Saturday, April 30, 2016

You are an individual so lift like one !

No two people are alike, which means everyone has a different set up that fits the individual needs of the athlete/lifter. The perfect program, the perfect lifting technique, the perfect anything, is the one that’s specifically designed for you. Learning what works best for your individual body type is important when learning technique for lifting.

Many times people watch videos of other athletes who are training and they "try" to copy the movement pattern. This can become a problem because you need to take into consideration that the athlete has many differences in height, weight, and performance level. Sometimes when you get fixated on a certain athlete, it can break down your own performance level because you then give up when that didn't work for you. There is a reason why. You are different!

Watching form and technique is a great tool to learn cues and how it should look. Now we need to take one step further and find out what works for YOU and your body type.There are common points of performance associated with each lift, but every athlete has a bit of wiggle room within these guidelines. Two people can look dramatically different doing the same lift and both be absolutely correct. So, if your technique looks vastly different than the person lifting next to you, how do you know whether you’re different or just plain wrong?

The way you move plays a huge role in understanding this concept. The length of your body segments will inevitably change the look of a correctly executed lift.Your skeleton is a limiting factor for how you perform a lift. Some people have an ideal hip and femur arrangement which results in a naturally more comfortable approach to the squat and press. Don’t try to force yourself into a below parallel squat with a narrow stance if your body was not built for such range of motion.

Past injuries can also have an impact on your training. Sometimes you can work around injuries and sometimes you can’t. Think about your shoulder. If you had a shoulder injury and your range of motion is not 100% back to normal, front rack and overhead training will become bothersome. When dealing with an injury, assess the range of motion that causes you pain and find exercise variants that allow you to continue training without causing further damage.

One of the biggest mistakes an athlete can make is not respecting their individual training set up. If you have shoulder restrictions and can’t low-bar back squat or snatch, do high-bar squats and Russian swings instead. Do not limit yourself to one training aspect because it's "programmed" that way. A good coach will be able to help you move throughout a range of motion that yields the same effect without inflicting pain throughout the movement.

This doesn’t mean that you should give up too easily and switch exercises just because something doesn’t look quite right. Instead, take a moment to examine why your movement is different. Do you need to work on mobility? Maybe your set up can be tweaked slightly for better movement quality. Do you lack the stability to maintain the movement ?These are all things you should work on. If you want to be your best, skip the easy route. Seek guidance from an experienced coach who can help identify if your deviations from “normal” are standing in the way of your goals or are in fact putting you on a path for success.

Friday, April 29, 2016

FEAR or FAITH

Every single day you have the opportunity to get out of bed and make a choice. You can decide to have fear or faith. It's really a simple decision based on your mindset that you have to power through your day. It is a simple decision that can have such an impact on your life and how you embrace choices that day.

If you start your day with fear of _______ ( you fill in your fear) you predetermined that your living out of a place of what if. That place of uncertainty has created doubt. By living this way you are not allowing yourself to flourish in creating a vision but you are stuck in the feeling of "maybe I will fail". Choosing fear means allowing an imaginary situation that most likely will never occur control your thoughts.

Fear does a number of things. You start to doubt your capabilities. Embracing the notion that you MIGHT fail but that will teach you something is a learned behavior. You need to accept that everything you do has a consequence that can shape your life. We all can look back in our past experiences and see that many decisions that happened to "fail" turned out to be a great blessing that we can look at now after the fact of it happening. Knowing that you DID not succeed but it all worked out in the end can have the best emotional output on your life. It will teach you to be resilient in your life and push to conquer more.

However, waking up each day and choosing FAITH, ensures that you are willing to make things happen and trust that your best effort will be rewarded at some point. Fear will limit your growth and faith will help you push forward knowing it's a matter of time before your goals are reached. You have the option is to attack your day with a mindset of forward. In other words, no matter what it takes, give a better effort today than you did yesterday.

Inevitably you will have days that fall short of expectations. But if you can maintain the mindset of forward, no matter what, you will reach your end goal and destination. You have something amazing to offer life so why should you settle on living in fear ?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why I lift HEAVY things!

Like many people when I first started to learn about fitness, lifting weights was NOT part of my workout plan. I was all about that cardio life and zero about picking up anything heavier than ten pounds. Flash forward 5 years and now my goal is a #300 squat. Very far from my previous goals of doing endless amounts of cardio.

I didn't step foot into a real weight room until I had a friend that introduced me to "bodybuilding". At that time in my life I was struggling through an eating disorder and had no desire to get "bigger". Little did I know it lead me on a journey I would never trade for anything in the world, Picking up the weights and being able to press them overhead was POWERFUL. For the first time in a long time the weights gave me instant gratification of a job well done. I was hooked, and that's and understatement.

My journey then lead to a figure competition and now to the powerlifting lifestyle of just lifting heavy and being strong. Training is who I am, it's what I love and is what I need as an outlet. Lifting gave me my confidence back. Nothing can compare to that “I can take on the world” feeling when something intimidates me but I do it anyway. I’m anxious – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot – every time I approach the barbell especially on my AMRAP set days. And the weight is always a little scary but if it doesn't scare you it's not shaping your mindset. It seems silly, but I’m surprised by how heavy-heavy lifting is.

You learn focus. There is so much to think about in executing a lift and so much danger in over-thinking it. If I let my mind wonder during a deadlift or squat, it’s all over. In that magical, in-between space of thinking/not thinking, there is freedom. A focus that’s meditation. As my core tenses, my mind relaxes. And when it’s really going right, I can’t think about anything else, and I’m not really thinking about anything at all. I just am.

I also lift because I want to take care of myself. The thing about lifting heavy stuff with our muscles is that it also makes our bones, tendons, and ligaments better equipped to handle whatever we dish out. I fully intend to carry my own groceries, move furniture myself, be able to change a tire and move anything that stands in my way. Having the freedom to be able to take care of yourself is what makes life worth living.

I don't worry about if I can or cannot lift the weight. I attack it like any challenge in my life. I make a choice to do my best and not let it defeat me. I brace myself for anything that can happen and I execute with passion and peace of what I have grown to love... the weight of the bar and the strength my body has.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Greatness is NOT a Fluke !

It's not by fluke or by accident that an athlete becomes successful! It take a lot of time, hours training, sacrifices, and failures to become ranked at the top in his or her sport. Awesome athletes build themselves every day, in multiple ways. Some people believe that athletes are just born with this special talent that "normal" people don't have. Not true. However you will find common traits that elite athletes have in common that do separate them from the rest.
Let's start with training. Athletes train when they don't want to. It may come as a surprise to many that even the elite do not want to train sometimes. If they are in a funk, tired, upset or even frustrated they train through it. Elite athletes create focus and get the work done. They have a plan and they stick to it. Their level of dedication is a major part of their success.
Sleep is critical. Any good athlete will tell you that sleep and recover are essential to performance. Nap” is not a bad word and “sleep-deprived” is not some weird badge of honor like is made out to be in the corporate world. They sleep when they need to in order to perform their best.
The key to being a good athlete in general is being consistent. Progress comes in small increments. We all want to think that progress arrives in a big lump or is awarded suddenly as soon as you start but the truth is that progress is born of repetition. Consistent, small progress adds up. Consistent work is what pays off. This concept is really not that different from saving money or dating someone, when you think about it. High standards + consistency + repetition = success.
Your mindset is you BIGGEST tool for success.Awesome athletes learn their lesson, and get right back in the moment. They play present. Use this principal in your daily life. If you slip, “get back quick.” We live in a distracted society, but if you can focus your mental game and get back quick, you can achieve. You do not have to ruin an entire day if you make one error. Just correct it and move on.
Praise those around you. An attitude of gratitude is as beneficial as it is addictive.No one achieves everything on their own. We are all connected. Plus, passing the praise feels good. You’ve got a support system, even if it’s just you and your dog and that one guy who waves to you every morning on your run. Pass the praise. See how your life improves.
Taking a little bit of each of these can improve your training. Know that you have the potential to become a great athlete if you put your mind to it. Give back and thank those that helped you along your journey. But most of all, know that hard work pays off !

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Old school Vs. New school Fitness Advice !

With new research and trial and error in the weight room, methods have come and gone. With all of the information and misinformation out there, it can be tough to figure out what to exactly do to earn the body you desire. While not everything is an absolute, there are some old methods that need to be put to rest and new ones that should be taken into consideration.
#1 Old school– The best rep and set method is 3 sets of 8-12 reps
This set and rep range has been the go-to for many "bodybuilders". This set and rep method has been coined as the “muscle hypertrophy” training method and many have adapted to this for a long time. The problem is that 3 sets of 8-12 reps won’t work forever. It also neglects a very important aspect of training; building strength. This set and rep range is also not the only way to build muscle. At some point in your training, you will need to increase the stimulus and change it up to facilitate growth.
New School – A combo of low (2-5), medium (6-14), and high (15+ reps) By providing your body with multiple different types of sets, reps and loads, you are able to tap into more of your muscle fibers, increase strength, and avoid plateaus
#2 Old School: Hit each body-part once per week for optimal muscle growth
Traditional bodybuilding methods recommend that you hit each muscle group with endless sets once a week in order to see progress. This done not work for the majority of the population. In order to optimize muscle growth, strength and recovery, hitting each body part once a week is not optimal.
New School: work your muscles at least 3 times per week for optimal muscle growth. High frequency training has been shown to produce more muscle growth and improve strength gains. The more often you hit a muscle, the better chance you have to make gains. Want big legs? Make sure your squatting OFTEN !
#3 Old school: Every set needs to be take until complete failure
While this method can produce some great results, it is not for everyone nor can it be done all of the time. True failure his hard to get to due to its biomechanical and neural demands. Not to mention that you need to be one mentally tough person to do this workout after workout.
New school: Leaving 1 rep in the tank for the majority of your sets builds you up, prevents over training and reduces the risk of injury. This type of training will allow for more consistent workouts, prevent burnout, and allow you to really master lifts. It will also help keep you fresh to keep intensity high workout after workout.
#4 Old school: Doing steady state cardio on an empty stomach burns significantly more body fat than cardio with food and during other parts of the day.This method was adapted by bodybuilders for a long-time. It only made sense since the thought was that with less glycogen in the system, more fat would be burned as fuel. This is not always the case and can possibly burn up some precious muscle.
New school: You burn equal fat anytime of day
Whenever you perform cardio it has equal benefits. All cardio methods, such as interval training, metabolic conditioning and steady state cardio all have their place in a training program. Utilize each method depending on your individual needs. Perform at the time of day that is optimal for YOU.
#5 Old school: To gain muscle and lose body fat, you must eat every 2-3 hours, 6+ times a day.
Eating frequently for the advanced bodybuilder looking to step on the IFBB stage may be needed but it doesn’t work for everyone. In most cases, it is just not feasible to do for the individual who is just looking to get fit. Fitting in all of these meals can get complicated. Eating frequently does not increase the metabolism like it was once thought too and in fact it can also reduce insulin sensitivity and cause you to eat unneeded calories.
New school: You can eat 1, 3, 6 meals, or any amount, you just need to reduce nutritional deficiencies.In the end, it is all about getting in the proper amount of calories and nutrients that your body needs. How you get those in your body is up to you and your schedule. Hello MACRO counting smile emoticon
Training methods will come and go and there is always new research being published. Nothing works forever and you need to explore new methods in order to keeping making progress. Keep an open mind, be willing to change and find what works for you.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Stress is STRESS no matter where it comes from !

Did you know that when you train you are causing an outside stress on your body? When you are in the gym you are increasing the stress load and when you are out of the gym you are doing all things possible to decrease that amount of stress. When you achieve the right balance training adaptation occurs. When you have TOO much stress, you get over-reaching, which could make you too fatigued to train hard enough to stimulate change. If you continue to keep training when stressed, go even further down the wrong track, you end up with over-training, which can lead to a near total system shut down.

No matter how you look at it, stress is stress. The body doesn’t differentiate between mental, emotional, or physical stress. So the last thing you should be doing if you’ve just had one of those days is head to the gym and max out. This seems counter-intuitive. When you have a bad day, it’s natural to want to take out that aggression in the gym and let off some steam. But when you do, you’ve essentially had what amounts to two max effort sessions in the same day, as far as your body is concerned.

To counteract all that stress you need training methods that soothe the body and allow your system to reset. For example, a day where you learn new moves should finish with an easy aerobic cool down to return the body to a suitable resting state that is responsive to training. Just as your warm up should prepare you for stress, your cool down should ready you to absorb the stress. And that is best done with a settled mind and body. Do a ROMWOD which is a stretching and mobility video that helps you recover from your workout while calming your mind.

Once you’ve got your recovery figured out, the final step is monitoring training intensity and frequency. Most people can’t handle more than two or three hard sessions per week, and the days between should be filled with active recovery to stimulate the system, not further deplete or stress it.
The goal of training is to improve the body, not test its limits. Focus on adding guided meditation and focused breathing work, as well as aerobic recoveries and cool downs, and you will be surprised at how much better your body feels.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

YOU ARE NOT YOUR SIZE !

Hey you !! You know that shirt or pants your wearing ? Did you ever not buy something because of the number or size on the tag ?? Be honest..... YEA we all do it !!! However, know this:" YOU ARE NOT THE NUMBER ON YOUR TAG"
Don’t let the number on a tag of clothing define who you are or what you can do. Don’t let society classify, separate, or shelve you that way. I know I feel that pressure all the time. For goodness sakes I don't own a pair of jeans that even fit !!! Not because of the number because well I am short, muscular and not everything (if anything) caters to my frame !
The number on a tag has NOTHING to do with your personality, your self worth or what you offer the world. It is merely just a size on a piece of clothing. Here is an example:
Comedian Amy Schumer made headlines recently when she struck at Glamour magazine for implying she was bigger than average. Schumer said, “I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamorous.”
Even a celebrity was upset by this label that has an impact on MANY people she meets. Our society should value all people, regardless of what number is on a tag in their clothing. Think about this, many competitions that have a physical feat in them: strongman, crossfit, powerlifting,etc... have NOTHING to do with how small you are or what clothes size you wear. NO its about how much you can lift, move, carry or throw. That is all. These women athletes go out there and just own it ! Nobody seemed to care what size anyone was, just what they could do.
Why is this important? Because these women tiny, average, or plus size were out there doing it. They weren’t hiding and they didn’t stay home. They didn’t decide not to enter any competition until the tag on their clothing read X number. They just got strong and then they went and did.
The mindset is more important than any view society has placed on what "should" be. It’s taking your destiny into your own hands. And that’s what all these strong women are doing, no matter their size: they were taking their destiny into their hands. They were refusing to let society define them by a number on a tag in their clothing.
I know that this is hard. I struggle daily myself. But at the end of the day, you need to do what is right for YOU and no one else.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Take care of your gut !

5 Reasons to take care of your gut health ! You may not give your gut much thought beyond how much your stomach might be rumbling or whether your waistline looks a little bloated as you check yourself in the mirror. But your gut is home to microbes and bacteria that play a crucial role in everything from absorbing nutrients and boosting immunity to reducing inflammation and even balancing your mood.
The microbiome plays an important role in immunological function, brain health, energy levels, skin, and muscle function. When your gut is healthy, the rest of your body can work better and more optimally. Here’s why a healthy gut is good for you, and how you can keep it working at its peak levels.
The bacteria in your gut play a crucial role in what nutrients your body absorbs from your diet, but they also help determine the amount of calories and energy that enter into your body. You have good and bad bacteria in your body. When you consume highly processed foods and/or those high in sugar, starch, and unhealthy fats, your body typically reacts with high levels of inflammation that can encourage the growth of certain “bad” bacteria in the gut. This bacteria can overwhelm the “good” bacteria and trigger an overproduction of insulin, which will cue your body to stop burning fat and start storing it. When you switch to foods with healthy fats and high-fiber eats that support healthier bacteria, you’ll start to reduce this inflammation and reset your metabolism.
Researchers speculate that microbes manipulate your eating behavior by generating cravings for specific foods so a host of unhealthy bacteria might have you reaching for that cheeseburger and fries over a simple salad. Feed the bad and you will keep wanting it !!!That said, eating a healthy diet filled with good-for-your-gut foods can reverse cravings for junk, so you’ll be choosing better options in a relatively short period of time.
You have more neurotransmitters in your gut than in the brain. More than 70% of the feel-good hormone serotonin (which regulates mood, sleep, and memory) is made in the gut. When your gut is off-balance, your mood changes, and you can become more anxious and depressed.
One of the key functions of the gut, besides its role in digesting food, is to help keep your immune system strong. More than 80% of your body’s immune system surrounds your gut.That means that damage to the thin cell wall in the intestines can have a significant effect on your body. And since bacteria, viruses, and other toxins can frequently be found in food, a healthy gut is vital to fighting off infections from foods and the environment.
When you’re not able to fully absorb all the nutrients from your food, you’ll notice a difference in the mirror. If your gut isn’t functioning well, your hair may be thinner, nails more brittle, and skin more blemished. Studies show that more than half of all acne sufferers have issues with gut flora, and the skin condition rosacea has been linked to bacterial imbalance.
The following are symptoms that your microbiome is imbalanced,
Abdominal pain
Allergies
Bloating/gas
Constipation
Diahrrea
Dry skin
Fatigue
Dull or lifeless hair
Headache
Nausea
Low Energy
Low sex drive
Muscle pain
Poor skin color

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What are YOU training for ?

What are YOU training for ? You go to the gym, you might follow a plan or do a class that has specific programming, but do you have an idea of your goal overall? Different people have different responses. Some people are training for something very specific and goal oriented and others are just trying to get healthier.
Whatever you choose that’s okay!!! We can exercise without training for anything. I firmly believe we are not here to judge the paths of other people. I have a hard enough time judging my own squats! I question myself: “Is that below parallel? Just at parallel? Can you look at this video and give me your opinion on that depth?" For me I am training for something specific that I want to accomplish and make sure I am doing what it takes. But there are some who just want to have fun!!! What ever you do, do it for YOU!
The funny thing is, no matter what your answer, we are ALL training to be badasses ! What do I mean by that? Common you mean you never looked at yourself in the gym and was mirin at your own reflection? Badass is a sort of nebulous word in our society: it means what each person thinks it means. Sure, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has definitions for the “badass” adjective: “ready to cause or get into trouble” and “of formidable strength or skill.” But we use badass as a noun in other ways in the gym and in sports or fitness. In the athletic realm, we use the word “badass” equally to describe a male Olympic lifter, a incredibly fast sprinter, a short woman repping out deadhang pull-ups, or a granny deadlifting. And the strength or skill doesn’t have to be formidable by any strict standard of strength or skill.
And that’s why I think it’s important that we see our work in the physical realm as preparation for being everyday badasses. Because what we do is badass! Because what you are doing is actually more important than where you finish when you’re doing it. You create your own "badassness"! Your fitness, however you earned it, has function. Being strong for the people in your life is badass, whether you realize that or not. Your strength is physical, it is mental, it is emotional. And training helps you get stronger in all three dimensions, by exposing you to stress in manageable bites from which you then recover and grow.
Just think of all the AMAZING things you are doing RIGHT NOW! Did you hit a PR? Are you sticking to your diet? Are you training with a purpose? Whatever you are doing, you are being the best you... FOR YOU! Create your badass and own it !!

Friday, April 15, 2016

LOVE YOUR BODY !

Love yourself. I will say it again, LOVE YOURSELF ! So often we see the beauty in others yet somehow we do not see it in ourselves. From the outside, we as humans know how to put on a good face. We will smile even when upset, we will do things we don't really want to do to make someone else happy, we even will try to change who we are to "fit" into society.

WHY? So many people go through self hate on a daily basis, myself included. I struggle just as much as the next person with body image, self esteem and making sure I am being positive to myself as well. This is self-harm. Now when you think of self harm you think of the physical, yet self-harm can be manifested through dysfunctional eating habits, unhealthy exercise habits, negative self-talk and so many more.

Learning to love and accept your body as is, unconditionally, no exceptions doesn’t mean you can’t want it to change in some way. Loving your body and yourself isn’t complacency; it is compassion and grace. You are more than a number on the scale or the size in your jeans. So how can you learn to love yourself in this moment right now?

Dwell in the positive. Shift from focusing on your imperfections to focusing on your most beautiful traits. Discover the things you love about your body and yourself, declare them and emphasize those positive points consistently. Love your body because it is strong, capable and beautiful. Remind yourself of how amazing you are, and do it often.

Once you can recognize how amazing you are, practice it by taking action. Do the things that make you feel strong. For me this is going to the gym and just lifting HEAVY !!!Wear the things that make you feel beautiful. Surround yourself with people who speak positively about their bodies and about yours. Do something nice just to take care of yourself like getting a massage. Try to focus on exercise and nutrition as tools to care for your body, rather than weapons or punishments for not looking or performing in a certain way.

Have a mantra and speak it often. I have notes written to myself in my car, on my bathroom mirror and around the house. I talk to myself in the car, while I’m working and lifting and I read these mantras aloud. You need to BELIEVE it yourself.Accept the “flaws”. What even are “flaws” anyway? Cellulite? Scars? Dimples, acne, stretch marks, moles, strange hairs, belly rolls or love handles?

Guess what? WE’VE ALL GOT ‘EM! You’re not alone. Just accept that you’re not the only women in the world with a jiggly belly or a weird [and kinda witch-y] stiff, black hair that grows out of her chin. These “flaws” are part of every one of us and they help us tell our stories. Share your struggles because someone else is also in the same situation!

Loving yourself is a relationship. Just like any other relationship in your life it needs time to heal from all the nasty things we say before it can become intimate. Take the time, stay committed and you can learn to love your body and yourself if you give it a chance.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Did you know about your 6th sense ?

ou know the body’s five main senses: hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Together they combine to form your picture of the world. But without your sixth sense, you’d have a hard time making your way through that world. This sixth sense is proprioception. Proprioception is that unconscious awareness of your body’s position in space.
To get an example of proprioception in action, try this: clap your hands together behind your back. With a healthy proprioceptive sense, you’ll find this pretty easy, despite not being able to see your hands.
Proprioception: The Next Frontier in Performance
Chandler Stevens
Coach
If you’re stuck in a rut and unable to bust through a plateau, the problem isn’t your muscles. It’s your brain. When your brain and body don’t know how to talk to each other, performance suffers. In this article we’re going to explore a simple process to reignite your brain-body connection.
Crawling.
Take action to prevent your brain from forgetting how to talk to your body.
Awaken Your Sixth Sense
You know the body’s five main senses: hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Together they combine to form your picture of the world. But without your sixth sense, you’d have a hard time making your way through that world. This sixth sense is proprioception. Proprioception is that unconscious awareness of your body’s position in space.
To get a clearer idea of proprioception in action, try this: clap your hands together behind your back. With a healthy proprioceptive sense, you’ll find this pretty easy, despite not being able to see your hands.
So how does proprioception work? Throughout your body, you have sensory receptors that send constant messages to your brain. These messages help the brain keep track of just where those receptors are in relation to each other. It’s a complex job that we often take for granted. But it took years and years of exploratory movement for this sense to develop. For example, we spend a huge amount of time rolling, creeping, and crawling on the floor in our development. These formative movements help us develop this bodily sixth sense.
What do we do once we’ve developed this sixth sense?PRACTICE IT! When you are not actively moving your body, these maps grow fuzzy, leading to sensory-motor amnesia meaning they forget how to work. Essentially, the brain forgets how to talk to the body. And we hop right into our training, ignoring the fact that our software no longer works the way it should. Performance stalls, injuries pop, and we forget that movement should feel good.
How do we awaken the 6th sense ? Simple: we need to train with more variety in our movements. Exploring novel movements has repeatedly been shown to influence our cognitive capacity,2 from working memory to proprioceptive response.
The possibilities are endless, but here are three crawling patterns to explore variety in quadrupedal movement:
From hands and knees, float your hands and knees up and begin to move opposite limbs together, crawling forwards and backwards. You can use this as part of a dynamic warm up or as a conditioning unit on its own.
From a squat, reach your arms to one side and using your hands as a new point of support, pop yourself up and reach your legs through, moving in a lateral direction. You may notice that one direction is easier than the other.
From a squat, reach your hands to one side and rotate yourself in a circle from the point of support in your hands. Land facing the same direction as you started.
The brain-body connection is the next frontier in performance. Ignore it at your own risk. Or learn to improve it !

Monday, April 11, 2016

Break the Rules !!

Its time to BREAK the rules ! Yes when it comes to YOU and your goals in life. YOU need to have the control and find what works. Sure I can tell you what I am doing however if my goal is to do powerlifting and your goal is to run a marathon, what I do will not help you! When you first start off, you think that there are certain "rules" that you think you need to follow. The rules can be great for general guidance or inspiration, but they are no substitute for your own experience. Create your own unique ideal that works for you not for you and the person next to you!
Check out these crazy rules that "fitness" throws out there:
Powerlifters should be as big as possible, even if much of that size is fat.
Women should be feminine not big and muscular.
Guys should be big and jacked.
You should focus on a single sport or activity, and get as good as possible at it.
Everyone needs to stretch, lift weights, and eat clean.
It's impossible to have great strength, endurance, and mobility at the same time.
Go big or go home.
You should eat 5-6 small meals per day.
It works for me it should work for you too.....
These rules are not wrong nor bad but they don't work for everyone.The problem is when you go to the extremes on one of these rules.
One rule that nearly all of us follow, consciously or otherwise, is that the main reason to pursue an activity is to be successful at it. And while “success” is usually a lot more fun than the alternative, consider pursuing an activity based on what you might learn, or how you might improve from it.
Add some variety to your training. Have fun ! If you are a weight lifter, go to yoga. If you like cardio maybe try out a fitness class. Do these things not because you’ll ever be great at them, but because they might make you better at what you love to do.
I hope this post opens up some new possibilities for you. I want to challenge you to go out there and try something new !!

Friday, April 8, 2016

What you do is BADASS ! OWN IT

What are YOU training for ? You go to the gym, you might follow a plan or do a class that has specific programming, but do you have an idea of your goal overall? Different people have different responses. Some people are training for something very specific and goal oriented and others are just trying to get healthier.

Whatever you choose that’s okay!!! We can exercise without training for anything. I firmly believe we are not here to judge the paths of other people. I have a hard enough time judging my own squats! I question myself: “Is that below parallel? Just at parallel? Can you look at this video and give me your opinion on that depth?" For me I am training for something specific that I want to accomplish and make sure I am doing what it takes. But there are some who just want to have fun!!! What ever you do, do it for YOU!

The funny thing is, no matter what your answer, we are ALL training to be badasses ! What do I mean by that? Common you mean you never looked at yourself in the gym and was mirin at your own reflection? Badass is a sort of nebulous word in our society: it means what each person thinks it means. Sure, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has definitions for the “badass” adjective: “ready to cause or get into trouble” and “of formidable strength or skill.” But we use badass as a noun in other ways in the gym and in sports or fitness. In the athletic realm, we use the word “badass” equally to describe a male Olympic lifter, a incredibly fast sprinter, a short woman repping out deadhang pull-ups, or a granny deadlifting. And the strength or skill doesn’t have to be formidable by any strict standard of strength or skill.


And that’s why I think it’s important that we see our work in the physical realm as preparation for being everyday badasses. Because what we do is badass! Because what you are doing is actually more important than where you finish when you’re doing it. You create your own "badassness"! Your fitness, however you earned it, has function. Being strong for the people in your life is badass, whether you realize that or not. Your strength is physical, it is mental, it is emotional. And training helps you get stronger in all three dimensions, by exposing you to stress in manageable bites from which you then recover and grow.

Just think of all the AMAZING things you are doing RIGHT NOW! Did you hit a PR? Are you sticking to your diet? Are you training with a purpose? Whatever you are doing, you are being the best you... FOR YOU! Create your badass and own it !!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Strive for MORE !

Want to know a little secret to success? You need to ALWAYS have constant forward moving progression in everything you do. From life, your relationships and the gym, having methods that keep your mindset moving forward and goals stacking are great for motivation.
My theory is to focus on 5 key habits. They are simple things, but they are also incredibly powerful. If you work at them daily they can change your life. Like anything, it just takes some practice, and some belief.
First set your goals down on paper. Write them out then tell a friend. Accountability is key and the more people who know the better. You are more likely to continue on the path of your goals if you have people who are rooting for your success. Which leads to the second part of this and AIM HIGH!
If you want to achieve big things in this life, I believe you have to set major long-term goals that push your limits and really stretch your abilities. It doesn’t matter what goal your trying to achieve. Set the bar high, then break it down into small, attainable goals that you can work on every day.
Build belief by taking small daily steps, just one training session at a time. Don’t focus on the end result. Great long runs begin with mastery of single foot strikes. Be relentless in the pursuit of your dreams.
Try new things. You might know the quote, it’s been said many times before. “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” It makes perfect sense, so why do so many people keep expecting their life or body to change when they are so resistant to new experiences and experiments? Make a habit out of saying yes more often, even if you do feel that resistance at first. You will discover that sometimes the things you didn’t believe you would enjoy become some of your new favorite past times. You won’t know unless you try.
Drop the expectation theory and be a good person. Never pay it forward expecting great things to come your way in return. That’s not the way the world works. You have to learn to do good just for the sake of doing good. Focus on maximizing the value you can provide to others people. Selfless acts are highly rewarding. The feeling of helping somebody is a lot better than the feeling of getting something for yourself. So, give more often. The more you do it the more you’ll focus on what matters most, the effort, the daily work, and the additional opportunities for good that it all creates. You’ll see, the big goals will start falling more often the more good that you do. It’s simple and super rewarding.
You have to give, but there has to be limits.So much of our lives revolves around doing things for others, which is great. No matter what you get out of this world, I believe you can only be your happiest self once you find a way to give something unique and valuable back. But all that giving can be hard. It can drain you, and that’s not good for anyone in your life, especially you.
Get rid of the negativity in your life.You have to surround yourself with positive energy if you want to accomplish big things, there’s no way around that. Realize that there can be no room in your life for negativity. Stop being mean to yourself. Be kind to others because negativity only breeds more negativity. This is a vicious cycle that will pollute your life and derail your progress. So, give yourself some slack and allow others a break or two as well. If you’re enjoying the day, others around you will be too.
By following these 5 key things your life will not only be more fulfilling but you will see that you will create major change in your own character and build a better YOU!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

But I want to be "toned" not "bulky" !





I get this phrase A LOT: "I don't want to lift heavy because I don't want to get BIG". So many women fear they will become manly if they train with weights. FALSE. You will become a strong, fierce and healthy female who can take care of herself. I am glad that the fear of fitness and getting "big" is on the decline however it is really sad that women would stop themselves from training with heavy weights.
But what if I get too big? That is the most common question I get from females. The fear of lifting heavy and getting big limits potential and that is one thing that really upsets me as a trainer. So let me ask you about your goals. What do you want out of working out? Maybe to lose weight or to be more fit. A lot of times people want to have a smaller physique not a bigger one. Here is the truth, MUSCLE BURNS MORE FAT ! Yes. Hard to believe but really true and it increases your metabolism.
Question: When did you look the best? 9/10 its in your prime years when you were about 16-22. Why? Because your body had more muscle than it does not. As you age, you tend to lose muscle. Muscle is a big driver of metabolism, so losing it sets up a negative cycle. You lose muscle, which causes a drop in metabolism, which causes you to gain body fat, which further lowers your activity levels, which causes more muscle loss, and so on and so forth.
I also get the idea that people want to "tone" their body. What??? Here’s the deal: there really is no such thing as toning, or sculpting, or contouring. Muscles can get bigger through training, or smaller through disuse. Muscles grow and get stronger which then reduces the fat and appears smaller. That's it ! There is NO magic to it besides hard work and proper nutrition.
Do not fear muscle. Muscle is a great adaptation to your body. If you feel like your gaining too much ( which I mean who can really have too much) you can just back off your training. The great thing is that muscle is not permanent. The one thing you have to realize is that the media focuses to the extremes and not the norm. What the media shows are the women who are slightly photo shopped in order to sell a product. Some women are genetically gifted however that is after a lot of years of lifting heavy and eating to support those goals.
You should not fear the "bulky" lies that you are fed. You need to see training with weights as a tool to create a sculpt your body!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Why I SKIP breakfast !

Skipping Breakfast, Fasting, Training and IFFYM?

I finally think I found what works for ME in terms of nutrition.  I have dabbled with a lot of things in nutrition. I tried to eat from a meal plan and be strict. I tried to do Paleo and that just felt like a semi deprivation game. I even tried vegetarian for a while. Problem was that everything I was doing was to either restrict my food intake or to have a "reason" to limit carbs. Call it the CARB phobia !

I was finding myself trying to plan my life, my training and my schedule around food and meal timing. Eat carbs before you workout and right after or you lose your gains. Don't eat after 6 pm, limit carbs at night... blah blah blah. Sure I feel for this, I think we all do at some point. I did a lot of research and started to really take a look at what my BODY was doing.

I wake up EARLY (3am) I train at 4 am.. Now think of yourself eating at 3:30 am and then training? Right, its silly and I was not performing well. BUT, I was under the misconception that you NEED food and fuel to train hard. So one day I said oh well and hit the gym, for a leg day non the less. I trained and man I TRAINED HARD. I felt good my body responded to it and I didn't have any lack in energy. All I had was BCAA's and some pre-workout in my cup!  Then I thought about If It Fits Your Macros (IFFYM). You might have heard of this before. It's the theory that you eat the macros (protein, carbs and fats) throughout the day and as long as you hit those numbers your golden! NOT a magically formula of when you need to eat but in fact, just eat what you want of HIGH nutritional value 80% of the time and enjoy your life !!


So this takes me onto my next experiment of not eating breakfast then WAITING to eat breakfast till about 9 am. So if I go to bed at 9 then eat at 9 thats a 12 hour fast. How did I feel ? Great actually! I don't have to force food in and I can eat larger meals throughout the day for the times I can eat. So now this comes to the question of performance and "gains". I have been having a blast in the gym and getting stronger! I am now in control of my meals, my nutrition and NOTHING is off limits.

Here is where the question gets brought up a lot about food intake. I eat my macros throughout the day and I make sure to hit those macros +/- 5 grams. I eat past 6 pm.. goodness I'm still at work till then. I eat and go to bed then wake up, train, and eat around 9 am ! It works for me, for my schedule and for my lifestyle.

The question for you is: what will fit into YOUR life ? Trying to fit something into your life rather than making it a part of your life is the difference to lasting results !!Not many people take the time to dive into their nutrition but I will ensure you that you will have more of an outcome by making a few changes that FIT your LIFE !!!!

Let me help! I offer coaching on macros !

BFIT , B-HEALTHY, B-AMAZING

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