Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I want to be toned! Yes, so do I and here is how !

Lean muscle mass, everyone is looking for that "toned" look yet they don't understand what the concept is for your body to look like that physique. Carrying more muscle relative to body fat will make everything appear tighter, and it will help you burn more calories. Not to mention your clothes will fit better with or without the scale moving up or down. With that comes a sense of accomplishment and confidence from seeing our bodies change due to our hard work, sweat and determination.
You need to remember that in order to build muscle, you have to follow some small details. Your training stimulates muscle growth, but your diet is also extremely important. The body requires nutrients in order to build muscle. If you want to add that lean muscle to your body consider how many calories you are consuming, what quantity are you eating them in and where your macro breakdown is coming from. Follow these 5 diet tips to maximize muscle growth:
1- Protein
A good rule of thumb is .75 ( for normal gym goers) - 1 gram per pound of body weight ( weight training/ athlete). Why do you need protein? Protein is necessary for the building, maintenance and recovery of muscle. Protein will also help you feel full longer and aid in the burning of body fat due to its thermic effect; the body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs or fat.
Carbs are your friend not your enemy when trying to aesthetically look better. Carbs provide your body with the energy it needs to get through intense workouts more efficiently and directly than any other energy source. To put it simply, your body will break down the carbohydrates into glucose and either use it directly for energy or store it as glycogen for when the body demands it. Train hard and eat like an athlete.
3- Eat for your performance
Do you know what I see far too often ? People eating little to no food and wanting to diet. Nope, not with me. the first thing I do is reverse diet you to a healthier place. Why can't I diet you on nothing? Well where are you going to take the deficit from? Your body is smart and trying to fool it is just going to put you on the yo-yo dieting spectrum.
4- Water/ hydration
More than half your body is made up of water so any dehydration will lead to a reduction in the functioning of vital bodily processes. Without proper hydration it is likely that your training session won’t go as well as it could. Not to mention that your muscles will look bigger and fuller if they are hydrated appropriately.
5- Be consistent
yup this is the hardest one and easiest one to follow. Find a way to motivate yourself to remain consistent. Whether that is a particular coach, gym, training partner or program, stick with it and remember that there is no magic trick to replace hard work and determination. Changes in your body will be cumulative so keep at it and allow your body the opportunity to adapt! Too many people give up too soon because changes are not instant ! Don't expect them to be ! Keep working hard and the changes will happen!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Are you under-recovered?

Training can take a toll on your body. It totally leaves you beat up some weeks where you feel like all your effort is to just lift your arms up. You have a session planned for the day but the thought of that session just makes you cringe. What should you do? Should you take the day off or should to you something light to get your body moving? It's obvious your body needs some time to recover and allowing yourself to rest is good for muscle recovery.

First off many people don't even know there is a difference between rest days and recovery days. Do you know the difference? Both are critical for performance yet they are used in different ways. Rest is generally categorized as sleep and time spent not training or exercising. Recovery, on the other hand, refers to techniques and actions taken to maximize your body’s repair. Recovery involves chemical and hormonal balance, nervous system repair, mental state and more. There are different factors such as sleep, diet and hydration that can all be beneficial, but one of the most effective methods of helping the body (and mind) recover is through active recovery.

Active recovery focuses on completing an exercise,normally bodyweight or cardio at a low intensity, but high enough to increase blood flow and enhance the clearance of enzymes responsible for muscle damage and residual fatigue. Therefore active recovery plays a huge role in minimizing the symptoms of DOMS also know as delayed onset muscle soreness.

When you train hard, your body produces latic acid. The molecules in lactic acid break apart in the blood and produce hydrogen ions, which decrease the pH of the blood leading to the pain you feel during exercise and that sore feeling you get one to two days later. Also, doing a proper cool down can help decrease the soreness you feel the next few days.

Here is a question I get often: So what do i do for active recovery? This is the time you’re spending away from training, whether that is bodybuilding, powerlifting or CrossFit. Choose something that you enjoy and that can be swimming, cycling, kayaking, basketball, hiking, running, etc., make sure you are doing the activity at 60-70% effort—an easy, restorative pace. Once you are done with that, take some time to work on mobility and maintenance to make sure you have completely flushed out all the nasty lactate acid to put yourself in the best physical condition for your return to training the next day.

I also like to use my active recovery days for things that I might not be as good at or to do "fun" training with different weighted objects that I don't get to use in normal training. This can be sandbags, sleds, and tires. Your body and your mind could use a break from being in the gym ! Its totally normal ! Too much of anything is not a good thing. Get outside and play with your fitness!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Can your passion bring you income?

Motivation Monday !
What is your passion? Can your passion bring you income? What is stopping you from going after your dreams? My guess is that you are scared of failure. We all are! The trick is learning to make your passion your paycheck and to really just go after it !
What do you do in your free time that just takes your mind away ? For me, it's training. That is the only time where my mind is quiet and I can do it for hours. I love researching new topics, learning new training techniques and then encouraging others to create a healthier version of themselves. i know that this is my passion and money isn't an objective. When you find your passion learn to act on it by seeking out mentors in your field of interest. Make yourself learn and grow by diving into your passion head first with no regrets.
In acting on your passion it might seem like you are so far away that it's not worth it. Sure your 9-5 job seems good but is it making your life happy? The grind is real, the struggle is real but the effort you put in is what you get out ! Make small check points along the way that you can accomplish and keep working towards that end goal.
Take daily action. If you have time to be on Facebook, you have time for your passion. Work harder when no one is watching. Whether it is 20 minutes or 2 hours, doing something productive every day is a major key to staying on track. Evaluate your time to see how much you are indeed wasting.
Visualization of your dream will make it reality. Create a vision board of what you want to accomplish no matter how big or small. You need to truly believe that you can and will accomplish your goal no matter what. You create your reality! The power of visualization is something that is so real, and if put into practice, it can produce powerful things.
Follow your dreams.. I am !

Friday, May 26, 2017

Walking away is not failing !

Walking away is not a failure. I wanted to write something off topic and a little more vulnerable. I have experienced this exact feeling just this past month. I made a decision that I don't regret at all and that I am happy and at peace with. Yet deep down that "f" word still holds a speaking voice in my head. You know; FAILURE.
Thank goodness I have a great coach who I am open and honest with about everything and she was the first one to remind me that walking away from something is not failing, it's creating a path to something better. Yes, I am walking away from competing this year in Figure. Truth be told, my body was not responding to training or diet. There comes a point where the decision needs to be made on how much are you willing to sacrifice ? For me, this year is not the right time.
I made the mistake in my off season to not follow the proper off season requirements and just keep training hard. Well when you do that your body is already adapted, which makes an overload so much harder. Instead of beating my self up about it, I decided to just walk away from the stage. It's ok, it will always be there.
But now here comes the emotional side of things. The "what if" side of things. I worked my butt off for 20 weeks and minimal changes happened in comparison to the "stage world". On the outside to a normal person I look great but for the talent on the stage, major efforts and sacrifices would need to be made. For once I made a decision that was coming from a place of reason instead of reaction.
I am taking this time to fix my metabolism, enjoy training for strength, focusing on helping other in their fitness journey and embarking on a time where I can learn to enjoy life. I have had a past of a lot of struggle with body image, disordered eating and extreme overtraining. My mind and body need a break and now that I am turning 28 next week, its time for me to take care of me.
So what are my goals? I am competing in a power lifting competition on September 9 and a CrossFit competition on October 1. I am focusing on training and eating and nourishing my body. I also am working with a mentor on learning how to coach athletes better, all good things are happening ! Stay tuned for updates and thanks for always reading these blogs

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nutrition is your own personal journey!

Nutrition is a journey. It's not about what your current diet is, it's not about what you weigh, it's not even about being perfect on hitting your macros. It' is a special journey that you are one to make your life better. It's a time to learn about yourself and start to grow into the new confident person you always knew you were.

Honestly, your journey with nutrition is creating a vulnerable place in your life to be open and honest with yourself. It's a time to really put in the effort to come face to face with some issues that you have in your past regarding food and the effects it might have on your daily life. Do you have a good relationship with food? I work hard to build a personal relationship with all of my clients, and when i get clients that came to me, it was very easy to make a personal investment in you and your journey.

One of my goals is to undo the issues you might have from your past relationship with food. If you suffered from an eating issue whether that is under eating or over eating you need to start the journey back to your health. I can help you regain your life by simply taking control of what you eat. Nutrition is not about tracking and stressing out, it's about being using a holistic approach to eating.

Fixing your mentality can be the switch that you need to take control of everything around you. If you are looking for that change, contact me today and we can work on getting your nutrition and health under control.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Really, what are you afraid of ?

What are you really afraid of? I want you to ask yourself this question and honestly answer it.
This is my fear: Fear of rejection...... Maybe it's yours too! The greatest need of human existence is to be loved and accepted. There is this desire to want to fit in and not feel like an outcast yet we struggle to find who we really are.
The fear of rejection is one of our deepest human fears. Biologically wired with a longing to belong, we fear being seen in a critical way. We’re anxious about the prospect of being cut off, demeaned, or isolated. We fear being alone. We dread change. Does this sound like you?
We may be afraid that rejection confirms our worst fear, that we’re unlovable, or that we’re destined to be alone, or that we have little worth or value. When these fear-based thoughts keep spinning in our mind, we may become agitated, anxious, or depressed. Fear, rejection, hurt and pain are all associated with one another. Instead of gravitating towards people who can help us, we become withdrawn and pull away from those who truly care about us. Somehow, we equate something we "fail" at to "I am a failure" which is not true at all.
When you start to equate ability to self worth, you are crossing a very sketchy area of your life. Equating failure with personal rejection sets you up for a lifetime of fear and unhappiness.What you need to work on is personal growth. You need to start working on building a resilient mindset that you can see things for what it truly is. Just because you made a mistake and "failed" doesn't mean you just stop trying. You have to treat things like a kid again. Fall down seven times and get back up 8. It takes courage and creativity to bring a gentle awareness to what we may like to push away.
I know there are things in my life that I can push to the side because it's a difficult conversation or maybe even an issue that I don't want to really dig back out and relive. Yet, those experiences are not ones that I am learning from because i am not taking the time to analyze them on the full spectrum.
As we become less afraid of what we’re experiencing inside we become less intimidated by rejection and more empowered to love and be loved. Start to see failure as a good thing, as a learning experience that can move your mindset to a whole new place. Momentum is the best way to see success, because momentum requires that we take action, and if we are taking action we are likely failing at some point. When we fail, we become more resourceful you can learn how NOT to do something. In this case, the experience is far more rewarding and needed to learn and grow from than always being successful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Simple steps for weight loss !

When it comes to fat loss or weight loss, so many questions are asked to me. I enjoy answering them yet so many people are confused on what is right and what is a myth told to you to buy "product" for a quick fix. It's totally not your fault, however I want to spend some time on talking about a few of them.

#1 How many meals should you eat a day ?
- This is one of those questions that requires me to start probing a little bit. First off, what is your lifestyle like? Do you have time to eat 6 meals a day? Does your schedule allow it? Next, do you enjoy eating smaller meals throughout the day or does that cause you to "graze" all day ending up in making unhealthy choices for food because it's something that you crave? Truth is this, if you have 1500 calories to eat today and you want to make 3 big meals, do that. If you want to make them into bite sized meals, do that. At the end of the day, you still need to be getting in 1500 calories. I will tell you this, don't hoard your macros at night time all the time. Sure once in a while is ok but don't save them every night for cookies and ice cream.
If you feel more satisfied eating 6 meals per day vs. 3 and it helps you stay COMPLIANT to your diet (thus reducing calories), choose to eat 6 meals per day.If the opposite is true for you and you feel fuller and more satiated eating 3 larger meals per day which helps you stay compliant to your diet, do that. If you can't stick to it, this is where the disconnect happens. Whatever you can stick to, do that !

#2 I want to burn off ALL my fat, so I am going to do fasted cardio.
- Let's hold on there skippy. Looking at the big picture, you lose body fat when we’re in an energy deficit or when you expend more energy than we eat through diet and exercise. Not because you are doing it fasted or not. So in order for fasted cardio to be superior to fed cardio for overall fat loss, it must either:
1) create a larger total energy deficit (through higher calorie burn or greater appetite suppressant); or
2) enhance a greater calorie burn from fat rather than from muscle, thus creating a body recomposition effect.
Concentrate on keeping your diet on point and putting in maximal effort in your training !!

#3 Learn to read a nutrition label.
- I wish I can express this to you more, however this is such a broad topic. Your body wants and deserves a lot of healthy micro nutrients. You should be fueling your body with healthy, whole foods that come from the earth. Unfortunately, when you are searching for something healthy, marketing companies make it really hard for you to decipher. Instead of getting overwhlemed, try to keep the ingredient list to 5 or less plus if you can't pronounce it don't eat it. It really is that simple!

Learn to take care of your body. Treat it with respect and you will see that your mind/ body will thank you for it in the long run.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Unhealthy gut!

When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea. Because 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema, rosacea, and other chronic health problems.
The digestive system is a pathway starting at the mouth and ending at the anus. It is responsible for breaking down the foods we eat, extracting the nutrients needed, and then eliminating the waste. The problem is that poor food choices, viruses, parasites, caffeine, alcohol consumption, antibiotics, NSAIDs, and bad bacteria can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to increased permeability or "leaky gut."
This leak can cause intolerances that then initiate an inflammatory response in the body and the release of stress hormones. One of these stress hormones is cortisol, which further taxes the body and starts to impair the body's immune system. This can then lead to a host of issues that may not seem related to the impaired gastrointestinal tract, like allergies, skin conditions, impaired performance, and stubborn weight gain to name but a few.
Signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut :
• Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea
• Food allergies or sensitivities
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Mood swings, irritability
• Skin problems like eczema, rosacea
• Diabetes
• Autoimmune disease
• Frequent Infections
• Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD
Quick tips on fixing gut issues:
-Remove the gut inflammatory foods and irritants like alcohol, caffeine, or drugs.
** Inflammatory foods, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar, can lead to food sensitivities.
- Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid medications) diseases or aging. This includes digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.
- Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical. This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. The recommend amounts range anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units a day. Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high in soluble fiber is important.
- Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential. You can supplement with L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining. Other key nutrients include zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, and E, as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Why should you do competitions !

Competitions are FUN ! So what if your not an elite athlete, you can go out there and do your best and enjoy the rush of competing against other people. There is a lot to be gained from doing competitions that so many people miss out on. Your fitness goals are for you but you can also use competitions to gain a little more perspective about yourself.
First off, competitions help you learn more. It keeps you hungry to work on your skills and develop higher level ones. You really find where your strengths and weaknesses are when you do a competition. You can't cherry pick on the floor at an event. In the gym, you can be your own worst enemy, conveniently declaring today a rest day when your least favorite movements pop up such as Karen- 150 wall balls for time... No thanks, I’m good!. But you and I both know they’re weaknesses for a reason. When you commit to a competition, you’ll find you’re much more driven to tackle those faults. Because honestly, what’s more terrifying than the thought of stepping onto the floor in front of a roaring crowd and not being able to do the skill for the WOD? Or you can wing it like me and learn it on the fly in the middle of the worktout :)
Accountability is key and what better way then to have a deadline for your training. We all know the easy part of training is training. It's all the OTHER stuff that is difficult. Nutrition, hydration, recovery and sleep, all of these things often take a backseat to the demands or temptations of daily life. And you know that you can’t out-train a bad diet. Yet often, that doesn’t seem to make it any easier to turn down dessert or that extra glass of wine. But if you know that those things affect your 6 am training session, you might be more likely to go to bed earlier or even turn down foods that might slow you down.
WOD's are super fun but competitions are a whole different animal. Experiencing competition, a true leave-it-all-on-the-floor situation, can open your eyes to the importance and benefit of your daily training and its goal of building you up, not breaking you down. Which in turn will lead you to improved fitness overall. Sometimes when you "think" you are pushing at your hardest level you might not be when you are in the gym. Competitions bring out the next level of your very being !
Guess what happens on competition floors? PR's ! It's totally true. You get this rush of adrenaline that pumps through your body and you start doing things that you never can before. I hit some huge Pr's in competitions that I don't know where they came from. Being faced with a competition WOD which may seem all but impossible, and then tackling it head-on and finding you can indeed do something you never thought you could leaves you feeling proud and empowered . And it will plant you solidly into the mindset that limits are meant to be surpassed and PRs are made to be broken.
At the end of the day, competitions are all fun and games. You learn a lot about yourself, your mind and your body. You train because you love it and now you have a reason to get up early and train for something. If you have a local competition think about doing one as a team. I love events that you can do with a group of people that also really enjoy the process of training and learning !

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lift more, move more !

Feeling a little stuck with your training? Have you been working out for a while but can't seem to get past your plateau? Chances are you might not be lifting enough weight. In the beginning of any fitness program, progression is quick and strength seems to double. Then you hit this point that it's harder to increase weight or PR. One of the most common reasons for strength to stall out is that you might not be lifting heavy enough weights to trigger growth and adaptation.
When lifting, the amount of weight you use is correlated to the intensity of the lift. Intensity is often expressed as a percentage of 1-rep maximum (1RM) which is the max amount of weight you can use for that lift.
Some people have a misunderstanding of resistance training, especially women. I have so many clients who are female that are so hesitant to lift any let alone heavy weights. Lifting weights creates shape to your body and builds that physique you are looking for.
A quick note about “muscle toning.” It doesn’t exist. This myth has been plaguing fitness professionals for too long, and it’s time we dispel it once and for all. Muscles don’t get toned, they don’t get longer or leaner. They get bigger, smaller, or stay the same size. That’s it. You are either strong or weak. When someone is referring to "toning" what you really want is muscle with decreased body fat. You do that with heavy resistance training and high intensity cardio. Lifting heavy weights will give you the physique you want, however lifting weights that are too light will likely do nothing but waste your time.
So let me ask: What is YOUR goal? If your goal is to increase strength or build muscle, it’s important to either find a trainer that will educate you about effective resistance training or research programs that will encourage you to progress to heavy lifting. For lifters, it’s important to keep in mind that you will eventually have to lift heavy weights to increase strength or muscle size.
Heavy is relative. It’s not about the weight; it’s about the effort. Heavy means a resistance that is challenging for the individual on that particular exercise and in their chosen repetition range. My heavy might not be your heavy and that is ok. This is why learning to work off percentages can really help you along the way in a strength training program. It’s also important that people learn how to recognize what appropriate resistance feels like. A good way to do that is to incorporate ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) into your training. A simple 1-10 scale can be used to measure RPE.
1 meaning it was super easy and 10 meaning you almost or did fail.
Learn to start slow and increase gradually. Lift heavy and lift smart and see the gains happen!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Protein is a muscle builder !

Muscle mass is a common attribute that many people are after. Did you know that lean muscle has an impact on your overall body composition as well as your metabolic rate? Well yes it does, and a positive one at that. Stop trying to be less and start trying to be more! More muscly that is !
Eating foods that increase your muscle mass is important for changes to occur however, as a personal trainer, most of my clients exhibit a similar behavior: they train hard, but they don’t give a damn about nutrition. So the time and effort they spend on training is wasted. Why do they sabotage their own success? Because they think nutrition is complicated and want to avoid the topic.
Why would you want to ignore the one thing that you have complete control over? Well maybe because you have the control and just don't know what to eat or how to make healthier choices. Or maybe it's because you don't want to be that accountable to yourself. What ever your reason, nutrition is #1 to weight loss. Let's compile a list of foods that are great for muscle building and you don't even have to lift!
-Chicken- skinless chicken breast
Chicken is an excellent source of high quality protein, which is important for muscle maintenance and repair, bone health, and weight maintenance. It can be made into so many different dishes from grilling, baking, and making a crock-pot meal you can't go wrong.
-Lean Beef
Lean beef is loaded with building including iron, zinc and B-vitamins. More importantly, it provides your body with high quality protein and a high level of amino acid that works with insulin to promote muscle growth.
Eggs contain high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, the right kind of fat, and vitamin D. I have found that eating egg whites and whole eggs helps me get the essential fats I need along with a lot of good lean protein.
-Cottage Cheese
It's a form of casein protein which means it's slow digesting that is perfect for muscle repair and maintenance. I love mixing cottage cheese with salty foods like salsa and cucumbers or making it sweet with fruits.
Oatmeal is an great source of carbohydrates due to both its low glycemic index (GI) value and the fact it is minimally processed. Plus its a ton of volume and it has a lot of fiber that keeps you full. I love making oats with zucchini along with some protein powder for a great morning post workout meal.
-Healthy fats
Fats play an essential role in hormone production (testosterone and growth hormones), which helps drive muscle growth and strength gains. In addition, fats are needed for many important maintenance functions of the brain. You can find them in salmon, other fishes, nuts, leafy veggies, oils such as flaxseed, avocados, and seeds.
-Get your fruits and veggies in
Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants, which are essential for the healthy functioning of your immune system. They also provide tons of other nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Because they are water based your body love the micro-nutrients that gets to keep everything functioning at an optimal level!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It's your journey !

How do you see things?

Things might look hard, things might look scary, the road might look rougher than you want it to be. Or maybe it looks like an opportunity to get stronger, to get better, to get mentally and physically tougher.

Life is all about perception of the events that happen in your life. You can look at a setback as a negative or you can see it as an opportunity to adapt under tougher circumstances. How you view life and the events that occur are important to your success. The more adversity in your life, the stronger you become.This is how you need to start living your life. You need to accept the bad things that happen and then what you do after that is what will impact your life.

Take a second and think of one thing that is going on in your life that you feel like your going through alone. Maybe you are having a hard time in your relationship or a difficult time at work. Now take a second to view it as a positive instead of a negative. I know that you might think that you are going through the roughest moments of your life but really you can find the good in ANY situation.

There's no such thing as bad things that happen to you.There's no such thing as setbacks.Every one of those that we think exists is just an opportunity to become better.Remember, when it gets hard, life is showing you that you are more than capable of handling that stress. That small "suffering" will make you stronger. Those moments where you want to give up prove to you how much you can handle. When life gets difficult, you realize what is important to you on a daily basis.

Don't get caught in the cycle of feeling bad about the things going on in your life. You have the choice to see it from a positive place. Allow yourself to feel the emotion and put forth the work to make your situation better. Find the good and turn any situation that might seem like a setback into a comeback.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Refeed or cheat day?

What is a Refeed?
Refeeding is generally defined as a planned increase in calorie intake that typically occurs when dieting.
Refeeding can yield a myriad of psychological and physiological benefits:
• Decreased risk for binge eating via hunger regulation
• Increased motivation from boosted testosterone, dopamine (a hormone responsible for reward and pleasure), and leptin (a hormone responsible for satiety and metabolism)
When you’re in a caloric deficit and lose body fat, your leptin levels drop. This, in turn, causes your metabolic rate to slow down, your appetite to increase, your motivation decreases, and your mood sucks. when you give your body more energy (calories) than it needs, leptin levels are boosted, which can then have positive effects on fat oxidation, thyroid activity, mood, and even testosterone levels.
Things to consider:
-When should you have a re-feed day?
• Every other week, when your workouts start to suck, when your mood and attitude is significantly decreased.
-How much should you Eat?
• This will depend on how long you have been dieting, how intense your diet is, and your current level of bodyfat. Those who are at a lower level of bodyfat will need to refeed more often than those who aren't. Similarly, the more extreme the diet being followed, the more intense the refeed.
• macros (1 g / pound BW, minimal fats and rest from Carbs)
• a refeed should consist of 20-50% more calories than required for maintenance for 12 hours to two days.
-refilling muscle glycogen
-temporarily getting out of a diet-induced catabolic state.
-ability to normalize hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, insulin, peptide YY, etc.
-refeeds are calculated and with purpose.
You should not get this confused with a cheat meal/day that turns into a full week of binge eating. Your re-feed is structured in a way that you are able to calculate your macros and have set numbers to follow. Don't ruin your results by having a "YOLO" cheat weekend !

Friday, May 12, 2017

Your mindset is your biggest power or weakness

Your mindset is your power. You can use it for good or it can defeat you in a heartbeat. Mindset should be considered the intangible factor that can strongly determine your competitive success or failure in any aspect of your life. The reality you perceive is always the end product of your mindset. Everyone can take the situations they have in life and look at them in completely different ways. You might have someone that sees the positive in every situation whereas you might have the other person that finds the tiny flaw.
I do know that with every person I meet there are qualities of having a great mental outlook that you should try to possess. I know that I struggle with a few of these and I am working on taking the steps to correct them.
#1- Vulnerability
Vulnerable people realize they learn more from times of failure than success. For me, this realization is non-existent. I don't like the feeling of failing nor do I like to feel like I am falling a apart. In order to be vulnerable, you need to have an open mindset to new things. You cannot fear failing and finding your weak areas only makes you a better person. Exposing your vulnerability will ensure you never get overconfident or hubristic, and it will always remind you of where you came from and how hard you had to work to get where you are.
#2- Humility
Stay hungry. Stay so hungry to improve that you crave more. A humble person is one who is quietly confident in his or her mindset, yet is always realistic in assessing his or her strengths and weaknesses. A humble person does not under- or overestimate abilities. Motivation starts to become from inside yourself instead of from outside affirmation. You start to satisfy your own desire to want to become bigger and better as an individual. It's what keeps you going when things in life get tough.
#3- Realism
Life is not always sunshine and rainbows. You need to understand that you should focus on the good things in life but also have a realistic mindset. Positive realism is about trying to make the best of a bad situation or challenge, but tempering that with realistic assessment and action based on your circumstances. Learn your limitations but also learn how to deal with circumstance that are not ideal.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is about persistence. No one will go out there and do if for you. You need to step up to the plate and go after it yourself.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

You are not a victim !

Obesity rates are getting higher and higher. It's a scary time in our lives and I would like to help put some sort of stop to the small portion of people i can impact daily. Why is it that our society is becoming larger? I think it comes down to one thing, responsibility. I truly believe that we need to take ownership for our own actions and behaviors but what I am finding is that the blame is getting put on other people or things.
So many people have the victim mindset. The idea that they are not at fault and their circumstances are out of their control. This is how mental weakness turns into physical weakness. Weak people are quick to point the finger at outside sources instead of finding opportunities to overcome their personal challenges.
People who are into fitness are not just "gifted" or "fit". We fight for that everyday. Each of us has a personal disadvantage that we try to overcome and challenge every time we choose a healthy meal or sacrifice sleep to get to the gym early or late. I always remind my newer clients that it won't get easier, you will get stronger but it will not get easier in any way. There is always room to grow and get better.Getting in shape isn't a thing that happens exclusively at the gym. It's what you do constantly with every choice you make.
There are so many people that don't quite value fitness like other people do. If you don't care about strengthening your body or improving your health, that's your business. You will prioritize what's important to you. Just don't say the fitness industry failed you, or that diet books, food manufacturers, or your family is to blame for the repercussions you're facing now. It's your body and YOUR business, remember?
The longer you've let yourself go, the harder it'll be to create habits that'll make you leaner and stronger. And you won't ever change unless you see challenges as beatable instead of giving yourself an excuse.The blame-game won't make you any fitter or healthier. The question is, are you going to fight your challenges or let them own you? The choice is yours. It always has been. It always will be.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

But it "says" it's healthy !?

What are "healthy" foods that aren't so healthy ?
I think that the growth of the media on "healthy" foods is turning our society into believing anything they see. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. When you start to think of the "healthy" foods on the market, you become bombarded with these fad diets that proclaims that some things are ok on one diet but not on another. I don't blame you for being confused at all.
The first one I want to talk about are organic foods. Just because there is a label slapped on there saying it's organic doesn't mean it's healthier for you. I want you to think of organic sodas, candy, and other tasty treats that say organic. Nope, sorry they are still processed "organic" foods that are not that good for you. "Organic" has precisely zero to do with the amount of calories or macros a food contains, so in that sense, you're better off pretending the word doesn't exist. Are some organic foods better than others? Of course if you are talking about fruits and veggies.
Next are protein bars. They are convenient but they are also horrible for your digestive system. Those bars are filled with artificial sugars and protein fillers that are a huge contributor to gas and bloating. Don't get me wrong, some of them taste really good but at what expense? Diarrhea and abdominal pain for the rest of the day. Take a good look at the sugar alcohols and the fiber content on those bars. Both of those can cause major belly problems if consumed at high amounts. Instead, stick with lean meats, veggies and healthy carbohydrates.
I am adulting my healthy cereal. Well sorry to say but no. You know that kiddie breakfast cereals are just love handles in a box, but "healthy" adult cereals are often just as bad, and sometimes even worse.Cereal makers are marketing their breakfast candy to people who want to be healthier, but also don't know much about nutrition and are too busy to read the back of the box closely. So these people will probably eat a meal-sized bowl of that granola cereal, about 800 calories before adding milk.What about the cereals with added protein? Well, it's usually the cheap stuff: soy. Flip that box around and check the ingredient list closely. Eating the cereal that is just 'puffed' wheat or rice isn't that special but its better than loading your body up with artificial sugars and fake food !
I hope you can use some of this information the next time you want to incorporate the "healthy" things into your diet. Start to read past the crap they put on the box and learn how to read a nutrition label.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Are you making an excuse for your LIFE ?

If it's important you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse.
I am sure that you heard this before. "No excuses" has been a mantra in my life since I was little. It has always helped me stay focused and eager to keep perusing my goals. Plus it helped me stay super consistent in all aspects of my life. However, the most common issue I do see is the fact that excuses are so readily used in life that they become the norm.
Do you find yourself making an excuse for your behaviors often? Maybe you are trying to keep yourself accountable with healthy eating or even working out but always seem to start and find an excuse as to why you stopped. "It's too hard", "I don't have enough time", "I'm too tired/stressed/out of shape etc to keep up with it", the list can go on and on. I want you to take a second and be honest with yourself. Do you really want to change? How important is it to you? What actions are leading you to not accomplish this goal?
Sure, when you are in a routine it becomes habit, but getting into the routine to change your behaviors is where things get tricky. Every bit of effort counts and truly adds up to big-time results. There are so many easy steps you can take to ditch your excuses and get to work. Let me help navigate you through some of the common issues I see.
#1- Pack your gym bag the night before. So many times the easiest thing is to be prepared early. In the morning, if you already know that you need to hit the gym either before or after work, you are ready. Also, have a spare gym outfit in your car. You never know when you might need an extra outfit anyways !
#2- Life is not in black and white so your approach to fitness and nutrition shouldn't be either. Don't wait until Monday to start your new fitness program, start today. And don't think that one meal that you might have went off course ruined your whole day. Just get back on track the following meal. Being so rigid with your efforts sometimes can work against you. You don't have rules to healthy behaviors and no one said that training days start on a Monday. You have the ability to control your behaviors starting right now.
#3- Plan your meals ahead of time. Sure does it require some extra preparation on ONE day of the week? Yes, and it's a great habit to get into. I use Sunday to plan and prep my meals for the week. I make all staple items like chicken, turkey, grilled veggies, and any other sides I want for the week. This way I have everything I need already made and ready. All it takes is for me to portion it out each day.
#4- Did you know some of the best people I have met came from the gym? Yes your social life on the outside might be adapted to gym time with your friends hitting up the next spin class. So what if you don't go to happy hour, there is a better "bar" you are at ! Make friends with people who support you and want to help you stay motivated. Besides, you do have a rest day or two that you can see friends or maybe go on a fun outdoor activity together !
#5- I don't have time. Well ask yourself this: Is it a priority to you? Sometimes the "time" excuse gets old. You do have time, you are just not using your time wisely. Working out doesn't have to take hours out of your day, you just need to make room for 45 minutes. Utilize HIIT cardio or circuit training to get in a killer workout and a short amount of time.
Excuse Killer workout !
Perform one set of each exercise back-to-back for 30 seconds. Once you’ve completed one full round of the sweaty circuit below, rest briefly (one minute max), and then repeat the circuit for another three to five rounds (or as many as you can squeeze in for 15 minutes).
Jump Squats
Push-Ups With Side-Plank Rotation (alternating sides throughout)
Tabletop Hip Thrusters
Plank Jacks
Side-to-Side Squats (squat to right, back to middle, squat to left, repeat)
Side Forearm Plank With Dip (15 seconds each side)
Your welcome :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Its personal

It gets personal, when you are deciding on hiring a trainer or a coach to help you reach your goals. I know this first hand because even I have a coach for my nutrition. The key is knowing that you want to have the "best" which is someone who has the knowledge and credentials to back up their certification(s). It's an investment in your health and wellness. Along with a personal relationship that you develop because you do see this person or at least communicate with that person a few days out of the week.
A good trainer teaches you proper form, keeps you accountable, and makes sure you’re working your butt off during your hour. A good online coach will check in on you most days of the week, provide feedback via e-mail videosm and will help guide you to the right resources. However, not all trainers are uphold this criteria and if yours is uttering any of this advice, it may be time to end the relationship.
First off, what works for one doesn't mean it will work for all. Some clients are very similar in training styles and abilities but not every client requires the same training program. A good program will be specific to you and what your goals are. If your program is not being detailed to your needs, this is a good time to ask questions to your trainer regarding this concern.
Spot reduction is a myth. If you have fat in a specific place that you want to get ride of (back of arms, legs, belly..) there is not an exercise program that will just get rid of that. You can’t dictate where on your body you’d like to lose fat, nor can you predict from which areas of your body you’ll lose fat first or by how much. Strength training, coupled with a solid nutrition plan is the surest way to reduce fat overall not just in one spot.
Cardio is a TOOL not your workout. Cardio gets overdone when it comes to fat loss myths. Use it like it's your secret weapon against fat. You shouldn't be doing hours of cardio a week to lose weight, if this is the case, your diet needs work, Instead focus on HIIT ( high intensity interval training) and put in maximal effort when you are doing cardio. Not only does it take less time but you will save your muscles from breaking down from the constant beat down that cardio places on your body.
Start learning that what you eat affects your body composition. If you want to get leaner, you need to know what you are consuming and in what amounts. If you are not counting macros now, start with MyFitnessPal and track what you are currently eating. You will be surprised that you are consuming way less/more calories than you thought and your macros might be in the wrong direction to help with fat loss. If you’re eating more calories than you’re expending through consistent training and active lifestyle, don’t count on seeing those love handles disappear anytime soon.
Know your goal, then get specific on that. I see too many people with "general" goals that have no meaning. Sure you want to lose weight, maybe you even want to hit a new PR but if you don't have your goals clearly identified how will you reach them? A pet peeve of mine is when there is a trainer who dead lifts a 1RM with a client that has no want nor reason to be doing that for their goal. Of course being strong is super important but your program should reflect that as well.
This is my favorite: If you eat carbs before bed, it converts to fat! WOW. Let's just put this out there, there is no food that will immediately convert to fat if you eat it ! Your body doesn't know what time it is and it surly won't convert your food to fat when the clock strikes 8 pm.It all depends on what you’re eating and what your goals are. Of course eating a full meal before bed isn't the best idea and that's because you won't be able to sleep very well not because your turning into a fat consuming machine.
I hope these helped you with the common things I hear. There are so many more but i wanted to share a few that I found interesting or at least relevant to the general population of people. If you have questions, feel free to message me !

Friday, May 5, 2017

Build your foundation!

How do you build the best foundation? You need to have consistency and structure. You need to find your constant variable. I make sure to maintain a routine each and every day. I enjoy structure and I like when i can plan my life out. Hello type A personality. I am a creature of habit and having that set timeline helps me prepare and plan my life out. Yes that 5 minutes I am late to the gym does make me anxious and it usually throws me off for the day.
I used to make the mistake of not blocking out time for me. Life as a personal trainer sometimes gets a bit crazy, even now when I am going through a nutrition program and prepping for a show, life gets a little hectic. My job requires me to have the availability of my clients which isn't always the most convenient life schedule. Think early morning, open afternoons and later nights. I love my job so it makes it easy to work around it but the hard part is me having to turn clients down because I also need time for me too.
The better question is how do I balance it all? Well aside from waking up at 3 am everyday to train at 4, my life has structure. I make sure that I take care of me first. Yes, it might be selfish but if I am not the best version of me, then i can't be the best for my clients. You might ask why this is so important that I have consistency. Well below are the reasons why having a schedule and structure are important for you and your goals
-It's a habit. No matter what day of the week it is, I wake up at the same time. It's habit and I love that part of my day. I never wake up saying "Man I just don't want to train", if I do, please slap me and make sure that I am not having a breakdown LOL!
Once you create that habit, you crave that time for yourself!
-Less stress throughout my day. If my training gets pushed to later, my stress level grows. I worry when I will fit it in and then that is all that is on my mind. So to derail this issue, I go to the gym super early to get my weight training in at least. If I have to do cardio it's ok because I can make that up at home.
-Consistency yields success. if you have a goal, you need a timeline to make sure you can accomplish it. For me, having a schedule that I am ready to tackle every day is important for my success as a Figure athlete. I crave the training and the time for me to get better. I also make sure I have the time I need for research, programming and my nutrition program. There are a lot of things that need to happen to make sure that my day is packed with the things I value for my future.
Don't just guess around in life. Make a plan and attack it. Your life and your goals are important for you to maintain structure and balance !

Thursday, May 4, 2017

To train at home or get a gym membership

Garage gyms seem like the best thing you can have at your finger tips. I have to say that having mine is beautiful for those busy days that I need to fit it in when I can. However, know the struggle that also comes along with having a garage gym. Distractions are everywhere !!! Finding the motivation to also get yourself pumped up and ready to train can be hard too.
Having a home gym is convenient, but you don't want it to turn into a wasted space that isn't used either. Just like going to the gym, you need to create a space that you love and want to go into. I have a few great tips on how to make your home gym the gym that you want to use daily!
-Is it what YOU want? That is the first and best question to ask yourself. Do you really want to invest in a home gym? Personally, spending the money to get the equipment was a no brainier, simply because I wanted it. I knew that having it at home took major stress off my shoulders to be able to train whenever. Conversely, that is also the issue, I can train whenever :) The upside of having a home gym is that it's yours. You don't have to share stuff, you can super-set EVERYTHING and it's your personal space to just "be". One thing I love about my gym at home is that I made it into what I wanted. I got things I knew I would use, I didn't buy excess and I wanted a place that I can do anything or any type of workout. It makes me happy to train at home !
-Are you distracted easily? Having a home gym means that you have your home distracting you. Do you separate your home from the gym in your garage or are you constantly thinking of the other side when you are training? Being able to just turn off those distractions has helped a lot with getting my mind right for training. Leave the distractions at the door because it's time for you to put in the work !
-Oh that cell phone. Put it down and leave it be. Rather than using your phone to play music, have another IPOD set up for just your workout time. The alerts are super distracting and when they go off on your phone are all too distracting. So is checking out IG when your working out ( guilty). Don't get caught with this bad habit. Put the phone down and allow yourself some time to just decompress !
I hope these tips are helpful and keep you focused and digging deep while enjoying working out in the comfort of your own home! IF you need help on what to get in your home gym or if you want to see what I got and from where, comment below and I would love to show you!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Protein gains !

Protein is essential for building/maintaining muscle. How much protein is really needed? Ff your diet is falling short on protein, you could be left feeling weak and flat with little muscle gains.
Are you tracking your food? Do you know how much protein you are consuming? Read these four signs that your diet is falling short on protein and I will give you tips on how to fix it!
-First off, are your "gains" not happening as quickly ? Are you having a hard time putting on muscle in the gym ?? This can be the first of a few signs that your protein is not high enough. See your body loves when you feed it, especially foods that will help increase your performance. When you are working out, training creates micro tears in your muscle. You repair when you are at rest and protein has essential amino acids that help your body recover.
** Pro tip: Consume a protein shake at night before bed to help repair and rebuild your muscle while you sleep. Not all protein powders are made the same. I use a for all my supplements.
-Skinny fat. Well that is a topic in itself but really an issue when you are looking to build muscle and create "shape". Please don't think that running for hours on end will give you the curves you want. Actually it can be doing the opposite. Feed your muscle with protein but the real question is: How much ? A good rule of thumb is 1 gram per pound of body weight. So if you are 150 pounds, you should consume about 150grams of protein. Now your macros can differ if you have different goals that are specific. If you need help with macro coaching or training programs, contact me today for a free assessment call.
- Are you paying attention to your body composition? Do you know how your body responds to certain foods? If you are noticing a decrease in your body composition, you might be in need of more protein in your diet. A high-protein diet can result in two to three times quicker weight loss versus diets that are high in carbohydrates and of the same caloric value. Protein helps increase lean muscle mass, which can have a direct effect on your metabolism. High-protein foods also have a thermic effect. Protein takes more energy to burn off versus other foods.
** Pro tip: Try to break your protein up into 4-5 oz per meal. That way you are not over consuming large amounts of protein at night time to catch up.
-Are you hungry between meals ? Well eating protein can fix that problem. Protein keeps you feeling full. Did you ever wonder why your feel hungry for more after eating something that is empty carbs like a bag of chips? There was nothing sustaining about that. Try to add in some protein when you feel hungry instead of reaching for a candy bar.
Nutrition can be difficult at first, let me help you get started ! I do custom macro coaching for your specific goals. Even if you want to lose a few pounds, we can work on it together!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

No reward without struggle

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the results but not the process. I wanted the victory but not the fight.
-Mark Manson " The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
I am reading this book about learning to not care what people thing of me. To learn to brush some things off that hold me back. The truth is, we have a lot of little life lessons hidden in all the things we do. The above quote stuck out to me because I feel like I have been going through a lot of mental struggles. Struggling with things that many people struggle with but are not willing to step out of their comfort zones to speak out.
I want to be honest and truthful about everything I do in my life. I try very hard to be real and give some insight on things that people don't normally get to experience. I show truth and hope when others feel alone. Here is the honest thing going on right now, stress and anxiety rule my life. What is even more concerning is the fact that I do allow words that others speak influence my own thoughts and opinions. I am a people pleaser so it makes sense that I feel this way.
However, knowing that a lot of things in life require resilience and persistence, it't time to just have an open discussion about fear, failure and a lack of discipline. Fear is a common word that I use often. Fear of failure is even more present in my everyday dialogue to myself. After I read that quote at the top, I really started to think : " Is my fear of failure causing me to shut down because I am not willing to put in the work?" Many people are excited about the idea of doing great things but when it comes to the time to dedicate to it, that is where things start to fall a part.
Being able to have that truthful conversation with yourself about how much you want something, is going to be the key to your own success. Find your passion and work on that but know that it will take time and things. Stay focused and work for the things that will make your life better.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mindset, that is your power!

Create a mindset that will conquer anything. Do you ever wonder why it seems like some people just have that "thing" about them that drives them further? In a world where emotions are getting "softer" you need to learn to toughen it up a bit. Why should you just settle for what is in front of you? Why not create a mindset that can impact others and take you further on the path to your goals.
Here are some tips for you to create mental toughness in your life.
#1 Break your goal down into smaller parts. If you are faced with a task that seems nearly impossible or so far away, many people stop before they start. Instead of doing this try to break your goal into smaller manageable tasks. This is where being clear on your goals with a timeline can help you move forward without being overwhelmed with the big picture.
#2 A winning mindset. You need to believe you won before you even start. Visualization of you already standing there with a medal, award or even new promotion can make a huge difference with your attitude. Practice the art of vivid thinking. Visualize the small details to get there. Then start to replay that over and over again until you believe yourself.
#3 Learn to be a thermostat and not a thermometer. Sometimes tension gets high and you might over react on certain things. Instead of being a hot head, learn to think before you speak. Sometimes not saying anything and allowing yourself to process the information can keep you from saying something based off emotions instead of thinking in practical terms.
#4 Be proud of the smaller victories along the way. I am even guilty of this. I forget how far I have already come and I don't always appreciate the journey that I took to get there. Take a second to look back. For me that is putting old progress photos side by side and then I get a good representation of the journey I have already been on.
#5 Find your tribe ! yes, those people that feed your soul is what you need in your life. Support and love surrounding you as you support those in your life is key for your success. No on can do it alone. You need a team of people who are willing to be there for you as a friend and for guidance throughout your life.
The takeaway, do things you love. Surround yourself with people who care. Most of all, enjoy your own journey and be proud of your success !