the time between sets, switch up set/rep schemes, introduce new exercises, slow the contraction down, add plyos, take out plyos. Basically: shock ya bod.

Ultimately, as I said from the get go, intensity is subjective, something you feel. This article from bodybuilding.com talks about how to check your mental game to get more intensity from your workouts. Basically you need to get focused in order to achieve intensity.

You need to be intentional with each workout about increasing the intensity. Keep track of what you did last time, review, and ask yourself, how can I challenge myself this time?

A few things I do:

*I always include one exercise I hate doing in my routine for the day. Ex: I loathe lunges, so you better believe I’m doing long lunges or split squats or lunge jumps 1x every week.
*If I find myself asking if I’m lifting enough, that’s generally my clue to lift more. My body will tell me it’s too heavy.
*When I find myself dreading a certain exercise, I flip my script, and tell myself I love that exercise and that I will rock it. My deadlift numbers blew up after I started switching up my pre-lift self talk.
*I move quickly through my routine- no chatting, be efficient, keep my heart rate up.
*I treat every single rep as important- I aim for full range of motion and a deep contraction on every single repetition. I imagine myself training alongside someone like Jaime Eason or Felicia Romero, and I want each rep to be clean.
*I try for every rep. Just one more rep. Just one more rep. Etc.
*I change something about each workout every single week. Keeps both my mind and body guessing!

And remember: intensity is NOT about being balls to the walls all the time. Nope. None of those ‘train insane’ tshirts.

Train smart, really smart. Sometimes that means going into grunting sweaty beast mode. I’ve made my share of ‘ugly faces’ and ‘huhhs!’ in order to eke out one more rep.

Sometimes it just means being one step ahead of your body- sending it a curve ball.

Sometimes it means being accurate, precise, and thorough with each move.

Be a detective. Feel out what you need that day, that moment, to achieve intensity. Surprise yourself, and your body will make changes to adapt. In other words, you’ll achieve results.

So stop spinning your wheels and enjoy that progress!

How do you achieve workout intensity? Have any tips or tricks to share with me?

XOXO

Happy sweating!!